Google+ What I Made Today: 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Perch on the Cusp of New

This morning I made some time to visit some familiar blogs and to explore some new ones. After all, some long-standing relationships have been nurtured through this blogsphere that we share. Am I right? And meeting new folks and forging new relationships is always welcome.

At some point in my visiting and exploring I noticed today's date ... and paused ... and thought about how my first blog entry made manifest around this time many years ago. So I checked. Yep. December 29, 2004 marked my first blog post. Here I am, ten years later, to the date, still blathering, still journaling in a public forum, and still connected to some of those very first followers.

While the venues and flavors of my posts have shifted over the years, the general intention has remained constant ~ to nurture personal and tribal holistic wellness and growth.

This awareness, of my ten-years of blogging and my original intention, combined with an awareness of other things coalescing at present, things made tangible in current heART journal entries ... and at the time of our conventional, our shared (our tribal) calendar flip ... offered me pause.

I just happen to be coming to "the end" of my current heART journal. It looks like I'll be starting a fresh journal at this time of year we collectively call "new." And I've given these ideas (of "ends" and "news" and all things perceived as linear) more holistic consideration than I have in years, complete with so many of the shared conventions of our tribe. Like what? Like resolutions.

I don't do resolutions. Haven't in years. Yet, it looks like serendipity is luring me in this time and space that we all share. Luring me toward a single-minded "theme" for my "new year" heART journal. I consider how the timing is completely unintentional. I also consider how all things happen with reason and purpose. So ... my new journal's theme (more on that later), will set the tone for this calendar kick-off that we share.

Oh, I know this may sound like incoherent babbling to some of you, but, after all, I blog for me. That was always at the heart my intention ... and if my babbling happens to express something that adds value somewhere in my tribe, so much the better.

To those who visit, I thank you, whether it's a one-stop, or a regular visit.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Deference to December Dissonance

The winter holidays have never really resonated with me. Since I was little girl. These past two Decembers I've made conscious and concerted effort to heal the dissonance. Thus, these two recent heART journal entries.

All the same, I hope you enjoyed your holidays, no matter what and how you honor or celebrate.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Win a Nature Inspired Mini Journal in the Great Online Scavenger Hunt!

It's Day 20 of  Annie Kelleher's Great Online Scavenger Hunt and you have another chance to win one of my creations. This time, a mixed media, Nature inspired mini journal

If you're following Annie's Hunt, you know you have to hunt for "clues," in the form of a line or quote from The Ghost and Katie Coyle. These "clues" are hiding in various sites, and you can easily find them on Annie's site

Today's "clue," #20, is from chapter 20 of The Ghost and Katie Coyle and you'll discover it in my collection of Journals and Notebooks. Should be pretty easy to find. Go look!

When you find that quote/"clue", copy it, and email it to and you'll be entered in the drawing to win one of my mini journals at the close of The Hunt!

And … if you discover every "clue" you'll be eligible for the final drawing to win a Kindle Paperwhite eReader!

But for this moment, go check out those Journals , and when you find the clue, email it to, and you'll be entered in the drawing to win your very own Nature inspired mini journal!

While you're hunting you'll also discover Clue #2 here ~ and be eligible to win a handmade Spirit Pouch,

Happy hunting!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Final Preps for the Holiday Open Studios & Guest Artist Event

It's hard to believe that this is the weekend of our Holiday Open Studios & Guest Artists Event at Whiting Mills in Winsted, Connecticut. Once again, tempus fugit!

Now, I know many of you loyal visitors here at the blog are out of my region, yet I am excited for this weekend event, so I beg your forgiveness if this post is of no interest to you. Then again, you may be wishing to transport yourself to my little corner of the world by the end of this entry.

I feel blessed to have studio space within the walls of this historic building ... home to gifted and inspired artists, craftspeople, photographers, woodworkers, unique studios and shops ~ makers and doers of every kind! And this weekend is one of two weekends a year we all join forces to swing our doors wide and open our hearts in unison to our community ~ near and far.

You can learn more about Whiting Mills and "visit" many of the studios here.

As for me, I'll be having a PWYW (Pay What You Wish) weekend in my studio. All my creations ~ craft, art and herbal ~ are priced by the buyer, according to the value they place on the item and in a way that fits into their budget. In other words, make an offer and I'll accept it. This is a fun experiment for me. I've done this with various services over the years, but not with product. I'm looking forward to it!

I'll be serving nettle leaf infusion shots and doing some mixed media "metallic" art demonstrations on Saturday ... and serving Holy Basil shots and opening my heART journals (for all to see) on Sunday.

Not only that, I have two inspired makers joining me in my studio! 

Doreen Breen of Soul Threads will be sharing space on both Saturday and Sunday. She's a maker of unique, one of a kind wearable art. She felts and dyes, and knits and sews, and often combines her many skills into a single piece. So, so, so cool! I have a few of her pieces and love them all! You can see some of her creations here.

Kim Elovirta of Raven's Edge, LLC will be joining us on Saturday to share her herbal-based lotions and potions for beautiful skin. You know I make my own such things, but I also make purchases from Kim. Her lotions are fantastic and her lavender lime soap supplements my own homemade soap coffers. In fact, it was Kim who taught me to make my own soap, so many years ago! You can follow her blog here and peruse and purchase her creations here!

Along with all the resident talents, there will be other visiting artists, crafters, authors and more throughout the studios and the building ... and I always encourage visitors to be sure to take a ride on the historic and delightfully decked-out freight elevator that is operated by the charming and talented Steven Silvester for these events.

Plus, there will be musical entertainment, including one of my favored musicians and storytellers, the inspired Joseph FireCrow, who will be with us both days. What a gift!

So yeah ... today I'm making all the final preparations for this wonderful event. An event that nurtures community, our local economy and so much more.

If you're anywhere near the northwest hills of Connecticut, join us! And if you're not, tell me how much you wish you were!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Win a Handmade Spirit Pouch in the Great Online Scavenger Hunt!

One of these handmade Spirit Pouches is up for grabs in the Great Online Scavenger Hunt giveaway hosted by Annie Kelleher

So, yeah ~ welcome to "Day Two" of the Scavenger Hunt! Each day, for 22 days, if you're following Annie's Hunt, you have a chance to hunt for "clues," in the form of a line or quote from The Ghost and Katie Coyle. These "clues" will be hiding in various sites, all made clear on Annie's site. You can join anytime throughout the 22-day hunt ~ so come on, join us!

My "clue," the SECOND clue, is from chapter one and you'll discover in my collection of Spirit Pouches. Should be pretty easy to find. Go look!

When you find that quote/"clue", copy it, and email it to and you'll be entered in the drawing to win one of these handmade lovelies at the close of The Hunt!

And … if you're diligent in your hunt and enter for every day's hunt "clue", you'll be eligible for the final, "Day 22" drawing to win a Kindle Paperwhite eReader!

So visit Anne Kelleher's website every day to see which website holds the next "clue" to hunt down and submit your entry for that day's prize! 

But for this moment, go check out those Spirit Pouches, and when you find the clue, email it to, and you'll be entered in the drawing to win your very own Spirit Pouch!

Best wishes! And happy reading!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Seasonal Medicine of Spirit Cords

As November nudges us ever closer to the apex of winter (in "my" hemisphere, anyway), I find myself craving solitude. At the same time, the season that we collectively share slings me into my community. You know what I'm talkin' about.

For me it is a time of beautiful contradiction that begs me to center my intentions on the harmonics of balance, as I tend to my own needs and cravings while tending to the collective demands. It's a time that reminds me, like clockwork, of the potential hardships innate to our universal connectedness. And the extraordinary gifts born of those hardships.

It's no wonder I'm drawn to spinning my pendant Spirit Cords in this season. Working with fibers is a given, and as we move into the expanding chill of the season the activity sits comfortably in the duality of my cranial hemispheres. But the attraction to the pendants, each carrying energy, representing personal and collective meaning, is a tug that serves both the communal challenges and my desire for solitude.

Generally, I spin my Spirit Cords when I'm home alone, just me and the dog. The practice is always meditative for me. I always chant mantras, channel reiki and spontaneous blessings as I spin, yet working with the pendants seems to add to the wandering element of focus (know what I mean?) that this creative act offers to me. And this ... this consequential interplay acts to intensify the solitude for which I hunger, offering me exactly the Medicine I need in this season.

I like to think that the Medicine I experience in this creative process is carried with each cord that I spin and then, in turn, is translated to the needed Medicine of the ultimate holder.

To me, this meditation, these thoughts born of a creative ritual, offer an extra dimension of consideration and wisdom as I reflect on the challenge and the gifts, the self and the collective. This is the seasonal Medicine of my beloved Spirit Cords.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Flavors of Creation and Gratitude

Every year, as the darkness of night grows longer and the days grow cooler, I'm drawn to fiber. So it's no surprise that I've been busy in the sacred act of creating my little Spirit Pouches. And Spirit Cords, too.

There's something about lighting a fire, brewing a pot of tea and settling into the act of this flavor of creation that settles me, grounds me, and offers me a stable space of peace.

It offers me a quiet time of inner-stillness to ponder the mysteries of life, not the least being consideration to this concept of linear time that we all bought into and share. I mean, it's mid-November. When did that happen?

And I realize that in three short weeks the community of Creatives at Whiting Mills in Winsted, Connecticut will be collectively celebrating our Holiday Open Studios and Guest Artists Event. I still have much to do to prepare for this, but I'm not stressing over it. I'm just looking forward to throwing my doors open that weekend to all who choose to explore some inspiration, empowerment, and more.

I feel blessed for the studio space I have there, for it supplements my home work-spaces, where my full dispensary is rooted, and offers perfect space for classes and workshops.

I'm grateful for the supportive community of creatives there, and for the intimate and extended community of creative, healing, botanical-loving folks that fill the well of Life to overflow.

I feel blessed for it all.

And I'm excited to have two inspired friends sharing my space during the Open Studios weekend, Kim of Raven's Edge, LLC and Doreen of Soul Threads. I'll be telling you more about them in the days ahead.

So if you're in the region of sunny Winsted, Connecticut, I hope you'll join us at Whiting Mills in December ... and I invite you to start your visit at Studio 336!

And if you're on Facebook, join us at our Open Studio Event page!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seasonal Medicine

The recent winds have cleared the leaves from many of my rooted friends. The old, failing swamp maple provides a perch for the crows and gifts them with a clear line of vision to their food mantle on the stone wall ~ the space where we leave them scraps. The crows are an ally on our little acre. They alert us ~ and our hens ~ when predators are about.

Even with so many leaves fallen to their earthy home, there is still much color, with greens thriving in the main vegetable garden.

My environment is filled to overflow with messages and metaphors. My awareness is in high gear and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. This, coupled with other odd experiences, has me feeling a bit off my center.

Truth is, this is exactly where I need to be and these observations and occurrences are exactly the Medicine I need. It is my challenge to settle into it all, and - once again - recognize, acknowledge, honor ... and evolve.

'Tis the season.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dona Nobis Pacem

Fluid, shifting, adapting, evolving.
Dense as a jersey barrier.
Soft as a freshly fluffed down pillow.

Whatever Peace may mean to you this day, however Peace may feel to you, share it with us.

For a single word expressed in unison creates a harmony that resonates ... above, below, beyond and within.

Grant us Peace. Indeed.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Introspective Revelations of the Season

It's about time I dropped in to say merry October, eh?

Every year I forget how busy autumn is for me. And how solitary. And this year many aspects of the "growing season" (as they say) are extending deep into October. So still, every day, I have harvests and preserves to consider. I mean, I'm still harvesting tomatoes, basil and other tender produce! I am both grateful and suspicious of this extended "garden season." I mean, our summer was so cool, and many of the "summer crops" were lagging behind. This strange October is allowing these lagging crops to offer me "more," and for that I am so very grateful. Yet this occurrence also conjures my observations of Nature over the past 20 years or so, and the odd shifts that I've witnessed.

First, the robins showing up in February, all those years ago. And now, for the past several years, I see them all winter long.

These observations inspire my evolving dedication to the choices I make in this life. I know that my choices, my behavior, my actions have an impact not only on my own life, but also on yours, and on the generations that have come before us, and on those that follow us. Make no mistake.

October is, historically, a very hermit-like and introspective month for me. And this month, so far, is yielding what seems to be profound clarity surrounding my life's passions.

With that, I have tomatoes to pick, basil to harvest, eggplants to check ... and - more in tune with my historical rhythms - horseradish to dig. Sacred acts, one and all, imbued with quiet introspection as I pick, harvest, check, dig and do.


Sunday, September 28, 2014


Today I made three quarts of Kabees, a simple, middle eastern preserve of turnips and beets. Where are the beets, you ask? The only late beets I planted are golden ones. They are gorgeous and delicious and will imbue a warm, golden tone to these quart jars as they age.

Here's how I made them (today):


3 turnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3 beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
9 cloves garlic, sliced
hot pepper flakes (I didn't have any fresh hot peppers)
2 ½ cups vinegar (approximately) - I used an herb-infused apple cider vinegar
2 ½ cups water (approximately)
5 teaspoons salt (sea or kosher)

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, water and salt and stir until the salt is dissolved and dispersed.
Fill each quart jar with the beets and turnip pieces in layers with the garlic and pepper flakes.
Fill each jar with the vinegar-water-salt blend and cap.

I did add some sweet pepper to one of the jars to fill the jar and because I had them. That's how I roll.

I label these and put them in my basement pantry where it's both relatively cool and very dark. I like to let them sit for at least one month before using, and can say they get better as they sit throughout the winter.

I love these on our hand-ground wholewheat bread, sandwich-style and understand that they're a great addition to sandwiches in general. I also love them tossed into a salad (hot or cold), as a side-dish, alone or with other vegetables, and even on pizza.

So, yeah, that's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spirit Pouches

Alongside harvesting and preserving, September has been about developing and planning activities (classes and such) for 2015. This is the sort of activity that, for me anyway, engages the full spectrum of the brain. It involves a lot of free thinking and creative play, as well as plotting and planning, which is a fabulous, holistic endeavor. Yet I find that by the end of the day any attempt to engage linear thought or intuition is for naught, and I Know that it's time to refill my well. Know what I mean?

So I ground and center myself to engage in the meditative practice of creating my Spirit Pouches.

I consider the creation of these little Spirit Pouches to be a sacred, healing act. The stitches of the pouch are "counted" with a series of mantras. The straps are miniature Spirit Cords that are, likewise, spun in a sacred manner using mantras of healing, divine intention and love.

And, odd as it may sound, I feel an honor to mama Gaia, the Earth, when using the old vintage buttons to finish off these sweet little pouches. As I often say, "I have a distaste for waste," so I tend to save things, and when their reuse is revealed to me, I feel such elation and gratitude.

The act of creating these Spirit Pouches is such Good Medicine for me. It allows me to disconnect from this earthly plane, to connect to spirit, to refill my well, and create something of meaning, of Medicine, that I may share with others.

So yeah, that's what I made today … have been making all month … and will continue to make. Because making Good Medicine is Good Medicine.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Tomato Love in Jars

First I'd like to offer a big, big dose of gratitude to all the creatives who participated in August heART! I would have expressed this sooner if it weren't for the summer plague that my spouse brought into our little hut. But I had great fun creating art most every day August and visiting the many blogs of those who joined the party. I bow to you all.

As for today ... well, you can see what I've made so far. Now, I'm heading out to the gardens to harvest and prep more sustenance for the dehydrators.

Ciao for now!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

August heART - Peace in Process

Today's August heART is a yet-to-finished meditation in peace. It's a blend of watercolor, gel medium,  pen and acrylics. More pen is yet to come.

With the idea of peace well rooted, I'd like to thank all the creative heARTs who paused to share their work with us this month and hope that their creative expressions bring them healing, evolution, joy and that special brand of chaos that yields more and more creative expression!

On this, the final day of August heART, I offer gratitude.

Be sure to visit our August heARTs and leave them some comments of gratitude. Peace.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August heART - A Little Corner of Paradise

Got home from a sweetly energetic day at the Watertown Farmer's Market, let the dog out, un-penned the chooks, kicked off my shoes, heated up a cup of coffee left over from the morning (I'm not proud), and relaxed on the deck and banged out this sketch of a corner of my beloved deck in order to keep my commitment for these final days of August heART.

Now, to knock off the coffee, and get to processing tomatoes.

I hope you'll visit (if you haven't already) the links (below) of all the gracious creatives who've shared their work with us. They appreciate your comments as much as I do, so be sure to leave them some love.

See you tomorrow for the final day of August heART.


Friday, August 29, 2014

August heART - Corner Space

Last night, after the pharmacology class and before I headed home, I banged out this sketch of a corner space in my studio for August heART. I see now a line that is missing.

I'm confident that I'll make time to add that missing line today, even though I'm already running behind schedule. Yes, I have all my tasks and errands scheduled today. It's that kind of day. And even though it's a hair past 10:00 a.m. as I type, and even though I'm falling behind, I'm still dazzled at my accomplishment thus far.

I've jarred and labeled three quarts of dried veggies, prepped three trays, each, of tomatoes and beans for the dehydrators, cooked up a batch of wonderberry preserves (with lemon peel and rosehips), cooked green beans for a cold dinner salad, strained the chicken stock, and harvested more lemon squash which is next on my list to process. And even with honoring my efforts thus far, I've got to rev up my engines if I'm to accomplish all that must (musts: dislike) get accomplished today.

Wish me well!

And be sure to visit the August heART links below and leave some motivating words of gratitude for our blog party participants. And if you make art and have something you'd like to share, please add your link and join the party!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

August heART - After the Gather

These past few days have been filled to overflow and subsequently have flown by in such a way that I missed a few days of creating art for my own August heART. That's life. And I'm cool with it.

The next few days, likewise, will be overflowing with lists, doings, events, happenings of many varieties. And I'm cool with that, too. And I've committed myself to not missing a single day of these last few days of this blog party.

With that, today's August heART was a quick sketch that I scribbled in one of my journals after a gather (you might say meeting) that I hosted last night. This morning I plugged in some color and added an expression in word-form that came to me after the gather dispersed.

It was, more than anything, a reminder of the vital value in witnessing ... of listening and hearing, rather than be heard, and the choices we make from such experiences.

Now I must get on with these lists and activities, but not before inviting you to join us on these final days of our August blog party and to share some art of yours ... and to visit the heARTful inspirations found in the participating links below ... and to leave some love.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

August heART - Creative Procrastination

Today's August heART reflects a few things that are ... in most ways, one thing.

One is that it illustrates just a few things I've been creating over these past couple of days. Two is how creative procrastination can be. Three is how I created today's heART instead of getting this kitchen table tidied for the next wave of garden delights.

Which I'm about to start.

Then some hot peppers from Dineberg's Farm to get fermenting. Then off to the studio for some blooming Creative Play!

In the meantime, take a peek at all the wonderful heART that folks have been sharing this month! Leave them some love. And be sure to pause to add your link to some of your own heART!

Gotta giddy-up! Peace.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August heART - Warming Dreams

This past week I've been dedicating various forms of meditation to the potential of "Dreams." I use that wording intentionally, knowing full well that it may be interpreted in a number of ways. By you and by me. Consciously or not.

One meditation was rooted in experiential memory. Talk about a chaotic meditation. Nonetheless, the chaos, in all its beauty and mystery, confirmed the obvious: Life is a Dream.

But the process and outcome details of my Dream meditations aside, I'm inclined to share, with a focus on heART, that they have consistently displayed themselves in colors warm-to-hot.

The background for today's August heART was a result of one of those simple meditations. I created it on Sunday in the company of three other dreamers and, once cured, I sketched a section of my studio tea cart.

I may add color to this, I may not. If I do, my sense is that it will be cool-to-cold.

Why? Because this week's meditations have also resurfaced an awareness to nurture conscious temperance in my verbal and written expressions.

With that I turn the reigns to you ... to dream ... to consider ... to wake an awareness ... and to join our August heART blog party ~ by visiting the links (below) and sharing some heART of yours!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August heART - A Way to Wander in Color

Today's August heART is an exercise in practicing the discipline of "simplify one thing," or SOT as I humorously abbreviate it in my planner. Last week I tested the practice for fives days in a row. I focused on one "thing" that would add a facet of simplicity to my life and acted on it. For now, I'm committing to (at least) one a week and this is it.

I chose to add color to Monday's sketch. Simple.

So I have my one SOT accomplished for the week and any others that I choose to act on will be a bonus. Gotta love a bonus accomplishment! And my longer-term strategy is to return to one a day, once winter is upon us and the garden 'n' pantry tasks have waned.

How about you? Have you created any heART you'd like to share with us? If so, add your link (below), and whether you have something to share or not, visit a few of the links, leave some love, and join the blog party!


Monday, August 18, 2014

August heART - A Way to Wander

Sadie of ZauberDerLeidenschaft posted some wonderful photographs on her blog of streets that I would love to wander. Since that's not an option in my immediate space and time, I opted to interpret one of them in this sketch for August heART, as a way to wander in my own way.

If you haven't already, be sure to visit and leave a comment or few at the sites of some of our August heART participants. You'll be dazzled and inspired by their contributions. I know I am. And add a link to your creative expression too!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

August heART - A Dream Meditation

Today's August heART was the result of some dream meditation, a purely intuitive expression that was born of color play with watercolors, and acting on the imagery that emerged from that play.

My meditation was simple. Try it.

I close my eyes and envision the colors of my dream/s and then I throw the colors down. I used watercolor crayon, a spray bottle and brush for this expression. As the colors began their melding play I saw a phoenix emerging from a star-sun. But when the paint all dried I saw something else. It reminded me of a horse and a dog. I took a pen and swiftly lined in the image I perceived and this is what emerged. I finished it with simple semi-crosshatching to add a little definition to distinguish background from foreground.

I love creating like this. It's so freeing and nourishing and a few more exercises like this will surely yield some clarity that will benefit me and my dream/s.

What did you create today? Any art? If so, join the August heART blog party and share your link with us! And be sure to visit and comment on (at least) a few of our party participants!


Friday, August 15, 2014

August heART and Mix It Monthly - Crazy Dresses

Today's August heART is a grotesque doodle for Mix It Monthly, where the theme is "Crazy Dresses." And let me just add that when I use the word "grotesque," I do so descriptively (without judgement) and with love (where judgement dare not tread).

I worked with a palette that I had on hand at home, doing my best to stay, if not true, then close to the Mix It Monthly palette prompt.

And this silly journal entry reminded me not only of art I used to make a million years ago (in high school, when I "should" have been taking notes ~ or so I was told), but also of words often repeated, that we do our best with what we've got while we've got it. It's a reminder of free will, improvisation, innovation, conservation, gratitude. And then some.

With that, I invite you to visit the August heART links here to see what our fine "partycipants" have been offering up, and to visit the great artful inspirations shared at this month's Mix It Monthly! And remember, us art bloggers LoVe your comments!

And, of course, if you have some art you'd like to share with us, just add your link and join the blog party!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August heART - Herbal Brews

The sun shone this morning which was welcome after yesterday's heavy rains. It was too wet this morning to start any garden tasks, so I strained and bottled some herbals I had brewing, thus today's August heART

The roofers arrived to continue their work and I took off for my morning dental appointment. All's well on that front. Now I'll tend to the bills, finish preparing for this evening's School of Herbal Wellness class and see if I can't get in the gardens a bit before the class. Sounds like a plan.

So that's what I made and have in the making for today. How about you?

Do you have some heARTful expression you'd like to share? If so, join our August heART blog party and add your link (below). And whether you have art to share or not, click on the blog party links to see what our participants have been up to and leave them some love ~ there's some wonderful herARTful creations to explore!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Autumn heART - A Modicum of Mantel

The much needed rains have arrived, so the roofing dudes probably won't be here today. Though one said they might show up to get the attic insulation done. In any event, their work yesterday was efficient, effective and ever-so tidy. As they were finishing up for the day (just before the sky started spitting) I thought to myself, "even Rita would approve." Rita was my mom. She was ... quite particular.

Between cooking, fermenting, some harvesting and other home-tasks, I managed a quick pen sketch of a section of my fireplace mantel.

I wasn't sure if I'd make time to add the watercolor, so I snapped the ink sketch yesterday. This morning I added color and figured I'd share both today. It's funny, too, how I see some color continuity that was missed in this digital image. I may go back to touch up that detail. Similar to how I saw the missing wick as I was adding color. Details, details.

Today's details will be busted in the afternoon when I take my neighbor to a long-overdue lunch. She retired months ago, and I promised her a lunch at a favored tea room, because lunch is what retired folk (and the self-employed) can do. Maybe I'll do some sketching at the tea room. Wouldn't be the first time snippets show up in a journal!

And if you have some August heART to share with us, be sure to add your link (below)! And for our observers, I hope you're pausing to visit the links and leave them love.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August heART - Sketching Memories

Lounging in bed. Sipping coffee. Sketching memories on the dresser.

The roofers arrive. Very exciting. I'm gettin' old.

Gotta run now. To pick CSA shares and make a delivery.

Enjoy the August heART. Visit the links! Add a link to your heART!

Monday, August 11, 2014

August heART - Sunflower Medicine

Today's August heART is a very quick sketch of a patch of garden sunflowers. Even they're getting a late start in blooming this year. The diligent gold finches have been checking them daily for the past week or so, and just yesterday began plucking the upper petals to get better exposure to the seed heads. I love watching them do this. It amuses me. Not simply for the act, but because I know folks (we all do) who would find this irritating. There's Medicine in that awareness.

With that, I have things to do and places to go, and more heART to create, so ~ yet again ~ I invite you to visit the links of our August heART participants, leave them a comment, and add a link of your own if your have some heART to share.

And remember to follow to sun.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

August heART - At the Farmers' Market

August heART - At the Farmers' Market
I had a great time at the Watertown Farmers' Market yesterday, demonstrating the simplicity of brine fermentation with wonderful produce purchased on-the-spot from the wonderful farmers. I started a simple batch of cucumbers with onions and peppercorns, and a blended batch of sweet bell and jalapeño peppers with garlic and coriander seed. Already, this morning, they're bubbling away and will be delicious in no time.

If you have salt and water (untreated or filtered) in your kitchen, you can start your own ferments today. Just make a brine by adding 2-3 tablespoons of salt (kosher or sea) to a quart jar of water. The more salt, the slower the fermentation, so I tend to use 2 tablespoons for quick ferments, and 3 tablespoons for those intended for longer storage. But, back to the brine ~ Cap the jar, shake it until the salt is dissolved. In another clean jar, add your veggies, herbs and spices ~ whatever's available in season, whatever you like, whatever you have on hand, and pour the brine over them, to cover, cap and let ferment on your kitchen counter. Check it daily, to release the carbon dioxide and to taste the brine. Once the brine tastes interesting you you, sample the veggies. Once it's to your liking you can put it in cool-storage to enjoy for as long as it lasts. And, for the record, it can last for months! Fermentation continues, but slows down when kept cool. We're still eating ferments made last September.

But, back to the market ... I met some great people, shared some fine conversation, saw an old friend or two, missed seeing others, and encountered a couple kindred spirits as well. Plus, I made time for a quick sketch for August heART to which I added color this morning. Did a little extra shopping before I left the market, too. I'm enjoying a fabulous plum as I type! In any event, I'm looking forward to next week's spontaneous demonstration already!

Fermenting cucumbers and peppers, made at the Watertown Farmers' Market
As for today, it's my spouse's birthday, so this morning, while still cool, I made him a coffee-cocoa cake, which he wants to have for lunch, so I've got that to look forward to! Plus I have some August heART blog party-goers to visit ~ I hope you'll visit them too. And if you have some heART to share, just add your link (below) and join the party!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August heART - Nothing and Everything

I'm heading off to the Watertown Farmers' Market this morning to get some local goodness and to offer a spontaneous food demonstration with my purchases. It could be a spectacular delight or spectacular disaster. We shall see. After all, nothing is absolute.

With that, I offer today's August heART which combines with Art Journal Journey, an homage to the eternal inspiration, Frida Kahlo.

I hope you'll visit the links below to see the wonderful heARTful inspirations from our August heART participants as well as visit Art Journal Journey for even more creative inspiration.

Gotta run!

Friday, August 8, 2014

August heART and a Delicious Cold Cucumber Soup

Today's August heART is another quick sketch of a corner of a kitchen work table that I dashed off this morning after cleaning the greenhouse and watering the latest seedlings.

As for yesterday, it was so full, so frantic, so furiously busy that it flew by in a flash! Among other things I made a super-simple cold-cucumber soup that freakin' knocked my socks off, as they say.

I, in typical fashion, used what I had on hand and didn't measure, but this is pretty close:

Cold Cucumber Soup

3 cucumbers, on the large size, peeled, seeded and rough-chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup chinese leeks (also called garlic chives), chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I used one of my herb-infused ACVs)
A couple-few splashes of my homemade habanero hot sauce
Salt, to taste
Water, just enough to get things moving in the blender
1/2 - 1 cup sour cream

Add the prepared ingredients to a blender (except the sour cream), a cup or two at a time and puree. Add more, puree again. Repeat until all is blended. Add the sour cream, puree to mix in. Let the soup chill for several hours before serving (though it's pretty tasty fresh-up, too!). This made about a quart. A garnish of chopped cilantro and cucumbers is nice for serving.

I'll definitely be making this again. So easy. So amazingly delicious!

Cold Cucumber Soup ready to chill in the frig. 
With that, be sure to visit the links of our August heART party-goers and leave them comments too. Us bloggers, we do so love your comments! And if you have some heART to share, be sure to add you link!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

August heART - The Last of the Day Lilies

Simplicity. Keepin' it simple. It's a challenge for me. Yet on days like this when my ToDo list doesn't fit on my planner page it becomes a challenge to challenge back. Know what I mean? So a simple line drawing of the last of the season's day lilies is what I offer to August heART today.

How about you? Do your have some heART to share? Add you link below and be sure to visit some of the participants so far and leave them a comment of gratitude.


Gotta run!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sautéed Cucumber

My mother would brag about me on occasion. I recall her telling folks that "Rosemari can go into the kitchen and make something out of nothing." And I'm inclined to admit that it's a statement not without merit.

As a long-(long)-time gardener and preserver of food, I can say that The Garden has taught me much about the art of improvisation. I enter my kitchen-realm wielding imagination and respect for alchemy, not a recipe. I look around, see what I have on hand and imagine what I might do with it. Oh, sure, I learned a lot from recipes in my youth, and do enjoy reading them as sources for ideas, not for weights and measures and structured rules ::shudder:: to follow, but for inspiration.

This week has gifted me many cucumbers, from my garden, from a neighbor and from Dineberg's Farm CSA. Today I desired something other than a variation on a salad, or fermented half-sours (though I am making more of those), and wondered about cooking them. So I peeled, sliced, seeded and chopped them up and tossed them in a pan to sauté with only a few other available ingredients. I was delighted with the outcome. Here's what I did (more or less), for my recipe-dependent friends ...

Sautéed Cucumber

3-4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped (large ones work great for this)
1/4 cup chopped onion (or so)
1 tablespoon butter (organic, pasture-raised, if possible)
sea salt (to taste)
chives, chopped, a handfull (or chinese leeks, or dill, or parsley, or, well, you get the idea)

Heat the butter in a skillet, add the onion and sauté until they just begin to glimmer translucent. Add the cucumber and salt and sauté about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss in the chives (or whatever). Serve hot or at room temp. And ... enjoy!

So, yeah, 
sautéed cucumber. That's what I made today.


August heART - Kerri's Wild Bouquet

It would seem that my friend Kerri has developed a botanical passion, for she's been busy identifying the wild rooted ones on her land. Even at night, with a flashlight. She had a photo of wildflowers that she wanted to share here, but she doesn't have a blog (or the like).

Oh, sure, I could have posted her photo, but I interpreted it in this sketch instead.

So that's my August heART for today. I hope you'll share some of yours, too. Just add your link below and join the blog party!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August heART - Creation and Destruction

Creation and destruction, destruction and creation. You can't have one without the other, or the other without the one. It's just another spiraling cycle of life. Judgement need not apply.

With that, I wish you a creative day! And I invite you to share a link to your creation here. And be sure to the other August heART participants and leave them some love!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August heART - A Renewed Love

Drawing what I see and not what I think is there. Drawing with abandon. Drawing without judgement. Drawing in simple line. Drawing for pleasure. Drawing to honor discipline. Drawing a renewed loved of the process. Drawing Simplicity.


That and a dash of colors of my own choice.