Monday, November 30, 2009

Artist Feature: Valerie Fuqua
Save 30-50% Off Gifts!

Don't you just love my new Christmas header?
The photo is entitled "Pixie Bathtime" and is the original work of artist Valerie Fuqua.
How cute!
Valerie and I attended high school together and we've become "virtually" reacquainted.
I have fallen in love with her photos, mosaics, paintings and mixed media work.

Since today is "Black Monday," I'd like to introduce you to Valerie's beautiful work...AND help you save 30-50% off some your Christmas gifts!

Valerie, when would you say you "became an artist?"
(Nice start, Dana...The World's Silliest Question.
Let's pause for one of Valerie's pretty photos - while we recover.)
I have been a full-time artist for seven years, but in my own fantasies I've been an artist my entire life. My parents weren't big believers in toys, so books and my imagination were my entertainment. I was always looking for found objects to make my little creations. I remember my mom brought home a box of rainbow Kleenex in the early 70s and I made a floral bouquet out of them. She wasn't impressed that I "wasted" the tissues, but I was quite proud of myself.

My passion for art took a hiatus through much of my late teens and twenties, but it was renewed again when I suffered a traumatic brain injury and had to relearn everyday tasks. Assembling jigsaw puzzles as part of my therapy led me to discover mosaic art and my spark to create was reignited.

Which medium is your favorite?

It's hard to pick a favorite medium. I love the textural qualities of a mosaic and incorporating treasures from around the world. At the same time, photography lets me share with the world what catches my eye and at a much quicker pace than a labor intensive mosaic. I've always been a spectator of life and I'm heavily influenced by texture, color and nature. If something appeals to me I try to capture it with my camera.

Pause for another...ooooh, pretttttyyyyy.
Valerie, who inspires you?

I admire anyone that creates. Even if their art doesn't appeal to me personally, I respect the fact that they're giving their creative voice an outlet and will always support another artist. Growing up I used to think that only painters were artists, but now I realize that art takes many forms.

What are a couple of your favorite pieces from other artists?
Here are a few creations from artists I admire:

Lyse at Imagine Studio makes digital collages that always take my breath away. It's so hard to choose a favorite.

"Memory Reach" by Mays Mayhew really speaks to me...I guess because of all that I lost and how I'm constantly struggling to remember what I've forgotten.

And this woman's work in general fascinates me--> Meg Hannan.Valerie, where can we see your paintings, mixed media and mosaic work?
And, where can we see more of your amazing photos?
And, um, could you please use our favorite word - SALE???

SALE! Lol.
I'm currently offering 30-50% off fine art photographic prints at
Mistflower Photo.

You can also purchase stretched canvases, framed prints and greeting cards with my photography at Valerie Fuqua at Fine Art America.

And I'm offering 30% off prints of my mosaics and $1 off pocket mirrors and magnets at my other Etsy store: Mistflower Studio.

I'll leave you with one more delight.
Valerie, would you care to make the introduction?
"Chief Build a Dam...His Friends Call Him Beaver" is the latest addition to my mask series.
And, he has a story, right? Do tell!
As a child I was inspired by National Geographic Magazine I was struck with the fact that despite having so little in the way of material things, there were parts of the world where people were adorning their faces with "paint" in elaborate designs. Those memories have stayed with me and were the inspiration behind my ongoing series of mosaic masks. Beaver began when I found a hand carved mask at an estate sale. Normally I'm drawn to African masks, but Beaver had such a big smile that I couldn't pass him up. I adorned Beaver's face with tons of fabulous millefiori from Murano, Italy, ceramic beads, Perdomo smalti from Mexico, vintage glass cabochons, stained glass, glass beads...both vintage and new, fused cabochons and tiles, vintage china and glass glitter tiles. Beaver is a one-of-a-kind creation that is signed.

Thanks, Valerie, for sharing just a little bit of world with us.
Now, to my 3 readers -
What are you doing still reading?
Head off to Mistflower Photo and Mistflower Studio to "ooh" and "ahh."
*grin* Pin It

Monday, November 23, 2009

Taste Alike: Sizzler's Malibu Chicken and Sauce

I didn't even know they still made Malibu Chicken.
Heck, I didn't even know there were still Sizzler Restaurants around.
(Apparently, they are still running in the Rockies.)

I used to order this as a kid...and I still make them today. In about 18 minutes I can make a hot, flavorful dinner without dirtying a single bowl. (Actually, that's wrong. It's EXACTLY one bowl.)

I take a MorningStar Original Chicken patty and bake it for 16-18 minutes, as directed. No brainer here. A few minutes before it's done, I place a slice of ham and Swiss cheese on top. A few tablespoons of Hellman's mayo, a few squirts of Plochman's yellow mustard, and a pinch of sugar makes a nice tangy sauce.

My version of Sizzler's Malibu Chicken for about $2 and 18 minutes.
That's a LOT better than 16.99 or so...
(Not to mention that whole "Having to drive West of the Mississippi" part!)

Hey, so what are YOUR favorite "Taste-Alikes?"
And, if you make this, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

P.S. From their picture, it looks like Sizzler is now putting the ham between two slices of Swiss. More cheese, yep, I like that adjustment. *Wink*)

Hungry for more?
Browse everything in our How Quick (Meal) category!

Also appearing on:
Sizzler's Malibu Chicken With Sauce on FoodistaSizzler's Malibu Chicken With SauceJam HandsHookingupwithHoHSomewhat SimpleThe Shabby NestThirty Hand Made DaysThe French Country Cottagevif187Funky Junk's Saturday Nite SpecialBoogieboard CottageMakingThe Prairie Homestead

Pin It

Friday, November 20, 2009

Alton Brown Live - YouTube Broadcast at Google!

Well, it *was* live.

Now it's immortalized on You Tube.
I could tell you about it...
But, seriously, just watch it.
:) Pin It

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Save money and time: On-line Shopping Lists

Just thought I'd pass this along...
On-line shopping lists are getting more and more user friendly. Are you using them? Where I live both Dominick's and Jewel are prevalent. (Sure, I shop at Aldi's, Trader Joe's and my local butcher, too, but these two are the most frequented.)

I love that I can compare the two stores on line. (Products usually go on sale concurrently in stores. For example, Jewel might have Doritos "buy one, get one free," and Dominick's might have them for 2 for $7. Jewel wins my sale.)

Both of these stores not only show their sale papers on-line, but they also include printable shopping lists. I love the fully-searchable sale pages. Makes shopping a breeze. I peruse the pages, usually by category on the left side, make my list, print it out, then I head to another site for some coupons.

There are many free coupon sites out there. I just a lot. (I'm also a participant in "The Grocery Game" which saves me a lot but is tempered by the fact that it costs $5 per month.)

Me? I'm off to buy 5 Pilsbury dough products so I can get a free pound of butter. Oh, and I'll use my Pilsbury dough coupons while I'm at it. Score! Pin It

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cranberry Joy - Frozen Wreath

I was perusing Better homes and Gardens at when I stumbled upon fruity find. And, since my new flannel sheets arrived yesterday, I'm actually looking forward to a deep freeze. Sorta.

Riffing off the idea above, I think I might use a lipped sheet pan and make "Joy!" I'll try using a little less water on the top of the cranberries so it isn't a thick block of ice.

And, then I'll put a thick ribbon through the "O" to hang it on my door (like The Nester shows here) as a joyful wreath.

If you live in a climate that's already frighteningly frigid...
Let me know if you try it.
I'll posts the pics and we'll all admire your handiwork. Pin It

Monday, November 9, 2009

So...What Gets You In The Mood?

Are you decorating for Thanksgiving?
Are you styling for Christmas already?
What gets you in the mood to decorate?

(For me, it's a great "Snuggie" commercial - just kidding.)

Actually, back in college I use to pop in my Perry Como Christmas tape...that I bought at the Hy-Vee for prolly $1. Each year that cassette tape gets me feeling Christmasy.

How about you?

Pin It

Friday, November 6, 2009

Free Music - While You Prepare for Your Holidays

It's that time of year when many of us are:
a) Seeing the holidays coming full force.
b) Wondering how we can save a few dollars.
c) Needing to take a moment to relax.
d) All of the above.

If you nodded to, heck...ANY of the above, do you "Pandora?"
On you can design your own playlist of songs or artists. And, you can find songs or artists similar to the ones you already know about. This is part of the Music Genome Project - which my niece told me about a few years ago...and I thought the concept was cool.

Basically, you create an account and sign-in (they don't send you junk mail). Then you create "stations." All that means is that if you like Frank Sinatra, you attention now, this gets tricky...Frank Sinatra. (Yep. It's a breeze.) And, you will get some Frank, and some folks similar to Frank that you might or might not know already.

One of my stations is Ella Fitzgerald. So, they also automagically recommended Sarah Vaughn - who I also adore. Score!

You can also "Thumbs down" or "Thumbs up" a song to give feedback and let Pandora get to know your tastes. Notice in the pic above that I gave a Thumbs Up to Ella and a Thumbs Down to John Tesh. (Sorry, John. Nothing personal.)

It even has a Mix, so you can shuffle a few of your stations. Right now I'm listening to George Winston, George Winston - Holiday, Ella, Reba, and Diana Krall. To me, this is perfect "Holiday Decorating" music. Too bad I'm at work. (I guess it makes pretty good "Sit on the phone with Dell to replace a hard drive" music, too.)

All of the stuff above is included on a free account. Sure there are some limits - and you can read about those. Basically, they are limited by how many times they can play an artist - but, to me that's fine since they toss in other similar artists that I also enjoy. And, you are limited by how many Thumbs down you can give in an hour and day. (But, here's a trick they tell you on the site. If you wait till the song you dislike ends, you can Thumbs down them without it counting towards the limit.)

I use the free account and I love it!
So, who are YOU listening to?
And, have you discovered an artist that's "new to you?"
I'd love to hear! Pin It

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My First Christmas Plates-
Let's Talk "Goodwill"

For various reasons, past Christmases have either been:
completely bland, boring, and un-festive,
warm, loving, and lovingly decorated.

Let's just say that the "lovingly decorated" was never MY home. You see, the cat doesn't quite appreciate the effort. But, this year it's different. I get to decorate not only my place - but I'll also be helping my guy decorate his place. For him and his son. He and his son. Um, I'm going with "him." of the things I love best about holiday meals at my sister's is her table. She has a few different set of dishes and I love them all. For our Christmas breakfast, she seems to usually set the Cuthbertson Poinsettia plates.

Nice, aren't they? I thought about getting them for myself. But, alas, no. E-bay has them for...$10-15 a plate (not including shipping.) Ack! For Christmas eve, she sometimes sets the Christmas tree plates. I think these are the ones, but I'm not sure.
That's the Spode Christmas Tree style. Let's just say that at the going rate of $65.00 for 4 dinner plates (with an additional $19.10 for shipping) I won't be purchasing those anytime soon.

So, I did some thinking. I tried to remember some of the other warm memories surrounding dinner when I was little. And, then I remembered a bowl. Just one bowl. It's likely stuck in some box someplace. (That's if I haven't already given it to charity...since it was indeed only 1 bowl.) It had gold "atomic" retro stars on it.

(Course, is wasn't retro when I was a little girl. I'm sure when my mom bought it, it was quite in style. If I had to guess, I bet these dishes were available as premiums from the grocery store, gas station, etc. - a different featured piece each week like the Mar-Crest silverware I already replenished via E-bay. )

Then I remembered seeing that plate pattern at Goodwill a few months back. I had smiled back when I saw it - remembering that single sad little bowl.

So, yesterday, off to Goodwill I went. And, guess what? I am now the proud owner of 12, yep, 12 festive gold retro atomic plates!

Royal China Star Glow is the pattern. And, since they range from $1.99 (plus shipping) to $9.99 per plate on E-bay, I was quite content at playing $1.99 per plate to Goodwill. Score! And, because I signed up for their free Member Card, I also got $1.20 off the total. Yea!

(While I didn't see the saucers or cups (or bowls...) in the store, I have already determined that I don't like the solid gold coffee cups that originally went with that pattern. And, I know from previous experience that if you are only looking for saucers (or cups, bowl, lunch plates), you can generally get a really nice deal on E-bay. The most expensive piece is most definitely the dinner plate. (And, platter and chop plates, but I digress.) I'm quite content with my dinner plates.

Yes, I really did buy 12 plates. I plan on using these puppies. I'm not quite sure who I'm gonna be feeding yet - or when. But, they're gonna eat in style off these cool retro plates that make me smile. (Goes so nicely with my atomic patterned Mar-Crest Citation silverware.) Let's just keep the whole Goodwill part a secret now, shall we? *Grin*

Pin It

Mr. Brown Goes to Washington-
Allez Cuisine: White House Style

Alton Brown and Iron Chef America recently filmed at the White House with Michelle Obama. For additional info, see the New York Times article. Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...