March: A New Song & Silk-Screen Poster!

Spring has started off with swift pacing. This month has included a tour, releasing a “Holy Week” project with The Liturgists, readying this new song and art-poster, and producing our Easter gatherings (Tim’s an art director at a church).

As a family we’ve been exploring the theme of “ground”, approaching the question “what grounds you?”; actually digging in the dirt AND metaphorically digging in the dirt, finding foundations, and setting ground work.

So we took a very different angle with the song we’re releasing this month- we’ve remade an old hymn! It’s an ancient song called “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and we’re calling the track “Hymn no. 35”. This is the hymn number of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” from the old hymnal Tim grew up with at his Presbyterian church in Hutchinson, KS.

We hope you find the arrangement to be beautiful with depth and resonance no matter what your belief!

Using the lyrics from the song, Betony has designed a limited edition of 50 silk-screened posters. With turquoise ink on heavyweight, navy-blue paper, it will be an incredible and framable 12×16 print.

If you’d like one you can ORDER NOW by clicking right here (it’ll take you to our store).
Note: posters will not ship until after April 10th
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About Bellwether and Our March Theme

At the beginning of the year Betony and I announced we’re working on a new project. Titled Bellwether, it will be an album and art series that explores belief (to be released November 2016).

Instead of just keeping the creative process to ourselves, we’re making it a bit more open; hoping to explore belief each month in ways that contribute and form the project being released.

So every month we’re doing a Practice & Process, choosing a spiritual practice and, in response, sharing the creative process.

For March our theme is Ground and we wrote all about the Practice we took on

Our plan is to continue releasing songs and posters throughout the calendar year- an ongoing process to these practices. Keep watching for more as the months progress!

New Song Featured on The Liturgists “Holy Week”

The Liturgists (who are Science Mike and Michael Gungor) create art and experiences for the spiritually homeless and frustrated. Starting from a collaboration around digital liturgies, the The Liturgists have grown into a global community for people who are interested in Christ, but often feel marginalized by Christianity. This community connects through liturgical releases, events, and an oddly popular podcast.

That’s whats on their website. Let me say that I have deeply loved what The Liturgists have put out over the last couple years. And now this last season I’ve had a chance to work with them!

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I paired with a poet named Graham Murtaugh to produce an original liturgy for Science Mike and Gungor. This led to creating a journey that took a person through “Holy Week” (Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter) through poems and hymns and a meditation. The tracks will be released on each of the named days of Holy Week and on Easter Sunday and you can buy the work here:

http://www.theliturgists.com/store/holy-week-2016

Also great news, a new Giants & Pilgrims song was included as part of the “Holy Week” release! We did an arrangement of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” for this liturgy and it sounds SO beautiful. Many thanks to Dave Wilton for his work. (And of course thanks to Betony Coons for the cover art!)

Here’s the song below:

 

Cheesy Lasagne Soup Recipe

(Picture is from A Farm Girl Dabbles)

I know it is kind of strange to post recipes on this very art centric blog. There are plenty of wonderful sites that fill that niche without needing any help from me. But, food is my love language. Making delicious meals for the people I love is what I do. I never get tired of it. So, here is yet another recipe from my files

Over Christmas, we went to our annual family potluck at my grandfather’s cabin in KS. My aunt, who I am beginning to think of as the “queen of comfort soup” made a version of this yumminess. I knew immediately that it would become a new family staple. Besides the fact that it is filled with cheesy melty goodness, and tastes likes the best of lasagnes, one of my favorite things about how this is served is that the cheeses, and mozzarella, and pasta all go in separate bowls so you can individually craft your dish. Between three picky children and lots of friends with food sensitivities, I am a fan of any recipe that is highly customizable. Extra cheese in mine? Yes please.

(this recipe is adapted just slightly from A Farm Girl Dabbles)

LASAGNA SOUP

Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE SOUP:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage (sweet or spicy, and ground beef works here too)
  • 1 package McCormicks spaghetti seasoning (not in the original recipe, so you could leave this out, but I think it adds a good amount of flavor quickly and easily. Cheating I know, but try it)
  • 3 c. chopped onions (I just use one large onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (leave out if you have kids who don’t like spicy)
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (regular would be fine too)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 8 oz. fusilli pasta (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE CHEESY YUM:

  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
additional cheesy yum:
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta to al dente following package directions in a large pot of heavily salted water. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and seasoning packet and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, spoon noodles into bowl, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the top.

March Practice and Process: “Ground”

In creating our new project, Bellwether (an art series and album due winter 2016) we’ve decided to share what we’re doing each month before it’s released.
We’re calling these posts “practice and process“.

They will detail the spiritual/life practice we’re doing,
give a look at our in-process art that we’re creating in response,
and then include a whole host of resources and activities! (like the new desktop wallpaper, book/music/movie lists, recipes, explorations for kids, etc. This is so as an entire family we can engage in this year’s exploration of “belief” we’re calling Bellwether. 

MARCH Theme: GROUND

We are approaching this March theme in lots of ways: asking “what grounds you?”, actually digging in the dirt AND metaphorically digging in the dirt, finding foundations, and setting ground work.

Practice:

This month we are

  1. Reading then gardening! We’ll be setting aside a specific time for reading spiritual writings right before heading out to work in the garden. As a whole family we’ll be reading from the psalms, from poetry, children’s books, or any host of passages we find resonate with us. We’ll pair this with gardening in hopes to dig our hands into the Spring season.
  2. For our Table Alter this month we’ll be setting up little pots and planting seeds – we’ll water and watch the slow progression of growth, again hitting on the death and resurrection truths we find in the world around us.

Process:

Betony hopes to hit some finish lines on art projects she’s been working on so she can set the “ground” work for this new series. Tim has a tour in the Chicago area he’ll be recovering from in the beginning of March.

The other process is going to be exploring this big idea: there seems to be spiritual archetypes that happen all over our favorite stories. In movies, books, all sorts of art, you’ll find baptism scenes, out-to-the-desert scenarios, resurrection pictures… Betony and I are looking in to these universals to better inform our own belief.

Resources for “GROUND”:

MARCH Dates to Take Note of:

March 13th – Daylight Savings
March 14th – Pi Day – You can’t go wrong with this recipe.
March 17th – Saint Patrick’s Day – Irish mix to listen to, yummy pub food to make, and a touch of poetry
March 21st – World Poetry Day – Here’s one to get you started
March 25th – Good Friday
March 27th – Easter

Local: Greeley, CO events:

March 19th – Poudre River Friends of the Library Spring Used Book Sale
March 21st – Seed Swap and Garden Talk – Riverside Library – 6:00 pm
March 22nd – Perilous Plants – 12pm at the Farr Library – Botanist Dr. Kathy Keeler

Let me know if you have other fun Greeley events I should add to this calendar!

RESOURCES/EXPLORATIONS:

We are planning on getting Chickens next week!
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The girls and Betony have been hard at work building them an enclosure and a chicken coop.
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(A painting of Bet’s from a few years back that seems appropriate, obviously she has been dreaming about them for a while)
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We discovered a parcel of land adjacent to our yard that we thought belonged to the city actually belongs to us. We are going to turn it into a secret garden of sorts – after we dig up all the sumac and poison ivy and weeds – the labor of clearing this neglected land will be part of our spiritual practice for the month.

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Betony is finally ready to start the groundwork on my new series of paintings. She has been playing around with monochromatic under paintings (as explored through the Book of Job)

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MAKE:

Bet might just have to start making some of these hanging chairs for our back porch to lounge in.

Start the seeds we ordered from rareseeds.com (it is also time to plant peas out in the garden already!)
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READING LISTS:

The Little Gardener and Wild by Emily Hughes (LOVE her illustrations)
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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (haven’t read it yet, but have had it recommended by several people we trust)
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The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
by Du Base Hayward (really loved this one as a kid)
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ART:

Play drawing with Opaque markers on brown eggs

Bet is also enjoying these rubber cement resist died eggs and rubber band wrapped ones. Definitely on her list to try this year.
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ADVENTURE:

Go on lots of bike rides and explorations along the Poudre river trail

We are not going to tell you quite yet what we have planned for this giant box of keys, but we’ll give you a hint that it is something in the category of this epic city-wide adventure we facilitated a few years ago…

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Find some greenhouses to visits

TECHNOLOGY:

A friend recommended this online reading ap, we thought it would make a fun Easter-month game, especially for Harriet (4) – Reading Eggs Game
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LISTEN:

On the first spring rain, listen to this mix.
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March Free Calendar Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

I love March because it is the first month where spring really reveals itself. The old idiom“In like a lion, out like a lamb” always seems so true. This month’s desktop is a gradual transition from the brown of winter to the first bits of green.
For more inspiration for this month – listen to this Irish playlist, make this hearty dinner,  and read this little poem.

Also, if you haven’t checked it out yet, go take a look at my newest Silkscreen Print and Tim’s gorgeous song that goes with it.

For the desktop, click on the image below to view the large size image.

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. (Personally I like the flower as my lock screen and the colors as my home screen)

High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:
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