Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Filet Mignon
with Lobster Newburg Sauce

Filet Mignon with Lobster Newburg Sauce, Asiago Asparagus in Orange Sauce and Roasted Potatoes

Yum! Best word to describe the delicious meal that chef Stratton prepared for my son Charlie and me last night. Stratton is preparing his menu for the all-inclusive sculpture class that I will be having here at my home (Woodloft) in August. The plan is that he comes over every once in awhile and cooks one of the dishes he will be creating for the class so he can familiarize himself with my kitchen and my fancy, yet oh so temperamental, appliances. Tonight, he made Filet Mignon with a delicate Lobster Newburg sauce. He accompanied it with broiled, herbed potatoes and asparagus with an asiago orange sauce.

Charlie enjoys first bite. I think this picture says it all!

The first thing Stratton did when he stepped through the door was to hand me an electric knife sharpener. He said my knives were so dull that he’d have a hard time cutting butter with it. I have to admit, after using those hand held sharpeners, the electric one made a huge difference. My knives are so sharp right now that I just know if I drop one on my toe, the knife will go right through it. I guess many of us are guilty of not keeping sharp knives. I am amazed at how much easier my kitchen chopping is going now that my knives are lethal weapons.

Stratton says that he really doesn’t consider himself a gourmet cook. He just likes to make interesting (and very tasty) food. He says it’s a step up from everyday cooking but not fancy. I sort of disagree with him on that point. It seems to me that everything he cooks is up a notch and is definitely in the gourmet category. Here is the recipe for this wonderful dish. Since Stratton doesn’t write anything down, not even a grocery list, I tried to figure it out as he cooked. I sent him a copy and I was completely wrong! Here is the correct recipe…imagine he actually DID write it down and e-mail it to me!

Stratton Preparing Sauce

Filet Mignon with Lobster Newburg Sauce

3 lobster tails
3 filet mignon steaks 1 1/2 “ thick
Asiago cheese
New potatoes
2 oranges
Cream Sherry-1/2-1 cup
Cream fraiche
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic
S and P


Pour olive oil in a baking pan. whisk together 1/2 cup oil...1/4 cup red wine vinegar...1+tablespoon brown mustard. Add 3 cloves minced garlic... chives, salt, pepper and fresh oregano (actually any combination of spices work nicely)... quarter the red potatoes and toss in the dressing... bake at 375 cut sides up for 1 hour.

In the meantime:

Season the medallions of meat with a generous portion of salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the oil till hot but not smoking. Sear the meat on both sides until desired tenderness. Remove from pan and set aside... add the 1 cup of Sherry along with the lobster shells and simmer until red... about 10 minutes max. Remove the shells and reduce down to a quarter cup then add the cream fresh and paprika along with the lobster meat. IF the sauce needs to be thickened more have equal portions of butter and flour mixed together and formed into tablespoon sized balls and add 1 at a time to the sauce until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Heat the olive oil in a pan until hot but not smoking. Add the asparagus and sear until bright green. Sprinkle with the cheese and add the orange juice and cover then turn off the heat and allow to steam while you plate up the meal...

Place some of the potatoes on a plate with some of the drizzlings from the pan... place the medallions of meat on it followed by equal portions of the lobster meat and some of the cream sauce... finish by adding the asparagus and serve.

It is a good idea to sauté lobster shells or shrimp shells into sauces for extra seafood flavor.

Filet Mignon

Preparation of Potatoes

Asiago Asparagus with Orange Sauce

As you can imagine, we did choose this as one of the meals for the class.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011



Four welcoming envelopes I created for the students

The welcome packets for my upcoming sculpture class in August are finished and ready to mail out to my four special students. Since we will be sculpting lots of faces, I used my sculpted and painted faces as the basis for the manila envelopes. Now for the task of deciding which envelope to send to which student? I think I will use my intuition on this decision.

I used an image of one of my tall standing sculptures and eyes of another one

I loved the picture of the columns so added one of my sculptures and mysterious face

Magazine images, stamps and image of one of my paintings

Labyrinth from my laundryroom plus faces and sculptures

In addition to our sculpture class, I was able to lock in several exciting visiting guests. Lisa Plummer of “Groggy Froggy” fame, has agreed to teach the class her method of Soul Collage. Also, Rudy Sanders, spectacular drummer, will teach a class in drumming with a drumming ceremony to follow. Ella, water aerobic instructor extraordinaire, will give us a water work out one afternoon. I was also lucky enough to have Patrick Beale agree to give each student one of his spectacular Swedish based massages. Patrick has been a masseuse for over 15 years and believe me, you will feel pampered and relaxed after one of his sessions. I have one more opening left in the class so if you have been hesitating, now is the time to check out the details by clicking here

I'm heading for the post office right now. Sure hope the students like them!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011



Mixed Media Oil Collage

Close-up of "Let Me Fly" Please double click on the pictures for better view

I’ve been in the mood for lots of colorful creations lately. Maybe the spring flowers have brought on this frame of mind or maybe it’s the butterflies that I’m anticipating seeing soon. I purposely plant flowers to attract those wonderful, vibrant creatures, like the buddleia or butterfly bush.

I thought I had a plan in painting my butterfly girl collage, but she seemed to have a mind of her own and took me in a completely different direction. I know that has happened to most of my readers out there in blogland. So..as we used to say way back when, you've got to go with the flow. Actually, she doesn't even look like my work!

Close-up of butterfly hat-left over from the Royal Wedding.

I painted her face using my Renaissance Oil technique and the rest of her body is acrylic and felt. I used pop up butterflies for her hat. For the background, I used a spackle compound followed by deco crackle and stain. It has an interesting texture to it. It feels entirely different to the touch than when I add the crackle to paper. The entire collage is on a 3-dimensional canvas

Close-up of angled frame

For the saying, I found it online but the author was unknown. I couldn’t fit the long saying on her so I changed it a bit and came up with “ How does one become a butterfly? You have to give up being a caterpillar and…fly” So true, don’t you think? Set your goals high and don’t let anyone, anyone talk you out of them. Choose to fly!

Then, just for the fun of it, I made one of my Philosophy Paper Art Dolls to match! She has the correct saying in it’s entirety on her.

Paper Art Doll

Close-up of "Fly" Paper Art Doll

They are both for sale. Although the painting took me a very long time to do, I had so much fun with her that I’m lopping off many of those fun hours. I’d like $125. for her and if you love her…this is a real bargain. She is 12x24.”

“Fly” paper art doll is $38.00 and about 10" high. I take all the credit cards and Paypal and can ship worldwide. E-mail me and we can go from there.

Thanks so much!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011




"Grandmother Tree"

I’m not sure when I first began my “Grandmother Tree” series but it makes sense that I did. I love the trees and have surrounded myself with them for as long as I can remember. I write about them, read about them and view them daily from the tree house I call Woodloft, which is my home.

Here is the story I have written and associated with my series.

“Grandmother Tree”

The trees are alive! She wandered
into the garden early one morning
and she heard them speak to one another..
It was a language spoken on another
frequency..in another vibrational time
frame. They spoke of healing with power
and energy and of the relationship between
energy and matter.

She was drawn to an ancient Chinese
Elm and as she leaned her body next to the
base, somehow she felt immersed
in the tree and felt herself slip into the
tree..was one with the
tree and knew that she was the tree.....

~Cheryl Dolby~


Outside view

If you would like to read more about this series you can check it out here where I show various other trees that I have created.

My grandmother tree has driftwood from a lake nearby, moss from Woodloft, one of my original clay faces and various other woody type items. Hope you like her. She is 5”x8” and priced at $68.00 You can e-mail me if you are interested in purchasing her. I take all major credit cards or Paypal. I have also listed her on ebay.

Thanks so much!

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