Weekly Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green!

If you’re a garden!

“But green‘s the color of spring!”


Soon it will be pea-pickin’ time! I used to plant my peas end of March, beginning April, along with other cool weather crops such as lettuce, spinach and radishes. I didn’t especially like radishes but I tolerated them because I grew them myself organically and could enjoy the fruits of my labor within 30 days! Lettuce and spinach took a little longer if I could keep the rabbits away. Loved living out in the country more when I gardened. There were no small varmints to ruin your crops because the big varmints got them and the bigger ones never came around my house though they were sometimes spotted out in the fields.


Even though my garden in the city was not successful at all as far as a source of food, it was a nice sanctuary to relax in after a hard day’s work.

Daily Prompt: The Luck O’ The Irish

Love that expression!  Of course I am part Irish.  Once when I was a kid I found a $10.00 bill floating in the breeze while out walking on Saint Patrick’s Day and that expression came to mind.  Of course to my knowledge, that was the only St. Paddy’s Day I had this kind of luck of “found money.”  We’ll see when the Mega Millions is drawn tonight!

I swore I was not going to bother making another Irish meal and had the urge for boiled dinner or corned beef and cabbage.  Apparently it’s not really a traditional dish of Ireland, according to my Irish cookbook “Irish Pub Cooking.”  So glad I kept it.  I sold a number of my cookbooks I didn’t use very much before I moved at the end of 2015.  I like the simple recipes in this book.  Beef in Stout with Herb Dumplings, Bleu Cheese & Walnut Tartlets, Savory Oat Crackers and my favorite comfort food, Colcannon, often served around Halloween.  I would never mix in lucky coins or charms for someone to choke on, though some follow that tradition.  Basically mashed potatoes with cabbage and scallions.  Very yummy.  If you like potato and onions you should like this.


Daily Prompt: Patterns for Creative Living

When I think of patterns, I think of sewing right off the bat.  Some could think of a pattern of conduct or behavior, I think of it as something that repeats on wallpaper or on a piece of patterned cloth that you would cut out a pattern from.

A while back I worked for a major decorating company for a number of years.  The majority of the time I worked as a vendor representative with many companies from drapery and curtains to wallpaper and rugs and everything in between.  It was a very fulfilling and creative time in my life.  Unfortunately I chose to leave it for more money somewhere else.  A place where there were no patterns except for those evading their taxes.  There was a similar pattern in that respect.

Please see the short video I prepared to walk you through the way I created a flat panel from cotton muslin to hang on a cafe curtain in my tiny bathroom which previously had 2″ window blinds that stuck out when you opened them. I wanted to try something different so instead of just painting everything freehand on my panel, I found some colorful fish in my PhotoDraw clip gallery that I printed separately onto vellum/frosted paper.   It’s a nice texture to print from.   You can get them in the printer paper area or cheaper in scrap booking or paper craft area of any hobby or office store.

I placed pins to mask the general area for the fish patterns to go and used my inkjet printer to print directly on the sheets. You may have to place masking tape along the feed edge so the printer can see it. My printer is fussy with certain papers.   You can see it on the transfer paper when I lay it inkside down on the fabric after I coat the area with gloss, semi-gloss or matte medium, liquid or gel. I have used them all with similar results. Don’t over saturate, but use enough. Experiment on scrap fabric before you ever start an actual project you care about to see the various effects you get from each type of transfer medium and what you prefer.

After I place the transfer ink side down on the medium I burnish the back of the entire picture with a plastic utensil I have. Many use a bone folder you can get at crafting stores. Don’t press too hard, but hard enough to push all the ink into the fabric from the paper. I use vellum because it does not come apart from the medium like other papers can do.   It’s almost plastic like in texture.   You will see that if you have used too much medium, the colors will squish out all over and the picture will blur and not look as good. Again, experiment for a while first.

Once I think that the transfer has been complete, I carefully lift up the paper and let it dry for at least a day. I don’t rush my drying when I need it completely dry. After that I hand painted various corals, plants and sea horses.   I would have used a transfer for the seahorses as well but they were an after thought so I didn’t bother because I had already started some painting with acrylics. If you need to thin the paint you can use water or more medium depending on the thickness and intensity of color you wish to have.

Naturally I measured the panel and had all the edges finishes and sewed my rod pocket at the top to allow for the cafe rod, which is very small. Please see some of the finished pictures as well for an idea of how this looked from the outside of the window at night.

Daily Prompt: Expectations

No more Valentine expectations!

That’s how it is when you are completely single for valentine.  Click here if you are having a problem dealing with this fact.

Please enjoy a few older shots.  I was going to find and scan a picture from years ago of one of my Valentine’s Day hauls but my apartment is too disheveled at this time to look.  Early spring cleaning.  It’s in the 40’s this week and expected to actually hit the upper 50’s in a few days around here.

 

Now I am a mere ghost to Valentine's Days of the past!

Now I am a mere ghost to Valentine’s Days of the past!

Can't find my favorite teacup since I moved.

Can’t find my favorite teacup since I moved.

Daily Prompt: Relax and Bake On!

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Muffins

8 oz cream cheese                   1/4 C milk or cream

2 Tb butter                      1/4 C vanilla creamer

1/4 C sour cream           1 tsp vanilla

1 egg                               1/2 C sugar

2 C flour                          3 tsp baking powder

1/2 C mini chocolate chips

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relaxing Snow Day!

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No better time to relax than when you get snowed in.  You can relax, take a nap or watch TV, read a book or just play on the computer.  You could also freak out and pace the floors knowing that you are trapped like a rat.

Great time to overeat or you could just work out.  Many years ago I would be working out.  Today I baked an almond tart for the first time.  I found some recipe online for a Lemon-Almond tart.  Did not sound like a great combo to me, though I love both by themselves.  Turned it into an Almond Tart recipe with only had 4 ingredients.  Pleasant flavor and quite dense but should be gluten-free with no flour.

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Almond Tart

4 eggs 1            C almond meal
1/3 C sugar               1/3 C almond flavored creamer

Mix eggs and sugar then add the almond meal/ground almonds then blend in the flavored creamer                                                                                    Butter and flour tart or tiara pan      Bake at 350° for 15 minutes    Dust with powdered sugar as desired.

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Relaxing with more comfort food.

Chicken and Dumplings!

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Cooked chicken thighs til tender and took off bone.
Boiled minced onion, carrots, a potato and peas.
Made a medium white sauce seasoned with
chicken seasoning to taste, added the other
previous ingredients, simmering, added the following
cornbread dumplings on top in teaspoons, covered
and simmered for additional 20 minutes til done.
Cornbread Dumplings
1 C flour 1/2 C cornmeal pinch salt
1 Tb baking powder 3 Tb oil 2/3 C milk

Weekly Photo Challenge: It’s Not This Time of Year Without

A lot of stuff really.

For someone who has always lived in the northern area of the country, it’s not this time of year without snow & icy roads so be careful if you share this part of the world.

snowmoutainswtrclr

oil painting

For most of us, it’s the start of the holiday or Christmas season. I used to say happy holidays before it almost became illegal to say Merry Christmas. I found this cartoon a few years ago, so appropriate!i-said-christmas

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