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The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest ~ Sir Thomas Moore ~

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Friday, February 28, 2014

sticking to it ...

having so much fun creating with my new Epson label maker ...
at the rate I'm going I'll be out of tape soon!
reading instruction booklets is my least favourite thing to do...
but this time it was actually fun :-)
really easy to set up, change fonts , display settings and a booklet filled with accent marks, frames, and symbols ♥
single
&
double lines
I've been peeling and sticking labels on everything today :-D
every letter and/or card I've posted has a nice new sticker attached!
now that we are heading into March,
it's time to stop painting snowmen and birds with snowflakes on their feathers ...
time to think of flowers and new paintings started with watering cans
and seeds ... of course...birds are always in season ♥
 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

today ...

a few have asked if I would share my recipe for gnudi when I posted it the other day.
they are a family favourite here in our home
and so easy to prepare
the key is to make the dumplings tiny as they will swell almost double in size as they cook
here's the recipe:
 
Spinach Gnudi
makes approx. 25-30 dumplings
 ***
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
fresh bread crumbs ( a slice of bread in the food processor is perfect)
sprinkling of salt & pepper
 
~steam fresh spinach until just wilted
drain well and allow to cool then chop finely in food processor
~mix the ricotta, egg yolk, parmesan cheese, flour and spices
~add cooled spinach and blend well
~ form tiny dumplings with your hands using about 2 tsp of mixture
~tightly pack the mixture so it holds together
~roll in bread crumbs and place on a cookie sheet that you have dusted with flour to prevent the gnudi from sticking
~bring a large pot of water to the boil
~add gnudi (about 10 -12 at a time)
~when they begin to float to the surface of the water, set timer for 4 minutes
~remove from water with a slotted spoon to a warming plate
 
serve with a little (or a lot) of your choice tomato sauce
ENJOY
while covering my paint palette today,
I looked down and noticed that the paint had created the perfect little
green pansy ♥
You have to take risks.
We will only understand the miracle of life fully
when we allow the unexpected
to happen.
~Paulo Coelho~

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

holding hands ...

My art apron ...
a canvas in itself
holding abstract  memories
of
brush strokes
&
and hand wipes
***
When I work,
and in my art,
I hold hands
with God
~Robert Mapplethorpe~
my old artists portfolio ...
when I pull it out, Archer knows we will be a while in the studio
so he gets comfy :-)
thought I'd share a few of them here today
as I reminisce ♥
I really think this doggie needs a make over ...
a little  paint will turn him into a Black Labrador in no time
this old chair once sat in my garden ...
surrounded by brightly coloured zinnia
and I planted holly hock from seed one year.   they grew so tall along the fence ...
we always have lots of bunnies in our garden ...
 
old paintings of my daughter {and fellow nature lover}  when she was little ♥
and lots of unfinished pieces ...
so many teeny tiny violas!
we always had a budgie
and Jacob was my daughters pride and joy
he had the vocabulary of a young child
the most gorgeous green & yellow
they both made wonderful models...
and hamsters,
we always had hamsters,
and I've mentioned here before, how I would write little stories around our budgies and hamsters & create  homemade books...
this was a scene from one of the stories ...
 
a sketch of me cuddling my new born son ♥
24 years ago!
and Mama mouse cuddling her baby ...
and to show how old some of these sketches/watercolours are, I found one that was dated :-)
***
Every human
is an artist.
The dream of your life
is to make
beautiful art
~Miguel Angel Ruiz~

Saturday, February 22, 2014

baking, making & watercolour painting ...

one of the reasons I am such a Fall & Winter loving girl
is my love of home comforts ...
 baking,
 cooking
 anything home related ...
so this past week
while I watched the weather change from snow, to rain
and listened to heavy, heavy winds
I spent time
baking banana nut loaf ...
 making some gnudi for our dinner
with fresh tomato sauce
 found an old jar in the storage cupboard that was perfect for holding
toffees
 put some new fresh flowers on the kitchen table
 enjoyed the scene outside my kitchen window
 listened to the wonderful, soulful music of Ron Sexsmith - one of my favourite musicians
I remember  listening to the radio as I drove home one day and hearing a song "This is how I know"
I had to wait to find out who the artist was and once I heard the name, went out and purchased the C.D.  Since then, I've been a fan & had the great joy of seeing Ron Sexsmith play live (AMAZING)!!
I have this wonderful C.D. (Forever Endeavour) playing at the moment... my favourite song(s) being Life after a Broken Heart and Nowhere Is
 Jay bird doesn't stop by our garden very often
but always makes his presence known.
He wasn't very happy with the squirrels who were eating the almonds I put out :-)
so I had to make sure he got a few!
He thanked me by becoming just the inspiration needed & the perfect fill in for a bare spot I had on a painting I was working on ♥
 some pastel sketches ...
 while I watched the Olympics
~have a wonderful weekend~

Friday, February 14, 2014

unconditional love ♥ ...

he is with me 24/7
my most faithful and loving friend
who makes me smile each and every day
gets me out for nice long walks
never complains about the snow
he loves it as much as we do
hard to believe that this time a few years ago
he was a shelter dog
found wandering the streets
we wished we could bring them all home with us
Archer
our Valentine dog
who touched our heart & soul
♥♥♥
I think dogs
are the most amazing creatures;
they give unconditional love.
For me
they are the role model
for being alive.
~Gilda Radner~
 
happy
saint
valentine's
day
 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Saint Valentine's Day ♥ ...

waiting on the kitchen counter
for my family
 ♥
chocolate chip muffins
made with love ...
 
some coconut macaroons
because they are my husbands favourite ♥
 
This little "chalkboard" has been hanging in the kitchen for years.
I made a few chalkboards as gifts one Christmas from vintage frames and chalkboard paint.
When it came time to make one for myself, I had run out of the chalkboard paint, so I used what I had available - plain black acrylic paint.  It worked beautifully!  I have written and erased many, many notes & quotes over the years and it is still holding up :-D
Love
must be as much a light
as it is
a flame
~Henry David Thoreau~
Wishing you a lovely
Saint Valentine's Day

Monday, February 10, 2014

paint something happy ...

my hubby surprised me with a new Epson label printer a few weeks ago...
the bonus ~ the buttons are in my FAVOURITE green ♥
I am looking at everything wondering if it needs a label :-) 
and of course, it does!
 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

when it snows, it snows ...

looking out my window
I can hardly believe the amount of snow that has fallen ...
even though the weather forecast said snow
snow
it
did

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

in the dew of little things ...

fonts... I love them ♥
experimenting with some today
and adding them to paintings ...
sitting here with my mug of morning tea
birthday flowers are still thriving
looking out the kitchen window
sparrows, juncos and cardinals at the feeders ...
warm popovers
with a little jam
oven door left open to warm the kitchen as I sit & enjoy this little treat ...
quick little sketches
blue and brown and orange
pencils & paint ...
and little dabs of white ink
on flower petals
and tips of wings ...
my sweet boy Archer
following  every step I make in anticipation of my next move ...
hoping it will involve putting on my boots & coat
and taking him for his walk :-)
for in the dew
of little things
the heart finds
its morning
and is
refreshed
~Kahil Gibran~