Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Globe artichoke

Globe artichoke, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

More things to draw from the garden. Castroville California is the artichoke capitol of the world. This area supplies most of our spring artichokes and this one is a perfect shape. Choose round firm artichokes with the leaves tightly closed. To cook: snip the thorny tips off of each leaf with a pair of kitchen shears. Cut the stem to about 1/2 inch and then steam for 45 minutes. I eat mine either hot or cold with lemon juice and olive oil. For added flavor add lemon wedges to the steam water and tuck garlic cloves into some of the leaves. Enjoy! I am having this one for lunch. Yum!

Pepper grinders from Seattle

Cool lucite grinder that is battery operated and easy to use with just a squeeze. Made by Cole & Mason, England

Brad's SS grinder

Brad's SS grinder, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This is Brad's pepper grinder from his stainless steel Peugeot set.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tulips in Washington

Tulip, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

tulip fields in Skagit Valley, Washington, in April

 Every April there is a tulip festival in the Skagit Valley, Washington.  It was going on this weekend while I was in Seattle.  We didn't go this year but we have in year's past.  The tulips are blooming everywhere in Seattle and they are beautiful and come in so many colors.  Just a walk down the street will offer up hundred of colors and varieties.  Brad has yellow orange and red ones blooming right outside their back deck.  This pink one is my fave.

Tulip fields

Tulip festival Skagit valley, Washington

Tulips at ought 6

Tulips at ought 6, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Tulips blooming in April outside Brad's home in Seattle

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A visit to Seattle

blocks, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Reina is now 19+ months and is an absolute joy to play with. We had lots of fun playing with blocks, reading books, singing and dancing, discovering the treasures in "Nana's" purse, lots of walks in the neighborhood that was bursting with spring flowers......hundreds of tulips!. We went to the park and out to breakfast and we won't tell what we did while Mommy and Daddy were at the wedding Saturday night. i enjoyed every minute of my time with this precious child and her Mommy and Daddy

mirror phone

mirror phone, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

ring around the rosies

ring around the rosies, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leafy snowball quilt

A combination of fabrics, printed and woven , by Kaffe Fassett stitched together in a snowball pattern.  This quilt measures 90" by 70" and was completed in 2006
Leafy snowball quilt, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What if Agapanthas were pink?

What if agapanthas were pink?  I truly love the blue color of these flowers but I thought I would try them in pink.  What do you think?  Artist privilege!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Abraham Darby rose in the Japanese garden

This is an English rose bred by David Austin.  It is 90 deg as I shoot this and the bloom is opening as I sketch.  The colors are more saturated than usual probably because it is only the 2nd rose to open this season.  It has a really strong fragrance.  It is one of my favorite roses in my garden

Saturday, April 18, 2009

First blooms of Sombreuil

First was the pink jasmine, next the wisteria and now comes my cream climbing rose: Sombreuil.  I love this rose.  It is so dense with petals....there must be over 100 in each bloom.  And the color is just off white.  It will cover my arbor in the next few weeks.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Today Ella and her Kindergarten class went south to Carlsbad where they have absolutely beautiful flower fields.  The ranunculus are grown primarily for their tubers but when in full bloom the 50 acres of color is breathtaking.  We all took a ride in a tractor drawn wagon and got lost in a sweet pea maze.  After the kids got back on the bus I sat in the "artist's garden" with my sketchbook.  It was a fabulous day.  Thank you for inviting me, Ella!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Early June bloom

This "blue" flower usually blooms in June.  I remember this because my grandfather's birthday is flag day (June 14) and these blooms were everywhere in his garden on his birthday.  Well they are beginning to show their color now, in April!  The blossom is a little more full when the flower buds open but I rather like it in its simplistic youth.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cook's Pantry 2

More tools from my pantry.  I absolutely must have good cook's tools (as we categorized them at Williams-Sonoma.) I was very fortunate to work in this store for 6 years.  That and attending the Cordon Bleu School of Cooking in Paris made it essential to have more than one pepper mill.   I have one for black pepper (Terricherry is the best), one for white pepper ( sketch a couple of days ago) and one for pink pepper.  I tell Ella that the pepper that grows on our local pepper trees is good for adding to soups....that's the pink pepper variety and I grind that one in the maple mill at the left.  I also have nutmeg grinders which will no doubt appear soon.  Who knows what else I will find in my pantry to sketch. (The splatter of black & yellow came from flicking my waterbrush over the finished entry. I think it is just fun.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

My favorite way to celebrate Easter is to start the day with a sunrise service at the beach in Corona del Mar and then spend the day in the garden.  I am so lucky that part of my family is now nearby so the gardening will wait for another day.  This wooden duck graces my front porch all year long.  The pink felt bonnet is perfect for Easter wearing and the purse is definitely spring.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Local seaside Pride of Madeira

Pride of Madeira in many shades, on the grounds of the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. I am so lucky that my Yoga studio is across the Pacific Coast Highway from this gorgeous spot and after a session of practice I can top it off with a walk through the grounds and down to the beach.

Mustard landscape, 3rd stage

I have added the shadow of the sycamore tree with felt.  Now I have to finds some birds

Cook's Pantry

I love to cook! Every cook needs her essentials to create the tastes that are perfect for each dish.  These are a few of mine: herbs de provence, poivre (aka pepper) and a fresh vanilla bean (en Francais, vanille).  The containers themselves are unique.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Boulder Bookstore

This past weekend Whitney and I went to Denver "to check it out".  It snowed our first day while looking around town but on Monday it was sunny and beautiful.  My sister-in-law, Barbara, and I headed for Boulder to walk the outdoor Pearl St. mall.  The tulips were ready to bloom, the sky was gorgeous blue and the company was great.  We wandered in to the Boulder bookstore in search of local gardening books.  I had to stop and sketch before I left so this chair was the subject.  When I returned home I added my new books to my bookshelf and had a cup of tea browsing through them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bamboo forest

Bamboo forest, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Part of the Japanese garden at the Huntington is the bamboo forest. You can stroll through acres of this lovely bamboo and never see any other part of the gardens. The colors are beautiful: so many blues and greens.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beet red, Hyacinth blue, Kaminski purple

Color mixing is no less fun at 61 than at 5 or 6.  Subtle additions of one color to another or adding brown, black or gray can make just the right shade.  This was fun and challenging.  The fun part was actually painting the beet with beet juice.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Duck and ducklings quilt

Duck and ducklings quilt, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Happy April.....spring is here and Easter is around the corner. This quilt is called duck and ducklings, apropos for April. There are not very many pieces in this quilt but I Think it is charming. and yes I made 2 of them...the fabrics are slightly different but they read the same. This was made 3 years ago for the Easter holiday.