Arte Es Vida

Quick and Hearty Turkey Chowder by fionablackwolf
December 28, 2006, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Kitchen Magic

I thought I would share a recipe that is perfect for using up all the leftover turkey that seems to be around this time of year!

2T olive oil
 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium stalk of celery, chopped
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped ham
1 large potato cubed
5 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 cups turkey, coarsely chopped or cubed
2T flour
¼ cup sour cream
2 cups milk

Sauté garlic, carrot, celery, onion and ham in olive oil for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in broth and potato and bring to a simmer over medium heat about 10-15 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk together milk, flour and sour cream (I use a 2 quart jar with a lid and shake it up!).  Add turkey and milk mixture to soup and simmer 10-15 minutes longer or until carrots are tender. Makes about 8 one cup servings.


— Fiona Blackwolf


Wall Wiggles by arteesvida
December 26, 2006, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Home and Garden


In the floral section at Wal-Mart my daughter found some new bags of glass pieces…they were flat backed glass “wiggles”. I hot glued them to the wall on either side of my laundry room. The good part is I can pop them back off the wall again if I get bored since I only used hot glue!

Hash Brown Egg Bake by arteesvida
December 25, 2006, 5:31 pm
Filed under: Kitchen Magic

32 ounces hash browns, frozen — (cubed) & thawed
1pound bacon — cooked & crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese — divided
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
8 eggs
2 cups milk

In a large bowl, combine hash browns, bacon, 1/2 cup cheese & salt. Spoon into a greased 13x9x2″ baking dish. In a bowl, beat eggs & milk until smooth; pour over hash brown mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45-50 minutes until golden. Top with the remaining cheese. Yield: 8 servings.

Soul Collage by arteesvida
December 25, 2006, 4:10 am
Filed under: Book Reviews, Mixed Media

I found my packet of unfinished SoulCollage cards when cleaning out my garage studio this week.  So I went and dug up the site where I had posted my mostly-finished ones a few years ago.  It’s still active!  Yet another project I really need to finish one of these days.

 SoulCollage is a great book, my mom stole my copy of it so I haven’t seen it in awhile, but still…I have fond memories of it.

Updated Updates! by arteesvida
December 23, 2006, 6:11 pm
Filed under: General Info & Housekeeping

The good news is that all my old completed articles are finally up and archived.  The bad news is I found a ridiculous number of half-finished pieces on my hard drive, otentimes just  asentance or two of ideas and maybe an accompanying picture if I was lucky.  I’ll have to do something about them.  Eventually.

The other good news is I will using this blog space to write about the new projects I’m working on and reviewing new books.  I’ve been interspersing some new stuff with the older proejcts I’ve been uploading (such as the fabric collage round robin I’m participating in) and from here on out it it will be, generally speaking, all new stuff.

I’ve had some people ask about my ebooks.  Currently, there are two etsy links in the left hand sidebar of this blog.  My etsy shop has two of my ebooks available, and Fiona’s etsy shop has the two published issues of Coloring Outside The Lines available.  All four of these books/zines are also still available at for the same price (10% off if you are a premium member). 

Beadbabe’s owners and I have talked in the past about adding some of my other ebooks to their stock.  I haven’t gotten off my tushie and done the clean-up work I think they need before sending them over.  When I get that done I will add them to my etsy store and send them to Beadbabe for inclusion as well.  All the ebooks that were free in the past will remain so, and some of the smaller ebooks that sold for 2.50 or less may become so.  But I want to go over them all first and then decide, because it will pretty much have to be a final decsion.  I’m not going to give away something here that another site is selling.  Beadbabe has been a good company to work with and that would be tacky.  More information forthcoming on that front!!  If there was a specifi ebook that you have been looking for that I wrote, contact me in the meantime and maybe we can work something out!

Artist’s Journals and Sketchbooks by arteesvida
December 23, 2006, 5:50 pm
Filed under: Art Of Jewelry Design, Book Reviews, Creativity, Journaling

“Lynne Perrella’s book? Why are you reviewing Lynne Perrella’s book? It doesn’t have anything to do with jewelry making!“

All teasing aside, I think my friend is just jealous I got a copy of this fabulous book before she did! I have been a huge proponent of art journaling and keeping a design journal for a couple of years now. Always one to do things obsessively, I went from never keeping any kind of diary or journal to keeping three! One is for notes, ideas, quotes and pure “writing”, one is a pure art journal that I use for experimental and artistic “play”. My third is a jewelry design journal that I use to sketch out ideas, make notes for projects that intrigue me, and paste pictures of jewelry and other objects from magazines that I find inspirational. While this may sound obsessive (ok, maybe I am a weeeee bit obsessive), they all actually work together.

Sketchbook -- Dragonfly Pin

Design Journal Page

The design journal is the most important one for jewelry makers (for obvious reasons) and also the first sketchbook I ever started. I fill up about two blank books a year of notes, drawings, and magazine clippings. My big rule with this journal is that I allow myself to be ugly, and messy and scrawly. I have found if I don’t worry about “pretty”, I don’t limit and censure my self and my ideas. The above page are the notes and rough sketches of the Dragonfly Pin Project. When I am working on an idea that I think I may eventually turn in to an article, I usually go in to more detail so it is easier for me to recreate my directions at a later date. My other pages tend to be even messier and shorthanded.

Art Journal Soul Blooming 1

Art Journal Page One

Art Journal Soul Blooming 2

Art Journal Page Two

My second journal, a pure “art” journal is prettier by default. Since I use it to play with color and texture and elements of assemblage and collage it doesn’t relate directly to jewelry design. But I have found it to be a fantastic source of design inspiration. And fills my obsessive need to make something pretty after working in a messy design sketchbook. As you may have noticed already, this two page spread from my art journal was the inspiration for the dragonfly pin project.

Although I was already an art journal convert when I received a copy of Lynn Perrella’s book, I found it to be incredibly inspiring and useful, not just for journaling but as a source of jewelry design ideas. Besides being a physically beautiful book, it holds a huge amount of practical information. Including tips and ideas on:

· Working with photocopies
· Use of color using paints, washes, chalks, and textured mediums
· 9 different image transfer techniques
· Using slide mount frames (which can make gorgeous little photo frame pins)
· Attachment techniques, including brads and grommets
· Stamp carving
· Making faux postage stamps

The collection of featured journals themselves are of a huge variety. Besides the “typical” art journals (although art journals tend to be anything but typical) she includes photos and resources on an incredible array of sketchbook ideas. If you are interested in starting your own journal, you are sure to find an idea that appeals to you! She includes a decorator’s sketchbook and file, a project sketchbook (both are very similar to a jewelry designers sketchbook), travel sketchbooks, a mixed media epherma collection, a diary collage made out of rolled paper beads, and even diary quilts and skirts! Of course since this is the densest 130 pages I have seen in a long time, I am barely scratching the surface of what is included.

I may sound like a bit of a sketchbook zealot, but the amount of grown in my work I have gotten just from keeping a journal is amazing. My mom is very supportive and has even been wearing my jewelry for many, many years, but isn’t someone who is interested in the subtleties of design and technique. She commented to me a few months ago about the difference in my work over the past couple of years. She had noticed that I had started to make the leap from stringing beads to creating wearable art. Thinking about design, experimenting with technique, and giving myself permission to play on paper has made all the difference for me. Whether you are thinking about taking the next step design-wise, or just looking for a great creative and emotional outlet, this book is a FANTASTIC resource!

Ridiculously Easy Faux Malachite With Polymer Clay by arteesvida
December 23, 2006, 5:44 pm
Filed under: Clay Jewelry

I received a bit of scrap jelly roll cane that got me thinking….this has some serious malachite potentional! You don’t have to use a whole cane for this project…it is a great way to use the trimmed ends and smushed bits!

Leftover green and white jelly roll cane

Cutting tool or blade

Clay dedicated pasta machine or acrylic roller

Needle, toothpick, or awl

Non-yellowing acrylic sealer

Slice off about 1/8th of an inch of your jelly roll cane, and with your pasta machine on #2 setting, run it through to warp and distort the cane. You can also do this with an acrylic roller if you don’t have a clay-dedicated pasta machine. It takes a bit more work, but you will also achieve some more natural variations by hand rolling!

Fold the clay in half and run it back through your pasta machine. Fold in half again and repeat.

After these three passes, the green and white will have blended enough to recreate the various shades of green found in malachite.

To form your beads, fold the clay in to the shape you want (instead of rolling it, which can muddy up your layers). If you want the final bead to be round, fold it to shape first then round off the edges gently with the palms of your hand.

Pierce the clay to make bead holes, and bake according to clay manufacturers’ directions.

Seal with a non-yellowing acrylic sealer, and let dry completely before stringing!