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.


  1. Your quote is a great reminder when some people say they are not creative...there are so many ways in daily life that we ARE creating.
    That coconut bird feeder is wonderful and I agree with you about being outdoors and more in tune with nature!
    YUM on you salads...both look perfect to me!
    Those red trumpet flowers are gorgeous ... wonder if it is from a vine or hanging pot?
    Happy T Day
    Oh and such a great house for AJJ too!

  2. Is that a poppy on your cup? I love that pop of brightness. :) Your hummingbird-attracting flower looks like honeysuckle to me. Mother used to grow the red honeysuckle up her lamp post. They have a sweet nectar, and we used to drink the little sips of it when we were kids. Fond memories.

  3. Love your Journal page but that bird feeder is really unique and your garden sounds beautiful. Sharing a garden with a neighbor now that is a first for me and you get all those yummie vegetables too. Happy Tuesday, my first time here participating.

    Hugs Eliza 8

  4. Even in the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter, I STILL have my first cup of coffee out side on the patio.

    Very cool bird feeder, but I can see where the birds might be a little spooked by it......LOL

    Beautiful flower, but I'm not good at naming flowers..........I know a rose when I see one :)

    I grow Basil too, and have a bumper crop this year Your salads look yummy, love tomato and basil together, especially with some Feta cheese thrown in.

    I have to get cracking on journal pages and challenges, not sure I can bridge as many as you have with one page.........which is fantastic! Some of these challenges I haven't heard of, but will be checking them out.

    Thanks for comment on my blog and as always Happy T-day!

  5. I think it is honeysuckle, too! Love the smell of it. And, your bird feeder is very unique; the birds were probably wondering if it was a real bird ready to peck them if they started feeding from it!!! LOVE your journal page; great for all of the challenges you mentioned!

  6. What wonderful photos - we've been quite lucky with a few hours of sunshine over the last few days although unfortunately interspersed with hail showers(!) also the downside to summer in Scotland is the dreaded midge - I get eaten alive with the tiny critters so being outdoors is less than pleasant at times!
    Your SOC14 submission is great - I love the pink house and that background really pops.

  7. Your post is a feast for the eyes! love all the color...from the yummy food to your delightful art work! happy T Tuesday!

  8. I saw some of this flower on another blog recently, and the person said it was a honeysuckle, although the only honeysuckle I've ever seen was pale yellow.

    Your SOC entry is fantastic. I really MUST get my gelli plate out and play. After wanting it for over three years, I've only used it once since I got it.

    My basil is going strong this year, too. It's nearly ready to harvest, and I like the looks of both those salads.

    I wish I could sit outside in the morning for coffee or tea, but the mosquitoes eat you alive when you do. And with all the rain we've had lately, I can only imagine what my back yard table would be like. Glad you can enjoy yours.

    Thanks for sharing T with us this Tuesday, and thanks for reminding me that I need to get my gelli plate out and play.

  9. Those salads remind me to go out and pick some basil which has started flowering. Yummy. Mixed media art is so layered and interesting especially when you give us the step by step of how you did it. Makes it much more personal. I feel like I am in your yard, and at your art table.

  10. The first thing that caught my eye was the beautiful poppy mug! The bird feeder looks so lifelike, it probably took time for the birds to realize it was safe! I am pretty sure that is honeysuckle, too! I just started growing basil from seeds so it will be awhile before I can enjoy some summer salads, but these look really tasty! Happy T Day!

  11. Ahh Linda, what a fresh post representing a variety of all the fun things about summer. I must say, I love my hummingbird feeder and take such joy in watching them too.

  12. Your tea cup is so apt for this season. The salads look yummy. Do you have a recipe link for them? I would love to include salads in our diet. Wonderful art for the SOC challenge. I've still not done it.
    Thank you so much for your lovely words on my post. Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday

  13. Love your house contribution. Excellent! Great cup and feeder. The flower may be a type of vine called lipstick vine from the trumpet vine family, I believe. Not really sure though. Have a great day and Happy Soc to you.

  14. A beauty!!!
    And I love your header!!

  15. awesome and yummie photos Linda and a wonderful page!
    Thank you so much for sharing it with us at AJJ !
    And I adore this bird feeder...

  16. Linda, after such a winter no wonder you are making the most of the sun. LOVE your bird feeder and your SOC challenge piece. I'm off to make those salads!

  17. O my gosh, what a fantastic bird feeder!! and I love your red poppy mug too. What a gorgeous day you are having~ enjoy!
    Happy T to you

  18. What beautiful photographs with wonderful vibrant colours - just like your Week 1, SOC artwork, which is wonderful!


  19. Love your journal page, who would imagine what you can achieve with three colours.

  20. Creative 'captures' of summer ~ great photos and lovely colorful summery art ~ Happy Week to you ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  21. You are so true Linda, summer is aways the best season for me! I relax totally when it is warm around me!..Seems all people are happier in the sun, no wonder :) Your pictures are so storytelling...wonderful and your house is so sweet...love the hearty flowers in its garden! Thank you for adding it to Mix It Monthly ♥ Conny

  22. Combining posts is a great idea! I'm also doing SOC4. So much fun getting a new challenge each week. Your Caprese salad looks yummy...I'd be drooling but I just finished supper myself. :)
    Happy Tuesday!

  23. Lots of lovely textures, Linda! And great use of the colour combination for Summer of Colo(u)r.

  24. Hello Linda! So nice to see you outside enjoying the summer weather! I have never drank my hot tea outside, I need to do that one morning. WOW, your SOC art is so pretty and way to go on getting all the challenges into one piece. It turned out so good and I love the sentiment.
    Have a great week, hope it stays warm so you can enjoy being outside morning, noon and night!!

  25. I like how you used your gelli prints in your SOC art. I'll be playing along later this week.

    Your poppy mug is perfect for this time of year. Happy T Day!

  26. It is glorious! Here it sit on my little porch and read with coffee--ahhh! I have no clue what those flowers are but if I was a hummingbird I would love them, too. Great page! Love the richness of the colors you picked for the challenge. Happy T-Day! :)

  27. WOWOWWWW,this is awesome,glorius colors and backruond,love it so much.

    Greetings Jeannette

  28. Your morning in the garden sounds idyllic. It is actually sunny here this morning, amazing!!!!
    I love your house, it looks so happy in its lovely surroundings.

  29. Wonderful photos and an lovely work of art, too! I am in awe of the way you used the gelli prints!!!! Beautiful use of the SOC colors!

  30. YOur journal page is great and you've managed to combine so many challenges in one page....I'm impressed :) Those salads look great. Love fresh foods from the garden ♥

  31. Such an interesting post. I love that bird feeder. I can't imagine watching hummingbirds at the bird table! How lucky you are.

  32. Your house is gorgeous, what a great piece Linda, I love it, so happy and full of summery joy!

  33. Great photos Linda and your salads do look gorgeous!

    Love your piece for Summer of Colour.... it's so sweet and very joyful :)

    Karen x

  34. Love the coconut bird feeder. I have no idea what the flower is called.
    Bridget #13

  35. I really love your fantastic house!!!

  36. Wow! This post made me feel like I was on vacation! Beauty everywhere...i have missed you! I'm sorry I have not been around so much lately, but I am so happy to be visiting with you now! I love your art...and sitting with my first cuppa in the early morning, too.

  37. Hi Linda,

    Lovely to discover your blog and how beautiful all your photos are.
    The card is really sweet with the house and that is so true - Joy is where you find it.
    Happy day

  38. Such a pretty house. Great SOC entry. BJ

  39. Oh! this is just so lovely. Visiting from SOC. I love the bird feeder too. Listening to the birds is one of the joys of my life. A blackbird is calling as I type.

  40. The bird-feeder is so cute!!! The house is super gorgeous!

  41. I just had to come back to revisit your SOC entry. Such a joyous journal page! Love all the texture--reminds me of fireworks!

  42. Love that SOC entry - I always love little house drawings and paintings. That is a fabulous bird feeder. And your food pics - well I just ate dinner but now I am hungry all over again.

  43. Such a gorgeous entry for SoC, using oil pastels for outlining was inspired. Thank you for your very kind comment about my wee boat :D

  44. Ah such lovely pictures :-)

  45. This is amazing! All that color and texture! It's terrific to fit so many requirements into one fantastic work of art!!

  46. Linda K - long time no see! I love your beautiful journal page. Absolutely delightful!

  47. Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos. I also love your creation with those awesome colors and patterns, Linda. Thank you again, for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

  48. Love the art work, checked out the salads as well wasn't sure how you made them - fab stuff!

  49. Love houses. Yours is fabulous!

  50. A gorgeous explosion of color! Thanks so much for joining us at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog! - Ashli :)

  51. This is so pretty! Beautifully done! Thanks so much for playing along with Mixed Media Mojo!

  52. This is gorgeous! Wonderful gelli printing and I love that house. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog!!

  53. What a beautiful post...I love all the everyday color...it makes my heart swoon...topped up with your gorgeous art piece!! Love it all and that salad looks sooo yummy! We have been making a quinoa one lately! Great yard too!!

    Hugs Giggles

  54. Lots of lovely things in this post. I'd give that mug shelf space in a minute. The bird feeder is so unique and attractive. Your are for the challenge is great. I would find that color combo a little difficult.


  55. Love your journal page, it's so colourful and fresh, makes happy.
    Dear Greetings

  56. Such a wonderful journal page. Beautiful colors and page design. Thanks for joining the Mixed Media Mojo Challenge.


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