Does Something Taste Fishy? : Mixed Media Art Journal



Couch Talk


Another week has passed and it is only the middle of April. It feels like June but that must be my socially isolated self talking. But seriously, am I the only one getting a bit antsy? For me, a lot of it is due to my lack of normal routine.

Last week, I had laparoscopic surgery and I was completely unprepared for the recovery. Because it was abdominal surgery, I had gas, but not like one would think. When I would sit up, that gas would travel up and lodge in my shoulders. It was excruciating the first 24 hours, and for the next week I would feel it every time I bent down. My incisions are almost healed and I am finally feeling back to normal. Somehow, my doctor omitted all this information and I was under the impression I would be digging in my garden the day after surgery. I guess I should have done my own research. Thankfully, they found the cause of my abdominal pain, so off to the GI specialist I go, next week to discuss options.



French Pastries


This weeks baking lesson: Eclairs with pastry cream and a chocolate ganache topping. We used the recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking. Everything I have ever made from this cookbook has been fabulous. Our Christmas morning cinnamon roll and pie crust recipes are used on a more frequent basis and they always turn out. I mentioned last week that we were learning about French Pastries. As a family, we just started watching The Great British Baking Show (Netflix) and we are having fun, cheering for our favorite contestants and drooling over the amazing creations and food combinations. Many of the dishes from the first season’s challenges are in this book so my boys made a list of dishes that they want to try, including tarte tartin and creme brulee (No pressure). I have always loved baking but to be honest, I have never had the courage to try professional pastry worthy dishes. But my boys are ambitious and it will be a good learning experience if nothing else. I will keep you updated.




Overall, the eclairs turned out well. They tasted delicious which was important and we had fun! Next time, I think we will pipe the choux pastry differently as they were difficult to fill but other than that, they were a success.





Many of us are raised seeing things through our parents eyes, which is normal. But have you ever thought you didn’t like something just because you didn’t try it and because your parents didn’t like it? That’s how is was for me and fish. I didn’t grow up eating fish so until I married my husband, I had never tasted it. I always thought it tasted like canned tuna smelled.

One year after we were married, we went out to eat at a seafood restaurant at the beach. Obviously, the coast is the best place to eat fresh seafood and I got what I always get at seafood restaurants, shrimp. My husband got fresh tuna and made me try a piece. I couldn’t believe it was the same stuff that made me want to vomit when my collage roommate opened up a can for lunch. Since then, we have incorporated fish into our weekly meals. I was buying frozen fish, making sure it wasn’t farm raised, and I just discover that our grocery store sells fresh, never frozen fish. So far, the Atlantic Salmon has been our favorite and we are enjoying it pan-fried.

What is your favorite way of preparing fish?


Creating the Layout



I created this art journal layout for my daughter’s journal. The background stencil is by StencilGirl and the stamps  and Infusions/paints are by PaperArtsy.  I added some fiber, torn paper, fabric and tea bags in the background.



Aren’t those fish magnificent? These are from Lynne Perrella’s Egyptian collection. For those of you that know me, you know how much I love Ancient Egypt. You can see more of my Egyptian Art with this stamp set below:

Egyptian Gold

Walk Like An Egyptian Cards

Smile Like the Sun

Let’s Travel Together

And if you are interested, you can tour my Egyptian Papyrus collection HERE.


Tea Day



I am joining the ladies over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard‘s for Tea day with a drink related post. As always, my drink is tea. Today I am sharing JusTea Purple Rain | Loose Leaf Purple Tea . It is not my usual tea as it doesn’t contain any tea leaf. This one is purely herbal so I add a bit of green tea to give it that boost of caffeine.

Don’t forget to tell me what your favorite cooking/baking show is? I need some new suggestions. And what is your favorite way to cook fish?

Happy Tea Day,


16 thoughts on “Does Something Taste Fishy? : Mixed Media Art Journal”

  • I’m sorry to hear you had such awful side effects after your laparoscopy. I hope you are feeling better now. The air should slowly get absorbed in your tissues.
    Purple tea. Never heard of it. I had to Google it. It appears it is a new tea variety exclusive to Kenya. Did you get a wooden spoon with yours? I saw it advertised on Amazon for 12 US dollars. I will admit that I do not spend so much on tea, although I do like to try out new things.
    Yes, I love the great British Bake Off! Especially the earlier series with Mary Berry.
    Yes, your fish are gorgeous, and you have coloured them so beautifully too. I too grew up in a fishless household and had to learn to eat fish after I got married. I love salmon too and I cook it in the oven in a dish surrounded by lots of cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes will bake into a lovely sweetnes and I serve the fish with french Puy lentils (those little ones) cooked in water with a stock cube. It is one of my diet recipes, but we liked it so much, it is part of our repertoire now.
    My other favorite fish recipe is fish en papillote. It is soooo easy! And it tastes wonderful. It’s from my spiraliser cook book as it uses spiralised butternut squash in the recipe. (I hope you have a way of spiralising ) . The recipe has a lot of photos to show you how to fold the paper and make the parcels. The children will be thrilled to have their own parcel. Any uninteresting white fish piece (like from frozen) can be made very tasty this way. I can’t give you the link here, but I have have added the link at the bottom of my blog post. The recipe is for halibut but it will work with any sort of white fish.
    Happy T-Day, (I won’t tell you to stay at home. As Iris says: we are not children and yes, we got the message.)

  • I hope your medical issues clear up without further complication. I don’t have cable and my access to cooking shows is limited, but I subscribe to the America’s Test Kitchen Youtube channel. Those eclairs look delicious. I’ve always liked fish 🙂 I’ve never fried salmon but bake it in the oven. So quick and easy. Happy T Tuesday!

  • Good morning, Great Post! I love your family is baking-so fun I am always at home in the kitchen. I love the British baking contest-I catch it once in awhile on the tv, your tea sounds delicious too-hugs and Happy T oh and I love salmon or any fresh caught fish.

  • Sorry to hear about your not so great recovery. Stomach problems are the worst. I hope you find the solution to remedy it.
    Great job on those yummy looking eclairs!
    And a gorgeously layered journal spread Kate- love it! Keep well, and happy T day.

  • Wow, your pages are stunning! I love the fish and the pages look just like fabric – so beautiful 😁. Those chocolate eclairs looks so delicious and would be perfect with my cuppa, yum! Happy T Day wishes! Keep well! Hugs, Jo x

  • Wow ~ that pain does sound awful! I’m glad you have a diagnosis and I hope you have complete relief soon, We loved the baking show and watched all the episodes! I’ll look into the book reference, that will make a nice gift. Your eclairs look amazing ~ great job!~ Your journal page is terrific , so much texture and wonderful images. Your fish story had me laughing! I was that way about baked beans and chili I didn’t think I liked them only because I never had them. ~blessings on your week

  • Lovely mix of photos. I’m sorry to hear about your painful gas after surgery. Who knew it could travel up to the shoulders area? Ugh. But I’m glad they found out what your stomach pains were, and hopefully the resolution of it won’t be anything too extensive. And the days do seem to drag, like time has slowed down. At the beginning of this, each day felt like 48 hours to me. I think part of it was the stress of the whole situation, including shortages at the grocery store. And it’s becoming more unpleasant with the passage of time, not better. I’m not a fan of most fish, but I do eat some. I have tried some stuff that I didn’t like, too. Sorry if this comment was scattered in its thought process. I’m just frazzled right now. 🙁

  • Oh Kate, I feel for you. I am so sorry to read that you had so much trouble with your recent procedure, I am glad they finally believe they know what is wrong, though,.

    I adore your fishy story, the coloring, the background, and your darling daughter with the fish. It’s a fabulous entry for your daughter’s journal, too.

    I love Alaska salmon, even though they are now so expensive here, I can barely afford them. The last one I purchased was wild caught, whole (about 4 lbs) and cost over $40.00 (USD). I was having company, or I would never have purchased it. I baked mine with lemon, rosemary and thyme in baking parchment. It was so flaky and juicy, I was surprised how good it turned out. I used to smoke them at Christmas and give them as gifts, but that was before the cost raised through the roof.

    Sorry, I don’t watch many cooking shows. I’ve seen a few Pioneer Woman since she lives within about 100 miles of my home. Some day I want to see her new Mercantile building. Once in a great while, if nothing else is on, I’ll watch Chopped because the items the contestants have to fix are so outlandish, “real” cooks would never use the recipes.

    Your tea looks wonderful today. I bet it tastes good, too. Thanks for sharing your adorable journal spread, your story about tuna, and your surgery with us , as well as your beautiful purple tea with us for T this Tuesday,

  • Yes, why don’t doctors warn you about the “discomfort” (medical term for pain) after laparoscopic surgery, Kate? I’m glad you got past all that and that you finally will have options/answers. Hoping for the best for you.

    Your teaching/cooking adventures with the boys are awesome. Tart tatin – I can do that. Creme brulee – lots of luck! Kudos on the eclairs. Who cares what they look like?

    Our best way to prepare fish steaks/filets is to marinate or season (check out Chef Paul’asMagic Salmon – and more – Seasoning Spice) and grill. We recently bought a Hot Shot Grill. I bet your boys would love that. All the flavor is concentrated, saved and kept in the food by recirculating the steam.

    Gorgeous fish spread for your daughter’s journal. What a treasure you’re creating for her.

    Happy T-Day! Eileen xx

  • When donated my kidney I had some of that gas. It didn’t hit me for about a week though. I can relate to the discomfort. And your eclairs looks yummy. I haven’t made them for quite awhile but they are fun to make. What a great thing to do with your kids. And your Egyptian page is great. I like how you added your daughter’s photo. Have a wonderful T day Kate. hugs-Erika

  • Glad the worst of your procedure is over and you are feeling better. It doesn’t look like it spoiled your art or those awesome eclairs. I love eclairs. What is my favorite way of preparing fish? Reservations! A lot of times when we go out to eat, we get fish as we don’t have it often at home. A favorite is swordfish. But as we are just entering the peak of the virus here in Massachusetts and still on stay at home, that will have to wait. As Gov. Baker said during his briefing today, Better days are coming. Take care and Happy T Day

  • Not everyone gets the gas and its thought to be linked how much gas gets pumped into the abdominal cavity and also if the surgeon allows enough time for it to flow out at the end of the procedure .
    I haven’t made eclairs since I was a teenager and am now 60, we never piped yours but put spoonful blobs on the baking tray and piped the filling in through the base.
    We use to make saviour and sweet ones , mums curry prawn eclairs were my favourite .

  • I hope you are getting over the effects of the tests you had, it sounds very uncomfortable and yes more explanation would be good for us all.
    It sounds like you are having fun with your baking sessions and good that your children are enjoying them, the eclairs look delicious.
    I like to watch the Bake Off programs as well,
    There is a series on our TV [UK] called Great British Menu .
    The chefs have a theme and have to produce dishes that are inspired by it, the current one is Children’s Literature
    A super post and a fabulous ‘Fishy’ journal page. I prefer to bake fish in tin foil as the smell sometimes can put me off.
    Take care and stay safe.
    Yvonne xx

  • I love Lynne Perrella’s work, and Egyptian art too! Your journal pages are beautiful…love those fishies. Peeked at your papyrus collection and other Perrella stamps as well, they did not disappoint! I have an Egyptian head also (bought a reproduction cast from an original in college) and it is always on display, but it’s all black. My son-in-law thinks it is quite weird. lol. We arty types gotta stick together, and shake up what is considered interesting decor! ha ha…

  • I used to love cooking with my boys, they say they are grateful now as they are all confident in the kitchen! The youngest is the best baker though!
    I love the fishy pages, Lynne Perella stamps are fab!
    We eat a lot of fish, my favourite way of cooking at the moment is white fish in a provencal sauce!
    As for cookery programmes, I watch lot, though not Bake Off since Marry Berry left!
    Belated happy T day! Chris

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