Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pheasant's Eye

Probably one of the most exciting aspects of gardening for me is to plant a brown, roundish, hard clump in the ground in the Fall and several months later---after freezing temps and lots of snow---this appears. Absolutely amazing. Thank-you God.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Counting My Blessings

A while ago I came across a "stitchalong" hosted by Amy at Inspire co. She was working on an embroidery sampler she called 39 Squares to celebrate her 39th birthday. I just had to make one also, so I rushed out and bought the supplies and started outlining my one inch squares. Amy is now working on a sampler called Counting My Blessings , over here, that is composed of 100 squares! I'm not sure if I'll get that many squares, but I know I have that many blessings (and more) in my life. I love the look of these squares just waiting to be filled in!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Everyday Adventures Class

I haven't scrapbooked since my children were little, but I saw this class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking and I just had to take it. It's called Everyday Adventures and is following Keri Smith's book How To Be an Explorer of the World.

Like all her books this one is a lot of fun. These are some of my "field notes."

I've enjoyed incorporating photos into my journaling---not something I usually do.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cats Rule

For some reason these two seem to think the exact center of my desk is a great place for resting. And when I try to tell them otherwise, they just look at me like I'm speaking a foreign language.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Journaling and Rippling

Rather obsessed with art journaling lately. Taking an e-class with Hope at Besottment. I just love her style.

Hard at work rippling away. Busy has claimed this for her bed---thankfully it's a twin!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Garden Journal

Today I worked on updating my garden journal. Just looking through it brought high hopes for this year's garden. Thinking of putting in another square foot garden. More snaps! More dahlias! I've never had dahlias grow so well as last years did. I overwintered them in the garage---hope they come back. That's what gardening is all about isn't it---hope.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Poetry Journal

I don't have a picture to post of my poetry journal because I haven't "decorated" it yet. But I am enjoying using it. I've filled it with exercises from The Artistic Mother book and another book I'm reading---The Discovery Of Poetry by Frances Mayes. She wrote Under the Tuscan Sun and other memoirs about Italy. Her poetry "manual" is insightful and full of good poems. After reading a couple of poems by James Wright in it, I am curious to look for a book by him. I've also just reread American Primative by Mary Oliver. It's been wonderful to get immersed in poetry again. I've kept notebooks filled with favorite poems before but this area of my life had slidden to the back burner. Slidden is not a word, but I think it should be. Maybe I'll use it in a poem!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It's still pouring snow outside. The snowdrops, irises, and crocus are covered. I hope they make it. A couple of people requested the recipe for the Irish Soda Bread:

4 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 pint sour cream
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream and raisins and mix until just combined. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans.
Bake loaves at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour.

The texture is cake-like and my children loved it. I can see why no one asked for the recipe for the corned beef---like the Pilot said, it looks rather purple and green! Must get better at this photo-taking.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Supper

I made corned beef with cabbage and carrots in the crock pot today.

And some Irish Soda bread made with sour cream. They liked it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bulbs and Schedules

I was rummaging through my gardening supplies in the garage (it got up to 63 degrees today!), and I found four hyacinth bulbs that somehow got left out of the planting last Fall. So I put them in these glass vases hoping they'll do alright.

I cheated---used some scrapbook paper instead of my background pages. On the left is my "homemaking binder." I find I don't use this that much. I have a little spiral-bound book that I keep open on my desk with to-do lists---stuff like iron, grocery,call doc, etc. This has worked well for the household stuff, and now I've got my Art Action Plan for the Artistic Mother's Group on a clipboard ready to go.

Speckles tried to join in the fun. Luckily I caught her before she stepped in the paint!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back Up

While I was down for the count I worked on a needlepoint pillow. These kits are my go-to craft when I cannot concentrate on anything else but must have something to do with my hands.

Outside these beauties showed up (dropped in), appropriately enough, after the snow finally melted. (Excuse the pun---these are called Snowdrops!)

And when I was all better I worked on my background pages for the Artistic Mother Art Group I'm participating in. Love playing in the paint. I highly recommend it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Eating Grass

"We are rarely ill, and if we are, we go off somewhere and eat grass until we feel better."
Paul Gallico
I'll be back soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Artistic Mother

I've always had a difficult time with scheduling. Since we've homeschooled for many years and my husband has an unusual schedule, things have always been hit-and-miss around here. This has especially been true when it comes to my artmaking, writing, etc. I'm interested in so many different things and it's nerve-wracking trying to fit them all in. So I've tried different "systems" over the years. One is to schedule by the day of the week---divide your activities according to the day, i.e. if it's Tuesday, it must be painting day. Another is the school-day breakdown---writing from 9 to 11, painting from 1 to 3, etc.. These never worked for me. I'd be gung ho for a while and then peter out. After I read Barbara Scher's book Refuse To Choose I implemented some of her suggestions for a "scanner" (someone with many varied interests). These included a chart like the colorful one above. You write out what you want to do and when you've done it, you color in a block. This helps you see what areas you are neglecting to get done. As you can see, according to this chart from three years ago, I neglected a few! A week ago I found Shona Cole's book The Artistic Mother at B&N. After reading it, I decided to adapt her "12 week workshop" into a schedule. I headed the schedule with my three main interests--- writing, painting, and sewing---and put down what I would do in each area each day. This was working very well (four days into it!). However, I just found out today that Trudy Callan is forming an Artistic Mothers group. Bloggers will work through the 12 weeks together and post about it. I think this will give me the accountability I've been lacking in my "freelance" life. If you'd like to join just go to Trudy's blog and sign up. It's starting March 6.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Little Art Quilts

Today I worked on a series of art quilts sized 9" by 12." First I fuse everything into place; then I use satin stitching for outlining. Then comes the fun part---beads, buttons, and hand embroidery. Sometimes paint makes its way onto the surface. I love playing with color and texture.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

O February

"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." Albert Camus
They're calling for 6 to 8 more inches tonight. I'm glad. If it's going to be cold, I'd just as soon have snow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Full Saturday

Vacuuming the house, working on journal pages, scoring a new three dollar bowl, and seeing Percy Jackson and the Olympians with the family---a nice, full day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Night is Pizza Night

For most of the twenty years of our marriage Friday night has been designated as pizza night. We were quite poor when we were newlyweds so we would make our own pizza. After a few years we were able to afford Domino's. Then we became vegetarians and went back to making our own pizza again. We would get very elaborate with spinach, broccoli, sun-dried tomatos, and soy cheese. We even took our own cheese to pizza restaurants. They were very gracious about it. Then we had children and all that went out the door. Now its good ole mozzarella and pepperoni for us. Oh, and Coke also.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Craft Table

When the Pilot and I moved to our second house in Beeville,Texas this wooden table was left behind in the garage. I promptly claimed it for my craft table. In our first house, in Milton Florida, I painted in the guest bedroom with an easel and a small table. I had a writing desk (which I've always had), but I was excited to have a big table to spread stuff out on. And it has been my constant companion through seven more houses. There's always a spot for the craft table. I now have two other large worktables, but this one will always be special.

And it looks so fun after a few painting sessions. I repaint it every so often, and then I get to "mess" it up again!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Good Day

Busy captured one of the highlights of the day--- a box of books from Amazon. One of them is Built By Wendy: Dresses. I made a couple of skirts and a blouse from her first book. Looking forward to delving into this one.

Worked on a new art journal---a la Teesha Moore. I made her 16 page journal. My other journals are just sketchbook-like paper so it's been interesting to work on watercolor paper.

Plus, I'm using my Sharpie poster paints more and really liking the effect. Too bad. I hear they've been discontinued.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Artwork going on.

Well, I didn't get any artwork done today, but I caught Busy in the act!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Apple Crumb Pie

I made this apple pie for President's Day. I was going to make a cherry pie, but J3 loves apple, so I went with that. The recipe I use is from my mom's old Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book---the one with the red checkered tablecloth on the cover. It's called Apple Crumb Pie.
I have tried many different apple pie recipes over the years and this is the one my family likes best. The "crumb" topping goes well with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Pilot brought these home yesterday. I love miniature pink roses. I hope everyone had a lovely day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Joining in!

I'm tempted to say this is a test. This is only a test. After months of fence-sitting, I'm finally jumping in and joining the fray. Many thanks to my husband, the Pilot, for helping me set this up. And to my children, Busy and J3, for all their ideas.
After being inspired by several bloggers and their beautiful ripple afghans, I just had to crochet one. I'm loving it and already thinking about the next color scheme.