Ciao 2014! Hello 2015!

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Isn’t that a lovely photo? I took it while doing a 5 k run last week. Rather a lot of hoarfrost made for a winter wonderland.

And speaking of running, I’m just back from my last run of the year, unless I change my mind and get in another 5 k tomorrow…which is tempting I admit…but we’ll just go with this for now…1agphotoasy

Yeah, that’s right. The elusive PR for distance was set by lil’ old me. I’m not the fastest runner nor do I run the longest nor do I run the toughest runs. But I do run. This year I enjoyed good health and therefore I never missed a single scheduled run. I even added a few during the summer, hence the new distance record. I’d love to break it again next year and I’m working on figuring out the math. I’d so love to nail 1000 miles or as we Canucks say 1600 kms next year. Only time will tell but in the meanwhile, I’m beaming with success and self love. Way to go button! We rock!

Other news from 2014 is that I went vegan this summer. After 20 years of being vegetarian a news story about animal abuse at a dairy in BC just made me realize that I wanted out. I thought this would be so hard. I rather enjoyed cheese and had yogurt every single day in my smoothie. (Eggs are no biggie, I stopped eating them years ago. 2 tablespoons of flax in warm water make an eggless egg perfect for baking.) After I quit dairy I started following vegan boards on pinterest and it totally opened my eyes about the connection between the dairy industry and veal production. I would never eat veal even before I went vegetarian and to learn that the side effect of my milk consumption was the veal industry made me feel so very sad and full of regret.

So sad and full of regret that I had a good cry about it.1agphotoz

On the upside I’ve found that cashew cream is super easy to make, hummus makes a great snack in place of a cheese plate, vegan protein powder is a fine replacement for yogurt in my smoothies and that I feel much better since quitting dairy. Live and learn and do unto others as you would have them do unto you and better late than never and forgiveness is a gift you give yourself and so forth and so on. We only have so much time to control our food destiny and I’ve grabbed the bull by the horns, no pun intended, and made the final big switch. Unless I become a Fruitarian as seen in the film Notting Hill.*insert winkey face emoticon here*

Finally 2014 saw my husband and I mark our 20 wedding anniversary. He’s such a good egg. He puts up with all my malarkey and stays steadfast and true. He’s the best.

And so Dear Reader, I hope you have had a happy year…I know we did. With that I’m off to stoke the woodstove and make some spicy sandwiches with the so awesome Veganaise. It is SO good! I totally recommend it. And it’s made with Solar power! You can’t beat that!

Peace out 2014!

A~

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Collage Fever and Hula Hooping!

 

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ACEO fever struck this long weekend, taking the freshly cleaned house from spotless to a hot mess of paper piles, books, magazines, various bits and bobs, paint brushes, glue sticks…all liberally sprinkled throughout the house. Oy vay! What a mashugana! Classic Amy.

Ah well…such is the creative process…it’s timing is often inconvenient! I’ve amassed a large collection to pull from including some great vintage movie magazines, an amazing 1940’s Sears catalogue, some horrific Sears catalogues from the 1970’s and a bunch of old knitting pattern books. I like to pick my lady and then go from there. I call the series of female based pieces “She” and the ornithological  based pieces are a part of my ongoing “Birds” series.

These are all available in the etsy shop.

 

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Other news in the life is I LOVE hula hooping! It is so much fun! I do it everyday for about half an hour.

I started with this hoop. The trick to hooping is start large and weighted and then don’t bail on doing it when you can’t get the hoop to stay up. Just keep picking it up and doing it and before you know it you’ll be hooping!
I’ve since passed the big hoop onto a friend and I’ve moved down to a lighter, smaller hoop which is more of a challenge to keep up. You have to go really fast to not lose it. But that’s the fun, you gotta hoop hardcore to maintain the circle. Woot woot! I’ve made it into a hiit workout by hooping normally for 1 minute and then hooping with my arms up over my head for the next minute. Do that 5 times and you get some great heart rate action. Plus it’s SO FUN. HOOP! Do it. You’ll love it!

That’s it for now…gotta go get a 5 k in and then it’s vegan T Day leftovers. Yum yummy yum yum.

Ciao!

A~

 

 

Hoarders – The Seitan Edition

This year marks my 20th year without consuming the flesh of my fellow earth beasts. I’ve had a lot of nuts and beans since then…I make a mean chili and a darn good curry but sometimes you want something other than tofu in your asian inspired dishes. Hence, the seitan. This strange but yummy protein is still available at the Superstore, hopefully it will be for years to come. Every now and again when the hubs has business in the city he drops by and grabs a dozen cans depending on what is on the shelves. This time he bought 24 cans! 24 CANS! Awesome sauce!

You give it a little bit of a fry and then you can make a yummy Vietnamese sub sammy with a whole wheat crusty roll with some grated carrots and cucumbers and a schwack of cilantro and some hot sauce. Best sammy in the world, imho. I also make a nice veggie and noodle soup and right before I serve it I drop some seitan nuggets on the top with some chopped peanuts and cilantro. Tres bon!

You can also make a heap of fried rice and veggies with this stuff in it and then you use the leftovers rolled up in a spring roll wrapper the next day. So.Good.

Once in a pinch I even used it in a “beef” stroganoff and it was worked a treat. So…behold once again, my hoard of weird food items.

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On other news fronts I heard from my gallery that my “Chinook Honey Bee Queen” painting sold last month. So that is awesome.That was a work I made after the nice lady working the counter at Chinook Honey’s store counter told us that the Queen had left the hive that is *in* the store ( it’s contained in a plexiglass wall with a bee tube leading outside) when the hive got too full but instead of flying off into the sunset she plopped to the ground as she was too fat to fly. Half the hive came out and swarmed around her bringing the bee keeper around to see what all the fuss was about. They had to move her to a new location since she wasn’t going to be able to wing it on her own. How cute is that? I’d post a pic of that piece but I accidentally deleted that photo folder. Way to go Ohio! Image

 

I’ll post this painting instead…they were made at the same time so they’re they’re cousins of a sort. This is a Snake Charmer who now resides in Praha aka Prague with some other works I made in 2013. It was a good year for paintings last year. I should get on it again and put in another bulk order of boards to work on. (She says ignoring the 3 paintings waiting to be completed in the studio!) No rest for the weary!

And now Dear Reader, we lace up our shoes and throw on our layers and go for our Sunday run.Thanks for dropping by! Stay warm out there.
A~

House Keeper – A New Painting for 2014

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This lovely piece is fresh off the easel and available on the net at our etsy store. If it doesn’t go in a month or two I’ll take it down to the gallery, as people just love and covet it irl. But in the meantime I feel like it might be meant for someone out in the world who can’t get to the gallery. Time will tell I suppose.

I started my ‘mater seeds this week…lot’s of nice heirlooms, for fruits big and small. I’m debating on planting some purple cauliflower but I’m not sure it’s worth it. It needs a long season and it takes up a lot of the space in the garden and it gets buggy with cabbage moths. Yuck.

Speaking of pests, the deer have been in the yard a lot lately, digging at last years kale and chewing on the apple tree. I’m thinking of hanging some Irish Spring soap bars in recycled orange bag mesh to keep them away. And yet, I feel bad for them. They’re hungry. And the snow is very deep. I know if I were a hungry deer I’d love some of that kale…mmmm…kale…

And with that it’s off to bake some Kale and Spinach chips. So yummy.
Be good Dear Reader!
A~

Today’s Run Was Squishy in a Snowy Kinda Way.

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Running towards the mountains can be pretty visually rewarding some days. And while it was very lovely today it was also a bit like running through a desert since the snow on the roads is about 3 inches deep and really sandy feeling. It was quite a slog here and there, especially going uphills. You know, the kind of run when you have to pull everything in, tighten up and just go nice and even…no sprints allowed! Before I headed out I took some time to replace my Ice Spikes. They’re great little screws that go right into your shoe or boot. I adore them. Seriously. I’m always stopping fellow runners when winter approaches to ask them if they’re going to be running through the season. If they say “Yes” I give them the Ice Spike hard sell. I’m a total convert looking to bring others into the fold. Here’s the before and after view of the wee beasties…Image

A fresh pair of spikes make it so you can trod the mean streets of Southern Alberta. I highly recommend them! They’re great for hiking and trail running too! BUY SOME TODAY! Heh heh. But seriously, get some. They’re awesome.

So, that’s it for today…just a random post about running stuff.

Happy Tuesday,

A~

 

The Rainbow Edition

These are our colourful version of our wedding favours we call “Words Enough For a Lifetime Together”. We just had a nice order for a bunch of them except the bride to be wanted them made into magnets. Done and done! You can find these at our zibbet shop and at our etsy shop as well.

We’ve been busy painting and cooking and spring cleaning here. I’d love to paint the living room and yet I hate painting so I am at cross purposes in that regard. While doing some garden cleaning I found our ants are up and at ’em and I’ve seen a couple of very sweet ground squirrels out and about so in theory we will have some warmer days soon.

Oh yeah, we had a listing up to raise some funds to donate to the Red Cross for Japan relief and those sold so big thanks to the peep who helped us get that done!

I’ll check in soon with some new art and a new burfdae card soon but once again, the garden calls…

A~

Expanding Venues and Making More Stuff

We’re pleased to announce that we’re now selling items via shoply and zibbet, in addition to our etsy shop. We’re busy making new items for all locations and we’re eyeing the mess that our garden with hopes of getting at it soon.

I leave the foliage intact in the Autumn for something they call “Winter Interest” but we go SO MUCH SNOW this year that everything just got bent over and crushed. C’est la vie as the french say.

Anyhoo…here is my favorite photo currently for sale…it’s at the zibbet shop…

http://www.zibbet.com/buttonempire

Come on over and see us. Buy something and you’ ll recieve some awesome treats added in.