Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crabs, Yankee Style!

I was invited to eat crabs with a friend's family yesterday. It was a perfect way to spend an afternoon, getting to know new friends and learning to eat a new food.

They caught the crabs in the water right outside their back yard, and steamed em up right before we got there.  The steaming part is what makes them Yankee Crabs.  The cooks are visiting from Maryland, and they steam them with a mixture of beer and water, and heavily sprinkle them with old bay.  The southern way to make these is to boil them. I look forward to trying that too!


It was only my second time eating crabs(whole crabs I mean), and was much better than the first time, which was a miserable failure.  I had such a hard time figuring out how to get the crab meat out, that I gave up after my first one.

Like with crawfish, there is an art to eating the little rascals, and I finally had 3 people to teach me how to do it.  Each showed me their own way, and I finally got the hang of it.

After we finished up, there were four crabs left.  With my new found skills, I picked the meat and the hosts insisted that I take it with me.  Oh, am I glad they did!

For breakfast this morning I made a breakfast bowl with: 
louisiana hot sauce and old bay seasoned grits
topped with eggs scrambled with onions and peppers
roasted tomatoes from another friend's garden
 lump crab meat with a little bit of cider vinegar 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feathers and a Barnicle Covered Stick

This painting took a lot longer than the others to do, but it felt good to have something to come to work on every evening.  I am obviously not making something every day like I set out to do on my birthday.  But, I am ok with this.  I will be working towards that goal still.  I still want to make one thing every day.  Maybe in my second month, starting today, I will be more successful.  Here is today's painting.  Technically I have been working on it for a week, but I finished it today!!!!!!!

Friday, February 04, 2011

A Piece of the Shore

This is one of a series of paintings that I have wanted to do for a while.  During the summer, I took a photo of the sea shore, or several, and wanted to do something with it, but at the time I didn't know what to do with it. When I started watercolor painting in January, I thought again of this series of photos.  I decided it was time.  I will be doing more of these.  

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Horn Island Findings

Here is my newest painting.  It is a small collection of findings from Horn Island, and a branch with berries from my yard.

I really liked painting the branch.  It was fun watching it pop off of the page when I put the shadows in.

I am definitely getting more confident with the watercolor paint.  I am really enjoying it.  I am so excited about my next painting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Available here at my etsy store

Monday, January 31, 2011

Not painting tonight? - kind of a fail.

Nope, I am working on something else tonight.  I am not going to finish, but I am dedicating a bunch of time to it, so I am only classifying it as kind of a fail.

I am working on a menu for a friend's establishment.  It is a bigger project and tonight I am doing only one step out of 5 or so.

I really should be trying to finish a whole project for my birthday resolution, but I think this is also important.

Oh, this is the balancing act I mentioned in an earlier post!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Camellia Pt1 and Pt2!

So, Camellias are one of my favorite flowers.  They are the state flower of Alabama, and I have fond memories of climbing in my family's huge camellia trees as a little girl.  I love these flowers.
When I saw some flowers in bloom outside my little cottage, I was so excited!  I picked a perfect red camellia.

I brought it in, and started sketching.  I immediately got lost in drawing the petals.  But, I thought I would stick it out, and try to get a pretty painting out of this, and definitely learn something!  Well, I failed at getting anything pretty out of the first try, but I did learn a lot.

So, I tried to paint a camellia again, and this time I selected a pale pink one.  It was not easier, but I was able to make out the different petals a bit more clearly, and so it was more straightforward to draw and paint.  It turned out a lot better.

I will continue painting these flowers until they fade for the season, but I am going to give my self a bit of a break from them for a few days.

Here is an image of the "Angry Camellia" that I am giving to my friend Britton, because he says he likes it, and I don't!

A Surprisingly Wonderful Date Night with James!

James asked me on a date on saturday night, but didnt tell me what we were doing.

A cello quartet from russia in a beautiful domed methodist church in Gulfport, MS  followed by a yummy pizza at a new pizza place in Gulfport!

Thanks for a wonderful night boo!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Quick Painting.

Thursday night, I was loosing energy, and so I decided to paint a quick painting.
I painted my default for drawing: a house tall, on stilts.

I was going to classify this as a fail, but this was a fun painting to do.  I was just playing and I was not treating it as a precious object as I have been the other paintings.  There was very little care, or precision, or craft.  It was all just fast and messy. I like things like that some times.  I will do more of these for sure.  Why? Why do them when they are not as good and careful as my still life paintings?  Well, I think that is the point. It is nice to have that contrasting the slow calculating paintings of the other nights, even if it doesn't come out as clean.

Available in my  Etsy store!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Forcing creativity -Cranky Wednesday Fail!

On Wednesday, I realized how tough this resolution really is!  It is really really hard for me to  force my brain to calm down and do the task at hand after a day of work, and after the excitement of making my first sale, and after two days of ending the day with painting.

My brain got craAAAanky!  I was not going to do a painting Wednesday night, no matter how much I felt like I needed to.

This told me a few things. One, I need to have some back up plans, some quick projects that I can default to if my brain really isn't wanting to sustain.  Second, I don't have enough time in my day to get the things I want to get done finished, so I need to prioritize, and something needs to give, but not this resolution.  Third and most important, This frustration is the point of this resolution.  It is to get me out of the comfort zone of doing when I feel like it, and into the habit of making and thinking and creating daily!

This weekend, I will make up for my Cranky Wednesday, and I will make multiple things!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Peilican Feathers, Vertaberries, and a Button

Birthday Resolution Fulfillment January 25, 2011

This is a painting of brown pelican feathers, verteberries (vertebrae) and a button.
I picked up the feathers and verteberries on my last trip to Horn Island off of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  There will probably be several of these paintings with my findings and curies from the beach. 

I am definitely liking the evening painting times.  It is a great way to end my day.  I am also learning so much as I go. I can't wait to make my next one.  I also get to revisit the happiness of finding my treasures with every brush stroke, exploring the color, texture and shapes of each of the curies.

This is Sold! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 24, 2011 - Watercolor painting #1 Feather and notebook.

Today, I did my first watercolor.

Well this is not entirely true.  I played with crayola watercolors as a kid, and some times as an adult.  I also did two Beaus Arts style water colors, one of the Greensboro jail as a student of the Rural Studio and one of my friend's trailer as a Christmas present.  Beaus Arts style is a wonderful way to paint, very labor intensive, but also very forgiving.  It is a method where you use three jars of very watered down paint:  red, yellow, and blue. You make colors and darkness by layering hundreds of washes.  It is such a relaxing way to paint.

Todays painting I guess I did the more unforgiving way, mixing colors on a pallet, and painting.  I think it turned out pretty well for the first try.  I learned a lot as I went, and I cant wait to do my next one.  Maybe tomorrow!

This one is for sale on my etsy store!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 23, 2011 - Fail - Birthday Resolution

Today, my second day of my 29th year, I failed to meet my resolution.  I will give my self a pass today though, because I was super tired from my birthday celebration, and because I had to go to work and do some work on a  project.  I just had no energy left.  I will not give my self too many of these passes, but I think today is alright!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Birthday Resolution My 29th Year!!!!!!

Last year, I had several birthday resolutions, and I will give a recap on those.  This year I only have one, that is to  make one thing every single day.  This is not an average, but a minimum.

I hope my birthday resolution this year will help me really get the Department of Design off the ground, as well and really get my creative juices flowing.  I seem to have so many good ideas, but since I dont make time for making as much as I should, the ideas never come to life.  Creative juices come more from making than they do from thinking.

What are the rules I am setting for my self?  Dinners dont count, but a birthday cake for a friend does.  Building a fence for me doesnt count but building a chicken coop for someone else does. Making my self an article of clothing, if it is a creative endeavor does count!  Although I might start one project a day before it counts for the day I finish it.  If I start a painting on Tuesday, and finish it on Thursday, that painting only counts on Thursday.  I must finish other things on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I will post photos on this blog, and some of these will be for sell on my Etsy site. 

My first resolution project was a tu-tu for my tu-tu birthday party.  Oh so much fun!

Thank you to all the people who made my birthday celebration wonderful!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Captain's Log Calendar

The first official Department of Design Product:  A captain's Log Calendar!  A 24"x30" Calendar Grid Poster that helps you chart many different goals and activities for an entire year and see your progress all at one time.
I came up with this idea as I was running on January 2nd! I was thinking that I wish I had a way to track what I do, without using a bunch of different programs. I wanted to track how many miles I run, and what books I read, and who I sent letters to, and the highlights of the day. I wanted a Captains Log!

The 14 small columns will let you track goals with small entries, like mileages, times, child's height, or a simple yes or no. The 8 medium columns will allow for tracking of larger goals, like books where you will be able to write in the titles, or letters to write, where you fill in the recipient. There is one large column, where you could write a longer entry, like a highlight of the day, or the funniest thing you heard your kid say.

It is all up to you!!!!!  It is available here at my etsy store.


It is also available as a PDF down load and you can print it your self.  Available here at my etsy store