Tag Archives: Accepting the challenge

Painting Inspired by Nature

On the way home from work yesterday I had a two-minute window of time where the setting winter sun dazzled my senses with breath-taking beauty. I grabbed three cell phone photos through the car windshield while Hubs drove. I am so fascinated by the ever-changing light of the sky, I have thousands of photos of sky.Image

I had to try to paint this scene, minus the streets, the signal lights, the power pole and lines and the buildings. I needed to recreate it as though it happened while the land was still wild and free. There is nothing better than tackling a huge challenge to gain skills.

I have continued to paint a couple of nights a week and now have about a dozen paintings completed. All are inspired by what I see that nature has provided. Or what I have imagined. The following is an in-progress painting. I didn’t take a finished photo of this painting. It is shown with the brushes and colors I used throughout the painting. Nothing fancy, the three colors from which all colors are created plus white and Payne’s Grey. My water-color brushes and an old sash brush to “pad” the painting or help to blend colors.


I tackled the glorious winter sunset with the same primary colors shown above.  The only draw back to these colors is both the red and yellow a quite translucent. I have acquired an opaque yellow, which does not create clean colors but is helpful when the color needs to be vibrant and an opaque red which also does not create clean colors but works as a base layer if I want a brighter and cleaner shade. I also added a couple of acrylic brushes, but often like my water-color brushes better. It depends on the style I am working in.

The sky was done on Tuesday, re-worked a bit yesterday and the silhouettes added. The silhouettes took more work this evening and this is the finished product.

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

I must say that God’s work is better, but I am not too disappointed with my finished product. Painting is a great way  to spend an evening.

Have you been working on anything new or creative? Please share your project with us.

Cheers to art work,


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Filed under Acrylics, Art, Creating, Learning, Nature, Painting, Reblog, The Great Outdoors

The Baker

On Wednesday my grandson wanted to come over and hang out in the evening. I told him he could, but he had to help me cook for Thanksgiving Dinner which was the following day. He thought about it and said he would help. This came as a shock to everyone, he never wants to help. But Wednesday evening when he got there, he was ready to work.

His job? Make bread sticks from scratch.

His experience? None.

So we began by a discussion of measuring, he got it. He scooped, he measure and the ingredients began to fill the mixing bowl. We heated milk and butter, he added it to the bowl. He cracked his first egg into an empty cup, we fished out some shell, he added it to the bowl. I showed him how to turn on the mixer. From there on he would stick his arms out to guard the bowl because, “I can do it.”

When it was ready to turn onto the board to knead is when I remembered to grab my camera to document this event.

Dusting the bread board.

Dusting the bread board, concentration on getting it just right is evident by his tongue.

Kneading the dough.

Kneading the dough, gently squash it down, turn and fold.

The dough was put in an oiled bowl, covered with a towel and placed in a slightly warm oven to rise. While we waited we moved on to peeling potatoes.

Peeling potatoes

A pan for scraps, a large bowl filled with ice water for the potatoes.

His enthusiasm for peeling waned fairly quickly but he hung in there working until the bread had risen to the top of the bowl and was ready for the next step.

Punching the dough down.

Turned out on the floured board, Hayden punches down the dough.

He was so surprised at how soft and tender the dough was. Again a lot of concentration as he flattened the dough.

Folding and turning the dough

Folding and turning.

Marking the sections into even amounts

Marking the sections into equal sizes for cutting and shaping.

The first half of the dough is cut, shaped and ready for the baking pan.

The first half of the dough is cut, shaped and ready for the baking pan.

A Ta Da moment for Hayden. He wanted a commemorative photo of the event.

Laying them on the pan.

Laying the bread stick dough onto the pan.

The second half of the dough has been measured, cut and shaped and is on the pan.

The second half of the dough has been measured, cut and shaped and is on the baking pan. Hayden is brushing melted butter on the top of each bread stick.

Adding a sprinkle of salt.

Adding a sprinkle of salt.

Into the oven they go.

Into the hot oven they go.

Our young baker had no confidence in pot holders keeping him safe.

Our young baker had no confidence in pot holders keeping him safe. At this point he set it on the door of the oven and told me to put them in.



Next time we will not do gluten-free. He will be experienced and not intimidated by getting them smooth. I was so proud of his enthusiasm and his “I CAN DO IT” attitude, I simply let him roll.

They are awesome!

Thanks, Hayden for your help.


Grams (Shez to the rest of you)

PS When he arrived the next day the first thing he wanted to know was had I posted the photoz to prove to everyone he had actually “made the bread sticks all by myself.” So here you go Hayden, proof you actually made them all by himself. You Rock, Buddy.

(No I do not call him Buddy, I call him Sweetheart, but at 12 and in middle school, it’s not cool to call him that in public.)













Filed under Children, Do It Yourself, Family, Food, Holiday, Random

Day 14 Photo Op: Puppy Meets Girl

What a golden photo opportunity to capture images of an adorable golden-haired 5-year old, animal loving little girl with and happy, excited 10 week old golden-haired puppy. The excitement starts immediately when adorable kidlet shrieks, “They’re here. They’re here!! She takes off at a dead run to greet them.

This is one very wiggly puppy.

Add one very giggly girl and you have a match made in heaven, albeit one very busy match of non-stop giggles and non-stop wiggles. What fun. Somehow, both subjects were able to simultaneously decide to keep moving.

Okay I finally realized it was a challenge. If you ever want a challenge  just try taking this exact mix of adorable subjects and get one good photo.

GO AHEAD I DARE YOU TO GET ONE GREAT PHOTO. The WordPress Challenge easy by comparison.

"I got him now. Take the picture.""What do you mean, 'Hold still,' we are holding still."

It was love at first sight. The puppy would run after the girl and try to grab her cute frilly skirt. Then the girl would run after the puppy with the desire to hold him because he’s so cute.

Auntie Lee and her little niece hold still, puppy wiggles.

Give everyone credit for trying to capture the perfect golden photo moment. Everyone except the puppy. At ten weeks he just doesn’t understand the significance of a great photo. Watching him did make me really appreciate that children are not born with such capabilities of running fast!

"You're not fast enough. We gots to be moving, fast."

As you can see, this image was again captured on the fly. That pink shood right foot is already taking off. You’ll have to trust me on this, but my camera phone “wants,” no “needs,” or rather it “REQUIRES” something to be still for a least a second or two.

The nano second finally arrived that both were simultaneously still.

This DOES NOT qualify as a good photo. But at least it is nearly in focus and both are nearly still, sort of. After a half hour and dozens of attempts I finally figured it out. Let them play together for a couple of hours and they would both fall over asleep. Most of my best photos of the golden-haired girl are of her sleeping. Any other time she is in perpetual motion.

We're done with holding still. We're gonna go play now. Bye.

They are a busy, happy twosome. Unfortunately neither of them ever did tire out long enough to be still. Each kept the other going a full steam ahead the entire time.

So much for  little golden-haired girls and golden-colored puppies. So much for my golden opportunity for a photo shoot of pure gold. Maybe in a couple of years when they are both older and a little less excited. Then again maybe not.

I got up at 6:30 this morning and in my state it is past midnight.  I hope this doesn’t count as a failure to write a post on Friday. I started it on Friday and it is still not yet midnight in Hawaii. So please pretend I am in Hawaii.

It’ll look like I was double busy tomorrow. But really it is just one post a day.

G’ Nite,



Filed under Family, Humor, Pets Domestic Animals, Photography