Monday, June 30, 2014

Everyone Must Believe in Something. I Believe I'll Go Canoeing

Henry David Thoreau really knew what he was talking about when he said that. 

Jared and I bought a canoe last Saturday, and we love it!

We found the 14 foot Old Town canoe on Craigslist and as soon as we loaded it on the top of our car, we headed for the reservoir to try it out.

It was starting to get a little cloudy, but we figured we would just make our way back to shore before it got too bad.

Have you ever seen a more handsome man? I think not.

It's so peaceful.


Then last Sunday, we went back and went fishing. I am a strong swimmer, but I wasn't convinced Jared wasn't going to tip the canoe over, so I wore my life jacket AND my old lady gardening hat because I don't want to be leatherface before I'm in my thirties.

Obviously my legs could stand some color though. #palelegsdontcare

Dang! Sexy fisherman!

This could be the best picture of me in existence.

It is so much fun to paddle around and relax with each other. I am so excited to go again!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Photo Friday 6.27.2014

Welcome to Photo Friday where I show my week in pictures! Follow me on Instagram @tristantuttle! These posts are a mix of my instagram photos, pictures taken with my Canon, and photos taken by my friends and family.  For more Photo Friday, click  here.

I took this shot of our front sidewalk, and it makes me so happy. It looks like a little cottage garden! It's a little wild, but I like it. I can't wait for my summer flowers to bloom.

Buckshot fell asleep with his monkey in his mouth. Have you ever seen something so cute?!

Jared and I went on a bowling date. He picked the names. I'm SXYPNTS. (sidenote: we are really bad bowlers.)

My best girls!

The marketing people at Coke are geniuses. I saw this and bought it for my sister.

These babies love window-watching.

I've been working on a top secret project for my dear friend Sharee's baby (WHO ALSO IS MY GOD DAUGHTER! still freaking out about that btw.) and just for her I broke my cardinal "No Glitter EVER" rule. So when I took a quick edamame break, I was certain it was flavored with glitter.

This is my Throwback Thursday picture. I've always loved the wind in my hair.

I  hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Folk Art Paintings by Upcycled Downriver

It's been a really strange progression that brought me to the fact that I'm a folk artist. Even calling myself an artist feels strange to me, but I guess it's true. Someone told me that when someone who isn't related to you buys your art from you, you're an artist. And if that's the qualification, then I guess I am an artist. I've always loved people who, in spite of the fact that they've had no formal training, they just decide something and they go do it. That's what I've decided to do. So, I'm selling prints of my paintings!

This painting of Dolly seemed appropriate.

I made this painting for Mama for Mother's Day. She loves this picture of her and Daddy, so I decided to recreate it for the holiday.

Hank Williams

Waylon Jennings

Johnny Cash

If any of y'all are interested in purchasing prints of these, check out my etsy page Upcycled Downriver or message me on facebook or email me at upcycleddownriver AT gmail dot com.
The 11x14 prints are $22 dollars or $25 shipped and the 8x10s are $15 or $18 shipped.

Thanks for all the support I've received recently. My heart appreciates it more than you know.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Continued Love Affair with Open Shelving

Jared and I finally added some storage in our office/studio area, and I am so happy because that corner looked like this for far too long:

Jared never used the desk and had sold the computer that used to be there, so there was literally no point to have the desk in there anymore. Unless we needed something to catch dust and various other crap that seemed to find its home there. WHICH WE DIDN'T.

So I found some very simple brackets on ebay that came 20 in a box and cost around $18 bucks or so. Jared had Lowe's cut 5 boards to around 5 feet for around $55. In total, this project cost under $75 dollars, and the difference it made in the room was worth it! I didn't paint the shelves or worry about pretty brackets because I knew the shelves would be packed with so much stuff that the shelves themselves would barely be noticed. 

I found and marked the studs, and Jared started assembling the shelves.  

It turns out that the people who built our house were probably drunk or really stupid and the studs aren't even close to being even, so that's why they look a smidge wonky.

But you barely notice once I put all the stuff on the shelves.

 On the top shelf, I've got the journals that I've filled to the left of the Coke bottles and the empty journals and notebooks are on the right. The second shelf has Jared's computer books, my Christmas books, books that I tear pages out of and use for projects, and books about writing and grammar that I refer to sometimes. The third shelf holds Jared's computer parts, blank cds, my sewing machine, and my records. The fourth shelf holds books about music, stationary stuffs, and my record player. The fifth shelf holds files, a basket of misc cords and computer-y bits and our printer. The "shelf" on the floor has canvases, an old computer, and a file box.

And then I realized what it was missing. This beautiful chair.

I love it. And I love open shelving because even if it's just a bunch of stuff that you've got on the shelves, it still looks better that it would if you stored it otherwise. Plus, I love that chair and it really fits there. Jared sits in it with his laptop and works while I paint. I'm thinking I might try and convince Jared to continue the shelves on the other side of the little hutch that sits to the right of the current shelves. There's always a ton of stuff in the office, and I don't think it's possible to have too much storage space, is it?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Photo Friday: 6.20.2014

Welcome to Photo Friday where I show my week in pictures! Follow me on Instagram @tristantuttle! These posts are a mix of my instagram photos, pictures taken with my Canon, and photos taken by my friends and family.  For more Photo Friday, click  here.

Since it's been so long since I've done one of these, I've decided to hit the highlights.

I spent a day with Nanny buying fruit trees.

Then, we went and picked up Grandma, and we spent the rest of the afternoon together.

My cousin got married to the love of his life. I've never seen him look happier, and I love that!

At some point, Puck made this face. and obviously, it's very important to me that y'all see it.

Jared took me on a super secret surprise date that he had been planning since January. And this is my super cute outfit.

A little WAHO before the secret date.


THE DATE WAS TO SEE DOLLY PARTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She sang an acapella version of "Precious Memories" and even though I don't even like that song, when she sang it the song was so beautiful that I cried like a baby.

My friend Kim moved to South Carolina, and I helped her move. I'm sad that she's gone, but I was pretty proud of our packing job.

We took Buckshot camping with us, and he loved it!

He loved Katie May and she loved him!

See? HUGS!

Sometimes Buckshot likes to pretend to be Ophelia.

See what I mean?

And lastly, my hydrangeas that Parrie gave me have finally bloomed. This is especially important to me. 

Maybe it won't be another month and a half between Photo Fridays next time. I hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cast Iron Cooking: Roasted Chicken!

I am finally getting around to posting this recipe after my little hiatus. 

I love cooking in my cast iron stuff. With the exception of one sauce pan, I really don't use anything else to cook in. I could sing it's praises all day, but that might be weird, and y'all will probably grow tired of that pretty quickly. 

Anyway, I bought a whole frozen chicken from Aldi because I'm trying to be thrifty and I'd never cooked one before, so I thought I'd try roasting it in my dutch oven. 

  • 1 5-6 lb chicken
  • 2 yellow onions, 1 chopped, one whole
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5-6 red potatoes, chopped
  • baby carrots (or big ones. I just had baby carrots in the fridge)
  • minced garlic (or whole to stuff inside the chicken) 
  • 1 citrus fruit (I had a clementine)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning

I was trying to use only things I had in the house, so I chopped up a red onion and a yellow onion and dumped them both into the dutch oven. I also added a couple of tablespoons of garlic as well. 

Then I pulled out the neckbone and all that weird stuff that they stuff inside of chickens and re-stuffed it with a clementine, onion and some more garlic.  (This reminds me of how my friend used to work at a deli and when someone asked her what she did for a job, she told them, "I touch chickens inappropriately for money." It cracked me up every time.)

I put the chicken on top of the onions and chopped up a few red potatoes and added some carrots around the chicken. I also smothered it in Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder.

I put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 2 hours with the lid to the dutch oven on it. Truth be told, I was a bit worried about it, so I checked it with a meat thermometer and it was good. This chicken was really juicy and was sitting in a lot of juice as well. The potatoes were probably my favorite part though!

I was happy with the result, and it ended up being a pretty cheap meal!