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Cardmaking

Hello everyone.  I have been very slack about posting lately and I apologise.  No real excuse – just life getting in the way.  Plus I am trying not to use my computer too much at home, just to give my eyeballs a break from screen-time.  Which means I have about eight thousand emails waiting for me right now.  There’s probably bills in there.  Oh well.  I will get to them soon enough, possibly when they turn my power off or cut my water supply.

I have been crafting when I can.  The weekends go by so quickly and the evenings after work just don’t seem to be the right time for me to get my art on.  I am tired and squinty and headachey.  And lazy, to be honest.  So I try and utilise my weekends, which isn’t always easy when you have other commitments to take care of.  I don’t include housework in that.  I think we all know that is very much at the bottom of my “to do” list!

I haven’t made any cards for AGES.  Last weekend I decided to make a few, just to get me over my crappy-collage-why-is-nothing-working-phase.  Working on cards means no base-coating or varnishing or anything that takes too much prep.  And working to a nice small scale always feels right to me – I’m not very good at larger projects.  Even most of my collages are less than 8″ x 8″.  Cards are a prefect size.

These are the three I made one afternoon and I am reasonably happy with them.  Especially the octopus (even if cutting out all those legs was a bit migraine-inducing!).

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More of an exercise in “just getting on with it” than an attempt at perfection, I just wanted to makes some quick little pieces that would help me get back into a crafting groove.  Sometimes you need to change things up a little.

Hope you are all having a happy, creative day.

Thank you for stopping by x

 

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Dr Mosley’s Eggplant Brownies

Hello everyone.  These delicious brownies are from Dr Michael Mosley’s Clever Guts Diet book so I take no credit for them whatsoever.  I was lucky enough to attend a talk he did last week in Perth and his book was part of the package I purchased.  I try not to jump on diet bandwagons, but his makes so much sense and is nothing crazy or onerous.  In fact, most of the things he suggests are things I am already doing or eating (so I feel fairly smug ha ha).  Do visit his website and read his book if you are interested in improving your health and feeling better in general.  You may lose some weight too, although that’s not the focus of the diet (it’s just an added bonus).

Anyway, I have recently given up sugar (sort of…I fall off the wagon regularly) and, because of this, have not been craving as much sweet stuff.  That’s not to say I don’t want it at all – we ARE talking about me, after all – but I have been less inclined to raid the cookie jar at work and haven’t been wandering around the house at night trying to find something to eat after dinner.

These brownies are yummy.  You would never know they have eggplant in them and hardly any sugar (none added – just dates).  They are really moist and fudgey and will satisfy any sweet tooth and the most fussy chocoholic.  Do try them 🙂

Ingredients

  • medium eggplant (200 g), peeled and diced
  • 150g dark chocolate (minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 60g coconut oil
  • 60g soft pitted dates, diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 80g almond meal

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Steam the eggplant for 15 min­utes until it’s soft. Put it in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate and coconut oil. The warm eggplant will melt the chocolate and oil. Add the chopped dates and salt. Using a hand blender or a food processor, blitz the mixture until it’s smooth. By now it should be cool enough to add the eggs and baking powder. Blitz again for another minute or so, then mix in the ground almonds. Spread the mixture onto a medium-sized baking tray lined with baking  paper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. It is cooked when a knife comes out clean.

Cut into squares to serve.

 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Quote (Poem) for the Day : The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Rumi

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Craft as Cure

It’s been a very long week.  Do you ever feel like time is speeding up but somehow there’s more stuff to deal with and fit in to every 24-hour period?  I have been trying desperately to get a grip on my worrying and anxiety and, in particular, my dermotillomania which is just driving me nutty.  Or, more likely, I am already nutty and that’s my I can’t stop destroying my fingers with the constant picking and chewing.  It’s gross.  And I hate it.  And I wish I could stop, but I can’t at the moment.  So, bandaids are my best friend – they cover things up and keep me from being able to do further damage (although, to be honest, I just move on to another finger).

The best thing is to keep busy.  And the best way to keep busy (for me) is to do something creative.  It’s hard to chew your fingers while they’re wrapped around a paintbrush or holding a pair of scissors.  I do try not to sit around doing nothing – watching TV is THE WORST.  Halfway through an episode of Masterchef and I’ve decimated several fingers on one hand and am thinking of moving on to the other.

Anyway, being creative is a good way to put those fingers to better use.  I haven’t had a lot of free time this month so my craft room has been very neglected (the painting below was done weeks ago…)  But I am determined this weekend will have a few hours set aside for me to shut myself away from the world and all the worries it contains and do some painting, collaging, drawing and making.

That’s my wish anyway – things don’t always go to plan 🙂

Thank you for reading.  Hope your weekend is wonderful and that a few special wishes come true for you x

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Quote for the Day : And So I Must Still Have Hope

“…Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious,
to believe that the world could still change for the better.
And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, ‘What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.’
Yes, evil often seems to surpass good.
But then, in spite of us, and without our permission,
there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts.
One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw.
And so I must still have hope…”

— Vincent van Gogh

Lake Blue Sunset

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Go With All Your Heart (Collage)

Hello everyone and welcome to another week.  2018 is whizzing by…is that because I am getting old, or has time actually sped up?

I didn’t think I was going to be happy with this piece but, in the end, I was quite satisfied with it and glad that I didn’t give up on it (which, I confess, happens a lot with me…).  The little bird-man was originally holding a letter in his right hand, but I cut that out and replaced it with a heart.  Off to the right hand side of the photo, you can see a “dud” heart that didn’t work out, complete with the little notch cut out of it for the bird-man’s thumb.  Sometimes it takes me a few goes to line things up exactly right 🙂  I think it’s worth the effort – the end result looks pretty good, like the heart was always part of the picture.  I added an extra little one on the parcel too.  So now he looks like he is going somewhere, with plenty of heart 🙂

Hope you’re having a wonderful day today x

 

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