Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Oops. I guess I got a little behind in my blogging. We'll see if I can keep up in the new year. Anyhow, this post was inspired by a post on Penelope's blog titled, "good things- traditions". I love the holidays and I really enjoy hearing how other people celebrate. My family has so many traditions I thought I should share a few of my favorites. One of the newest is the wreath making party that my husband started. He wanted a casual, adults only gathering with something fun for the guests to do. So we covered the studio with plastic tarps, purchased some bundles of pine boughs and invited people to come over and make a wreath. Or to just stop by and say hello. Last year the party divided- men in the kitchen talking and having wine and the ladies (and one brave male guest!) made the wreaths in the studio. This year, a few more men got brave and ventured into the "wreath room". They all did a great job!
Another yearly tradition is the "Tree Hunt". The whole family gets together for breakfast at a restaurant and then we head out to a tree farm to find a tree for my parents' house. Usually, Syracuse University hosts the Hendricks Chapel Christmas Concert that same evening. My aunt and I have attended that for at least the past nine or ten years. I like to hear the handbell ringers and at the end of the performance, the choir lights candles and everyone sings Silent Night.
Some of the other traditions are:
- Mom and Dad's White Elephant Party
- Driving around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights
- Dan and I open gifts to each other on Christmas Eve
- making cookies
-watching Christmas movies
-Girls scrapbooking night

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Daily Paintings

Here are all 5 daily paintings from last week...

And in case YOUR garden is overflowing too, here is a great marinade recipe for veggie kabobs:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Marinate veggies in sauce for about 20 minutes and place on skewers (remember to soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling!). Grill on medium heat for about 20 minutes, basting occasionally with leftover sauce.

I had enough marinade leftover to pour on top of a veggie pasta dish the next day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Try again...

It was probably a bit optimistic of me to start the whole Daily Painting project the week we had my grandma's memorial service and out of towners flying in to stay with us for the weekend. So I forgave myself and started over this week. And hopefully by tomorrow I'll be feeling like an artist again. The past two days I've been feeling very uninspired and not too thrilled with my work. But I painted anyway and I'll post later. In the meantime, you can enjoy this picture of my studio friend that I have been trying to photograph all summer. She's very timid.

Don't know why I can't find anything to paint when I'm surrounded by this all day...

And here are a few images from the weekend. We all went for a nice walk after the memorial and we got some pretty good family photos. It takes a few tries to get good kid shots, though. B likes to help out by holding the other kids down by their heads, but he wasn't holding down the right person. This is one of about four shots that look almost the same. G thinks it's pretty funny to jump up as soon as we're ready to take the picture.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Daily Painting: Day 2

So I put off my daily painting even later yesterday and this is what the sky looked like while I was working. And now I have even more to distract me now that this arrived in the mail:

It's a sketchbook from the Hand-Book Journal Co. that I discovered on Geninne's Art Blog and then ordered from Dick Blick. It's hard to find a nice book that will take watercolor that doesn't have the big, thick watercolor paper, but this one is supposed to be able to handle it. We will see!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Daily Painting: Day 1

Here is my first of 15 daily paintings. I spent a good portion of the morning yesterday harvesting and freezing beans. Of course, this meant I had to put off painting until the last minute of the day. Procrastination is my true art.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just do it!

Ok. I'm finally going to open an etsy shop. If I write it down publicly, will I actually do it? We'll see. I don't have a huge amount of traffic here yet, so there will only be a few people to hold me accountable. So here is my big plan for this week:
Open the Etsy shop
Get the web page up and running
Take the Painting a Day challenge
Host a giveaway (really looking forward to this one)!

The Etsy shop I hope to have open by the end of today. As I am pretty computer-challenged, this is going to be a big deal if it happens, but that's the plan. I've been a member of Etsy for a long time, but have just never gotten around to putting any items in the shop. I'm tired of thinking about it. It's time to make it happen.
The web page requires a lot of help from the husband, so I have to be a little more flexible with that.
The Painting a Day Challenge... I've seen a lot of artist that participate in this. I am going to bend the rules a little since this is my first time. My challenge for myself will be to create 15 painting over the course of three weeks- one a day on the weekdays. I will be starting tomorrow. I am a little scared.
The giveaway is probably my favorite... What I'd like to do is give away a print of one of the daily paintings at the end of the three weeks. I will give out more details on that later.
So that's that. I guess I'd beeter head over to Etsy and see what I need to do!

Putting the gesso on the masonary panels for the Painting a Day challenge

Putting on the second coat of gesso and watching Martha Stewart. She would have these all done with 5 coats and would probably OWN Etsy before I even figure out how to post anything.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Unpacking shouldn't be this hard

These pictures are from a couple weeks ago, but I had to share. I had big plans to get unpacked COMPLETELY on the first day back from our Plymouth trip this year. The cats had big plans, too. Their plans involved re-covering everything with hair and making sure no unpacking would get done on my first day back. There's an unwritten rule at our house that pretty much I follow and my husband doesn't. "Don't move a comfy cat". So I figured Lia would probably only need a little time sleeping on the suitcase and I would go put other things away. My plan was to return in a bout half an hour and break the house rule.

Apparently, they work in shifts.

Pottery Class... the end results

This is ONE of the tables of pottery that five ladies created over the course of 6 weeks. I signed up for this class at The Gandee Gallery in Fabius, not really sure what to expect. Turned out to be not only a great learning experience, but more relaxing that yoga (once I got going)!

Two of my four class mates who provided endless entertainment and several bottles of wine! Maybe that's why it was so relaxing.

Scully, the studio dog. Every studio should have a dog. Even Bad Cat Studios has a dog- we should probably jut reconsider the cats...

Monday, July 27, 2009


Monday June 29, 2009

Dear Grandma,
I'm wearing that big, goofy, fold-out hat you gave me so I can go out to the garden and do some weeding. I'm going to weed the garden, clean the house, make dinner and go on about things just like you'd want me to. I won't promise not to cry. And I won't promise not to have moments of overwhelming sadness. But I promise I will remember how to make Garbage Soup and how to play the card game Spite and Malice. I will write letters and thank-you notes and make rhubarb pies. I will make crafts with my niece and nephews and I will give things away. I will be kind to animals and I will be a good teacher. I will always believe that nothing is more important than family. I will never forget who you were and I will always remember who I am. And I will miss you for the rest of my life.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And it's not even summer yet!

Back when we first started dating, Dan and I used to love to squeeze as many activities into a day as we possibly could. It was early June and one of us would often remark, "And it's not even summer yet!" surprised by how much fun we were able to cram into our evenings and weekends and knowing that when summer came, we'd have even more to do.
This weekend reminded me of that. But it also reminded me that I'm a little older than I was then. I'm so ready for a nap.
I went rollerblading on Friday after work and when I headed for home, I got stuck in Balloon Fest traffic. I had forgotten it was going on this weekend. So Dan and I scarfed down dinner and ran out to the clearing to see if we could see the balloons. The wind was JUST right. All of the balloons headed straight towards us and ended up landing all over our neighborhood. As you may remember from a previous post, Bandit is NOT a fan of balloons. So even though Dan and I really enjoyed this, we ended up having to put Bandit in the house because I was afraid he'd have a heart attack. The balloons were coming right over our house!

The Barn Balloon landed down the street from us. This was Bandit's least favorite balloon.

We spent all evening running from the clearing to the yard and up and down the streets (literally running- did I mention that I'm getting old?) chasing balloons.
Then we spent most of today in Ithaca. We took my parents out to Moosewood and then wandered around Cornell where my dad went to school. We walked through all the gardens, checked out the buildings and got to go up in the bell tower for a little one man concert that was being performed. Those bells are REALLY loud when you're standing directly under them. My dad was a little dismayed, though, by all the new buildings and changes over the last 40 years. "How's a man supposed to reminisce if they keep changing stuff?" he asked at one point.

And, since I have another show coming up at the coffee shop, I thought I'd better spend a little time in the studio today, so I worked on the butterfly painting when we got home.

There's always a distraction... I kept looking up and seeing more balloons out the window, so I finally took a break and walked Bandit down to the clearing to see if they were headed this way again. But the wind wasn't quite right tonight- probably for the best. I need to put curtains up in the studio and chain myself to the table or I am never going to get these paintings done. And it's not even summer yet!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I've been waiting to post the pictures of these little friends... I wanted to make sure everything turned out ok first! Dan was looking for the step ladder some time in mid May, and when he finally found it in the shed, he also found a nest on top of it. This was after he was dive-bombed by the mama robin. A few days later, I had to go down to the shed to get mulch and I brought the camera with me. The robin was not in the nest at the time so I reached up and took a picture of the eggs. Every couple of days I would sneak in and take another picture. It was amazing how fast those little birds grew. And how they came out of those tiny eggs! It was kind of scary, really. I know some of the neighborhood cats wander around near our shed sometimes. Ordinarily, I don't mind the cats dropping by for a visit, but I worried about these birds everyday. Today when I stopped by for a picture a bird flew out of the nest, but it wasn't the mother. The babies have learned to fly. So I guess we can have our step ladder back now. I don't even remember what we needed it for in the first place.

Friday, May 22, 2009

SPCA Pet Walk

Dan and I participated in the Finger Lakes SPCA pet walk last weekend. I have to shamefully admit that it was really hard for me to tear myself away from the gardens, but it was worth it. Worth it, of course, to raise money for this organization AND to get this photo...

Look carefully at the front porch of this house. There is a very angry looking cat sitting there watching the dogs go by (and there were at least 50-60 dogs or more). What's really funny is that he was out there LAST year too. I thought this was hilarious, but I didn't have my camera on me then. I kept telling Dan that I hoped he'd be back again, out watching the dog parade, thinking how this is probably the worst day of the year. Dan said "No way- that was a once in a lifetime shot." But sure enough, there he was.

He's probably thinking he'd like to plant some land mines under the sidewalks for next year.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Bunny

Thought you might like to see this year's snow sculpture. For some reason, I feel like I missed part of winter if I don't make at least one snow creation during the season. But the snow has to be just right and hopefully it's "just right" on a weekend! This was created on a Sunday in early February.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Lion

The lion-like entrance that March is supposed to make will probably be arriving tonight. And I think I've reached my limit. I'm all done with both sets of skis for this year. I've had enough fun trudging through the waist-deep snow (seriously, I actually find that fun) and watching the dog pretend to be a dolphin. I've made my obligatory yearly snow sculpture. I am ready for the lamb. I've ordered all my seeds and they arrived a few days ago. The snow has melted enough for me to see the remnants of last year's gardens, and I'm getting the bug again. I'm ready to see some color. But I think I have a few more weeks at least before I get my wish. So I will try to enjoy these last few days of confinement and get some more housework done before I can't stand to be inside anymore. I spent Saturday cleaning the kitchen and part of the studio and then today I helped my sister-in-law with her wedding scrapbook. I also went to my parents' house to visit with my sister, brother and all the nephews and the niece.
Friday night was the third annual Pawcasso silent auction to benefit our local spay and neuter clinic. Engine (pictured above) donated one of his many wire sculptures and I did a painting of Lia. We didn't do as well as we have in previous years, but for a silent auction during a depression, I think we did pretty well.