Friday, February 27, 2009

Sycamore tree

Who says there are no seasons in southern California?  This sycamore tree sits in front of my house up on the hill.  During the spring and summer when the leaves can camouflage them many species of birds rest in the tree waiting for a turn to snack at the feeders I have.  I have had finches, hummingbirds, beautiful orioles, doves, a hawk or 2, and most recently small flocks of kingbirds.  It is a fairly young tree.  I enjoyed sitting out on my front porch sketching it on a cool(65 deg) winter's day.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mustard on the coastal hills

I have started a new art quilt (12" by 12") of my local landscape.  The mustard blooms on our local hills in early spring starting with the western facing hills, followed by the south and finally the east and north.  It is a gorgeous display of yellows. (If you don't know the history of the wild mustard read my journal note on my previous post)  I wanted to remember this landscape in fabric.  This is my first step.  One of my earliest watercolor sketchings (below) was my inspiration.

mustard in bloom, March 30, 2008

mustard in bloom, March 30, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This was my 1st attempt to sketch my local landscape while the mustard was in bloom. 2008 was a great year for mustard to cover our local coastal hills. After I did this sketch I realized that the mustard blooms first on the western side of the hill where the afternoon sun drenches the hills.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lemon detail quilt

lemon quilt, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This is a small (4" by 5") art quilt. It looks a lot like my previous entry. Two years ago I took my 1st art quilt class with Jane Lafazio at the Oceanside Museum of Art. In the very beginning of the class Jane recommended that we have a sketchbook to jot down our images. Although I love my quilting I really did consider dropping out of the class if I was going to be forced to sketch. I knew I just couldn't do it. Six months later I decided I would learn how to do a little sketching. Again Jane was my teacher. I have been keeping a sketchbook journal ever since. Three days ago I took 2 Meyer lemons, sliced one in half and sat down with my Moleskein watercolor sketchbook and drew a simple sketch. Tonight I finished a little quilt on canvas, painted with acrylic paints and then hand embroidered, beaded and embellished with vintage buttons this little quilt. It makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it too.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Meyer lemon study

Meyer lemon study, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Yesterday an orange. Today a lemon. Mmmmm there is a lot of citrus sitting on my counter

Guess what I had for breakfast

study of an orange, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I asked Ella (age 5) " Why do you think they named an orange an 'orange'?" There was a pause and then a giggle. Well why didn't they name a lemon "yellow" and why didn't they name an apple "red"? I guess it's 5 year old humor but WHY?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ella and the bungie

Ella and the bungie, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

At the FunZone, risky Ella tries the bungie bouncing. She loved it

Balboa Island ferry

Balboa Island ferry, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Whitney and Ryan bring their girls to the hood and ride the Balboa Island Ferry to the Fun Zone

1/8 teaspoon

1/8 teaspoon, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

My new rescue pack for my traveling art supplies led by my new little measuring spoons (They most likely look like giraffes to you)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Apple blossom in the Zen garden

The first blossoms on the "Anna" apple tree have started to open.  This tree is espaliered against the back fence for maximum sun exposure in a minimal space.  I hope this will become a yummy apple in about 6 months.

Chocolate scones

These scones made the house smell like hot chocolate!  They are somewhere between a brownie and a cake.....very light and bits of melted chocolate in the center.  I urge you to try them. From Martha Stewart's baking 45

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A new bird in my neighborhood

Cassin's Kingbird, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Cassin's Kingbird: This morning as Sophie and I were on our walk we heard a flock of these birds sitting and singing in the trees. There were about 6-7 birds in each tree... about 4 of them. Their song was amazing and loud. I have never seen so many birds at a time in one tree. It embellished our walk with song and joy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Red Baron sketch

This is a sketch that I did last March of the blossoms

Spring is on its way

I looked outside my bedroom window this morning and saw this.  My Red Baron peach is very generous each summer with about 200 pounds of fruit.  Its name comes from this blossom.  It is hot pink and when the tree is full of blossoms it is breathtaking.  From the look of the buds swelling up it might be another bountiful year for my little peach tree.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Self Portrait Happy Birthday to Me!

Most self portraits are of faces but I have chosen to represent myself  by my hands.  They are actually my hands transferred to fabric.  My self descriptions are hand written on the background fabric. I was born the day before Valentine's Day so this design is really representative of part of me.  This year my birthday is on a Friday...the same day I was born on.  Unlucky!  No way.  I have enjoyed every year of my life....good ones or bad ones.  I hope there are many more.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2009 Dance completed

Here is my completed little (81/2" by 11") quilt of my intention for this new year.  I was up late last night on a surge to finish it and I am happy with this 2nd attempt.  The dancer's photo was taken by Jaki Good on Flikr.  The under photo is of the shorebreak at Corona del Mar at sunset.   There are vintage buttons, a gold leafed pepper tree leaf, a shallot dyed piece of cheesecloth and lots of beads and stitches.  I have placed it on a wall that I pass many times a day so I will be reminded of the fun and faith I promise myself to have each day.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quiche Lorraine for Reina

This is a classic French egg dish that we all had to love in the 80s.  I made a lot of them with many variations.  Whitney & I hosted a breakfast for her Emory soccer team one morning for over 25 people.  That was a lot of quiche.  Brad tells me that Reina loves this dish too. During daddy time the two of them often walk to their neighborhood coffee stop to bring home coffee & breakfast treats for Mommy. This often includes quiche.  Reina loves her share.  I hope Amber gets some too. This recipe was tested in the kitchen today and tried out on Kate & Ella.  I hope those of you who try this like it as much as they did.  Kate says, "Mmm..It's yummy!"
Pate Brisee:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cube butter, cold
1/2 tsp salt
up to 1/4 cup ice water
In a food processor combine flour, salt and butter (cut in small pieces) until the consistency resembles corn meal.  Slowly add a stream of ice water until the ingredients all come together.  Don't overprocess or the crust will be chewing instead of flaky. Shape into disk.
Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes
Roll out.  Line pan. Prick with the tines of a fork. Line the inside of the dough with parchment paper and then dried beans or pie weights.  Bake in 450 deg oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and lift out weights. Or buy premade crust and blind bake.

Custard filling:
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
4 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 onion ( I used a Cipollini) sauteed in 1 Tbs bacon fat
1/4 cup Parmasean cheese, grated
Mix the ingredients and place in partially baked pie shell

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup half and half
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Mix well and pour over the food ingredients.  Fill only 2/3 of the way up or you risk it bubbling over.  Place back in the 450 oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 for another 15 minutes.  It shouldn't jiggle too much in the middle.  A little is ok.  Let cool.  Enjoy!

Use any yummy combination for the inside.
ALWAYS use the ratio of 1 large egg to 1/2 cup half & half for the custard.  With this ratio you can fill any size pastry lined dish.  Fill only to 2/3 of the vessel height.  Always blind bake for 5 minutes at 450.  Always bake custard for 15 minutes at 450 and judge the amount of time at 350 until the custard is almost set.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I was born the day before Valentine's Day

heart quilt
Originally uploaded by cabanagirl
Happy Valentine's month! There are always lots of hearts, flowers and candies available the month of February. i decided to put mine on a quilt. This pattern is one of Karen Dumont's. I made it in 2006. I love the soft colors.

Valentine quilt detail

heart detail
Originally uploaded by cabanagirl
Look closely at the fabric. There are cows and pigs on this heart!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dwarf orange

Dwarf orange
Originally uploaded by cabanagirl
I sketched my orange tree again only on plain watercolor paper. This looks more like what I do. What do you think?

Dwarf orange tree on washed paper

I tried washing my paper before I sketched and then added the watercolor....not too sure about it. I think I like my white background and then add some color in the end. Oh well had to try something new.