Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Scribble Picnic: Forest...Food...Fun!

Hello Friends!! :)

Hope you're all doing well! :) The theme for Michael's Scribble Picnic this week is "Forest". I thought about a snowy relaxing forest painting...but, you can't take the "scary" out of the gal it seems....this is my ink/watercolour "Forest"! :) I've had nightmares like this, so likely this is a self-portrait of sorts!!!

We've been dumped on with a good three feet of snow in the last half week! It's beautiful, and although I'm not a fan of cold, I've been trying to make the best of it by snowshoeing in the forest. :) I followed a game trail for about 45 minutes yesterday - me thinks it was deer though I didn't see anything but tracks. When it's snowing in the woods, it's so peaceful!

Here's my cartoon drawing for the picnic. In the Looney Tunes short "The Windblown Hare", Bugs taunts the Big Bad Wolf in the forest as he's brushing up on his fairy tales. Bugs fans may remember him strolling along singing "The rabbit in da da dee dee dee, the rabbit in red...."... I love this episode and I was lucky to find it on Daily Motion (there may be an annoying ad before the cartoon starts, sorry about that!), check out the video if you want to bring back some memories!! :)

I hope the link worked! :)

I've been trying to make some great comfort food dishes lately. Lots of breakfast for dinner ideas! First, it's Breakfast Tacos. Then Linguine Carbonara (though I used capellini pasta because it's thinner and we prefer that).

A few Mexican inspired dinners: Papas Fritas (without the chicken this time) and Baked Enchiladas.  All with my homemade Salsa and Sour Cream. So delicious!! I would like to say that this is the time of year where I focus on comfort food...but who am I kidding? That's my main menu all year long!! :)

My homemade wood pallet decorations are out! Crooked Christmas Tree and Mr. Snowy are happy to be showcasing themselves for the season! :)

I'll end this post with an odd sighting...the elusive "oven-hood-cougar" who rarely lets himself be seen...little brat!!!  ;)

My other blogs:

Rain's Thoughts
Latest Post: What Do You Want?

Rainy Day Cheese Making
Latest Post:  Wrapping The Cams

Friday, November 9, 2018

Painting and Pesto

Hello Friends! :)

Since Halloween, I've been really taking it easy - as in: planning my entire life around either being in bed sleeping, being in bed watching movies with Alex or eating! It's been a wonderfully slothy time lol! But now I must avoid atrophy, so I'm up and doing stuff again. :)

I haven't done any painting since October, so I thought I'd do a November inspired watercolour. :)

I'm back in the kitchen slowly but surely! I made some Ricotta the other day.

The latest obsession...Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto. Boy is this good stuff. I'm not a fan of pine nuts so I was trying to find a way to make a good pesto without them and I think I found it! I can only take a wee taste because I don't digest fruit and veggie skins/peels very well and it's impossible to peel a sun dried tomato! But Alex LOVES this with a little bit of sharp Cheddar on toast or Melba toast! 

I've also wrapped the Camemberts!! They'll be ready for Christmas!

Check this out: I use St-Ives body lotion. You know the type of lotion that you hand pump? When you get to the end of the container (or so it seems!!), the hand pump stops working and no more lotion comes out. I guess the companies assume people will just toss the container at that point and buy a new one. Look how much I managed to scrape out of 3 of those "empty" lotion containers!!! TWO CUPS.  Yeesh!!

Now that I have rested, recuperated and healed from the last year, I'm back into my fun menu planning. I send Alex a menu each Friday for the coming week. It's fun! And my friends will remember that each 14th of the month, we have a fondue night to celebrate our monthly "anniversary"! :) I think I have all of these recipes up on my Rain's Recipes Page, but if not, I'll be adding to it as I make them!

Another snow storm just started! We're supposed to get between 20 and 40 inches of snow throughout the weekend. It's so pretty this time of year!

New feature! I'll be adding links to my other blogs/latest blog posts at the end of my blog posts now. No pressure! But if you're interested, mosey on over! :)

My other blogs:

Rainy Day Cheese Making 
Latest Post:  Wrapping The Cams!

Rain's Thoughts
Latest Post: New Moon Intentions and Cherries

Monday, November 5, 2018

November: The Coming of Darkness

Winter is upon us, that's for sure! Alex and I took the dogs out today in the woods and it was a lot of fun walking in the snow. The temperatures are very cold and there is no doubt that we will only see green grass now in May!

I know that my American friends have Thanksgiving in November. Ours was in October. So this is one month where I don't have any big holidays planned. What does November mean to you? What do you focus on?

November always seems like a recovery month for me. The days are usually dreary and the nights are long...darkness encourages me to stay in bed longer than I usually do. We spend a lot of time at home, relaxing and recuperating from the summer and harvest seasons. At some point, usually mid-month, I start to think about Yuletide, Christmas and the New Year.  Our feasts will be scaled down this year since we are officially in frugal mode, but I still plan to have a lot of fun with what I can afford to make!

Also, I'd like to share a big goal with you. I plan to only use the car less than ten times from now until April. Monthly shopping and all of the canning I've done will help with that! Eventually I'd like that to be I'll NEVER use the car during the winter! But...that will take more time and planning. :)

Have you started to think about Christmas yet? 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

πŸ‘» Halloween: Jolts, Spooky Food and Fun!!! πŸ‘»

Happy Halloween!!

I am in my element today!! :) I've been baking, painting, sculpting and decorating! I hope you enjoy this's my favourite time of the year!! Here are this year's pumpkins. Christopher Lee as Dracula...and the Scream Ghost. That ghost face was hard...carving a little pumpkin is quite the challenge...note to self - next year, carve BIG pumpkins!!!

The theme for Michael's Scribble Picnic this week is Jolt/Double. Have you ever seen the horror movie "Scanners"? It's from 1980-ish...about telekinetic energy and such and such...I wanted to recreate the famous movie poster. That's fellow Canadian Michael Ironside whose head is about to explode!! A jolt indeed!! :)

In the Looney Tunes short "Scaredy Cat", Porky Pig and Sylvester stop for the night at what they think is a run-down motel. In fact, it's a Haunted House!!! 

Sylvester caught a glimpse of the windows...and the scary shadow of a spider and he got quite the jolt of fear!

And to complete the picnic, here is my "Double" painting in acrylic.

I had a lot of fun the last few days making my Paper MachΓ© Pumpkins. It's so easy and a very frugal craft!

Here are my last few "Ghostober" pieces. I really enjoyed coming up with 31 ghosts, spooks and ghouls this month! Yesterday, I included a local ghost story from my home town of Montreal, Quebec. Does your home town have a famous ghost?

"Tulip Staircase Ghost" (watercolour/ink): In 1966, a retired reverend was visiting The Queen's House in Greenwhich, England when he took a photo of an interesting staircase called the Tulip Staircase. When he later saw the photo, the image of what is believed to be a ghost appeared. Some speculate it is the ghost of a maid who died on that staircase over 300 years ago.

"Mary Gallagher" (mixed media): Mary Gallagher was a prostitute who was brutally murdered, decapitated and dismembered in Montreal Quebec in 1879. Every seven years, her ghost roams William street in Griffintown, in search of her missing head.

"Stingy Jack" (acrylic): Stingy Jack was a miserly old drunkard who, accepted in neither heaven nor hell, was forced to wander the earth with a coal from hell stuck in a turnip to light his way. This is the origin of the Jack O' Lantern.

The table is set...I came up with a fun and spooky menu this year!!

My table setting this your fingers...those fangs are sharp! :)

EEEK and Potato Soup served in a Pumpkin Bowl.

Corn Salsa with Goat Cheese and a Bacon Cheddar Dip served in a bread coffin. I remember last year you said you loved that idea Debra, well I did it this year!!! :)

Bat-shaped Tortilla Chips for dipping.

Joyce's Rustic Olive Bread Sticks shaped as snakes.

Pumpkin-shaped "Spooked Meat" Sandwiches (that's smoked meat!)...and Potato Scream Skins with my Homemade Sour Cream.

Count Chocolate Orange Cupcakes for dessert! I made the Meringue Ghosts as toppers.

I filled 8 vinyl gloves with chocolates and candy...we will not run out of sweets soon! The little drink on the right is a Stewart's orange soda with a little clementine pumpkin for garnish.

While we feasted, we listened to an episode of Suspense called The Shelter. Trust me, there were some jolting moments in that show! Does anyone else enjoy "old time radio"? Some of these episodes are more nerve-racking than a lot of the new movies out there today...and you can find a lot of them for free on YouTube!

Besides a lot of fun...Halloween is also a very important holiday for me. As my friends know, I am a Pagan and today is called Samhain (pronounced Sow-wen). It's my New Year holiday. I follow the tradition of my ancestors who lived by the seasons. At the end of Harvest, a new year begins. Happy New Year to my fellow Pagans and Wiccans! I just wanted to mention to those who don't know, I have a blog called Rain's Thoughts. It's more about spirituality, my original Tarot spreads, thought-provoking posts, lore, Nature and Self-improvement. Feel free to stop by any time! :)

I can't wait to see how all of my friends enjoyed their Halloween! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Winter, Canning, Ghosts!!

I can handle ghosts, goblins and ghouls...but cold winter weather scares me! It's snowing this weekend, which is very pretty but as I say every year...TOO EARLY.

Alex and I try to go for walks every night. Last night was fun walking in the snow for the first time this year. I like the silhouette of our hats. :)

Canning season is officially over! I used the last of my Mason jars to preserve 20 pints of apple sauce today. The 50 pound box of apples cost $20, so each pint was $1. It pays to can! :)

Halloween is almost here!! :) I have my menu planned, decorations ready, pumpkin carving tools handy and paper machier pumpkins in the works!! Now I just hope the snow melts!

Here are my latest "Ghostober" pieces I've been posting on Instagram. I have three more days of spooky art for this challenge! One will be based on a local Montreal haunting....buah ha ha ha ha!!! Stay tuned for my Halloween post! :) So much fun! πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»

"Dullahan" (acrylic):  The Dullahan is a Celtic solider of Irish mythology whose head was chopped off and taken from him in battle. He roams the land on horseback, searching for his lost head. If you look at him, you will immediately be blinded. Some stories state that his bitterness causes him to kill innocent people to join him in the afterlife. If he speaks your name, it is your life he wishes to take.

"White Lady" (acrylic):  A White Lady is a tortured ghost who died watching her loved one die before her in a horrific way. She is typically a woman mourning the loss of a lover or a child. She appears in the area of the tragedy and haunts it restlessly for eternity.

"The Ghost of Hamlet's Father" (watercolour):  In Shakespeare's "Hamlet", the dead king appears to his son Hamlet. The ghost reveals that he was murdered in his sleep, by his own brother - Hamlet's uncle who became King and married Hamlet's mother. The tortured ghost asks Hamlet to avenge his murder by killing his uncle.

"Hellhound" (acrylic):  A Hellhound is a demon black dog sent to brutally kill condemned souls and drag them to hell. If you lead a sinful life; and were visited by a Grim, or heard a Banshee's cry, or heard the voice of a Headless Horseman whisper your may suddenly hear dogs barking fiercely in the distance. As the growls and barks grow closer and closer, your first instinct is to run...but there is nowhere to hide from the Hellhounds.

"Will-o'-wisp" (watercolour):  A Will-o'-wisp is a ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes.  It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from their safe paths.

Psychopomp (acrylic):  A Psychopomp is a spirit who escorts newly deceased souls to the afterlife.

"Poltergeist" (watercolour):  A Poltergeist is a noisy spirit who frightens homeowners by knocking on walls, throwing objects, moving furniture, and other similar deeds. They are said to be the restless spirits of dead adolescents who are only interested in playing nasty pranks. They can be relentless to the point where most people opt to leave their homes. Poltergeists have been known to harm humans if they're pranks don't result in the homeowners leaving their homes.

"Herne The Hunter" (acrylic):  Herne, a skilled huntsman, was fatally wounded while saving King Richard from a charging stag. He was cured by a stranger, who tied the antlers of a dead stag to the dying man's brow. For healing him, the stranger took all of Herne's hunting skills. With no skills left to hunt, Herne went mad, and fled the forest where he hung himself from an oak tree. His spirit was tortured; every night he rides, leading a ghostly hunt, chasing the wildlife of Windsor Forest.