Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A New Watercolor in my Journal

   I thought I would share my latest watercolor pencil "painting"  that is in my new watercolor journal.

   The first attempt I liked everything except for the building-I had the lines so off that it didn't even look like a building haha.  So I asked blog friend Barbara for some help-and she helped me figure out the lines. This one is much better, but now I am not totally in love with my mountains.
   Barbara says if you are not going for realism (don't think I can achieve that at the moment) there are many folk art painters where everything doesn't need to look perfect.  So I liked that, felt better about this painting too.

   This vintage cigar box that was one of Larry's that he left behind at the woods  house-I snatched (actually I snatched 4 of these wooden boxes sshhh) are perfect for my pencils, and I have one for the watercolor tube paints too.

    The magazine photo was my inspiration

I will also share this later in the week for Paint Party Friday

Thanks for Looking

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Watercolor with Pencils

  Happy Sunday everyone,

       Yesterday was such a long day of sewing, that I decided to work on domestic stuff in the morning, made up the ice cream base, kept Larry's glass filled with cold tea while he worked on the dock all morning-and then I was ready to play in my craft room before our 2 pm meal.
    I got out my watercolor pencils, my new watercolor journal, and the folder with magazine photos for inspiration and did a little painting.
   I wanted to practice some of the new tips to me for using these watercolor pencils. I felt I had better control this time with the water and these pencils, so am pleased with that.
  Still much more practice and learning but was fun to do some art again

I am going to like this small watercolor journal for learning

I chose two magazine photos That back photo was from a hunter's clothing advertisement we got in the mail-loved the mountains, and I liked these pretty blue flowers

Saturday, July 25, 2020

T Stands for Tuesday and Pillow Coverings Made & Homemade Ice Cream

  Hi everyone, and Happy Tuesday which brings us to T with our hostess Bleubeard and Elizabeth. We share T with friends and post a drink related photo. You are most welcome to join us.

  Wow I almost didn't think I was going to be able to post. For some reason when I clicked on new post it took me to the list of my posts etc. 4th try it finally led me to post. whew!

   No art again this week although I really wanted to do some watercolor and practice what I learned in the video I had shared. However Friday and Saturday I got out my two fabrics for making pillow coverings.
   I had saved some old ones that my Mom had made because I loved how she made these pillow coverings; an easy way to slip the cover off for washing.  I am slow at math but I did get it worked out.

  I had enough nautical fabric from Mia's gifts to make one pillow with a little left over for crafting. I washed it first and it didn't ravel too much more, but I did zig zag all the seams first because I think this will ravel with use.

This pillow was rather thin and tall so perfect for the back of one of these chairs

  I have this wonderful large desk with a large cutting mat for fabrics-but what do I do?  I sit on the floor to cut haha. My desk is pretty full with paints and mixed media items at the moment.

  This was taken early Saturday morning, so full sunshine coming in through the wall of windows.
     The fabric in below photos I had purchased last year when I bought the curtain fabric to make a curtain to go in front of our bedroom closet-that sewing project will be next.

I ended up with enough fabric to cover 4 pillows. I have a bit left of this fabric, but not allot, I think there was 2 yards of it.

   I had picked up a package of 2 pillow forms, and I replaced a cover for the thinner one on the left.

This is the back

I had a pillow that I had made years ago from a large cloth rice bag, so I decided to cover it with this fabric-I had just enough fabric going in the same pattern direction  I just posed this pillow here for the photo

    I also completed cushions for the two chairs that sit at the two ends of our dining table. These chairs were handmade years ago by our friend Lilburn that passed last year.  He made allot of furniture to sell before we met him, and I had asked him if he had anything left as I would like to have something from him and he found these two matching chairs.

    When I made these cushions for the two benches I had two pieces of the thick foam left-the two ends were just wide enough to make two cushions for these two chairs. I embroidered more fish to match the other cushions

These type of box cushions I do not enjoy sewing together at all-but I got er done.

  We are still sooooo hot and humid here. This year I just can not be outdoors much as I can't breathe in this air.  We only got a little bit of rain a week ago.

  I have ice tea and also lemonade in the refrigerator at all times now. I had poured us each a glass full with ice. These are both handmade pottery glasses from my pottery collection.

     This weekend the boaters are stressing me out-actually this is the first time it has really bothered me at all.
    Soooooo many boaters since late Thursday-speed boats, ocean boats, personal water craft  (motorcycles on water), and no one will stay 100 feet off our dock or our neighbors docks.  We brought in that used dock to work on, and it is not totally tied down yet as it needs to be.  Scares me sometimes with those huge waves coming in.  I am about ready to close the blinds so I can't watch lol

  wow now the text has changed here on it's own-sigh-not sure how to get what I was using back-oh well Blogger definately has some kinks in it right now lol

   I did not join in the atc swap-mostly as I don't like to work that small. So I was delighted to receive one along with goodies from our Elizabeth-thank you soooo much. 
     I Love the atc

     Oh and I wanted to share that a year ago I had hit 150 pounds which totally freeked me out. Before I hit 65 years of age I always weighed under 130 and my favorite weight was 117 -125.
   So a year ago I started watching what we ate more-less carbs, walked when I could, tried keto desserts-as those are gluten free and sugar free. My goal has been to reach 130 pounds-and over the weekend I finally saw that number on the scale-so excited I can't tell you.
    Now my new goal is for 125 pounds. I wanted to get back into my size 10 jeans and shorts but I need to lose allot of inches for those (4 inches) Once this heat goes away hoping to get in more walks per day.  I may just start walking in the house-I can walk down into the basement and then up into the house-I have a steps counter to help.

Happy T everyone and Happy 7th anniversary of T  If not for this wonderful event on Tuesdays I would have no one to blog with.  Hugs to you all.

Update:  I took a couple short videos of my ice cream maker-Yumm ice cream in the freezer again we love this keto vanilla ice cream

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Sharing a Watercolor Pencil Video

   I wanted to thank CJ again for sharing a couple sites online she uses to purchase art materials.
     I had asked her about it and have used both sites. I do allot of shopping online-main reason we have always lived too rural to be near shopping malls or art and crafts stores-and once I started it's just so much easier for me this way and I do Love mail in my mailbox lol

One is Dick Blick which I have been happy with but----
   I am really loving Jerry's Artarama  when they have sales they are really good sales.
    Getting their newsletters I also learned that they share live video classes on Tuesdays on their Facebook site and on their You Tube Channel.

   Yesterday they were teaching "painting" with watercolor pencils. I learned allot from this video. For one Yes you can paint pictures with these pencils just like the watercolor paints. Someone in comments on one of my past posts mentioned that she didn't think the pencils were meant for pictures-I kinda thought they should work once I figured out how to use them better.
   From the video watching her "paint" a sunset I learned that I was using too much water for one, she showed different ways to blend colors together like you would with paints, and what I really thought was nifty-she would touch a wet brush to the watercolor pencil to get the colors.  She demonstrated drawing-coloring in your painting first and then with a very "dry" wet watercolor brush-go over your work to bring out the pigments in the pencils.
   Of course on these videos they are featuring different supplies-but I loved the watercolor postcards she was demonstrating with. I needed to buy some of those-haha.  Perfect size for learning and practicing and then you can just address the back and send it off to a friend. These postcards also came with protective sleeves to put them in and could also mail them this way too.

So I just wanted to share new to me information with any of you that like to play with watercolor pencils.

Here is yesterday's video

And if you enjoy entering your art works-at the end of these live videos they put a challenge out and then they choose 3 winners.

Monday, July 20, 2020

T Stands for Tuesday & Canning

Happy Tuesday everyone-which brings us together for T with friends at our hostess' blog Bleubeard and Elizabeth.
   You are most welcome to join us just post a photo with your drink reference.

 I had it on my mind that I wanted to can some fruit this year.
    Our Wal mart store (which sad to say is the cheapest store for groceries-though I would prefer to use a more local store)  still has mostly bare shelves for canned goods.
   When we first moved to Missouri back in 2003 there was an older couple that would drive down to the boothill-or southern area of Missouri where they have fertile growing land-and bring back peaches, apples and melons.  After several years he stopped doing it, thinking probably do to his age and perhaps health.
   So for awhile I would order from an amish store in Leadmine, Mo  but that was an hour drive each way. Now at the lake house there is a large Mennonite community in Versailles area which is about 30 minutes from me-not bad for living rural.  I went Saturday morning she had just gotten in Georgia peaches for canning, and she had out their own farm grown canning tomatoes.
   I ended up with 26 pints of canned tomatoes from a $11.00 box-not bad. It worked out .44 cents each pint plus the cost of the canning lid (which are getting expensive now), a little lemon juice in each jar, and the cost of the electric. I am figuring each pint was still at a cost below a dollar. so was pleased.  They were not as bright red as some years-thinking do to our hot weather with no rain but was glad to have these in the pantry.
   The peaches-well they were the worse peaches I have ever bought to can-they were like those store bought peaches that never ripen but just rot away. These were also mushy and stringy. I canned 6 jars-and decided no more. The peaches also were not freestone-so the pit would not come out without cutting it out. Just not good. and I have been canning almost every year for over 50 years now. I was greatly disappointed
   So I called the market, since we were having storms Monday morning and she apologized and offered a new box or refund-I chose the refund since I paid with a credit card. So will keep an eye out for the refund.  I may drive back again soon to see if she got a new batch in that are nicer.
   I have always made salsa-enjoy doing it-but since right now I would have to buy everything-the peppers, tomatoes, and onions not a cost savings
  I would like to locate some pears to can.

Yesterday (Sunday) I canned 16 pints and this morning (Monday) I finished up with 10 more

  I have to tell ya-this was a new experience canning on this little electric stove when I am used to my 10 burner professional gas Wolf stove.  There was no room for it here at the lake house-I really miss it-I would fill two large pressure canners on that big stove. and be done with a huge batch of canned jars in a day.

     It is really difficult to find Strong Bow hard cider nearby. We used to buy it at Sam's club but they are just too far away now.  The local grocery store near us has a huge liquor department better choices than many liquor stores I have been in. She had the bottles of Strong Bow so I asked if she gets the cans in with the different flavors. She said you know this comes from Scotland? (I didn't know that) and said she tries to at least keep the bottles in stock.
   So when I went there for some fresh salad fixins I checked to see what else she had for hard cider and she was carrying this brand
     I was not familiar with-It is gluten free and small batch made. I chose the pear-it was really delicious  So this is my drink reference for T

I don't have any art to share today. Hope you have an awesome new week and Happy T

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Movie for Saturday

  I wanted to share this movie, I watched it last night soooo good and cried through allot of it. and the ending is just soooo awesome.

  I had bought the book a year ago because the movie got such good reviews.
After seeing the movie I will be reading the book soon.

  If you love animals you will love this movie:

  The Art of Racing in the Rain

Friday, July 17, 2020

Pie for Friday

  I have had a taste for a slice of lemon  meringue pie-so I made one the other day-from scratch of course.
   I have used a recipe that was a blue ribbon winner from a Farm Journal cookbook for over 30 years now.  I don't know if these cookbooks are still being printed but they have the best recipes from farm girl cooks. I still have several of the books.
   I used ground almonds-butter-and a non sugar sweetener for the crust
I did cut some of the sugar in the filling by using splenda for part of the sugar.

Perfect for an early evening treat-as we eat one main meal now a day around 2 in the afternoon

Happy Friday

Monday, July 13, 2020

T Stands for Tuesday-Boat Docks, New Watercolor Painting

Good morning everyone,
   Posting for T where we gather for T with Bleubeard and Elizabeth and share a drink reference in our posts.

  I guess we ended up with an exciting week after the 4th-compared to others here at the lake.
     Larry has been looking for a used dock that is better and safer for fishing off of opposed to the one that came with the house. ( we will keep both as the one is  mostly for his boat)
     Since so many boats fly by and way too close to our dock-we needed something safer.  (boats are suppose to be at no wake for 100 feet from docks-they don't do that here-so close they can touch our boat-and the huge waves they make on the weekends is beyond crazy).
   He located one the week before the 4th but the lady kept sending him to the wrong area of the lake, wouldn't share her address or phone number to clarify.  She started out asking $1000.00  for it, but when the roof started to collapse she wanted it gone Now for free.  So long story short our friend and his two teenage sons came to help. I got one photo as they got closer to home.

   They managed to get it here-Larry had to tow it with his fishing boat, got it tied to our dock.
   Sunday our other helper friend (that we pay to help us with things that Larry should not be doing any more) came to secure the roof-he needed to cut off a large chunk of it, secure the rest down, and tie up the old broken boat lift more securely.  I didn't get newest photos yet.
    I had no idea that a brand new dock this size starts at $40,000 and goes up. This one also has a professional diving board on it, and I cleaned up a plastic lounge chair that was on it.  The newer styles use cement pavers for the floor instead of the wood.This dock is much wider and feels more secure and safe for fishing or just hanging out on the dock-which I think we will be doing now.
   So I am thinking that I will need to learn how to fish now for sure haha.
       This dock has the old style of cement pavers-a couple need to be replaced.  Something I can do-once it gets cooler and Larry makes the mold and shows me how.

    I did get more of my watercolor paints in, have been reading allot from the new book I shared last week (which is excellent) so decided to just try the scene  again that I had in my head-with the hills in the distance, lake in front, a few trees.

   I am happy with this painting and I can see I am improving
I painted this on mixed media paper because of the size-and I can see that I need to paint on actual watercolor papers. So I just ordered smaller papers

    I forgot to cut my paper down again so it would fit into my smaller journal-so I cut down the sky a bit.
     I am sharing on Paint Party Friday

      I can't even remember the last time I fried anything. I just never fried foods. My farmgirl Grandma fried mostly sliced potatoes in a big cast iron skillet but she didn't deep fry meats that I can remember. My Mom never fried meats either but did most things in the oven,
    We had a catfish that Larry had caught and we had a small bag of filets that we were gifted from a friend's fishing his pond. Soooo I thought I would give frying fish a go--and was very happy.
   I found a very simple recipe online-it was a southern style and she said never dip your catfish in egg or anything wet-instead just dust well with cornmeal-a little flour-spices of choice.   She says doing it this way keeps your fish from being soggy.
   I grabbed the perfect cast iron pot-used just enough avocado and grapeseed oil to just cover the fish. (these two oils can handle High temperatures-and thought they would be a healthier oil to use as well)  The cast iron was perfect as it holds the heat well and I didn't have to wait for the oil to come back to temperature-it just stays the same through the whole process.

I am still amazed how simple this was, and the batter was perfect to our liking.

I also snipped some oregano to dry as it was just starting to seed with this hot weather, as was the mints. These mints are spearmint and peppermint. Once these are dry and bagged I will dry some of the grapefruit mint.

   Monday I am off finally to get set up for my crown.  I had been scheduled before all this covid happened. Just last week  this old crown popped off-time to get to the dentist and they were able to get me in pretty soon-he was on vacation all last week too.

For my beverage share this week 
       We have been drinking allot of ice tea this week  around 1/2 gallon a day between the two of us-we work on projects outdoors in the mornings before it gets super hot and come in really thirsty.
   Both of these pottery glasses are handmade, from two different potterers I used to buy pieces from. The glass on the right was from a potterer I loved but couldn't afford his dinner ware. Several artists were having an autumn get together with art and craft sales-these glasses were out on sale for a dollar-Wow I bought a dozen of them 😀 (this was back in the '90s probably)

I took this photo Sunday afternoon-the lake was full of "diamonds"-as the sun was out most of the day.

Happy T everyone-Have an awesome new week

Friday, July 10, 2020

A Fun Journal Page for AJJ

 Happy Friday,
     Erika's new theme over at Art Journal Journey is When it's Hot!

   I went through my magazine clippings and found the two I thought I still had-a camp fire and popcorn over a fire. I also found from my postage stamps Scooby Doo

Scooby says It's Not too hot for popcorn-especially over a camp fire.  This page is in my spiral herbal cookbook journal.

I also decided my practice watercolor pages will be perfect to turn into those little books-These will make nice little books for a quick thank you or to drop a friend a note This page I did practice watercolor flowers with my watercolor pencils, and on the back a scene of hills and water also with the watercolor pencils

And on the first little books, I decided the braided yarns were too heavy looking for these so I took those apart and just made it simple

Note: these books are stitched together in the middle first

Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Watercolor attempt

  I had posted my latest watercolor with pencils and the water brushes.
After I took the photo and posted it-I didn't like it much.  Another exercise with depth  So I deleted my post-in case you are looking for it-and redid it a bit.

   I like it better but there is something not quite right with the distant hills.
   All critique to help me improve are always welcome and appreciated.

The original

and my changes

Sunday, July 5, 2020

T Stands for Tuesday & This and That (sorry kinda long)

Happy T Stands for Tuesday
  We share a drink related photo in our post with friends and our hostess Bleubeard and Elizabeth-you are most welcome to join us for T(ea) or any beverage.

  I hope all of you in the States had a wonderful 4th of July-our Nation's birthday.
We have been very hot and humid here-most of last week and it continues.

Our friends had planned on staying over nite for the 4th like they did last year so I extra cleaned the house and made lots of food.  When they got here they said they decided to not stay over.
    That was a shame as their grandson came up from a southern state and he loves fireworks-he was here last year too. He just graduated from high school and is getting ready to enlist in the military-so it was good to see him again. He is a very nice young man.
   I made 2 large racks of baby back bbq ribs, a shrimp boil, German brats, keto cheesecake with a pecan crust this time, a huge veggie salad and she brought the sides.
    Larry and I have really cut back on starches and carbs this year-so I just had no wanting to eat what she brought. A sweet corn salad, a taco side dish that she put a half a bag of crunched doritos into it, and a very sweet dessert loaded with marshmallows-I just couldn't eat any of that-I did eat a couple of her deviled eggs.  I had our usual the proteins and a big salad.

  Last year we really enjoyed watching the fireworks from our deck-but this year was Wow!!!
       I was so tired from the day, that I had fallen asleep just before dark-So glad Larry woke me up as he knows I love to watch the fireworks.
    They went on constantly all around us-even behind us for 4 hours at least. I never get tired of watching fireworks but I almost did this time haha  It was really amazing to watch. and the smoke from the fireworks afterwards? that was quite amazing too lol.
   The lake was also loaded with ignorant boaters-not so bad on Sunday though.
There were a few fireworks every day for a week leading up to the 4th.
   If my little camera would take photos in the dark I would have shared a video-it was quite spectacular over the lake.

  A couple Tuesdays ago Eileen shared a class with us by Art Sparks It was watercolors, making little books, and lettering (not calligraphy)
   I had been waiting for my watercolor paints to arrive all this time. The price for her class was greatly reduced, and listening to her tutorials I got the impression this was a thank you to her students during Covid.
   I decided to start watching the videos first, and After watching the watercolor segment I for sure would not have wanted to use the good watercolor paints for this project.
    I decided to make just two watercolor pages instead of the four. Also decided to use mixed media paper for the second paper instead of using the better quality watercolor paper. And I used my watercolor pencils and water brushes.-I am getting better at using those.
   I didn't realize when I bought the class, that she wanted bold shapes, bold colors and she said "I don't want to see small watercolor flowers"   and on the back of the papers we were to paint abstract something. Leaving room on both pages for writing.  She then cut up the papers in different sizes to make several books.
   I didn't do all of that I just made two small books-I did like the way she showed us how to stitch the little books together-which was quite clever for me to learn that. and it was kinda fun in the end.
    I did a little video-It was late Friday evening when I did this, and I guess you can tell I tired and mumbling as I had cleaned and done laundry all day I had done 3 videos and this one was the best of them. I would do this project again but paint the pages differently. I think these would make nice little gifts, with blank pages for writing.

 On my you tube there is another video that ended up a little longer but was a bit blurry, and I took photos of the two books covers.
   I am thinking I may just cut the yarns off of these books and do them a bit different

    I ordered a watercolor book after reading all the excellent reviews on several sites. I compared all over the net for a reduced price and found a used one-like new except for the spine is not perfect, from a Goodwill seller on Ebay. I got it Saturday and is excellent for learning, Thought I would share this one. He is accomplished artist and also an instructor This is two of his books in one volume.

I also wanted to share the watercolor artist I am following for her tutorials of flowers on You Tube they  are here  I really like her.

My beverage shares for this week

   A little pot of tea instead of coffee Sunday morning

and Late Sunday a mango margarita-I had a taste for one on the 4th but I was too tired for it then-so made us one late afternoon Sunday

to close a couple lake views

  There are always herons around-fun to watch-he likes this fishing spot and the other day I looked out and he had caught a fish.

Duck and a heron sitting on the railing down to the dock

 a better view

I stepped out on the deck with my camera and the duck flew off-along with the rest of the family that were sitting to the right on a float

Happy T everyone  Hope you have an awesome new week.