Friday, June 28, 2013

Are you a Bimbo?

5 random things that might make you a Bimbo...

1) Your name is Leather Tuscadero  (When I googled her I actually spelled it right.  Go figure.)

2) You purposely wash your pink wool sweaters in hot water.

3)  You chew gum with your mouth open (O.K., this might not make you a bimbo but it is a pet peeve of mine.  Close your mouth people.  If strangers know what color gum you are chewing and can hear you across the mall you need to read the warning on the gum wrapper.  Warning: Inappropriate use may lead to foot in mouth disease. My foot.  Hee,hee.  Or the obvious.  Gum disease. 

4) Your script has you kissing Fonzie.  I'm sorry.  The two just go together.

5)  You are a cute looking white teddy bear.  (At least in Costa Rica) 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bird Logic

Sometimes these are the only letters that apply.  My illustrator friend Anne Adix Fabie has had a streak of bad luck thanks to Mother Nature.  Her latest gift from MN (not Minnesota) was the destruction of her backyard and garage. And she was just about to park in it!  Our earth here in MN (Minnesota this time) is saturated and the trees just can't take it any more. We had some pretty bad winds and rain Friday night. And I should know I was out in it dodging falling trees and road rivers like a storm chaser.  But at this point it might only take a puff of air to blow a tree over. So because Mother Nature is giving my friend the bird, I'm giving her a bird with a message.  Take that Mother Nature!

And of course I'm hooking up with Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dessert Surveillance

click to enlarge

This illustration is based on a true story.  It happens every day.  And sometimes the food hits the fan.  I not only feel like someone is watching me when I eat my dessert, I experience it in 3-D.  And I'm lucky if I don't get a pie in my face.  I've been trained to swing my plate left and then right.  Then right and over to the left to avoid those desperate paws.  Meanwhile, she visually stings me with her evil eyes.  And when I finally savor the last bite and set the plate down, Hana feverishly licks up every crumb.  Every micro smear.  Surveillance is the theme over at 

Here is Hana's favorite no-bake Oreo cheesecake dessert. I posted this last summer, and it has never been a better time to make this treat.  It is berry season again.  Use any berry you like...

This is a mini version of my somewhat famous dessert.  Only a few people have tried it.  But they all said it is the best pie they've ever eaten!  I usually use a whole carton of Oreos when I make this the first time.  And make 3-4 small crusts.  But here is the recipe for just one regular size...

18 Oreo cookies (filling removed)
6 tbsp melted butter

Pulse or blend the Oreos until they are crumbs.  Mix in the melted butter.  Now lightly press the crumbs into 9 inch pie plate.  Bake 10 minutes at 350.

Now cream...

8 oz room temperature cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Spread the mixture into the cooled crust.  Now pile on the fresh raspberries.  I don't wash the raspberries from my garden.  And remember if you do rinse them, they will absorb water and get mushy.  Just saying.

Now on the stove add the following to a pan.

3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
dash salt
1 cup water

Bring to a boil and stir until thickened.  Remove from the heat and add a spoonful of butter, 1/4 tsp almond extract and a few drops red food coloring.  Pour the cooled glaze over your raspberries and refrigerate until set.  It tastes like Summer.  With chocolate on the side.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Machete Patrol

We stopped by the side of the road to bird watch.

5 random reasons to carry a machete in Central America.

1) Tourist control.

2) In case you can't find a tooth pick.

3)  Everyone has one and you would look like a fool without it. (No joke!)

4)  You might drop your butter knife on the floor at dinner.

5)  It's a jungle out there...  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Everyone Loves A Chickadee

We were out hiking last weekend and spotted a baby chickadee.  My husband's favorite bird.  This is a baby sitting on a log outside his nest. It is a whole lot easier getting shots of baby birds than adults.  They are just waiting around hungry and vulnerable to predators and eager photographers. 

The nest was a hole in a near by tree.  See the hole?



Feeding.  Thanks Mom!

Sitting...  Dull day.

For more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday  And have you seen my latest illustrated map?  There's a toucan on it for bird lovers.  Check it out on my last post or click here!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Can I wear my opossum suit Ma?

click to enlarge

I'm sneaking in an extra post this week and hooking up with the theme worn.  This theme is perfect for me since I love to illustrate worn and weathered wood.  I have a lot of pieces in my art files like that.  But I chose this one in particular for many reasons.  The first is I haven't posted it before.  I don't think.  It was created for the 2012 Tomie DePaola scbwi contest.  Illustrators were asked to depict black and white scenes from some classic children's literature.   It is set in a weathered old cabin and Jody is "wearing" an opossum suit. For those of you that have read The Yearling you know Jody never dresses up like that.  But as the illustrator I can do whatever I please with the scene!

You'll have to click to enlarge to appreciate the detail and read the passage. 

And while you're here stop by They Draw and Travel to see my latest illustrated map! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

What's better than a big box?

5 random facts about my new computer

1)  I can now use emoticons.    :) is so last year.

2)  The keyboard is clean. (although I'm eating almonds right now) 

3) I'd rather be at Wisconsin Dells than sitting in front of one.

4)  The cats have a new mouse to play with. 

5)  The box is the best part!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fluff Balls

We spotted baby Barred Owls this week.  And the parents weren't far away. They were questioning us with their favorite, "Who cooks for you?" phrase.  We actually photographed them as well but I have better photos in my bird files already.  We really had to zoom in on these guys.  They were high up in a tree.  And after awhile they just laid their fluffy bodies down on the branch.  Watching us was exhausting I guess.  Zzzzzz.....

For more feathered friends visit Wild Bird Wednesday 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Children's Books

click to enlarge

I love the theme this week.  I have a lot of fun illustrating for children.  The top self portrait is my own personal take on a favorite childhood book.  The Princess and the Pea.  I so relate to her delicate sensibilities!  Obviously, if I were a princess my world would include exotic leopards, Scarlet macaws and ruby red tiaras. The only flaw is the hurdle of getting up in the night to go to the bathroom.  And the neck cramps from sleeping on that stiff looking circular velvet pillow.  I guess every fairy tale is fractured.   

Here I am at princess training school.  A.K.A prom.

Here I am again.  Do you see the tiara through the fog?  Dreams really do come true.  At least in my head. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Akua Begone

Akua and his persistence to dwell in all containers big and small. 
5 random ways to dispose of a cat

1)  The tried and true gunny sack.  Gulp.

2)    Hmmm.  "O.K. Akua.  We're just going to go for a little drive in the country. (20 miles later) Oh, that farm looks nice."  Meanwhile, you slow your car down to 5 miles per hour and crack open the door.  Akua gets a little shove.  All that remains are tire tracks.  For shame!

3)  You leave a trail of bacon that leads out into the alley.  (this one has to be repeated over and over and gets to be pretty darn expensive. Plus sometimes other cats and dogs eat the bacon)

4)  The whole trap and release system.  (also not very effective since cats always find their way home)

5)  The garbage!  

P.S.  No Akuas were harmed in the creation of this post.  I mean really.  Look at that face!