Autumn in the air and I am feeling witchety

[The post number creeped me out but is oddly appropriate considering we are talking Halloween. O_ Might change it. LOL ]

My favorite time of year has started. Back-to-school sales to satiate my office supply fetish and the lingering hopes of cooler weather starting to seep in. The ads turning to fall themes signal me to start flavoring my designs the color of fall leaves, candy corn, pumpkins, and skellies.

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Here is little Frida enjoying calacas flying to celebrate life and the upcoming Dia de los Muertos (November 5th).

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I love creating ways to use my little Zen Faces.  My most favorite are as the sun and moon which you will see more of soon. I may even have a giveaway coming up so keep your eyes open! The home page has the color version of this one.

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I love henna, I love natural elements, I love organic shapes and playing with white space. Instead of doing henna this time, which my daughter had wanted me to do, I decided to play with the white space of my hand. Above is the Moleskine scan, below is the final for submission to Modofly. (which went out today)

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The background (above) is acrylic on 140# cold press watercolor paper, which is my favorite media.

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Sometimes I just like to freeform doodle to see where it goes. Organic shapes roaming around, spreading fluidly. My daughter found a couple of odd looking “animals” in the picture, can you spot them?

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This one went to Modofly as well. I will post photos as soon as they have been accepted :::fingers crossed::: and go up for sale.

Still working on prints for some of my designs as requested. My cousin Terry owns Boulder Street Gallery in Colorado and does high quality giclees so I plan to go through him when I am ready.

Art can be anything

If there is one thing that I have learned in this life, it is that anything can be used as a creative tool. I hope you are as impressed with these as I am.

Chalk, not just for teachers and clogging your lungs anymore. I really enjoyed the music on this as well.

Think about this the next time you build a sand castle. I am not sure but I think this was the Russian version of the Got Talent-like shows. If anyone knows, let me know.

A recipe for memories

My fondest memories of my grandmother are of helping her in the kitchen. My mother and grandmother are both excellent cooks, making everything from scratch when I was younger. It is because of them that I love to cook, and eat, so much.

S&HstampI remember times when my grandmother would buy a large bag of green “snap” beans at the local grocery store. We had a Publix not far from us where she did all her shopping, back when they had the old S&H Green Stamps. Remember those? I still remember the taste of the stamps when I had to lick them to put them in the collector books for her. /bleh Never thought that would be a fond memory.

We would wash the beans then split them up into two bowls. My grandmother and I would sit with a third, larger bowl between us and snap the tips off the beans while we talked, and laughed, or  just sat quietly enjoying each other’s company. I remember the crisp “pop” of the beans as I snapped each one. How the smells of soil and fresh sunshine released from each one, like there was a tiny little earth spirit inside.

There are two recipes that stick out in my mind that my grandmother used to make. One being homemade, hand-cut egg noodles, which is another story I promise to tell, and Cherry Dump Cake though I think that was actually my mother’s recipe. I do not have her recipe in front of me but I will make that one of our next baking projects. In the meantime, another favorite…

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Blackberry Crisp

Part 1:
4 cups of blackberries (or other berries)
1/4 cups of brown sugar*
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Part 2:
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup of brown sugar*
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of butter

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When we combined the dry ingredients we added a bit of powdered ginger.

We personally do not use nuts due to allergies, but nuts are optional. If you want to add nuts, 1/4 cup of pecans are suggested.

Part 1:
Mix the blackberries, brown sugar*, flour and cinnamon in a nine (9) inch square pan.

Part 2:
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients and put the topping on your blackberry mixture.

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If you are adding nuts, you sprinkle them on top now.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. You want your end result to be bubbly and slightly brown…

IMPORTANT: If you are using a glass/Pyrex dish, do NOT exceed 350 degrees, ever. I cannot stress this enough. Also, for glass pans, the time becomes roughly 45 minutes (keep reading).

Serves eight (8) people, technically…or four with ice cream.  LOL

*Upon gathering the ingredients I discovered that we did not have the brown sugar. We have house elves who enjoy oatmeal and apparently one of them did not remember to tell me he had used all of my brown sugar. So, having already cut open the bag of blackberries, and having promised my girl we would make it, I took a chance and substituted granulated sugar then added a bit of vanilla to it when I cut in the butter.

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At 30 minutes the berries were bubbly but the topping had not yet browned.  The smell was killing us, it was sooo yummy. Must wait for the guys…

After another 15 minutes did the trick and you can listen to the wonderful bubble on my channel on YouTube. The guys had fabulous timing; they arrived just as it had cooled off enough to eat…

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After their eyes finished rolling out of their heads, and words like “Outstanding” and “Omg that’s evil…” flowed from their lips, an inch off the entire side of the crisp half gone already, Logan decided we had to have vanilla ice cream and left. Guess we did it right.

This recipe’s source: Cooks.com

The secret to French Cuisine is butter.

I rescued my beloved from work this afternoon, change of clothes in tow, and told him we were grabbing food before he took me to a movie. We had talked about going to see Julie & Julia earlier this week, I have been wanting to see it when I’d first seen the trailer, but we had not made specific plans yet.

Meryl Streep was absolutely fantastic, portraying Julia brilliantly, making you love her and want to rush home to dig out your cookbooks. We left hungry for the recipes and for more of the movie. I have always ached to see Paris; its architecture, its people, and the movie made you feel like you were there with Julia. Meryl is sure to walk with some awards for this one.

Stanley Tucci ages like a fine wine. Bluntly, the man is hot. Playing Julia’s husband, he was respectful of the part and brought passion to the role. I have always enjoyed Stanley as an actor. He is very good at what he does and has played everything from Robin Goodfellow (Puck) in Midsummer Night’s Dream to his newest film, The Lovely Bones, that we saw the trailer for; he is playing the villain. It looks good, despite his toupe, so we will be going to see that as well.

Amy Adams was adorable as always and the whole story made me smile. She was funny, real, and made you admire Julie’s determination and perseverance. Amy brought a sensitivity to it that made it easy to relate to and love her.

We laughed, we cried in joy and sadness, and we came away with a special place in our hearts for a woman who was truly ground breaking in her own way. Julia Child was a force to be reckoned with and she truly did change the world.

The real Julie Powell has apparently gotten mixed reviews amongst the foodie crowd in the blogging community. I have not read her blog, in fact I had not even heard of it till I’d seen the movie. Some love her and some hate her though, that is apparent. One thing I do know though is that I would like to read the book her character was reading about Julia’s life; it was mentioned that her letters to her sister and friend, as well as her husband Paul’s letters to his brother, made it to print.

Overall the movie was fabulous and I would enjoy seeing it again before it leaves the theaters.  It has also made me want to post my own recipes as well so you might see a few here in the future. In the meantime, go see Julie & Julia, we loved it.

Hmm…now what to make for dinner.