Wish me Luck!

See this clover oil painting come to life in under 1 minute (time lapse)

Yes, these are just weeds, but when I saw the dainty sprig of clover and its pretty delicate yellow flower, I thought of shamrocks and Ireland, and I was inspired to paint them. Were any of those greens a four leaf lucky clover? No, but that’s what I need for tomorrow. We are looking at a house to rent- finally made a connection before someone else snatched it up ahead of us! I hope it holds up in person and it’s not yanked out from under us at the last minute.

So please wish me luck, and say a prayer. We need to find housing fast. Our May deadline will come up quickly- many of the houses are looking for June tenants, and even into August. We’d have to stay in a hotel or a campsite if we can’t find something with a faster move-in date.

I’m feeling lucky. I’ll let you know how it turns out!


Update from Yesterday

Watch this oil painting “Clover” come to life in under 1 minute (time lapse)

I painted these clover after I found them growing wild through the cracks in the patio, here in Georgia (USA). It reminded me of shamrocks. We saw a lot of wild clover/shamrocks while living in Ireland.

Yesterday’s blog post “LOL, Irishness” was about my experience making a type of Irish shortbread that is baked in a pan for about two hours. I promised an update, so here it is: AMAZING! Oh my! I love these little cookies so very much! But I’d really describe them more as a dessert that goes well with coffee or tea, even for breakfast, rather than what Americans think of as a cookie.

Irish shortbread with an Irish coffee
Irish shortbread pieces in the pan
The texture is a bit dry, yet moist inside- truly delicious
Close up of the shortbread. That bit at the top is melted powdered sugar. I shouldn’t have added the powdered sugar until it was done, but I didn’t know it was still raw until after I put the sugar on. So, I put it back into the oven after the finishing sugar was added, which made an extra texture on the top, but that was a happy accident and very nice!

You can find this recipe called “Irish Shortbread” by Anissa Wolf at Food.com. If you try it, you may find that you have to bake it for even longer than the suggested time. It was gooey and obviously not done, and easy to tell it had firmed up enough to cut it when it was baked longer. It was suggested to cut the slim bars into 20 pieces while the shortbread is still hot. I used a heat resistant silicon spatula/scraper (the kind you can use to scrape batter in a bowl, or because it’s heat resistant also multi-purpose while cooking) to cut it with and that worked very well.

I was skeptical about such slim pieces lasting long in our house, but the shortbread is quite rich and satisfying to have just the one serving. So, I froze most of it into separate bags since it looks like this dessert is best fresh or fresh-from-frozen. I enjoyed a piece of shortbread this morning for breakfast. And knowing the rest of the batch is in the freezer, I’m happy we’ll have this again soon.

If you want to give this a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I’ve had a good day today, with a family member who is celebrating a birthday. I hope you had a good day too. Have a happy weekend!


Weeds

Watch this oil painting come to life in under a minute

(time lapse)

It’s been very hot here in the deep South, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, it’s Georgia in August. During the hottest days of summer we fall behind on the yard work because it’s too miserable to push ourselves to care. The weeds enjoy running wild and free until the days get cooler and we get back on track.

One of the weeds we get plenty of is clover, which reminds me of the wild shamrocks in Ireland- a beautiful place where I lived for a short while. So I really don’t mind seeing clover and I often leave it where it’s growing. It even has a season when dainty yellow flowers are in bloom, which inspired me to paint the clover painting in the video I shared today.

Sometimes people see a weed, when others see a pretty flower and strong hardy greenery. Spiritually, what may offend some, may inspire others. A person or idea that “will never go away, and just keeps growing no matter how hard one tries to cut it down and get rid of it”, may be a truth that is resilient and will survive no matter how many forces want to kill it.

How do we know which flowers are pretty and should be allowed to stay, and which are weeds and shouldn’t be allowed to grow? Well, the answer lies in boundaries. May we always have the freedom to nurture our own gardens, growing what we wish, and keeping what we believe in. If others see weeds, may they never trespass into their neighbor’s garden to kill them. For every gardener deserves the freedom to decide for oneself what is worthy.

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“Butterfly Tree Flowers”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“Our first year here, I was so excited to have a vibrant garden on my little patio. I can see it from inside the house, and we bought a compact 2-person swing that fits on the patio so we can sit outside among the flowers, birds, and butterflies. One of our first investments was in an inexpensive “butterfly tree”.

The small tree has butterfly shaped flowers that really do attract butterflies and hummingbirds. That’s how I was able to train the hummingbirds to visit our home. I put a sugar-water feeder in the same pot as the tree. It worked almost instantly!

Best of all, the tree blooms nearly continuously for most of the year! It’s such a lovely gift to our family. I looked it up for you just now, and I was happy to learn that it’s easy to propagate and share this plant! I will definitely do that. The tree is apparently actually a “bush”. It is called Clerodendrum Ugandense (Blue Butterfly Bush). Mine is outdoors, but others consider it an “everblooming houseplant”, so I could try starting some indoors as well. I wouldn’t enjoy hummingbirds or butterflies inside, but it’s a pretty plant on its own. Now that I know how easy it is to start new plants, I’ll soon have many more of these, indoors and out!”

Butterfly Tree Flowers oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119

“Clover”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“Year round vegetation is so lovely! Even the “weeds” are appreciated. I saw a sprig of clover growing through the cracks in the patio block. The shadow those cheery leaves cast was a reminder of how blessed we are when the sun shines upon us, when Light is above, while shadows are beneath our feet.

Such moments remind me of this Irish Blessing:

‘May the road rise to meet you,

may the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,

may the Lord cause his face to shine upon you,

and give you peace.'”

Clover oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119