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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Esme & The Butterflies

I finished up a new mixed media.

It's called...
"Esme & The Butterflies"

She is part of a new series I've just started and I can't wait to do more because I had a ball with this one.

Prints of Esme will be available in my Etsy shop.
The original will be posted in my Etsy shop shortly, but if you want to grab it
before anyone else does than just email me.

I am off to warm up with a cup of coffee and a few pages of a book
before I enter another day of assisting Ella Luna with her hopping
and snippets of artwork whenever she stays still & takes a nap!
(and when my head will allow...it's been a crappy couple of weeks for headpain I admit)

p.s.  Jonathan and I watched a wonderful movie this past weekend,
It's called 'The Way' and is a movie by Emilio Estevez...
We loved it and thought it was one of the best movies we've seen in awhile.
If you love movies about human strength & souls coming together to help heal one another,
I highly recommend it.

XO Mandy

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Weekends Consist Of...

The snow is coming down in a crazy & beautiful white dance...
so much so that I can't see the houses across the street..

I am spending my weekend with ART...

...And with BUNNIES...

...We might even get some cross-country skiing in...
I predict a lovely weekend and
I am Happy.

Hope your having a wonderful weekend.  See you all next week.

XO Bijou

(Afternote:  We did not get skiing in but we did get lots of long walks in the crispy chilly sunshine, had some excellent Japanese food and enjoyed several movies in front of a roaring fire.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meat-Free Balsamic 'Chicken' & Potatoes

I think it's time to share another favourite recipe.

We make this awesome dish often for dinner...
(well, my honey makes it, ha ha...it's one of his specialities)

Sauteed 'chicken' breast and mashed potatoes
with a homemade balsamic gravy

It's really easy, meat-free, healthy and KIND.

As you can see, we always serve it with some kind of steamed veg and a nice salad on the side.

Here's how you do it:
(My Jonathan never uses recipes, so the instructions are
abit of a 'pinch-of-this-pinch-of-that' type of thing)
Over medium heat, cook soy chicken breast in abit of olive oil until cooked through & nicely browned.
Whiles your doing this, have some potatoes cooking to be ready for mashing.

Than make the balsamic gravy:
He usually starts with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil (or substitute Olivina)
He heats the oil on low-medium heat (make sure the oil does not smoke).
Than he adds lots of finely chopped garlic, usually 4 or 5 good sized cloves,
cook them for a couple minutes until soft, it doesn't take long.
Than he adds freshly ground pepper, to taste (we use an organic 4 pepper corn variety).
Than he adds 2-3 tablespoons of organic flour
(you want the mixture like a paste but not a super thick paste).
Than he keeps the heat on medium and slowly stir in organic free-run milk, a 1/4 cup at a time,
(add more for a thinner gravy or less for a thicker gravy.  It's best to add abit of milk at a time and stir well before adding more because you don't want the sauce to get too thin or runny).
Than, he adds a small splash of 'Maggi' (amount depends on how salty you want it)
Finally and lastly, add & stir in organic balsamic vinegar...we usually add 2 tablespoons,
but you can add more or less depending on how strong you want the taste.

Now your done...
pour the gravy over the 'chicken' and mashed potatoes
put on your favourite music, open a bottle of wine
and ENJOY!

Happy Meat-Free Eating

XO Mandy & Jonathan

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Feathered Breasts

A new image just finished up this morning
(in the off times when I am not acting as a bunny crutch, ha ha)

It's called 'The Feathered Breasts'
and is a acrylic and coloured pencil painting on gessoed muslin.

A somewhat cheeky yet whimsical commentary on you know what, ha ha....
Cause a woman can have the most divine face, the most spectacular eyes, the best hat ever,
the nicest hair...but if you've got a chest of any size or shape...well you know the drill.

I don't know where it came from,
The image just popped in my head one day and I thought
'hmmm....that'll be a fun one to make'
...and indeed it was.

Have a great day everyone, see you soon.

XO Mandy

Friday, February 17, 2012

Some Kind Of Wonderful

Abit of time on the back deck is a tonic for winter bored bunnies...
(This was a couple weeks before Ella's legs took a turn for the worse)

Ella Luna always finds some branch to chew on or dried out leaves & pine needles to munch on,
whiles Roo, our snow bunny, stretches to munch on the cedars surrounding the deck and once he's full, he bucks and jumps and zips and zags all silly like making everyone laugh & feel lighter...

I've noticed that because Ella Luna can't go out quite as much as usual,
(Because her right leg muscle has atrophied & she has arthritis in it & going outside for
long stretches, especially on the slippery snow and ice, is just abit hard on her now).
Roo doesn't really have as big of an interest as usual,
I guess he doesn't want to leave his girlie behind...
really VERY sweet if ya think about it...

It's hard to see our favourite little ones get old...
but as long as they keep going strongly, aren't in pain, eat well, and are happy with a zest for life,
as they all without a doubt currently are,
Than we'll keep helping them with everything we've got, ever second along the way...

Because in my books they are without a doubt, some kind of wonderful.

XO Mandy & Ella Luna and Roo, Jin and Jaky XO

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hope On Wings

A new mixed media called 'Hope On Wings' by yours truly, inspired by
Love, Inspiration, Strength & above all else HOPE...

"Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all."
(one of my favourite poems by Emily Dickinson)

This piece is dedicated to two beloved souls:
My niece, Karly, a strong, unique & inspiring little girl who makes me so proud to be her Auntie.
Our precious girl, Ella Luna, a strong little rabbit who loves us like no other.

Happy Valentines Day Lovelies

XO M & The Bunnies

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Winter Storm Bunny Diversion

There is a new (and short) Bunny Diversion video up for your viewing...

Just a little something simple and sweet to warm up the souls on this wintery week.

XO Mandy & Jaks (aka Apple-Pie)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sneak Peek

I love hats...they make me happy...

...And, they are also inspiring my one of my newest little series, here's sneak peek...

...I think their gonna be super duper cute.
Stay tuned for I should be able to show you a petal topped lady pretty soon.

I must admit to just not feeling up to much in the studio the last week,
a creative block suddenly popped up but I just went with it and wasn't too hard on myself
for we've had so much on our plates the last month:
a death in the family, a rough time with Ella Luna going crippled,
stressful vehicle shopping, a health scare & lots of migraines to contend with ...
But, these little sweeties came to me whiles I was 'blocked' so I guess it wasn't entirely fruitless, ha ha...

What are all of your guys working on in the studios or elsewhere this week?

XO Mandy

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Books Books & More Books

I like to share my stacks of books read in a year...
I confess to being a pretty serious bookworm...I am quite addicted to reading.
The stack read last year was pretty decent (better than 2010's stack I think)...

These ones I loved and thought were pretty fabulous...

These ones I thought were quite good...

These ones I found just okay...

And these ones I really really didn't like!

2012's pile is already looking promising.

What was your favourite read last year???

XO Mandy, the bookworm

Thursday, February 2, 2012


A couple hours of sledding with two of my most favourite people was an awesomely fun day...

I don't particularly love the cold (especially now that we have no vehicle cause our car is kaput!)
But Ahhh...Cheers to the joys of snow such as frozen noses and numb toes
and the utter deliciousness of getting back home to
hot chocolates, roaring fires & the tingling of thawing appendages.
...these parts of winter I do love, ha ha.

What's your favourite part of winter???

XO Bijou, who hopes your getting in some sledding time this winter.