I haven’t posted a painting in a while because I’ve been so busy with home maintenance and repair projects. I had an hour to spare this evening so I kept this painting sweet and simple. This painting is based on tutorials in Linda Ravenscroft’s books, “How to Draw and Paint Fairyland,” and “How to Draw and Paint Fairies.” You can purchase copies of Linda’s books at Amazon.com.
Here’s a photo of the finished spring tulip bouquet for my front door. It’s an explosion of color. Isn’t it gorgeous?
How awesome is this watercolor painting? My daughter painted this rainbow zebra last night. She used a variety of different types of salt–table salt, sea salt, and kosher salt–to achieve the texture. Traditional table salt results in more subtle texture and coarse salt results in a larger, bolder texture. To create these textures, she sprinkled the wet paint with salt, which displaced the water and resulted in the texture you see above. I love how she encouraged the rainbow stripes to pool into the zebra’s mane and merge together randomly. She used a fan brush to create the texture in the mane and to spatter paint on top of the painting. Well done, my girl, well done!
I just ordered this custom-made flower arrangement by TwoInspireYou at Etsy.com to hang on my front door. But instead of pink tulips, I chose the colors in the second photo. I can picture this colorful arrangement hanging on my freshly painted purple door. I can’t wait for it to arrive. I still have to power wash and paint the front porch and I’m STILL waiting for the rugs to arrive. I need to find some fun/colorful accessories, plant more flowers, set out the pillows, and sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor with a magazine and cold glass of iced tea.
I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day. I spent the day with my mother, daughter, brothers, sister, and their families. The entire family went out to dinner to celebrate. It was quite a challenge to seat all 20 of us together, but we managed to pull it off.
Afterwards, my daughter bought me flowers at a local nursery and helped me plant them in the garden. I finished off the day by painting my front door Deep Amethyst by Glidden. It was a bold color choice and I was a bit nervous to make the change but I’m thrilled with the end result. If you could throw caution to the wind and paint your door any color you want, what color would you choose?
It’s been cold and rainy this week, so cold that I’ve been craving a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs type of meal. So I turned to this recipe for braised short ribs that my mom made frequently when I was growing up. It’s simple to make, smells amazing while it’s baking, and tastes even better. This recipe is comfort food at its best. I like to serve braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and spoon the vegetables and sauce on top of the potatoes. Look for boneless short ribs at your supermarket if you can find them because it makes eating this dish a bit easier. I grab boneless short ribs as I find them and freeze them for later use. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make braised short ribs:
Braised Short Ribs Ingredients
- 3 lbs. beef short ribs (preferably boneless)
- 3-4 tablespoons flour (enough to coat the ribs)
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (enough to brown the ribs on all sides)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can (28-oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery tops, chopped (the celery leaves really make this dish)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons additional flour (to thicken the broth)
- Dredge the short ribs in flour and brown them on all sides in a frying pan coated with hot oil.
- Place ribs in a 9 x 13″ baking pan.
- Drain off excess oil from the frying pan, keeping the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat. Add water and bring to a boil, scraping the browned parts off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except flour). Bring to a boil. Combine flour with enough water to make a thin paste. Add slowly to the boiling mixture, stirring constantly until thickened.
- Pour the vegetable mixture over the short ribs in the baking pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. Serve with hot mashed potatoes or hot cooked rice.
Ladle into a bowl, spoon the vegetables and sauce over the mashed potatoes, and enjoy!
Last year I painted my foyer light grey. The look was fresh and clean, and the color worked well with my green living room walls, but it was a bit too boring for my taste. After mulling over the idea of repainting the foyer and stairwell to punch up the color, I took the easy way out and painted the front door instead. It was way less time consuming than painting the walls–it took about an hour from start to finish–and much cheaper, too.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this solution sooner, I’m just glad that I did. I love end result. The light blue paint adds interest to the foyer and picks up the color of my living room chairs. Here’s a picture of the front door before my mini makeover. Which color do you prefer, the white or the blue?
I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. Here’s a sneak peek at my upcoming spring family room makeover. I can’t wait for the furniture to be delivered. I’m still looking for a new coffee table and end tables. I’ve already picked out a new area rug, but couldn’t find a picture of it online. This update is long overdue. My family room has been looking a bit shabby lately–and not in a shabby chic sort of way.
It was a dreary day today–cloudy, cool, and drizzly–not the best day to be outside but a perfect day to stay inside and paint. The soft lighting allowed me to sit by the kitchen windows and paint for hours without interruption from the late afternoon sun. These pink miltonia orchids were a pleasure to paint. The variegated leaves were easy to paint and the brightly colored petals really pop against the dark green background.
This painting was based on a tutorial in the book, “Orchids in Watercolor” by Ann Mortimer. You can purchase a copy of the book at Amazon.com.