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Friday, October 29, 2010

Beautiful October days are almost gone...last night we brought in tender plants as a frost was expected.
It is also the time for wild persimmons....these are very small, think "cherry tomato" with a big seed.

After finding a persimmon tree with one fruit that I could easily reach, I bought another persimmon and made a small still life for the third lesson in Jane LaFazio's sketchbook journal class.

There is also progress on the ballerina painting...the tutu is emerging.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've been looking at paintings of ballerinas on the Internet like this one by British artist, Linda Adams .

I like the looseness and freshness in it!

So, I have a 3' X 4' canvas and have just painted the background...lots of golden shimmer.

And here is my ballerina modeling her first toe shoes! Now to capture the essence on the canvas...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The late afternoon sun is signaling an end to a few hours of painting....

Other creative activities were also enjoyed today....this recipe found in a waiting room while taking Mom to see the opthamologist, caused us to work today to bake these...!

Very good, not too sweet. The sun highlights the golden pumpkin color...and crumb crust.

The recipe makes a lot....this is one of 2 pans. One for the freezer, I think!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Even though I have been doing watercolors for several years, I signed up for an on-line class.
It is Sketchbook Watercolor Journal with Jane LaFazio, available at We are on lesson 2, leaves and a study of green....well, I am doing more to do the green leaves, but we have so much fall color now, that my first page is NOT green. LOL!
Doing this weekly class is fun, I am learning things which will make taking watercolor on a trip easier than ever....for instance, using only the brush with its own water reservoir....WOW! that works SO well!

Back to the art table now!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

With beautiful October weather, yesterday was the perfect day for a short drive! Mom and I headed out for Vanzant's Market and fruit farms !

When we came home from buying our half-bushel of Arkansas Black apples, and also a half peck of "seconds", I saw a package on the porch. It was the replacement pie plate by Homer Laughlin. [ In writing the previous post, I had come across one for sale, nearby in Joplin, MO. So birthday $$$$ again became an antique (1930's) pie plate.]

This pile of apples (in the pie plate above), Granny Smith and Arkansas Black variety, is destined to become a crumb top apple pie before too long! [We are having company tonight!]

More encyclopedic information about Arkansas Black apples.

Arkansas Black apples are tart and noticeably tannic (that's the feeling you get from red wine that makes your mouth feel like all the moisture has been sucked out of it). For people who crave a tart apple for snacking, there is no finer. They're also a perfectly decent baking apple.

Of course, some of these beauties will have to pose for my watercolors, along with the Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes! It truly is a wonderful world of colors!

With Mom's help, the pie was made! Yummmy!

Remaining apples posed peacefully for the artist!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ever since last Sunday's purchase of a Chocolate Cream pie, I have been thinking of making a Coconut Cream pie ...something I have never done before, ...and of course I didn't "NEED" to do it. Still, I bought my coconut and eggs today.
Soon, I was home, ready to bake, when I remembered that my pie plate (a birthday delight a few years back), a Homer Laughlin Oven Serve piece from the 1930's (see small photo)....

Was now awaiting use in a mosaic, as it had fallen and had broken about 6 weeks ago!

I almost ran out to buy a pie pan....THEN I remembered that I had brought home a very worn enameled pie tin from my Mom's. I am using it under a potted plant, as a saucer. Great! A good washing and we were ready for the next step. [Mom tells me that this pie tin is older than she is!]

Pillsbury ready-made pie crust. Here after it was baked, you can see it shrank and broke a little.
That's OK, this pie-making is about fun, not about perfection!

I follow the recipe and make the coconut cream filling, put it in the baked crust.
Next, making the meringue is a hoot! [Tip: separate the eggs when they are cold, but let the whites warm to room temperature before beating into meringue!]
I love how light and fluffy and airy it is!

I was so happy playing with the meringue ( be sure it touches the edges of the crust!) that I almost forgot to sprinkle the shredded coconut over the meringue!

Finally out of the oven and cooling on the counter. It had to cool in the refrigerator for another hour or two before eating.....

[Cooling made the meringue shrink down some.....but we cut some slices...]

The fastest pie eater in our town, Mr. P. He ate at such lightening speed, that the photo was blurry!

Finally, a happy smile from a guy full of pie!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's coming together....

scrappy and fun, this crocheted afghan will get lots of use in the cool months ahead! Laying it out to "see" the effect and decide if we need to crochet more....

It's off to work for a few hours now, then we'll see!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lots of Libras in our family.....2 aunts, my mother, my grandmother....a wonderful time of year for a birthday. Mom (below) had her birthday last Saturday. My aunt Ruby (above), myself and friend Cheryl (from high school years!)'s mother are celebrating today.

Nothing too wild here. We closed on the sale of Mom's house yesterday. Then today took her for a visit with her doctor. We decided to try physical therapy to strengthen her legs and improve balance. At the moment she is reading on the back porch where I have been playing with my watercolors [though I am supposed to be getting the garage sale organized for tomorrow! Yikes!]

I'm painting birds and pomegranates....

AND just opened this delicate garnet necklace which is rather like a pomegranate seed....reminiscent of Persephone....I do love it!

Truly, a very wonderful, though quiet, birthday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dessert in progress......

and finished!

Ready for presentation!

You can find the recipe here on an earlier blog post. I think one reason I like pears is because they come in season in the fall when Mom and I have our birthdays.
I had lots of help from Mom in slicing the pears for this dessert! I made a double recipe since the almond paste comes in 8 oz cans and using prepared pie crusts, which come in boxes of 2!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A fun Sunday with Mr. Pear (oops, I mean "Mr. P")......

or where was this photo taken?

Right in front of a drive-in movie theater on Route 66!

Mr. P has been wanting to visit "the mother road" for some time. So this Sunday, we invited my mother to come with us and we set out on a short road trip to nearby Joplin and Carthage Missouri.

What a treat after miles of interstate highway! The feel of autumn was in the air and the area, the leaves just beginning to turn!

A quiet stretch of road with a vine-covered barn.

An almost forgotten small town with a Victorian mansion.
AND...a wonderful middle American treat, buying a homemade chocolate cream pie at a small restaurant! We "needed" this pie as we have birthdays this week and no one had wanted to bake a cake!

The pie is going fast! It is a big hit!
Friend, Lizzzie is visiting and told us that her mother used to make her chocolate cream pie instead of cake for HER birthday!

Coming home from work yesterday, I found a rose-covered package waiting!

It was my traveling ART SAVES art journal which had come home. Look here to see inside the package!
Thanks to creative and inspiring Carmen for this wonderful round robin group project!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Kitchen table art...

following my bliss!

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