Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkins Drawing

I have finally gotten around to finishing another drawing. It took me a while since there was a lot going on with events, people visiting, I got sick, yada yada yada.
Anyways, I am happy to have finished this one because it is a seasonal drawing! I don't know why it took me so long to figure out that doing seasonal drawings was a good thing but I did and I have started to put together some work to do.

Like most drawings I find the picture I want first, then I do a light sketch of it . . . Followed by the first layers of color on whatever item(s) I will color first.
 Then I will add some shading into the darker areas.
 Because I am a little crazy I will jump around on some of my work. Some of the pumpkins are closer to being done while others need more work. But I started to work on the white pumpkins in this one bellow.
 For pumpkins it is an interesting process. All the dark's are done first, then I add white to areas that are "brighter". I leave the stems for last as well as the final shading. After it looks just about done I add in Indigo blue in a lot of the darker areas so that they have a deeper look and also to give those lighter areas a nice pop.
In the final product I usually put a small RS in the bottom right corner - at least I have started to do that these days. I kind of forgot to take a couple pictures while I was working on this but I will try to go better next time.

I am fairly pleased with the outcome. I got the original photo from a stock image on Deviantart - redwolf518stock.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Since it is Halloween tomorrow I decided that I should carve a pumpkin to put on my front porch. It has been about 8+ years since I have actually carved a pumpkin. I wanted to do something new and cool - to kind of make up for the slow and lame night I will have tomorrow night; I don't think that I will be going anywhere.

I started off by buying the pumpkin - Target has them for $3.99. I figured they were probably getting a little old but I would do it anyways since they are cheap. And of course there was the ride home to worry about. Pumpkins are prone to rolling around in a moving vehicle, Safety First!
 And then I had it on my kitchen counter for about a week before I even touched it. I had an idea in my head but the follow through was much harder to get to. Plus, I figured that it would be difficult to carve a pumpkin with a kitchen knife.

So! I cut the top off and found some grayish gooey gunk on the inside. Gross. It smelled as bad at it looked. But, I cleaned it out and drew my outline with a colored pencil. It worked pretty well actually.
 After getting the gunk out of it I set to the task of carving my image. It was not all that easy but it worked and here is the final project!
Next year I will be sure to get a pumpkin earlier.

More to come: A Fall drawing of pumpkins :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Autumn Art

I realized today that I do not have a lot of Autumn art. In fact, I have only one piece!

That is going to change, I have been looking up images to give me some inspiration and I have been pinning anything that looks like a good idea.

The one piece I have is a pile of Gourds.

The original is slightly cut down to fit a frame I bought. It is hanging in my dinning room. It adds a nice bit of color and kind of makes me hungry - but not for gourds thank goodness.

Since I have the original and it is not going anywhere, I do sell prints on Etsy.
A little background about this piece is that I was taking a college art class and the assignment was to draw some gourds. I found a picture, loved it, and drew it. It was one of the first times that I had drawn a type of food or edible subject.

Anyways, it is one of my favorites and now I want to draw more items that for the Autumn Season!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Another Great Aldi Trip!

So I went to Aldi again today for a smallish trip. I took pictures of what I bought and scanned my receipt this time so you can really see what there is available there.
I was needing a lot of breakfast items and so I got lots of those, and then for the most part I bought things to supplement what I already have at home.
(Click for larger view)
Some of the items are incredibly cheap, I am very pleased with this store. I have already gotten my friend to love it and I am convincing my parents to start shopping there as well.

After saving money on all this food I feel like I need a better organization system in my pantry for all of it. I am getting some inspiration from Delightful Order blog. There are SO many amazing ideas for organizing things, and they are so simple I wonder what's wrong with me that I can't come up with these things on my own. I am in desperate need to organize all my art things since I have so much stuff and I am going to be doing more art soon (Which I will be posting here with step-by-step process of drawing).

That's all the rant I have in me for now about Aldi and organization.

Lot's of Yard Work

It has been one of my projects to make the front yard less ugly since I started living in my house. So far I think I have done a decent job, there is a ton of things that I have done to the yard.
First, here is a picture of the front yard around the time that i moved in.
Already I had trimmed the bushes, pulled weeds, and actually removed 5 bushes that were behind that low wall.
There were still some things that I pretty much hated though. The small palm to the right is hideous and prickly and full of bugs, and there is too much open space in that area as well.

The changes I have made was to remove the ugly palm, add a couple of bushes into the empty space, trim the other bushes so they could fill in nicely, add mulch, and I am in the process of adding bougainvillea behind the low wall and also thinking about other things to add there. The bushes have turned a nice green since I trimmed them (they were dying and ugly before). I cut them down so much I thought that might obliterate them completely but they have grown pretty well again.

I have always wanted a pretty yard and now I am working on it. Adding plants and mulch is coming out to cost about $85. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I used to LOVE going out thrift shopping for just about anything, and then life came along and I got busy with school, love, work, and so on. So I naturally did what was easiest and shopped at Wal-Mart, Target, JCPenny, and other stores. I like to think that I am pretty good at being thrifty by sticking to sale items or sales racks but recently I decided I would give some extra thought into cutting down on spending. I did some research and found a few places that I would check out and also some old places I would start to visit more often.

Since it has been about a year to a year-and-a-half since I have updated my wardrobe a bit (plus I ruined quite a few items this summer) I needed a place to go for clothes that was cheap but still had a few nice things. What I found was Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Plato's Closet. Goodwill is pretty awesome but I find that it's harder to find things in my size that aren't ripped or stained. Salvation Army has a ton of neat things and lot of vintage items! And Plato's Closet is Da Bomb!

At Plato's Closet their inventory comes in part from people who sell them their clothing that is new and gently used. Brand names abound there and everything seems to be in really good condition. I got so many things and all of the items are barely used and a couple even had the original tag on it; such as my $80 Guess jeans that I purchased for $15. I was VERY pleased with the selection and I cannot wait to go back (although I will wait until I my wardrobe gets depleted again).

Plato's Closet
Besides needing so save on clothing I also decided that I wanted to save more money on groceries. There is a place called Aldi that a coworker told me about before and I never got around to looking into it, but, it turns out that it is a really good place to save on groceries. I went in to check it out and came out with a ton of things for only $47. There are some items that the savings are not astronomical compared to general item prices but for others there is definitely a benefit to buying from Aldi. 
(Image is from somewhere online)
Some notable items were the canned veggies or soups that were as low as 59 or 69 cents each. There is not a huge selection of items, but I think it is safe to say that the bulk of your shopping can be done at Aldi and you can purchase the rest of your items anywhere else you usually buy from.
Some significant things to know about Aldi is:
1. You need 25cents to use the shopping carts (A lock mechanism is on them - you get your quarter back)
2. You must bring your own bags from home (Plastic bags can be purchased for use at Aldi)
3. You bag your own items (Sounds rough but this makes the check out line go SUPER fast)

All in all I am pleased with the store and will definitely be going there again and again to save on groceries.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Insanity Workout

Work has been keeping me busy these past few weeks, I haven't even had much time to do some drawing. I did decide to start working out though and unfortunately for me my husband chose to Insanity Workouts of Sean T.

I am on day 2 of 60 and I don't really feel like doing it today lol. I am one of those people to HAS to see results fast to really appreciate a workout. Maybe I will post some pictures up later on. . . I don't think anyone wants to see me so maybe not. Kidding, but I am curious to see if this workout actually does anything good for me, supposedly it will give you endurance and get you into really great shape.

I have seen so many commercials on other workout videos that it seems like Sean T is everywhere, and for a while I think he was indeed everywhere. In the meantime before I start todays 30 minute exercise I think I will get some pork stew made and play around on the computer. I have tons of pork in my freezer still from that hunt and I am constantly trying to find new interesting recipes to make with it.

I won't bore you all with anymore of that exercise junk. Crazy news is that I might not stay in Florida for too much longer; the husband is looking for a better job and if he gets something then we will be out of here. I can't wait! It will open many opportunities for art that I do not have here in Florida, lots of different scenery that is. Anyways, that's all I've got for today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cooking Club - White Trash

Every month there is a small local group of women that get together to eat some grub. These dinners are for cooking club . . . a theme is chosen as well as a location. One month I agreed to do the meeting at my house and I chose the theme based on a topic of discussion the previous night. White trash.
It took me a little while to figure out what to make since I didn't really know any white trash dishes except maybe mac n' cheese with hot dogs in it. But, I came up with kebobs.
For the kebobs I chose to use cheap hot dogs, fish sticks, pineapple, and tater tots. They actually turned out pretty good since I grilled them! There was an assortment of other foods such as hostess cakes, potato salad, hot dogs, beans, and my personal favorite for the night - homemade twinkies!
A good friend of mine made these from scratch and they were AMAZING! I do not even really like twinkies but they were really really good. Everyone was so surprised to see them and they all liked them as well.
For the evening I pulled all my lawn chairs in doors after wiping them off a tad, and I used a mismatch set of plastic forks, paper plates, and cheap napkins. It was a fun night with new experiences.
I can't wait to go again next month, I will have to look for some strange and new recipes to try out.

In the meantime I am hard at work finishing up school, working part-time, and drawing like a mad woman. There will be plenty of posts to come with art.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

German Pancakes

Sometimes my husband and I have eaten German pancakes twice in a week! Both times it was not breakfast either. The first time I ever went to Utah my boyfriend's mother made these for breakfast on Sunday. I had never had them before and I was pretty impressed. Since then I have had them many times. I love that it is so simple to make but it tastes great and there is plenty of it to fill my belly.

What you need first is a blender and your 9x13 pan.
In the 9x13 pan put the butter in there and put it into the oven to melt.
Everything else goes into the blender.
Once the butter it melted and your mixture has the crud blended out of it you dump the contents into the buttery dish.
Put back into now heated oven and bake.
Remove and smother with syrup!

Super easy and a great breakfast.

German Pancakes Recipe
(for 9x13 pan)
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Flour
5 Eggs
6 TBSP Melted Butter
1/2 tsp Salt

450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. For half the recipe use 3 eggs.
The mix will rise up in funky bubbles in the oven and shrink down when removed from the oven.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gingerbread Houses

Who said that gingerbread houses were only for kids? Well, they surely aren't! I like to have fun from time to time doing things I haven't done in a long time. Tis the season to be creative and eat lots of junk food.

First I got a recipe from online from

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
* 1 tablespoon cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons water

Gingerbread House:

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut paper patterns for the gingerbread house:" (I found a template online and printed it to the size I wanted the houses to be.)

"Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.

Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet.

Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened.

Glue sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes).

Glue the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house.

Continue decorating the house, glueing on gumdrops, licorice and peppermint, as desired.
Royal Icing:

* 1 pound (3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
* 1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons packaged egg whites and 1/4 cup water
* 1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla or lemon juice"

Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.

It was dffinitely time consuming and difficult at times but I had a lot of fun and got to be a pig and eat lots of candy from the house while watching Greys Anatomy.
I did a test run a couple of days before and it went horribly wrong, I learned that the recipe is there for a reason and that is to give you specific directions so that the house actually turns out looking like a house! :)

Zombie Apocalypse

I know it is July but, I was browsing through Etsy and found a whole topic that I didn't know existed on Etsy and that is ZOMBIES. There were so many neat things on there and I couldn't help myself.

Those who have a male significant other knows that men are . . . inclined to believe that zombies will one day take over the world. There are many movies out there about them within the past ten or so years. Shawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, ZombieLand, 27 Days, etc. I loved the items I saw and thought that would be a perfect gift to anyone who loves to hate zombies. Or, to add to your own zombie paraphernalia.

The first is this Zombie Pea Pod Necklace by asphyxivix. Both my husband and me laughed when we saw this, we though it was very cute and clever. I know my younger sister who is a teenager would really love this necklace.
 These mugs are the items that made me want to do a post about zombie merchandise. After I saw these I started looking up all items zombie and put aside my favorite ones. Mugsleys has an assortment of mugs that can interest anyone in my opinion. My personal favorites are these above and some of the funnier ones. I like witty mugs.
I am a student so I use USB's ALL the time and I like to see unique USB drives. There are so many out there, but I have never seen any like these before. Patrick Hand is new to Etsy and has just a few items. These handmade USB drives are my favorite from the shop. They are simple but functional and definitely part of any zombie fanatics gear.

Now this item actually creeps me out a little bit! lol. ChrisandJanesPlace has an assortment of creepy, hilarious, and unique for sure Gnomes. If you were scared of gnomes before you have reason to be scared of them now! Although they kind of scare me I would put this in my yard for Halloween, it is just what I would image gnomes to do if they became zombies. They go for the rest of the lawn ornaments.
For this steampunk Tesla zombie pistol I had to do some searching. I wanted to include a gun and I wasn't sure if anyone on Etsy even sold toy guns. Well, there are sellers and this is one of those guns. OldJunkyardBoutique has an assortment of steampunk and special made items. I don't know how, but they do an awesome job on these and the result is a futuristic and neat pistol for shooting up those zombies.

For more zombie items you can do a search of "zombie" on Etsy or go to these sellers shops and see what they have. I enjoyed looking through the items and I am glad that these sellers allowed me to share their merchandise with those who visit this blog. A big thank you to them!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cookie Crust CheeseCake

So a friend from Church invited my husband and me over to dinner and we were bringing dessert. I have been craving cheesecake for SO long now and I just bought a ton of cream cheese a few days ago. The problem was I did not have the ingredients to make a lame regular cookie crumb crust. I figured, what the heck, why not make a crust out of chocolate chip cookies.

I used a cookie recipe that has been a long time favorite of mine, and a cheesecake recipe that I found randomly online that I knew had the ingredients for. I did some tweaking though so it kind of became my own new recipe!

2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C melted butter
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 C chocolate chips

Mix together butter, salt, sugars, egg, egg yolk till creamy. Add in rest (except chocolate chips) of ingredients and mix together. Add chocolate chips.

4 eggs
3 bricks cream cheese
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar

Make sure to whip up cream cheese after it has warmed - should end up smooth. Then add all other ingredients and whip the crap out of it.

I put the cookie dough into the pan as thin as I could get it with my hands, then I poured the filling in. I baked at 325 degrees for about 50min.

It was SOOOO good. The only and best cheesecake I have ever made. I will definitely make this again in the future.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Utah Scones

It's been a little bit busy recently so I haven't had much of a chance to do a new post till now. I can't wait till I am done with school and I will have a little more time to do the things I want!

I found a new treat that I LOVE to make and eat till I feel like barfing. They are called Utah scones; different than the usual scone.I found the recipe from a Pinterest pin . . .

Here is what a usual scone may look like:
I have never had this kind before but I thought that all scones were cakey or like a sort of cookie. Turns out that not all scones are created equal. The kind I am in love with are specifically Utah scones and they are more like a doughnut.They have yeast in them so you let them rise and then you roll the dough out, cut it up and deep fry it in veggie oil. They are easy to make, do not require too many ingredients, and they are very tasty.

One batch makes too many for just one person so I try to do half the recipe if its just two people eating them. I am definitely going to be making these a lot over the years. Already I have my family hooked on them. There are many toppings that you can eat them with such as syrup and jam/jelly. But, what my husband likes and I completely agree with is that honey butter makes them oh so delicious!

Utah Scones
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbsp. dry active yeast
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
1 Tbsp. salt
5 – 6 cups bread flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Combine warm water and warm milk.  Stir in the sugar.  Add dry active yeast and stir lightly.  Allow yeast to activate, about 10 minutes.  In a stand mixer, fitted with a bread hook, add milk mixture and melted cooled butter.  Add the salt.  Start the mixer and add the flour one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Dough should be slightly sticky but workable.  Cover the dough in the bowl with a towel.  Set in a warm place and allow raise until double.
Pour your oil in a large pan (with sides deep enough to fully immerse the scones) or a deep fryer and heat slowly over medium to medium high heat.  While the oil is heating, roll the dough out onto the counter, without flour, into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.  You may choose to butter the counter lightly.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into squares or triangles.
Heat oil to between 350 – 400 degrees and cook scones until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

(Website recipe is retrieved from: Make it Do)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hog Hunt

For Memorial Day I went out with a big group of people and spent the day hunting wild hogs in Okeechobee. We had a GREAT time. It was my first time hunting anything and it went quite well I thought.

We has a large group of about 11 people and 8 of us were interested in taking home a hog. We woke up at 3:15a.m. so that we could make it there by about 7am to go out on the buggie.
The location is Little Lake Lodge in Okeechobee, FL.
We go out on the big vehicle, learn some safety instructions, release a dog and go out to find some hogs. The hide in the bushes and when the dog finds them you have to crawl through to see the hog. I had to go deep into the bushes (got scratched up just a tad) and leaned over a bent tree to see the hog  in there. I got mine with just one shot in the head like most of our group that day. It was tough to drag it out though.

The picture above is me going towards the bushes to find the hog. I shot it with a H&K 45, one shot to the head. My husband said the guy in orange looked a little skeptical about my shooting skills.

We had a great time, lots of sunshine, a nice breeze, a relatively quick hunt, and the only time the weather was not nice was when they were cutting up the hogs at the end - it started poring like the end of the world.
Each hog was about $180 which includes the hunt, and cutting up of the hog.

To fit my husbands and then my hog as well (since we both shot one each) we had to cut the pieces up a little smaller. We probably have enough meat to last us a year! I don't know if I would do it a ton, but maybe in the future I will go and do it again. It is definitely something to try at least once. Plus, the meat is VERY tasty!!! (We had ribs for dinner last night)