Master Mallow Roaster

MasterMallowRoaster

I nearly titled this post “Master Mallow Marsher”. Around our house we ask, “Wanna go marsh some mallows?” As if “marsh” was the action of placing a “mallow” into a fire to roast. I looked up the history of this word and discovered that the marshmallow is actually an ancient Egyptian plant from which the sap was extracted, combined with egg whites, sugar, and a few other ingredients to make a sweet medicine used to soothe children’s sore throats. It wasn’t until the mid-1800’s that people began making a cheaper, quicker creation to mass market and in doing so, the sap was dropped and therefore all its medicinal properties. The marshmallow evolved still further over the years until we have our modern day version which apparently, we Americans adore. According to one site,  Americans consume over 90 million pounds of marshmallows per year!! Our household certainly contributes to this number!!

My husband has taken to firing up the chiminea on our back deck this fall. Almost an every-afternoon ritual, Maddie loves to join him while she does her homework, and inevitably the bag of marshmallows comes out along with our fancy, made for just this purpose, mallow roasting sticks. She has the roasting process down to a science, creating the most delectable roasted marshmallows I’ve ever eaten!! Her trick is that she roasts the mallow all over slowly, then turns the mallow upside-down on the stick to roast its underside as well! Gooey all the way through, with just the perfect crunch on the outside!!

I often join them by the fire, crocheting a blanket, or I simply place my order with Maddie…two please, just the way you make them! A Master Mallow Marsher indeed!!

A Favorite Barn

SmithHollowBarn

At the end of a road down which I walk each day, is a wonderful old barn. This barn sits on Smith land and is a part of Smith Hollow Farm where my artist friend Debbie and I have spent many a happy morning drawing the land, their horses, goats, and donkey named Elvis. As I sat here drawing this view, Mr. Smith drove up in his truck and hollered at me that I could go on down into the land further to paint or draw whenever I liked. I always breathe a sigh of relief when I receive a happy greeting. One never knows.

Barns are a favorite of mine, to draw and paint for sure, and to just gaze at and wonder about the history and life lived in and around the barn. Years ago, at Appalachian State University, I was able to see a show of pastel paintings by Wolf Kahn and I distinctly remember saying to my mom: I wish I had been the one to make these paintings.

It would be so cool to travel from one end of North Carolina to the other, drawing and painting the barns. Just in my hometown of Boone, the number of barns would keep me busy for years I’m sure. I would want not just to draw them, but also interview their owners, find out a bit of the history of the barn, the family who built and owned it, etc. If anyone wants to hire me to drawcument Watauga County’s barns… Ha! Wouldn’t that be fun?

The temps are much cooler this week and I have a feeling Debbie and I will be drawing indoors, returning to Eclection as our cold-weather haunt. I will surely miss drawing outdoors. I’ve been stealing away to draw in my yard lately, on the back deck, and enjoy the beautiful colors we are having. The winds are starting to blow them away.

November is a busy full month for me! The JDRF Walk for the Cure is this weekend and there’s still time to donate! Then I have an Art Show on the 22nd at Southwinds Gallery (do come for any portion of the 4-7 pm time slot on that Saturday!). Then Thanksgiving,  followed by my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary party on the 29th. Full indeed!

I may need to steal away to draw up at the barn a few times just to catch my breath!:)

For Ellen

Macy'sHouse

Macy

Macy knew, that as she grew,
her love for all things making
was growing still, her heart to fill …
crocheting, quilting, baking!

Yet in all this, one more was bliss
a thread ran through them all—
A gift to give, for this she lives,
something not found at the mall.

So Macy made, with her heart she gave
of fabric, yarn and flour.
With needles and hook, spoons and a book
to make something sweet from sour.

With ribbon and bow, her love would grow
in giving her creation away.
She wished she could be, a mouse on the knee
of the one opening it that day.

Yet content she be, to make more with glee
she only wanted more time
To quilt or crochet, to bake without delay
more presents with ribbon entwine.

-jpe
12/1/2013
For Ellen, my making/giving friend.

IMG_1447

****At my recent Book Signing/Art Show, my friend Ellen gave me a little bag with blue tissue peeking out the top. I got home after that magical evening and even forgot who had handed me the gift bag. I fell in love with the gift inside, a little felted mouse holding what looked to be either paint brushes or knitting needles (or both)! How perfect! And adorable!! I named her Macy and she now stands proudly on my studio Christmas tree. I keep having these poems run in my head about Macy. I’ll share them with you throughout the season. In the above drawing I switched the things Macy holds to those that are particular to Ellen. She’s an amazing quilter, crocheter, baker (and knitter too!)  All I want to do is sit at my drawing table and draw all kinds of illustrations of her! I  simply don’t have the time. But whatever ones I’m able to draw, I’ll share with you … thanks for popping in this holiday season!

MacyMouse

 

Once Again…?

Could you pop next door once again?

Or…as Stew Crother might say in a lovely English accent,

“Will you nip in next door?”

Or, as folks might say from my Southern region in the USA,

“Y’all come on over now, ya hear?”

Anyway, Genevieve would love it if you could visit her today!

Merci!

The Grumble Blankie

Recently, I’ve realized a nasty habit:  I complain a lot.  You might be surprised at this.  But if you heard the tape that runs in my head some days, or if you asked my husband…you’d hear an awful lot of grumbling.  Laundry, dishes, dust, work, busyness, crazy drivers, not enough of this, too much of that, etc.  The list goes on and on. A couple of weeks ago I was freshly awakened to this wearisome tape.  Funny, how you also realize… that you’ve realized this about yourself before! Yeesh!

My thoughts went something like this:  Ugh! There it is again! Complain, complain, complain! I’m sick of hearing myself complain! And now I’m even complaining that I’m a complainer! How will I be rid of this? It seems like it’s part of who I am…  But surely not.  Perhaps it’s not woven into the fabric of my being…perhaps it’s like a blankie I keep carrying around with me, the way a too old child carries around his/her blankie from infanthood.  Well, if that’s the case…I can throw away the grumble blankie!!  And so I did!

It felt great! To visually and purposefully dump that nasty, sucked-on-forever blanket I’d been nursing.  But I felt I really ought to put something in its place…get rid of something yucky and replace it with something positive.  And this image came to mind.  I’ll trade my grumble blankie for a drawing pen!  Drawing enables me to refocus the grumbling to embracing the life that I have.  Yes. and Yes.

I went to sleep that night content with this little drawing and with the thought of that grumble blankie in the trash can.  But the next morning, I swear that blankie must’ve crawled out of the trash can and inched its way up to my room as I slept.  Oi! Darned if I didn’t start off…”ugh..it’s too early!…i didn’t get much sleep…how can anybody be expected to function on 5 hours of sleep????? grumble, grumble, grumble.”

And so, I’m finding I have to throw that darn blankie away every morning.  Truth be told, I have to do it several times a day!  Good Grief.  But at least it drives me to pick up my pen and draw…draw the life that I am really truly thankful for…

…even if I grumble about it. 🙂

Drawing Your Life: Mini Lesson #2

All the Drawing Your Life Mini Lessons have now been typed up, expanded, revised, updated and published into an ebook & video course for you!

Purchase this in my ETSY shop HERE.

Discover Your Life Beautiful…One Drawing At A Time!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Edwards

Three Cheshire Grins

Big doings in the Edwards household these days…

All three kids wearing smiles as wide as their faces…

I’d have to say…I am too! 🙂

**A Note about the Mini Lessons starting this Friday!!  I’m a little overwhelmed by everyone’s enthusiasm…and so I’m afraid maybe you might be thinking this will be like an interactive online class.  Sadly, no, these little lessons on Drawing Your Life will merely be a blog post.  Albeit filled with drawings/paintings/etc. (by me:) and encouragements by me, there will be no YouTube videos to watch or interactive lesson to tune into at a specific time.  I’m just posting on Fridays something that will, I hope, aid you in your endeavor to chronicle your life in images.  There will be minimal instruction on specific drawing techniques.  I hope this isn’t disappointing to anyone.  I just wanted to be clear.  I re-read my previous post, If I taught You to Draw, and yep, sure ‘nough, it spells it out pretty well.

Gosh, it sounds like I’m really dampening the prospects of these Mini-Lessons.  I just have to tell you I .AM. SO. EXCITED. ABOUT. THISSS!!!!