Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Color and Fall time


I went out today, shooting some pictures of rust for all of you artists who love the color along with the texture. It was fun to just be aware of one type of color and texture to shoot with my Canon Power Shot and not just taking all random photos, even though I did sneek a couple of perspective shots of fences in my neighborhood to sketch and practice from.

Can you guess what some of the items are that have the rust on them?

Pottery Barn

I love decorating and I love taking ideas from well known sources like the Pottery Barn or Pier 1 Imports. But I also like to make it mine and use what I have or to rummage in junk shops or antique shops to find what I want. Being a christian is so wonderful, because I feel the Lord in it all the time. Who would think the Lord cares about decorating? I am not saying that that is HIS concern, but HE shows me HIS love this way all of the time. After all, HE is the one who made me an artist and decorator. He gets the glory!

Pottery Barn Look Alike Vignette

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Owl Youtube Class

Owl Painting

I watched Creatively Fit at Youtube.
I have wanted to do paintings of owls; not real live paintings, but fun and colorful paintings. Tonight, now that the signs of the hurricane are gone, no more tropical storm except the winds, and electricity still on, I decided to sit down and have fun and paint. I already looked at my new book on stamping ATC's and I absolutely love watching videos and looking at my art books and magazines, but enough was enough, I had to do something I am learning.

I got to paint on my new little desk. Robin Egg Blue, White, Medium yellow and bright magenta were the paint colors I used and had on hand. I painted on a square canvas and added a bit of stamping at the end just to give a bit more texture.

The artist from Creatively Fit used a gesso board I believe and her paint colors were different then mine. My colors mixed actually made an orange hue when I took the pictures on my camera. I would love to take her class on painting owls and going a bit more advanced. Perhaps someday, but in the meantime, I have another canvas that I WILL do another one. This one I did I have a friend who had a grandson and she made an owl mobile with felt owls. This painting is a bit on the pink side so I am unsure if I should send it or not. We will see after I do the next one. It was different painting with only a select pallette. I had to paint this way eons ago in college, so I was acquainted, but it has been a long time. Also, I used a graphite pencil, for some reason, I could not find my charcoal pencils and I have already cleaned my art room. Maybe I don't have any which would be unusual because I have many supplies. Mmmmm, I'll have to keep looking. She, the artist from Creatively Fit's wonderful blog, used a charcoal pencil to do outlining and some shading of the owl. So, after the graphite use, I went back a bit with water and a brush to make it a wash.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Autumn Fall Centerpiece

The Dollar Tree Store has awesome fake or silk flowers. I would have paid a fortune for an arrangement like this. I don't know where these types of dolls stem from, I think the colonial times, but I thought, "Why not dress her up with the fall flowers for my kitchen tables Autumn Fall Centerpiece

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prayer and Hurricane

The weather is pretty lousy this afternoon. One storm is pushing the hurricane in and we are finding out that the middle of Massachusetts may get hit harder than the coast. I am going to bake tomorrow and cook a chicken, buy some batteries and water. Today I am washing clothes and underwear in case we have to flee. The hard part will be taking the two dogs along with the five of us. We have a van but the dogs have a hard time with bad weather.

My prayers are that the Lord protect us no matter what we have to do and that when Monday comes, we won't have anything horrible to post. The Lord is good!

Decorating and Integrating

I really really love vintage items, ecclectic decorations, various furniture (especially white), so I try to impliment it into my house and art room.

The texture of baskets, vintage suitcases, statues, lamps and lamp shades, nic nacs, flowers, old bottles, white wood, oak wood, ...along with other artist's ATC's and collages mixed with mine just makes an atmospher to be desired.

Art Studio Containers and Furniture

Many of my plastic containers were picked up on the side of the road. Just one of those units with the eight drawers is over $35.00 in the stores. I snagged it up. The white bureau, I purchased from Salvation Army. With all of its drawers (like an artist table), I have ephemera and papers in the drawers.

I love baskets so that is what I put into the armoire I also purchased at Salvation Army. I label my containers so that I remember what is in those pretty little picnic baskets. I also love labels!

Art Room/Studio Pictures

Some shots of my art studio room. It is small, and I have so many things. I have my fireplace mantle in there along with a window seat. If those were not in there, I would have a bit more room.

My new little vintage desk

My art studio is small, and I have switched it so many times to see how it will work best for me. This time, I am at a smaller desk, with a little bureau next to me. This desk has glass on top so that I can use as a paint pallette. Underneath are some drawers where I have my erasers and items I use all of the time. The desk also came with the cute little curtain that hides everything, so my paper basket is underneath.

Blueberries and Blackberries

I didn't get that many blueberries or blackberries this year, but what I could pick, I washed and put into ziplock bags and froze.

What can I do with blueberries and blackberries you ask?

Fruit smoothies: yogurt, berries, milk, juice, ice and put into blender---YUM
Fruit Crumble: berries, put into baking dish, take oatmeal, melted butter and
brown sugar, mix together and put on top of berries.
Bake 350 degrees for about 30 min.
Fruit Muffins: fruit and muffin mix or home-made muffin batter and add your
Fruit Pancakes: Fruit and pancake batter. Pour batter into your pan, place blue-
berries on top of batter, cook on one side, toss over and
cook on the other side in a hot buttered pan.
Fruit Oatmeal: Make your oatmeal for breakfast or cream of wheat and throw some
berries and sugar on top and your good to go.
Fruit Berries
Dehydrated: Put the berries in your dehydrator and make just like raisins.
Then you can add to home-made granola or with nuts and
other good things for a snack or trail mix.



PS I DON'T SPRAY MY TREES, SO THE PICTURES BELOW LOOK IT DON'T THEY? Ah, just cut off the bad pieces and throw the rest in the pot!

Apples Applesauce and Autumn

Apples are dropping off of my trees like no tomorrow. It seems very early to me and that makes me think we are going to have an early and long winter with a harvest like this. These are just droppings from a two feet section in my back yard, and I have to go out there behind the fence and pick and also the tree in the front yard. I have a couple of friends that love the droppings and will come over I am sure to get them, that is...after the hurricane.

If you want to make a quck applesauce rather than the long method I grew up with watching my mom make, I just cut the apples, cut off any bad parts, throw in a huge pot, add a bit of water, cover and cook slowly, when done, I pour it into a strainer to remove the skins and seeds and then can them or put in zip lock bags and freeze.

Add brown sugar, cinammon and sugar or combinations of all three to how much you like while you are cooking it.

If you have a dehydrator or stove, slice your apples thin, and place on a tray in your stove on 250 degrees and cook low for hours, flipping the pieces over and checking them till dry. You now have a nice snack.

Women in the 1700's and 1800's would do this by stringing the slices on a string or twine and hanging over their fireplace mantles to dry naturally. I don't have a natural fireplace, so I have to make sure it is really warm in the house during the winter to do the same thing so that the slices will not mold up.

Autumn and Fall

Well, it is August 25, 2011, some kids are already in school (mine are home-schooled), we just had a mild earth quake and are up for a hurricane in the next two days; all in New England which is very unusual. In the mean time, continuing on in prayer and living, I decided to make a couple autumn fall centerpieces for my tables. I don't want to go crazy with decorating for fall because before you know it, it is Christmas decorating time and I usually don't decorate this early, but I guess I should enjoy it. I mean, it is the end of August till Thanksgiving and then you put it all away again. That is less than three months. The way I like change though, it is time to do that, put everything away.

I don't know what these dolls are called that I decorated with Dollar Tree dried flowers. First of all, I couldn't believe it that the Dollar Tree had such nice dried flowers this fall. That is the only reason I could make the decorations, otherwise, our finances with the second possible recession occurring has kept me away from buying. That is ok though, life is more precious than decorating.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blueberry smoothie

Ah, these are delicious. If you want to watch the calories, careful of what yogurt you select. I didnt realize that and was drinking these at night before I went to bed and then realized how many calories I was taking just by the yogurt and whole milk.

This is for 2-3 servings

Use a Blender or bullet (I have a no name bullet)

1 cup blueberries
1 cup milk (or skim milk)
(if you want really thick, use some cream)
1 cup yogurt (any flavor you like)
1 cup of juice (I love the banana strawberry or kiwi banana or something like that)

Blend away

If you want really icy, add some crushed ice while blending!
Sometimes, I add wheat germ to make it even healthier.
Depending if you like thinner or thicker, that is where I play with ice, milk, juice.

If you are using a bullet, you of course should just put in equal amounts of blueberries, milk, juice, and yogurt.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blueberry Picking Fork Tool

I tried this tool but it grabbed the leaves of the plants too and you had to pick at all the little leaves. I did it by hand and got many more blueberries than leaves.

The following day, my daughter sat down at the table with a towel, and would dump blueberries a bit at a time on the towel to sort through the good and bad. That is the way my girlfriend likes it done.

Picking and Harvesting Blueberries

If you can't use your blueberries right away, rinse them off in a colander, dab off with a towel or paper towel, place on a baking sheet you would use for cookies, and put in your freezer till firm. Then pour them into a zip lock bag or plastic container with cover. I at times, have just poured the fresh berries right into ziplocks without pre-freezing first. It works.

My friend lives on acres of land in Maine. I love love love harvesting fruit and vegetables, so even though I was feeling so sick, I figured maybe I could sweat out the virus and pick blueberries. I did enjoy myself but my daughter had to go in earlier than me. It was just too hot. I picked about six to eight cups of blueberries and they are smaller than bush blueberries. These plants lie low to the ground and have real reddish leaves. Sweet flavored and very versatile for baking. It was so hot that many of the plants were crunchy, and so many plants that it was hard to not step on plants. Many blueberries were dried already, so I snacked on a few of them to see if they were like dehydrated blueberries. They were good but extremely small after shriveling up.

The raspberries were too small and hard, not ripe yet.

Maine Blueberries and blueberry pancake recipe

Not a flattering picture I know.
I had a virus for four weeks, sicker than a dog, went to visit my friend in Maine, and I got the wild idea to pick the wild blueberries of Maine in my friend's patch in over 90 degree weather (yes in Maine it gets hot too) after church last week. So I had to take a couple of little samples as I continued to pick.

Make your favorite pancake recipe, and then sprinkle your blueberries on top instead of adding them to the batter. Keeps the batter from getting too blue, the blueberries don't mush u and they just brown up so nice in the batter.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sunflowers in Maine

Sunflowers galore in Maine. My friend Yolana was driving me to Kennybunk to meet my husband, and I just had to stop. These pictures do no Justice for this awesome house that does not have grass but sunflowers and some other varieties of the same. I had a problem though, all the sunflowers were facing the son which was the opposite way that I was able to stand and take pictures. I didn't want to walk on their sunflowers. It sure was enough the way I was taking pictures all around the house. It was cool too how the American flag just flew there with the red white and blue and the yellow from the sunflowers.