Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter, Illustration Friday

Today, the winter rains washed away tired reminders of the previous months. Hoping there is a fresh and happier new year waiting for its cue...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mail, Illustration Friday

If you don't already have too much on your plate this week, then let me "send" you over to They Draw and Cook, where Nate and Salli, along with the FN Dish are hosting an illustrated holiday recipe exchange.

For a tropical twist on a cookie classic, I submitted my recipe for "Coconut Snowballs." Bite sized, buttery coconut shortbread dusted with powdered sugar might be the next best thing to being wrapped, stamped and mailed to the tropics for Christmas!

Hope you have time to bake a batch- Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Phenomenon, Illustration Friday

At this time of the year, it would be difficult to ignore the phenomenon of the Star of Bethlehem, a bright star in the eastern sky which led the wise men to the birthplace of the baby Jesus. The miracle of His birth inspired the celebration of Christmas and generations of faithful followers who practice Christianity.

Tonight, a different type of celestial phenomenon will be occurring. The Geminid meteor shower should be visible under clear skies, sending long streaks and flashes of light among the stars throughout the late night and on through the early morning. Bundle up and take a peek, and enjoy a heavenly gift from above!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Prehistoric, Illustration Friday

Just starting to feel the crunch of the holiday season starting to bear down like a rock this week. If this happens to look familiar, the image was previously posted for "Subterranean," back in March. Still, I wanted to offer a submission for this week's prompt! Here's a little holiday repurposing...And hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
*Speaking of thoughts, as much fun as we have with the holiday season, there are those who might be facing challenging situations. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sneaky, Illustration Friday

As much as we love our traditional Thanksgiving feast here in the USA, it can't be too much fun for the turkeys. Not exactly keen on taking the "tofurky" route yet, I still look forward to another holiday tradition when the President "pardons" a turkey whose neck might otherwise have met the chopping block.
This year, two turkeys were excused from their "guests of honor" duties at the dinner table, but I'm guessing there are probably other sneaky feathered friends out there, taking a cue from distant relatives migrating south for the winter. For those who are able to fly the coop, I hope they're traveling to the tropics and catching a suntan, rather than surrounded by trimmings on a platter and getting basted to a buttery golden brown!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Burning, Illustration Friday

Trying to be on my best behavior at this time of the year, since Santa is tallying up his gift list for the well behaved. Every year, my mom used to ask him for five good kids. Whether she was rewarded her wish or not was never determined because were usually too busy making tracks, out of a spanking's reach. Speaking of tracks, Hot Wheel tracks were often the weapon of choice, or whatever else we still had scattered across the floor when she asked us to clean up.
"Spare the rod and spoil the child" never crossed many of our parents' minds back in those days. Maybe we exaggerate the severity of the punishment just a little bit, now that "time outs" have become standard. But after we'd all experienced our share of burning bottoms, I'd have to say that my mom finally got her wish.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Afterwards, Illustration Friday

Afterwards, everybody pitched in and helped clean up the dishes.

Don't you just love when that happens?

Just another Thursday night post for Illustration Friday...Afterwards, I'll breathe a sigh of relief, having barely sneaked under the wire, just hours before next week's challenge!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spent, Illustration Friday

Obviously, I've used up the week seeing to other tasks before submitting my post to Illustration Friday. That's what happens when the week that welcomes the first days of November turn out to be as gorgeous as anybody could've asked for here in southern California. Warm days, cool nights, low tides that invite a mid day stroll along the shore...It's like spring fever all over again. Never mind that the holidays, blogging and other pressing matters are pending.

Looking out the window on one of these crisp mornings just before dawn, I observed the moon hanging low, nestled in the acacias. Still bright, it appeared to be tiptoeing in, having spent a crazy night chasing stars across the autumn sky.

Hope you've all survived the Halloween candy surge and hope to see how you've "spent" the rest of your week!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Racing, Illustration Friday

Like this little spider, I'm racing to wish everybody a Happy Halloween! Illustration Friday will post a new word tomorrow, but these busy fingers might be preparing to meet the little trick or treaters who will pass this way. Hope the night brings treats and the tricksters are merciful!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spooky, Illustration Friday

Which is most spooky?
a) Walking into any store at this time of the year and being greeted by aisles full of candy, creepy Halloween decor, costumes and masks?
b) Turning the corner to the next row and finding the store employee putting the finishing touches on the Christmas displays?
c)Being reminded that the holiday season is in full swing?
Time marches on, as they say. But tell that to a person who's posting her interpretation of this week's topic for Illustration Friday much later into the next week!
Hope you already completed yours!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Transportation, Illustration Friday

Back when I was a kid, we didn' t have school buses. They existed, we just didn't live far enough from our schools to be able to ride them. Except for two years in junior high, we were always located on the farthest boundary where the districts determined who would walk or who would be bussed. Rides were given on rainy days, if we were lucky. Needless to say, my shoes were always worn out before the next pair replaced them.
As usual, I pondered what I'd offer Illustration Friday this week, while walking my dogs. Transportation, as I learned as a kid, meant feet. As in "Trick or treat, smell my feet!" I hope the tradition of kids on foot, dressed in their costumes and pleading for candy continues. It's one night of the year that we actually see some of our neighborhood kids on foot! And yes, we'll still be handing out the treats!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Recently, I discovered that a special surprise was waiting for me from the very talented Leen Christens. When I visited her blog, she had an award waiting for me!
Accepting this award, I promised to pass it on to my own list of lovely bloggers, (guys, you are included). Each of these friendly people has taken a moment to stop by for a visit and share some of their talents. They're all equally appreciated, especially considering that they're busily creating beautiful art, sharing secrets, tips, techniques and successes over at their own studios. Are you familiar with them? If not, take a minute and visit them. I hope you enjoy their work as much as I do!

My Lovely Bloggers:

Enjoy! :o)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beneath, Illustration Friday

When was the last time a piñata cracked open and the children waited patiently until all the treats fell out? If candy is falling from the sky, you can bet excited kids will be diving beneath the clouds to catch a few handfuls of the sweet stuff!
Safety first, of course!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Old-Fashioned, Illustration Friday

It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it.' ~ Audrey Hepburn

Illustration Friday offered a dose of reality with this prompt. Having just celebrated a birthday earlier in the week, I'm getting well acquainted with many things that have already been. But no matter one's age, simple old- fashioned notions will always stand up to the test of time!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Acrobat, Illustration Friday

"The poet like an acrobat climbs on rime to a high wire of his own making." ~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Sometimes the high wire isn't so high, but it's still a stretch. And sometimes, things just snap.

Illustration Friday, how about a few acrobats in the belfry?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Proverb, Illustration Friday

"A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience." ~ Miguel de Cervantes

Silence is golden, until the next post!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dessert, Illustration Friday

"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." ~ Ernestine Ulmer

Meet Mister E. Pye, who gives "dessert to die for" a whole new meaning. As Illustration Friday suggested, desserts were what was on the menu this past week. Too bad Mister E. Pye didn't know Ernestine!

With Halloween looming within sight, the ghosts and goblins are starting to act up. Do they serve their pie with "I scream," and is that "a la moan?"

Oh, I am just killing myself! See you next week!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Immovable, Illustration Friday

Immovable. Have you ever felt like that? This week, the word must have hit home so hard, it was difficult to know which direction to take! For Illustration Friday, I offer my last minute entry.
To all my blogger pals who stopped in with kind greetings last week, a very warm thank you! That you took the time to visit really brightened my week! Hope to see all of you in your future posts!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Atmosphere, Illustration Friday

“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.” ~ Claude Monet

After what seemed was going to be an endless supply of gray, cloudy, soggy, drippy and unseasonably cool summer days, to finally see the sun peeking in my window prompted me to paint a section of my garden and newly discovered shadows. Illustration Friday's word of the week, "atmosphere," and its related quote by Claude Monet inspired a much needed change in direction and attitude.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Star Gazing, Illustration Friday

"Star gazing is a connection to humanity's earliest curiosity about our place in
the universe" ~ Thomas Kiernan

When the summer skies are too cloudy to view the Perseids (or any other stars for that matter), a monkey has to improvise. Creating a star gazing moment for his crabby neighbor, his monkeyshines prove that his place on the evolutionary scale is a debatably higher, and that coconuts don't fall far from the tree, they just bounce.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Caged, Illustration Friday

Just trying to find a little levity in this week's word "caged," for Illustration Friday.
Instead of trying to meet everybody's lofty expectations, sometimes a person just has to recognize how to make him (or herself) disappear!
Now, where are those keys?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Artificial, Illustration Friday

Christmas came early this week as I scrambled to find something to post for this week's word, "Artificial." Peering outside the kitchen window, I noticed the little ones next door had stashed a plastic Santa near the gate. Was this decoy left by the little munchkins to trick the neighbors into thinking the holidays were near? Ha! This fake Santa just brought me inspiration for Illustration Friday. Besides, everybody knows the real one's still out there enjoying his summer vacation in an undisclosed location far, far away!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Today marks the completion of one year's worth of blogging and participating in Illustration Friday. For those of you who might have visited during the past twelve months and wondered why an illustrated blog calls itself "Mushroom Tender" and has no reference to mushrooms, well here they are. A whole patch full of 'em. There could even be a few toadstools among them. But you get the picture...
Here's to another year! I'm looking forward to seeing all the beautiful, funny, cute, clever, and inspired work from all the other artists out there. And it's been a real pleasure to hear from everybody who has taken the time to stop by and comment!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Double, Illustration Friday

On a hot summer day at the beach, a couple of hot doggers riding tandem can double their fun on the waves.
Meanwhile, the dogs are waiting for even warmer days to arrive along the Southern California shore...Have you seen the sun lately?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Diary, Illustration Friday

Illustration Friday allows us the privilege of communicating our images and accompanying text every week. In a sense, it's a visual diary to share with the world.
Does Big Brother still want to know all of Victoria's Secrets?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Giant, Illustration Friday

Here's another flashback for the word "Giant," as suggested by Illustration Friday this week.
As kids, we spent many hours playing in and around a giant tire that my dad brought home. Situated beneath the olive tree on the side of our house, it was a magnet for the children in the neighborhood, providing a cool place to hang out and discuss all the private matters that kids needed to settle on a warm summer's day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Paisley, Illustration Friday

I've been on a trip to nowhere, man...For the past few months, Illustration Friday's word challenges have gone unmet by yours truly. But this week's word, paisley, prompts me to tell the story about the time we were returning from a trip to San Francisco, during the height of the hippie era.
My parents were as straight as arrows, but my dad had a sense of adventure that meandered as far as his imagination could take him, maybe farther. Anyway, our family was packed in an early 60's Ford truck with a camper, heading back to Southern California, when my dad decided to give a couple of hitchhikers a ride. The details of how they met are somewhat fuzzy, but they rode all the way home with us, at least 7 hours or so. I'm sure my dad was happy to have the extra passengers to talk with, because once we arrived home in Orange County, he continued to keep them awake, projecting his collection of slides gathered from adventures in Hawaii accompanied by his usual detailed verbal descriptions. One hitchhiker, a young artist named Felicia, sat patiently with me, coloring in my coloring books during the long night and sharing her set of oil pastels with me, which she let me keep. When my dad reported to work that next morning, my mom drove our two guests to the freeway on ramp, where they waited for their next ride to San Diego.
Many years later, I have to laugh at the difference in attitudes towards hippies and hitchhikers, while hoping the two friends made it safely to their destination. I wonder who was more unnerved by the whole experience, my mom or the hitchhikers! And like I said, many of the details of this story have slowly faded, like my mom insisting they had a dog, and how I decided many years later that they relate to the word, paisley. But I'll always remember my parents' willingness to help a couple of travelers, a young artist named Felicia and how simple gestures of sharing inspired many pictures and quiet fascination with many things off the beaten path.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Linked, Illustration Friday

What's marking the finish line at a dachshund race? Sausages, linked together, of course!
And the rules state: No cold cuts during this hot dog competition.
No matter who places first, every dog's a wiener!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dip, Illustration Friday

For those of us who wait to post our illustrations just hours before the word for the next week is posted, we have to really reach to come up with something to offer. I dip(ped) way down into the past, to a Saturday night ritual for many of us old enough to remember the days before curling irons and other modern conveniences.
After a bath, my mom applied Dippity -Do to my damp hair,
forcing me to sit patiently as she rolled sections up into pink rubber curlers. I learned to pray at an early age that my hair would dry before Sunday school, or else I'd have to endure another form of torture, the hair dryer. But that's another story...Or maybe another word for Illustration Friday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Expired, Illustration Friday

Expired treasures abandoned by ocean waves, seashells sit like beautiful castaways waiting to be discovered along the shore.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Subterranean, Illustration Friday

A good portion of my life has been spent keeping such a low profile, I might as well have been living underground. So when Illustration Friday came up with the word "Subterranean," my thoughts naturally went places that I decided not to share with the world.
With my hands in the dirt and enjoying the sunshine this week, painting wasn't my first priority. Inspiration from ancient cave paintings kept me in balance.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brave, Illustration Friday

It's best to be brave, to step out of the comfort zone and confront one's fears head on. It's usually discovered later that the fear of the unknown was more frightening than what was actually out there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Adrift, Illustration Friday

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me,
Of green days in forest and blue days at sea.

Excerpt from "Romance," by Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Muddy, Illustration Friday

Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear. ~ Lao-tzu

From the depths of a muddy pond, the lotus blooms as a symbol of high spiritual aspirations. This week, my answer to Illustration Friday's challenge comes paired with two koi, symbolizing perseverance and strength.
The winter season can be a dark and dreary time. Here in southern California, heavy rains brought mud which carved destructive paths in areas that were recently plagued by fires. With spring approaching, the hillsides can look forward to being comforted with blankets of green velvet and healing with the next generation of wildflowers, as the skeletons of charred trees renew the life within their blackened trunks.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Focused, Illustration Friday

Illustration Friday has posted great word challenges in the previous weeks, and the creative excuses not to meet them have been even greater in number! This week's word challenge came as I unearthed a letter from my mom, with her accompanying inspirational message in which she paraphrased Proverbs 3:21: "Have two goals: Wisdom, that is, knowing and doing right- and common sense. Don't let them slip away."
The next few verses assure us that when we remain focused, using good judgment, we can keep moving forward without fear of stumbling, that the road ahead will be safe.
This might be my clumsy attempt to wrangle three weeks' worth of words with one illustration, but this hikers are focused on the road ahead and enjoying the small patch of wilderness. Leave it to a mom to put it all in perspective! Happy trails!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Confined, Illustration Friday

“Laughter is one of the very privileges of reason, being confined to the human species.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

Muffled, but hysterical laughter could be heard from behind the door to the room shared by these two sisters. Often, they retreated to the tiny space where they could continue to bust up despite negative pressure cast upon them from family members who didn't relate to their humor. Although others attempted to portray these two as monsters, they were basically a couple of good girls viewing life from slightly different angles, constrained by paths set for them through DNA and other social pressures. (And that was mainly youthful exuberance and each sister constantly egging each other on).
Thank you, Illustration Friday and Thomas Carlyle, for the note of validation and excuse! ; 0 )

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Renewal, Illustration Friday

Happy New Year!
As traditions go, it's a time for renewal, which is an appropriate choice for the first Illustration Friday challenge.
May your cups be full with balanced blends for good health in mind, body and spirit as we enter the next decade!