Monday, February 27

WHAT I'M DOING FOR LENT...

Greetings, friends!

I know many of you know that I always observe some kind of discipline for Lent...this year, I felt behooved to make my discipline (insert ominous organ music here) COOKING! (collective gasps heard all around)

You can follow my Culinary tales here on my Contemporary Monk Blog...also, those of you on Facebook, I post a daily link to my blog to keep you updated.

Here is today's exciting episode...enjoy! lol

COOKING ON $2 A DAY: DAY 4

Hello friends and those with morbid curiosity!

Today was day four of our $2 a day meal challenge. And I confess to you...we blew it. I DID cook today (as was my original Lenten discipline "deal" with God) but for breakfast only. I felt that I am to allow myself the grace of ONE meal out per weekend, and today was that day. So we seriously "blew" the $2 a day budget. However, in only cooking breakfast, I DID meet the breakfast quota:

Chocolate Chip muffins ($1.00 mix - 6 servings) .16 per serving. 1/2 banana .12 Hot tea .05  Total breakfast: Bud: 16x3=.48,+.12+.05=.65  Paula: 16x2=.32+.12+.05=.49. Grand total breakfast: $1.14

THEN, we finished off the leftover pizza after church, and took a bit of a road trip to see an amazing roadside attraction recently in the newspaper:

THE VANDALIA FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON!
I know many of you are jealous and cannot imagine what kind of good fortune would afford us such an awe inspiring sight...but here it is, in all it's tin and metal glory...(note the husband and wee dog in the picture for scale) YES, he's HUGE. The sight of him evokes fear into the hearts of man and beast alike...Powered by a 20 lb. propane tank, the dragon (once enticed by a token) spews fire at innocent onlookers. Pics below of a "terrified tourist" fleeing for her life...
 NOTE: my terror as I stand in the shadow of the beast and "feed" the dragon the token ...

 And I immediately run in fear for my life...
 (Fortunately, Bud caught this dramatic moment on film, lest the dragon get the best of me and actually do something film worthy)
 Determining I am now at a safe distance, I turn to face my would-be assassin...
 THEN...WEBSTER TO THE RESCUE! Behold, Webster the Wonder Dog attempting to slay the dragon for his masters...
On the lower left corner of the picture I have circled and pointed to our fearless protector....

MY HERO! However, upon closer inspection, the ferocious  face of this stainless wonder looks more like a friendly puppy...
And so, road trip taken, fierce some beast assuaged, we leave in search of...LUNCH!
We found a happy little local haunt...the ChuckWagon, and had a delicious Sunday meal (well over $2) and then the intrepid explorers made their way back to the Vern, feeling quite satisfied in their conquering of the Vandalia Tourist Trap Dragon!
Stay tuned tomorrow for more exciting tales of culinary delight and adventure!

Sunday, February 5

A VERY BELATED CHRISTMAS GIFT...

Greetings, dear reader!

I have a confession to make...I have been feverishly in the throes of trying to create/complete Christmas presents for my nieces...due to the financial nightmare that was our late 2011 situation, I hadn't the funds to purchase the gift I initially wanted to get darling niece Emileigh:

Behold the amazing book offered by Anthropologie:


It was $40...and while I LOVED it, I couldn't afford it. So I decided to create one for her myself...

I started out with a 9.99 black cloth bound sketchbook, various washi tapes and stickers, papers, and fabric odds and ends...The image on the front and back cover are Graphic 45 Steampunk papers...aren't they fabulous? The letters are from Michael's $1.00 bin...I should have gotten 40 packages of these letters...I LOVE them!
 I incorporated hand painted papers and original brown paper bag collages...images from a clearance rack kids book (written by Madonna...the illustrations are fabulous...The English Roses)
Do you remember my niece Emileigh is the one with the Etsy shoppe? I created a headband much like the ones Em makes for the sketch of this particular English Rose...I love how the page turned out...I just cut and organically began to assemble the book as ideas came to me...(as many of you know, I don't do too well with a "pattern" or a detailed 'plan') lol!
 And then created pages where she can cut, paste or sew designs and/or photos to the page...


 Again incorporating my own personal art in several of the layouts...

 And hand drawing frames, and borders on the pages...
 I actually sewed the fabric to this page...and stapled ribbons at the bottom...I love how it turned out...
Funny how many of my creations "take on" the aqua and red theme...although I had no intention of incorporating that into her book necessarily...
 Here I used stickers and a measurment card from a tape measure/washi tape package...and button stickers!
 Emileigh's friends are as talented and adorable as she...I'm sure she'll want to add photos of her friends in their fashion/trendsetting ensembles!
 And SHOES! OH MY GOODNESS! DOES THIS GIRL LOVE SHOES? Stilettos no less...


 so space for those pics was a MUST...(lots of blank pages before and after for additional drawings/photos...
 And this is my favorite page...a page that pays homage to patterns...chevron, stripes and dots...
And here is the back of the book...there are lots more pages, some blank, some with other surprises on them, but I wanted to share with you some of them so you could get a feel for the book...not a Hywel Davies sketchbook to be sure...but something I hope she'll like just the same...

Next? Working on amazing niece Aria's photography sketchbook! FUN! More soon!

Paula Clare