Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Learn to Paint Tulips–Fast and Easy

NOTE: this is one of many painting tutorials I have done, to see the others click here, PAINTING TUTORIALS
I long ago promised a new painting tutorial.
tulip painting banner
Tulips fresh for Spring (coming soon!)
I also did a video but I confess to being a lousy videographer and lets just say my videos are testimony to that.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video
I figure they serve the purpose intended of showing you how my brush moves and along with my photos (not great either since I have to hold the camera and take the shot with my left hand) you will get the gist of how to do it.
This post is photo intensive so be warned.

You can start with a pattern as I did for demo purposes but you can also just sketch in some ovals for placement of the tulips and layer on the petals.
Look at a photo of some tulips and emulate placement of the petals. Remember, we are not going for realism but giving the impression of something.
Your own style will shine thru rather than following someone's pattern.
Then practice, practice, practice.
This is my practice sheet I worked on before starting the tutorial.
tulip practice
Lets start with leaves.
Double load your brush, I used a 3/4” flat brush and DecoArt Amercana Avocado Green and Citron green
The first leaves are the behind leaves.
Place your loaded brush drag up while applying pressure
Tulip leaves1
(I have excess paint in my brush to get it to slide on the paper, on a painted or primed surface you won’t have so much paint in the brush)
tulip leaves2
lift to a chisel edge as you go into the slight curve
tulip leaves3
Here comes the tricky one, the turned leaf.
I failed to do it right but you should start the leaf on the chisel edge so the bottom of the leaf is narrow coming from the stem and not so broad.
You start out the same as the regular leaf
tulip leaves4
You go into tighter curve lifting the brush to the chisel edge
tulip leaves5
then flatten the brush as you bring it down towards you and to a chisel edge again
tulip leaves6
Clear as mud?? Hopefully the video will help.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video Drag in some stems with the chisel edge and get ready to paint some tulips!
I used a #12 flat brush and DecoArt Amercana Royal Fuchsia and Snow (titanium) White
Double load your brush
Start with the back petals, I used a scallop stroke
Layer the back petals on until you have what you want.
Then start the front petals.  You can do right or left, I started with the left.
I stroked up to a point at the top then came back down.
And this the same on the left, you will notice it is none to neat.
You can fix that.
Add a few more strokes , until you are happy.
I did some modified S strokes following the contour of the petals.
 Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video 
Do the same with the second tulip.
You note that the front petals are a bit different.
Back petals first of course, then start one the front.
Notice I did not bring the left front petal stroke back down as I did the first.

The right petal will overlap here.
You can start at the top or bottom and put in a slight C stroke.
Then flip your brush and do another.
Then I overlapped another C stroke on the last one.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video 
The last tulip is more closed, so not as many strokes.
Do the right side first, which is the back petal. 
then add the front, which is 2 c strokes. 

And that is the basics of painting tulips.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video 
I hope the video, which I posted links to throughout this post for convenience is helpful despite its short comings.
Here is another practice painting using the same pattern and methods but you can see how they turn out different each time.

The rest of this post can be see over here HOW TO PAINT TULIPS
Happy Painting!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Scrumptious Cherry Scones!

Cherry scones label

I am so glad you all so enjoyed my little Afternoon Tea with the Ladies post.

There are quite a few chicken fans out there. 
In that post I promised to share a recipe for my favorite tea time treat (anytime really).
Fair warning…
if you are on a new weight loss program and don’t want to be tempted to indulge in something not in your plan then save this to read later,
like 5 to 10 pounds of loss later. 
Just sayin’
Now with that disclaimer out of the way I will get on with the yummy stuff.
Cherry Scone1
I modified a basic Scone recipe from my mom’s old Betty Crocker recipe book, I think it dates back to the 50’s.
Now scones are not very sweet.
They are basically a slightly sweetened  biscuit with a bit of egg added into the dough. 
The sweetness comes from the preserves or jams served with it.
And the clotted cream to top it off…mmmmm.
But I have yet to find a good clotted cream in the U.S. so I substitute with a rich, thick, whipped cream.
Cherry Scone3
The dark chunks you see in the scone are dried cherries.
I only use the ones from Costco as all others I have tried just do not taste like cherries.
These do!
Now on to the recipe.

Cherry Scones
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB of sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup dried cherries

Let cherries soak in buttermilk while combining other ingredients.
preheat oven to 400 degrees
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda.
Add salt and sugar.
Cut in butter until fine and crumbly.
In separate bowl combine buttermilk, cherries, almond extract and egg.
Mix into dry ingredients.
Plop dough out on slightly floured surface.

Knead dough a few times gently, not much, just a few times.
I put the entire wad of dough on baking pan covered with parchment paper and pat out to a 1/2 inch thick circle and cut into wedges.
I don’t bother separating the wedges. I just bake as is.
You can cut the scones out with a biscuit cutter or whatever shape you prefer.
I like fast and easy.
Optional: Brush top with buttermilk and sprinkle a bit of sugar on top for a bit of glitz.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes

I serve mine with cherry pie filling instead of cherry preserves as I have yet to find any preserves that actually taste like cherries.
And of course they are not complete without a big dollop of heavy whipping cream.
And that is my cherry scone recipe.
Grab your fork and Enjoy!

cherry scones 4

Friday, January 24, 2014

Afternoon Tea with the Ladies

I have to admit, I have pampered poultry.
I give them lots of greens in the winter, in the form of alfalfa hay and whatever veggie scraps we have from the kitchen.
I also let them free range as much as I can, with our dry winter so far they have gotten to do a lot of that lately.
But it isn’t all one sided.
They provide us with an abundance of luscious, rich flavored eggs.
Not only are they yummy but they are quite pretty too.
Almost as pretty as the ladies themselves.
Tuesday after a long day in the studio I walked in the garden (barren as it is) with an afternoon cup of Rose Scented tea. 
With something colorful in my hand the Ladies knew for sure I had a treat for them and followed me around expectantly.
I set my cup down so I could get them some scratch grains and they figured their treat was in the cup.
They finally let me have it back after I tossed the grain to them.

This beauty is a Swedish Flower Hen. 
I have two, the other has the fluffy top knot.

I have a variety of chickens.
A gorgeous collection of different breeds.
Here are just a few.
They were perfect ladies and made sure to take turns with the cup.
I also have Black Copper Marans, Speckled Sussex (actually you can see the back end of the Speckled Sussex in the photo with the Flower Hen), Black Star and a Wellsummer.
The eggs they lay are as varied in looks as they are.
I have more rare breeds on my “wish” list.
I hope you enjoyed our tea.
Come again and I shall share the treat I had for myself.

It has some of these in it.

bowlof eggs
Until next time…


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Viola’s for winter cheer

I have been missing our little chats. 
Time has been getting past me as I flit from one project to another.
Attempting to fit it all in. 
The cleaning work will slow now. 
There is not enough snow to lure folks up to the mountain.

potting bench jan700
It has been so lovely here and I have missed the cheerful color of flowers.
So I treated myself to some violas.
They will do fine even if it snows on them.
And their sweet scent is pure Spring!
I actually used my Potting Bench for what it was made for.
Potting up flowers.
yellow viola700
A sunny yellow.
Lovely Lavender
I even spruced up the fence board window boxes I made last Spring.
This one needs the end piece fixed but that should be easy enough.
Yes, it definitely needs some sprucing.
The deck rails do too but I am going with the shabby chic look since I do not have the time to paint them.
The window box looks much better, though a poor photo of it.
I can enjoy seeing this breath of Spring each morning as I look out my kitchen window.
I ran out of violas before I filled the other window box so that means I need to make another torturous visit to a garden center.
Woe is me!

Until we meet again.
Happy Winter days to you and pray California gets some rain and snow soon.

A sneak peek at what I am working on.
stairs before 700

Can you guess what I am going to do to these stairs?



Friday, January 17, 2014

Sending you some flowers!

Just a brief note before I dig into my busy day. 

I wanted to send you all a cheerful bouquet. 



Being we are headed into a severe drought if we do not get some serious rain and snow soon, I think I will have to rely on photos of summers past to get my flower fix. 

Though I do have lots and lots of drought tolerant plants to tide me over, and I plan to start more soon from seed.

Have a great Friday everyone.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Flower Patch Rose Parade

Even though we have not had a winter to speak of, I am done with the drab look of my garden.
I am sure many Easterners who are being bombarded with icy cold winter are also just plain tired of it.

Abraham Darby7
So for all of you that are missing the pleasures of warmer weather, this one is for you.
Grab a hot beverage of choice, sit back and enjoy my very own Rose Parade.

Anne Boelyn7 
This is a long post, many, many photos to share and I did not include all of my roses!
Candy Stripe7

With an impending drought this summer I am begging my husband to help me put in a grey water system.
Just to keep them all alive, most of the other flowers I grow are all drought tolerant and will be fine, but my precious roses need their water.

Cecile Brunner7
The Cecile Brunner literally covers my chicken house now.  I have to keep trimming it so I can get in the door. 
Crown Princess Margareta7
Some I will need to move and I should do that soon while they are dormant.
Dream Weaver7
Doesn’t these beauties just brighten your day?
Golden Celebration7
This beautiful Golden Celebration is like a chameleon, one day it is bright yellow and the next a bloom can be more apricot.
Graham Thomas7
Graham Thomas was my very first David Austin English rose, it did so well here and I love it so much that I bought nothing but DAEnglsh roses for a long time.
Grandpa Nute7
This crimson red rose was dug up from beside the well house of my grandparents home when we sold it.  My husband broke a couple shovels getting it out of that black adobe dirt but here it is, thriving and gorgeous all summer long. 
Happy Chappy7
This is a fun little ground cover rose with varying colors of single blooms.
Kiss of Desire7
One of my new ones, a hearty climber that will climb 12 feet and more.  I need to find a good spot for it yet, it is still in a pot on my back deck.
Mardi Gras7
The only tree rose I own.  I picked this up at a year end sale at Wal-Mart,  the best $6 I spent that day.
Peace rose produces the fatest, fluffiest blooms.  It is planted in a bad spot and it still performs.
Petal Pusher7
Petal Pusher is one of my favorites, it is covered with these luscious pink blooms from the start of summer and it is the last one blooming in Fall.
Portlandia is another hearty climber. 
Princess Diana7
Depending on the brightness of the sun the blooms of Princess Diana deepen. 
Queen Elizabeth7
This is one tough old girl, always very stately. 
And that is the end of our rose parade today.  I have many others that I will share another time. 
Enjoy your Sunday! 


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