Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goodbye to August

It has been a very good month in many ways. The weather has been cooler than usual this year. This has made some of my beach-loving friends yearn for hot, sultry days, but I'm always craving a cool breeze. There have been many good porch days, get-togethers with friends and our trip to Tanglewood and the Clark Institute. Another fun trip was an adventure to an international quilt show in New Hampshire with several friends, where we enjoyed both the quilts as well as the vendors!

Here are some of my favorite quilts -


Amelia Leigh, United Kingdom - "Elizabethan I"


Christine Seager, United Kingdom - "Mustard Rings"




Shin-hee Chin, McPherson, Kansas - "Eyes Wide Open:
Seeing Light in Mundane"


Margaret J Fabrizio, San Francisco, CA - "Very Red"


Jeanette Thompson, Chicago, IL - "Peace is Not a Moment,
It Is a Long Process"



Susan Shie, Wooster, Ohio - "Flowers of the Arab Spring"

I'm working on a few projects which I hope to share soon. Meanwhile,

Hope you're enjoying a great weekend!
See you in September!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Catching Up

Earlier in August, I went on vacation with my husband to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. It is a lovely area and, while there, we visited The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown. This is a beautiful, low-key museum in a lovely pastoral setting. They have an expansive collection of Impressionist works, as well as some more contemporary art.

These were some of my favorites:


Winslow Homer - "Farmyard Scene"


Pierre-Auguste Renoir - "Tama, The Japanese Dog"

     

Two Self Portraits by Renoir



Thomas Gainsborough - "Elizabeth and Thomas Linley"
(Teenagers were moody, even back then!)


Edouard Manet - "Me'ry Laurent Wearing a Small Toque"


Renoir - "Therese Berard"


And, finally, Mary Cassatt - "Woman With a Baby"

We also went to Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, where we enjoyed two beautiful concerts on consecutive nights. 



The first concert was called "Tanglewood on Parade" and featured festive music by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. The final piece, the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, was performed by all three orchestras together, with cannons firing on the lawn and live fireworks as we walked to our cars. 

The second concert was an all-Brahms program in the beautiful Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood - very formal and intense, but so enjoyable!




Finally, as we made our way home, we stopped for lunch at our favorite Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury. It was our 37th anniversary and this is where we were married, at the Martha Mary chapel on the grounds of the Wayside Inn. Nice memories - we try to go there every year.




I have more to share, and will continue in another post. Meanwhile, I hope 
that you have been enjoying your August. Hard to believe that it's nearly over!!

Enjoy these summer days while they last!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

What I Did in July, and Happy August!

July was a good month, and I kept fairly busy with creative projects throughout those steamy days.
I created three fictional portraits and one (the last) of my neighbor Carolyn. Each was introduced with a little story attached. I get very involved with my cast of characters. Maybe they need to interact? I enjoy seeing them side by side, although Blogger didn't make it very easy to arrange them like this. Anyway….





I find myself drawing sketches of people all the time now. They seem to develop on their own as my pencil moves along, and sometimes I'm inspired by people I see, or even people I know. These are terrible photos, but you get the idea. Even the inside covers of my crossword book aren't safe!!



Also, I've been taking a class in paper mache, which has been pure fun. The instructor, Amy, is the same teacher our group has had for the last three classes I've taken, and we have more fun than you can imagine. Did I say "fun" twice? Well, it certainly is! This is a little lady I'm working on...



Amy has several birds, and they come along with her (one at a time), which adds to the high spirited atmosphere of the group. Here are good buddies Boncuk and Zaza. Aren't they sweet?


Here is Hapi, who flaunted his beautiful red under-wings for me, but I didn't get a good picture.


And Cairo, who has visited us a few times, with his brilliant green feathers.



Everyone in the class is making something different. AnnMarie opted for a large fish!!


Barbara is doing a pretty cat...


Andrea is making a large sculpture, and these cute little kitties are part of it.


And Rosalie is making, well, a giant eggplant!!


In July, I also had a chance to go to a knit and crochet show in New Hampshire.
I neither knit nor crochet, but I was in search of wool roving and found some beautiful stuff!



I've been both wet felting and needle felting, and these are pieces I'm still working on.



I'm not a gardener, but love flowers, and these were a lovely gift from a friend.


And, finally, I've had some beautiful blossoms on my hydrangea bush and enjoy them so much.



Thanks for stopping by to read my little saga.
I hope that you are having a wonderful summer!!

HAPPY AUGUST!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ATCs From a Friend

I want to share some wonderful ATCs made by my dear friend, Elaine.
I was so thrilled when they arrived in my mailbox!


I love the way Elaine combines silhouettes with color,
and creates such natural scenes.
Having two cats, I can identify with their antics
in the first three images! And I imagine the lady in the fourth one asking,
"what do you think of this combination?" 
Elaine is the mother of my friend Karen, another talented artist,
who shows more of Elaine's ATCs on her blog, Sew and Sow Life.
Thank you, Elaine, for the small treasures!

Meanwhile, I've been busy making art this month and I'll 
post some of my projects soon.

Hope you're having a terrific weekend!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Carolyn

A new character in my series -
this time taken from real life!


Carolyn is my neighbor.
She loves her family and her dog Pedro,
and gardening in her back yard.
She calls the home she shares with her husband
"The Nest",
and their Mini Lite camper, with a newly
added screen porch,
situated in a wooded camp ground,
 is a happy escape for the members of her family.
She is a nature lover,
and enjoys her flowers
and home grown vegetables.
Her laughter rings out like
the soft wind chimes that hang from her house,
and she is a comfort
to all who know her.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cast of Characters - Gina



GINA

Gina is a single mom who lives on 
one side of a two family home with her 
little girls, Carly and Angie.
On the other side live her mother and dad.
She works two jobs to keep her girls
happy with the toys and clothes they love,  
and while she works, her mom babysits.
Gina knows that she is lucky, despite the 
disappointment of a loser husband who 
walked out on her and his beautiful girls.

Every Sunday, she looks forward to dinner 
 at her mom's lace-covered dining room table,
with her girls, her brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews.
She loves the nearly ceremonial meal of pasta and gravy,
and the laughter, warmth and security 
of family.

Gina dances and plays with her girls.
They love having their nails painted and 
trying on mom's jewelry. 
One day she will find a new love,
but for now her life is full
and she feels blessed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Elizabeth


ELIZABETH

Elizabeth is the favorite nurse 
of the residents of Shady Elms Nursing Home.
When they see her, they think of 
springtime and daisies 
and Doris Day.
Her voice has a lilt
and her sense of humor brightens the
dull routine of the residents' lives. 
She is their advocate and treats them all 
with humor, care and respect,
 and because of these things
  she is greatly loved.

Sad to say, Elizabeth
does not love herself.
She hates what she considers her full cheeks
 and her plump figure,
and the freckles that sprinkle over her nose.
She compares herself to models and movie stars
and wishes that she could be someone else.
She has no idea how she lights up a room,
and how beauty shines out through
her wholesome face.

And so she dreams of a diet or face cream
or some other miracle
that will make her as beautiful
as, everyone knows,
 she already,
truly,
is.