Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paris Twilight

Trying something a little different here in the latest addition to my "Windows On The Square" series.  Going for sort of an old world look.  Can't decide if I like the horizontal or vertical version best. 

Paris Twilight - Horizontal

Paris Twilight - Vertical

Horizontal - vertical - can't decide.  Either way it would look great on canvas as shown here.  Buy Print. 

"Windows on the Square" is a series I started several years ago showing off my very picturesque hometown - Paris, Tennessee.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Talented Family

My niece, Deanna Cullen and her daughter, Sara are entering the Mid South Fair this week.  I come from a very talented family.

One of Sara's creations.

One of Deanna's creations.

To see more of their creations please visit Deanna's blog.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Craft Show

Every September there is a craft show at Paris Landing State Park.  This year the weather was perfect, temp in the 80's, pleasant breeze and sunny skies.



My favorite thing was the . . .


Friday, September 10, 2010

My Love Affair With Basil

Growing a few herbs is one of my favorite past times and basil - well basil!  I just love basil!

I put out four large leaf plants this year and volunteer plants from last year’s seeds have sprung up here and there. I have been letting them grow wherever because we never seem to have enough basil. We probably use more basil than any other seasoning next to salt, pepper and garlic.

We are eating the stuff almost as fast as I can pick it - so trying to put some up for winter has been challenging. Drying basil or other herbs is really easy.

I use one of those old fashioned, accordion style clothes drying racks. I place the rack in my guest bedroom (which is seldom used for guest). I try to pick large branches of basil so I can just hook them over the rails.

It takes a week or so for everything to get crispy dry. Maybe longer. Check for crispness. Drying herbs will fade in bright sunlight, so the darker the drying space the better.

 Once the herbs are crispy dry - carefully remove them from the drying rack. If they are really crisp leaves will start to fall off when you move them. If you have a pet, as I do (yes - that is Murphy sneaking by in this photo) you might want to put a towel on the floor to catch the leaves and keep them sanitary.

Once you have them off the rack, just strip the leaves and store in air-tight containers. I do not crush the leaves. Keeping the leave intact as long as possible helps preserve the essential oils that give herbs so much flavor and fragrance. I just stuff them into containers and of course some of them get crushed in the process. When you are ready to use the herbs simply rub them between your fingers to crush.

By the end of summer I will have several gallons of dried basil- so no - it will not fit in those fancy little bottles that come with most spice racks.  

Canning jars work just fine and look pretty sitting on my kitchen counter.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we had.  Celebrated two birthdays - my 85 year young sweet Mother and our 3 year old granddaughter.
The weather was beautiful.  The lake had lots of boaters.

The birds were well fed and happy!

Anne's petunias were delerious!

And we ate too much!  This is only the Saturday night feast.

Aubie & Addie had a contest to see who could blow the hardest without blowing out the candle.
The contest did not last long.

We revisited Halloween.

Aubrey got to terrify her little sister with the Halloween mask.  That's Addie running for her life.

Addie discovered cherry tomatoes are just her size.

Did I mention, we ate too much.  This is Eric getting ready to grill Sunday's feast.

Monday, Labor Day, I truly felt like I was about to go into labor. 
Is it just a southern thing or does everyone eat too much on holiday weekends?

A perfect end to a perfect weekend.

The Quiet Before The Storm

Sleep while you can Murphy.  The Girls are on their way over.

This is one of Murph's favorite sleeping spots.  It's next to his pet door which faces south and gives him a sunny, but air conditiioned spot to lay in all day.  I snapped this photo a few minutes before our two granddaughters, aged 3 and 5, arrived. 

The girls always look for him.  He mysteriously disappears until after they leave.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Labor Day Vacation Plans

I was in town the other day when someone mentioned Labor Day and asked where I was going for the holiday weekend.

It kind of threw me for a loop because - you see - I now live in the place that I always used to go to on vacation. Kentucky Lake at Paris Landing. - and - it’s one of the hottest vacation spots in this neck of the woods.

Right now, things are pretty quite out here at the lake. Very little traffic, not much going on except for the store vendors stocking up for the holiday.

But Friday afternoon folks will start pouring in. There will be more cars than you can shake a stick at - boats, Rvs, golf carts, motorcycles. Saturday morning the folks down at the 4 Way Grill and the Trading Post will have more customers than can find parking places. The boat ramps will be backed up and by late morning the lake will be buzzing with all kinds of boats.

For three days these folks will wear shorts, tee shirts, bathing suits, flip flops, tennis shoes, and not much else. They will leave their suits and silk dresses at home. They may or may not brush their hair as skiing and boating seem to have a way of rearranging hairdos. They will be boating, skiing, seadoing, fishing, swimming and just about anything else you can legally do in a large body of water - any maybe some of the illegal stuff too. Some of them will get crazy and do things they would never do at home. They will play and have so much fun that when it gets dark they will just be worn out. They will sleep hard and wake up the next day and do it all over again. Until finally - late Monday they will head back home. And then I can go back on vacation. Me and the few other folks who live in this little corner of the world year round will once again have the place all to ourselves.

How Murphy Became Famous

If you have ever tried to take a good photograph of a black cat - you know it can be tricky. If the cat lives in a house with dark burgundy carpet - it’s even trickier. And if the cat you are trying to photograph is Murphy - it’s just almost impossible.

Over the years I have taken lots of photos of him. Most of them were horrible. He won’t sit still, the flash bounces off his eyes (looks like a devil cat), he blends into the carpet - etc. A few photos were good enough for a family photo album, but most were just horrible.

One day I caught him sitting at our storm door, staring through the glass, watching the birds. He was really into it - making that little clicking sound cats make when they are trying to convince birds that they are just another bird. “Come here little birdy. It’s safe. I’m just another bird although I know I must look like a big, fat, black cat.”

Anyway - he sat there long enough for me to get the camera and really get things set right for a good photo. This was the result.


Not only has this become one of my best selling prints but it convinced me that I could actually take a half way decent photo of a difficult subject. Of course the photo is manipulated - that’s just what I do to create my style of art. And this art piece has really gone to Murphy’s head. He knows he famous now. You would think he had posed for the Mona Lisa!!! Such an attitude!!! Every now and then he will honor me with another decent pose

"Black Cat - Golden Eyes"

Sometimes I have to remind myself that - after all - he is just a cat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cat Days of Summer

No - he’s not dead. But our eastern facing screened in porch has become his favorite spot as of late. And even though the temperature might be hitting 100 today - this is where he wants to be.

If I don’t let him out - this is where he spends most of his time. Staring out the glass door at his favorite spot. Just wishing I would open the door.

Just so he can go back to laying in his favorite spot.

Doesn’t he look like a cranky old man whose nap has been interrupted?

September Wall Calendars

September!!!  Wonderful, glorious, beautiful September!  September is one of my favorite months because:

  • August is over and August is always the hottest, driest, most miserable month around here.
  • Some of my favorite people were born this month.
  • It's the beginning of fall and cooler weather - but not winter.
  • There's just something about September that makes me frisky!
So - I have these wall calendars I do every month for your desk top.  They are local scenes from around my neighborhood.  Not sure how well they will work from this blog.  The whole idea is that you right click on the image you want to use, then you go down to "save as" and click, then save it where ever you store photos for your desktop.  If it comes out blurry or bitmap from this blog go to my fan page on Facebook at Artist Lee Owenby and click on the image to get the big version, then right click, etc.

This little boy who is playing with a rabbit in a pot full of petunias lives in my Mom's front yard.  He is there year round with his rabbit.  We've become very attached to him.  My sister, Anne is the goddess of petunias.  She only has to plant them once and they come back every year.  When I plant them they die.

I know it's a little late in the year for wild roses but I just had to squeeze this in before winter.  In May, every year the wild roses bloom in Henry County.  This particular batch grows in the right of way next to our driveway.  It always amazes me that despite the fact that the county sprays them with Round Up every year and mows them down several times during the summer - they always come back.  And they are gorgeous!  Wild roses seem to have the most fragrant blooms of all roses.  Just had to share.  I love these roses!