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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Idiot Proof Art!

Art doesn't have to be complicated or complex!  Not every piece needs to be the next Monet or Botticelli.  Art should be about expression and should be fun.  We have several ideas that will help you create fun wall decor and will also help to inspire and ignite your inner artist.

1)  Simple images created on Microsoft Paint (which comes pre-installed on every computer) can be printed, cut out and pasted onto colorfully paint canvases. The examples below were created for a bathroom and were super easy to create.  We suggest using latex, acrylic, or spray paints to color your canvas.  These paints are easy to use, dry quickly, and have great coverage. Be sure to apply a coat of clear acrylic sealer such as Modge Podge over the top to seal the work.

2) Circles Two Ways.  Don't hesitate to play around with geometric shapes. Take your canvas, draw a line from one corner to another, dividing the canvas into two triangles.  For the picture below, one triangle was painted grey and the other was painted black.  Once this is dry, use a circle template or various size cups to trace concentrically smaller circles from one corner to the next.  Paint the circles yellow and voila!  To achieve this look, you could also start by painting the whole canvas yellow.  Next, cut out various sized circles from contact paper.  Apply the circle "stickers" to the canvas, press the edges tightly. Finally, paint each triangle, black and grey using a small foam roller.  If you are spray painting, be sure to cover the first painted side before spraying the next to avoid paint misting. 

3) Stencils! Don't be afraid to use them.  You can find a wide selection in your local craft store, at yard sales, etc.  
4) Tape Art!  Its super easy.  Cover your canvas randomly with tape, again press the edges firmly to avoid bleeding.  Paint over the canvas as you see fit.  In the painting below, the tape was applied to an unpainted canvas to create white lines.  You could paint your canvas first, then tape, then paint again to create colored lines.  If the edges aren't crisp, just use a ruler and a permanent fine tip marker to clean up the edges.
5) Bubble Art!  Its just like blowing bubbles in your milk as a kid and just as fun.  Mix 2 tbsp of tempera paint, 2 tbsp of liquid dish soap, and 1/2 cup of water in a shallow ball.  Using a straw, blow bubbles into the mixture until they reach over the top.  Next, lay the paper or canvas over the top of the bowl to pick up color from the bubbles as they pop.  
Thanks Better Homes and Gardens for this image!
6) Get sticky!  Paint your canvas a color of your choice.  Next, apply stripes of patterned washi tape, large circle stickers, etc onto your canvas.  You can then seal your masterpiece with a clear coat!  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Happy Spring!



Meal of The Month: May 2014


Courteousy of
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 small green onions, white and light green parts only, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ pounds young carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-inch piece of turmeric root, peeled and grated (or use ½ tsp ground)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups (1 quart) filtered water
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or full fat coconut milk for serving
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley or carrot fronds for garnish
  1. Melt coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sweat the green onions, garlic, minced ginger, and pepper flakes for 1 to 2 minutes or just until glossy. Do not brown or develop color.
  2. Add carrots, salt, cinnamon and turmeric and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until carrots are very soft, 20-25 minutes.
  3. Puree soup in batches in a high speed blender.
  4. If serving cold, chill soup for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
  5. Divide soup between 4 to 6 bowls and place a spoonful of yogurt or drizzle of coconut milk in center of each and finish with chopped parsley or carrot fonds and a pinch of additional salt and freshly ground pepper if desired.

Ginger Turmeric Spiced Carrot Soup Recipe from carrots soup ginger Ginger, Turmeric Spiced Spring Carrot Soup Recipe