Studio Haps

Art Studio Haps at

Art Studio Haps at Farmhouse38.comWhat’s happening in the studio right now? Ants. Ants are happening in the studio right now. Because it is HOT, people. When it is 98º outside, it is 105º inside the studio. They are after the cat food. Which I keep in the studio (don’t ask).

Art Studio Haps at

A particularly ‘cool’ day in the studio where I was actually working in the middle of the day. Oy.

But aside from all that, I’m managing to eek in a few hours of arting here and there; the wee hours of the morning and the dusky hours of the evening lend themselves to a cooler working environment (and by cooler, I mean low 90’s in the scorching bowels of my studio). But it’s a precarious dance. What I do is quite noisy (kinda sounds like an auto body shop sometimes, not gonna lie), and we have neighbors. That I actually like and care to not disturb (beyond my squabbling chickens, barking dogs, and expletive-hollering parrot). So I’m really limited in the morning and evening. I mustn’t disturb the peace. Much.

So I’ve gotten some work done:

Art Studio Haps at

Sunset No.1 (paint, dye, and copper leaf on steel).

Art Studio Haps at

Another angle of Sunset No.1…a little better to see the copper gild.

Art Studio Haps at

Neon No.1 (paint on steel).

Art Studio Haps at

Neon Oxide No. 1 (patina, paint, wax, gold leaf on steel).

And have several works-in-progresseseses:

Art Studio Haps at

As-of-yet-un-named piece getting some grind.

Art Studio Haps at

Another start: ground pattern on bare, reclaimed steel. Got a ways to go on this one.

I still have no Etsy shop open, nor do I have anything legitimately up for sale yet. And there’s a reason for that: I’ve been given the exciting opportunity to work with Epson to test out their new metallic ink printing processes. This is amazing on so many levels–but it might actually allow me to make and sell prints of my work, which I did not ever think I was going to be able to do with this medium. My paintings fall in a strange grey area between painting and sculpture, and they don’t translate to the second dimension very well (I struggle to even capture them correctly in photographs, because as you move in front of the paintings, the light changes, and the whole painting changes. This creates a very interesting interaction in person, but is lost in photographs). But the prints that Epson has done for me so far–I’m amazed at how they look. So cool. But for now, my arms are tied as I work with them on this ongoing project, and can’t actually sell anything until maybe around the first of the year. More to come on that.

Art Studio Haps at

The very first prototypes of the Epson metallic printing process (printed on vinyl on the left, and canvas on the right, with the original in the middle). Again, this is a little lost in photography, but the results are really stunning. I’m impressed!

But in other studio news…I’ve made a start on my ‘Wall of Positive Affirmation':

Studio Haps at

Everyone needs a wall cheerleader.

And I have found my new favorite glitter: neon (care of good ol’ Martha Stewart).

Art Studio Haps at

Obsessed. Sometimes I just sit and stare at it. Mouth open. Tiny bit of drool.

And I’ve been working with a lot of metal leaf…because it so pretties.

Art Studio Haps at

How to fake the Midas Touch.

And there’s been some of this:

Art Studio Haps at

Never drink and art. Just kidding…you should always drink and art. Look at the judgement in Stewie’s eyes.

This is why there is usually cat hair included in my artwork:

Art Studio Haps at

My painting, Human.

And this:

Art Studio Haps at

This is usually what I am tripping over as I work.

One big happy family. Including the ants.

Ball® Heritage Green Jar Giveaway

*****Our winner is: AJ Lemmons! Congrats, AJ!*****Green Jar Giveaway from and Ball® Canning, August 14- August 17, 2014Thanks to Ball® Canning, we have an awesome giveaway starting today, August 14, 2014, and ending at midnight on Sunday, August 17, 2014. On Monday morning, August 18, 2014, one lucky winner will be selected to win a six-pack of Ball® Canning’s Heritage Green Quart-sized Jars, as well as a cute jar hangy-wall-thing made by yours truly (featuring four pint-sized Heritage Jars), and a copy of the book Mason Jar Crafts. Time to get your crafting on (or canning, or organizing, or whatever you do with your Heritage Green Jars!)!

Click here to enter!

Green Smoothie Deep Thoughts

Farmhouse38 Green Smoothie via


I wanted to post this recipe, not so much to be jumping on the green smoothie bandwagon and pretending I re-invented the wheel, but more because I have a tendency to fall off said bandwagon, and then forget how I make it when I climb back on. So really, I’m just posting this for my own reference.

But also…I have thoughts. Sometimes. I know, I know–applause isn’t necessary. Thank you, though.

I always roll my eyes at these sorts of diet fads. People get crazy. Like: OMG…juice?! Smoothies? THIS IS GENIUS. Like we haven’t been squeezing fresh juice and making healthy smoothies for decades already. My mom used to squeeze my brothers and I fresh orange juice EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. To the point where it was torture for us to drink it–but she insisted it was the best, healthiest way to drink orange juice. And, as much as I hate to say it (don’t make me say it!!!)…she was right.

In my adult years, I have tried to eat as much fresh produce as I possibly could. I’ve always been mindful of it, at least. Why the heck should I drink it? Especially when, all sorts of said fresh produce is blended together or juiced and, let’s be real here, it looks so gross. So gross. Why. Why would I do that? But when I really assessed my diet, as much as I thought I was doing well, I realized I was still falling short. And I suddenly realized that packing a smoothie full of all this great stuff was a very quick and easy way to pound it down.

And yes, I chose to make smoothies, not juice, because…at the end of the day, the choice was about waste. Juicing creates a whole lot of waste product, and I just couldn’t come to terms with that. When you put produce in a blender and make a smoothie, you’re using almost every last bit. And all those bits and pieces have good stuff in them that would otherwise go down the drain, in the trash, or in the compost. Might as well put them in your face.

So I tried it. I floundered for awhile and produced some really vile stuff. But finally, I arrived at the following formula, and I am pretty pleased with it. The steadfast carnivore Texan even likes drinking it. Whowuddathunk.

I am a big fan of the Vega products (and I’m not sponsored or have anything to do with them–I just want to share). These vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free protein smoothie mixes can be used alone, or thrown into your own smoothie blend. They ain’t cheap, but they are a fantastic source of all-natural, Non-GMO, plant-derived protein. And they taste great. I think I really became a fan of green smoothies when I found these products.

For two approx. quart-sized servings:

–3 cups water (for a slushier version, replace some of this with ice)

–1 scoop Vega mix or other protein smoothie mix of your choice

–juice of 1 lemon

–2 cups frozen power greens (kale, spinach, collards, whatever floats your boat)

–1 frozen banana

–1 cup frozen mango bits

–1 medium fresh apple

–1 large fresh carrot

Put everything in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a schmancy big-name blender (which I didn’t for a long time), put these ingredients in one at a time and blend them slowly. This makes two servings that are approximately 220 calories each (if you use the Vega mix–you’re on your own if you go rogue).

Side note: I buy mostly everything in bulk, fresh (or pull it straight from the garden), cut it up into manageable pieces and then freeze it so that it’s ready to go into the blender when I need it. You could do everything fresh and add ice to the equation, of course. I like to make a week’s worth of smoothies at a time, seal them in mason jars, and then take them out a day ahead of time and put them in the refrigerator to thaw. Works pretty well for us.

Cheers to green smoothiedom! (It would probably cancel out all the good stuff if I added Vodka, right? Just checking.)

Hallo, St. Maarten! in St.Martin/St.MaartenOkay, this is a rambler; lots of photos to scroll through. I apologize in advance, but I can’t not share some images from our recent trip to St-Martin/St.Maarten. It has been a looooong time since the Texan and I have gone on a grown-up vacation (the last being our honeymoon in Belize, seven years ago–OY!), and this one was definitely worth the wait. Gotta give a loud shout-out to our friends, Laura and Dan (of fame) for letting us tag along!

St. Maarten, via

The amazing view from our unit.

For those of you who don’t know, this pretty little Caribbean island has the interesting distinction of being one of the smallest sea islands divided between two separate countries. So a little over half the island is French (Saint-Martin) and just under half is Dutch (Sint Maarten). Makes for a charmingly diverse vacation spot. With lots of views like these:

Visiting St. Maarten/St. Martin via in St. Maarten

Panoramic view from the rooftop of one of our favorite spots on the French side in Orient Bay, the Sun Beach Clubber. in St. Martin

A relaxing lunch and cocktails inside the Sun Beach Clubber, St. Martin. in St. Martin

Swimming in the amazingly green water of Orient Bay. in St. Maarten

View from the beach of Simpson Bay, St. Maarten. in St. Maarten

The Texan and I getting our float on in Simpson Bay. in St. Maarten

Great Bay, Philipsburg, St. Maarten. in St. Maarten

More Great Bay gorgeousness. in St. Maarten

Simpson Bay sunset group selfie! What is my face even doing? in St. Maarten

Sunset over the pool and beach of our resort.

I mean…the views everywhere were ridiculous.

Another of my very favorite things about the Caribbean is the architecture. I obsess over it. And took 900 photos of it (of which I shall spare you the lion’s share).

The Dutch capital of Philipsburg was so full of charm: in St. Martin/St. Maarten in St. Maarten in St. Maarten in St. Maarten

I kind of want this shed in my backyard. in St. Maarten

A lovely little alleyway in Philipsburg. in St. Maarten

The Guavaberry Emporium was a must-stop to sample their famous liquors and rums (and it is a darn darling little Caribbean building). at the Guavaberry Emporium, St. Maarten

There’s smiling with her guavaberry cocktail despite the fact that I had just been mercilessly dragging everybody through the streets of Philipsburg in manic pursuit of this place.

The French capital of Marigot was full of adorable buildings, too: in St. Martin in St. Martin

We happened to be on the French side of the island just in time for la Fête Nationale, so there was lots of festiveness everywhere! in St. Martin in St. Martin

Just FYI…when I buy a house in the Caribbean, I’m painting it hot pink and neon yellow. Fact.

We love us some beach bars, and St.Martin/St.Maarten did not disappoint: in St. Martin/St. Maarten in St.Martin/St.Maarten in St. Maarten in St. Maarten

Incidentally, this is one of my favorite photos from the trip…this little hidden bar down a little side alley in Philipsburg. And just on the other side of that bar? The beach.

Speaking of awesome beach bars…this one kind of takes the cake: in St. Maarten

The Sunset Bar & Grill is a great bar, perched on a pretty little beach. in St. Maarten

Which also happens to sit right next to the airstrip of the Princess Juliana International Airport. in St. Maarten.

So…ya know…this happens. in St. Maarten

You can stand, literally, right beneath the planes as they are landing. in St. Maarten

And, literally, piss your pants.

The bar posts the flight times, of course, because it’s a big attraction on the island…I highly recommend experiencing a 747 coming in (pictured above). I also highly recommend a pina colada before, during, and after.

Though we mainly spent our time at the beach, our adventuring did take us briefly inland to visit La Ferme Des Papillons (the Butterfly Farm, read all about that here) and then on to spend a day at lovely Loterie Farm. in St. Martin

A jungle oasis, complete with natural spring pools and private cabanas. Oh, and French pool boys serving you cocktails. in St. Martin

These pools were to die for; connected by meandering streams and waterfalls all tucked away amongst the jungle. And your cocktails are brought to you, did I mention that? in St. Martin

Beyond the pools, there is jungle zip-lining (that’s a nope for me) and hiking through the lush forest. And then there’s the amazing restaurant and bars on the property. It was a whole lot of awesome for one place.

Some other highlights from the trip: in St. Martin

Climbing to the top of Fort Louis for the panoramic views of the French side of the island. That’s the Texan actually doing a panoramic on his phone. in St. Martin

Island goat! in St. Martin

Island flowers. in St. Martin

You know I had to find some chickens. in St. Martin

Awkward vacation selfies. in St. Martin

Little moments of island perfection. in St. Martin

Oh, hayyy lizard. in St. Martin

Holding an Atlas Moth like I do it every day. in St. Martin

Island sheep. in St. Maarten

This is really how I spent most of my vacation. in St. Martin

Also this…


Can we go back yet? I’m ready to go back now. in St. Martin/St. Maarten





Shishito Pepper Salsa

Shishito Pepper Salsa by Farmhouse38.comOkay, so these arrived in my CSA box this week. And I got real excited because I thought they were jalapeños and I wanted to make salsa. But then it turned out they weren’t jalapeños. But I made salsa anyway.

(Backstory: shishitos are more bell-peppery than jalapeño-ey, though they do sometimes have a bit of mild kick to them).


–1 lb. (approx) of shishito peppers, stems removed

–1 good-sized tomato, cut into tiny pieces

–half a small onion, chopped into tiny pieces

–1 medium red bell pepper

–4 cloves of garlic (less or more depending on how garlicky you like things)

–juice of one lime

–2 tablespoons of tomato paste

–1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

–1 tablespoon of liquid aminos (or soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce, whichever you prefer)

–1 tablespoon of habanero hot sauce, if you like it hot (I used Marie Sharp’s, which is my most favoritest hot sauce from Belize)

So. Throw the shishitos (seeds and all), the red bell pepper, and the garlic into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then throw that and everything else into a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten to twelve minutes. Let cool and eat up! Yummy as salsa, and as a spread for sandwiches. Sooo yummmmmy.

Side note: people keep telling me to roast or pan-sear these babies (and just eat them straight like that). So that would be a great twist on this salsa–grill the peppers up first THEN throw them in the salsa for a nice, smokey vibe. Yeah. I like it.

Shishito Peooer Salsa by

Salsa. Yes.

Shishito Pepper Salsa by

Put it in your face.


If I had a World of My Own

Have I mentioned I love all things Alice?If I had a world of my own quote, via

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin


La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via Farmhouse38.comOf all the marvelous adventures we had on our trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin, I of course, must start by posting photos from La Ferme des PapillonsThe butterfly nerd wants what the butterfly nerd wants. If you are lucky enough to visit that beautiful little island, you simply must plan to make a stop at the farm. We arrived early in the morning, just after a rain storm, and it was magical.

La Ferme Des Papillons, St. Martin, by



La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, by

The incredible Dead Leaf Butterfly…folded up, looks just like a…(wait for it)… dead leaf.

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

Holla, Swallowtail!

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

Eggs on a banana leaf.

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

Young larvae of the Giant Owl Eye munching on a banana leaf.

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

A nearly full-grown Owl Eye larvae.

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

The Giant Owl Eye Butterfly (can you tell I love this butterfly?).

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

I was thrilled to see monarchs here (all the species represented at the farm are non-native). Our tour guide discussed the dwindling monarch population in America and, of course, got to hear me gush about my monarch-centric garden back home. This garden was full of gorgeous tropical milkweed that all the butterflies were going ape over.

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

The curators of the farm collect many of the chrysalises they find and keep them safely in vented cupboards. These are opened every morning to release any new hatchlings. I was fascinated by these cupboards, and took billions of photos (of which I will mostly spare you)–they are treasure boxes lined with tidy rows of enchanting little charms. So breathtaking to see them displayed like this.

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

Particularly fascinating were the cocoons of the Atlas Moth, spun inside dried leaves as camouflage.

And…speaking of which:

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

By far, the most memorable moment of the farm (and maybe the whole trip for me), was getting to hold an Atlas Moth in the palm of my hand. The world’s largest moth…these things only live for seven days!!!

La Ferme des Papillons, St. Martin, via

This is one of those creatures that makes me lose my breath. It is so incredible that this thing exists–it seems like a prop out of some fantasy/science fiction movie. Right? How is this thing even real!!!

And in case you were wondering…the island, itself, was teaming with indigenous butterflies–everywhere you looked things were just alive with them:

I don’t mean to overshadow the gloriousness of the rest of the island with my trip to the butterfly farm–I just get overly excited about butterfly farms and pavilions and gardens (ya don’t say!!!). Stay tuned for a subsequent post with non-butterfly highlights from the trip that look a little something like this:

Visiting St. Maarten/St. Martin via

St. Maarten, via


St. Maarten/St. Martin is pretty easy on the eyeballs, let me tell ya.



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