30 September, 2009

We have a winner

In a very technologically sound way (writing out names, tearing up the strips, putting in a bowl, shaking up, closing eyes and picking out the lucky name), I've just drawn the first Shiny Happy Art mailing list draw.

And the winner is Jennifer E. from http://jenmeisterswaps.blogspot.com/ who subscribed to my mailing list earlier this month.

Congratulations Jen! When I receive your address your prize will be in the mail.

I've got another prize planned for October, so please visit my site and join the mailing list asap. I've got new products planned for Christmas and will be adding bookplates and new Art Tags later tonight.

Thanks again for all that have already joined, and who are now in the draw for next month.

29 September, 2009

iSnack 2.0 - that's awful

Loved this parody of Hitler discovering they've named the new Vegemite 'iSnack 2.0". Laughed out loud.

Having said that, I really love Vegemite (my Mum used to give it to us on a spoon as kids) and have absolutely no desire to try the new stuff.

26 September, 2009

The mural is done!

I finished the mural in the mammogram room yesterday and came home and had a very early night. I was totally exhausted. Happy with how it worked out though, and I'm told they've had some lovely comments on it. There'll be an 'opening' of sorts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) so I've been promised an invite. As it's the first mural I've done that was spread out to three sessions there was a bit of pressure to make sure both sides 'matched' sufficiently. But as you can see by my last picture, there was also a lovely sense of satisfaction as I took one last look and closed the door (I was the last to leave!).

I painted in the Park again today, but it was pretty breezy and I left early, trying in vain to avoid the dust storm coming our way. I'm booked for the Street Fair in town tomorrow, but we'll wait and see what the weather's like.

Will be loading more teatowels, as well as new Art Tags, a Craft Kit and Bookplates onto the site this week, so stay tuned.

22 September, 2009

The Carnival is in full swing

I've done 2 sessions in Queens Park so far and the weather's been fantastic, the crowds friendly and I have completed some new paintings which I'm very happy about.
I'm on again Wed morning and Sat afternoon, and perhaps on Ruthven St during the long lunch on Sunday. It is hot though and the bub's not been happy with the bottle, so the logistics have been pretty full on. But it's once a year and a lot of fun.
New art and coloured teatowels will be available on my website next week.

Getting ready

Agreeing to be involved with the Carnival of Flowers meant that I wanted to have some new stock on hand - so my beautiful assistants (Mum and Dave) got involved and we made print blocks and colourful teatowels - you can see that the folding had to wait!

15 September, 2009

Critics give them the thumbs up

Evidence that we're still making 'Emergency Cookies' regularly - who would have guessed our lives are filled with so many emergencies.

Here the latest batch receives the thumbs up, even before they actually make it to the oven.

Painting for the Carnival of Flowers

Here's some detail of the progress of a tall, thin sunflower painting I did last night. Inspired by van Gogh's colours I set off to paint something that came naturally. Now delivery is on Wednesday for the exhibition over the weekend. Still have to varnish, photograph and string them, but I'm on track. Four new paintings done - so once these are totally finished I can focus on the block prints and teatowels I need for Saturday.

Stage 2 of Mural

I was able to spend some more time on the mural in the Mammogram Room at the Breast Screen Unit again last Friday, and I got one side finished - with one more session to go, in about a fortnight's time.
Here are some progress shots of the left hand side. I really enjoyed doing this and am delighted with how it's turning out.

09 September, 2009

Too much practice

I am LOVING these Emergency Cookies!
This afternoon I made a batch for the kids (adding peanuts and white choc chips instead of M&Ms) and did up another 2 jars ready for the next emergency. Freakily enough I measured out the butter EXACTLY in just one scoop. Way too much baking being done around here for that to happen.
Josh made a batch last week from the jar I kept for home - oh, how much easier is it to cook with him when all the dry ingredients are in one jar!
Can't believe we didn't think of this years ago!

Fathers Day

Aren't Father's Day presents from 2 year olds wonderful things!

07 September, 2009

Painting away

With the Carnival of Flowers just around the corner, I'm working on four pieces to hopefully be displayed in the Ergon Food and Wine tent. The theme is 'Food, Wine and Flowers' and I had to name them before I'd really decided what I wanted to paint, so this year I went with flowers. It's just safer. And things are going well so far, here's hoping things continue this way!

04 September, 2009

Teatowel Giveaway

Go to Shiny Happy Art and put your name on the list - and you could win this special teatowel (it's printed on 100% natural linen - a limited run but oh, so lovely to use!).

I promise you will not be overrun with emails, I'll just keep in touch from time to time.

03 September, 2009

Emergency Cookies

My boys needed to 'take a jar' to school today. It was a free dress day and the 'price' was a jar full of something, to be sold at the school fair in October (I can't believe that's next month already!). This is on top of the money that's been sent in for show bags and ride armbands, major raffle tickets, class stall donations, and soft drinks (another free dress day for the drinks van stock). But it is the major fundraiser for the year and it's a fantastic community day. This year they're even having fireworks!

So, inspired by the amazing Bakerella (her photos are SO much better than mine), I put together these jars of 'Emergency Cookies'. After spending some time researching (ie. blog surfing) this idea seems to be happily American, but I have to say, having now made 2 batches straight from the jar (testing my recipes), it's pretty catchy!

Bakerella's recipe fitted in a 1 quart jar (I have no idea how big a 1 quart jar is) but I wanted to use jars i already had, and minimise the cost of the ingredients wherever possible. I'd happily put heaps of M&M's in a jar for a friend, but at nearly $4 a bag I was trying to be sensible here. And I used the bag of orange flavoured M&Ms which really added to the taste. The pink ones that are in the shops in October will look really good too. I'll definitely make some jars up when they come out.

I made a couple of batches and ended up prefering the batch that included cocoa and included more butter so spread out while cooking. Now, I'm no Masterchef, but this is the combination I settled on.

to fit in a 750g Paul Newman's Pasta Sauce bottle

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
pinch salt
1 cup oats
1/3 cup M&Ms (more would be better if you're feeling generous)
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar

Pack it all down in layers (if there's space I'd add more nuts or M&M's if you have them).

When you're ready to cook, mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add combined wet ingredients:
1 egg (lightly beaten)
125g butter (almost melted)
1 tsp vanilla

Once it's all combined, roll into balls about 1 tbsp each, leaving room for spacing, and bake on baking paper covered trays at 180 degrees celcius for about 12-15 mins.

I needed 2 trays because one jar made about 30 cookies.

They were a big hit with the kids, and I enjoyed the alchemy of it all, and making up the labels.

I'm not sure how to offer you a link to download the labels I made, but if you're keen, just leave your email address with a comment and I'll send my pdf file to you. I printed it out on gloss photo paper and glued to the jar. The fabric was 15cm square and the cord was about 60cm in length for each jar.

If you've got some ideas on how to improve this recipe, I'd love to hear them too.

Now I'm off to bed, I need an early night for a change. Lots of painting to do tomorrow as it's the only day of the week I have a few hours of daycare for the lovely Sophia.

In the Works

Spent time the other night doing sketches for some Book Plates that are in my head right now. I've sent the artwork to the printer so I'll let you know when they're ready!
Another thing to cross off the list - terrific!
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