Monday, June 29, 2015

Make a Friendship Braid Quilt

Normally this time of year I would be sharing pictures of my garden and flowers shining in all their glory, but this year I felt like I should be standing side by side with Noah and his family building an ark.  Needless to say we have lost several plants as well as new grass due to several flash floods in our area this spring and summer.  We sit high on a hill, but the ground can only take so much water in such a short amount of time.  I will stop complaining right here because so many people have had it so much worse.

Therefore, since there is no point in trying to garden, I have spent more time painting and sewing.  I'll share my paintings soon, but today since the sun was shining for a few hours, I decided to photograph my "Friendship Braid" quilt that I just got back from our local quilt shop.  I had them machine quilt it for me and I put the binding on myself.  


I love the name of this quilt as well as the design.  I think of great friendships woven together when I look at this design and the title seems so fitting.  



I love bright colors combined with crisp white and have decided to use this lap quilt at the foot of my bed ready to grab for a quick power nap.


I've added the video instructions to this post in case you want to give this quilt a try.  


It's sink or swim here and I decided to get my act together and get some things done despite the weather!  What do you do when the weather keeps you inside?  Keep your chin up and your nose above water!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Summer Bouquet Surprise


Rick and I came home from a weekend trip to find this beautiful bouquet on our back porch.  A beautiful red headed angel of two adorable children thought of us and dropped it by.  

It's one of those arrangements that's so artfully put together that you can enjoy it from all sides, but I couldn't put it on my dining room table because my cat, Bailey, also loves flowers and would have taken it apart.  It's much safer in it's current location on the buffet.

You really topped off our weekend Kerry!  Hugs from both of us!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Winter Clean Up

Instead of painting I've been busy cleaning up my yard and trying to clear the mess from all the oak trees.  Weeding is a top priority right now too.  I love getting outside and breathing in the fresh air even if I do have severe allergies.  It really clears my mind and restores me.  Oh how I wish I could drag my paints and brushes outside and not worry about particles landing on my canvas.  Hey Rick,  I need a screened in porch.


This is the second year for my clematis and it has performed extremely well.


The flowers are huge!


I was able to capture this butterfly in my lilacs, although he was not cooperating when I asked him to spread his wings.


I'll be planting these soon.  


My poor weeping cherry tree didn't make it through the dry winter, but my columbine survived as the dogs trampled over it all winter.  Did your trees and flowers survive the weather?


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Early Signs of Spring


Today I'm painting sunflowers along a winding roading through a little village.  Summer scenes have never been my forte.  I've always been more inspired by snow scenes, Christmas, autumn leaves, but generally not spring or summer.  But, today, kids playing outside, bikes, swings, flowers, aprons hanging from a clothesline and gently blowing in the breeze have been guiding my brush through this new scene.  As I got up from my table I was greeted by the sun shining through the trees and making the chartreuse green of the budding leaves and the lavender shades of the redbud blooms contrast against the dark shadows.  This has always been one of my favorite color combinations!  This is God speaking to me through the mess of leaves piled up and needing to be bagged.  Today I was able to see the beauty through the mess.  

I can see the beauty of His creation in the clematis vines with the buds soon to bloom.  Sometimes it's hard to see the beauty for the mess of weeds and dead branches, but if we look close enough it's there.


Yes, there are weeds to pull in my front corner flower bed, but I focused instead on the blooming dogwood tree in contrast with the red, white, and blue of the flag, I see the beauty.


I love my dogwood tree and it's lovely creamy white blooms and my neighbor's little white cottage. 


Here is a view of the dogwood from the window seat in my bedroom.  His beauty is all around us if we pay attention, even in the middle of our messes.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Favorite Corner in My Home

Melissa Michael's blog has been a favorite of mine since I first starting blogging a few years ago.  I was so excited to receive my copy of her new book in the mail this morning, "Love the Home You Have".   


If you're feeling your home is less than "Pinterest Worthy" or have the tendency to be envious and maybe even a little jealous of how bloggers decorate their homes, this is probably the book for you.



Melissa has asked us to share our favorite corner in our home on her Home Love Stories website and I decided to share it here too.

I seriously need to paint the walls in this room again, but try your best to ignore the walls and focus in on this rustic desk that my sweet sister, Patti, passed on to me when she sold her house.

This piece was handmade by a friend of hers.  I adore all the little cubby holes and drawers and this makes the perfect spot for me to fill and ship all my print orders from my Etsy Store.  Another reason I love this corner of my home so much is that it reminds me how blessed I am and thankful for each customer that chooses to hang my artwork in their home.  The little wooden chair came from Grandma's farm and that makes this space doubly blessed by these two special ladies in my life!


These little cubbies are the perfect spot for special items like the set of Jacks my sister gave me for Christmas one year.  We are still kids at heart!  I found the brass "Public Schools of New York" doorknob years ago and it fits here perfectly.


Before Christmas, I found this bundle of twig colored pencils at T.J. Maxx  and they've found a home on the corner of my desk.


Do you have a favorite corner in your home?  If not, gather some special pieces with memories and create one!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Halloween Painting On It's Way To A New Home

So long "Echoes of Trick or Treat"!  
I will miss this painting and seem have become attached to some of them lately.


I'm sure it will provide much joy to it's new owner and that makes me very happy.  This painting is available as a print in my Etsy shop and now is available in two sizes:  8 x 10 inch and 11 x 14 inch.  If you're looking for a larger size you can purchase it in my FineArt America shop or have it printed on a pillow in my Pixels store.  

As much as I'll miss this painting, I have a new Halloween painting ready for it's reveal and will share it later this year. I can't wait for you to see it!  

Ideas for new paintings keep running through my head and plans to redesign my art studio hopefully are in the near future.  


Friday, February 13, 2015

Learn Something New!

This story starts many years ago when my daughter, Amber, came to me wanting to learn to knit.  She was young and didn't have the patience to get past the point where she wasn't so tense and her knitting so tight that you couldn't get the needle to slide under the stitches.  Step forward a few years and she is now a knitting animal!  We call her the bag lady because she takes a large bag of knitting everywhere we go.  She even knitted through the Royals games this year and that's hard to do when you're screaming and cheering on your favorite baseball team!


Now lets go back several more years.  Melissa, a painting pal of mine, started taking acrylic folk art classes with me when Amber was just a youngster.  I hadn't seen her in years even though we live in the same small town.  Isn't it sad how we lose touch with people we enjoy?  Step forward several years once again and I found Melissa on Facebook.  I found out she had a Facebook page called Barefoot On The Farm and started reading up on what she'd been doing all these years.  Melissa is one of the most talented down to earth people I know.  She and her husband built a house in the country and added a studio for her to practice her many talents.  


We like so many of the same things.  The difference between us is that she isn't afraid to dive in and try something new.   She thinks big.  Where I love to go out and buy beautiful yarn, Melissa raises sheep, spins her own fleece, and on and on until she has a finished product.  She also has several looms and weaves beautiful items as well.  Melissa, as I mentioned, has many talents including photography.  Me, I just steal my daughter's photos for this post from Facebook!   Being an artist, I don't encourage this kind of behavior.  Thanks Amber!  

Amber has been wanting to learn to dye her own yarn and when I talked with Melissa she said that she would love to teach us how to do that.  

In these top two photos we are learning to kettle dye our wool skeins.  We felt like chemists with all the bottles, adding a splash of this and a little of that.  Someone mentioned on Facebook that the photo above looks like a large pot of pasta!


Here I'm learning to hand paint my yarn.  Fun!


This is Amber's hand painted yarn.  I love this one and can't wait to see what she makes with it!


The one with the arrow is the same one in the previous photo.
We each finished 6 skeins of yarn and we were like kids in a candy store!  The colors were so yummy!


After all this fun we then went out and got introduced to the sheep, chickens, and pigs.  My  friend Melissa is living the life on the farm and knows how to live her dream!  Don't be afraid to dream and go out and learn something new!  

Melissa also creatively named all her sheep after herbs.  Sweet don't you think?







Monday, February 2, 2015

Be Mine Valentine Sale


Purchase any print or painting from my Etsy shop through Valentine's Day and receive a 25% discount when using the code BEMINE at checkout. You must enter the discount code to receive the 25% off your purchase. You can click on the below:


Last week was a pretty tough week for us.  We lost two people that we dearly love, two sister in laws were in the hospital and then my father in law fell and ended up at the hospital.  Everyone is now home from the hospital and doing well.  

I have a donation link in the right sidebar of my blog for our friend that we lost to cancer this week and I'm so happy to see that they have gotten to 70% of their goal.  We hope to reach his goal to help his wife with all these expenses.  We lost a cousin to ALS this week as well.  God is good because we know they are in a better place and without pain and suffering.  Cherish everyday and be thankful for our blessing many blessings.



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fun Filled Pinterest Day by the Lake

My dear friend, Lana, invited us to her new lake home for a Pinterest day with the girls.  Lana is on the left and Suzette, another dear friend, and my daughter, Amber had a great time crafting all day.  These gals really are family and a blast to be with!    We were having way to much fun and working too hard for me to mess with my camera, so I shot these images with my iPad.  I  apologize for the poor photos.  


We started off the day with a salad for lunch followed by this wonderful gluten free dessert that Lana made.  Chocolate is my favorite and it was so good!


We made terrariums with instructions from Suzette…..


I love Lana's collection of breadboards on her light blue walls.


This island was the perfect spot to do all our crafting!  If I'd had a better camera you would be able to see the lake view through the windows.


Lana had chalkboards for us to decorate with chalk makers….




Amber had mugs for us to ink and bake...


I was lazy and brought canvas and white stickers to create with….




Before we went home we made bracelets (the one at the top of Amber's wrist)...


We also decorated canvas pillow slip covers, sea glass bottles, and a glass vase painting.


Love you gals!  If you're looking for a great weekend with friends, try this out!  
I spent the following day looking up new ideas to try next time.










Monday, January 19, 2015

Christmas In Fox Creek Village Painting


We had such a blessed Christmas this year and from what I've been reading on everyone's blogs, so have many of you.   It's always so hard to take down all the decorations after the holidays and I did let it linger until the first week of the New Year.  It's kind of like taking all the frosting off the cake.  The house looks a little blank afterwards.  Does anyone else feel this way?  But, it's a clean slate and it's a new year!

I've was very busy the first two weeks of January repainting an older scene, Christmas In Fox Creek Village, for a licensing project and for the simple fact that I wanted a better larger image.  I don't usually  enjoy repeating a painting, but my heart was really into it this time which was another blessing.  I've decided to paint as many Christmas paintings as I can this year because they are just so much fun!  I may even add more to this painting just to make it a little different.  Maybe a horse and buggy on the road, more people, or whatever pops into my mind.  I'm always open to suggestions.  This painting will also be up for sale if anyone is interested.  I'm not sure if you have noticed, but I've also added a tab at the top of my blog for Original Paintings where you can make direct purchases.  I will be adding more paintings there as they are completed and still sell them in my Etsy shop along with all my prints.  I also purchased a new Epson printer so I will soon offer larger format 11 x 14 and up to 13 x 19 inch in my Etsy shop.

This year I had this photo of my siblings with Santa printed on a pillow to give to my sister and my mother.  It's always fun to give something special to loved ones.


That's me on the left.  It looks like I trimmed my own bangs.  The sad little guy next to me is Keith, a very youthful looking Santa, Patti, and Joe.  I was so happy with this pillow because it is printed on a very nice quality slipcover that can be washed and the pillow was included.  You can have your own memories printed on a pillow at pixels.com in a variety of sizes.  

Wishing everyone a very blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas From Our House to Yours!

Wishing all my readers, friends, and family a very Merry Christmas!
We don't have snow this year so I thought I'd share this one from a few years ago.



And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cozy Cottage Christmas

This past summer we worked hard with our son, Eric, getting his new home ready to move into.  I just thought you might like seeing how the living room looks decorated for Christmas and see the transformation.

Our old skinny tree fits in nicely without blocking the cabinets surrounding the fireplace.




This is what it looked like before.


He removed the mirror and thankfully it wasn't glued to the wall.  I did have to retexture the area behind the mirror because of a few hairline cracks.


My hubby fixed the firebox and Eric is ready for his first toasty fire.
Thanks Bonnie for doing all the beautiful Christmas decorating!