Friday, August 31, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. an upcoming trip
2. old memories - today marks a day in my life that I know I will always look back on every year no matter how much time goes past.
3. the kitty cats
4. Tammy - Love you!
5. lip balm

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Inner Excavation & The Sound of Paper

Inner Excavation: Exploring Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed MediaInner Excavation: Exploring Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media by Liz Lamoreux
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at the library and well that was a mistake - a good mistake. Because it made me want to go out and purchase the book right away so I would have time to fall into it the way I wanted...from the moment of reading the first pages I knew it was a book I need to have available in my studio/home always. It is a book for exploring and that takes time...longer then just having a couple weeks of it checked out at the library. But I am so glad I picked it up there so I knew without a doubt this is a good book and will be deeply personal but playful and fun. I can't wait to buy it and jump into ready to explore myself in a different way. Thank you Liz Lamoreux for creating such a lovely book.

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The Sound of PaperThe Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am really stuck. I am scared of creating. This book is what I needed to read right in this moment. Working through some of the exercise has helped me pinpoint some of the fears and I believe will help me start moving forward. I checked this book out of the library, but have put it on my wishlist as I do think it would be a good book to have when needing when having doubts, insecurities and just being blocked in general.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. my beautiful is her birthday tomorrow. Love you Michelle!
2. being able to do some day trips. 
3.  Kathie sending the cutest card at the beginning of the month. I was going through a stack of stuff I wanted to put in my studio and the card was in there. Hanging it on my bulletin board. Thank you Kathie!
4. losing weight 
5. Chinese take out when I don't want to cook

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Green Guide for Artists

Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious ArtistGreen Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious Artist by Karen Michel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book! I checked it out from the library and can't wait to purchase it.  It is a must have for artists who want to use safer, nontoxic, greener materials in their art. It is divided into 4 chapters/sections...

* Greening your Studio: talking about product safety and just being safe in the studio, green paints, mediums, canvas and such
*Green Recipes: making paints, paint recipes and adhesive recipes
* Green Projects: bookmaking, paper-mache, using found objects and other green projects
* Green Artist Gallery - info about each artist in the gallery and examples of their green art, it also has a resource guide

Each section had such great information. Often much of the information was things I didn't know, recipes that I could make right now in my kitchen without much effort, projects and inspiration that made me want to create right away.

The book itself is so lovely to look at just thumbing through it. But it is just so full of good information for artist who want to start using green in their studio.  You might be able to find all the info online, but I would much rather have it in my studio and use because it just a great book.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Rule the World

This song has been going through my head ever since the closing ceremony of the Olympics. It is from the movie Stardust. Such a good movie!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

BLT Pasta

I made BLT Pasta for dinner last night.  It was really good...great flavors going on in this dish. I found this recipe via Pinterest of course, but I modified it slightly. So here is my version...

BLT Pasta

6 strips bacon, diced
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
9 oz dry spaghetti noodles
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

Garlic Croutons  - made mine but store bought would work


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Saute the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook until crisp, then set aside on paper towel.   Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, and drain off remaining oil.

Caramelize the tomatoes and sugar in the bacon drippings in large and deep skillet or sauce pan, over medium heat.  Cook until tomatoes begin to soften and brown, approximately 3 minutes.  Add the leeks and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until leeks soften.

Deglaze with wine and allow sauce to simmer until the wine is nearly evaporated and sauce is thick.  Add the broth, vinegar, and pepper flakes.  Simmer until reduced by 1/3, approximately 5 minutes.

Add the spinach, and bacon to the sauce, then add the cooked pasta.  Toss lightly until pasta is well coated with sauce and tomato mixture is incorporated.  Season with salt as needed.  Top each serving with garlic croutons.

Makes 4 servings.

* Although I think deglazing always makes flavor more deep - I think in this recipe the caramelizing the tomatoes really adds flavor. So if you don't want to deglaze - you could up the chicken broth just a bit and skip the deglazing step. 

* I think next time I will be adding more spinach. Maybe 3 cups as I don't feel there was enough for spinach for us.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gratitude Friday

photo by Michael McGruder
I am thankful for...
1. Michael knowing the way to my heart is through a good book. He got me Hunger Games.
2. BLT Pasta for dinner - a new recipe I tried and it was really yummy!
3. three friends who had birthdays this week - I am very thankful for each of them. I hope they had wonderful birthdays.
4. seeing lots of wildlife on our way back from Craig yesterday
5. getting a chance to listen to a webinar with Dr. Brene Brown

Monday, August 13, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gratitude Friday

photo by Michael McGruder
I am thankful for..
1. getting to see old friends this week
2. having Pablo's Pizza - it is a little local place that has such great pizza
3. laundry being done - washed, dried, folded and put away. Laundry is one of my least favorite chorese
4. being able to find bits and pieces in the pantry that can make up a good meal since I haven't went to grocery store in a while
5. getting to see Airforce One and also see the President wave

Monday, August 06, 2012


One of my favorite U2 songs.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

4 Tips for Being Mindful

Another Tiny Buddha that helped me recently...they always seems to post things I need to hear right in the moment.

4 Tips for Mindfulness when Life is stressful and painful....

1. Realize thoughts are not necessarily reality.
2. Use breathing to center you in the now.
3. Stop comparing now to then.
4. Focus on the happy moments.

Good points and lots of insight in the full post: LIVING IN THE NOW WHEN IT’S STRESSFUL

Friday, August 03, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for..
1. a great little trip with Michael
2. beautiful scenery - places I haven't ever been and old places revisited
3. the Olympics - seeing such amazing people with courage and strength at this time in my life when I am in such pain always gives me hope and perseverance to push through it.
4. getting a chance to have brunch with Michael's parents
5. coming home - after being away coming home always feels so good

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Rest or Push

These questions are from a post on Tiny Buddha: WHEN IT FEELS TOO HARD TO KEEP TRYING: REST OR PUSH HARDER?  The whole article is good, but just wanted to make note of these those were what helped me recently on an issue.

The Rest or Push Checklist:
Is this goal in line with my anchors (primary values)?
If I need to neglect other anchors, is that just temporary while I focus on this goal?
Can the other anchors recover from this temporary neglect?If I quit now, will I regret it?
If you answered “Yes” to the above four questions, it may be time to push.

Am I feeling depressed or depleted?Have others expressed concern for my well-being?
Can I continue with this goal in the near future without losing significant gains?
Has this goal served to distract me from other difficult tasks (such as dealing with relational conflict, making improvements to a situation, feeling painful emotions)?
If you answered “Yes” to those four questions, it’s probably time to rest.