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Thursday, July 09, 2009

July 9, 2009 Linda's Newsletter

Linda Blondheim- Landscapes of the South
Studio: 386.462.5726

Please forward my newsletters to your friends. I need to grow my business. I'll
reward you with a tiny abstract painting.

Don't forget that I offer 10% of the sale cash referral rewards when you send a
new patron to me who purchases a painting.

A last reminder for my North Florida Muse show at Melrose Bay Gallery Saturday,
July 11,2009 10AM-6PM, State Road 26- Melrose, Florida


Aucilla River
12x16 inches
acrylic on birch panel
wired and ready to hang unframed
shipping 20.00
Purchase HERE

Painting the Region- Along the Bartram Trail

I'm so happy to share that I will be participating in the Painting the Region Paint
Out along the William Bartram Trail on State Road 13 near Jacksonville, Florida
October 6-10, 2009. I love that part of Florida and I'm excited. I painted there
a few years ago at a boat marina and loved it. This time I will be able to explore
several private farms and places along the trail. I'll be staying with a host family.

As the time gets closer, I'll share the activities the committee has planned for
visitors and artists. There will be lots of exploring, hiking and opportunities
for you to see this beautiful part of the state. Come enjoy the historic Bartram
Trail with me in beautiful October. Way Cool!!!

Painting the Region: The Bartram Trail 2009

The William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway follows the approximate route
of eighteenth-century naturalist William Bartram's southern journey from March,
1773 to January, 1777.
Bartram explored much of the territory which is now the states of North and South
Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee.
The William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway provides a unique experience for
those who choose to explore its winding path. It encompasses exceptional archaeological,
historical, scenic, cultural, and recreational resources and the opportunity to
enjoy the St. Johns River estuary by canoeing and boating along the creeks and river.
Most apparent are the views provided by the immense live oak canopies along the
route and splendid vistas of the St. Johns, an American Heritage River. One can
drive or bicycle a trail under vaulting oaks and through adjacent hardwood wetlands
passing through small communities that have maintained their agricultural heritage.
Vestiges of the past have been restored with small citrus groves reminiscent of
the area's Fatio-plantation days. This window into "Old Florida" preserves and
enhances the resources of the region by telling the story of the first Indian settlers,
the early European pioneers, and plantation owners, and of the travels and discoveries
of renowned naturalist William Bartram who attempted to establish a plantation on
the banks of the nearby river.
This Scenic Highway is available to all who venture here, where reminders of "Old
Florida" are brought to life, where one may see eagles' nests and diving ospreys,
where a multitude of different flora and fauna live in harmony, where visitors can
satisfy their desire for active pursuits such as boating, fishing or hiking, or
where one may just sit by the river and enjoy the sunset. Wide trails parallel
the highway from one end to the other. Nature watchers leave the trail at various
points to sit on benches to listen and watch. The numerous parks and cultural destinations
along the corridor and river are accessible with adequate amenities to accommodate
a variety of interests.


Antique Browsing

Shopping for Antiques in Alternative Places

I grew up around antique lovers. The women in my family have always had a keen interest
in antique furniture and d├ęcor. I especially like old kitchen equipment. When I
was a caterer, I used antique cookie cutters, old jars for my flavored sugars,
old lemon squeezers, and a variety of old trays, platters and bowls to decorate
tables. There is nothing better than making yeast bread in an old crockery bread
bowl from a century ago. It just tastes better.
Now that I am just about an antique myself, I thought it might be fun to use that
interest for a topic this week. When my oldest daughter Jackie went off to first
grade, my youngest daughter, Sara, and I used to go to the antique store about
once a week to enjoy the experience. I would tell her to hold her own hands at
all times and we would wander up and down the rows of tables and niches in the store.
The store was in High Springs and is still at the same location. It is really my
favorite antique store, a large sprawling white building next to the railroad tracks.
They have artfully arranged the booths to look like 3 sided rooms, very charming
and easy to see the antiques. My girls especially love the vintage clothing, hats
and shoes in one room. We can spend a couple of hours there and then walk across
the street to the Station, bakery and restaurant for incredible food. Not a bad
way to spend an afternoon together. In the winter time, Henry (AKA Studio Dog)
comes too and watches the people go by from his condo in the back of the car.
There are some other good ways to find old things of interest, even if not quite

Thrift stores often have very interesting old things. It is sometime overwhelming
and hard to sift through the not so cool stuff, but now and then you will find treasures
at greatly reduced prices. The key is to frequent them ever week. You get to know
the store after awhile and you will quickly spot new and interesting items, making
the experience easier after a time.

Do Your Homework

Do some research online and at our library about furniture and vintage items so
you will know when you see a treasure worth buying.
Use your Blackberry phone to look up things online while you are shopping so you
can compare values, right on the spot.

Go to Garage Sales

There are all kinds of possibilities at estate sales for picking up bargain antiques.
The secret to garage sales is to show up early for the best quality items and to
show up late for the best bargains. The later in the day, the more willing the
owner is to let it go just to get rid of it. This works especially well for furniture,
but remember, the good stuff will go first, early in the morning.
If you see smaller items you want to seriously consider, pick them up and carry
them around with you. You can always put them back on the table if you decide you
don't want to buy them.

Have a Plan

Get a newspaper the day before and circle all of the ads that look like they may
have what you are looking for. Go to those sales first.

Have a budget in mind before you start. If you have a spending limit for the day,
you will be more likely to spend wisely.

Estate sales will be more likely to have antiques and quality items, particularly
if the sale is being handled by a professional dealer for the family.
Choosing higher priced neighborhoods for sales will probably help you in your quest
for antiques. It is not likely thaqt families in starter homes or college area
apartments are going to have what you are looking for.

If you are purchasing furniture, it would be wise to invite a friend to come who
knows something about building or woodworking. They will be able to tell if the
piece is in good shape or easily reparable.

Check classified ads in our area for individuals who are selling antiques from their

Get to know antique dealers in the area and ask them to keep an eye out for particular
pieces when they travel to trade shows and auctions.
You can go to antique auctions all around the south, but be sure ou know how to
spot quality and know what the value of the piece will be. Don't get caught up in
a frenzy of bidding against others.

Antique shopping can be highly entertaining whether you find anything or not and
it is a wonderful way for you to teach children about history and culture in a
fun way. Share your stories of the past and your childhood with them as you browse
together. My grown daughters still love going with me.

Signs of Newness in so called antique furniture

An article from

Look closely at the various pieces of wood used in the furniture - particularly
the edges and feet. Differences between the pieces would indicate that parts have
been replaced.
Beware of smooth edges from a power saw in contrast to the ragged edges made by
a handsaw.
Distinguish between the older plank-style construction and the more modern tongue-and-groove
Inspect for old or filled nail and screw holes that would have been made when the
piece was originally built.
Open drawers and doors and look for screw holes that indicate that the original
handles and hinges are gone.
Look at dovetail joints. New dovetails are either machine-made or much narrower
than the wide, up-to-3/8-inch dovetails of the 1800s.
Compare all the dovetail joints in the piece. Perfect matching could mean the furniture
is newer than advertised. Gross differences would demonstrate that pieces have been
Check out the surfaces. Uniformity in coloring, texture and smoothness points to
newness or refinishing.
Signs of Age
Measure a piece of wood furniture. Wood shrinks as it ages by up to 1/8 inch per
foot. If the furniture is old, its dimensions will not be uniform - it won't be
the same width throughout, and a tabletop will not be completely round.
Run your hand over and shine a flashlight across the surface of the wood to detect
hairline cracks and ripples that come with aging.
Look underneath for the inevitable warping and buckling of wood.
Look for wood that is discolored from uneven exposure to light and sun. An old piece
of furniture that has stood against a wall for years will show its age with distinct
differences in coloring.
Check the wood beneath the hardware. Here, the wood should show even greater contrasts
in color.
Look at the screws. Screws made before 1840 had flat, un-tapered heads.
Search for the signs of normal wear and tear and the buildup of dust and grime in
the furniture's corners and crevices.
Look at the frame under the upholstery for sets of nail holes from previous upholstery.
An aged piece may have seen several changes in fabric.
Use a pocket level on a piece of glass or a mirror. Glass, too, warps with age.

Entertaining with Appetizers

Notes From the Kitchen- The party begins

I've always loved appetizers and hors' oeuvres' the most. When I was in the catering
business, I specialized in party foods. I was never interested in full service catering.
I focused on party food, brunches and receptions.
There is something wonderful about those tasty savory tidbits of food. The variety
and size makes them just more fun than regular food. Often, my daughters and I
will go to a restaurant and order a variety of appetizers instead of a real meal,
trading them across the table, savoring the tiny bites.
I have noticed in several restaurants the new trend of tiny 3 bite deserts. Appleby's
serves them in bar shot glasses and calls them "dessert shots". A case of the restaurant
industry borrowing from the catering industry. My key lime tarts were very popular
as were my chocolate ganache mini cakes. Caterers have done this sort of thing for
years and years, but now it is considered to be innovative by restaurants ;>) This
is a clever way to market desserts. Often I just want a rich and delicious bite
or two of a chocolate treat.

The secret to good appetizers are texture, visual appeal and a wonderful savory
flavor. A variety should be served, both hot and cold with both substantial hearty
treats and light and refreshing. Seasons help make the menu selection as well.
Keep hearty foods on the menu for fall and winter, but make light and refreshing
selections for the heat of summer. The display should enhance the tasty tidbit,
not compete with it. For example, the more elaborate the visual canape' decoration,
the simpler the container should be. The simpler the food is, the more enhancement
it needs in presentation. A simple cheese ball will need a more elaborate garnishment,
than stuffed potatoes with cheese and bacon.

Color plays an important role in display as well. Using compliments will really
show off a presentation. A fresh raspberry will pop on a key lime tart, and a fresh
mint leaf will show off red velvet cake or strawberry tarts. There is nothing more
striking that a red cabbage flower with bright orange or yellow pepper stamens.
Simple but with large impact.

I always figured on 6 -8 appetizers per guest. Some will eat many, others almost
none. Use fillers like crudities', dips/chips and soft cheese spreads along with
your more savory delicate appetizers. If you are relying on an appetizer menu as
the main course, increase the number. Make more hearty, hot savories which are
filling and satisfying. A roasted turkey, beef or ham, sliced with small buns and
condiments will go a long way to satisfy hungry men. Lavish the table with fresh
fruit too.

Above all, make your table inviting and fun with colorful napkins, unusual table
decor and a consistent approach or theme. Appetizers are the zest and fun of any


How About a Recipe?

Meatloaf Dressed Up for a Party
This makes a great party appetizer

1 pound ground round
1 egg
1/2 cup bead crumbs
1 small onion finely chopped
1 can well drained diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp leaf thyme
1/4 tsp garlic power
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Mix it all up and pat down into a square pan.
Bake at 350, pouring of an fat and remove from oven when browned.
Loosen sides and turn out on a flat pan or tray. Refrigerate until almost time to
serve it.

Mix 1 &1/2 cup sour cream with Lipton Onion Soup mix and 1 tsp ground horseradish,
and 1 T chopped fresh parsley.
Cut grape tomatoes in half, one for each square.

Remove meat loaf from fridge. Spread sour cream mixture over meatloaf like frosting
a cake and cut meatloaf carefully into small, bite sized squares. Top each square
with a grape tomato half and a parsley leaf for color. This is wonderful and a
big hit at my parties.

Cook's Tip:

Go out in the yard in summer when maple, oak and other large leaf trees are in good
foliage. Pick perfect leaves and press them flat in books, between paper towels.
Save them for fall, and use them as decorations for cheese boards at parties.
They can be placed under the edge of the cheese board.You can also guild them with
silver or gold markers. Add nuts and acorns to the table for a natural fall beauty.
If you wish to display them with the cheeses, you will need to laminate them or
place them under clear glass trays. I would not want them directly touching the


The Next E-Class

Basics of Oil Painting for Beginners E-Class
August 18, 2009-September 22, 2009
This E-Class will be a four week lesson plan with two extra weeks for assignment
completion, discussion and critiques.
We will study basic color mixing, composition, brushwork, materials and supplies,
in this E-class for beginning oil painters.
The class is conducted virtually in a private blog for class members only. You will
need a digital camera or a scanner to take this class.
A class outline and materials list will be given to participants. I will be happy
to answer any question you have. Just email me at:

The fee for the class is 100.00 for the 6 week class, which includes 4 lessons,
critiques, and all Q&A you desire.

This class will be limited to 10 students. We will begin on August 18, 2009 . Use
convenient PayPal on my Artist Resources Page Here:E-Class
If you prefer to send me a check or money order, that will be swell too.
Linda Blondheim
3032 NW 161 Court
Gainesville, FLorida 32609


Ya'll Thanks
so much for supporting
me and for reading my newsletter
You are the best!

July Special Celebrates Plein Air
My plein air studies are featured for July. You can find them on the small paintings
page at the bottom, on my web site.
8x10's- 110.00 ( Normally 125.00)
6x8's- 65.00 (Normally 80.00)
To purchase the special, email me and write special in
the subject line.
Offer expires July 31,2009

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