Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Winsome Wednesday! August 29, 2012

Click on the TABS above to see these new posts.

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: BEACH
Tideland's Launch, by Tina Wells 

Fun in the Sun, mixed medium by Tina Wells

RECIPES: Shrimp Boil

Shell inspired table decor for a fun, delicious meal


Quick and easy tutorial on making beautiful shell frames

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22, 2012

Click on the TABS above to see these new posts

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: WILD

Mischievous Orangutan

RECIPES:  Oatmeal Spice Pancakes

SIMPLY CREATIVE:  Charming Gift Baskets
                                  (made easy and affordable)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Winsome Wednesday! August 15, 2012

Click on the Tabs above to see these new posts:

I {HEART} ART:   Inspiration: KIDDO! 
"Fly, Genevieve" by Tina C. Wells, Winsome Wren

RECIPES:  Curried Fruit and Nut Salad

Fantastic Summer Salad

SIMPLY CREATIVE:  Elegant Flowers

It's easy to create your own flower arrangements


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Check out what's new this week on my Tabs:

I {HEART} ART:  Inspiration:  SUNFLOWERS

Take a peek at my Sunflower paintings

RECIPES:  {Very Best} Tart Lemon Bars

So Good...So Easy

SIMPLY CREATIVE:  Simple Flowers

Turn a growers' bunch into a wonderful display

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Home at last.  It’s always good to be back, to hold my precious 2 year old in my arms, and take in the sights and smells of home.  My memories of this years’ trip to Tahoe are especially fond.  It was rest that I needed, and time with people I love. 

The last day of the trip, James and I got up early and packed a thermos full of coffee, 2 pastries, and headed out to our old canoe.  It was purchased originally here at Tahoe in the 1970’s, and when it fell into our hands, it was completely dilapidated.  Many, many hours and help from others went into this ol’ boats’ restoration.  Needless to say, like anything you pour yourself into, we are attached to this canoe.  She is a beauty, a wooden Old Town.  We waded out, thermos and paddles in hand, in the perfectly still, glistening morning.  Out a way, we stopped and had our coffee and treats and then glided quietly along the shore.  As opposed to being in a motor boat, you can peer down to the bottom through the clear aqua waters, see the rocks and sand, and reach out and feel the cold water.  Savor.

Some of the other highlights of this years trip:

James, with the help of our son (Kenny) and nephew (Spence) caught a record, six trout!
The Proud Fishermen (see recipe below)

Kenny and Spence had a grand feast of crawdad tails after spending many hours baiting and capturing the creatures.

I love waterskiing in the cold, clear, cobalt blue waters of Tahoe on a perfectly glassy morning. 

Time with family!  It was so fun to watch my precious niece crawl all around and give her sparkly smiles to anyone who caught her eye.  Seeing my son and nephew spend hours exploring the lake shore, outings on my Dad's boat, walks and runs with my mom and sister along the Truckee River, and down the dock. And the best, gathering all together with my sister and brother-in-law, uncle, parents, husband, and kids on the deck or lawn for drinks and appetizers, where there is always interesting conversation and much laughter.
Baby Tori
Fun in the sun out on the lake

As always, I am amazed by the trees; I can never get enough.  They are ancient and enormous, rich reds, golds and greens.  If they could see, what stories could they tell?  They are the playground of the abundant squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays and robins, and home to the mighty osprey and bald eagle.  Their strong scent fills the dry air.  I always long to paint them.  I know I cannot do justice to their majesty.  I took some photos from different angles to use as inspiration back home.  A few years ago, I had the opportunity to paint some murals in a home in Tahoe.  The pictures are below. 
Emerald Bay Mural by Tina C. Wells

Emerald Bay Mural (entire view), by Tina C. Wells
Tahoe Mural, East Shore  by Tina C. Wells
Sierra Giants
When my son was born, almost 9 years ago, I painted his room in a Tahoe inspired theme.  Quite fortunately for me, he still loves it.  I am not looking forward to the day when he wants me to paint it out so that he can decorate his own room with "cool stuff."  Maybe we will move first.  Here are a few photos:
A mural was a fun solution for these very large, ugly sliding closet doors.  They now disappear into the wall.

Tahoe Bears, mural by Tina C. Wells

I love restaurant recommendations from friends when visiting somewhere new...so here are a few of my favorites for future reference:

Sunnyside: quintessential Tahoe, deck on the lake (I had dinner there the night I got engaged 15 years ago, so it is near and dear to my heart).  I really like the more casual, less expensive, bar side menu.
Fire Sign Cafe:  great outdoor deck in a wooded setting, with the best breakfast in the world, seriously.
West Shore Cafe: great deck on the lake, upscale menu items...fantastic!
Garwoods:  beautiful north shore deck, on the lake.  Go for their signature rum punch slushy on Wednesdays when they are 1/2 price.  Then, take a stroll over to the big warehouse of Sierra Boat Co. to see some of the beautiful wooden boats Lake Tahoe is famous for.
The Bridgetender:  on the Truckee River, burgers, brew, and lots of charm.
Christy Hill:  If you want an excellent dinner out with fabulous lake views, this is the spot.
Tahoe House:  Great homemade pastries and coffees.  Worth the wait in line.
The Bridgetender
Tahoe's Wood Boats

Always hard to leave, but we made the most of the drive home, and stopped at a few of the spots I had mentioned on the way up.  We took 2 days, staying overnight again in Mammoth.  
Day 1:  Picnic on the shores of the Walker River, and a trip to the Ghost town of Bodie, a once prosperous gold mining town.  We enjoyed a great dinner at Convict Lake, formed by a glacier.  Deer grazed on the lawn out front.
The Walker River

Toes in the River

Ghost Town of Bodie
Bodie, CA

Convict Lake at dusk

Day 2:  Nine miles off 395, just south of Mammoth, we visited Rock Creek Lake.  We had a piece of homemade boysenberry pie from the Pie in the Sky Cafe, at a picnic table overlooking the lake...definitely coming back here. 

Rock Creek Lake
From Pie in the Sky Cafe

One Last Item...
The Trout, Potato Skins, and Salad- Simple Tahoe Meal

A fresh fish from the lake was a bit intimidating, as I am used to buying fish that has already been filleted.  Well, thank goodness for the internet where one can Google "cook fresh trout".  Easy, when fisherman Wells is in charge of gutting and cutting the head off (that's step 1).  Next, bake in a little white wine and lemon juice with butter, salt and pepper; keep the skin on and bones in.  400 degrees, approximately 15 minutes.  When it is done, the skin easily comes off and the bones pull out. More butter, salt, and lemon never hurts :)

Another Tahoe favorite that is great with the fish is Potato Skins:
(Ok, so these are not super healthy, but really yummy :)
Bake potatoes 400, 1 hr. then allow to cool
Slice potatoes in half and dig out some flesh, brush with melted butter, salt, pepper, generously cover with grated cheddar.  
Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and potato browns a little.  
Garnish with sour cream, green onions, and crumbled bacon

Add a salad and chardonnay, and the meal is complete.

And a good time was had by all...