Friday, May 13, 2011

New Building Smaller Art Space- Something wrong there.

Last Saturday, I went to the Tampa Museum of Art.
It has been a while since my last visit and my first to the new building.

And I can honestly say I don't think I will return unless they are having an exhibit I want to see.

I went to see the Degas exhibit they are currently running. And it was Museums on Us where Bank of America Credit and Debit Card holders and employees of the bank can get in free. It is a very nice program with a lot of fine museums on it. Tampa Bay is sadly only had 3 on the list.

Normally, the museum runs about $10 for adult entry and a couple bucks for parking. But I did not find value in the museum to make it even worth $10. WHY?

The Permanent Collection is smaller than when they were in their old building. The Space is smaller. Okay maybe they have the collection in storage but you get a new building and the SPACE IS SMALLER? I thought you built to go bigger. They added a speaking hall and a cafe on the first floor- nice. The entire museum is on the second floor and consists of about maybe 5-6 rooms. The largest collection being their antiquities of Greece and Rome. But where did the rest of the collection go. And I would rather have a large warehouse with lots of art than a pretty building.

Tampa wants to be a great city but until its culture spaces increase there is nothing to bring people into town after hours and on weekends unless it is to go to the Performing Arts Center.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Kam's Quick and Easy Ratatouille
1 medium eggplant cut in 1 inch cubes
1 small white onion sliced in large 1 inch squares
1 can of tomatoes with herbs (Italian Style will do)
1 zucchini cut into quarter moons about 3/4" inch thick
1 pepper (can be omitted)
3 cloves of garlic chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 tsp herbes de provence
1 Tbs Olive Oil

Cut the ingredients
Heat a large sauce pan or dutch oven on medium-high, when pan is hot put the oil in. It should dance and shimmer. Add the garlic and onions and stir until they soften slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the salt. Bring to a soft boil then drop to a simmer and cover. Cook 30-45 minutes until everything is soften. 20 minutes into cooking test the sauce add salt and pepper as needed and more herbes de provence. It is a matter of taste. Also canned tomatoes can be salty and you need to give it time to release the salt. When done, you can let it cool or serve it warm.

I like to serve it over pasta with some roasted or baked plain chicken. It makes quite a bit and freezes nicely. The measurements are rough measurements, I tend to cook without a recipe using what is in my fridge and on hand. You want to add enough veggies to even out the tomatoes. Towards the end you might have to remove the cover to cook off some of the liquid look at the 20 minute mark.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Calendars and Daily Planners

In the past, they really never worked for me. I took classes online so it was just as easy to keep the information on my Outlook. Same for work, mainly because I only had a few meetings a month and the others were ad hoc with moments notice. Then I got a new job on a project team- most of my day is spend on the phone in meetings with some team or a sales officer or talking to clients for my group. I tried to use my school calendar, since I have been doing face to face classes this spring. 3 nights a week no big planner needed and using outlook. But then outlook started acting screwy and my planner I was using with one week on two pages became a tad to over crowded...okay very over crowded.

I decided to do a DIY Planner rather than go to purchased planners. This gives me control on what I need and how much to have in there. I print 2 monthly calendars at a time and 1 page daily calendars 2 weeks at a time. This is working so far. I have a monthly ToDo page for the rest of the year, so I can put appts on that. I have contact lists because after a power outage I realized I needed the numbers for the sales officers I handle. Hard to cancel when you don't have their number.

All this goes into an old Circa notebook I bought when Levenger's actually had good sales.

Beyond BLAH no?
Yeah very blah. I think it was meant to go into one of their circa sleeve things- which I do have (Like I said when Levenger's use to have good sales- The notebook was like 4 bucks, the binder I bought for it was like 20). But the binder is bulky and I wanted something I could toss to the side. So I found some sheets of decopatch I had and the wonderful decopatch adhesive they no longer sell (SIGH). Finding Decopatch paper is hard only one online store in the US still sells it and they never have the papers I want in stock (I love the blues and I am still looking for the shoe paper they had). Their adhesives are THE BEST- they are like a varnish which makes the paper a lot more sturdy for day to day use and glossy. I used gel medium to put the paper on the notebook after roughing up the surface with a sanding block. I didn't tear the paper into little patches but used sheet pretty much whole. I wanted a more uniform appearance.

The Front:

The Back:

Totally reversible but I like having the pink on the front. I would have had blue but finding someone with the blue papers is hard to do. Would have really loved the shoe paper but can't find that at all. Maybe when I go to France in the Fall I will look.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Love of Rolla

Tampa was selected as a test store for the new line of Rolla Products for Staples (the first go around was not bad but limited). Here are some pics of some of the products they are carrying. They are exactly like Levenger's Circa but much more affordable plus Levenger's is not what it once was...sigh.

Link to Flickr: Rolla Products

Select few pics:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy New Year...

A bit late but I am getting a late start. Mainly because I am trying to return order to CHAOS and doing a ton of cleaning...but Happy New Years.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Journal 21 Review 1

(Click right click images and open in a new tab or window for a larger view)
Every year I try to find a planner I can live with (not that I love but can live with)...every year nothing seems to work for me. I have tried electronic (bad for one who forgets to recharge things) to hard copy (easy to use pain to lug around). Store bought to DIY ( time consuming). Expensive (ooh Franklin Covey) to inexpensive (hello They all have their benefits and their drawbacks.

This year I decided to try a different planner and was given the offer to receive it for free if I wrote a review on how it worked for me.

I sent them my information on the planner I wanted to review and waited. I got a lovely email from Karen who asked for additional information and I was selected.

I asked for the Journal 21 with a black cover. Mainly because Black is predictable and well you know you are going to get black, while with colors what it looks like on your screen may not be what it looks like in RL. I prefer the 1 day 1 page format. Not because I am ultra busy and need to plan my time out to the minute but because I can do other things on the page. I can jot a story idea down, write a journal entry, draw, collage .... I think you get the idea. Or do what I have done in other planners just slap some images on the page as a image record. In my email, I did mention I did do art work and was offerd a some of their découpage papers to try. I asked her to send what ever they had on hand.

In November, I got a package with my journal in it. I decided not to open it until New Year's Eve because I wanted not to be thinking of the journal and comparing it to others on sale locally. When I opened it I was pleasantly surprised and very happy.

Journal from

Journal 21

Basic Journal/Planner

With some special presents...
découpage papers from DecoPatch and their découpage glue. The glue was a surprise. I was a bit leary about using it. I usually use gel medium for gluing down paper or YES. My experience with Mod Podge is while it is a great product...not so great if you live in Florida. It gets tacky and takes a LONG time to dry. I tried Martha Stewart's verison but I got little itty bitty airbubbles in it that would cause it to peel like glue off your hand. This stuff is AWESOME but very very glossy. I will use test it with some art stuff to see what I get and if I like it. It is rather inexpensive when you compare the quality of the product to other similar products.

The papers are HEAVENLY!!! I need to order some of the ones I like. I thought I would be getting samples or left over pieces...nope. They sent me a sampler packet which had 2-3 sheets of each paper and it appears I have almost their entire range.

This is layer 1 of the journal cover. I plan on doing about 3-4 more of different things. Including a sealing layer (I need to order their varnish to seal it-very curious about the varnish).

The Journal Review:
Okay, this is the first review, because you need to live with the journal to know if it is something you are going to love verses just living with.

I like how it lays flat. This is first time I opened it and BAM it is pretty much flat. There were no strange binding going AUUUGH sounds and no pages floating to the floor.
Because it lays flat it means collage work and artsy stuff can be done to the pages without the planner trying to shut itself and messing up or causing things to stick to each other that are not meant to stick to each other.

The planner itself...has some whole month pages, needed for a quick overview of the month and months to come. It also has US Holidays for 2009 and 2010 (I work in the banking industry very important to know when I have off you know) and Major World Holidays, this is helpful because some of my clients live overseas always nice to know when their banking holidays are. International area codes...not needed so much because email is easier. US Time Zone map helpful. What I would change or really add... US Area Codes and a World map with Time Zones.

What I love is this, this is the first time I have seen it in a while for a planner,
Semi Annual Calendar. Six months on two pages. Makes making appointments so much easier, I have a bad habit of forgetting to write vacations down in the main pages. It has the holidays printed on it and Weekends and some National Holidays in gray. I tend to forget what days fall on weekends also.

On the bottom corners, there are rip circles which makes getting to the most current page easier than having to move a today ruler bookmark thing.

Here is a picture of the actual page of planner. It is a nice open space with handy dandy lines for those who have problems writing in a straight line.

Below is my actual first writing of the New Year. My handwriting is crap and was trying to figure out the best pen for writing here. The writing did not bleed through but impressions were on the other side this is more me than the paper. I press heavy on pens that don't flow on their own.

This was the first in reviews of this planner. I need to see how it works for me throughout the year. So far, I am very impressed. It would be worth the $22 dollars I have seen it offered for on the web. Also you can buy refills for $17. If you did book binding, I would probably do the refill and make a very cool cover myself.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Alice Series Queen of Hearts

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

This is how my rough sketch looks when I start. Just scribes with multiple lines and a hint of the final pose. Messy I know...

Then I start refining the lines. Picking the line that works best. Here I am working on her face. I want it heart-shaped and rather symmetric (Tracing paper a blessing)

I like to do the head and face first. It helps when working on the rest of the body.
Here I am working on the shoulders and neck...something odd about the right side though.

She looks kind of odd there. So erase it and more scribbles to see where it works best.

This one is a bit better.

Close up on the face.
Digging the hearts there.