Friday, November 16, 2012

Flowers for you!

With my dad's visit imminent and us then going on our cruise, there is much to be done to get the house ready for our house sitter and to get packed!

That means that my blog posts will be sporadic at best and more postcard style.

I'm thinking of all of you and hope that you are all doing well!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

From Angst to Art

All that anxiety last week resulted in two paintings (aside from all the baked goods I showed you in my last post). The one I showed you in this post, all colorful and wild.
And then this one, done entirely with Titanium White, Graphite Gray, Napthol Red and a touch of Cerulean Blue.
There's lots of texture through an initial layer of molding paste, plus from using a dry bristle brush, a palette knife and my etching needle for doing lots of scraping and scratching, both while the paint was still wet and after it had dried.
It was cathartic and I really love it! Not just a little bit. A lot!
And underneath it all is a self portrait of me ~ not visible, but I know it's there. I thought that was very fitting with how I felt last week. Underneath everything, I will always be me. :-)
Beneath the Surface
acrylic painting
12 x 12 inch canvas

Available here in my Etsy Shop.

Today, I am back to myself and feeling a bit more centered again. Thank goodness!! The weather is beautiful, we had scones for breakfast (I did have to get a little baking in today) and it's a good day!

I hope your Sunday is wonderful!!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Baking ... a lot!

Lately, I have felt unsettled. Really unsettled. I think it started with the storm and all that wind we had, the tree falling and needing to be cut down. Then I think I tuned into all the anxiety around the election, then there was the day the dog found us and we didn't know what was going to happen to him. Add to that a few other things that are going on, and I was all nerves and anxiety. 

So, what do I do to get my groove back? I bake. And this time I baked a lot - for us now and for the freezer for later. First some of my favorite christmas cookies. I blogged about them here (with a link to the recipe and changes we make to it). They are delicious!! 
Then I got the recent issue of the german Landlust Magazine and had to try one of their cookie recipes. I'll make it again, somewhat modified, and if they are really good, I'll share the recipe with you all.
Then I made my favorite fast bread recipe,
made from spelt flour and lots of seeds.
It is quick to make, a super grainy German bread, and freezes exceptionally well. I blogged about it here (with the link to the recipe in German and English).
And, since that didn't quite seem enough (just kidding!), I also made my favorite slow bread recipe. The kind that rises and rises again and takes a lot of time to make, and is all yeasty goodness when it's baked.
Here's the link to the recipe. It is a fluffier bread than the one above (which is more like a brick, but a delicious brick) and makes the perfect toast or sandwich bread. It also freezes great.
And finally there was the pumpkin pie from last week. There were a couple of requests for the recipe, so I have some links for you. The pie crust I used, I shared with you in this post.  It's super easy, but you can always use a store-bought crust for this if you are not into making your own. And the pie filling recipe I found here. Super duper easy and very good!
Yesterday I baked all day and today I pretty much sat on the couch crocheting on the afghan I am making. Both the baking and crocheting are restoring my center once again. I am hoping for a much calmer week next week!

And I wish that for you as well!

P.S. Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post! I am so happy the dog is back with his owners and it all had a good ending. Your comments and concern really helped keep me calm! I can't tell you how much I appreciated that!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

What a morning!

This morning at 6:30, Winslow started barking his "there's a dog in the yard" bark. Daniel went outside and there was a beautiful and sweet and huge Great Dane sitting by our front steps. He was super skinny and quite feeble. He was a total sweetheart and loved to be petted. 
We got him settled in our garage under a couple of blankets because he was cold and shivering. He ate a little bit, drank lots of water and then slept, all tucked in, while I telephoned our vet, animal control and the southern Great Dane rescue.

Finally, a gentle giant from animal control picked him up. Literally. He picked him up and gently put him in the truck. This guy was wonderful (I was worried about this part). They'll have a vet check him out and I'm glad that he at least has shelter now as it is quite cold in Savannah at the moment and will stay so (at least at night) for a few days.

The amazing people from the rescue (for whom I took this photo) already got the ball rolling to get in touch with animal control and see if they can help this sweet dog. I wish we could have kept him. And I wish we could have done more for him.

Now that he is gone, I am feeling quite discombobulated. I'm going to make some tea, finally have some breakfast and settle in for a little bit of nerve-soothing knitting.

I hope your morning was calmer and less eventful than ours has been!

P.S. All of this really made me think of our very first dog, Moe, a big Great Dane/Dalmation mix, who was just the most wonderful dog. I'll have to go through our photos and scan some in to show you!

HAPPY UPDATE: We just talked with the owners of the great dane who live somewhere in the vicinity. "Charles," as the dog is called decided to take a walk on his own early this morning and apparently got lost and found us. They were looking for him and calling around and finally found him again at Animal Control. He is quite old and getting feeble, but his owners love him and are happy he was taken care of and is safely back home (he even had a bath at animal control). And I'm happy there was a good ending to all of this!!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Playing with Color

What is the antidote to a gloomy and rainy day? Lots of color!!

And a canvas, brushes, rags and a palette knife.

This became a painting that surprised me in its energy and color choices. And as I sit in front of it, I find myself not merely looking at it, but deeply into it. It makes me think and somehow prompts me to daydream.
12 x 24 inch (30 x 60 cm)
acrylic on canvas

Listed in my Etsy Shop
Today is a momentous day in the United States. We are all ever hopeful!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Moments in Time

Do you ever have days when you feel just incredibly content? When your little world is just as it should be and you wouldn't change a thing? I had a day like that yesterday and I took some pictures along the way to share with you. 

Ramses making a nest in the pine needles Daniel was about to clean up.  

Pine cones from the garden. They all came down during the recent windy days and now look pretty in the house. 
A picture of peace: all three animals in one spot. Can you spy them all? Just click on the picture to make it bigger. That huge begonia we grew from one leaf that we picked somewhere in town last year.
Louie being very intense.  In reality, he was just stretching toward me to be petted. He loves to cuddle.
The last hydrangeas on the window sill in the kitchen (I love that picture of Daniel in Ireland).
The last of the purple basil picked and ready to be used in our favorite Thai chicken dish next week.
Surprise yarn I got in the mail. I had ordered a super cheap packet of five skeins of this cotton yarn, but the color was going to be a surprise. It couldn't have been more perfect for me! And each skein is over 300 yards long, so there's enough for a nice project or two!
Now to the food! The chicken broth I made on Friday was transformed into a delicious chicken noodle veggie soup yesterday ~ to eat next week and for the freezer for later.
Fresh out-of-the-oven pumpkin pie I made on Friday.
Last night I made a green salad with pears, blue cheese and walnuts...
and risotto with crispy sage leaves and pears.
Nothing grand, but somehow everything felt special. A day to be savored. And that I did.

Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!!


Friday, November 2, 2012

My Friday

Here's how my day went today:

(I had no new and exciting picture to show you, so these are of a second little clutch purse I made yesterday - notice all the fancy and random machine stitching I added...I didn't even know my little old sewing machine could do such things!!)
Ok, back to my day:

I woke up this morning and Daniel brought me a cup of tea - wonderful!

I thought, when I get up, I'll go straight upstairs to paint and sew some more. Great plan!

But first I'll check my e-mail (big mistake!). I sat on the couch and suddenly the sunlight was illuminating every single dog and cat hair in the living room. Not to mention the dust particles flying around. I was horrified!

I jumped up and got out the vacuum cleaner and proceeded to vacuum the downstairs. Then I thought I might as well make the bed. And empty the dishwasher.

Then I realized that I hadn't eaten anything yet, so I had some homemade bread with almond butter and sour cherry preserves (yum!).
Daniel came by and mentioned something about a pumpkin pie. Did someone say bake?!? Of course I immediately made my favorite pie crust to have enough time to let it chill and bake the pie.

I got all my stuff together to take upstairs (finally) and saw that I had an email that the latest Real Simple magazine was available for download. I did download it and immediately got lost in all the great holiday gift ideas and recipes and the many ways I could make my life simpler if I could just get my act together...

By then it was lunchtime and Daniel had to leave for a meeting at school. I made him lunch and after he left thought I might as well eat, too.
I had roasted a chicken the other night and was about to pick the last of the meat off the carcass when I remembered that I had had a craving for chicken soup and promptly combined the leftover chicken with some herbs and veggies for a great smelling broth that is simmering as I write this.

Almost on my way up the stairs, I decided that I might as well bake the pie now so that it is cool when Daniel gets home and we can eat a piece. I rolled out the dough (oh, it was wonderful), assembled the filling and now it's in the oven baking.

I am staying downstairs so I can hear the buzzer go off and thought I might as well do a blog post.
If you like this, you can click through to my etsy shop from my blog sidebar.  :)
You might think that this is a day that has gone quite astray, but I love days when I have no concrete plans and can just follow my bliss! I may not have sewn or painted anything today, but there is soup simmering on the stove, a pie in the oven and happiness in my heart!

I'd call that a great day!!

Wishing you one as well!