Sunday, April 7, 2013

Art Journal Page

The Smeared and Smudged journal prompt was Duality. What a great prompt and I was all set to get all deep and dark. Then a couple of the responses were bright and cheerful and I decided to join the party. I used my Balance set from Stampsmith. I love this set and haven't used it much.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Yummy Black Bean Soup

I don't do food posts often and this will be short. This is a recipe for a pureed black bean soup with a dash of sherry. Friends we made while we were doing craft shows gave us the recipe years ago and although we love it and make it once in a while, I've always just used the canned black beans. Two days ago I hauled out the Joy Of Cooking and followed their instructions for cooking dried beans (not one of my skills).
So I am extremely proud of this batch. I grew and dried the beans, I grew and canned the tomatoes, and I grew the onions and garlic. So invested and so delicious!!


3 cans black beans, undrained  ( I cooked 2 cups of dry beans and maybe could have used 1/4 c more.
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 can low-salt chicken broth
3 T sugar (I only use 1 T)
2 T Worcestershire sauce
Generous dash sherry
2 cloves minced garlic
Chopped onion to taste (I've used anything from 1 medium to 2 large)
5 slices uncooked bacon cut up

Simmer all ingredients for a minimum of 3 hours, stirring as needed. Blend until smooth before serving.

For toppings, use seasoned croutons, chopped hard cooked egg. I don't think you could go wrong here - sour cream, whatever!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Guest Design spot on Smeared and Smudged

As a fairly infrequent stamper and paper player, I was honored to be asked to host the Guest Design spot on Smeared and Smudged's Challenger group for April. I was pretty intimidated by the two designers from January and February, Julia Vazquez and Leigh Snaith-Brunton, who both created just amazing projects and challenges. And seriously, I thought to myself that the only way they could make it more intimidating was to have Mark Gould go right before me. On March 1, I had quite a laugh as that was exactly what happened.

My project is a tunnel book that I'm calling "Into the Woods." I used three of the SnS Goth Fairies Set as the characters and altered them to fit the plan. Precious got a red hood, Cornelius got a wolf's head and Jenna got an axe. I had worked on the layers previously and had to rework them to  make them fit together as when I had used them before, they opened inside a book so they were all different sizes and contained other characters that had to be removed.

It was all colored in Photoshop with a little twist; for the flowers and some of the trees, I put real flowers and trees behind the top layer and then erased those sections so the real stuff showed through.

There are four layers, including the background layer. I tried to create additional depth by using pop dots to hold the characters off of their layers. Red Riding Hood had to be supported by a dowel that connects to the back layer. My basic plan was to make a cohesive scene (the path, rolling grass and background) and then add additional elements to each layer as the viewing holes got smaller. Since each layer needed to be able to support itself and I was printing onto photo paper, I adhered each layer to heavy black card stock and used 1/2" x 1/2" wood pieces cut to length to hold the layers apart.