November 23, 2016

Tomato Soup For Breakfast and Some Winter Paintings

Last night at midnight, I was putting the finishing touches on a new 8x10" winter painting titled, "Tea Kettle Cafe".  I could have used some of that warm tea before bedtime!

"Tea Kettle Cafe"  8x10" Original
Available at Dutchland Galleries.
Framed canvas prints available soon in my Etsy Shop.

 This morning I was able to sleep in a little bit longer than usual and so I had tomato soup for breakfast and a grilled cheese sandwich to dip into it.   Or maybe I should call it brunch, so it doesn't sound so weird.  Do any of you eat strange things for breakfast?  I'd love to know.   So, let me explain the tomato soup thing.  I'm not very fond of cold cereal and I usually eat eggs, but I have to save them for the Thanksgiving stuffing.  When I opened the refrigerator this morning, I spotted a partial can of leftover tomato soup that I used for last night's supper recipe.  I was feeling the need for something warm.  So that's my explanation.

As I was dipping my grilled cheese into my soup, I was reminded of a time in my childhood when eating tomato soup for breakfast was not so uncommon.  I grew up in a home with six brothers.  My father worked at a school as a music teacher and my mother stayed home and raised all of us.  My father also had a second job in the evening where he taught private music lessons.  One time his school went on strike and that meant big trouble for us.  With little pay from the music lessons, we went through a time of not knowing where our next meal would come from.  I remember my mother telling us one morning that we were having tomato soup for breakfast.  It was all we had left in the cupboard, but it was good.  We never worried, because we knew we had a God that was a great provider.  I also remember sitting at the table at supper and we bowed our heads and thanked God for what he would provide. We had empty plates in front of us.  Then we heard a knock at the door and it was a sweet lady from our church that brought us a large bag of corn on the cob from her farm.  Talk about God's perfect timing.  No one knew of our need, but God did.  Shortly after and just in time for dessert, another woman that we knew brought us a large bag of jelly cookies. That night, as we enjoyed the delicious corn and cookies, we were confident of God's provision and it left a huge impression on my life.  Today, the jelly cookie is still one of my favorites.

"Cottage on the Hill" 16x20"
Framed available soon in my Etsy Shop
Originally, I was going to call this post the "Three P's of Thanksgiving", the first being Provision. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for God's Provision.  Without His provision, we would not have our loved ones, a job, a roof over our heads and food to eat.  If we begin to think that we can do it without Him, we need to consider that it is our Creator that gives us the health and strength we have to be able to work.  As an artist, I am always thankful and amazed at His provision of new and returning buyers that God brings my way.

The second P is for Protection.  As I think of all the times that God has placed his hand of protection on us, I am so thankful.  With a new licensed driver in the house, I especially find myself praying for God's protection over my daughter.  I make it a habit to pray daily for His protection over my family and I am grateful for His hand on our lives.

The third P is for Peace.  I am so grateful that I have experienced both "Peace with God" and the "Peace of God".  If you could ask God for anything, what would it be?  I think the greatest desire for mankind is peace.  So many people are searching for this and they are looking in all the wrong places for it. They try to fill it with many things that don't have any lasting value or fulfillment.  The way to "Peace with God" starts with a personal relationship with Him. Praying and asking Christ to come into your life and starting a personal walk with Him is how I have experienced Peace with God.  Just come as you are.  You don't need to clean up your act or pray in any fancy way.  Just talk to Him. You develop your relationship with God just like you would with a friend.  You need to spend time with Him, reading His Word and praying.  The way to experience the "Peace of God" is by continuing daily in your walk with Him and when troubles arise, you will notice that you have profound peace even though everything around you may be in turmoil.

I hope that you take time this Thanksgiving to search your heart and ponder the goodness of God.  I hope you will experience His Provision, His Protection and most of all His Peace.

"Follow the Star" 8x10" Original
 Available at Dutchland Galleries.  
Framed canvas prints available in my etsy shop:

November 8, 2016

Easy Peasy Cornbread Topping

Today I'm sharing my cornbread topping.  It's easy peasy and makes corn bread even more yummy.

My mother always made this cornbread from the little box. Do you remember this growing up?  I buy it for my family now and make it in an 8x8 pan.  It's great for three reasons.  1.  It's easy to make--just a little milk and an egg  2.  It costs less than a buck, and  3.  I'll tell you at the end of my post.

Now for the topping.  I love cornbread, but I always thought that cornbread needed a little something extra.  So here is the recipe that will keep your family asking for more.

Cornbread Topping


2 T Flour
3 T Cold butter (cut in small chunks)
3 T Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 t Vietnamese Cinnamon (I get mine locally at S. Clyde Weaver)


Prepare cornbread mix as directed on box and put in an 8x8 greased pan.  Pulse topping ingredients in a small food processor for a few seconds until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over corn bread mixture.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Serve warm with your favorite meal.  We use a fork and eat it like cake.   To reheat, microwave each serving for a few seconds.

Now for the third reason that it's great.  You can make a cool Christmas craft with the box, but you will have to wait until next time to see what I did with it.  

November 4, 2016

I'm Still Not Over Fall--Autumn Vignettes

Even though I'm having visions of homemade, warm gingerbread as this year's Christmas theme, I'm still not over fall.  I haven't thrown out any pumpkins yet.  I want fall to last as L-O-N-G as possible. My mums are in full bloom as they opened late this year.

Early this fall, my husband and I traveled down an unfamiliar country road and found pumpkins for $1 each, so we bought a few more then planned and lined them up along the flower bed.  They are still going strong.

At our house, we don't put any Christmas decorations out until after Thanksgiving.   While others are out shopping on Black Friday, I take a more leisurely path by staying home all day.  I enjoy a warm breakfast followed by tree trimming and decorating.  I like getting the most out of every season. While it is fall, I placed a few gourds into my leftover summer flowers to make a pumpkin patch. Maybe next year I will paint a sign to go with it.

Autumn is one of the busiest times for providing paintings for the gallery, as all the colors of the palette show up in my weekly paintings.  You can see that my decorating indoors has been...well... a little lackluster...

...So, this week I took a little break and put together a few fall vignettes.  I thought I should start with the kitchen window and try to improve the look with some items I have around the house.  I added some old books, one of my glitter paintings, an owl statue and dressed up a tired succulent plant with a new pot to bring more life into this vignette.  


Here is another one of my glitter paintings that I did a while back.  I tucked it on a deep windowsill along with my handmade Bowlies, "Feline Fur-Bowlie" and "Jack-O-Bowlie".  They are both made from various sizes of wooden bowls that I glued together and painted.  

I also put a vignette together on my living room mantel featuring my little painting of my favorite barn--the Star Barn.  I have featured this barn in over 200 + of my paintings and painted items over the last 10 years.   I guess you can say I  R-E-A-L-L-Y   L-O-V-E that barn!  I never tire of painting it. Perhaps I will put a book together some day featuring my many paintings of it.

To finish off my fall vignettes, I made a little altered art piece.  It was a gift for my husband, featuring his favorite candy bar.  I painted a block of wood to look like the wrapper, added a cute little fellow, a hand-made sign and some spool wheels to finish it off.  He fits right in with the fall season.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed my fall touches.  Next time I will share my warm gingerbread theme for Christmas.  In the mean time, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!