Saturday, December 29, 2012

Artist's Play Room #38

Do you believe that 2012 is nearly over??!? I KNOW, it's shocking, isn't it? This year seemed to go so quickly, with so many changes. As we start this new year of Artist's Play Rooms, I want to invite you to send me any of your ideas, things you'd like to explore in the new year of art, processes, colours, anything that we can use as a cool theme to create with. Just shoot me an email and I'll add it to my growing list of ideas, we need at least 52, but probably many more so we have choices. I look forward to your creative suggestions. 

I hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful and abundant holiday season. Let's get onto our first theme for this year!

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

So we need a new challenge theme don't we? Since we're so close to New Year's I thought we could celebrate the word "CELEBRATE". I want to see your art all about this word, what does it mean to you? What does it make you feel or how do you celebrate? This is our first Artist's Play Room for 2013, I can't believe we're starting a new year already. WOW. Here are a few examples to help you think about our theme...

Celebrate: Your Wish BookGive a gift of celebrationCelebration of Autumn
Celebrate YOUBalloonsChampagne & Cocktails
It'll be so nice to see you all back again, I'm hoping this New Year of 2013 is truly spectacular. I have many plans, hopes and dreams for this year, let's all hope all our wishes come true!

I'll be back soon with my entry for this week's APR and also I have a book review and I'm happy to say I also get to review some Stillman & Birn paper sent to my by Dion. I'm giddy with anticipation to review it as I put the paper through it's paces. See you all soon and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Color-A-Card From Featuring Magazine

Hi everybody, are you all getting prepared for Christmas? I'm glad to see that the world didn't end today, I wouldn't want to miss eating all the lovely Christmas baking we did last week, lol. So, since you're all still here and possibly in need of something fun to do, we at FEATURING magazine decided to brighten up your Christmas cards by making some colour-a-card downloads so you can all print them off. You can color them yourself or get your kids involved and make a fun project out of it. Wouldn't it be neat to be able to send hand coloured Christmas cards to your friends & family? We thought so!

Each of the editors and our esteemed editor-in-chief, Marit, personally drew up a fun card to be embellished by you, our lovely readers. Just go to the Featuring website and scroll down until you see the freebie picture in the sidebar or just click on this link and be taken to the page. There you'll be able to see each of our colour-a-cards and all you have to do is click the download link. That will bring you to the PDF of all of our cards so you can save it to your computer. They will print to a 4x6 card and you can then have fun making them your own!

You can still pre-order our third issue of FEATURING, just click here to do so. Because of a snafu in printing, this issue is delayed in delivery by about a month. Our editor-in-chief, after checking the newly printed third issue, found a large printing flaw in a full page layout of artwork. We at FEATURING pride ourselves in producing a premium magazine and it wasn't acceptable to ship out sub-par magazines. Marit insisted that the printing house reprint our third issue at their loss so our readers would have the beautiful magazine that they paid for. This means that the third issue will be a little late in delivery, it will be shipped out sometime in January. We do apologize for the delay, and hope you understand.

On a good note though, the shipping costs for all orders outside Europe have decreased. Marit has worked hard to find a less costly way of shipping our magazine to the many readers outside Europe and she has been successful. This makes the magazine more available to our readership. If you'd like to read what's in this newest issue, just click here.

We at FEATURING would love to see your artwork or suggestions for articles. Please go to our submissions page and read all the ways you can participate in our art magazine. 

I'll be back on December 29th with our first Artist's Play Room of 2013, the theme will be "CELEBRATE" and I can't wait to see all your artwork. Early in the New Year I'll be posting a book review of the latest thriller by Lisa Gardner called "Touch & Go". I'll also be doing a test run on Stillman & Birn sketchbook paper. I'm thrilled that my friend Dion sent me their ivory heavy weight paper sketchbook to try. Such exciting things already lined up for 2013.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my loyal readers. May 2013 be filled with happiness and Peace.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!!

Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars
Yummm!! Mom and I have been baking up a storm for Christmas. We're also giving away a bunch of baking to several people we appreciate, our mail carrier, our building manager etc. We've had some spectacular success, you can read all about our first terrific gluten free recipe over on Dion's blog where my latest "When Artists Cook" is up now.

The one recipe we've been dreading is a good sugar cookie recipe. Coming up with a successful gluten free recipe filled us with trepidation. In this last year we've learned that many cookie recipes when made gluten free are so bad they're nearly inedible. It's either the texture (sandy feeling in your mouth) or a funny aftertaste from one of a half a dozen flours and additives you have to use to try and mimic what gluten does in a baking recipe. All these concerns were added to the fact that we NEEDED the recipe to also totally keep it's shape through baking. See, we have these new and awesome cookie cutters that I bought last Christmas and we so totally wanted to use them.

Mom and my Aunt Mic were talking last Christmas, remembering when they were young and my grandmother used to use special cookie cutters every Christmas. These cutters were actually also molds. You pressed them into the dough and they added a relief pattern on the top of the cookie! I quipped that I bet I could find them on the internet somewhere. Mom looked at me balefully. She reminded me that they were really poor when she was little so it's not as though Gramma would have purchased the cutters, they would have been a "send in a dozen box tops  and get these cookie cutters" kind of deal. Now I was determined to find these illusive cookie cutters and bring back a happy memory for my mom. 

It took me three days of searching and endless "Are these them?" questions, before I finally came across mom's santa, stocking, tree and star cookie cutters. When I found them I ordered the 60 year old cutters and had them under the tree for Christmas 2011. When mom opened them she was so happy and we decided they would be THE recipe we did for Christmas 2012!!

Fast forward eleven months and thirteen days, :o). Now we absolutely NEEDED a sugar cookie recipe that was both gluten free and kept it's shape while baking. It would also be good if they tasted a little like sugar cookies, lol. (But as mom said, "life is a series of looking good" and if they don't taste wonderful we'll deal with that using the icing!) It took a total of two days of slaving and finding a good recipe but then having a notorious time trying to successfully unmold the cookies, we finally came up with the best way to get perfect cookies. FINALLY. 

That evening, while resting up from all the darn baking struggle we discussed the cutters. While staring at the twenty four naked sugar cookies we had managed to produce over an entire day of baking, Mom and I agreed that the cutters were just too much work. Sadly, we decided to sell the cutters. With the dawn of the new morning I got down to the task of icing twenty four very cool looking molded cookies and about a thousand plain little hearts, hehehe. I'm lucky to have all of my cake decorating supplies from the days when I owned my own wedding cake business so I had my choice of hundreds of paste and powdered food colorings and all the requisite tips for cookie decorating. :o)

When I finished decorating santa I knew I was totally in love! After finishing all the decorating I turned to mom and told her I definitely wanted to keep these cutters. I got an enthusiastic thumbs up from mom. We're both so thrilled with the cutest darn cookies we've ever produced, and that's saying something since we're both enthusiastic bakers and artists to boot. I can't get over how gorgeously these turned out, they're so totally worth all the work.

What I'm learning this Christmas is that all the work to be gluten free is worth it. We can find great recipes and with a little work and perseverance I can stay healthy and still achieve my own childhood Christmas memories. Thanks mom and Mic for doing so much work on my behalf. Love you both. :o)

Sending much Christmas love to you all. I'll be back soon with some art and other little announcements. See you soon, K? Yes?? Good!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Third Issue Of FEATURING!!!

Holy Cow, we did it!! Whew! We at FEATURING have been working our proverbial behinds off, seriously. Maybe that's why mine seems to be getting smaller. ;o)  After the second issue took an extra month to get out to the public, our Head Honcho, Marit, decided we should really try and get the third issue out for Christmas. And low and behold, we DID IT!! It was a tonne of slaving over a computer, talking to a lot of incredible artists and writing, writing, writing. But we did what seemed impossible just a few months ago. Issue 3 of FEATURING is HERE and available for preorder.

I think this issue is the best one yet. Issue three is jam packed with colourful and intriguing artwork and informative articles. You don't believe me?? You say you want proof?? Hmmm, pushy aren't you?! Hehehe. Ok, since you begged and used your puppy dog eyes, I guess I can give you a sneak peek. But don't tell anyone, you'll get me in trouble, ;o)

Here's a link to a preview of some of the fantastic pages in Issue three. You can read more about many of the articles in this issue here. Here's a list of the articles in this issue...
  • Paper Paintings
  • Monotypes go Mainstream
  • Full Disclosure
  • Poetry, Hidden and Found
  • Somebody’s got to do it
  • Stephanie Drömer
  • An Artist in Berlin
  • Create to the Music
  • The Art of Motherhood
  • They Call Me Mr. Hosta (an article about my own art, YAY!!)
  • Spontaneous Acts of Creation
  • An extraordinary exhibition
  • Three journals
  • Featured Blogger
  • Love Me Do
  • Into the Studio
  • View of the World
A great piece of news is that we at FEATURING have figured out a way of lowering the cost of shipping outside Europe!! Since much of the the magazine is sold to individuals living outside Europe, the owners at FEATURING worked hard to give those people paying the highest shipping a break this Christmas. Cool, huh?

This would make a terrific Christmas present for any artist. Preorder your copy of Issue 3 here. You can still also order Issue 1 and Issue 2. Also, if you want to keep up to date with all things FEATURING, then click here to sign up for the newsletter. Now you'll be in the know about when the newest issue is coming out and any other cool FEATURING news.

Merry Christmas to everyone and enjoy your new issue of FEATURING in your stocking!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Final Artist's Play Room 2012 Wrap-Up

I can't believe we've come to the end of APR for 2012. The year of challenges has flown by and been such a wonderful experience. I've loved watching all your art come pouring into all the Mr. Linkies every week. 

I have a favor to ask of all of you who follow my blog and participate in the Artist's Play Room. Next year I'll need nearly fifty themes. I'll be writing a bunch of them up this December so they're ready for the New Year. I sure could use some suggestions from you about what kind of challenges you liked best this year and some ideas of themes/challenges you'd like to see in 2013.

I want to thank all the participants and commenters who come around and read my blog. I'm humbled by how wonderfully well APR has worked out. I am also thrilled at it's popularity, so many of you have expressed to me that it is your favorite challenge that you participate in. This makes me exceedingly happy.

Anyway, enough waxing poetic, onto all the pretty art that you've submitted for this, the last challenge of 2012. The challenge this week was "choose 5 things" and paint them. Now, as you know, I'm never a stickler for the rules so I really don't care how many things you drew up, just make a still life of stuff around your house and have at it!

My still life is a collection of
our candles on the mantel
with one of our Chrismas balls.
Twinkletoes tackled an actual
drawing, although she says
she doesn't draw, I think she
did a spectacular job!
Vonny has done a terrific
traditional still life, although
she doesn't like it, I think it's
Sharon has painted up some
asparagus, I'm loving how
cool and real they look. So
totally juicy, all I need is butter!
Tracey has painted up a great
packed lunch, the last of the
school season as now Australian
kids are off on Summer holidays.
Looks YUMMY.
Currie has digitally collected
 six of her collages into a
colorful montage.
Victoria has photographed
a gorgeous still life of fruit
and art supplies, somehow
it all looks so juicy!
Gloria has painted up
dingo figurines. They have
such flair, I love how
Gloria paints.
Fern painted up all her
heart shaped jewelry, what
a brilliant idea and this
would make a great
Valentine's card!!
Stephanie has made two gorgeous
christmas cards out of scrap paper.
I'm so glad she loves joining APR
this year.
I will be around in December. I'll be reviewing a new book by Lisa Gardner, for instance, lol. If you remember I was privileged to get an advanced copy of her "Catch Me" mystery and I reviewed in here in my blog. Well, her publicist contacted me to review her newest book and an advanced copy is zooming it's way to me as we speak. YIPPEE!! I'm really looking forward to a good mystery. That's one of the areas I've been remiss in, reading. It just gets pushed to the back burner so I can do all the other stuff I do. I'm looking forward to a relaxing December filled with Family, books, Christmas cheer, good coffee and goodies, lol. (I've been a very good girl this year, Santa. hehehe.)

So, please stop by, there just might be a post ready to read here at Just Add Water Silly. Let me take this moment to wish all my friends and followers a very happy Christmas Season, my all your wishes for the New Year come true. Thanks for your loyalty, it's so appreciated. :o)


Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
(ok, afternoon, hehehe.)


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