"The proper use of imagination is to give beauty to the world..." Lin Yu-T'ang

Friday, January 28, 2011

How Would You Like To Wake Up Here...

image via Ditte Isager as seen on
I saw this photo and others by Danish photographer, Ditte Isager on this post. I'm off to work, but I had to pop in here to share because they're just that dreamy and fantastic. I know it's not Monday and I'm a little late it getting to see this, but I'd be willing to wake up here any day of the week!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Strathmore Online Workshop Week 4 Update

Here's week 4, the final stage:

This workshop hosted by Strathmore and taught by Pam Carriker was so much fun. I used different mediums than I'm used to, learn some different techniques, and expanded my perception a bit. Plus it was free to boot and still open to those who want to give it a shot. Thank you, Strathmore and Pam for making this available!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Favorite Hearty Vegetable Soup

This is my favorite vegetable soup. It's great for spring, fall or winter. I love it with a slice of crusty bread with olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper and a glass of wine. Simple but elegant meal.

 Wash 1/2 cup uncooked barley and put in a large soup pot. 
Add 8-10 cups pure water, 1 tsp crumbled bay leaf (2-3 whole), 1 tsp salt, 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
Bring the pot to a boil. 
Add 2 chopped carrots, 2 stalks of finely chopped celery, 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, 2 Tbsp chopped onion, 1 clove garlic, 3 cups chopped potatoes and/or turnips.
Let the soup cook covered over medium heat for 50 minutes. Stir in 1 small bunch of chopped fresh spinach, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, freshly ground black pepper to taste.

I substituted kale for the spinach and it worked really well. I just added it with the rest of the vegetables. A wonderful, nutritious, fulfilling soup.


Adapted from Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners, by Amadea Morningstar

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Strathmore Online Workshop Week 3 Update

Here is my page for the end of week 3 of the Strathmore Online Workshop by Pam Carriker:

Food Inspiration

In the middle of all of the gray, dreary and cold weather, I'm feeling a little, well, gray myself. Right about now, the lack of color  is making me wish I could just hibernate until the end of winter and the sun starts to make the flowers bloom again. So, I went looking to find something inspiring...and warm. Look what I found:

Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitakes from  Smitten Kitchen. Soba noodles, cabbage, shiitake, edamame and chili paste. Spicy sounds like just the ticket to me to warm both body and soul.

And how about this hot chocolate recipe from Seven Spoons.

I absolutely love chocolate and cinnamon together. And the espresso powder adds another kick. Another thing I like about this recipe is the fact that you can tweak it to your liking.

What comfort foods inspire you?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New In The Shop

In addition to my new art that I just added yesterday, these have just been added in my Etsy Shop, Kari Desi Art :

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Your Life


In between work, phone calls, emails, waiting for phone calls, during the last couple of days, I created art. And I must say I feel better than last week when I hit the Winter Blahs (That's a capital B). To be honest, I'm not sure really what happened. I had tried to finish this piece back in August, but it wouldn't budge. Then in September...and October...Then I put it away. It just wasn't time for this one yet. Suddenly, yesterday, I felt it calling me and retrieved it from it's hibernation space. I could hear it quietly say, "It's time." So I got out my paint, my gel medium, some ink and paper and got to work. And it came forth...gently...easily. I love it when that happens.

"Your Life" is now in my Etsy Shop. This is one of my favorite pieces so far. Maybe because it made me wait for it. It's the last of the group of 9 Pieces I started in the summer. Now, I'm ready to begin my next group of 9...Time Traveling.

P.S. My daughter pointed out that there is one element that appears in almost all of my pieces. Leave a comment and guess the correct element and I'll send you a surprise. <wink!>

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Strathmore Online Workshop Week 2

I joined the Strathmore Online Workshop Visual Journal Series and am just loving it! There are three different workshop series and Pam Carriker is conducting the first one on Recycled Journal Pages. It's so interesting to take finished art and look at it in a new way. The first week, we were to make copies of past art and cut and tear them to make elements for our new page. I used a graphite pencil and journaled between the torn strips and then covered the journaling partially with gesso.

The second week, we were to use charcoal to add definition and shadows. And THEN, oil pastels! I had never used oil pastels before, and what a treat! I just fell in love with them. I love how they glide over the page and interact with the gesso. It was so gratifying to push the colors over the page with my fingers and blend them into one another to create color, definition and interest.

I'm excited to see what Pam has in store for Week 3! Strathmore is offering these workshops for free and it's not too late to join. The Visual Journal is a great journal for working in with mixed media. It's a heavy water color paper that has the ability to hold lots of different media and layers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Save The Clocktower!

Just my homage to the Back to the Future movies. But seriously, I couldn't resist taking this photo of the clocktower and processing it with a texture from Kim Klassen. I mean, it was practically daring me to take it's picture. A handsome clocktower, standing there gloating in the sunlight, like a 1950's movie star in his top hat and tails. The roof partially covered in pure white snow, contrasted starkly with a bright blue sky (the only one I've seen in a while, I might add) in the background. OK, maybe it was the blue sky that I really wanted to take a picture of. Anyway, how can anyone resist a good shot?

As I was looking for a quote to go with the picture I noticed that a lot of people have a lot of differing opinions on time. This intrigues me. We just celebrated a time "mile-marker", if you will, with New Year's day. The beginning of a new year and the beginning of a new decade. It's curious to me how on occasions like this we seem to reminisce about the past, while wondering what the future holds, all while being somewhat incognizant of the present moment that we are actually living in. 

Some people make resolutions for these new beginnings, resolving to be better human beings in some way or have better behavior and habits. The rest just take in the new beginning as reason to celebrate or to tick off another year, using time as a simple measurement. In my quest for the perfect quote, I found some serious perspectives and then some contradictory ones.  My favorite quote made me chuckle and of course came from an irreverent female, another of my favorites. 

William Faulkner viewed time a bit philosophically, when he said:
"Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life."  
So did Emily Bronte, even if a bit more practically:
"A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone."
Some creatives use the clock as a measurement of time and a tool for getting things done and staying on track, like Stanley Tucci:
"But usually I'll wake up and start writing about nine o'clock. I'll probably write for about three hours, and I'll do that over the next month and a half."
 And Gustav Klimt:
"If the weather is good I go into the nearby wood - there I am painting a small beech forest (in the sun) with a few conifers mixed in. This takes until 8 'o clock."
And some resist the clock and what it symbolizes altogether, like Chubby Checker:
"Homey don't quit. What else are you gonna do? It's like those guys in the cartoon they get up in the morning, check the clock and fight all day and after it's over they check the clock and go home. That's how it goes."
 And Erykah Badu:
"I have a master plan as an artist. I've always said I'm not going to be punching nobody's clock. I will work as an artist to survive in this world."
 Sometimes the differences in perspectives are sharp, as in Pete Seeger's:
"I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other."
 and Geri Halliwell:
"I'd never choose to turn the clock back."
 All and all, my favorites are the creative ones who reveal how they get their creative work done:
"I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning."    Peter DeVries
 And the ones that show a sense of humor about time, which we cannot control nor understand:
"I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late start without me." Tallulah Bankhead

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Look What Came In The Mail Today!

Back on Dec. 23, I posted one of my pictures on Mortal Muses. The Mortal Muses are nine female photographers from around the world. Each morning, one of the Muses posts a musing based on the previous photo submission theme and selects a companion photo from the mortal muses flickr pool, to feature. The prompt for the day was Snowflake and here is the photo I posted:

My photo was chosen, much to my thrill and surprise, and I received these in the mail today from Tracy of Hey Harriett

Aren't they adorable? I love them. Tracy hosts Shadow Shot Sunday each week. Lots of great photos to check out and even more of Tracy's own work in her Etsy Shop

Thank you, Tracy and thank you Mortal Muses, for hosting such a great community and inspiring such creativity and sharing. 
You can see more winners of the Mortal Muses Giveaway here.