Sunday, December 18, 2011

Creation sunday - Sketches 12-18-11

This week,  I am going to take a break from recipes because I hven't been cooking.   I have been sick and sitting on the couch and got an early Christmas present of a set of awesome drawing pencils from a friend.   So,  what I've been creating recently is sketches.   Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

(Belated) Creation Sunday - Pretzel "Turtles"

Last week, The mother of the children I nanny for suggested I make Pretzel Turtles with the oldest child.  Being unfamiliar, I asked how to make them. I was immediately intrigued... something sweet, salty, chocolatey and nutty all at the same time for all of 10 minutes of hands on time? "Awesome" I thought.  I was right.  We made exactly this recipe using Rolo candy. It tastes like something that came from a gourmet chocolate shop, is easy enough for a 3 year old to help, and takes no time whatsoever.  It's perfect.
This would actually be an excellent "home made gift"-- make a bunch of these, put them in pretty boxes and tie it up with a bow.  Everyone will think you spent tons of money at a boutique or spent hours in the kitchen getting the exact right balance of flavor, when, in fact, it will have taken you more time to wrap them than it did to make those oh so perfect bites of decadence.  Trust me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

frustrations and realizations

Hillary Had some thoughts she wanted to share with you.

Yesterday I went to a craft show and did not make my entry fee back.  This is not the first time,  nor, I suspect, will it be the last.  I got home and said out loud to my husband "I'm going to the next one, but if that doesn't go well, I am done with beading."  This is also not the first time those words have been uttered.  But every time I say it, i mean it a little more.

I went to a craft show with items that everyone seems to like at prices that I've been told a million times are probably too low and smiled and talked and made connections with many people all while under the weather from a cold and had nothing to show for it.  Why on earth wouldn't I stop?

I was truly going to until, to get over the anger and perceived rejection, I pulled out the bead board and the pliers and the wire.  Beading truly has a calming and reaffirming effect on me.  It has also been an especially good friend the last two days as I get over this cold.  Since I feel tired and sniffly all the time, I physically don't feel like doing anything, but I mentally and emotionally want something to do.  I could read a book, I could draw, I could play a video game, but the first place I went (and often go) is to that bead board.

So, clearly, stopping isn't what I need to do.  Something needs to change because working a 10 hour day where you literally don't get paid is no ones idea of fun, but beading is not the thing that needs to change.  I love what I do and I create beautiful things.  I want to share them with people, preferably for money, but, well... we'll just have to see how this transition comes about.  A transition is needed, but I'm not sure what I'm transitioning to yet.  I'll let you know when I know. :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Interview with Cocoa L.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! My name is Cocoa, I'm from Huntsville, AL, and I'm a 17-year-old photographer. I read a lot of books, doodle, and sometimes do theatre, but mostly I just take pictures of stuff.

How did you first get interested in art and photography? 
To tell the truth, I honestly just fell into photography. However, I've been doing "artsy" stuff all my life as I'm very right-brained. When I was very little I drew a lot, and I also have a bunch of community theatre experience (which I still do in high school), and that's great because it helps me entertain the young kids and keep them focused. As for photography, though, I started off playing around with my mom's point-and-shoot and taking photos of my backyard and pets and whatnot. I remember I used to take her old Kodak around the Target shopping center and take photos of everything just for the heck of it, but eventually I realized that I wanted to learn more about photography and get more serious about it. I think things just kind of went from there.

Most people would consider you very young to be so skilled and talented, is there something you did or something that happened that you think helped this process?  
Practice, practice, and more practice! I carry my camera just about everywhere and try to take photos, whether it be for clients or just for me, at least once a week. I also spend a lot of time reading photography books, magazines, and online things. For the most part I'm self-taught.

How did you decide to start a business?
There was never really a conscious decision, to be completely honest. People started asking me to photos and so I eventually I made a website, got business cards, and before I knew it I was getting tons of job offers. It's kind of funny how that stuff works- I never really meant to become this involved, but I love it more than anything and I want portrait photography to be my career.

What would you say to other artists who are trying to get a start?
Again, the most important thing is to practice lots! Also make sure to listen to constructive criticism, but don't let rude people discourage you. I was told on a forum when I was just starting out that my work was garbage, which upset me a lot, but I eventually learned not to let that kind of negativity get to me. If you love it, keep doing it. It's as simple as that.

What is your favorite thing in the entire world? 
I have lots of favorite things- my camera, my hedgehog Finnegan, wintertime, good books, stormy days... I could go on and on. I think it's safe to say that I really enjoy life in general.

Do you have a favorite photograph (your's or someone else's)? What is it and why?
For some reason I always get this question, but I can never really think up a decent answer. I tend to favor the recent stuff when it comes to my own photography. Normally I'm particularly fond of whatever's on the front page of my website, and that changes a lot. As for other people's work, well, I don't know! I look at so much photography that I really don't have an all-time favorite image. Tough question!

Last but not least, where can we find you and your art?
My website is, and if you live in the Huntsville area, you should definitely check it out! I shoot everything- children, families, seniors, engagements, weddings, you name it. I also have a blog, which you can find at I should also mention that I'm working on getting a studio at Lowe Mill alongside the fabulous Kayla Byrge of Fig Tree Jewelry (, which should be exciting. Lastly, if you want to become a fan, I have a Facebook page: Voila!