Jelly Belly

  • More Food and Drawing

    For some time, I've been meaning to submit recipes to the They Draw and Cook website. I finally got two finished for a recent food geometry challenge. I submitted the recipe above, along with another. It was a really fun project for me. Especially challenging was getting the piece in the correct format and size (my Photoshop skills are still lacking), and doing some digital touch up work to make them look their best. I was ultimately happy with how they turned out, and proud of myself for getting it done!

  • Food + Drawing

    I don't know why it took me so long to start drawing food. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to combine my two interests somehow. In the last eight months, I've done lots of food drawings, beginning back in October with my Inktober recipes. I wanted to illustrate for someone other than myself, so I reached out to friends who have a coffee business. I'm working on a series of illustrations for different methods of brewing coffee. It's so much fun for me, and I find it satisfying to be working for "clients" other than myself.  

  • Chickens

    These chickens were modeled on my own chickens, Duck and Cluck. I took an online class from Anita Lehman through Carla Sonheim's website that was a very thoughtful look at composition. Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics and see how structure influences outcome. And, on a side note, it's been nice to have fresh eggs to eat and use in baked goods!

  • A New (Old) Way of Working

    I don't know why it took so long for me to go back to making collage and mixed media pieces. Maybe I didn't think they were "serious" enough, or I forgot how much fun it was for me to work this way, or maybe I just forgot how to do it. Recently, I found some fruit that I painted simply on canvas paper. I took out cheap, thin acrylics, poured green and yellow on top, and pushed the paint around the paper. After it dried, I tore out the fruit and saved them for a collage. That's where my playing around with fruit bowls began the other day. For a slight change of pace, I took a yellow piece of painted paper and turned it into a French press. I've mainly been using really smushy media, like a soft pencil, conte crayons, and Faber Castell gelatos. These collaged pieces really feel like me, and I'm loving all the color!

  • New Things!

    I'm test driving some new products at the market this Saturday. It's so much fun to play with color and shape on functional bags and totes. I like the simplicity of playing with fabric, paint, and potatoes. Yes, potatoes! That's what I used to make my stamps......and, they're compostable!

  • Stretching

    I decided to challenge myself with an online course, Explore Florals, taught by Victoria Johnson. It was three weeks of design briefs, each focusing on a different way to think about florals, with an accompanying palette. It was harder than I thought to get out of my own way of doing things and try something new. Just like life, I suppose.

  • Creative Thinking


    I am so thrilled to have my very first drawn illustration in the current issue of UPPERCASE Magazine! 

    I drew this on Thanksgiving, 2017. We decided to stay home and celebrate, just the three of us. I wanted my daughter to feel like that even though we weren't going anywhere, it was going to be a special day. So, I let her pick the drinks!

  • Pushing Forward

    I'm trying to remember this and to boldly learn new things without getting bogged down by self doubt. It's hard!

  • Plugging Away

    I'm trying to enjoy the quiet stillness of winter. We've had lots of snow (and snow days) and rain, which has made for long weeks of nasty weather. I'm drawing daily and I can see myself steadily improving. 

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Jelly Belly

So, I tried to redeem myself in the canning department this weekend. My first effort consisted of collecting wild Concord grapes from along the dirt roads where we live. Matt and I walked around with a shopping bag and scissors, which we hid from any passing cars, and we picked 2 bags full. I didn’t want to bother with taking all the tiny seeds out, so I decided to pull off most of the stems, but to boil them down whole and strain it afterward. I also decided, being the mad scientist chef that I am, that I knew enough to change up the recipe a bit to be less sweet by cutting down on the sugar considerably. Oh, I also didn’t have canning jars, just a few clean but recycled jars from friends. The story ended with lots of sticky purple liquid all over the counters, sink, and big saucepots, and two jars of grape syrup. Yes, that’s right, pectin doesn’t work as well without the right amount of sugar. This time, I had help in the form of a coworker who is also very interested in food, a book, Internet recipes, real canning jars (sanitized in the dishwasher), 6 pounds of red currants, and real world advice from my Mom. We were set up for success this time. The red currant jelly set beautifully and was like a glistening red stained glass window. We also did a blueberry jam, with some alterations to the recipe. This didn’t work as well since we cut down the amount of sugar (we thought the red currant was a bit too sweet) and skimped on the amount of pectin. I also think we should have briefly cooked the mixture after the liquid pectin, even though the recipe didn’t say to. If there are any canning experts out there, let me know where we went wrong. The blueberry jam tasted great, even if it wasn’t as firm as it could’ve been. And it was a highly satisfying project, with our 12 little jars all decorated and lined up on the counter at the end of the day.<a