Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Big Things

Another in my collection of "Big Things." This one was seen in northern Ontario, in a town called Earlton, while on our way up to Cochrane a few years ago.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Black Coffee

I'm starting to feel better although my usual morning's cup of black coffee still eludes me. Tea still seems a better option.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Green Around the Gills

I've had one of those weekends you don't really want to have. I spent most of it in bed feeling really lousy. Today I'm starting to come around and can at least sit at the computer and type a bit.
Another cup of tea, a Tylenol and a nap...then I should be tickety-boo!

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Other True Love

Here's Fred. My other boyfriend. I told Richard that if he dumped me, I was going to go move into the aquarium with Fred. He's pretty cute, isn't he? (He's not my fish, unfortunately, but I love visiting him. He seems to recognize me each time...sigh).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Autumn Days

Okay, so there used to be a lawn under there. Richard said instead of raking it all, he'll mow it and mulch it. Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Coffee at the Diner

Another in the diner series...from a little place Richard and I used to frequent in Vankleek Hill.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Morning Cuppa Joe

I love my morning cup of coffee. I thought I'd share a drawing I did of one at a diner. Wakes you up just by looking at it, eh?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Garden Goodies

More of fall's bounty. Richard and I had prime rib for supper last night plus these roasted veggies pulled from the garden: leeks, purple carrots and fingerling potatoes seasoned with rosemary (also from the garden), salt and pepper and olive oil. Yum!
The crazy serving platter was a birthday gift from a good friend in Florida.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Just Another Ordinary Miracle Today

The Sarah McLaughlin song "Just Another Ordinary Miracle Today" seems to be everywhere. On Canadian TV, it's selling SunLife Insurance. In the U.S., it's pushing CVS Pharmacy. Last night we saw "Charlotte's Web" and that song was the background music for the closing credits. But the words to the song are lovely. When I hear the honk of the Canadian Geese flying south in their chevron formation overhead, it's definitely a miracle. So is a busy bee foraging in the last autumn bloom atop a seven foot hollyhock, with the gorgeous fall foliage behind it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Autumn ATCs

Yesterday I met with several of my ATC friends and we sat around the diningroom table (with a glass of white wine) and made ATCs. The theme this go-round was "Fall Frolic."
We've met for nearly 3 or 4 years on and off. Each session, every 2 to 4 months, is hosted at someone else's home and the ATCs we make are supposed to be of a chosen theme, usually based on the time of year in which we meet. We've done Valentine's, Ground Hog Day (me and my shadow), Easter/Spring, Summer, Canada Day, and Winter, to name a few. After a few hours of ATC-making, we trade with each other and then have a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Richard thinks it's all very Jane Austen of us.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Olive Plates

I'm getting ready for my little Christmas Art Show, with fellow artists Holly Kelleher and Brenda Kennedy on December 1. I have done almost 50 tiles and decided to I could try painting on other white things. I found these 2 small plates from Ikea and thought they'd be fun to paint on. There's no stopping me now! Lucky I don't have any white cats...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Time for Squash

It's a wonderful time for squash (I seem to be obsessed!). I love how they taste. I love how they last most of the winter, without refrigeration. And I especially love how they look. These are all done with colour pencil on different coloured paper, about 10" x 12".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mini-Squash Side Dish

Yesterday, I cleaned out the vegetable bed and brought in all my mature Butternut and Acorn squashes. I noticed that the huge vines sporting the squashes also had little baby ones that hadn't had the chance to mature. I pulled them off and figured I'd try cooking 'em up. I cut them in half (I didn't peel them) and fried them in some olive oil, onions, garlic, and a handful of garden tomatoes. I also added a mystery squash: looked like a striped zucchini but grew on a crawling vine. The dish was really good!
I guess winter squash tastes like summer squash when really young. They had no resemblance (except in shape) to their mature relatives.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cool Nights

We've had a few good frosts so it's time to clean out the garden. There's not much left out there except the Swiss chard and a few carrots. With the cool nights, it's sure lucky that I have Nutmeg curled up on top of me. It's like sleeping with a purring hot water bottle!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Brenda Kennedy

Yesterday we met friends for lunch and then headed to the Skelly Gallery for Brenda Kennedy's vernissage. Her oil paintings were gorgeous, mostly depicting her recent trip to Mexico as well as some more local scenes. There seemed to be lots of red dots beside her works as the afternoon progressed, so I know she sold well.
Above is a profile feature of Brenda's ATCs from the Summer 07 issue of ATC Quarterly. Click to enlarge.
To see more of Brenda's artwork, check out her website:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Egpplant and Lamb Al Forno

I finally picked the eggplants from my garden figuring a frost was on its way. I asked my friend Peter for a good eggplant recipe and he sent me this. Richard and I had it last night (I served it with brown rice) and it's delicious!
Serves 4
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total), ends trimmed, cut into six 1/4-inch-thick rounds each
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
1 twenty-eight-ounce can whole, peeled plum tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Salt eggplant well, arrange in colanders, and place weighted bowls on top. Let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper; cook until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add oregano, cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne; cook 2 minutes more. Add lamb, and cook until it browns, about 5 minutes. Drain fat from pan. Break up tomatoes, and add to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sauce starts to thicken, about 8 minutes.
3. Place 4 eggplant slices in an 8-inch square baking pan, and top with a third of the sauce. Repeat twice, making four three-layer stacks. Combine 1 teaspoon parsley and breadcrumbs; sprinkle over the top.
4. Cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with remaining parsley; serve hot.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hey Diddle Diddle...

I found these images from a show I participated in a few years ago. The show was entitled "Fairy Tales" but I chose a nursery rhyme instead. What a rebel!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bolete Mushroom in Algonquin Park

I spotted this Orange Birch Bolete (Leccinum Versipelle) at the Park and stupidly didn't pick it. All my mushroom books say it is edible (but not choice, so I don't feel all that bad). I likely wouldn't have eaten it (I'm a big chicken when it comes to wild mushrooms and only eat 4 or 5 species I have eaten before and am absolutely sure of) but at the very least I could've brought it home to draw.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's That Time of Year

Time to close up the summer cottage. Time to put away the canoe. Here's Richard with his nephew and brother-in-law doing the autumn ritual. And if you live in Ontario, today is the time to vote. Don't forget to cast your ballot!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Algonquin Park Impressions ATCs

I painted these artist trading cards as we drove through Algonquin Park, on our way to the Muskokas last weekend. I had the paints on my lap and the water in the coffee cup holder. The glove box and dashboard were littered with drying ATCs. Instead of painting "en plein air," I was painting "en plein auto." The colours this time of year are awe inspiring. No wonder the Group of Seven spent so much time at the Park.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Postcard from Algonquin Park

On our way home from our Thanksgiving weekend in the Muskokas, Richard and I stopped to take some photos on the edge of Algonquin Park. It was incredibly warm and incredibly beautiful.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Four and Twenty Blackbirds...

...baked in a pie. Am ready for Thanksgiving at Richard's sister's place. I baked 2 pies, one apple and the other wild blueberry. Turkey and stuffing here we come! Happy Thankgiving to all my Canadian friends.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake

A few winters ago, I attempted a fancy shmancy cake featured in Bon Appetit magazine. It was tons of work including making your own caramel which you folded into the whipped cream. During transportation, the cake fell over and even when I reconstructed it, it didn't want to stay together (we ended up shoving a big candle through the layers to stabilize it).
Speaking of cakes, ATC Quarterly's winter issue will feature artist trading cards with the theme "Let Them Eat Cake." Check out the website: ATC Quarterly and click on "Centre spread" to see last issue's challenge. Send me an ATC with your interpretation of "Let Them Eat Cake." Deadline is November 15/07.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sasquatch Sighting

This past summer, when I was in Happy Camp, Oregon* (yes, there really is a town whose inhabitants are called "Happy Campers"), I spotted this very artistically rendered version of Sasquatch. He was hand-built out of various bits of old metal. Pretty cool, actually.

*Oops. Should read California.


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