Thursday, April 17, 2014


One of my fav buildings in town; is this blue barn... conveniently; another favorite is a green barn on the same property... and the house across the I come down this way alot.

With the celebration of the opening of fishing season here... as well as the imminent arrival of Easter; I've been making some themed jewelry pieces for the local artisan center... and it makes me happy.
Earrings and such made with vintage fishing lure pieces... pendants with fat bunnies made of lampwork glass... it's been a ton of fun. The artisan center has only been open for a few days now.... and it's been wonderful to see all the people stopping in to see the artwork... and just to say "hi."

That's what living in a small town is like... and one of the many reasons why I am glad to be back.
That friendliness... which brings me to my list of:

Things I am Grateful for Today:
-blue barns
-seeing bunnies frolicking in the yard
-a gift of some gorgeous feathers. A fellow artist found them on her daily walk with her dogs... and brought them in for me. I am looking forward to finding out what kind of bird they came from... as the design on the tips is very distinctive.
-and teeth from deer! This same artist, also found some scattered deer teeth... and brought them to me to work into some jewelry pieces. I am VERY excited.
-dinner with my hunny. Tonight, my husband took me to a local restaurant. I had a wonderful steak (it was perfect), fries made from local organic potatoes, and a side of zucchini and squash that was perfectly seasoned. Oh... and a glass of Riesling.
-the love and support of my fellow artists here. It's a very supportive community... and that is awesome.
-visits with family. Today we had a wonderful visit from my husband's brother and niece.
-apple cake. My daughter brought me home a chunk from this place... and it is THE BEST.
-getting home just in time to watch Chopped Canada!
-knowing I can sleep in tomorrow

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


My mother's daffodils are blooming.
All around town; as I walked home from volunteering at the Art Center today.... were little pops of spring forcing their way up threw the ground
... in spite of yesterday's snow.
Hyacinths, daffodils of all varieties, snowdrops, coltsfoot, tulips (or rather, the leaves)... I even saw some very brave gladiola 
leaves coming up around the local Presbyterian Church.

Everyone tells me that spring is a little late in coming this year... and judging from photos I have taken here in previous years; attest to that theory. Regardless, spring is coming.
You see so many photos of spring flowers in color (which makes perfect sense after the doldrums of winter)...
but I thought I would try a black and white shot... hence; the photo at the top of this post.
I think, in some ways, shooting in black and white makes me appreciate the texture of things all the more... which is never a bad thing.

And so... Things I am Grateful for Today:

-black and white photography... and color photography. I love them both. Have you seen this?
-ham steaks *it's what's for dinner*
-coke (as in Coca-Cola). Cuz you have to now and then.
-spring flowers in all forms
-walking home and seeing hawks fly right overhead
-home-made applesauce (fresh from my freezer from last fall's crop)
-insects. These past couple of days I have seen worms, ants, a bee or two... even some flies!
-sudoku puzzles. Every night I "de-stress" by working on several puzzles. It really helps me unwind.
-alstromerias. I have a bouquet on my kitchen table... they are a pretty sunshine yellow.
-rocks and minerals. I keep an antique bowl by my computer. It  is full of rocks, shells, beads, feathers...
 random loveliness that I fiddle with while I am typing and cruising the internet. It makes me happy.

I took this photo in the wee hours of this morning... of the gorgeous full moon.
I am not sure why the colors turned out the way they did... and I am not sure why I got the mirror-like effect of the moon with circles around it... or even the halos.... but I like it... and thought I would include it in today's post.

Sleep well, my friends... until tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Some days are not all rosey-rosey.
I wake up in a funk...I (physically) don't feel well... it decides to SNOW... 
I find another huge box of my art supplies and such that are completely ruined from the flooding we had a month ago... my art journals... books from my dad... old and funky papers...all ruined and in some sort of moldy brick-like block...
I try to make things... and I just feel like it's no use... that everything I make is horrible...
I say the wrong things to the wrong people... 
I try to please too many people and the end result is that no one is happy...
...even my dog is avoiding me today.

It's days like these (days, weeks, months... you get the idea)... 
that I need to force myself to remember that it will indeed get better....
and that it's probably not as bad as I think it is... 
I just feel like I am doing everything wrong.

I have no idea how to fix this... or if it is even fix-able.
And yet... I must try.

Things I am Grateful for Today:

-the world didn't implode
-the mortgage is paid for another month
-even though I didn't do my homework completely for tonight's art class... and even though what I did get done essentially sucked... the instructor didn't boot me out of the class
-we have bananas (and according to Dr. Who, "bananas are good.")
-as far as I know, nothing else in the studio is still soaked in flood water (I've been afraid to look at my photos in the big totes though)
-the taxes are done and submitted
-I haven't killed any of the houseplants; in fact, the 2 poinsettias gifted to us at Christmas look wonderful
-I've lost weight... approx 15 pounds since the end of December
-apple blossoms...I love them. The photo at the top of this post is from April 15th last year. Today it is snowing... but I have faith that in just a little while... we will have apple blossoms blooming again
-and like waiting for this year's apple blossoms to come forth... I need to remember that good things will come... even after craptastic days like these...

(These are some earrings I made last night as an homage to the beginning of Fishing Season here in PA. 
They are made from vintage fishing lure pieces, and some glass fish beads.)

(And this is a gorgeous Gerbera daisy that is in a bouquet on my kitchen table ... 
a gift from my mom in celebration of me helping/being a part of the new Art Center in town
that just had it's Grande Opening this past weekend.)

Monday, April 14, 2014


Things I am Grateful for Today:

-spring crocus (see the other ones on my photo blog)
-wild  bunnies
-wild bear... even if they do steal my feeder
-trees all around
-spring rain
-easy mondays
-convenience stores... for coffee, mozzarella stix and pretzles.
-getting money back on your taxes (so very grateful)
-realizing I have 24hrs to complete my homework for tomorrow's class...yikes. 
          But it could be much worse...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

for the weekend

It's been a crazy, busy week for me... which has culminated in the Grande Opening of the Potter County Artisan Center... today and tomorrow. There will be live music, demonstrations, food... plus lots of "meet and greet" opportunities with some fabulous local artists.
I didn't get near as much done of my personal art stuff as I had intended.... but I still have lots of photography prints, postcards, recycled paper envelopes and cards, walking sticks, handmade scarves... and, of course... some of my jewelry.
I hope for a rousing high turnout and ultimate success for everyone involved... and I think it will be a huge benefit and resource for the community.

That said... I am tired.
I am anticipating several days with long hours of dead-like sleep punctuated by brief periods that involve scrounging in the kitchen
 and using the bathroom. And that is OK.

But before I head off to bed... cup of tea in hand... my faithful Brina by my side... I thought I would share some links for the weekend:

-an interesting article on "the 15 richest living artists"... seeing as we were on the subject of art.
-a collage artist I like
-and this link for some awesome journals
-and this link for some amazing  photography.

And then I got to reading about gardening and such; and wanted to include this link,
and this link on planting tomatoes, and this one on garden ideas.
This article got me thinking... and I am really glad I've cut alot of sugar out of my diet...
and have been eating much more of the organic, raw, natural variety.

Earlier in the week, I was reading about this family... who took a trip around the world with their teenagers.
So awesome! I even found a link to a blog written by their daughter.
I found out about that family; because THIS family had recently been under some bad scrutiny for taking their 2 toddlers on a vast sailing trip
... and ended up needing rescued when the baby became very ill.

Then, a friend sent me this link... which is Jim Carrey !singing! ...
which led me to finding this link.... labeled as the 15 Worst Covers of Beatles songs...

But don't despair.... there are always "cute raccoon" videos.
Until Monday, my friends...

((the top photo is of the stairs leading to the house next door. The house has been empty for several years... and it is a wonderful source of interesting photos for me. 
This last shot; is of 2 hawks that flew right over my head as I was standing 
on the front deck trying to get a photo of the setting sun))

Friday, April 11, 2014


It's hard to believe it's Friday... and today and this weekend are going to be super busy.

But it's been sunny... and spring-like (I haven't worn a coat in a week or so).
Crocus and snowdrop flowers are in bloom at various places around town... birds singing...
kids out playing... the spring season is definitely here to stay.
And while the woods around our house still have snow in spots... for the most part...
it has receded into the earth once more.

Last night I went to a watercolor painting class. I have always been interested in learning how to paint with watercolors... but have always been too afraid to try. And yah, I sucked. I couldn't keep my paint in the boxes I had drawn on paper... I couldn't get the "proper" gradient technique that the instructor was showing us... even my brush was betraying me by leaving loose hairs all about.
I stressed. I felt like a failure.
But you know what? I tried. I stepped waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.
And it was good.
And I went for a glass of wine afterwards.
And we'll see how it goes at class next week...

Things I am Grateful for Today:
-stepping out of comfort zones
-trying new things
-even things you are afraid of
-friends who accompany... and don't make fun of you (thanks!)
-new art supplies!
-good teachers who are passionate about what they do
-paper. There are SO very many kinds out there! Who knew...
-paint. Wow. So many colors... so many different properties... the possibilities are endless
-the fun of experimenting
-and a glass of vino for the nerves....

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Alot of people ask me, "What... in all the photos you have taken; is your favorite?"
It's rather like asking... what is your favorite book, or movie... or food. It really depends on your mood, the day... all kinds of factors.
That said (and not including photographs of friends and family)... I think I would choose the one I've included in this post.
It's not a technically perfect shot. It's grainy; as I took it at night... handheld (no tripod) with a simple point and shoot camera.
So... it's not perfectly sharp; it's not perfectly exposed... I'm sure you could find alot of fault with it if your tried.
However. I love it. I love the colors, the subtle changes in tone from leaf to leaf. I love the mood it invokes.
A clear summer night... moonglow... the majik that is 2am...leaves rustling ever so slightly in the breeze...
perhaps the howl of a coyote or the hoot of an owl in the distance.
You can feel it. I feel it.
And that is what I try to capture when I am out and about taking photographs.
I don't always succeed... but I try.

I"ve been going thru photos these past couple of days, making up postcards and prints for the gallery here... and it's been hard. How do you choose? Where do you start? Of course, time and money are also a factor... so I can't print too many right now... >>sigh<<
In the end; I let my husband and daughter pick a select few photographs... all of which I have taken in the past 5 months since moving here.
Thank the gods for family who step in and help so much... I don't know where I would be without them.

Things I am Grateful for Today:

-my daughter and my husband.... who have helped me so very much these past couple of days to get (mostly) ready for the gallery opening.
-for ZQuil. For when I can't sleep cuz I'm too freaked out
-for endless large cups of dark black tea
-and toasted english muffins
-for easy to make dinners. Tonight I made plates of cheese, english muffins, fresh fruit and brats
-today when I came home from errands and volunteer work... I discovered a single, gorgeous, purple crocus in full bloom! in our yard. I have no idea where it came from. (you can see it here)
-Brina.... who is always willing to snuggle.... even when I am stressed (or maybe especially because I am stressed).
-energy. Or maybe it was necessity... but I got the studio space more/less straightened up and organized better (since the flooding). I can't work well in a disorganized space... and even though I really needed to be working on other stuff.... organizing the area was definitely a priority for me.
-Advil. When the headaches come.
-and for deep sighs... and the hope that it will all work out OK in the end...