Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Sea Creature

Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Today's theme is Sea Creature. What did you come up with this week?  

I have no idea how Sylvester got stranded on such a tiny deserted island...but who are we to question cartoons? :) Tweety Bird is having a good laugh, scaring poor Sylvester with his fake shark fin! (Between us, I think that cat deserves it!) 😊

Siren At Sea (oil)

I had some fun with my oil paints again this week (it's a little dark)! I thought about my Greek Mythology courses many years ago, learning about Sirens and how they lure sailors to their death through song. Many sailors would plug their ears with wax to avoid the Siren Song - which often entranced the entire crew of the ship, leading to shipwreck and death.

Hammerheads (Watercolour)

And if the shipwreck didn't get the crew, maybe the sharks did! :) I've always been fascinated by Hammerhead Sharks. They may look a little funny, but they are dangerous creatures weighing up to 1000 pounds. They evolved to be better hunters; the placement of their eyes helps them see their prey better. To me, they look very prehistoric. Another good reason why I don't want to swim in the ocean!!!

Sea Creatures (Acrylic Pouring)

I tried my hand at acrylic pouring too. If you've never seen/done this, check out this video, it's really quite neat and I intend to do more of it when I have more vibrant paint colours! I did this one with dollar store paints which are kind of dull. But, it was a lot of fun to do! I was originally going to use this as a background for my sharks, but as I kept looking at it, I saw all sorts of sea creatures in it! What do you see? Maybe a Giant Clam or two? :)

More breakfast for dinner: Fart and Dart Beans, Lacy Hash Browns, Homemade Bread and scrambled egg whites. I can't wait to have my own chickens so that I can harvest and prepare my own eggs!

Tuesday's dinner was a Tomato, Ham and Gruyere Quiche. What comfort!

And last night I made a Cannelloni with Besciamella Sauce. We have plenty of leftovers, this was so easy to make and SO tasty!

Critter Time!! We have had so few sunny days, Jack is taking advantage of them! :)

Oscar the Cat, Charlie, Jack and Dana enjoying a sunny morning on the porch.

And...we had a scare the other day. Charlie our husky, decided to hop our SIX FOOT fence, chasing after a cat. Huskies are knows as escape artists and runners...but in the four years we've had her, Charlie has NEVER tried that move before. Luckily Alex and I were out and we ran after her. I called her and she came back like nothing happened. We were furious but relieved at the same time - I couldn't imagine losing one of the dogs...poor Charlie is now tied up any time she's out in the yard.


June 6th: Next Thursday's theme is Trees. 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 26, 2019

Pumpkins, Mint, Corned Beef and Pets!

Hello Friends :)

I hope you're having a nice weekend! The sun finally showed up here in the Laurentians, but only for a few hours on Saturday morning - I took full advantage and spent as much time in the yard as I could before it started to pour rain again!

Alex and I treated ourselves to a nursery visit last week and we got some really nice plants! Since my strawberries didn't grow at all last year, I decided to buy a plant and is it ever beautiful! It's a mix of mint and strawberries, I wish I had smello-net to share the fragrance of this plant, it's intoxicating! Mint is supposed to repel deer and I also read it repels squirrels, so I hope those little critters stay away this year!

I have some mint tea steeping and Alex is going to make us some Mint Juleps! :)

At night it gets really cold still, I bring the strawberry plant in and it sits nicely in my window garden! Alex bought me some geraniums and a begonia plant too - they really brighten up my window!

"The Great Pumpkin" (Prismacolor Pencils)

A little pumpkin challenge is afoot!! :) Many of you know our friend Mama Pea. Well, she and I have a friendly little contest going on this summer to see who can grow bigger pumpkins! (I think she'll win) Does anyone else grow pumpkins? Would you like to join in and compare notes throughout the summer? No pressure, no rigid competition, just a friendly game between friends who love pumpkins and gardening!

I have my seedlings all planted in the pumpkin patches! I have carving pumpkins and sugar pumpkins. Half the patch holds the seedlings I grew in the window and I planted more seeds in the empty side of each patch. Last year I got 4 pumpkins in total, I'm hoping for more this year!

I got some dollar store solar lanterns too, I love them. I may get some more to put all around the yard.

Here's a neat project we're working on - a homemade greenhouse! Last year all of my tomatoes were infected with some kind of spore-generated fungus and I lost all but a few of them. This year I'm going to try to protect them but didn't want to spend too much money. I had an old porch swing frame and there were some bed frames in the basement here when we moved in. Alex set the frames up for me in an "A" shape and the next step is to put row cover around it. The poles are dug into the ground for stability. I'll keep you up to date on this project! I can fit about 12 pots of tomatoes in there!

My tomato seedlings are growing fast so I need to get this done in the next few weeks! I also have another 6 pots that I seeded the other day - last year was my potato year, this year will be my tomato year!!! (fingers crossed!!!)

Breakfast for dinner: Corned Beef Hash with Eggs with fresh-out-of-the-oven homemade bread, yum! Over easy for Alex and scrambled whites for me!

We don't see the phrase "corned beef" here, just "smoked meat"...which I'm told is basically the same thing? Is pastrami the same thing too? I always buy the smoked meat from a restaurant here called Dunn's - one of the best! Montreal definitely does smoked meat right - that and bagels!

Charlie and Oscar the Cat are at it again - so much love between those two besties!!! :)

Shifty-eyed Jack wondering just how many photos I can take of him! :)

Shark (Watercolour) September 2017

If anyone is interested, next Thursday's art theme is Sea Creature (May 30th) - click on the link for ideas and inspiration!

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!