Tag Archives: 30

Day 30: 30 Day Journal Project

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“The creative force flows over the terrain of our psyches looking for the natural hollows, the arroyos, the channels that exist in us.  We become its tributaries, its basins; we are its pools, ponds, streams, and sanctuaries.

The wild creative force flows into whatever beds we have, those we are born with as well as those we dig with our own hands. We don’t have to fill them, we only have to build them.”  ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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The prompts for Day 30 are:

  • My wild creative force looks like…
  • My wild creative force feels like…
  • My wild creative force is asking me to…
  • My wild creative force wants me to experience…

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In my journaling, I wrote that my wild creative force doesn’t feel that wild. I feel as if I have a persistent, deeply-rooted creative force, and maybe that’s pretty much the same thing.

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What came up for me is that I want to take a class, probably in water color, and learn more about how to do it. I’ve been fooling around with paint but I think I would enjoy getting some basic skills with this medium.

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I was working on my page and Rem was in the kitchen and I asked him “What is my wild creative force telling me?” His immediate answer was “Be awesome.”  Yep, I think he’s right!

Maybe brightly colored tiles, cut from paint chips, don’t look that wild, but not only was I inspired by the tile wall behind the dancers and musicians,

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I had a beautiful mosaic staircase in San Francisco in mind.

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I used light molding paste mixed with some water with watercolor crayons as the grout between these little tiles.

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Although this has been billed as the #30DayJournal, we have a bonus day! So there is ONE MORE PAGE, and more accurately could be called the 31 Day Journal Project.

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After the 31st page, I’d like to let my Wild Creative Force get some rest. Perhaps I can let my Wild Physical Force out to play and catch up on a few walks that have been cancelled while creating pages, photos and posts.

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Thank you so much for your views and comments.

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Day 30: The Cover

The Cover

Day 30: The Cover.

Whew.  I made it. Day 30.  None too soon. I’m ready to wrap this project up!

I had several sources of inspiration for the cover.  I wanted to try using a new medium and honor the local Italian Street Painting festival in San Rafael that ran this weekend.  For two days artists create beautiful works of art on the pavement using chalk.  At the end of the event, the streets are washed and reopened for traffic.  The works of art remain only in photos and memories.

So I used chalk (and no, I’m not going to wash the book off tomorrow) and decided on sunflowers for my main image.  I had a picture from the Farmer’s Market that I looked at as well as other images I found online

Farmer's Market Sunflowers

Sunflowers Online

I also wanted to include a variation of this image I found on Pinterest.

Some Inspiration

My “canvas” was the boring cover of the Art Journal that I just completed filling all the pages of yesterday.

Before:

ho hum

I used a strip of paper to cover the binding because the title was embossed  and I didn’t want it to show in the finished product.

Now the trouble started.  I’ve never used colored chalk and I really can’t draw worth a damn.  I don’t know how to do shading and highlighting except in theory.

Box O' Pastels

A nice collection.

Of course, not quite like these, at the Italian Street Painting:

Lots o' Pastels

But kids did it at the festival.  It couldn’t be that difficult, right?

Kid ArtistGreen HIlls Orange SunRed Sun, Blue Eyes

Green Islands, Blue WaterGo Pride!Older Kid Artist

I wasn’t trying to do anything as grand in beauty and scale as any of these:

Picture Girl with Wine The inspiration.

The Street Painting

The Street Painting.

Painting for 2013

This beautiful painting was the poster art for the event this year and it too was turned into a street painting.

Luna Mural

I really didn’t know what I was doing and I got chalk dust all over my hands and arms.  It really made me appreciate the efforts of all the artists even more.

This was a really hot weekend for San Rafael and they were sitting or kneeling on the asphalt in the sun.  It is hot in our apartment, but I was sitting at a desk with a fan blowing on me.

Sitting

Kneeling

I layered colors, I smudged, I made a bit of a mess.  In the end, I came up with something that I thought was fine.  Kind of murky, but still recognizable as some sunflowers.  I also used some permanent marker and pencil on the swirled circles and water-soluble oil crayons.  A coat of Mod Podge and the whole thing was set.

Front Cover

Back Cover

I covered all of June in this Art Journal and since I started the book in May, it seemed right to include both months.

May June

Best of all, I’m going to finish before midnight! Rah.

For my final day of 30 Days of Creativity last year, I made a Macrame Bracelet.

For Day 30 the previous year I made delicious Honey Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce.

Thank you, thank you for all the support, comments and encouragement.  It really helps to have that kind of feedback.  I appreciate everyone who has come to check out even one post.

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Congratulations!

The first of my 30 Days of Creativity Giveaways has a WINNER!  Congratulations to Emily in California who will be receiving a bottlecap necklace and a few other little goodies I threw in for fun. Wishing happy crafting and collage creativity to Emily.

Since the response was so small this time I’m contacting all those who participated for their shipping addresses and will send them each a little tag that I made.  Thanks to those who took part and watch for another giveaway soon.

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Day 30 (at last!): Honey Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce

It’s over.  It’s all gone. Hallelujah!  Am I talking about 30 Days of Creativity or the amazing honey vanilla ice cream with decadent, dark, buttery caramel sauce?  Since I still have more ice cream and sauce to enjoy tomorrow I’ll tell you, it isn’t that.  I have to admit that I’m glad to be at the end of the 30 Days project.

But let’s talk about my project for today, my final creative offering for the month.  When I assisted with a cooking class, the teacher, Tom Hudgens taught us to start with dessert because he said no matter what might go wrong with dinner, if you have a great dessert, that’s what you’re guests will remember.  You want to be sure and get dessert made before you worry about the rest of the meal. Likewise, I wanted to have a sweet finish to what has ultimately been a sweet experience.

That seemed like a pretty straightforward idea but this has been one of my most frustrating projects!  One of those that seemed to go wrong at every turn. My original idea was to make a really good vanilla ice cream, a really good caramel sauce and swirl the sauce into the ice cream. I also wanted a crunchy add-in and considered pretzels, peanuts, and toasted almonds before deciding on crushed waffle cone bits. That is how this has become a “Do as I say, not as I do” post.   Don’t stir crushed waffle cones into your nice ice cream.  They just become soggy bits and do nothing to improve the pairing.  And please disregard the bits in the pictures.  I love my readers, but it’s Day 30 and I don’t have the time (or energy) to whip up another batch of ice cream.

Luckily I started on the caramel sauce last night because the first batch seized up and had to be thrown away.  I’m sorry, I didn’t capture any photos of it but you’ll have to take my word that it was a mess. When you get to the point that the sugar is melted and caramelized, you don’t have time to look for the measuring cup.  It will continue to cook and can quickly go from done to burned.

I read a few more caramel recipes and notes about making caramel and this morning I tried again.  YAY!  It worked and boy, is it good.  I mean this is why we go to Jazzercise!  So we can enjoy the occasional dish of homemade honey vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce.

But Rem some people don’t like caramel sauce, finding it too dark and bitter.  We agree to disagree on this because I think it tastes wonderful, especially with this ice cream – the two seem to become greater together than they are individually. Anyway, back to Rem.  If he doesn’t like caramel sauce that means more for me!  All is not lost if you are not a fan of caramel.  Just make the honey vanilla ice cream (which is pretty incredible by itself) and have it on a cone.

Or in a dish.  Both are good. But remember, don’t stir in any crushed waffle cones.  Best to eat the cones as they were designed to be eaten: not crushed into the ice cream but with ice cream in them.

This is a custard-style ice cream with egg yolks in it.  Many ice creams have more heavy cream in them but this is icy yet the cornstarch keeps it creamy, letting the honey-vanilla flavors shine.

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

Adapted from The Commonsense Kitchen Cookbook by Tom Hudgens

Ingredients:

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

3 1/4 cups half and half

2 Tbsp honey

pinch salt

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out

4 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix sugar and cornstarch together in medium sized heavy saucepan until there are no lumps. Pour in half and half, and add the honey, salt and the seeds and pod of the split vanilla bean. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until foamy on top and steaming.

Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl.  Very slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the hot half and half mixture, then slowly whisk this mixture back into the saucepan of hot half and half.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until steaming hot and slightly thickened.

Remove from the heat and let cool, continue to stir frequently for about 5 minutes.  Remove vanilla bean pod and discard.  Let cool to room temperature.  Stir in the vanilla extract and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.  Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.  Serve immediately, while still soft and creamy or pack the ice cream into a container, put in the freezer, and let it freeze hard.

My first try at caramel sauce ended in disaster.  In the version I tried both cream and butter were added with the cream going in first.  Well, the volume of cold  heavy cream going into the super hot pan of molten, melted sugar ended up causing the whole thing to seize and stay separate instead of blending into the decadent dessert I imagined.

When I compared several caramel sauce recipes one thing I noticed was most added the butter first and then the cream, and one also suggested warming the cream before melting the sugar.  This should prevent the problem I had with my first batch.  The other important tip is to have everything ready to go when you reach to point to add them, so you want your butter and cream measured and ready.

I didn’t read anything about making a larger batch but I doubled the following recipe and found I was having a problem with sugar crystals that I ended up having to strain out of the sauce.  I think it was from having too-large a batch.  It is possible that the heat was uneven or the pot not thick enough.  But in the end I got the results I was looking for: a flavor akin to the caramelized sugar that tops Creme Brulee.  Delicious.

Caramel Sauce

Adapted from Elise at Simply Recipes

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

5 Tbsp butter

1/2 C heavy whipping cream

Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a large saucepan.  As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon.  As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring.  Swirl the pan a bit from this point on.

As soon as the sugar crystals have melted and turned a dark amber color, add the butter to the pan and whisk until the butter has melted.
One the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat.  Slowly add the cream to the pan and whisk to incorporate.  Adding the sugar and the cream will cause foaming in the panWhisk until caramel sauce is smooth.  (if necessary, pour sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps of sugar).  Let cool in the pan for a few minutesThis will keep nicely in a jar in the refrigerator.  I saw a note that said it would keep for a month.  Not at my house!

The 30 Days of Creativity have come to an end.  I was in great company with so many other creative people.  I loved and continue to enjoy looking through the wonderful photos on Pinterest.  I’m delighted with all the great comments and support I’ve received and also with my growing list of subscribers.

I will certainly continue to be creative and share that here.  But not every day.  And not tomorrow.  I will be having a giveaway of some of my 30 Days creations, so watch for that and thanks for stopping by.

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Filed under 30DOC, Cooking

Day 29: Vegetable Printed Wrapping Paper

Vegetable printing: SUPER easy and really beautiful.  You probably did it in grade school. Well, it is still fun and still easy to do.

Tomorrow is the last day of 30 Days of Creativity.  I’m running out of energy to do a daily project.  I want to read a book! So – an easy project that I could fit between my morning workout and my morning shower.

The cut end of a head of celery.  Pigment ink which is more like paint than water-based ink.  Or you could use paint.

A new potato, cut in half and carved into a simple leaf shape.

Start with the celery – stamp the whole sheet (or sheets) of paper.  Pull off a few stalks to make a smaller rose.  Stamp again.  Pull off a few more, stamp matching tags.

Both brown kraft paper and white tissue paper work for stamping.  Cover the table underneath the paper you are stamping as the ink can bleed through a bit.

That’s it!  See you tomorrow for the LAST PROJECT in 30 Days of Creativity.

Thanks for checking this out.

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Day 28: Bottle Cap Necklaces with Aquarium Tubing Beads

Collect some bottle caps for these fun necklaces.  You probably want to wash them.

For the beads you will need plastic tubing that is used for aquariums.  I got mine at a Pet Store.

Drill a hole in the edge of the caps (or have someone do it for you).  You can also make a hole with a hammer and small nail.  I used a Crop-A-Dile II to punch some holes but ended up with holes too close the the bottom of the bottle cap.  It was kind of a problem, so don’t do that!

This is a good place for your hole.

If you have the right-sized circle punch, punch out some cute designs for the center of your bottle cap.  I think this is 1 1/4 inch.  Otherwise, you’ll have to trace a circle of the correct size and cut out your image for the centers.

It’s a good idea with  most paper to punch out another sturdy piece of card stock to back your image and glue the two pieces together.  If your paper is double sided, I strongly encourage you to do this.  Otherwise your image can be ruined by the other side of the paper showing through.

Glue your circle of paper into the bottle cap.  Squeeze a thin layer of Diamond Glaze or similar dimensional adhesive over your image and let dry.  (Remember those holes?  This is where I had a problem – holes that were low on the side of the cap leaked the Diamond Glaze that I put in.  What a sticky mess!)

Cut aquarium tubing into matching lengths, about 3/4 of an inch in length.

Cut small pieces of paper to coordinate with the bottle cap pendant, and with a round toothpick, roll the paper into a tube to put into the aquarium tubing bead.  Trim the ends.

Put a jump ring into the hole that you created in your pendant earlier.  I only had some jewelry pins so I used small pliers and made a small loop on one end, put the loop through the hole and added a few beads than bent another loop at the other end of the pin.

If desired, add a few crystal embellishments to your pendant.  A drop of Diamond Glaze will glue down the crystals.

Thread the aquarium tubing/paper beads along with some spacer beads and your pendant onto thin leather cord. Tie a knot in the leather cord.  Wear.  Enjoy.

Good night.  Day 28 done, two more days to go!

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Day 27: Photo Cards

Day 27: Pick out pretty photographs from your files, scale the photo to work with your cards, print them onto nice, heavy, smooth paper, trim them and glue to ready-made folded cards of different colors.  Easy, huh?

I needed an easy project for today and had this one in mind.  I like to take photos when I’m out on a weekend hiking or visiting a beautiful garden or farm.  I share the photos with friends and that’s about it.  Using them for cards is a way to enjoy them again and give them new purpose.

The photo of plums on the upper right was taken on a visit to Green String Farm in Petaluma, CA. with Rem.  I took the pictures of the tangerines and dates and the colander of raspberries when I assisted Tom Hudgens with a series of seasonal cooking classes.  The icelandic poppy pictured below is from Filoli, a beautiful estate and garden in Woodside, CA that I like to stroll around with a friend.  These pictures are all connected with good memories and it is a pleasure seeing them and using them.

You could fold colored card stock (cut an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet in half for two cards) and use that, but I had cards left from this great assorted box of 50 textured cards in various colors with envelopes that I got at Michaels a few years ago and they were ready to go. The brand is is DCWV or Die Cuts With a View.

I wanted to try something – I signed my first initial with my last name and the year on the front of the cards.  About halfway through I decided I didn’t like how it looked on the front of the card so for the remaining cards, I left it off. Which way do you prefer? The inside of all the cards is blank.

The finishing touch is a signature or initials on the back of the card. I have a wonderful rubber stamp I received as a gift (thanks, Carson!) that came from the Etsy shop called Love to Create Stamps.  I stamped it in grey ink on white paper then added some color, cut them out and adhered them to the back of the cards.

I’m really delighted to have so many new subscribers here -WELCOME!

Thanks for taking a look.

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