Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Emotion

Hello Friends! 

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Today's theme is EMOTION. What emotion inspired you?

The emotion that inspired me was WONDER. Oxford defines it this way: 

"A feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar."

Bugs seems to be in absolute wonder-mode as he discovers Rabbit Heaven does exist! 😛

Aurora Borealis in Watercolour

I decided to do something a little different this week. I was so inspired to paint...maybe it was the Full Moon, maybe I'm getting more MOJO back than I expected...but I painted the Aurora Borealis in oil, acrylic and watercolour. Watercolour has been the medium I've been using for years now because I'm finding canvas way too expensive and the paints really stretch out. Also, I'm out of wall space to hang  big canvas paintings!!

Aurora Borealis in Acrylic

Here is my acrylic version. This was SO MUCH FUN to do! I learned how to really blend the colours so that they were soft and you can't really see the brush strokes. I was out of canvas, so I took some tips online and used my 140lb watercolour paper. I applied 3 coats of white gesso on the paper, let it dry overnight, then weighted it under a bunch of books to flatten it out. It worked perfectly as a makeshift type of canvas.

Unfortunately the photos don't do justice to my paintings at all - boo! I need to figure out how to photograph paintings...any tips?

Aurora Borealis in Oil

Here is my oil painting of the Northern Lights. The way the paint blends is one of the reasons I love using them. I'm so happy I decided to try my oils again!

I started to paint after watching some Bob Ross videos back in 2013. Alex got me the entire series of The Joy of Painting, I learned so much from following his videos. If you ever want a simple and relaxing tutorial for painting, check out his You Tube Channel - all of his tv show episodes have been uploaded. I've applied his techniques to all of my paintings, not just the oil paintings!

I've never seen the Northern Lights in person, but one day I hope it happens. Until then, I'm in absolute wonder just seeing videos of this beautiful act of Nature!! Please enjoy this video from National Geographic!

All of that painting made me hungry! :) I've been craving this dinner for months. Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with corn on the cob. I finally found some fresh corn at the market. It's not the local corn, it came from the States, my gosh it was so sweet! I didn't have any macaroni noodles on hand, I used capellini, nothing was stopping me from making this dinner! :)

We've been cutting down a lot on the meat lately, but were in the mood for burgers so I made some Veggie Burgers. They were pretty good and I'd definitely make them again! I served them with fries and some Coleslaw with Old Bay Seasoning. Yum! :)

I just had to show you guys a photo of the ridiculous amount of condiments we have...Alex pulled a pile of them all out and I had to snap a shot! This isn't all of them either....eek!

We decided to try and "catify" our porch a little more so the cats have places they can sneak up on and enjoy the summer with us. Alex put up two extra shelves and glued on the leftover fake grass rug we had in the basement. They all love it! Leo is always the first to jump up on the highest shelf each morning!

Best friends...Charlie and Oscar the Cat. :)


May 30th: Next Thursday's theme is Sea Creature. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration!

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to you post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations!


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Back In The Woods - FINALLY!!!

Marlene, Jack, Charlie

Hello Friends!!

Guess what? We are walking in the woods again!!! I have to say this is something I've missed terribly since last December! For a while there I was walking Charlie every day in the woods, back in November and December - with my snowshoes on...but once all the snow piled up, I couldn't get into the forest anymore and I've been walking them all along the dirty back roads. FINALLY the snow allowed us to enter! What peace I felt as soon as I left the road and entered the woods.

Just as I snapped this shot, a deer ran across the back trail, dang if I missed her! The dogs heard her before I did! They love being in the many scents to sniff! :)

It's still pretty cold, down to freezing each night and there are still pockets of snow all over the forest.

I was really sad to see all of the fallen trees though...we had such a harsh winter.

Our first walk in the woods was a long one as I kept the three leashes in one hand and tried to move branches, limbs and logs out of the way with the other! I tried to only move what stopped us from getting through because I treat these woods like they are my own - if the path looks blocked, then maybe (hopefully!) nobody else will walk here!! :)

Look at my little pumpkin seedlings pushing out of their seed pods!!! I love to watch them grow! I hope that in a few weeks, the weather will permit me to transplant them into the pumpkin patch!

Cold and rainy days call for comfort food in this home! Four cheese pizza (Mozz, Parm, Cheddar, Ricotta).

And Breakfast Tacos with my Homemade Salsa. These are just so good! I make mine with egg white and Alex likes his with the raw yolks on top.

"Monster Love" (Prismacolor Pencils)

To those who are interested, don't forget that this Thursday's Art Date's theme is EMOTION. What emotion will be your muse? :) Click here for inspiration and ideas!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Drips Drops and Splatter

Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is Drips Drops and Splatter! Wile E. Coyote is dripping with sweat as he anticipates the splatter he's about to experience as he drops off that broken ledge! When will he outsmart Road Runner??

A little splatter of light. I tried to re-create a know the ones on birthday cakes? I painted this with acrylics.

Here are some drips, drops and splatters of watercolour! I don't know why I decided to enclose a rose in this painting - but there it is!

In hindsight, I was probably inspired by the rose in Beauty and the Beast!

Speaking of drops, I made some drop cookies the other day. I think I found the PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!! I'm a big fan of anything Williams Sonoma and I found this recipe on their blog site. I used Lindt chocolate instead of chocolate chips and they turned out so delicious! :) I found those little cardboard containers at the dollar store, aren't they cute? :)

Monday's dinner was an Asparagus and Fontina Tart. I found the recipe in my Taste of Home cookbook. With a splatter of lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil - this recipe was a hit! I'm not usually a fan of pre-made anything, but frozen puff pastry can't be beat! :)

How I love dripping hot cheese!!! Tuesday was our monthly fondue night. I ended up taking a nap and woke up to wonderful fragrances coming from the kitchen. Alex decided to make my Welsh Rarebit and Bacon Fondue - and it turned out so good! We had it with cubes of my No Knead Bread - talk about a food coma! Yum! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!


May 23rd: Next Thursday's theme is Emotion. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration!

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to you post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations!


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Art and Food and Joy!

Hello Friends!

Happy Sunday! :)

I hope all is well with you. I'm totally bouncing back from the house-hunting disappointment! I've planted lots of seeds and they are sitting in my office window, soaking up the sun. :) My garden won't be quite as big as last year's. We got rid of the tires in anticipation of moving, so I won't be doing my "tater tires" this year!

But I do have lots of lettuces, herbs, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins and flower seeds in the pots. My Butter Crunch lettuce is already sprouting up!! :) This will be the summer of RELAXATION.  Tell me what you're up to with your gardens! It always inspires me! :)

The snow has nearly almost melted, but with the last week of heavy rain and the snow melt, the river down the road has overflowed its banks...the forecast looks dry and sunny for a few days so let's hope it recedes!

With all of the house-hunting hub-bub...I didn't post a photo of my Easter cake!!! It's really the only baking I did in the last few months, it's a Carrot Cake decorated with chocolate bunnies and M&M's on a bed of shredded carrots. :)

Painting on the porch today!

Let's talk about art! As many of you know, I used to participate in the weekly Scribble Picnic. Well, it has dissolved unfortunately. I've really missed it though, so I made the decision to start my own weekly art "date". I'm calling it the Thursday Art Date With Rain. What do you think? Anyone want to join in? Every Thursday I'll publish a post with a link gadget so that anyone who wants to participate can add their post link to share their wonderful creations. I found it always very motivating and I loved seeing other people's interpretations. I met lots of nice friends through the picnic too! :)

I created a page here: Thursday Art Date With Rain. This page explains things a little bit; I also posted prompts/themes/ideas for the weekly art date...I've gone all the way up to the end of September in case you want to take a look in advance to come up with ideas!

Summer Bird (watercolour)

On my right side bar, there will be a link to the prompts.

Each prompt/theme/idea has a link to a separate page that will give you some inspiration and ideas for the piece. For example, this week's prompt (May 16th) is Drips Drops and Splatter. If you click on the link, it'll bring you to a page with some ideas and inspiration. Even if I'm the only one who posts my art, that's okay, I won't give it up! :)

Linguine Carbonara (minus the bacon because I ran out!)
The following subject makes me happy...I have my cooking MOJO back my friends! It's been a year and a half since I've found cooking and baking to be a CHORE and a RESPONSIBILITY rather than fun and a creative outlet. I could cry with joy that I'm feeling back to my old self again. It's been a very difficult year and a half...but lessons have been learned, pain has been processed and hurt has been (and is still in the process of being) healed. Life is wonderful. :)

Open-Faced Garden Veggie Sandwiches: This was SO good with zucchini, tomato, onions and eggplant. I'm not usually a fan of eggplant, but the flavours mixed together made me a big fan. Oh my gosh...the "Muncho" chips...we wanted chips with our sandwiches, but these were like eating pure salt!!

Spinach Ricotta Lasagna Roll-Ups : It smelled so good I forgot to take a photo of our plates, but trust me, ooh lala, very yummy!!!

Ricotta and Strawberry Toast with Strawberry Sundaes...decadent...a dash of Fragoli Strawberry Liqueur in the sundaes was the perfect touch! When strawberries are in season, take advantage!!!

And some smoked meat sandwiches. This is toasted Rye bread smothered with yella and Dijon mustard with (pre-bought) smoked meat and Swiss cheese melted on top. With sauerkraut, fries and a Dill's an awesome deli-style dinner!

I even made some Quick Mozzarella this morning for tonight's dinner. I'm feeling good again! :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Thanks! 😍

Check out that foam! I'm a master with the milk frother! :)

I just wanted to say thanks for all of your encouragement and kind words my friends! Life is getting back to normal, we're unpacking what we started to pack, sigh! I'm looking through my cookbooks to prepare for the monthly shopping and I'm selecting which seeds I'm going to start this year for my garden. We won't be looking for properties again until the new year so we're going to try to get back to our beloved routines and enjoy life.

And in passing, I'm getting an INORDINATE amount of spam know them I'm sure, the escort services from the other side of the annoying. I deleted a load of them today and I'm hoping nobody's comments got lost in the shuffle!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

I'm Still A Renter

It's been a grueling and emotional month...things didn't pan out for many properties. Out of thousands I checked out online, there were only three that met my needs over the last 6 months. The first one was just too much work; the second one I got out-bidded; the third...well the listing agent didn't disclose obvious problems with the structure of the house.

Money and time and energy I had to make the phone call of shame and ask my landlord to reneg on my lease cancellation and let me renew for another year. He was fine with it, but I felt kind of like a failure.

But...I've shed my tears and shook my fist in anger at whomever would pay attention! Now I'm ready to move forward with baby steps.

So there we go...renting still at age 51. Such is life. I will recover! I'm trying to think of the positive now. I'll plant some kind of garden, I'll be able to walk the dogs in the woods that I love, I'll take my bike to the bike path and enjoy rides a few times a week, I'll even look out for a used kayak to enjoy in the nearby lake.

I'll get back to my painting and drawing. I'll somehow find it in me to start cooking and baking again.  I'll get back to blogging and reading blogs again.

I'm healthy, Alex is healthy, the six furballs are healthy, we're not completely broke...things will be just fine! 

Now if only the snow would melt...

❤️ Love You All!!!❤️