As you may know by now, I have a thing for growing and preserving food, to say the least! This past gardening season was no different than the previous ones except that I grew my food with more intention. I took notes over the last two years of all the things I bought that I actually had growing in my garden and that I could stock my own selves with, and there were a lot of items! I saw that with a bit more work (or a lot!) I could shop less, use less packaging, and eat even more organically directly from my garden.
I have already shared a few items, such as my Rose Hip Skin Oil and my Fresh Garden Tea; today I will share my All Spice Blend that includes dehydrated tomatoes, lemon balm, sage, oregano, parsley, hot peppers, and lavender. This blend can be used on basically everything you wish – even though I recommend you keep it for savory dishes! – and you are welcome to adjust it to please your taste buds and, of course, depending on what is growing in your garden. Herb gardens are the best because you can pick your herbs fresh when the weather permits and preserve them to use in many different ways from tea, spices, oils, and tinctures.
So the recipe is very simple. I use a food processor to grind equal parts of each herb then toss in a bowl so they’re evenly mixed and voilà!!! My organic, simple All Spice Blend straight from my garden!!!
I have submitted!!! And now that I’ve done my part, it’s time for you to do yours!!! What have I submitted for? Good question… so here is a little explanation: John Fluevog recently put out a call to their fans to submit a design for their spring campaign. And if you know me at all, you know that I love a challenge and I love shoes so I had no choice but to create a piece to submit. I have worn and collected Fluevog shoes since I was 13 years old; in fact, I still have a clear memory of the very first pair I bought, as well as every single pair I bought ever since.
Here is my piece!
Spring Fever by Laura Balducci
I called it “Spring Fever” and created it using acrylic paint, collage, and a hand-embroidered outline of their beautiful shoe Attic Bianca. So I am asking all my friends and followers for your help (yes I am being shameless) as there is a public vote happening. Please follow the link and vote by giving a “thumbs up” (hopefully for my design… winkwinkwink) You can vote once and I would really appreciate a moment of your day and as many shares as you feel to make an artist and shoe lover’s dream come true! Thank you so very much from the bottom of my Fluevog heart! xoxo
Fluevog Creative Design Submissions
The blue sky showed its face on Cortes Island this Sunday!!! A welcome sight that created a much-needed Serene feel over the whole island including the swamp on our property… xoxo
There has been some Transformation to our bathtub and boat vegetable garden beds!!! After a seriously good harvest season that went until mid-November, the beds are now totally asleep for the winter. Mulched with rabbit droppings, dead leaves, and a final layer of seaweed that will completely yet slowly break down over the next few months to create fertilizer and soil just in time to start planting again in mid Spring. Sleep well little beds and dream of plump produce!
I have been a working artist for over 30 years in the hair, make up and fashion styling industry and have just recently retired!!! And I loved my profession – so now what???
Since I moved to Cortes Island six years ago, I’ve had the chance to dabble in many mediums of art which led to the creation of five solo art installations and my participation in many group shows, combining the different techniques I have learned over the years. You can view all my exhibitions and shows on my website. I’ve had so much fun and accomplished many goals during this time in my life – these include a group show in Europe, the making of a CD and touring with my band The Abbie Hoffman Society, the recording of a sound track to go with one of my art installations and a whole lot of art dolls, and one that even came alive… It’s been a a great ride!!!
So the question is what is my new burning passion now that I am not styling hair anymore? Creating Art… Obviously!!! So where do I go with it? I have been pondering this question for a few months. I love colour theory, knitting, dying fiber, and creating lots of art, which makes the idea of working in Fiber and Textile Art a no-brainer for me and the central focus of where I am putting my energy. Creating Wearable Art!!!
I have started on this path, as many of you know, but I have decided to continue exploring this exciting medium in the new year by creating more wearable art. This means experimenting with fiber and textile art, learning to spin yarn as well as focusing my concepts on making wearable items that follow the colour theory I have used all throughout my career. In my past work, I used the palettes of the seasons: fall, winter, autumn, and spring. My new collection of work is thus aptly called “four seasons” and includes hand-knitted scarves, chokers/collars, and silk scarves that have been painted with natural dyes and Cida acid dyes. I am creating four items for each of the four seasons – so a one-of-a-kind and limited edition.
I will have a few items at The Gorge Christmas Bazaar alongside another new item, greeting cards of my art dolls, as well as some of my original art pieces, and my art book “My Stuffies’ Secret Life”. I am excited to share my new and past art in a few different formats, which includes craft fairs, pop-up shops, and a soon to come online store! So come and see me at the Bazaar and may the celebrations begin! xoxo
When we think of the seasons, we usually think of the calendar and the different phases of the year, but did you know that every human is also a season!?! As a retired hair, make-up and fashion stylist much of my work has been geared around this theory. From hair to make-up to wardrobe, choosing the right colours for your skin tone is key to completing an overall look that suits you best.
As of late, I have been focusing my creativity on making wearable art and combining my past trade experience to my current art projects. Most of the work I am doing at the moment consists of knitting and painting on silk – all dyed naturally or by using Ciba Washfast acid dye. I am also learning to spin yarn which I will be dying soon…. and using in my wearable art, of course!
So, do you know which season you are? I will be touching on this subject at greater length in the weeks to come to help you figure it out by giving you a guideline based on your skin tone. As you know, helping people look their best is something I am very passionate about! I wanted to start on this topic by gathering the colour charts above to give you some examples of the palettes that suits each season best. As you can see, there is a broad spectrum to choose from for each season. So which season are you most attracted to? It will be fun to see if this is the one that suits you best! I am also using this colour theory to create a collection of wearable art aptly called “Four Seasons”. And I am working towards launching a store on my website in early 2018 where you will be able to view and purchase my work. So stay tuned!!! xoxo
For the last two months or so, the Cortes Island Museum has been putting out a call to contribute a square to a community quilt they are putting together entitled “Where Do You Come From”. So I took the opportunity to work and play with an Experimental thought that has been playing in my mind for some time. Doing a painting with accents of embroidery to make a part of the painting pop!!! So I am very happy to share the square I contributed to our community quilt. I used acrylic paint, collage and embroidery for this piece called “Peace Is For Everyone”. I had a lot of fun creating my square and I got a lot of practice with the idea of marrying embroidery and paint; I love the effect I got and I am thrilled to have participated!
Peace Is for Everyone by Laura Balducci
The paddle board is Temporarily parked!!!
Today I would like to share the story around my Fresh Garden Tea, which I created, you guessed it… from my garden!!! If you follow me on social media, you may remember that I spent a lot of time in my garden last summer with the intention of dedicating a portion of what I grow to be dehydrated. Not only because I am committed to following my 3-step-diet and preserving food to see us through the winter until next garden season, but also in order to create more items that I tend to buy when they are actually growing in my garden. So this year I did just that!!!
One of my favorite teas that I came across in the last two years is a cucumber-mint organic tea (I can not remember the brand but it’s delicious). Well, guess what I have growing? an abundance of mint and cucumbers! So I made my own version of the tea, with a twist: I dehydrated some mint leaves and thinly sliced cucumbers, seeds and all. I also harvested and dehydrated some lemon balm, which also grows abundantly in my garden. Once dried, I placed each ingredient into its own bag and crushed them to a medium crushed state. Then I mixed equal parts of all 3 ingredients in a bowl and stirred until the mixture looked even. I then put the tea into one of my nice vintage jars and voilà! Fresh garden tea ready to steep in boiling water to your desired taste (I steep mine for about 3 mins and add a bit of honey!) It’s fresh, light, crisp, and part of my 3-step diet. And you can make a lovely iced tea version from this blend tooo!!! Remember though, this is a loose tea and you will have to use a strainer, or you can buy tea bags (reusable ones are the best!) and fill with approximately one tablespoon per bag or per cup. Enjoy a taste of summer all through winter!
The ground is crisp and the sky is bright at the moon Peeks around the trees at the Peak of its fullness!!!
Photo from Saturday night just before we changed the clocks back… One of my favorite times of the year. xoxo