Monday, March 26, 2012

Travelling companions

I will be travelling this week... and taking friends with me.

The puffin...

the grandma...

and the girl with the skinny neck!

An unlikely trio, but ready and willing to carry the message.

Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I have written and deleted, and then repeated the process many times. What is on my mind refuses to come out in a sensible way... so it will remain safely tucked away in my heart.

Words fail, but color slides across paper, leaving whatever message it will. So I fall back on the sloshing of paint on paper, experimenting with everything, using anything that's within reach....

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blackberry-Apple Upside-Down Cake

I have this fantasy, that after many hours in the kitchen, I float into the dining room looking like this, my hands filled with fresh-baked goodness.

But, reality being what it is, my apron at the end of a baking session is not all starched and sparkling clean. And I do not float into the dining room, because I'm busy waving a towel under the smoke alarm to stop the incessant beeping! 

Though there will never be a real picture of yours truly baking, I will show proof that a scrumptious Blackberry-Apple Upside-Down Cake came out of my oven last week. Ta-da!!

The recipe is practically foolproof. (I know. I tried several times to ruin it and it was still wonderful!) You must try it.

Blackberry-Apple Upside-Down Cake
3/4 cup butter, softened and divided
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large Gala apples, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (do not thaw if using frozen)
    (or substitute 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a lightly greased 9" round cake pan (with 2" sides) over low heat. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with brown sugar; drizzle honey over brown sugar. arrange apple slices in concentric circles over brown sugar mixture, overlapping as needed. Sprinkle with berries.

With an electric mixer, beat granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 cup butter at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating till blended after each addition.

In another bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. Beginning and ending with flour mixture, add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter over blackberries in the pan.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Invert the cake onto a serving plate, spooning any topping left in the pan over the cake.

Soooo good!

... he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Try. Then try again.

The pressure is off this week. It has been fun to experiment and play without a deadline hanging overhead. There has even been some time for scanning the "bits and pieces with promise".

This has been a week of precious moments to go beyond "I wonder if I could...?" to actually trying! There was a lot of chuckling - and chucking... straight into the wastebasket! Then, some things with promise appeared. 

The efforts with transparency transfers were a flop. When this tag happened, it was a surprise. (I think I remember what I did... ?) There were so many duds up to then that I was at the what-do-I-have-to-lose? point. I do like the faded look of it. 

A childhood photo of my dad and his sister plus writing from my great-great-grandmother's sister.

Found this flower pressed in the pages of an old book. Love the color, the veins, everything about it.

Some things age so gracefully.

In another moment of why-not? this face came into being. She needs a solid substrate to rest on. I rifled through my old books and found one that is the perfect size, the perfect color. The surgical removal of cover from spine was successfully completed. Next? The cosmetic part of the process.

Adding a little something to layered papers. 

Time will tell what becomes of all this.

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8

Friday, March 2, 2012


It's the end of the week and my prayer album is finished. Aaaahhhh.....

As usual I have pages, and parts of pages, that I love.

Ink swirls - love the colors.
 I did some experimenting.

Photo printed on book page.

Old watch face  and molding paste border.
And I'm finally finding ways to use the papers that spent 3 months absorbing sun, rain, and wind.

Aged paper flowers
More aged paper... with rust.
I'm happy that it's finished and on duty as of today.

... men ought always to pray and not to faint. Luke 18:1 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Change. Adjustments. Progress.

Life is changing here. I'm adjusting to a semi-retired husband, who loves my home cooking. I had forgotten how much time it takes to fix a meal from scratch every night. *sigh* But, I'm getting there.

This week, I finally got back to my workroom. (Don't know why I call it a work room. Maybe because "fun room" sounds silly?) It was exhilarating to see my paint-splattered hands. Oh, the delight of paper snips dangling from my glue-sticky fingertips. I know... I need to get out more.

Tonight,there is progress to report! The face picture is mostly finished... I think. I can't decide, so it's resting for a while. I added the verse that seems to fit both the "face" and my life right now.

The orange-y letters are from a vintage set of "Inch High Letter Cards for primary grades". Seems that the "inch" is a bit random, but that adds to the imperfection of the piece. The page is mounted on a 9"x 7" canvas board.

While waiting for the verdict on this, the innards have been ripped from an old suitcase, a new prayer album is in the making, I've rediscovered the thrill of molding paste, and (with clean hands) created some textures from my photo library for some PSE layers. 

Can you tell that my sweetie is travelling this week?

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Psalm 91:2