Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sea Corals

This is another practice of some painting techniques. This is extremely simple and quick to do. I used my blending practice from earlier and added on a simple sponge technique.

Even though this was practice fro me, I really like the way it turned out. That said, as with everything I make, there are some things I would do differently.

I really should have added some bright colors to the forefront so that more coral would be nearer. For the most part, the blending turned out alright for me. I certainly do need more practice I think!

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blending with Acrylics

I think a mottled background adds so much depth and character to a painting. Especially when compared to a plain background. I also feel there is more you can accomplish with your painting.

I have in fact liked this background technique for a very long time. I just recently learned what the name of it is. Thanks to Youtube I've also been able to learn this techniques from several artists.

It's really simple to do. Much simpler than I thought it would be. All you have to do is put globs of paint on your canvas and blend them in. It's almost like applying makeup only with little x brush strokes.

These two small paintings were done as practice. The first painting was blended left to right. The second painting was blended with the colors spread a little more sporadic. I used only three colors:

  • light portrait pink
  • brilliant purple
  • prism violet

I actually used really cheap bad brushes to make these. I think that might be obvious though! I plan to keep practising this technique and I'll post more on my progress.

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings

There's nothing like a good homestyle meal you up during these cold winter months.

This chicken and dumplings recipe is much like Cracker Barrel's. You can easily add carrots or peas for a pop of color if you wish.


  • 3 qts water
  • 1 1/2t salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 lb chicken
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t ground pepper
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C milk


Bring water to a boil. Add chicken and the rest of the soup ingredients. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the stock and wash the pot. Pour 6 cups of the stock back into the clean pan and heat over medium heat. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk mixing until smooth. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into 1/2 inch squares. Drop dumplings into simmering broth and cook for 15 to 20 minutes stirring often. Tear the chicken into pieces and add to the broth.

Serves 8

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Eccentric Stitch

This is the second fabric in my stitch series. This stitch is call the eccentric stitch.

Eccentric stitch is a little more advanced than the garter stitch. The stitches used are:
  • knit
  • purl
  • yo
  • p2tog
  • p2tog tbl
  • sl, k, psso
The fabric this stitch creates can be used in several objects. It can create a beautiful shawl, stole or afghan fabric or even a rug. Garmets can also be made with this fabric if a somewhat lacy look is desired.


Multiple of 10 + 2 stitches
  1. K1 * yo, k8, k2tog repeat from * end k1
  2. P1 * p2tog, p7, yo, p1 repeat from * end yo, p2
  3. K3 * yo, k6, k2tog, k2 repeat from * end k2tog, k1
  4. P1 * p2tog, p5, yo, p3 repeat from * end yo, p4
  5. K5 * yo, k4, k2tog, k4 repeat from * end k2tog, k1
  6. P1 * p2tog, p3, yo, p5 repeat from * end yo, p6
  7. K7 * yo, k2, k2tog, k6 repeat from * end k2tog, k1
  8. P1 * p2tog, p1, yo, p7 repeat from * end yo p8
  9. K9 * yo, k2tog, k8 repeat from * end yo, k2tog, k1
  10. P1 * yo, p8, p2tog tbl repeat from * end p1
  11. K1 * sl k psso, k7, yo, k1 repeat from * end yo, k2
  12. P3 * yo, p6, p2tog tbl, p2 repeat from * end p1
  13. K1 * sl k psso, k5, yo, k3 repeat from * end yo k4
  14. P5 * yo, p4, p2tog tbl, p4 repeat from * end p1
  15. K1 * sl k psso, k3, yo, k5 repeat from * end yo, k6
  16. P7 * yo, p2, p2tog tbl, p6 repeat from * end p1
  17. K1 * sl k psso, k1, yo, k7 repeat from * end yo, k8
  18. P9 * yo, p2tog tbl, p8 repeat from * end p1
Starting with row 1, repeat these rows for your fabric.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Chocolate

It's Valentine's Day! Are you thinking of picking up some chocolates for your sweetheart or even yourself? I've got a better solution; make your own!

These chocolates taste delicious and you can make any variety you want. These chocolates are like truffles only you don't have to shape them into balls. You can flavor them anyway you wish. I make rum and sake flavored. I hope you kept those boxes!


  • 2 C semi-sweet or bitter chocolate
  • 1/3 C whipping cream
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 1 t alcohol or extract
  • Cocoa powder for dusting


  • Place cream and butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until butter is melted. Add Chocolate.
  • Stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and add flavoring.
  • Pour into boxes lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Cut into squares and dust with cocoa powder.
These chocolates will melt with the heat of your hand so be careful.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Origami Box

I've always loved paper folding although I'm not very good at it. The origami flowers and animals always look so pretty.

Unfortunately, my skill level is just boxes. They are useful to put things in though and I kinda feel like I accomplished something when they are done. This is one such box without a lid.


  • 6 x 6 origami paper or any decorative paper


  • Place you paper decorative side down.
  • Make 2 mountain folds.

  • Unfold these folds and fold the corners to the middle.
  • Fold two opposite sides to the center.

  • Unfold these sides all the way.
  • Fold both sides with a folded triangle to the middle.

  • Unfold the sides halfway.
  • Take the point of the unfolded triangle to the center making the other two sides of the box.

And that's it! All kinds of little things can be put in these boxes. Paper clips, rubber bands and even chocolate!

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Knitting Stitch Series

I have been mulling over creating a series that shows different knitting stitch patters for a while now. I think I have finally worked up the courage to put it out there and see what happens.

The goal of this series is not to show the reader how to do the basic stitches. Knit, purl, yarn over and the like. This series is more on how to use these basic stitches together to make a pattern. I want this to be more of an inspiration to create your own knitted works of art!

These are patterns that are the building blocks for many final designs. Many designers, myself included, start out with a basic stitch pattern we want to use and then build from there. The hope is that you'll be able to create your own unique designs.

The first stitch pattern is the garter stitch. This is one of the most basic of stitch patterns. Any number of stitches can be used. Any type of yarn and needle size is also suitable for this stitch.

To create the garter stitch fabric all you do is knit every stitch and every row. That's it! Very very easy right! Here is an example of garter stitched fabric.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Impressionist Afghan

This is the Impressionist Afghan kit from Knitpicks by Nina Isaacson. I've been working on this along with the Bucilla embroidery.

I've never really worked from a chart so the beginning was a little daunting for me. Once I got going on the pattern it became much easier to read.

I really can't say too much about the pattern because it is not free. It is a beginner pattern with a little bit of lace thrown in. So far it is knitting up faster than expected. I really thought I would be very confused reading the chart. I'll have more progress for you in a while.

I hope you enjoy!