Sunday, July 21, 2013


I've never considered myself an artist, although I have always liked to doodle and sketch, and I did take an art class in college. A few years ago Bill gave me s set of watercolor paints and I have been doodling with them a bit since then.  I recently saw a watercolor on Pinterest that was a surrealist cityscape that was really interesting. I sketched and painted a copy of that to see what I could do with it.

It wasn't bad but I wasn't crazy about it, and I want to get away from copying other people's paintings and do my own.  I used this picture that I took from the Empire State Building in NYC in March, and created my own painting of "My NYC". 

It started with a sketch, then I filled it in with color.

 I thought I would show you the progression
of my work on this piece. It was fun, but took
A long time.  It is a little abstract, but I think that
way, believe it or not.

So what do you think? I debated about adding windows to all these buildings but I kind of like to think of them as being empty for some reason.   Bill wants me to turn it into a needlework project. That could be interesting.  Stay tuned...

Photo Friday - Mobile Phone Photo

I take a lot of photos with my iPhone when I'm out and about and don't have my "good" camera with me.  I took this one on a trip to Sacramento. The capitol there has a rose garden and since I love flowers, I had to go have look. It helped that our hotel was just down the street and I could walk there.  I love how this one turned out, with a little help from Instagram.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Why I'll Never Be Skinny

This week I baked bread again.  And I decided to make these 3 cornered dinner rolls as well. My Mom used to make these for holidays and I always thought they were so fun to eat - do you butter the top, pull the sections apart a bit and put butter in and squish it back together, or separate them and butter each one separately?  So many choices :0)  They are quite yummy...

I also made homemade pizzas but we ate them before I even thought about getting a picture. I have a recipe for calzone/pizza dough that makes about 10 individual sized pizzas and I usually have some dough in the freezer since there are only 2 of us to eat them. I thaw out the crust which only takes about 30 minutes, put on some pizza sauce, cheese and whatever other toppings you want and bake it for 15 minutes.  It is a quick meal and it is one of the best pizzas you will ever have.  I figured out a trick so that the crust gets done, even when it is covered with tons of toppings. I put olive oil on the pan, spread out the crust, put olive oil on the top of the crust, then bake it plain for about 5-10 minutes before I put on the toppings. That makes the crust crispy on the bottom. Mmmm... now you know why I'll never be skinny!

Photo Friday - Structure

The structure of the back wheel on my bike is quite interesting....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Owls, Angelfood and Should I Wash My Windows?

I know that title sounds pretty random, but I have 3 things to share and they are not at all related - oh well, that's how I roll....

Angel food - I love, I mean LOVE, angel food cake.  Since I was little my Mom has made me an angel food cake with sprinkles in it for my birthday (and we have to have Neapolitan ice cream too). But I digress....  A few weeks ago I saw a recipe on Pinterest where you mix and angel food cake mix and a can of fruit pie filling and bake it at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  I have a funky oven and it does take some trial and error to get things right, but this cake was weird.  I put it in the oven and about 5 minutes later got a call from my nail tech that she had to cancel my appointment for the next day but if I could come in right away she'd do my nails that day. I asked my hubby if he could take the cake out when the timer went off - no problem.  When  I got home an hour later and checked the cake (which he did take out of the oven) it was still sticky. So I put it back in and baked it another 15 minutes. It was still sticky, so I put it in for 10 more.  It was a nice pretty pink (I used cherry pie filling) but it was flat. I took it for our pool party anyway and warned everyone that it looked funny but it should taste okay - what could be bad about angel food and cherry pie filling?  It actually was yummy!  Any ideas why it didn't bake right? The only thing I can think of is that I used one of those pans that has the 2 layers with air between.  I was careful not to use any oil as I know  that is a problem with angel food. Hmmmmmm

Owls - you all know that we live in the middle of the city right? A huge city with millions of people. Last night my husband spotted something near our pond and he thought it was a big gray cat. He watched it for a minute, then called me to look.  What we saw was an owl! In fact there were 2 of them.  As we watched it was pretty obvious that they were lookouts for each other. One would get next to the pond and drink and walk in the water while the other one watched. They took turns doing this. We watched them for about 15 minutes before they flew off. It was pretty amazing. We have heard them hooting in the winter time but we've never seen them, and we were surprised that they were here in this heat. Our pond attracts some pretty interesting sights. It was dusk so the pictures aren't the best, but at least we could get a few.  I wonder where these guys live? Hmmmmmm

Windows - I live in a big house and it has tons of windows, 23 to be exact, and 3 glass doors. Washing windows could be someone's part time job so it doesn't get done very often, especially since it would be me doing that part time job. We live in AZ, land of the huge dust storms known as "haboobs" and smaller  dust storms that blow in all summer. Needless to say our windows get filthy dirty.  I have one in our bathroom that faces the northeast and it seems to get especially dirty. In order to wash it I have to climb out my bedroom window and walk along the patio roof to get to it.  We do get beautiful sunrises through that window, but it also faces my neighbor's back yard. He has a pool that he doesn't take care of and right now the pool is so green that I keep thinking he's taken it out and put in grass!  So now I'm wondering if I should ignore the dirt and avoid the dirty pool, or wash the window and see the sunrise in a better light. And an even better question - should I wait until the dust season is over - I wonder if I washed them since the last dust season?  Hmmmmm