This blog started with small daily paintings then changed to a more personal sharing of projects, events and photos. Enjoy!

Monday, May 31, 2010

New Life for an Old Watering Can

This old watering can has been sitting in our yard with no handle and a rusted spout for the longest time, but the body is sound--no holes! I went and looked at colorful shiny new cans and their colorful prices and thought...a handle...I could make a new handle--I can't solder, but as my grandmother would say, "where's there's a will there's a way!" So I relocated a beautiful black widow to a different home, got out some old ropes, some old long sneaker laces and a very strong flat piece of braid, one that I had for such a long time--never finding a use for--till now, so many years later, which makes me think of another saying, "waste not want not."

After tying some loose knots, bumbling with the ropes and having it all come slipping off the can more than a few times--(my daughter and granddaughter laughing at my attempts), I figured out a way to make it work.

A test run...notice the duck tape on the hose! hmmmm--A duck tape handle?...

It works! I also plugged up some rusted holes in the spout with that ugly foamy Gorilla Glue, to keep the dribble down to a minimum. My granddaughter took this picture!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Final Dance Performance

It's been a very busy weekend. My granddaughter's final dance performance of Degas and the Little Dancer was this weekend. We made cookies to sell, (my mom's ginger cookies, as the artists pallets, with blobs of icing for the paint) Then it was a quick change into a princess costume.

Stepping out as a princess--she really played the part!
I was glad to have made this princess dress for a past Halloween, glad also to have a reason to use it again, but I did have to add on some glittery trim to catch the stage lights.

This is her princess pose.

Intermission and getting some much needed fresh air--I heard that the back stage was hot and stuffy; a small space for all the dancers to await their turn on stage.

She had a great time!

Garden Lettuce

We've been eating some very tender lettuce lately--the bugs have found it too!

Friday, May 28, 2010


You think this lettuce is from my garden--don't you?
It's not--this is supermarket lettuce--not even organic, but I loved the look of it drying on my table.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making Sourdough Bread

Many months ago I started a whole wheat sourdough starter. I was inspired to start a healthy starter after experiencing the Amish Cinnamon Bread starter! There were so many things I didn't like about that starter, from having to mush it and store it in zip lock bags (thinking the plastic of the bag was seeping into the dough), to using white flour and lots of sugar, then in the final recipe, using a large box of instant pudding! Also after adding to it, you were told to measure out and give away three bags to friends! This was clearly not the recipe for me! Besides being a very sweet and a (not too healthy) dessert bread, you also had to have lots and lots of friends! So, well...I'm not very social and I'm trying to cut down on my sugar consumption.

I found a very helpful page on line, called Sourdough Baking by John Ross. If you're interested, click on the link--he has all the directions and even a basic recipe for the bread. I've been making a loaf every week for about six months. I've kept the starter a whole wheat starter, but I sometimes mix a cup of unbleached flour into the final bread recipe.
This jar of starter is ready to be used--it does have a liquid layer of what is called hooch, at the top--this is to be expected and you just stir it in.

After adding one cup of warm water and one cup of ww flour, you set aside in a warm spot to create the sponge. The mixture looks frothy and foamy.

Part of the sponge is used for the bread recipe, the other is mixed with more warm water and ww flour, poured in the washed jar-- the lid is lightly screwed on to let out air. This starter keeps in the refrig for about a week, then you can either use it or get rid of half of it and add more water and flour.

I've been trying different things. I sometimes add a mashed banana and cooked oatmeal--you don't taste the banana or the oatmeal, but it makes for a moist bread.

For me, it takes about 90 min for the sponge to...sponge, and then another 90 min for the kneaded dough to rise. After forming the loaf, another 60 min to rise, then bake at 350--do not preheat, and cook for about 1/2 hour. It's takes a good part of the day to make!

This is a good braiding lesson! We sometimes roll out the dough, then spread on (honey, cinnamon and apples), or (artichoke hearts, pesto and olives)--both are very good!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hummingbird's Nest

I found this the other day--I think the babies were out of it before the wind knocked it down--I hope so. Click on the picture to see this up close--there's lichen, white fluff from what?, little feathers, bits of eucalyptus bark, and other very small things. The nest is very soft and I imagine the eggs were tucked in under the edges?

Ernst Haeckel, born in 1834, a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist, created these beautiful illustrations in his book, Artforms of Nature (1904)
With all those titles, he should have drawn out a page full of hats--all kinds of hats!





Friday, May 21, 2010

Sweet Pea and Jean Bradbury

My picture of a wet sweet pea, lead me in the direction of Jean Bradbury. An artist who's wonderful paintings are inspired by her Seattle garden.

Sweet Pea




I just love all of these and enjoyed finding her blog site!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yvonne's Garden

Someone has been tending the little incline of land, probably belonging to the city, pushed up against a fence that separates open wild land, hills, trees and cows from this street in Morro Bay.

With seats to see the view...

A stone lined path that leads to...

Yvonne's Garden!

All I can picture is Miss Yvonne gardening that little plot!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Community Garden

Walking on a wet morning, I caught this man at work in this community garden. I love this idea and there are so many kinds of gardens in this one large nicely fenced in spot--some tended meticulously, others growing wild. I played with the idea of renting out a bed or two, but I live across town--more of a distance than I'd like.

It wasn't raining too hard--didn't make his soil too heavy.

Our First Small Spring Salad

We picked some tender leaves of lettuce: freckle, black seeded, and red. We picked a few spinach leaves and mixed it all in with beet and carrot sprouts that needed to be thinned. My granddaughter ate her whole little bowl of greens, then high fived me a few times on our first garden salad! She really did--very sweet!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wild Turkey (photo) Shoot

I took way too many pictures, I know, but we don't have wild turkeys come through our yard that often. A few years ago we had just one female who came for about a week. She visited our yard every afternoon at about the same time, pecking, eating, scratching, taking great big dust baths in the dry dirt of that summer. She came alone, which intrigued me--I often see wild turkeys in a cluster. My granddaughter and I named her Trish. We'd sit watching out the window. I'd imagine she had snuck off from her flock. She was independent--feather free--our yard was her own private Idaho for all of one week.
Could this be Trish come back with two suitors?

She was bold, like she'd been here before. The two males were following her everywhere, but when she very comfortably walked up so close to the house, the males, who were strutting their stuff, got all puffed up and gingerly walked around the perimeter--tough guys on tippy toes.

Oh beautiful Trish! Maybe she wanted to throw them off her trail or...tail,

The males sauntered into the yard, much to my delight--my granddaughter and I were right there on the porch and not being very quiet I might add.

A male with his feathers down.

Wild turkeys!!