Happy Halloween!

scarecrow halloween card watercolor doodlewash

Happy Halloween!

I doodlewashed this scarecrow by sketching it first in pencil  on watercolor paper, then dropping in water color paint, and finishing off by outlining with a Black .05 Micron Pen.  (inspired by an adorable design I saw at  Free Dearie Dolls Digi Stamps via a Google Image Search).

l made this little cutie into a card and sent to my sweet bestie, Jill, as a thank you for the adorable Halloween treats she sent from Wicked Good Cupcakes!

Wishing you a few fun tricks
and lots of treats
on this Halloween holiday!

Cheers & Hugs,

A”pear”antly Pears!

pears in watercolor

I am having so much fun loosening up and watercolor painting while learning online with Art Tutor.  What a great way to learn and grow at your own pace with lots of great tutorials!

These pears are a practice in negative painting in watercolor that I did last weekend.

I lightly sketched two pears in pencil, loosely dropped some yellow and red in them, let dry, and then negatively painted in blue and red.

Trying to get my creative groove back – loosening up and having fun!

Cheers & Hugs,

Cinnamon Chip Brown Sugar Cookies

cinnamon chip cookie stack

I’ve been bursting with excitement to share this recipe that is bursting with cinnamon flavor!

cinnamon chip cookies

I daresay this is my absolute FAVORITE new cookie recipe. So cinnamony perfect and delicious for this time of year!

cinnamon chip cookies 2

If you are a fan of cinnamon, this cookie is going to ROCK your WORLD!

I found this recipe on LemonsforLulu’s blog and couldn’t wait to try.

All I can say is – STOP reading right now… preheat your oven…. get out your mixer… “Do Not Pass Go,” “Do Not Collect $200.”

Thank me later…
I’ll be waiting to hear!

Cinnamon Chip Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:cinnamon chip cookie stack

  • 2 cups butter (at room temperature or you can slightly melt in microwave)
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
  • 2 10 oz bags Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl of a mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and combine.   Carefully add flour and combine until soft dough forms.  Stir in cinnamon chips.

Drop dough by tablespoons onto baking stone or cookie sheet. Bake just until edges are set, about 8­-9 minutes. Do not overbake.  Let cookies cool for another minute or two on the stone or baking sheet before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

These are absolutely the most amazing cinnamony luvin’ from the oven cookies ever!

Cheers & Hugs,

The Fragility of Life

bird silhouette on window

Oh beautiful bird
please be careful.
The reflection you see is deceiving.
The imprint you leave so haunting.

This photo is of a window in our breakfast nook where a bird recently hit, but survived (as far as we know).

I often look at it – –  and see
what looks like
angel wings…
or a spirit…
a symbol of flight…
a symbol of freedom….
a reminder of
the fragility of life.


Healthy and Oh So Yummy Italian Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti squash 1

I know I often post yummy cookie and dessert recipes (and do I ever have an amazing Cinnamon Chip Brown Sugar Cookie recipe I will be posting later this week that I think has become my ALL TIME FAVORITE cookie ever!  Get READY cinnamon lovers!)…

But I had to share this amazingly delicious, totally healthy, guilt-free recipe for SQUASH (of all things squash!) that has even won over hubby and son despite it’s “healthiness!”  Yahoo!

spaghetti squash 2

It is spaghetti squash – Italian style, and it barely has any calories despite it’s full-flavor and filling-ness.  You can eat oodles of this and not feel a bit guilty!

spaghetti squash

You can serve it as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish with a protein.

We had it as a side with dry-rubbed pork tenderloin on the grill and a fresh salad for Sunday dinner.

Here’s the recipe as I make it.  Hope you will try, and let me know what you think.  I would love to hear how you make it too!

Italian Spaghetti Squash

  • Servings: approximately 6
  • Print

Ingredients:spaghetti squash

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dried Italian Seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese to taste


  • Pierce whole squash 3-4 times with a fork, and microwave for approximately 12 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly until manageable to work with.
  • Cut squash in half and remove seeds.
  • Scrape squash with fork forming strands of “spaghetti,” and set aside.
  • In a large skillet saute chopped onion in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt until “sweated” out – 2-3 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add spaghetti squash and saute all together.
  • Add diced tomatoes and seasonings and saute all together.
  • Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!  It sure is great when you can find a recipe that is healthy, hearty, and full-flavored too!

Cheers & Hugs,

A Sketch Challenge for The Paper Players

pp268 sketch challenge bloom with hope and timeless elegance dsp

This week’s challenge at The Paper Players is a sketch challenge, so I created this sympathy card for my design team inspiration card.

A little designer series paper from Stampin’ Up’s Timeless Elegance, a little watercoloring on the stamped flower from SU Bloom with Hope, and a cute little bee cut out of English Garden DSP and bedazzled with some Glossy Accents to make it pop and shine!

pp268 sketch challenge bloom with hope and timeless elegance dsp closeup

On the inside, I stamped off the Bloom with Hope flower stamp a few times before stamping in the card to give it a lighter watermarked look and then added the sentiment on top.

pp268 sketch challenge bloom with hope and timeless elegance dsp inside

Hope my papercrafting friends will join us in The Paper Players sketch challenge  #PP268 this week.  I also have to say the other design team members’ cards are exceptionally amazing this week.  Check out these talented ladies!

Claire Creates Cards
Stampin! with Jaydee
The Crafty Owl
Stamping Up North
Week Inklings
Canopy Crafts
Stamp with Sandy
Stamp with Amy K
My Paper Tales

Cheers & Hugs,

Awesomely Autumn

Fence and Autumn Tree Watercolor Card

It is awesomely Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and I can’t remember the last time I have enjoyed this season so much!

Is it a more beautiful than ever one this year?  

It seems to be peaking a bit later or lasting a bit longer this year…

The sky seems bluer…

the sun warmer and brighter…

the air fresher…

the colors more vibrant.

Or has it always been like this and I am just learning to appreciate it?

Charlie and I try to talk a walk every day, and there is a beautiful yard we walk by that has this fence that has often attracted me and I have photographed before.  The colors of the trees around it yesterday were so amazing! They inspired me to come back and paint late afternoon.

I have been struggling with my watercolor painting lately… I keep thinking that I should be doing much better at this point, but then I don’t do it as much as I would like.

This little painting just felt good to do.  I was relaxed and just took a half hour to unwind and enjoy.  It is surely not a work of art, but it is a work of heART, and I’m okay with that.

Some wise artist friends have been offering great advice, and I am learning that sometimes trying too hard or not just enjoying what we are doing can stifle our creativity.  I am trying to worry less about what the end result will be and let the art speak for itself, so this is what I ended up with.

My “Mom 2,” Carole, has been an inspiration to me in the journey to learn to love Fall.  She chooses a special tree each day to appreciate, and has influenced me think about it too.

This was my tree yesterday, and I am going to send her this card to let her know how much I appreciate and think of her.

Hope you are having an awesomely amazing Autumn (or Spring for those in the Southern Hemi!).  Happy Weekend!

Cheers & Hugs,

Autumn Bucket List

Autumn tree loose watercolor

  • Enjoy long walks kicking crunchy leaves and smashing acorns
  • Deeply inhale the crisp Fall air
  • Snuggle under blankets by a warm crackling fire
  • Sip warm spiked apple cider
  • Gobble up honey-sweetened candy corn
  • Buy Halloween candy for Trick or Treaters (that never come) – and eat it all
  • Bake apple cakes and apple crisps and apple pies
  • Wear hoodies and flannel shirts and yoga pants
  • Break out the fuzzy slippers
  • Watch football games and eat salsa and guacamole
  • Cook chili and stew all day long in a crockpot
  • Bake pumpkin EVERYthing
  • Roast salted pumpkin seeds
  • Burn cinnamon-scented candles
  • Sip dark, dry red wine
  • Jump in a pile of leaves
  • Learn a new soup recipe
  • Curl up with a good book
  • Write a long letter to a friend
  • Paint with red and yellow and orange
  • Hug the people you love

Cheers & Hugs,