Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Doing Not Thinking Challenge

I did the challenge last time Kathie at Two Frog Home suggested it. And I really liked having the goals and seeing that I was actually doing instead of just thinking. One of my BIGGEST thinking but not doing issues is my art. I think about it ALL the time. I have written down a ton of things in my art journals that I want to create but I don't actually get around to creating. So this time around I decided to put that into my goals.

So my goals for this Doing Not Thinking Challenge are:
1. Work on art once a month (great if more but I want to at least try for once a month)
2. Create Soul Collage cards (like at least 3 done by the end of challenge)
3. Organizing and decluttering - which I have been working on already but want to continue with these areas
* storage
* Michael’s office
* bedroom closet
* front closet
4. Sew one thing. I haven't sewn in years and picked up a basic sewing book at the library and want to make it a goal just to sew one thing so that I don't keep putting it off.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recent Readings

Checked out Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano is a fun book! Lots of kitschy crafts. Switch plates, hanging lamps, punk plates, Japanese hand-mirrors, Warhol litho-pillow, ultra-suede covered containers, fabric covered hangers and so many more. It is a big ass book of crafts but lots of fun.

Another I am reading right now is Home Hints and Tips by Rosamund Richardson. It is very interesting but also making me a little batty. It is a guide to living in modern times naturally, safely, leaving less of a foot print on the planet and just over all more healthy. Talks about all the toxins in paints, wax on foods, plastics leaching and so on - so making me a little sick to my stomach when I think about it all. It has great tips and resources though.

I would like to have both on my bookshelf.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


As I mentioned in my gratitude post yesterday I received some mail love this past week. I couldn't find the card online but it is similar and from the same series as this one.

It said on the front:
"Awake, my dear.
Be kind to your sleeping heart.
Take it out into the vast
field of light
And let it breathe."
Inside she just wrote a very touching message. I have been having lots of insomnia and her words were a comfort.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful...
1. A lovely piece of mail love I received this week from a dear friend.
2. For getting some yardwork done and the shed painted - 2 tasks I am not especially fond of with my allergies.
3. For cookies I baked this week coming out PERFECT - which is at times a challenge in high altitude.
4. For being able to wear a spring top I bought on clearance this winter
5. For the wonderful day I spent with Michael. I had one of those moments that got me choked up and teary because I am so blessed to have him in my life.

I recognize that I have much more to be thankful for in my life.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beautiful Day

We have had a lot going on here lately. So we just needed a little break. After making a delivery to a neighboring town, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up impromtu picnic supplies. And took the long way back to Grand Junction stopping to have a picnic up on the Mesa. There is still snow up there but it wasn't too cold. Just a cool breeze. And a beautiful view of the San Juan mountain range.

On our way up we stopped in a little town that had a distillary. We took a little tour and the owner was very passionate about it. And we could relate as we are pretty passionate about our business too. Michael had a drink of the whiskey and he said it was incredibly smooth.

While driving up, I had one of those moments that choked me up. Because I realized how blessed I am. I was able to spend the day with my love in our beautiful state just enjoying a nice spring day. It was truly a beautiful day in so many ways.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

100 Things | Germany

18. I visited Germany.

In 2001, I went to Germany. A good friend of mine was stationed over there. She was going through a divorce and just needed a little support/friendship so called to see if I could come stay with her. And while there I didn't get to sight see much as she just needed friendship and support. That was just fine with me - I was glad to be there for her. Plus the experience probably more of everyday Germany that way. We went dancing, hanging out with friends, shopping and then just hanging out at home having quality girl-talk. She had great friends there and enjoyed getting to know them. Laughed often.

One day while my friend was at work, one of her friends did come and take me out sight seeing. We went to Heidelberg. It is a beautiful town. We spent most of our time at the Heidelberg Castle.

Photos from the grounds and then buildings/castle all around them.

This view from the castle looking down on the town and the Neckar River that flows into the Rhine.

This is just a shot of one of the buildings in the town. I just loved the looks of them. The building/wall in the upper background is part of the castle.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


We watched Helvetica tonight and I enjoyed it. I have a thing for typography/fonts but also from a designer-graphic artist-mixed media artist, I could appreciate it too. And even though I am a designer and have a thing for typography I didn't even realize how often Helvetica is used. I actually don't use it all that often. I didn't even have it as a font on my computer until 2 years ago when a client had it is in his logo and I was designing letterhead/business card to match so downloaded it. Probably very sad that I haven't used it. Probably will now though. :)

I really liked this guy - Michael wasn't as amused by him as I was though.

And then I also liked this guy too...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. quality time with Michael
2. Black Bear for breakfast - we hadn't been there in a very long time and it was so good
3. That taxes were filed on time despite all the computer problems Michael had the last 2 weeks
4. That we got a big project done and mailed out
5. For the yummy cake I made on Easter

I recognize that I have much more to be thankful for in my life.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blog Hopping

When you give a girl a camera - just beautiful

Happy Tape - look at the fun ways to wrap presents and make cards from it! Oh adding to wish list!

15 Days of Couponing (only 12 there as of now though) - I have been trying to save money - like everyone else so I have relied on coupons more lately. And I found this site had some great ideas. Make sure you click on home too as she lists deals at most grocery stores and plus Wal-mart, Target and the like.

Dollar Store Crafts - And in that saving mode - the whole site is about making crafts from Dollar Store materials! yay for thrify!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dessert for Easter...

I made...

Orange Butter Cake
This is another recipe from The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge. I only have mini-bundt cake pans and I just didn't feel like the work that goes into those (greasing and flouring each one.) So I just used my angel food cake pan. But next time I think I am going to make it as a layer cake and maybe do a cream cheese frosting. And I know I want a wider skewer to poke holes in it so the glaze gets all the way through the cake. It was still moist and delicious but you could tell the glaze only sunk in about half way down the cake.

for the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used salted butter so I left this out)
16 tablespoons unsalted butter - room temperature (2 sticks)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (optional - I had some in the freezer so used it)
4 large eggs
1 cup orange juice

for the glaze:
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 powdered sugar

Position the oven on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan or other fluted tube pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until well-blended. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the sugar and the orange zest (if using) and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended. Add the orange juice and mix just until blended. Add the remaining four to mixture and mix just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake until light brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out with just a few small crumbs attached. 38 to 43 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and the powdered sugar for the glaze. Stir frequently while the cake is baking until the sugar is dissolved.

When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. If necessary, run a thin knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake. Invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Set the rack over a large plate or pan. Using a wooden skewer or cake tester, poke 30 or 40 all the way through the cake. Give the glaze a stir and spoon it evenly over the top of the cake (the fluted side). Let the cake cool completely. Transfer to serving plate.

I topped with a little whipped creamed with a little vanilla extract. But topped with any kind of fruit and whipped cream would be great!

PDF Downloadable and Printable

Monday, April 13, 2009

Computer problems

Well this Monday isn't starting out very well....

Last night we had a power outage that had a power spike that started it. The power spike ended up frying one of Michael's computers. The one of course with tax info on and he hadn't filed taxes yet. We have a back-up server which is great and we love having but of course the power spike messed with it too. And it took most of the morning for Michael to get it back. And now he is tranfering the last copy of the fried computer over to his other computer.

So I believe this week is going to be a little stressful - at least until he gets taxes done.

Just not a great way to start a week.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful...
1. getting a closet organized
2. for finishing one project
3. for the client of that project - as he was really easy to work with and the project went very smoothly
4. for Facebook allowing me to keep connected to old friends, new friends and family
5. for some unexpected surprises I found the closet I organized - little presents that my Mom had sent me and some how got put in the closet.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


These are superfudgy brownies. Full of chocolaty goodness! Typing the recipe out how I did it - it is very very close to the original. The original is from The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge. The cookbook is great cookbook for those that haven't ever baked before because it gives lots of glossary terms, tips, equipment lists and so on to make it a first time bakers dream. The instructions for each recipe also are so good for first time bakers. Very easy to understand and follow. But this book is also great for those that just are short on time and can only bake on weekends. It gives good tips on freezing and prepping to bake. I hope to make a few more recipes before I return this cookbook to the library but have already put it on my wish list as it just has so many recipes I would like to try that sound so good.

Prescription-strength Fudge Brownies

12 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder - sifted if lumpy
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup topping - optional (anything you want - peanut butter chips, milk chocolate or semi-sweet chips, walnuts or pecans)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish.

Microwave the butter in small bowl for 30 seconds or until the butter is melted. Pour the butter in a large mixing bowl and add the coca powder. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each just until blended. Whisk in the vanilla with the second egg. Sprinkle the flour over the cocoa mixture and mix until blended.

Scrape the batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Scatter the topping evenly over the batter (if using.) Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out with small, gooey clumps of brownie sticking to it - about 32 minutes. Don't overbake or the brownies won't be fudgy. Transfer the baking dish to a rack to cool.

Using a knife cut the cooled brownies. If the brownie is still warm it will be hard to cut cleanly (as you will notice from the pictures of mine.)

Recipes says you can freeze the uncut cooled brownies. Invert, wrap tightly and freeze for up to one month.

PDF Downloadable and Printable

Friday, April 03, 2009

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful...
1. For a wonderful day with Michael
2. For a trip down memory lane going through old year books
3. For a great brownie recipe - they were perfect for what I wanted this week
4. For the library as always - I have a huge stack books next to the bed. I enjoy being able to read so many different types of books.
5. For having a stack of mail love ready to mail out. I love being able to give friends a little bit of cheer.

I recognize that I have much more to be thankful for in my life.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This and That Catch Up

So I haven't been blogging, emailing or just being online much because I think I am ready for spring. The winter seasonal thing has been getting to me. I don't like spring allergies but I am looking forward to sunshine. I need it. I can tell it is the lack of sunshine that is affecting me because just the few days we have had (in between the rain and snow) makes me feel better. I also have had a wicked migraine cycle that I am ready to go away anytime. I am on day 5 of it.

I started going through some boxes in my studio closet this past week. Photos, cards/letters from high school and I also dug out my high school year books. I have been reading all the messages people wrote me in them. They are umm well amusing. One friend from high school wrote in every card/letter "don't flirt with the boys so much" - truthfully I don't remember flirting that much. I remember being terribly shy and awkward but I am friends with her on facebook and she insists I was a flirt.

I found a photo of the prom I went to my junior year with a senior boy. And horribly I couldn't remember two of the people in the photo. I know if I post it to Facebook I will get an answer quickly on who the couple is and then I will go "oh yeah." I think the boy went to our church. But the forgetfulness I have is not just ending there because there are quite a few messages in my yearbook that are about parties or events that I feel I should remember but I don't and also there are cards/letters from people that I don't remember at all. But reading them it is obvious we were pretty close. I had quite a few letters from a girl I worked at Brooks Fashions with but I can't picture her at all. She sent them to me my freshman year in college.

Anyway overall going through all the photos, cards/letters and is very amusing. You know the big drama that is high school.

Okay I admit it - I have a guilty pleasure right now - Twilight. I know many can't understand the draw to it. I think my thing for vampires just makes me like it. I have watched it about a million times. Michael thinks he might have to do an intervention.

BettyCrocker.com is now starting a club called The Mixer. It is going to have webcast classes, tips and techniques and ask an expert. And best yet it is FREE! Friends always ask me how I learned to cook. Although my Mom is a GREAT cook and I know I got things from her but I also learned from my Betty Crocker cookbook. It was easy to understand, gave glossary of terms so I could understand things in the recipe I might not have before and just has classic recipes that are great to start with when learning to cook. So I am anxious to see what they will do with The Mixer.

I would love to replace all our water bottles with these or these because I know they are BPA free. I love the colors of the Klean Kanteen.

I have been obsessed with MarthaStewart.com lately. Crafts, recipes, organizational tips, cleaning tips and so on. Anyway one thing I found was link to a sister site: Whole Living and it has great recipes and tips too. But thought I would at least share this link to some tips to do one thing each day to make it Earth Day everyday and help save the planet.