Brain Dead

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Today I am brain-dead.
I really have nothing to show for the past week. I have nothing to talk about really.
December begins tomorrow.
This is Winter? It was 70+ degrees here over Thanksgiving. Ok, so the day after it started to rain and has been chilly ever since…but still…this is not Winter…
I miss the Mountains. I have to tell you.
Our week last week was mostly about sicky-poo-yuckys…everyone here has the sniffles. And we wage the age-old battle of –is it allergies or is it a cold or something else? Or – is it both…
Then—we bought a new dish washer…and in the process of installing that …we had to wait until today to get a few parts (like a new drain hose)—our refrigerator decided that about 4 in the morning was a good time to flood the basement…I listened to what I thought was the sound of rain, but there was another noise underneath it that kept bothering me…when it dawned on me that wasn’t rain and the noise underneath wasn’t a good thing—I thought maybe the teen had decided to do laundry and the machine was overloaded and fighting a good fight while overloaded and/or over-balanced…only to remember…the dish washer wasn’t totally hooked up and maybe that was leaking. Nope. Refrigerator.
Refrigerator? Really? Yeah—it wanted a new water filter…so basically, it spit the old one out. No real damage. Lots of loss of sleep for the parentals here…but otherwise, nothing too bad, thank goodness. Talk about being grateful for things.
And this is the state in which I come to you now.
I have no new art to show. I have been doing a little bit here and there. I am practicing a new style of face, thanks to the book Imaginary Characters by Karen O’Brien (awesome book!) … but I am only sketching at the moment and there is really nothing all that interesting to show yet…yet…
I have been writing…here and there…I had a good to do list all ready and set for this morning when I went to bed last night—before the rain storm inside our house…but as of yet—I have not done anything on that list because I have been busy dealing with everything else around here.
But—things are good here.
You can expect new videos coming soon. New classes. New free challenges. And yes, new artwork. I have some new tools to play with—the Chameleon Color Tones pen. I have two right now, to test them out. These pens “allow you to get multiple shades of color from a single marker”. I have a blue pen and a brown pen. We’ll see how they work when I am ready to sit down and play with them…later this week, I hope.
This may be the type of post you get from me this week…just something chatty, letting you know where I am and what I am up to. I will post art as it happens…but tonight…tonight is all about sleep for the sleep-deprived…
Much love, my friends.
Good-night.

 

Recipe: Beef And Mushy Potatoes

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Basic Ingredients:
One 8 ounce package of sliced mushrooms
One beef roast (ours was roughly 2 ½ lbs)
One medium onion (we used red)
32 ounce of beef or vegetable stock (we actually used chicken stock, because we grabbed the wrong container—and it worked great)
1 TB herbes de provence
Salt to taste
One potato per dinner guest

The morning before you plan to serve this meal for dinner…or the night before if you plan to serve this for lunch, add to your crockpot: the onion, sliced roughly—the roast—the sliced mushrooms. Add the herbes de provence and the soup stock. Turn heat to low and let cook.
Please note—cooking time for your roast may vary, depending on size and type of roast. Please cook your roast thoroughly, until it is done enough to shred without effort.
An hour or so before serving time, heat your oven to about 400 degrees. Bake your potatoes until done, roughly an hour, depending on their size.
Once your potatoes are done, let them cool while you prepare the gravy.
For the gravy, carefully remove all the mushrooms and onions from the crock pot and place into a blender. To do this, I first removed the roast and put it aside on a plate. Add just enough of the soup stock to help the blender move the mushrooms and onions without issue.
Blend the mushrooms, onions and stock until it is as blended as you like it. You may blend it out completely so that your sauce is smooth—or you may want your mushrooms and onions a bit more whole, so you would blend less.
Add the freshly blended bits into a saucepan. Then pour all remaining stock from the crock pot over that. Before going any further, replace meat in crock pot and cover to keep it warm.
I make gravy using Wondra. If you make it another way, insert your way to make gravy here. For me, I turned the heat under the sauce pan to a medium low heat. I added about a TB of Wondra and used a whisk to incorporate it. I let the gravy simmer a minute before adding another tablespoon of Wondra. I whisked that in and let it simmer. I continued this pattern until the gravy was as thick as I wanted it. I left that covered to sit while I worked on the beef.
Shred the beef, using a fork if the meat is too hot. I actually use two forks if the meat is too hot. One to hold the meat steady and one to shred the meat. The meat should just fall apart as you touch it if it is done through.
Combine the shredded beef with the gravy. Set aside.
Put one baked potato per plate. Cut potato open. Ladle beef and gravy mixture liberally over potato.
Repeat for each potato to serve.
That’s all there is to it.

Did You Think I Forgot The Full Moon?

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Well, honestly, I had.  I was so busy and so caught up today…sick kids and sick Mama –that just sucks…add in technological issues (which my Computer Shaman FIXED today, bless his heart)…my brain was off in some other La La Land…and I did not even LOOK at my calendar…until my daughter said, Happy Full Moon…and I was actually flabbergasted for a moment–how could I have forgotten that–especially when I have classes that I keep up with that release materials only on the New and the Full Moon?  And yet…hello, I did…

HOWEVER…

Remember me telling you I was working on the very last spread of the very first journal that I made myself from scratch?

I figured I would have that spread done this weekend … and that this Full Moon I would be working in my other hand-bound journal…ahhh…nope…see the first paragraph here is you missed why…that and we got Hulu this weekend and I have been in a Rupaul’s Drag Race marathon ever since…seriously addictive…I could write a whole post on why this show is one of the best and most positive shows I have ever come across…but…not today…

Now, I have been working on that last spread.  I get five minutes here, ten minutes there…they add up…and some weeks, that is how I have to work on everything…one minute here, one minute there…I take what I can get and I roll with it…so I had a gorgeous background at the ready…and I knew for the last spread I wanted to do a face…because I started with a face…I just thought it would be a nice tribute…

Then, after my toddler crashed for the night two nights ago, I decided, I loved my background — but not the color…so I glued a piece of tissue paper down over it–teal tissue paper.  Why?  Because once that paper hits the glue on the substrate…the paper sort of melts and vanishes and you can see everything underneath…but now I had a nice cool blue background and had knocked back all the busy as well…

The last thing I did before going to bed last night, once everything was dry, was chalk in a face and the sentiment I needed to have on this page…I loved how I opened the journal…”Unfolding”–so I had to have something magical to end with…although I must admit I just trusted my intuition there and let it ride…and if you can guess the movie this quote is from…well, you must have kids who love that movie… (It’s Shark Boy and Lava Girl...in case you don’t know)…

But…if you look really carefully…I am not sure how much the scan picked up–because even right here in front of me…it’s not that easy to find…there is a sentiment along the side of the face…and that is also … very amazing…and unexpected…I picked up a pen with no idea what I was going to write…and that is what came out…

watermarked-nov full moon

First thing I know (and notice) is that — I have a new white pen and it and I need a lot more practice together…it wasn’t in the mood to play nice tonight and honestly, neither was I.

The face is not all that much…but it wasn’t meant to be…I could not get those cheeks to blend out anymore than they are…so I let it go…

The really mind-blowing thing was…after the sealant dried, after I scanned her in, I sat there, and I flipped through the whole book.  It’s more than a year’s worth of effort.  I did not date the first few pages–I only started making sure I dated every page in January…and to think, from January of this year until now…I have working in this journal…and I filled the whole thing up.

Flipping through it, I really was caught by how my work has shifted and changed…and how I have shifted and changed…stunning…that’s all I can say…and yes, now I understand why my best friend keeps telling me why she loves my latest work so much…I do get it…wow…I didn’t realize I was creating such good stuff…to me, all I see is where I need to improve when I am in the moment…but being able to step back and just look at things…heck, I still have a long way to go…but, boy, am I really happy with where I am and what I am doing.

Thanks to all of you who come along for this ride all the time.  I am honestly grateful for your love and your support.  Thank you.

Technical Issues

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So–we are in the midst of a ton of technical issues this week…on top of a household down with various degrees of sicky-poo-yucky-stuff…

Posting this week may be a little slim…but I do plan to show up when and as I can…

For today’s delight, a bit of a throw-back:

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A 12 inch by 24 inch panel done during Visual Quest in 2014.  The class was taught by Pixie Lighthorse.