November 15, 2012

The 12 Artsy Ornaments of Christmas

Oh my goodness.
please tell me it hasn't been since march that i last posted here?  that's crazy!  what in the world have i been doing?
what in the world have you all been doing?

well one thing i've been doing lately is working on another season of the "12 artsy ornaments of christmas" with my sweetest friend christy tomlinson.

this was so much fun to participate in last year and this year christy has such a wonderful line-up of artists, many of whom i consider my dear friends...

Margie Romney-Aslett
Junelle Jacobson
Alisa Burke
Debbie Murray
Shea Fragoso
Juliette Crane
Mindy Lacefield
Jeanne Oliver
Jamie Soucy 
Christy Tomlinson

This workshop starts December 4th and is $24.95
but if you register before November 28th, you can sign up for $19.95!  So get in on the early bird registration!

go HERE to sign up 
and tell christy i sent you!

here's just a peek at what we'll be making together...
mindy lacefield's ornament

jamie soucy's coffee filter wreaths

can't wait to see who is going to join us.
i've missed all my blog-land friends so drop me a comment and let me know what you've been cultivating lately...


March 4, 2012

march forth on march fourth with almond cake...

{photo from tumblr}
so it is.
february is over.
i hope it was full of love for one and all.
 and so we march forth on march fourth.
i have a little treat you must try if you are at all like me and love the flavor of almond.
i am a huge fan of almond flavoring.
i adore the stuff.  if a recipe calls for a teaspoon of almond extract...i always pour two.  
there are no wimpy 1 oz. bottles of almond extract 
in this girl's pantry.  no sir.
i go to my local restaurant supply and go for the
mondo 16 oz. bottle.  it doesn't even bother me
that it's imitation either.  
 last sunday i made one of the best cakes ever.
{it may even rival my famed coconut cake}
i posted it on instagram 
and several people asked for the recipe 
so i thought i would share it here.
but i'm warning's addicting!

Cake Ingredients:

1 C. butter
1 C. water
2 C. white flour
2 C. white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract  (remember i use more...)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small sauce pan, add the water and butter and bring to a boil.  In your mixing bowl, add the flour and sugar.  Pour the boiling water and butter mixture over the flour and sugar mixture.  Beat well.
Add the baking soda, almond extract, sour cream and eggs.
Mix well, scraping the sides at least once.
Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 or larger pan.

Bake 20-30 minutes until the middle is set.
Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes before you start you icing.

Icing Ingredients:

1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. milk
3 1/2 - 4 C. powder sugar
1 tsp. almond extract   (i used at least 2 or 3)

In a small saucepan, add the butter and milk and bring to a boil.
In your mixing bowl, add the sugar and extract. Start with about 3 C. sugar first then add more as you need it. Once the milk and butter are boiling, pour into the mixing bowl.  Stir until well mixed.  Add more powder sugar if needed.  It should be pourable. Mine was a bit thick so I just added more milk.

Pour over cake and spread to cover.  Let the cake sit for at least 20 minutes.  

Serve with ice cream or fruit.  I served mine with blueberries and it was so yummy.

hope you all march forth this beautiful march fourth 
eating delicious almond cake!!! 

February 14, 2012

HEART and 14

day 14
 here is a little valentine i painted up for all my friends...
"i mustache you a question...will you be my valentine?"

well...we are at the end of HEART and seek...3rd edition

my sweet dad made me a HEART birdhouse for valentines.
he is really handy at everything, but especially awesome at wood working.
he left it unfinished so me and my girls can get all artsy on it.
he also gave me a hilarious card 
and a box of HEART chocolates from V chocolates.
a yummy local chocolatier in utah.
thanks daddy!!  i will totally be your valentine!!

thanks to all who played or followed along this year.
if nothing else..i hope i opened your eyes to be on the lookout for HEARTS
for, behind every HEART is love and it can be in the most unexpected places...
 like a flower pedal...
 or in your scrambled eggs...
 when you are sewing...
 or hiking in the desert...
 love can be found in the mundane vacuuming.
 or cleaning up after a pizza party...
 don't forget to look up often...
 or pay attention the next time you visit the cemetary....
even the curb at target can offer some affection if you're open to it...
and don't cry over spilt milk...
there are HEARTS to be found there as well.

heart and 13

day 13...
today's edition has a WARNING...
i have a really cool and interesting HEART photo to share,
but it's graphic so just be aware...
i left it for the last.

PINTEREST is huge right now and i found the next five images
from there under a search for HEARTs.  I tried to follow where each
photo originated from but each one took me on a wild goose chase
and ended at a dead end.  so i feel bad not giving credit where credit
is due but i really did try.
this was listed as being in portugal.  i HEART this so much.
 again, this was listed as being in portugal.
someone is very creative!!
 im not even a cat lover, (i'm allergic)
but this is awesome.
again...someone so clever that i would love to thank.
if you know the artists behind the photos, i would love to know.

 my husband is in the cardiac care business.  this is actually an x-ray
of two leads that are going into a HEART from a cardiac device.
to keep the persons HEART beating and alive.
it was ironic that the contrast dye used in the x-ray created a little
space that looks just like the HEARTS we draw.
cool huh!
this is my husbands contribution to my HEART and seek game.
it is a REAL HEART!!!  not a person's, a pigs.
and before you get all "peta" on me.  pig HEARTS are very similar to human
HEARTS and therefore are used a lot to help us learn how to better take care of human HEARTS.  they are studied and examined and are a huge contribution to the development of improved cardiac care.  
(my hubby would be so proud of my description)

it's the day of love tomorrow...
see you then!

February 12, 2012

heart and 12

day 12...
 well, we are on our final stretch of HEART and seek.

my daughter texted me this photo from school recently.
that is her sweetest friend, zoe, behind that chip bag
and this is her awesome school lunch HEART find.
thank you lay's potato chips 
and thank you girls for playing along with me!
i love this one.  it came about in such a cute way.
kelly from chasing hugo shared this with me.
her son had taken his soap and broke it all to pieces...
what emerged from the wreckage was a squeaky clean reminder of love.
soap heART!!!
i have a pretty amazing group of friends that i met at "unearth"
i've mentioned several of them in these posts.
one AMAZING artist that you really should check out 
and follow, if you aren't already is kelly barton.
she shared this awesome HEART with me last year (or the year before)
her art always makes me smile.
love you kelly!
 a favorite blog i visit when i want some fresh inspiration is dottie angel.
do any of you follow her?
i loved this idea of cascading HEARTS from book pages 
that she shared years back.  i've made so many for myself and others since then.
aren't they just the best!!
here's a photo of some i made for a special group of women in sedona
this one brings me joy because it's straight from the inspiration board
of my cute daughter tess.  she's 16.
i love how her HEART reminds her each day to be happy!
i want to be like her when i grow up!

hope you all find a happy HEART today too!

heart and 11

day 11...
 some of my most favorite HEART finds are the ones we may
have missed if we weren't keeping our eyes open to love.
this is a sea foam HEART from the beautiful patrice longmire
i love that she spotted this before she stepped on it or it was washed away.
i have a cute friend that i met at "an artful journey".  
she is amazingly talented in so many ways.
her name is stella singleton.
she shared this with me the other day...
"Dunkin Doughnuts" is offering HEART shaped doughnuts this month.
who knew!  they are just as cute as i'm sure they are tasty.
thanks stella!
catherine reeves from an angel in the garden shared another goodie with me.
her friend picked this HEART love right from the tree for her.
i love it when HEARTS occur so sweetly like this.
another goodie from patty waite  (thank goodness for patty waite)
she always comes through for me at this game.
this is a classic!

3 days of HEART and seek left!!!
be on the lookout!

February 10, 2012

heart and 10

day 10...
 last year on a cool winters day...we spied this sweet HEART leaf 
in a garden fountain in my dad's front yard...
that night mr. frost came and enshrined that sweet HEART in ice...
so cool to see.
 last spring i spent an amazing weekend with some incredibly artsy friends
in the beautiful red canyons of sedona, arizona.  you can read about it HERE
it was so appropriate that my first lunch there came with bread 
in the shape of a HEART, because the whole trip was an abundance of love.
isn't this cool?  you can literally see the HEART of this tree.
and count all the years that it's been sharing it's love.
christine from silver linings for me shared this goodness with me.
thanks christine!!!
i love this photo.
i found it awhile back on "pinterest"  everyone's new obsession.
guess what...? you can make these too.
HERE's the link to the directions!
 and speaking of eggs...
the first year i started HEART and seek, this was one
of my very first and very favorite HEART surprises.
 i was making cookies and cracked the egg and voila...
along with the egg whites...into the bowl fell this wonderful piece of heaven.
it is so tiny in real life..there is NO way i could have made
this any more perfect than nature did on it's own.
this will always be one of my favorite HEART and seek finds!

we are winding down our game of HEART and seek.
only 4 days left.  i hope you are all able to find some HEART goodness
in your lives over the next few days!!!

happy HEART hunting!