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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A rainy Thursday, my day off again. It has rained on Thursday for the last twelve weeks.
Can't rake leaves, but I can do art and entertain myself many ways....above, a collage/watercolor of three mini ghost pumpkins (grown by my friend, Paula) and a luscious pomegranate.
Below, two books I am perusing, as if I need more creative ideas! LOL!

"life is a verb" by Patti Digh is more than and "art" book. Her exercises in each chapter are to help us learn to see more deeply and be more fully alive. Wonderful!

Finally, the sweater I have started knitting for my grandson who will be 2 years old in November. I am practicing my new knitting technique and watching old movies with Mr. Pear who is struggling with getting the pain meds he needs....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A real treat for Frida Kahlo and Barbara Kingsolver fans..... coming November 3rd!

A wonderful novelist tells the story of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from a different viewpoint.I can't wait!

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope." -Barbara Kingsolver

Baking (and raking) on Sunday, again!

Above, the baked crumb crust and the fruits for the pie. Below, the finished pie!

~~~~~~~~~The recipe I used~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pear Cranberry Yogurt Pie
1 baked pie shell*
2 eggs
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 T all Purpose Flour
12 oz Plain Yogurt
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Ripe Pears and Cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place sheet pan in oven. Place eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk together. Add flour and mix with whisk until smooth. Mix in yogurt until smooth. Pour into pre-baked, cooled pie shell approximately 3/4 to the top. Add thinly sliced, peeled and ripe pears neatly and decoratively on the top. Add cranberries on top. Place in oven for 35-40 minutes or until it is fully baked. It will puff up and there will be no jiggle. Refrigerate over night and serve.
* Toasted Almond Crust
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. almonds, toasted and finely chopped
3 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
Mix well with hands until pliable. Press into bottom and sides of pie plate. Make the top edge as attractive as you can, and bake at 400 degrees 10-12 min. or until golden. Cool completely.


This recipe was from Claire Murray's newsletter in September. It was impossible to find fresh cranberries here at that time. I found them yesterday. Of course, they add a pretty red touch to the pie, but I wonder if they will be TOO TART!...(groan about the pun...) We have yet to taste the pie which is still cooling. I did glaze it with a little apricot (apple jelly would work too) jam after taking it from the oven. [NOTE: (later) this was delicious! The cranberries were fine, and one could even use a little less sugar. It would still be good!]

It is a cloudy, cool day with light rain from time to time. I will be out raking leaves today (wearing those new boots) to work up an appetite for the pie.


Mr. Pear is very mobile for having had knee surgery less than a week ago. He is doing great (unless he is supposed to be taking it easy....), he keeps showing off by walking around without the walker or crutches. Of course the pain medicine probably makes him feel invincible!

He walked out to our mailbox, using crutches, yesterday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Art journal page for today......"He's Home!"

Doing very well. Thank-you for all your thoughts and encouragement!

We have the walker (and crutches), the pain medicine, the old movies to help pass the time, the computer to share and lots of time to play Scrabble with my mom. I have a job nearby so I can manage to work and still get home quickly if I am needed.

Many Blessings!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I have a couple of days off...maybe this whole week....I am finding more time to be on-line.
Today, I found this tutorial for making BOO banners. Of course, that meant that I have made two trips to Hobby Lobby for supplies (the hospital is very close to Hobby Lobby). Mom and I have had a successful time making these!

Mr. Pear update....

My darling (sometimes) husband does not like being called "Mr. Pear". However, I can't resist because it makes writing a post so easy....easier than saying "DH" or "STEVE" or "my husband", with him very much on my mind, as he is still in hospital with the total knee replacement surgery now 36 hours behind him, I wanted to write about it...
Then, I had a sudden urge to "Google" "mr. pear" and then hit "images".
Several VERY UNUSUAL photos came up....a guy with a pear tattoo on top of his shaved head, another guy with a pear-shaped face painted pear green. But the BEST ONE is the debonair pear on the INDIGO BLUE label....with his top hat and cane. AND note the smile and glasses...... *

This photo from my birthday evening shows Mr. Pear in fine form, clowning with the red reading glasses from my friend Lizzzie! I ask you, is he or is he not "Mr. Pear"???????
In a more serious vein, please remember Steve in your prayers. This is a very painful operation, and he has a couple of hard weeks ahead before the wonderful benefits of the new knee are evident!
* old orange crate artwork by Richard Ankrom

Monday, October 19, 2009

About 4:30 this morning, I pulled on those new boots and drove Steve/Mr. Pear to our local hospital so he could be checked in for scheduled surgery.

He had a total knee replacement and seems to be doing very well. The hospital will be his home for the next 3 days...I will be there a lot and on call of course! They have him using a machine which gently flexes the knee. We have several weeks of recuperation and time off from work for him. [3 months off] Once he is up and around, we will travel to see family!

When I came home this afternoon, the autumn sun was making the yellow maple leaves so brilliant and they just happened to be behind a pot of purple (red-violet) Tradescantia zebrina which is the complement of the yellow. The sun was also coming through the Tradscantia leaves! Wow! It was worth a quick sketch for my journal!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I always go a little bit crazy around my birthday, feeling like I need to buy something to celebrate, SO, it didn't help me to "resist" when my daughter sent me on a quest to help her find some boots. To make a long story shorter, I hunted for hers with no luck, in the mean time, she located some. So I could put them out of my mind.....yes????
Today, I was making a quick run to the mall for a charitable donation and passed the shoe/boot section in Penneys.
There they were, the only size left being MY size and ON SALE. So I quickly became my favorite charity and added the boots to the items I was getting for the donation. [BUT I AM KEEPING THESE!]
How should these comfortable boots be worn??? With skinny jeans, or skirts.....for more great looks, check this post.
It also occurs to me that the boots could be featured in a still life with some chrysanthemums and autumn items.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The end of a perfect birthday.....

Thanks to all of you who shared this day with me, through cards, e-cards, best wishes and even dropping by in the last day or so. This card shows peaceful slumber with fairies bringing sweet dreams. I can hardly wait to fall into my cozy bed, sleep for hours, and then get up Emily Dickinson wrote, "Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door*" [..just not too early please!]

The illustration is by artist Cicely Mary Barker and was sent to me by my friend Cheryl.

Not knowing when the Dawn will come,I open every Door,
Or has it Feathers, like a Bird,
Or Billows, like a Shore — Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Still learning new things~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I love reading a quiet novel which may be full of extra tid-bits of information from the real world in which the novel is set. The latest one which I am reading is "The Lost Art of Gratitude" by Alexander McCall Smith.
In it there is a reference to Scottish artist Anne Redpath (1895-1965). I had not heard of her before... Wow! Do I love her work! So much red, pink and lots of gray (it rains a lot in Scotland!)

Enjoy! [Images from the Internet]

(above---she did travel and live in continental Europe too...this window seems to look out on the Mediterranean coast)

I can definitely say that reading (which two of the subjects are doing!) may seem like a very passive activity but it continues to broaden and deepen my world!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I requested 5 more words..... these are from Gemma. They are,"Venus, luminous, moonlit, pearl, fawn". As it is that spooky, frightful, scary time of year, I thought this was perfect *---

"Like Venus, she emerges from the luminous, moonlit mist.
The Moon is a pearl at her throat.
She is an October fawn."
[art print by artist
David Stoupakis

* Autumn can mean it's time for a macabre costume as well as homey and delicious like pumpkin bread!

If you would like 5 words, just leave a comment and request your 5!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Yesterday, I brought home a slice of this autumn treat from our local Starbucks to share with Steve. The slices are quite large and I had read that the calorie count is over 400, so sharing was perfect! There has been a lot of on-line discussion about trying to find the recipe. [My friend Gayle got me started on this by sending me the original "top secret recipes" version. It had no spices, so we knew we had to keep searching. ] The Starbucks loaf is topped with chopped pumpkin seeds.

I have a can of pumpkin, should I bake this morning???? (one can of pumpkin should make a double recipe....) [in the photo, the "real thing" from an Internet photo.]

I found this recipe in a comment at the Wooden Spoon blog..

Connie aka The Goddess (CrimsonDove) said...
Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup canned pumpkin
¾ cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, chopped

[NOTE: one could substitute 13/4 t. pumpkin pie spice for all the spices]

Preheat oven to 350F.Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and 
salt, set aside. Beat eggs, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl on high speed for about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add pumpkin and oil, mix. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake approximately 70 min. or until the top of the bread begins to brown. When the bread is cool, slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serves 8.

Here is my pumpkin loaf. I think it was a great success. I DID have to bake it about 90 minutes to have it done in the middle!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My 5 words [from beautiful creative Carmen] are family, visual, flowers, watercolors, indigo. I am using art which relates to each word.

You can click on the photos to see more detail!
family (a page by my granddaughter, Lilia!)

visual (a page with beautiful Madison Ave. photography)

flowers (a painting of summer flowers by ME!)

watercolor (also by ME!)

indigo (love those blues!)

If you would like to have 5 words to write about or do art about, just leave a request in the comments and I will send you 5 special words!

Friday, October 02, 2009

This Saturday October 3rd (tomorrow!) I will be participating in a blogging studio tour to celebrate this publication!

Some of you may not know that I have other blogs for my various creative outlets. The tour will be here! I hope you will come by and see the studio! [and my other blogs!]
Meanwhile, I will be working today and tomorrow. Looking forward to more creative time on Sunday!

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