Tuesday, March 31, 2009

it's about the accessories!

Saturday when I went to the Huntington I knew I had to take along a hat so I grabbed this old Helen Kaminski straw from the early 90's....very popular at the time and very well made I might add.  The necklace is from an Etsy designer and the shirt is new.  I started out with a chocolate ruffled sweater but left it in the car (85 deg) All in all this made a fabulous outfit...but it was the accessories that made it fun.  I did tote along my rescue pack

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pink Lemonaid..quilt for Regan's baby

This 40' by 40' baby quilt is a sweet little piece I made for my daughter's childhood friend's first child. Her neighborhood friends and their Mom's gave her a shower a princess would have loved.  We all had a good time painting onesies and sipping wine.  I hope this little quilt will keep this baby warm at night.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

footbridge in the Japanese garden

Inspiration for my watercolor and where I sat for an hour and a half collecting new friends along the way

Japanese garden at the Huntington

Today I went to the Huntington library and botanical gardens in San Marino which borders Pasadena.  I had heard that the wisteria was in full bloom in the Japanese gardens and it absolutely inspired me to go.  I took my art "rescue pack" with me  and vowed to sit in public and draw/ watercolor.  This is the result.  I sat for about an hour and a half and met several visitors who were also interested in watching me do my art.  I felt a little self conscience at first but after 4 year old Aiden told me I was a good artist I settled in.  I told him the bridge was giving me a little trouble and he encouraged me just to do my best.  I will admit that this bridge would be a little tough to walk over but I am pleased with the result.  The wisteria is on the arbor in the background.  The arbor is about 50 ft long  making the wisteria very dramatic.  It is a lighter orchid color than mine at home and others in this garden but it none the less was beautiful.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wisteria blooming in the Japanese garden

Wisteria blooming in the Japanese garden

I didn't think I was going to get wisteria blooms this year but this morning I found a little purple shining through the arbor.  It was a great surprise.  As I sat sketching this bloom the air was filled with a wonderful fragrance.  It made my day.

Mustard landscape, 2nd stage

mustard landscape, 2nd stage, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I am still working on my local landscape quilt.The pieces have all been attached to the background and embroidery, beads, and sequins have been stitched in. Next I will add my sycamore tree in felt and then a treat at the end. This is unfolding slowly this month but I am pleased so far. It is a beautiful time of year on the hillside here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Give us this day...

Brioche....I made bread this morning.  I started 2 nights ago and had to put it in the fridge to "hold" for a while for life to get in the way.  So this morning I took my brioche batter and shaped it into my pans and topped it with a "petite", waited for it to rise and then baked it off before leaving for work.  It was here when I got home....begging to be tasted.  A quick photo and now I'm off to have it for dinner.  The second loaf was shared with Kate's babysitter.  I think it was gone within the hour.
My grandmother taught me how to make bread when I was a teenager.  I remember when I was in dental school, getting up really early to make a batch of bread and bringing it to 8am class warm.  It, too, was gone within an hour.  I am still grateful for what my grandmother taught me and I miss her almost every day.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Caramelized Shallots

Our book club meeting went fabulously today.  We even discussed our book a little.  As promised I wanted to post the link to the recipe for the caramelized shallots I served.  It is taken from the Barefoot in Paris cookbook by Ina Garten.  I have made these three times and each time mine come out much browner which I like.  This photo is take from her book.  I hope you all try them.  I still think they are better than sex....but then it has been a while since I've had sex.  The shallots are divine. Click on the highlighted "caramelized shallots" to be linked to the recipe on food network.com

Happy Birthday Kate "2"

in the garden with baby, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate turned 2 on March 13. She has figured out the joy of presents and of being the center of attention on your birthday. Her mommy and daddy rented a bounce house and set it up at the end of the Cul de Sac but while her friends and neighbors bounced in the house, Kate took her doll and Nana on a walk in the neighborhood. Kate loves fire trucks, trains, trash trucks, Dora, Diego, the Backyardagins and bugs (particularly snails). She is truly a joy to be with. Happy Birthday sweet baby Kate

Kate & shadow

Kate & shadow, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate is watching the snail.

birthday cake

birthday cake, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate loves trains, fire trucks and trash trucks. Her mommy made a fabulous cake to suit her tastes. The caboose is red velvet cake, the engine is chocolate.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sleepover at Nana's house

making pancakes, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

We started the day with pancakes. Kate and Ella both wanted to help mix the batter ingredients. Then we walked to our neighborhood park and did some serious playing. Ella likes to get into my closet to see what she can find to style it up. We had a great day together. It was fun, wasn't it girls?

teeter totter

teeter totter, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Ella helps her sister go high on the teeter totter

In the tunnel

tunnel, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate and her shadow

Kate and her shadow, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Kate is on her way home to Nana's after a morning in the park. Her shadow is right with her.

in my shoes

in my shoes, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Ella knows accessories matter

Friday, March 6, 2009

Nasties in the garden

I love these happy flowers.  I can't remember a garden of mine that has not had nasturtiums.  last year the witch from the HOA's property management decided they were non-conforming plants and ordered them to be removed.  (They are, as you can imagine, so dangerous to live with)  But nasturtiums reseed quite easily and something tells me they will be back again this year.  The leaves make perfect little serving trays for crab cakes and the flowers themselves add a little frivolity to a green salad. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Flowers in the garden

pink jasmine, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

The pink jasmine is cascading down the arch in my garden and the perfume is marvelous.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nuccio's Jewel camellia

These lovely blooms fell to the ground yesterday and I just couldn't let them go unnoticed.  They are a beautiful double camellia which makes them challenging to sketch but lovely to look at

Iceland poppy

Iceland poppy, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

The delicate petals of the poppy just wait for a gentle breeze to scatter them to the earth. It's going to rain any minute so I had to capture this before its wholeness was broken

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Strawberries in March

Strawberries in March, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I got these lovely strawberries Sunday at the Farmers' Market. They are grown locally in Irvine and are so sweet. I can't wait until next Sunday

Red Baron peach tree

peach tree, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This tree is in full bloom outside my bedroom window. It is a fabulous hot pink color. It will now take until late July to turn to fruit and ripen. This is in my orchard section of my garden. I have a tiny yard (about 8 ft by 40 ft) on the side of my house and a front porch that occasionally invades the "community space" but I have 6 fruit producing trees. The peach tree gives me about 200 pounds each summer. It is the pink blossoms this time of year that are breathtaking.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A hot March day

Today was a perfect day to work in the garden but by midday it was time for a little refreshment:  Ginger lemonaid.  I started with a recipe for lemon sorbet.  First I used a simple syrup (1/2 cup water, 1 cup sugar brought to a boil with the zest of 2 Meyer lemons.  Then I squeezed the juice of 3 lemons and 1 lime and added about 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated with a rasp and then combined everything.  In this glass filled with ice I added 1/4 cup of the mixture and the filled the glass with water.  Fresh from the Farmers' Market the strawberry topped it off.  It helped give me enough energy to finish the weeding and the pruning in my Japanese garden

Raggy rose quilt

rose quilt, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This was a fun quilt to make. I found the pattern in a magazine honoring breast cancer patients. The entire issue was themed around PINK. This was my take on the raggy pink rose. The background of the blocks is machine pieced. Each block flower is raw edge machine appliqued. What makes this quilt one of my favorites is the fabrics. I used all scrap fabric. There is at least one piece of cotton chenille in each rose. Did you know that chenille is French for caterpillar? We will be seeing a lot of those this month as spring is upon us in California

raggy rose quilt detail

raggy rose quilt detail, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Block detail of the raggy rose quilt