July 25, 2017

Laura Garcia Serventi's Green Thumb: Paintings of Plants

These paintings caught my eye and I knew I had to share them-
potted plants, tropical foliage, succulents and cacti.
Fresh, lush, back-to-nature, airy, healthy!
Laura Garcia Serventi, of Art and People, 
paints with artistic talent and a true green thumb!

Laura draws inspiration from memories of the tiled patios 
and potted gardens in her hometown of Buenos Aries, Argentina.
She studied painting there and then moved to Italy to study photography.
She currently calls Brooklyn, New York home.

After seeing these, you just may be inspired to up your house plant game.

Lots more of Laura's work here:

Images used with direct permission from Laura Garcia Serventi.

July 22, 2017

Tiny Polymer Clay Sculptures by Svetlana Pavlova

Ukrainian Svetlana Pavlova is self-taught artist.
Her specialty? Polymer clay miniatures.
Teeny, tiny works of art that are so realistic, you'll do a double-take!

Inspired by her children, she turned her hobby into a business,
calling it Sweet Mini Doll House.

Take a look at these amazing mini sculptures!

Much more of Svetlana's work here:

July 17, 2017

How I'd Love to Witness a Starling Murmuration!

Have you heard of a phenomenon in nature called a "starling murmuration?"
It's the uniting of thousands of birds, flying together in swirls across the sky.
They practically become a single living, breathing organism,
swarming and swaying in a precisely choreographed dance.
Other-worldly! A surreal cloud of unbelievable beauty!

How does this happen? 
It has to do with a bird's ability to balance cohesion with uncertainty. 
Each one actually focuses in on 7 of its neighboring flyers to find this balance.
If you have a bent for ornithology or physics, you're welcome to explore this further.
As for me, I attribute it to the glory of God our Creator!

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalm 19:1

Enjoy this National Geographic video from YouTube~

July 14, 2017

Paper Artist Diana Beltrán Hererra's Gorgeous Bird Postage Stamps

When it comes to paper art, it's tough to top the 
exquisite work of Diana Beltrán Hererra.
Her paper bird sculptures are so detailed, you'd expect them to take flight.
I'm showing off her bird postage stamp project. 

A shout-out to Jessie, who did mission work in Papua New Guinea.

And this one is for my friend Ruth, who rises with the roosters.

Want more? Read this previous post I wrote on Diana's paper birds!

Also, you can check out her website and Facebook page.

Images used with direct permission from Diana Beltrán Hererra.

July 11, 2017

A Patriotic 4th of July in Charming Lititz, PA

This July 4th, we were invited by our good friends Lisa & Wes
to join them for their festive luncheon at the popular JoBoy's Brew Pub.
While in town, we strolled around and took in the sights.
This town oozes charm! If quaint shops and eateries are 
your idea of a delightful day, then Lititz is a must-see.
Enjoy my snapshots and then plan a visit there for yourself!

How about a tour of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery?

Hope to stay at the Alden House B & B some weekend!

The grand fireworks and festivities at Lititz Springs Park
attract lots of attention every year!

Girlfriends are treasures!

Head over to my Series page for links to several more
 posts about Lititz, and Lancaster as well!

July 5, 2017

Yummy Santa Fe Quinoa Salad

Every time I take this dish to parties, I'm applauded. Well, close to it.
I've lost track of how many friends have asked for the recipe.
So tasty, and packed with 15 grams of protein per serving, courtesy of the quinoa.
(By the way, quinoa is a seed, not a grain. Thanks, Donna, for setting me straight.)
Give this a try. Take it to the next BBQ you're invited to.
Everyone appreciates something new and different, 
other than the "same old-same old" side dishes.

Santa Fe Quinoa Salad

1 1⁄2 cups water
1⁄2 cup mild or medium picante sauce
1 cup quinoa, rinsed under cold water
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen yellow corn kernels, cooked, drained and cooled
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the water, picante sauce, 
quinoa, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Uncover and toss with a fork.

Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
Add remaining ingredients to the quinoa, tossing well to combine. 
Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days and serve chilled.

With thanks to Jenifer, for passing along this recipe via my sis!

Here's another version, Black Bean Tomato Quinoathat features cilantro and lime.