Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In the garden, in the kitchen, in the studio!

This time of the year my garden exerts some strange kind of hypnotic force and pulls me helplessly outdoors where I happily slave and sweat while digging, planting and weeding! And that's pretty much what I've been up to the last few weeks. I'm posting photos of some of my garden, mostly flowers, although there is one shot of the field peas/okra patch. I've also got lots of tomatoes planted.

I've also done a little cooking (very little!) and a friend shared a recipe for a wonderful strawberry cake (pictured) so I'm passing it along to you. If you don't have fresh strawberries, I think frozen would work just as well.

Lastly, I'm posting a picture of some magnets I painted. These magnets are wedding favors to be given out to guests. This was a new experience for me! First the magnets were glued to the glass cabochons, then I painted the image using Liquitex Acrylic paints. Lastly, the magnets were sprayed with two light coats of sealer. The magnets are approximately 1-1/4" in diameter. They're now ready to hold notes on someone's refrigerator!

Been doing some reading too. I've just finished Cindy Agan's book, "Painting Watercolors that Sparkle with Life". Some good info in there.

So... that's what I've been up to! The blueberries are ripening rapidly (although we're officially in a drought so some of the berries dried up on the bushes) which means I'm going to enjoy some studio time before I'm pulled outside again. I'm ready to do some painting!

Darnell's Fresh Strawberry Cake

1 package Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix (or your preference)
2 qts fresh strawberries
1- lb container Cool Whip
1 large box (around 5oz?) Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding 

1. The night before you plan to make the cake, wash, cap and chop the strawberries. Add sugar (to your taste - I don't measure, just add then taste until I get it right) to the berries so that you get lots of strawberry juice.
2. Next day, place strawberries in a colander with a container under it to catch the juice.
3. Bake cake in three layers and cool.
4. Mix the Cool Whip, the instant pudding powder and 1/2 of the chopped, drained strawberries until well mixed. This is your frosting.
5. Place first cake layer on cake stand, punch holes all over  and pour 1/3 of the strawberry juice onto the cake layer.
6. Place a layer of the frosting on the cake layer, then sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining chopped strawberries on top.
7. Repeat step 6 for the second layer.
8. Lastly, frost cake all over, sprinkle top with remaining strawberries and, if desired, drizzle a little strawberry juice over cake.
9. Better after it sits a day or two. Keep refrigerated.
10. Enjoy! Yum-my!

P.S. If anyone can tell me the name of the purple flower in the top photo I sure would love to know what it is!


Simone said...

Your garden is looking beautiful Teresa. I am sure I would spend lots of time out in it too. You have been busy with all those magnets!

retete- ina said...

wow,wow,beautiful garden

Jan said...

My goodness you have been a busy little do-bee! I understand about the garden as ours is producing very well right now and takes a lot of time and energy.
Thanks for the cake recipe - we bought strawberries from a local farm earlier in the spring & I froze most of them. This may be the perfect way to use some of them.
We've had a few blueberries ripen so far but our 2 bushes are very young and aren't producing many yet.
Don't know the name of the purple flower but if I see it somewhere I'll let you know. I'm always looking at catalogs and at flowers online.
Now get back to painting!

Jan said...

I sent the link of the picture to the horticulturist where my DH works and she says it's spiderwort and gave this link:


Jan said...

And here's a link to an image that looks very much like yours.


Teresa said...

Yay! Jan has solved the mystery of the purple flower (though I did think it would have a more elegant name than Spiderwort!).

Thanks, Jan...you're a peach!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Lovely pictures of growing things--I love your garden. I like the magnet idea--cool wedding favor. It sounds like you've been busy doing lots of things you enjoy--good for you!

meera said...

Beautiful garden!!!! Seems like we can look forward to some gorgeous paintings too :)

Mermaid's Palette said...

Wow, Teresa- busy, busy! As much as we love painting, when we also garden it keeps us busy too. It looks like you love gardening as much as I do!

Keith said...

Your day lily is brilliant. Mine are the best they have ever been this year, but not a patch on yours.

And just Fed-ex that cake to me NOW !

Dors said...

Wonderful garden Teresa. The cake looks yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the lovely photos of your garden.
Our veggie garden is a little sad right now with it being winter.

Candy said...

Teresa, your garden is gorgeous.

The magnets are such a clever idea and so cute!

Thank you for sharing the cake recipe. I bet it's delicious. I can't wait to try it.

Rosie said...

Sounds like you have been busy, Teresa! Your garden is lovely I think I'd spend lots of time there, too. The strawberry cake looks very tasty - just right for a summer garden party perhaps?:)

Pat said...

You have been busy!
And its all beautiful.. :) xx

Gary Keimig said...

great pixs Teresa

Ann said...

Thanks for the yummy sounding recipe! Your gardens are gorgeous - I would be out doors all the time too, with those beautiful flowers. The magnets are really cute! What a clever idea!

hmuxo said...

Beautiful garden!! love all those amazing colors, Teresa. And thanks for sharing this yummy recipe..looking forward to trying this.!

Mikko Tyllinen said...

Fantastic flowers! Very beautiful garden! all this beauty! amazing! Oh and the cake looks so delicious! :)

knittingdragonflies said...

The garden is beautiful! lots of painting inspiration there! Good going with the magnets! I've made those before and their fun, but on that scale?? LOL
Yummy cake!

Register domain name said...

Beautiful pictures and garden looks so nice.. I like this cake and it's so delicious. Thanks for sharing recipe details.

Annette said...

Hi girl, love the flowers you took and oh the cake that is the winner. Course I am sure no calories. :) My hubby's favorite, Strawberry cake, will have to try this one. All the little maganets, girl you are busy. Thanks for sharing all the pretty things and have a good weekend. xox

Koerdia said...

Wow, beautiful pictures! :)

Annette said...

Hi girl, well tried the yummy cake and was so good. We ate and ate on it and then put some in the freezer. Thanks for the cake recipe and we did enjoy !!!

Tam Hess said...

I love your blog! You must have a bunch of energy...how do you get it all done? Very inspirational! xoxo

Cathyann said...

Hey , Teresa! Finally getting to read some blogs and yours was first.
The flower is indeed a aspiderwort and my garden info told me that it is a common wildflower(weed to some)
I thought it was in the iris or lilly family when I first saw it.
Love your garden and amazed with your patience painting the button magnets!!!
Thanks for visiting me this summer and leaving all your kind comments.
Try and beat the heat.

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