Betony’s Custard Filled Blue Cornbread

This recipe has become a 4th of July tradition at our house. It is rich and satisfying. The blue cornmeal has a slightly more delicate texture than the yellow and just elevates it to the next level. And, its patriotic…


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup blue cornmeal (yellow is fine too if you can’t find blue)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round baking pan, and place in the oven to preheat. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Whisk eggs and butter in a large bowl. Whisk in sugar, salt, milk, and vinegar. Add flour mixture, and whisk until just smooth. Stir in corn kernels.

  3. Transfer batter to heated pan. Pour cream into center of batter; do not stir – this part will seem a little weird, but just trust me, its glorious and works. Bake until pale golden brown and set, about 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Unmold, and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Documenting our Creative Process – A Photo Series

—This post is part of an ongoing series we post every couple of weeks, sharing our journey as working artists. Sometimes it is good to take the veil off of the creative process and showcase how we get from A to Z. See some of the other posts here.

A week ago, Tim had the opportunity to play at our downtown’s Friday Fest. He wrote a song called “My Unexpected Home” that was showcased as part of the kick off of our city’s “Greeley Unexpected” campaignIMG_4957


He has also been busy tracking away with all sorts of amazing musicians on the new “Becoming” album – which is already sounding FABULOUS.

Lucy has been perfecting the art of self portraiture


I have been working on some of the smaller pieces for our Becoming series –


The girls and I have been drawing on a bunch of sketches for a calendar we are designing! Hopefully to be released next month.





I finished up this logo project for my Mom’s button business.

house of button_v6IMG_5115

And finally, I cleared out my studio of all my old series art pieces and have had a “Summer Clearing” show up at the Blue Mug at Margie’s coffee shop this month.

Betony Coons from Summer Clearing art show

Illustrated Birthday Invitations – an accidental tradition

This week the girls and I have been busy party planning for Lucy’s 6th birthday. A job she takes VERY seriously (“do not make jokes about it dad, I am serious!”). It is going to be a Woodland Fairy Party. Here is the invitation the girls and I drew –

lucy 6 woodland fairy invite

Starting a couple of years ago, I started drawing invitations for each of the girls birthdays.

I love how drawing these by hand has become a little tradition around here. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the illustrations from years past –

Harriet’s Ice Cream Anti-Social (she was very shy of everyone at the time):


Harriet’s Quiet Elephant 2 Year Old Birthday:


Harriet 2 year old elephant

Not one of my littles, but an invitation I did for a friend:

Lucy’s Blue Skies & Rainbows Summer Party:
IMG_0910Lucy 4 year old birthday invite
Lucy’s Backyard Pool Party from last year:

Lucy's pool party invite 5_small


And of course, Harriet’s Blue Monster Party
Harriets blue monster 3 year old birthday

June Ideas and Activities Around the Theme “Collection”

Giants and Pilgrims’ “Abacus” is a creative home curriculum centered on a monthly theme. This month’s theme is Collection! All the bits and pieces that make up a whole, taxonomy, pressed flowers, and collected works of literature, poetry, and music. We wanted a theme that lent itself to playing outside, picking flowers, and long evening walks.

Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.

Below is our comprehensive activities list. Choose a couple to do with your kids to enrich the month or try to accomplish the whole list! What would you add? I would love to hear your ideas and plans for the month.

Dates in June to take note of/celebrate:

 June 14 = Flag Day
June 21 = Summer Solstice & Father’s Day

Our List of “Collection” Activities:


Learn about Scientific Naming and taxonomy.
Herbaria - Johnson exsiccata

A perfect way to go about that seems to be to make a little collection of pressed flowers

Learn about Curiosity Cabinets and make one – I will probably pick up some old drawers from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and we will use the magic of hot glue to put it together.
Looking at curiosity cabinets ties in nicely with the art of Joseph Cornell and his shadow boxes


In celebration of Flag day, look at all the different flags from around the world, and sew our own flags to put on the treehouse (or summer club house of sorts).
(For slightly older kids, the book Swallows & Amazons, is great)


Speaking of the treehouse, we want to have our second annual sleep over out there – enjoying the sounds of the night, the stars, and the summer air.

Take lots of lovely summer evening walks – and find little treasures.

I used some old letterpress trays I had laying around to make our “Collection” themed wall. My plan is to fill up the wall with all sorts of found treasures over the course of the month.



Have mom share some of her love of button collecting with the girls. So many tidbits of history and folklore. The buttons have so many stories to tell. Check out her fun etsy shop here. She is also about to release a new site called “House of Button” that should be pretty neat.

Visit the Build Frontiers exhibit at the Greeley History Museum (and of course play with legos)


Draw lots of collections of tiny items (hopefully we will be making these into a calendar that will be available here!)

Visit the Denver Art museum (now free for kids) to see the collected works of Joan Miro exhibit with studio time (through June 28) (we didn’t make it last month, so I thought I would roll it over 🙂

Last month at Denver Union Station I saw a little collection of hand cut paper silhouettes. I think I am going to start my own collection of them. Isn’t this fabulous!

For that matter, I also want to continue adding to my collection of tiny art – I love this because they are small, I can afford originals of some of my favorite artists. Note to my artist friends, I would really love to curate our own version of the “Enormous Tiny Art Show” if anyone is interested 🙂

Revisit the Collection a Day blog that Lisa Congdon did in 2010 – this is just lovely to browse through and get inspiration from.


Jump back into our Journaling – specifically using my sister Katie’s awesome tiny squares method. She just adds one each day, or to capture a little moment she wants to remember. #documenteachday


Have a tea party with using my teacup collection – probably for Lucy’s 6 year old woodland fairy birthday!


Listen to Ars Moriendi by The Collection

The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – Moonrise Kingdom
Curate a Curiosity Cabinet Playlist


Indiana Jones
We Bought a Zoo


I want to read tons and tons. That is what summer is about for me. Lazy days filled with quiet reading.
We will definitely be participating in our libraries summer reading program. Their theme this year is “Super Heros”.


For Grown Ups:
Collected famous stories – I am really interested in trying out some of this curated list from Powell Books.
This list also has some I would love to read –

For Kids:

Read Collections of Nursery Rhymes, short stories, and poems

Read the Borrowers by Mary Norton (they collect all the tiny things we don’t use)


Read lots of books from Jan Brett’s extensive collection and then go to her show at the Fort Collins Contemporary Art Museum.banner_Brett-2015

June Calendar Free Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy June everyone! School is out, the birds are singing, everything is green and bright, so here’s to soaking up the sunshine and collecting the bits of summer. Our theme for June is “Collection”, so here is a collection of some of my favorite tools! Enjoy!  For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen. For the desktop, click on the small thumbnail below to view the large size image. Note – the illustrations here are from an old french dictionary. So, thanks old french dictionary. You are awesome.

For iPhones:
iphone june

June 2015 desktop