Saturday, May 23, 2015

Garden Update - Raspberries!

Evidently we are growing a new strain of Moonflower,
evidenced by the purple veins and stems
in the lower right corner 
I love to poke around the yellow-tagged Clearance/Reduced plant racks at Lowes -- and today I scored two Canby Red Rubus Idaeus raspberry containers marked down to $8.49.    Per the label we can train it to grow along the fence and/or in the space recently vacated by our hacked-down 50 foot Hackberry tree.  Even if we have to fight off the birds and squirrels as we do for the dewberries, it will make for very attractive landscaping.  And who knows, with a little help from the birds and the bees, we may even come up with a new berry, the Dazzle Berry!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Every Day In May - May 21 - Where I sit to read this funky painted table in Galveston at Mod Coffeeshop, enjoying an Almond Joy latte with almond milk.

Thursday Tea Time - Yogi Goji Bear-y

This week - Yogi Green Tea Goji Berry 

Cost: ~ $4 at Kroger.   You can probably also find it at Target and Whole Foods.
Caffeine:  No
Type of tea:   Green, Herbal
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Mix ins:  Nothing!
Fragrance:   Fruity-raspberry
Ingredients:  Organic-green tea leaf, green Matcha tea leaf, cherry flavor, blueberry flavor, raspberry flavor, natural Lotus Flower flavor
Opinion:   This tastes wonderful without any sweetener.  The perfect, light blend for summer, iced or hot.  And the goji berry is a good support for your immune system, liver and circulation.
Rating:  5

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Every Day In May - May 20 - Wallet

Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet.  Thank goodness it has a zipper, sometimes it's like trying to zip shut a suitcase full of receipts and loyalty cards.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Every Day In May - May 19 - Cupcake

Vanilla Crave Cupcake. . .
On our Noritake "Volcano" stoneware plate.
Made in Japan, purchased in Japan by a handsome young Marine officer, once upon a time.


I love shopping the clearance and red tag sections of art supply stores.  I find things I never knew I needed!

Like Talens Drawing Ink. . .

As I'm checking out, the clerk said he knew not to warn me not to use this for tattoos.
Huh?  Haha!  Nice kid.

But that probably explained why the Black and Indian Ink Black colors were already gone. . .

I grabbed six 11 ml bottles (Neutral, Sepia, Cobalt Blue, Yellow, Scarlet, and White-which was opaque) marked down to $2.25 - and apparently got quite the deal as when looking online, they are priced around $15 each.

The colors are very vibrant and pretty.
I just thought they would be cool to play with for watercolor fun.
On paper, not skin.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Every Day In May - May 17 - Something you use to measure

My Dritz Point Turner and Button Gauge.  I've been painting things which have meaning or connection to me.  This could be considered "vintage," as I got it when I learned how to sew at age 10.  It's quite handy and I still use it!

Fig Update

Lots of rain this week and weekend...they need some sunshine to get ripening.
(Manicure:  "Mint Apple")

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Every Day In May - May 16 - Favorite Recipe Ingredients

I love to bake, and many of my favorite (and trade-secret) recipes use butter and eggs!  The egg is also a wink to my first drawing class wherein we drew an egg.  Now I have watercolored an egg!  The circle and connection is complete.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Every Day In May - May 15 - Something You Throw Away

The tag from a Vera Bradley purchase.  However,  I usually keep the green cord.  I do reuse them!

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

May 17/23 - 
Butterick - $1.99

Memorial Day Sale - May 22/25
Simplicity - 5 for $5

May 28/30 -
McCall's - 5 for $7 ($1.40 each)
Vogue - $4.99

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Every Day in May - May 14 - Something I Use Every Day

My MacBook Pro - With the "Cosmic Flower" by Creative by Nature skin from Decal Girl.

Thursday Tea Time - Fig, Spiced

This week - The Steeping Room  Spiced Fig

Cost: $7 for 2 ounces
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:   Black
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Mix ins:   Plain or just a little bit of honey  Honestly, this is really sweet enough to drink as is.
Fragrance:   Definitely fig with a little bit of cinnamon
Ingredients:  Organic black tea, organic cinnamon, natural flavor
Opinion:   Ever since I tried Spiced Fig, this has been my go-to tea.  I've been making as an afternoon or late morning pick-me-up.   It seems to be light and perfect right now.  I even reuse the tea bag with Madagascar Vanilla, or vice versa -- outstanding combo!
Rating:  5

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Every Day In May - May 13 - The Last Thing You Bought

Birthday flowers for my sweet friend, Regina -- Pink kalanchoe.

Watercolor Wednesday - Move over, Purple

Eggplants and Banana Peppers
9" x 13"
This is one of those paintings wherein the camera does not do it justice...Despite photographing outside, inside, different lighting, etc.  The background is really Cerulean Blue, the eggplants more purple, and their highlights blue-er.

That was the point of this class project.  Learning that cool colors can come forward.  Using split complements. (And that yellow/green/purple do not have to be Mardi Gras colors.)   Practicing working more wet-in-wet, particularly with the eggplants and dropping in reflected highlights.   And watching how mixing the yellow opaques will push away the color underneath.  Very, very cool!
I was very happy with what I did -- building upon using what I already knew and combining it with what I learned that day.  And how it is all starting to click.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Every Day In May - May 12 - Stairs or Steps

I had to be a little creative here, as we don't have a staircase.  These are stepping stones we put in last weekend to navigate the backyard "lake" especially after it rains.  Which we have had a lot lately!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Every Day In May - May 11 - A Hat

Fashionably all set to avoid the sun -- A straw hat which actually fits and stays on my head, with a J.Jill scarf tied with a bow around the rim.  I used salt (on the painting) to give it more texture.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Every Day In May - May 10 - Something You Turn On and Off

One of two (actually three) of my favorite lamp sets.  This and it's twin are on my bedroom dresser.  I love the "Tiffany for Target" stained glass.  I have it's taller torchere cousin in the living room.  Actually no one can believe it's from Target.  (And no, Tiffany has not designed anything officially for Target...yet)

Friday, May 08, 2015

Every Day In May 2015 - May 8 - Something With a Handle

Something with a handle?   Here's  one of my favorite Chantal outlet sale finds, the 12 ounce ball mug.  

Friday Flowers - Island Style

Follow your nose along the Oleander Trail in back of Moody Mansion in Galveston, Texas!  So many different kinds of oleanders, such a wonderful fragrance, and a delightful place to sit and sketch in the little arbor with the bubbling background of fountains.  A hidden treasure just beckoning you to discover the beauty of Galveston's official flower.

Can you believe no Instagram filter was used?!

Double pink blooms

What a color combination!
"Mrs. Pearl Knox"

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Every Day In May 2015 - May 7 - An Envelope

An envelope from one of my many stationery sets - Papyrus always has pretty, lined envelopes!

Thursday Tea Time - Sweet Triple Play!

Sweet & Steeped
The Steeping Room's Spiced Fig Black tea with Pure Beeing Honey (the jar fits perfectly) in my new Le Creuset Honey Pot from The Kitchen Chick.    Like them all on Facebook!
Save on postage and shop local to support independent businesses!
There is actually a You Tube video on how to use a honey dipper, but I must add the silicone one included makes it much easier.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Every Day In May 2015 - May 6 - Something With Bristles

Something with bristles ... my hubby's hairbrush!

Watercolor Wednesday - Watercolor Workshop at the Pearl Museum

I attended another great workshop with Evelyn Bouley at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts last week.

My painting of a blooming desert cactus turned into a medley of experimenting with different techniques, so I've taken close-up photos to show what I tried and learned.  And will use again in upcoming projects.

Actually I kind of like the sum of the parts over the whole piece!  I will probably turn them into cards or tiny paintings.  Or use as backgrounds for or parts of another project.  I rarely throw anything I've painted away, but instead find ways to recycle and repurpose my artwork.

Mix it up --
Alcohol spray and table salt!

Imprinting with bubble wrap --
Surprise!  You print before you paint over

Large-grained Mediterranean sea salt

Another example of using a spray bottle of alcohol --
the wetter the paint, the more fun the result!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Every Day In May 2015 - May 5 - Something Hot

A perfect day and way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, too!   I was surprised how much I liked how these jalapeƱos turned out.

Garden Update - Apostle Flower

Neomarica Northiana
Also known as the Walking Iris.  I caught this right after it opened early in the morning, for the petals will start to curl back as the day goes on.  It will then droop over and "plant" itself to spread.

side view
Getting ready to "walk"

Monday, May 04, 2015

Garden Update - May the Fig

Manicure - OPI "Can't Find My Czechbook"

Every Day In May 2015 - May 4 - Bottle of Herbs or Spice

How about a tin and plastic container?  Of Wegmans Ground Black Pepper?
From my favorite grocery store in Rochester, New York - Wegmans!  When I went back a few years ago, I spent hours in their stores.  They are so well known for their store brands  (especially their brownie mix, too!).

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Every Day In May 2015 - May 3 - Curtains

These are the curtains in my living room above the love seat.  I turned them into cafe' style by putting the spring rod under the first row of window panes.  They are three very sheer, bunched/scrunched together, curtain panels by Waverly, which I bought on clearance at Target when we painted the living room after Hurricane Ike.  At Christmas time, I hang green boughs with multi-colored Christmas lights along the top of the window, letting it hang down on either side. (Also bought at Target last Christmas)
(Don't even get me started on what I think about white Christmas lights...)

I love how I was able to make the windows look like glass!    There is something very freeing about doing this challenge.  It's just going into my sketchbook.  And just as in the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2014 wherein I did all watercolor flowers and herbs, I think it is great practice and an opportunity to improve my sketching and watercoloring skills.

I am also trying to work with a more limited palette - I'm using my three Qor watercolor palettes (Earth, High Chroma and the Introductory-6 sets), save for a few forays into my main Winsor & Newton palette for Sepia. (May 2)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Every Day In May 2015 - May 2 - A Nearby Tree

A Nearby Tree - Hacked up Hackberry Tree
We had our over 50 foot volunteer hackberry tree in our backyard taken down.  It was one of the tallest trees in our neighborhood.  It took them almost four hours to safely remove it.  Now we no longer have to worry about storms, particularly lightning striking and having it fall.

Hackberry tree - so tall I couldn't even fit it in the photo

Penzeys Spices - Free bag of 3/4 cup seasoning coupon

The Early Summer Penzeys catalog has your choice of free Chili Powder, Sweet Curry Powder, Turkish Seasoning and Original Taco Seasoning in the 3/4 cup size bag.  I can personally vouch for the Taco Seasoning, and perfect timing to replenish.   Along with more recipes to try and love -- sign up now to get on their catalog list!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Every Day In May 2015 - May 1 - Favorite Food

Favorite Food - Peanut Butter Cups
I do suffer for my artwork, as there is a bite missing. . .

Every Day In May - #EDIM or #EDM

One challenge ends, another begins!  A Facebook group started the Every Day in May page.
Here's the list of what we will draw/paint/sketch each day --

It is so fun to see everyone's interpretations and drawings.  I'm using my 5 1/2' x 8" Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal sketchbook from Hobby Lobby (thank you 40% off coupon!) so I can keep it sweet and simple, without being overwhelmed.  I like the size and it handles my watercolors quite well without buckling or show through. 

Que ce jour vous porte bonheur!

The French tradition of giving lily of the valley flowers (Muguet-du-Bois) on May Day is believed to have begun on May 1, 1561, when King Charles IX of France was presented with a bunch of lily of the valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year.

Who doesn't need a little extra good luck and happiness?!

Next to lilacs, lilies of the valley are one of my favorite make-me-happy flowers.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge, Galveston Edition - Z for Zzzzz's

My room!
Sleeping well with the Galveston Gulf breezes in my favorite place to spend the night -
The Tremont House.  I love this historical boutique style hotel with the striped wallpaper, blue and white bathrooms and oh, so comfortable brass bed!

2300 Ships Mechanic Row - 409-763-0300

Thursday Tea Time - Very Vanilla

This week - The Steeping Room Madagascar Vanilla

Cost: $8 for 2 ounces
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:   Black
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Mix ins:   A little bit of sugar, and milk
Fragrance:   Like Adams Best Vanilla Extract (another fine State of Texas product)
Ingredients:  Organic black tea, organic vanilla bean, natural vanilla flavor
Opinion:   If you could get vanilla extract in a tea form, this would be it.  It has to be the strongest vanilla tea I have ever tried.  And loved!  After the first brew, I will save the teabag and use it to combine with another flavored tea.  Recycling the yummy.
Rating:  5