Monday, July 22, 2013




Full View

While checking on Egyptian Goddess names onine, I found that Kartek means “Spark Holder.” I couldn’t think of any name more appropriate for one of my Burning Bowls. As many of my regular readers know, I create Burning bowls fashioned after the large burning bowl that Unity Church uses every New Year’s Eve for their Burning Bowl Ceremony. The idea is that if you write your troubles, bad habits, worries etc. down on a piece of paper and burn them, they will leave your mind and therefore disappear.


In designing my own burning bowls, I knew I wanted to personalize them and make small enough to burn incense, sage leaves or a small votive candle when not in use for an actual burning ceremony. I decided that a female Goddess was in order. Kartek is approx 10” high x 5” wide x 6” deep and I have priced her at $68.00 I used stained glass, which I fired in my kiln, for her base. I’m sure anyone receiving her as a gift will be delighted, if you can bear to part with her.

Back View

You can see more views of Kartek on Etsy and purchase from there or e-mail me for more questions and to purchase. Thanks so much for viewing.

Side View

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gentle Spirit Mixed Media Wall Painting



Gentle Spirit

When I finished the first in a new series of moss type women painted with the Renaissance Oil method and embellished with moss and ferns, I knew I was on to something. My good customer and friend, Mystic Crone, purchased her right off the bat.

I decided to create smaller ones that would fit into a niche or altar and I am pleased with the results. Here I present Gentle Spirit. Notice that her ears are pointed. Could she be a fairy or possibly a garden nymph? It is for you to decide.



The seed pod opened-a woman child emerged. She was not yet complete…still in the process of becoming finished. She was innocent, having the quality of one who has not yet been injured by life. No soul searching, no vision quest, she was just content to be here and to be a living part of the great mother earth.

~Cheryl Dolby~

View of Frame

Gentle Spirit is 6” wide x 13” high and I have priced her at $68.00. You can contact me by e-mail or shop at Etsy. Thanks so much.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Pasta Banjo

Pasta Banjo

Pasta Chitarra

Pasta Chitarra

I was doing a simple research for a restaurant rip off recipe. I wanted to try to recreate one of my favorite recipes from Olive Garden called Ravioli Di Portebello. I got sidetracked, as you can sometimes do when you google search, and came across a chef using an instrument that looked like a guitar or banjo! I had to know more. Exploration time began.

Pasta Dough Placed On Pasta Chitarra

The “banjo” is an instrument called a Chitarra. Pronounced “Key tar-a,” which means guitar in Italian. I found out that most of the Chitarra’s are made in Abruzzo, Italy and that it has been a tradition of the region for centuries. Wonder where I was that I had never heard of them? A rectangular frame is fitted with musical wire which is placed at intervals and stretched across the frame. Freshly made pasta is placed on top and then a rolling pin is rolled over the pasta. It falls to bottom of the box in a perfect fettuccine or angel hair shape.

Notice How the "Strings" of Pasta Separate

I just had to have one! Of course, I wanted an authentic one so that I could savor the character of the chitarra that may have been used by ancient chefs of Italy. I was on a mission to find one, so I googled it, of course. Alas. I still could not find an old one. There were many new ones available that are hand crafted from Abruzzo so I opted for one of those.

Ingredients for Pasta

I waited anxiously by the mailbox. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the anticipation is so much more exciting than actually having an item of your dreams? In this case, it was not. I was, and am, just as excited as when I dreamed about it. When the Chittara arrived, I started making all sorts of pasta in different shapes. I could have just used the chittara pasta with the sauce I was conjuring up for my ravioli di Pomodoro but decided to create the recipe as exact to the Olive Garden’s standards as possible so I opted for using ravioli. After much experimentation, this is the recipe I came up with and I think it’s pretty good.

In Bowl

Knead for 15 Minutes

Double Batch of Kneaded Dough

Mushrooms and Onions Being Sauteed

Filling the Ravioli

Smoked Gouda and Sundried Tomatoes

My friends probably aren’t going to appreciate the shots I took of them eating the pasta but it sure proves the point that it definitely did turn out!

Ravioli Di Portabello a la Nina

For pasta:

4 large eggs (set on counter for 20 minutes before using) 2 ¼-2 ½ cups flour


Take a large bowl. Put flour into it and place cracked eggs in the middle. Knead for 15 minutes in bowl and on counter. Sprinkle with a little bit of flour and cover with cellophane for another 20 minutes.

Now make the filling:

16 oz portabella mushrooms 1 medium onion About 1/4th c. either mascarpone or ricotta-preferably homemade


Place mushrooms into food processor along with onions and grind til it almost reaches a puree but not quite.

Pour a small amount of butter in a pan and sauté the onion and mushrooms till all the liquid evaporates and mushrooms are cooked. Set aside.


8 oz smoked gouda cheese ½ jar sun dried tomatoes. Recipe for White Sauce-add 2 cups

White or Bechemel Sauce

5T butter 2T grated onion 1 c. chicken broth 1 c half and half ½ t. salt ¼ t. pepper 1 pinch thyme 1 pinch cayenne pepper


In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Add cold half and half and cold chicken broth all at once. Stir well. Cook, stirring frequently at medium heat. Remove and stir in seasoning. Now add the smoked gouda and sundried tomatoes which have been chopped in a food processor. Cook until cheese melts.

Now assemble.

Lay out ravioli. Place filling in center of each. Cover with top. If you are not going to use immediately, freeze quickly on a baking pan and then place in freezer zip lock bags to freeze.

When ready to cook, boil water and add about ½ C salt to the boiling water.

Now add ravioli from freezer bag or fresh pasta. Boil for approx 2 minutes or til they float to the top. When they float to top, cook about 1 more minute. Drain. Place into another pan of melted butter and cook very slightly. Drain again and place on a plate and spoon on the sauce. You might add chopped chives or green onions at this point.

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