Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Chalk Art

I can't believe I'm still posting about Christmas after it has passed.  In my last minute forgetfulness I got my chalk board done on my door.  I did get it done before Christmas but just forgot to mention it along with this wonderful new book on chalk lettering that I wanted to share with everyone.  If you got an Amazon gift card this year for Christmas, you might want to consider purchasing The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering.

You can check out my chalkboard the year before on last year's Christmas post.

I made a few changes with the help of this book:

You can find The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering on Valerie's blog or
on Amazon.  I suggest you check out her blog if you love chalk art like I do and then you should also check out her Etsy shop.  This book is so unique because there is a place on the inside covers of the book to practice your lettering.

I'm much happier with this years chalk lettering on my door.  What do you think?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas From Our Crazy Family

My Crazy family:

Sorry I didn't get this posted sooner, but things are a little crazy around here.  Our family had a great Christmas and I hope you all did as well.  

A dear customer and friend sent us this sweet ornament and I received it right before Christmas.  Thanks so much again Joyce!  It really touched our hearts.  Have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Memories Pillow

Last Christmas I took an old family photo of my brothers and sister with Santa and had it put on a pillow for my mom and sister for Christmas.  I loved them so much that I ordered one for myself!

It's taken from this old photo:

It's too late to order for this year I'm sure, but you can get one by submitting the image you want to use at  
They print the design on both sides.  This makes a very special gift for a loved one any time of the year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Decking the Halls in 2015

This old house has always been so much fun to decorate for Christmas.  From the day I picked up my first paint brush and started painting village scenes, I dreamed of owning an older home and the Lord blessed us as caretakers of this one.

There are always things that have to be repaired and replaced.  Just ask our friend Luke Woods who put in our new heating and cooling system a few days ago about how much fun he had working on this old place. He had to climb
 a ladder to the third floor to put in a ductless wall unit that we decided to add.  Poor guy had to figure out how to use both hands and still hang on to the ladder.  Scary!  Thankfully he survived the ordeal and now it's warm and cozy inside. 

I kind of get goose bumps when I think of the history and the families who celebrated Christmas in this house.

Stockings were hung by the front door with care.  I sure hope Santa has his key.

I'm ready for some wassail, family, and friends to arrive!

Why is it the older I get the less worried I am about getting my shopping done?   I just want the joy and blessing of the season to wash over me and remind me daily of the true meaning of Christmas.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Our New Hardwood Floor

We are so very happy with our new floors in our family room, t.v. room, lodge room.  I call it the t.v. room and Rick calls it his lodge room.  I should have cleaned the glass on the stove door before taking that picture.  That's my sweet girl, Jersey, who decided to photo bomb at the last second.  She really doesn't like to have her picture taken.

The dogs aren't sure they like the new floors.  They seemed to prefer the warmth of the grungy old berber carpet.  They do have cozy dog beds though.

The floors have 3 different size boards and are more rustic than they appear in these pictures.

My favorite part of this old house is the fireplace. I was so excited to hang our new stockings that I bought when we were in Colorado this summer.  When we first moved into this house, I was bent over cleaning the hearth and raised up hitting my head on the corner of that stone mantel.  It nearly knocked me out!

My new curtains came for this room yesterday.  The cords on the old ones that raised and lowered them had rotted from the sun and no longer function.  I'm crossing my fingers that I like how the new curtains look once they are up.  I may have to order a bamboo blind for that door window that I forgot about!

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Christmas Mystery

This little license plate with the name Ethel West age14 on it was nailed upside down over a hole in our old wood floor.  Check out my last blog post to see the photo of the tin on the floor.  When the guys tore out the old floor they took it out with the rest of the wood to haul it off.  The other day when Rick was cleaning up all the leaves in the yard he found a piece of tin on the ground and realized where it came from.  Ethel did not want to leave our/her home.   The license plate never made it to the truck of rubble that was being hauled to the dump.  

If you look closely you can see the year 1959 embossed below her age.
That would make Ethel 70 years old now.  I'm going to search to see if we can find her.  I strung some string through the holes and placed it on our Christmas tree.

You can see her license plate right in the center of the tree.

I'll share more of our new flooring soon, but I've still got more decorating to do.

I had to put off my Christmas decorations until the new floor was in.  We also had a new heating and cooling unit put in before it gets cold here in the midwest.  Our weather has been unusually warm for this time of year.  How is the weather in your area?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Lodge Room Flooring Makeover

While everyone out there in blogland is busy sharing their Christmas decorations this is what is happening in our house.  

The carpet is out and the guys came today to remove this nasty original hardwood flooring.  There were several boards that were going to have to be replaced if we were going to refinish it. 

Damaged flooring from the old radiators....

Tin nailed over holes in the floor and a couple boards had dry rot....

This is what was under the hardwood flooring.  I really didn't think it would be running diagonally.   Maybe I'm weird, but I kind of like it.  The new hardwood flooring will be put down tomorrow.  I can't wait!

 It's a little tough to decorate for Christmas when you have two rooms piled into one.  My family isn't happy that I'm talking about painting over the stenciling in this room.  I've had it for almost 15 years and I'm pretty tired of the grapevines.  I'll show you the finished floors soon! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't want anyone to think I've dropped my blog so I'll explain what's been going on.  My husband had cataract surgery on one eye, the following week I had sinus surgery, and yesterday my husband had cataract surgery on the other eye.  We are both doing well but I didn't want to post during that time in case I started to complain along the way.  We were both very blessed and I'm actually breathing again.

Hopefully I'll get back on track soon but we are having a little work done on our house and there's furniture to be moved and sawdust to clean up.  I'll share soon!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Royal's Celebration Parade

Yesterday we were still celebrating the Royal's victory and went downtown Kansas City for the parade with about 800,000 other people.  We tried to take pictures of the sea of blue in front of the Union Station, but we were looking into the sun.  My daughter, Amber, took these two.  The aerial shots from the television stations were amazing.  All you could see were the tops of trees and building and thousands of people in blue.

We had a great time celebrating with friends and family and the people in this huge crowd were very well behaved.  Only three arrests out of that many people is pretty amazing.  
Heading toward the parade we found this altered speed limit sign.  
I guess the fun is over and it's time to get back to work!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Go Royals!

I apologize for being more excited about baseball than painting, but this is what we are doing.  This photo is from one of the playoff games.  We'll be watching the games and cheering in front of our t.v.!  Our kids, Amber and Eric came over last night to watch the game with us.  Our good friend, Mark, joined us as well as we stayed up stressing out for 14 innings!  Way to go Royals!

This painting is traveling today to it's new home Pennsylvania:

"Beekeeper's Cottage"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Autumn Wreath

This is my husband's idea of a fall wreath.  Although right now I have to admit that I really like it!  I'm not sure who you're cheering for in tonights game at Royal Stadium, but I know who we are rooting for.  We did wake up to gentle rain this morning so I'm hoping it stops before game time.

We'll be watching the game from here though and this room is a mess right now.  Last weekend we ripped out the carpet because my sinuses couldn't take it any more.  Every time I sat down in the room to watch t.v. I couldn't breath.  Watching the ball games with no oxygen getting through just increases the stress load.  

Needless to say the floors underneath are in pretty bad condition and we will need to have them refinished or replaced.  I'll keep you updated on that.  This was the only carpet left in the house and even though the floors look bad, I'm breathing a little easier for the game tonight!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New Round Snowman Folk Art Puzzle

My "Chimney Smoke and Cheery Snowfall" painting is now available as a round puzzle and you can get it at Bits and Pieces website.

I'm off to work on a new autumn painting!  Love this new cooler weather, but my sinus's not so much.  It's difficult to love autumn, my favorite time of year when I suffer with seasonal allergies!  It's kind of a love/hate relationship.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fill Our Hearts With Thankfulness Folk Art Painting

The neighbors who live in this little cove are thankful for so many things.  They join together each year at their church to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for those who have no place to go.  Large tables laden with turkey, mashed potatoes, and all the fixin's greet those who come through the doors.  Pumpkin pies and various other desserts are served as the guests finish up their meal.  Needs are met and new friendships are formed.

Last night I stayed up and finished this little 6" x 6" autumn painting because the Royals had the night off.  Looks like we'll be playing the Astros tomorrow night.  I can't paint and watch the games so I'm glad I was able to finish this one up.  Are any of my readers baseball fans or am I alone on this?  Oh, maybe I should do a painting with some children playing baseball!

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:4

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Christmas On Hickory Hill Folk Art Painting

I've slowly but surely been working on this painting and finally got it finished today.  I decided to cool things down by having it snow in this little scene.  Guess what?  It worked!  It cooled down and we had perfect weather in the 60's today!  You can find this painting in my Etsy Store and at the top of my blog by clicking on the "Original Paintings" link.

In the cozy cottage at the top of Hickory Hill, Christmas is being celebrated.  Children gather around the piano as grandma plays Christmas carols and tiny voices sing merrily along to the melody.  Grandpa reads to the children about Wise Men following a star and bringing gifts as the children listen quietly.  Tired from a long day outside building snowmen, the children snuggle up warming themselves by the fire.  
Sleepy heads nod as little ones are carried up to beds and tucked in under warm quilts as they dream of a little baby in a manger born in a stable. 

Are you Christmas shopping yet?  I saw Christmas decorations on the shelves at Walmart this week.  I haven't even started my fall decorating yet!   I guess I'm just as bad as the retailers, but it takes a while to do a painting and I would love to have more than one new Christmas painting this year.  I do apologize and hope you can forgive me for having so much fun with these little scenes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sunflower Lane Folk Art Painting

Some of you who have taken classes from me over the years or purchased my instruction books will recognize that several different paintings over the years are combined into this one painting, 

I don't enjoy repeating paintings, but it was fun to take some of my favorite parts from the past and combining them into this one colorful summer design.

Sunflower Lane comes to life every summer with it's beautiful blooms rising high above the white fence reaching for the sun.   Bright colored aprons swing in the breeze on the clothesline as a kitten sleeps in the basket below.  Dogs and cats live happily together in this little neighborhood where children run and play outside.  Clara who makes and sells confections directly from her farmhouse kitchen, loves to make extras for the paperboy who delivers her news right to her front step.

Summer is quickly coming to an end as the beautiful shades of autumn start to arrive.  I'll miss those flip flop days, green grass, and fragrant flowers.  What's you favorite part of summer?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pirate's Cove Halloween Painting

As promised, here is my new Halloween painting:
"Pirate's Cove Halloween"

In Pirate's Cove as soon as the moon rises high in the sky,  tiny goblins run from house to house giggling and gathering treats of caramel apples, popcorn balls, candy corn and various sweets and surprises.  Adults and scared pets warm themselves by an inviting fire as they supervise their surroundings.  Pirates anchor their ship in the cove curiously spying on these shenanigans as a ghost slips over the bridge chasing a very tiny witch and her suspicious black cat.  This scary evening includes tiny tots and their bewildered dog dressed in strange uncomfortable attire being pulling by the wagon load through a small cemetery.  Bugs and various creepy crawlers, pirates, mummies, and a superhero swarm the streets. A sweet princess being escorted by a mouse standing on two feet is about to magically fill her treat bag when she taps on the door, demurely smiles, and chants "trick or treat!"

This painting was so much fun to paint!  Like I've mentioned before, it's hard to know when to stop painting.  I have this painting for sale on my blog and in my Etsy shop.  To locate it on my blog, click on the tab at the top for "Original Painting".

Monday, September 14, 2015

Annual Autumn Barn Dance & Hayride Folk Art Painting

This painting, Annual Autumn Barn Dance & Hayride, is one of my most looked at prints on FineArt America.  I do, however, need a better image of this particular piece so that I can sell larger prints.  Back in the day when I first started selling my artwork on eBay, I never stopped to think about reproducing them for prints before the paintings were sold.  

I may just have to paint this one again.  I will probably make a few changes here and there to make it new and fresh though.  

I also have a new Halloween painting to share that I finished last year and have been hanging onto it.  

Have you started decorating for fall?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Halloween Folk Art

I am ready for those little signs of fall to begin.   Pumpkins, brightly colored leaves, mums, sweater weather, and hot cider are a few of my favorite things.

Autumn has always been my favorite season and it's here and gone before you know it.  I want to take the time to fully embrace it this year.  

What is your favorite thing about fall?  Do you take the time to count your blessings or rush through the season?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

These Shoes Could Do Some Talking

I'm sure you must think this story is about how many miles and the wonderful places theses shoes have taken me, but you would be mistaken.  These shoes were purchased just a few days ago while in the little town of Salida, CO while we were on vacation.  I had searched for just the exact pair of hiking shoes that would suit my feet because comfort is all I care about at this age.

Rick even snuck in a couple pair of $20 socks that he knew I'd never pay that kind of money for, but I have to admit that I love the stripes.  But, that's not the story either.

After leaving Murdoch's, a great store by the way,  I quickly put my new shoes on in the car before we got to Walmart in search of the butter we forgot to buy.  I kept hearing this clicking noise behind me with every step and looked down to see a the price tag hooked to the back of one shoe.  Rick saved me by the flick of his knife, slashing through the string of the tag.  Once we arrived back at the car I realized that everyone in the Salida, CO Walmart now knows my shoe size because the stickers stating my size (which I'm keeping to myself now) were still stuck on the toes of my new Keen hiking shoes.  As a young chick, I woul have been mortified and red faced.  At this age, it's good for a laugh!  In my defense I'm not used to buying shoes without boxes that are sitting on a shelf with tags stuck on the toes and the price attached to the loop on the back of one shoe.  

It appears that poor Rick is in for lots of good old belly laughs in our future!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rainbow Lake Resort Vacation

Good Morning!

We've been gone on a wonderful relaxing trip to Colorado for several days.  This sweet little guy came up to our car on the street in Cripple Creek to greet us.  Such a friendly place!

We stayed at Rainbow Lake Resort in Buena Vista and this was our little oasis for the week.  See that beautiful lake beyond our cabin?  We could see the lake from the window behind our dining table.  I would open the curtains each morning and sit there with my coffee.  Occasionally I'd see an early riser with his fishing pole walking by my window and they would wave to me. 

I was busy fishing while Rick was cooking hamburgers and he snapped this image from our deck.  What a beautiful view to wake up to each day!

I love this place!  Life was going on around us and we were tucked away here with no phones, tv, or internet.

Who needs constant entertainment when you can have this?

We took a walk around the lake, watching out for the yellow, black bear that had been making an appearance at the resort.  I didn't know there was such a thing as a yellow, black bear.  We never saw him, but this is what the resort looks like from the other side of the lake.  Our cabin, Little Bear, was to the left of that red cabin and up the hill a little.

Sunset on the lake was amazing too!  This is the little cabin we reserved for next year.  It's a little bigger, much older and has actual logs.  It sits tucked in behind some birch trees and has a little pond with a creek running into it and the lake is in front of this pond.  Can't wait to return!  How was your week?