Tomato Bruschetta Chicken

Tomato watercolor 5x7 arches 140lb rough DS Pyrrol Scarlett Hanssa Yello Green Gold Sap Green

Tomato watercolor 5×7 arches 140lb rough DS Pyrrol Scarlett Hanssa Yello Green Gold Sap Green

Oh fresh, sweet, vine-ripened ruby red tomato…
How I love you from my head to-ma-toes!

It is tomato time of year around here, and there is nothing finer than a fresh-picked tomato right from the vine to the dinner table.

For today’s #WorldWatercolorMonth painting, I give you …. the Tomato…. in Daniel Smith Pyrrol Scarlett, Hansa Yellow, Green Gold, and Sap Green.

And to celebrate, here is a recipe for what we had for dinner the other evening – Brushetta Chicken.  A plump grilled chicken breast smothered with fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with sweet, juicy tomatoes, basil, and garlic.

Oh the yumminess!

And even better – oh the easiness!

Hope you’ll give this winner winner chicken dinner a try.  We had it with some brown rice and quinoa and a fresh spinach salad.  How will you serve yours?

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken


  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts seasoned with garlic herb seasoning and salt
  • 1 large ripe red tomato
  • 1 large ripe yellow tomato or 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices fresh mozarella cheese, optional


Prepare Bruschetta by chopping tomatoes and combining with chopped basil, minced garlic, salt, olive oil and vinegar.  Let sit and flavors mingle while you grill chicken breasts.

Top grilled chicken breasts with slices of mozzarella cheese, if desired, for last few minutes on grill and let melt.

To serve, top grilled chicken breast with large spoonful of fresh bruschetta and enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,


Looking Sharp Cashew!

Cashew the Cactus Watercolor 5x7

Cashew The Cactus Looking Sharp Watercolor 5×7

My son, Nick, has a cactus plant.
His name is “Cashew.”

He put Cashew out on the deck recently
to give him some bright sunshine and warmth.

Cashew used to be quite overgrown,
but after several months of neglect, he is being revived.

On Sunday, when he was outside
grilling the burgers for dinner

and my camera was set up ready to take a photo
for the Guacamole Burger blog post,

Nick decided to shoot some “glamour shots” of Cashew.
After all, Cashew was looking pretty Sharp!

Cashew Cactus Glamour Shot - Looking Sharp

Yep – Looking Sharp Cashew!
I’d really say you do!

Cheers & Hugs,

Day 20 Silliness

Abstract Paw Print: A Charlie Guest Post

Charlie Dog Paw Print Watercolor Cobalt Teal Blue Prussian Blue and Quinacridone Gold

Charlie Dog Paw Print Watercolor Cobalt Teal Blue Prussian Blue and Quinacridone Gold

Hi Friends!
Remember me?  Your best buddy and pal, Charlie?

It’s been a while, but Mom finally gave in to let me get a word (and a paw print) in edge wise!

Since July is #WorldWatercolorMonth, Mom said I had to contribute a watercolor painting if I was going to do a guest blog post.

I thought about painting a juicy, mouth-watering rack of ribs, but hey… I’d rather EAT those!

I also thought about painting a kitty, like my friend Sebastian, but that is a little challenging without opposable thumbs.

I considered painting one of my favorite sticks to chew on or my blue ball or a fun, squeaky donut….

But after all this thinking, I was starting to get awfully sleepy

What could I paint?

I must say I’m getting a little tired of all the “pink stuff” going on around here by the way…..

Don’t get me wrong – I get it that Mom is super excited about becoming a Grandma soon, and since it’s a girl, she’s really kinda being googly ga ga because she’s the only girl around our house…. but seriously…..  enough with the pink, the coral, the pastel….  GAG!

So I finally decided to do a little abstract piece in Cobalt Teal Blue, Prussian Blue, and one of Mom’s and my favorites, Quinacridone Gold.

For my piece, I simply dipped my paw in water to achieve a wet-on-wet watercolor technique.  I then spit dropped the paint in to let it flow and drip and create its own watercolor magic.

Painting is really fun!

As you may already know, I am adopted.  I was lost until Mom and Dad and my new family found me.  I am so fortunate they helped me.

And I want to help KIDS!  Kids who want to create art, but aren’t able because they don’t have paint or paper or the resources they need.  That’s really what #WorldWatercolorMonth is all about you know…  It’s about raising awareness for underprivileged kids who really want to create art or learn about art or have the opportunity to choose art.

Mom and I hope you will consider donating to the Zebra Foundation in any small or large way.  The wonderful people at The Zebra Foundation understand the importance of art and creativity in the world.

Join us in celebrating by donating watercolor supplies to support underprivileged young artists worldwide! With your help, we can provide much needed support for kids in need.    Just like I was 9 months ago – a dog in need – given a new life!

Woofs & Wags,

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link:   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Avocado Watercolor & Guacamole Burgers

Avocado Watercolor - 5x7 Arches 140lb Rough - Ansa Yellow, Green-Gold, Panes Gray, Burnt Umber

Avocado Watercolor – 5×7 Arches 140lb Rough – Ansa Yellow, Green-Gold, Panes Gray, Burnt Umber

I love avocados!  When they are at their peak of ripeness, there is nothing more amazing with just a sprinkle of salt.

Avocado is great smeared on whole grain toast for breakfast and topped with a fried egg.  It is wonderful for lunch cut up into a fresh green salad.  It makes an amazing dip for tortilla chips.  And it is a fabulous addition to a juicy, grilled burger for a great summertime supper sandwich!

Avocado Burger

Yesterday, I made a batch of fresh guacamole from some avocados I had that were right at their peak of ripeness and decided to use it as a topping to some fresh grilled burgers for a hot summer Sunday supper.  We enjoyed the burgers with some fresh sweet corn on the cob and a tossed green salad.  It was the perfect meal to end a warm, relaxing weekend.


If the green color makes you nervous, let me tell you I have never had anyone try my guacamole that didn’t end up loving it – even the skeptics.  Hope you’ll give it a try.  Not only is it yummy, it is quite healthy!  Avocados have more potassium than bananas, are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, and are packed with fiber.  Adding garlic, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice, make it even better!

Guacamole Burgers

Ingredients:Avocado Burger


Prepare guacamole and set aside (covered tightly with plastic wrap to avoid air that will brown the avocados).

Mix ground beef and onion soup mix until well combined.  Form mixture into 6 large hamburger patties.  Grill burgers to medium-well (or your desired doneness).   Top with a slice of white American cheese, and allow to melt.

To assemble, place burger on bun, top with guacamole and sliced tomato.


Cheers & Hugs,

Cinnamon Chip Scones

cinnamon chip scones watercolor 5x7 arches 140lb cold press, raw sienna, cad orange, burnt sienna, burnt umber

cinnamon chip scones watercolor 5×7 arches 140lb cold press, raw sienna, cad orange, burnt sienna, burnt umber

I first shared this recipe I am “almost famous” for about two years ago here.

I made them twice this week for two different occasions, so when time came for me to decide on a watercolor painting for #WorldWatercolorMonth today – Cinnamon Chip Scones it was.

My painting does not do these amazingly yummy scones justice, but trust me, you and anyone you serve these to will LOVE them.

Here is what they really look like.

cinnamon chip scones

Cinnamon Chip Scones

Ingredients:cinnamon chip scones

2 3/4  Cups Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 Sticks Cold Butter
3/4 – 1 Cup Buttermilk (easy substitute is 1Tbsp white vinegar added to 1 cup milk)
1 10 oz. bag Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips
Coarse Raw Sugar for Sprinkling



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Cut butter into small cubes and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs are formed.  Pour in vanilla and buttermilk, and mix with pastry blender just until incorporated.  Pour in bag of cinnamon chips.  Dump dough onto counter and gently shape into a 15″ x 3″ rectangle.  Cut dough in half, then each half in half, then each quarter in half, so that you have 8 rectangles.  Cut each rectangle on the diagonal to form 16 triangular shaped scones.

Place on backing stone or cookie sheet, brush with some milk or water, and sprinkle with coarse raw sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes on stone or cookie sheet, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.  Best served immediately.

Cheers & Hugs,

Feathers Appear When Angels are Near

Blue Watercolor Feather - 5x7 Arches 140lb Cold Press - Prussian Blue, Cobalt Teal, Quinacridone Gold

Blue Watercolor Feather – 5×7 Arches 140lb Cold Press – Prussian Blue, Cobalt Teal, Quinacridone Gold

In light of all the tragedy and horrific events happening in the world,
I am choosing to find goodness, and beauty, and love, and happiness.

It is so easy to get caught up in the news and give more power to the demons
who do such things as drive trucks into crowds of innocent people celebrating life.

Instead, I found peace in art the other evening…

In thoughts of angels among us…

Angels in the form of good people
who do good things…
who spread happiness
and love and hope.

It is sometimes said that feathers appear when angels are near,
so I painted this blue feather to remind myself of the beauty and goodness that is also so close.

Blue is meant to bring a calming and peaceful energy.

May this simple blue feather I painted for #WorldWatercolorMonth today
be a symbol to you
of the angels among us.

Cheers & Hugs,

Feeling Grape!

Watercolor Grapes

Watercolor Grapes – 5×7 140lb Arches Cold Press

Happy Friday!

Are you feeling Grape?!

For my #WorldWatercolorMonth painting today, I’ve painted a loose, juicy bunch of grapes.

I love painting wet-in-wet and watching the colors flow.  It was fun to paint circles of water, drop paint in, and let the paint do its thing.  I toyed with adding some definition with a Micron pen or another wash of watercolor to the grapes, but then decided to just let them be loose and simple and be their own grape selves!

Hope you have a Grape Friday!  (maybe with a few fermented ones involved in your evening hours!)

Cheers & Hugs,

P.S.   I had this post scheduled before hearing the horrific news last evening of yet another horrific, deadly terrorist attack in France.  Though my heart is heavy with grief for this kind of ugliness in our world, I also hope we can focus on the goodness… the beauty… the kindness… and the love that outweighs this ugliness a trillion-fold.

Cherish the moments friends.  Cherish the moments.

A Watercolor Ice Cream Cone

Watercolor Ice Cream Cone 5 x 7 140 lb Arches Cold Press - Raw Sienna & Permanent Rose

Watercolor Ice Cream Cone 5 x 7 140 lb Arches Cold Press – Raw Sienna & Permanent Rose

It has been HOT HOT HOT here this week!
Sweet, steamy summer time.

What better way to celebrate…
to embrace…
to bask in the gloriousness…

than with a sweet, cool, summertime treat –
an ice cream cone!

Strawberry no less!

And this Sunday, July 17 is #NationalIceCreamDay!  National Ice Cream Day is celebrated each year on the 3rd Sunday in July and is a part of National Ice Cream Month.  This day is a fun celebration enjoyed with a bowl, cup or cone filled with your favorite flavor of ice cream.

I really enjoyed painting this strawberry ice cream cone for #WorldWatercolorMonth in just two colors – raw sienna for the cone using a wet in dry technique, and wet in wet permanent rose for the sweet, creamy, juicy, ice cream.

May your hot summer days be filled with sweet, cool treats!

Cheers & Hugs,

On this day… three years ago

happy 3rd anniversary watercolor and mixed media card gesso newsprint, tim holtz tea dye ink, perm rose

Mixed Media Card – Newsprint, Gesso, Watercolor, Tea Dye Ink

On this day three years ago, I gained a very special daughter-in-law.

On this day three years ago, I watched my oldest son’s dreams come true when he married the girl I always knew was “the one.”

On this day three years ago, my youngest son gave the most incredible toast to his big brother and new sister I have ever heard in my life.

On this day three years ago, I danced to “What a Wonderful World” with my son…

and my husband brought the house down dancing to Katy Perry’s “Firework” with our McHendy daughter, Jackie.

On this day three years ago, a new family was born – a family that during their third year will take 1 + 1 and = 3.

Happy Anniversary Jake and Colleen!

Love you,
Mom ❤

For this #WorldWatercolorMonth card, I painted a thin coat of white gesso over some newsprint DSP.  Once dry, I painted a watercolor heart in Permanent Rose using my Rekab320s brush and added some splatters.  I then sponged some Tim Holtz Tea Dye Ink around the edges and used a distressing tool to “age” it.  I finished it up with a black die-cut “happy,” a few pearls and some baker’s twine.

Oh the Places we will Go!

Watercolor Pink Hot Air Balloon 8x10 140lb Arches Cold Press Quin Magenta & Quin Gold - Rekab 320s Brush

Watercolor Pink Hot Air Balloon 8×10 140lb Arches Cold Press Quin Magenta & Quin Gold – Rekab 320s Brush

Oh the places we will go….
Oh the things that we will do….

Oh the beauty we will see…..
Oh the love that there will be.

Dreaming of the the places, things, beauty, and love that I will experience upon the arrival of my first grandchild – my granddaughter – in just a few short months…

Oh how happy I will be!

Cheers & Hugs,

This watercolor was done using 1 brush (Rekab 320s Size 2 Squirrel Mop that Debi Riley creates magic with), 2 paint colors (Quinacridone Magenta and Quinacridone Gold), and a splash or two of rubbing alcohol on Arches 140 lb. Cold Press Paper using a wet on wet technique.  I added the words by simply writing with a Stabilo Aquarellable #8046 Pencil.

painting watercolor hot air balloon with rekab 320s

When I originally bought this Rekab 320s brush after reading how much Debi loves it and uses it (and which I could only find via mail order from an art shop in Australia), I liked it, but basically only used it as a “mop” for big, wet washes. It was the second “good” brush I bought.   It holds an amazing amount of water and paint, and I was amazed at the difference painting with such a high-quality brush makes.

painting watercolor hot air balloon with rekab 320s 2

After inquiring a bit more about how Debi does so much with it, she mentioned it can be used in many ways, even to create fine lines by simply flicking off the excess water and allowing the hairs to form a tight point.  Well… Wow – was she right!   I have discovered the magic of this amazing brush and am so thrilled.  Thanks Debi!  I still can’t create amazing painting like you, but I sure do understand why you love this brush, and I plan to play with it a lot more.

And PS – do you see my awesome #WorldWatercolorMonth mug in the photos above?! Isn’t it pretty sweet?  You can have one too, as well as a number of other fun #WorldWatercolorMonth SWAG at Charlie O’s Doodlewash Society 6 Shop.  And the BEST thing is – 100 PERCENT of the proceeds from your purchases go to the The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, where you can provide art and music supplies to under-privileged children throughout the world.

Research has shown that art education has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the learning field across socioeconomic boundaries. Unfortunately, arts education programs are too often the first to be cut when cuts are necessary, so more and more children each year are missing out on the important benefits of art classes.

Please keep in mind that beyond having fun and sharing our watercolor painting adventures this month, a bigger and higher purpose is to help affect real change and begin to reverse this trend.   Please consider even a $10 donation.  Imagine what a difference we could make if we all gave just the cost of a lunch out.