Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Through the Wall, Pompeii


I'm still trying to get my blog back on in that spirit, I'm featuring an item that is already listed on my Etsy page.

This was taken with my good, old, manual, Pentax K-1000 while in Pompeii, 2005 (that's right, film!).  A friend of mine called me over to look through a wall and this is what I saw!  Gorgeous.  Pompeii was definitely one of my favorite places in Italy...due to my love of ruins. It's such a hauntingly beautiful place.  The silence was full of noise...almost as if I could hear the people who once walked along the streets, lived in the homes, and shopped in the markets.

The photo is matted in black and the size, total, is 8"x10."

Column, Pompeii- $20.00


I hope everyone still snowed in is staying warm!

P.S. The Silhouette Box is still available

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Surprise, Surprise...

 I "mastered" fair isle for my nephews' Christmas gifts... 

I am freshly back from Christmas in Connecticut...and surrounded by snow.

I am SO ready for the holidays to be over so I can get back to some semblance of a schedule (and I always use the word "schedule" very loosely). I want to get my blog back on schedule too...

This week's Creative Dreaming assignment was to make a list of all the things that have surprised and delighted me this year.  I'll admit, most of it surprised and delighted me.  It was like going on a treasure hunt every week, uncovering little bits of my heart and soul and putting them together in the puzzle that is my life.

~I have been repeatedly surprised by how much I enjoy "tending my hearth."  Back when I was deciding what I wanted to major in in college, I was convinced I wanted to work in a corporate in New York City...

Now...I suppose I've done that...and want to create a home and live somewhere beautiful that fills me with peace and joy (preferably without a loud upstairs neighbor).

~I have been surprised and delighted with my increasing ability to cook without recipes...something I never thought I'd do...

~My desire to basically make everything from scratch...including facial moisturizers, cold creams, tooth-paste, etc.

~How material things have become less and less important.

~I'm always delighted by how much love and support is out there for me and my dreams.

~My increased talent in the knitting department.

~The fact that I've been able to crawl out from under my debt and am beginning to see the sun again.

~The increased ease with which I carry myself...dress...

~I'm so surprised (and delighted) that I love beer and scotch.

~The ease with which I've made connections and friends in my beloved Scotland...and I can't wait to meet a few in person this Spring!

~My increasing adventurousness. I made myself a promise when I was last on Iona...that I'll never let fear keep me from doing something I truly want to do.

~How my instincts steer me in the right direction when I relax and follow.

~The happiness I felt at the thought of actually moving...when it felt possible.


P.S. Here are more photos of the (finished) wallets I made for my nephews this Christmas.  They were a big hit!  I was so delighted that these very plugged in boys were so appreciative of simple, hand-made gifts.

 "L" for Leo

"M" for Max

Outside Zipper

 Inside lining

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Growing Pains

I'm trying to write this in the midst of last minute holiday gift-making-craziness.  Yes, I've somehow gotten myself into the seemingly impossible situation of making most of my gifts...and I've decided to do this during a season where I've had very few free weekends...and that's when I get stuff done!

The upside to all this though, has been a lot of quality time with my family and though stressful at times it's been very Christmas-y since Thanksgiving!

But right now I'm enjoying a last minute "day off" before the holiday and thought I'd finish this baby up before getting back to my knitting and soap-making!

My most recent Creative Dreaming assignment was to reflect on what has grown since this journey has here is my list:

  • My hair :)
  • My knowledge
  • My blog and creative company
  • The ease within myself and my body (i.e. I'll go out without makeup etc.  Although my skin is much better now that I'm on an herbal regime)
  • My self confidence
  • My impatience with living in New York
  • The desire to leave New York, and the calmness surrounding that decision
  • My friendships
  • The happiness that wells up within me when I think about leaving
  • The options of where to live seem to have grown now that the fear is lifting
  • Freedom from debt
  • Possibilities
  • My friends over in Scotland
  • My love for Scotland
  • At times, my impatience to find a way out...
  • My blog and it's voice.
  • The belief that I'm meant to do important things...and that I am on the cusp of a new chapter. (Lately I've been feeling as if I'm about to be shot out of a cannon at any moment).
  • My desire to unplug has grown, but is at odds with my want to work from home and create an expanded blog and website to go along with whatever The Lion's Share and LionArt Creations turns will take some creative balancing.

It's interesting to see that the biggest thing that's grown is my certainty that things are shifting and moving in a new direction...and that direction is out of New York City.

And now I have to get back to "work!"

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Spicy Chorizo Soup

I made this soup while staying at my cousin's house last month (Family Affair, Part 2)...but that was my second go at it!

The first time I made this soup I used black and garbanzo beans, seaweed and buttermilk.

1 medium onion
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 small can diced tomatoes
1 carton organic tomato soup
1 carton chicken stock
1 package chorizo sausage
Organic kelp sheets
Chili powder
Garlic powder

I pretty much made it up as I went along...and started by cutting up the sausage and cooking it in a large pot with the onion (chopped)...then adding the beans and spices (dashes of each). Next I put the cartons of tomato soup and chicken stock in and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Then I added strips of kelp until I was happy and adjusted the spices to taste (I made it on the spicy side). Then I just let it simmer away on low until I felt it was ready :) Maybe another 15-20 minutes.

After I dished some out, I added a dollop of buttermilk to the bowl.


*Adding corn might be nice!*

This is another one of my non-recipes...but as you can see, it's really easy and you can switch it up every time!  These types of soups are great "clean out the pantry" types of meals.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Silhouette Box

I created the image on this box from a photo of myself, years ago, as practice for working in Adobe Illustrator.  In the original black and white photo, I actually have short hair. Now, I have long(ish) hair, so maybe I was projecting forward back then?

I really love this item. It reminds me of old fashioned cameos and cut-out also allowed me to create something soft and illustrative in a computer program I used to hate because I thought it was too harsh!  Live and learn, I guess :)

I applied one of my favorite artsy techniques...antiquing!  I love antiquing things. It goes along with my love of history and bygone eras.

This papier-mâché box is roughly 7" in diameter and 2" high, antiqued with water-based stain/varnish and made with love :)

Silhouette Box -$18.00


Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the Same Old Me...

Yes, that's me! The one on the right...

I've had a Harry Potter movie quote sloshing around in my head for over a week:

"It is not how you are alike. It is how you are different that matters."

I was actually thinking about this in terms of being too much like someone I can't stand...but what if I turn it back on myself?  In my apprenticeship, a few of us were discussing how we were afraid we might be slipping back into some old habits that we didn't want.

But what if those are simply qualities that we will always embody and should learn to love and or tweak into something better?  Because in all fairness, I don't think I can ever get rid of some of my traits but I am certainly more aware of them now. I can reign them in when I need to or at least acknowledge them when the time is right. Maybe they aren't as negative as I deem them to be? Maybe being "the same" is okay.


Last week I wrote about what came easy for my Creative Dreaming workshop...and this week I'm going to look at what has stayed the same throughout all my changes so far.

One thing I've begun to notice is that as I have been changing, and realizing I'm different...the way some people in my life treat me has remained the same, which is difficult and smothering at times and very uncomfortable.  It can make me feel un-seen...

In my Senior yearbook, I put down "unnecessary  noise" as one of my pet peeves...and that certainly hasn't fact, lately it's been coming back full force here in the city. (Noise, noise everywhere...and not a chance to think...)

But those are negatives...though negatives that might help me find my way.

Some positive things that have stayed with me through the years and my changes?

I still love Paul McCartney and The Beatles.  That will always be part of the fabric that makes up my life.

I will always love Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Pride and Prejudice, Dr. Quinn, Sense and Sensibility, Anne of Green Gables, True Blood and now...Dr. Who!  Not necessarily in that order.

I also admit that I will always love The Outlander Saga, Jane Austen, The Sookie Stackhouse novels, Twilight, and assorted romance novels...I'm a girl, after all.

Through all the difficult stuff, I've always managed to hang onto my sense of humor and hope...even when I don't feel too hopeful, it always seems to seep back into things sooner or later.

I will always love Broadway musicals and be a huge Terrence Mann fan!!! I think Broadway was the biggest reason I moved to New York in the first place...

Laughter is one of the best things on Earth

I will always be a Dog person :)

Since I stepped off that bus in Edinburgh in 2004, my love for Scotland hasn't changed...but gotten deeper.

I have remained a creative being.  Whether I'm cooking, knitting, decoupaging, singing, photographing or writing...

I will always know how to play the violin and will always keep Myrtle in the family.

I have always been loyal (possibly to my detriment at times) and continue to be so...but now I have boundaries and know that there are times when I have to remove myself from some people's lives.  So I'm loyal to myself first.

I have always had the (sometimes annoying) knack of seeing situations from both sides. This can get very difficult because  at times it causes me to feel as if I don't have the right to voice my anger or in the case of my noisy upstairs neighbor (I flew off the handle and tapped on the ceiling a couple times and then felt like an idiot because he's just walking around in his apartment!) It certainly does reinforce that the collective noise in this city is killing me and I can't wait to leave.  So yay for that!

I used to love attention as a kid...putting on shows in the living room, and then I got very shy due to some mean kids at school...and now I've sort of come back around.  I'll admit, I like being paid attention to (but not in a creepy way).  However, I'm a bit quieter about it now.  No more tutus and singing...although part of me would love to be in some sort of musical group again (maybe a show choir a la Glee???)  :D

I suppose to sum it all up...I'm still me, just less afraid to show it.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Apple, Fig and Walnut Salad

This was delicious, and SO easy!

I made it for lunch for one of my Fall Apprenticeship days.

My criteria for recipes I need to carry elsewhere is that it can't leak and doesn't need to be heated up...and as I am usually making it after a LONG day at work, minimal cooking and work.

But optimal yumminess, of course!

I bought a bag of local apples, empire, and chopped up about 5 of them.  The I chopped up some leftover dried figs. I believe I also used one lone granny smith apple I had in my fruit basket.

Next, I pan roasted some walnut halves in olive oil and sea salt.

Then I tossed it all together with apple cider vinegar and honey to taste and a dash of cinnamon and ground ginger.

(I bet lemon juice would also work, in place of the AC vinegar).

It was delicious, crisp and oozing with Fall flavors!  The toasted walnuts added a touch of warmth to the cold salad.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Heart Painting Tiles

All put together

This week's featured creation is this beautiful set of 6 tile coasters!  

It's one of my favorites.  I scanned a painting I did while listening to music...back when I was in college. I'm fairly certain I was listening to the Titanic soundtrack at the time.  Please, don't judge :)

They are decoupaged and trimmed with ribbon.

 6 separate paintings when apart!

I'm changing how I do these featured articles...instead of donations (which are still appreciated) I'm going to link directly to the item on my Etsy page.

Heart Painting Tile Coasters

I'd love for them to have a good home!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Easy Does It

Eilean Donan Castle, 2004

Last week's Creative Dreaming assignment was to look at our journey so far and see what came easy.

We always hear about artist's suffering for their work and pain, no gain, right?

This doesn't always have to be true.

When I started on this journey I remember asking that the process be joyful because I couldn't handle the changes coming in a cataclysmic, traumatic way.  I've had enough trauma over the years and I'm sure I'll have more in my PLEASE let the course to my dreams be exciting and happy.

Has it been so far?  I'd say, mostly yes.  There has also been a lot of hard work and some unhappiness along the way.  I've begun to feel grateful for the unhappiness though, because I've started to realize that it's another tool to help me leverage my way into the dream.

So, back to what came easy.

Nothing that came easy came without work...let me say that right up front.  All the work that I've been doing on myself...the love I'm cultivating for my passion, for Scotland.  That has all been (joyous) work...but when I've stepped back and rested between the work, wonderful things have come to me.

*Writing this blog is (wonderful) work and it has yielded new friends in Edinburgh, a place to stay the next time I'm in town, and direction for my dreams...just by writing about my passions and thoughts. It even brought me the opportunity to profess my love to Edinburgh...

*Someone suggested I try a Reiki treatment 4 years ago, and I quickly found a place around the corner from my apartment.  That led me to research other alternative therapies and to eventually be attuned to give treatments myself. I discovered that there was a whole other world out there for me...

*My herbal path was laid out in front of me when I got an e-mail for a course called "The Art of Herbal Medicine Making," and a little voice inside me prodded me to take it...which led to "Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics," which led to a workshop and weed walks...and now two years into a wonderful apprenticeship...

*The herbal medicine led me to cook more...

*Having leftover yarn prompted me to pick up the needles again...

*A gift of the Outlander books led me to want to check out Scotland because it sounded pretty...

*A fun, crazy, road trip around the UK in 2004...turned into something deeper than I could have ever planned...

*My love for Scotland, and a little voice telling me I needed to be there for my 30th birthday, led me to a retreat week in Forres where I had the idea for this blog...

*A magazine my Mother left on my bed led me to Iona and the "Matter Matters" week a year later...

*An e-mail newsletter about "Pilgrimage for Change" is leading me back...

Other things have been coming to me as well...possible and actual extra income, help with my website, new ideas for my dream business, new friends, opportunities, and so much support from the dearest people! The unsolicited outpouring of love never fails to touch and surprise me. I appreciate it more than I could ever express...and accepting it gets easier every day.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Apple & Cranberry Sauce with Triple Sec

I'm certainly giving thanks for this creation!

In the spirit of the holiday season...and using up a bag of apples I had...I made up a big batch of apple/cranberry sauce.

This is another one of my non-recipes because I pretty much made it up as I went along!

I chopped up roughly 8 small, sweet, local apples...threw them in a large pot and added 1 bag of fresh cranberries, 1 pinch of ginger (and possibly cinnamon) and a dash of dried orange peel.  Then I poured in some water until it was just under covering all the fruit and set it all to simmer, covered.

I ended up adding a small handful of raw sugar to balance out the tartness of the cranberries...and a splash of triple sec...just for fun!

Then I simply let it simmer away, uncovered, until I liked the consistency...and YUM!!!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Red Shoes-For Sale!

My shoes on McCook's Beach--Niantic, CT

Print w/shadow-SOLD!

I am going to attempt to have some more regularity in my posting...and have assigned themes for the days.  For example, Creative Dreaming (Magical) Mondays, "I Want it!" Wednesdays, and Fabulous Food Fridays.

And today is Wednesday!  So, what is "I Want It" Wednesday!? It's Scotland fund-raising time!

Every Wednesday (preferably earlier in the day) I will feature one of my LionArt Creations products for a set donation amount + shipping.

These red shoes tend to be a crowd pleaser, so I am featuring them first. I have two prints at with the shadow (above) and one without (thumbnail below). They are both roughly 5"x7" and un-matted.

The prints will be first come, first served, for a donation of $10 plus shipping (see the paypal donation button underneath the "about me" section at the top right of the blog). I'm working on a shipping in the meantime, you can e-mail me with you address and image request at lionartcreations[at]

I could be persuaded to print extra photos if demand requires it :)

Postcard size images will be offered for a donation of $8.00 + shipping!

*(if anyone is interested in prints of any image seen on this blog, please e-mail me your request and I'll see what I can do ;)

*For anyone in the New York City area...I will be participating in the International Women Artists' Salon Holiday Gift Bazaar this Sunday, December 5, at Lolita Bar from 4-8pm.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Looking Back and Facing Fears

 My heather plant now!

The Creative Dreaming year is fast approaching its end...although it certainly won't stop on December 31st...nor should it!  Life is an ever evolving creative dream, after all.

I started re-reading my blogs from the beginning of the year and wow,  how far I've come!

I started 2010 with "Cookies and New Beginnings" and then went right into "Creative Dreaming."

The biggest realization I've taken away from reading all of my old posts is that this past year I've been establishing a new root system. Now, I feel like I'm getting ready to hibernate a little after all the hard work and then the next step is to break through the Earth and follow the Sun.

There is still a little more than a month to go with the dreaming and a lot can happen in one month!

Pushing through that last bit of earth can prove tiring at times...and it can make you question and wonder and ponder changing your mind. I don't want to derail any of the progress...I need to give the Universe time to put all the pieces together and not change the game at the last minute. That's a sure fire way to never manifest! Paying down my debt and increasing my savings account have played a big role in establishing a new foundation.  As those numbers change, I feel lighter and less tied down.

I saw a distinct shift after my Ireland blogs...I feel like my sense of purpose gets stronger all the time and things keep getting clearer and clearer.

The clearest thing has become my desire to move out of New York. This is also scary...but a fear I'm getting more and more sure of facing. And it gets less scary every day.

I've faced a lot of fears over this past year and they certainly have made me stronger.
  • I've spoken my mind and expressed my needs

  • Created boundaries

  •  Spoken with people who intimidate me for one reason or another...

  •  Allowed myself to imagine life differently after being entrenched here for so long

  •  I've been spontaneous (Dublin)
  • I've shared my thoughts/dreams and opinions
  • I've started to re-imagine my website (which means I will be moving my blog eventually)

  • I've volunteered to write for publications

  • I've searched out and applied for freelance writing...but opted out because it didn't feed my soul.

  • I've stripped away very deeply rooted, but harmful relationships and forged new, healthy ones.

I'm sure there have been other little things that I can't remember...but they all come together to give me more confidence for going after my dreams.  Most of the time it's me asking people I don't know well for advice, help...or offering mine.  That's pretty damn good for someone who used to be too shy to talk.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family Affair, Part 3

What's for Lunch? :)

The last day began with another delicious breakfast. We made a scramble with tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, baby bella mushrooms, bacon, feta and Greek seasoning...

Elana had a yen for waffles...

More specifically...waffles topped with the stout ice cream from the night before :)

What can I say about this wonderful weekend?  I felt so at home and relaxed the whole time. Not to mention appreciated!  Elana wanted the whole "Lee Ann/Lion's Share" experience right down to the music I listen to when I'm in the kitchen. My iPod seemed to favor The Waterboys and Eddie Izzard in her house! We shared wonderful food and conversation and had the time, for once, to really hang out.

My cousin and I have been talking about doing this for over a year and now we want to make it an annual thing!  Why does it take so long to start such fantastic traditions? Better late then never, I say :)

Elana and I go way back :)  I have very fond memories of the Summer vacations she shared with my parents and I in New Hampshire when we were both in High School (Loon Mountain! The "Not So General Store")! 

SO much has changed in both our lives since then but the bond has only strengthened and I am so happy we can take the joy of spending time together into our adult lives and broaden it...and now Frederick is part of family fun!

They say you can't choose your family...but I doubt I could have chosen better.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Family Affair, Part 2

Chez Owens' cozy kitchen table

We have two meals to cover in this one, so get comfy!

To start...we slept in.  Yay!  It was almost 10am when I rolled out of bed and joined Elana in the kitchen, greeted by a cheery "Good Morning!!!"

Good indeed!

After chatting and lounging around with big cups of tea, breakfast quickly turned into brunch.  Which was fine by me.  The company was well worth the delay. (I love sharing breakfast with loved ones...something I miss living by myself. As I've gotten older I've become more of a morning person.  I actually can form entire sentences now instead of the odd incoherent grunt :).

Now back to the meal.

I started by turning our leftover pizza sauce into an omelette topping, using the extra mushrooms and some tasty spinach:

Elana manned the omelette pan (there's feta in there!!!)

The results!

And what can I say...bacon...oh bacon how I love you...

Freshly made orange, carrot, ginger die for!

The morning message with my tea:


Then were were off to run a few errands...including a trip to the package store and Dear God...the beer aisle...

Me, discovering the Scottish beer section...bliss!
"Some of the best moments of my life have involved a good bottle of beer in front of me..."

And this was no exception!

We chose this delicious coffee stout to make ice cream with. I've done this recipe with various kinds of alcohol, but stout works the best, in my opinion.

Elana's mixer put my wooden spoon to shame!

We likened these to the little ice cream cups we'd get as know, with the little wooden paddle spoon?  Although, these treats aren't for kids!

My throat medicine (I had to man-up and drink the rest of the stout!) I'm not sure any doctors would recommend alternating beer and tea...but it seemed to work out A. OK.

As the ice cream was freezing, and I was drinking, I started the spicy chorizo soup!  This is a soup I've made before (but hadn't blogged).  I started by browning the sausage with a medium size yellow onion and then added 1 can of black beans 1 can of red...then some sea salt, chili powder, cumin and cayenne to taste...followed by one carton of chicken stock and one tomato soup (this particular one had cream and roasted red peppers). Then I let it simmer away while we attended to other things.

Towards the end of the simmer, I added in some kale and then the juice from half a lime right before serving.  YUM!!!

To quote my cousin, "YAY PORK!!!"  

While I was doing all that, Elana prepared the pumpkin mac and cheese!  I use a Martha Stewart recipe for "Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese" and opt for canned pumpkin instead of the laborious steaming and mashing of fresh butternut squash.  I also love the sweetness the pumpkin brings to the table.

Delish! I really don't understand people who don't like mac and cheese...  :)

Store-bought garlic bread...mmmm...

Our Dinner companion...

And as if that wasn't enough, we made a ton of spicy kale chips (and I found out that my blog comes up first when googling "Spicy Kale Chips..." Go figure :)

Going, Going...Gone!!!  Nom Nom Nom....

And later, I ended the day with a nice dram of "The Balvenie" (neat) ...and rested the glass on one of my hand-made photo coasters! I forgot Elana and Frederick had a set...awwww....

I could not have asked for a better day...I even got a few snazzy pieces of clothing (on crazy sale) at Kohl's!!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family Affair, Part 1

This past weekend I headed to CT for a little cooking and catching up with my Cousin, Elana and her Hubby, Frederick.

I started my long weekend with new boots and a midnight showing of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 1.  I think that both the boots and the film are fantastic. I don't care what people say :)

I took Thursday and Friday off and it was just what I needed. Shaking up the schedule is a very good thing!

Thursday morning I tried to sleep in, but my Sister texted me at 8:00am...which threw a tiny crimp into my plans since I knew I'd be up until at least 3AM.  It also created a no-nap theme that lasted through Friday!

I took the subway in...went straight to the shoe store...and there was only one pair of the boots I'd been stalking for over a year. Success!

Then Sara and I caught up, caught dinner, and were off to the cinema! The movie was playing in every theater on the floor and we were surrounded by assorted crazies in costume...and some who we thought were in costume (awkward!). We were giant kids for the night and it was so much fun!


After a great night at the movies (and  4 hours sleep) I was picked up by my cousin's lovely husband and deliriously chatted away until we got to CT, which was difficult because I was rapidly losing my voice...damn you seasonal allergies and dry air! I tried to shake my Harry Potter hangover for the rest of the day by attempting a nap in a very cheery bedroom.  Not very nap I gave up.  Then, after my iPod died,  I tried to turn on the big TV.  It was like trying to operate a space station! It took a few instructional texts from Elana to sort it out.  Then I kicked back on the couch and enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to be anywhere or do anything. I laid around...ironically watching the TV Guide Channel. You can take the girl out of The Guide...

Then Elana came home and we were off to the market!

Stop and Shop is always a bit surreal (so much real estate...and space!) But we plowed through our shopping list and headed back to the house all ready to start our cooking extravaganza.

Me and Mount Tomato

Our Booty

The Friday night menu: 

Pizza with red onions and rosemary...

Shitake and baby bella mushrooms in a red wine tomato sauce:

(We rolled the store-bought dough [sorry!] with some of the rosemary and drizzled it with heavenly olive oil):

Take some mixed greens and halved grape tomatoes:

Add in some pesto-clad butternut squash:

And, voila! An autumn salad to die for!

The pizza in progress:

Dinner time!

We sat around the table, in front of the fireplace, with our meal and wine...The Lion's Share weekend in CT had begun!