Thursday, June 26, 2014


  So how's everyone's summer (in the Northern hemisphere that is) going? Too fast for me! Trying to soak up as much as I can whilst it's here that's for sure. More time is being spent outdoors and making lots of good, healthy summer salads. I'm spending less time in the art room but am managing to get some creativity in:

  Background painted with my own mix of paints to achieve the lavender color. Some Folk Art Light Gray was added on top. House shape and torn paper layers are from old scrapbook papers. Door image is from Paper Whimsy. Other products used are- paper flowers (Recollections); cardboard dove (Michael's); tiny lavender buttons (Gary Burlin & Co.); Silver Stickles glitter glue (Ranger); printed sentiment (ARTchix Studio). I used a regular pencil to doodle and outline.

  It's Week 3 for Kristin's Summer Of Color Challenge. These are the colors she chose:

Lavender & Grey
with a Smudge, Splash or Pop of Plum

 These are definitely NOT colors I like to use but I DO love a challenge:) The inspiration for my journal page also came from this link on Susi's blog ( thank you!).

  Linking my journal page to SOC, Mix It Monthly ( theme is "home"), Art Journal Journey (theme is "houses"), Simon Monday Challenge Blog (theme is "I Ought To Use This More")-I used some very old scrapbook papers, Art Journal Every Day, and of course- Paint Party Friday!

  I also created a card inspired by this new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches :

 On the 4th of July America will be celebrating Independence Day so I had to make something patriotic:)

 Products: red note card (Halcraft USA); white, red, navy card stock (the Paper Studio); patterned paper (DCWV); silver paper (Canson); clear stamp (Think Big Favorites#4-Papertrey Ink); Le Plume marker no. 3 blue,  corner rounder, lg. star punch (Marvy Uchida); small star punch; tiny star gems (Nail jewels-Dollar Store).

 I'm also linking my card to the Simon Wednesday Challenge (theme is "anything goes"). Thanks to all the awesome hosts and DT members of the challenges! See you soon...

   " Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action."
                                                                                                            Mother Teresa

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lead Me...

  This is another journal page that was prompted by Mindy Lacefield's free 5 week Sunday Mornings online class. The class has now closed but I am grateful to Mindy and her guest artists for all they have taught me in that short time. This is a page prompted from one of the lessons by Mindy:

   You can click on to see more details and the texture. I am SO not comfortable working from a dark background so I created this page  pretty much like the video-esp. the Paynes Gray painted background. This was the way the page started:

 A bit scary to me but I forged ahead with paints and oil pastels and am pleased with the result. I will def. play more from a dark background!

 Freshly Made Sketches has a new sketch prompt for their challenge blog:

 And this is the card I came up with:

 I made a card from pink card stock and used that same card stock to cut thin strips which were glued on to the patterned paper.

 Products used: pink card stock (Bazzill Basics-Chablis); patterned card stock ( DCWV- The Glitter Mat Stack); white card stock; rubber stamp (Hero Arts); Vintage Sepia Versafine ink (Tsukineko); Bakers Twine (Martha Stewart); flower (the Paper Studio); brad (JoAnne's Craft Essentials). I really wanted to do a few more with other ideas I had but just didn't have the time and have a busy weekend ahead.

 Also linking to the Simon Monday Challenge Blog (theme is "anything goes") and the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog (theme is "You Gotta Have Friends").

 The Summer of Color Challenge is on and this is week two of six weekly prompts. If you haven't already, you can see the tags I created and the color prompt in my last post here. We are only allowed to link up once but I couldn't resist making something else with the given colors so here it is:

  A prayer flag using a vintage image and quote printed on fabric, scraps of gelli printed fabrics, fabrics from my stash, had dyed ribbon, vintage buttons and a paper flower with a teal sequin. Can't wait for the new color challenge on Monday! Anyone can join in at anytime-for any of these challenges.

 Linking also to Paint Party Friday, Art Journal Every Day, and Creative Every Day. Have  a great weekend everyone and thanks so much for popping in!

                  " Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself."  Desiderius Erasmus

Monday, June 16, 2014

Splashes of Bright Colors

  Last week we had fog and dark grey days along with some storms and a lot of misty rain much of the week. How to brighten those days? with COLOR of course! So first I brought out my pretty rainbow mug for my coffee, then while grocery shopping I couldn't resist buying a vibrant bouquet of flowers:

  That made me feel much better:) And we have had gorgeous sunny weather since the weekend. Joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for "T Stands For Tuesday". Oh, and thank you for those who directed me to the type of flower growing wild in my yard which I shared a photo of last Tuesday. I have discovered that it is a Scarlet Trumpet Honeysuckle-one of the non-invasive varieties, known to be a handsome, dense vine-good for fences-and the hummingbirds love them:)

 We also got some special visitors last week-in my neighbors yard:

  They got pretty comfy but as we already have lots of rabbits-and even a groundhog family visiting our yards (much to my neighbor's chagrin-mostly because of the vegetable garden) she scooted them away. But I saw earlier today the female-I'm guessing it was the same one - very slowly walking up our back alley just as I was coming up in the car to park. No horn blowing or creeping close was moving her so I actually had to get out of the car and shoo her away. Not sure where she is right now but I  have a feeling she's nearby.

 Seems I've been posting more of my foodie shots on Tuesdays. And here's another :

                                                 ( RECIPES AT END OF POST)

 Saturday eve. I made Flounder Paprika with garlic, shallots, white wine and lemon. I had some of this Watercress Pasta leftover from the previous eve. so we had that with it. It's made with orecchiette, fresh watercress, peas, lemon and fresh tarragon. It was the first time I made both dishes but after years of cooking I knew these would be good. Well, it was a hit and hubby paid me the nicest complement telling me it was like eating out at a fine restaurant! I love trying new things and cannot tell you how much I have expanded his palate:) If anyone ever wants a recipe just let me know. I was thinking about having a category with the recipes typed up to print out if there's enough interest.

  And for more wonderful color I have made two tags inspired by Kristin's Summer Of Color Week 2 palette which is:

Coral & Teal 
with a Smudge, Splash or Pop of Bright White
  Anyone can join in, there is a FABULOUS prize given away randomly each week, and this is one happening gathering!

   Products used for both-gelli plate printed tags, teal flowers (Prima), white card stock, teal card stock, and orange brads (JoAnne's). For the tag on the left I drew a house shape, trimmed it, outlined it with a Pitt pen and stamped the script (Love to Stamp) with Onyx Black Versafine ink(Tsukineko). Added a recycled postage stamp for the door. Wrote and trimmed words using a uni-ball Signo white pen and finished it with hand dyed ribbon and the flower. On the right tag I used a vintage image from my stash, trimmed and edges sponged with the black ink. Sponged Distress Peacock Feathers ink (Ranger) around edges of tag and also used it to stamp the flower (Magenta) onto teal banner I cut out. Sentiment (Think Big Favorites #3-Papertrey Ink) was trimmed and glued on. Finished with teal flower, white flower(the Paper Studio) and metallic dots (JoAnne's).  I was so excited about these colors that I have a prayer flag in progress:) I know you can only link up once but if I get it done I'll share it here on Friday.

  I'm also linking to the Simon Monday challenge blog (theme is "anything goes"), Mix It Monthly (theme is "home") and Art Journal Journey (theme is "houses"). Thanks so much for coming by. I'll be seeing you!

                             "Creativity is a drug I cannot live without."  Cecil B. DeMille

                                                      Flounder Paprika (serves 4)

  4 flounder filets     1 Tbsp. olive oil     1/2 tsp. paprika      1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots

  1 Tbsp. butter      garlic- 2 cloves thinly sliced    1/2 c. dry white wine   1/2 tsp.. salt

  1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper        1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley       4 lemon wedges

 Place oven rack in middle of oven. Preheat broiler to high. Drizzle oil in a roasting pan. Pat fish dry and arrange in pan. Sprinkle fish evenly with paprika. Sprinkle shallots, butter and garlic around pan. Pour wine in pan around the fish. Broil 10 min or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently. When done remove from oven , sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper and parsley. Serve with lemon wedges. Note - I use Smart Balance in place of butter.

                                 Orecchiette With Cress and Spring Pea Sauce (serves 4 )

  1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen peas(thawed)      8 oz. orecchiette pasta    3 Tbsp. water

  2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, divided      1 Tbsp. EVOO     1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind

  1/4 tsp. salt    1/4 tsp.. fresh ground pepper    1 garlic clove    4 oz. watercress, trimmed

  1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice     1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about  1/4 c.)

 Place 1 c. of the peas in a blender or food processor; reserve remaining peas. Cook past in boiling water according to pkg. directions, omitting fat and salt; drain. Rinse under cold water until cool and drain.  Add 3 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. tarragon, oil, rind, salt, pepper, and garlic to peas in blender. Process until smooth. Combine pea mixture and pasta in lg. bowl; toss to coat. Add reserved peas, remaining 1 Tbsp. tarragon, watercress, and juice; toss to gently combine. Sprinkle with feta; serve immediately. Note- I use fat free feta.

Friday, June 13, 2014


  What makes YOU happy? For one thing bright colors make me happy!

 So do blog challenges and prompts for creating. This project was inspired by JoAnne Sharpe's FB group for her book  The Art of Whimsical Lettering. She asked us to all use the word happy and write it with masking fluid. I used a dropper to write the word and left it to dry overnight. Next the page was sprayed with my Dylusions Ink Sprays in Bubblegum Pink, Vibrant Turquoise, Lemon Zest and Pure Sunshine along with two TCW stencils-Mini Pomegranite and Mini Roman Letters. The Simon Wednesday Challenge this week is to "use stencils" and a new blog/ challenge - Mixed Media Monthly has the theme of  "use ink sprays/ mists" so of course I am linking this to them also :) I doodled the edges with gesso and a black Pitt pen then highlighted around the lettering with a light blue oil pastel.

  This was the first practice page I did in my journal using masking fluid (Art Masking Fluid by Windsor and Newton). I used a brush to dip in the fluid and write the quote:

       I wasn't thrilled with using a brush and have found the dropper works better-for me anyway.

  Another page in my "Draw Your Awesome Year" journal from a lesson prompt. (see online class badges on the sidebar):

  We were given techniques to use to draw a flower from a photograph. I quite liked these techniques and want to do more with other flower photos in my stash. Here's a close up of one of my drawings on this page:

  And speaking of sweet... I recently received two wonderful gifts from two Paint Party Friday regulars! I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this group and look forward to the best art party ever each Friday!!

 Jez kindly offered some Inktense pencils (she had some duplicates in her stash) to two people and I was one of them-lucky me!! She didn't just send the pencils but a watercolor postcard tablet and a hand painted card! I have never used Inktense pencils so I will certainly enjoy playing with them. Thank you for your generosity dear Jez.

 I recently found out that I won a $30 GC from a giveaway Kirstin (Lillibean Designs) was having!! It's for her Etsy shop :) Kirstin has giveaways regularly so if you love her art as I do there are many opportunities to win. Some months ago I won a set of her Christmas note cards and have framed two of them to put out during the holiday season. I am so thankful for the giveaways because not working doesn't allow me to support my favorite artists (of which there are many-in PPF alone!). Thank you for being such a giving artist Kirstin.

  Linking this post to: Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Mixed Media Monthly, Paint Party Friday, and the Simon Wednesday Challenge. Many thanks to the hosts and DT members of these groups!

             " Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others."   Plato



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Essence of Summer

 Whether it be the foods, the scents of the flowers in the air, the ocean or the mountains, the sounds of the birds and crickets, or the colors one can't deny how this season inspires in so many ways.

 One thing I love most is being able to sit outside morning, noon and night. Nothing like grabbing the paper and that first cuppa and sitting in the morning sunshine:

  It's such a joy to watch and hear the birds singing. And this is a new feeder our dear friend Lynne gifted us with :

She bought it at a fair trade shop in Fenwick Is., DE (a place we love to buy gifts at also:) It is made entirely from a coconut and the husk etc. The birds weren't too sure of it at first but slowly they are warming up to it. Linking this part of the post  to Bleubeard and Elizabeth for T Stands for Tuesday.

  We found this flower peeking out thru fence and amongst our forsythia bushes recently. It appears to be growing wild and the hummingbirds LOVE these. Can any of you tell me what this is???? -

  I've also been enjoying the first of the fresh basil crop in our shared neighbor's garden by making two summer salads recently:

                    On the left is a Caprese Salad and next to it a Mediterranean Grain Salad-YUM!!
                                                         ( RECIPES AT END OF POST)

 And what's a post here without some art???

 The Summer of Color challenge has begun again and for the first week the challenge is to "use aqua and yellow with a splash of bright pink". The challenge at Mix It Monthly for this month is the theme of "home". Art Journal Journey's monthly challenge this month is "houses". The Simon Monday Challenge this week is "paint". And a new challenge blog- Mixed Media Mojo- has the challenge of  "use two stamps and at least two mediums" for the month of June. Please do check them all out as some offer prizes and they ALL have wonderful inspirations :):) Here is my entry :

   Deli paper gelli plate print glued to journal pg. Stenciled over using Flower Blossoms stencil (Joggles) and Americana Lemon Yellow and Indian Turquoise paints. Additional gelli print papers cut and pasted to form house. Outlined and drawn in with oil pastel. Versafine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko) was used to stamp the sentiment (Hero Arts) and tiny heart flowers(Close To My Heart). I am determined to use those papers from my growing stash of prints:):)

  Thanks to all the hosts of the wonderful challenges and thanks to YOU for taking the time to visit me!

 " The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living." 
                                                                                                                     Dione Lucas

                                                            Caprese Salad

  handful of fresh basil      several lg. tomatoes or 2 pints grape tomatoes   balsamic vinegar

  8 oz. fresh mozzarella     1/2 small red onion (optional)

  If using grape tomatoes cut them in half and put in a large bowl with mozzarella (cut into chunks), chopped onion if using, basil leaves cut or torn into pieces. Pour some balsamic vinegar over, toss and serve. In summer when the tomatoes are at their best I use lg. tomatoes and slice them, the mozzarella and the onion and alternately layer them all overlapping them on a lg. plate. Sprinkle the basil over then the vinegar.

                                          Mediterranean Grain Salad (makes 9 cups)

  1 8oz. pkg. Golden Jewel Blend (or a similar mix of couscous, split baby garbanzo bean, red quinoa, tri colored orzo dried grains pkg)  - cooked per pkg. instructions. 

  basting oil     1 pint grape tomatoes (halved)    1/2 c. roasted red peppers, chopped

 1 cucumber (seeded and diced)    1 c. fresh basil (thinly sliced)     1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

 1/4 c. EVOO    salt and pepper to taste

 Spread cooked grain blend on parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill 1 hr. or until cold (up to 2 days). Toss grain blend and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve cool or at rm. temp. Note- I use fat free feta.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June Sunshine

  Good day everyone! I hope wherever you are you are enjoying decent weather. Summer (the temps that is) is upon us here in NE PA and I couldn't be happier. And speaking of sunshine, that is the theme for my June calendar as prompted by JoAnne Sharpe's class. I really am enjoying the drawing lessons and the wonderful variations and themes for each month.

  Sketched in pencil then a black Pitt pen(sorry for the dark photo):

  And finished in watercolors:

   I may add a bit more doodling around as I go. Of course I'm linking to Kate Crane's Calendar Project.

  Next up are two cards I needed to make for upcoming events and what a better way to be inspired than by challenges!

 This is the sketch challenge for this week at Freshly Made Sketches:

 Both cards I made are also for the theme of "Father's Day/ Masculine -make anything for a Man/Boy" over at the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog:

  Products: kraft note card (Canvas Corp.); patterned papers (sources unknown); Versafine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko); clear stamp (Papertrey Ink); Vintage Photo Distress ink (Ranger); die cut bird (Colorbok); die cut tag (K & Company); metallic dots (Craft Essentials-JoAnne Stores).

  Products: white note card (Canvas Corp); white card stock; papers-Bubbles (American Crafts), Striped (NRN Designs); clear stamps (Papertrey Ink); Versafine Onyx Black ink(Tsukineko); bow-Stylish Accents (Offray); Sky Blue Vivid dye ink ( Clearsnap); die cut machine and Labels 1 dies (Spellbinders).

 My last offering for today is a journal page prompted by the Sunday Mornings online class with Mindy Lacefield. It started with this background which I had painted in my book months ago using texture paste then watered down acrylic paints. I was holding on to the page expecting to do something with an ocean theme. But that didn't happen.

  I had already chosen the psalm I wanted to paint around and knew I wanted a tree. I love how this turned out, how bits of the background color peek through the "leaves" and how it looks like there is light shining down from the upper left corner!

  Linking this to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, and Paint Party Friday. Why don't you join in sometime? 

 Thanks ever so much for commenting and stopping by. If you ever have any  questions about anything here just ask away :)

                "All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher."  George Whitman


Tuesday, June 3, 2014


  You Tubing that is!! Isn't it amazing all the vids you can find there? I spent a bit of time on it yesterday...because I got these recently:

  for under $10 at Hobby Lobby! I only had a small set of 8 basic colors before this purchase and it just wasn't enough to do the "painting" and shading I wanted.

  This quick portrait sketch was the first thing I tried the day I brought them home because I just couldn't wait to try them:

  This was done on watercolor paper so it's a bit rough looking. Hence needing some video tutorials:)

  After watching a few I went upstairs and drew/painted a rose which actually came together pretty quickly. This time I used white card stock:

  We've been having such gorgeous weather so I've been spending lots of time outdoors, and grilling. Over the weekend I made this one day:

                                                       ( RECIPES AT END OF POST)

                                           We used this gadget also-know what it is???

   It's a red wine aerator. A friend recently gifted us with this after we tried some tasting of the same wine both without using it and with. It really makes a big difference in the taste. And it's especially handy if you want a glass and just opened the bottle because you are supposed to open red wine awhile before drinking it in order to let it breathe.This is for an individual glass of wine. You take it off the stand and holding it over a glass you slowly pour the wine in the top. And lest you all think that's all I drink :) ...

  This is what I drink most-filtered water in my 64 oz. BPA free water bottle!! I usually try to drink it all but that's not always easy. It gets filled each morning and I found it a great way to make sure I drink lots of water.

 I'm now taking my water with me whilst I join Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T Stands For Tuesday and see what everyone else has been drinking and been up to:)

  " Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it."  Eileen Caddey

                                                           South Beach Salmon (serves 2)

2 salmon filets      2 tsp. oil      2 cloves minced garlic    2 Tbsp. lemon juice  1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)     pinch of pepper    capers

  Combine oil, lemon jc. , salt , pepper, garlic and rosemary in small bowl. Brush over salmon. Part way thru baking ( 375 F) or grilling time add capers over salmon.

                                                               Grilled Potatoes

potatoes     basting oil      rosemary(fresh or dried)      salt        pepper  

  Peel and cut potatoes into thick strips (like steak fries). Rinse and pat dry. Place remaining ingredients in a large zip top plastic bag. Add potatoes and move them around to coat them well. Place them onto a large piece of heavy duty foil and loosely close the foil. Place on a hot grill. Check and move potatoes once. Takes 15-20 min. depending on thickness of potato cuts.