I’m Jack’s sense of impending doom.

When I wake up I put Jack’s life on standby.

Today I woke up and it was there. Talking to me from inside my own ears, whispering like a gossipy little weasel. “But what if it goes wrong? What do we do then?”
It came out of nowhere, like it always does, annoying little shit, making a list of everything that could possibly go wrong.
But today was a good day, I was able to tell it to shut up, got up and continued with my day.

Will I be able to do that tomorrow? Or will it win and my life will be put on hold momentarily? Who knows! Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!
So yeah, art, video, technological self-doubt and ineptitude with video editing programs are the order of the day. Come join me in my journey of self-taught video filming and editing, it will be fun! (Well, not fun, but possibly funny due to all the fail that is certain to happen along the way)

So, as you know, this assuming you’ve read a little bit of this blog, I draw and paint and a lot of other similar things, and I sell my work online, I also study the basics of drawing and arts in general because I never went to art school so at my very tender 30somes I’m tackling on the basics of anatomy drawing and other musings. Exhibit A:

11224704_10155638592118130_5319825110663188266_o

This is just the tip of the iceberg I have a lot of other drawings already made of several other body parts. That looks weirder typed down than it did in my head.

I’ve been thinking about making time lapses of me drawing and painting some stuff, easy thing to do, I thought to myself, not having a clue of what I was talking about. Now I’m trying to learn video editing and general filmmaking. It’s always like that man, I start with one thing and it leads to another one and then I’m awake at 2 am wondering why I’m googling audio editing tutorials on adobe audition. Fun times. (No, really, that’s my real idea of fun, no sarcasm there).

In the meantime, I’m buying stuff instead of selling it, awesome (all the sarcasm there).

You see, when you start anew in something you find yourself needing new stuff for the stuff you want to start doing, like this little fellow over here, it’s an “octopus” which is weird, it has 3 legs not eight but ok.

20157193_10155638591358130_8244300193036867461_o

It’s meant to hold my phone camera in place while I point it to film stuff on the go. Now, this will fall on its face holding anything heavier than a phone so now I’m waiting for a bigger “octopus” for the dslr. See? Stuff just piles on, it’s pretty shocking.

On the bright side, I can focus on a few things:

1.-Rain stopped at least for today, so literally it is the bright side for a while, I was starting to think we’d grow gills. Haven’t been able to go outside or do a batch of laundry for a week (washing machine is outside and we are primitive cavemen who hang their clothes to dry in the sun, never got a dryer).

2.-My husband is kickass and did an amazing job on our roof by getting it waterproofed a few months ago so now we are dry, cozy and warm inside our leak free little home. And let me tell you this is good, because it went form 90°F to 58°F in a second, I’m freezing, is not even funny.

3.-I have toxic mushrooms.

Now, wait. I know what you are thinking; “What? How is that a good thing? WTF…”

Well I’m weird, I like fungi, a lot. It fascinates me ever since our third grade teacher taught us about the mineral, animal, vegetal and fungi “kingdoms” (I’m also old, we called them kingdoms back then), I was like “You mean mushrooms are not plants? Wait, are they animals? NO? WHATARETHEY!” Fungi, they are their own freaky thing. I Love them.

I have mushrooms in my habanero baby potted plants. They just spawned there and just noticed them yesterday. I even made an Instagram post, because why not.
They are going to have to go though, we have ferrets and I don’t trust my youngest daughter not to eat them. So, that’s sad. Still thinking of places to relocate them in the backyard since my kids are more indoors oriented, but we’ll see.

juliohongo 011

Yeah. I know. Believe me I know what it looks like. We’ll just pretend is not obvious. It’s for the best.

juliohongo 003

Tiny and covered in dew. Their scientific name is Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, also known as Lepiota lutea. Flowerpot parasol.

4.- My paper got here. Yes! It is beautiful, it is soft, it is all mine. I’m getting submerged in work for the next few days between the drawing, the painting, the filming and editing. That will take my mind off things. That will silence “it”.

 

Do you fight “it”? Is it cyclic like mine? Do you tell it to shut up and try to carry on with your plans?

Do you know you are not alone? Because you are not. Tell it to shup up. Yell at it if you must.

Just don’t let it have the last word.

It does not deserve the last word.

~ Martha Idalhí.

 

Advertisements

Pork in green sauce (Puerco en salsa verde)

I have been waiting for an order of art materials to arrive in the mail.

Not being able to work on my projects has left me with lots of time to do other things, like cooking and getting the house in order and clean, also lots of sketching to learn more about drawing anatomically correct human form.
The rain has not stopped and the weather turned surprisingly cold for the season, which is nice but also disconcerting for the body.

A hot meal was in order, some comfort food with nurturing qualities.

My mom’s pork in green chile sauce.

 

Ingredients for the green sauce:

  • 2 lbs. tomatillos
  • 10 jalapeño peppers (you can use as many or as few as you like)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ a big white onion
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (what you can grab with one hand as a bouquet
  • ¼ of an iceberg lettuce
  • Salt or bullion powder to taste
16

In the picture you can see double the ingredients that the recipe calls for. I made a big batch and freezed half of it for later use.

Instructions for the green sauce:

After washing the sticky off the tomatillos set them aside in a big pot. Wash the jalapeños and cut the “tails” off then put them with the tomatillos and cover them both with just enough water, set them to boil. Once they are tender, turn off the heat, drain the water, and pinch them with a fork or with a knife once, this will release the steam and prevent them from exploding when in the blender.

 

 

 

After letting them cool for a while (if you don’t the steam will accumulate inside your blender and you will end up covered in sauce) put them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients and puree it all until it’s smooth. It may take a few batches, if your blender is small like mine.

Pour the sauce in the same pot you used to boil the tomatillos and chiles, and add a spoonful of powdered bullion, or salt to taste.

151.jpg

Simmer it all for 5 minutes in high heat stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and set aside.

 

Ingredients for the pork in green sauce:

  • 2 lbs. pork butt cubed
  • 4 cups of mushrooms of your choice
  • 6 small zucchinis
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 green sauce recipe (explained before)
  • Oil for frying (not pictured)

 

Instructions:

Salt the cubed pork, set a pan to high heat, add the oil and brown the pork until it’s very golden all over. When the pork is almost done browning add the chopped garlic cloves and stir. The pork will finish cooking in the sauce so don’t try to make it tender in the pan.

091.jpg

 

Wash and chop the zucchini and the mushrooms, set aside.

 

Put the green sauce in high heat and add the pork, cook for about 20 minutes or until the meat is tender and stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom, once the meat is tender add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes more, once the mushrooms are cooked add the chopped zucchini and let it simmer until the zucchini is cooked to your liking.

 

You can serve this dish alone, or you can serve it with white Mexican rice on the side, or with refried beans or with both! You can have it with corn or wheat tortillas, and even bread.

12

 

I hope you try this and enjoy it.
If you do, let me know how it turned out.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back soon!

~ Martha Idalhí.

New camera and my passion for photography

Hello, my name is Esdras I have a lot of passions, for a time I had the intention to start with photography, at last I got a new camera a Nikon D3300 with a pair of lens included (AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm and AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm) and a small flash Nikon SB-300.

So all this week I have been like a kid on Christmas day anxious to get to the weekend to play with the new toy, after reading the camera manual, and some online tutorials to understand the many functions of the camera (it’s my first time using an advanced camera, my old one was a sony point and shoot). The day arrived at last Saturday, went out to take some pictures and put on action all I learned this week.

The climate was moody and it went from really sunny to almost obscured by clouds. It was very challenging for me to try to adjust as quick as the light was so here is a selection of my favorite pictures so far.

This is the first bed I saw, it has some types of interior plants. I find them beautiful and unique even more so than those that bloom.

Plant bed

“Plant bed” Lens 18-55mm AF-Unique Point f/6.3 shutter 1/160s iso 100

While watching the many sizes and varieties I spot a lone roma tomato plant so didn’t ignore it and took a picture.

Roma tomato plant

“Roma tomato” Lens 18-55mm Dist. 55mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/30s iso 100

Continuing the tour not knowing what I was going to capture next because I have never done anything remotely artistic before, I started asking myself what to photograph, how to get the most beautiful shot, then I spot this little flower just in the corner of this same bed.

Patula

“Patula” Lens 18-55mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/50s iso 100

Here are some of my best, carefully cured shots. It is getting easier to figure out how to take each one.

At the bottom of the images I’ve included the specs of each shot and the name of the subject.

Hibiscus

“Hibiscus” Lens 18-55mm AF-Unique Point f/10 shutter 1/400s iso 100

Hibiscus.

“Hibiscus” Lens 18-55mm AF-Unique Point f/8 shutter 1/250s iso 100 exp+1

Hydragenea

“Hydragenea” Lens 18-55mm AF-Unique Point f/10 shutter 1/400s iso 100 exp: -0.7

Hydragenea

“Hydragenea” Lens 18-55mm AF-Unique Point f/8 shutter 1/250s iso 100 exp: 0

Hydragenea

“Hydragenea” Lens 18-55mm AF-Unique Point f/7.1 shutter 1/200s iso 100 exp: +0.7

Moses cradle

“Moses cradle” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 190mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/60s iso 100 exp: 0

Nursery

Nursery Lens 18-55mm Focal Dist 18mm AF-Unique Point f/8 shutter 1/250s iso 100 exp: 0

Rose

“Rose” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 200mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/400s iso 100 exp: +0.7

Rose

“Pink rose” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 130mm AF-Unique Point f/4.8 shutter 1/320s iso 100 exp: 0

Soft pink Camellia

“Soft pink Camellia” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 125mm AF-Unique Point f/6.3 shutter 1/640s iso 100 exp: +0.7

Pale pink rose

“Pale pink rose” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 125mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/500s iso 100 exp: +0.7

Yellow Aster

“Yellow aster” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 190mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/250s iso 100 exp: -0.3

Sweetheart Lily

“Sweetheart Lily” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 55mm AF-Unique Point f/4.5 shutter 1/80s iso 100 exp: +1.0

Sweetheart Lily

“Sweetheart Lily” Lens 18-55mm Focal Dist 55mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/80s iso 100 exp: +1.0

Lissantum

“Lissantum” Lens 18-55mm Focal Dist 55mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/125s iso 100 exp: +1.0

Rose

“Bee on a rose” Lens 55-200mm Focal Dist 200mm AF-Unique Point f/5.6 shutter 1/400s iso 100 exp: +1.0 (i’m very proud of this shot)

I saw so many plants that I liked, it is impossible to buy them all of course, they don’t fit in the house, just bought a few this time, I’ll show you later when doing gardening to set them in their proper flower pot. In the meantime, here is a small Lithops genus, I’m very excited to see when it is going to bloom because googling I just found out it’s supposed to produce a small flower.

It’s really tiny, here is a pic of it.

Do you have photography as a hobby too? Do you have some tips that could be useful for new photo enthusiasts?

Please let me know, and we’ll see each other soon.

Esdras.

 

Art, rainy days, and changing plans

I had my week all figured out, made an entry on my July calendar in my journal and everything. Things were getting done orderly and efficiently then life went “Hahaha” on me.
It’s raining, it has been for a few days in a row now, it’s windy and I love it but it’s making me postpone things I really wanted to do.

Painting the kitchen is one of them.
After touring around for a while on Pinterest I found the most beautiful shade of blue-green, deep and strong, like the depths of the ocean (dramatic music), and to accompany it a buttery yellow for the door and a “in your face-screaming” Mexican pink for the wall on the outside of the kitchen that you can see from the inside.
I love them, it’s like a 90’s windbreaker jacket got deconstructed into shades of color.
Don’t judge me. Look at them!

But alas, I can’t do that, I must stay indoors and that means I can’t wash my paint rollers and brush etc. outside, so that will have to wait.

I went shopping instead before the sky decided to pour down more water over this earth, unfortunately everyone else had the same idea. Look at this sad view, it’s like an empty stadium, all those lonely and spread out bananas.

Jul_20

Lonely bananas, nobody chose you…

I am stalled from painting more because I am patiently (Ha, as if) waiting for my delivery of artist grade paper to arrive. Oh acquarello fabriano artistico, how I miss you.
So I’ve been sketching instead, trying to improve my anatomy skills.

Still a long way to go before I get where I want to be in drawing.

I’ve also started micro-sculpting for our Etsy shop, I have a very clear vision of what I’m creating.
I also have this feeling of satisfaction you can only get from things turning out exactly how you pictured them. Hoping it continues like this.
I love making art, working on it again brings me great joy.

jul_22-e1499914076520.jpg

Rain can keep pouring, wind can keep blowing. I have coffee, I have breakfast, the occasional ray of sunshine, and the ability to adapt!

Jul_19

Do you adapt easily?
Are you like me and even though you try to take changing your plans in the best possible way, still find yourself going back at wanting to stick to your original ideas?

“With age comes patience” my family says.

I think I have the getting old part figured out, still waiting for the patience.

If you want to look at more of my sketches and finished works, follow me on Instagram on my personal art account https://www.instagram.com/marthaidalhi/

If you would like to follow our blog for instant updates of future content and info on the upcoming shop, consider following us in social media on our links below.

Crispy Golden Tacos. (Tacos Dorados)

If you like to cook and do so often, you find yourself with leftovers taking up space in your fridge.
It happens that we forget about them and later surprise ourselves by finding them when looking for something to eat late at night. Sometimes this surprise is less than pleasant.

This has happened to me too many times over the years and to be honest it’s annoying. Not to mention that normally nobody is happy about having to eat said leftovers.
So, I developed a plan.
Literally, I plan my weekly menu loosely but I always keep in mind my leftovers, it could be from takeout or from homemade meals, it doesn’t matter, I always have a plan, and I would like to help you come up with a plan too (if you want to, I mean is totally fine if you don’t, you can also do this from non-leftover sources).

My go to recipe for leftover rotisserie chicken, mash potatoes, or ground taco meat.
Tacos Dorados:

(Crispy Golden Tacos. . . Oh yeah baby!)
Ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas (as many as the number of tacos you are making).
  • Oil for frying. (Not pictured)
  • Iceberg lettuce cut in thin strips.
  • Roma tomatoes sliced (seeded if that’s how you roll).
  • A good salsa, canned, fresh, bottled it’s all fine.
  • And your left overs which can be; Shredded chicken, Mashed potatoes, or Cooked Ground beef.

Jul_12

Instructions:

Gather your ingredients, you’ll need the filling(s), the tortillas, a deep pan for frying,  and the oil.
Warm up the tortillas, I like to heat them up in a pan or on a gridle just until they become flexible and soft. You can also zap them in the microwave according to your settings, set them aside in a kitchen cloth so they don’t get dry on you.

Now, if you are using shredded chicken, make sure your chicken is dry, that it doesn’t have chunks of gelatinous broth attached to it because when heat hits it it’s going to turn liquid and oil plus water equals disaster. Same for the meat or the mashed potatoes, if your mashed potatoes are runny, this is set to fail, they must be thick, chunky mashed potatoes. You can even mix your cooked ground beef and your mashed potatoes together if you want, I do this so the tiny chunks of beef don’t go floating away in the oil,  throw a little garlic powder in there, some little more salt, season is key because these are very simple ingredients. It must be thick though.

Once you have your filling(s) and your warm tortillas, you want to get a spoon and spoon your filling just in one middle of your tortilla and not too much, just a couple of even tablespoons will do, fold the tortilla and press the edges together a little like you would with a pastry, do this until you have the desired or available number of tacos. Now get ready to fry.

Carefully place the tacos one by one in your pan, set them in a way they can’t unfold on you while they are getting crispy, I use kitchen tongs for this. Let them fry until golden hence the name, on one side, then carefully turn them over to the other side and wait until they are golden all over.

This image shows you how Not to fry your tacos, I used too much oil and the tiny chunks of potato were swimming away in it. Use less, don’t be like me.Jul_10

Set them on paper towels to drain while you fry the rest of your tacos.
Jul_13

Now, once they’ve cooled just enough to handle with your hands, crack them open just the tiniest bit, to get them filled with the lettuce and the tomato slices.

Jul_11

This is a cheap, tasty meal, ideal to please a crowd while staying on a budget or to end a craving.

What’s best is that after this you have no leftovers to worry about and everyone is happy about eating them!

~Martha Idalhí

Art projects and scattered brains.

I’m currently picking up where I left.
My art and projects were sort of paused and it felt like I was paused with them. Now that I’m out of the inactivity and into the momentum I don’t have enough time in the day to do all that I want and need to do.
Let me tell you, because I must tell someone and frankly my family has already heard about it enough, they need a rest. Teehee.
I’m working on 2 different personal projects that came out of nowhere. One day I just suddenly got an urge to go draw them and paint them. They are not connected to each other so it’s getting quite difficult to create both concepts at the same time, but also it is a lot of fun!paint all the paints

The first one is a concept of opposites, I started thinking about light as a sort of sentient entity then the obvious was darkness as in night and starry skies then I got lost, still playing around figuring out what’s next from there and if there’s even a “next”. Maybe that’s it, just light and darkness and then I move onto the next thing.
I am not used to not planning, but ideas are sometimes like this for me, improvised when it comes to creating something.

The second one is flowing smoothly though, this is something I wanted to do for a long time, I wanted to draw and paint a full sheet of traditional items from my country. Something that represents what pops in my mind when I think of my patch of earth I call home in this huge world.
I have it all planned and figured out, this pleases my list obsessed shoulder monkey.
It’s going to be 12 images and I even know what I’m doing with them when I finish painting them but for that you’ll have to wait, I will show you in detail when it’s done!

4 little chubbys

I’m sketching away and it’s all working out like I want it to. That’s not something I can say every day. I’m sure someone relates.

So, thank you for stopping by and having a read and a look at what I do.
Let me know what you think if you want. Keep in touch through our social media links.
I’m just starting to fill them up so it’s content ghost town right now, not going to be the case for long. I don’t know what bit me but I can’t stop writing and making things.
See you Monday morning! I feel like cooking and I’m sharing a recipe then.

~ Martha Idalhi.

Reconnecting with yourself.

It goes without saying that life sometimes takes us in a direction we didn’t plan for. When we are younglings it all looks like unknown territory, because it is, we plan, dream and expect, then things either fall into place or they don’t.
Sometimes it works for the best, sometimes it doesn’t, but even when it does work for the best we find ourselves having to adapt quickly, perhaps too quickly and part of us gets “lost” or forgotten.

If we are lucky this oubliette in which we place a fragment of ourselves is merely a temporary stage, and once life allows us we can reconnect with the one we once were.

This is where I am.

As a teen, I spent all my free time reading, dreaming and creating. My creative vein was focused on writing, drawing, painting, everything. If it existed and I could get ahold of it I was on it.

Then I got married. I know, same old story, right? “No time, kids need me” but not entirely. Yes, married life with children leaves you very little time, even as a person working from home or a stay at home fulltime mother, but it wasn’t just it. It was me. I somehow convinced myself that my old me, was not the me I had to be now in that new stage of life.

So, it was out with my paints and brushes, in with the sewing machine to dress my house and family, so long to the long ours of writing at night, hello to reading up on how to raise a healthy child and not screw up in the process. I could have kept a little bit of my old self but I didn’t.

Felt wrong to think of myself at the time because it detracted from thinking of my loved ones.

Then my oldest daughter asked a simple question and something clicked in my head.

“Dad says you painted too. Why did you stop?”

Because I thought I had to.
Not because of her or her sister, not because of house work, not because time is scarce.
I could have doodled and I didn’t, I could have written instead of watching tv late at night and I didn’t.
I don’t want that for my daughters, I want them to not lose themselves. I want them to be whole.

So here I am, trying to be whole again, finding what makes me happy so my kids can learn by example how to be whole and happy themselves.

It is not always easy, I know. Many times I am tired but sometimes, even if it’s just for a few minutes here and there, it is possible.

Treasure that part of yourself that sometimes gets forgotten, if you can. Treasure what you love as much as who you love because those are the bits and pieces that make you be you.