Monday, February 24, 2014

Reborn...Again

One of the little bats that live in our old barn where I feed the old horses their daily pelleted feed came out into the daylight and ended up flying down around the house.  Now it had warmed up a bit and I imagine this little one was a bit hungry and looking for some insects of which a few were flying around.  Of course in my mind the little critter was sending me messages...Rebirth...let go of the old habits and start fresh.  Cousin bat stayed around for a couple of days and then tucked itself back into the barn until the evenings get a little warmer.

I, in the meantime have done a little pondering and reading friends blogs and decided that it is time for rebirth...just like all the plants are getting ready to do and all the baby birds and animals will be doing.

My "rebirth" will not be too quick, but already I am becoming more of my  refreshed self.

Since it is still snowy and cold in so many places and no one needs to be reminded of this, I thought I would share a few photos of previous warm, green, sunshiny days!  PLEASE ENJOY...









Have a Beautiful...warm...sunny February 24,2014

Love & Joy!
Diane
 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Moon Flower


                 Just wanted to share my newest creation...Moon Flower

A little collage that I've been working on when I have the time in between making sure all the outside critters have what they need to be comfy during these cold and snowy (YES we did have a little snow for a couple of days!).


I like to have everything out and at my fingertips!  It is a very well organized mess!!!!

I had much fun and I'm pleased with the results.  I framed it in an old frame from my very long ago youth and who knows how long my Mama had it before I remember it!


So please enjoy my little Luna Cat flying about in the universe.

The next project will be fish, I do believe.

Happy Sunday!
Diane



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Send a Little Love for Valentines Day!

Just to let y'all know some more of what I am doing when I'm not baking, feeding horses, mending fences, watching sunsets...  Here are a few items that I have listed at my Etsy Shop, Inspire To Inspire.  Just click on the shop name and you can get the story behind the piece and the price if you are so inclined to shop!
                                                   Please Enjoy



 



Friday, January 31, 2014

Pie Day Friday

                                Welcome to Pie Day Friday!!!!!!!!!!!


Our lovely little hens are delivering eggs almost every day...we love to make and eat homemade pie and Pie Day rhymes with Friday...so... here is a new blog feature for 2014.  Now I'm not saying this will happen every Friday.  Even we can't guarantee being able to bake & eat pies every week, but we do love them for our breakfasts and actually, for the most part, home made pies can be pretty healthy.  This one, for instance is made with fresh eggs...



                       These are the photo's I was telling you about, Jan!


Whole Wheat flour, 2% or fat free milk, oatmeal and our homegrown  Sweet Potatoes...



We're almost out of our homies and getting ready to start the new ones for this year.

I started out with the same recipe for the pie crust as for the Blackberry Pie that is in the Blog archives for 2013, Reaching the Destination.  Just check that post out where you will find the recipe or use one of your own special pie crust recipes.  Here is a picture of the crust (and berries) before they were baked)


As usual in my life...the filling recipe has a history of which I will only tell you a little of so I can share this post with you while it is still Friday!  It was originally made with Butternut Squash, white sugar and whole milk.  When we moved to Frogville, Oklahoma, we lived off the grid with literally NO electricity or running water.  We had a tiny range top with stove for a camper that we used small bottles of propane to do our cooking.  Since there was no refrigeration, we used powdered milk and retrieved our drinking water from a pure spring.  That 6 years is loaded with many stories that will get shared from time to time!
Now that we live a little more civilized... just a little more :), I've re-vamped the recipe.

Custard Filling:

2 Cups Sweet Potatoes...steamed and smashed
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 teaspoon Cloves
3 Beautiful Eggs from Joyous Hens
1 1/2 Cups Milk...whole, 2%,powdered,rice, whatever is your choice

Mix all of the above together stirring and beating as smooth as you desire.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Pour the Sweet Potato Custard into the Pie Crust
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes depending on your own ovens temperament (yes I said temperament NOT temperature).

It will be Puffy when you get ready to take it out



Your pie will settle in a little as it cools but this is to be expected.


You'll probably want to let it cool at least an hour to set the filling, but it is great still warm and Awesome for breakfast tomorrow.

Please join Daniel and myself for our afternoon...Friday Pie Day!!!!






Thanks for stopping in and visiting this afternoon, we'll see Y'all the next time you come around!

Joy & Love!
Diane

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January is Half Over ...I can't believe it!!!!!

Everything has been moving soooooooo fast since my last post.  I'm afraid that the colder weather here has kept me from being on the computer very much and my mouse is looking for a warm place to hibernate.
Right before Christmas was my last post...much has happened since, however, if I tried to catch Y'all up, we would be lost in the past...
Sooooo, I'll shoot some photo's out with a caption or two of what has been going on as I prepare to keep up with what is going on now.

For those of you wondering about the pastel pet portrait, I will get back to it.  The studio is tooo cold to do any lengthy work and the house is not good for pastel work.

Let's relive some of the Holidays at home in Cypress Inn Tennesse!


 
Daniel prepared our scrumptious Christmas Dinner feast of Vegetarian Lasagna.  Now he is a Lover of Pizza, so his lasagna was kind of like a pizza with lasagna noodles instead of crust.  I had given up meat to protest the slaughter houses last year, that is why there was no meat.  But as you can see from the ingredients...no meat was needed.  There was enuff lasagna left for 3 more meals...one meal awaits still in the freezer.
 



 
New Years Day I always cook.  We started a traditional dinner for this many years ago when there was an article  in the Twin Falls (Idaho) newspaper.  Daniel and I incorporated several different dishes to bring Good Luck and Abundance to our New Year.
We always have my version of "Hoppin' John" for the black eyed peas and rice.  Greens vary each year (that's probably why I never have any of the greenbacks in my pocket!Haha)...this year it was spinach with tomatoes & cucumber.  The dressing was homemade mayonnaise from our dear hens eggs...it's the yellow stuff in the yellow bowl, no food coloring, our hens yolks are so orange & sunflower oil is darker than some other oils. Yum! 
Instead of cornbread I made a Cornmeal-Sweet Potato casserole, celebrating the South once more.  The meat is a Pork tenderloin.  Eating the pig is to ensure going forward (there is a rumor that pigs can't go backwards) with your nose in the dirt (lots of good garden work)!!!!!
 
That was our holidays!  All the Santa's have been put to bed to rest until it's time to deliver gifts again and now I start to plan on Spring.  I've been busy distributing manure and dirt from the barn into the planter boxes for the veggies and flowers.
 
Next up...some of the Awesome winter sunsets right here in Southern Middle Tennessee!
 
Until then, I wish you Joy & Love and please visit with me again!
 
Diane
 
One more thing...if you would ever like recipes for my dishes...comment, or email me here

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter Holidays...Santa Claus...Dixie Peanut Brittle!


Just thought I'd share a little of our "beginning of Winter Holidays" in our magical place that we live.  I'm a big fan of being outdoors, so when the weather gets too cold...too rainy...too cold & breezy, I tend to spend too much time indoors.  Especially when Winter Solstice is coming and we're about to experience the "Longest Night"!  No matter how early I get up...there is never enuff time to take care of all of the children.  You know, the furry, hairy, feathery, muddy, hungry, wet, cold ones.  I spend too much time inside because it is dark outside...so I try to make it as comfortable as I can.  I've decorated the living room with Christmas collections and handmade items.  I love vintage & antique & I'm always crafting some art thing too.



Just for a little clarification....the baby on the left may be the only photo you ever see of me...I was much cuter then and prefer to remain that way.  The people on the right are my mom and her husband ( I called him Papa...my Daddy died when I was young and Mama remarried after I grew up and moved away from home).  That photo is also from quite a few years ago.


This next photo I have titled:
              "The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care"
                


  They didn't get all dry hanging outside with the rest of the laundry and it was the best place to make sure that I had dry socks in the morning!!!

So...You're saying OK...we've covered Winter Holidays, Santa Claus, but Hey!!! What about the Dixie Peanut Brittle?

I'll just grab a piece and munch on it while I give you the recipe!  I wish Y'all could come and visit and we could make it together...what a good time we could have.  For now this will have to do...Here Goes...

You will need:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
4 cups raw peanuts with the skins on
2 Tblsp butter
2 tsp baking soda

Lightly butter a cookie sheet:


Heat sugar, syrup & water in a large saucepan to a rolling boil. 
Add peanuts and reduce heat to medium, medium low and stir.

And Stir...and stir.  You don't have to keep a constant stir on...but don't leave it alone for too long at a time.  It's going to take from 1 hour to 1 hour & 15 minutes to reach it's high temp of 290 degrees... so have a beer, cup of tea...and stir every so often.


As it cooks and you stir...you'll notice that it is getting thicker and darker and smelling cooked and brown.  Have patience until you reach 290 degrees.
When your candy has cooked enuff...turn off the burner and take the pot off the heat.
Add your butter and then the baking soda and beat with the wooden spoon!



Pour as best you can...it will be thick as it cools...onto the cookie sheet and try to spread it evenly.  Be careful!!! the cookie sheet will get hot!!



Cool until brittle and cold...break into pieces...give some to your postal delivery person... put a little out, out of the dog & cat reaches...and hide the rest to be doled out!



Enjoy...enjoy...enjoy!!!

Merry Christmas!!
Diane




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Everything takes on a life of it's own...Pastel Pet Portraits part 2

As is everything in my life...this adventure is already going in new directions that I had no idea it would go.  I do know that I am not a straight line thinker...and definitely not anal retentive...I do get passionate about certain things and when I do I get very excited and relinquish any sort of control at all.  My art projects are always self evolving and I do not like the "technical" parts at all.  I tend to put them out of my mind and try to make them go away.  I am happiest then and my art gets a "flow" to it.

Thanks to those that were brave enuff to chose and discuss picking out backround colors.  From your comments and ideas...a whole new creature has evolved from the woo woo side of my brain.  I am irreverent about that area because I am so mystified by it that I would never try to figure it out or ignore it either.

That said, I usually don't spend much time choosing backround color not because it isn't important, but because most of the time the color pops into my head and I set up different scenarios just as a test which usually is a waste of time...I go with my first thought.

Today is a little exploration into why we may pick certain colors for our backrounds or focal points...isn't this going to be fun?


These are the two  paper colors that I chose.  Now neither one really shows how they look in the real world...what colors actually make them up and how they reflect other colors in different light...but we all know there is nothing like the real thing.  Perhaps we can all get together in person for a big party and do this sometime (kind of like a workshop without work).
The black backround was an idea from a past project that I want to go back to work on, but was not really relevant for this piece of art.
Here are a few examples of what I was doing at that time, so you know where I am coming from.  I'll clue you in later as to where we are going with this.


 

 
I was using black subjects, on the black paper and "highlighting" the lighter colors...sort of a blending of advancing & retreating into and out of the dark.  My passion is with light and shadow...day & night...good & evil (just thought I would throw that last bit in :)). 
 
Actual "Pet Portraits" ( can we come up with a better "label"? they are more than pets!!!) are entirely something different with their backround colors.
 
 
Dash, was officially my first portrait.  When his photo arrived I knew what color the backround would be.  To my fellow painters...do you sometimes just know what the backround, or backround color will be?  Of course we have to determine that first...it is much too difficult to paint around the foreground and can get really ugly! Ha Ha!
I personally knew this little guy and his  sweet demeanor called out for this beautiful dark blue.  The white & green emanating from him were sort of like his aura... they just showed up in the end.
 

Tito on the other hand had to have a very vibrant color to match his personality as it is a bit crazy.  My choice was between bright green or blue and as soon as I got to the store, I knew it had to be this blue.  The intensity spoke to me!

Getting back to Aleutia,  I feel a calmness about her that suggests more subdued tones.  The grey paper that I decided to chose also seems to hint at a slight amount of purple strands in it that seems to radiate from her Spirit.

Jan (hope you don't mind me mentioning you to the world!!!)  suggested a light blue backround to possibly accent the Husky's beautiful eyes.  Something that I had not even thought of.  After considering it for a while, I decided that idea might be good for the matted & framed finished piece.  Perhaps even a double mat with two colors... purple & light blue.

I'm going to stop with the backround color for now...save some of my other ideas for another discussion.  It is time to move forward and get into the actual creation.!!

Please feel free to join in with your own ideas, experiences, with your comments or emails.  This is a fun way to share all of our artistic ideas & creations and learn about and share our life experiences.

Till next time, thanks for visiting and Happy Holiday Season!

Diane