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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Gardens and more gardens but first a painting.

A technique to see if your painting "works".....analyze it upside down....what is the dominate color? Where is the focal point? Is it balanced?.....etc. this one is acrylic paint with torn paper for real and visual texture.

This is from a photo of my grandson watching TV in his Spider-Man pj's while eating a peanut butter sandwich. :-) I think it is ready to sign and varnish. I added some lime green reflections in his skin caused by those bright red pj's. ...balanced by lime green in the table cloth and fruit bowl. Painting is fun if you love COLOR!

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I sewed a little tote bag yesterday morning, trying out colors which remind me of FRENCH GENERAL.

It will be for sale I at our quilt guild's booth next April, fund raising for the guild!

Now to the gardens....

Sunday I visited my good friend Sally and her husband. both love to garden!

On their estate, this charming little bridge surrounded by day lilies hides in the shadows , but not for long...they are going to paint it bright red!

Nearby - a pear tree is loaded this summer!

A brandy wine tomato is starting to ripen!

They have a chicken house, which is still in the box..LOL! But these fowl are already on the loose!

Easy-care metal chickens....but the eggs are sorely lacking!

cucumber and bean vines in raised beds ....below flowers!

Nearby were 2 plants full of bees! Yeah!

The first the maiden tree....attracts bumble-type big fuzzy bees...

B-z-z-z-z.......

That fuzzy yellow and black thing in the center...that's a bee! While below, the Russian sage plant has lots of honey bees! Can you find this one?

Just to help you, here is an image from the Internet, a bee close-up.

Back at home, in my garden this morning....

I planted this whole package of sunflower seeds in March. Squirrels promptly dug them and ate all but this one--- below --- finally blooming today, mid-July! Love it!

Next year I will start the seeds inside and will have many more survivors!

In another container nearby, these pink mallow flowers are lovely, AND a BEE is visiting (look at the flower on the upper left).

He soon emerged, loaded with pollen! Another bee found this lovely rosy red godetia* blossom, (my iPad camera is too far away to see him well, but he is on the left side in a classic bee pose!)

Across the yard, my lettuce and tomatoes....and my shadow!

The lettuce is about spent.....and the indigo rose tomatoes are starting to ripen!

I will pull up the lettuce and try some of these seeds....winter squash and pumpkins should be planted now for autumn harvest.

Out the door now, to plant!

*also called "farewell to spring"!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good things!

My friend Barbara took this photo of part of a nest (hive) of honey bees which had built a home on her home!

Entomologists from our local university came and moved the hive to a better location.

Honey bees are precious and valuable! I am planning a painting featuring a honey bee....seems I am doing an insect series....Monarch butterfly, honey bee and also plans for a painting of a swallowtail butterfly on lilacs....

I took this photo (above) in our flower bed. Here is the painting so far...

I worked on it just a bit while taking painting with Nadine at her studio, our local Art Location. It will soon have leaves for the zinnia and of course, a large honey bee! The gold paper which I first used in the mixed media textured work below, was just PERFECT for the honeycomb.

This is the other painting I worked on today! Nadine was a wonderful teacher/guide as we decided upon the application of the many layers of this mixed media piece....now I love it!

Don't know how I can wait for next week's class! So much more fun than painting alone in the studio...

 

Friday, July 04, 2014

Flowers and art....and chairs...

Earlier this spring, I bought this mix for a flower garden.....so much variety!

Sure enough, I have flowers which I have never had before, though not as many as in the photo on the package.

My favorite was ready for a close up....

I don't even know what this is! But love the red and pink! I see a tiny grasshopper or leaf hopper is playing there, .....but I am thinking of doing a painting of this blossom and featuring a honey bee....now endangered.

Today, I painted milkweed and Monarch butterflies. The more milkweed we plant, the better it is for the Monarchs!

By reading Barbara Kingsolver's novel "Flight Behavior", I learned a lot about the orange Monarch.

They were called "King Billies" by early North American settlers, because of their orange color, they were reminders of the English king, William of Orange. The monarch of Britain, hence "Monarch" butterflies!

So today, I worked on a canvas with my brushes, palette knife and acrylic paints....

Almost finished...(above)....

Ta-da!

It was really fun, I painted or finished some others too!

 

 

You can see that I LOVE chairs! There may be more chair paintings ahead too!

 

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Now a quiet evening (Inspite of neighborhood fireworks!) of quilting on this flag quilt......Happy Fourth of July to all!

 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

First week of SUMMER, visiting a zoo and more...



Sunday, the first full day of summer, we drove to Tulsa to walk through their zoo. It was not a boiling hot summer day, cool breezes abounded .......and things at the zoo were very well kept, clean and green. Benches in the shade too!
I loved the flamingos and other tropical birds...especially the "Red and Yellow Barbet" from east Africa.
So colorful...this is the male, he has a black stripe on his throat. Below, this female shows the wonderful dappled polka dot black and white, so dramatic with the bright red and yellow!
We found a friendly zoo employee to take our photo....(what, we're not whippersnappers anymore???? Oh well!)
My favorite exhibit is the Central American rainforest....the tour starts where you walk with a view of the underwater world and tree roots....here the water level is just above my shoulder.
Watch out for the powerful anaconda.....huge and submerged with only his nostrils above water! Climbing higher you see exotic tree frogs and tropical birds.
There was also a jaguar in this zoo jungle!
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One good day this week, I was able to get my hands on the Spring 2014 Patagonia catalog....our son is a rock climber who was camping the year before with a photographer.....long story short.....Andrew is on page 26. The photo credit say he is planning his climbing route in the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho.
How cool is that? I think I posted this before...but not from my own catalog...teehee! [ I had requested it several times from their webpage and even corporate office....I guess it was intercepted by postal workers along the way!.... I knew summer was here and the catalog would be out of date soon....so I pulled into our lovely locally owned PackRat outdoor store and sure enough they had the catalog and even extra copies to give me! what nice, good looking young men they were to make my day! Whoo-hoo!]
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I went to several quilting events this week and took along my big stitch hand quilting project.....the "Liberty Road" summer quilt. It was a big hit! I am using a sashiko needle and # 12 perle cotton for the stitching!
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A friend had surgery this week and is home recuperating. I wanted to make them a special blueberry dessert.
I decided on this layered blueberry "pie" from an Alaska baking webpage.
Preheat oven to 350.
Start with 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of flour (gluten free). Blend well. Add 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Press into one 9x13 or two 8" pans. Bake 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and COOL!

Meanwhile have 1 8 oz. package of. Neufch√Ętel cheese in a bowl at room temperature. Blend in 1 cup powdered sugar then 1 8 oz tub of Cool Whip or whipped cream which you whip.
Eventually, spread over the COOL baked crusts.
Place in fridge while you make the blueberry layer.
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and 4 T. Cornstarch.
Add 1 cup water then stirring constantly over low heat, dissolve sugar and cornstarch. Keep stirring until mixture thickens. Add 2 T. Dry Raspberry jello powder. Turn off heat. Immediately add 1quart of fresh or frozen blueberries.


COOL THIS completely. [one hour in the fridge!]
When cool, spread over the cream cheese/ coolwhip layer.
Finally top with more whipped white stuff.....and then a few blueberries or chopped walnuts on the very top!

ta-da!
Delicious....like eating a blueberry cloud.....
That's enough for this first week of summer!
OOOps...one more thing...
Two little sundresses or nightgowns for the twinkies in Georgia!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solstice evening, here comes summer!

Spending a quiet evening at home... Working on blocks for my summer quilt!

This has been fun! It keeps growing! Can't decide if I should make one for sale on ETSY or not!

I have plans to make some tote bags and smaller bags in ticking and "French General" type fabrics...reds, creams, tans stripes and florals along with bits of lace, antique buttons, etc.

More later if those are created!!!!

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I love this photo taken this evening in Roswell, GA. Celebrating the longest day of the year, my daughter, Laura (blonde) and her hubby along with my granddughter, Lilia....who is 15 next month! Love that they are spending good times together!

 

 

 

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