Friday, December 30, 2011

Creamy Edamame Dip

In November John and I were sitting in the doctor's office waiting to find out why I felt so cruddy. Shortly we found out that I had walking pneumonia...thanks kids! ;)

While waiting we came across an interesting recipe for an edamame dip in Country Living magazine. John took a picture of it with his smart phone and we soon forgot about it. When we were planning the holiday shindig with my bff, LL, I remembered it!

I whipped it up and put it out during the party. It was a hit! Within a week of the party, I had already had two of my friends request the recipe. So, here it is! Best part, it's vegetarian and kind of healthy (minus the delicious cheese spread).

  • 2 cups frozen, shelled Edamame
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup Garlic-Herb cheese spread (Boursin)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Tahini paste
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. Boil edamame according to package directions (stovetop or microwave); drain.
  2. Combine all ingredients in food processor. Add more sour cream, olive oil, or water if too thick.
  3. Transfer to bowl and chill in refrigerator.
  4. Serve with sesame crackers and/or fresh vegetables!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Kitchen Rug

I picked up a super fun woven rug at the thrifty today. It is brand new, never used, tags still attached. They actually had a bunch of them in different colors and sizes. I was tempted to pick up several, but I resisted the urge! If you live in the Birmingham area and want one of your own, go down to the Mission Possible thrift store in Irondale.

I am excited too because all of the rugs I had previously used in front of my kitchen sink weren't washer/dryer compatible. Therefore, they would just get nasty and end up in the trash. I have been without for a while because I hadn't found any I liked and Luna has been sad about it too. She usually goes straight to the kitchen rug for her morning stretches. As soon as I put this one down, she ran straight to it. It looks like they are getting along (rug and dog that is). I think they are both adorable!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

OWL appetizer plates

My stepbrother and his wife (Brian and Beth) got me these super cute owl appetizer plates for Christmas. They are made by a company named "tag." I love them! Can't wait to put them to good use! Hoot!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Owl Cake

I saw this owl cake on pinterest. It was pinned from the "Leave Room for Dessert..." blog. It is so cute I had to share. All you do is bake two round cakes, use one for the body and cut the other one up using temple (pic below) and reassemble. Ice and eat! Great idea for a birthday cake for all of the owl lovers out there. Hint hint! ;)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Abstract Jewelry

Over Thanksgiving break, I messed around with some tar paper. You know, that stuff you put on your roof (on top of wood, underneath shingles)...the black stuff.

Apparently you can paint on it. So, I slung around some paint, used a straw to blow around some ink, added some oil pastel shapes and lines, and finished it off with some copper leafing and metallic paints.

After it all dried, I cut it into various shapes. Then, I poked a hole in the top and covered them with two-part epoxy. When they all dried, I turned them into earrings and necklaces.

Here is an example of one of the necklaces! Shiny and colorful. I like it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Anthro Quilt!

Anthropologie makes the most lusciously soft and comforting quilts! They are amazing...they magically keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I also love how they are larger than most comforters and cover more space. They also hardly ever fall off of the bed in the middle of the night like other quilts and comforters I've had are want to do. I also love how they are all double sided, so if you get a little bored at one point, you can just flip it over!

Being that they are so wonderful and magical, they come at a high price...usually selling at around $200 for a Queen. Last year, I bought one on sale for $100 and loved it. However, the dry cleaners recently ruined it and I had to return it. The sad news was they has discontinued the one I had. Good news, I found a new one on sale for $75 with a funky peacock on the front! It is making its way to me in the shipping realm as we speak. I can't wait for it to adorn my bed and bring me slumbering dreams aplenty!

If you are in love and want to get one of your own, it is called the "Pavo" quilt...go to Anthropologie's website here!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cute Cuckoos

I have been really sweet on cuckoos for awhile now, but it has been reaching a crescendo lately!

Here are some I made recently (watercolors and jewelry):

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monster Bookmark Corners

AAhhhhhhh! Monsters! I love these monster bookmarks and they were so easy to make. Aren't they so cute? When you put one on the corner of your book to hold the place, it looks like the monster is eating the corner of the book.

"Om nom nom nom. Me love books! Yum."

There is a wonderful tutorial of how to make these adorable bookmarks.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blog Giveaway Winners!

Kathy and Michelle are the winners of the September blog giveaway. Kathy won the "owl themed" planner and Michelle won the "Love/Peace" waterbottle! Thanks to all of my new followers! Next time I will be giving away a print of one of my original artworks...stay tuned in the next several months.

Roll Tide!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Creeper Jess Blog

I was featured on a fellow artist's blog site! Here is the link if you want to check it out:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Giveaway!

I am doing a giveaway starting today! Two lucky people will win one of the following items pictured below. The super cute "Love and Peace" water bottle or the equally awesome owl themed planner.
You must comment on this post with your name and email so I can contact you if you win. I will announce the winner on Friday, September 16th. So, you have until Thursday, September 15th to enter for a chance to win!

You must also do one of the following:

  • Become a following member if you are not already one (click on follow, log in with your email, then go back to the blog and double check that you show up as a new follower)

  • If you are already a follower, get a friend to join and become a follower (be sure to message me or make a post so I know who you got to join).
***Your name will be entered for each person you get to join.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pimento Cheese & Beer Cheese Soup

I love cheese. I love beer. They pair great together! A couple of weeks ago I was craving the pimento cheese recipe that used to be served at O'Henry's Coffees in Homewood, AL. It is super simple, but super yummy. So, I decided to make it and take a stab at making my first Beer Cheese Soup; a favorite from childhood. I remember going to Bennigan's back in the day and always insisting on having the Beer Cheese Soup with a Monte Cristo sandwich.
Ok, so this pimento cheese is great on sandwiches, with crackers, or just on a spoon!

Pimento Cheese
-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
-1 cup mayo
-1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos
-garlic powder to taste
1. Mix everything together.
2. Taste, add more garlic powder if needed.
3. Spread onto bread.
4. Grill it
5. Eat it!

Beer Cheese Soup
-1 Tablespoon butter
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
-1 can light beer (I used PBR)
-1 can chicken stock
-3 tablespoons cornstarch
-2 cups fat free half & half
-2-3 cups shredded cheeses
1. Melt butter in dutch oven, add onion, garlic, and worcesteshire. Saute.
2. Add beer, boil 3 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, bring back to boil. Lower to simmer.
4. Mix cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons water and set aside.
5. Add half & half and cheese. Stir constantly until cheese melts.
6. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly until soup thickens.
7. Eat!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kentuck Art Fair!

I set up this past weekend at the monthly Kentuck Art Fair in Northport, AL. It is located in the beautiful and inspiring outdoor courtyard of the Kentuck museum and gallery. Bad news, it was the driest 100 degree day I have felt in a while. Good news, I got to hang out with my friends Patricia and Lindsey and of course John. Also, Luna weathered the heat with us for the first 3 1/2 hours. I was so proud of her!

It was so much fun to see all of my new crafty items on display. I also sold a few things (a ring, a couple of stuffed monsters, monster bookmarks, and a couple of earrings). YAY!

There is a beautiful mosaic mural of the Kentuck tree logo in the courtyard too. When I commented on it, Patricia told me that our friend Liz helped create it...even cooler!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Alabama Crafts

Here are some new Alabama crafts I have been working on. Loving them!

1) AL Plush, 2) AL duct tape wallet, 3) AL rings, 4) AL watercolor

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When You Wish Upon A Star...

I just got my etsy shop up and running last week and somebody included my owl watercolor with moon and stars in their etsy treasury. An etsy treasury is a list of favorite items that is curated by another etsy member. Sometimes it has a theme. This treasury was titled "When you wish upon a star." How sweet! My little owl buddy is on the bottom left. Isn't he bright and pretty?

You can check out the entire treasury by going to Christy's link here. Christy is the curator and has her own etsy shop of all kinds of lovely items. I particularly like her air plants!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Etsy shop

So, I unveiled my new etsy shop last night. You can visit it at Currently I have jewelry, "Day of the Dead" stuff, plush monsters and Alabamas, monster bookmarks, record bowls, hair clips, duct tape wallets and more on it.

The coolest part is the new name of my shop and accompanying logo. The new shop name is "Luna & Twig" named after my dog Luna and her best dog friend Twig. Luna is on the left, Twig on the right.

I will post some images of my new crafty items soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garden Colors

I picked some ripening tomatoes and bell peppers from my garden this week and I was in awe at the varying colors! I chopped them all up and made some lovely to come.

So beautiful!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vik Muniz

I am enamored with artist Vik Muniz as of late. So ingenious! He was born in Brazil and 1961 and now lives in New York. He first became well known in the late 1990's for his chocolate pieces. He has worked with many different materials though, including: dust, caviar, diamonds, paper, earthworks, trash, food products, and more. His process often involves creating large scale images from odd materials and then taking photos of the finished images. There are so many that are amazing, but I included some of my favorites (the Double Mona Lisa is done in peanut butter and jelly and the following images of the Venus remake and the two lovers kissing are both made from trash).

Friday, August 12, 2011


About two years ago, my boyfriend took me to Taco Gean in Tuscaloosa, AL. It was an authentic Mexican restaurant serving everything from Barbacoa and Mole'. I had never had either, so I tried both. Delicious! I had actually never even heard of Barbacoa, but wow this newcomer blew me good! Beef! Yummy!

Little did I know that my trip to Taco Gean would be so timely. A couple of weeks later, when we returned to Tuscaloosa to celebrate Alabama football once again and to visit friends, I suggested going to Taco Gean again (yes, it really was that good). Our friends soon told us that they had closed and a hot dog joint was now in its place. Many months later, I got reports from friends that had visited that hot dog joint that it was mediocre at best. The fact that this glorious authentic Mexican restaurant that served divine treats on the cheap couldn't survive while this hot dog shop still runs is proof to me...proof that my theory is true. My theory is that the majority of people have poor taste. It is sad fact, but it is true! That is why I am pushing on by providing this great service of sharing "real" and "good" food with you guys here. Enjoy!

This barbacoa recipe by the way is so simple. All you do it marinate your meat overnight, sear both sides in a skillet, cook in crock-pot, shred meat, slap on a tortilla, and eat! You will be begging for more. Trust me!

  • 2 pounds beef brisket
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 sliced jalapenos (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (for searing meat)
  • fresh limes (to squirt on your taco)
  1. Place all but the last (oil) ingredients into a large zip lock bag. Place in fridge and marinate overnight. I always put my bag into a big bowl, so if anything drips out, it doesn't mess up my fridge.
  2. Next morning, sear both sides of the meat in an oiled skillet on high heat. Sear fatty side first.
  3. After searing, place meat and all juices from marinating bag into crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. After 6 hours of cooking, take meat out of crock-pot and place in large bowl. Use large forks to "pull" meat apart. Then, place it all back in the crock-pot.
  5. After it cooks for the remaining 2 hours, serve meat on a tortilla
  6. Serving suggestions: fresh lime juice (this is key, totally makes the dish), chopped tomatoes, sour cream perhaps, cheese. Lime juice is the only real necessity here. For a side dish, make another taco...or if you are being health conscious, black beans would be perfect!
**Note: Meat will be very juicy. It would be good to squeeze out some of the juice in a colander before serving in your tortilla to avoid "soggy taco syndrome."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My First Pet Portrait

My good friend Kim has a portrait that she made for each of her pets (and she has many). They all hang together in her kitchen above the dining table. For years, I have gazed up at them and admired them; not just for their craftsmanship and variety of technique, but also because I love the idea of honoring your pets in that way. They are family after all, right? I only have one pet: my part french bulldog, part boston terrier, part pig, part bat, part alien (named Luna). She is so close and dear to my heart that I decided to do a portrait of her, and I love the way it came out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers

I picked up three jalapeno plants at the beginning of the summer because they were only $1.50 for all three plants. They have been growing and growing and recently I had a lot of jalapenos that had ripened and were ready to pick!

I sliced, pickled, and canned some of them to top of dishes throughout the year, but I still had tons left! So, I decided to make some homemade jalapeno peppers. These are baked too, so you don't have to feel as guilty as if you had fried them. So yummy!

  • 10 jalapenos (cut in half, making 20 poppers)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and jack)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  1. Slice the jalapenos in half, lengthwise. Make sure to remove all of the seeds and ribs. Be careful, don't touch your face (or any other parts) before washing the spicy pepper juice off of your hands.
  2. Mix the sour cream, shredded cheese, and cumin.
  3. Spoon the cheese mixture into the hollow jalapeno halves.
  4. Roll them in the flour, then the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs.
  5. Place on baking sheet, and back for 20-30 minutes (or until golden brown and they are oozing gobbly goop of yumminess!) :)
  6. Devour!
*Have a glass of milk on hand.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Art Opening...

Here are a couple of pictures of two of my newer paintings from the "Aquatic Dreams" opening at Daniel Day Gallery/Dream Mecca Studio this past Friday. We had a blast! I enjoyed spending time with my dad and old friends as well as meeting new ones!



Friday, July 29, 2011

Aquatic Dreams Show

Great News! Several of my paintings are being featured in the exhibition at Daniel Day Gallery/Dream Mecca Studio, here in downtown Birmingham. When I got the invite to be in the show and saw that the title of the show was "Aquatic Dreams," I couldn't believe how well this title fit my work! The show is opening, Friday August 5th from 6-10 pm.

Along with my work, there will be artwork, jewelry, and clothing by other local artists as well is live music by Leisa Renfro. Over 20 artists!

It feels good to be getting my work out there (instead of it sitting in a stack on my studio floor). When they posted the event on facebook, I was tickled to see that they used one of my paintings as the main image!

Here is the painting they used. Come out to the show! Next Friday, August 5th from 6-10 pm. The gallery is located at 3025 6th Avenue South, Birmingham AL (in the Lakeview District).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Western Leather Purse

During my recent trip to New Orleans, Liz and I hit up a couple of local thrifties and got some great finds. She found the cutest 80's swimsuit and a funky vintage red dress (pleats and all). I got some cool items to display my jewelry, a gorgeous milk glass bowl, a squirrel and nut ceramic container, and more (so much cool stuff, I might have to post it all)! The best find though, is the Native-American/Western leather purse I got. It was originally priced at $7, but Pelican Thrift where I got it has half off of clothes and accessories on Thursdays. So, I got this gem for a grand total of $3.50. I'm including a picture of the back, because it has a super cool profile of a Native-American in headdress!
Even better, we went to Urban Outfitters later that day, where I found a not vintage version for $130. I'd say I got a deal!

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Orleans Warehouse Arts District

I just got back from visiting my friends Ben and Liz in New Orleans. They moved there just this month and I was impressed with how well they were already navigating the city! On my third day there, we took a trip down to the warehouse arts district. We visited about five galleries and a great coffee shop/cafe. If you are visiting the area and want to see some great up and coming contemporary artists, make sure to get down to Julia Street.

The coffee shop/cafe we visited is called Carmo. They have a Brazilian/Carribean theme. I had a bowl of Edemame and Potato soup that was divine. Ben and Liz both enjoyed some fresh coffee. Check them out!

Here is some of my favorites from our art gallery tour:

The "Arthur Roger Gallery" was featuring works by James Barsness. Wow! These large scale paintings were the first pieces of art I had seen in a long time that floored me. Very impressive. I could have stared at them for hours. As always, you can never capture all of the beauty of a piece of artwork in a photo, and unfortunately this is especially so here. In person, the figures are covered with tiny iridescent dots that follow the natural curves and contours of the body. His work combines traditional religious iconography of the Renaissance and ancient India with a very modern color palette and use of line. He takes the usually serious topic of religious art and adds a sense of humor to it. One piece in the exhibit is titled Weight Loss Jesus. These cacophonous configurations have your eyes darting all over the canvas; yet you still feel a sense of relaxation by the time you walk away.

One piece (I believe it was Runaway Train) had a tiny, somewhat hidden, message at the bottom that read, "If you buy this painting I will donate the proceeds to Jesus Christ the very next time I see him." The piece below is titled Adam and Eve. For more images and information about the exhibit, visit their website (or better yet, visit the gallery).

"LeMieux Galleries" had a lot of art on display. In fact, the gallery seemed never ending with rooms and niches popping up around every turn and corner. My favorites here were the two featured artists. Christine Sauer created very intricate textile cluster constructions. Up close, you can see all of the tiny beads, strings, and layers of lush fabric that compose each circle. Shannon Landis Hansen created intricate mosaic sculptures, like the Red Chair below. There were even a couple of lamps, that were complete with lampshades that had collaged fabric and cutouts that mirrored the collaged mosaics of below. Her mosaics, which incorporate numerous fragments of ceramic figurines remind me of the laundry room wall in the 90's movie, How to make and American Quilt (if you have seen the movie, you know). Here is the link to the gallery website.

Last, but not least, is the "Heriard Cimino Gallery." There are two pieces here by Monica Zeringue. They are graphite drawn female figures, covered with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals. I'm not going to say much about the image, because I feel it speaks for itself! The website for this gallery is here. This piece is titled Glisten.

Cuckoo for Cute Clocks!

I love cuckoo clocks. A few years ago my dad got me one of my very own for Christmas. I loved it, but sadly it fell off of the wall last year and shattered into a million tiny pieces. I was very upset about it.

On my recent beach trip, I found a cuckoo inspired clock that was so adorable, I couldn't pass it up. It doesn't actually cuckoo, but it does have a window that opens with a dancing bird inside. Aren't the squirrels and mushrooms too cute? It was made by Allen Designs Studio. The artist has an etsy shop here. Check out the shop, lots of cute stuff!