Christmas Deer Mugs in Red or Green created from my Christmas artwork, are perfect for coffee, tea or yummy hot cocoa!
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, just into my Gift Shop are Pewter Snowflake shaped tree ornaments! These sweet little ornaments measure 3″x3″ and are created from my Christmas collection of oil paintings. They arrive gift boxed and ready to hang or give to that someone special.
Christmas Teddy Bears Tree ornament is so cute! Who doesn’t love Teddy Bears? A boy Teddy and a girl Teddy send their message of Christmas love and friendship!
Christmas CandiesTree Ornament is sure to be a favorite family keepsake.
Do I sound like a commercial? I apologize, but I’m so excited to bring new merch to my site! My Christmas oil paintings are part of my private collection, and I’m happy to be able to share them with you in this way. Check out the Gift Shop for more ornaments.
Stay tuned, new merch coming soon!
Until we meet again, much love ~ Rhonda
Enter to win a gift basket filled with all sorts of little goodies including a mini original oil painting! Become a TMS member and your name is automatically entered into the drawing.
Drawing is held every year on Dec. 1. The winner will be notified via email.
Click the TMS members tab above for more info. * Restrictions apply.
Who doesn’t love candy? Add that sweet goodness to a vegetable and yumminess is born! How does one make Candied Butternut Squash? Read on and grab the recipe. Your family will love this delicious side dish. It’s almost a meal in itself.
This summer I grew Butternut Squash and although the yield wasn’t as high as I’d hoped, there was still enough squash to have a small stash for winter.
Here’s your grocery list for the recipe:
- Butternut or Acorn Squash – (one squash makes two servings)
- Cloves or Allspice
- Brown Sugar
How to make Candied Butternut Squash;
Wash the squash then cut in half. You will need one half per person depending on the size of the squash. Place in a shallow baking dish lined with foil. The foil makes for easy cleanup.
Scoop out all the seeds and membranes using a spoon and discard.
Next, you will add some pats of butter then sprinkle cinnamon generously over the butter and squash.
Continue on with the rest of your spices, sprinkling nutmeg, cloves or allspice, and a bit of salt. I don’t use measuring spoons for this recipe, so I can’t give exact measurements. Use your eyes and your senses to decide how much to use of each ingredient. A hint of caution here, cloves and allspice are very powerful so don’t go overboard.
Now you are ready for the best part of the entire dish; the bacon and brown sugar
Lay as many strips of bacon over the squash as you desire. We like two pieces per slice of squash because we Love bacon! Make sure the bacon doesn’t fall down into the squash or it won’t crisp in the oven, because it will be lying in bacon and butter juices.
Lastly, sprinkle brown sugar liberally atop the bacon. It’s the brown sugar that makes the bacon and the squash taste like candy. If you prefer, you can use maple syrup instead of brown sugar.
Place the dish in a preheated 375-degree oven and bake, uncovered, for one hour. If you have a convection oven, keep an eye on your squash towards the last 15 minutes of baking, as this is the time when the bacon can become a bit too crispy because of the sugar. If your squash isn’t quite fork tender 45 minutes into baking but your bacon is overdone, simply cover with foil and lower the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare for a feast;
When your squash is finished cooking you can discard the fat built up in the hole of the squash, or if you like, you can mix it all in. I prefer to dump mine out so I don’t have all that fat in my diet. My husband loves butter and bacon grease, so he mixes his in with the squash. I know!
Your family will love this dish because of the sweetness of the brown sugar, and the natural sweetness of the squash. It’s almost like eating warmed pumpkin pie or eating candy for dinner! I serve this dish with beef, such as Ribeye, or Tri-Tip. Candied Butternut Squash is almost a meal in itself so you don’t really need any more food to complete your dinner except maybe a nice glass of red wine.
Candied Butternut Squash is a perfect side dish for these wonderful Fall days. It would also make a perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving dinner. I hope you give this recipe a try!
Until we meet again, much Love! ~Rhonda
In celebration of Fall, please enjoy 35% off all oil paintings*. Use coupon code FALL at checkout. Sale begins Friday, October 18, 2019 and ends Monday, October 21, 2019.
Get a head start on your holiday shopping and give a gift of art. Art is an investment that will last a lifetime!
In conjunction with fall elements, such as garlands of autumn colored leaves, using art as part of your decor enhances your space. Candles, nuts, dried flowers, satin floral arrangements, and many other Fall-themed items, will enliven any room. Your guests will feel welcomed and cozy with the addition of these decor ideas.
Decorating with Art ~
“Pumpkins” oil on canvas is a favorite little painting I created just for use in my Fall decor. At 4″x4″, this small painting is a perfect addition to any tablescape.
Surrounded by a candle, dried corncobs, and chestnuts atop a fall-themed table runner, the “Pumpkins” oil painting makes a bold statement.
Decor Ideas ~
You can see how using small Fall-themed paintings in your decor creates a unique feeling since art can help set the mood for this beautiful season. Mixing store-bought items with original paintings in your decor brings about a quality of richness to your environment because it’s all about texture and color.
One of my favorite decor ideas is to
Here you can see the companion piece to this oil painting sitting to the left on the same shelf:
“Autumn Leaves” 4″x4″ oil painting adorns a dining room side table.
You can see how easily I changed the design of my side table simply by moving the “Autumn Leaves” painting to the opposite side.
Celebrating Nature ~
A colorful celebration of leaves reminds us of the beauty of nature. In this next painting, cool hues of purple and blue are juxtaposed with warm tones. “Colorful Fall Leaves”, a 4″x4″ oil on gallery wrapped box canvas, shares the space of the entry way shelf.
Hanging Artwork on a wall adds to a Fall-themed decor, as well. “Lil’ Pumpkins” oil painting can be seen on the gallery wall and is painted in oil on a 6″x6″ panel. The painting is framed in black with a gold liner which makes the pumpkins vibrate with excitement. Click HERE if you’d like “Lil’ Pumpkins to be yours!
Aspen trees are the subject of the painting below. The painting is on 8″x10″ canvas and is titled “Aspen Trees in Fall”.
How do you decorate for Fall using art? Do you paint your own paintings? Leave a comment below, and let’s chat! Much Love ~ Rhonda
Fall is my favorite time of the year. Each year brings different weather patterns and fall can last well into November. Often times though Fall is over by mid-October. Last weekend we had snow down to the valley floor and a lot of plants shriveled in the below-freezing temps. It was the first time in 93 years we had snowfall in September!
We had to run a heater in our greenhouse to keep our tomato plants safe since we still have quite a bit of green tomatoes. The plants outside the greenhouse had to be covered. We hoped for the best and I’m happy to say that no plants were lost. The temperatures have been slowly rising and we are now out of frost danger. It looks like we won’t have an Indian Summer with fall lasting to November this year because of the mild summer we had and now with early snow.
During Fall there will often be fog after it rains. I think the landscape is so beautiful when fog is rolling in. I don’t care for driving in the soupy stuff, but watching it float around over the lake and through the forest is awesome. Here’s a little video I captured of the fog building up in the morning. An hour later we were totally engulfed in white.
Fall inspired oil paintings:
The Fall colors during foggy conditions seem more vibrant. It may be due to there not being bright sunlight to wash out the hues. I was inspired to paint this scene of our street during one, particularly foggy day. “Fog in the Forest” is an 11″x14″ oil on canvas and is a part of my personal collection:
This next oil painting, “Leaves on the Driveway”, was inspired by the leaves in our driveway during Fall. It was painted entirely with a palette knife on 4″x4″ gallery wrapped box canvas. I bring this painting out every year as part of my favorite fall decor.
Decorating with artwork:
The best thing about small works of art is they can be easily moved. Each year the decor is a little different and this year, “Leaves on the Driveway” is being showcased in the entry on a shelf. Sometimes small art pieces are displayed on the dining room table as a centerpiece along with a vase of flowers. Other times fall-themed paintings are showcased on the fireplace mantle, with a garland of autumn leaves.
Painting Plein Air:
“The Bridge at Buttonhook“ is a 6″x6″ oil on panel. This painting was done in Plein Air last year in October. It was still warm enough to go boating so we packed lunch and enjoyed the warm sunshine and peacefulness of the lake. The very next day, the temps dropped 20 degrees, the wind arrived, clouds rolled in and snow blanketed the mountain tops. Fall was promptly over!
I hope to be able to do some more Fall Plein air work this year before its all said and done, like this one:
“Plein Air at Whiskey Rock” is painted in oils on a 5″x7″ canvas. Whiskey Rock is a point on the lake which has several boat docks and a small campground. Whiskey Rock campground is tucked into a small cove, and is a favorite spot for weekend boat camping. I painted this one from our boat and absolutely loved how it turned out, with the backlit trees and the reflections in the water. The day was calm, and warm but the air was filled with smoke that year from all the surrounding wildfires when “Plein Air at Whiskey Rock” was created.
One day, during the framing of “Plein Air at Whiskey Rock”, I accidentally drilled too deep and poked a hole in the painting. Now I have to repaint “Plein Air at Whiskey Rock“. Geesh!
Is Fall your favorite time of the year or are you more of a summer lover? Do you decorate your space with Fall themes during this time of the year? What is your favorite time of the year? Leave a comment below and lets chat!
I’ll share some more of my favorite fall paintings in the next post. Until we meet again, much love! ~Rhonda
Camping on the St. Joe River:
Last weekend we enjoyed our end of the year camping and painting adventure on the St. Joe River in Northern Idaho. We stayed at the Telichpah Campground, which is next to the river, on the south end of the Hiawatha Trail system. The campground is tucked away at the end of the road and at this time of the year is typically empty, which is why we go at this time.
The Hiawatha Trail system is an old train route, that was once used by the Milwaukee Railroad, and is now a spectacular mountain bike trail. The trail follows the north fork of the St. Joe river, where it ends at a small town called Avery. The campground is at the end of the trail, and you travel through the three train tunnels to get to the campground. This is our favorite area to have our camping and painting adventure on the St. Joe River.
We arrived mid-week, and the campground was empty except for one other camper. By the time we left on Sunday, the upper section was completely full. I was very surprised to see so many folks camping this late in the season! The lower section of the campground, where we stayed did not fill up. Besides us, there was only one other campsite in use, so it was very quiet.
Relaxing by the fire:
We had a fabulous time even though it was cool and threatened rain every day. It rained a few times during each night and only one day. The brief showers helped to keep the dust down. At the end of each day, it was nice to warm up by the fire and sip hot cocoa.
Photographing forest flora and fauna:
The forest flora and fauna are favorite subjects of mine to create paintings from, so I’m always on the lookout for unique items, like pinecones and mushrooms, to photograph.
There were large mushrooms like these pushing up from the forest floor, everywhere! It’s amazing to see the strength of a mushroom pushing through the hard ground! The mushrooms were exceptionally large due to all the rain and mild temperatures.
Plein air painting the St. Joe River:
On Friday, the weather broke and it was only partly cloudy, so we decided to make it a painting and fishing day. We packed lunch and all our gear and hit the trail to our favorite location on the river. Upon arriving, I discovered that someone forgot to bring my tripod! I had to improvise my pleinair painting set up by using the back of the wheeler as a table. Luckily the tailgate is the right height and all was good.
The scene I painted is a large calm pool just before a bend in the river. I love the emerald green reflections in the water and the large rocks in the middle of the river. The trees were just beginning to turn yellow so no feeling of fall to the scene yet.
Since I didn’t have my tripod I was at the mercy of the sun and had to call it a day when I could no longer see my canvas due to glare. I will finish in the studio using my reference photos and share the painting when it’s finished.
Success catching a fish:
My husband had a successful day fishing and caught a nice sized Cutthroat Trout! After getting his portrait taken, the fish was set free. My husband was a happy camper, indeed! What a great day!
We arrived back at camp in time for me to bake a peach cobbler from scratch! I used a billy can as an oven by putting charcoal on top of the can, and forgot to take a photo of the set up; But I did take a pic of the final results:
The peach cobbler was delicious and I can’t believe it actually worked using this method of cooking. I think its fun to experiment with cooking different foods other than typical camp food. Earlier this year I made a pizza from scratch while camping. You can read about it HERE.
All in all, our end of the year camping and painting adventure was a great end to a wonderful summer! Fall has barely begun and we are expecting snow down to the valley floor this weekend, so I’m glad we made the trip when we did. I hope we don’t have too much accumulation and that this is just a little anomaly and not a sign of things to come!
Thanks for stopping by. Until we meet again, Much Love ~ Rhonda
Learning new techniques, whether it be art or anything else, is something I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve had an app on my Ipad called Procreate for about a year, and have never delved into using it. Last month I came across a blog post in which the author made a little animation, and I wondered if he had created it in Procreate. Sure enough, his next blog post was to advertise his class on how to use Procreate.
What is Procreate?
Procreate is a powerful illustration program in which one can create animations and vibrant illustrations. I decided it was high time I learn how to use the program since I paid for it. I clicked on the help button in the program and it took me to YouTube, where I found a lot of instructional videos. So for the past few months in my spare time, I’ve been learning new techniques in how to create animations and illustrations.
Happy Sheep is one animation I’ve created using Procreate. I know sheep can’t wag the tails they don’t have, but a little humor is a good thing! This sheep is happy she found some green grass to eat.
Animations are my favorite to draw, but I’ve also been delving into just plain illustrations. I joined Lisa Bardot in her Make Art Everday community and created a few drawings during her buildings week. If you join, she sends out weekly drawing prompts and has a Facebook group to post work. I’m not on Facebook and just draw for my own purposes.
Here are a few of my illustrations:
Chicken Noodle Soup House
The above illustration of the Corner Cafe was done before I learned how to add text. As I was drawing it, I thought, “Geez, it sure would be nice to be able to add text to a drawing!” A few days later I watched a video on how to add text. Typical me, always a day late and a dollar short. Oh well.
Lastly, here is a drawing of a strawberry donut I may turn into some kind of animation. I’m thinking sprinkles falling onto the donut would be fun!
I have a lot of learning to do and quite a bit of practice using Procreate, but I’m enjoying the journey! It’s another set of tools in my toolkit to express my creativity! Until next time, much love ~ Rhonda