art ~ jewelry ~ interfaith devotions ~ peace to you...


a cold but homey start to the new year

Doodle art by Artysville

I unexpectedly spent a quiet COMPUTER-LESS day at home today. I often wake up and post something fresh in the morning, but my PC was down all day and a snowstorm came through yesterday and into the night, leaving snow-packed streets and bitter cold temperatures. As in single digits! (So I wasn't going anywhere!)

I spent the time reflecting on my year just past and what I'd like to accomplish in 2011.

I also made time to enjoy baking bread and cooking Italian Lentil soup. I know black eyed peas are traditionally cooked at New Years, but I'm not one for following tradition too seriously.  I didn't take any photos, but I do want to share this very tasty recipe with you. It's hearty and thick. The perfect soup for a weekend dinner at home. Plus its easy and ready in no time! Don't forget the crusty bread.

Italian Lentil Soup

2 medium carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
3 C. water
2 C. vegetable broth or 1 cube bullion plus 2 C. water
1/2 small head green cabbage, chopped in 1" pieces
1 C. dry lentils, rinsed and drained
1 C. tomato puree or small can of tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano, crushed
a few twists of black pepper

In soup pot or dutch oven saute carrots, celery, and onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes or until crisp tender.

Stir in water, broth, cabbage, lentils, tomato product, sugar, salt, oregano and pepper. Just bring to a boil then lower to a simmer with pot covered. 

Cook 45 minutes or until lentils are soft. That's it! Makes enough for 5 main-dish servings.

NOTE: I've had this recipe for some time and made changes to it. Its from Better Homes & Gardens magazine. This was a prize tested recipe and the winner was Dee Carona of NY.

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I'll be back after the New Year. Peace and compassion to all living creatures and this wonderful planet earth!



art picks: in honor of Kwanzaa

Beautiful and rich. Those are the first two words that come to mind when I see African art like this! I can't resist beautiful patterns such as this pillow fabric or the batik tote bag. I'm drawn to masks just for the mystery they evoke. And the texture, shape and colors of this heishi necklace appeals to my eye. Enjoy!

African Dancer Pillow Cover by Pillows and More

African Volcanite Heishi Necklace by Whimsyfish

Rings of Life Batik Tote Bag by Hugs and Holidays

Kwanzaa Clay Mask by Levchin

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happy kwanzaa!

 The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

Umoja (unity): to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (self-determination): to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves. 

Ujima (collective work and responsibility): to build and maintain our community together and make our sisters’ and brothers’ problems our problems and to solve them together.  

Ujamaa (cooperative economics): to build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses together.

Nia (purpose): to make our collective vocation the building of our community to restore our people to their traditional greatness.  

Kuumba (creativity): to do as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (faith): to believe with our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.  

Information and image from the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper

I found this fun video about Kwanzaa on Laila's blog, Mama Locs: Happy Kwanzaa!

Here's the official Kwanzaa website if you want to learn more.

devotions: universal blessing

Earth Blessings Prayer Flag by Miranda Gray Studio

I forgive all living beings,
Let all living beings forgive me;
All in this world are my friends,
I have no enemies.

Let the whole universe be blessed.
Let all beings be engaged in one another's well-being.
Let all weaknesses, sickness and faults be diminished and vanish.
Let everyone, everywhere, be blissful and at peace.

Jain Scriptures


shine on peace

I hope 2011 brings more peace for everyone. Especially our troops overseas!

Very cool LED Peace Sign by OHLighting

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miracle fudge - ultimate last minute gift or party idea

Food is art. To some of us. That's my reason for slipping this post in on a blog that claims to be about art :-)  A friend and I baked this sampling of cookies to give as gifts to neighbors, the postman...whomever we could think of.

This fudge recipe is SO simple and QUICK, I wanted to pass it along in case you might need a last minute idea for your holidays!

Clock-wise, left to right: Frosted Sugar Cookies, Frosty Cherry Cookies,
 Hidden Treasures, Russian Tea Cookies and Fudge


4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. powdered cocoa
dash of salt
1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (if you want)

1. Melt butter in good sized glass bowl.
2. Add everything else and stir well. 
3. Microwave on high for TWO minutes.
4. Pour into sprayed 8x8 square pan.
5. Cool in fridge until set.

etsy treasury: whirled peas

My "Teach Peace" earrings are a part of this featured funky collection of items, by Etsy artists.

Visualize Whirled Peas in 2011 by BoHoArtists


















a safe place and peace of mind

What happens to a pet when their owner passes away? In my community we have a group of dedicated volunteers who find forever homes for pets of the terminally ill. They are Safe Place and they work hard to place pets into new homes for owners who can no longer care for them. There are also foster homes where these beloved pets go until they are adopted. Safe Place works closely with Pikes Peak Hospice and local veterinarians. 



 A shout out to Safe Place and all it's caring volunteers!

Donations are gratefully accepted


etsy treasury: solstice

I stayed up to view the solstice eclipse, munching on Christmas cookies intended for my neighbors. (There's still plenty left!) The universe is a continually amazing world. I've yet to look through a telescope, which I hope to do someday. I did have my binoculars however  :-)

Solstice   by OneHeartJewelry

















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