surprise in the sky

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It’s not unusual to hear airplanes going over our house because the airport is fairly close to us. On Saturday there was an airplane that had me worried though, it was uncomfortably close.

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The pilot had very much skill, going up in the sky and turning sharply, but your mind can think the worse thoughts. This picture looks like he is going to land on the road.

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Here it is going up in the air over the house to do his quick turn. I am grateful that our neighbor was out and he informed me that the plane was a crop duster. I was truly unpressed with the skill of the pilot.

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I believe this happens every year, Sometimes I am home but I forget and it takes me by surprise. It is very interesting to watch for sure.

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On Sunday we had company for the day. Tom’s cousin, wife and kids. It was a really nice and fun visit. Katie made the most beautiful and delicious peach pie! As Kevin put it, “This is the best thing on this side of heaven”!

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Katie also brought us some big, fat, chocolate chip cookies. Two packages, they disappeared quickly! She put this really cute and clever sticker on it.

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I also asked if they would bring us two bags of triple dipped malted milk balls from this fantastic ice cream/candy shop. They generously threw in chocolate covered pretzels also. Tom says that these should be a controlled substance because they are terribly addictive! Here is their website, it is just a heavenly place to go if you are near Findlay, Ohio. It was just a surprising weekend…was your’s?? Thanks for stopping!

Serenity Painting

Painted Blossoms

As I think I recently mentioned that I had purchased this book because I was quite taken with her paintings. It is just a beautiful book that has so many elements in it. Fantastic flower images, great quotes, the basics of tools, elements, colors and inspiration. Then it also talks about yourself and creativity and nurturing this. It not only has inspiration from Carrie but other artists also. It can be found on Amazon of course, but I bought it from North Light Shop. I offers a lot of information for creative souls.

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I had purchased some more pastel acrylic colors by Liquitex recently and decided to put them to the canvas on this painting. Then I stenciled the sun with embossing paste tinted with paint.

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Here is is all finished and scanned in. What a difference scanning makes with the clarity and color! I also added my beloved poppies and purple asters. I didn’t want the word to take away from the flowers so I made it very quiet like the word but still getting the point across.

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My hollyhocks

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My moonbeam coreopsis

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and the balloon flower. I had so much fun with this painting!

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Newsy stuff….. I had submitted this painting “Happy Birds” to The Brave Girls Club because they are always calling for art with birds. This is for a daily feature sent out by email called “A little Bird Told Me”. Then they choose a feature that day. Mine was chosen for Wednesday and that was such a good feeling. I felt very honored! Have a fantastic weekend….and as always….Thanks for stopping.

Farmers Market Plus

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This last Saturday I went to market again. This booth had huge red tomatoes. It was one of the most humid days we have had, where the sweat starts dripping down your back with a minimum of movement.

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They also had buckets of sunflowers that caught my eye as I turned the corner. 75 cents a piece or 3 for 2.00. They drive a hard bargain.

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Since it was a very warm and humid day I decided to try out an all natural artisan popsicle. As you can see there were many flavors to choose from and I stepped into the lengthy line for a mango pop. It was cold and very frozen and also not too sweet. They should have had a very profitable day.

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I couldn’t pass up the corn on the cob, it’s a family favorite. Since my arms were burdened down with bags and flowers the man kindly picked and bagged the corn for me. I felt grateful for that.

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My ultimate goal was to choose fresh flowers. This fresh flower and produce booth had many bucketful in the early part of the day but when I got there I had to be really choosy. She gave me a very generous deal on what I chose and then gladly stood so I could take her picture.

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That was Saturday and now moving forward to Tuesday a front had moved through and the day was fabulous! Warm in the sun, nice breeze in the shade. Fluffy clouds resulting in a perfect summer day. Even my front porch flowers were loving it. They looked particularly pretty today with their peach sherbet colored flowers.

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I set up outside on the porch so I could take in the day and still be productive. Here I was with my afternoon coffee, water, Ipad and working on my little quilt. All the while I was able to look out at the green field (we have had A LOT of rain), the blue water of the pond and listening to all the sounds. Birds singing, airplanes flying over, cars driving down the road, I could even at times feel the light spray from the fountain.

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Another angle of my sight. It was very blissful and serene.

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Marked for embroidery with the Mark-B-Gone water soluble ink pen.

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The marks around the sun are for quilting. The inside of the sun is finished. I find that I put many sun images in my work. I must relate it to happiness and that goes along with sunflowers. I hope where you live that you had an equally as nice day. Thanks for stopping!

 

Flowers for the Shower

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Three of us went together to have a Bridal Shower for my niece Kelli. I have devoted my time to overseeing carpet cleaning, and just cleaning my house because we are having it here. This is good, that way it pushes me to get it cleaned. Oh yea, I trimmed those last set of bushes that were overgrowing too. It’s all good, but alas I have not had a chance to paint. Next week will be devoted to that. These are the sweet (literally) favors that we put together for the shower.

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I did get to pick up the Indiana Woodlands botanical from the framer. It really looks nice and just finishes off the wall that I have it on. Very pleased with the look. I had such fun in that class and learned so much that I just enjoy looking at it. Remember if you would like one too it can be ordered in my Etsy shop.

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I did take time out to make a trip the the Fort Wayne Farmers Market today. I was in search of flowers for the mantle and I found the bottom of the buckets…truly. I got there a little later than originally planned. I really adore those sunflowers. Hope your weekend is Fabulous!

Bread Monday

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I love to make bread and I do it the old fashioned way, mixing it by hand, kneading it on the counter. I picked up a magazine that has recipes for homemade bread a few years ago and I don’t think I used any of the recipes yet. So I pulled it out today and tried the first one. It was fabulous! Buttermilk-Honey Bread. I use Fleischman’s in the jar and keep it in the refrigerator. I also keep dry buttermilk on hand in the refrigerator.

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The front of the magazine in case you are looking for one also. I have so many great cookbooks but I find myself going to the internet to find a recipe.  I am going to try to use my cookbook collection more.

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The recipe and directions.

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All the ingredients except the flour.

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Two cups of flour.

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with the complete 7 1/2 cups of flour. Ready to knead.

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Dumped out on the counter with all the flour that didn’t get mixed in. It will get kneaded in. I also add a large spoonful of flour as I knead it if the dough is stickky.

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While I am kneading the dough I put hot water in the mixing bowl for two reasons. One is to heat up the bowl to help the dough rise. The other makes it easier to get the bread off the sides for cleaning.

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Here it is, soft as a babies behind. It will be going back into the warmed bowl.

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I also put a towel damp with warm water on top for more warmth. After 1 to 1 1/2 hours it has risen to double the size.

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One thing I would change in the recipe would be that I would make a third pan. It called for only two but 3 loaves could have easily been made.

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The recipe called for these slits to be made on the diagonal. It gave it a nice touch.

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Here they are, warm and golden brown, but the one on the right is too tall.

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A perfect loaf of bread. So good when it is warm. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. Thank so much for stopping!

Serenity

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This is the largest canvas that I have worked on and I am thoroughly enjoying it. This painting makes my heart sing. I just love color so much. It will be a challenge to get it all scanned in and put together but I will be offering prints of it in my Etsy store.

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Sophie is looking out on my inspiration, through a dirty window. I am going to get out there today and clean it. The last rain a few days ago really did the dirty number on it. Sophie really doesn’t seem to mind though.

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A sneak peek of my next painting. I guarantee it will have much more color on it. That tabletop easel was a great investment of $10.00. It was half off one day at Michaels Crafts and works perfect for the smaller canvases. My 13 year old niece was with me that day. She is an aspiring artist and thought that was a pretty neat buy and she picked one up also. She bought some canvas and some wonderfully bright paints. I am looking forward to seeing what she made with them. The 3 neighbor kids stopped by yesterday to bring over garden goods. Nice red potatoes this time. I love it when they stop because they look for all the cats, see what is in process in my studio, we talk about what has been going on in their lives. One approved of this piece….that is really artistic, you are using all kinds of things like the newspaper and words, thats really good. You cannot get any better approval than that!

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I have a tendency to start using using ALL the colors I like, but I decided to use a little co-ordination on this painting. I think it was working for me. Glad I pulled it out. Hey, thanks for stopping by!

 

Impressionistic

Painted Blossoms

I bought, actually downloaded an e book, yesterday. It has beautiful, colorful paintings with so much inspirational ideas. I couldn’t wait to put the ideas on to canvas in my own way. Click here to read about it. Here is the address of the authors website too, it is great. http://www.carrieschmittdesign.com/?page_id=19

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Starting with a canvas 24 X 36. Gesso and then white paint.

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I use heavy body liquitex acrylic paint because I love texture. There are six colors on here and I made it in an impressionistic way.

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Used a stencil that was named hurricane but I look at it as a sun. I used some yellow and orange paint to tint the embossing paste. I was satisfied with the way it turned out. I will be painting flowers and the inspiration will be coming from my garden. Please come back to see how it’s coming along.

Cookout Food

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For our cookout with our friends on the 4th I did chicken shish ka bobs. Here are my nifty curved skewers. The chef wasn’t as thrilled with my skewers as I was. He thought it was hard to position them on the grill, but he still seemed to make things taste good.

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The chicken breasts were cut into chunks and marinated in my go to sauce from the grocery. I use the beef for everything. It really gives the chicken a good flavor along with being tender and juicy.

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Peppers, onion and pineapple were also added to the skewers.

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Here they are, all ready to put on the grill.

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I also made some pasta salad that had everything I could think of, mini pepperoni, rotini pasta, diced ham, peas, orange and red pepper, little bit of red onion, medium whole black olives. The dressing was one package of dry italian dressing, one cup reduced fat sour cream, one cup of reduced fat mayonnaise, two tablespoons of milk. Whisk it together and pour over the items in the bowl. Our friends brought, salad, deviled eggs, cookies, peach cobbler. The deviled eggs were tasty, they were made with guacamole, with bacon on top and a little bar b que sauce.

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We had a feast and a really good time. I hope you had a really good fourth too. Thanks for stopping!

 

Greenville, Ohio

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On July 4th my husband and I drove to Greenville, Ohio for his aunts 90th birthday get together. But before I show you my pictures I needed to start out my post with a Ronald Reagan quote.

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In the city of Greenville, they had a round a bout and it was lined with flags. A very impressive site.

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The family had the birthday get together at the Saint Clair Manor. I could not find much history about it but this: St. Clair Manor Elegance. Convenience. Service. Built during the Victorian Era, the St. Clair Manor offers the elegance of days gone by with today’s modern conveniences. In this historic mansion, visitors enjoy formal sitting and dining rooms with originial woodwork and ironwork as well as stained-glass windows and gas fireplaces. The Italianate architecture offers the perfect setting for social gatherings, corporate events, weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, anniversary celebrations, open houses and holiday events. Situated in the historic downtown Greenville district, St. Clair Manor is within walking distance of restaurants, shops and entertainment.

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Pictured is one of the dark and ornate rooms.

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A close up of the lions head. I am not convinced it is real.

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The living room, lots of wood and I think the stairway is quite pretty.

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A better look at the stairway. Pretty garland adorning the railing.

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Quite a large fireplace.

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I always enjoy stained glass windows.

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Here it is on the outside of the house, it is the lower one.

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The dining room. I was impressed with the built ins.

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The end of the dining room bows. You can see it in the outside picture with the stained glass window.

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The ornate ceiling and decoration around the room.

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The grounds were nicely groomed and the tent was a nice place to have the guests sit. The weather was perfect, warm but not too much and humidity was low.

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The working, 3 tiered fountain was very, very nice. My husband and I were getting ready to depart. We were having friends over for a cookout in the evening, along with swimming and watching the fireworks all around us. It was a great holiday weekend! I hope you did too and lets have a great week ahead! Thanks for stopping.

 

Book Review: Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

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This was not one of my favorite books written by Jodi Picoult. Many items didn’t sit well with me and I was not even happy with the ending. The book kept my interest very much and it wasn’t the writing at all, I believe it was the main character that I didn’t like. The story was uncomfortable and sad. The setting was a small town in New Hampshire and two families are intertwined with each other. The little girl, who was born with a disability that made her bones break easily. She was 6 at the time in the book. In this family is the father, who is a policeman, the mother and the older sister. The other family consisted of a mother who is an OBGYN doctor, a husband who is an orthodontist and their daughter who is friends with the older girl. The two women are best friends and the doctor is the one who delivered the little girl with the disability. There are also other stories going on with the lawyer, and the older daughter none of them happy. The mother of the little girl with the disability decided to bring a malpractice suit against the doctor (best friend) because she should have had options about whether to have the baby or end the pregnancy because they knew about the disability. She was doing this for the money to make sure that the little girl can be taken care of well for the rest of her life. This was breaking up her marriage, a great friendship, the daughters friendship and definitely affected the little girl with the disability. It bothered me that really what the catalyst of this was that the woman didn’t have the perfect child that you always hope for. So of course, I won’t tell you the ending, but it only left me frustrated.