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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Because the store where I have been working is closing, I am now free to paint again.
To remind myself that I do love painting, this morning I stopped to look at some of my art work which hangs in my home. I took photos too.

The painting above hangs in our "spare" bedroom. I painted in in the 1980's as an exercise to learn watercolor. The original is a painting by Winslow Homer, "The New Novel". I love this one, because he is a watercolor genius and because the subject is so wonderful. Escaping into a book of fiction!

This painting is also a watercolor painted in the 1990's, when I was developing my own looser and joyful style ( though I didn't realize at the time that this style development was occurring)! At first I was disappointed in my struggle to capture the reality of the iris. Now, I love this with the multiple 'almost-out-of-focus' iris. Being near-sighted,with astigmatism, I think this is how I often see in a way it IS my reality.

There is no reason to want to be an artist except that there is no way to deny what we are...the time to paint is today! [Except that I still have to go to work, do laundry and pack for the weekend trip to Minnesota to visit a lovely couple....son Andrew and "our" Mary! Perhaps I need to carry a small sketch book and graphite pencil...YES!]


Wednesday evening note: I just pulled a newly-finished quilt from the dryer! This one was made mostly at work during the last year and a half, as a sample for the classes I taught.

Now back to packing for the trip tomorrow!

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's been cool and rainy for 2 days....we almost have had to turn the furnace back up.
Baking is very appealing! Then, making me feel guilty, there are those bananas which are past the point where I love eating them on .....time to "google" cornmeal banana bread!
I was not disappointed in my search. All Recipes has a great one, which of course I modified to fit my pantry!
It is a recipe with no sugar (uses honey) and it tastes terrific! My just-out-of-the-oven loaf is in the photo!

Corn Meal Banana Walnut Bread
2 tablespoons honey
2 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk or yogurt)
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or cardamon)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 8x8 inch baking pan.
Place the honey, mashed bananas, canola oil, milk and vanilla into a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.
Sift together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture until blended. Fold in walnuts and ground flax seed. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes until brown on top.

It's also a great night to curl up with a good book....I'm reading this one by Erin Hart. Set in Ireland and St. Paul, MN. A folklore/ murder mystery with a bit of romance.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A wonderful day for the kitchen garden!

It has been a weekend with heavy rain showers. The baby lettuces love it! These will go in tonight's salad as soon as I thin them out of the garden!

Hmmm....Something is liking my baby spinach....oh well, I can share....unless it gets too agressive!

Between the showers, Mr. Pear and I went for a walk through a wooded neighnborhood. In the woods next to the road was lots of Japanese Honeysuckle! We love the corals and oranges in the elegant blossoms.

We will try to root a cutting and plant it on our chain link fence!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Home for lunch...just a moment to share this.
Collage in clipped from recent magazines tossed against a printed graphic from a generous on-line collage artist, Green Paper !

I search through magazines for images which speak to me and then use them in my art journals.

This double page is from my journal last week when I learned, for sure, that the store I work in is closing. I use the journals to help work through the process of change and challenge. I am looking forward to some free time to blog, visit blogs and do my art.

I have to take it one day at a time and now must get back to the store to help with inventory!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A beautiful story as Easter continues..... my favorite hymn too!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This is SCARY but not surprising!!!
Our individual privacy is not protected any this. Spokeo

then ask Spokeo to remove your information if you like....I am!!!
[However, I think it will be like trying to rid your lawn of dandelions, once the puff balls have been spread in the breeze....more similar sites will constantly be set up trying to sell information about us to each other!]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A pier in Jamaica......

A family on the pier in Jamaica.....

A photo of parents and little brother taken in Jamaica....
A happy girl jumping on the beach in Jamaica....

FINALLY! I get to see and share photos from my daughter's Easter trip to the island!
[sometimes being patient is not these, now off to see more on her Facebook!]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Such a wonderful warm spring weekend. Yesterday at work I added gold machine embroidery to the neckline of this tunic. Now to add tiny gold beads.....


I had made some crepes on my day off, Thursday. They were ready when I invited a good friend to join us last night for dinner and an evening of watching British mysteries....Midsomer Mysteries with John Nettles this time!

I quickly made up the chicken crepes while Karen made the salad and sliced strawberries for dessert.

cooking spray
1 c thinly sliced onion
1 (8oz)pkg. presliced mushrooms
3 c chopped cooked chicken
1/2 c slice green onions
3/4 tsp salt (divided)
1 (10oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeeze dried [ I used fresh!]
1 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
5/4 c 2% reduced fat milk
1/4 tsp pepper
10 Basic crepes
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterrey jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sliced onion and mushrooms to pan; saute 5 min or until mushrooms release their moisture and darken. Stir in chicken, green onions., 1/4 tsp salt, and spinach.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour to pan; stir with a whisk until blended. Cool 1 min, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and stirring constantly cook 5 min or until thick. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture over chicken, stir to combine.
[Note: regarding the instructions in green... I just put some cheese into the white sauce and skipped the broiling...and it was good!]
Preheat boiler
Spoon about 1/2 c chicken mixture in the center of each crepe, fold ends and sides over. Place seam side down in a 13 x9 in baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle crepes evenly with cheese. Broil 2 min or until lightly browned

Here is the recipe again! [Choose the format you like for a copy!]

Friday, April 09, 2010

A collage in progress for the round robin art journal.

Using fabric, lace (sewn on a Brother embroidery machine at work, the PR650), magazine photo, a foil wrapper from a DOVE dark chocolate Easter egg....these pages are evolving for Serena's art journal which arrived a couple of days ago.
[Check my "Arty Collages and Dolls" blog for more photos of these journals and links to the participant's blogs.]
My associate at the sewing center made the lace as a test or trial demonstration on the embroidery did not come out strong enough for the purpose she had I "adopted it". Now it graces the pages of this journal...just think how long it would have taken the lace makers of old!
Now off to work to see what else from the "trash" or "not quite right" bin might work just fine in a collage! LOL!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

More Resurrection on Easter Sunday.....

Last Mother's Day, my lovely daughter sent me a "Sorbet" peony. I know she thought it would arrive looking like the photo above. [NOTE: the photo of the Sorbet peony was found on the Internet and is from Pamela's blog!]

Instead, it was a plastic bag with a dry brown stick loosely packed in peat moss. Not very exciting.....but there were planting directions and I followed them. Now, the new life is coming up near the fence around our yard! I know it will not bloom this year, but still it is wonderful to see the gift beginning to emerge!

May you have a blessed Easter , finding new life around you!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

While at work on this Saturday before Easter, I am dreaming of baking something lemony and not overly sweet.... first I remembered making Portuguese Sweet Bread for other Easter mornings. Searching on-line led me to this interesting Portuguese Rice Muffin. Bolla de Arroz.

They are served, with great coffee, in bakeries in Portugal and in Portugese communities. The recipe was not too hard to find...Food Buzz has great directions including how to make the paper cuff.

More wandering thorough the Internet led to Nina's Kitchen which had a wonderful post and the following recipe in the comments.
Here is a recipe translated from the Portuguese:
Bolos de Arroz -Makes 8


125 g of sugar + the necessary to powder the cakes
70 g of margarine
3 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
150 g of rice flour
50 g flour
1 dessert spoon of baking powder

Preparation:Turn on the oven and set it to 180 ° C [350 F]. Cut 8 strips of paper plant closed with 30 x 5 cm. Fold the strips in half, wrap and staples the ends to obtain some cylinders with 5 cm high. Beat the sugar with the margarine to a smooth and creamy whitish. Add eggs, one at a time when beating. Add the rice flour, the flour and baking powder and stir well. Lining a tray in the oven with vegetable wax paper, place the cylinder on top of paper. Distribute the weight of the inner cylinder of paper with the help of a spoon and bring bake for about 30 minutes. About 10 minutes before the end of, powder the cakes with sugar.
I noticed these were often served with lemon curd....yummm!
Check out my collage blog to see today's art journal pages.

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