Monday, July 30, 2012

Jolly Jester?

What are Jolly Jester's you ask? Why they're nothing but fantastic looking bi-color marigolds! I sketched these this morning and colored them in with colored pencils. It is a little gift for a friend along with the seeds. Shhhh... she doesn't know about it yet. 

I just love marigolds. They are supposed to keep away mosquitos so they are great in containers on the deck or porch. They are said to keep away other bugs that eat up your plants. They are a great companion plant, tuck them in-between your tomatoes. I just love their smell, I love how perky they always are and how they just last forever in my area. Really. I'll have marigolds blooming all the way to Thanksgiving unless there is an ice storm. If you've noticed, there is a beautiful marigold in my header up above, straight from my garden :)

This is actually the first creative thing I've made in my new art studio!! I have some tweaking to do in it. Nothing like working in a space to figure out what is all wrong about it. Lighting for one needs to be more directed and brighter. Next, legs on a work table to make it higher and I am a sitter while drawing. I still have some piddly little things to put away and I swear my books and more art supplies are up there multiplying in the dark. I'm really tired of making the trip up and down the stairs but I've just about got it licked.

Oh, remember my dehydrating experiment? Well... what like 4 days later and that thing is still running! I've got the very last of batch number two in there now. I discovered it is good to check them every few hours and move the trays around so dry evenly. The ones at the bottom are rather crunchy. Oh well, still fun and wow they pack a punch of flavor! Very condensed tomato taste.

Here's what they looked like whilst drying...

then after...

If you need a lot, you'll be busy for quite a while...

It was fun, I look forward to trying them but probably not until my tomatoes quit producing which hopefully won't be until late October and maybe November if this heat wave continues!

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Dehydrating Tomatoes!

It all starts with a whole lot of cherry tomatoes and not enough people in the house to eat them :)  In all honesty, I'm the only one who eats them : /

Washed, dried and sliced in half, they get arranged on a borrowed dehydrator. (Thanks Amelia!)

Layer after layer...

5 layers in all

In to the dry sauna they all go!

So here's what they look like and there is still 4 hours left to dehydrate! 22 hours in all! I don't know if a bigger dehydrator would be quicker or not but if I like these, I'll need to investigate that. I had a recommendation from a friend of an Excalibur brand with like 9 trays.

9 trays would have been better because this is what was leftover. Apparently I need a bigger dehydrator considering this is just one picking from three different plants. Hmmm... we'll see. It takes a horribly long time and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them all. I got this idea from a friend who is a crafting, baking and writing guru named Lynda Heines over at Bloom Bake & Create. Lynda's got all kinds of creative ideas to check out.

If anyone has experience with dehydrating, I'd love to hear any tips or suggestions you have.

Enjoy your Friday!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Moving in New Art Studio

This seems as though it's the slowest process ever. Moving things from my top floor tiny art studio to my new basement studio. Packing and moving, packing and moving. Using the same 3 or 4 plastic tubs and unpacking as I can. But it's coming together! After getting a cortisone shot in my hip, my bursitis is feeling better and the steps are not agony like before. I'm even more excited and can't wait to actually create something in there, but it's not quite ready yet. I still have more to move down. But here's what I've accomplished so far.

bit by bit

I need to start using the shelves and putting away now!

another work station with the blue table in the back
This was an old oak TV cabinet that we were going to donate. I decided I could use it for storage.  A coat of a white paint for a nice white wash effect. Not so clunky looking now and overpowering. This held a 35" TV in the big hole.

Add another shelf

Fill 'er up!
Holy Cow! How did I have this all in my tiny studio upstairs?!
OH check out my $20 find! Cheapcycle on Yahoo Groups... love it!

It unfolds to this unbelievable computer desk!

I will use it for my laptop, printer and pack it full of other things too.

It all fits! Still a bit more though! yikes!!
I still have to bring down my drawing table and another bookcase. First I have to unpack the bookcase : /   and then re-pack it! Oh well, it is still fun going through everything. I've got a lot of junk!

I have 5 stations planned down here. That way I can leave something in progress if I need to move on to something else while it waits for me. One drafting/drawing table, three large flat tables and the computer station. 

Thanks for looking :)
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An awakening of something deep

This past Sunday afternoon I had the TV on while I was puttering in the kitchen. I had the OWN channel on (Oprah Winfrey Network), and I have to admit I usually don't have her channel on much, I really don't watch TV much period it's just on making noise in the background. 

I guess we do register what we hear in the background because I pretty much stopped all I was doing to watch this program even though I had just caught about the last 20 minutes of it. It was Super Soul Sunday which I hadn't heard of before and Oprah was talking with this man that I had never heard of named Dr. Wayne Dyer. What an enlightenment. I was entranced and I wanted to hear more.

What this man was talking about, how he spoke, his demeanor and all of what he was saying struck such a chord with me. I was enthralled. Before I knew it the show was over and as I was going over what I had heard in my mind, the next program came on. It was a movie with Dr. Dyer in it as himself called The Shift. Wow. I watched with full attention. I even would pause the show and take notes. Tears streamed down my cheeks through much of the show, I'm not sure why. Maybe because I identified so much with the mother in this story. I know I was deeply touched by what he was sharing. I am emotional now just remembering it and writing this.

I find myself wanting to learn more and read or hear more of what he is teaching. If you are like me and had never heard of Dr. Dyer see his website here. He is a renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. His newest book is Wishes Fulfilled, Mastering the Art of Manifesting. He has many many more.

I live with a lot of negativity around me, as many do, but I think often of choosing to be happy and after seeing these programs I know I'm on to something. What he has to say, if you listen, may just change your life. I think that it is changing my life and I plan to run with it.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

This makes me happy

These little jade plants make me happy. I just love the little chicken terra cotta pot, it was my mom's. 

Here's a quick little doodle I did today while working on a project in the works.

Just wanted to share. I hope you are having a great weekend.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mother Nature loosens her grip...

Whew! Mother Nature finally loosened her death grip on my little spot in the world just this afternoon. With a wall of wind and welcomed clouds She ushered in at first wind with bits of rain. All the creatures as well as us humans sighed a breath of relief. With record high temperatures up until today the cooler temps now are dare I say it... pleasant. Lightning flashing and thunder rolling is what is happening now but what a welcome sound. I'm a bit leery with the lightning and hoping it doesn't spark anything with the very dry conditions and crispy fields and grasses. We've been in what The Weather Channel called "The ring of fire" and man have we felt it! 

see the clouds and the flying crane?
I'm hoping my plants can bounce back. Plants and flowers that are normally sun loving or even heat and drought tolerant are struggling to stay alive with this heat. We've just seen 108˚ yesterday with the heat indexes higher. It's normally in the lower 90's and humid here this time of year. Dry and crispy grass will probably need to be reseeded in the fall. No sense in doing it now. You'd just be wasting precious water. You should also never try to feed your plants when there are such extreme conditions. They are doing all they can just to survive, so don't try to make them grow on top of it by applying fertilizer.

Such sad caladiums... extreme heat and drought stunted them even though I watered them everyday.
See compared to last year's? This is from 2011
Ahhh... I can hear it now. A steady stream of rain has come. Washing all the parched leaves, grass and walks to a wet shiny newness. Crickets and frogs are singing in unison... hooray! Drink it in! Even though it may just flow over the cracked earth, it will fill up the creeks and lakes once again. Our lake is down at least by 6 feet. The worst I've seen it since we've lived here. Fill 'er up, please.

Wishing you relief soon!

Oh and here's a P.S.
I've had the opportunity and honor to be a feature on a website named and I wanted to share it with you. Why don't you check it out? There's tips on everything, pets, being green, fashion, links to other great sites and something for everyone! Click here to see my feature.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Ghost Walks and Graveyards

I've been holding out... I went on a Ghost Walk the other night! It was just 10 minutes from my home and we were there during a full moon in a graveyard called Maple Hill Cemetery in New Harmony Indiana. Now, I'm not doing this by myself, I've got a girlfriend who is into this sort of thing and a bunch of new found ghost hunting friends. My friend Robin and I investigated the Waverly Hills Sanatorium together last July. You can see that post here.

We also had another investigation in Rockport, Indiana during the beginning of June and I'll share more on that another time. It was with the same group of people that we were with on the ghost walk called SIPI (Southern Indiana Paranormal Investigators). They are a great bunch of fun people and you can see their blog here. They were nice enough to ask us to join in the ghost walk. Even though both experiences were lots of fun, this group takes what they do seriously and I believe they are in it for the greater good in order to help people who really do need it. We have more haunts to investigate with them in the future. Stay tuned!

I'm not sure what the faint light to the left of the headstone is, I didn't see until I uploaded the photos
I don't have a lot to report back on this most recent ghost walk in Maple Hill Cemetery other than it was loads of fun. We laughed, shared stories and walked around an old cemetery on a beautiful night. I just love spooky stuff and spirits and the unknown. I guess that is the thrill seeking adventurer in me. I love to get the beegeesus scared out of me. Of course in the safety of other like minded friends ;)  Being alone and scared is another story. But I mean no harm or disrespect being in a graveyard. 

I took some photos, but then my camera went dead after only 25 shots. I'm not sure why it did that, but I hear that a spirit will try and use any energy it can to try to manifest... sooooo it could be that or just a coincidence. I wasn't the only one though whose batteries went down too soon.

We all did have a shared experience of a mysterious red light that only showed up on my screen on my phone (which I resorted to when the batteries went out in the camera). It showed up on other's screens, too. We couldn't see this moving red light with our naked eyes, but could on the screen. I just saw my photos this evening and I did catch it on some photos and even a phone video that I was taking. We were all looking for the source of this light and could not find anything. No cell phone towers, other people's cameras, tail lights, etc. Very mysterious. I love it!

Mysterious red light that moved around quickly
Some of us saw various shadows darting out here and there and I would swear I did see a large shadow man walk into a large cedar tree. But when you're there trying so hard to see something, I wonder if my eyes are playing tricks on me. I'm not experienced enough yet to determine if the photos or the shadows were the real thing or not but I had a great time. Good people, good times.

A headstone I got a photo of that I thought was pretty before the camera went out

Here are a few shots I took in the fall of 2010 so you can see what Maple Hill Cemetery looks like. Surely I'm not the only one that likes to go out and hang around in graveyards and take pictures, right? Don't you all do it? It was a pretty steep hill to be walking around in the dark with no light but moonlight, but we managed. I think they must've buried those people standing up in some areas! There was even a grave with a monument for a soldier who had fought in the American Revolutionary War so it's a pretty old graveyard for the USA at least. Speaking of which, I hope every one had a great Independence Day in the USA.

Gorgeous old giant cedar trees are everywhere

my art studio looks so big to me with nothing in it
Oh, just a quick update on my art studio. I got the floors sealed today, yay! It has been slow going. Besides gardening in temperatures over 100˚ F (I had a second picking of green beans today),  watering every day, canning, setting up a new art studio and my husband being on a two and a half week vacation, I've not had time to do much else. I did want to get my spooky posts posted though before I forget the details if for no one else but me. I hope you've enjoyed my adventures.

Catch ya later.

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