Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chad and Paula On Tour....again.

Well Chad and I hit the road again Monday; destination Destin, Florida for Art Biz Jam 2015.

We have been polishing our act all year in anticipation for our third ABJ. We are really looking forward to seeing the repeat Jammers and to meeting the new ones.  

In case you aren't familiar with Art Biz Jam it's a workshop put together by Chad Barrett, Lori Siebert, Phyllis Dobbs and myself. We talk about everything from licensing and marketing to social media and how to keep your creative spark alive. And we laugh......a lot. 

Every year we invite new guest speakers and this year we have Laura Pagley and Kelly Alford from CR Gibson.

Art Biz Jam

I will tell you all about it in my blog post on October 14 because right now I have to prepare for the ABJ cocktail party welcoming all of our guests. Chad is in the kitchen yelling at me to uncork some wine!

Oh and don't forget to check in on Wednesday October 7th for 
"The Story Behind the Art" with my guest Robin Davis.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Savannah or Bust

The month of September has been pretty great. My husband and I have been hosts to a lovely young woman from Copenhagen, who has been here working as my husband's apprentice. (More about that in a future post.) 

Me and Laura, the apprentice

We have had a great time taking her around Atlanta and making her eat things like grits, key lime pie, banana pudding and hushpuppies.  It's been a lot of fun for us to experience the city we have called home for 23 years through the eyes of a newcomer. 
We wanted to show her a little more of the south and and since it was Tom's birthday weekend we decided to head to Savannah for a few days.

We took a Trolly Tour to get an overview of the city and explored the historic downtown area. Leopold's Ice Cream, Paris Market and River Street were all checked off of our "to do" list.

Lucky for us, we have friends on Wilmington Island who invited us out for a boat ride. We boated out to a little island,  went for a swim and had the treat of seeing a dolphin. Later that night we went out for a birthday dinner and Laura, the intern, tried her first raw oyster. She said it was good but didn't understand what all the fuss was about. I agree with the later, the good part, not so much.

As far as I am concerned, no trip to Savannah is complete without a trip to the beautiful and mysterious Bonaventure Cemetery, I am a bit of a cemetery nut though. I love the carvings, ironwork and symbolism. The Spanish  moss in the trees is just the icing on the cake for me.

If you have never been to Savannah, I encourage you to go. It is the perfect combination of a city moving forward while deeply rooted in the history of the past. I consider it one of the most beautiful cities in the country, if not the world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Fabulously Simple Dinner Party with Recipe!

If there’s one thing I really enjoy, it’s throwing a dinner party.

When friends are in town, it’s so much nicer to have them over rather than going out to a restaurant. It’s quieter, more relaxed and I take delight in preparing food for friends.

When I was in college my room-mates and I would host big spaghetti dinners. As we were always short on funds, we would save aluminum cans for a month or two, cash them in and head to the grocery store for pasta, sauce, and of course beer.
Depending on the amount of cans turned in, we night even get ground beef for meatballs. This was served on paper plates and after dinner more people would arrive and it would turn into a big party------good times…..

They were simple, fun and apparently memorable. Once in awhile, I run into a blast from the past, they say “Remember those spaghetti dinners you used to have?”

Well things have certainly improved since my college days but my one guideline is to keep it simple. After all, I want to enjoy the party too.

Paula Joerling
In the kitchen.

Here’s how I keep it simple.

Typically, I only make dishes that I can prepare ahead of time and either reheat or pop in the oven when the guests arrive. The salad is made a few hours in advance and kept in the refrigerator covered with a damp towel. If something has to be cooked after the guests arrive, it’s something quick and easy like garlic shrimp or pasta.

The key thing to remember is that you’re not trying to impress anyone; you are simply preparing a meal to share with your friends.

What could be better than that?

Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite things to make. This can be prepared the day before and assembled several hours before the guests arrive.
I got the recipe from a friend but embellished it a bit because I can’t seem to stop myself from doing that.

Do you like to keep it simple when throwing a dinner party? Feel free to leave some of your tips in the comment section. 
Paula Joerling
The Feast!
Paula Joerling
The host and hostess and the crazy guests. See how much fun we're having?
 Special thanks to the guest of honor, Thomas Dang Vu, for the beautiful photos.

Spinach Torta

4-10 oz. packages of frozen chopped spinach thawed with all moisture removed.
(you have to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze it)
4 tbl-butter
½ medium onion chopped
3-scallions trimmed and sliced thin
8oz-mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1/2c freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ c milk
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs beaten (reserve ¼ of the beaten eggs to brush on the crust)

These can vary but mine are:
Sautéed mushrooms
Roasted red pepper

2 c flour
½ tsp salt
½ c plus 1 tbl water
4 tbl olive oil

Parchment Paper

Make the Crust:
Put flour and salt in a bowl, add olive oil and water and mix until a dough is formed.

Let dough rest for 20 minutes or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
If you refrigerate it, form it into a crude rectangle first. It will be easier to roll out.

To Make the Filling:
Place drained, moisture free (this is important, you don’t want a soggy torta) spinach in a large bowl.
Sauté onions, garlic and scallions in the 4 tbl of butter until translucent.

Combine cheeses, cooled garlic onion mixture, milk, salt and pepper (to taste).
Add the beaten egg.
I normally mix this all-together using my hands. It’s way easier.

To Assemble:
Roll out dough on a piece of parchment paper that is a little larger than the size of a cookie sheet. The dough should be about the thickness of thin cardboard and as large as the cookie sheet.

Spread the spinach mixture over the top of the dough leaving 2-3” on all sides. Again, I use my hands for this.

Fold the edges of the dough over the top of the spinach mixture and brush with the reserved egg.

Top with the sautéed mushrooms and peppers.

Bake in a 425 degree oven until crust is golden brown (about 20 minutes)

Let rest a bit, cut into squares and enjoy!

Paula Joerling
What the torte looks like before going into the oven

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

“Labor of Love” Lori Siebert’s Magazine

Since Labor Day just passed, I thought I would take the opportunity to share a friend and colleague’s very own “Labor of Love”

Lori Siebert and I have known each other for a very long time. While we don’t have the proof yet, we are pretty certain that we were in the same Brownie troop in Cincinnati, Ohio.

She has always been an inspiration for me as well as one of my biggest cheerleaders.
I should also add that she is one of the most creative and talented people that I know; sometimes I just want to slap her (but I won’t).

When Lori is in town for the Atlanta Gift Show, she usually spends a night or two here at our home. A few years she started talking about a dream of hers, putting together a creative magazine. About a year ago it happened, and it’s really just fantastic. So fantastic that “Cloth, Paper,Scissors” is selling it in their shop.

So, if you want to meet a variety of creative people and explore their studios and workspaces, this is the magazine for you. It is filled with delicious imagery and a little peek into what makes these artists tick.

This publication truly is a labor of love for Lori.

Oh, and PS…… my husband, Tom Haney,  is in issue one. Not to influence your choice or anything.

The cover of Issue 1 and a peek inside of Issue 2

 My husband, Tom Haney's, work in Issue 1

This issue features Sue Zipkin, Beth Logan, Billy Lambrinides, Stefanie Lorig, 
Tom Haney and Joel Nakamura

Featuring Linda Solovic, Caroline Simas, Chris Sickels, Molly Z,
Katie Elliott Armitage, Kent Youngstrom, Ty Webb and Suzanne Fisher

Printed copies can be purchased at
search "Labor of Love"

Want to know more about Lori? Here are her links.

Stay tuned and I will let you know when Issue 3 is available.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Story Behind The Art-Featuring ME!

Hello and welcome to the debut of The Story Behind the Art, the new monthly feature on my blog.

In a nutshell, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe.

This is something that I have wanted to do for quite some time now and I am so excited that it is finally happening.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Paula Joerling-The Story Behind the 2016 “All Mom’s Plan-It Plus” Calendar for Lang.

I have been creating calendar art for The Lang Companies since 2007 and it is something that I truly enjoy and feel fortunate to be able to do. Different titles are geared to different audiences and I have to take that into consideration when creating the art.

Back in 2014 Lang asked if I could add a new “mom themed” calendar to my line up. (2014 is not a typo, that’s when you have to start on the images for a 2016 calendar. No wonder I never know what year it is.)

Not being a mom, I was apprehensive at first until I decided to look at it from the perspective of a child, I was, after-all one of those. I approached the calendar reflecting on some of my favorite memories and it was a real joy to travel back in time and create art based on my childhood.

I selected two of my favorites to share with you. The cover is a “bonus image”


All Moms Plan It 2016

The COVER image needs to convey the message that it’s a calendar for busy MOM’s with school age kids. I went with an image that all mom’s, and kids for that matter, can relate to. “The brown bag lunch and being late for the bus”, probably regular occurrences all over the world. 

Side note: My sister and I usually had a bologna with mustard on white bread sandwich and had to save our brown bags and use them the whole week……utter humiliation!


lang all moms plan it

The Bird on the Vacuum is, hands down, my favorite image in the calendar and one of my most favorite memories of my mom.
We had an old Eureka Vibra Beat vacuum and the canister was kind of teardrop shaped. When my mom vacuumed the living room she would sit me on the canister and take me for a ride around the room. I must have been 3 or 4 but remember it clearly. I kept that vacuum until it conked out when I was in my 30’s. Needless to say, I was sorry to see it go.

The ad for the actual vacuum. The vibrating attachment always scared me.

paula joerling
The living room where it all happened. Sorry for the bad photo, it is from an ancient slide.
Please note the round sofa and napping sister.


paula joerling

The Kiddie Pool is something that I think we all can relate to. I can remember splashing around in those 5 inches of water like it was an Olympic sized pool. Covered in baby oil and iodine, my mom would fill the pool from a garden hose (that we also drank from, those were the days) while we did the backstroke, demonstrated feats of water ballet and poured buckets of water over our heads. Back then few people had air-conditioning so this really was an awesome thing on a hot summers day.

Side Note: I received (well gave) my first kiss in a Kiddie Pool. I don’t even remember the poor fellas name….I am sure it was memorable for him.

paula joerling
The "kiss"

paula joerling

When we moved, we upgraded to a new, larger pool. It was rectangular, pretty fancy......

I enjoyed creating the narrative for these images and it was a lot of fun sharing my “Story” with you. Hopefully you enjoyed it as well.

Thanks for joining me on my journey and I hope you will stop back next month when my friend Robin Davis will be sharing her STORY BEHIND the ART.

Need a reminder? 
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