Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Chicks are Doing Fine

I have had a few requests to keep updating my new babies progress.  They are fun little gals (I am being optimistic, I want hens and not roos) and much quieter than my last batch of chicks.
The last ones I hatched were all Black Copper Marans. 
These little gals are a mix and hopefully will be Olive Eggers.
The one to the far left is nearly all black.
A couple are a lighter gray and one is a dark grey.
And one is colored just like a BCM, even has a copper dot on her head.
Sorry for the blown out photos, it is raining today and I had to use a flash. 
So far they all seem very healthy. 
Enjoy your day! 


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My New Peeps


The past 21 days have flown by. 
So fast that my eggs in the incubator were pipping before I knew it.
Sunday night I heard a little chirp emit from in here…
eggs pipping
By Monday morning one little chickie was battling her way out.
My plans for the day took a sudden left turn when I realized I was not prepared. 
I had no chick feed, I needed to hunt down my chick feeder and water dispenser as well as fixing up a brooder.
So I put aside my cleaning and painting chores for the day and got to work. 
eggs pipping2 
I had to work fast as these little gals were not going to take their time about hatching out.
One pecked out before I even left the house.
 eggs pipping3
I ran to the feed store, bought what I needed and came straight home.
By then another was greeting the world.
Not long and the rest just starting popping out. 
eggs pipping4
Out of 7 eggs I got 6 live chicks. 
Number 7 did hatch but she did not make it for very long. 
It should be interesting to see what these gals grow up to look like.
They are a cross between a Black Copper Marans rooster and Amercauna momma’s. 
The two olive eggs were from a former cross hen so it should be interesting to see what the eggs of that one will lay, maybe  a darker green. 
The light grey chick is the one hatched from the olive egg.  The one that did not make it was from the other olive colored egg.

That has been the excitement around here.
And how is your week going?


Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Monday Inspirational Quote

Good Monday morning everyone.
I have a new photo and quote for you to start of your new week.

The photos are taken in my garden and I find quotes from different sites all over the web and use what strikes my fancy that day.
On another happy note, my eggs in the incubator are chirping, we should have new baby chicks later today. 
I will share more in another post. 
For now I need to go collect all the things to set up the brooder. 

Have a great Monday! 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hand Painting signs

I have been busy in the studio the past few days. 
I really want to be cleaning out the studio and getting it organized but I have orders I need to get fulfilled first.

I had fun with these two…I got to paint lots and lots of rosebuds.
Some on Facebook already viewed this one below…
I really enjoyed trying to paint an Eden rose. 
The color is close but the form I need to work on.
And one last one for now..
I have been able to get my table legs painted but I am not crazy about the gray.
I thought to try it as it is a neutral and I am bringing in some color with my new curtains.
(my fabric came in, now I need time to sew them, I can’t wait!)
But I think I will go with a different color. 
Now the table top is still troubling me, I am not sure which direction to go with it yet. 
Strip and re-stain?  Paint? 
Well, I have errands to run today.  
Here is my parting thought for this fine sunny day.

thistle cannot grow700

Enjoy your day!



Sunday, February 16, 2014

A little Spring for you!

I know many are getting slammed with more winter weather. 
So to brighten your day a bit…
some Spring….a gorgeous vintage rose smothering a tree..

roses in tree
This was taken last April in Jamestown, California.
A historic gold mining town that now houses antique shops, fun restaurants and other fun places to visit.
flowers in tree close
From what I can tell this rose only blooms in the Spring but what a show it puts on.
It covers one tree and is migrating to another. 
It gets no auxiliary water, just what falls from the sky.
I wonder how it will do this year with the drought not bringing us much rain this winter.
I would love to take a cutting or several from this and start my own.
Hmmm, I should toss my cutters in the car and take a trip soon.

Enjoy this breath of Spring! 


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Easy and Luscious Lemon Curd

When life hands you a bunch of lemons…phooey on lemonade….
make Lemon Curd!
I have long wanted to try my hand at making lemon curd but was usually discouraged by the time investment it would require.
So when I ran across a recipe that claimed it could be done in as little as 10 minutes I was on it in a flash, that……
and a bag full of lemons picked from my sister in laws fabulous lemon tree just waiting to be made into something delicious.
This recipe is as easy as they claimed and even better tasting than I had expected.
I was going to top it with a perky little curl for the photographs but  lemon peel refused to cooperate, it kept flopping instead of retaining its ringlet shape so I just went with it.
Then I realized it was nearly in a heart shape.
So I let it be a heart.
Such a delightful curd deserves to be served with  something just as yummy, so I made some lemon scones.
After I took these photos we decided to include a dollop of of Crème Fraiche that added enough creaminess to balance it all out.
If you would like to make this for yourself click on the recipe here  Lemon Curd
The scone recipe is similar to this one Cherry Scones with a few changes.
No almond extract and no cherries, instead add a Tablespoon of lemon zest to the dry ingredients.

This curd recipe would also make a fabulous filling for Lemon Meringue pie and I do think I will try it as that next.
Other than cleaning houses, baking and painting on signs I have been enjoying myself in the garden.
A rare pleasure for this time of year but we have had some warm, sunny days and mild nights.
Not good for the drought but I cannot control the weather so I am just making the most of it.
There are plenty of volunteer plants that have have seeded themselves and need to be separated out and moved to new locations.
I cannot have too many of these. 

 crazy daisy700
Last year I was so busy that the garden ran a bit wild and became overgrown and crowded in areas.
I work in one small area at a time but even then I have been waking in the morning with a few aches and pains reminding me that gardening is definitely a good workout.
The promise of the beauty that awaits me this summer is all that I need to get me thru what is left of winter.
warsaw clematis700

It seems, according to the weatherman, we are to expect some rain and snow this weekend and maybe during next week so my gardening endeavors may be at an end for awhile but the water will  be most welcome.
Au revoir..for now.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Painting Flowers on the Stairs 2–Pansies

What a lovely few days we have had.  Lots and lots of rain here and snow on the mountain.
We need much more but maybe that storm door is open and we will be some drought relief. 
The sun was a welcome visitor yesterday afternoon despite our desperate need for more rain and snow.

I have managed to paint the second stair riser on our stairway.
After a false start…

Yes…I did…I started to paint on the wrong stair. 
I want to paint every other riser so that it won’t be too busy.  So I left that and started again.
I based in some sage type green with white and a touch of grey.
Then sketched in with a liner brush and a touch of watered down grey some circles to place my pansies.
Next I painted on the leaves.  Video of how I do these leaves: Painting a Scallop Leaf
After my leaves are dry I come in and paint my pansies. 
I chose a blue and white, yellow and burgundy, and purple and lavender to paint these pansies.
Video on painting a Pansy: Paint a Pansy 
Or a step by step Tutorial: Paint a Pansy One Stroke at a Time
Sorry for the glare, I have to use the flash to get a decent shot in our stairwell and I had already varathaned, which creates a bit of sheen.
I added some little white dot flowers and a bit of white touches to soften it up.
And there you have it, the second stair riser painted with pretty flowers. 
I am debating what to paint on the next, a bouquet of yellow roses with some lilacs?
Or some daisies with some other little flowers?
I could do a bouquet of tulips lying on their side tied up with a pretty ribbon. 
I will stew on it a bit…

Now off to the studio for a bit, I have sign orders to fulfill. 
Have a great day, wherever you may be.
It looks to be a sunny day here but the rain would be most welcome. 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Inspiration

Still raining in our drought ridden land.
It is a good Monday morning.
Here is a pretty picture taken in the rain for you to enjoy this fine Monday morning.


A primrose to brighten the day.
Happy Monday!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Flowers on our Stairs

Stair painting banner

Lately, I have been trying to work on my house.
Just little things. 
1.Curtains for the sliding glass doors (fabric is on order)
Painting a larger dining table
3. Trying to figure out how to best hang some vintage plates
4. Shopping for a rug (for under the dining room table) that will compliment my living room Royal Palace wool rug, that I love. 
All with little time to spare and an oh so tight budget, so I take it little bits at a time. 
One thing that needed a bit of sprucing that I could piece meal working on is our stairs.
Pretty sad looking and quite boring. 
I had spotted on Pinterest a stairwell spruced up with floral wall paper and loved it. 
And that inspired me to start painting. 
When I began the base coat my husband liked the white on it and suggested I paint flowers…
little did he know I was way ahead of him. 
Great minds think alike.
Impatient as I am I only base painted some of the stairs, before starting to paint on flowers.
I start with leaves and basing in the darker flowers with a bit of grey to give them depth.
Stair painting1
Sorry for the dark photo, this stairwell does not get good light.  So I do resort to a flash.
I also painted in some rose buds.
I painted in the darker roses, as they sit to the back of the painting.
Stair painting 2
Next is the lighter roses that overlap the darker here and there.
Stair painting 3
Though it is hard to tell because of the flash I added some shadowing to add more depth around parts of the leaves and roses.
painted stairs 6
Once it was dry I painted a protective coat of Varathane Spar Urethane in Satin.
This is a water based clear finish that does not yellow like Polycrylic or Polyurethane.
Now on to the next step. 
I think I will do pansies on the next step. 
Right now I am going to paint every other step to be sure it won’t be too busy.
So far I am loving it. 
I can’t wait to work on the next but today is a work on the mountain day. 
It is snowing out, good for the drought but bad for my having the drive in it. 
My half hour commute will be an hour or more depending on if anyone drives silly and has an accident ahead of me.
Adios for now and have a great day!

If you wish to view a tutorial on painting roses click here…Rose Tutorial

And a brief video showing me painting a rose similar to this…. Rose video



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