Sunday, July 31, 2011

Diva Weekly Challenge #32

I figured I would go ahead and get this Zentangle posted before the next challenge comes out in a few hours.  You know what they say, "better late than never!"  This challenge for this week came from guest contributor Carole Ohl, CZT.  We were required to use for specific tangles:  keenees, baton, zedbra, and pais.  Zedbra and baton are new for me but I have done keenees before and pais is one of my favorites so this made for a fun and interesting challenge.

Tangles:  Pais, Baton, Keenees, Zedbra

I will be sending this tile to Carole as she is doing an art show and is including the work of other Zentangle artists.  How exciting would it be to be chosen?  Time will tell.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm in a pickle!

Today I am trying to branch out a little so this will be a Zentangle free post (GASP!).  I thought it might be fun to include a post about one of my other passions, cooking.  I decided that today would be the day, after a lot of thought and anxiety, that I would make pickles.  This foray into the world of pickling and canning came about for two reasons.  First, I saw a post by Adrienne at The Rich Life (on a budget) about her successful attempt at making quick pickles.  They looked so delicious and easy that I knew I had to try them.  Second, while cleaning out the refrigerator I found 5 half eaten jars of giardiniera.  Giardiniera is a spicy mix of peppers, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, and carrots.  When my husband gets home from work he usually has a little snack of cheese and salami and a little giardiniera.  The problem is that neither of us is very fond of the celery or bell peppers and we both are dissapointed that there is never enough carrots.  I bought a pickling book six or seven years ago and it happens to have a recipe for giardiniera.  I thought "This is perfect, I'll make it just the way I want and knock out the quick pickles at the same time!"

First I took a trip to the produce stand.  We are lucky enough to have an awesome farm nearby called Imwalle's.  They sell all kinds of cool things you won't find elsewhere.  We picked out pickling cucumbers, onions, and lots of other goodies.  While I was wandering around I saw beautiful bouquets of dill heads.  I had read many recipes for dill pickles that called for dill heads but the cookbook author said they would be difficult to find.  I thought "This is a sign!" and suddenly we were making a third set of pickles.  I stopped by the hardware store and picked up some mason jars and a few canning supplies and set out for home.

First I cut up all the vegetables for the giardiniera.

A delicious mix of banana peppers, cauliflower, spring onions, a little
 red pepper and lots and lots of carrots.

The finished product.  We are storing these in the crawl space in the bedroom (where its cool and dark) for the next three weeks until we can crack one open.

The finished giardiniera.  Heat processed and ready to be eaten
in about 3 weeks.

Next it was onto the quick pickles.  A little sweet, a little salty, alot of delicious.

These will be kept in the fridge for a few days and then I will give
them a try.

Finally, beautiful, green, soon to be dill pickles.  By soon I mean, two to three weeks.  These will be left out on the counter to ferment.  Of all the ones I made today, these have me feeling the most apprehensive.

Soon to be dill pickles with onion, dill, mustard seed
and fresh horseradish root.  

There was alot of prep work involved and some tedious technicalities but all in all I think I have a good chance of being successful with these pickles.

Does anybody out there have any canning or pickling advice for me?  Or how about a favorite recipe?  I would love to hear about it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I think I fell out of my creative box!

This weeks Diva Challenge was to create a Zentangle that a fairy would like to live in.  I wanted to try something new, something that wasn't my norm, something outside of my creative box.  This is what I came up with and showed you in my previous post.

Tangles:  Artoo, Y.A.F., Apeel, Crescent Moon, Mooka

I like it, don't get me wrong, but I had this nagging feeling that it wasn't what I was hoping for.  I kept telling myself "It's good to get out of your box!' but I just couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to try again.

I went to lunch with my mother and showed it to her, looking for validation I guess. She looked at it and in her best supportive motherly voice said "It's nice, I like the snail.........but it's just not you." I got on the ambulance and showed it to my partner Jenn and she said "I like's so different from what you normally do."  My husband looked at it and said "Did you draw that one?"  (Yes, do you know any other tanglers that live here honey?)

That's when I came to terms with the fact that while it is important to step out of your creative box, sometimes it's important to know when you should stay in it.  So I took a deep breath and reattempted my original vision.

Tangles:  Printemps, Pokeleaf, Skeins, Dex,
Antidot, Hollibaugh, Ahh, 

Whew!  I feel so much better now.  Lesson learned.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Taaaa Daaaah!

As I posted last week, I have made the decision to change the name of my blog.  I thought this would be an easy endeavor, but in reality, not very easy.  I purchased a domain name and the process of changing the name of the blog to match the domain and then linking it all together was a little more than I bargained for. Luckily, I have a techie husband but as can be the case, there was some husband wife tension involved.  In the end it all worked out and I can proudly present The Bright Owl blog.  I will be working out some design kinks along the way and adding some new features so please bear with me.  A little side note:  If you previously subscribed by email and have now found my blog by some other means you may need to re-subscribe if you still want to follow because this is a new address and the old one may no longer work.  If you are following with Google or some other blog reader there should be no interruption in that service.

Now, onto the important stuff:  The Diva's weekly challenge!

The Diva has had a very busy month and has been utilizing some fabulous guest contributors.  This week Carol Bailey Floyd has asked us to create a Zentangle that a fairy would like to live in.  Most of the time the challenges deal with the specifics of tangles or strings but for this challenge I had to convey a feeling.  There's a reason its called a challenge right?  So here goes:

Tangles:  Artoo, Y.A.F., Apeel, Mooka, Crescent Moon

I started with the flowers and vines because what fairy wouldn't love that?  The I decided to add a mooka moon and a sun tangled with crescent moon (an unintentional contradiction).  Upon further examination I decided  it needed a little something more so Marshall the snail was added.  Don't you think Marshall is the perfect name for a pet snail?  Voila, a home any fairy would be proud of!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's in a name?

What's in a name?  Apparently a lot more than I thought.  First off, if you read my very first post then you know that I jumped into this blog on a whim.  I was just looking for a way to get myself out there and hadn't put a lot of thought into the details.  I have come to realize that a name change is now in order.  For many reasons too tedious and boring to discuss here I have decided to change the name of this blog.  In the next week you will notice that I will be blogging under the name The Bright Owl.   I am trying to get everything lined up so that this causes no inconvenience to my readers and will not affect the followers of my blog but if by chance we do get separated please come find me at .

I had already planned on including the information above in my blog today but imagine my surprise when I saw that the Diva's weekly challenge also involved my name.  This week we had a guest contributor, Christina Vandervlist from stART.  We needed to use our initials, either in block or cursive form, to form our string.  

I have been trying to use some of my lesser used tangles to fill out my projects.  I think they worked our nicely in this tile.  

Tangles:  Verdigogh, Apeel, Florz, Tipple, Antidot, 

This challenge was a lot of fun.  I may be persuaded to do a couple more variations on this string.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Is it just me?

I'm new to blogging so maybe I didn't execute something properly.  Two weeks ago I announced my give-a-way and this week I announced the winners.  I sent emails to each winner and have only received one response in four days.  Some of the people who won are commenting on my blog but not responding to my email so I'm not sure what is up.  Perhaps I didn't contact them through the correct channels, I'm really not sure.    I am reposting the winners in the hopes that they will see this and send me their address at erinkoetzolson(at)gmail(dot)com.  Sorry for the repetition but I want to make sure that the winners receive their gifts.

Cindy B-my Art - vintage buttons
Karen Lynn - bead collection
CqPayne - Moleskine storyboard journal
Lilith MacRoberts - Prismacolor markers
Blue-bird - rubber stamp set

Saturday, July 9, 2011

String Theory v. IV - Creative Genesis

This weeks Diva Challenge was presented by guest contributor Sue Jacobs, CZT.   Our mission, should we accept it, was to use an actual string (or anything resembling a string) attached to some sort of weight to create the string for our tile.  I grabbed some really neat bakery twine I had just bought and tied it to a pen.  I tried several times to let it fall freely onto the tile but soon realized that I was not so subconsciously guiding it.  Finally I just closed my eyes and let it go.

When I opened my eyes I was happy to see that it was something I could easily deal with.  I went through some old Zentangles to try to use patterns I haven't used in a while and I really like the results.

Tangles: Up and Across, Worms, Printemps, Onamato

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And the winner is.....

My first month blogging was so amazing that I decided to do a giveaway.  I could not be happier with the response I received and sincerely thank everyone who participated, so without further ado the winners are:

Cindy B-my Art - vintage buttons
Karen Lynn - bead collection
CqPayne - Moleskine storyboard journal
Lilith MacRoberts - Prismacolor markers
Blue-bird - rubber stamp set

Don't fret if you were not a winner.  I have more great things planned for the near future!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sorry Tripoli, it was me, not you

Last week Tripoli and I broke up.  It was a little ugly and I aired our dirty laundry on my blog.  Not my proudest moment but things like this happen in a relationship.   I tried to compromise.  I tried to see his side of it but in the end we just didn't work out.  Then I saw that Tripoli was out on the town with a lot of other people.  He was showing up on blogs, in Flickr streams, and in lots of other people's art.  I have to admit, I was jealous.  So I gave Tripoli a call and we met for coffee.  We talked, we cried, and in the end we decided we missed each other and decided to give it another shot.  I think this new relationship has a lot of promise.

Tangles: Tripoli, Rick's Paradox, Facets

When I teach beading classes and people are trying to learn a new stitch it is almost inevitable that about halfway through the class someone  will lament that "they just don't get it."  Many times I will have them turn their directions over and tell them to just look at their piece "until they see it."  I try to get them to see the stitch in a different way, view the pattern from their own standpoint.  Directions are written from the standpoint of the artist and sometimes people just don't visualize something the same way the artist does making it difficult to understand the directions.  If they just look at their own piece with a fresh view they can sometimes visualize that pattern from their own standpoint, helping them to move past their obstacle.

I decided to take my own advice and just sit and look at Tripoli.  All the directions I had seen suggested drawing the triangles in a circle pattern, but when I really looked at it I saw lines of triangles.  I drew one line, adding a bit of curve to make it interesting.  Then added corresponding lines that matched the original. I continued with these lines until it was my desired width.  I added a couple curved lines to act as my strings and then filled in the remainder.  I think the end is a huge improvement from my previous attempt and I'm glad Tripoli and I can be friends again.

The Bright Owl All rights reserved © 2012

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley