Friday, November 30, 2007

Feather Dishes

More ceramics for tomorrow's show. Feathers and nests seem like a fun thing to paint onto dishes.
We're trying to get into the hall a day early so we can set up this afternoon. Will try and post photos of the set up tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dishes for Four

My friend Chris commissioned me to do plates and mugs for her four daughters for Christmas. She gave me a list of things that each of her kids liked best and I came up with the images. Fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Olive Dishes

I am wrapping things up for the show on Saturday and painting everything in sight! Here are a few more things I've been working on.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Perry's Birthday Cake

Perry missed his birthday celebration at our ATC meet and trade on Saturday but a large piece of cake and all the birthday ATCs were delivered to him afterwards. Apparently he was delighted and he sent us all a thank you note today. Maybe we'll sing Perry a round of "Happy Birthday" at our Christmas potluck party at the end of December? (And yes, that is one of my cakes!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Busy Weekend

Seems the weekend just slipped by. We had our ATC trade on Saturday where we had intended to celebrate one of our traders' birthdays. Unfortunately, the birthday boy was a no show, but his daughter was there, so she took a piece of cake back to him plus all the wonderful "Happy 90th" artist trading cards that everyone made for Perry.
Besides that, yesterday was the Grey Cup, Canadian Football League's final game this year between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. The Bombers lost. Boo hoo.
During the game, Richard and I made our fruitcakes, which has become a tradition with us (and is made on Grey Cup weekend). It's an old fashioned recipe from (Canadian) magazine Harrowsmith and has tons of nuts (5 cups of pecans, 3 cups each of walnuts and almonds) and very little of the 'too sweet' stuff (for instance, it has figs instead of green cherries). It's wonderful (and it makes 5 loaves).
I thought I'd post a few b&w drawings I'm selling on Saturday at our art sale. It's coming quickly.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ravioli in Brown Butter

I saw this dish made by Giada De Laurentis on Everyday Cooking on the Food Network and I thought I'd give it a try. It was delicious. Our local store now sells fresh ravioli in various flavours. I bought the ones stuffed with Gorgonzola and walnut puree. But I think any type of ravioli would work.

Ravioli in Brown Butter
1 package ravioli, cooked as per instructions on package
2-4 tablespoons walnuts toasted (I added some pine nuts because I didn't have enough walnuts)
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
shaved Parmesan cheese

While ravioli is cooking, toast nuts until fragrant (watch as they burn easily).
Melt butter in a saucepan and cook over low heat until brown (about 5 minutes). Add vinegar. Drain ravioli and add to saucepan with butter and vinegar. Stir until coated. Serve topped with nuts and shaved Parmesan. Serves 2.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rooster Platters

More stuff for the art sale. I did rooster tiles last year and they were a big hit. I figured I'd keep with a winner and do the same little guys on small platters.

Friday, November 23, 2007

More Olive Bowls

I'm in the home stretch for next week's art sale. I did a bunch of mini olive bowls yesterday. The flat ones were originally butter pats. I thought they'd work well for olive pits or leftover toothpicks. The mini-olive bowls would work well for well...olives!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

ATC Quarterly #9

Richard and I folded and stapled last night and we're ready to stuff envelopes and mail the winter 2008 issue of ATC Quarterly. The wonderful cover, based on the "Let Them Eat Cake" theme was done by Jacque Lynn Davis of Missouri. What intrigued me was that she works entirely digitally, using a digital pen and drawing tablet. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Winter Wonderland

I couldn't post to my blog this morning because there was too much snow on the satellite dish. But it's fairly warm out and by the time I got back from a bunch of errands, it had melted and I'm back! Pretty isn't it? Tomorrow we're expecting 5-10 cms. Last year it didn't snow till January 15th. Looks like this winter might be a real old-fashioned one?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Olive Bowls

I've been madly trying to make enough stuff for the December 1st group show. I am fond of the olive theme and decided to do two variations on the white bowls; one set has the dots on the inside, the other on the outside. I'm pretty happy with the way they came out.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dance of the Seven Veils?

The sunrise on Richard's kitchen wall was incredibly dramatic this morning. He was doing the breakfast dishes and I told him I was going to take his picture. A bit of a ham, you think?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sneak Peek: ATC Quarterly #9

The winter '08 (issue #9) of ATC Quarterly is hitting the presses tomorrow. Richard and I will be folding and stapling one night this week and then I'll pop them in the mail next week. There were many "Let Them Eat Cake" entries; most of them will be on the www.atcquarterly.com website (click on centrefold) which should be updated soon. Thanks to everyone who sent one in. They were wonderful!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Happy 90th Perry" ATC

At our next ATC trade, we will be celebrating one of our traders' 90th birthdays. Perry drives in from Rigaud, Quebec (about a 40 minute drive) to our trade in Dunvegan, Ontario every month. He makes wonderful watercolour and ink ATCs, mainly depicting local scenery but sometimes Perry draws people waiting for a doctor's appointment or folks just walking down the street. Other times he makes, what he calls "Perry Bugs" from odd bits of nature he's picked up: mini-pine cones, straw and grass, maple seeds, and the like. He glues them to an ATC-sized card and turns them into his own creatures. They're adorable.
At our next trade, each of us is bringing a birthday ATC for Perry and we'll toast in his 90th birthday with a big chocolate cake.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thoughts on TV

Actually, now that I get 500+ stations, there's very little to watch...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kitty cats

It's been a while since I've posted any cat photos. I know winter is on its way when I find Cookie (seated) and Cinnamon curled up on my bed together. They'll spend most of the season there. Pretty good way to spend winter, I think!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leeks Vinaigrette

I made this dish to accompany the filet mignon for Richard's birthday meal. The leeks are smaller than you'd find in the store...Richard and I had just picked them from the almost frozen garden. Delicious.
8 medium leeks
2 teaspoons salt
2 oz. pancetta (I used bacon instead)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1-2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Halve each leek lengthwise to within 2" of root end. Rinse well under cold running water to wash away sand. Cover leeks with cold water in a heavy skillet. Add salt and simmer leeks, uncovered, until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Transfer leeks to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
In the meantime, while leeks are simmering, finely chop bacon and cook until brown, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together vinegar, mustard and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste until emulsified. Add leeks and gently toss to coat. Serve topped with bacon and parsley.
Recipe from Gourmet magazine, January 2004 found on epicurious.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sailor Girl ATCs

When I was on a cruise this past summer to Saint John, NB and Halifax, NS, I noticed that each section of the boat was given a different luggage tag. At the end of the journey, they announced that if you needed more tags, they were available at the so-called "front desk." I went down and took 2 of each colour, knowing they'd be perfect for ATCs. They were even the right size.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stephen King's Cat

The idea came from my (unpublished) Famous People's Cats Too! book but I couldn't find the original manuscript so I redrew this for Richard's birthday gift. (Stephen King is one of his favourite authors.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kitty Litter Cake

Okay, so I thought I'd do a sort of "gag" cake for Richard's 50th. Something like "Getting older is crappy, but fifty is nifty" type of thing. I think Richard thought it was kind of cute.
On top of a 9" x 13" chocolate cake, the litter is vanilla wafer crumbs and the poops are tootsie rolls.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Richard's New Book

Richard's new book Absurdit├ęs Canadiennes launches on Thursday in Hawkesbury, Ontario. I saw a copy of it last night and it looks terrific. Check out the website: www.absurditescanadiennes.com

Friday, November 9, 2007

Art Show Dec. 1

Here's the invitation for a little show I've done for the past few years with two friends. It's always a lot of fun. Last year there was a power failure caused by a mini-ice storm the day before, so we ran the show with no heat or lights. We're keeping our fingers crossed for better weather this year.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy Birthday Richard!

I baked Richard's cake last night (and froze it) and out of the batter, made him a cupcake so I could leave it for him at his house this afternoon while he's at work. Today is his birthday but we've decided to celebrate it on the weekend. I figured it might be fun for him to come home to a surprise supper, so I made him his favourite Creamed Pickled Herring, which I'll leave in his fridge and a cupcake with a candle, so he can have a wee celebration this evening.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Version #2 of the House on the Hill

Here's another drawing of the same house. I've actually sketched it numerous times. This version is one of my favourites.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The House on the Hill

My neighbour's house sits on a hill just west of my place. Once part of a 100 acres, it got split up in the 1970s creating 2 farms. We got the low ground and he got the higher part. His spot also has a wonderful 100+ year old house on it, which has no electricity or plumbing and is only used as a summer and hunting cabin.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Birthday Cakes

Richard's 50th birthday is coming up on Thursday but since it's a weekday, we will be celebrating on Saturday. I've made cakes for almost everyone I know except for Richard! Here's one I made a few years back for my friend David's birthday which was celebrated at a Robbie Burns Day party (note the tartan ribbon). I'm wracking my brain to figure out what kind of cake to make for Richard. Any ideas?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Wild Mushroom Chicken

I found this recipe in The New Chicken Breast Cookbook. As it happens, I did the spot illustrations of little veggies interspersed in the book. I also drew the little chickens on the cover.
BTW, the recipe came out great. I used dried Hen of the Woods wild mushrooms and substituted the chicken stock that was called for and used the mushroom rehydrating liquid instead. Great flavour!

Friday, November 2, 2007

What's in your Fridge?

Some years back I read an interview and the last question was: "Name three things in your refrigerator." Apparently these three things are quite revealing about one's personality.
My fridge? Many revealing things to be sure. For purposes of illustration, I picked these three things just because they looks good together: My friend Carol's pickled cherry tomatoes, pickled mini-eggs I made for Richard, and pickled purple carrots from my garden.
What's in your fridge?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Good Morning November!

The sun's shining. It's a cool, bright November day. I saw a huge "V" of Snow Geese overhead yesterday. And on my way into town, I saw a Great Blue Heron fishing in a stream. Nice time of year.

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