Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Cool Break!

Hello again!  I took a break from drawing and headed north to New Hampshire and Maine, to celebrate another great year of life.  We stayed with friends in New Hampshire and ventured to the top of Mt. Washington.  What an interesting place!!  It has quite a range of temperatures, and has recorded the coldest American temperature, on record.  The winds can be tricky, as well.  It has a major weather station, too.   We just happened to catch it on a beautiful day with hikers climbing up from every direction.  It was a bit cool at the top, but what an exciting experience for us.

Here is the top with views as far as the eye can see.
I think this is also part of the Appalachian Trail.
(you can correct me on that one)

We took a break inside the Tip-Top House.
There are informative exhibits and snacks to be had...
We heard every language spoken!

We loved it up on the mountain, but, of course, hunger called us down to the Mt. Washington Inn; a beautiful, old, but very updated Hotel.  We sat on the veranda with our friends, and had a lovely, late, lunch, while Mr. Bear entertained us (and the pan banging staff) with his antics.  He was not the least bit intimidated by the presence of all of us, and just wanted to sit in the warm sun for a bit.  He was chased away, but meandered up the trail, where many hikers walked the trails.  I was happy to be on the veranda, this time. 

A very tame bear, came calling!

After a lovely visit in New Hampshire, we headed to Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  It's a favorite spot of ours, to cool off, chill out and take a break from an otherwise crazy world.  The past month had been especially stressful for us, as friends lost beloved children & grandchildren.  I tend to carry the pain of others, close to my heart.  It hurts so much to see others lose loved ones.  A break from the news and timeout to reflect, is what I found in a sweet cottage in Maine.  It's actually in Southport, which is just south of the Harbor.  

What a view we have from the cottage.

The owner keeps a lovely garden.

An afternoon of rain allowed for some play!
This is the center of the Japanese Peony (above)
after the bloom is over.

We ate out quite a bit, and had our fair share of Lobster & Crab, which are abundant in the summer.
However, we always find a small space to savor a sweet treat.  

This was a Guinness cupcake with Bailey's Irish Creme frosting!
Oh my!!  Sweet Hubby took this home for us to celebrate
(I ate the frosting!!)

A celebration of Windjammers filled the Bay.
There was even a parade in town.  We sat on the curb and watched all the first responders,
politicians, local business people, and the shriners in their mini-cars.
All the cars and floats went by with buckets of candy thrown to the kids.
It was a treasure of a moment.
Small town America at it's best!

Windjammer in the harbor

Taking a walk near our cottage.

I am now working on a memory of Maine.
I love the rocky beaches and rugged shores.
If I get it finished, I shall share again next month.

Lastly, I just want every one to BE KIND.... to their neighbors; to their fellow drivers; to their family and friends.  Think before you act.... count to ten....and ten again, when you are angry.   Put the twitter down and talk to each other.  Listen.  "Mitzvahs are quiet acts of kindness....without shouting about them, from the roof tops"  We need more mitzvahs and less shouting from the rooftops.  Walk in another's shoes, for a moment.

We really do not know what others might be going through.  I have had enough of the bullying, preaching, blaming, teasing to last a life time.  I hope to just focus on quiet, kind acts towards others.  Maybe, we can start a movement of caring about each other, regardless of faith, color, preferences, mates.  Give everyone you meet this month, a hug & a smile.  It just may make their day...and yours! 

Peace *  Harmony  *  Laughter  * Love

Friday, June 8, 2018

Art is on the back burner


Yes, it is steamy outside and very warm.  I forget about the humidity that builds up in the summer
and if I don't walk early in the morning, then it becomes a difficult task (which I may choose to ignore!).  Still, afternoon rains can cool it down so that outdoor picnics in the late afternoon can be wonderful.  Gardening can also be done, but one must choose between early or late, if you don't want heat stroke!

I would love to do this, but the HOA would have no part of it.
Sadly, we limit the creativity in large developments these days.
Sometimes, that is a good thing....and sometimes it is NOT!
(Leiper's Fork, Franklin, TN)

We have been enjoying our screened in porch.  It is definitely not as creative as the one below (that we saw on a recent visit to Nashville), but it is lovely to feel the afternoon breeze, while dipping into some guacamole & chips, with a glass of wine.  Yes, it is summer, at it's best!

Lieper's Fork,  near Franklin, TN

As for the gardens, we trim and care for the plants, but the heat is hard on all that grows here.  It's best to plant early in spring, and just let them be through out the summer.  

I love the clematis, but have no luck with it in Florida.
Just thought that I would put it in as a favorite!

This is what we get here!
It has it's own beauty, don't you think?

This is my birth family.
This was a summer day in Minnesota
back in the dark ages!

What I am working on during these hot summer days, is my family's geneology.  I have done the DNA testing, as has Sweet Hubby.  It was interesting to find out that some relatives are out there, but since no one on my Mother's side or my Sweet Hubby's side has managed to write anything down in fifty years, it has taken some digging to update the family files.  I have been slowly updating the Maternal and Paternal sides of both Sweet Hubby and my family.  Wow!  My eyes are crossed and I keep getting everyone mixed up, so it is slow going, but it is the perfect thing to do, and stay nice and cool, indoors, with air conditioning!

Here we are on an Easter Sunday.

I think that pigtails are making a comeback? 

Does anyone dress up for Church any more? 

We were a pretty cute foursome, when we scrubbed up!

I have been working on a few things.  The first was a gift for a new baby.  I love doing this for friends and their families.  I haven't done more than a handful, but I always enjoy the process, as it is different than the botanicals that usually fill my days.

A baby gift
made with love! 

I also went back to something that I whipped up several months ago.  I painted a Poinsettia plant and while it was fine...it wasn't popping, so I decided to add some gold paint to the background and  it did "POP"!!  Tell me what you think.  I might just create a few cards with it.  Who knows.

whenever I put these on the screen, I can see a dozen ways
to improve the painting.  Back it goes: to the drawing board!
Ah! the work of an artist can always be improved.

So that's it for this month.  Stay cool, but get outside and enjoy the days.  Even if modifications are necessary to enjoy the summer, it's still that magical time of beaches, Sun, fireworks, and fun!  


Peace * Harmony * Laughter * Love 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Traveling to the West!

Hello again!
This month, I am quite late with my blog entry, as we were in the air and on the road in California.  What an incredible state of our union.  We had every kind of weather, and went from coastal to mountains to desert in ten days.  Each place was unique and special. 

Spring was bursting all over.

wisteria in Rockridge

One of the flowers that I love the most is the Calla Lily
which grows on the hills, wild and free.

Of course, visiting our kids is always a highlight.  We made the most of our short time together (these kids are working hard, and time off is hard to get...so we made the most of our weekend, stretching it just a bit on either side of Saturday & Sunday). 

We took the Huckleberry hike.
We saw everything from Manzanita, Huckleberry, Calla Lilies,
wild iris & poison oak. 


We started in the East Bay area, up in the hills of Oakland and Piedmont.  Such beauty!  Spring was at it's best. 

I have no idea....just pretty and petite

We splurged on a very special meal at a very special restaurant.  Sometimes, you just have to go for it, and have memories instead of money, in your bank.

A Berkeley treat
Food changed completely when Alice Waters
came on the scene, with her merry band
of Chefs and foodies.

We ate upstairs in the Cafe.
Delightful, and delish!

We also went to Santa Rosa to see the Charles Schultz Museum (home of Snoopy and friends).

What's not to love?

A truer statement can not be made about Art and the Artist.
We love it and do it, because we cannot think of a world without Art.
Music, Poetry, Drawing, Painting, Crafting
It feeds the soul.

Snoopy agrees!

And off we go to more adventures.

We had to leave our sweet kids and move on to Sequoia, where there was still snow on the ground.  We had hoped to hike in King's Canyon, but there was still too much snow.  However, Sequoia was majestic and filled us with awe.

large is an understatement!!!

We are talking - LARGE!!!

These trees are unique to the area.
the weather and moisture are just what they need to grow so tall.

we weren't kidding about the snow.
It was on the North side of the Park and temperatures were in the 40's.

Working our way to our next stop.
We crossed the Mojave desert and dust storms
to Joshua Tree.
Plants are small and delicate and thirsty here.
When the rain does come (& there are only 3 inches a year)
everything bursts forth in glory.
We were lucky...we came right after they had a bit of rain.

Joshua Trees are unique and this National Park was created to save them
from extinction.  Now, they are healthy and contained in this perfect
enviornment for them.  

It was exciting to see blooms in the desert!

survival is not easy, but there is beauty in the stark desert.

Ocotillo plants do not bloom until after a strong rain.
The color and beauty of this plant, against the backdrop of the desert
was stunning.  There were only a few on the way out of the park.

Beauty and the Beast.
Those spines are seriously sharp!

We completed our trip with friends in Palm Desert and family in Los Angeles, before boarding our plane back to Florida.  With in six days, we were back in the car and heading to Nashville, Tennessee.

But, while I was home, I saw a japanese Boro on Pinterest.  I just had to draw it.  That is the maximum amount of art done this month....a drawing copied from Pinterest, in my sketch book.
See you soon.

Farmer's Boro


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Forward

It has been a busy month for me.  Spring gets very warm, here in Florida, and this Spring is no exception.  The garden is happy and the flowers are beautiful.  We have lots of Orchids, and they are tucked in everywhere.  I thought that I would share some photos of them, for you.

At a local Art fair, we found a bamboo holder for our Orchids.
It is working out just great.

I certainly do not know all of the specific names,
but they are hardy and happy for months.

We have tucked some Orchids into our palms
along with our Staghorn fern.

While our Orchids are thriving, so is the rest of our garden.  Sweet Hubby has been working on our Australian tree fern, and it is coming along nicely, after two years.

Can you see the baby fern, unfurling it's sweet leaves?

Eventually, it will be much taller.
(I had to get down low to give you an idea of what it will be like in the future)

Of course, our geraniums never go away.
These were found in the garden, when we moved in
 and have bloomed delightfully, ever since we placed them in pots.

some plants just have fabulous texture and style

Others live only a short time,
but their blooms are exquisitely elegant!

Our Garden is a place of Peace & Calm

Speaking of Peace.....

I have become a warrior for peace, these days.  My Sweet Hubby and I took to the streets on March 24th for the  "March for Our Lives".  We joined 7,000 of the locals and listened to Students and Teachers, who no longer want gun violence in their schools.  I can no longer stand by and do nothing.  I owe it to my children, and the future generations to help make their schools a place of learning and a safe haven for growth.

7,000 citizens marching for our children's lives

My favorite Quote was, "Arms are for hugging"

Art working

But, I digress..... I have been working,.....really!  

I have started a few projects and even found time to order up some cards from Shutterfly.  They always do such a nice job of printing, and I am continually pleased with the product.  

These arrived within a week of my order!
(No, Shutterfly is not paying me to promote them; I just really like their product)

I think that they turned out nicely, don't you?


Here is some other stuff that I have been working on.  I also have done some work that I can share eventually, but it is a gift for friends, so don't want to spoil their surprise.

Ok, this one is really out of season,
I was working with my watercolors again.
I am thinking of notecards for next
Christmas & Hanukkah.

I was 'playing with rocks' in colored pencil.

Cattails (Typha)
colored pencil

And lastly, I have been experimenting....

 I have wanted to do a black and white drawing with a modern edge.  This is what happened.  Ha, I think that I should stick to flowers and plant life, but it is good to try something different, every once in a while.  

"My Peeps"
colored pencil

It's been busy, and plans to get busier this month.  I may not get as much work done, but I am definitely going to make some time to "play" this month.  We may even go exploring.  

Peace - Harmony - Laughter - Love