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NEW Shara Jane from Las Vegas

Isn’t it funny how spending time with friends creating can turn into something new and wonderful.  Last summer Shara Reiner and I got together to play. Our plan was to create some of her birds dimensionally using Quikwood along with other things.  The first day started off a little slow with each of us trying to see the others vision, but the next day that all changed.  We were sculpting angels, Santa’s, and snowmen.  We had so many ideas that we couldn’t keep up with ourselves.  We sculpted from morning to night – it was a creative high.  And then Shara said we should turn these into patterns and Shara Jane was born.  We came out with our first set of patterns last fall.

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Glitter House Gold

This year my friend Mark Vickrey, who owns Blooms by Vickrey, asked me to do some glitter houses for his shop.  I did some traditional houses like other years,  and I also did some beach houses; but I wanted to do something different.  I decided to do some white houses with gold roofs.  I painted them with DecoArt Warm White and the roof and base with DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Emperor’s Gold.   I then used glass glitter on just the houses and used a red ribbon on my wreaths.  For more details on creating glitter houses you can go to:

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Chicken Pot Pie

My husband has a friend Gary who likes chicken pot pie, so I have been trying some different recipes.  One day when I was cleaning up my studio I found an older copy of Cook’s Illustrated magazine folded open to this recipe.  The magazine was dated February, 2006.  The intro said that it is a lot of work but worth it.  Since my friend Shara was coming that week, and I knew that she liked chicken pot pie, I thought I would give it a try.  Funny how things work out. 🙂

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Wendy & Kevin Young Benefit Seminar

This past weekend my painting chapter, Penn’s Woods Painters, Amy Mogish and myself did a seminar to bless Wendy and Kevin Young.   Wendy is a very talented, sharing, sculpting artist and many of us have been blessed to be able to learn from her. In February her husband Kevin became ill and is now disabled. It has been financially devastating for them  and as fellow artists we wanted to do something to help them.

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Tortellini Salad with Asparagus

With the start of summer I am always looking for recipes for good salads. My criteria is something that is somewhat healthy, tasty and of course looks good.   I found this Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette in “America’s Test Kitchen – Make -Ahead Cookbook”.  I took it to my cousins for Mother’s day and it was a big hit.  It was so good I made it again this weekend.

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A Heart for Mom

I am loving spring with all the beautiful scents and colors.  I love seeing the trees budding and all the beautiful spring flowers popping out everywhere.

All the beautiful spring flowers have me playing with Quikwood again (see Flower Canvas).  I thought it would be fun to create these flower hearts.  They are a sweet little gift for mom and/or anyone special in your life.  They would also be fun to hang on someone’s door as a little surprise.

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Pictures to Draw From…

Not too long ago we talked about keeping a sketchbook  which is an invaluable tool for an artist to keep quick sketches of ideas, resources, and to just practice.  Another thing that I do is keep a photo reference file.  I tear out pictures from magazines, and sales catalogues that inspire me.  I organize them into folders so they are easy for me to find when inspiration strikes.

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Quick Egg Bunny & Chick

When I was playing with my other Egg Bunny and Egg Peep, I thought I should do a couple that are simpler like I did for my Egg Nativity and Egg Snowies.  So I came up with a couple for you.

I know what you are thinking. Even though these are quick, Easter is a day away and I have a lot of other things to do.  But they are not just for Easter. Think spring, or favors for a wedding or baby shower or a tea.  They could be painted in other cute colors and you could easily add the place card holder/ornament hook like we did in the egg nativity.

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Creative Flower Challenge

I always enjoy spending time with creative friends.  These times usually involve food and catching up with what’s going on in our lives.  Some of the things I really about being with my creative friends is sharing ideas and creative brainstorming.  My creative friends help fill my well when it is dry, they encourage, and they get/keep me excited about my art.  Sometimes we have so many ideas I think my head will explode…and I love it!

The other day I was with my creative friend Glenda Payne and she suggested each of us do a large floral canvas.  One thing lead to another and we decided to do 10 floral canvases and hold each other accountable.

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Egg Snowies

This year at Christmas we created Nativity characters made from paper mache eggs and Quikwood.  If you want to see them you can go here – Egg Nativity.   They were fun to create and we added a hook at the top that could be used as a hanger or a place card holder. On that post I also had step-by-step videos.

As I was packing them up I thought this same concept could make some great snow people…and so I started playing.

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Sugar Cookies

Well the holidays are over but if you are like me and still craving something a little sweet I think you would enjoy these rolled sugar cookies.  They are from the book “Great Cookies” by Carole Walter.  I would recommend this book. I have already made many wonderful recipes from it.

I like to think that they are a cookie for every season because you can change them up by the shape of the cookie cutter and the color of the sugar you use on them.  I also like that they look special without a lot of work.

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Seafood Chowder

If you are like me you have been eating too many rich, sweet, heavy foods and are ready for something tasty that is healthy.   This seafood chowder is a nice light meal, but still seems like you prepared something special for your family and guests.  It would make a great New Years Eve dinner, pared with a salad and some nice bread.   I often make this chowder for Christmas Eve.

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Merry Christmas 2017

Well it is hard to believe Christmas is almost here again.  Normally I would be giving you a tour of my house, but I realize that my home doesn’t look much different than other years.

Yes, every year I try to bring out different trees and decorate them a little differently,  but I find I keep going back to my favorite things.  So I thought I would give you a little peak into my home, a couple of new things (or at least arranged differently) and those favorites.

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Egg Nativity

I was talking to my cousin about her Christmas dinner and how she would like to have the “Reason for the Season” somehow on her table.  As we were brainstorming, the idea popped into my head to make nativity characters out of papier mache eggs and Quikwood.  The characters could be place card holders for dinner and then be taken home and hung on the Christmas tree.  Each year that ornament would stir the memory that was made with it.

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Favorite Hostess Gifts

During the holidays there are lots of little parties and events that we get invited to where we would like to take a little gift to the hostess.  To be prepared I like to keep a few of my favorite things on hand so that I am ready when I need a little gift.  These can also work great for those little gifts you need for teachers, co-workers, and personal service providers, i.e., mailman, hairdresser, or massage therapist.

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12 Days of Christmas Blessings

Do you know someone who is having a hard time this holiday season?  Maybe they are having health problems, experienced a loss, are not able to get out,  or are away from family and friends  for the holidays.  I think we all know someone who could use a little extra love this year….maybe even someone we don’t know.

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The Beginning of Designing

I was just with a group of fellow decorative painters.  We were talking about painting and creating and how they like to change colors and different elements in a project moving things around from the original pattern or even combine two different patterns.  They then said they could never design….but isn’t that the beginning of designing?

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Pasta E Fagioli Soup

My husband and I both enjoy soup especially as the weather starts to get cooler.   When I had originally found this recipe it was to have been as good as Olive Gardens Pasta E Fagioli soup.  I love Olive Gardens pasta fagioli soup so I had to try this one. I have made a lot of tweeks to the recipe and it still does not taste like Olive Gardens, but I think it is a good hearty soup and easy to make.  I hope you enjoy it.

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A Day at Hoot 2017

This is the first time in probably 10 years that I have not worked in a booth at Heart of Ohio Tole Painting convention (HOOT).  For most of those years my husband and I helped Della and Company, AKA Della and Bill Wetterman and last year I shared a booth with my creative friends Amy Mogish and Wendy Young.

I was not going to come, but at the last minute decided to come and spent the day on the trade show floor.  I thought you might enjoy seeing pictures of what was happening there:

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How to Make Shrinky Dink Earrings

I want to share with you today how to make those sweet earrings that my one student Sara made out of Shrinky Dinks.   Many of the techniques are the same that we used in making other Shrinky Dink projects (See previous post here)…..but the secret to making these earring is using a Shrinket cone tool to make the dimensional floret beads.  The tool is available from Julie Haymaker Thompson.

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