The perfect Spring Salad (or Summer Salad, if that floats your boat)

By | April 12, 2014

Spring 052Why is this salad so perfect?

1. It’s low calorie.

2. It’s low carb (per serving) (gluten-free, too… since that’s now a thing)

3. You can make it in 10 minutes (20 minutes, if your knife skills are atrocious)

4. You can make it in the morning and forget about it the rest of the day until dinner time.

5. No laborious washing of salad greens that have to be spun dry and pampered to prevent wilting.

And…

6. It’s easy peasy!

Recipe for the perfect spring (or summer) salad

salad02One large or two small hot-house (English) cucumbers

salad03One container of grape tomatoes

salad04One tablespoon dried dill
salad051 teaspoon (or to taste) sea salt
salad06One jar of fat-free Raspberry Vinaigrette. (I prefer Maple Grove Farms)
salad07Quarter partially peeled cucumber(s). Cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
salad08Halve tomatoes.

Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
salad09Notes: It’s even better the second day.
Depending on the bowl size and depth, you may want to give it a stir once or twice during the day to evenly distribute the vinaigrette.

Fresh dill is OK, but I think dried dill has a better concentration of flavor.
Also, this salad goes great with fish; this and grilled salmon: done!

Anatomy of a mini room makeover: the Artwork

By | April 8, 2014

First of all, I am no Nate Berkus. Or Candice Olson. OR  (dare I mention myself in the same sentence) SARAH RICHARDSON!!!!

But recently, I made over my living room (a little bit) by adding a few new items and painting an accent wall.

photo of room makeover

I know, I know; accent walls are outré now, but let me introduce you to the MOST. FETCHINGLY. GORGEOUS. color in the world: Caribbean Azure! (props to Benjamin Moore, you folks rock!!!) I cannot express to you how stunning it is in person… AND in semi-gloss!

I will spare you the wretched details of painting a wall by yourself… and the horrors of running out of paint simply because you can not do math…

Let’s talk a little bit about the art work.  First of all, I have recently been to Chicago (and to some design stores while there) and everywhere I turned I saw ridiculously expensive art. Not to pat myself on the back (I am, after all, a graphic artist) but I created all the art you see very inexpensively.  And guess what, you can, too!

First up: I took that large photo in the Art Institute of Chicago of the Seated (and/or) Meditating Buddha.

Seated BuddhaNaturally I used my new (ish) Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens! (it makes everything look amazing. I should know, as I generally take sucky photos)  No flash was fired (a rookie mistake that would get you kicked out of most museums) I just let the lens do all the work!

Back in my home office, I opened up the photo in my trusty desktop publishing program (hope you are listening because I’m giving away “my secrets” now) and scaled the photo to print at 24″ x 36″ with a two inch border all around.  (I hope you notice that I did not say Photoshop… ick, yuck!)  Once the file was converted to a PDF, I downloaded it to my favorite mom & pop print shop’s website where it was waiting for me to pick up the next day. (I hope you noticed that I did not day FedEX Office… ick, yuck!)  You can do the exact same thing to your own photographs and make people think you spent a fortune.

For the orange prints (orange goes very well with the blue walls) it was even simpler.  I determined the size I wanted and the orientation first (design to the frame size you have, in this case: 8″ x 10″).  The “T” print was just a randomly picked font (you know I like fonts) where I scaled it to something like 600 pt, set the color to 0% of the orange color, aligned it to the middle of an orange background (mindful of the white space a wanted surrounding it) and ran it through my trusty Epson inkjet.

The circle print was inspired by the Bevista tray I bought at IKEA that morning.  I just created white and black circles and aligned them on an orange background and pressed print!

I am not saying copy anyone (artists like me do want to make money selling our prints) but please don’t think you have to run out and spend your money on the simpler things.  Plus, you can have all kinds of fun making your own creations.

Sources: All frames: AC Moore.  Shelving: Expedit/IKEA. Walnut bowl: Tom Lowe. Biscuit Tins: Marks & Spencer. Art: my own.

It’s Spring: Time to come out of hibernation and blog

By | April 7, 2014

blossoms

The yearly “last call” for prints

By | December 15, 2013

Boy, it sure gets busy in December.  You look up and half the month is gone and you don’t know where the time has gone.

Kudos to those of you who ordered prints early for gift giving.  I hope you all have fun giving them (or keeping them, if that was your intention).

As per usual, I have come to announce last call.  Late, I know, but again, I have been keeping myself super busy with my latest web project: The Festive Season: A Christmas Countdown Calendar… as if I don’t have enough side projects.

Last call for nationwide shipping (USA will have to be Thursday the 19th.

And as always, if you are looking to save a little bit of cash, I do have one Richmond Print on the reject pile (a slight crease on the edge) and one London/Pride & Prejudice print, which I don’t think anything is wrong with, just an extra I have for some reason.  They are $25 each with $3 shipping (no delivery confirmation or insurance… so if the post office damages it… but they have had a remarkable track record this year: not one has been reported damaged. Knock wood).

If you want one email me first with your choice (teresa@thegirlsownpaper.com), (first dibs) and then I will tell you how to do the PayPal thing.  I’m contemplating switching to Square, but still working out the glitches.

An online advent calendar? Oh my!

By | November 3, 2013

Years ago, someone (and I cannot remember whom) created an online Advent Calendar.  I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking… but there are tons of advent style calendars online.

Yes, the tacky ones!

But no, the calendar I remember was different.  It was created by a blogger, and I remember it was quite popular.  Once a certain “day” became available, you would click and there would be one link to something “fun” and another link to something “meaningful.”

Well, I miss that Advent Calendar, and I wanted to create something very similar.  I still want to keep the one thing this and the one thing that aspect, but I haven’t quite decided on what it all will entail.

I also want to reach out to my readers to leave a suggestion in the comments section below, of websites that are worthwhile, fun, or truly unique, something that would interest and not offend anyone!

The site will be called: TheFestiveSeason.com

I still cannot believe that domain was available.  It seemed like a given that it would have been taken long ago, but it was not.  Now, FestiveSeason.com was taken, and it is up for sale… for over $3800.  But really, people always “say” THE Festive Season… well, at least I do.

Stay tuned!

Online Advent Calendar Advent Calendar

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