Thursday, June 21, 2018

sheet pan chicken, sausage and peppers

I have been eating gluten free for eight months now (I will be sharing more about this journey in later posts) but the change in my diet has changed my life. But I will admit at times it can be challenging because of all the meal prep we have to do. One our favorite tricks for eating good healthy food is incorporating lots of sheet pan meals into our weekly menu. Sheet pan cooking is quick and easy prep time and the outcome is really delicious!

8-9 chicken thighs
8 pre-cooked organic chicken sausage 
2 red bell peppers sliced
2 yellow bell peppers sliced
2 orange bell peppers sliced
1 green bell pepper sliced
10 garlic cloves
2-3 TSP ghee (or preferred oil)
1 med red onion
1-2 TSP Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees 

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together with the avocado oil.

Make sure everything is coated with oil and seasoning.

Spread everything out on an oiled sheet pan.

Cook at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until the chicken skin is nice and brown.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook until the chicken is done. The time will depend on the amount of chicken. It typically takes around 45-60 minutes for 8-9 chicken thighs.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

families belong together

If you are like me, you're heartbroken, feeling helpless and outraged about the family separations at our borders happening right now. I shared this post over on my Instagram account last week but I felt like it was also important to share it here. Immigration is a tricky subject and a hot bed for passionate debate and I understand that it may upset some of you but at this point but I believe this can be a uniting issue. I also feel that sharing resources feels important.

I spent that last couple of weeks gathering and researching a bunch of really tangible ways to get involved in the family separation issue and I am sharing them below.

1. First I want to encourage you to get educated! I know it can be overwhelming to absorb everything going on in the world but staying aware and educated is one of the most important things we can do as citizens of this amazing democracy. And please, don't just watch the news or consume media that makes you feel comfortable! Read and watch things from all sides and different opinions. I am a crazy liberal progressive Christian who consumes all media- even the outlets that I disagree with. This has helped me exist outside of my "liberal bubble" of information and stay informed and connected to the thoughts and beliefs of people different than me. 

2.There are NUMEROUS politicians, public figures and faith groups/leaders (the list is too long to include here) condemning the zero tolerance policy that separates families and have condemned the use of scripture to justify policies. I think it is always important to acknowledge, support and thank people for taking a stand for what they believe. It ain't easy. So please send support to the people (from all sides) standing up for this issue.

3.There are a lot of organizations working on this right now and they need donations and support:
United We Dream
Kids in Need of Defense
Asylum Seeker Project

4. Contact your elected official, right now there are three resolutions and bills (perhaps more by the time this is published) 

Fair Day In Court for Kids Act
The Help Separated Children Act
The Keep Families Together Act 

Yes we need comprehensive immigration reform but while we wait lets fix this current crisis so these children don't have to wait for that reform. Contact your representatives in support of these bills

5. Find a protest! The coalition Families Belong Together has organized rallies and vigils in cities across the country and June 30th there will be a nationwide protests. There is more information over at MoveOn

6. Many of these issues have been going on for a very long time but recent policy changes have created a crisis at our borders. Advocacy organizations have been on the front lines of these issues for many years and there are people doing some amazing work. Here are a handful of organizations that need support and donations:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

creating with make wells: water brush letting part 2

Hi everyone! It’s Megan from Makewells and I’m back with my second post about lettering with a waterbrush! Last post, I showed you the basics of using a waterbrush to get started lettering. If you missed that post, go have a looksy! There is a video that shows the 5 basic strokes you’ll need to create each lettering in the alphabet...because this time around, we’re going to start painting letters!

Again, I want to remind you that the biggest thing to remember when lettering with a waterbrush is to use MORE pressure when you create downstrokes, and less pressure when you create upstrokes. This will create a variation in line width, the downstrokes being heavier and the upstrokes being thinner.
I’ve provided a sample script alphabet for you to use as a reference for practicing.

Let’s begin with the letter A!

My first small stroke is down, and I create that just slightly thicker and then draw the thin upstroke of the capital A.

Next, I increse the pressure of my brush as I pull down to create the thicker downstroke of the A.

And finally, I make a thin wavy line through the A to create my crossbar.

This letter utilizes two of the 5 basic strokes we learned in the last lesson.

Next, let’s look at the lower case a.

The first stroke is a partial ‘o’ stroke, which is then followed by a thicker downstroke that leads back into the thin upstroke.

Here is a video of me painting both the upper and lowercase a’s.

Now work your way through the alphabet!

Lettering with a waterbrush takes a lot of practice! If you get frustrated, try going back and practicing some of the basic strokes again. Always remember...practice makes better!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s tutorial!

To see more of my work, follow along on Instagram - @makewells

Til next time friends!

Xo - Megan

Monday, June 18, 2018

statement jean jacket

A jean jacket has always been one of my wardrobe staples but lately I am loving the trend of statement jean jackets! I mean who doesn't love a unique, colorful and creative jacket?! So I decided to put my own twist on this trend.
So I started by purchasing a jean jacket- I found one at a local store for around $20 and I went for an oversized jacket, another trend that I am loving right now!

I started by drawing out my design. 

My goal at this stage was to get the basic outline of my design.

And then I started painting! In my experience acrylic paint works just as well as fabric paint but I always hand wash any wearables that I paint. 

After the color began to dry, I went back in and with lots of details and line work.

I kept adding color and details until the entire space was filled.

I love mashing up different patterns so I added a geometric pattern to the top of the jacket.

The result is a super colorful and creative jacket!

Business in the front...
party in the back!

Monday, June 11, 2018

a peek inside my art journal: prepping those pages

I have this theory when it comes to creativity- starting is always the hardest part. And in my opinion a blank white page makes it even more of a challenge. While I'm a very creative gal that spends most of her life inspired, a blank white page often gets me stuck, especially when my time is limited. But if I have a sketchbook or art journal that has pages filled with messy, simple color, I am way more inspired to get going. 

So I make time to prepare the paper in my art journal. I fill most of the pages with really fast, messy and colorful techniques. Once the pages are dry, I feel like I've tackled the hardest part...starting! Very quickly I've transformed blank white paper into surfaces that feel like they are in process and for some reason it keeps me from feeling stuck. Instead I feel like I have all kinds of paper just waiting for the next layer! Here is a little peek into what the first layer of those pages looks like.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

purple potato salad

I fully believe that colorful food tastes waaaay better or maybe it's all in my head! And while I love potato salad, there is something so fabulous about PURPLE potato salad. Did you know that purple potatoes contain four times more antioxidants than white potatoes?!? I love incorporating purple potatoes into my meals and today I've got one of my favorite easy recipes vinaigrette purple potato salad.


1-2 lbs of boiled or roasted purple potatoes, cut into quarters
1/4 cup of olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 or 3 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
pinch of salt and pepper

Boil or roast potatoes and remove from heat.

In a bowl mix the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.

While the potatoes are warm toss them with vinaigrette and then add the chopped parsley.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

24 hour FLASH SALE!

Hey friends! I've got a 24 hours FLASH SALE happening! I've bundled all of my flower classes together for major cost savings! If you are interested in learning all kinds of ways to create floral art this is the deal for you! Head on over to the shop HERE for more details or to register!

offer ends Wednesday, June 6th at 10pm PST

Flowers and acrylic paint make the perfect pair! In this class I will be sharing all kinds of really simple techniques for transforming your favorite flowers into expressive, beautiful and colorful acrylic paintings.

There is something so colorful and expressive about creating with pastels. In this class we will use my favorite subject: flowers, to explore a variety of wild and expressive ways to use pastels.

There is something so simple and beautiful about creating with ink. In this class we will use my favorite subject: flowers, to explore a variety of expressive techniques. From using brushes to found objects to items from nature, we will experiment with creating dynamic and bold floral ink brush paintings.

Flowers and watercolors make the perfect pair! In this class I will be sharing all kinds of really simple techniques for transforming your favorite flowers into expressive, beautiful and colorful paintings. 


Sunday, June 03, 2018

painted peony purse

Peony season has arrived and that means I've been at our local Sunday market every weekend at 10am sharp picking out a bouquet. 

It also means that I get extra inspired during this time of year because there is nothing quite as beautiful as a peony! And after finding a $12 simple white purse, I was totally inspired to transform it with a little paint and creativity.

The purse that I used was synthetic leather (not leather) and in my experience pretty much any "pleather" accessories can be transformed with good ol' acrylic paint. I've transformed countless pleather purses and so far I haven't experienced any issues with cracking or peeling because I seal them with gel medium or a light layer of polyurethane.

If this worries or concerns you, there are some really great leather/synthetic paints out there which are guaranteed to work well on that surface. My favorite is Angelus paint which is formulated to be used on leather/pleather.

I started by lightly sketching out my design with a water based marker and then I got busy painting!

This process is pretty straight forward! I used my peonies as inspiration and took my time painting them. 

The surface on my bag has a lot of texture which I liked because it added a textural element to everything.

As many of you know, I LOVE to use a lot of line work and black outlines my work but for this project I challenged myself not to outline anything but instead but use darker and light shapes of paint for shadows and highlights.

I filled my surface with two big pink peonies and then held onto some of that white space. 

The result is a pretty little floral bag that only cost $12 and a little bit of time and creativity!


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