Archive for the ‘2011 – Jan1 thru Mar 31’ Category

TRIG Modern featuring my oil paintings, mixed media works! Artist reception First Friday, May 3, 5-9pm. Thru June 4.


2 of my paintings featured in VAE’s show “Food for Thought”. Block Party tonight as well – d/t Raleigh. Don’t miss it!

So, the pride I feel since the end of my $1 per Day challenge can hardly be described. So many lessons and societal truths were learned that I feel could never be  taught in school or otherwise. One must witness being without before truly understanding what it means to have. I also know that I have barely scratched the surface of what interests me most today. 


That being said, spending money has become a bit uncomfortable for me. For the last three months, I had promised myself and others I would spend no more than $1 per day except for utilities, ongoing bills and gas for my car. Learning and becoming comfortable with bartering services, trading alternative forms of currency and pooling together resources for food, I saved every dollar that was set aside for this last Challenge. I still had the original ninetyone one dollar bills. That’s  $91.00!

People asked many questions, often ending with, “What will you do with the money you save?”


Hmmmm, I could donate it all to a worthy organization. I could donate it to a local struggling small business. I could give it to a homeless person. I could leave a huge tip after trying out the new Waffle House….

All my thoughts seemed too easy and too trivial. After all, $91 isn’t much of a donation to a large organization. Besides, much of the donations often go toward paying salaries to those who run the campaigns. 


After much thought and careful creative licensing, I came up with the Ninety-One Envelopes. On April 1st, we created 91 envelopes, each complete with explanation and instruction and of course, a dollar tucked inside.

The next few months, through June 30, 2012, the envelopes will circulate into the community to be shared and talked about. Dreams will be inspired, open forums will be born and a social experiment will take place.   

On or about June 30, 2012, all envelopes will be returned to the original source and great things will continue to develop. Stay tuned…

Yes, my last post was January 16th and I was in a conundrum about my Packers’ loss in the NFL Playoffs. I have since relieved myself of that mild depression and have been on an upswing since.

My fridge and pantry are getting more and more bare but my life is being revitalized in a way I never imagined. I learned to make the best tortillas, wheat crackers, and laundry detergent all from scratch! Last night I threw an improv Mardi Gras party and made candied popcorn using Karo syrup, sugar and some almonds and pecans I had in the freezer. It was awesome!

When I first started this ninety-one day challenge, my goal was to spend no more than a dollar per day for 91 days, allowing each dollar to rollover if not spent. I was a few weeks into it without spending a dollar, and realized I wanted to finish out the month. Then I went a few days longer and then wanted to get halfway through the challenge without spending a dollar. I made it that far and, finally on Feb 20th, I broke down and made a trip to the grocery store. I just had to.

The gift card came in handy and I spent a total of $14 plus some change to get all the ingredients to make laundry detergent. I had about 3 loads of clothes to wash and the media reports about bed bugs was beginning to haunt me. I had a choice: Spend the money left on the card to buy the ingredients for the detergent or buy new sheets and undies and clothes.

I chose the former and am all the more proud.

Until next time….

Yes, its been a challenge. However, it’s been a total of nine days now and I have not spent a single cent. That is correct, not a penny nor a dime nor a dollar. So, tomorrow I wake up and will put another dollar in my pocket as I head out the door.

How am I able to do this, you ask? Mooching off others, some say and still others say by being creative. I must proudly admit it is more the latter of the two. Let me tell you how:

Warmth: I fully intended to line my windows with a weatherproofing film to try to save energy cost this year.  Given that that would cost around $50 for the largest, most important areas, I need to do something different. To the fabric stash I went. I found old fabric shower curtains, window curtains and other fabrics to line the windows instead. Looks fine from outside and funky from inside.  How creative 🙂

Everyday items: I have a full tube of toothpaste that should get me through at least 2 months, about 8 rolls of TP, and am running very low on the female hygiene products that are needed about every 28 days. Not sure how, but I’ll make it all work. everything is working out so far. My dishwashing soap is in good shape but it is the laundry detergent that I am low on. A friend gave me just enough for a load or two and I have since found a great resource online for making your own soaps. That will be my next step, I guess.

Food: The pantry is full of canned soups, rice, beans, etc, which will be used sparingly while I focus my efforts on using those fresh veggies and fruits and dairy. I need to choose wisely so to not  allow them to wither, rot or otherwise let me know they are not in this for the long run. For instance, I had a bag of shredded broccoli and 2 tortilla wraps that really needed to be used up soon, if not before. So, a little ingenius thought and a monkey wrenched headache later, I came up with this concoction:

Something Something Burritos

Two Tortilla Wraps
Turkey Burger, Garlic, Onion – saute until brown and cooked through. Place in large bowl.
Oil, shredded broccoli, carrots, celery – saute until slightly brown – add to bowl along with meat.
Stir fry seasoning, spices, shredded cheese – stir into mix.
– spoon mixture into tortillas and wrap in burrito fashion, like this:

Simply place your meat filling like so...

Then, fry in pan until golden brown and voila! Bon Appetite!

Way yummy!

It’s Wednesday, July 27th and the official deadline for our Mystery Build contest is not until Sunday. Wow, we have 5 days left to pull this together…or do we?

I was up at 6:30 this morning making my coffee, catching up on emails and sweating out the details of how we might pull this off. We have until early evening to work out the most grueling details on our project. Right, we are artists in dire need of a civil  engineer of sorts. Hell, a brain surgeon, a traffic coordinator, or a sociopath might help, so long as they are not drinking PBR and sidetracked with laughter and strange recipes throughout the night.

I guess that’s what has made this contest so much fun. The collaboration between friends who think quite differently but will laugh, think and listen together. I have the painterly more poetic skills at hand and my partner artist has the carpentry tool, carving skills in her background. So, for hours on end, we discuss ideas, work out experiments, shake our fists, clap our hands. Then we take a break and make some strange concoction in the kitchen that has no bearing on our project other than to replenish our carbs so as we do no more bodily harm. Exacto blades can be very dangerous!

Stuffed Chile Peppers

Creative juices

Here is last nights dinner. Fresh chile peppers (from Wake Forest Farmers Market) stuffed with cream cheese, parsley, garlic, cheese, shrimp. All this wrapped in bacon and placed under the broiler. As any great chef will do, I have left out a secret ingredient but you can doctor it up any way you want. Jalapenos add an extra kick.

Ooh! Here comes my partner in crime. Gotta go create!






I’d venture to say there is a true meaning of life although most of us spend our lives trying to figure out what it is. Or maybe we are so wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget what life is really about.

The recent upheaval that seems to be overcoming this world has shaken me. Just as I begin to do my part to help raise funds for Japan after the Tsunami, my own home state is hit with its own devastating tornados and weather related storms. Friends narrowly escaped with their lives and are left without power for–what may be–weeks. Photographs of the flattened homes, businesses and other structures that keep us safe for much of our days are disturbing at best. The media reports of the lives lost instantly despite peoples intelligent moves toward safety make my heart ache.

As I look at the pictures, hear the stories, see the destruction, I am reminded that life may be short. I am at conflict with myself on who to help, what to do, where to go, etc. One thing I know for certain is that I was lucky this time.

But, no matter how short life may be, remember, you may always need the hand of your enemy. I try to be fair to everyone and always try to put myself in their shoes. My mother and grandmother always said “do unto others as you would want done unto you”. I have lived by that saying and believe my daughter will as well.