Monday, December 31, 2012

When Artists Cook...they drink Ritz Fizz

I can't believe we are at the end of 2012 already.  If you're reading this, then we've survived the doomsday predictions of the end of the world. (lol)

Ushering in the new year is something different for everyone. In Australia, it's an evening of fireworks, BBQ's, and lots of champagne. 

In the US, it's just too cold for me to venture out, so I usually prepare a yummy new years eve feast, the kids fall asleep long before midnight so hubby and I snuggle up in front of a fire, enjoy a drink or two, and usher in the new year with movies, warmth, and peace. 

So when artist's cook for new years eve, a champagne cocktail is usually on the menu.  At least for me it is. 

Champagne is the drink of celebration. It has launched thousands of ships, toasted millions of weddings, and marked countless romantic interludes.

I LOVE champagne, and I love making beautiful, sparkly cocktails from it.  This is a tried and true recipe for a delicious champagne cocktail called "Ritz Fizz".  It is simple, glittery, and very very yummy. In fact, it has starred in many of my new years eve celebrations on a boat on Sydney Harbour.

Champagne Cocktail:  Ritz Fizz

A dash of Blue Curacao
A dash of lemon juice
A dash of Amaretto Di Saronno
A glass full of Champagne
Lemon rind spiral to decorate

Pour the Curacao, lemon juice and Amaretto into a glass and top up with Champagne. Stir gently to mix and deorate the glass with a lemon rind spiral.  It's that simple!!

Amaretto di Saronno is a liquor made from almonds and apricots.  It's an Italian liquor and is a wonderful mix in many cocktails.

I hope you have a glittery, sparkly, happy, and hopeful new year celebration, and please remember, drink responsibly, and DON'T drink and drive.

Happy New Year, and thanks for checking in xx

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Book of Your Life

Art and art-journaling are very powerful forms of self expression.

We don't all have the capacity to create large canvasses. Most of us are capable of simply carrying around a sketchbook or journal and a few basic art supplies.

How you create, your method, tools and techniques, are secondary. Even what you create is largely irrelevant. What matters, is the process of artful creation.

Most of us need guidance, inspiration, or prompts to give us structure to our art journey. If this is you, then consider Life Book 2013. It is a beautiful, simple, inspiring program that takes you on a year long mixed media, art-journaling journey.

Tamara LaPorte from Willowing has put together a wonderful team of instructors, and each month participants get two art-journaling lessons and a series of bonus prompts, inspiration and ideas.

At the end of the year, you will bind your work into a deeply personal, very beautiful book--your Life Book, which will be a sacred and treasured  snapshot of your life.

I am one of the very lucky teachers on this program and I'll be focusing on "Divine Color".

Life Book is a journey, an awakening, and expression, and for many, a vehicle to awareness.

Life book 2013 begins on January 1st, 2013, and if you are able, then I urge you to infuse your creativity with purpose and give yourself the gift of a treasured record of your story.

For more information about Life Book 2013, or to register, please click here.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas everyone.

I'd like to wish all my beautiful supporters and subscribers a very happy, joyful, safe, and love filled day.  

I am so grateful for all the amazing comments you leave me and the wisdom you share with me.

I'd like to thank the "When Artists Cook" team for the endless enjoyment they have given us through their culinary loves and art making.

I'd like to thank my sponsors; Luminarte, Stillman & Birn, Joggles, and Gallery Off Broadway Missouri for their ongoing support and belief in my art.

I like to thank my precious family for their encouragement, excitement, and infinite patience.

And, I'd like to thank my amazing friends, followers, subscribers, and patrons for their generosity, honesty, and unending kindness.

Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, December 24, 2012

"Zeta" Series Sketchbook

It's no secret that my favorite sketchbooks are made by Stillman & Birn.  I mentioned last week ago that they are releasing a beautiful new line of sketchbooks next month called the "Zeta" Series.

It is a sketchbook that contains an exquisite, extra heavy weight, smooth, white paper, similar to hot-press watercolor paper.  You can read my review of the new paper here.

I thought I would show you some more of my testing efforts on this new paper, and given it is Christmas Eve, I decided to play around with sketching Christmas lights using Neocolor II Water Soluble Wax Pastels on the new "Zeta" paper.

This paper is expertly milled in France, and the Stillman & Birn books are bound in the USA.  Paper matters to these people, and that is why their books matter to artists.

The new "Zeta" Series Sketchbooks are sure to be a huge success for Stillman & Birn, and I can't wait for their release in mid-January.

Merry Christmas, and thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, December 21, 2012

When Artisits Cook

I love my kitchen at this time of the year.

I spend a lot of early December pouring through cook books trying to find the perfect holiday recipes.

Cranberries are one of my favorite Christmas fruits and I love cooking with them...not to mention the health benefits.

When artists cook a Christmas feast they generally try lots of new and exciting recipes.

This one worked out particularly well and turned out to be the perfect seasonal comfort food.  We've already devoured several test efforts of it and I may well include it in my Christmas Day menu this year.

So, in keeping with my tradition of offering my readers an image that they can print onto Christmas Cards, I thought I'd give you this yummy recipe for Cranberry Apple Coffee Cake.

Please feel free to download and print it onto your own Christmas Cards, or you can print it, frame it and give it as a gift.  

(Please remember, it is for your personal use only, you cannot sell it or use it commercially at all.)

To see last years Christmas card offering, please click here.

So, from the five wonderful artists who contribute to When Artists Cook, Jennifer McLcean, Tracey Fletcher King, Colleayn Klaibourne, Bethann Merkle, and me, we hope you have a beautiful, comfort-food filled, holiday celebration.

Happy Holidays, and thanks for checking in. xx