Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DarlingBridget and Milk Thieves Art & Design Store Wollongong

Milk Thieves Art and Design is a gorgeous store in Wollongong selling handmade goodies including a few items from my DarlingBridget range. The store has the loveliest feel, welcoming, arty, motivating. You just want to hang out there and that's fine!

The store is upstairs from Flight Centre on Crown Street Mall, Wollongong. 
Store owner Emma-Lee makes everyone welcome. She chooses wonderful stock, encourages her sellers and loves her little shop.

This new and improved store opened recently. Originally Milk Thieves was down the hall in a smaller space. Now the store is brighter, has two rooms and a comfy couch for a bit of a break between browsing.

Some of the DarlingBridget stock instore includes journals, a bright red Paula bag, brooches and eyemasks.

For store opening hours check the Milk Thieves Art and Design Store facebook page.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Air NZ photo competition

I just entered a photo competition with Air New Zealand to win a trip. All I had to do was enter my best winter photo and hope (fingers and toes crossed) that people vote for it.

Last year I posted about a beautiful frosty morning in Robertson. I woke just as the sun was coming up and got outside just in time to snap some misty photos. The colour was gone from the sky within moments.

Check out this link to the original post. To see the competition link click on my facebook page below or click on the photo.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My favourite curry vegie burgers

I'm going to share with you my favourite recipe for vegetable burgers made from left over curry. I have to warn you I'm a bit of a slap dash cook so this is a bit of a non-receipe. But it always works out and tastes great.

This is essentially a sweet potato korma recipe that I have adapted over the years.

In your wok or fry pan toss in a generous shake (from a herb bottle with a perforated top - you know the sort where you have to bang the bottom to get anything out) of tumeric, cumin and garam masala. Add olive oil. As it heats up mix into a thick paste.

Toss in cubes of peeled sweet potato and potato (you can add diced zucchini and cauliflower too if you like).  Stir until all the vegies are coated in the spicy paste. Add a tin of coconut milk or evaporated milk. Stir all the combine. Simmer.

When the vegies are partially cooked throw in a handful of red lentils. These are optional for the curry but I think essential for the burgers.  For more health and texture throw in some chick peas too.

Let it bubble slowly until everything is cooked. The lentils will reduce into a thick puree. (If you don't tell them no one will ever know they are there).

Toss in some cashews and baby spinach leaves.

Eat and enjoy your curry but keep some left overs.

Once you have cold curry leftovers it is very quick and easy to make the burgers.  Assuming you have about a mixing bowl full stir in two eggs (reduce if you think you don't have that much curry).  Stir in just enough breadcrumbs or oat bran to bind it all together.

Form into balls and then flatten to form patties.

Place patties in a small amount of hot oil in a fry pan and cook until golden on both sides. You are cooking the egg and warming the burgers. Everything else is already cooked so this won't take very long.  Serve and enjoy.

You can easily freeze the patties. Put them in the pan frozen. As they heat up gradually and gently flatten them. This will help stop them from crumbling.

Alternatives - try adding a little fresh coriander or crumbled feta to make a distinction from the curry especially if you had it last night. They will also cook in the oven for a healthier version.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I have tried many vegie burger recipes over many years and this is the best.

In the photos I went for a classic burger serving with buns, salad and chips on the side.

Bon appetit

Friday, June 3, 2011

Interview with a professional artist: Marcelo Baez

I have a special new post today. An interview with a friend of mine who is a successful professional artist. I hope interviews will become a regular feature on my blog as I find inspiration and motivation from people who are living their dreams.
Marcelo Baez, photo by Rachael Baez. See more of Rachael's polaroid's on rachaelb) 

Marcelo, how would you describe your job?

Awesome!! Seriously I would describe myself as an illustrative designer/creative problem solver! Which I guess encompasses graphic design and illustration for a variety of applications.

Have you always worked freelance?

No, I worked full-time for a major metropolitan newspaper/magazine for about 13 years, mainly as a graphic designer and occasional illustrator.

I started on the advertising side working with creative services which helped sales teams sell to advertisers around Australia. A few years later I "jumped the fence" to editorial and became a magazine designer.

Did you create comic books when you commuted to Sydney for work?

Yes...In my 13 years, I spent a good part of my 3 hr commute sitting on the train sketching and writing...It became a great practice too, like free life drawing classes! It made the train commute very enjoyable...sometimes...

How did you find the time and have the energy to work on your own projects?

Well, I had the 3hrs a day sitting on my butt looking out the window (which is nice..) so the time was there, and on a moving train there is very little distractions. It actually became very easy for me to concentrate (once I got over people looking at me working on my sketch book) ...headphones with my music... I was actually very productive...

How many hours a day do you work? 

Now I work 7 to 10 hrs a day depending on workflow...but I think commuting to Sydney I used to work 12 to 14hrs days.

Have the techniques you use to juggle commissions and your comic books changed since you work from home?

I've started teaching myself to sketch in Photoshop which has really sped up my production for comics and across the board, I've also been learning 3D model building. Using these new tools have not only been fun but have helped my speed in a BIG way! 

Any advice for other people trying to fit their creative passions in around their day jobs?

This may sound corny but, minimum one solid hour a day, everyday, will make a big difference. Turn it into a habit and you will grow. If you are passionate about what you do, you will make the time and enjoy it too! 
Here is a little quote that I keep above my drawing desk:

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

Since talking to Marcelo I am being more disciplined about doing a little every day. It makes me feel good because I am taking active steps towards my goals.

Link here to Marcelo's blog, Marcelo Draws to see his art work and find out more about his comics and zine fairs.  You can also check for regular updates through my blog roll on the right of this page.

Thanks Marcelo


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