Chicken and Dumplings

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The other night, BFF mentioned being hungry for chicken and dumplings. That sent me looking to past blog posts to search for my yummy recipe. After several friends asked for the how I made it, I decided it was time to revisit it on my blog. This is truly a delicious meal for a cool evening.

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Slat Frame

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BFF and I have been doing studio art that is appealing to both of us. A few pieces are worthy of hanging in our homes, but framing is just so darn expensive! After reading somewhere about slat framing, we decided to give it a go. Each frame, at most, cost $12, though it did require a little crapsmanship to make it happen. Read the rest of this entry

Tropical Shrimp Salad

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I made the yummiest salad this week using a recipe from the great cooking magazine, Louisiana Cookin’. (For the original recipe, see www.louisianacookin.com/shrimp-mango-ceviche/.) The recipe was entitled “Shrimp and Mango Ceviche,” but in my book, it wasn’t really a ceviche because it didn’t start with raw seafood “cooked” in citrus juices. Plus, it had mayo, which no self-respecting ceviche should have. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and renamed it “Tropical Shrimp Salad” to better represent what I think the salad should be called.

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Art Lessons

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BFF and I have decided to work through a book of art lessons when we meet in the studio. The photo above shows our reference book — The Complete Painting Course, edited by Ian Simpson. So far, we’ve only managed to do the first lesson. The task was to set up a still life and use a limited palette to paint it. We set up the scene in the middle of our work table, BFF on one side and me on the other. BFF is a much more accurate draw-er than I am, but I still gave it a go. I won’t tell you whose is whose, but which one appeals to you?

Please help

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This isn’t a crapsmanship account today but an appeal. This beautiful woman is the daughter of a dear friend. She has been missing from Vivian, Louisiana since January 21, 2020. The sheriff’s department detectives are investigating and are confident that someone knows her whereabouts. Unfortunately, “being a good person” isn’t enough motivation for someone to share what they know. Consequently, I have started a GoFundMe account that will provide a reward for information that would lead to her whereabouts and/or the arrest of the responsible party.

Please, please, share the link below. Shares and donations are two ways to help this family find their daughter.

https://gf.me/u/ytiu6p

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Canvas Revisit

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Last week, I shared my progress in understanding artistic principles as I worked on an abstract canvas piece. (If you missed it, see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/08/09/progress/.) I worked more on the canvas today, covering up a few parts I wasn’t happy with and adding some texture using a piece of screen material and some gold paste. I haven’t decided if I’m finished with it yet, but I’m liking the improvement. Now to decide which way I want to hang it. What do you think?

Horizontal?

Or vertical?


I used an app called “ArtRooms” to “hang” the picture in a home setting. I used the free version of the app, but you can get rid of the watermark with a paid subscription. I like them both of the imaginary settings for my art. I just wish my house looked that good!

 

Progress!

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BFF and I recently bought two big canvases (70% off at Michael’s!) for the studio, and I’ve been experimenting with an abstract piece. I used to say that abstract art was easy — just slop some paint on a canvas. But it’s surprisingly hard. My photos today will show you my progress on the big canvas, which was also my first time painting on an easel. I am now much better at:

  • mixing colors,
  • avoiding making all the colors look like mud,
  • being willing to paint over a section I’m not happy with,
  • knowing I need to find balance,
  • varying the sizes of my marks, and
  • understanding that the piece needs to look good from afar and look interesting up close.

I still very much struggle with the ending — knowing when the piece is finished.

Here are several photos of the piece I’m working on right now. It starts with an attempt, then a total paint-over, and finally a direction to go, even though I’m not finished. 

Tweaking the circles:

Eliminating the circles:Starting over:

Trying it in a vertical position:

Better, but not yet finished:

Close-ups:

I’m also learning that art isn’t about the finished product, but rather the process and progress. Good learning!

Mixed Media Sunflowers

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It’s sunflower time in the beautiful fields around my area in northwest Louisiana, and they’re an inspiration to my mixed media work. I’ve just changed out several of my art pieces around the house, as seen in the photos accompanying this post. I’ve painted, stenciled, and stamped the backgrounds and then used gelli-printed papers to make the sunflowers.

This one above is proportionally a little off, but I love the metallic sparkle (which is not very apparent in the photo).

This small one in my guest bath has enough red that it works well with the golds and crimsons decorating the rest of the room.

The one above is my favorite, mainly because I think the background is just right. And when it comes to crapsmanship, “just right” isn’t a common phrase!