Fit for a…

DOCTOR!

During my last appointment, I mentioned to my doctor that I was again baking bread, and made a ‘mean Challah‘.

He is Jewish, and quickly retorted, “I LOVE Challah!!!”

Well, yesterday was a warm, dry day–perfect bread-baking weather, and as his birthday was two weeks ago, I decided to give him a belated birthday gift!

And, I did–with these!

I took the pix quickly, as I wanted to get them delivered while the Challah was still warm, so they're not the greatest!

I took the pix quickly, as I wanted to get them delivered while the Challah was still warm, so they’re not the greatest!  But he was impressed, and thanked me twice!

 

The loaf at top left is the one I presented to the doctor. The smaller loaves were baked in little oval pie pans--I gave each of the nurses one, and also gave one to the wonderful phlebotomist who draws my blood every month! She dove right in, proclaiming the Challah excellent, and asked for the recipe, which I will print out for her!

The loaf at top left is the one I presented to the doctor.
The smaller loaves were baked in little oval pie pans–I gave each of the nurses one, and also gave one to the wonderful phlebotomist who draws my blood every month!
She dove right into the loaf, proclaiming the Challah excellent, and asked for the recipe, which I will print out for her!

Of course, I had my camera, and took advantage of the lovely small Hibiscus in the center planting of the circular drive of the building, which I processed today and turned into Watercolors!

Small Red Hibiscus-1 Watercolor

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Small Red Hibiscus-2 Watercolor

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Small Red Hibiscus-3 Watercolor

N.B.:  I am so behind in viewing blogs I follow, so I ask you to please excuse my tardiness.

The breads were kneaded by hand, and required three risings, so a lot of time was spent on that, which is very hard on the fingers.

I found that by 7:00 last night, I had no energy left to do much of anything, and typing became very painful…so I’ll get to your blogs ‘little by little, bit by bit’–thanks!!!

New and old

As is their wont, onions tend to sprout in the Spring.

I let this one grow longer to make for a better photograph, then cut off the green tops, chopped them and added them to the soup I was making.

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Sprouted Onion

Yes…even an onion can be beautiful!

Enjoy the Day!

It’s not quite 6:30 AM (CDT) here in Chicago, and this is my last post of the day…something to ponder.

Inside the AppleA Photoshop (TM) Watercolor

Inside the Apple
A Photoshop (TM) Watercolor

This one is definitely “worthy of the wall”!

My wonderful world of glass

When Spring cleaning, I also tear into my glass gemstones, rocks and shells, giving everything a complete wash.

Here are some macro images, after I dried everything and rearranged it all in crystal vases.

NOTE: it was a dull-gray day when I photographed these…if we ever get a bright, sunny day, I’ll re-do them!

This one-of-a-kind was gifted to me some years back; I've placed it on elongated bean-shaped clear glass gemstones.

This one-of-a-kind was gifted to me some years back; I’ve placed it on elongated bean-shaped clear glass gemstones.

Here's the same glass ball, a bit more close up and in a different position.

Here’s the same glass ball, a bit more close up and in a different position.

These are glass rocks I purchased at Smith and Hawken garden shop about eight years ago.  I applied variegated gold leaf sparingly and painted the bottoms with several coats of Modern Masters metallic acrylics.  Each rock has its own little 'universe'; they are mixed with opalescent, clear glass gemstones.

These are glass rocks I purchased at Smith and Hawken garden shop about eight years ago. I applied variegated gold leaf sparingly and painted the bottoms with several coats of Modern Masters metallic acrylics. Each rock has its own little ‘universe’; they are mixed with opalescent, clear glass gemstones.

More of the same as above; the mystical green contrasted well with the gold/copper/ gree variegated leaf...I thought!

More of the same as above; the mystical metallic green contrasted well with the gold/copper/ gree variegated leaf…I thought!

Every once in awhile, I get the urge to create something a bit different…there are a number of others painted with a cranberry metallic…I’ll photo those when some ‘full’ sunlight finally comes to Chicago!

Pears…in shells from Sanibel Island

I was given these large Sanibel Island shells by a friend, some years back.

Most remain packed away, but these two were out on my studio shelves (for some reason?) and the Bartlett pears from my local independent grocer were so gorgeous, I figures I’d put them together…just to see how they fit.

They did…beautifully!!!

Pears in Shells-2

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Pears in Shells-1

‘Playing’ with pears!

My Mother, and probably yours too, used to warn us all the time–“Don’t play with your food!”, but I decided to do it anyway!

Here are the originals of three tabletop set-ups in natural lighting I did last week:

Pears-Bartlett and Seckel

Pears-Bartlett and Seckel

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Pears-Bosc

Pears-Bosc

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Pears-Nine

Pears-Nine

They’re OK, but I wanted to see what more I could do to enhance their wonderful forms.

The ‘playing’ began with cropping and adjusting Pears-Bartlett and Seckel:

Pears-Bartlett and Seckel

Lots of burning and dodging, along with subduing the color, but I felt it needed something more!

‘Something’ being ‘watercolor’ (after going through all the filters available!).

I enjoy what happened with the light, shadows and colors here...

I enjoy what happened with the light, shadows and colors here…

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…so I did the same with Pears-Bosc!

Nice, but not nearly as nice as...

Nice, but not nearly as nice as…

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...what happened when I applied the watercolor Artistic Filter.  Ooh, mysterious Boscs!

…what happened when I applied the watercolor Artistic Filter. Ooh, mysterious Boscs!

I did something different with Pears-Nine besides shooting at an alternative angle.

A lot of dodging and burning to bring out the light and colors worked fine, but I felt it still was lacking.  After reducing the saturation somewhat, I took it through all the filters...

A lot of dodging and burning to bring out the light and colors worked fine, but I felt it still was lacking. After reducing the saturation somewhat, I took it through all the filters…

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...and used the Texturizer in Canvas mode to give it the appearance of a very realistic painting!

…and used the Texturizer in Canvas mode to give it the appearance of a very realistic painting!

I really can paint like this, but it does take an awful lot of time…and technically analyzing and processing an image allows me to be as creative as possible, because I tend to ‘push’ the software to places it really does not want to go…but then I have to settle for something like this, with a very ‘mechanical’ canvas-look which I hate!

Perhaps when I’ve finished the on-going Spring cleaning, I’ll rework this particular image…because the more I look at it, the more it screams, “HELP!”

In the meantime, our promised “6 to 10 inches” snowstorm has begun with a few flurries…and it’s time for me to slather my hands with lotion and wash down some more woodwork!

Have a great day!

It begins!

Spring cleaning, that is…and I take it very seriously!

Today, fifteen paintings received a Murphy's Oil Soap washdown...as it's important to keep painted surfaces clean, and the Murphy's does not harm the acrylics and oils at all!

Today, fifteen paintings received a Murphy’s Oil Soap washdown…as it’s important to keep painted surfaces clean, and the Murphy’s does not harm the acrylics and oils at all!

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Yesterday, I used the Murphy’s to wash the outside of my kitchen cabinets.  Though I dust and wipe them down regularly, whatever ingredient is in the natural gas for cooking leaves a yellowy-tan film on everything!  See how they gleam?

The upper cabinets

The upper cabinets

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The lower cabinets

The lower cabinets

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I also have forty-four photographs hanging, all of which need to be taken apart (to also clean the underside of the glass--I do that only in Spring) and the frames are washed with the Murphy's.

I also have forty-four framed photographs hanging, all of which need to be taken apart (to also clean the underside of the glass–I do that only in Spring) and the frames are washed with the Murphy’s.  Uh-oh, guess I’ll need to buy more Windex!!!

You can go ahead and say, “She’s a real clean freak!”, but I guarantee all this work pays off.  I remove everything from closets and cabinets, washing down the interiors with the Murphy’s, which I also use to wash all the woodwork, furniture, computer equipment and hardwood floors; I even wipe down the outsides of all my books, CDs and DVDs!

It’s a job, a really long and difficult  job, especially if you’re an ‘old gal’ like me!

So, if I haven’t posted for a day here and there over the next few weeks, you’ll know I’m pretty tired and have no energy left to click out the post.

But…to my way of thinking, a ‘clean home’ is a ‘happy home’,

which also makes for a ‘healthy home’!