Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloweens Past....

Today is one of those days that I am happy that I take a million pictures of every event. I was reminiscing of all of the kids Halloween costumes. The excitement that Halloween brings when the kids are little. Not that they do not get excited now… but it is different.

Here are a few of my favorites from the past…

The Princess… N loved/loves Princesses and pink… She was 2 ½…we went to the fabric store… she picked out the pattern and selected all of the fabrics and trims. She wore this costume until all of the marabou practically fell off of the sleeves and until it truly would not zip up… this is my all time favorite for her.
1995
When she was 4 ½ she wanted to be Dorothy… Another trip to the fabric store… she loved dresses that would twirl… she also got a lot of mileage out of this costume… A friend of mine whose daughter was a few years younger borrowed this costume for many years after it no longer fit N… When we moved to California N wanted it back to save for her daughter. My friend ‘s daughter loved it so much she bought the pattern and had someone replicate it.

1997 
When D was born I wanted to have a theme year… His first Halloween we did Wendy and Peter Pan.
2000
The next year he really embodied Bam Bam…literally… he even won a costume contest for this one….
2001
When D was 2 his fascination with Spiderman was born. I remember getting this costume at the store… we came home and he put it on… he sat in his chair and watched cartoons…he wore it all of the time…. he wore the same costume the next year and in fact I think I bought a second one because he wore it so much. He still loves Spidey to this day…

2002
When your kids give you that face when you try to take pictures… just ignore them… ask them to bare with you… someday like many other things in life,  they will appreciate the treasure trove of memories…

2010
because ...boy does it go fast....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I 've been Stalked... in a Good Way...

I came back from lunch... opened my email and read this:

Greetings and Congratulations!

You've Been Stalked! Your Summer Garden print has been featured on our website, Etsy Stalker.

I added their little badge over on the left under My Etsy...

check out Etsy Stalker... so cool....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Be...Aware...ness

This month… October… the month we used to think of Fall Colors but now all we see is pink… or for some all that pink has made them see red…is about awareness… Breast Cancer awareness…

I have to admit… I have been educated by my fellow “Mothers with Cancer” on this subject. I, like most before I was diagnosed and even after did not realize or really think to realize “how much” money was actually going to the cause. I do not think we can blame the consumers… again “someone” is telling us to do a good thing by buying a certain product.  Then there is that “Business”… “Making money thing” again… Hey if we put a pink ribbon on it we can make raise the price… sell more and give a pittance away to the cause. So I want to thank those that have educated me on exactly what is going on.

But, I felt I wanted to post something on awareness too… I have been trying to think of how I could do that. So I asked my kids… what would they want people to be aware of when it comes to breast cancer?

My son, who was a few days before turning 6 when I was diagnosed gave me the following. He is 10 now. We were in the car and when he started to talk… his whole facial expression changed:

“It was hard”… what part was hard?
“The whole thing was hard”.
“You have to trust that the doctors are doing the best they can to save your Mom”.
“It is hard when they have to go away for chemo or to the hospital for surgery. But sometimes they have to go away … To come back.”
“I did not like when adults would ask me “How is your Mom doing?” because if I was not thinking about you and the cancer… I would think about it again and it would make me sad.”
“I did like being able to go to my friends… because if I was sad …they would help to cheer me up.”


Then he was quiet for a bit… which if you know him is not really possible unless he is playing a video game or reading…. “The devil got close on that one.”

I asked the daughter the same question. She was almost 13 when I was diagnosed and is now 17.

“I saw the pink ribbon differently back then… it did not mean hope… and it was not pretty.”
“I felt like people were supporting the cause but not really supporting the cause… people would say; ”I bought this pink thing and I am supporting your Mom. But they were not there seeing what you were going through.”
“I think the only stuff that should be pink is the stuff that is sold by the breast cancer organizations.”

“I think the ribbon really should be wings…Mothers are the emotional protectors of the family… they wrap their wings around the kids and family to keep us emotionally safe.”

“I had so many mixed feelings… I wanted to be home but not be involved… it was so hard to see your Mom fall asleep in the middle of a sentence…. so tired and sick. Yet I wanted to be away so I did not have to say good-bye.”



The following are some of the things that I would like to make people aware of:

It was not helpful when people would tell me…“so and so is okay and this other friend is okay so I you will be too.”

I would like people to be aware that if and when the survivor recovers… the family can have post traumatic stress… when I get a cold… it is not like when the Mom gets sick in other homes. It takes everyone back to the battle…. Immediately…

I would like teachers and friends to be aware that the kids are going through or have gone through hell. They each may show it in different ways. Even after Mom is better and her hair and energy is back, the effects may linger for years. They may have lost some emotional growth time… they made have a harder time adjusting to changes, their anxiety may be off the charts. They have been forced to see and deal with things that they emotionally should not have to at their ages.

Breast Cancer… any cancer or major sickness for that matter, forever changes you… not just the survivor but every one in the family.

As my son said yesterday… “Life is hard Mom“…”I want to go back to being 4... Everything was so easy back then.”

cross-posted at motherswithcancer...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Summer Garden

Tissue paper background and torn watercolor papers for stems...
torn watercolor papers and paper towels for flowers...

addition of buttons for stems...

This was  the second piece that I submitted to Cloth, Paper,Scissors for the 2011 Artisan Search....

I have just listed a print of this piece on Etsy... Giclees on canvas and the original are available..

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Obsessed...

I am obsessed with hummingbirds.... usually they do not let me get that close... but during the rain last week I got closer than usual.

Today... I walked ever so slowly... refocused... took a few shots... inched closer... repeat....

I will spare you all of the 326 shots that I got... but I am one happy photog today...














Love these guys....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Listen to Your Heart...


I sent in 3 submissions in the 3 collage techniques that I create with for the Cloth, Paper, Scissors call for entries for the 2011 Artisan search. I was not selected as a semi-finalist but I thought I would share my entries over the next few weeks….

I layer various papers and then use acrylic paints and oil pastel....


layer all of the various papers...                                                  

paint outline of heart...
paint heart and rub away a few areas...

outline heart with oil pastel and rub to enhance texture...
paint words and final accents....
I have just listed a print on Etsy... the original and Giclees on gallery wrapped canvas are also available... please email me if you are interested....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stuff...on Shelves...

I have a folder of photos labeled “the making of a studio”… As I complete an area of my studio I am documenting it so that perhaps when it is all done it would get published in either Cloth, Paper, ScissorsStudios  or Stampington’s  “Where Women Create”

You have to put the dream out there right?

So I have a wall that I thought it would be great to have shelves .....

and on these shelves put all of my trinkets, buttons, keys, etc. in glass jars…
instead of the way I had organized them in my attic in New York… then my garage in California… then in my cabinets in this studio…
These containers were originally from wipes when my daughter was a baby… I think they were called “chubs”. I hated to just toss them in the garbage so they worked great to hold stuff and stacked nicely.

So back to my wall idea. I found some shelves in a catalog that were 36” long and 4” deep… perfect to hold some jars that I found where else but IKEA… love that place.

My hubby hung the shelves… they were clean and cantilevered from the wall… 
but… and it really was a big BUT… they were not really strong enough to hold the glass jars and all of the weight that I put in them. I must confess I am a stuff 10lbs. Into a 5lb. sack kind of person… always have been.. always will be…

So one day my daughter and I were in the studio and crash… down came one or two of the shelves…glass and buttons everywhere. I think the same thing happened again during one of our earthquakes…

I still liked this idea of having the shelves and the glass jars… this way I could see what I have to use in collage and also it gave some color and intrigue to the wall…

I hired a millwork guy and he reused the shelves but built a frame on the sides to add support. He wanted to add a back but I nixed that idea as I want to be able to see all of the colorful items. So we compromised with a few brackets that I can paint the same color as the wall… just to add a bit more stability.

I went back to IKEA and purchased the jars that crashed… 

and and some fun filling them up...

Here is my new and improved shelving unit… with jars filled with all kinds of goodies… 
inspiration and color on a shelf...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carefree...

This guy... or gal... was swimming in front of our boat the other day... He knew were coming up on him and he just kept swimming... then at the last minute he flipped... gave us the fin and got out of the way...

I just love seeing these guys in the Harbor...

they are so carefree...

of course if they decided to take over our boat as theirs I might not be as fond of them....

Friday, October 8, 2010

No-Sew Tote Bags

Some time in June… when I wrote about everything in life happening in May and June here…. I got a request from Jenn Mason the editor at Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine and Barb Delaney, Assistant Editor. She had asked if I would be interested in participating in a project that was to be published in the Fall.

I was sent a piece of blank canvas and was asked to embellish one side of the fabric. Jenn had mentioned liking the past piece…"Flower Garden”  that I submitted for the 2011 Calendar Contest… and wondered if I could recreate the same feeling on this canvas.


I stetched the canvas on a board...

Painted the stems and leaves...
Painted the flowers...

then I add accents/details...
When I completed the fabric it was packaged and sent back to Jenn…
Last week I received the finished product in the mail…and this week I received my copy of the inaugural edition of Cloth, Paper, Scissors GIFTS Magazine.  


The piece of canvas that I painted was made into a no sew bag using … Duct Tape… yes Duct tape….


Inside view of the bag... "sewn" with duct tape...
Jodi Kahn… the author of  Simply Sublime Bags …turned my canvas and canvases from the following mixed media artists: Alisa Burke, Dorit Elisha and Beryl Taylor into the most amazing tote bags.

So if you want some great gift making ideas you can order a copy of the new magazine here… or go to your closest book or craft store and buy your copy…

Here is my finished bag….

side that was published...

the other side...
Thank you to Jenn Mason and Barb Delaney for including me and to Jodi Kahn for her creativity…

This made that crazy time of year and the month of June even more worth it this year!

***Thank you all for your kind comments... I just want to clarify that Jodi Kahn is the artist that made the bags and the duct tape is her idea...I just painted this one canvas... There are instructions as to how to create the bags in the Gifts magazine....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pasticchio..."Greek Lasagna"

I received this recipe from a woman I used to work with, Mary Ann during her first year of marriage. She was experimenting with new recipes and said her husband loved this one. She knew my husband also enjoys food and passed this on to me. I unfortunately can not even give credit to what recipe book she got it out of as I only got a copy.

Since the weather has felt a little fall like… even in SoCal,  I was trying to decide what to cook yesterday. When I mentioned Pasticchio my son’s eyes lit up… “Your Pasticchio?”… “Yes” I said… “I love your Pasticchio”… so there is was… decision made.  When my kids were small and I would say that I was making Pasticchio they would say…"what’s that?” … being Italian they knew what lasagna was so I just would explain it as "Greek Lasagna".
 
Yesterday, as I was cooking, I started to think about my friend who passed the recipe along and how long ago it was. 1985.… WOW… I have had this same piece of paper with this recipe for 25 years…time does fly…

So here we go…

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.






Cook 6 ounces (1-½ cups) elbow macaroni according to the package directions; drain. I usually cook a little extra…
Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup milk and 1 egg; set aside.
In a skillet, cook 1 lb. ground beef and ½ cup chopped onion until the meat is lightly browned and the onion is tender; drain off excess fat.
Stir in 1 - 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
I place the above ingredients in a bowl and then use the can from the tomato sauce to hold the grease drippings...


Layer ½ the macaroni mixture in an 8x8x2 -inch baking dish.

Spoon the meat mixture on top.
 

Add remaining macaroni mixture.

Meanwhile, melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a saucepan; blend in 3 Tablespoons flour and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Stir in 1-½ cups milk; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more.

Stir ½ the sauce mixture into 1 egg; return all to the saucepan. Stir in ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
Spread the cream sauce over the macaroni and meat mixture already in the pan.
 Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Iplace the pan on a baking sheet to catch any spills while baking...
Remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes.

I usually serve the Pasticchio with a side of applesauce.  When I first started to make this recipe I would do each step independently and the prep time was very long. Now I cook the macaroni while the meat is preparing and after those two steps are complete, I cook the cream sauce. Usually the prep time is about 30 to 40 minutes. I like the fact that while the Pasticchio is cooking you can clean up the kitchen and if you have guests over it gives time to visit while dinner is cooking.



I had some home made pie crusts in the freezer. While the Pasticchio was cooking I made an apple pie and that baked while we ate dinner...
Yumbo...

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