Friday, February 28, 2014

Art Journal Work from Jan to Feb 2014

I've moved a little off sewing.  I still do quilt.  I enjoy sewing, but I needed a much needed break.  Also helps to have something that doesn't aggravate my allergies.  Dust mites love fabric.

Drawing has been one of the things that I enjoy, but giving it time, practice, and patience was never a priority.  Something needed a change.  I have a few art journals that are complete and will show them off more.  Here are some snap shots from the last two months.

These pictures came from my IG and flickr feeds.  I'm JennySquawk at both sites.  These last few months have been inspired by Jane Davenport's #mermaidcircus and Carla Sonheim's year of the fairy tale, #sonheimfairytale2014.

Manatee kisses. That would be the last page of my shaped mermaid journal. #mermaidcircus

I got to paint today. Made a paper doll.

Two watercolor spot illustrations from last night. Not sure how happy I am with it. The frog princess. #sonheimfairytale2014 #carlasonheim

How do you know when a page is done? #mermaidcircus  #artjournal

Here's last night's painting, Rapunzel.  #sonheimfairytale2014

Call this expression, miffed. Done for now. #expressyourself #JaneDavenport

I'm really starting to get the hang of collage. My sea lion kitten.  #mermaidcircus  #artjournal

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Edited: Local Mostly Gluten Free Find! Old Havana Sandwich Shop

I grew up in Miami, Florida.  A place where the sandwiches were every where and amazing.  Pressed crispy on the outside and moist juicy on the inside.  Getting the best loaf of Cuban bread came right out of the chain grocery store.  At all times of day and night, people would be lined up to get a shot of coffee.  I never realized how different my experience was until I moved away.

After being gluten free going on 10 years, one starts to think of the things missed.  I started to crave my favorite sandwich a medianoche (midnight).  I told the Sasquatch about it and as the wonderful husband he is, he found a place, Old Havana in Downtown Durham.  He'd been waiting to try the sandwich shop out.

El Caney trying their gluten free sandwich bread.

The bread is a gluten free bread which is heavier and thicker than the traditional cuban bread.  Make sure you request gluten free, they use aluminum foil on the press to keep the sandwich from cross contamination.  I had the El Caney which touted some avocado.  My children shared a gluten free ham and cheese called Ellis Island.

The staff was nice and personable.  The food was delicious.  Sasquatch was over the moon by the maduros/plantains.  They were perfectly ripened before cooking which is quite a feat.

Do you like the food? Su's reply, "I'm in heaven right now." #glutenfree

Su's (picky eater) response, "I'm in heaven right now."  I enjoyed the sandwich fully, but next time I'll ask for extra mustard.  YUM!

Old Havana
310 East Main Street, Downtown Durham, NC 
Tel. 919-667-9525


After writing the review, I was salivating just remembering the sandwiches.  We ran by for dinner and saw this sign.  I'm saddened by the fact that restaurants are unwilling to keep their food clean and accountable.  We promptly left.  I'm not willing to chance my health of my family's health on restaurants that disclaim their food safety.  

You broke my heart, old Havana. I'll amend my blog post later.

The dark side of the masses going gluten free is the great choices, but even now, those who really need the different foods are being singled out.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In progress: Expression Gallery

I've been taking a lot of online art courses.  Learning from some of my favorite artists right in my own home.  After falling in love with Jane Davenport's work, her whimsical faces, and her easy techniques, I decided to jump in on the second wave of mermaid circus.  I had a great time, but I noticed my mermaid expressions were all similar.  No joviality.  No snark.  Jane Davenport's Express Yourself went live and I was in for the ride.

Made frame stamps from foam sheets for my expression gallery. That's some good fun.  #expressyourself #JaneDavenport

I didn't have the special tissue paper with the frames.  I couldn't find my washi tape, either.  Finally, in a fit of desperation and need for speed, foam stamps.  I made some foam stamps.

home made stamped frames

Foam stamps make quick work especially when they are are unmounted.  I also got two different looks, a detailed and the reverse, a more solid frame from one piece.  The downside, its very messy for the fingers.

She just realized that there is no school until Tuesday and the kids and puppy are getting annoying. #snowday #JaneDavenport #expressyourself

A whole world of emotion has opened up.  I couldn't be happier drawing emotion.

in progress expression gallery
Expression gallery.  A snap shot of all the different expressions.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Love Stuck Pillows

Welcome to this stop on Hugs and Kisses Blog hop and Happy Valentine's Day!  

Love stuck pillows

My living room make over was in need of some new pillows.  I haven't made many pillows or pillow covers, but decided to give it a swing.  The space inside the heart is screaming at me to embroider something inside like Love or even His and Hers, which was just too sappy for me.

Love stuck pillows

In the pattern, there are THREE different blocks to create, the hug, the kiss, and the heart and arrow.  By far, the most complicated of the blocks is the heart and arrow with the most segments and thin, tiny pieces.   Still, the heart and arrow block was easy and straight forward to make.  I always do multiple of the same paper pieced blocks at a time.

Just in case the Love Struck Pillows become to overwhelmingly sweet and I need a break.  I covered the backs in one of my favorite snarky fabrics.  To me, love isn't shown through words but through actions.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop.
Feb 13th

Lady Beth

Lady Jenny

Lady Britt-Inger

Lady Carla

Lady Marian 

Lady Lyndsey

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How GliddenDuo and a Living Room Makeover Changed Our Life

We moved into this house in the fall of 2005.  We had great plans to change things in this old house.  Other rooms were unusable and needed the attention.  So the old adage, "if ain't broke, don't fix it" applied to our situation.  Life gets busy.

Living Room Makeover

Committing to a color was the biggest obstacle for me.  Sasquatch wanted to try a different paint maker due to the number of coats required.  We've gone through most of the brands of latex paint and had one more left to try, Glidden.  We picked up two cans of GliddenDuo in Deepest Aqua.

Living Room Makeover

GliddenDuo is a paint plus primer.  We've done the paint and primer deal with other brands like Behr.  The coverage is a little better than standard paints but never seemed work it until GliddenDuo.  This paint had a thick creamy texture with great coverage.

Living Room Makeover
no ladders required

Sasquatch painted the entire room with one coat of Deepest Aqua and only used 1/3 of the can.  He ended up doing a second coat which personally, I didn't think it needed.  Made him feel better.  Since he's coming from a history of having to do 3 to 4 coats to get the look he wants, this was a big accomplishment.  One huge room, one can.

Living Room Makeover
frames helped with cementing wall placement

To secure the cabinets to the wall, we could have easily purchased the rails.  At 15 rails at $10 each, I figured framing the cabinets and screwing them into studs would be secure and cheaper.  Premium wood with a straight edge plus a compound miter saw, biscuit joiner, sander, glue, and paint.

Living Room Makeover

IKEA's Besta cabinets provide a large amount of covered storage.  Surfaces to display art, play with toys and games, and to work.  We use the room more and enjoy it.  Plenty of space to dance.

The moment you realize the living room make over was more than with it. #IKEA #paint #Glidden #Gliddenduo