Monday, August 31, 2015

CREATIVE TUESDAY ~ CONTAINER GARDEN



"Rosemary in a Birdcage on the Balcony"

Do you have a porch, balcony or even just a kitchen windowsill? Chances are then at some point you've likely dabbled with growing plants from seed, potting flowers or even gathering herbs and so on — all the fun found in cultivating a CONTAINER GARDEN of your very own. Show us what you've done or what you'd like to see.  These were the instructions for the Theme this time around.

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I started with a pencil sketch on watercolor paper, added ink, and then completed it with watercolor and a bit of spatter and shading with prismacolor pencils.


I do have a balcony and I decided to make my container a birdcage and plant Rosemary.  I love the smell of Rosemary use it often in my cooking.  In fact last year I made fused Rosemary Sea Salt, and fused Rosemary Olive Oil.    Do you use Rosemary?

To see all the creative containers and gardens from the other participants, just click on the CT badge on my sidebar.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

SUNDAY SKETCHES WITH ALEXANDRA



Click to enlarge

Moving right along in my Miss Mouse series.  Wednesday finds our sweet little homemaker knitting a blanket for her bed.  She chose her pink dress and white apron for her photo shoot! HaHa

To see all the Sunday Sketches with Alexandra, just click on the tree badge on my sidebar.  Thanks again Alexandra for hosting this fun meme.  You keep our brains busy, our pencils sharp and our paints ready.


Friday, August 28, 2015

SURPRISE ~ SURPRISE !!


We've lived at the Villa for a little over a year, and I never noticed that one of the trees at the edge of the balcony was a lime tree.  Over the past year it has reach it's branches up higher and higher and I spotted a lime within reach!  I went down below and found the other three on the ground.  



You can see it has reached up to the balcony within arms reach.  What a nice surprise.



Today we are having ice tea with a twist of "lime".    You never know what you are going to find at the Villa!

In the recent months I've really been working on my art, and trying some new forms besides my watercolors which I dearly.  On Show Your Face I'm sharing some new and some old watercolors of faces I've done.  Also on that meme and Paint Party Friday I'm experimenting with "Art Journals"  My Sunday Sketches with Alexandra and Creative Tuesday's I will continue to post on this blog.  But if you would like to see my new Art Blog called Brush Strokes from Wanda there is a link on my side bar right under my "Profile".   I post there on Friday's.  Would love to have you visit.


Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

AMETHYST BUD VASE


So happy to find out the details of my amethyst bud vase.  I've had it for over 30 years.  It was given to me by a member of our church Myrtle Dirksen.   She was the sweetest woman and had a yard of tulips in every color. 

I did google it, but the only one like mine was amber in color.  I really appreciate the information that you all give me about depressed glass and the patterns and colors.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

SCONE RECIPE AND MY NEW PLATE


I was trying to remember what they call this kind of glass, and Betsy came to the rescue.  It's depression green glass.  My sister has been collecting it for years and has a hutch full.


She had two cake plates and gifted one to me.  I was anxious to use it.  This morning I made scones and they looks so pretty served on the plate.

Do you have any depression glass?  What color?  I've seen green and rose, and one piece of lavender.

APRICOT, WHITE CHOCOLATE, WALNUT SCONES

2 cups all-purpose flour                1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar              1 cup white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons baking powder           1 cup coarsely broken walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt                            1 cup chopped dried apricots *
1/4 cup chilled butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375 f.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture.  With a pastry blender cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl stir together the cream, egg and vanilla.

Add chocolate chips, apricots and walnuts to flour mixture and coat all.   Make a well and add the cream mixture.  Stir and knead into dough.

On a lightly floured board pat the dough into a circle.  I divide the dough and make two smaller circles.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and score into 8 wedges. (you will have 16 smaller scones by dividing the dough.)
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.

Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.  Recut the wedges if necessary.  My drizzle is 
optional...but it just gives them a finishing touch for looks and taste.

*You can substitute dried cranberries for apricots if desired.

Brew a pot of coffee and enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2015

TUESDAY TIDBITS


Dinner last night was a throw back from my childhood.  Salmon croquettes, creamed corn and garden salad.  Topped off with fresh avocado slices.  It tasted like mom's.




Remember back in June I bought a flowering vine to attract hummingbirds since we cannot hang feeders from the balcony.



Well I think there were some magic beans in the bottom of the pot as it just keeps climbing.  I had to put a little trellis to accommodate it.  It's not as full of blooms now, but lots of buds waiting to open.  I've only seen a couple of hummingbirds ~~maybe they don't like the color of red. HaHa


 I took two of the babies from the Spider plant and transferred them in small pots...they are growing like crazy too.  That balcony is like a greenhouse.   I love it.


 When I was looking through my pictures from my sister trip, I forgot to share the Hilmar Cheese Factory.  All the cheese in made on the premises.  They have Visitor Center and cafe.  This is just a few miles from where my sister lives.



We met a dear friend there for lunch.  Her husband of many many years passed away recently, and we wanted to take her to lunch and encourage her.


 Rows and rows of cheese made right there on the grounds.


 In the Visitor Center they show the process to make the cheese behind glass windows.


 I happen to love cheese and Hilmar Cheese is really good.


The gift shop was full of darling things, but what I wanted was too big to bring on the train, so I just looked and drooled.  HaHa


What I did bring home was a beautiful cake plate.   Donna has been collecting green glass ware for years and had a hutch full.  She had two cake plates and wanted me to have one.  I wrapped it in all my clothes in the middle of my suitcase.  Isn't it pretty, can't wait to serve a cake or a ring of scones on it.

A LITTLE BRAG TIME




Excuse me while I brag a little ~ It's official ~ you can call him coach!  Congratulations Elijah on being hired on as a water polo coach at Sunny Hills High School.

Elijah spent his four years of High School at Sunny Hills playing water polo and is now attending University of CA in Fulllerton.  His job while attending college will be coaching at his old High School.  What could be more fun than that.

Love when the grandkids begin their future as adults and to see where the choices they make lead them.  

Makes me remember my early days of Biola and working at Knotts Berry Farm as a waitress in the Chicken House.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

SUNDAY SKETCHES WITH ALEXANDRA




When I decided to sketch and paint all of my little mouse statues of the days of the week, it has turned into quite a project.  I'm not as happy with Miss Tuesday, as I was Monday wash day.  But rather than labor doing it over, I'll just share our little mouse doing her ironing on Tuesday.  Will begin working on Wednesday now...wonder what Miss Mouse does on Wednesday's....you'll find out soon.

To see all the artists and their Sunday Sketches, just click on the "Tree Badge" on my sidebar.

A PRAYER FROM SAMUEL




I Samuel 3:8-10  The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, you called me."  Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.  So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening'".  So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel, Samuel."  And Samuel said ~ "Speak, for your servant is listening."


Dear Lord ~ when you speak to me I often fail to listen, and when I hear, I don't understand, and when I do understand I often fail to obey.  The clamorous world around me obscures Your voice.  Lord I pray for the wisdom of Eli who knew it was Your voice calling.  Oh Lord, help me when I hear your voice calling me, I will answer like Samuel ~  "Speak for your servant is listening."  I love You.  Amen.

Speak, Lord, in the stillness
While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen
In expectancy

Speak, O blessed Master
In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face, Lord
Feel Thy touch of power.
~May E. Grimes (1920-)

Sending blessings for a wonderful weekend.

Image from googleimages.com

Friday, August 21, 2015

EARLY FALL AT THE VILLA



When I got home from my trip, my dearest had my Fall decorations down from the storage unit, and I just couldn't wait.  I know it's still August ~ but our home was ready for a change, and frankly, so was I.   I'm not putting out everything this year.  I was picking and choosing just some of my favorite things.  I love setting our little glass table with my fall dishes and my pumpkin soup tureen.


I've had my pumpkin soup tureen for years.  Got it on sale one year after the holidays.  When the weather is chilly I do fill it with creamy potato soup, or hearty vegetable.  Not just pretty but practical.


Since the apartment is small most of my many pumpkins are still packed away.  But this one along with a leaf candy dish fit nicely here on a small ottoman.


When Donna and I were on our sister trip we stopped at a Body works and I picked up some Fall hand soaps.  This one is Pumpkin Cupcake, and I'm so tempted to lick my hands when I wash them. HaHa.

The final touch was to add some fall decorations to the top of the kitchen shelf that houses some of  my mom's antiques i.e. her gasoline iron, food grinder and sifters.  One last pumpkin on top of the refrigerator.  In October I will turn it around as it has a Jack~O~Lantern face.

I also change the colors in the bathroom to brown and melon, but that might be too much information.  HaHa (no pictures)

Have a great weekend...and if you're feeling like Fall..just pop in and enjoy mine.

BTW ~My header is my willow tree girls (Heart and Soul) sitting in the pumpkin patch sharing their lives.  The miniature pumpkins were made and given to me years ago.  They come out every year. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CASA de FRUITA


The final stop on the way home from our Sister Trip was at Casa de Fruita.  They have really expanded over years, as I remember stopping here with my parents when we were kids and it was just a fruit stand.

Now they have Wine and Cheese Tasting besides the Antique tractors and old farm equipment.  A grape press from the early 1900's and the best fresh apricot pie ever.   Add a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream and you enter heaven!!!  Mmmmm.

A wonderful Sister Trip ~ The End  ~back to life at the Villa.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CONFUSION IN THE CEMETERY

When I posted my "Stories from the Cemetery, I confused some of you as I saw from the comments.  The stories from the cemetery were not with my sister but with my lifelong friend Kris who lived across the street.  we met before either of us had started school.  I've added her picture below.


One of the things I wanted to do on this trip was go by and visit my parents grave.  I don't go often, but wasn't sure when I'd be near there again, so Donna and I took a trip over and reminisced about mom and dad.  My dad passed away at 57 with cancer and knew he didn't have much time, so planned his own burial place.  The cemetery was across the street where we lived, and my dad chose this spot because it was shady and he said when mom came to visit his grave he wanted to her have some shade.  How thoughtful.  That was 1968 and the tree is much bigger now, and a lot more shade.

Our sweet mother passed away in 1991 at 79 also with cancer and is buried next to daddy.  Donna and I had the privilege to care for our mother until she died, so she never had to live in a nursing home.


This brings me to the "Stories".  Because we lived across the street from the cemetery, it became a playground for my best friend Kris and me to spend hours and hours of our childhood pretending and playing out all kinds of stories.




One of our stories centered around this old tombstone in the shape of a pulpit with a Bible laying on top.  

Kris and I both had been in church since before we could remember.  It was part of our life.  So during the late 40's and early 50's we heard about Billy Graham and his Crusades.  Since we were both very knowledgeable in "Bible Stories" we played "Crusade."  Kris was Billy Graham, and I was Cliff Barrows and led the singing.  Kris would stand at this pulpit and preach her little heart out, and I would go around to the tombstones and invite the people (by name of course) to our meeting.  (No one ever showed up  HaHa )



Who would have guessed, 10 or so years later these to little girls would go off to Bible College together and one end up a Pastor's wife, and one a Missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators.   God had His Almighty Hand on us even then.



Another one that I love was our "Miss America" Pageant.  Back in those days, it was just an old cemetery ~ unlike today when they are Memorial Parks, with fences and gates.  So back then all the old flowers, ribbons and holders were placed in a pile until the gardeners came once a week to haul them away.  

In that pile were ribbons that looks like Miss American Banners to us, so over our little heads we would wear our banners.  Some might say Beloved Mother, or Sister but to us...They said Miss California or Miss America.  A dried up flower in our hair...a ribbon on our chest and we were on the stage and the applause was wonderful!!!!


Some people may think we were disrespectful and but in our little minds....we were transported to another world, a place where children made up their own stories and games, and didn't sit in front of a TV or even know what a video game was.   I wouldn't trade my childhood for anything.....it shaped the woman I am today.

Monday, August 17, 2015

CREATIVE TUESDAY~ LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER,


Click to enlarge

I'm trying to stretch my envelope and be more creative.  I've been really inspired by a few fashion magazines lately and so my faceless beach goers are enjoying their "Lazy Days of Summer".  

Pencil sketch first, and then watercolor.  She just needed to be a redhead!! Decided to leave the umbrella white to show off their tans.

To catch all the Lazy Days of Summer just click on the CT badge on my sidebar.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

SISTER TRIP ~ THE OCEAN


From our delicious breakfast we traveled on to Santa Cruz where we walked the Board Walk and took in the sights.  The ocean, the roller coaster (viewed~didn't ride) HaHa.  People everywhere as it was the last days before the start of school.

As we drove to Monterey where we had booked our hotel we saw a mother deer and her two fawns.  I took it from the car so it's a little blurry.

Celebrating Donna's 80th Birthday in style.  The Beach House restaurant in Pacific Grove.  She had the Salmon and I was feeling adventurous so tried the Sand-Dab Almondine.  We added a glass of wine and enjoyed the good food, and sharing our lives and catching up on all our grandkids and our "greats".  She had a new one 2 months old.
  

I have one more collage of a stop we made on the way home and a few pictures I took at the cemetery where my parents are buried.  I'll save that for another day.   Don't want to overwhelm you!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

SUNDAY SKETCHES WITH ALEXANDRA



A few weeks ago I did my first little mouse for Creative Tuesday's theme "Picnic" (see below)  If you remember, I have all seven days of the week with these little mice statues.  So I decided to do them all.  This is "Monday ~ Wash Day."




I started with pencil sketch, and then used black marker, and finished off with watercolors.



This is the Sunday Mouse ~ Having a Picnic.

To see all the wonderful Sunday Sketches just click on the tree badge on my sidebar.  And Thank You Alexandra for this fun Art Challenge.

SISTER TRIP


Back from my Sister Trip and it was wonderful.  I'm putting together a few collages to share the trip as I did take a lot of pictures and will just give you some highlights.

This was the beginning ~ Getting on the Amtrak bus, and then transferring to the train.  My baggy gypsy pants were very comfortable to travel in.  First day ~ A pedicure ~ I'm the one in the ugly flip flops, didn't wear my "bling" to get the pedi.  haha

With pretty toes, and suitcases packed we headed out to the coast and our first stop was breakfast at the famous Anderson's Split Pea Soup restaurant in Santa Nella.  Danish sausage, hash browns, eggs over medium and sour dough toast.  Great way to start the trip.

Tomorrow I'll share a collage of our Beach Time.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

SUNDAY SKETCHES WITH ALEXANDRA


Since I will be on a train Sunday, I'm posting my Sunday Sketch today.

Been looking through Fashion Magazines and getting some inspiration.  A few weeks ago I shared the "dahling in the white dress" and today a little more "punky" attitude".  When I saw the advertisement in the magazine I wanted to put my take on the original artist illustration.  I loved the bags and boxes and don't you love the dress?  I will call this one:
"LETS GO SHOPPING"


Started with a pencil sketch using the advertisement as my guild and then added watercolor on 140 wt. cold press ~ finished it off with a little ink outlining.

To see all the other Sunday Sketches,  just click on the badge on my sidebar.

Friday, August 7, 2015

THE OCEAN AND THE ORPHANS



Soon my sister and I will be walking on the beach, laughing, catching up on sister things, grandkids, and everything else.  While this wonderful time is going on.....


Two orphans will be left to care for themselves.  Not something they are used to doing.  HaHa.  Mother hen will be gone, and my dearest and my Molly will be left in the nest alone.

Unlike my usual schedule when I'm gone, there are no casseroles in the freezer, no pre-made lunches, and we ate the zucchini bread I made and was going to freeze.

It every man and dog to him/herself in the Tree House for week.  It's our version of the Variety Show ~ Survival.

I'll post my Sunday Sketch ~ but then I'll be gone for a week.  See you when I get back with LOTS of pictures of our Sister Week.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

NEW STOVE AND A WHOLE LOT MORE


  • I loved Betsy's vintage white pots, so I took a start from my Creeping Charlie and put it in a milk glass bowl in my swivel hutch.  Thanks for the idea.
  • I have a Rooster guarding my Creeping Charlie on the balcony. HaHa
  • My baggy gypsy pants from the Thrift Store.  Really comfortable.
  • My New Hotpoint stove ~ Yeah!
  • Large burners, and a oven that works!!!
  • It's brand new and Willie our Maintenance man had it in within minutes.
  • The cookie sign is out.
  • The batch of cookies from the new oven turned out evenly  cooked, no burn bottoms, soft and chewy.  Just the way the kids like them.
PS If you didn't read Suza's little story in her comment yesterday, you need too.  It's a hoot, and I'm still laughing!!!

NOT YOUR NORMAL QUICK BREAD


I wanted to make something that would last for my dearest while I'm on my trip so he could have something sweet with his coffee.

A quick bread would be good, as I could freeze half of it and he could work on the other half.   The problem was I didn't have any bananas, or any other fruit on hand.  Found a couple small zucchini  in the refrigerator, a handful of raisins and a few pecan pieces.  That doesn't sound like a tasty combination....but it turned out really nice and moist and very tasty ~ with a little drizzle of course.

The edges are a little crisp (which I like) but it's because the apartment oven has never baked at the degree it's set.  I've had to adjust the heat down or I do burn things.  

Last week when we had the annual inspection of our unit, I mentioned that the oven didn't regulate the heat properly and I had to make adjustment when I bake.  She made a note of that, and a few days later she told me they have ordered me a new stove.

Maybe they thought I'd stop baking cookies with an oven that was not predictable.  HaHa.  I'm thrilled so I may have a new stove when I get back from my trip.

In the meantime...we can handle a few crusty edges!!  btw I used my new Teflon bread pan.