Domesticated Bliss (or miss)….

Because not every women was born domesticated

Tea Bliss December 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — domesticatedbliss @ 3:43 pm

On friday afternoon I joined my (preggo) girlfriend Kristina, and her mom for tea at the Williamsburg Inn, in Colonial Williamsburg. Kristina and I are regular afternoon tea attenders. We visit tea houses all over Virginia, and we even each had our bridal party luncheon at a tea place in town! So, this was extra special since it was our Christmas tea, and the first time we attended tea at the Williamsburg Inn. The grandest part happened when we left, while we had been inside by a roaring fire we had no idea it had started snowing! I wont lie, it was a little hoitty toitty in there, when I broke out my camera everyone looked at me like I was crazy! Because I was so crazy to bring my camera I had my flash off, so not offend any old ladies (I didn’t want to be whacked with a cane!).

Ah! Pregnant Kristina (due April 20th) Stay tuned to for the baby shower I am working hard planning!!!

So, by the end of the night, as I was driving home in the sleet and the slush, I lost my Grinch attitude for like at least 20 minutes. Hopefully with all the family time coming up I can finally be myself again.

 

Finding Bliss December 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — domesticatedbliss @ 10:24 am

Have you ever had that time in your life where your stuck and confused? Thats me right now. Stuck. Just wondering what my purpose in life is, and how to find it. The holiday’s tend to do this to me….This year I have turned into your regular ‘ol Grinch! Thats right friends I have been Scrooged! Maybe it is the hustle and bustle of the holiday’s, and forgetting about why I celebrate Christmas. I am in a pit right now, and trying to dig out. I am not sure about my path right now, and where it will lead me, and my trust is fading. The biggest question I have is Who am I? Ugh! I know I was given talents, but I don’t feel pulled into any certain direction. So as my life keeps going on one day at time I feel more and more distant from the who I am, and what I am. I need some focus, and determination. I have started training hard again for the bicycle racing season coming up, and it has helped a little, but all it is an escape from the truth. Thankfully I have my Bike Man to keep grounded, and support me.

Today I have a Christmas Oyster Roast party and a tea time at the Williamsburg Inn, so hopefully my spirits will be lifted. I could really use a spiked glass of  egg nog right now!

 

Weekend Bliss December 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — domesticatedbliss @ 10:03 am

 

I had a really great post to share with you all today! A fab new Etsy artist that I found with fantastic hand spun yarn….and I even ordered a bunch myself! Anywho…back to me, I went to publish the post and it disappeared never to be seen again. Since I am not myself right now, and mildly grumpy the remaking of that post will have to wait till this weekend! Until then my friends, have a great weekend filled with magical Holiday Bliss! My weekend is filled with bike races, and family time!

Road Through The Woods - 6x16 fine art photography.
 

Creativity Bliss December 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — domesticatedbliss @ 10:14 am

While the Christmas season has now been in full swing since…like the beginning of November….I have been crafting my way through gifts, cards and warm wintery accessories! It was not until recent that I hit a creative BLOCK. Now, I know this happens from time to time, especially to sports lovin’ jocks like myself. You get caught up in something else, and before you know it the most recent crafts you’ve crafting have dust on them, and you dont know where you left off. You dont even feel like putting laundry away, making the bed or even changing the station on the boob tube (yup I said Boob)…you have lost your all out interest in being a tidy creative being. To be honest, the holiday stress overload hit me hard this week, I haven’t really been myself….my gosh I even woke up with a zit this morning (uh, did I just hear you call me Pizza Face???)! I dont feel like crafting, cleaning or moving from my bed. Anywho…a while back I stumbled upon a great blog called Pika Land……

Off to the side on the “Popular Posts” was 9 tips to be more creative, also included is 7 good books with the same genre…I was stopped right there in my tracks, I needed to know these tips, I needed to buy these books. After reading these tips again today I fell a tad bit better. Here the tips:

About fueling creativity:

  1. Creativity is fueled by experiences, sights, sounds and smells. Sitting still won’t bring new ideas in; experimenting and trying new things will jog your creativity.
  2. I maintain a certain pattern to the day, with my morning bath signalling me that I am starting my work with a fresh mind and spirit. After breakfast is when my day officially begins — I turn on the radio and look at my to-do list (see #3).
  3. I jot down notes every night before I go to bed about what I need to accomplish the next day. This way, I’m actively placing my worries onto paper so I can go to bed not fretting about what needs to be done.
  4. I have a box labeled for each different project I’m involved in. So I toss everything I have in one box, and I don’t worry about misplacing things or ideas. This one was inspired by The Creative Habit
  5. I also keep a different sketchbook for different topics and ideas. I have one for business, one for random sketches and another for my writing. And in these sketchbooks I sometimes allocate different sections so that my thoughts don’t get messed up too much (there isn’t a search function on them, like a computer does!)
  6. And I throw these sketchbooks all over the place, so when I have a thought I scribble it down quickly.
  7. I try and find the pattern between things, and connect the dots between random things just for fun when I’m stuck in a rut. Like when I see the color yellow around me, and then I start to focus on finding yellow things — stuff that I didn’t notice before will show themselves to me. I’m heightening my sense of awareness because I’m narrowing my focus to one thing.
  8. Doing things differently helps. I love calligraphy, but sometimes I seem to be stuck in a rut — it seems that I could only write in a certain way! So I stop, and see what others are doing, and try to analyze what I could do differently. A little more pressure on the downward stroke? Or how about adding more flourishes to that letter? It took me about a week of constant practice to free up my hand. If you’re stumped for ideas, have a look at Keri Smith’s 100 ideas to get you started.
  9. Practice, practice, practice. Creativity is like a muscle that you need to flex regularly. I dread staring onto a blank piece of paper, but everything begins with that first stroke. I’m a perfectionist, so I train myself to not use erasers at all when I’m drawing. And if I do make mistakes, I start on a new piece of paper — that way I let new ideas in and not just dwell on what I previously did.

 

Here are some books in my collection that I pick up whenever I need a boost:

  1. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp : I love this book. Twyla is a dancer and choreographer, but a lot of the things she has to say cuts across all disciplines.
  2. How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum by Keri Smith : Keri reminds everyone to put on their explorer goggles and look at the world with new eyes — I did a review of her book here.
  3. Living Out Loud by Keri Smith : Although the book is a little girlish for guys, I love the article she wrote about how to find what you love to do
  4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho : This is an amazing book that I pick up and read again and again. The message is simple — you won’t find what you’re looking for until you follow through on your dreams.
  5. How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees and Nicholas Blechman : I like how they talk to illustrators and get their feedback on running a creative business.
  6. Lines & Shapes by Lena and Mav : Amazing artists and beautiful, beautiful pictures. I have volume no. 5 and I treasure it.
  7. The first issue of the Good to Know project : I like keeping a copy on my bookshelf so I can read up on what my friends have to say about being creatively stuck.

Isn’t it great when someone shares tips!! Do you have any tips to help me get through this slump, or do you ever get in a slump yourself?!?! Ugh, winter isn’t even here yet and I already have a slight case of the seasonal depresion…and I still have a rocking baby shower to plan !!!

 

Weekend Bliss December 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — domesticatedbliss @ 8:21 am

Finally the day has come for me!! Here it is Friday December 4, 2009 and the Bizarre Bazaar in Richmond has come!! There will be tons of shopping from local (and some traveling) artists and crafts people, there will be lots of tasting samples from some of the best cooks, bakers and makers, and best of all there will be good company! I hope all of you get to visit a craft show this holiday season.

The Bizarre Bazaar

I hope you all have a great weekend, we have the possibility of snow here tomorrow….It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

-Ciao!

 

Hump Day Bliss December 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — domesticatedbliss @ 7:37 am

I wanna rewind back a few years… back to palazzo pants, MC Hammer and scrunchies….no not that far.

Back to the 90’s, when all the craze for Christmas was jarred cookie mix…and “all you have to add” tag. This was the time of crinkled cut Christmas fabric squares, and layering the ingredients ever so perfectly. I wont lie, this is a good year (with the bad economy and all) to repeat this trend… I was sorta kinda considering doing something similar for an upcoming baby shower favor.

Anywho, at this time (I wont say my age) I was introduced to Cranberry Hootycreek cookies. At first I was not all that interested, I mean who wants a cookie with fruit? My mind was quickly changed by taste of the batter, and you can tell everything by the taste of the cookie batter.

Today, I want to share the Cranberry Hootycreek recipie!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

 

Directions

  1. Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order listed.
  2. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Cranberry Hootycreeks
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy (Thanks to the advice of an allrecipes.com reviewer, I found out it takes 5-7 minutes in the electric mixer to get the butter, eggs, and vanilla to become fluffy). Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended (If dough is dry and crumbly, sprinkle with a bit of water so it sticks together better, I also refrigerated the dough about 30 minutes before baking). Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
    3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies 

Now of course, you can leave the nuts out, or change them up, but you can’t leave out the Cranberries! Also if you want to jar the cookies for a gift just layer the dry ingredients in a mason jar, and add a tag with directions, and wet ingredients to add….oh so simple, and oh so yum!!

What is your favorite Holiday trend (like the year of Tickle Me Elmo, or Giga Pet)?? Or your favorite holiday cookie (Christmas Cracker Cookies, Haystacks, Buffalo Chip??)?? Do tell…it is cookie exchange time, and we all want to have the best cookies on our tray! ♥

 

Etsy Bliss December 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — domesticatedbliss @ 3:02 pm

I feel like it has been weeks since my last Etsy Bliss post…

This artist has been saved as one of my fav’s since LIKE FOREVER!….well maybe just since summer. Anywho, since it is “officially” Christmas wreath time I thought it would be nice to splash some of her work on the blog today! Sometimes I think it is easy to get stuck in the old fuddy duddy wreath rut, but with Knock Knocking’s Etsy store a new wave of wreaths is taking over. Check it…

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Yarn Wreath