Saturday, August 30, 2008

The things you can put into a soup pot according to Bessie

Well folks, you won't believe the marvelous soup I made up for the mister for supper tonight. Since I'd bought 3 bunches of celery the other day at the market, I decided I should start using them up. I found a recipe from Canadian Living called Curried Apple and Celery Soup. Well now, doesn't that sound like an interesting combo?

I followed the recipe fairly closely, and when the soup was almost ready -- at the last moment -- I figured I should add some sort of meat-ish ingredient. Well I've been told you can put just about anything into a pot of soup and come up with some yummyliciousish results. In my freezer the perfect ingredient awaited: Flake Style Crab Flavoured Seafood. I thawed it, chopped it, and added it to the simmering soup. There were no complaints at the supper table tonight.

And if you leave a comment and ask real nice, I just may share this "Secret Family Recipe".

That's what we had for supper tonight ~ wonder if Bea will tell us what culinary delight she created ....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bessie sweetly steps back into history

My stars, Bea! If you think these pretty pastels look good enough to eat, you're right, at least half right. They are good enough to eat, but their not pastels. They're some of the old fashioned Edinburgh Rock Candy we purchased on our trip to the local historical park today.

It was overcast and cool this morning when we headed to the fort. I'm thinking that a lot of people assume that the park is closed for the season because there weren't very many people there, which made our visit all the more enjoyable. We quite enjoyed the refreshing rain showers mixed with glorious sunshine. And the candy. Did I mention the candy? Mmm ... Bessie does love her sweets, especially the old fashioned variety.

Remember Chicken Bones? Mmm!

and Fruit Drops, anyone?

We had a ride on the old train which was completely rebuilt (the interior) in 2005 when Brad Pitt and company rode into town to film the movie, 'The Assassination of Jesse James'. New seats and sleeping bunks were installed. The front part of the car was designed as a posh parlor car for the movie.
Well dearies, that's about all for now, I have to go eat some more of the sweets that I acquired today on our little day trip. Until next time ...
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks ~
Love, Bessie

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where Dessert is Eaten First (and life is as it should be)

There was a wedding on the weekend. (Yes, I know it's already Wednesday, but there was a lot of business here at Creative Sandwich the last few days).

The drive out into the country side was spectacular, with fall harvest in full swing, clear blue skies and a hint of a Autumn in the air already.

It was a wonderful day, and the bride and groom were the sensible sorts who invited the whole family, young and old, and asked if everyone could bring a little something for the celebration dinner. My favorite kind of wedding!! They didn't go broke on providing a meal to a hundred people, they had a wonderful assortment of homemade goodies and traditional Ukrainian food, and Bea was in heaven!!

I made a Tiramisu, because one can never have too many desserts, especially the rich and creamy kind! Would you like the directions? Recipes are far too restrictive, don't you think? I need scope for my imagination, just like Anne Shirley.
I hope you are enjoying a wonderful, creative week. And I hope you remember, the next time you attend an occasion, that life is short, so you should eat dessert first.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Post Where Bea Gets New Socks and Life is Full of Wonder

First I would like to offer my sincerest apology for the horrific formatting of this post. Blogger is intent on causing me a migraine today, and rather than fight it, I decided to choose the zen way and just let what is, simply be.

The best thing to do of a rainy day is have tea with a friend. Especially when you're wearing brand new, polka dot and striped socks. (Who even knew there was such a thing??!) These beauties are a gift from Bessie, the dear heart.

Bessie arrived at the Art Barn very early this grey day.

First we relaxed over a nice cup of Chai and cupcakes (blue; my favorite colour) and browsed through some inspiring books. Big City Junk by Mary Randolf Carter is a great book to get your Mojo going. The Creative License by Danny Gregory has also been very inspiring here at Creative Sandwich of late. It teaches you how to "give yourself permission to be the artist you truly are". Go Danny! Go Bessie and Bea!

After all that inspiration we couldn't even help getting busy with some of the amazing materials that abide out in the Art Barn. Serendipity happened! Bessie had started work on a painted shirt back at Phap Farm day in July. That shirt still needed a little something, and as we walked into the Art Barn the answer presented itself. A silk fabric panel, in the exact hues of the paint Bessie had randomly chosen for her shirt was sitting there, in plain view. We remembered picking it up at our favorite Secret Art Source a couple weeks ago, with no particular use for it in mind. Here it sat, size, in colour and in theme! Don't you just LOVE it when that happens?!
Of course I had to sew it to the back of the shirt with a funky stitch and bright thread. Wonderful!
But still that shirt needed just a leeetle bit of jazz. Of course Bessie went rummaging in the Barn and found a bag (also found at Secret Source but in no way connected to first amazing piece of material) stuffed full of little scraps that seemed sure to be too small for any serious project. The bright, colourful scraps happened to be oriental silks in dazzling colours that (of course) look wonderful next to the paint and the patch on the shirt.

The muse, the Spirit, the universe, all cooperate in the most delightful ways when we have our hearts open to joy and wonder, don't they?

Here is evidence of our blessed day!

By the way, Bessie's shirt says, " Now, Go Do Some ART!"

What are you waiting for?

with a thankful heart,


Has Bessie lost all her marbles?

Glory Be, Bea!
I just had to come up with 10 tiny things of my own for you and our faithful readers.

And since some may think I've lost my marbles already, here's proof that I haven't.

This group includes (Bea, I don't know all the highfalutin' names for these things, but I'll try):
1. A large really pretty light blue with dark blue and yellow swirls
2. Green cat's eye. I like this one because it's old and chipped.
3. Red and white Toothpaste
4. Steely
5. Black and orange
6. Pearlescent white
7. Princess mauve iridescent
8. Green milky
9. Clear Blue Peewee
10. Peewee Devil's Eye

Check out this interesting video on how marbles are made ~ very intriguing.

Until next time chickies ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ruby Reads Playbills

Just to spice things up a little for Bessie and Bea, I thought I'd get my column in on time... (before 10 counts as on time, doesn't it? Really, what civilized work can be done before then?)

I do love summer, and am ever so sad to see it spin its final days. There has been much to savor this season, from barbecues with friends and artsy events to festivals where one could feast their senses: music (blues, jazz, folk, Weird Al, and all points in between); world culture; art; and theatre.

With the latter in mind, I thought I would do a wee change from "Books That Should Have Been" to "Plays I Should Have Seen". Such a surfeit of choice! My mind first began to wander this way when I saw an advertisement for Genghis Khan's Guide to Etiquette. Who *wouldn't* want to know the ins and outs of pillage and plunder?! I bet there's a correct order and everything. One wouldn't want to lose face by improper form during conquest...

There are so many other plays that should have been, but two that most suit my mood (and boggle my mind) would be SUCH fun to write advertisements for (pardon my dangling participle ... mixed company and all, you know). The first? Yet another rendition of that perennial favorite, The Sound of Music. I have been fortunate enough to see it in a variety of circumstances, but there is one genre that has not yet adapted it, and it is one which I would most like to experience: imagine Maria and the children depicted entirely by... mimes.

The second? This one would clock in rather longer, including several intermissions, and need a much bigger budget for costumes. But who wouldn't benefit from an evening in the open air, hearing War and Peace declaimed in the dulcet style of... Bollywood?

It gives one pause...

Until next Wednesday, duckies. Ruby intends to spend one last lazy summer afternoon blowing bubbles and shopping for school supplies before next week's review of Textbooks That Should Have Been. Ta ta!
Love, Ruby

The Post Where Bea Chooses Ten Tiny Wonders

Well, since my dear friend Dawn of Art of Humungous Proportions challenged us to play along with the Funky Art Queen here at Creative Sandwich, I give you Ten Tiny Things:

These diminutive treasures are all so very dear to my heart! I love miniatures, it probably comes of my tiny stature. *ahem*
No need to snort, Dear Reader.

I chose them all because they are Tiny. And that was the challenge. But it didn't take the pointiest Crayola in the box to figure that out, did it? I will move ahead and just describe each item in a short phrase. I'll give it's providence, if you will. The history and pedigree.

(Yes Bessie, I am getting to the point! Please give me some breathing room dear!)

I shall move clockwise from the largest item, located at the top left hand corner, in a spiral manner. Beginning now:
  • An exquisite and unique hand made book with polymer clay covers, water colour paper pages, jute closing wrap finished with a charm stamped in the form of an antique pen nib. Created by one Phapboy of the Pointy Hat Art Posse. (I am linking to your blog, Phapboy, so you had better scurry over there and post something new for our discriminating audience. Remember, Bea knows where you live!)
  • One of a set of two polymer clay charms created by my own wee babe, the very one who insists "he is not artistic". Bea begs to differ. The charms are attached on a string of jute, and are usually seen prominently (for so small a thing) looped over the antique mirror in the front entry way.
  • Tiny (one inch high) crystal bird. Sits in a cabinet with others of a feather and cheers household by it's preciousness.
  • Second of set of two charms. (see item number two above).
  • A tiny black stone with a word collaged on to each of the four sides. It says "an air of magic". Quite.
  • A glass, flat marble magnet with the image of an old clock face. It holds a photo of my now almost grown babies on my fridge and is a daily reminder of the passing of time. Carpe Diem.
  • A glass, flat marble magnet with image of little red bird, also holds a photo on my refrigerator. Does one need an excuse for a red bird in the kitchen?
  • A spider pin from the 1950's that belonged to my mother. (note to self: Get copy of photo of mother wearing said pin.)
  • Tiny birdhouse from Hallmark Christmas ornament (2002) that hangs in my kitchen year round.
  • Tiny (1 1/2 inch long) book, handmade by Ruth O'Conner for a Valentine Day swap in 2007. It is completely delightful in every way, just the size of a postage stamp.

So there you have it my friends. It was lovely playing along! Thank you Funky Art Queen for hosting. It's always so much fun showing off our treasures to other appreciative artsy types.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Morning

Even more so than Tea or Elevensies! So, to start the day off right, a good pancake is just what the doctor ordered. (Just not my doctor. Let's let this be our little secret, shall we?)

Now, I'm not one to be up with the sun unless pressed, (into falling out of bed), but I could be convinced to get my face on before the crack of noon for a table set with the likes of these.

Just like my own dear Grandma used to make
Every morning she fed her family these wonderful, whole wheat pancakes, topped with real butter and maple syrup, or fresh seasonal fruit ....

and fresh, thick cows cream from her own farm. I swoon at the memory! I spent summers on the farm eating these every single morning, with cold, cold milk to wash them down. Heaven! It's a miracle I've kept my girlish figure.

Here is her secret family recipe. Since she's in a better place now, (no, not Saskatoon for you Corner Gas fans. Goodness.) I don't think she'll mind me sharing it with a few close, personal friends.

Just remember dear ones, it makes a lot. Don't forget, she was feeding a family with seven children.
I've modified it to an amount that will make a dozen or so 4 inch pancakes. Enough for you and the mister. Oh, yes of course, maybe a guest or two as well. Tell them to bring peaches.


Grandma B's Whole Wheat Pancakes
butter for frying

Dry Ingredients:
2 c. unbleached white flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tblsp. baking soda

Wet Ingredients: For each 3/4 cup dry mix
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, from a cow named Bossie
2 Tblsp. melted butter

Mix dry ingredients and store them in the pantry ready to use.
Put 3/4 cup of the mix in a bowl. Add wet ingredients. Stir the pancake dough only to incorporate, not too much.
Make a cast iron frying pan really hot. Melt butter. Ladle in the pancake dough. Turn the heat to low. Cook until the top of the pancake bubbles, flip and brown the other side.
Serve with love and kindness. Feed leftovers to dog.

Bessie the Waxes Poetic (or something like that)

I found a little gem at our local 2nd hand bookstore some time ago which is entitled Back-Door Neighbors by Edna Jaques, published in 1946. Edna (1891-1978) was a popular Canadian poet who beautifully celebrated the daily domestic life experience. I know our dear readers will love her poems which we will reprint on Creative Sandwich from time to time.

Homey Things

I like an old tea kettle
Sort of singing on the stove;
Petunias in a window-box,
Cerise and pink and mauve;
An old dog dozing on the step,
One eye half opened like;
A little boy a-riding by
On an old red bike.

I like to hear the birds at dawn
Chirpin' for all they're worth,
Digging for worms and bits of green
In the fresh morning earth;
The breakfast fires being lit,
Their smoke ascending high,
Spirals of hope that daily rise
Into the morning sky.

I like a clothesline by a lawn
Where little panties blow,
Where kids with sturdy arms and legs,
Sleep and eat and grow;
The little homes of common folk,
Carpenters, clerks, and such,
The patient workers of the world
Who matter, oh, so much.

A little house with four square walls
A bird-house painted red,
A father going off to work,
To earn the daily bread;
The mother faithful to her task,
A cobbled walk and gate --
These are the things, which, added up,
Make common living great.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's 35 in the shade

Bessie & Bea are hot ... literally! It's 35 degrees in the shade,
and it's hard to know what to feed the fam for supper.
How about ...

a Taco Salad: divided

or a Taco Salad: Smushed

and finish it off with a Fruit Salad.

Now excuse me while I go stick my head in the freezer!

Hot & Bothered ~

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ruby Saturday?

Goodness Gracious, Duckies!

So, I went into the woods to live deliberately, and I thought I was prepared ... I had purchased a lovely pink laptop (with WiFi, of course) and had even decoupaged a picture or two to its surface in the very best Altered Art tradition. HOWEVER, I had neglected to research yet another "Book That Should Have Been" -- Staying Connected in a Wireless World with a Pencil-and-Notebook Brain.

I am sure all of you will not be surprised in the slightest to find that I could not send in this week's column. Apparently the internet is not magic after all, and requires all manner of bits and pieces that I did not have at my disposal ... I was most disappointed to learn that a "Hot Spot" is not a patch of sand at the side of lake where I had set up shop with a travelling rug and a thermos of tea (with a china cup to decant it into, of course!).

Note to Bessie and Bea: some of the loveliest sparklies are the the dapples of sun on a lake in the afternoon. After emptying my thermos of tea, I brought you back some of the lake water, but I am afraid it has rather lost its effect...

Well, time groweth short, so I can only share with you one selection from my week away: Marie Antoinette's Gluten Free Baking Book. It turns out she was not the heartless wretch she has been portrayed as by hasty historians and the scandal-mongering media, but in fact a learned lass far ahead of her century's healthy eating trends. The poor darling was misquoted: in fact, what she said was, "The peasants are rioting because they have no bread? Let them eat my Flourless Chocolate Cake!"

While the directions are somewhat difficult (they include such instructions as "Add one very large cup of sugar", "Bake as long as it takes", and "While your servants are gathering hazelnuts"), her gentle wit sparkles throughout, deliciously illuminating a somewhat darker chapter of history. Of course, her habit of referring to "short crust" as "headless", and cutting butter with a miniature guillotine is perhaps a trifle tasteless...

Well, gentle readers, I must fly. I'll be with you on Wednesday!

Ruby ~ happily munching a piece of Revolutionary Raisin Toast

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Of planning and Tea in Styrofoam Cups

We are always planning our next big move, Bea and I. What will our next big venture be? We're not about to tell you, but let's just say that something big is coming up for us in early November.

Bea came over to my house this morning (2 days in a row ~ what a treat to be in each other's company!). Lunchtime rolled around, so I scrounged up some What's in the Cupboard Soup. It had a little this and a little of that in it with a Chicken-y, Tarragon-y, Wild Rice-y, Chickpea-y, Corn-y, Perogy-y flavour to it.

We got serious about eating and planning, planning and eating. Martha mags were close by to inspire us. We like her ideas, and love to rip them off in typical Bessie and Bea style ~ we're not sure if Martha would be proud or put off, but we really don't care.

Anyway, after the strenuousness of a "Planning Luncheon", we met up with a couple of our ART Friends, Nicolette and Zach at Starbuck's. We don't really like to admit that we ever frequent any place where one can't order a coffee or tea in a proper china cup. It's a Venti pain in the neck to try to remember the Grande rules of the place!

Thinking she was being hip, Bea went to order a tea and asked for a "Tall" thinking that that meant she'd get the biggest cup in the place. And to top it off, she asked for a Double-double, without the slightest idea of what that meant. Poor Bea. She got a little paper cup of tea with too much of everything ~ except tea. Needless to say, she wasn't pleased at all. The only way that the tea could be any worse is if it had arrived at our table in a Styrofoam cup.
Now that's pure evil!

Bea isn't used of drinking her tea in anything other than a lovely china cup. I'm sure she went straight home and made a cuppa the right way!

That's all for now. Until next time ...
(who's very curious to the whereabouts of Ruby Wednesday!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Research and Development

...that's what we call doing the things we like best.

Doesn't everyone have dreams of being creative every single day? I thought so! Me too.

Bessie and I thought a Wednesday was a perfect excuse to get together and plan how we are going to take over the world, and bring art to everyone! And glitter. Definitely more glitter. "Glitter for the common man!" should be our motto. That and cupcakes. "Cupcakes for the common man!"
We're just thinking of all of you. It's what we do.

This morning found us getting our groove on with a hot cup of mocha latte' and a sticky, delicious cinnamon bun. It helps us think better when we're all hopped up on sugar.
We had a journal show and tell...we compared lists, scribbled in the dead of night into our journals, which of course we keep by the side of the bed. It's when we come up with our best glittery, sweet, frosted ideas. (Until our respective husbands tell us to please turn off the light and go. to. sleep! That usually happens a few times, generally around 2 am.)
We sipped. We nibbled. We looked through the new Country Living and found even more ideas!

We were off on a thrifting expedition today, and found lots of raw material for making more journals, lamps with pink dangly bits, beautiful old china and lots of other treasures we will be showing here once we get it tarted up.
Because we believe in equal opportunity here.
Tarts should get just as much limelight as cupcakes.

It's hard work coming up with all these amazing ideas and finding potential in the most humble of cast-offs.
So of course we had to stop for lunch in order to keep up our strength. We chose Bessie's favorite restaurant, a fantastic Indian place that gets rave reviews from all the locals. It was spicy and exotic and tasty and just wonderful. We tried a bit of everything. It's a wonderful experience. It has chandeliers! And hammered metal water goblets and carved furniture. It's the kind of place that does stimulate the creativity.

The afternoon ended with Bessie convincing Bea to take most of the treasures home to the Art Barn till she can come and play. *sigh* That's what happens when you have a barn...everyone wants to store stuff there.

Hope you'll check back soon and see what treasures we can show and tell!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fun in the kitchen with Bessie

Hello dearies,

That Bea!
I thought she was going post today something wonderful to share with you all today,
but I think she's busy puttering around in her artroom making fabulous art pieces or something, maybe she'll show us tomorrow. Or maybe she's cooking up a storm and taking step-by-step
photos for your perusal.
In the meantime, I would like to show you something I made today.


I got these yummy Sesame Sticks and Baron (dark) Chocolate at my local Dollarama.
You getting hungry yet?
I broke up the chocolate bar, put it in the bowl and then melted the chocolate in the microwave. I should have had some white chocolate, but I didn't have any on hand so I made up some rum flavoured icing.

I drizzle chocolate over the icing ~ you could
drizzle white on dark chocolate or visa versa.

Then you sprinkle with whatever decorations
you like. Simple, eh?
Pretty, pretty!
Now that Bea is going to look on here and get
real jealous cuz I ate these all up and she
didn't get a single one.
I'm thinking I'd give this recipe *** out of 5
Until next time, Tra-la for now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Charming Exchange

Bessie and Bea are always tickled pink to promote little artsy endeavours, such as the brilliant book, A Charming Exchange, 25 Jewelry Projects to Create & Share ~ recently published by North Light Books. Their dear friend, Dawn of Art of Humungous Proportions fame is one of the 20-some artists included in this tome. For new jewelry makers or more experienced folks, this is a wonderful book full of original and inspiring ideas. After careful review, Bessie and Bea have decided that this new book is simply tres-chic. Buy it!

(Bessie & Bea figure if they're real nice they may get autographed copies of the book!)