Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Art of Baking

OK I found this on line recipe for no knead crusty bread so I tried it - started it around 8 last night and finished baking at 5 pm today - easy and good was VERY crusty so I rubbed the loaf with butter which makes it softer try it both ways - I'm surprised how good it tasted and had a very nice texture See it done here
No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Different strokes from Different Folks week 19-20

Another challenge from Karin Jurick at Different strokes from Different Folks her reference photo was a night time scene of the Jefferson Memorial. The challenge was posted just when we had a beautiful full moon at perigee. Every time I saw the reference photo I was reminded of the beautiful moon we were seeing and so the dome became the moon in my version of this challenge -
Watercolor 9" x 11"

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Lately it's been hard to get motivated - but today I did a couple of little things in my sketch books (and dated them incorrectly)- so here they are -
I'm still learning -- this watercolor sketch of a cherry started out O.K but then with every glaze I went out side the lines so I had to fix it -- and the cherry kept getting bigger-- then I did not wait for the stem to be completely dry or else I used to much water when tinting the back ground - Live and learn -

this was a based on a sunset of a farm it started out so bad I was tempted not to finish it but then I messed around with a micron pen and it turned out much better than I had hoped for

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I've been Tagged

over on Flickr they are playing a game of tag - if you are it you have to list 16 facts about you and post a photo of yourself - (I photoshopped my sister right out of this picture )

1. I'm the second of five children - I was also born a blond

2. My husband and I owned and operated an industrial manufacturing company

3. I love my children more than life itself - Two happiest days of my life were the days we brought our babies home from the hospital (we adopted both at birth)

4. My horse was named Cowgirl I loved to ride bareback

5. I taught snow skiing (snow plow classes)

6. I'm afraid of the dark (like a moonless night out in the woods no flashlight -)

7. My favorite food is Nachos

8. I listen to books on CD

9. I am a cancer survivor - I have been bald

10. I cannot sing - But I love to play music on my Hammered Dulcimer

11. Favorite music to listen to- Folk Based Blues -(Guy Davis)

12. I played the Cello when I was in Jr High School

13. Favorite summer drink is a Tanqueray Gin & Tonic

14. I had a flock of sheep and spun their wool and wove it on my loom

15. Gunnar & I lived in Ogden, Utah and Bellevue Washington in the 1970's

16. My sweet husband of 38 years makes me breakfast every Sunday

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


yahoo!!!!! this is a sketch under an hour- this is what I joined EDM to learn to do - If I did it once I can do it again - I'm happier with this than any other piece I've done since June - except of course I am not happy with the handwriting and journaling but YEA!!! ME!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Forcing myself

Forcing myself to learn water colors -
I recently did a pencil sketch from the same black and white reference photo of my niece Arena. I tried to fix the eyes on the pencil sketch and I think I ruined it.
Arena was about 4 or 5 years old in the photo ( she is very old now -- at least 30!) This was one of her favorite photos of herself - and I've had the original or a copy of it for a long time --at least 5 years -- and never did anything with it ------- so then I was chiding myself for resorting to pastels for my recent self portrait and decided I would do a watercolor based on Arena's photo even if it was in black and white - In the reference her smile is so sweet and her eyes are all most elfish - She was and is very cute and sweet - this water color is not as sweet or cute as the real little person - but is the best I could do - I Love you Arena - AK

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Zentangles & Mandala Zentangles for your relaxation

First I went to Barbara's Blog and saw some Zentangles - I really liked them - I had seen them before but did not quite get how to do them - mine just didn't look right . Barbara gave me a link to the Zentangle site where I could read about them and it helped me to see how it's done so I did a little page with just boxes to practice making some of the designs

So here is my first Zentangle - it was very relaxing and kind of meditative to do it I added color with pitt pens I like the bottom half better than the top halfThen I found another site how to draw a Mandala Zentangle I enjoyed making the mandala design. I will make more-- this is the perfect kind of art for those times when you don't want to do something big but want to do something relaxing and fun . Thanks Barbara.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The evolution of a self portrait

New Years Day -I did not get dressed all day - watched HGTV and did some zentangles ---then decided I wanted to do some real art - There was a portrait exchange over at Karin Jurik's Different Strokes but I missed the sign up so I decided I would just do my own portrait -

I put a rough sketch on water color paper but lost my nerve about doing it in water color - I thought I should do it in crayon- but then I thought maybe I would do it in the style I like to use with crayons but use pastels -

I scribbled random colors in the correct values to get the light and dark areas established -then started adding the correct local colors -It got real muddy so I sprayed it with water and pushed stuff around and wiped off some color then I reapplied some colors and real color and told my self to stop my mouth is very weird and wrong,--- some of the dark blues I used in the original value scribbles show through ---but mostly I like it and I tried something different -

happy new year !!