Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Tea Time - Chocolate Raisins

This week - Rishi Limited Edition Cocoa Cabernet

Cost:  $9.99
Number of tea bags:  10
Caffeine:  No
Type of tea:  Herbal
Steeping time:  4 minutes
Mix ins: Nothing
Ingredients:  Organic - red wine grape skins, roasted cocoa nibs, maquis series, cinnamon, acai  powder, vanilla bean, black pepper.
Fragrance:   Like Raisinettes
Opinion:  Brewing to a pretty chocolate-wine color, this tastes well worth the price of almost $1/teabag.  The Rishi website no longer has it, I found it at Central Market.  Judging by Googling, this probably came out in 2013, as the expiration on the box is October 5, 2015.  No problems, it will be gone before then.  I like it, it is different.  It starts out chocolatey, then a distinct wine flavor, closing with a nice tangy berry.  What a tea ride!  It even smells good. And photographs Pinterest posting pretty.   If I'm back by Central Market within a few days, I may pick up an extra box.  Head's up Houston -- There were a couple left.  Maybe not now.   Only dinged because of the price.

Rating:  4.5
Pinterest Pretty Pink!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bloglovin Claimin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Mary - First Sketch

Yeah, I surprised myself, too!
I love how her face turned out.

Trip Value

Value as in practicing my value sketching on the go!

The Strathmore Toned Gray sketch book already adds the middle value.  The black is Winsor & Newton Ivory Black and the white is Winsor & Newton Titanium White watercolors "blobbed" inside a Trader Joe's Gingermints tin.  Toss in my favorite 6F pencils, art gum eraser and a couple of size 6/8 brushes, and I'm good to go.

It's portable and easy to carry in case I'm ever in a place without my computer/wifi, my eyes are blurry and crossing from looking at/using my phone...or have a moment to sketch out ideas for an upcoming watercolor blog series.
(stay tuned!)

I'm trying to get better about doing value sketches or just doing more daily sketching.  Having the materials* at hand with me will help!  And besides, I like things ready to-go for those planned and unplanned moments of time.
(*Inside Ziplocs.  Huge, huge fan of the Ziploc, I buy them at Costco.  I have things Ziploc-ed inside another Ziploc.)
Thank you, imprinting from Girl Scout overnight camping.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy New Year of the Wood Sheep!
People born in Sheep years (2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967,1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907) are artistic, kind, inspired, very empathetic, and naturally creative. They appreciate beauty in all its forms, and are connoisseurs of the best life has to offer
Source:  Mystic Mama

Thursday Tea Time - C is for chocolate, cinnamon, combo

This week - Rishi Organic Pu-Erh Chocolate Cinnamon Tea

Cost:  $8.99
Number of tea bags:  15
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:  Pu-erh
Steeping time:  7 minutes
Mix ins: Nothing
Ingredients:  Pu-erh tea, roasted cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla bean, peppermint, licorice root
Fragrance:    Cinnamon/spicy with a hint of chocolate
Opinion:  What a cool and yummy combination of ingredients, and what flavor!  The first time I splashed some Natural Bliss in it, and it was...OK.  Then I read the box which said it "tastes divine without the need for milk or sugar"  And the box was right!  The milk hid the myriad of flavors.  It smells and tastes like chocolate and cinnamon, then you get the hit of peppermint and licorice, closing with vanilla.  I'm only dinging it a little because you do have to steep it longer, in fact - I save the previous teabag to put in the mug as I brew and use a new one.  And it is a little pricey.  It does have a good kick and lingering flavor.
Rating:  4

 A little over the top, packaging-wise?

oh yeah, chocolate!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras Pumpkin

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

My Halloween Pumpkin is still going strong, thanks to a very unusual Fall/Winter.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

Presidents' Day Sale 

February 13/16 -
Simplicity patterns - $1

February 19/21 - 
3 for $5 Butterick patterns

February 26/28 - 
3 for $5 McCall's patterns
$4.99 Vogue

Thursday Tea Time - Rose Flavored Glass

This week - The Steeping Room - The Empress' Cup

(kudos to them for correct placement of the possessive apostrophe)

Cost:  $5
Number of tea bags:  N/A it is loose-leaf.  One ounce pouch
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:  Black
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Mix ins: Nothing
Ingredients:  Black tea, rose, rose petals
Fragrance:   Rose
Opinion:  I tasted and bought this tea on the spot at the Texas Tea Festival in Austin last Sunday.  And next time I am back in Austin, I will definitely buy more.  This is the best rose flavored/scented tea I have ever had.  Even beating out the Numi White Rose tea.   It doesn't need a thing, no sweetener, no cream.  It stands by itself.  I was surprised how sweetI bet this would be wonderful iced, too.   Good thing you only need a teaspoon, hopefully the pouch will last longer until I can return.   There are two locations in Austin and they have an organic, vegan and gluten-free menu.  I'm so glad they had a booth at the Festival!
Rating:  5+

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday - Fit to Print

More fun with watercolor. . .paper
I discovered I like this 80-pound weight even more than the Strathmore Inkjet Watercolor weight paper (115 pound)

So does my printer.
And my budget -- you get 25 sheets for $12.99, $2 less compared to $14.99 for 8 sheets - pre 40% off Hobby-Lobby coupon.
I also found that directly printing from my original instead of from my computer retains the colors truer.  I don't know what happens in iPhoto.  The Epson inks really keep the original color true.

I think it is the bottom one
And honestly, when I was showing this to a friend, I couldn't tell her which one was the original and nor could she.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

The King of Hearts

"The King of Hearts"
7 1/2" x 5 3/4"

My Valentine for the Children's Hospital of St. Louis.
(I signed it "Be Brave, Be Strong, Be My Valentine")

Friday, February 06, 2015

It's not too late!

The Mary Engelbreit St. Louis Children's Hospital Valentine's Day Project.  

Mary Engelbreit is collecting Valentines to give to the patients at the St. Louis Children's Hospital on Valentine's Day -- cards only, no candy or gifts.

Please send valentines to:
4814 Washington Boulevard, Suite 230
St. Louis, MO 63108

Not to M.E., but just generally addressed ( for example "for my sweetie pie," or "from your secret admirer!").
Please sign the cards, either with your name, or just your first name, or with a fun fake name like Elmo or Superman or something!

Mary will deliver them to Children's Hospital in St. Louis so that the kids there will get tons of love on Valentines Day!

copyright Mary Engelbreit Enterprises, Inc

Need some ideas?  Check out what Sharon Hendry Art & Design is doing.  Her February 5 post has a link to a PDF for making fabric collage hearts.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Thursday Tea Time - I can't believe it's not butter

This week - Art of Tea Butterscotch

Cost:  $10.99 online - was, it is no longer available.
Number of tea bags:  N/A it is loose-leaf.  Approximately 50 cups
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea: White
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Mix ins: Nothing
Ingredients:  Organic White Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Pink Peppercorn, Organic Marigolds, Natural Flavors
Fragrance:  Strong yummy butterscotch scent
Opinion:   Alas, another Limited Edition, and it is no longer available.  I hope they bring it back this Fall.  I like the fact it is a white tea and very delicate.  And it really has a buttery taste!  The first time I added my old standby, Natural Bliss and it was good.  However, this almost tastes better plain.  (Which is good.  I'm back to My Fitness Pal, counting carbs and sugar and calories.  That app keeps you honest and gives you a reality check.  Optional equipment:  Duct tape for your mouth.  Or tea like this!)  This isn't a sickeningly sweet butterscotch flavor like the Nestle chips.  Instead it vaguely reminds me of Butter Rum Lifesavers.  But it's not that strong, and that's why you should drink it plain so you can taste the flavors and not hide them.
Rating:  4, only because I will have to wait to see if they bring it back

Monday, February 02, 2015

Love's Philosophy

"The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean.
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle
0 Why not I with thine?"

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Celebrating 30 amazing years with my wonderful husband today!
Ready to go around again. . .as the sunlight clasps the earth and the moonbeams kiss the sea.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7