Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday Art Date: One


Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is One. Bugs Bunny is playing the role of Rapunzel today. Poor Rapunzel, so alone, one young princess, dreaming of her prince charming and happily ever after! Sigh...đź’“

I decided on something a little different today! I did a painting in acrylics, but I was inspired to write a poem to describe it. :)


The One 
by Rain Frances

Late an August moonlit night,
In woods so dark, my fear takes flight. 
Hints of whispers in my ear,
Shadows rise and disappear.

Lost for hours, weak and frail,
Or is it days? My memory fails.
Darkened terror left me drained,
Succumbing cold, my heart is pained.

So sudden, light appears ahead,
Clearing fields, and hope a thread.
I run with legs so sore and weakened,
Lonely house, so black a beacon.

Windows glow, the wraith appears,
Breath so shallow, I will myself near.
Behind me the woods laugh as I run,
As I enter the house, the only, the One.


The ONE and only red cherry tomato. My tomatoes are still green this late in the season, but I did find this little one hiding in the middle of the greenhouse!


All of the canning is done! 80 pounds of tomatoes and 12 pints of strawberries that became strawberry jam. I love seeing the bright colours of jars in my pantry!


I managed to find some more fresh sweet cherries and made a Cherry Pie Filling (I finally did it Cathy!) But...as you can see, I overfilled!


It was so delicious though! I topped my piece of pie with Cheddar cheese, broiled it a bit and added some ice cream on the side for extra nourishment! :)

I decided it was time to clean the deep freezer, so most of these meals were a result of that!

Broccoli Stir Fry

Corn on the cob with fried Basa filet

Linguine Puttanesca

Basa filet foil-baked with white wine and tomatoes - Cheddar cheese broiled on top



The deep freezer is clean and empty now except for a little old box of baking soda! Time to fill it again! :)


Here is Leo playing with a tennis ball. He plays like this for hours!

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I painted this last October. It's the story of Mary Gallagher - the most famous ghost of Montreal - a part of our history!

Mary Gallagher was brutally murdered and beheaded in a Griffintown tenement on June 27, 1879 on the corner of William and Murray streets. The case shocked Montrealers, especially when Mary’s best friend, Suzy Kennedy, was sentenced to hang for the gruesome crime. Since then, Mary’s headless ghost is said to return every 7 years on the anniversary of her death, still searching for her head.

September 5th: Next Thursday's theme is History. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

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 your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Comics/Cartoons


Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is Comics/Cartoons. This is a theme that is close to my heart! The Looney Tunes have been the subject of many of my art pieces and I have a lot of fun drawing them. Today I decided to give tribute to some very famous paintings and painters. I'm not much into comics and comic books, and admittedly steered clear of that subject, shame on me for not challenging myself! :)

Above: Edvard Munch's The Scream featuring Tweety Bird. This was mixed media: pastels, Prismacolor Pencils and Sharpies. I love this painting and I've done a few different renditions in the past:


I did the original Scream in pastels. That was a bit of a turning point for me in my art. It was easy for a change, that's when I knew that I was comfortable calling myself an "artist"....or as J.J. Walker said in the 70's sitcom "Good Times"... "I'm an arteest". I couldn't find a video of him saying that, but here's a throwback for those who saw the sitcom in the 70's where his signature phrase was "DYNOMITE"!! :) The Snowman Scream was born on a very cold day in April of last year when we had yet another dump of a snowstorm!


Bugs Bunny posed for Whistler's Mother by James McNeill Whistler. It was hard getting Bugs to sit still for this painting, because he is such a stinker and he had mischief on the brain...plus, he knew who was in the next studio...


Daffy Duck doing his best impression of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. I was lucky enough to visit Paris, France when I was 16 years old, and I saw the original Mona Lisa at the Louvre museum along with many other beautiful works of art. I think that visit sparked an art passion in me!


I was fooling around with some photo software and found the "comic" setting...I guess this is what I'd look like in comic form!


Cauliflower is in season right now so I got a lot of it! I put most of it in the freezer, and kept a few heads out for dinners. I made a Cauliflower and Cheddar Quiche one night. It was so good!


In an effort to make more vegetarian delights, I made Cauliflower Burgers. They were actually really tasty, though I had my doubts! I served them with fries and some really sweet corn on the cob.


I had my first disappointing cheese fail of 2019. Mozzarella. Yeah, that again. Some of you may remember that I attempted to make Traditional Mozzarella SIX times in 2017 and failed each time. The seventh time I succeeded. I tried twice this year and both times failed...so I'm taking Traditional Mozzarella off the rotation for another year or so until I have the motivation to try again! It's such a hard cheese to make!!!


I'm happy to say that I did have a cheese success in the last week - American Cheese (a.k.a. homemade Velveeta). This is SO GOOD and so easy to make! I'm trying to come up with a type of "Cheese Whiz" with my American Cheese...it's a fun and delicious process! :)


I went to the market on Tuesday to take advantage of great prices and was supposed to spend all day yesterday canning...but we had thunderstorms and lost power most of the day! We also spent about 48 hours without water when one of our plumbing fixtures burst. We found a great plumber though and now all is well! I'll be spending the next few days making jam and canning tomatoes!


The thunderstorms though, were bad news for poor Marlene who is terrified of loud noises....


Just the other day she was sitting in the shade and enjoying being outside. Yesterday though, we had to really coax her to go outside just so she could pee!


We have to put a box top on the bathroom garbage can so that one of the cats doesn't go after the garbage...I don't know how Leo manages to balance himself and be comfy on there!


The days are hot and humid, the nights are chilly. From the garden: a beautiful bouquet of wildflowers and Geraniums. Seeing these beautiful flowers makes me appreciate all of the beauty of summer. Our winters last 7-8 months and I have to say I'm not looking forward to another long one here in Quebec! I'm spending as much time outdoors as I can. I hope you are enjoying your summer my friends! (Serena, I hope you're enjoying winter!!!) :)

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One Great Blue Heron in Malpeque P.E.I. (2010)

August 29th: Next Thursday's theme is One. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

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 your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Moon, Sun and Stars

"That's one small step for (a) rabbit...one giant leap for leporidae"

Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is Moon, Sun and Stars. I love to paint night scenes. There is something about a night sky that I find so beautiful and there are so many ways to paint them!

I think Bugs Bunny is the first of his kind on the Moon! I did this painting in acrylics.


Actually Alex got an action shot of me painting it!


Watercolour Sun. The sunny days are still with us here in the mountains, though the nights are really starting to get chilly. Fall seems to be so close and my tomatoes are still green! Eek!


An acrylic starry sky. :) I painted the Pisces Constellation, which represents my Zodiac sign. Do you sky watch? One of these days I'd love to get myself a really good telescope. Maybe I'll discover the Rain Comet! :)


I just wanted to share a little of the Nature that is all around me - it's so beautiful in the mountains!


Ham and Jarlsberg sandwiches with fries...so delicious with a honey Dijon mustard!


This dish is so fresh and so easy to make: Tomato Bocconcini Pasta. I made the Bocconcini myself and it pairs so well with tomatoes. We didn't have any basil, which I usually use, so I substituted fresh from the garden green onions instead.



Recipe Notes: I'm spending some time over the next few months - maybe throughout the winter - to re-write my recipes on the Rain's Recipes Page and include a printable version of them. This might mean that links won't work so if you are looking for something, please send me a note (Contact Form on the sidebar) or leave me a comment!

That goes for Rainy Day Cheese Making as well. I totally re-designed that web site last week and it looks pretty good! Cheese recipes may be missing as well, so again, let me know if you can't find something!!


Jack - waiting for a snack. Such a beautiful hound dog! :)

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My first cartoon drawing in January of 2018

August 22nd: Next Thursday's theme is Comics/Cartoons. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

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 your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Patterns


Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is Patterns. I'm not really a fan of Andy Warhol, but I thought that borrowing his idea might just turn into a great pattern of Tweety and Sylvester! I was just doodling with Sharpies and Prismacolor Pencils for this one!


The patterns in Nature are all around us! This is a grassy shore by the river done in watercolour.


This was my challenge for the art date! I followed a tutorial to make this 3D drawing. (Kind of makes me want a Spirograph!!) About halfway through I was cursing myself for choosing "patterns" as the theme lol...it was hard on my hand but I'm glad I challenged myself!


There is a behavioural pattern forming in my home...I can't stop making cheese lol!!! I'm really enjoying it this time around. From left to right: Monterey Jack, Jarlsberg and Parmesan.

The Monterey Jack just came out of the brine and it'll be ready in a few months.

The Jarlsberg is a few days old in this photo and you can see the rind is starting to form. This is also ready in a few months (fingers crossed the "eyes", or holes, will form on the inside!!).

And the Parmesan...it SMELLS LIKE A PARM!! And it's developing quite the rind! That's a 6-monther. I didn't have a big enough pot so I had to half this recipe...that's why it looks so flat! I now have 6 wheels of cheese aging! :) I'll be posting all of the recipes and photos on Rainy Day Cheese Making very soon! In fact, I wanted to just let my friends who follow that blog know that I'll be revamping it in the near future, so if it goes offline for a bit, don't worry, it'll be back!!


BCLT's and fries. (That's bacon, Cheddar, lettuce and tomato) I love these dollar store fry cups! The red and white patterns are very diner-style and I'm sure it made the fries more delicious presented this way! :). In case anyone is curious, the little round thing on the top right of the photo is a chewable multi-vitamin. We each take one with dinner, so that's why you see them in a lot of the food photos!


I've been spending as much time outside as I can. Yesterday, I had a little quiet time, sitting in the sun, reading and sipping on a spritzer. The yoga continues to help my sciatica and piriformis pain I'm happy to report! I made the mistake of skipping it one day last week and I really felt the difference - never again!


In fact, I wanted to share this with those suffering, or those who know people suffering, especially of piriformis pain. Get yourself a tennis ball and do a self-massage! It REALLY works! (And it ALSO works on a tight BUDGET for those like me, who can't afford physio-therapy)

The tennis ball self-massage hurts a bit at first, but it's a great way to really get deep into that muscle, I find almost instant relief when I do this each morning. The video above is very informative. The therapist explains how sciatica develops, how to self-massage using both a foam roller and a tennis ball, how to stretch the piriformis and how to strengthen it. I do all of these things daily. The only problem I have is that Jack thinks it's a game of hide and seek with the tennis ball!


Dog days of summer? Jack, Marlene and Charlie snoozing in the sunshine. (The huskies are shedding...oh, the horror...) Seize the day my friends...life is short! :) (I wish I could have told my 20-year old self that!!!) :)

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August's Waxing Gibbous Moon (I love my zoom setting!!)

August 15th: Next Thursday's theme is Moon Sun and Stars. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

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 your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Another Cheesy Weekend!


Hello Friends :)

How are things with you? Things are great here, busy but great! I've been into the cheese making again. The above photo is a Parmesan that I made yesterday, it's brining as we speak, then I will age it about 6-9 months.


I'm also in the process of making a Jarlesberg. I'll age that one about 6-8 weeks. If I can pull off a "Swiss" style cheese...there will be LOTS of fondues in my future!! :) 

I'll post about these two cheeses on my cheese making blog in the next week or so!


I also made some Boursin style cheeses. One with a mix of herbs and garlic, one with green onions and one with my cherry coulis. (See my post on Rainy Day Cheese Making for the recipes!). This meal was so good, the berries are so sweet! I love summer eating! :)


More cheesy goodness...Asparagus and Fontina Tart.




Could Baby Oscar be MORE lazy??? He's cooling off over the A/C in my office!


Leo and Charlie asleep on the front porch. For anyone interested, this Thursday's Art Date theme is "Patterns"! Hope to see you there! :)