24 August 2009

Favorite Things - August 24

Maybe you were wondering why my blog posts have been so rare lately? As my sister pointed out to me, my silence is directly related to my recent acquisition - my new favorite thing: a Wii.

I am not actually sure that I can adequately express my love for it. The first day I broke it out of its box, I simply played the sports games that came with it. Fun! Then, I broke out the Wii Fit Balance Board that I bought with it, and me and my Mii have been spending a lot of quality time together. To date, my Mii is 2.7 lbs lighter than nearly 2 weeks ago! YAH-Mii!

I have never been an athlete, but when I have that controller and Nunchuk in my hand, I feel like Serena Williams, Anikka Sorenstam and Rocky, all rolled into one!! The virtual world is a happy place!!

Just look how cute I am in those candy-striped baseball tights!!!

22 August 2009


A few months ago, a fellow Etsy Canadian member proposed to our Canadian forum group, that we delve a little deeper into our creative side. The ever-wise emmarts, believed that it would be fantastic artistic therapy for us to push past our creative boundaries, and set aside our fears of different media. The idea was to begin an art collective. Each person would do three quick sketches or doodles and then mail it on to another member. The recipient would then either paint or collage on that sketch or doodle, and mail it on to a third member. This recipient would then either collage or sketch (whichever the second person hadn't done) and then mail it to a keeper of the projects.

I'm a great fan of doodling. I'm more hesitant with paint as a medium, although I know from high school art classes that I am a big fan of it. Collage was an art form that I admired, but for some reason was fearful to try. Having the opportunity to try my hand at all three seemed like a fantastic idea.

I wasted no time in sending off my set of scribbles.

I faltered a bit however as the first set of drawings arrived to me and it was thus my turn to paint. I set aside my initial hesitation quickly enough though, and set to with paints and brushes. I don't think in this case it was so much the painting that had me worried, so much as it was the thought that perhaps the starting doodler, would be upset with what I had done to her work. I wondered if perhaps she had had a vision of what the doodles would look like by the end and if perhaps my amateur brushstrokes would offend her vision.

With the arrival of the next package the fear and hesitation intensified. Now I had not only one person's vision with which to concern myself, but two. For that reason, the package remained untouched for weeks, until I was prodded, scolded and reminded that the point of the exercise was to leave the fear behind. "True enough", I sighed and went off in search of collaging inspiration. Once I tucked into the project, and saw the finished, completely finished piece come together, I actually felt a sense of elation as well as accomplishment. Why, I hadn't ruined anything after all. The finished works actually looked quite nice. This one is my favorite:

AND, if you don't believe me and want to see the other two as well, you can see them for yourself now on Etsy, at TheScribbleGroup.
All the pieces will in time be available for sale in this shop. The proceeds from the sales will be going toward a fundraising effort by loopy4ewe who will be taking part in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, for a second time, in June 2010.

More projects are in the works, so look for more additions to this shop, as we as a group continue to explore further artistic liberation.

5 August 2009

Craft Show Weekend

If you are a fellow New Brunswick resident, and will be in Moncton this weekend, come see me at the Victoria Park Art and Craft Market.

I will be selling my String Me Along jewelry at this show all weekend.

The weather looks promising, and there is an exciting line-up of vendors.

Also, stay tuned next week for another exciting new crreative venture of which I am thrilled to be a part.

1 August 2009

Pucker Up!!

This morning I went to the local farmer's market full of eager anticipation for all the best of mid-summer's bounty. It was a trip well-rewarded. Apart from the typical lettuces, beans, peas, and potatoes, I also came away with raspberries, which are easily my favorite berry, and gooseberries, which I had never tried before.

I was not really sure what to do with the berries, so I enquired while paying and the lady serving was so kind as to give me a few suggestions. One was to pop them whole into the mouth like a blueberry, and the other was to make jam. She also instructed me to remove the stem end and the fuzzy little flower end before using them. I have never made jam, and today was not the day that I cared to undertake a first attempt. I tried to pop one whole into my mouth, expecting a burst of sweet juiciness. WOW... was I in for a shock. These pretty, little glossy berries are not sweet, and really not all that juicy. What they are is very sour, and quite like a black currant when you amp up the tart factor by about 100%. It seemed I would need to look for other ways to use these berries.

I enquired of a friend whether it was possibly to make them into a tart. She assured me that it was possible, and even kindly provided a couple recipes (which sorry, to say, I didn't use this time). Armed with the new knowledge though, I did a quick google search to see if it was possible to use the berries in my favorite free-form, one crust, gallette-style tart. It is possible.... with the addition of MUCH sugar.

Now, to go back quickly to something that I should have paid attention to while I was buying the berries... removing the stem and flower end of the berry is an incredibly tedious task, and one which I am not eager to undertake again anytime soon.

Added to the quart of berries that I purchases, I added roughly 1/4 cup white sugar and about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. I used a standard sweet pastry crust, and loaded the berries in and folded up the sides. I sprinkled organic cane sugar over the crust for a lovely crunchy caramelization. Into the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. As it turns out, the seemingly non-juicy berries become very juicy as they cook, and my pie runneth over. Keep a pan for beneath the baking pan to catch the juices.

Overall, the tart was really delicious, although we did have a few berries that were perhaps, a little under-ripe. These proved to be quite entertaining, as the unexpected tartness would elicit the best pucker face from husband.

Come to think of it, maybe I should also have paid more heed when the woman at the counter, congratulated me on my courage to try new things. There may have been a not so subtle warning there.