My Christmas Presents!

See 3 surprises in less than 30 seconds!

Sharing one of the presents from each family member of this theme: the nature that I love and share with you all here, through my oil paintings and stories. The above video shows the gifts my husband and oldest daughter gave me for my garden and the images below show the bird and butterfly related gifts from my younger two kids.

My son gave me this beautiful cardinal
It came with a very nice sentiment on the attached tag
And these special butterfly hair clips are from my youngest daughter

It feels good when the people we love understand who we are and what makes us happy. I loved receiving presents to help me enjoy my garden and beloved birds and nature. It is a Merry Christmas indeed! God’s world is a gift for everyone. JOY TO THE WORLD!

Holiday Break

Watch “Pumpkin Latte” come alive in 1 minute (time lapse)

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies. Yesterday for Thanksgiving we had a glorious feast! I was proud to use fresh garden rosemary, parsley, and basil to stuff and season the turkey. I went outside early in the morning while it was not quite light out, but I could see my breath in the chilly November air. I was like Santa choosing only the best reindeer for the mission- only the greenest and prettiest herbs made the cut for our Thanksgiving turkey.

Aren’t those fresh greens pretty? Their shapes are perfect!
Before roasting: turkey stuffed with an apple, orange, lemon, onion, parsley, rosemary, and basil. I also made herb butter with garlic and greens to spread under the skin and over the skin of the turkey. This is what makes it moist, tender, and in no need of basting.
It turned out VERY moist and tender, didn’t need a knife. It pulled apart with just large forks and tongs and the family could cut it easily with a fork! This is good because my husband has banned me from ever using an electric knife again after a certain incident from a few years ago… (The knife fell from the counter and I instinctively reached out and grabbed it to catch it from falling. I was very, very lucky that I caught it by the handle and not by the blade! Whew, that was close to a nasty accident. It was my painting hand too, so it could have possibly been quite tragic for me.)
My dinner plate, crammed full of food! I didn’t want the yams or cranberry sauce.
And here’s the cake I made last weekend. I took a chocolate cake recipe of my mom’s and made a few creative substitutions. Instead of milk I used eggnog, whiskey and espresso! Other than that, it was just chocolate cake! 🙂 The frosting was AMAZING. I modified a buttercream recipe.
The house even has a chimney on it. This bundt cake mold is made in the USA by Nordic Ware. The unfortunate crack you see is because I ran out of batter and had to quickly make more, so it’s two different cakes (one had the whiskey and espresso in it, the other had eggnog; both were chocolate cakes other than those substitutions for the milk). Anyway, I will make a double batch of batter before I begin next time. I’m going to make three of these tomorrow for my kids to decorate. The wreath is fondant and the snow is frosting. The trees are painted with a green food coloring pen. I didn’t add any other decorations, but my kids want to do more with theirs.

I have more stories to share, but this blog post is getting rather long! So, I’ll just leave this at the food highlights for now. I hope all of you have been enjoying your Thanksgiving break, and if you don’t celebrate this holiday, may you have a joyful weekend anyway!

New Painting

Watch my new painting “Pumpkin Carving” come to life

in just over 2 minutes (time lapse)

Father and son enjoying an autumn custom of cleaning out a pumpkin for carving (my husband and son, when he was little)… my son would put his face so close to whatever my husband was working on, lol. Fortunately this was just the part of cleaning out the pumpkin. This painting is for the new collection, a series that tells stories about the seasons of life and nature.

What is special about this new series is that more of my paintings will come from the heart and I’ll connect more personally to my art. That will show in my work, so I expect that some of my best pieces (to date, the best is yet to come!), will come from this collection. Whenever we put ourselves and what matters most to us into what we share with others, that special energy shines through in a way that is alive and recognized by others as an authentic human experience. Art is a language and when we tell our real life stories, we are understood in a way that goes beyond words.


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