Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How bout Cupcakes

May is such a crazy month, more so than December.  Unfortunately I have had almost no time to do Art.  Since tomorrow night our Art group meets and I have to make a treat for it, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, bake and blog.  I love to bake and experiment with different recipes and change things up.  I decided to do that today and combine two of my favorite things, creme brulee and cupcakes.  I saw it done on Cupcake Wars a few weeks ago and it sounded delicious.

I started with one of my favorite chocolate cupcake recipes from the Magnolia bakery.
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1 c butter
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
4 eggs
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted
1 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla extract
In a  medium bowl sift flour and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add chocolate and mix well.  Add dry ingredients in thirds alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla.
Line cupcake pans with papers and fill 3/4 full.  Bake at 325 for 15-20 mins or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
In the meantime make the Creme Brulee.  I actually found the recipe online that they used on cupcakes wars and I used that and just modified it a little.  I didn't use it for the actual cupcake recipe since I wanted the cupcake to be chocolate.
Creme Brulee
1/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla
4 large egg yolks
1 1/2 c heavy cream
Whisk all four ingredients together.  Pour into 9x9 pan and place that pan on an 18x13 pan and pour two cups of water in the the 18x13 pan to make a water bath for baking.  Bake at 325 for 30-45 mins until creme brulee is set (does not jiggle when shaken).  Cool completely.
1 cup butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 c  dulce de leche carmel
1 t vanilla
4-5 cups powdered sugar
Mix first three ingredients until smooth then slowly add the sugar.
To assemble the cupcakes I cut a small cone shape out the the tops of each of the cupcakes.  Then I filled the hole in the cupcake with about 2-3 teaspoons of the Creme Brulee.  I then cut the bottom of the cone off and placed the top back on the cupcake.  Then I frosted the cupcake.
These were a big hit with my family hopefully I will have enough left for art group tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 25, 2012

work it baby! own it!

             "Work it baby!  Own it!"

It is a happy day when I can squeeze a few moments in to do art!  For my post, I would like to show what I have done to push myself out of my comfort zone.

I enjoyed taking an online class from the wonderful artist Gritty Jane and learned some techniques that took me way out of my comfort zone!  (This is a portrait of my daughter Maddie)  During this painting there were times when I thought I was "in over my head" but I didnt give up.  And I'm glad I forged on!  I love how color can make me feel when I get bold and go for it

Sometimes when I feel "too far out" of my comfort zone, I wander in my garden. Many times it is there that I begin to get connected again with my authentic artist self, as I am pulling weeds or watering the new growth. Sometimes I will even take my camera along.

OR....I go find something else that inspires!(This is Nigel - I purchased him at the Utah Arts Festival about 8 years ago. I love the colors in his face...sometimes I feel like he looks! ha! But I love the inspiration he gives me.  He's right in my kitchen where I can glance at him!

You often hear that you have to "push yourself" to get outside that comfort zone. But returning to the familiar can also be a healthy excersise when you are creating art!

Isnt it wonderful that we have people in our lives to help us feel comfort? This is a pic of myself (left) with my own peeps! They are "multi taskers"...they bring me joy, comfort AND push me outside my comfort zone! ha ha love you guys! 

I will end with this quote that I love:

"oh the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."         
  -- Dinah Craik

Even though May is a busy time, let's be kind to ourselves and carve out a little time to do art and nurture that creative thought and "see" life, enjoy those faithful ones and be faithful.  And as we push ourselves, gently, all the while may we recognize what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away! 

         (I'm Deb Beeton and I approved this message!!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Favorite Tool Tuesday

Hi Art Groupies!  Today is the beginning of a monthly post we're calling Favorite Tool Tuesday (or Wednesday or whatever day it happens to be).

What are your favorite art tools?  One of ours is a cool white paint stick called "Meanstreak" by Sharpie.  It's waterproof, dries fast, and is a great alternative to using white paint.  It almost feels like an oil stick.

Here are some examples of what I've used it on:
I used it on the bigger areas--the small white detail is a gel pen.
I like to use it in journaling!
Here is a bigger view...

What are your favorite art tools?  Have you used this one in any of your art?  We will be choosing one random art groupie to win a Sharpie Meanstreak!  Leave us a comment!

Happy day to you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

DIY with Vintage Wallpaper

I have to admit that I have been enamored with vintage wallpaper ever since Julie and Candice sent their welcome kits for an Art Nest art retreat and they used some sweet vintage wallpaper to decorate them.  One of the teachers at that retreat was Pam Garrison who was using a lot of vintage wallpapers in her art journaling at that time.  I fell in love with the soft colors and the florals and geometric patterns.  Since then I have seen vintage wallpaper used in many ways and it always looks so fresh and lovely.  Here are some fun examples of things that you can do with it!

Pretty Correspondence

A Fresh Approach to Wallpapering

Applied to Furniture

A Sweet Wreath

Mini Chocolate Bars

Fabulous Lampshade

Decorative Windows

My Vintage Wallpaper Cabinet

When I was thrift shopping I found this ugly, brown, house-shaped wall cabinet.  It had potential and I had some cute pieces of vintage wallpaper that I had found and some that I had purchased on Etsy.  So I decided that I would decoupage the little cabinet with vintage wallpapers.  First I removed the hinges and hardware from the cabinet.  Then using Mod Podge and a small sponge brush I cut pieces of wallpaper and applied them to the cabinet.

You can cut a decorative edge on the pieces that overlap.

Almost done!

Mask the glass on the doors so it stays cleaner.

Prop up the wet doors to dry so they don't stick to your work surface.

Just to make sure it was all the way dry I set it out in the sun for a bit.

All finished and loaded with trinkets and what-nots!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nourishing your Inner Child

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.  ~Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish Painter and Sculptor
As children, we are naturally born more intuitive and more creative.  As we get older and journey this life, we somehow loose our innocence and optimistic playful side.  It chips away slowly as we face the storms that come our way.  To be a child was a life filled with magic and crayons- the simpilist things brought us joy.  We laughed and played and everything amazed us!  We made mud monsters and snow angels.  We danced in the downspouts to feel the pounding of the rain like a drum on our heads.  We cut and pasted, colored and painted like little Picasso's without fear of what others would think.  How amazing was that simple joy as a child?  The beauty of it is, that within each of us is that child. It is not very far removed from the raw soul.  Like a flowering bud in pause, it waits to bloom into it's complete wholeness!  
Are you a flowering bud in pause or do you nurture that sweet inner child that makes you whole?  What do you do to be creative and playful to realease your inner child?  I LOVE to paint!  It truly makes me happy.  I love that there are so many women who are coneccted with their inner child and that they share their creative hearts.  
My daughter's and I have been taking Mindy Lacefield's online Paint Your Story class.  Do you know Mindy?  You might know her as Timssally.  Well she is as cute as a button and amazingly talented!  

Her art is so very sweet and endearing
and she is a wonderful teacher.

My daughter's and I LOVED this class.  

Mindy encouraged us to mark and scribble and doodle our hearts into our art.
(from my daughter Brookie)

She reminded us to be playful like a child.

(Chalk drawings by my girls who are Mother's themselves, played with the neighborhood kids and created chalk drawings)


Mindy reminded us to use our imiginations and to be creative just like the days of our youth!

My friend Jackie's "deer girl"

So much goodness was shared by all who participated!

A sweet painting "a boy and his boat" by Susie LaFond

A sweet "snooter" created by Juliette Crane
Check out Juliette's online classes.
She paints the sweetest little characters. 

It is the simple joys of childhood that make our hearts happy and nourish that inner child that is within us.  I encourage you to find these simple joys.  To be playful and creative like the days of your youth.  The more consideration and nourishment you give to your inner child, the happier your life will be! (pinkie promise!)

Remember, you are never to big to play with paper dolls!
(one of my paintings turned into a paper doll)

Feel free to download her and dress her up!


xo Lorraine

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lampshade Revamped

      This past year we bought a new house and we recently started building me a craft room. My husband, the electrician has been wiring me in some holes for light fixtures. As we were figuring out what lighting I would need, we came up with 16 different light fixtures, in order for me not to have standard florescent lighting. In the meantime I’ve been collecting various other items, and keeping my eye out for creative ways to make funky light fixtures.
     I LOVE vintage! Rusty, lacy, jewels, chippy paint etc. I’m always  looking  for creative ways to store my art supplies. A while back, I had the pleasure of taking a soldering class from Terri Brush at the lovely Lorraine Lewis’ house in Layton, UT. While at Lorraine's house, a bunch of us ladies went to a darling store called Just A Bed Of Roses. I bought this Rusty stand that works great for storing old linens and lace.
I also love the allure of vintage bowls with laces spilling over the brim!
      Recently,  I had the pleasure of riding up to a women’s retreat in Huntsville, UT with my friend so I asked her if we could PLEASE go to Just A Bed Of Roses since I rarely get up north. She kindly obliged. While I was there I found this darling vintage lamp shade base.
I decided it would look wonderful decorated with some of my special laces and trims!
                                         Here’s how I did it-

          If your shade will fit under the presser foot of your machine you can just fold over your lace on the under side and stitch it together. If your shade wont fit under your foot then you’ll have to stitch it by hand. Just pick various scraps of lace, trims, beads, old keys, millinery flowers and either stitch, glue gun, or wire them on, and this is what you end up with for a finished project.

          XOXO & hope you're having a delightful spring! Shannon Porter