digital sketch: spring flowers

I have been playing with my wacom graphics tablet today! Here are some fun spring flowers I created to use in an upcoming Soft Flex Company E-newsletter.


bread art project

My sunflower toast artwork is on display at the Bread Art Project (and it can be rated by viewers)! The Bread Project was created by the Grain Foods Foundation to help increase awareness of the growing hunger problem in the United States. In an effort to help end hunger in the United States, the Grain Foods Foundation will donate $50,000 to Feeding America. An additional donation of $1 will be made for each piece of bread art submitted.

Click to make your own bread art. Participating in this important initiative helps make the Bread Art Project successful. Because of caring people like you and me, the Grain Foods Foundation on track to help Feeding America provide 1 million pounds of groceries to deserving Americans.

Visit the Bread Art Project

Visit the Grain Foods Foundation

To make an additional personal donation to Feeding America, please visit their website at http://help.feedingamerica.org/gowiththegrain

basil-blackberry crumble

I am currently reading an awesome book about local and seasonal food called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barabara Kingsolver. Novelist Kingsolver recounts a year spent eating home-grown food and, if not that, local. A neat feature at the end of each chapter are snippets written by Barabara's daughter Camille about her experiences and views on seasonal foods, our food industry and some seasonal recipes. See recipes by Camille Kingsolver
I came across the basil blackberry crumble recipe this week and realized I had all the ingredients needed in my home to make it so, I did. And it was scrumptious. The ingredients at first glance don't sound like they would blend together but, really they blend deliciously. Having basil infused into a dessert was really nice surprise.

A Year of Food Life
Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Thanks to Linda Heuring for this recipe

2-3 apples, chopped (I will make these chunkier next time as I chopped them too small)
2 pints blackberries (I will cut in half next time to make them easier for my kids to eat)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large handful of basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup honey – or more, depending on tartness of your berries

Preheat oven to 400. Combine the above in an oven-proof casserole dish, mix and set aside.

5 tbsp flour
3 heaping tbsp brown sugar
1 stick cold butter

Cut butter into flour and sugar, then rub with your fingers to make a chunky, crumbly mixture (not uniform). Sprinkle it over the top of the fruit, bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.


weekly reflection

Kelly kicking off the weekend with a glass of wine and her miss bachelorette sash

This time last week I had just arrived in New York for my sister, Kelly's bride-to-be weekend of celebrating. The fun began on Saturday at 9 am and we partied on until 10 pm, it was quiet a celebration! Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day and being outdoors, drunk as skunks and enjoying it with a bunch of important women in my life was awesome, just awesome.

The crew relaxing at our visit to the 3rd winery on our winery tour. After this we headed to Patty's house for the after-party!

Kelly at her bridal shower modeling her "lil bo-peep" shower ribbon and bow hat.

The bridal shower was a nice relaxing brunch at Wickers Restaurant and everyone had a lovely time. We have a silly tradition of attaching all the ribbons and bows from the gifts to a paper plate to create a ribbon and bow hat or bra (I had the bra at my shower, hahaha).

Some of the bridal party
Katie, Barbie, Kelly, Me, Katie and Jessica


tread lightly

In anticipation of Earth Day 2009, Threadless (graphic t-shirts designed by the community) had a green t-shirt challenge. The challenge was to create a design based on the concept of thinking GREEN! Is it a cleaner environment? Sustainable resources? Renewable energy? Global responsibility? All of the above? Or maybe some other ideas…

I entered my first ever graphic contest with the design above. It was not the winner (not even close) but, it was a nice break from the everyday design I do. It was fun to think on and create. In total there were 461 submissions and some really stellar designs! I was blown away at some the artwork submitted. Check out the designs from the Threadless Loves Green challenge.

Here is my submission and some of my favorites:

Tread Lightly - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More
Sweet Nature - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More
fruitfull tree - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More
Nature Channel - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More


happy earth day

mini red iceberg lettuce from a local farmer

golden pecan pieces from a local pecan farm

After work, Bert & I picked up the boys and headed to downtown Phoenix to wander through the Downtown Phoenix Public Market. Every Saturday and Wednesday, at the corners of Central Ave. and McKinley, a lot in the middle of the city becomes a marketplace for the good of local shoppers and their desire for real local food. We sampled some wonderful treats, saw some beautiful handmade wares and purchased some local food; mini red iceberg lettuce picked right from the ground, cilantro, chopped pecans and homemade whole wheat tortillas (that Ethan sampled 3x's - he LOVES plain tortillas).

The Market just celebrated its 4th anniversary, and announced the plans to open a local grocery store on the same property. The store has a green light from the city, hopes to open by June, and will accommodate shoppers six days a week. How cool!

After we returned home and the kids had their baths. We read a book together about Earth Day that I picked up at the library. Earth Day Birthday (Sharing Nature With Children Book) by Pattie Schnetzler. It is a sing-along book that honors the animals, the environment, and sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The book shows 12 North American species in their natural habitats. I read it twice, first time as a sing-along and second time just reading the first part of the rhyme. I enjoyed the second reading better as it left room for the kids to discuss the habitat of the animals and engage with the images.

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 but, I honestly think this is the first year I have ever celebrated. This is the first of many days our family will take time to celebrate and honor our precious mother Earth!

earth day sale

Today at Soft Flex Company, we have a one day only sale to celebrate Earth Day. Enter coupon code EARTH until tonight at midnight PT to get 20% off our new Trios Extreme eco-friendly beading wire. Trios Extreme is a set of (3) 10ft spools of .019 diameter beading wire in the colors 24k gold, 925 sterling silver and champagne. The colors of this set are really beautiful and the wire is free of heavy metals, making Soft Flex Extreme wire the most eco-friendly choice in beading wire.

beading contest

Soft Flex® Company is looking for colorful designs that showcase your creativity. Design entries must include all three Soft Flex® Wire colors from one of our ten Trios. There is no limit to the number of designs that you may enter. We encourage you to feature beads and findings from your local bead shop. Find a bead store near you.



rosary beads

With the passing of Easter Sunday, I wanted to share with you the delicate glass and crystal Rosary I created for Bert when his grandmother passed away. May her soul rest in peace. Great care and kind thoughts were put into the making of his rosary beads.

Visit Soft Flex Company for a beautiful Pearl Rosary free project idea to create a Rosary for yourself or a loved one. You may also want to pickup the book, A String & A Prayer by Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon. This book recounts the history and symbolism of prayer beads, teaches basic techniques for stringing beads and found objects, offers prayers and rituals to use these sacred objects every day.

In the Roman Catholic faith, the Rosary is one of the most beautiful, powerful, and sacred prayers. The Rosary offers hope when life can be unbearable. How to Pray the Rosary.


weekly reflection

Hot Cross Buns

We have a house full of kids today ... there's 1, 2, 3, 4! My daycare provider was off today. Being that Bert & I were going to be home and my friend AnnaMarie had to work, we offered to watch her children Tyler (4) and Chloe (1) for the day.

This morning AnnaMarie arrived with her adorable children and some yummy hot cross buns, from our favorite bread bakery, Breadsmith. From Wiki: In many Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the crucifixion. Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time. How fitting! All of us shared our buns today and ensured another year of friendship!

Ethan, Tyler & Hudson jumping on the bed

Chloe playing with her favorite toy at our house; Hudson's clock puzzle!

Tyler & Chloe both attend the same daycare/preschool as Ethan and Hudson so, they are used to hanging out together every day. So far, we ate breakfast, played trains, rode scooters, played the harmonica, had lunch, dug in the sandbox, played the Wii and it's only 1:30 pm. Whew! I'm ready for a nap and so was Chloe so, that's what she is doing. I just put on Toy Story and the 3 boys are relaxing watching the movie -- hopefully for more then 15 min ;)


first friday in downtown phoenix

Gate at HoodRide Bodega Gallery - I just love this.

First Fridays in Downtown Phoenix is happening! I met my friends Alison and Jay tonight for a fantastic stroll from gallery to gallery. The windy night was just perfect to enjoy the fresh air, their good company and to see what our local artists are up to.

First Friday is a free monthly self-guided tour of galleries, studios and art businesses in downtown Phoenix run by Artlink. Artlink is a volunteer based grass roots organization dedicated to showcasing the amazing variety of art in Phoenix. I really need to become a supporter and volunteer my time. I'm sure it would be an awesome experience.

Some highlights for me where the Roosevelt Row Block Party; featuring 50 artists and vendors selling there wares in a block party style street closure and Conspire Phoenix; an arts cooperative featuring fashion, arts, crafts and a coffee/tea bar. I got a very yummy iced mint green tea there. There was also a street "freak show" who hung weights from his lower eyelids that made me quiver, a few dance circles, live music and dj's to enjoy and a whole lot of eye candy to inspire us. I just love experiencing the vast variety and raw expression of the galleries and street artists displayed around the city.