Monday, May 9, 2022

About The Birds


   Hi all! I hope for those of you that celebrated Mother's day this past Sunday it was a lovely one. We went to see my Mom Saturday because she was leaving for a week long bus trip to see the tulip festival in Michigan. And son and DIL are away in the Fingers Lakes in New York so my celebration will be in two weeks. It was a beautiful day Sunday so hubby and I just stayed home and enjoyed being outdoors.

 This is the card I made for my Mom and I will join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with it for the theme of "Feminine": 


White cardstock and Etched Layered Daisy die set are from Simon Says Stamp. Pink, brown cardstocks are Recollections. The patterned paper is an oldie from my stash. Pink pearls are Queen and Co. And the sentiment (Inkadinkado) was stamped using Versafine Onyx Black ink.

 I have no photos yet (although I have been trying) but the nest of finch eggs on our porch roof corner have hatched! Our hummingbirds are here and visit throughout the day from morning til dusk, and they are relaxed and thoroughly entertaining, but very difficult to capture on my phone cam! 

 Speaking of birds I made this journal page for Art Journal Journey (theme is "birds"), and I will also link  to Rain's Thursday Art Date later this week. Rain hosts this each week on her blog and provides prompts but they are optional to use. Everyone is welcome and you will be delighted by her inspiring posts of art, nature, and delicious food! I will also join Try It On Tuesday (add a stencil):


 The bird card, sentiment, flower, and stencil are all Tim Holtz. The page is in my Dina Wakley white media journal and I used her Gloss Sprays for paint drips and spatters.

 Time to break for T Stands For Tuesday hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth with a beverage related photo, and Food Wednesdays (anything related to food- recipes, books, meals) hosted by Kathy:

  As I mentioned in an earlier post I am trying new recipes that are vegan. I don't see us ever being solely vegan but am enjoying it several days a week, along with more vegetarian meals. After all, we do love our eggs, cheese, and fish😁

 

 This recipe "Mama's Meatballs" came from the Veganize It! cookbook I had gotten from our local library. They were very easy to put together, and very easy to make into meatballs- 20 of them. Edited in: you can find the recipe at the bottom of this post.
 Here's how they came out of the oven:


 They can be refrigerated up to a week, and they freeze well too. We both loved them so much that next time I will double the batch and definitely freeze them. They would be excellent for meatball sandwiches or with pasta and tomato sauce but I made a recipe in the same cookbook using these meatballs:


 Piccata Meatballs With Penne and Asparagus - positively delicious!!! I made the pasta dinner a few days after I made the meatballs. It consists of scallions, capers, white wine, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil with the penne, grilled asparagus, and prepared, cooked meatballs. The meatballs have such a wonderful Italian like flavor that complimented this pasta dish really well. The best part is that there is a cup of mushrooms (albeit finely chopped) in the meatballs - and hubby hates mushrooms! He had NO idea πŸ˜‚! I will definitely make this dish on a regular basis. And have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with it πŸ˜‰. Cheers!

 And here is another lesson I did from the Sketchbook Revival free online classes (sorry, they are no longer available):

 

 This lesson "Watercolor Warm Ups: Gathering Color and Pattern Inspiration" with host Faith Evans- Sills on Day 10. We were to find a magazine photo with colors/shapes/patterns that appealed to us. Then we were to start by just painting a variety of sizes of washes across the page using color inspiration from the photo. Next was to add patterns we saw. Can you see where I got all my inspiration? 
Here is each individual page:




 I enjoyed this one so much!! Very meditative and calming for me so I will without question be creating more of these in my watercolor sketchbook.

 And there you have it for this week. Wishing you a sunny, warm, and wonderful week ahead!

    "Simply be who you are, do what you do best, be where you are called by joy, and let life work its magic on your behalf."            Alan Cohen



                         Mama's Meatballs (from the Veganize It! cookbook)

Ingredients:  1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed    3 tbsp. hot water   2 garlic cloves, crushed

                     1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms     1 Tbsp. olive oil     1 Tbsp. tomato paste
                    
                     1 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)    1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained

                     2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten      3/4 c. dried bread crumbs   1/4 c. nutritional yeast

                     2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley    1 tsp. dried basil      3/4 tsp. dried oregano

                     1/2 tsp. paprika      1/2 tsp. salt       1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl combine the ground flaxseed and hot water, stirring to mix. Set aside 5 - 10 min.

2. In a food processor process the garlic til finely minced. Add the mushrooms and pulse til finely chopped, but not pureed. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushroom mix and cook a few min., stirring until the mushrooms release their liquid and it evaporates. Stir in tomato paste and tamari and remove from heat.

3. Pulse cannellini beans in same food processor (no need to clean it out), then add to the mushroom mix. Sprinkle on the vital wheat gluten, than add the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, parsley, flax mixture, basil, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper and mix well. Allow to cool a few min.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper, or line with non stick foil. Use your hands to press the mixture together to form about 20 meatballs. If the mix seems too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs, if it's a little dry add a bit of water. Arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake 25-30 min. or until nicely firm and browned, turning once about halfway through. If not using them at once, transfer to a container , cool, then cover thightly and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

These meatballs are very flavorful and moist!
           


Monday, May 2, 2022

Happy May!

 


 May 1st is a lovely day in France where many give and receive cards and bouquets of Muguets de Bois or Lily of the Valley flowers. They represent good luck and I cherish the beautiful cards and wishes received from family in France. Wish I had these in my back yard. Happy May wishes to you! Lots to share this week so I'll get right to it - starting with the completed covers of my now filled kraft journal:






 I must say, the tricky part was the spine but I managed :). 

Here's a tag I made for the new theme this week for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog ( theme is "masculine" with an option to use Tim Holtz products),  the new Tag Tuesday theme which is "Add Some Stencilling", and the new theme at Try It On Tuesday (Use a Stencil)::




 Tim Holtz- Paper Dolls, Postal washi tape, Small Talk Stickers, Mosaic stencil, Linen stencil. Dina Wakley stencil- Shape Mash up. Inks: Distress Oxide- Peeled Paint, Fossilized Amber, Faded Jeans, Frayed Burlap. Versafine Onyx Black ink. Vintage label, German Scrap - ARTchix Studio.

For T Stands For Tuesday I'll share the recent lunch I had at a local diner with two of my best long time friends, It's been such a long time since we've been able to get together.

 Jo, please know that I visit your blog but it no longer allows me to leave a comment with my google account:(.


 Although this diner is only a few short miles from me and on a major road I had no idea it existed! We went at 11AM and it wasn't real busy at all so we enjoyed a wonderful lunch that lasted over 3 hours 😁. Because it wasn't busy we knew it was OK to stay for as long as we did. 


 The Hanover Eatery has a large menu selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The place is spacious and has tables and booths, is very clean, and our lunch choices were delicious. I chose a chicken Caesar wrap which came with fries and coleslaw. My drink choice was water because I already had my caffeine limit for the day and I don't like soda or sweet teas. The wrap is bigger than it appears so half went home with me. I know hubby will really like the food and the good prices so we'll plan a lunch date soon. Cheers!

And while I'm on the subject of food.... here's something I'll link to Food Wednesdays this week:


 I tried this recipe  for a Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed tofu "ham". 


 The house smelled so good- like I was actually baking a ham!! It tasted exactly like a baked ham and was so full of smoky delicious flavor! Hubby was quite hesitant to try it but once he did he was quite surprised at just how much it tasted like a ham. Only thing is that of course it doesn't look like a ham once it's sliced and it doesn't have the same color or texture. He'd eat it in a stir fry but not as a sliced meat replacement. Our son said the same thing although he and Kyra were also impressed with the flavor. I ate slices of it cold in a sandwich and it was yummy!  Final verdict- if they are hungry for ham they want the real dealπŸ˜‚.

 Back to art now. There was a free 14 day online program called Sketchbook Revival which consisted of two art lessons a day with 14 different artists. Thankfully the host extended it for another two weeks. Although I watched all the lessons I only got to the ones that most appealed to me before time ran out. Here are two of them:



 

This lesson was from Day 1 with Courtney Cerruti. She had us choose a watercolor color that spoke to us in that moment, then mix it with other colors filling your page with a shape (circle, square, oval, etc.). There is at least a tad of that pink in every one of those mixes! Once it was dry we were to draw/doodle in the shapes. I used a black and a white Posca pen for the doodles.

 This next one I really didn't think I'd like so much- until I got doodling and couldn't stop;).


This was a lesson by Terry Runyan on Day 11 called "From Blobs to Birds". We were to make random blobs of watercolor on the page which would then become quirky birds. I saw a few here but it wasn't doing anything for me... until I did this...


 Ok, now I could see more birds, and here they are:



 What fun this turned out to be! I will link to Art Journal Journey with the new theme this month (Birds) with guest host Matilde.  I'm so glad for these lessons which made me bring out my watercolors again:).

 More watercolor practice and lessons next post. Thanks for stopping in, have a wonderful week, and Happy Mother's Day on Sunday πŸ’Ÿ 


  “Fair flowers are springing beneath thy genial ray, and a thousand happy birds are singing, all welcome to thee, May!”          Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon

Monday, April 25, 2022

This Week's Musings

 

  April is soon ending and spring is here! Although I haven't gotten my hanging flower baskets yet a pair of finches have decided to nest on our front porch anyway (every year we get at least one nest in each basket). They managed a nest at the top right corner of our front porch under the roof and it was difficult but I managed to climb up on the bench , hold on with one hand, and take photos with the other so I could see what was in the nest. Not the best pics, but...




 
My hope is that they'll be safe here:)

 I spent much time outdoors starting on Friday -Earth Day,  where I spent time with DIL Kyra and others who met at a local shopping center to clean up trash. It was through Kyra's organization Lehigh Valley Trash Pact and this was the second year she had the clean up here. We met in front of the Hot Yoga Hut. The owner kindly gave us each a  pass good for one free visit/class.

 
 Kyra is fourth in from the left and I am next to her. So much garbage in one not very large parking lot😩. And sadly there is constant trash blowing around this space. 

 Then on Saturday hubby and I went to Dimmick Park in nearby Hellertown to help Kyra celebrate her two year anniversary since the Lehigh Valley Trash Pact conception. It's a huge park, and driving into it it certainly appeared very clean so we were all surprised by how much trash we found- including on the baseball fields and in the dug outs. It was a great day!


 There were a few others who helped out but left before the group photo. Then on Sunday it was clean up time in our own yard. I picked up and planted just a few flowers because it is still a bit early here as it gets fairly cold some nights.

 And oh my, I just realized as I'm getting ready to post for T Stands For Tuesday- that Earth Day was also our dear hostess' bEARTHday! So sorry to have forgotten your day Elizabeth- I hope it was a special day full of celebration- happy belated bearthday to youπŸŽ‚πŸŽˆπŸ₯³πŸ’!!!

 Such a coincidence that my ticket for T day happens to be this:


 This is a molasses cupcake recipe Elizabeth shared with us some time ago. I make it on a regular basis but I do it the lazy way- in a 7" x11" glass baking dish 😁. It's a delicious recipe! Cheers!

 

a journal page in the Dina Wakley white journal page I did just for fun- no challenges.

But here is one for Art Journal Journey (Play it Again, Sam), and Try It On Tuesday (I Can hear Music):


 I bet many of you know the song that inspired this page πŸ˜‰. Last Friday evening I came upon a movie on Hulu Live 'Freddie Mercury - The Final Act'. I was so drawn into this documentary-like film, and it was very emotional. I kept hearing the songs in my head, especially this one,  and I had to create a journal page around the song and the feeling. All products are Dina wakley but the song lines are computer generated. 

 
 A simple and quick page in the kraft journal. And speaking of, my first kraft journal book is completed - cover to cover! I'll share the covers in my next post. My second kraft journal is waiting for me:)

 Enjoy the final days of April in this week ahead. πŸ€—

"It is in awareness that we bring everything to life that lives within us. There is no time like the present to give birth to creativity."        Kathleen Anderson




Monday, April 18, 2022

April Showers



 

 Hi everyone, how was your holiday weekend?  Ours was quiet and for the most part the weather was warm- enough that we could have breakfast outdoors finally:). The last two days we had intermittent bouts of sunshine and rain showers but it didn't deter us from getting yardwork done and walks/runs in. Hubby ran, I walkedπŸ˜‰. My next door neighbor brought me this bunny planter with succulents in it. So nice of him. Fingers crossed I can keep those plants alive as I don't do well with indoor plants. As you can see I took the photo of it outside and it was just beginning to rain again... and heavy rain is expected through the night-sigh.
 Our Easter Sunday didn't go quite as planned - because it turns out my Mom got Covid-19 πŸ˜–! What she thought was bronchitis was worse. She finally got tested this past Friday after I implored her because she had the symptoms and was pretty sick all week. Thankfully she's slowly getting better and has been able to rest and recuperate at home. We've stayed in touch by phone and have been dropping off (on the porch) whatever she needs food wise and such. Todd and Kyra came to our place and we had spinach lasagne for our dinner, along with warm rolls, salad, and chocolate chip cookie bars. Very non traditional but Kyra is eating very little meat especially now that she's expecting, and we are all doing more plant based eating. Speaking of...


 Two books I got from the library. Anyone read these? OMD by Suzy Cameron (she's the wife of James Cameron the famous filmmaker known for Titanic, Avatar and others). Very informative, but also scientific and technical with many statistics and references. I admit I skimmed over some of it but there are also many helpful ways to start incorporating more plant based foods in your life. There are recipes at the end of the book. I admire her passion for getting children involved too and eating this way at home and in schools.
 I copied a nice handful of recipes from Veganize It! and will share as I try them out. I'll link this part of my post to Food Wednesdays where Kathy hosts this blog for food related things- recipes, books, etc.

 And here is my share for T Stands For Tuesday with Bleubeard, Elizabeth and friends where we share anything drink related:


 One of the lovely, warm mornings outside with my Easter mug and coffee. Cheers!

Now for the art!


 I made this cute scalloped tag card for the new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge (Whatever The Weather), along with the new Tag Tuesday Challenge (Animals, Tame or Wild).
Supplies: scalloped tag card (the Paper Cut); stencil- Basically Bricks/Wendy Vecchi (Simon Says Stamp); image and sentiment -Showers and Flowers clear stamp set (Simon Says Stamp); alcohol markers (Spectrum Noir); Versafine Onyx Black ink; white Posca pen; Moonshine Sequins (Simon Says Stamp).

 This journal page is for Art Journal Journey with the theme "Play It Again, Sam" . I chose another favorite movie of mine:


 Anyone know ???  I love, love both the movie, and this line from it!  It stars Bette Davis, Claude Rains, and Paul Henreid. The movie is 'Now Voyager'. Bette Davis is my favorite actress after Katharine Hepburn. Yes, I have seen this movie MANY times 😁.

Another journal page - this one I shared on Instagram but didn't post it on my blog:

  
 I think it's an appropriate way to end my post along with recognizing Earth Day this coming Friday. To celebrate the day we will be participating in a local park clean up on Saturday where our DIL Kyra is hosting the two year anniversary of the local volunteer group she founded :  Lehigh Valley Trash Pact.
 We are so proud of her for her dedication to keeping our earth clean, especially the parks! And she volunteers her time on a very regular basis every week driving to a different area and cleaning up the trash left behind on the grounds. She also keeps the site going, does all the admin and scheduling! That's our girl πŸ’“.

 Wishing you a wonderful week!

   “You have power over your mind- not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”.                           Marcus Aurelius 







Monday, April 11, 2022

This And That

 


 Happy new week all! Do you celebrate Easter or Passover? If so I imagine it will be a busy end of week. Not so much for me as it will be small and quiet as usual with a simple Easter dinner with my Mom and our son and DIL on Sunday.

 I'm going to start off with this card I made for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for the theme of "Happy Birthday":

They are celebrating their 13th birthday so I made this card a personal one just for themπŸ˜‰. Happy birthday!!

Products: Simon Says stamp: Etched Meadow Flower and Leaves, Happy Birthday wafer die sets; Neenah Solar White, Desert Storm #100 cardstocks. The cute little dog peeking out of the flower is Simon Says Stamp's mascot. I fussy cut him from one of their packaging envelopes. Other: black cardstock, rhinestone (Recollections).

 This is a journal page I made for Try It On Tuesday (Spring Colours):


 I used Dina Wakley Lime and Carnation Gloss Sprays for the bright color along with a scrap of turquoise recycled from an old placemat. 

 This journal page is for Art Journal Journey with the theme of (Play It Again, Sam). We are to do a page around a favorite movie or song. Fun!


 Here's a close up of the flowers because I wanted you to see that I added glitter glue to them:

 
This page is so much prettier in person! The background is a napkin. The tile letters are Tim Holtz, and the vintage image from my stash. I have seen this movie 'The Enchanted Cottage' so many times over the years that I lost count. It's a beautiful story. It's from 1945 and stars Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young. You can read about it here on Wikipedia.  Can you watch a movie over and over without tiring of it if you love it? I can for sure 😁!

 I have another vegan meal to share with both T Stands For Tuesday and Food Wednesdays:


 Another wonderful meal! I got this recipe for Vegan Creamy Pancetta and Pea Pasta from the "It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken" blog. So far this is a favorite vegan blog of mine. I have tried a number of Sam's recipes and so far every one has been Bill (hubby) approved and I can make it againπŸ‘. The "pancetta" is cubes of marinated tofu that is so flavorful and smoky you couldn't tell it's tofu. These would be great as croutons on a salad too. And this meal is even better leftover! I just kept the "pancetta" cubes separate and reheated them in the oven so they'd stay a bit crispy. Cheers! 

 

 That's it from me this week. Hope it's a good one for you all! 

" Easter is the only time when it's perfectly safe to put all of your eggs in one basket".      Evan Esar