Tuesday, November 17, 2009

World's Best Banana Bread - Or So My Dad Says!

I now this is crazy timing, what with the phone ringing every 5 minutes and the emails pouring in due to the release of "Service Fit For A King," but my dad has been bugging me since we returned from the 'car event circuit', to bake up a batch of Banana Bread. Now, being a diabetic with a sweet tooth, good baked goods that meet the criteria are hard to find, so when he discovers something he likes, he just can't get enough. He claims my Banana Bread is hands down the best he's ever tasted. And if you knew my dad, you'd know he's not big in the empty praise department!

So, in between phone calls, I figured I'd whip up a couple of loaves, and while I'm at it, I may as well post the recipe.

Grandpa's Favorite Banana Bread 
  • 1 cup Granular Splenda
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 9x5" loaf pan with margarine. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except flour, soda and salt. Mix on medium for about 3 minutes. Stir in flour — should be the consistency of thick cake batter, if too "doughy" add a bit of milk. Pour in to greased pan, bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (only insert the skewer once, or the bread will collapse, trust me, I know this!). Let cool 5 minutes. We like it hot out of the oven with a bit of butter.

I make my Banana Bread without nuts of any kind (schools aren't too nut friendly these days) but you are welcome to add a 1/2 cup of chopped nuts if you like. I hope you enjoy it at least 1/2 as much as my dad does. — Linda

Monday, November 16, 2009

1970 Superbird Painting Official Release

It's taken a bit to get back into the swing after our whirl-wind tour of the Car Collector Auction in Toronto, the pre-opening of the Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, Alabama and SEMA in Las Vegas. I finally got it together and posted the webpage for Michael's newest release, Service Fit For A King, featuring Richard Petty's infamous #43, 1970 Superbird.

Service Fit For A King, is a great piece which is already receiving lots of accolades! With the edition size being a bit smaller than Michael's other prints (there are only 500 Limited Edition Giclées on Watercolor paper available), and the fact that it will appear in next year's RacingOne Official Nascar Souvenir Publication, it's sure to be a quick seller. I say next year, but it's really only a couple of months away. Hard to believe 2010 is just around the corner!

We showed the original for only one day in Toronto, and prints and the canvases for one day in Alabama, plus the postcards of the painting will be going out at the beginning of next week and I just sent out the email ... so there are still a few "key" Mopar numbers still available. From past experience, I know those and all years of cars are pretty much the top ones to go, along with #1 and #500 ... unless clients are collecting matching numbers, which I think is really cool!

Remember that this painting was created by Michael so that you can hang it as a horizontal or a vertical — again, very cool. No matter what your space, this painting works! All the paintings in this series, "Above Them All" will be created with the same idea in mind. Just so you know, there are only 500 prints, 20 Artist Proofs with Remarque and 50 Gallery Edition Canvases, TOTAL ... no matter how they are ordered.

Another thing that makes this series very unique ... is that unlike our other prints, these ones are reproduced on watercolor paper. The texture, look and feel of the paper is very similar to the cold-pressed watercolor board Michael paints on, so the Limited Edition Prints and Artist Proofs very closely mimic an original painting.

Have a "super" day! — Linda

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Classic Car Auction, Muscle Car Museum & SEMA

In a three week blur, we exhibited at the Classic Car Auction in Toronto, attended the pre-opening of the soon to be famous Wellborn Muscle Car Museum, and made some new friends at the Automotive Fine Art Exhibit put on by Hot Rod Heritage at SEMA ... wow!

The Auction was our best ever. It was great to see that no matter what the media says about the economy, spirits were high — everyone was having a great time! We set up on Thursday, then showed Michael's work Friday through Sunday. Monday was for regrouping and by Tuesday we were on the road to Alabama.

The Wellborn Muscle Car Museum is absolutely amazing. Scheduled to open to the public spring 2010, it is a must see for all muscle car enthusiasts. I knew it would be incredible, but it exceeded my expectations. Tim and Pam Wellborn are incredibly gracious hosts with a clear vision for the Museum and the collector hobby. Their tag line, "Preserving the American Musclecar Heritage," says it all.

Below are a couple of sneak peeks, including one of Michael with our set up (above). On the far right, you can see the Gallery Edition of his newest #43 Petty Superbird painting. You'll notice that the photos are pretty Mopar heavy, and with good reason: it was the Aero Warriors Superbird Reunion, held every 5 years in Alexander City - we were just lucky enough to be part of it!

Rounding out the trip to Alabama, you know we just HAD to take in the Nascar race at Talladega. To start the day off, 75 wing cars circled the track. Then came the race. Wow. It was amazing to experience our first live Nascar race at a Super Speedway. Incredible, and at the start/finish line no less! 'nough said.

Michael and I took off to Las Vegas (without our kids) just one day after returning from Alabama ... I know, right! SEMA is a pretty amazing experience ... it's just so big. We stayed pretty close to the Art Exhibit, taking the opportunity to meet some new collectors. Michael did take some photos of unique cars, I'll post some once I download them off the camera.

It's been a fun 3 weeks, exciting and tiring, but well worth it. That being said, it's great to be home. The emails and phone messages have been piling up and I have lots of work ahead of me. To begin with, I'll be posting the webpage to release the Petty Superbird, Service Fit For A King, painting this week as well as sending out the email and postcards. And we'll be sending out the prints that have been pre-ordered. In the mean time, here's a look to hold you over!:

Like the other prints in the "Above Them All Series," this one can be ordered as a horizontal or vertical. Special Introductory Pricing will be in effect. Check your email and/or our website on Thursday for the official release. — Linda