Monday, May 23, 2022

I Took a Break!


 Let's hope this video works- because I finally was able to catch one of the hummingbirds! The nest of finches were still there on the front porch the day we returned from a 4 day visit (first this year!!) to Cape May, NJ. They were quite scrunched in the nest and had all their feathers, and by the following day they had flown the nest. I'm glad  all 5 survived.

 It was SO good to get to the beach again. However, it was a very different and unusual trip. First of all, I got Bill's cold and got quite sick with a fever, very sore throat, cough and laryngitis. I did take a Covid test to be sure I didn't have it as I certainly didn't want to risk exposing anyone in Cape May. To this day I still have a scratchy throat and slight cough:(. Here are a few pics of the strange, very foggy 4 days we had once we arrived:

 Here we are standing on the promenade- where is the ocean???? You couldn't see anything of it until you walked to the shoreline!

 We did manage a beach walk each day, and there were a few times when the sun peeked through the fog. Even town was blanketed by this fog. It was quite cool looking! I was actually glad for these days because I was able to spend more time in the room resting, and watching Hallmark movies:).  We also did get out to eat, and met with friends for a wonderful Italian dinner as well. 

 And sadly, one of our beloved restaurants for over 25 years (The Merion Inn) has closed and sold:

 I could only stand there in front of it and tear up. Apparently it is being gutted. That beautiful, beautiful old bar was taken out and has been bought by  another B &B - The Southern Mansion. We will miss the Merion along with all the memories of  the  wonderful people we met and got to know through this place. This is going to be called "The Cricket Club" but that's all we know so far. Not sure if it's going to be a public place or private club.

 And for T Stands for Tuesday- we still have our breakfast place thank God!

 Each morning we went to the Ocean View Restaurant for breakfast, and it was so good to see the owners and staff again!

 Now it's time for some art. First up is a journal page I made for Art Journal Journey (theme is birds), for Try It On Tuesday (theme is butterflies), and the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge (not a card):

 Page in the Dina Wakley Kraft Journal. Dina Wakley paints, stencils, Gloss spray (Ocean), Collage Collective scrap. Tim Holtz- Botanicals, Small Talk Stickers. Other- Posca pens.

I have a tag for Tag Tuesday (theme is buttons and bows), and actually this one could work for Try It On Tuesday as well:)

 I use a die cut ag that I glued button paper on (old paper from my stash). The pretty textured butterfly is one of 3 that Valerie had sent me as happy mail some time ago. Paper doll and Small Talk sticker- Tim Holtz.

 Speaking of tags, I made a tag last week for Tag Tuesday and decided to make a journal page for it:

  And that's a wrap for this week. I will also link to Rain's Thursday Art date this week. I saw that Kathy whos hosts Food Wednesdays is going to have a link up on the first Wednesday of each month so I will join her and friends then on June 1st! Much as I do enjoy following fellow bloggers and challenges I find it difficult to keep up in the summer months, but I do appreciate all you do!

 And if anyone is going away to celebrate Memorial Day weekend/Monday, enjoy!, and  please be safe.

    "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."                                 Thornton Wilder

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