Google+ What I Made Today: August 2014

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.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August heART - Reconnection

The simplicity of the relaxed line drawing from life is really resonating for me, and I have a feeling it's going to continue ... and evolve. Oh, the anticipation of the bloom within the bud!

So today's August heART stays true to the line drawing, of capturing something that's simply around me ~ a section of shelf in my studio ~ yet evolves with the addition of simple color, using those watercolor crayons I mentioned yesterday. And while the drawing is from life, the color is not "true" to that life. The color I added was pure whimsey.

I enjoyed this process, this journey of creativity. It reconnected me to both a style and technique that I've loved since way-back-in-the-day. Dig it.

With that, I'm off to tend to art and gardens and to visit the sites of those who have shared their heARTful inspirations with us so far. I hope you will too ~ and leave them some love!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August heART - Patch of Garden

Keeping things simple isn't so simple. Am I right? Well, maybe it is simple, but it's not without challenges. If that makes any sense.

As I work to keep things simple in my life ~ so that I may become a more astute observer as well as simplify my life more deeply ~ I'm allowing my daily doings to twine organically and move to their own rhythm without any interference. I am witnessing. As evolutions go, this is a stage (and archetype) that I adore, probably because it tends to be so challenging for me. I do so love a challenge. Hmm. I. Am. Witnessing.

Morning glory is teaching me to target on observations, sharply, at a set time each day ... then to move on with grooving and twining in my daily activities. As serendipity would have it, mornings suit me perfectly for this focused reflection. Imagine that?

In keeping things simple I opted, yet again, for a simple line drawing. This time I sat on a patch of mowed "lawn" and expressed, pen on drawing paper, a patch of front yard garden. This contribution to August heART begged for color and inspired me to visit my studio to snag a watercolor moleskin, watercolor crayons, a couple of brushes and a spray bottle ... to keep by my side during this journey. Simple. Dig it.

How about you? Do you have some August heART to share? If so, be sure to add your link and join the party!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August heART - Glory in the Morning

August arrives with simplicity. That's my intention.

You see, July had me in stitches, literal and figurative. Laughter is such Good Medicine and I needed it this past month with my two back booboos and a small, yet deep laceration in a bendy place.

When I notice patterns of three, my awareness spikes, for I recognize such patterns as messages. And when my back acted up for the second time in as many weeks, with a cut in-between, I could almost hear spirit saying, "In your face." You see, June had delivered a few quieter physical and earth-bound patterns.

So I'm looking at my everyday, ordinary patterns of life. Closely. And I'll be sorting through stuff and activities in the coming days and weeks to wind my way to a space of greater simplicity.

Morning glory has grasped my attention. She is Poetry for me right now. Simple and elegant. A powerful bit of Medicine to support me. So it's only fitting that I kick off August heART with a simple line drawing of my recent plant ally.

How about you?
Add your link to your recent heARTful expression!