Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Busy painting today, but not on the thing I should be working on. I have started a painting that I want to enter into a show. It needs to be finished. But here I am finishing up these little paintings I started a couple of years ago.

But at least I'm painting!

Psycho Kitty

Psycho Kitty with Green Background

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Watercolors

New Watercolor on my Studio Table, originally uploaded by Melsky.

I haven't titled this one yet. It's the second one in my series of spring watercolors.

I am having a hard time scanning it because my scanner renders the image in too high of a contrast, making the background all blotchy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy for Spring

Happy for Spring, originally uploaded by Melsky.

I've been in kind of a funk lately, about painting. I've been finding it hard to get motivated and paint every day. So I decided to work in some other formats. At first I did some collage/assemblage pieces, and they were ok, but I still wasn't feeling excited about the art.

Then I got out my watercolors and I'm really enjoying them. This first painting turned out very well. I've decided to do a series of spring themed watercolors.

I've already completed another painting in the series but it's not scanning well. It has a lot of variations in the coloring, and these are not coming out in the scan, it's showing up at a much higher contrast than it should be. I may have to use photographs, which will be hard to set up. But anyway, I'm happy that the paintings are coming out well.

This painting shows up very badly in this blog, click on the picture to see it larger.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Originally uploaded by Melsky
Yesterday was my birthday, it was pretty low key but enjoyable. My husband took me to dinner at a seafood restaurant which we have been to several times and like. He gave me a new edition of the CD London Calling by the Clash which has extra songs on it and video footage of the Clash recording some of the songs on the album.

I also got this Dutch Oven , which I picked out myself. I really love cast iron.

This morning I found that I had sold something on Etsy which I was very pleased about.

The snow has mostly melted, but I did manage to go skiing twice this weekend before the dreaded rain started.

Today I will be taking a long walk, part of which will be to the post office to mail my etsy sale.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup or Dip (and it's vegan)

This is great for a cold winter day.

Melsky's Crock Pot Black Bean Soup or Dip

All amounts are approximate; it’s a good recipe to experiment with

3 15oz cans beans

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 red bell pepper

2 onions

3 cloves garlic

3 stalks celery

2 large carrots

1/3 cup olive oil

Slice red pepper and put in crock pot with cumin, red pepper flakes and olive oil

Slice and add onions, carrots, garlic and celery

Cook on high for at least an hour, preferably two. Stir every half hour or so.

Add 2 ½ cans beans and cook for several hours

With a hand blender, blend until soup is smooth, adding water if needed

Add the remaining beans.

If you want to make bean dip instead, just don't add water. If it's too liquid, cook it for a while with the top off.

You can also make it chunky style, just don't blend it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Another distance in time painting

Woman and Leaf, originally uploaded by Melsky.

This is a painting I started in 2003 or 2004. I remember I was still living in the desert. I've been going through and finishing up a bunch of my half finished work.

I like doing this, sometimes it's as if the painting was started by someone else.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Unseasonable Thaw

Unseasonable Thaw, originally uploaded by Melsky.

I went on a long walk yesterday, from downtown Syracuse up Erie street to Eastwood. It takes an hour. The snow was melting and there were rivers of water everywhere. I was glad I was wearing my waterproof snow boots.

I really wish it would snow though, I want to go skiing in the park. I should have bought water skis instead of cross country. It's supposed to snow for the next few days so hopefully it will.

I haven't been doing too much creative the past few days except for photography.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Syracuse Street Scene

This is an Artist Trading Card (atc). It's the same size as a baseball card. It's my first painting of Syracuse. I don't know what happened with the scan. It's kind of blurry.

I'm happy to be painting some more local things. I started this last fall.

I drove for the first time the other day. It felt very natural and easy, I forgot that I hadn't driven for three whole years. I just need to schedule the actual driving part of the test and take it and I will have my license.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Easy Pumpkin Muffins - so moist and good.

Best Pumpkin Muffins Ever, originally uploaded by Melsky.

These were so good! They were also very easy. I used this recipe, but I used whole wheat flour. I did use the whole can of pumpkin like she did. They are incredibly moist. I didn't add the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top. I think they would be good as cupcakes with frosting on top. Next time I make them I plan on adding walnuts, which I meant to do this time but forgot.

They are not good when warm, they were a bit gooey at first but when they cooled they reached a perfect moist yet firm texture. It's a little bit like pumpkin pie, with the large amount of pumpkin and the two eggs.

Instead of pumpkin pie spice called for in the recipe I used a quarter tablespoon each of powdered ginger, cloves and nutmeg, and a tablespoon of cinnamon.

On edit: I have made these muffins a bunch of times and have included my version of the recipe since I've made so many changes.

Melsky's Pumpkin Muffins


1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup bran

1 tsp baking powder

1 15 oz can pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1.25 cups sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350F.

Generously butter a 12 cup muffin tin, or use paper liners

Whisk together flour, bran and baking powder in a small bowl.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, spices, vanilla, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in dry mixture until just combined. Do not over mix, that can make muffins too dense.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups

Bake until muffin springs back when touched, 25 to 30 minutes.

These are best eaten when cool, because they are slightly mushy when you first take them out of the oven. If you would like to eat them warm, I recommend slicing them in half and toasting them.

Variation: Add ½ cup walnuts, dried cranberries or raisins if desired

You can also omit the bran and just use another half cup wheat flour.