Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


Hello… it’s me.

As my first post of 2016 this will be upbeat.  May as well start as I would like it to continue!

For Christmas I bought myself a present.  I ordered an up-cycled sweater coat – custom made for me and it arrived last week. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!  It is warm enough to wear outside – so far I’ve worn it at -17C and it is comfortable.  I can also wear it inside all day at work without overheating!  Here is me wearing it…

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I ordered it from Bramble Hollow Fine Arts – she does all sorts of art and crafts.  She has a couple of coats in her Esty shop and takes custom orders.

My Mr. Spock sculpture is in a show at the Centre for Creative Arts here in Grande Prairie – it is celebrating the Centre’s 20th Anniversary.  The artworks featured are connected to the Centre; I made Mr. Spock in a week long sculpting workshop at the Centre in 2004. Here he is on display…


He’s for sale.

I’ve had to change my eating habits for medical/health reasons which has the side-effect of losing weight.  Not a bad thing.  However… have you noticed the price of vegetables?!  $8 for a cauliflower?   Celery is still reasonable… and I’ve discovered it is good with peanut butter.  Luckily I am currently on a peanut butter “like phase” – most of my life it wasn’t on my list of favourite things, but lately I’ll eat it by the spoon.

I signed up again this year for Summer’s Gold which is a farm that operates a “Community Supported Agriculture” program.  You buy a share in advance which entitles you to weekly deliveries of whatever is ready from the first week of July until the end of September.  This is my fifth year participating.  Nothing like freshly harvested locally grown vegetables!  And considering the prices it works out way less than buying at the store.

I’m on the search for carb free/sugar free recipes for “snack” foods.  Some of them, that are labelled as sugar free are NOT.  Total waste of time searching and reading the ingredients.  If you need something to be sugar free you do NOT want it to replace sugar with honey or maple syrup.  And the descriptions of the cookies… Lies, all lies.

I made a peanut butter cookie recipe night before last… edible but not enjoyable.  I’ve got a couple more to try that include apple sauce as a sweetener.  Going to experiment – I can create my own recipes once I know what will work.   There’s one using puréed pumpkin that sounds like it might be good.  You never know, this may turn into a food blog!

I’ll use the not really good peanut butter cookies as a crust for a cheesecake or quiche.  Add a ton of butter because, well, butter makes it better!  Should work.

I cleared out my pantry and kitchen cupboards of the stuff I can no longer eat – was a lot of food.  In the process of doing that I am embarrassed to say I discovered rather a lot of items were either horribly stale and/or rancid.  Who knew spaghetti could go bad?  And… ahem, best before dates that were years past.  I had an unopened box of papadums that had a best before date of 2000.  I tossed a lot of items.  The rest a friend took off my hands.

My kitchen has never been more organized.  I even sorted out the spices – alphabetically of course.

I’ve also been culling “excess to requirements” items by selling or donating.  Things like stemware, small appliances (who needs three blenders?), gifts that were never used, collectibles, odd bits of china, etc.  Still a lot more to go through but I’m getting there.

We’ve had a very mild winter so far, thanks to El Nino, with regular hoar frosts which are so lovely.  This was out my living room window last week:


My year is booking well for face painting and make-up services.  I have confirmed bookings right through to December already.

So 2016 is going well.