Monday, March 28, 2011

A Blogging Break...on Holiday!

The time has come for a holiday! I will be on break from blogging for a couple of weeks but you can sure bet that when I return I will have amazing images and stories to share with you all! My travel journal will come back well worn. Until then, I hope you enjoy these Springtime images taken this weekend. See you all soon!

Spot-Breasted Oriole in my bottle brush tree.

Northern Waterthrush

Boat-tailed Grackle on Water Hemlock, amongst the Pickerelweed

American Bittern

Red-winged Blackbird pondering over a field of Lance-leafed Arrowheads

Assassin Bug

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is here; March Winner!

Love Leaf

I hope to get one more posting in this week for you all before I leave on my adventures. I have been busy preparing for company to arrive before the trip begins and working in the garden. Yesterday, which also was my birthday (love being born on the first of Spring!) was spent in the garden, tilling away at the earth and planting Marigolds, Lantana and Wildflowers for the butterflies. Last year I planted Wildflowers that are indigenous to Florida and they have never stopped blooming! I've decided to throw wildflower seeds all over the garden and just let nature take it's course! Butterflies are already visiting. I've seen Cabbage White, Gulf Fritillary, Monarch and Cloudless Sulphur. A toad came by to say hello, I rescued both a lizard and a tiny baby frog from the clutches of the cat and both my hibiscus and roses showed off their buds. All in all, it was a wonderful first day of Spring! Here are some images taken this week in my secret garden...enjoy!

 Flowering Cilantro

 Gecko plays hide and seek in a palm frond


 Seeds of the Milkweed


And finally, congrats to Alex who is the winner of the March Giveaway! Alex, please email me at with your snail mail addy so I can pop your prize in the post! Try saying that fast three times! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

West Highland Way Book


As I get ready to embark on my next trekking adventure, I finally can share with you all the Blurb book I did for the West Highland Way. I had to wait until all my rambling partners in crime had received theirs as I didn't want to spoil the surprise! I made the book especially for them, a permanent reminder of the fun we had walking in rain everyday. ;)  Click on the link and you'll be able to see the entire book in a preview!  Now, the countdown begins until our boots are on the ground again, stomping across the Lake District and Wales!

Me and my team of bandits (Loran, Gina and Ray) on the West Highland Way, before climbing Conic Hill. Loran will not be going with us this time and she will definitely be missed! 

It will be so good to be back with camera in hand, being inspired by the land of my ancestors. I'm sure I will come back with hundreds of beautiful images to share with you all!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Giveaway!

My blog giveaway for the merry month of March is a set of 12 note cards with envelopes featuring my image Transitory Dreams.  The note cards are size 5x5 and are blank inside. The set comes packaged in cellophane and tied with a pretty bow!  This giveaway begins on Tuesday, March 15th and will end on Saturday, March 19th. Not much time for entries but I am heading off on an adventure shortly and want to have enough time before I leave to send the prize off to the lucky winner! This giveaway is open to everyone!

To enter, leave a comment about your favorite Springtime flower. I'll use a number generator to pick a winner and will post the winners name this upcoming weekend! Good luck everyone!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lita and her Georgee Girl

This week I finally finished my "Garden Girl" painting which, somehow during the process, became a tropical version of my dear friend and creative soul sister, Lita. So, this Georgee Girl was named "Lita" and after matting and signing the back, I gave it to the real Lita when we met yesterday for our Creative Saturday. She was thoroughly surprised and loved her painting!

Lita & Lita

We had a perfectly lovely day, starting with breakfast, a visit to The Spice & Tea Exchange, a couple of hours at Barnes & Noble browsing for inspiration and magic, lunch at Seasons 52, and quick shop stop through Anthropolgie before heading to the theater to see Red Riding Hood.

Lita and I are both visual people and this movie was beautiful...utterly, breathtakingly beautiful. The tale was old as time, having been passed down from one generation to another. But, there is a love story here too, one layered with thrilling undertones. Some may find it clich├ęd and predictable but we both loved it. If I wasn't traveling so soon, I'm sure this visual inspiration would lead to pieces of digital and traditional art!

Speaking of art, after the movie we had one more stop...the art store. Lita bought an electric eraser...I had never heard of such a thing! After roaming around and picking up some supplies we headed back to IHOP where we began our day and said goodbye until next week, when we'll have our last Creative Saturday for at least a month.  It was a wonderful break in a busy week. Now, a deep breath as another full-plate week arrives tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Parmesan Salad Baskets

Parmesan Salad Baskets

I made twenty of these individual Parmesan Salad Baskets for our Irish Bunco party last night.  I didn't win any cash, but my baskets were a big hit eliciting several "oohs and aahhs". These elegant sides look deceptively difficult to make but it's actually quite easy and quick to whip these up! And the baskets are edible and so very yummy! Here's how you do it:

You'll need six bags of shredded Parmesan cheese for approximately twenty baskets.  The best cheese to use for these is KRAFT SHREDDED PARMESAN. The fancier and more artisan cheeses do not work so stick with the cheaper brands.

Heat a 10" non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spread the cheese into the skillet in a disc shape, keeping it a bit thinner towards the outer edges so you get a nice, lacey look. Once the cheese begins to get a bit golden on the bottom, use a spatula and your fingers to lift it out. Place the cheese disc (golden side up) over the bottom of a drinking glass and pinch four corners to give shape. That's it!

I prefer to fill my baskets with mixed greens tossed with a bit of my favorite flavored olive oil. Top with a little fresh ground pepper. For a final touch, add half a bread stick. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I have one sister. But I have many other honorary sisters. This is for all of you, my creative sisters! 

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.~ Louisa May Alcott

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birds With Words

You can see a lot by just observing. ~Yogi Berra

I created this image following Nichole's "Birds with Words" tutorial. I'm such a fan of her work as it has such character and depth.  Now, I've created my own "Birds with Words" image! Thanks Nichole for sharing your techniques with us! 

In addition to creating this image, I finished the final sketch for "Garden Girl":

She is now ready for paint! Hopefully, I'll find some time to start the next stages this weekend.  I've decided to call my painted girls "Georgee Girls". This was the name I used when made one of a kind Barbie Dolls for high end collectors. It was called Georgee Girl Designs. In the five years I did that as a living, I made over 300 dolls and sold them to collectors all over the world. Here is a picture of me 12 years ago with one of my dolls. 12 years ago! Hard to believe it was that long ago that I was a doll artist. I did keep all my patterns...Just in case. :)

Taken in 1999. Poor little bear is hanging upside down.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sketching, Painting and a Little Photoshop on the Side

My plans today were cancelled which meant I had a free day to do whatever I wanted! I headed into the art room to work on some big eyed beauties.

Garden Girl Sketch in Progress

Garden Girl Composition Plan in Progress

Hello Dolly

Hello Dolly was just a quick sketch done to use as a practice painting before I started working on Garden Girl. I like my Garden Girl sketch so much I'm afraid of ruining her with a poor paint job! The copy turned out kind of cute! I had some painting issues, having never used this brand of canvas before and the eyes are a little uneven. I took her into Photoshop and fixed what I could, added a butterfly into her hair, some background texture by Jewell and some text. Voila! She's not half bad! Of course I have to give her a name and I think Ginger fits perfectly! ;)

Next up...trying out Nichole's "Birds with Words" tutorial! Go check it out...her work is so inspiring.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring is Around the Corner

Hello Everyone! So sorry I have been absent from posting regularly. I have been busy catching up on appointments, home repairs and preparing for company and a long period of travel. I have not spent much time taking pictures, on Photoshop or even in my art room. Today, I made time. Which made me want to do more, to get into the art room. To do something, anything creative. Until is what I did today! An homage to Spring, which is just around the corner!

Spring Wears a Pretty Dress