Monday, September 30, 2013

Moonflower Love

Love the heart shadows on the bricks towards the right cast from the leaves!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blurred Lines

The colors remaining in my palette after my first class were so pretty, I didn't want to waste them.   So I painted them onto a sheet of watercolor paper.   Then I thought I would try different embellishing techniques.   

Green #2

I used a stencil and the contrast and triad colors. (with the exception of the blue, those are the colors on each one)  I thought it looked a little like a mandala.  I've been fascinated and drawn to circles lately.   I also find green and purple very healing and calming to look at.  Love the background shades.
Red #2 
I sprinkled salt on this while it was still wet.  I liked how a star formed in the center!
Red Orange #4
I thought the looked very autumnal.  I used watercolor pencils and then a wet paint brush to bring them to life.  I love how vibrant the colors became, and the way the middle center blue outline blended with the orange underneath creating an almost opalescent hue.  This was probably the prettiest detailed one.

Blue #5
I got the inspiration for this from last week's storm on the beach in Galveston.  I used a water-soluble Faber-Castell graphite pencil #6B and blurred the lines.  I love the resulting shading.

Storm on the beach - Galveston
I like this picture so much, it's my iPhone wallpaper
I tore apart each square and used them as postcards/greetings to give to friends.
Sometimes the project leftovers go on to have a more interesting life than the original work! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Worth Getting Up in the Morning!

This!! Yum!!

It's like a nutty Sugar Smacks, but without all the sugar smacking you.  A very generous - 1 cup! - filling serving has only 220 calories (add 40 calories with 4 ounces of skim milk).  It's nice to be able to finish reading the comics in the morning and still have cereal left!

7g total fat (1g saturated), 5mg sodium, 160mg potassium, 35g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 11g sugar, 5g protein.   I can hear my nutritionist cheer!  2% calcium, 8% iron -- all before adding milk.

Ingredients:  Rolled oats, puffed kamut, cane sugar, almonds, pecans, brown rice syrup, puffed spelt, puffed brown rice, canola oil, molasses, natural flavors, soy lecithin and mixed tocopherols for freshness.

Bonus:  There is a recipe on the side for Maple Peanut Butter Squares!

The 30 ounce box, with two bags, is only $7.55.   Next time I'm back at Costco, I'm grabbing another one.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Work in Progress - Oh! My Stars!

I got this far in class this week.  We were working on using light, dark and mid-tones.  This is the star I bought at Paper Bear in San Marcos, which I used for my front door wreath.  
(Somewhere that blog post is in draft form.  I will find, post and link it here.)  
I liked tilting the picture to get the interesting light play and interesting effect.

Anyways, good thing stars (and starts - love auto correct!) have five points (and chances).  It is a learning process and not done yet.  I will add the finished picture this weekend.  My moment of "Cool!" was discovering I needed to add Cobalt Blue to get that darker rust shade and shadow. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

September 29/October 19

Gutermann 26-spool thread box - $19.99  Sweet!
(regularly $29.99, $49 value) 
30% off Gingher, including rotary cutters/blades

October 3/5
McCall's - 5/$7
Vogue - $5

Columbus Day Sale - October 11/14
Simplicity - 5/$5

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wednesday* Work In Progress - Paper Pumpkin

I even stamped the back of the envelope

Paper Pumpkin from Stampin' Up is a monthly kit, which has (almost) everything you need to complete a project.  Easy-peasy.    They had a special promotion of two kits for $20.  It reminded me of the 1970's Craft of the Month kits my mother used to get -- and I would put together!  Now there is even an Pinterest-inspired one from Darby Smart

The first kit gives you a clear stamping block to use with the stamps.  Therein the instructions were lacking a little, but I figured it out.  Then I found a good link.

I liked the presentation, the cute emails you get  letting you  know your Pumpkin is on its way, the fact you can accomplish and get something done then and there in an hour or less and have something to show for it.  All win-win for me.

However, coming from a total newbie at this, there were a few things that could have made it easier.  For instance, including glue dots for the paper and the button.  Fortunately, I have clear glue.
Better instructions for getting the stamps on the block and even getting the ink on the stamp.  One dab? Smush? Stamp on the ink pad, ink pad the stamp.  That would have been helpful, but easily figureable out by trial and error and practice.

This will make a cool print
on something!
I was also happy to see the kit and supplies made four cards.   And I will definitely reuse the stamps.  I even saved the rubber part left after pushing out the stamps.

It also included the turquoise button

easily fixable!

I loved the combination of colors and the names of the colors -- Lucky Limeade, Daffodil Delight

*I know, it's Saturday.  I'm trying to get caught up back with my life and my postings.  I didn't want to wait until next Wednesday.  And I may have another Paper Pumpkin by then!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Full Moon Sea Glass

"Moon Rock"
The storms in the Gulf plus the Full Moon yesterday brought forth to Galveston in the early morning tide this beautiful sea glass "moon rock"!
It's fairly large (1 3/8" x 1") just glows in light.   Hubby thinks it could have been part of a glass bottle stopper once upon a time.   I plan to wrap some wire (sterling, copper) around it and turn it into a necklace charm.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Tea Time - Cinna-max

This week:   Red Rose Tea Simply Indulgent Cinnamon Bun
Cost:  $6.97 at HEB
Number of teabags:  12 Keurig K-Cups
Caffeine:   Yes
Type of tea:   Black
Steeping time:  However long it takes to heat up the Keurig and press start
Add ins:  Natural Bliss Cinnamon Cream
Fragrance:   It really does smell just like a cinnamon roll
Ingredients:    Sugar, Instant Black Tea, Natural Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, Reb A (Stevia Leaf Extract).
Opinion:  Very, very, very cinnamon-y with the Cinnamon Cream Natural Bliss.  And very, very cinnamon-y by itself.  And super sweet.  It must be the stevia.  And the sugar, too.  You won't need to add any sweetener.  But it still came in at only 15 calories, 4g total carbohydrate, 3g sugar.   It was nice to see the Red Rose label, I remember my grandmother drinking Red Rose tea.  While it is nice to have a cinnamon tea in a K-cup, I don't think I will buy another box.  It is just way too sweet tasting for me.  I prefer the Bigelow Cinnamon Stick or Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice.  If you've ever wished you could shove cinnamon roll into a cup and drink it, then this is a definite try for you.   But I will definitely have fun trying the Cinnamon Natural Bliss in other teas.
Rating:   2.5

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Oh my goodness, it felt soooo good to get my mermaid on and jump back into the pool after almost 8 weeks!  

As a public service announcement, if you are over 50, get your shingles vaccine no matter what the cost.   I did not fit the typical patient profile, and it took me down hard.

I was able to kick it in by the 4th lap with this song.  Great beat!

Avicii - "Wake Me Up" - 4:09

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Tea Time - Hot Chocolate Tea!

This week - The Art of Tea "Aztec Spice"

Doesn't "Mayan Hot Chocolate Tea" sound even better?!

Cost:  $11 at the Oasis Juice Bar in Galveston, Texas
Number of teabags:  3.5 ounces, approximately 33 servings
Caffeine:   Yes
Type of tea:   Pu-erh
Steeping time:  3-5 minutes
Add ins:  Honey or just a little bit of sugar.  Make it even more like hot chocolate and add a splash of Fat Free Half & Half.
Fragrance:   "Sweet Chocolate Cinnamon, Batman!"
Ingredients:    Organic Pu-erh, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Honeybush, Organic Cocoa Nibs, Organic Safflower, Organic Chili Flakes, Ground Chocolate (sugar, cocoa-processed w/alkali, unsweetened chocolate, soy lecithin, vanilla), Natural Flavors
Opinion:   I had a little bit of time before yoga class at the Yoga Haven next door, so I popped into the Oasis Juice Bar and tried a cup of this.  Wowie!  Tea with a kick.  Me like the spicy chili flakes!  And the chocolate is pretty intense, too.  A nice alternative to chai for the cooler (ever optimistic, it is still in upper 80's/low 90's here) weather ahead.   This could be a formidable contender to Starbuck's new Chocolate Chai Tea Latte.
Rating:   5!  After yoga class, I went back and bought the canister!  The clerk said, "I knew you'd be back!"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September showers bring. . .

Rain lilies!
Snapped this morning right after the rain passed through
(And mosquito invasions, too.   Sigh.)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

Sew & Save. . .

September 8/14
$1 Dual Duty Plus black and white thread 400 yard spools
September 22/28
Buy 1, Get 1 Free Buttons

Coupon Commotion is September 15/21. . .

September 19/21 
McCall's - 5 for $7 ($1.40 each -- Aha!  A new pricing point!)
Vogue - $4.99

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Thursday Tea Time - Kermit in a Kup

This week, Trader Joe's Tropical Sweetened Match Green Tea Mix

Cost:  $3.49
Number of teabags:  N/A, powder form - 10 ounces
Caffeine:   A little
Type of tea:   Green
Steeping time:  Mixing time, less than one minute
Add ins:  Ice
Fragrance:   Oddly questioning, "What is that fruity scent?"  (My query, this tea does not talk.   For if it did, it would say, "Haha! You fell for this!")
Ingredients:   Green tea, matcha, sugar and maple (!) sugar, "natural flavors" - aka assorted chemicals.
Opinion:   Aha!  You don't discover it's the added flavors of mango and passionfruit until you rotate the container.  This is one sneaky (and snarky) tea.  Hence the "tropical" orange and purple fruits on the front label.  Instead I got all excited when I saw Matcha in big letters.  Matcha powder can be a little pricey, so when I saw this and the price, I thought I would give it a chance and got it.  It was way too sweet and chemical-y and just odd.  Who thought this would be a good combination and a good result?  My apologies in advance to my husband's workplace.  Actually though not, I decided to return it for a refund.  Yeah, that bad.

Rating:  0  When will I learn to stop buying Trader Joe's tea mixes?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013