Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Off Broadway

"Off Broadway", watercolor & colored pencil, 6" x 6.75"
My August Submission for The Virtual Paintout
Here it is, once again, the last day of the month and I just sent my submission to The Virtual Paintout.  Each month a city is selected and using Google Street Maps, artists use maps to view streets for subject matter to paint.  This month the selection was not a city but Prince Edward Island.  I "traveled" many streets and decided on this restaurant called "Off Broadway" in Charlottetown, PEI, as my subject.  Just last month I discovered The Virtual Paintout blog and Face Book page and have really enjoyed participating.  And, it is to use the old cliche, educational.  Can't wait until tomorrow to see where Bill chooses as our next painting destination!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Life's too short ...

Life's too short ...

to use cheap mayonaise.

to not read your favorite books.

to care what others think if you feel in your heart you are doing the right thing.
to not be kind to others lest we miss "entertaining angels unawares."

to wear cheap perfume.

to not use the good tablecloth or the good wine glasses.

to not be professionally fitted for a bra. (I'm not kiddin')

to not spend time with family and tell them you love them.

to not give a nanosecond of time to those around you who put you down.
                                                                                                                                                                    to not take the time to write someone an "old fashioned letter" and send it via USPS.

to not miss the wonders in the sky be it day or night.

to burn cheap candles.

to not pray when you tell someone, "You're in my prayers."

to not use a William Sonoma potato peeler.  (again, I'm not kiddin')

to not use an atomic projection clock.

to not spend time listening to music.

to not put God first.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chef John Folse's Recipe for Shrimp Remoulade

It must have been many years ago when I first experienced remoulade sauce in New Orleans' French Quarter. Clint and I decided to have remoulade sauce today with our boiled shrimp.  I said it would be easier for me to Google the recipe than dig through my recipes for the paper version. Clint remarked that it would be no problem, I am sure there are several recipes out there for remoulade sauce.  I told him he was mistaken, there was only one recipe for remoulade sauce and this is the recipe.

Chef John Folse, in 1978, opened Lafitte's Landing Restaurant in the historic Viala Plantation House in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

We have enjoyed this recipe for several years now.  I don't make any substitutions in the recipe and use Hellmann's Mayonaise. (No light or low fat) and original Louisiana Hot Sauce.  The Cajun mustard is a must and fresh parsley.  It is even better the next day.  Sometimes we use it for salad dressing the following day.  I do make only half the recipe and we have leftover sauce the next day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Eye is the Jewel of the Body

Photo Copyright 20th Century Fox
Henry David Thoreau has been quoted as saying "The eye is the jewel of the body".  "The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul", is what Ralph Waldo Emerson has to say about the human eyes. Being an artist, I have always been had a passion for drawing and painting eyes and even on my own eyes.

My love of cosmetics began at a young age, I think some of my influence came from movies.  I remember the summer of 1963 when the movie "Cleopatra" was released with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  I was eleven at the time and loved buying "movie magazines" at the drug store.  My cousin and I loved looking at them and believed every single word we read.  I was so enthralled with the photos of Elizabeth Taylor and her Cleopatra painted eyes.  I would try to copy the look on my own eleven year old eyes and any other willing victim, namely my cousin who also enjoyed the movie magazines and those glamourous pictures. We "borrowed" her older sister's cosmetics for the Cleopatra look.

One thing I desperately wanted was some eyeshadow.  My Aunt Clara told me she had some to give me.  My aunt lived upstairs over their grocery business and I remember the day my mom drove me to get my eyeshadow.  I ran up the stairs and she gave me a little gold decorative case with a hinged lid, inside was the most vivid blue eyeshadow in the form of heavy paste. Yes, I was too young to wear makeup but what fun I had at home playing "dress up." I would remind my aunt in later years of how happy it made me when she gave me the eyeshadow.  Sometimes it is the small gestures that are important, especially to an eleven year who had a great yearning for some eyeshadow!

Recently I saw the movie, "A Single Man."  The film was fashion designer Tom Ford's directing debut.  The period of the movie was the early 1960s and I loved the styles and fashions in this movie. Tom Ford was actually criticized for making scenes "too beautiful".  My favorite scene I have posted below, Julianne Moore is getting ready for the evening and I liked the creative closeup shots of her applying her eyeliner. The scene quickly changes to the dance scene.  Even more, I love her and Colin Firth's silly dancing to "Green Onions" by Booker T & the MGs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Chocolate Angel Cafe

Today three of my dear freinds took me to lunch at The Chocolate Angel and Tea Room near Dallas in Richardson, TX.  I had not been there before but have heard often by word of mouth about this cafe.  The four of us had a wonderful time and visit.  I was impressed with the food and soon learned why my friends had praised the cafe.  It was such a decision to chose our selections.  Two of my friends chose the quiche and usually that is my first choice but I had quiche just a few days ago.  I decided on the Angel Trio which was a cup of tomato bisque soup, chicken salad (homemade) sandwich and pasta salad.  All three were delicious!

For dessert we all shared (yes, all four of us) the Chocolate Lava Molten Cake.  We laughed as we passed it around the table with our spoons in hand.  As its name suggests, the warm and moist cake was delicious, dark chocolate with just enough sweetness.

Afterwards we explored some nearby shops and had fun just being silly. 

Thank you all so very much, it was a special day.  I will miss you all!  We will stay in touch after we move away.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Little Vexations

About thirteen years ago while shopping at a Goodwill, I found this little framed verse.  It was sitting in a box on the floor with some other items.  The frame is old gold leaf, custom made because the frame's corners are held together with tiny nails and and glass covered the yellowed verse.  Measuring 3.5" by 5.5", it cost fifty cents.

This little framed piece is one of my favorite finds.  The verse is written in pen and ink with lots of flourishes which I found interesting because of my love of calligraphy. I especially love the little watercolor painting of yellow roses.  There was no identification of the artist but it has inspired me to make some small framed quotation pieces that are similar to this one.

The verse reads ...

The little sharp Vexations, and the Briars that catch and fret;
Why not take all to the Helper, who has Never failed us Yet.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Perfume and Handwriting?

A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.

~Christian Dior

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Little Black Dress

                                                                                                                                                Scheherezade is easy; a little black dress is difficult.

~ Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel made black a fashion color, she designed the little black dress in 1926.  Most woman want the perfect little black dress.  Timeless beauty.

Today I drew this fashion "sketch" except it is not too sketchy!  I would like to work on practicing some fashion sketches, I like them as a form of art.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I love quiche!  This Ham and Bacon Quiche recipe is from Southern Living.  At first glance, I thought ham and bacon both would be a little too much for me but I soon discovered how wrong I was.  It is one of the best quiches I have ever eaten.  My husband, Clint, agreed. 

Quiche is a perfect for any meal, Quiche Lorraine for breakfast is a favorite of mine.  I have made them ahead, froze them and baked them later when we have had guests or family visiting.  When served for lunch or dinner, all you have to add is a green salad.  Fruit paired with quiche for breakfast or brunch is a good combination.

A French classic, I have never seen anyone disappointed when I have served them quiche!

Monday, August 9, 2010


In our factory we make lipstick.
In our advertising we sell hope.

~ Peter Nivio Zarlenga

How true that is and even to this day.  A little touch of lipstick can lift a woman's spirit, I know it does mine.  History tells us it has been lifting spirits for quite some time now.  Women in the Indus Valley Civilization  (3300-1300 BCE) applied lipstick to their lips for face decoration, according to Wikipedia. 

The old story goes that Cleopartra had a lipstick made from crushed carmine beetles which gave her a deep red pigment and used ants for a base.

During the 40s, the popularity of lipstick increased due to the motion picture business.  Speaking of business,  lipstick sales tend to rise during economic downturns, leading to the term "Lipstick Effect."

Yesterday I wrote of nail polish, today lipstick for many of the same reasons.  Once again there're all those colors from which to chose to brighten my face and my day!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Confessions of a Nail Polish Junkie

I blame my grandmother.  One of my earliest memories of consciousness, of being alive, was noticing my grandmother's painted fingernails.  I remember her standing at the door, me looking at her fingers tips and wondering why there were different.  I was too young to even know about colors then but I knew something was different and I loved the change! When I was young enough to grasp that fingernails could be painted, I wanted mine painted.  Looking back, my grandmother's fingernails were painted red that fateful day and that was the day I began my love affair with nail polish. 

One reason I like nail polish is the act of painting something with it and feeling I am creating.  Well, I am creating, putting a color on my fingernails.  It is simply the artist in me, as I like to say, I can't help it.

When I was making the photograph of the bottles today, I jotted down some of the names of the colors.  I noticed different themes:

Names of red polish:  Remarkable Red, Really Red, Fever, Love That Red, Big Apple Red, Rock N' Red, Ruby, Sharon's Heart.

Names that refer to nights:  Black Satin, Night Glow, White Night, Eclipse, Super Nova

Names that refer to emotions and passion:  Russet Flame, Blazed, Swept Away, Self Confident, True Love, Fever, Sincerely

My grandmother was such a big influence in my life in so many ways.  Looking back I think I shared with her the story of being so impressed with seeing those red fingernails. At the time we are making memories with loved ones, we don't realize the importance of it at the time.

A few months ago I drew this portrait of my grandmother.  It was drawn on Canson Textured Mi Tientes Paper using different pencils and pastels.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My "Studio"

One of my favorite artists, Susan Branch, works from her dining room table.  When I read this, I felt a special kinship with her.  Currently on the dining room table is the beginnings of a portrait of my mother.  In a couple of days, I will be posting it.  So far so good on the portrait.