Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Creative Space

I had a committee meeting today, for which I was preparing all week, so I didn't get any time to create. As soon as I got home though, (after a quick lunch of reheated pasta) I broke out my sketchbook.
This spread is inspired by a page I did for the Sketchbook project (this one) as well as 2 of my best MMG friends. Specifically, this avocado painting by Deana & the fact that Dorana has been repeatedly demanding that she make similar tomato & onion pieces to complete a guacamole triptych. I went with a panel of 4 because I thought the parsley (or cilantro) was a nice addition.
I just realized that my similar sketchbook spread had the fruit outlined in black... I kind of like how the contrasting colours mix at the edges instead though. Especially for the parsley:
Green + hot pink (oil pastels) = dark purple-blue... who knew?!
The onion was the panel I was most worried about - I didn't think I could make it look like an onion... But I surprised myself! This is definitely my favourite out of the four:
I love how quickly I can work with oil pastels & the colours lay down so brightly! Plus, they can still blend, but are a lot less finicky than chalky pastels. I'll definitely have to try to use them more often!

Head on over to kootoyoo for more creative spaces!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Real Easter Bunny

Meet Henry:
He's our Easter surprise. He was delivered to my mom's door on Easter Sunday (Pat was the deliverer).
Let me explain.

On Friday, Pat & I visited a friend of ours & there he was. An adorable, fluffy little bunny in a dirty cage with no water. I immediately gave him some water & attention & asked about him. Jeff (Pat's friend) & his girlfriend had this bunny for 2 years or so... then she broke up with him & couldn't take the bunny. Jeff is a hunter - he didn't want to take care of the little guy, so he was going to release him into the woods as soon as it warmed up a bit.
A certain death sentence for this house bunny... My mom & I couldn't allow that to happen. So we saved him & gave him a nice name (he was called Rabbit...) & new home.
He is so sweet & cuddly! I think he's going to fit in just fine. Of course, Marigold still has the run of the office & since neither of them are fixed, they won't be meeting each other. We're still not sure where Henry's cage will remain, but for now he's in the kitchen. He seems pretty tame though, so he'll probably end up being a free-range bunny (just not in the office).

I really, really wish I could have brought him home with me... I want a bunny so bad! Especially one this cuddly! I can't wait to go home for my next visit!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a photo mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!

Make sure to include a link back to my blog so that everyone can participate. Then come back here & submit a link to your blog post (using the "add your link" button at the bottom). I'll be looking at & commenting on each one!

Here's mine for this week: Easter pastels.

Here's the list of mosaics for this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Seven

What I'm thankful for this week:
  1. Sunday: getting 3 tubs of on-sale Häagen-Dazs ice cream & only being charged for 2 (& we only went for that ... how do you miss scanning 1 of 3 items?!?)
  2. Monday: spending the afternoon in the kitchen
  3. Tuesday: Pat working from home
  4. Wednesday: Param offering to ask around for a job position for me
  5. Thursday: our own car to drive up North in
  6. Friday: taking a walk in beautiful weather
  7. Saturday: big family meals
What are you thankful for?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Five

Here's what I was up to this week:
  1. Monday, I made these raw chocolate-date bars: I modified the recipe a bit though, since I don't have stevia or agave nectar (stevia is a natural sugar substitute - agave "nectar" is really a syrup, like corn syrup but made from agave, & almost 100% fructose). Instead, I used a 1/4 cup of sugar (mixed in with the cocoa) & honey... close to 6 tbsp I think. Enough to make the dough hold together. Then I iced them with a chocolate-Nutella ganache. Oh yes. They're amazing - it's no coincidence I don't have pictures of them iced!
  2. I also broke out my quinoa cookbook & made some raspberry cream cheese muffins:They have cooked quinoa in them, but you'd never know it! It replaces about 1/2 the flour, but doesn't influence the texture of the muffin. Yum!
  3. I had a meeting with my supervisor on Wednesday. It went really well - mostly discussing my imminent conferences, defense & job search.
  4. I had another amazing Chuck's burger on Wednesday. SO GOOD!
  5. My introductory programming course is almost done. I have the weekend to finish up my "app" using the Etsy API. Hoping it'll all come together in time, despite being at home for the long weekend.
I hope everyone enjoys their extra day off!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Creative Space

All I've worked on this week - craft-wise anyway - is this stack of soon-to-be mini notebooks:
Another big custom order I'm incredibly grateful for!

I was a bit creative this morning though. I came across a great quote by Aristotle while trolling through my blog roll. So inspiring, I wrote it down in this notebook right away:
There are so many great prints out there using inspirational quotes, I thought it would be nice to make my own with colourful markers. So I pulled out my notepad of quotes to make a few more:
I've had this book for close to 10 years I think. A gift from my mom, it was too pretty for me to just fill with scraps & to-do lists. So I started recording some of my favourite sayings as I came across them. There are a ton, but some of them are better than others. These I've chosen to write out in this larger notebook:
I really love how they look, in bright, bold colours. Makes them a bit more fun to read and makes for a pretty inspiring sketchbook to flip through.

Most of the quotes are inspiring:
But some are just funny:
Some are excerpts from my favourite books & authors:
Some are lyrics from my favourite songs:
Some authors like to open with a quote or poem that relates to the story & these are almost always worthy of being recorded. I especially like it when 2 unrelated quotes are joined into a message:
The original notepad also contains quite a few longer excerpts & poems that I like but couldn't fit in marker form. I always have my eye out for more!

I love quotes! Do you? What's your favourite one?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kitchen Preparations

For the last three weeks, I've been spending a good part of my Mondays in the kitchen, doing a bit of prep work for the week. I find if I do this, we're:
  • more likely to eat well
  • less likely to throw out limp veggies at the end of the week
  • more likely to actually make something for dinner instead of ordering in
Which is really ideal since I'm trying to lead a healthier lifestyle than the student one we've been living.

My favourite part is the veggie prep.
As my mom always does, I've been cutting my celery & carrots into matchsticks & keeping them in water in the fridge. This way, I always have a healthy snack close at hand.
Keeping them in water keeps them fresh for well over a week - if they last that long. Plus, preparing dinner when everything is already cleaned & half chopped is super easy.
Here you can see I have some kohlrabi floating under the celery:
Kohlrabi is a veggie I've recently started eating more. They look odd when you buy them, but after peeling they have a very fresh, spicy taste. Almost like a radish, but a little milder in flavour. I love it raw in my salads!

But really, my favourite part?
Throwing all these peels & odds & ends into a big pot of boiling water: We had prime rib roast on Sunday, so the leftover meat, bones & fat went in here as well, along with the roasted onion & potato leftovers. Now I have a couple liters of broth to use during the next few weeks!

What do you do to simplify your time in the kitchen?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a photo mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!

Make sure to include a link back to my blog so that everyone can participate. Then come back here & submit a link to your blog post (using the "add your link" button at the bottom). I'll be looking at & commenting on each one!

Here's mine for this week: thoughtful.

Here's the list of mosaics for this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Seven

Here's what I'm thankful for this week:
  1. Sunday: bulk orders of mini notebooks
  2. Monday: Pat bringing me to Michael's after work
  3. Tuesday: big juicy burger made for me
  4. Wednesday: a large order from a good friend
  5. Thursday: free coffee, Timbits & pizza at work today
  6. Friday: leaving the lab early for the weekend
  7. Saturday: Pat's spur of the moment purchases (wine for a date night)
What were you thankful for this week?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Creative Space

Here's another look at my sketchbook:
Now I feel like pulling out my pencils & filling in a few more pages!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Project 52

I'm still chugging along with my Project 52; I haven't missed a week yet. The last couple weeks have been close though. Instead of taking a photo specifically for the project, I've just chosen photos that I took earlier in the week. You may recognize a couple from previous posts.

week 12: from the jewelry box

This photo I took especially for the project... but I didn't think too much about it. I just took a bunch real quick of my dresser where I keep all my jewelry.

week 13: just for fun

When I saw the bushel of these hot peppers at the grocery store, I had to buy one of every colour! They're just too cute - and since I didn't use all of them in my cooking, they were a "just for fun" purchase.

week 14: fusion

I'm not exactly sure how this one fits into the theme... but I guess yoga has become a sort of East-meets-West fusion; originating in the East, it has become widely popular here in the West. I've also been trying to infuse this beneficial practice into my day-to-day life.

Ideally, I'd like to spend a bit more time behind the camera: finding the perfect subject matter for the theme, playing with the light & composition. That isn't going to be easy with my busy schedule, but I'm going to try. Starting with this week's theme: "how others see you" ... yikes. This is going to be a tricky one!