Thursday, October 8, 2015


Hello and Happy Thursday!
Nothing much going on up here  on the hill, but I have hopes of getting some headway done on some older projects and such.
The top photo for today's post is of a mullein plant. You can read more on the plant here.
We have a couple of them growing nearby, and I love their soft, fuzzy leaves. I think it's a super pretty plant, and apparently, it has some wonderful herbal properties as well (look here).

One of the wonderful things about moving back to PA is trying to familiarize myself with some of the plant life.
As a kid... I used to know more than I am remembering now... but such is life.
It's all a process... and I firmly believe that continuing to learn something new every so often helps keep us vital and productive.

What are you learning more about?
See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


It's been an interesting day up here on the hill... and I am trying hard to rest a bit from the chaos of the year...
which seems to have caught up with me a bit this week. And it's all good.
The birds are singing, the trees are beginning their transition to their fall colors, and we've had some visits today from some of the "critters".... like this little guy...

Frogs are major symbols in many cultures.
The Japanese word for frog is "kaeru", which is the same word for "return". This is why travelers carry a frog amulet as an intention of returning safely to one's home.
For the Celts, the frog was deemed lord over the earth... so they believed the frog represented curative and healing power.
For many though... the frog represents change and transition. Of coming in to one's own. Of defining your personal strengths...
and moving on... of coming into a sort of rebirth and growth.
And so it is.

So for today... I wish you all well. I wish you growth... I wish you safe transition into whatever you are becoming.
See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of showing a couple friends around the studio (such as it is).
I fret over what I feel is my lack of getting things done... especially around the house and studio...  and yet, I know I've been doing a lot because I feel so busy all the time. And that's not really a complaint... I love doing things. I love being able to help folks when I can.
I love feeling like I am being of use to people... and contributing to the overall good.
But I also love my "down" time.

Today I am busy with my mom... another one of her ongoing procedures to help with her chronic pain issues. And I've got a list of things to do that I am longing complete... projects to finish up and such...  and then I am looking forward to just kicking back in my studio and working.
I think as artists, we are always looking forward to the next thing... and as women... we always feel like there is so much to be done before we "indulge" in a creative pursuit.
But it's so very necessary to forge on ahead. Carve out some time. Work on something you love.
Make a dream happen.

Today I encourage you to think about your dreams... and ways you can start spinning wheels to make it happen.
See you all tomorrow.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Well, this weekend was the Falling Leaves Outdoor Show. It was also the last few days of the Potter County Farmer's Market... and even though we were really busy with our booth, both the daughter and I managed to steal away a few minutes and run over to get some fresh produce... and it was awesome.

There was a huge selection of peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, squash of all varieties, pumpkins, beans, beets, garlic .... and all kinds of bread, sweets, honey, jams and more. It was incredible. The dilemma, of course, is picking something to fix for today's post... when there are so many good options out there.
The weekend was cold and wet; for the most part... and feeling achy and sore from so much activity... I decided to make soup.
I sliced up a big Hubbard squash... took out the seeds... and roasted it in the oven for about 30 minutes along with a patty-pan squash, a small acorn squash, 2 striped squash, and a small orange pumpkin-like squash.
While they were cooking, I chopped up 3 medium tomatoes, 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash, 3 small onions and some garlic, and 2 peppers that were looking a bit wrinkly. I added them all to a large stockpot with some water (about 6 cups)... and cooked them all for about 30 minutes as well. This is a great way to use up some veggies that might be slightly past their peak... or things you want to use up.
I let everything cool off for a bit before I proceeded.

((this photo shows: tomatoes and zucchini, onions and garlic cooking... some of the squash as it goes into the oven...
 after it's all been pureed a bit... and with the spices and soy milk added in))

After things had cooled, I cut the cooked flesh away from all the various squash, and pureed them... along with all the other cooked veggies. It took several "rounds" to get it all done... because I have just a small Magic Bullet blender... but I got it done. As I was pureeing this; I put the finished mix into a large pot on the stove top, then I added some spices --Thai basil, thyme, some chile pepper flakes (just a few), course sea salt and some fresh ground pepper. The final touch was to add some soy milk to make it all creamy -2 cups in total, and to let it all simmer for another 20 minutes or so.

I served it with some rustic bread (that I had also picked up at the Farm Market), and some optional shredded cheese and fresh parsley on top. This soup is completely vegan; as I used soy milk instead of cream or whole milk.

((Today was my last "foodie" post featuring fresh produce from the Potter County Farmer's Market. I want to give them a HUGE round of thanks for consistently providing awesome local grown goodness and handmade items to this community week after week.... and look forward to next season.))

Saturday, October 3, 2015

for the weekend

So, yesterday was quite busy and exhausting... which is to be expected.
And in spite of the distinct chill and wind, and horribly overcast skies... people came out... which is awesome. Today... if the weather cooperates, will prove even better.

But what to say here? Well, you can't go wrong with homemade shrimp tacos, fine arts and crafts, chainsaw carving, fantastic displays, tasty goodness from the local farm market. warm mulled cider delivered from your fav folks at the local restaurant... and of course, the world's cutest miniature donkey.

Today promises to be even more exciting, with the addition of visits from the Pittsburgh Parrot, canoe building, a fantastic vintage car show... and a hometown parade that, I am sure, many communities wish for.

See you all on Monday for my "foodie" post.... and more exciting changes to come next week.
(where I promise to include a post of links to make up for today's rushing about).

Friday, October 2, 2015


Well... it's after midnight... and I am just finishing packing the jeep for a show this weekend.
It's always a bit of a mad rush... finishing up things, packaging things... tagging things... cleaning containers, ironing tablecloths.... making sure signs and such are there....  the list goes on.
And it's all good.

I love shows...
I love the interaction with people. I love to see what they like, what they don't like... what they feel they have to take home with them...
What is popular... what perhaps, should go on clearance... that sort of thing.
And I love working with my daughter.... who has done shows with me since she was very little.

For me, the only real frustrating part of this whole process... is the worry that I should have done more... or done better... but that, I think is part of being an artist. Of continuing to learn, to grow, to develop your own individual style... to step away from the maddening crowd and be the unique artisan that you are. And so it goes...
See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I apologize for missing yesterday's post... I am not sure what happened...but it slipped right by me.
I did, however, manage to take a short walk around the yard... which is when I took the photos for today's post. And... I've been trying to list things in my Etsy shop; while trying to get ready for a show on Friday and Saturday... and trying to catch up on a few projects... and still make some scheduled meetings & events... and ... and... I am sure you know how it goes.

I will say, that I think the upcoming Falling Leaves Outdoor Show that is coming up; is going to be pretty stellar... and even though we've had quite a bit of rain... and more potentially coming... I am hopeful for a good couple of days.

Then... I am really looking forward to some "down time" and whatever that entails.
This weekend will be the last of the local Farm Market days as well... so my "foodie" posts on Mondays might change a bit... we'll see.

It's been a huge swell of emotions... last minute things... and lots of rushing about... and it's been an odd week.
Today would be my sister's birthday, and I am thinking of her fondly... and missing her dearly.

Hope all is well with you... and I will see you all tomorrow.