Monday, 22 August 2016

The quiet wonders

Hi Everybody!

Today is T Stands for Tuesday over at Elizabeth's blog,
so a big welcome to all of the T gang -
and of course to everybody who visits today.

For Art Journal Journey, Gill's lovely theme of 'Nature's wonders', I
have another hybrid piece. The background is a very loose landscape painting I made with acrylics, just trying to give the impression without drawing or painting in details. I added Mr Umbrella Man, who like me, enjoys just standing somewhere watching what's going on. The birds were added with a stencil, and the horses, ship and fairy tale castle are digital add ons. The castle is a free image from June

And a quick reminder here that you still have a week to link your creations using book pages at TIOT

My drink today is - need I say? - cappuccino from one of my thrift shop mugs.

These are the spice bars I made last week, I have just eaten the last one - they keep well in a tin. (If you don't eat them beforehand!) Some people asked for the recipe, so here it is. I don't usually measure or weigh, so these measurements are all more or less!
400 grams flour
100-150 grams sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
I teaspoon of bourbon vanilla
1/2 - 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a good pinch of ground ginger
200 grams butter
1 egg
I pinch of salt.

Rub all the ingredients together, or mix them with a dough hook till they resemble breadcrumbs. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and press 2/3 of the crumbs onto it. Spread on a layer of jam (I used homemade apple, almond and cinnamon jam). You can also sprinkle some chopped or ground nuts onto it. If you like it spicy, sprinkle some more cinnamon and ginger over it.
Cover with the remaining crumbs, and bake at 180° for about 20-25 minutes. Decorate with dark chocolate melted and squeezed through a piping bag. Cut into bars when cold.
I sometimes make a variation where I put a layer of crunchy peanut butter under the jam. This can lead to addictions!

I always enjoy my coffee on market day:

The market place is dominated by this bronze. Elizabeth thought recently it should perhaps be x-rated.... today I decided to show his other side - not bad, either!

We had a rainy weekend, with several rainbows in the course of the evening:

I enjoyed seeing the glistening spiders' webs today:

Thanks to those who sent get well wishes, I have a bronchitis just now, so need to take things easy for a few days.

Have a great day, take care,
and thanks  a lot for coming by!


  1. Ein schönes Bild mit einem wahren Spruch darauf liebe Valerie. Beim Anblick deines Gebäcks und dem Rezept dazu läuft mir das Wasser im Mund zusammen,lecker! Danke fürs Teilen. Deine Fotos sind auch wieder so schön, besonders die Spinnennetze mit den Tautropfen. Ich hab mal gefrorenen Tau auf Blüten und Blättern fotografiert, sieht auch klasse aus.
    Liebe Grüße

  2. A beautiful page as always Valerie, so colourful and lovely to see Mr Umbrella Man again. Great photos as well and thanks for the recipe, those bars look totally yummy!
    Hope you feel loads better soon and take care.
    Fliss xx

  3. Love your journal page, so beautifully painted, and the few digital additions give it a lot of extra interest. Great photos too, especially the webs. We arrived safely and will be here till tomorrow afternoon. Hugs, Sarah

  4. What a beautiful piece of art! I love the background, it really sets the mood. Your photos are lovely too, the spider webs are amazing. The bars look delicious too.

  5. First, your page for AJJ is wonderful. I like that Umbrella Man is a bit fuzzy in the foreground. It makes some of the other elements pop. Those birds (stencil) always make me smile when you use them.

    Thanks for sharing your spice bar recipe with us. I may have to try this once it cools a bit in my kitchen. Addictive, though, I bet.

    The back of the statue is only PG rated, and it was quite pleasant! Of course, I'm not opposed to the front, either (grin).

    Thanks for sharing your cappuccino, your spice bar recipe, your art, and that fun statue with us for T this soon to be Tuesday. I think the flowers and spider webs are simply incredible, too!

    1. I didn't like that statue at all when I first came here, but in the mean time it has grown on me!

  6. Sorry you still aren't well Valerie but still you can still get out and about. Thank you for the recipe it looks easy to make so may have a go.

    The page today is amazing with the wonderful bright colours and the fun Mr a Umbrella.

    Hope you sleep well

    Love Chrissie xx

  7. Dew catching spiders webs jewels sparkling in the garden are these the first sign of autumn to come? Does anything stop you getting out and about? Take care, XOXO

  8. Fabulous AJJ piece Valerie, love the background and that's a wonderful quote.
    Thanks so much for sharing your yummy recipe I can't wait to get Dave-the-chef to make that for me. I mean for us :)
    Great photos too - and I have discovered that the zoom/magnifying tool goes up to 400% - very handy! :)

    Sorry to hear that you are still poorly Valerie, take things easy - wishing you a speed recovery. Gill xx (Thanks also for the lovely comments on my last post )

  9. sorry about the bronchitis take care! Beautiful page, love the cappucino and thanks for the recipe, it has been saved! That is a very fit statue.

  10. Great post. The water droplets are wonderful.

  11. Oooh I so love the magical feel and colors of your hybrid piece and I know how much you love the umbrella man:):) What a wonderful example of man in that statue-so reminds me of David in Florence, Italy! Beautiful rainbow and spider web shots. And thanks for the recipe too. Happy T day!

  12. I didn't know you were sick. Get some rest and take care. Bronchitis is never fun-nor good--I've had it several times over the years. And those spice bars sound delicious. I copied the recipes and printed because I think I need to try them. And you jam sounds quite yummy. I've never heard of adding almonds to jam-how yummy. And love your art piece- those background colors are so vibrant. Take care and get some rest. Hugs-Erika

  13. Hoping you get better quickly!!!! Love the art today and always love seeing the statue...both sides :) Love the spiderweb photos ♥♥♥♥

  14. Hope you are feeling better. Love the art, the drink, the dessert looks amazing but I really like the close up photo of the bronze backside. LOL

  15. Eine wunderbare Seite, herrliche Aufnahmen - und lieben Dank für das tolle Rezept- wird garantiert ausprobiert hier!
    Bin heute vormittag bei Herta - Radfahren und hernach werd ich dann auch noch einkaufen .
    Gute Besserung Sweetie♥!
    oxo Susi

  16. A wonderful page Valerie, it looks s good place to be with the peaceful scene you have created. Loved todays' photos. Thank you for the recipe, I will be trying them as soon as we get back home again.
    Hope you are feeling a little better today.
    Happy Tuesday,
    Yvonne xx

  17. Oh no on your summer cold...hope your cough is history very soon.
    You do indeed need to take it easy and get lots of rest liebe Valerie.
    You sure did create a beautiful page with your wonderful background.
    June's castle is perfect and so is that fab de Lint quote!
    Your mug speaks to me both inside and out ;-) and how nice of you to tempt us all AND share your yummy spice bar recipe. Thank you!
    That handsome statue might be named Mr Natural.
    I actually think its refreshing to see the male anatomy for a change as they certainly show nude women never holding back.
    Happy T Day oxo

    1. Exactly - women are always on show - so I'm enjoying showing this male!

  18. Love the gorgeous background on your hybrid piece. Everything came together so beautifully.
    Love the photos as well.

  19. I love your cheerful "happiness" mug. When I saw the back end of your statue my first thought was, "Ah, muscle tone! I remember when I had muscle tone." lol

    1. Wow, you can still remember things like that? Sigh....

  20. I'm sorry to hear you have bronchitis. I didn't know you were ill. Take care will you! I like your journal page and the quote is very good as are all the quotes you choose.
    The coffee looks scrummy. I am going to Italy this week and will enjoy my capuccinos.
    The statue is wonderful front and back. I do appreciate a good looking male (in spite of my age).
    I love the photos of the spider webs and the rainbow. I wish we had more rain (it's not fair is it)
    Have a good week,
    Thanks for commenting,

  21. Hope you feel better soon! Wonderful page today, the painted background is dreamy - I love the colours and loose style! Your mug is super, the happiness quote is one of my favourites, it always makes me smile :-). Thanks for sharing your recipe, the rainbow and Mr. Bronze too. Sending you get well wishes and happiness on this T Day! J :-)

  22. Oh dear get better quick and take it nice and easy! A beautiful post as always here, such warm colours and gorgeous skies!

  23. Oh, sweetie, sorry to hear you're under the weather.
    Your bars look luscious. And I love the glistening spider webs.

  24. Love your castle and the gorgeous colours on your page. hugs, Teresa

  25. Amazing post today!! Beautiful artwork! Your x-rated statue made me giggle, thanks for the close up, hahaha!! That spider web is something else, wow, excellent photos of that! I've yet to see a rainbow, amazing job capturing that on camera! sending hugs :)

  26. Many thanks for the recipe, Valerie. The bars sound even more mouth-watering than the picture shows. I like your jam ingredients and the idea of maybe adding peanut butter.
    That's a very interesting statue.
    Get better soon, it's no fun not being well.

  27. So sorry to hear you are under the weather, hope you get to feeling better real soon. Rest is so important with bronchitis!

    Thanks for the T-day visit and the lovely comment. My friend Patty, loved your blog and hybrid art. It was one I had shown her in relation to T-day....I'm trying to get her to Blog! LOL! We both really enjoy the post.

  28. Wonderful journal page Sugar. Mr. Umbrella Man loves to travel and he is so distinguished too. Love the castle but it also reminds me of the Earth Quake in Italy and the wonderful medieval town that was left in crumbles. The wonder of Nature gives us some pretty hard blows sometimes.
    OMG - those spider webs are amazing. Beautiful!
    What a hunk of manhood! He must not be very old because his rear end is not sagging!
    You must be a fabulous cook - I love it when you make your stews and/or curries.
    Once again, let me tell you how very delightful your journal page is.
    Most importantly - it is time for rest. Rest is most important when dealing with a lung illness. Bronchitis can be quite painful too.
    I do hope you are well soon.
    Sandy xx

  29. Wow! those spider webs caught my eye so- I almost forgot to write about the other photos and posts@ heehee Stunning pictures Valerie!
    First off, I do hope you are over that ling funk- I get the same bronchial thing every year- it sucks!!Chicken soup, Vick's on the chest and rest I say!

    I always love to see your umbrella man- he makes me smile so!
    and thank you for sharing the yummy recipe I always drool on my keyboard when I see it! heehee


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