Thursday, August 4, 2011


One of the reasons that I have not been posting as often this summer is because I have been taking a watercolor class.  I've been interested in refreshing my skills for a number of years now and finally was able to work it into my schedule.  I have to say that I love this class my teacher, Kendall Jan Jubb who is nationally known and recognized, has been just amazing and has allowed each one of us taking the class to go at our own pace and paint what we wanted to.  I've focused primarily on landscapes this year as I've really felt that was not one of my strengths.  The first class that I did was an all day watercolor on canvas class.  As we were instructed prior to class I went in with a couple ideas and we were told by the instructor that we were not going to draw with pencil on the canvas rather we were going to draw with yellow paint.  Well after I had a minor panic attack because I am usually a planner when I paint, I sketch, resketch, and may even lay it all out on the surface prior to painting.  When I had very privately hyperventilated I decided to suck it up and try something new and chose the aspen trees as they were a looser format and I felt that they might be something that I could truly learn from in the class.  I'm not sure that anyone in the class really knew exactly how terrified the thought of no control when I started to paint made me, I hope that I masked it very well.  At any rate I allowed myself the freedom to just experience the medium and the watercolor canvas and I loved every minute of it.  I chose to use color very freely and make the painting a very impressionistic loose painting.  As I have shown this piece to family members I get a mixed reaction, most of them say "Oh my".  I'm not sure if that is good or bad but I have chosen to think that they are just shocked at how completely different it is for me in style and format.  I love the piece and felt an incredible freedom when I was painting it because I felt removed form the confines of any "rules" of painting.  I'm curious to see what any of you think.  Now that you know that I love the piece I'm sure that you will all be kind.  LOL.  You can also say "Oh my".  I'm now working on my second landscape which I'm painting on watercolor paper and it too is different for me stylewise.  I can't tell you how much fun I'm having in this class and would highly recommend Kendall as a teacher if you ever have the chance to take one of her classes. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Patterns

I have finally gotten myself out of my painting room in the basement and can see the light of day.  LOL.  I must be super slow because it took me most of the summer to complete these new projects.  They are on my website and available for purchase just in time for HOOT.  Look for these patterns and many of my other patterns to be available at the Turns in Time booth at the HOOT show.  I have a number of new patterns as well as new products in the Supply Category and of course paint brushes as usual.  Come on over and take a look at all of them under What's New.  I'd love to hear from you about what you think of these.  I'm in the process of working on another pattern that will be out later this fall. 

Where has the summer gone?

As I was having coffee with some friends the other day, one friend mentioned that I haven't posted on my blog since the beginning of June and it is now the beginning of August.  It made me laugh because I can't quite figure out where the summer has gone to.  In my defense I have been so busy painting and designing and will have 5 new patterns available at HOOT and those seem to have consumed my time, as well as a new Tole Town Project that will be available in September that can be previewed on the front page of my website.  I'm planning to get a preview up on the blog of the new patterns very soon and should be able to get them on the website very soon as well.  I've also been taking a watercolor class that I have enjoyed tremendously and will share that with you as soon as we get the photo taken. 

We've also had quite a bit of company during the last few weeks which we have enjoyed thoroughly.  It is always fun to see family and friends.  We were up in the mountains last week and checked on the Huckleberry crop and they will soon be ready, I think that they need a couple more weeks to ripen and then we will get started picking to take us through the winter.  My son loves my Huckleberry Cake recipe which was given to me by a friend years ago.  In fact my son requested it as his birthday cake this year.  I'm posting the recipe here for those of you who love Huckleberries as much as we do.  I am not sure exactly how well you could substitute other berries but you certainly could experiement.

Huckleberry Crumble Cake
1/4 cp butter
1 1/4 cp sugar
cream the butter and sugar and add:
2 eggs
2 cp flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 cp milk
1 1/2 t almond extract
2 cp huckleberries
Mix in order and pour into greased 9X13" pan

Crumble Topping
1/2 cp sugar
1/2 cp flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cp butter
Mix until crumbly.  Sprinkle over batter in pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.  Serve with ice cream or cool whip. 

This cake is similiar to a coffee cake and is wonderful at any time of the year.  I always check the cake at 40 minutes because it bakes quicker in my oven.