Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Good to Have Goals!

Goal: Art at least three times per week for a total of at least 156 days of some kind of art.

Actual: 209 days and still counting! I kept this 8.5 x 11 page in my journal and marked it every time I used my journal. You can tell that two months I used only pen and ink. Most other months I also used watercolor pencil. I'm definitely doing this next year too. It keeps me motivated.
Maybe I should make one for exercising too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sandhill Cranes Migration

Last year I recorded the Sandhill Cranes migration in mid-November. Either I missed them earlier or they are migrating a couple weeks later this year. We saw two groups flying on Saturday. They are so cool and such a neat site to see, especially considering how rare they used to be in Michigan. When I was growing up it was unusual to see them and a Big Deal when we did. Now they are common to see and hear.
Mixed media journal page in drawing Moleskine with water color pencils, rubber stamp and ink.

My "New" Old Chair

This chair is so comfy and cool! I bought it at a consignment store on Sunday but I've barely gotten to sit in it. My kids and cats have been hogging it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Keeping an Artists Journal

I've been having so much fun taking another online class with Cathy Johnson. This particular class is on keeping an artists journal. I've been pretty faithful at keeping up with my goal to journal in a sketchbook at least three times a week for almost an entire year now. Even so, its so nice to get new ideas and learn more and the class is certainly doing that. It is also a great group of people to share with and learn from. I'm not uploading specific exercises from the class, but I have been keeping up with life journaling and here's a tidbit.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Drop Down Door Desk

Drop Down Door Desk
Originally uploaded by ktes750
This is my new art desk made from a door. When not in use, it can fold down flat against the wall.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

new desk folded

The desk folds nearly flat to the wall. Both legs fold underneath and then it folds down. The desk is made from a door that is about 30 inches wide. It's a nice large work area and it was free. Well, the door was free. I bought 4 hinges, 1 piano hinge, plywood for the legs and a 1x4 to mount the back of it to the wall.

new desk underneath hinges

new desk underneath hinges
Originally uploaded by ktes750

Friday, October 16, 2009

Taking a Break

Too much to do and no time to scan and upload. Andrew has football everynight, Erin has 5 different activities going on - 3 during the week and 2 on weekends. I'm spending time creating while sitting in lessons or at games but no time to upload and post.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Time Fun Stuff

Birthday Fun

Garage Sale Owl Find

Porch Garden

Santa Claus Melon

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

whalehead stork

whalehead stork
Originally uploaded by ktes750
Just returned from a trip to Chicago which included a visit to the Field Museum. I had fun sketching in the bird exhibit. This enormous beaked bird is a whalehead stork. I also sketched a palm cockatoo and kookaburra but didn't add color to them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

great blue heron

great blue heron
Originally uploaded by ktes750
Another homework less for the third week of Kate's Watercolor Pencil Class. I'm feeling really behind so I think I'll be working on these excercises well past the final week. It's fun to get feedback and I'm really enjoying see all the other students art work as well.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kate's Watercolor Pencil Class

I'm taking an online watercolor pencil class from Cathy (Kate) Johnson and having lots of fun! I'm happy with some of these results but hoping that practice will help. I am learning a lot and enjoying seeing everyones work, comments and discussion. This is the second online art class I've taken and I'm really enjoying the format. It works well for someone who has such a packed schedule.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grilled Dinner

Dinner on the grill...Salmon, aspargus and redskins. YUM!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Ceremony

Flag raising
Added by Brian Laskowski on May 26, 2009 at 7:22 AM
Andrew Tesner, 12, of Fenton raises the flag for the Memorial Day service at Oakwood Cemetery in Fenton on Monday.
Tags: Memorial Day
This photo is part of the Memorial Day photos gallery on Mlive (Flint Journal) website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CD Release Party This Saturday

My children both particpated in a wonderful music camp this spring at A Joyful Noise Music Studio and the music they created during camp is being released on CD this weekend. They are celebrating with a CD release party that the local newspaper ran an article about this past Sunday. The kids were thrilled to see their names and band names in the paper. I am hoping that both kids will be able to participate in one of their summer sessions as well. They had a great time, learned a lot about music and got to spend the day with lots of other people who enjoyed making music too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting Adults Drawing by Mo Willems

Mo Willems was recently interviewed on NPR about getting adults to draw. I missed the original interview with Mo Williams on NPR but heard about it and finally had a chance to listen and read about it. Please follow the links so you can too!

Mo says that often adults stop drawing when they realize they're not going to do it professionally. They get the message that drawing is for kids and pass that message along to their children as well. He points out that we don't stop playing basketball because we aren't going to do it professionally so why stop drawing?

He also mentions that drawing creates empathy between the person/object being drawn and the artist and we could certainly use more of that in the world today.

It was a fun story and I hope that I am emulating that drawing is important to my children. They still love to draw and realize that its important to their mother so hopefully they are not getting a message that drawing is for kids only and they should quit at some point. I am also trying to emphasize that practicing makes you better and that you don't get good at something overnight. Each of us has our own style of drawing and I hope they believe me when I tell them how much I love their artwork!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I haven't been keeping my blog up because:

a) I've become a housekeeping queen
b) My rabbit chewed through my scanner cord
c) I've been sitting around staring at the wall so nothing new to post
d) I just can't seem to make myself spend time in front of the computer when there are so many different art projects to do, kids activities to go to, spring weather to enjoy and books to read.

Hmmm... which one is it?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Creative Fun with my Daughter

My daughter got this for Christmas and really wanted me to do an art project with her last night. This is what she chose. We had so much fun with it. She also got the fancy fashions book. Maybe we'll try some of those tonight, or this...

I just found this at a garage sale and I think it's even the same year as the one I used to have. How fun!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

International Fake Journal Month

The month is over and I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Aix-en-Provence, France and the surrounding area. I used cotman watercolors and a maruman folding sketchbook. The sketchbook was quite fun and I will probably have to order another. I ended up doing 23 different pictures in the 30 days which is great for me. Several of them were worked on over the course of two or even three days so I was pretty close to doing something in this journal nearly every day!

I really need to invest in a photo editing program so I can actually work with my photos or scans. These are scans and they really didn't turn out that well but my camera needs really good light in order to take nice pictures of these and I just haven't had time during the day to do this.

Cloister of Saint Sauveur

Four Dolphins Fountain

Glass from a cafe and a statue in the market square of a boar. The statue looked very out of place among all the tables, boxes and trucks.

The Cours Mirabeau is the main street in Aix and is lined with beautiful large trees and several fountains in the center of the wide street. This one is a thermal, moss covered fountain that is ancient.

Store front and Senanque Abbey near Aix

Wine with dinner and a market vendor

Fountains in Aix - the Rotunda fountain, fountain detail near Hotel de ville and Hotel de ville tower

Couple at an outdoor cafe and fountain near the Hotel de ville

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

International Fake Journal Month

So, today is the first Day of April and also the first day of "International Fake Journal Month." Mike and I have decided to have fun with this together. While I was considering my options he just couldn't resist and we've both decided to spend the month in Aix-en-Provence. He picked out his new journal last Friday night at Borders. Since he's a writer, he picked a nice sized lined moleskine that came in a pack of three. I guess he'll find another way to use the other two. I ordered a lovely fold out Maruman sketchbook. I've always wanted to try one. I picked up a pack of Sanguine (love that name) pitt pens and am planning to use real watercolors (not just the pencils I tend to carry with me). Now, off we go...

And a little bit of fun in my real journal, though again, not much sketching from real life going on at the moment. This first one is cheapo markers, something I've never used in my journal before but I liked the brightness of the yellow.

"Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes and annual free trip around the sun." This was inspired by an quote (origin unknown) in "The Awe-manac" by Jill Badonsky. This has me stuck with Monty Python's "Galaxy song" in my head.

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving

And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,

That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,

A sun that is the source of all our power.

The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see

Are moving at a million miles a day

In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,

Of the galaxy we call the "Milky Way".

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just a few random journal pages

I haven't felt much like sketching from life so here's just a few odds and ends.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Renewed Dedication to Art

It's been THREE weeks since I posted anything here and much longer since I posted anything concerning art. I haven't quit sketching, just posting. The new year actually had me making a resolution to sketch at least three times a week. I've kept that up now for three months. April brings a new challenge thanks to Roz at Roz Wound Up. I'm still going for at least three times per week but hoping for five as I'm trying to gear up for May's Challenge "Every Day in May".

So here's some April Fools Fun:
April is International Fake Journal Month

And in honor of this month I'm going to actually post some stuff online at least once a week.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spicy Curry Beef Stew

I'm a little mixed up on how I'm approaching Suppa Club this month. I haven't yet made the Salmon but I've moved on to the stew. I really wanted to try the Salmon last weekend but had guests. I remembered one of them not being all that fond of Salmon so I opted for something else. I found out later that she thought that particular recipe sounded good and she would have tried it. Oh well.

The Spicy Beef Curry Stew was fun to prepare and smelled marvelous in the crock pot. I chopped everything up the evening before and pre-measured all my ingredients so that morning preparation was very quick (about 10 minutes). This recipe reminded me of a cuban stew I'd made a few years ago that also included peppers (I wonder where that recipe is), so I added red and green peppers as well as onions to the crock pot. The only other change I made was adding a few more tomatoes and skipping the beef broth.

I served this with white rice, tortillas, shredded cheese and green onions so you could either make a soft taco out of it or eat it with the rice or both. I did both. I thought that the "spicy" was a little lacking and will probably either try more jalapenos or add red pepper flakes the next time I make this. Adding the peppers was great though and it didn't need beef broth. This will be great as leftovers too.

Spicy Beef Curry Stew for the Slow Cooker


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound beef stew meat
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 onion, sliced and quartered
1 cup beef broth

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and brown the beef on all sides. Remove from skillet, reserving juices, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in the skillet for 2 minutes, until tender, and season with curry powder. Mix in the diced tomatoes and juice.

Place the onion in the bottom of a slow cooker, and layer with the browned beef. Scoop the skillet mixture into the slow cooker, and mix in the beef broth. Cover, and cook 6 to 8 hours on Low.

The Salmon will be made on Saturday for my husband and I. I will probably pop in some fish sticks for the kids. I didn't like salmon as a kid either so there's still hope for them. I am planning a side of sweet potato fries and a lovely salad (as soon as I find the perfect recipe).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Suppa Club's Beef Barley Soup

The Suppa Club current recipe is Mom's Italian Beef Barley Soup from allrecipes.com. The original recipe is very basic and perfect for changing up every time you make it.


2 pounds cubed beef chuck roast
5 cups water
4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
salt and pepper to taste

And the directions are even easier:

In a slow cooker, combine beef, water, bouillon, onion, tomato sauce, barley, salt and pepper. Cover, and cook on Low for 5 hours.

This recipe came at a perfect time as I had just picked up a beef roast on sale and was wondering what I was going to do with it. I read Siri and Molly's posts about the soup and got a few ideas from them as well. I started with all the ingredients from the original recipe except salt. In the end, I decided my modifications were based on "let's use this stuff up". So here's what was in my pantry or fridge that needed using up:

  • Pearl Barley (yes it's in the original recipe but I only had a bit left in the bag after I added the 3/4 cup so I used it up-maybe about 1 cup total)

  • Italian Seasoning Blend (about 1 1/2 tablespoons left in the jar)

  • marjoram (maybe 1/2 teaspoon left in the jar)

  • garlic (a bunch of smaller cloves left in the middle of the head which probably equalled about 4 large cloves)

  • carrots (2 large carrots)

My kids and I threw this together in the morning in about 15 minutes. It was in the crock pot all day on low (more like 8-9 hours than 5). My husband picked up a lovely loaf of 5 grain bread with a crunchy crust and soft interior that was perfect with this soup. This was a great meal and the leftovers are even better. I need to remember to put pearl barley back on my grocery list so that I can make this again someday.

And in case anyone wants to know what my kids favorite recent dish was (so very gourmet)...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A New Chicken Chili

The Suppa Club is back again and this time with White Bean Chicken Chili. I have a stand-by chicken chili recipe that I use on many occasions and love. This one is just as good and different enough that I'll add it as one of my favorites. I followed the recipe pretty closely, except that I add green pepper and omitted the cumin (not because I don't like it but because I was all out). If I make it again, I'll add the cumin but it was still delicious with out it.

Other Suppa Club participants liked it too.

Molly at Batter Splattered
Siri from The Transplanted Baker
Nicole from The Artic Garden
Ingrid from The 3 B's-Baseball, Baking and Books

It took me forever to post after making this. Sorry everyone. My computer was sick and then family. Now we are all on the mend (or at least limping along in the case of my computer).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Doodle - Is it Done Yet?

Or do I add color. Wasn't meant to be anything, but it's taken me a couple of days of waiting at basketball practice to finish.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Feb 2009 Calendar Ready to Go

While I haven't been posting to my blog, I have been creating. I've probably been more productive that way this month. Less computer time, more art time. This month's calendar page was done with acrylic and sponge. The sponge is actually from a trip 13 years ago to Taropon Springs, Florida and I'm just now getting around to using it. The acrylics aren't new to me either but this is their first use by me. I really liked them and I plan to actually paint with them soon.

Feb 2009
Originally uploaded by ktes750

More Calendar Pages

Jan 2009
Originally uploaded by ktes750
January's finished and February's ready to go. I'm just behind in taking photos of them. This one is watercolor pencil. No doodles, stickers, labels or stamps but I had fun coloring each of the days.