Thursday, December 31, 2009

Everything is fixed....

We got our cable turned back on, so the landlord must have taken care of whatever the problem was with the housing association. I just opened my Etsy stores back up, so everything is back to normal. What are you doing for New Year's? I will admit that we are simply going to our favorite pizza buffet and watching a movie. We don't drink and I don't like to be on the roads when I know there are people drinking and driving, so we are going to stay close to home. I hope everyone has a safe and happy 2010. Goodbye 2009! A lot of us are glad to see you go. Now Shoo!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The joys of renting....

I am just popping in briefly (we are actually picking up internet from a random wireless in the neighborhood on my husband's laptop) to let you know why my Etsy stores are in vacation mode and I won't be posting online anywhere. Because we are not "settled" here in Florida, we have been renting since got here. The community we are in has an HOA and the cable and internet come through them and are included in our rent. Well, we have run into landlord trouble AGAIN. We had to hastily leave our last house because it was in foreclosure. Our cable and internet were shut off without any warning to us today because apparently, our landlord is behind on the HOA payments. That is not a good sign. I have left messages at 2 numbers for her, and so far, I have not heard back. So, we may have a very long weekend (or longer) without service. I will miss chatting with you all. If by chance my husband gets his laptop fixed (it's battery is no longer working and has to be plugged in) I can open my stores back up and stop in at a coffee shop to check sales and emails. This is such a mess. I apologize if you were planning on purchasing anything. I hope to be up and running soon. However, for all I know, we may have to move again. Ugh. Chat with you later...Lori

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes Recipe

My husband wanted me to try this recipe for our Christmas desserts, and they turned out to be very yummy! I would love to put out a challenge to myself & my readers to tweak this recipe to make some mini cheesecakes in other flavors! You'll need a muffin tin to cook them in...

18 paper baking cups (I prefer the foil ones)
18 gingersnap cookies (the size of vanilla wafers)
12 oz of cream cheese
1 TBS cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. nutmeg)
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Place a gingersnap cookie in the bottom of each baking cup, and place the cups in the muffin pan. Beat softened cream cheese, cornstarch, sugar, and spice until fluffy.
Add eggs; beat well.
Add pumpkin & corn syrup, bead until well blended.

Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and bake 30-35 minutes (my oven took 35) at 325 degrees. You can check to see if they are done by inserting a knife near the center to see if it comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving. Leave any uneaten cheesecakes in the fridge. Serve with whipped cream or Cool Whip and crushed gingersnaps on top.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I survived Christmas!

I survived Christmas, but I am not so sure about my stomach. I ate Godiva chocolates for breakfast on Christmas morning, and that was followed by pumpkin cheesecake...which I have also had for breakfast a few more times! We had a rather quiet Christmas with just the two of us, and went to see Avatar. We watched it in 3D, and the visual effects were wonderful. The plot was somewhat predictable, but a lot of movies are.
Today, I almost broke my new camera by putting the new memory card in wrong, and getting it stuck. I about had a heart attack. So far, it is working fine, and the pictures take and transfer. I am hoping for some opportunities to put it to good use. We have had some icky weather since I got it. It has been pretty cloudy and bleak for Florida, anyway.
Well, I just wanted to pop in and say HI. I do plan on posting the recipe for the pumpkin cheesecakes I made. My husband got the recipe from someone at work. You bake them in foil cups in a muffin tin. I plan on tweaking the recipe and making some chocolate cheesecake ones. Yum! Hope you had a nice Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who pushed the fast forward button?!

Like everyone else, I can hardly believe Christmas is here already. Other than cooking for just the two of us on Christmas, I have everything done. Now I can sit back and relax. All of our water finally dried up, it cooled down, and now it is warming up again. You just never know what you'll get this time of year in Florida.
The coming year brings some excitement for me, as we may be moving at some point, and my jewelry will be published for the first time (in a book coming out around May). I am keeping my fingers crossed on getting a painting published. We are still trying for a little one, but no luck in that department.
I wish all of you a lovely holiday! I hope the New Year brings good things for all of us, and the economy begins to pick up. I wish you and yours health, happiness, and to be blessed with the things you stand in need of.
I will leave you with my newest graphic illustration "A song of the heart can never be caged."

Friday, December 18, 2009

The rain came down and the floods came up...

Well, we came through with a dry home last night. It is still raining today, so if it gets heavy again, we could have flooding tonight. We do have a tornado watch, but it looks pretty calm outside compared to yesterday's torrential rains and flooding. I am not leaving the house today, as some roads are still bad. I could barely sleep last night because I was still stirred up about driving home through the flood. Just down the street, at least 20 cars were completely ruined by flood waters in a parking lot. Some water was waist deep. I didn't wake up to an alligator on my screened porch, so that made me happy. ( :
On a happier note, I can now offer some of my larger paintings as prints. Here is the first one that is now available. The original is 20" X 16" and the print is 8" X 10". You can find it in my Etsy store, ArtworkByLori.
Have a great weekend! I'll check in later.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The most terrifying experience of my life

It started raining today, and it never stopped. I had a church thing to do tonight, and on the way there, it wasn't horrible. There was some standing water in places. But by the time I left, what would normally be a 15 minute drive, turned into a horrifying 45 minute drive home. The closer I got, the higher the water got until I could feel it rushing against my doors. It was behind me and in front of me. I kept praying and driving toward my house. It was dark out, so that made it even scarier. The road leading to my house was not even visible. We have alligators here. That made it even scarier if I got trapped and had to ditch the car. I finally made it with a lot a praying, shaking, and the entrance of my housing edition. My car almost got stuck in the water there. I was soooo close. I finally made it home and still feel like crying. I hope this rain stops soon and our home doesn't flood. Did I mention I hate living in Florida? I suppose you can having flooding anywhere, but this town has the worst drainage system. I am grateful to be safe at home (which I hope will remain dry) and glad that Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I was in a very dangerous situation.

A Resuce Pet's Christmas Poem

I saw this online today, and thought it fitting to share.

'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
Every shelter is full - we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
We hope every minute that someone will care.

They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
"Come here, Max and Sparky - come fetch your new ball!"
But now we sit here and think of the days
We were treated so fondly - we had cute baby ways,
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew,
Now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
They reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?
We "jump on the children, don't come when they call",
We "bark when they leave us, climb over the wall".
We should have been neutered; we should have been spayed,
Now we suffer the consequences of the errors they made.

If only they'd trained us, if only we knew,
We'd have done what they asked us and worshipped them too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse - left to roam,
Now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us goodbye,
"Maybe someone else will give you a try".

So now here we are, all confused and alone,
In a shelter with others who long for a home.
The workers come through with a meal and a pat,
With so many to care for, they can't stay to chat.
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer,
We know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads,
Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears,
Our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn,
Could you help with the bills, and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year,
Can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat,
And help us get something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
And more of us will if more people give.

Author unknown

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Alice in Wonderland series....Part 2 & 3 White Rabbit & Alice

I've been so busy painting, preparing for Christmas, and keeping the house in order that I haven't posted in a few days. This last weekend, we went to a Cat Show in Vero Beach and we both really enjoyed that. I fell even more in love with hairless Sphynx cats. I think hubby did too. We brought home a new toy for the kitties and they have been fighting over it all week. I got my new camera (an early Christmas present) so I have been learning to use it and installing stuff on the computer for it. I hope to be able to use it for my artwork. My other camera is only good for close ups, which is what I need for my jewelry. I wanted one with enough megapixels to actually be able to print the pics out and have exceptional quality. Currently, I have had to keep all my artwork under 8 X 10 inches for scanning.
I have all my "far away" family's gifts shipped off, Christmas cards are finished, and I only have my husband's gift left. He keeps changing his mind. Santa is growing impatient.
I hope all of you are enjoying the season (and all the many baked treats that come with it!)
Here are my two newest pieces of the White Rabbit and Alice. They, along with the Cheshire Cat are all available as prints in my Etsy store now. Chat with you later!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Alice in Wonderland series....Part 1

Some of you may have seen my post a few months back that showcased a larger painting I had shipped off to Somerset Studio in hopes of making the March 2010 issue dedicated to Alice In Wonderland. As per their guidelines, I may not receive it back until 9-12 months after I shipped it. I've wanted to expand on this theme and do some smaller 8 X 10 mixed media collage paintings, so I started on that this week. I plan to do the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, Alice, The Mad Hatter, and the Queen. Here is the finished Cheshire Cat. I will have the print and the painting available in my Etsy store in the next day or so. I started on the White Rabbit today. Hope they make you smile! I'll have the newest one to show to you soon!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sharing time

It's Monday sharing time! I have 9 pieces of new jewelry to list in my Etsy store tonight so I thought I would share a pic of one of the necklaces I am diggin' right now. Some of you know I am obsessed with birds. I often find ways to add them to my paintings and jewelry. So, here's a happy yellow birdie necklace, and a pic of my two kitties (who normally despise each other) sharing a "blanket fort" in the recliner last night. ( : Snuggly kitties always bring a smile to my face! Check out my store later tonight...there's still plenty of time to pick up some online Christmas gifts! All the new pieces will be under $35!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do your OWN stinkin' laundry!

This lady may be smiling, but deep down, she's ready to tell you what to do with all that laundry. Perfect for all the mom's and wives who long to be free from the piles of laundry that continually multiply like rabbits. I created this after doing 4 loads of laundry yesterday. LOL I also have a Sepia (brown/neutral) one available on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Deals sales have ended, BUT....

I plan to still offer a Buy 2, Get the 3rd print free sale in my Artwork By Lori store on Etsy for the rest of December.
I just added a new print on Monday, and will be adding the actual painting it came from soon.
Here's a pic of the painting/print. I am off to get dressed and run some errands, then hopefully back to creating. My bad mood over the past few days caused my Muse to take a hike. She was feeling sad and useless. I am pretty sure she was sitting in a coffee shop in Minneapolis somewhere, sipping hot apple cider and watching snowflakes fall.