Dec 28, 2009

Envies that the Christmas frenzy is over and things are starting to return to normal, I did finally manage to get to my art room and create an envelope for an envie swap coming up.
Felt really good to actually do a bit of art. Hopefully there will be much more time for that!!

Dec 24, 2009

Holiday wishes

Just want to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.
May you all get to share lovely warm moments with your family and friends.

Dec 21, 2009

Snowy weekend

Well....looks like it'll be a white Christmas. With approx. 18" inches of snow over the weekend...I don't think it's going to melt anytime too soon.

I have to say, while it does tend to change plans for everyone when this's actually quite beautiful. I had to get out there and take some pics from around the house.

The gazebo in the front yard always looks lovely surrounded by snow...not to mention the trees lining the driveway. Thank goodness for the snowblower.

The stone wall at the top of the driveway always makes a pretty image.

Looking at the expression on the trees...they're enjoying it too!

Dec 17, 2009

Catching up....

or at least trying to.
Computer problems have been playing with my brain...not to mention my nerves over the past week. I'm sure everyone has been there. No fun at all!!!
Finding a trustworthy computer geek to fix it is even less fun. I now have discovered at least one place I won't use again.....right, Cool Geeks??
Without getting into all the icky details....the machine had to go back more than once...and in the end they actually re-installed windows....and then told me that they discovered this didn't actually need to be done. AFTER I lost tons of stuff that stores in a certain program directly...which of course isn't on my machine anymore!!!!!!!'s home again....hopefully to stay. Now the fun of months worth of work to restore some of my loss will begin. It took forever just to get my other machines hooked back up to it and get all the drivers playing nice with each other!
All this while trying to stay jolly and get through the holiday season. Right!
I'll try....but it's not going to be pretty.
Lots of red wine by the fire in the evening....that should help!
Happy Holidays!

Dec 9, 2009

More pink

Well....the open studios show last weekend is over and it went sooo well.
Sold art, jewelry, cards, etc. Great crowd all weekend regardless of the weather. It rained awfully on Saturday and we woke on Sunday to snow.

One of the cupcake pieces that sold was one that was mainly pink. Seems to be a color that gets attention. So, while at the show, I worked on another mostly pink cupcake. It was great to have a set-up for actually working at the same time. People loved watching what was going on and how these are done.

While at the show I also met a local newspaper writer who does articles for the "art scene" in the area. She was quite excited about my work and the unusual nature of it and wants to do an article! Yay.

I'll be in touch with her to see what we can work out.

Dec 2, 2009

Studio video

Well....I went to the studio again the other day to spend the afternoon trying to tie things up for the weekend open studios show at Shady Lea Mill. Before I left, I decided to take a video to help remind me of what I need to finish up and have with me when I go back on Sat. for the show. Then, I thought, even though the video isn't anything to write home may be of interest to my friends who can't make it there. you are....a look around.

I tried to add the video directly to the blog but kept getting here it is on youtube...

Dec 1, 2009

Shady Lea

Happy December everyone. it just me or does it get here faster every year??
Well....I've been up to my ears trying to get ready for an "open studios" show this coming weekend. Not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but my dear friend Janette has given me the use of her yoga studio to take part in the wonderful art weekend in her studio building. The Shady Lea Mill.
I've posted a pic of the postcards for the show. It shows the wonderful old mill building that this is in. It's located in No. Kingstown, RI, so it's only about 20mins out of Providence and about 10mins from Newport or Jamestown.

If you're in the area on Sat or Sun between noon and 5pm ...stop by and enjoy all the art!!

Nov 25, 2009

A Butternut gift to you.

As a Thanksgiving present...I'm going to share my Butternut Squash recipe.

If you're wondering what to do with your side dishes and have always wanted to do something different with a squash...enjoy!

Pick a good-sized butternut for your meal.
(It’s soooo good and goes sooo quickly that you may need extra!)

Peal and cut off ends. Cut down the center lengthwise and scoop out the fibers and seeds.
Cut a V shaped canal down the middle of the long part, but don’t throw away the part that you’ve cut out. You can cut that into chunks and throw into the hollowed out round section.

I normally place these into glass oven dishes, but feel free to use what works.
Peel and chop a couple of nice McIntosh apples….more if you like as they get soft as they cook. Toss these all over the squash.
Cranberries…..lots of lovely cranberries!!
Chop a bunch as well as add some whole ones. Use as much as you like!!

Raisins…..I sometimes use one or two of the small snack packages.
These are optional. I don’t use them all the time.
Check to be sure there are no stem pieces. Toss them all over the squash as well.

Since I have no real measurements for anything, just done by sight… small chunks of butter all around this.
Liberally sprinkle dark brown sugar all over everything. Add a good sprinkle of cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg if you have it.

Cover the dish with foil and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees.
Start checking on it after about 40 min.They are done when thickest part of squash is soft when poked with a fork.

Nov 23, 2009

Christmas Postcards

Whew...finally a bit of art. Not that there hasn't been anything "art related" going on. I've been up to my ears in trying to prepare for an upcoming show in just under two weeks. Lots of framing to finish and things to be done.

Sometimes, however, I need to step back and do "other" art. Something on the smaller side.
I'm involved in a Christmas postcard swap in a private group I belong to. The postcards I've been working on started by way of a stamp I carved. It's a stamp of a pine cone....and I'm pretty pleased at how it came out.

At first I wasn't sure what I'd do for the background...but then I realized that the cardstock I wanted to use had a very slick surface....perfect for taking on alcohol ink. I had a fun time mushing up the colors on that.

I also had gotten a new thing to play with....Martha Stewart glitter. It is sooo fine and sooo beautiful in the range of colors it comes in. I used a beautiful bronze color to edge the pinecones and a lovely antique silver green shade on the needles.
They are really striking...but I'm afraid that the pictures do them no justice.

I also decide when I'd finished that I wanted to try to protect the surface a bit so the glitter wouldn't take too much abuse, since we mail them "naked" (without an envelope), so I tried a spray sealer. I wasn't sure what would happen by doing that and if it would play nicely with the alcohol ink...but it did!!!

I'm having such fun with these that I may send some off to friends this year as well.

Nov 14, 2009

a closer look

Here's one more pic of that maple out front. My husband took several really lovely shots and this one is a little closer.
It'll be sad to see all of this beautiful color gone soon.

Nov 13, 2009

Shades of red

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Yep...I'm one of the folks who consider this a Lucky day! new mattress was delivered how bad can it

I just wanted to share a pic my husband took the other day of the red maple tree in the front yard. Regardless of the fact that it make a mess to clean up every can you not help but to love the carpet of color that it produces!!!

Right now it is at it's prettiest, where we can watch the beautiful red tree leaving a wonderful carpet of color on the ground.

When the red is gone.....the white will certainly be sure to follow.

Nov 9, 2009

Been a while

I know. I've feel like I haven't posted in ages. Just been quite busy lately.
I've been putting in a fair amount of time in learning this new Hallmark job which will become easier and create a better schedule as time goes on....I hope. I know I've learned quiet a bit already, so I see this working out alright.
I've also been on the hunt for a new mattress. I know...not very exciting...but it is quite an adventure as far as I'm concerned. Geesh...I've never tried out sooo many beds. Almost a shame that there is such a collection to choose from.
My husband isn't in on this mission. He doesn't have as much trouble with his back as I do, so he's waiting until I've got it narrowed to the final two or three. Then he'll get in on the act. I think we're getting close.
I've also been spending whatever remainder of time I have trying to get all my artwork in order...matting, framing, etc. for a possible showing during the first weekend in Dec.
Sooo....I've not been around all the much...but I'm hopeful that most of this will calm down soon and I can fit in some real art!

Oct 29, 2009

Back on track

with art!! Finally!!
With my friend loaning me her studio space for a Dec. event and the real estate nearing it's's time I buckle down and get some art ready.
I started this large cupcake piece a couple of weeks ago but one thing after another just kept getting in the way of finishing it up.
Finally....I think it's done.
On to the next!!!

Oct 26, 2009

This is why

I’m now feeling like I made the right decision to leave real estate.

After a long six-month ordeal to see through to the end, a “short sale”, we are to close tomorrow….but not without having gone through an amazingly painful day today.

Anyone who has never dealt with short sales will have no idea of the trouble that goes on with this behind the scenes.
My buyers are a lovely young couple with a baby who are putting everything they have into buying this house that they absolutely adore!!Anyone who hangs in there for six months must love the house.

Today….what should have been the best day, dealing with the little details for the closing and the excitement of tomorrow turned into an utter nightmare.

The short version of this story is that the banks try to rob everyone of every last dime they can get in these deals and created a problem in the closing that would amount to over 3 thousand additional dollars that “someone” would need to fork over before this could happen.

The seller was in tears because he had no money left to give them. My buyers were down to their last dollar in this purchase, so I knew they couldn’t do anything about it….so I didn’t even have the heart to call them.
The other broker and I went back and forth over this and took every direction we could to try to make this happen. We had a seller in tears and a buyer living in boxes waiting to make their move in the morning.

Well….lets just say that we worked for six months….very cheaply!!!
We’ve now put in between us from our “almost” commissions, all that was needed to make this happen in the morning.
The seller is beside himself and the buyers don’t know that anything ever tried to step on their excitement… it should be.

Moral…..Yes….there is a Santa Clause. But now I’ve retired.

Oct 14, 2009

Starting over

Just when you think you've figured things out.....surprise!
I thought I'd finally figured out what I was going to do with the next so many years. I studied long and hard to pass the real estate exam and get my license. Yay for me. Times were getting tight and there were no jobs to be found. Schools were cutting back on budgets and that left me without a chance to find an art teaching job again. Sooo...figured with real estate I could simply create my own job.'s not really all it's cracked up to be. I've been with my office for the better part of a year now and it has actually cost me more money than I've made. Wait! I haven't even made any yet!!
I've paid for school, my license, mls dues, board of realtor dues, business cards, signs, etc...etc...etc
Oh...and did I mention that I'm sooo unhappy doing this??
In all this time I've now got one sale that is due to finish up in two weeks.
At the same time, sitting on my dining room table is a bill for the next year of dues for the board of realtors that is for just under $600.
It was looking at this bill, knowing how much I didn't even like what I was doing, and knowing I haven't even made a dime yet and I've already got to dish out more, that made me have to face it.....this isn't what I got into this for.
I wanted to help the household. So far, all I've created for it is debt.
I've been extremely unhappy in the what in the world was keeping me in it???
Fear of failure!!! Yep...pure and simple.
It has taken a lot of soul searching to finally decide that this is it. I'm not happy, don't enjoy what I'm doing, and not even making anything while trying. Crumby combination.
I've been given a ton of support from those who know me...and for that, I appreciate every word. It's hard to try something new to begin with...and even harder to say that you just can't make it work.
Soo...I'm moving on. I've decided that I've got to invest more time and energy into my artwork and I've also taken a part time job as a merchandise rep for Hallmark. Certainly not lots of money in it....but I'm already ahead of the game.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me to look at myself and realize that life is too short to be so unhappy. I haven't "failed". I've tried something new and have learned from it. I'm sure I'll take away lessons to use elsewhere.

Oct 7, 2009

One more

Turns out that my husband had taken a couple of photos of me on the dock taking the pictures of the swans.
This is one of the pics that I thought was soo nice with the lovely fall colors starting to show up across the pond. It was soo pretty I just had to include it.

Oct 6, 2009

Last of summer

Sunday was a day that felt like it was the last blast of summer. The temps. were warm and the day full of sun. Inspirational!!

As the day wore on I decided that it would also be a great evening to do dinner on the grill. Toward very late afternoon I went out to get the charcoal going. At this point I noticed that the pond was being enjoyed today as well by a family of swans. There were two adults and one young one.
I went back inside to get some snacks for them and went down to the dock to feed them. How beautiful. Of course it wasn't very long before the geese came by to get in on the act.

When my husband came home from an appointment with clients, we put the ribs on the grill, made cocktails, and went off on a peddle boat trip around the pond. The swans actually stayed around the whole time.

When we came back in and I went out to get the ribs it was just starting to get dark.
The scene was beautiful and I just had to get a pic of that moon.

If this was indeed the last blast of was a good one!!

Oct 2, 2009

Sweet Art

I've started hosting a monthly challenge on an art site called the "Master's Challenge". I decide each month on an artist and I make a couple of sample pieces of their work. The point is to make it fun and create a postcard in the style of the artist that is choosen.

The first month I did Andy Warhol. This was a great fun way to start everyone off. Pop art is just one of those things that people aren't afraid to play with.

This keep it light a while longer I picked Wayne Thiebaud. YUM!
I've always enjoyed his work and subject matter. Come on....who doesn't love dessert.!!
I can't wait to see how many folks try something in this style. It's the kind of work you can frame and hang in your kitchen!!
While most of his work is done in a thick oil paint so that the icing looks real.....I created these two sample of his pieces in watercolor.

Sep 27, 2009


Feel like I haven't been around for a while. It's been a long week or so. We lost a very much loved family member a little more than a week ago, and it has been a bit difficult to sort things out emotionally and get on with things. I honestly never do very well with the passing of loved ones.

The last few days I've slowly started to get back into my art. Managed to do a couple of small pieces for some art swaps and just discovered this lovely bead pattern who's design just reminds me of snowflakes. The pattern was meant to create flowers as embelishments for a
necklace...but when I made the first one and saw it coming out looking like a snowflake...well, I just had to end up creating snowflake earrings with it.

I must say, this has made me smile and feel good when I'm working on them, so I've added them to my Etsy shop and I think I'll look for more ways to switch them up.
I hope you enjoy them. They've certainly helped my spirits.

Sep 14, 2009

Paper Beachscape

Well...thought I'd try my hand at a bit of a landscape this time. With beachscapes being one of my favorites to paint in watercolor I thought it would be fun to try it in paper.
Each new peice presents it's own challenge...but with each one I find I learn so much more about this process. The paper I used for the water was some of the rice paper I've been painting with regular water and a touch of twinkling H2O's. Adds just that little extra.

Sep 10, 2009

Skellie Girls

I've been so busy lately with work as well as trying to catch up with art swaps and such. It has been fun to finally manage to do a few extra art pieces now and then. Haven't had much time before to join in many of the swaps with my group.
I finally had a flash of inspiration hit today and managed to create some skellie gals for a Day of the Dead swap I'm hosting. Love the theme.

Sep 2, 2009

Cupcake Muse

Either I have a cupcake for a muse loves cupcakes.
Well....if that be the case, who could blame her. I mean...who doesn't love cupcakes.

What makes me wonder about this is the overwhelming urge to make another cupcake piece every time I finish with a larger paper painting.

Having just finished my larger Goldfish piece...and thinking about my next big one....I found myself unable to control the need to make a cupcake!

I'm thinking that it's some kind of cleansing the palette type thing. The little cupcakes sort of jiggle everything and put me back into a starting position for the next piece.

Hey...I can't argue with the muse. Seems to be working just fine!

Aug 31, 2009

A higher level...

...of water, that is!
Over the weekend we had many inches of rain dumped on us from tropical storm Danny as it skirted by us.
Our pool level became soo high that we had to actually drain water out. A pretty rare thing to happen in Aug.
But the dock!!
When my husband and I got done with a little trip around the pond in the peddle boat last night we took a few photos to show just how high the water level was.
As you can see....the dock is very nearly level with the water. As you walk over it you can see the water seep over the edges and between the boards. I felt like I was sitting on the surface of the water.
Under normal conditions there is a pretty decent space under the dock.
Just thought I'd share the visual. I haven't seen the pond this high in the ten years that we've been here!

Aug 28, 2009


Last week my husband and I went to Boston for a Red Sox vs. Yankee game.

This was big time for us. Even living only an hour's not something that we normally do. This time however, we were lucky enough to have been given a great pair of tickets to the game from one of my husbands clients!!
It's soo different to see it up close. The field looks sooooo big on TV...but in person it's actually much more intimate in size. It's also a bit surreal knowing that it's in the middle of a city like Boston and seeing the tall buildings in the background.

Yes...we did take part in the dinner of beer, hot dogs, and peanuts. No crackerjacks though.

I did take more pics than I could ever post here...but these are just a taste.
The two action shots I have here are of one great pitching movement with (I believe) A Rod in the background....and the other shot with the player on the ground is Johnny Damon, who, being I believe the first player up that night, started off by crying that he's been hit by the ball. Big baby!

Yes....of course I'm a Red Sox

Aug 27, 2009

Haunted chunkies

On my favorite swap site I'm involved in a swap for "haunted house" chunkies.
I decided to put some of the rice paper to use that I've been painting for my other artwork. I think the blends of colors made for great background papers for these houses.
For the couple with ghosts, I did the ghosts in alcohol inks on clear acatate then cut the shapes and attached.
The skellie folk are all done on clear acatate as well so that when I attached them they could be seen through.
I had sooo much fun with the skellie folk that I decided to make charms from them.
The charms are done with a skellie stamp onto shrink plastic and then varied heads applied to that.
Just cut them out, punched a hole, and shrunk them! They are soo darn cute I got carried away and did far more than needed.
Guess I'll be ready for more haunted projects!

Aug 21, 2009

Paper Goldfish Painting

Finally.....I finally finished another piece that I had been working on for a while. I enjoyed doing the Koi piece that I had done earlier and thought that maybe I'd do a bit more with fish.
I really like the way this one came out. Each time I do one of these there is a whole new learning curve...but I guess that's the fun of it.
I got to use a number of painted rice papers that I created special for this one.
Guess I'd better get the next one in the works!

Aug 15, 2009

Altered keys

In one of my art groups we have having a challenge for an altered key. Having never done that before, I thought it would be fun to give it a try.
I ended up doing two...and before I knew it..they seemed to have a theme....Spring & Autumn.
The "spring" one was done with a silver key and I wired beads to it and made a batch of shrink plastic flowers for the top. I also added a pin back to it since it seemed so wearable.
The "autumn" was done with a gold key. I put an old jewelry finding at the top, added beads, then wired up and added the square beads to that. The lovely yellow autumn leaves were again done with shrink plastic.
The backside of this one is completely smooth so I left it the way it was so the person who receives it can decide if they want to add a pin or magnet or turn it into a hanging piece.

Aug 11, 2009

Mother & daughter weekend

One of my very favorite things to do is to spend some quality time with my daughter. This past weekend I had a chance to do just that!
We both had a weekend with available time to get I drove up to her place to stay the night. On Saturday afternoon when I arrived it was such a beautiful day we decided to go off to the Marketplace Festival that was being put on by the MA. Horticultural Society.
It turned out to be an even bigger treat than we'd expected.

The festival was beautifully put together with some real quality crafters and great baked goods and farm fresh items.
Along with that there were some spectacular gardens. After we shopped around a while...we went off to discover and take pictures of all the wonderfully colorful flowers. The pics I've got posted here are merely a few of the many I took that day.After a long day of play at the festival we went back home and had a lovely dinner and watched movies together.
A leisurely morning with a great breakfast, cooked by my gal, and a
visit from another friend rounded out a really nice time.

Sarah...thanks for being such a great hostess!!

Aug 6, 2009

I like to fly

Finding art time these days is becoming harder and harder. I guess that this is why I enjoy trying to play in the monthly challenges at my favorite art site.
These challenges are for "one" item in a certain format and theme. Let's face it....during the course of a month I should be able to get one item done.....and I need to do this gives me a good reason to escape to my art room!
This months challenge for a postcard was using at least three different medium and a theme of "I like to fly". Well....this little guy is what happened!
I used watercolor for the background, ink for the buildings and outlines, acrylic paint for the birdie, and circles of paper for the balloons!
I think he's pretty charming!

Jul 29, 2009

Vineyard weekend

A couple of weekends ago we went to Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard for a little weekend trip of yacht racing (hubby) and shopping (me).

After a month of what seemed like continous rain, we finally got lucky and had really lovely weather.

We stayed the weekend in the apartment over the garage of the client my husband was racing with. What a lovely place it was. Hardly what one would expect of a garage...complete with balcony! And what an awesome use of space. The one large cabinet...turned out to actually be a queen sized murphy bed.

One of the days that I had to myself I went to the Featherstone Art Center. What a great place. The grounds there were just amazing and in walking around you run into the most delightful whimsical outdoor art!
I usually end up on the island at least once every this is one place I'm glad to have found and will be sure to visit again.