Sunday, September 30, 2018

Provence♥ Watercolors etc..


Has proved to be such an affair of the heart for me.

We went in 2008..briefly..went back almost 10 yrs later ,last yr..

And it only reinforced what I had felt in 2008.

If I could have picked one place to live 45 yrs ago..

..With what I know now...

It would have been Provence.

Peter Mayle ...
Van Gogh..  and here ..  there is such a feeling of peace and serenity there..hard to explain..

Cézanne..Frédéric Mistral..Ernest Hemingway..James Joyce..

The list goes on and on..they chose Provence at one point.

I have not been to many places..but out of all of my places..
This is it. my Enchanted Cottage..only because we like to be on our own..and live a bit away from the madding crowd...this is my enchanted cottage.

If we were to build a house..this would be it.
If I was to start my gardens..(NO MAINTENANCE)
these would be them.
Of course finding an ancient quarry may be hard;)
And we are not moving God willing..and not building..

I love my Canada.I have great neighbours here.
Friendly people..cosmopolitan..the seasons..
First and foremost my family is here.

We came home to many many tomatoes..yay!!
Lots of zinnias..will cut shortly..
overgrown beds and long grass.

I have a load of laundry to go..
I loved hand washing my linen there and hanging it up to dry:)
Even lots of other things;)

Jacques liked the washing machine..hang to dry .
Things just feel so nice and fresh.

For this trip..I started packing .. my art supplies..priorities:)
And they changed..the first pic is what I had decided upon..

And then..I switched up the the 2 ready made  journals and went with my own.
And then switched it again.

We left Sept 6th and returned yesterday.

Our home base was St-Rémy..
St-Rémy is a great town to call home base..
Lively enough for lively people and quiet enough for quiter people.
I have to tell you..the last 5 was une Fete Foraine..!
The town takes on a whole different look..arcades and rides..Coney Island!
But more..Belmont

The old world charm  of that town is denaturalized in a heartbeat.
And streets have bars and cordons for bulls!

I filled my two journals ..when we would come home in the aft.I would make a small painting.
LOVED that.
I know I am a terrible plein air painter.Maybe if I sat somehwre for a long would be different..but..
With a photo..I am happy sitting at home..painting that way:)

Some turned out a bit better than others..this is not my fave..but it's in the book ..the book that fell apart..I had glue gunned the spine..I may leave it loose..Or I may Zutter it;)

Our trees are still green!Fall is not full on at all here yet!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Watercolor journal,tomatoes,inspiration,fall.

In case some of you are not on IG..I just want to recommend it again.
Lots to see..lots to love.

Products to learn about..
videos to watch..
all very interesting..
I was a member for a couple of yrs and never ever did anything..didn't even look until my daughters started showing me accounts..then I did start to participate.

And you don't even have to.

I found out about fertilizers and paints and Zutter Bind It Alls..  
Found flower producers that knocked my socks off..
Artists galore.
Just FYI if you feel like seeing more:)

My tomatoes were late this year because I use the garlic growing space..and got impatient so planted some here and there ..and in between..
However ..they thrived..and these are the varieties I grew..

Medium Red..a small red tomato..larger than cherry.
Dancing With Smurfs..a deep aubergine almost black cherry tomato with orange have to wait until the bottoms turn orange.
Sunrise the look:) And taste..
White Currant..the size of a currant..and sweet.

Not sure I would grow the white currant again because the plant is big enough w/ tiny pearls though a space hoarder;)

The small beachy watercolor journal was made w/ the Zutter Bind It All..I do recommend this tool:)I was so fortunate to find a second ahnd almost new one.

I used St ~Armand paper for the cover and Strathmore Mixed Media for the inside pages.
 DS watercolors..except for Manganese Blue Hue  Daler-Rowney...bought in Provence last year.

Petit Gris Brush and a cheapo liner.

And my Whisky Painters case from Articulations,Toronto.

The watercolor was painted from inspiration from Lisa.
The idea of using the Bind It All from Teri.

That's what I mean re IG:)

Here's a pet peeve re IG..:)

On stories..which I do like..seeing and hearing the word OBSESSED.
Everyone is OBSESSED w/ something.
Come on.
Most overused word.LOL.

And I just love finding wee things in the garden upon closer inspection don't you? This little guy ..just sitting in a calendula blossom..a calendula blossom is no bigger than a quarter this one..look who was using it as a resting place.
I had time to water plants..clip stuff..come back w/ my camera and there he still was..still♥

Autumn..can you believe it?

Brambly Hedge Autum teacup set.

 Here's To Fall..

My son-in-law is the Elvis fan..but..this one..♥Me too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Thing about September.

Is all about the golds..

You're still picking bouquets but none as varied as summer.. 

The one above..a summer one..all the pretty colors were blooming..Nikko Blue..Annabelles..Echinops..Phlox, Calendula..Russian Sage,Gooseneck..roses..some geraniums..
A quick visit around the gardens..and you have instant gratification:)
I like putting some bouquets in the porch..the ones an earwig scampered out of;)
I don't want those in our home:)

Just a trip down summer's memory lane bouquet wise~

Sept is..Calendula..and dahlias..and zinnias..rudbeckia and melancholia;)

all ahhhs♥

We've eaten our share of delicious corn..the pesto is made..numerous times.. 
soon the garlic will be planted.

Summer just flies by .

But at the end of August..I was making some delish shortbreads from this beautiful blog~

I never knew about this blog..before IG ..that's where I discovered the blog..through IG..

We have sooo many shortbread recipes..
I won't even link to all the ones I have shared..because you will fall asleep;)

I was making sweet cookies for the boys..and wanted something more grown-up..for us.
Shortbreads are my downfall;)

These are so light and good and not too sweet..
You could add more icing sugar while decreasing the cornstarch..but why?

If you need help translating..just ask..well worth making!!

All you need to know is..Soft Butter(beurre)..flour(farine)..icing sugar(sucre glace)..salt(sel), corn starch(maizena):)

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September~because August is over..Oh MY.

Lee-Ann sent me these charming toppers:)  
I just keep using and using them♥

It's Oli's bday month..our littlest..

This little boy is golden..:) Like his hair..

He's got  Rod Stewart  like hair:)♥

One day I went to the yacht club pool to meet his mom..

Everyone was swimming and Oli came out of the water..

I was sitting in a chair with a beach towel draped on it..As he came out of the pool  I said :"Oh honey you want your towel?:"No..I came out to kiss you".
I mean.♥
No one else comes out of a pool to kiss me except my Littles.

This is a photo his mom the other 2 boys..and I made his bday card now they all have one.

May I talk about art a bit more?

That little one above..all 4 of them actually when they came over..much younger..and THEIR moms..when they were little..
I used to buy those painting books ..that had paints in the just added a wet brush..dipped in the color and painted away..

When I spotted Viviva Colorsheets..
I was smitten..

The memories..the ease of having this super light pad with vibrant colors..well it was just love at first sight.

I won't apologize for loving art supplies.

I worked for almost 30 yrs..
It's a time in space for me to play now.

I am not into jewels..and brands..and oohlala.

I am into gardening..baking..and art supplies♥

Look!  A grown up pad of wet your brush apply to the colors and you are on your way.

The colors are super vibrant.
They remind me of my QOR  High Chroma small watercolor set.

The packaging is so pretty..the ease of it all is a breeze♥
Portability plus..and just a swipe and you have COLOR.
Fits in a wallet!!

And VELLUM to protect each page..
I love vellum:)

16 colors in a wallet.

They make me feel young and that possibilities are endless.
~~~~~~~The boys  love that giant cookie..I shared it  with you.... Oli said at the time....: "Nana can you make a chocolate chip cookie cake?"Like bigger..thicker?

I was on a mission and there you have it..up above..

You can find the recipe here..

He was so happy..and he loved his card♥

Tomatoes..and zinnias and lots of golds everywhere..a sure sign the dog days of summer are already a thing of the past.
It was a hot and dry and humid the summers of my youth.

In August  for a combined party I made a few desserts..because we are 12 ..

I asked my 43 yr old daughter what dessert she would like..believe it or not she picked a childhood favorite..

..Butter Brickle~or here 
I make it in a 9x13..lovely for a crowd..make ahead..delish!
So many blogs have first one was about 40 years ago at Holly's house:)
I made a non descript Italian sponge cake..didn't save the recipe..
And Fairy Cupcakes..

Always home made dressing for a green tossed salad..

And often Ina's Orzo and roasted vegetables..this is so good!A tried and true forever.

We had chicken brochettes,peppers and red onions....garlic bread..

a few appetizers..these..empanadas  with a few changes.. and this Salsa from Chris.. which both my girls loved..garlic bread..

I had fresh French radishes which I drizzled that basil vinaigrette's my favorite..  It's not a salad dressing is a fab flavor maker to so many things..lighter than a pesto..thicker than a vinaigrette.I have made 3 more jars since..the recipe is from What's Gaby Cooking.

and that was it:)

The night was lovely..
Another summer of birthdays..over.

Basil..this is my Love year for basil..never ending..always beautiful!
Things I have learned.

Pot bound is not good..woody..stunted..quick to go to seed.

I took mine out of the pots and planted where my garlic a bed ..sunny..Success!

Keep pinching those flowers off..try and pinch where a stem joins a fork..look HERE.

A dry summer is actually better.Earwigs love dahlias and basil and zinnias..and  in a dry get way less.

Just my 2 cents:)

For my pesto..I eyeball it..I fill my Braun FP w/ the leaves..add a lot of my large White German fresh garlic cloves..salt..pepper..EVOO..sometimes pine nuts sometimes walnuts.
Parm cheese.
In some I added red pepper flakes.

I filled small containers and froze in 2 tbsps portions..but I also spread a few recipes on parchment in a pan..froze..and sliced like a pizza w/ a pizza wheel and froze like that 3 to a baggie.
Love that idea..where oh where did I find it?

That's August in a nutshell.

Like sands through the hourglass..So are  the Days of our Lives~(remember?)..

Putting herb bounty to use..oh those zinnias..I tell ya:)♥Not even my colors some of them;)
But I love much.
How one little seed can become such a big plant w/ so many blooms..Unbelievable.
How some people can be so nice..