Monday, February 21, 2011

Just Squint - Pastel Landscape

Yeah, I'm still trying to make order out of the chaos that is my studio but I just couldn't go any longer without painting something!

I've recently been studying how to loosen up yet still keep a realistic (but painterly) look to my work.  The advice I see most often is to just squint.  Squinting supposedly helps you see the important and blurs out the unimportant. 

That's fine, I guess, but it's really, really hard to sustain a squint long enough to finish a whole painting! lol  Anyway, my first effort at just squinting!  I think this is one of those things that requires a lot of practice!

Pastel on sand colored Ampersand PastelBord, 5 x 7 inches, mostly Rembrandt sticks and various pastel pencils.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Information on the Muffaletta Sandwich

Since the comments I had on the post about Muffalettas were about not knowing what the sandwich was, I decided I'd better post a link to some information about it.

Wikipedia seems to have some pretty good information on the sandwich all in one place. This entry includes the ingredients and the origins of the sandwich although it doesn't give an actual recipe.

The muffalettas I had in the New Orleans area (I actually lived in Mississippi but the sandwiches were popular there also) were on a thick bread the size of a dinner plate and filled with Italian ham, cheese, & salami as well as the Italian Olive Salad.

The center of the bread was scooped out to make room for the other ingredients and that's why I was taken with the recipe from Rachel Ray.  Instead of the thick bread of which much was thrown away, she used pizza crusts.  Italian bread and pizza crust are made from the same ingredients in the same way but just take different forms.  The taste was the same - crusty on the outside with those toasted sesame seeds - with the rest of the ingredients well-contained so no olive oil dripping on your clothes or bits of olive salad falling on your lap!

If you ever go to New Orleans and you're a meat eater who likes olives, be sure to order a muffaletta!  Like the Cafe du Monde's coffee and beignets, the muffaletta is another New Orleans institution!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back Again

I don't have any photos yet because I just finished moving all the computer stuff to the new work area and everything is such a mess that I can't get back far enough to get a decent shot!

We have a couple of desks and a table to move out that are currently in the way of everything!  I also have to move my huge work table and the paper cabinet that our friends gave me for Christmas. 

Still so much more to do but I'm just blessed that all the computer stuff is moved and set up and actually working!  lol  And, in this so-called wireless society, I've found that everything (that I have at least) still needs electricity so still have a lot of wires to deal with. 

So, I'll still be working on the studio for a while yet.  My DH still has to put the trim around the base of the cabinets and we still need some pulls or knobs of some kind. 

I'm thinking wrought iron as I saw some in the home improvement store that I really liked and they were very reasonable to boot.  I like the look and texture of wrought iron and I think those pulls would look good with the black countertop.  I've not seen any I like better so will probably go get those this weekend.

Things are slowly coming together!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cabinet Photo

studio computer area
My husband started the cabinet installation yesterday and while we aren't finished by a long shot, I thought I'd share what's been done already.

The upper wall cabinets are already in place and although it may look as if the bottom cabinets and counter are installed, they are just sitting there not attached anywhere.  We were doing a practice run/dry fitting before actually installing them.  We still have to install the actual cabinets and the countertop and the center drawer.  Then we have to put knobs or handles on the doors and drawers. 

I still haven't decided what kind of handles I want yet.  I looked online and thought about some really funky ones that looked artistic (see HERE) but they were $36 EACH (and I need 13 of them!) and I decided I'd rather spend that money on art supplies.  But I did find some that were a lot more reasonable but can't decide which ones I like best!  (see HERE or HERE)   Or maybe, in the interest of time, I ought to just go with something I like at the local home improvement store!

The studio is such a mess, I couldn't get a good shot of the cabinets and it will be a while before I get things in some sort of order but I promise to post photos when I do.

I also wanted to tell you that I may be offline for a while as I need to move my computer stuff and that may mean re-installing my router as the phone line is currently clear across the room and the router is hooked up with an ethernet cord (is that what it's called?)  Not sure what I need to do to change it as my desktop computer does have a wireless card but I imagine it will take some time for me to figure out.  lol  That means no internet access for a while if it takes any time at all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Domestic Goddess Day

Some of you may know that I lived close enough to New Orleans at one time to know about their muffalettas.  I used to buy one and it would last me for several days.  I thought they were wonderful.

Since then I've moved far away from New Orleans plus have become a vegetarian and put thoughts of a muffaletta out of my mind.  Then Rachel Ray had a recipe on her show that I was pretty sure I could make using non-meat ingredients.  So I gave it a whirl.

It took most of the day yesterday but I made the olive salad and the bread from scratch and put together two wonderful, fragrant and ultimately delicious muffalettas!  I made one of them from standard ingredients since my husband does eat meat and he loved it.

Art and creativity take many forms and yesterday they took the form of homemade muffalettas!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just Stuff

I've been working at trying to arrange the studio so that my husband can install the new cabinets this weekend.  But I have to admit that I was also checking out things on the internet and noticed that there's been a run on visitors viewing my Kelpie puppy painting from way back in 2008!  It's not that great of a painting and when I see things like this, it always makes me curious!

If any of you who have searched for the Kelpie puppy and viewed it recently would like to explain why it's so popular, I'd appreciate it.  Or, if any of you who know what's going on with it would like to tell me, I'd appreciate that also!

I do notice when paintings are viewed frequently and will change them around from one host to another or add additional or heavier watermarks to them if I feel it's warranted.  

I do hope that people using the internet know by now that items posted online are copyrighted even if there is no copyright notice on them.

Anyway, I'll keep my eye on the various "popular" and may even sign up for a photo tracking program.

I also wanted to comment about the areas of the US who have been absolutely slammed with snow and ice.  I do feel for you and you have my prayers.  You know I don't particularly care for winter weather so I'm especially aware of the inconvenience at least that you're suffering.  I hope there's a break soon and that spring arrives early this year!

Stay warm everyone.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

They're Here!

As you can see, the cabinets for my studio have finally arrived.  Right now they're sitting in the living room (my studio is just around the corner) waiting for my DH to have the time to install them.

Of course, I need to finish moving a large bookcase and a little table out of the way so he can get to the area!  lol  Who knew a bookcase could hold so much stuff?!!!!

We haven't opened any boxes yet - just checked that everything we ordered is here - but the cabinets are supposed to be white.  I have two windows on the north side of the room which is the only natural light so I wanted white cabinets so as to reflect the light.  I thought dark finished cabinets would only make the studio dreary.

So, let me get back to work getting stuff out of the way so my darling husband can hopefully get started installing them this coming weekend!

I'll keep you posted!