Friday, December 31, 2010

Snow pictures






So we were supposed to get more snow, but we didn't. I am disappointed, we love having lots of snow. Until we get more snow, I can look at these pictures from the last time. It was so pretty and cold and now it is just cold.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Very cold...


frozen in time
Originally uploaded by Bella Cosa Art
Good thing I took this yesterday, it is much warmer today, thank goodness, although we are all in by the fire and we don't have to go anywhere today, so to us the weather doesn't really matter. I did sneak out for a few shots, it was cold so I didn't stay out long but I had to at least take a few pictures it was so beautiful.
Hope you enjoy this picture, it is my favorite out of all of them. I think it would make a nice card. Will post more winter wonderland pictures later.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

so cold....


It is frosty and cold out, hope to take some winter pictures for you soon, but not ready to bear up to the cold yet. So instead I am painting warm, bright flowers of summer.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Necklace for myself.


DSC06147
Originally uploaded by Bella Cosa Art
I made this bright necklace to chase away the winter blues. It is fun and colorful on these grey days. I used some vintage beads, brass, a resin flower and a cute sparrow. It makes me smile.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kids....


A family story for the day. Most of you know I have three most beautiful, spectacular kids. Well, I am a very hands on, talkative, cuddly mama. For my five year old she loves it,for she is the same way. For my 13 year old son, well you know how they are, but I still make him kiss my cheek and give hugs, no matter how old he gets he will never be too old to do that for me, I do cut him a little slack in public. Then there is Olivia, she is the opposite of me, with the aspergers and such, affection is hard but we have helped her to show more and hug her family and show her love and now she wants to more on her own or with little prompting. Anyway the point of this story is, I just went over to cuddle her for a minute, she has been sick, so I just wanted to check in with her on how she was feeling and hold her a minute, so she let me for a bit and then very softly and kindly said, "Can you leave me along now, Please." I said "sure, thanks for the cuddle", she said "your welcome".
Later in the morning I call Olivia to see if she wants to look at how far I have gotten on the family puzzle we are doing, so she comes over and I show her and she says, "Wow you are really good" I say thanks and start to talk again and she says "now can I go back to watching tv" I say "yes" and thanks for looking she says "welcome".
I think that it is a good start to any day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Framed Eco Art




I do a number of Eco Art projects. Paintings painted on recycled products, old wood, second hand wooden objects, spoons and on paper sacks. Sometimes I think it is hard to visualize how great a painting that is done on a paper grocery sack can look. So I bought a simple black frame at my local craft shop (on sale of course) so I could give you an idea. I try to do all my paper sack paintings on a standard size so you can drop into any craft store and be able to frame it inexpensively as you want. It would also look great floated in the really thrifty floating glass frames. The edges look best showing so you can see more of what it is. In this example I painted some poppies on a sack, framed them up and took some pictures. Presto! Great art on a recycled surface. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One of the reasons why I was so busy in October



My garden did so well this year. Every year I learn more and more, what to plant, what not to plant, what to plant more of. I know I want to do more carrots, my youngest and I can't get enough of those sweet little things. My onions and garlic did great and keep well so that will be a big part. Tomatoes are a must. For the first time my leeks did really well, that was very cool.
Job still not quite over though, my tomatoes continue to ripen in the boxes, more salsa on the way.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Farewell to Summer


My creation
Originally uploaded by Bella Cosa Art
Photos taken this glorious summer with my family.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The other side

pretty packing station
business desk, with lots of inspiring art work from my kids
love this space
jewelry station, great drop leaf table, always a little messy

Here are some shots of the other side of my studio, I have a packing station, another work table and a "business desk". My packing station is one of my favorite spaces, I don't really like packaging so I thought if it was easy and organized it might make it better, I think it will work. A new thing I did in my studio was bring furniture away from the wall, thus creating more work space and using some of the dead space in the middle of the room, this was brilliant and what allowed me the shelves for the packing station and another wall (the back of the cabinet) to hang a really cool mirror a friend gave me. I hung various shelves around the studio from lumber I already had and brackets too I had, so I spent no money, just a little labor. The shelves are great for storage and decorative. I had some glass shelves and decorative brackets sitting around for years that I used above my desk. One shelf I made out of an old wooden crate, which turned out really nice too. So overall I am happy and just some final organizing and clean out and hopefully maintaining.
See previous post for some of the corresponding images to these ideas.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Studio space clean up....





So it again became time to clean my studio, this seems to be a reoccurring project because I have trouble keeping it that way. I always have a project spread out on every flat surface, new supplies needing a spot, things I know I will use some day (she said with a smirk) (those are hubbies favorite words, not) and just general mayhem. So it had turned into a hurricane size of a clean up, space for walking was getting limited. Recently hubby had to give up his office so we could separate our two girls that were sharing a room, it just wasn't going to continue to work for them or us. Since hubby had to do the sacrificing of the room, I offered to redo my studio to fit him in and I offered to do all the work of redoing the rooms, which I did. I revamped furniture to make it work for my daughter, I painted a mural for her, moved all her furniture in and presto she had a beautiful little girls room. Then I set out to rearrange my studio, we got a small desk and moved hubby in. He was never happy with it though, never really felt his and he was right. We tried and had good intentions, we moved in some of his decorations, the desk, computer, his curio cabinet with his tin toys but he never moved in himself. So it all sat and collected piles, the computer was never hooked up and he never sat at the desk (plus he has a laptop, explains some of that). I had all these high hopes of sitting side by side working on our projects together but it was never going to happen. So he said take it all out and I have. I gave him a shelf to store all his office things, the computer, printer and desk will go. We did though compromise and move his curio cabinet with vintage tin toys to our bedroom, for now a piece of him is staying and he is happy and it actually looks ok in there, not my first choice of decor for the bedroom but because I love him, it looks great and now I smile when I see that piece of him there. (good thing our bedroom is eclectic vintage, kind of traveled look) So anyway this is where the story ends, with his things out of the studio again, I was able to do a major overall. I moved furniture and I cut lumber and made shelves. I did not spend a dime, I used things in my garage (back to the statement "No, I am not throwing that out I may need it someday) and I did. So now the studio and I have made it past the hurricane, past the initial clean up and now we will strive to maintain and clean out as needed (there are still little things to be organized). I am spending a lot more creative and happy time in here and wanted to show you the progress. Here are a couple shots of two spaces along one wall, my small easel main painting space, big easel and printer, paper cutter, storage space. More pictures to come....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yes, I said snow




This is what has been happening here for the last three days and I suspect more is to come.
These beautiful mountains were taken from my back deck.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Sister's new massage therapy office...


So my sister LiElla of www.massagemt.com is opening up a new office, it is in the same building but is now on the main floor with all the pretty lights and windows. It is going to be decorated beautifully and will be a most pleasant place to get a quality therapeutic massage. She is very good at her job and now she will have a fabulous office to match. I did a painting for her space, it was a style and subject she picked to go with the rest of her decor, it is a large piece to go over her waiting area chairs, the chairs are paprika colored as too her window art is green and paprika, everything is going to match beautifully. So here is the painting I did for her. Love you sis.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crook Neck



This year in the garden my son grew a crook neck squash, he planted it by seed at school brought it home and I gave him a mound of soil in the garden to plant it. I was hoping this would help him to have more of an interest in the garden, it didn't. He does help me in the garden but not with much enthusiasm, but probably to be expected from a 13 year old. His little plant did grow and gave us two little crook necks before the first freeze. Even my zucchini was late and not plentiful this year because of the weird summer weather, so we were glad for the two. My son helped me cook them up, we put some garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper on and grilled them. The skins were a bit tough but otherwise they were good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

crock pot lasagna



So I had to give it a try, and I liked it, plus it is pretty easy and you start it early before you wear out after a long day. I tweaked it because I do not like eggplant and I had some zucchini left from my garden. Part of the fun of making this was I used fresh herbs from my garden and fresh onions and garlic. I think a key though is to only cook it the three or four hours or until the noodles are done otherwise they get too mushy (thus the Important Note that I didn't read) and I noticed mine was a little runny, so I will be aware of that next time. Here is the recipe with my tweaks.... I used zucchini instead of eggplant, I made my own marinara with tomato sauce, did not use red pepper flakes and instead of thyme, used my own fresh oregano and basil.


Ingredients

    16 oz (1 lb) ground beef, 96 % lean
    2 c eggplant, diced (no need to peel it)
    1 jar low-sodium marinara sauce
    1/4 t red pepper flakes
    2 t dried thyme
    1 1/4 c water
    15 oz. ricotta cheese, part skim
    1 T parsley chopped
    1/4 c egg substitute(or 1 egg white)
    1 c shredded Italian blend cheese
    6 lasagna noodles, dried, no boil variety


Directions

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over moderate heat; drain any excess fat. Stir in red pepper flakes, thyme, tomato sauce, eggplant, and water. In a bowl combine the egg substitute, ricotta, Italian cheese blend, and parsley. Place enough meat sauce to cover the bottom of slow cooker. Top with 2-3 noodles, broken to cover the meat sauce. Repeat layer. Top second layer with cheese mixture and finish with a top layer of the meat mixture. Cover and set slow cooker on low. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Number of Servings: 8

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CHEF_MEG

Found this recipe, thought this was a little more like I tweaked the last one

Ingredients

    1 lb. uncooked ground turkey or beef
    1 large onion
    2 cloves garlic
    29 oz. canned tomato sauce
    6 oz. tomato paste
    1 cup water
    1 tsp. ground oregano
    8 oz. dry lasagna noodles
    2 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
    2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
    ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


Directions

In a skillet, cook turkey or beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add tomato sauce, water tomato paste, and
oregano. Mix well. Spread ¼ meat sauce in bottom of crock pot. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over sauce, breaking to fit. Combine cheeses, spoon
1/3 cheese mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice more. Top with remaining meat sauce. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours or until noodles
are tender.

Number of Servings: 8

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user LEAKAY59.

Number of Servings: 8


Friday, October 22, 2010

Posting more...



So in an effort to try to post more I have stifled myself, so I decided not to worry so much and to let myself relax and be more random. You see I have had so much going on lately I haven't had a lot of time to be as creative as I want to be. So instead of worrying about what to post and having it be a "creative genius" all the time I am going to also post about what keeps me busy when I am not painting, because that too is what makes me who I am, what inspires me and thus affects what and how I create. So here goes the first of what I am sure to be many, random posts about everyday things, that make me me, the artist that I am.

P.S. This is partly the fault of two creative friends of mine, they know who they are. I told them the other night that no one wants to hear ramblings of a peri menopausal crazy woman, and they said that "those ramblings were the very best kind" LOL be careful what you wish for.

P.S.S. So for today, two images that make me smile, one is a special cup of tea that a sweet friend gave me. The other, a beautiful bouquet from my garden before they all froze. It was a gorgeous garden this year, weedy but still lots of organic produce.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Inside




My local seller of my artistic endeavors is a lovely interior design store, Elements, that sells a variety of gorgeous items. I am her main local artist, which is great.
I took a couple pictures of my displays. I am in the front of the shop, because of my colors she says it makes everyone happy the second they walk in and that makes me happy that my art can do that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Go Pink window I decorated



We had a city wide contest to decorate shop windows pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month. The shop that carries my art locally wanted to participate, so we decorated the windows pink (mostly by raiding our little girls stashes) and the front of the shop. I volunteered to come down and paint pink tulips on the windows and breast cancer ribbons. It was announced on a first Friday and we Won. We are very excited to be recognized for our support and talent. The reward is an ad in our local newspaper, I will update when that happens.
Side note...You can see one of my paintings, in the bottom left corner of the window.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Customer





A happy customer is always a great inspiration. It is always fantastic to have someone find your shop fall in love with something and buy it. Oh what a feeling! A bit more challenging but equally rewarding or even more so when they love it, is when someone falls in love with the style of your work but has specifics in mind for a commission piece. This happened recently, a very nice lady contacted me and loved my still life paintings and wanted one of her own with a few specific requests. So we worked together through a few sketches, some items were added some deleted. I then did a few sketches on canvas and showed her some stages to get further approval to continue on. Lastly I came to the last stage before the finish, she was still smitten, so then I added the bold lights and darks, made it come alive and finished piece and happy customer and happy artist.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feeding Birds


My two sweet girls got bird seed at the fair parade along with a mountain of candy and some grass seed, yes we live in a rural area, if you hadn't guessed yet. I have to say the seed has actually been more enjoyable than the candy. We used the grass seed to fill in the gopher dirt mounds in the lawn and my girls have been putting the seed in the bird bath (by the way I paid 2 dollars for my concrete bird bath at a garage sale) the bird bath sits on the concrete septic tank cover in our yard, again, told you, rural. So anyway the girls were all excited about the seed and kept checking to see if the birds had discovered it yet, for days no action, but as soon as they went to school they started coming, so I snapped a picture for them to see. If you look closely you can see a bunch of little birds enjoying their lunch provided by the loving hands of my daughters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Start


Today I am painting, amongst a few house hold chores of course. The three kids are off to school and hubby to work. I am feeling particularly inspired today, there are a few reasons but one of the biggies is my daughter held my hand this morning. You may think What is the big deal. Well let me tell you. We were having a bit of cuddle time before crawling out of a warm bed, this is a regular occurrence with my 5 year old, never met a bigger cuddle bug but for my 9 year old I treasure the moment because they are much less. One, this is logically less frequent because she is 9 almost 10 after all but even less frequent because she has Aspergers/Autism. She most definitely is not one to be cuddled and affection is on her own terms and when she is ready. So this morning I reached out my hand and placed it on hers, she put her other hand on top and gently held mine. She rubbed my arm because she told me she liked how warm it was. I could cry just writing it. So this is why I have an extra boost of inspiration this morning, I feel loved and connected. The rest of the morning was usual, she won't eat breakfast before school because of anxiety so I let her have pringles and a chocolate zinger. I know not healthy but something, usually no matter what I offer she won't eat it, so I am happy with that. Don't sweat the little stuff, I say, she went to school willing and that is great.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pickling Green Beans


On top of getting kids settled in school, in fact three back to school nights this week, I am trying to harvest my garden. Last night my children and I picked over 12 pounds of green beans, unbelievable. Today I pickled some, dilly beans or pickled green beans are one of my favorite things. Most of the ingredients came from my garden, I am very proud of this fact, and also I am proud to say that everything is organic, garlic, red peppers and dill. Enjoy some pictures of the project.

MY ART