Mittens, a quilt and art

I was going through my studio closet today and found this little quilt top that I had made three years ago. I have it all marked to quilt. It has a little bit of everything on it. Embroidery, applique and piecing. I doubt if I get to it this year as I will be working hard to get a new inventory ready for the 2018 art shows. I had forgotten how cute it was. I had no pattern for this, it was all trial and error. The words around the edge are: Be Happy, Follow your Heart, Show Kindness, Find Bliss, Love Yourself, Take Care of the Earth, Hugs are Good, Stop and Smell the Flowers, Dance.

My friend, Karla from Kansas City Mo, was making mittens to sell at craft fairs for Christmas. I asked her if she would make me a pair also, and they are so beautiful. The yarn is so soft and the embroidery is fantastic. What a work of art!

I follow an artist who has named her business Soul Whisper Arts, she was offering a bundle of items so I treated myself to them. This is one of her prints that was included. It is precious and is called “up, up and away”.

This painting I finished right before I did the Louisville show in October. I did not have time to scan it and add it to my Etsy shop. Today I did that. It takes a bit of time to do one that is this big. The size is 20 X 40 and it doesn’t fit on my scanner. It has to be scanned in pieces and then the computer magically puts it all together. I wanted to depict Kentucky with the horse farm and the white fences and the tree lined driveway. I also added a Ford Super Duty truck because they would need that to pull the horse trailers and also there were two Ford Factories in Louisville. The title of this painting is “Home” and the quote that I have used is by Laura Ingalls Wilder…HOME is the nicest word there is.  This painting is for sale and also prints can be purchased in my Etsy shop. If you are interested send a message to me.

Camera Play

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I have gotten all my decorating done and that is a good feeling. Now we can sit back and enjoy it. This morning I got the camera out to play with the modes and the tree lights. This one is no flash and a little movement.

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Using flash, not nearly as pretty…too stark.

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No flash, with no movement. It was too bright outside to get a good movement effect. The shutter wouldn’t stay open long enough and I didn’t want to go manual.

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This is a snowman with lights in a much darker area.

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Shutter stayed open longer and I moved the camera back and forth. I think that’s really neat.

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Here it is with just two movements.

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Little tree with colored lights in my husbands office. I liked the reflection of the lights in the window.


I shut the blind so it would be dark and moved the camera sideways.


I also moved it down. Reminds me of the glow sticks that can be bracelets or necklaces.


I then moved it up and down quickly. Nothing like some cheap amusement.


I had my son Kevin get some 2 X 4’s which are not exactly that size (a little puzzling) and cut and sand them. I saw blocks like these in a store front with paper letters on them. I am going to paint decorated letters and see how they turn out. I will keep you updated even if they don’t work out. This is my door paint color from the HGTV collection, I love it.


Books that I am reading right now. The Big Magic I received yesterday, it is written by the author of Eat, Pray, Love. Another artist recommended it and said that she will not view creating in the same way. The other book I received from my friend Colleen and it has been on my bedside table and it is high time I finish it. She greatly enjoyed it. I have also been watching my Roosevelt’s DVDs and love it all over again. I was sad when Theodore died at age 60. I am sad now because the USA is trying to recover from the Great Depression and Pearl Harbor has not been bombed yet but we know it is coming. I have been rooting for Franklin and his Polio and and had to look up if there had been any cases of polio in the US recently. The vaccine certainly took care of it…I knew three people who had it, when I was growing up,  all approximately the same age. Eleanor just worked tirelessly during the FDR’s time in office. I just try to picture how bad it was and I wish my parents were alive to talk this over with them.  


So I have had my afternoon coffee, filled out some forms for a new doctor I am going to tomorrow and going to work on my grocery list. It’s a nice day….hope you are having one too! Thanks for stopping!

put together quickly


Deciding to try to participate into this art fair was a quick decision. I had to have my application approved and the deadline was September 1st which I made on that day. I had to wait and hear from the committee, plus I was going to Colorado on September 15th. When I got back on September 22nd, I still had not heard anything, but I started looking in my junk and there was my acceptance letter, that had been sent on Sept. 17th. Now, I really had to kick it into motion if I was going to show a decent amount of inventory. The show was October 10th and I had to also plan a booth. The display board was my husbands and sons job. I painted it and then I just tried to get as many different items done to sell. We had an inexpensive canopy so that would have to do for the time being. I had a rug that I was planning on using and everyone around me had tent sides so that worked out well since I had none. Here is my booth right after we had gotten it all put together.


I finished my banner the day before and I may add to it. It looks similar to my business card.


The other half of my booth. It was really fun to do. I enjoyed interacting with the customers and visiting with some I had not seen in months.


I was so thankful that my sister Linda was available to help me, it is definitely a two person job.


It was a real learning experience and I had so much nice feedback. I have decided to give it a try for the next year. I will be doing a craft show in November and it will be indoors, so I will have to have another kind of booth plan. Here are prints, cards made from handcarved stamps and cute, handpainted rocks  plus my business cards. I look forward to creating new items. Check back because I will be sharing them. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Journey to Rocky Ridge and Lawrence KS

After having a nice breakfast and conversation with Innkeeper Connie Roberts and having inquired as to where the Mansfield town cemetery was located, I checked out and started my journey. As you can tell by this picture many travelers make their way to the grave sites. I think cemeterys are very interesting and historical. This one was set up in 3 sections. The oldest had so many headstones that were not legible at all because they were so old and the elements of time wore them down. The second section was probably only 100 years old and that is where the Wilder’s graves were located. The 3rd section is where the graves were adorned with flowers because there were family members alive to take care of them.

It was well kept and the Ozarks were visible there. It looks like there is plenty of area for expansion too.


Almanzo and Lauras headstone. It was nicely done to distinguish them from the others with well manicured bushes and chain to the rear. As you can tell visitors feel the need to put pebbles and coins on the headstone maybe to just leave a marker noting they had been there. I didn’t know them while they were alive but I feel like I did since I have read so much about them. This is where the human bodies were laid to rest and was a very serene area.


Rose’s grave is right next to her parents with the same kind of pebbles. After speaking with the tour guide at Rocky Ridge I have a whole new view of Rose Wilder Lane. My view was that she was bossy and didn’t treat her mother very well. The tour guide said that to understand Rose more I should read her writings. She probably would be considered “gifted” in our educational system now. She had an insatiable thirst for reading, she traveled all over the world and for her time was the second highest paid journalist.


Rocky Ridge farm was just a mile out of town which may have seemed like a little trek with a horse and wagon but I can see why they built on this land. When I am at places where historical figures lived I like to feel that this is where they walked and made their life, hallowed ground. I guess I try to feel their presence.


I walked around the grass to be able to get a good picture of Rocky Ridge. Here is the wonderful home that was build over a 20 year period as they worked the farm and in town and as money became more abundant. My next pictures are from the front porch on the right side.


This section of the house was built last and I am sure Laura came out of this door often to sit on this porch in the shade and catch a breeze.


The wonderful view from the porch. Not too hard on the eyes. They did not allow pictures inside the house or museum. The house was left just the way it was when Laura passed away in 1957. The countertops were made low because Laura was not even 5 feet tall and Alamanzo was not a tall man either. They were very hard working, frugal, socially conscious people. I thought this was very interesting, that they did not like Franklin Delano Roosevelt because he implemented the New Deal and all the plans that helped the country get through he depression. They felt that everyone should make their own way and work through the lean times as is what they did exactly in their lives.


After the tour of the farmhouse we made our way over to The Rock House that Rose had built for Laura and Almanzo to make their lives easier. It was a Sears and Robuck house and she hired high school boys to dig rocks for the house one summer. Many of the original fixtures, doors and such are still in the house. They lived in the house for 8 years with Rose living in the farmhouse. It had electricity, running hot water, and all the amenities that were not available in the area during the late 1920’s. As the tour guide said, it did make Laura’s life easier and in this house is where she started writing the Little House books.( The woman in the picture is named Misty Miller from Alabama and she was waiting on her ride to pick her up). The Rock House was build on the Wilders land of course. It was 3/4 of a mile away from the farmhouse and Rose and Laura walked a path back and forth over the hill to visit each other. Laura felt isolated from others while living here and missed her farmhouse which she and Almanzo had built together. Her heart was still there and also Rose had equipped it with the needed amenities of the Rock House.


Rose also had a garage built for their Buick and Rose had taught both Laura and Almanzo to drive.


The view of the Ozarks from the Rock House. Stunning in the fall I am sure.


Their land went to the tree line.


A new museum is being built right now and should be opened next year. I loved the museum because it diplayed so much of the items that we read about in her books. Pa’s fiddle, the china figurine, Mary’s quilt that she made and I could go on and on. In her 80’s Laura appliqued a morning glory quilt that was spectacular. Oh and the Our Daily Bread plate that was saved from the house fire of Laura and Almanzo’s home in South Dakota. I was also impressed the the wall display of all The Little House books in different languages. Children in China and Germany wanted to read about the pioneer spirit.


Plaque outside of the wonderful bookstore that beckoned me in. I had read Pioneer Girl before I left on this trip. It was the original story that Laura wrote and that the Little House Books were written from. It had more adult content like drunken people and such. Not like adult content of today. It came out in December 2014.


The ticket for my tour. A bookmark I received with my bookstore purchase. I love the receipt from the bookstore with the graphic of the farmhouse. The cashier wanted to know if I wanted a receipt and I said “yes”. After I got it I said I love the graphic and she said, “that’s someone who has too much time on their hands”. I thought it was quite special.


I picked up this very small, easy reading book since I had stayed in Mansfield the previous night. It talks about the train, the bank of Mansfield and I just wanted to picture what this little sleepy town was like during that period of time.


I picked this book because it has wonderful pictures of the inside of the houses and of things I wasn’t able to photograph. I also liked it that it was from the recipes that Laura used. It also had a picture of her recipe book, how she reused many different papers to compile them all. I made Farmhouse Stew last night and it received a good review from the family.


This one I chose because it had great pictures of all the places where the Little House books take place. It took me on a tour without having to go, just like I am doing for you. that Cabin on the front is a replica in Independence, Kansas.


So it was about 1:00 in the afternoon and I had a 4 hour drive ahead of me to Lawrence, Kansas. Got my GPS up and running and I was mostly on Hwy. 13 in Missouri to take me to Kansas. Observations I had along the way: Lake Truman is huge! I knew it had to be man made because there were dead trees in the middle of the part that I saw. Here is information I found about it. At one point on the lake were pelicans, I wasn’t expecting that. Here is talks about pelicans. Along the road I saw a dead armadillo, which is something I don’t come across in Indiana, mostly raccoon’s and deer. Here is tells about armadillos in Missouri. I got to my room in Lawrence about 6:45 and needed to get to this bookstore that I read about, from another blogger from Kansas. Here is the link to her amazing blog. The bookstore is The Raven and it was just 3 blocks from my hotel. As you know I love books and I love cats and this store contained both. As I walked up this one cat had slipped out with a customer and was hiding behind the potted plant outside the door. The clerk was having a bit o f a time getting him back into the store. Of course once she did the cat kept looking out the door planning his escape again. I saw cat toys on the floor so he and I got into a little cat play. I am sure he was glad that I came along.


Then this other handsome fellow came out to see what it was all about. He was very pettable and joined in on the cat play also.


This quilt was also displayed and I asked who had made it, some group in town she said. It had book covers on it.


I had about a half and hour after playing with the cats to browse and make my choices. I fell in love with this book and it’s beautiful pictures.


While I don’t like to make my watercolors to be used in a botanical book this had many good watercolor tips and pictures.


The clerk included two bookmarks, each has a different quote from well known authors. She also gave me some good advice on where to get something to eat.


Lawrence is a college town and Massachusetts avenue was a bustling place. Very interesting and I went to a brew house bar to place an order and took it back to the hotel. This is a building I passed and don’t know if it was a movie theater or a play house, but it was pretty.


So Spring Hill Suites was at the end of my journey for the day. Very nice, sizable room. I watched the Republican Debate because I didn’t have to think too hard about anything. When you are driving by yourself you have to stay alert at all times so by the end of the day I was a bit depleted. It has been a great experience! To keep me awake and interested I am listening to audio books.  The first one I chose is Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult, 15 hours long.  Check back in for day three. Thanks for stopping!


New Print–Love

Red Heart with watermark

I just finished this vibrant painting. It is named “Love” and is done with mixed media. There are two quotes written in the flower: There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you have heard their story…Mary Lou Kownacki Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all…G.K. Chesterton. The mediums that I used are paper, acrylic paint, oil paintstiks, canvas, glaze pen, white ink, printer, rubberstamps and ribbon. This print is available in my Etsy shop:

flat art


This last weekend my gal friends and I made our usual August trek to Cincinnati for the Stampaway rubberstamping convention. We stopped at a Chuys Tex-Mex restaurant outside of Dayton and the interior was so interesting I wanted to share. This is very flat and colorful art that adorned the walls in our dining room. The single portraits all were actors and had their names at the bottom. That was good because some were not recognizable. I would recommend this restaurant, the food was very good but I especially loved the ranch/jalapeno dip they brought out with the salsa and chips. I could not stop eating it!!


Another art piece on the wall behind our table. My friend Theresa there in the left corner. The tiles on the walls were just so lovely.


Yet another painting, I was not sure it those were hands or feet reaching above the sitting women. We all took a consensus and decided on hands.


The waiting area was full so we decided to step out into the vestibule and that’s when I decided to share the decorating. Loved the door handles made of wrapped tortilla 3-D art.


Gotta have a selfie, whether they turn out decent or not. Theresa and myself.


My other two gal friends waiting patiently, L-Toni, R- Michelle.


The tiles on the floor were fabulous. In the quilting world those patterns are tumbling blocks and flying geese.


Better picture of the stars and Theresa shoes.


The walls were painted with so many decorative designs and colors.


Another area of design. My only complaint was that with all the hard surfaces, the accoustics were not good and the music was too loud. It was hard to talk between each other.


I was standing in line at the Gary Burlin booth admiring all the different colors on the displays. I was sad that they were a bit fuzzy but you get the idea, I probably had too many items for purchase in my hands.


So many lovely and colorful markers. It’s heaven for crafters and artists.

Flowers for the Shower


Three of us went together to have a Bridal Shower for my niece Kelli. I have devoted my time to overseeing carpet cleaning, and just cleaning my house because we are having it here. This is good, that way it pushes me to get it cleaned. Oh yea, I trimmed those last set of bushes that were overgrowing too. It’s all good, but alas I have not had a chance to paint. Next week will be devoted to that. These are the sweet (literally) favors that we put together for the shower.


I did get to pick up the Indiana Woodlands botanical from the framer. It really looks nice and just finishes off the wall that I have it on. Very pleased with the look. I had such fun in that class and learned so much that I just enjoy looking at it. Remember if you would like one too it can be ordered in my Etsy shop.


I did take time out to make a trip the the Fort Wayne Farmers Market today. I was in search of flowers for the mantle and I found the bottom of the buckets…truly. I got there a little later than originally planned. I really adore those sunflowers. Hope your weekend is Fabulous!

A little color change


I finally got around to painting my door this week. Here it is in the before shot.


And here is the after shot. I painted the sides in Benjamin Moore Fundamental White and the door is Benjamin Moore Crystal Aqua. I love it! As you can see it matches my floor rug very well.


I had found this scatter rug at Marshals to put in front of the door, so I can just throw it into the washer. It was pure happenstance that I found it and it was the perfect color too.


I moved the “Sisters doll” into that room because the aqua color is perfect.


This is the scatter rug I had bought earlier and it has the right colors but it has a baby room feel to it and I just wasn’t happy with it. I love it but not in that room.


I found this very distressed and textured frame and added one of my little 4 X 4 watercolors. The painting above it is one that I recently finished and showed in an earlier post. It can be found on my Etsy shop.


These wings are from Kelly Rae Roberts line and I am going to hang them above the door. They are probably 15 inches wide.


This wall hanger is just the perfect color also. I really like it with the rose shaped drawer handle. It’s a fun piece. Hope you are having a good day. Thanks for stopping.