Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cakes, Sweets and Stuff

I've been doing a lot of visiting and making lots of desserts. These gorgeous, blushing Ontario peaches were made into a fantastic peach cobbler.

This chocolate bundt is on its way to Jennifer's house in Prescott. How long do you think it will last with her 3 growing boys?

This abstract creation was "it's time to empty all the crazy chocolate out of your cupboard" cake. It looks kind of odd but there was not much left of it at the end of the party. And it made for great discussion.

Friday, August 29, 2008

ATC Quarterly #12

It's finally ready! ATC Quarterly has been printed and is ready to roll. It's a really good issue (if I say so myself), full of interesting stories. It never ceases to amaze me what people come up with and the creativity they put into their ATCs. Check your mailboxes next week. It should be there. And if you're not a subscriber yet, check us out at

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Mother's Spider

My friend Kate Strickland who writes Art Vein blog has started "Tool Tuesday" where she asks artists to post their favourite art tool. I'm still thinking about that one. But here's one of my favourite kitchen tools.

It's my mother's spider, which she purchased in 1950, the year she got married. I remember her making applesauce for us when we were little. She loved it (and so do I) because you can throw in whole (or halved) cooked fruit and run it through the spider. No peeling needed!

The wooden paddle (plus a little elbow grease) pushes through all the pulp leaving only seeds and skins behind, ready for the compost bin.

All that's left to do is pour the liquidy stuff into a jar, let it cool...

...mark it and put it into the freezer, waiting to be made into a lovely spaghetti sauce. It'll be a taste of summer when the snow's flying in January.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flutter By...

I went for a nice, brisk walk along our busy road yesterday and on my way back, noticed a dead Monarch butterfly on the shoulder. I picked it up and loosely carried it home thinking it would be perfect glued to an artist trading card. I was designing it in my head.

I stopped for a cup of tea at a neighbour's and because it was so windy, brought the butterfly in with me and laid it on her kitchen counter. About halfway into the cup of tea, my neighbour said, "Hey, your butterfly is climbing up the TV!" It was alive! I picked it up and took it out the back door, wanting to set it on some flowers but instead it flew out of my hands and landed on a spruce tree.

I'm guessing that when I first picked it up, it might have been hit by a car and was just winded, lying on its side on the gravel. Then it got its second wind, once set inside and it recovered. My neighbour's theory was that it knew that I was going to varnish it to an ATC, so it decided it better get the heck out of there!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ceramic Stuff

I hadn't painted kitties for a while and was inspired to do them on this unusual, cube-shaped creamer and sugar set.

While I was on a cat roll, I painted a few more cat faces, this time on 4.5" high mini-canisters and topped them with purple paw prints on the lids.

I just loved this vintage 15" x 10" platter from the second I saw it. It screamed "asparagus" to me. It's on its way across the United States as a wedding gift and I hope the happy couple use it for many seasons of asparagus to come...

Summer is watermelon time so I felt inspired to paint it on a plate. Looks refreshing, doesn't it?

Feeding Chippy

I've made friends with several chipmunks around my house this summer...

...and they love being fed peanuts.

Looks like this little guy is going to take flight!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Men at Work

Richard and David had a few trees to cut down and donned their tree cutting outfits. I thought it strange that they were both wearing New York Yankee t-shirts. Perhaps they had a fashion consult before they got together?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Walter's Hot Dog Stand ATCs

I've been to Walter's Hot Dog stand twice and it has really fantastic hot dogs! I made this set of artist trading cards based on Walters -- the mustard and ketchup are added with raised fabric paint so it looks (almost) like the real thing. The back of the cards have this info on them:

Walter's Hot Dog Stand was originally established by Walter Warrington in 1919. It was a roadside stand selling hot dogs and sodas down by Harbor Island in Mamaroneck, NY. After gaining so much appeal Walter decided to expand his business and build the Chinese pagoda building. Due to its unique architecture, the building itself was named a historical landmark by Westchester County. It is world famous due to its high quality hot dog made of beef, pork and veal that can only be found at Walter's. Walter's was voted the number one hot dog in America by Gourmet magazine and was voted the best roadside stand in Westchester from 1994 to 2004. To see more, visit: Walter's Hot Dog website.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sign of the Times

It's getting to be that time of year...driving into Vankleek Hill yesterday to get envelopes for the fall issue of ATC Quarterly, I spotted a maple tree starting to turn red. Althought it's beautiful, it also means we're teetering on the brink of fall.

Speaking of autumn, here's a mini-sneak peek at the "Fall Leaves" challenge that will appear in the centre spread of the upcoming ATC Quarterly. The entries are all just gorgeous! Publication date is a few weeks from now, when there's more of a nip in the air...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Wicked Evening

Our evening out in Ottawa started with a black cherry soft drink...

...followed by a Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich at Nate's Deli.

Dessert for the evening was seeing the play "Wicked" at the National Arts Centre. There's nothing like live theatre! Simply wonderful.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One Bowls, Three Ways

I found three of these oval-shaped bowls, (that look like little bathtubs as one end is deeper than the other) and decided to treat each one in a completely different way. It was a fun experiment to see what I could come up with.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Demi Virtual Vacation

This summer's virtual vacation became a real one yesterday. Half of the "Virtual Vacation Team" appeared in Montreal last night. John is working up in Quebec this week and we met him for dinner on the first leg of his journey. To see the video message we sent Nancy, go to John's blog.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Show Me the Money

The generous folks at the Alexandria branch of the Scotiabank, matched funds raised during the 3 hour period in which they volunteered at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum's Annual Booksale. This photo ran in this week's Glengarry News. (I'm the tall one in the middle!)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Travelogue: Great Art & Food

My friend Fran and I took my 90-year old Aunt Sylvia for a day at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec yesterday. In the background, you can see the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, on the other side of the river.

There's the fabulous architecture of the Museum to appreciate outdoors...

...and indoors, here are Fran and Aunt Sylvia entering the "Great Hall."

Aunt Syl and me in front of the fantastic aborignal exhibit in the Great Hall.

Lovely things behind this wall too!

...and totem poles in abundance.

We visited the Museum's café for lunch. Sylvia ordered "Tuna three ways": tartar, deep-fried and sesame crusted.

Fran had pan fried farm trout and spinach salad.

I had the smoked chicken pizza with pine nuts, sun-dried tomato pesto and goat's cheese. Now that's what I call great art!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kids Plates & Mugs

My friend Lauren in Champaign, Illinois is thinking ahead. She ordered Christmas gifts for her seven-year old daughter Sophia...

...and her two-year old nephew Zachary. I hope the kids love them as much as I loved painting them!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From the Garden

Inspiration for my ceramics from my garden abounds. Here is what inspired my nasturtium china.

And here's what inspires my kitchen. Yesterday I picked a ton of tomatoes, two kinds of cucumbers, a long, yellow pepper and a couple of zucchini.

These gladiolas are a spectacle of incredible colour. I anxiously await their blooms every year (more are on the way)!

I've had these Asiatic lillies for a few years now and this is the first year they bloomed. Magnificent!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nasturtium-Inspired China

I love painting nasturtiums, so I covered this 3-pronged candlestick with them.

This 6" high garlic keeper will smell sweeter because of its nasturtiums, right?

A 7.5" round covered casserole covered with nasturtium vines.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Virtual Vacation: Perch Rolls

While our friends John and Nancy are on their virtual vacation with us (travelling to northeastern Oregon, click here to see more) Richard and I headed "south" to Lancaster, Ontario.

We tracked down the elusive Lancaster Perch, cooked in a former bus... the famous Loretta's Chip Wagon.

Richard couldn't wait to chow down...

...because Loretta is famous for her perch sauce...

Okay, so in the real world, we usually have meals that look more like this: everything on this table (except for the olives in the Greek salad) came from our gardens we picked that day. But we're on our virtual vacation, so a little junk food is allowed on vacation, virtual or not, right?


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