changes and growth

I’ve going through a pretty big creative drought in my jewelry and enamel department, but i feel like creation of things still happens. Through photography. Through words. Through the morphing of my garden as it blooms and emerges.

Somehow, I’m hoping that things will start moving soon and the wheels will start turning.

I find myself looking through old pictures of pieces i made, and other’s creative work to motivate myself and put myself in that creative mood, where it’s less about the process but more about the beautiful final product.

Because at the end, we all just want to create beautiful things.

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blue

like tropical rain storms in summertime, i’ve been swept in a whirlwind of madness.

Been searching for a moment of peace and quiet to draw inspiration from…something.

Anything. Anything available that doesn’t suck the life and beauty out of my creative work.

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Such words as “business” and “bookkeeping” should never be included in the vocabulary of an artist’s shop, and i still daydream that one day it’ll just be about sunrooms and coffee while creating freely and someone else deals with the boring stuff. The pure roots of the creative foundation.

 

 

lilacs and sunbeams

when i was a child i grew up in my grandparents’ beautiful garden. Well, not literally, but i was exposed to a lot of the beautiful flowers and even now i remember the scent of a lot of the flowers.

When new things would bloom, my mother and i would try to bargain with my grandfather to let us take a few blooms to brighten up the concrete city apartment. Reluctantly, he’d agree to 2 or 3 flowers to give us and now, having my own garden I understand the preciousness of each bloom.

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and just like spring flowers, she emerges…

i’ve been pumped with a dose of energy, most likely fueled by the intense week of rain, like a flower needing to push through the dirt and emerge freely into the spring air. I’m forever conflicted between sitting at my work bench and being outside watching the trace of the sun over the earth and listen to the new birds loudly call on their mates.

Forever conflicted.

I’ve been browsing my garden frequently, coffee in hand, watching to see which of my babies have braved the cold and emerged the thick mud to show their leaves. I even took the chance to plant some early seedlings, but the cucumbers died a swift death over last night’s frost. Sigh. Well, I guess there’ll be new soldiers to replace their brave stands against May frost.

I’m bravely attempting another garden full of sunflowers but i’m telling you the little creatures have already eaten some of the seedlings. When the sunflowers emerge, they taste sweet but the trick is to grow them until they get their first true leaves and they taste too bitter for the garden rodents to consume. OR…second option is to sprinkle ground cayenne pepper on everything…which is what i’ve done this morning since although not eaten, some seedlings in the containers have been dug up.

I just want to stand there among the dandelions and imagine what it would be like to be a butterfly.

Some pictures..

French Crepes Suzette recipe

I ran into this lovely old man the other day. His name is Christopher.

I always see him around and since we had a little bit of time, i asked him what he was up to. He said he enjoys to talk to people, people who will listen, about animals and things. I asked him if he had any animal companions of his own.

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He said he had two giant dogs, rescue dogs. Animals that he proudly told me that he rescued from horrible lives and now happily live with him.

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And then he spoke of the big giant windows in his house that face the bird feeders in his back yard. His house birds enjoy sitting at the big window watching the wild birds come and eat the seeds. I told him how i built my wood bird feeder house with a roof so that my birds would have shelter from the rain when they eat.

He smiled and seemed very pleased and it made me feel really peaceful to share stories of birds with him.

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Crepe Recipe:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Whisk all ingredients and form a thin batter. In a skillet over medium heat, rub a stick of butter over the heated skillet enough to melt a little bit, and then start cooking your crepes. Set aside on a plate.

Orange sauce recipe:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup orange juice (i used mango juice mixed with orange juice)
  • 1/3 cup sugar

In a sauce pan, melt butter, orange juice(with some pulp if you wish), mango juice if you are using that, orange zest, and sugar. Bring to a simmer until sugar melts and it becomes sauce consistency. Fold the already prepared crepes and add to the sauce, warming them on low heat and until they soak up some of the juice.

I’ve never had crepes like this before, and it was all very delicious!

Hope you enjoy as well!

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Deep fog and horses

My random bookstore purchase ended up a desk calendar of lists of things that remind you of happy things. Things of no particular origin, that will stimulate some sort of past memory that will instantly give you good feels.

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Here are 5:

  • the house you grew up in
  • kitten’s feet
  • first sip of morning coffee
  • waking to a pleasant thought
  • wild mustangs

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I wandered off into the thick for that covered the moist earth last Saturday and barely made my way through winding country roads to see what i could get a glimpse of. Random turns, pulling over to let other cars pass me, eventually pulling over on the side of the road once i spotted a horse farm.

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I got out of the car and walked across the muddy field to get to the horses. A local lady encouraged me to approach them saying they were very friendly and enjoy people.

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As soon as i made it to their fence, all five of them looked over and made the decision to approach in hopes i was holding some sort of snacks in my hands.

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Shrimp corn chowder

It seems that after the rush of the holidays, i’ve been contemplating more and more the slow paced life and enjoying every moment quietly. Maybe it’s because we’re still in the dead of winter, and the cold winds don’t seem to want to slow down any time soon.

Tomorrow, another 10cm of snow.

In my mind, i’m already planning my spring garden, slow sleepy seeds pushing their way through wet May soil.

Winter is my favorite season for warm hearty soups. Nothing better than coming in from -20*C to a hot bowl of soup.

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Do you have a favorite bowl you enjoy your soup in? I enjoy collecting different sizes and shapes and colours. I like the whimsical assortment of unmatched kitchen sets, unmatched plates and mugs. I find it a good treasure hunting day when i spot a unique glazed ceramic item i can bring home to eat from. I suppose sooner of later i will have to show you my collection of thrift store finds.

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Sometimes i wonder of this idea of “new year, new me” and why it’s so hard to go cold turkey on changing old habits or acquiring a new, more kinder perspective of ourselves. But it doesn’t matter why New Year’s resolutions never work, what matters is taking it slowly and adjusting bit by bit, until the old morphs into the new, and the new sneaks up without that shock of change.

I guess the first step to a goal is actually starting somewhere, not worrying about all the written notes and scheduled goals, but just making that first move towards the finish line.

Which is why this post has been sitting waiting for a few weeks unedited. But here we go. DEEP BREATH. The first recipe post of the year: shrimp corn chowder soup with a my very own garden corn that i had saved up in the freezer.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion diced into pieces
  • 1 box of soup broth (i used chicken broth)
  • 4 small green onions, cut into tiny little pieces
  • 1 celery heart diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 2/3 cups milk
  • 4 fresh or frozen corn ears(i used organic home grown)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more- depending on how spicy you want your soup
  • 1 pound frozen seafood mixture or just already cleaned up frozen shrimp
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half cream

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Directions:

  1. Fry bacon in large saucepan until crisp. Remove and set aside on paper towel lined plate to absorb excess fat. Switch to a soup pot and drizzle a spoon of the bacon fat on the bottom.
  2.  Over medium heat, add diced onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until tender. Add the garlic, salt, black pepper, and continue cooking until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Sprinkle the flower, and continue cooking for about a minute. Pour in the milk slowly while stirring  as to not create lumps. Add the corn, cream corn, and cayenne pepper. This is where you would adjust to your preferred spice level of hot. Bring to a boil and let the mixture thicken.
  4. Add soup broth and frozen seafood and green onion.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool a little bit before adding room temperature half-and-half cream.
  6. Serve hot, with a bit of sprinkled green onions and bacon. Enjoy!