The Neighbors Garden, books, magazines, Art in Progress and more.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you haven’t all ready, would you please sign up to get this blog post sent through email. I would like to build that list because it is so much easier to communicate and the pictures look so much better through email. To do this go to the right side of my home page where is says “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL“. That being said…onward ho….Once in a while I hop (not literally) on over to the neighbors garden to see what is growing and I am never disappointed. The Black Eyed Susans are putting up a good show.
Loved the gourd birdhouse hanging among the morning glories.
Her zinnias are gorgeous every year.
Tightly wound morning glories.
Caught these miniature tomatoes at the right moment.
Among the milkweeds and Queen Anns Lace.
The crop dusting plane that surprises me every summer. It is always disconcerting when I hear the plane zooming around.
I am always in awe at how low and fast it can fly.
Something new that I learned recently….only finches like safflower seeds. I picked up this feeder, which is cool because it has a button that pops open the top to fill it. I filled it with safflower seeds and only the finches ate it. Even the birds stayed away from the other feeders. I haven’t looked into the reason for this but once the feeder was empty the other birds came back. I think if the finches could shove the seeds into their cheeks they would have.
I was sitting outside looking for the comet….nope….didn’t see it. Took a picture of the moon and must have moved because I had a slow shutter release on, so I received this interesting picture instead.
Sam and I, last week went to a Chinese restaurant and these decorations were on our plate. Carrot and Rutabaga flowers.
On Saturday I went to the Farmers Market and it is being held at Parkview Field, home of the Tin Caps minor league baseball.
Sent a selfie to my husband with the field behind me.
Thought the trash cans were great as far as trash cans go.
This flower truck so fabulous and memorable. The flowers for sale were beautiful too.
Also a booth selling plants was at the market and I had been looking for a trail of tears plant. I have it very high so certain cats do not chew on it. I would like to make a living wall so I can have plants but not have them chewed up. I have just the right room and wall for it. Look it up on Pinterest.
Michelle, my friend came down to the market too and we went on to Honey Plant on Wells Street. Interesting plants and pots, such a clean and green environment.
Right next door to Honey Plant is the Hyde Brothers used book store, such a wonderful place for book lovers. It has two resident cats and you can see one snoozing in his bed. There are rooms and rows of knowledge up to the ceiling.
I picked up three books while I was there. A few times when we went to Detroit we stayed at a Marriot downtown and the People Mover came into that hotel and it was easy to ride to our destinations. There is beautiful art in each of the stations and this book explains it all. My head was spinning back and forth trying to take all the art in so I was delighted to find “Art in the Stations”.
This is the back cover of the book.
This is another that I found. The author of The Help recommends it and that was good enough for me. “The Postmistress”.
Then this one “Conversations with Amber“. I thought to myself that I know the name Gladys Taber! But not as an author, then I remembered that Susan Branch referred to her often.
I have many of Susan Branches delightful books, and I use her two year purse calendar and follow her blog and website. On her website is a Gladys Taber Fan Club.
Another recently purchased book “Separated”.
This is my first Flow Magazine and it has been great, so much of the things that I love. Still trying to decide if I want a subscription.
Kevin gave this subscription to me for Christmas. This magazine is so so colorful, and you know I like color. I enjoy it every month.
As I was looking at my bookshelf, I found this to add to my organizational library. I have found like cleaning and organizing, Organizing from the Inside Out. You just need to take the time to do it.
Lastly I have two paintings in the works. This floral one is coming along very well. Chamomille, Cleome, Butterfly Bush, Grey headed Coneflower, Liatris. More to come.

I hope that you have enjoyed my tour this week. Please stay healthy.

staying busy

Staying at home is not a whole lot different from my regular work day so I am not feeling it like many of you who leave home for work and interact with many children and adults. I do miss going to visit my son who lives across town and we would go out to eat, etc. For now we use messenger face to face and it will do, it’s good to see his face.
I was going to Physical therapy but have graduated and now I just plan a quick trip to the grocery store.
Tom’s job has been deemed essential, so he goes to work every day and also both our sons work for the same company and it has been deemed essential. I worry about them getting the Corona Virus but they are working and having a paycheck and then they would be worrying if they didn’t have that.

I ask every day, do you feel well, are you washing your hands, not touching anyone, yada yada. Probably rolling their eyes as I say it, but I am allowed.

I take walks around the house and around the neighborhood.
These crocus always cheer me, especially the purple ones.
We really could use a little more sun.
When I go outside there is always someone at the window watching me. The six of them are used to having me home and when I take a short trip, it is like I have been gone for months, rubbing, circling and talking, it is like having six dogs.
We have gotten take out a few times and also cooking a lot at home. Chili and Bar Cookies for this night. As I have gotten older those beans give acid reflux, how irritating. Has anyone else noticed this?
My bird feeders were beat up over the winter and also had holes and I lost much feed. When ever you buy a new feeder it takes a while for the birds to find it, it has been about two weeks now. On the old feeders I saw birds looking over the moldy feed that was stuck and I thought they would flock here saying thank you, thank you! Not so……must be practicing social distancing.
This last Saturday was National Quilt Day and so I though I would put a quilt on the porch. This is a crazy quilt made by someone way back in my husbands family. It is over a hundred years old and I use it for a tree skirt at Christmas. It is two sided and the other side has 2.5 inch blocks. Since my art is so colorful I decided that a painting on the door would be really pretty. I have decided to do it everyday and change quilts and paintings. Since my art shows are cancelled until who knows when this is a nice way to show my paintings making it look cheerful since we have to distance ourselves. This painting is titled “Bobs Hideout”.
The next day the other side of the quilt and my poppy painting “Live Out Loud”, shows well on the black door.
A quilt top of my own that I need to finish. The painting is “Oh Happy Day”. I have had fun doing this and hope that my neighbors see and enjoy it. I plan to keep it up for awhile until I don’t.
This girl is a stinker. She will bite one of the other cats if she wants to lay where they are sleeping. One of the other cats started to tap the catnip box so I put some on a plate. Look where this girl is laying….in the middle of the plate. Her face is ornery just like her.
As I had mentioned earlier many art shows have been cancelled and all of us don’t know when the virus will go down. I am going to be putting originals on my shop. I didn’t do this before because I would have been taking them with me. This new painting “Big and Beautiful” is for sale. It is 36 X 36 and if you are interested email me. Look closely there is a cat peeking at you.
My paint the sides also so that there is no need for a frame. It will come with a hanging wire and a nice write up about me and the painting.
I really like this side, it is pretty.
This is another new mixed media painting “Among Friends”. It looks really bright and pretty on my wall and would do the same for yours. There are so many interesting elements in this painting and it is enjoyable to look at.
Like all my paintings I have painted the sides and really enjoy this one.
I am very partial to these poppies, love this French Bulldog and the three birds are a redheaded woodpecker, prinia and a cardinal at the top. I will be putting this one on my shop also. It is 22 X 28. For both you can also purchase prints and note cards.

Summer is my time to do the art show circuit to earn a living so if you are so inclined to have a colorful and happy painting or print or a pack of note cards I would be so glad to send them to you. I do all the printing, packaging and mailing. Click here to go to my shop.

Stay well and safe and may everyone get along. sometimes that’s tough.

Guest Room Painting

We had our guest room painted this year and what a difference it made. I really love the color. I had taken the sign that is now above the bed and added those large flowers. Then I added “Under the Blue Sky” original painting and it was just perfect. The colors of the flowers just pop out. I was afraid that the painting would be too large but 36 X 36 fit so well. We bought the quilt at an antique shop in Maine and the room is made so cozy with it. This room makes me happy and I hope our guests are very comfortable in it also.

A Work That Intends to be Art, Must First Be Entertaining.

Katherine Patterson

Original Art – For You

This was an early painting that I still have. It is titled “For You” and came up with that after I painted it. It came to me after reading the lines and thought everyone should say this to themselves everyday.

Follow Your Heart….Everyone should do this….it will make you happier.
Seek Bliss…..also a good thing…..even just getting a cup of coffee or sitting in nature during any season.
Find Happiness…..listen to a Ted talk… a fat quarter of fabric….or a new paintbrush…even a fancy chocolate . Those are things that can make you happy and not cost much money.
Just Love… kind to one another.
The background is dark grey, and the hearts are uniform with pretty colors. The line drawings enhance the words and hearts.
One side has a line drawing of a stretching cat with a butterfly on his nose and a sun on his stomach.
The other side also has line drawings of simple botanicals and the bird tail is peeking at the top. The size of this canvas is 18 X 18. If you are interested in this mixed media painting please contact me.

Original for sale – Home

This large mixed media painting, 20 X 40 just has so much goodness in it. The horse that greets everyone coming down the driveway to the charming old brick home with flower boxes. It has a tree lined driveway. The back pasture has four horses running under a sunset or a sunrise whichever one prefers. Don’t forget the cats and kittens and the garden with various vegetables and sunflowers. A pickup truck to pull your horse trailer is a necessity. This painting was created with many elements, molding paste, acrylic paint, wallpaper and photo paper, a stencil, rubber stamps, ink and shiva oil paintsticks. This is a perfect painting for a narrower wall area as it is only 20 inches wide. The quote at the top of the painting was one of my favorites. Please contact me if you are interested and would like to discuss price.

Home is the nicest word there is. -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Taste the Beauty – Original for Sale

Original for sale, “Taste the Beauty”. It measures 24 inches by 36 inches and is on a gallery wrapped canvas, 1 1/2 inches deep, meaning it hangs nicely on the wall with no frame. It depicts renditions of poppies, hollyhocks, coreopsis, purple asters, daylilies, balloon flowers, salvias and dandelion poofs floating through the air. A spiral sun and a Henry David Thoreau quote nicely adds to the painting, “A Taste for the Beautiful is Most Cultivated out of Doors. The texture and colors on this work of art are fabulous. This is an early piece that has always been a favorite of customers and many have purchased reproductions. Please contact me if you are interested in this large mixed media painting.

On The Lake

This new painting is all ready for the Devils Lake Fine Art Fair this weekend, but I also have it up in my shop. It can be purchased in three different sizes to fit the area where you would like to hang it. This is a very cheerful painting that will make you smile everyday. Who doesn’t love to take a boat ride on the lake, watching the fish and feeling the wind. Here is the link to it in my store.

Surviving the Cold

Throughout the day I am going to share my paintings that I have been working on since our cold, cold snap. Our temps are going up today and even though it was way too cold, it was so sunny. That was deceiving. Yesterday one of my cats was putting up a fuss at the window and there was a little bird all huddled against the house with the feathers ruffling in the wind. I was afraid it was dead but luckily it was close to my dryer vent. I turned on the dryer to see if it would get warmed up. Eventually it started moving his head, then standing up and then it flew off, hopefully finding a little warmer spot. Sunday it is supposed to be 50 degrees! Crazy but welcome. This little painting, I am repurposing. I used this canvas in 2015 and decided that it could be better. It had a little birds nest so I turned it into a fox burrow and I had planned to do a curled up fox so here it is, “Fox Burrow”. I love that background green, it is from Target and called Seaweed. I have been building my inventory for the art fair shows. My season starts in April and I have lots of ideas.

Painting #2 redone and Workshop sign up

This flag painting was an early on creation. It needed refurbished also. I took off the stars, sanded it, painted it black, sanded it again and loved the outcome. The rust underneath peeked out under the black so nicely.

The barn owl was painted with acrylic paint Various wallpapers, inks, bronze leaf and oil sticks were used to make a wonderfully colorful scene. There is even a bit of florescent orange here and there. So meet Barney, the owl peeking out between the fall leaves.

The workshops are closing in fast! This is the painting we are doing on Sunday October 21, 1 pm to 5 pm. Please, please get signed up so I know how many I am going to have. Link to the sign up page….

Here is the painting for the friday evening, October 26th workshop. 6 pm to 10 pm. Here again I stress that you get signed up so I can get the needed supplies. This is a level one, no artistic experience necessary. These paintings have a little bit of many techniques, to learn and to build on. It will be a great time! The link to sign up for friday night class.

Blooms Paintings

This week I am going to be preparing for my first art show of the season. Tulip Time in Holland Michigan. I wanted to show you some of the paintings in process that came out of my workshop with Carrie Schmitt. Such beautifully talented women that I was with! If you are feeling a bit down these should perk you up.

These paintings are just a small portion of what was created that weekend. Every woman did three or four paintings.

Don’t these just take your breath away?


Just enjoy!

That’s all I think you can absorb for now. Stop back if you need a pick me up.