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Creamy Tomato Soup


This soup is so fast and easy to make and so good. It’s just as easy as the readymade, right out of a can soup, makes a lot more, is a lot cheaper and tastes soo much better.  I haven’t bought tomato soup out of a can for a long time now. This is a favorite for my family.

creamy tomato soup

 Creamy Tomato Soup                                                                         serves 8 -10

  • 5  14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1 14.5 oz can of 1/2 and 1/2 (creamer)
  • 1 14.5 oz can of milk
  • 2 ts of chicken Better than Bouillon or 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 ts of sea salt
  • 1/2 ts of pepper
  • 1/2 ts of onion powder
  • 1/2 ts of basil

Put all of the tomatoes into a large pot.  Turn the heat to medium high.  Fill one of the empty tomato cans with 1/2 and 1/2 and put that into the pot, then do the same with the milk. Stir together.  Add the Better than Boullion chicken base and and the spices and stir until hot. Pair with grilled cheese sandwiches for a traditional and delicious meal.

*For a spicy tomato soup- use 2 cans of jalapeño diced tomatoes and 3 cans of diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil.



Creamy Vegetable and Beef Chowder

Creamy Vegetable and Beef Chowder (3)

This soup is so easy to make and you don’t have to do anything extra, not even thawing or browning the ground beef!  Just throw it all in a big pot and cook it up together.  (I came across the idea of cooking ground beef this way about a month ago and I’m so glad, it’s making some days have less work. Who made the law anyways that ground beef always has to be browned before cooking with the rest of a meal?  Some days are hard enough, dinner doesn’t need to be hard too.)  It’s very, very yummy too, each family member had seconds and the kids even forgot to complain about the spinach!

         Creamy Vegetable and Beef Chowder                                8 – 10 servings

  • 1 pound of raw ground beef  (80% lean, frozen is ok)
  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1 ts of better than bullion chicken base or 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 3/4 ts of salt
  • 1/2 ts of pepper
  • 3/4 ts of onion powder
  • 1/2 ts of garlic powder
  • 1/2 ts of paprika
  • 1/2 ts of parsley
  • 1/2 ts of thyme
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 3/4 in. chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 3/4 in. chucks
  • 1 15 oz. can of corn or 1/2 a 1 lb bag of frozen corn
  • 1/3 of a 1 lb bag of frozen spinach
  •  1/2 of a 1 lb bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
  • 2 Cups of 1/2 and 1/2 (creamer) or milk, if you have no creamer.)
  • 4 Tbsp of butter

Place your ground beef into a large pot, no need to thaw out if frozen or even to brown the meat. If your meat is already cooked, that’s ok too.  Just throw it in the pot!  Fill the pot to about 1/3rd full with the 1/2 gallon of water.  Turn the burner onto medium high heat.  Add the bullion and spices.  Scrape and break up the meat into chunks, every so often, no need to pay too much attention to this though- it handles much of that on its own.  As the meat is cooking in the water, chop up the potatoes and onions into about 3/4 inch size chunks and put them in the pot.  Add the can of corn, frozen spinach, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.  Turn the heat down to about medium heat, stirring the pot once in a while.  Add the 1/2 and 1/2 and the butter.  Continue stirring and cooking until everything is soft.  Add more spices or liquids to your own taste.

Fast and Easy Photo Transfer to Canvas

I wrote an article for Handmade Goodness Quarterly magazine about a photo transfer method I developed. It just came out this week and I’m really excited about it.  Check it out.

HGQ mag photo transfer tutorial 1HGQ mag photo transfer tutorial 2

Here is the shortlink to the entire issue of the magazine.  Handmade Goodness Quarterly magazine is totally free and by the same fine people at The Click on the link and sign up to get a copy in your email.

Mail Art Gallery Show

A fellow artist and blogger wrote about The Postcard Art Show at The Firehouse Gallery in Phoenix, AZ. We are both in this show.

WitchesBrewPress's Blog

From August 8th to September 7th, The Firehouse Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona there will be a Postcard Art show, featuring mail art from all over the United States, possibly internationally. My postcard is just one of the 156 + items that has been sent in. Tonight is the opening. All the postcard is affordable, and the proceeds will go to benefit the gallery’s recent maintenance issues.

Phoenix’s local Art Collective have gathering in The Firehouse Gallery for over ten years. It’s been a place for artists, musicians, poets, comedians and other performers to create and show their talent.  As stated on the event’s Facebook page, many artists have gained confidence and respect by starting up in this venue.

Here’s some photos of the postcard submissions:

Postcards displayed for The Firehouse Gallery postcard show to open on August 8th to September 7th 2014. Postcards displayed for The Firehouse Gallery postcard show to open on August 8th to September 7th 2014.

Postcards displayed for The Firehouse Gallery postcard show to open on August 8th to September 7th 2014. Postcards displayed for The Firehouse Gallery postcard show…

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Finished work.


Finished work.

Here the painting is, finished. I’ve decided to officially title it, “Please Remove your Belt”. I’m so glad it worked out the way I wanted it to- even better than I hoped and it was done in time too to enter it in the show. I’ve got my fingers crossed, but feel really good about it. This was a very challenging work as far as new technique and maintaining the single line while trying to also keeping the objects identifiable and yet detailed, but it’s equally rewarding. I’m happy it’s finished and can take these new things learned into new works.

Security checkpoint original photo


Security checkpoint original photo

The original photo, here, is very dull and boring ( as far as colors) but it was the only image that gave me any inspiration so I went with it. I’m glad I did, now. I took it with my cell phone after going through the security checkpoint in the courthouse.

Ignoring the Lump in my Gut and Painting over it with the Line.


Ignoring the lump in my gut and painting over with the line.

I started covering the whole work with the line. I was really nervous about doing that, it was the first time I used that technique with a painting and wasn’t even sure it would work. Plus, I really liked the traditional painting I’d already done and was painting over. I had to keep fighting myself to do it and ignore that lump in my gut. I had to do what I had set out to do and kept telling myself that I painted the first one, the underpainting, and that I could do it again- over the top of the lines. I just had to do it (paint over it with the lines) and keep going. It did get easier, but only after it was more than halfway and too much to go back.

Sometimes for me, my art is experimental and feels a little like jumping off a cliff with an unused parachute. It’s scary, but exhilarating and usually works out. In order to grow and learn, I’ve got to do something new, holding only onto the faith that I’m pretty sure I can do it and still knowing that I might fail too. I’m so glad I did this- I’ve been wondering if this could work for a long time and am planning on doing the same technique on a very large painting. It’s much better to experiment on smaller works.

Finer details added in today.


Finer details added in today.

Today, I cleaned up and sharpened the edges of the objects and added in the highlights, shadows and darks. I’m starting to really like the looks of it and am ready for the next stage of painting over the whole work with the continuous line. It’s getting there. I hope it’ll get there in time though- my deadline is approaching very quickly.  I have just about a week to get everything done.

A little more progress today…


A little more progress today...

I blocked in most of the pieces with the base colors and some of the shadows. I’m planning on overlaying differently colored lines covering the whole painting. Still feeling out the process and just how I’ll do it. I’m liking the feel of it so far and its colors, it’s leading me in the right direction. The work is very messy right now, I just threw on the paints so far with only one brush. The end work will be much neater with the lines and not so bold for color. My inspiration is the picture to the right, Van Gogh’s work, “A pair of leather clogs”.

The picture on the top there, is the original photo I took one day, after going through the security checkpoint in the courthouse. It really irked me that they made me take off my belt- how necessary is that, really?  So, I’m standing there, holding up my pants, trying to get myself back together and not feel too foolish and it just angered me. I don’t need this humiliation- esp. on a day I’m already stressed and doing really important things and needing to keep cool and together. I’m not some crazed McGuyver person hiding weapons under or in my belt of all places. They’d usually scan the wand beeping thing in front of me, the belt would make it beep and they’d let me through. Not that day.  Would you like a side of embarrassment with your order of justice, Ms? Um, no thanks.

I hate that these days our privacy is so disrespected in the name of “security”. All these procedures are so ridiculous and for nothing (positive anyways). I don’t think it makes any of us more secure at all- I don’t feel safer seeing my belt, keys and glasses in the bin- or your’s for that matter. I really think it’s just to remind us proles who’s in charge. It’s the proles who really have the power though- we are by far the majority.