Monday, October 26, 2015

Comfort in Friends, Food, and Art

 Another Tuesday is here  and that means it's time to share a beverage -and anything else you wish with Elizabeth at her T Stands for Tuesday link up!

  These amazing girls and I (for those who don't know-I'm the one at the right in front) have been friends for over 50 years since we met in elementary school! Thankfully we don't live far from each other and have kept our friendships going strong throughout all those years of changes etc. It's not always easy to get together but last week we did and of course I said we had to go to my very favorite Irish place in town! Yes, I am going to make you hungry with pics of our superb lunch...

 Two of us had a Punjab Patty (potato farl, sautéed spinach, eggs cooked to order, topped with a Tiki Masala sauce. It looked and smelled divine and I cannot wait to go back and order it myself:) Another friend chose the Tuna Melt and I had my fave -Roasted Pepper, Onion Jam and Brie melt. We all chose the half or smaller portion so we could indulge in dessert:

                                                      Strawberry Bakewell Tart

                                                              Guinness Brownie

                                                     A warmed Sticky Toffee Pudding
 We all taste tested each of the desserts and OMG just heavenly!! After some hours of laughter while strolling through town we headed home realizing we need to do this more often and are already looking into the next date.

 For the art part I am linking to my last entry for this month's challenge at Art Journal Journey (theme is architecture), Try It On Tuesday (the challenge is "lots of layers"), along with the Simon Monday Challenge this week which is "Throwback". We were asked to choose any theme from the last few year's challenges to link. I chose one I missed not long ago-July 2015. The theme one of those weeks was "No Ordinary Paper."

  I used Gelli Plate printed papers for the background and hills. The houses are from an ARTchix Studio collage sheet as are the two bird cardboard dies I painted black. Other supplies-sticker words, tiny flowers, charcoal pencil, green marker.

 Can't wait to visit around with my cuppa by my side:) See you soon!

" It's easy to impress me. I don't need a fancy party to be happy. Just good friends, good food, and good laughs. I'm happy. I'm satisfied. I'm content."     Maria Sharapova

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cold Wax And Oil - Oh My!!

 Hi! How are you? Hope everyone has had a good week. We recently had a splendid warm (70's F) and sunny two days - our Indian summer!
  I want to thank all of you for your condolences and support regarding the passing of great Uncle Truman last week. Your kind words mean so much.

 And now that I've teased you about this a few times....drumroll please.... my very first oil  and cold wax piece!!

                                                      Lavender Fields   (6" x 6" Artist's Board)

 Here are two close ups to give you a better idea of the heavy texture:

                                                    not sure why this image so blue?

 Je me souviens is French for "I remember". I had just purchased a tube of orange oil paint along with a tube of purple. When I was beginning this panel the words purple mountain  majesties (from the American anthem "America The Beautiful") were running thru my head but then as I was waiting for the beginning layers to dry out emerged my thoughts of France (my Mom was still visiting there during this time) and I went with it. How I do remember those lavender fields!

 So what do you think? All thoughts and criticisms are welcome, and if you have any experience with these mediums please pass along any information that would be helpful.  I already have several other wood panels in the works so I can also share with you this WIP in which I used up my excess mixes from my first panel above.

(Yeah, I am learning not to mix so much at one time as the cold wax and oil does go a long way:):)

 I am almost finished with this one (oh wait til you see how different it looks now!) and it definitely is not as thick with texture as the first one which means it won't take near as long to dry.

 If you ever have the inclination to try this you MUST get Serena Barton's book on this subject- it's the best! And for even further inspiration do check out Serena's website too. I can see how addicting this is so if I want to continue making panels I must figure a way to perhaps sell some.  I'm doing what I love but I can't just keep piling things up to sit around.

 Linking to Paint Party Friday , the best paint party there is! See you there!

" A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind."    Eugene Ionesco

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tea And More...

   So how is everyone? It was a crazy busy week since last Tuesday. I believe it was mostly in Tuesday posts that I mentioned hubby's great Aunt Betty and great Uncle Truman whom I was helping out with transportation to dr. visits, home visits and whatever else was needed especially for Truman this past year. Well, he passed away at home last Monday. It's where he wanted to be. He was 95 and enjoyed a mostly good life. Betty is the only immediate survivor (she is his younger sister) and as families sometimes go despite more immediate relations, hubby I have been  the closest to them both. The funeral was Saturday and although a brisk, cold day the sun shone brilliantly. There was a church service then a masonic and full military honors service at the mausoleum. It was all so beautiful...and very touching because Aunt Betty presented my hubby with the flag at the end of the tribute which was completely unexpected. I am ever so grateful to have gotten to know Uncle Truman well in this last year or so. Now I will be looking after Aunt Betty and doing as much as I can for her since she doesn't drive and is alone.

 The last two days I spent washing clothes, putting summer clothes away in storage :(:(  bringing out the fall/winter things, and changing/ironing curtains. I also got out some fall themed items to decorate as in the photo above. I don't do Halloween any longer. What about you? How do you change things and decorate for the season change? No choice here in getting it all done QUICKLY since the weather turned on Saturday and we had near record lows last eve. It has def. gotten cold during the day too.

 That means more comfort foods....and more tea!

 I made this Carrot Rice and Cashew dish today. It's a new recipe I tried from my Indian Cookbook. It is delicious!! Very aromatic and tasty yet not spicy-with basmati rice, shredded carrots, some onion, bay leaves, cumin, cinnamon, garam masala and cashews. Sorry but I can't post this recipe d/t copyright but you might find it on Alamelu's website if you're interested.

 And I also found turmeric tea at our local health food store today:

 Turmeric is known as "Indian Gold" and has many health benefits including having anti-inflammatory effects. I really like the taste of this tea as I prefer the more herbal ones anyway to the fruity ones (unless I drink those iced). I tried making my own but it was a pain to do. This is much easier!
This is my share for this week's T Stands For Tuesday with Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

 And since I always have to throw in some art I'll share the page of face practice sketches I did and added to my journal.

  These are practices recommended by Jane Davenport from her book on drawing beautiful faces. I love this exercise in using guidelines to vary the positions of the faces. Although it's only for practice, on the second page I added a bit of black ink and white ink (as Jane has done in some of her examples) for a bit of definition and what a difference that alone makes! I am certainly learning how the more you practice-and practice 'loosely' the better it gets.
 Here's a close up of one (you can see another here):
Linking this to Art Journal Every Day and Art It Friday-Show Your Face.

 My next post later this week (probably Thursday) will be about my first cold wax and oil painting :)

 Hope you all have a wonderful week!

" If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you."     William E. Gladstone

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Happy Place

 Seems like the color pink has been dominating my palette and so I thought I'd pull out my pink mug to share with my T Stands For Tuesday gang this week:

 This mug was given out a few years ago during breast cancer awareness month. (PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND GET YOUR SCREENING DONE!) Both my Mom and I have gotten several gifts since I made her start going along with me each year to be certain she was getting her mammograms. Nothing like a good cuppa with the morning paper!

 Here's a better pic with the truer color:

                                            and it does a great job keeping my coffee hot:)

 We'd all love to have you join us on Tuesdays to share your favorite beverage -and or/ anything else from art to music to food-you get the drift-anything goes! It's always an entertaining time hosted by Elizabeth each week at Altered Book Lover.

 This is the full page of the detail photo I shared at the top of this post:

 This is another page inspired by Danielle Donaldson's book and is a combination of paper, fabric, stitching and watercolor. I actually had to dust my sewing machine off first it's been so long!

And while I was doing this page I was adding extra color to the left page using the "making mud" technique described in the book:

 It doesn't really look like mud but I am LOVING this technique and working with wet on wet! Already seeing a beach theme here-what do you think Patty? :):)

 Linking my completed page to Art Journal Journey (theme this month of Architecture), Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, and the Simon Monday Challenge Blog (theme this week is Wonderful Watercolor).

 Edited In (Thurs. Oct. 15):

 Linking this to Art It Friday - Show Your Face. This is one of 4 sketches on a page which I will share more of next week along with my first cold wax and oil art!! I will also link this to Paper Artsy's Faces Challenge. Thanks for mentioning this Kim!
 Due to a sudden death in the family this week requiring my time in helping our great aunt with everything I have not been able to edit photos or create another post. Will be around to visit as I can.

                                " It's not how big the house is , it's how happy the home is."

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Rainbow of Colors (and some Black and White)

  Hi all! How is everyone doing? Anyone working on/ planning for the upcoming holidays? I've only gotten as far as thinking about Halloween. Just not ready to think of Thanksgiving or Christmas OR the cold weather that will come with them. We've continued to have really nice and mostly warm weather all week long so I have been enjoying sitting outdoors.

 Here's a doodle page I did in my journal while sitting in the sun:

 Haven't decided what to do with it yet. I think I sized it so that if you wish, you can print a copy and color it in yourself! I am linking this to my first entry at the Moo Mania and More Challenge (theme is "show your patterns"). Thanks to Valerie for letting me know about this!

 I'm just getting back in to the Freshly Made Sketches Challenge. I did make a card for last week's sketch. Although it was too late to enter my card seen in this post I really love using sketches to design many of my cards. And here is this week's sketch by Kim along with my entry:

 Supplies: white cardstock; assorted patterned papers and stickers; ticket rubber stamp (craftsmart-Michael's); black ink. I am also linking this to the Simon Monday Challenge Blog for the theme "Autumn is in the air".

 For Art Journal Every Day, Art It Friday -Show Your Face, and Paint Party Friday I'm sharing this:

I have no idea why the background looks so gray when it is actually a soft white but anyhow I simply painted the portrait with black acrylic paint and two brushes. Here she is in a rainbow of color:

 I knew I wanted to play with color blocking using a handful of bold colors  to represent the shadows and highlights. This was a fun experiment! When my son saw it he said he immediately thought of this poster:

 It's in the basement/man cave and I actually forgot it was even there since I go down there just to do laundry:)

 My cold wax and oil paintings (one is complete but just needs to dry and two others are a work in progress) are coming along and I am so excited to show you but wow-each of the layers takes FOREVER to dry-I mean like a week or two! This is where patience really comes into play so it's good to have the quick drying acrylics and watercolors to play with in between.

 That's it for now. Looking forward to seeing what you have been doing this past week!

" I kind of view everybody like a rainbow. Everybody on the planet has all the colors of the rainbow inside."             Alexia Fast

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ghost Town

 It's been a BUSY, crazy last week and so again my creative time went on the back burner. Hopefully that's changed especially since my Mom has returned home from her month long stay in France.

 The journal page above is meant for Art Journal Journey -the new theme for this month being "architecture". I used a photo of an area I visited often in France. The page began with a coat of black acrylic because I have a fear of the black page-unlike most who have a fear of a blank or white page. And you know what? It wasn't so bad and I quite like the atmosphere of the dry brushed paint over the black. Couldn't get that song "Ghost Town " by Adam Lambert out of my head thus the words from the song which actually seem appropriate for this piece.

 A few pics from the eve my Mom came home:

 My dear hubby came with me to her place and we cleaned the house from top to bottom, even getting her newly remodeled bathroom ready to use. Got home to grab a bite, shower and then back to the house where we set up the kitchen table. One of her dear friends had stopped by earlier to bring the bouquet on the left in addition to the flowers from us and my younger brother and sister.


 We had not only French wine, but...

French inspired t shirts! My brother on left and hubby on the right. These shirts were bought here in the US recently:)

 and my Mom-happy to be home but quite tired after such a long day and flights. She loved that shirt I got for hubby. In case you can't quite read it says " I'm a proud husband of a freaking awesome French wife (and yes she bought me this shirt)".

 And along with the wine I'm sharing with my T Stands For Tuesday peeps I have this:

 Yes, this is the cake recipe Patty shared in this Tuesday post and I knew I had to try it. I kept hubby away from it til the next morning (only by having some other goodies handy) and it was YUMMY!Thanks for a wonderful , easy, and not too sweet breakfast cake Patty:)

 Lastly, here is a special card I made for a dear friend celebrating her birthday-today.

 Trina celebrated her 60th birthday by participating in a Susan G Komen 3 day 60 mile Walk for the Cure in Philadelphia this past weekend along with her daughter and a friend. It was 20 miles for each of 3 days and they all made it!! Haven't heard yet but I do believe that although the first day was not good because of so much rain and cool windy weather I think they lucked out as we did with not as much bad weather the remainder of the weekend as anticipated. Linking this to the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog this week for the theme of "anything goes".

 Will be around to visit after I get home from an appt. at the vet for Annie for her wellness check.

       "The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame at our center."
                                                                                                        Marianne Williamson