Thursday, February 26, 2009

Little Paintings and the Art Piano

Before I get to the paintings, I want to share this picture. I was so excited yesterday when I saw this hanging from the arbor. It doesn't look like much now, but these little fuzzy buds are the promise for a huge overgrown arbor full of fragrant purple clusters.

I painted small yesterday. Three 6x6x1.5 inch canvases. They went pretty well, and I hardly stressed over the painting at all. That might have something to do with the small size, but I think that staying in the art mode and having painted just a few days ago helps quite a bit.

That size canvas is just so cute.


Here they are inside after Edward and R had their way with them. I agree that they work fine this way too, but I had to insist that the last one stay with the blue on top. (Okay, I admit it, it looks not horribly wrong with the blue on the right edge as well.)

The art piano

I just had to take a pic of my piano covered in some recent paintings. And with a relaxed Edmund Hillary the crowning touch on top.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Harbingers of Spring: The Garden

A profusion of daffodils
I believe they have peaked.

I just had to share these pictures of the signs of spring in our yard. Nevermind that it was 28 degrees night before last, today we broke 80. Spring it is!

Hyacinths perfume the air by the front door.
It's hard to go by these without bending down for a closer sniff.

In the vegetable garden, the chard and two heads of romaine look vibrant and robust. The fennel is progressing, slowly but nicely. And the first several spinach seedlings have broken ground!! Arugula seedlings are plentiful but still very small. Edward's (many) onion sets have thickened and greened and look very healthy...I suspect he'll wait till they all are large and bulbous and roast them in the fire pit. (Love fire-roasted veggies; won't be eating those.)

By the way, happy Mardi Gras to all, but what a silly time to be giving up things, just when nature's bounty is starting to swell and remind us of how wonderful it is to be alive and be in the flesh!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mom and Daughter Painting Time on the Deck

Last week I spent a warm day out on the deck painting. This canvas is 28x20. I haven't been able to come up with a title yet.

After school R had no homework and spent some time with me, painting these 3 canvas boards. The one on the left is a conservatory with telescope looking out into space, inspired by the lecture we attended a week ago by astrophysicist, Neil Tyson. It was fun, interesting, thought-provoking. During the walk to school the next morning, R was planning the colonization of Mars.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Asian and Middle Eastern - Two Must -Taste Little Restaurants in Fort Worth

I spent the day Wednesday painting outside on the deck. A real joy. But I haven't liked any of the photos of artwork I have taken lately, so today I am going to write about food. Specifically, about two fabulous small restaurants in Fort Worth.

Celaborelle is a Phoenician (Lebanese) restaurant in an old house on Hemphill, near Magnolia and the hospital district. I love restaurants in old houses, so full of character!

from the website: Celaborelle has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area with the best in Middle Eastern cuisine since 1997. Well known to be one of the world's healthiest, Lebanese food is something of a mystery to many people. Celaborelle provides you with an authentic, eye-opening mezze experience--a multitude of small dishes for one low price, which amounts to a tour of Lebanese cuisine, always fresh, always delicious. Whether you're a meat eater, vegetarian, or vegan, if you're an expert in Lebanese cuisine or a total newcomer, you will have a wonderful feast at Celaborelle. From our buffet line to our live action cooking station, which is all included in the buffet price, you can expect one of the best home-cooked meals you've ever had! And if you're in a hurry and need to order take-out, we offer a menu representing all our choices.

The buffet is definitely the best deal here at $8.95, less for children. In addition to the appetizers and many vegetable, meat and combination dishes on the buffet, it also also includes beef or lamb kabobs cooked fresh to order and the best made fresh for you falafel in Dallas-Fort Worth, perfectly crisp on the outside and tender, steaming and fragrant inside. I think I could come in and just have falafel with a side of olives and feta and be happy. But then I would miss out on the amazing melt-in-your-mouth eggplant, and that would be a shame. Batinjan mtabal, a charbroiled eggplant and tahini spread like babaganouj, is pleasingly garlicky and should not be missed. This place is a mecca for vegetarians or vegans, but also satisfies meat-eaters. We took our friends recently, a meat-eating family of four, and tested that. My 11-tear old daughter loves this place and is especially pleased with all the little dessert offerings, about half of which are some variation of baklava. Edward likes the pudding-like cake with rosewater. I'll just have another falafel.

Celaborelle has been closed for a few months or more a couple of times, but we are recommending it to everyone, dragging our friends in for dinner and hoping to help keep them in business. Bring your own bottle.

After seeing the baby ducks and squealing piglets at the Stock Show a couple of weeks ago, we drove around looking for some good (not-BBQ, non-cornydog, non-funnel cake) food for dinner, and we happened upon Thai Tina's, just outside downtown. It is the most non-descript building in a, well "unassuming" is putting it mildly, area. We would never have considered stopping, but when Edward read the name off the building, I said, Wait. I think I just saw that mentioned. And leafed through the FW Weekly I'd just picked up, which described it as "marvelous, authentic Thai food." We had to try it, and it did not disappoint. I had a perfect rendition of green curry with cocnut milk, vegetables and tofu, which I settled on remarkably quickly from the extensive menu. Most of the menu items come with the option of meats, seafood or tofu, something I have been seeing more and more, and which makes it really easy for people to order a variety when they have special diets, or just to get what they like. R looked carefully at the menu for quite a while, then announced that she couldn't find the California rolls. She was a little confused about what kind of Asian restaurant we were in, or expecting a pan-Asian menu. She then looked at the kid's menu and ordered the cheese sticks with fries. Well, Edward was wearing the smart daddy hat, because he then ordered the Pad Thai with tofu, mild, which he immediately gave R a sample of. She finished the meal standing at his shoulder with her chopsticks.

Monday our friend Marvin was in town from New York. We had introduced him to Celaborelle on his last visit, but when we called ahead, they were closed, so Thai Tina's it was. Several other friends joined us, including the family we had taken to Celaborelle last time, who had never tried Thai before. They shared the Pineapple Fried Rice with pork and liked it so much they ordered a second plate. Two appetizer sampler platters were quickly polished off. I ordered a variation of the curry I had last time; I couldn't help it, it was so good. (Next time I want to try the Grilled Salmon, served over avocado panang sauce, topped with steamed asparagus...if I can bypass the curry.) R had the same Pad Thai dish her dad had ordered before and pretty much demolished it herself. We were an even mix of vegetarians and carnivores, and everyone loved the place, even the three kids. Tina came to visit the table before we ordered and then came back to chat and check on us. We also hear that she makes a mean martini.

No website that I could find, but the address is 703 N. Henderson.

(NOTE: This review was done at the old location. The new address is 600 Commerce Street, Downtown Fort Worth.)

Thai Tina's on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 9, 2009

Two More New Collages in Blue

Here are two more of the little collages I have been ding lately. I finally set up the tripod and photographed them, but I can tell that I need to go in and up the brightness a little more. I think all the adjusting and tinkering with the light and color values and whatnot to get my images to look right takes as much time as any thing else. I get really frustrated sometimes just trying to get the photo to look like the collage or painting. The white/silvery/grey areas on these pics are just a little too dark.

The collages are'll just have to trust me. ;-) Well, they are pleasing to me, but then they're blue; of course they are.

I'm making no art today. R is home today after being up a lot of the night being sick. She's feeling better and wanting to eat now. I'm thinking about all the cool vegetables we got at the Fiesta Mart (fabulous produce section!) yesterday and trying to decide on something bland and soothing to make for dinner tonight.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Almost Spring Garden!

The baby plants are in the gardening centers! This week we got packets of seedlings for broccoli and cauliflower (I think a cat or two nibbled on the leaves of these while they were in the house), as well as two different kinds of spinach seeds to try. Also, many, many tiny arugula seedlings have sprung up in the garden.
It is still very dry, and has been pretty windy, and watering is still necessary, as it has been all fall and winter.

Other signs of spring:

We have lots of hyacinths coming up.

And of first of the daffodils has burst into full bloom.