Monday, September 19, 2016

Finally Some Much Needed Rain!

 Summer like weather continues but it has been SO dry with no rain for too long. I sat outside the other morning just before the rain finally came...

you can see the dry patches in the yard at the top of the photo. Enjoying a piece of Gateau Yaourt ( yogurt cake) with my morning coffee.  This is a very easy light cake my family in France made all the time. The recipe is at the end of this post. Joining my friends at T Stands For Tuesday.


 Just had to share this with you as we all thought it quite funny! It wasn't even raining hard and one would think the birds would welcome the water but instead they treated the covered patio like a huge bird house-even hanging all over the lounge chair after I removed the cushion:)

I had more fun playing with the latest sketch challenge over at Freshly Made Sketches ( you can see the sketch along with my first two cards using it  here or on the FMS blog). This time around I made two holiday themed cards:






 For each of them I used patterned papers, images and ephemera from my stash in my holiday themed pocket folders.  These holidays will be here before you know it! Also linking to the Simon Wednesday Challenge "clean and simple".

 And for the Back to School theme over at Art Journal Journey hosted this month by Elizabeth of Altered Book Lover I have this journal page:


 The page began with a strip of alphabet paper on the left in addition to some text paper and washi tape. The page was then painted with layers of color washes in olive green, yellow, white and burnt sienna. The same colors were used with stencils. Black spatters were added. Vintage image is framed with washi tape. Love this Nelson Mandela quote. Also linking to Moo Mania and More for the alphabet theme.

 Since I am not ready to part with summer yet I'll be spending 4 days at the beach again -this time in the beautiful  Victorian town of Cape May , New Jersey! Of course I'll have photos to share when I'm back next week:) Until then, have a great week ahead, and enjoy the recipe below!

                            " Creativity is contagious. Pass it on."    Albert Einstein


                                                    Gateau Yaourt

1 1/2 c. flour        pinch of salt       1 c. sugar ( I only used 3/4 cup)         1/2  c. oil

1 tsp baking powder     1 tsp baking soda        3 eggs           zest of 1 lemon

1 c. plain whole fat yogurt

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 10 inch cake pan. In medium bowl whisk sugar, oil, yogurt and lemon zest. Add eggs one at a time.  Sift together flour, salt, soda and powder then whisk into the sugar mix. bake 40 min. Let cool on rack then unmold. Serve as is or with powdered sugar and or fruit, whipped cream.




Thursday, September 15, 2016

Working The Challenges


 Hey there peeps! I'm going to begin with a few questions for you and then it's on to the main reason I'm here blogging - ART! When you are facing a creative challenge do you procrastinate and set it aside before continuing? Do you face it head on? Or do you forget it and move on to something else? 
 I really had to ponder it all myself as I came upon yet another challenging lesson in the Radiant Faces online class. I knew I wouldn't give it up completely but it took quite a few days for me to get to my art table and just begin. I'm talking about the lesson taught by Tamara Laporte on "the inner child". I LOVE her style but it's also very different for me. Plus she uses the Caran D'ache water soluble crayons to "paint" her face and I don't . But guess what, it was all OK and ....I finished my portrait!

 Here are a few wips and the completed page:

 I am working with acrylics-my medium of choice but to give me time for blending I added drops of Liquitex Slow-Dri blending medium to my paints.


The finished page:


 My page is filled with things that have special significance to me- the red dress (I had a favorite dress similar to this when I was a child and red has been my favorite color since I can remember), the books, the dog, the music paper , French text and heart in the background.. And this is the affirmation I wrote:
 The best compliment I could have gotten came from hubby and son who both immediately said my painting was a self portrait:) Joining the multi talented artists over at Paint Party Friday!

Side Note: because of how good it felt completing this I signed up for Life Book 2015 Tam's Classes online so I can continue to not only make pretty faces but to have that deep connection with my feelings and art that Tamara teaches so well. Oooh, and I get to learn how to paint a masculine face too:)

 I have these cards for a few challenges I love playing in: Freshly Made Sketches, The Simon Wednesday Challenge, and Try It On Tuesday...




  Great sketch to work with, and perfect for the Simon Wednesday CAS challenge, and the coffee and cream challenge at TIOT. Unfortunately I wasn't able to capture the glitter I added to the peacock. Hoping to make more of these cards this weekend:)

 Products:clear stamps (Papertrey Ink); Staz-On ink-Spiced Chai (Tsukineko); The Natural Matstack (DCWV); Vogue Paper Pack (Craftwork Cards); cream card stock; Spellbinders die cut machine along with the stitched die and floral doily motif die ; flowers (Prima); rhinestones; Stickles glitter glue (Ranger).

 Will be around to see what creative goodness you've done this week! If this post appears a bit wonky as far as spacing or font I tried to fix it and spent  A LOT of time trying  but internet was acting up terribly. My apologies.

" The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place."           Barbara DeAngelis








Monday, September 12, 2016

Art Journal Journey and More

  Happy Monday! Hope the new week is starting on a good note for everyone. Here in PA we are experiencing THE most delightful weather. Despite being a bit sad that many leaves are already falling, the daylight hours are decreasing, and the hummingbirds leaving, I am taking advantage by spending afternoons basking in the sun -need that vitamin D you know:)

 Of course there has also been time for art:


 This is a journal page using some vintage clip art and washi tape for the challenges at Art Journal Journey-theme is  "back to school " this month and hosted by the wonderful Elizabeth; along with Moo Mania and More (theme is "alphabet") and Try It On Tuesday (theme is "children"). Looks like I have a vintage theme going too:)

 Speaking of Elizabeth-this is my entry for T Stands For Tuesday which she hosts beautifully every Tuesday. Please do check it out-love to have you join in on the fun!

 I have been addicted to Starbucks coffee for some years now and when I went grocery shopping for my ground bags of regular and decafe ( I mix them so as not to have too much caffeine and yet I'm just not ready to give it up entirely), they were out of what I needed-GASP! Now what? Sorry but I cannot drink the Folgers hubby sticks to-I need robust flavor. I remember someone from T Stands For Tuesday mentioning Peets brand (can't remember who it was though...) so I went for it. And I like it even better than Starbucks!

 This past Saturday hubby and I went to see Celtic Thunder again here in town! We had purchased tickets quite awhile ago thru PBS to help support our local station. But since having the tickets several key changes were made within the group :( . No more Keith ( my blonde surfer boy), no more Colm, and no more Laura (the cello player-she and Colm got married and he's back at university in Scotland). Needless to say I was apprehensive about how good the show would be with new members. WELL,  they were FABULOUS!!!! No pics were allowed during the show but we got to talk with them all and get pics-after the show because a small gathering stayed around awhile out by the tour buses :) Meet the lads...

this is Michael O'Dwyer, the newest member. An amazing tenor,  he was a clown as you can see and so much fun to chat with!

  meet Emmet Cahill (sorry for the bad pic-hubby was taking photos with both his and my friend's cameras at the same time). Emmet was with Celtic Thunder a few years ago but left to pursue solo ventures. He kindly came back for this tour and we were so glad-his voice is phenomenal!

 my friend Carol and I with Damian. What a cutie! He was an original member of Celtic Thunder at the tender age of 13. He left to pursue other avenues and even was a guest on several episodes of the show 'Glee'. Damian McGinty is now 22 and such a sweet young man.

 Carol with Neil Byrne. Neil is a fantastic guitarist and began as a musician and backup singer before becoming a key singer with the band.

 and this is Ryan Kelly, another original member. He doesn't only have a wonderful voice and personality, but he is the kindest and most humble guy. He also writes songs and tours with Neil Byrne and we have had the pleasure of seeing them several times in between CT tours. Ryan remembered us immediately and even talked of going running with hubby next time he's in town.

 Sorry if I bored you but I just couldn't curb my enthusiasm over these guys. I only wish more people in their field would be so open and genuine and take time to meet some of the fans.

 Have a great rest of the week! Will be back soon with a post on another Radiant Faces lesson I completed.

 " The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." 
                                                                                    Alexandra Trenfor










Monday, September 5, 2016

T is For Taking It Easy

 and that is precisely what hubby and I did over our long holiday weekend. Sometimes it's really nice to just chill don't ya think?
 

 
 Another Carolina wren update: this was the last shot I got on Friday afternoon. By Saturday afternoon-at just over a week old!- they were gone. I never got to see it. My neighbor said she heard a lot of commotion from them very early AM to find they were finding their way around in her yard. Have not seen nor heard them since. But, look what was in that "empty" nest when I looked to water the plant:

definitely a wren egg! I have not seen any action at the nest so I will look into it tomorrow...


for my T Stands For Tuesday gang. A veggie quesadilla I had for lunch recently at a local restaurant and it was fabulous! Speaking of, I made this over the weekend:

                                   Bean and Corn Salad  (recipe at end of post)

A great vegetarian salad with protein and crunch and sweet and sour-yum.

 For the Simon Monday challenge (theme is "Stamp It") and the Simon Wednesday challenge (theme is "anything goes") I have this card and matching envie:

Products: stamps- frame stamp on envie (Art Gone Wild), Fuschia (PSX), sentiment (Our Daily Bread Designs), bubbles (Magenta). Distress inks- Worn Lipstick, Shaded Lilac, Peeled Paint; Versafine Onyx Black ink; white gel pen.

 For Moo Mania and More (theme is Nature's Beauty), and also Paint Party Friday :

a journal page created around the beautiful and unique postcard my dear friend Patty sent recently. It's a copy of an original sailor's valentine. The background is a painted deli paper. I added the words around the postcard digitally. Thank you Patty!

 And for the theme of "Back To School" at Art Journal Journey hosted this month by the multi talented Elizabeth I have this page:


  I pasted a Stampington and Co. paper to the page after sponging the edges . The image is from Paper Whimsy. I added a bit more color and the star doodle and word, then added the printed quote which was also sponged with inks. Reading was always one of my very favorite subjects and pastimes ever since I can remember.
 What was your favorite subject? Or did you like school or not?

 I'll be around to visit throughout the week. Have a super week and weekend ahead!

           " Never stop learning because life never stops teaching. " 


                                        Bean and Corn Salad

scant 1/4  c. sugar     1/4 c. apple cider vinegar     1 1/4 c. frozen corn, thawed

1/4 c. veg. oil        1 c. each of diced celery and onion        salt to taste

1 can black eyed peas, drained, rinsed          1 can black beans, drained, rinsed

 Combine sugar and vinegar in lg microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave about 1 min. til sugar is dissolved. Add corn and oil and stir to combine. Add celery, onions and beans; toss to combine. Season with salt if desired.




Monday, August 29, 2016

Art And Nature's Beauty


 Exciting news my friends!!! The eggs have hatched and we now have three baby Carolina Wrens! You can see the photos of the nest and eggs in the post prior to this one just below. I have been dying to hear them and see them and was very careful not to disturb them. I  only took pics (without moving anything) when momma bird was away gathering food.



 A bit hard to see-but they are all three sleeping after feeding time. They are just precious.

 For the Simon Monday Challenge "It's A Stitch Up" - a special card for a special friend:

And this week for T Stands For Tuesday I have refrained from showing food (aren't you glad?).
This is another doodle page I created in my journal just for doodling:

 and after being colored in:

  Sometimes I draw everything freehand and sometimes I use a template from my stash. The teapot and saucer are a template I traced for the outline.

 For Art Journal Journey ( theme of Nature's Wonders) I have one final entry before this month ends. Thanks to Gill for a super theme and so many fabulous entries by everyone!  I am also linking to Moo Mania and More (theme is Nature's Beauty), and Paint Party Friday.



 The upper left is a stencil (Crafters Workshop) through which stencil paste was applied. I added color using Pan Pastels. The sky was also done using Pan Pastels. The feather image is a newer purchase from Magenta.
My love of Magenta's stamps has never waned since I first discovered them years ago:) Isn't this feather just fabulous?? I drew the strings then stamped the feather three times. I then stamped the feather three times on separate card stock, colored them in with markers, and added some more doodles and glitter before putting them on the page with foam tape. I also doodled around the stencil and added glitter.
                                                                    detail shot

Finally, just for fun I played with the page in photoshop:


 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave some love - I so appreciate it! See you soon!

       " Only an open heart will catch a dream".          Native American proverb.