Friday, March 25, 2011

New Work - Always Dream Big - Mixed Media Collage & 365 Days With Kiddos - #30 - Teach Your Kids to Dream BIG!!

I have had so many wonderful opportunities lately. I have always been one to dream big. I think it is a very important message to share with my children. My father and his sister were both very instrumental in teaching me that I could achieve anything I sent my mind to, as long as I also worked hard. Many people talk about how it is possible to live your dreams, but then they will not do the work to make their dreams happen. Challenges and set backs do occur, but what is important is to push on, with more determination.

Good things can happen when you set your mind to it. We all have bad days, but it is getting up after falling down that is important. Most things happen when the time is right, forcing something that is not ready to be won't make it happen. But continuing to put in the time and effort almost always pays off in the end. I am a dreamer. I also live in reality, knowing that if opportunity doesn't knock, I need to build a door. This post is for all the hard working dreamers out there...

Always Dream Big
Mixed media collage using gift wrap, handmade paper, wire, beads, vintage sheet music, text & illustration, acrylic paint, & found twig
By Tiffany Teske
Approx 8x10
Please contact me if you are interested...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weekly Recipe - Happy St Patrick's Day Vegan Irish Stew & Sweet Guinness Quick Bread

I have not written a weekly recipe in so long that maybe I should call this feature the "Monthly or Longer Recipe"... I do apologize! Life has been handing me some amazing opportunities lately and, as usual, some challenges. I am the mom to two little ones, so my time is always too short for all the things on my plate. We are ALL busy, so this is no excuse, I just wanted to catch all of you up on my lack of posting.

So, Happy St Paddy's Day! My grandmother's father, Ira Stewart, was from Ireland. He was married to Gerta, from Sweden. They moved to Minnesota and were farmers. My grandmother, Harriett, has wonderful stories about growing up on a farm but she moved to the city as soon as she could and left the farm days behind her. Ira, was my great grandfather, and he was, well, a rather abrasive guy, until it came to me. He lived until I was 5 or 6 years old, and loved to hold me on his lap and to talk with me. I have fond memories of the small apartment he and my great grandmother lived in at a nursing home. My great grandmother used to pass me sugar cubes under the table and I would pop them in my mouth and suck on them until they melted. Today, I remembered my family...

I am not exactly sure how Ira would feel about the fact that I have been a vegetarian for 24 years. I adapted this traditional Irish Stew to make it vegan. Both of these recipes are great during the winter months, not just on St Paddy's Day.

Vegan Irish Stew
Makes 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time one hour

~ 4 cups vegetable broth
~ 4 cups water
~ 2 medium yellow onions
~ 3/4 cup pearl barley (rinsed)
~ 1/2 teaspoon salt
~ 1 1/2 lbs potatoes with skins (waxy, not russets)
~ 1 14 oz can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
~ 3 large peeled carrots
~ 1 - 2 celery stalks
~ 2 tablespoons tamari
~ 1/4 teaspoon thyme
~ 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
~ fresh ground black pepper to taste

Cut all the vegetables into large chunks. In a large pot combine water, vegetable broth, barley, onions, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add in the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the carrots, chickpeas, celery, tamari, and spices and cook for another 30 minutes on low. Enjoy with Irish soda bread or the Guinness bread below...

Guinness Quick Bread
Makes one loaf
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes


~ 1 1/2 cups non-bleached all-purpose flour
~ 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
~ 1 teaspoon baking powder
~ 3/4 cup brown sugar
~ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
~ 1 12-ounce Guinness (that leaves some of the pint for drinking...)
~ 1 cup walnuts, chopped
~ 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients and pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 50 minutes. Serve right out of the over with butter or room temperature.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Work - "The Circle" - Mixed Media Collage on Canvas

The Circle
By Tiffany Teske
Mixed Media Collage with Vintage Elements
$150 (for a limited time)

I have been busy, busy, busy creating new work lately. It feels GREAT! I created this piece for a local art show called Home Grown. It is my 4th year being a part of this well attended show that brings together artists with our community.

This piece, like so many I create, started with a concrete plan that soon changed COMPLETELY. I love having a starting point, then seeing how far away from that it gets. I started with a 16x20" canvas that I bought at the thrift shop, already painted a nice springy shade of yellow-green. I have been wanting to try a new technique a week and for this piece I used bubble wrap as part of the layered background, as well as large stamping on just part of the piece. I like how both turned out.

The tree is made from a vintage map. The birds are illustrations from a vintage book. And the buttons... vintage (shocking, I know!). The title is The Circle. The text is from a vintage dictionary and it reads Life, Death, and Circle. It is about the Circle of life (and death). The tree represents death, the birds represent life, and the buttons, well, circles. The palette is not one I work with a lot but I grew to love the yellow with brown, black, white, and pink accents.

This piece is currently for sale in the show for $150. I plan to raise the price if it doesn't sell in the show since it is worth more than $150 but I wanted to give people the opportunity to buy this at a special price this month, in celebration of local art and the coming of spring...