Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Potato, Leek & Arugula soup

Inspired by the fact that I had leeks, potatoes and arugula, I happened upon this recipe for a Potato Leek and Arugula soup at farmgirlfare. I don't like turning on my oven and try to avoid using prepackaged broth, so this is my take on her recipe. As written this is vegan, but you can add in milk products if desired, which would make it vegetarian. Choose your own adventure!

Potato, Leek and Arugula soup (~3 meal sized servings)

-2 small/1 large leek
-1 carrot
-2 stalks of celery
-1 portabella/1 handful of mushrooms of some sort
-~1 lb of potatoes
-2 cups arugula (or more, if you're in the mood for lots of greens!)
-5 cloves of garlic (adjust to taste - 5 is a decently garlicy flavor)
-dried or fresh dill
-few tablespoons of olive oil
-a few slices of dry bread

-few teaspoons of fresh chopped parsley
-chopped chives or green onions
-greek yogurt
-milk/non-dairy milk

Wash the leek well and chop with the carrot, celery and mushroom. Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot and add chopped veggies until they are soft. While veggies are cooking, wash and chop potatoes into 1 inch pieces. You can peel them if you want, but it is not necessary. Once veggies are soft, add potatoes, a pinch of salt and enough water to cover all vegetables in the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are soft enough to stab with a fork.

When the soup is close to being done, mince the garlic and cook just until fragrant and lightly brown in a little bit of olive oil and take off the heat. Add pepper to the soup (this is really to taste... I really like this soup very peppery, but a little bit of pepper also works.)

Transfer soup to a blender or use an immersion blender. Blend soup until smooth (you can add milk/non-dairy milk in this step if you want, but it is not necessary.) Return soup to pot, add garlic into the soup and warm.

Chop the bread into 1 inch small cubes and lightly toast in the same pan as the garlic was roasted in. If there is no oil left, add a little more, otherwise just use whatever is left from cooking the garlic.

Roughly chop the arugula and add into the soup with dill. Turn off the heat and allow arugula to soften. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper, soy sauce, dill, etc.

Serve soup in bowls, garnished with croutons, chopped fresh parsley and any other toppings, such as plain Greek yogurt, chives, green onions or cheese.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

waxy buildup

encaustic collage with various plant material, lace fabric and reclaimed metal, 2011, 6x6 inches

once again, this scan can't do justice to the real depth and visual interest of this collage in person....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

baby sewing part 1

It's crazy for me to realize this, but It's only been a little over 4 months since I sat down and decided to learn to sew with a sewing machine! The first day I managed to continually jam the needle and bobbin, break a few needles and lose a screw inside the sewing machine. Since then, I've been on a pretty constant sewing spree. Most recently I've been focusing on baby items.

I've been making all sorts of baby things for the baby, but I really wanted to make something for mom. After some browsing, I finally came across the idea of a necklace that is friendly for babies, but made for mom to wear - a cloth covered beaded necklace with knots. The idea is that the baby can grab at it and not pull anything off of it and it's soft enough that it doesn't immediately choke mom. Also, since the beads are unfinished wood covered in fabric, they are teething friendly.

I generally used the directions over at a bit of sunshine. It was very straightforward. I was, however, rather paranoid. Of course things were washed before being assembled. I also threaded the beads onto a hemp cord so that even if one of the bead pockets was ripped open, the bead wouldn't simply fall out. The cord is knotted into the knots between the beads, so it's pretty secure. The whole thing is also double stitched. I suppose I could have done double layers of fabric, but I guess you have to call it good at some point. It's still not something that would be suitable as a baby toy that can be left to play with alone... just a baby friendly piece of jewelery for mom that doesn't necessarily scream out "I'm wearing a baby toy on my neck!!!"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

covering my self propelled-mobile

So, I've had my bike about 3 and a half years and after thousands of miles, the seat is finally starting to show some wear. While browsing online, I realized I could make a cover! So I dug through my fabric and pulled out canvas and spandex scraps and some elastic, traced my seat and took a few measurements and pulled this seat cover together. My old seat also had a reflective patch on the back, so taking that idea, I sewed a bit of reflective fabric on the back of the cover. I took it out for the first time today and had no problems! Awesome!

I'm also debating making a suede cover and using this one as a top cover. This one is stretchy enough that it can fit on a larger seat. We shall see....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a headache

April 2010 - gouache on cardboard

I love painting on cardboard. I can't necessarily explain it... I even like the brown surface. It was one of the first surfaces I painted on outside of a class. I think I was too scared to paint "wrong" on some other surface that was expensive. Now I just like the surface. I have expanded, but still find myself coming back to it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vegan, Raw taco filling

I recently finally came into possession a VitaMix... one of those things I've been looking at for years, but couldn't quite justify. Now that I have it, I'm eager to try out all sorts of things, like this raw, vegan taco "meat" filling.

Inspired by these two recipes (
and ) and the raw tacos at Sun Cafe, this is what I pulled together. I've had it as a wrap with lavish bread, lettuce and salsa, as lettuce tacos with tomatoes, salsa, green onion and avocado and also just on something like crackers. It's super tasty and flexible and the leftovers can easily be stored in the fridge and eaten at a later time.

Vegan Raw Taco Filling

-1 cup of nuts (I've use 50% almond/50% walnut and 50% sprouted sunflower seeds/25% walnut/25% almond. both were pretty good. use what you have/like)
-~10 sun dried tomato halves (mine we dried/not in oil from Whole Foods. Super good and a decent price and no sulfer dioxide, which tastes gross to me) soaked in a little bowl of warm water, enough to cover, for at least 30 min
-splash of olive oil
-soy sauce, to taste (not necessary, but adds a nice flavor component)
-desired spices. I used: cumin, dried garlic, ancho chile powder, cayenne and oregano
-salt and pepper to taste

Soak the tomatoes for at least 30 min. I also add in the oil, soy sauce and spices, but these can be added later on. Once the tomatoes are soft, add the nuts (and other stuff if you didn't add it earlier). Grind in blender or food processor with tomato soaking water until blended and at desired consistency. Some chunks are ok in this. Add extra water or oil if needed. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve in tacos, wraps, veggies, etc.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the land between

"the land between 11 and 12" - paper collage

oh if you only knew.

Many times with art, I don't necessarily know what I am making when I begin. I stare at a blank page, board or space and start looking around my apartment, flipping through catalogs or books. I'll play with a new medium, seeing where the properties of it direct my hands. After I start though, things take clear directions and sometimes abrupt changes in direction. I'll stare at something thinking it's one thing and then due to a single brush stroke, cut or addition of a new piece, it's something else completely. Sometimes I take all the collage pieces I've collected and then shuffle them, hoping to maybe figure out a way the same parts go together in a better way. It's weird how I shift with such certainty at times without being able to say exactly where it is going up front. I think so many times in life, that seems to be necessary, or at least an implied requirement - you must be able to tell me where you are going at any moment! I don't really want to know where I'm going up front. Finding out is part of the fun part.

At a certain point, after I had gathered a few pieces of this collage, I suddenly knew what it was about. As abstract as it might be, this is so close to the reality I experienced. Art lets me say things my words will never do justice to.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

pigma rigma

pen drawing on atc sized stampboard (3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches)

I recently discovered sakura pigma micron pens while wandering in the art supply store. I love thin tipped pens & pencils, so the 005 is like a dream for me. I've done a lot of drawing at this point with the 005 and haven't had any problems. I also picked up a set of the black pens in various sizes, but still find myself using the 005 the most. I haven't had a chance to play with the pens with watercolors/gouache yet (these pens are also waterproof!), but that is on my list of things to do.

Monday, January 2, 2012

encaustic breath

Encaustic collage, made as a gift for some friends. Includes paper, glass and fabric on a wood board. 6x6inches

Unfortunately encaustics never look as good in pictures as they do in person.