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Maple & Bittersweet

Ah, the last day of August. Can't say I'm sorry to see this harsh month go, although it was a little bit better than our brutal July. But I've got autumn on my mind and heart, and that's where "Maple & Bittersweet" came from~

Every year when it comes time to paint fall scenes again its like meeting up with an old friend. The golds, the oranges, the reds. So pretty. Feeling in the mood for a little more traditional folk art style and motifs too--- the little stylized trees and little farm houses. The girl in this painting was loosely inspired by a girl in a painting I did years ago--- it was a fall painting I put in the gallery of my first Indie Emporium show. One of the pieces that won me a solo gallery exhibit in a local coffee shop. What a good year!

You might have noticed that this painting is now my new fall banner! I thought she fit perfectly :) I will also get this made into prints with my next batch. Hoping to get a few more paintings created and then make a print order of lots of new goodies. Only a few weeks til Indie Emporium!~

Hope you're having a good Wednesday,
~H

Tea with Mr. Rochester


I've been pondering Mr.Rochester from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre for a while now, and finally after some urging on etsy I decided to go ahead and make a Mr.Rochester design in my mugs. I think he came out quite brooding and handsome, which is a hard balance to strike!

The front of the mug features our tortured yet dashing hero and on the back a quote from the Bronte book: "Do you think me handsome?" Well, of course!

You can find this mug on a made to order basis now in my shop. Hope you like him!~ He's already garnered quite a nice response and was even featured on the blog Book Talk and More today! That's a nice debut, don't you think?

More to show you soon....
~H

Tasha Tuesday

Hello and Happy Tasha Tuesday. As I mentioned a little while back, this will be my last Tasha Tuesday for the summer and then I'm going to take a little break. Don't fret though, it will be back as soon as things settle down here a bit. We're headed straight into show season and this will be my biggest one yet, with something tentatively planned each month well into wintertime.

On my mind today is Autumn. Especially a crisp and cool and romantically orange-tinged autumn as photographed by Richard Brown at Corgi Cottage. Autumn is my favorite season-- it contains both my birthday and anniversary and thanks to so many 'back to schools' it always feels like a season of fresh starts instead of an ending. I admit too, I will be very glad when this brutal summer is over and done with. The scorching temperatures made life pretty miserable, and nearly every appliance in my house decided to up and die. Just today we had the leaking washing machine fixed and I'm expecting a new dishwasher to be delivered this afternoon. We've been handwashing dishes for the past 6 weeks or so, and it's gotten very tiresome. I know Tasha didn't mind doing things like that by hand, but I am all for helpful appliances :) What a luxury it will be to just put the dishes in a contraption and have them get washed!

Today I'm painting fall scenes with old timey girls, and I have my trusty The Private World of Tasha Tudor out turned to the photo shown at the top of this post as inspiration. It looks so breezy and crisp and lovely in those photos, doesn't it? I can't wait til it's an autumn world here.

Do you have a soft spot for fall? What is your favorite part of the season?
~H

A Busy Start

I feel really lucky to be in a position where I like it when Monday rolls around :) The weekend is through and its time to get back into the swing of things, back into getting ready for these fall shows.

Here is a bit of what I've gotten done already thanks to some weekend lulls. A new little painting of a pretty old timey girl holding a nest of owls! I am in the mood for fall. Never mind that its still supposed to get to 105* this week and be, by and large, completely miserable. No, I'm determined to paint owls and crows and pumpkins! And come rain or shine, all fall decorating is fair game come September 1! That's my rule! :)

This new painting is called "The Nestlings" and its now available in my etsy shop.

I'm also working on this large scale painting that I have had in my mind for a good long while now. It's set up like an old fashioned photo portrait, and he's going to have a large bass in his hand. I've already painted in his suit and the big red curtain behind them, but this is just a moment in the creation of a painting and I thought you might enjoy seeing a glimpse at it before its all done.

I also made a bunch of little vintage looking coupons to go in the swag bags for Indie Emporium. The first 50 shoppers to come in the door get one of these lovely bags filled with all sorts of goodies including freebies and coupons. I'm excited to participate and had fun designing these little cards.

Well, today is Monday and that means 'back to school!' We're both enjoying this school thing very much. I have never had so much time to do what I need to do. And it's amazing how fast errands can go when you don't have to stop at every bathroom at every destination or mess with a booster seat. And she's loving school, especially all the arts and crafts they do. From what I can tell from the supplies we bought, I think I'm pretty much sending her to craft school ;) and that's fine by me!

Alright! Time to get up and start this day!~
H

Tasha Tudor Day

Although we're always celebrating Tasha around here (Audrey Eclectic is, after all, the home of Tasha Tuesdays!) today is a special day in itself around the web--- it's Tasha Tudor Day! Today, August 28, was Tasha's birthday and she would have been 96 years old. I love that there are so many people out there who are as inspired by her as I am. She was an amazing woman!

I came across Tasha completely by accident several years ago. It was truly a matter of serendipity. I was looking through a bin of discounted books and came across a copy of "The Private World of Tasha Tudor." The front cover had been ripped and so this beautiful book, written and photographed by Richard Brown (some of his images are shown above) came into my life.

Since that day when I brought that book home to our tiny apartment where I painted 'for fun' in an even tinier corner of our living room, I have been completely and utterly inspired by Tasha Tudor. Not just as an artist, but as a liver of life. Tasha managed to make a life and career for herself that would be enviable today, and may have seemed utterly unattainable back in the 30s when she first started painting. She was a young mother with little funds, no electricity or water in a dilapidated old house, little education and even less art education. In her era, there were few paths that a woman could dare to dream about, but she seemed to plow through those preconceived ideas of womanhood and motherhood and redefine life to suit her tastes.

When many women were bobbing their hair and tweezing their brows to oblivion, Tasha followed her love for the 'old timey' and because perhaps the world's first vintage lifestyle enthusiast. She wanted to live 'the life she had imagined' and that life wasn't the mainstream ideal. And that didn't matter to her in the least.

Tasha, more than anything, grabbed life with both hands and bent it to fit her will, instead of the other way around. She knew she had a talent and a passion and she decided to pursue it instead of stuff it away and consider it a frivolity.

What is amazing about the success of Tasha Tudor is that it was a success completely on her own terms and created around her passion, spirit, and vision. There was no one 'creating' her, no one telling her how to cater to the masses and make herself fit into some mold that was not authentically her.

All these aspects of Tasha are so inspiring to me, are so exciting to me, and give me such hope. If she could do all she did in the time and place she did it, perhaps I can make my dreams come true to. In essence, I think that is the distilled message of Tasha. If you can dream it, then you can do it. Make it happen. And take joy while you do it.

Happy Tasha Tudor Day!~
~H

*Many thanks to Clarice of Storybook Woods and Suzanne at Blueberry Cottage for annually hosting this event. Be sure to check out their blogs for even more Tasha Love on this special day!

*Images above by Richard Brown from The Private World of Tasha Tudor

*Prints*

I've been offering prints of my work for the past few years now, and each and every one was painstakingly printed by yours truly :) Each. And. Every.One. And as much as I like being a hands on artist, it was getting to be a bit of a chore, and there was always that painful experimentation to try and get the colors and paper just right. I am happy to report that now, this aspect of my art has been handed over to the professionals :) All the new prints are done on a nice heavy matte paper. I like prints with some bulk and weight to them. In the future I might try out a bit of a gloss, for for now I like the look of the matte, its very storybookish and shows off the bold lines of my prints really well.

Thanks to the sleuthing skills of my crafty friend Holly, we were able to find a local shop that will do up our prints and perhaps even our postcards and other printed goodies and I'm so excited! Not only do we get to support a local business, its just much more efficient in more ways than one. So starting with this week's orders, the prints that you purchase through my etsy shop and at shows will be professionally done (yippee!!)

Well, I have passed my first week of being the mama of a real live school girl and its gone by pretty fast. I've gotten a lot done, but I still need to find my schedule and my groove. Some random things came up this week so I didnt get a lot of solid time in the studio, but I'm planning on lots of time in the next few days. And even with the other things going on, I've gotten a lot of good work done.

I just feel really excited about it all. It puts me in an extremely good mood. What an incredible blessing it is to get the chance to do what I've dreamed of doing since I was a little girl coloring pictures all afternoon long, lost in old timey worlds and stories. Thanks to my bearded Mister for being the real reason this is even possible.

And so. Let the folk art world take over begin! Ready, set, paint!~
~H

Ballet Pink

Don't you just love when inspiration arrives literally right at your doorstep? Or at least as far as the mailbox?

That happened to me the other day with the J. Crew catalog. Oh, how I love those clothes even though they're way too expensive and its way too hot to even consider any of the fall items listed there. But I love a good catalog. And I was thrilled when I received the September issue and it was covered in ballerinas! From Russia! In J. Crew sweaters and tutus! Goodness gracious....

I love the gentle dreamy colors of these photos. The contrast of deep darks and delicate lights are something I really want to get into more with my own art. For so long I have been entrenched in extremely dark moody hues, which I love, but we all need a change sometimes and the truth is, dark tone on tones are so difficult to capture in reproductions. I've found that my paintings that use lighter colors seem to pop so much more in print and postcard form.

So, with these pretty little ballerinas in mind, I'm eager to explore new palettes. Should be fun!~
~H

Dasha: Inspired by blooms




This painting came about in a different way than usual--- it wasn't the girl that came first, it was the flowers. Recently I came upon the work of floral designer and blogger Amy Merrik and fell utterly, absolutely, and whole heartedly in love.
Amy's photography, especially that of her New England home, is gorgeous, as is her floral work. Each image and arrangement is like a little wild treasure, and so very timeless. You just want to crawl through the photo and enter the serene world she captures. So very gorgeous.

With this ardor in mind, I set about to paint a little piece of a timeless girl holding a bountiful and slightly wild bouquet like Amy creates. And so Dasha came to be. I wanted her to look a bit windblown, as if she'd spent the afternoon gathering blossoms and came back to the house a little disheveled. I don't do many icey blondes in my paintings, and decided on a completely monochromatic cool tone for the piece, so she sort of blends into her flower arrangement. I hope you like her!

I also added a bit of crackle to the finish piece because Lord knows, I can't resist the crackle. I think it makes her look a little more timeless and love-worn, just as the images in Amy's photography.

If you're the least bit smitten with her, I listed her today in my etsy shop.

And to give a little insight into my inspiration, here are a few of Amy Merrik's photos of her home and arrangements, maybe they'll inspire you as well....


* Three photos above by Amy Merrik

Tasha Tuesday

Photo by Richard Brown from "The Private World of Tasha Tudor"

Happy Tasha Tuesday!~
How fitting that today I received a message from the Tasha Tudor and Family website announcing special events going on at the new Tasha Tudor Museum in West Brattleboro, VT. to celebrate Tasha's birthday this week.
Tasha's birthday is August 28, and the museum opens on August 26 with lots of fabulous activities that any Tasha Tudor fan would thrill at.

If you're lucky enough to be in the Vermont area this week, here is a listing of what will be going at the museum:

Opening Day:
Learn more about one of Tasha's most beloved traditions, see a table set for tea and more. Join us on opening day from 10am to 5pm to learn about the exhibit from our new Curator of Exhibitions and Interpretation, Leigh Branson. Admission Rates: $5 for adults. Seniors over 65 and Children under 12 $3. Charter Members and Tasha Tudor Society Members $3

Open Spinning Bee:
August 27th from 10am to 1pm

Come be apart of a Tasha tradition, gather under a canopy, in a circle of friends,

bring your wheels and spindles, share in the stories and traditions of the handcrafted life of Tasha Tudor, depart with warm memories and a bag of fibers. Hosted by extra special volunteer, Jenna Konesko. Limited to the first 15 spinners to arrive or, as space opens throughout the day. No Admission fee to the bee.

Fiber Demonstration: From fleece to dish towel

August 27th from 10am to 3pm

Watch fiber arts volunteer, Patty Blomgren weaving on Tasha's antique Barn Loom. Experienced weavers may try weaving on the very loom Tasha used. Included in Museum admission

Brattleboro's Gallery Walk

September 2 from 4-7pm

Meet Tasha's son Seth, who will be on hand to greet visitors from 4:30-6:30pm. Seth Tudor built Tasha's home using only hand-tools and makes antique reproduction furniture. Free admission from 4-7pm during Gallery Walk.

Museum Store: Visit our popular gift shop which features Tasha Tudor books, cards, and more.

September open hours: Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat 10-3 or other times by appointment.


*******


It sounds like a grand ol' time! I hope someday I can get up to New England and visit this museum. I'm so glad that something has been organized to memorialize Tasha and her work and life. And its doubly special since it is her family behind the museum.


For more info on the museum, visit HERE

Anne & Gilbert


I have been so thrilled at the warm reception that my other Anne of Green Gables paintings are having with you, my lovely friends as well as shoppers and fellow Anne lovers on etsy. More than any other painting, I think, the "Anne and Diana" garnered many wistful emails and comments about how the original was gone before it could be snatched up. Not one to leave you hanging though, I took heed of the clamor for a painting with Anne and Gilbert, and so here it is! Romance on the bridge!~

This painting is another good sized portrait, done on beveled wood, and it turned out so rich and nice. You can view the etsy listing to see another photo of it, with the beveled edges and all.

Anne and Gilbert are one of my favorite literary pairs, and cinematic pairs if you count the beloved miniseries. They spend about 98% of the story getting on each other's nerves, trying to make amends, rebuffing the other's advances, fighting attraction, and just generally causing one another a lot of heartache until finally....our beloved heroine comes to her senses. And thankfully, she does so in plenty of time to enjoy a love and friendship of the ages. And that's what this painting is trying to capture, that moment when they realize "I just can't do without you." Perhaps there's a special someone in your life who makes you feel the same way?

The painting is listed now on etsy and looking for a good home! Perhaps its with you? Maybe you just can't do without it? ;)

~H



Growing

Thank you all for all your kind thoughts and comments! I am feeling (and looking!) much better! Thank goodness! Things have been a little quieter around here as I prepare. Lots of things getting ready to begin, and bloom. We've hit a growth spurt.

I've been cleaning for days, straightening and organizing in anticipation of next monday when I will be able to sit down for the first time and paint all day. It's monumental! School starts Monday morning and my little rabbit will be off among the school children. It seems like its been such a long journey since I came home to be with her and now she's putting on her backpack and headed out to learn a whole new world of things. I'm not sad about it, or overly sentimental. In fact, honestly, I'm really more excited than anything. For her and myself. She's ready to take on the world and this little nest has just become too small and boring for her. And I am ready to paint like I've never painted before!

This past week we got a small reprieve from the monstrous heat and the garden has bounced back with a vengeance. My hyacinth bean vine (shown above), which I didn't even plant in this particular bed, has gone luscious and wild. My dipping gourd vine has also scoffed at my humble trellis and is now creeping all over the yard, soon I will be tying it up along the fence so that the gourds can hang properly. Sadly my heirloom tomato plants that I was so excited about haven't budded a singled fruit. I had such high hopes about pink tomatoes and stripedy tomatoes. Oh well. The only thing that really seems to be doing well is the okra, and I'd thought that would be the hardest of all.

And so. This is a week of preparations. Cleaning out, preparing little clothes, meeting teachers and buying dance shoes. Soon though I will be done with the preparing and ready for the doing. I can't wait. I hope you'll come along for the ride. It's gonna be fun!~
~H

Tasha Tuesday

On this Tasha Tuesday it will be 100* outside. Not the best time to wear knits, but it seems to be what's on my mind! And if I started now, well, perhaps it will be finished by the time I even think about sitting fireside!

Last week I saw the new Jane Eyre for the first time. In fact, I think it releases as a DVD today! It is easily one of my top 'old timing inspiring' movies already. I love love love the mood and the costuming. I love these more modern renditions of classic stories, such as this and the newest Pride and Prejudice because it feels so real. Yes, there are the pretty dresses and the finery, but there's also the grime and soot, and dirty hems and simple clothes and knit wear--- ah, stop there! Knitwear :)

And what does my adoration of a gritted up Jane Eyre have to do with Tasha Tudor, you say? Well, I think Tasha would most heartily approve of it since the 1830s was an era she was particularly passionate about. Her costuming, in essence, is that of Jane Eyre. And in the movie and in Tasha's personal wardrobe was a very simple but so snug and comfortable looking little shoulder shawl.

Word on the knitting street is that other knitters have fallen for the 'Jane Shawl' (which might as well be the 'Tasha Shawl") and several patterns have popped up on Ravelry. I'd love to make one, but the patterns all look a bit complicated still. I think there is splicing involved and I have no earthly idea how that is done. Its times like this I wish I had a wise old knitting granny living next door-- you know, the kind who masterfully grows heirloom roses and cans vegetables and makes all her pastry from scratch and wants to teach me all her secrets ;) but, alas, that's not the case.

I know many of you friends are knitters, have you ever made a shawl? Perhaps even a Tasha shawl? Or would anyone be interested in doing some sort of knit-along to make the Jane shawl? Several of the ravelry patterns are free...if only I could read them and understand them ;) If anyone knows of a pattern for a shawl that is very easy to do (I'm not a helpless knitter, but hats and scarves seem to be where I'm at at the moment) I'd be grateful to be pointed in that direction!~

And also, happy to report that I seem to be on the mend! So thankful. This week is 'meet the teacher week' and I don't want to be remembered forever in her elementary career as 'the strange spotted mama' :)

Til next Tasha Tuesday,
~H

Who is Tasha Tudor? Go here for more information~

Pretty

It's hard on a girl not to feel pretty. Or even just 'good enough to go out in public.' This allergy snafu has done a number on the ol' vanity. However this evening my little one informed me that "only witches are ugly. Except the good ones." So there you have it. The wisdom of the ages!

Perhaps all this not-so-prettyness has got me looking for the mundane prettiness in little things, like the early morning light in my bedroom and how it gave these little folk art dolls that are some of my most prized possession such an ethereal look. They live perched up on an antique dresser and were made just for me by celebrated doll artist Christine Crocker. They are gorgeous and perfectly made, they feel like they are truly from another world. Love them. They prove that a crackly face and a bit of a tattery outfit are indeed lovely to gaze upon.

Something else pretty (and yummy) on my mind this weekend has been cake. Even when I had no energy to make one or appetite to even eat one, I dreamt of the ensured magic of Karen S. Booth's post about this British recipe for Coffee Walnut Cake. And this isn't 'coffee cake' in the American sense of 'a cake you eat while having cake.' Its is a cake with coffee in it. Just like my own Grandma Pansy used to use coffee as the secret ingredient of her show-stopping brownies, this cake takes on the rich nutty flavor of your favorite brew. Karen has become such a wonderful person to chat with as I've come to know her, and I'm sure you'd love visiting her blog. She hales originally from North Yorkshire in the UK, and spends her time there or at her B&B in the South of France where she makes the most beautiful meals and cakes and writes elegantly and with such rich historical detail that I love stopping in each morning as if it were part of breakfast :)

Looking at her cake and mine, mine of course seems thin and pancakey. And I'm not sure how her icing got to be such a lovely brown while mine stayed white. Should I blame the 4 year old who road shot-gun on this baking project? Surely not....I do think my self rising flour I found may not be up to snuff.

But its tonight's dessert, and buzzards are circling. So I better sign off and have a bit....I'm sure it will make me pretty :)

~H

Anne paintings now prints


I've had lots of wonderful comments on the Anne paintings lately, and although the originals have sold I thought I would offer prints of the paintings to those of you who loved them. You can find the prints HERE.

I've been a little quieter than usual around here because I've been under the weather. I've had a terrible allergic reaction to, of all things, the laundry detergent! It's been terrible and I am not a pretty sight! I cant wait to get back to painting though, its so hard for me to be sick, I feel like there's just so much to do! I am such a busy body. But I will take this time to relax and heal and think up some new things for fall.

Til next time,
H

Scattered Moments

It feels like I just looked up from what I was doing and it's already midweek. How did we get here? Things have been unusually busy these last few days, and the weather has (finally!) turned, bringing with it rather violent storms and winds (yes, that was me running out at 3 am to bring the bicycle in out of the yard in a downpour. Who would have thought rain could be so freezing when it was 114* just days ago?) and new opportunities have been presenting themselves left and right.

It feels a bit like life was holding its breath and finally just gave out. In the very best of ways, of course. It's all just divine timing.

Audrey and I and our bestest crafting buddy Beth had a little tea party with a chocolate cake I made that was just this side of a disaster (but it still tasted great) to celebrate the impending arrival of Beth's little one. Then we all snuggled down and watched the new Jane Eyre, which only fed my hopeless fascination with old houses, desolate landscapes, and pretty old frocks.

By this time next week Beth will have her little one in her arms! And you know what I'll be doing? knitting more hats, of course!

I've also been working on this sweet little commission and I am just showing you a tiny little corner. I am always so pleased when people see my art and want something special made just for them. How sweet is that? It makes me happy :)

And although my little art mouse nest room is still nearly a horrific mess (there is a clear space in the middle of the floor! That counts as clean, right?) I do love having little bits of inspiration hanging about. Above my laptop right here in front of me I have a little wire board with lots of old photos--- some family heirlooms, some antique mall finds--- and lovely little icons. They all spark a little something in my brain that says "make pretty things!"

And so, I try to.

:)
~H


Tasha Tuesday

Every artist needs a little corner to call their own, where they can create. I remember reading that my favorite artist, Tasha Tudor, world renowned and famous as she was, only used the end of her kitchen table and a little watercolor board for her studio. Imagine, so little space needed to create so many wonderful pieces of art!

I suppose I should count myself lucky to have an entire room (packed full as a little's mouse's nest) to create my work in. It is always on the edge of a disaster. I don't know how I do it. My art table is our old kitchen table, which is no small surface. Yet i manage to pile it so high that my actually work space is very modest.

You can see my Anne and Diana painting on the easel freshly finished in this photo :) that painting is now on its way to its new home in California. And the painting at work at the moment in the photo, just black paint and gesso, is Cecily, who is now finished and in the shop.

Do you have a work space all your own in your home? Are you a mess like me (I try, I really do, usually with unplanned cleaning and purging of scraps and old used up supplies late at night!) a bit of a mess, or are you one of those rare neat and tidy artists?

Anyhow, hope you have a wonderful Tasha Tuesday and are enjoying the Tasha posts :) I think I'll run the Tasha segments through August and then change things up with September as I am concocting some special plans for that month.

Til next time,
~H

*Book featured in this post is The Private World of Tasha Tudor with photography and text by Richard Brown

Christmas Card Design~ The Bird Guardian


I just finished this little Christmas painting the other day, The Bird Guardian. I don't know why, but I connect snow scenes with birds so often in my paintings. They're just such lovely spots of color during a colorless season I suppose. And we must remember to help the little birdies, when pickins are slim, so to speak, during the wintertime.

She may look slightly familiar because this painting is a variation of a favorite painting of mine from last winter, The Cardinal's Carol. Except this one lends itself better to standard card size and features blue birds.

My plan is to create several Christmas Postcard designs and then offer you, my lovely readers in all far flung and nearby regions, a chance to be able to place preorders for the exact amount of cards you'd like. It will sort of be like Audrey Eclectic mail order! Now wont that be handy?

Starting in about 2 weeks an epic change will happen here at this little home art studio. My baby, who I've been at home with for the past four years, will be headed off to school full time. She'll put on her little uniform, grab her backpack and a nap roll (good luck to the teacher who tries to get this child to nap!) and will be off to big kid school. It's going to be quite a change, and will also let me focus on my art as a full time job. I have to say, I'm really really looking forward to it. And this fall is shaping up to be so jam packed with things, I'm going to need several hours a day to get done all I plan to get done. Lets just hope my eyes aren't bigger than my paintbrush ;)

Have a good weekend and stay cool!~
~H

A Friday Curiosity

I feel very fortunate to have my art for sale in a local antique shop that is full of the most magical and yes, sometimes strange, treasures. Like this rocking horse. It looks so real doesn't it? That's because...it's made out of a horse. Yes. Horsehide and mane, at any rate.

It is one of the strangest things I've ever seen in a shop, and it's fascinating. If you're ever near Jenks, Oklahoma, you must treat yourself to a little jaunt over to Blue Heron Antique Shop. There is nothing else like it around these parts. Its packed full of early American antiques, handmade folk art dolls, samplers, candles, textiles, astrange Americana oddities (see above!), and of course, amazing paintings ;)

You have to meet Gilbert too, the shop pup. He's part golden retriever and part standard poodle. He's is the funniest, cutest thing. Audrey adores him. I bet you will too!

Well, off this morning to shop for school clothes. It's tax free weekend, so it's going to be an absolute zoo out there. Wish me luck!~
~h

Tattered Yellow Roses

I'll tell you a secret. I don't really like yellow. But there is something about yellow roses that I'm willing to make an exception about. They're just so buttery and lovely. I made this yellow tattered fabric rose corsage the other day. It was sort of my template on the whole idea. I really love it. I also added a touch of green burlap leaves to the piece. Because leaves are just as an important part of the rose, don't you think? Can't forget the greenery!

Henry was a most a patient model as well. He always looks just a little put out when I photograph him. He also likes to lick at his face, which is odd, because he's not even a licky dog. It must be a strange "I'm getting my photo taken" tick like some people have :) I also took a photo of Henry lounging on the couch, his domain.

Believe it or not I'm working on Christmas art at the moment. I am going to be so ahead of the game. What do you think of the idea of me offering pre-orders for Christmas postcards? That way you can get your cards all picked out, get exactly how many you'll need, and I'll have a much better count of how many to order. I've done a few autumn shows now where someone will swoop in and take 20 of a single image (which I don't mind, don't get me wrong!) but it leaves me with a low count on some cards. This way, there will be enough to go 'round for everyone! What do you think? A good plan?

Well, it was 116* outside yesterday, and no I'm not being funny ;) I imagine if I saw snow now, I'd positively sizzle. Stay cool and safe!~
h

Cecily

Here is a little peek at a painting I just finished. I'm calling her "Cecily", I read the name in a book recently and thought it was lovely. A pretty name you dont hear too often.

I really didn't have too much of a plan for her when I began, and therefore the painting is packed full of my favorite little odds and ends--- a slightly spooky Queen Anne style doll, a little white church tucked in the back with a discreet grave yard off to the side. I didnt even realize this painting would be done as a night time scene, until I started painting the sky and decided it really needed stars.

And so. This is what came of all that. Hope you like it :)

You can find the painting HERE.


Tasha Tuesday

My husband always gets a gleam in his eye when I break out the Tasha Tudor cookbook and start talking meatloaf. Tasha's version of the dish is my own resident 'discerning eater's' favorite. Not sure if he'd eat any other version.

This time when I cooked it up (it has its own gravy! Lord, it's epic) I decided to pick my first okra crop and make that delectable southern favorite, fried okra. Only after I did this did I realize that you shouldn't do the picking bare-handed. The okra plants are a little stickery and hairy and make you feel all prickly and strange for a bit ;) ah well. Back to cooking!

This weekend I also made that blueberry custard pie I'd been dreaming about. I'm sure Tasha Tudor would have approved of it. It included an indecent amount of sugar (basically, pour berries in pie crust, them drown in sugar. Smother with a bit of egg, butter, flour and a bit more sugar. The end. Oh, and bake.) This was polished off just this evening. Many thanks to Marie for yet another wonderful English treat!

And speaking of English treats, my dashing bearded man showed up this evening with this random assortment of UK goodies. Just this weekend we became familiar with HP sauce at the local English pub. Of course, my eye went straight for the choclate drink! And yes, I did have a steaming cup while it was still triple digits outside ;) the things we do for our passions ;)

Also, thanks to all of you for your sweet comments about the magazine article. It just makes me so proud to be able to be a part of something like that. I wrote dozens and dozens of articles when I worked at the newspaper a few years ago, but there is just something so satisfying about the story being about your art and your creations. It's really a dream come true. And I appreciate each and every one of your kind thoughts and messages :)

Til next Tuesday...
~H

Who is Tasha Tudor? Find out more HERE

Somerset Home

I'm really happy to report that you can find my painted dishes featured in the latest issue of Somerset Home, which hits news stands today (August 1) at major bookstores and craft stores! It was so exciting and surreal to see things that I made in print. Its really a lovely magazine, with lots of great home projects inside! Hope you get a chance to take a peek at it in person.

Now I need to paint more dishes!~
~H