Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mom's Blue and White

My late Mother had a beautiful collection of Blue Willow and all dishes Blue and White. Some are very collectible and some were little more than just pleasing to her eye. She and my Dad had a small antique business and throughout the years they amassed a large collection.

There are serving pieces, tiny cup plates, several place settings, a chocolate set, coffee and tea pots. After my Mother passed away, my Dad would wrap up a special piece of Blue and White at Christmas and the tag always read~ To- Deb, From- Mom, With Love.

The collection is now part of my home. I use it often and each piece is well-worn and well-loved.
A table set with plaid napkins and these lovely dishes look especially warm and festive during the holidays. As spring arrives- I bring out shades of periwinkle and apple green and the whole table looks like a cheery Easter basket.

Has someone dear passed down or gifted you with something precious? I would love to hear about your gift and maybe a story of how it has come to live, much loved- with you.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Joyce~

" Happy Birthday to you~ Happy Birthday to you~ Happy Birthday Dear Joyce~ Happy Birthday to you"!

For those of you that may not already know the generous, fabulous, inspirational and witty Joyce at A Perfect Beginning stop by and visit her beautiful blog. And while you're there~ have a piece of this delicious cake~ And wish Joyce a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Colors of Spring~

While working on this wide border for a playhouse painting, it reminded me of the colors of spring. The bright greens of the budding trees and new grass. The violets and periwinkle blues of those first Hyacinths with their rich, heady scent.

While we will have several more weeks of winter here- a visit to my local garden center may be just what I need to bring a little spring color inside. Perhaps a pot of happy-faced, sunshine daffodils or maybe a few brightly colored, sweet scented Primrose. There may be Freesia, with their gentle, spicy fragrance. There will certainly be small pots of Shamrocks~ A bit of Luck o' the Irish for upcoming St. Patrick's Day.

A pot of something flowering can add a little sunshine and some sweet scent to your home-especially at the tail end of winter. I'm off to the garden center! How will you bring a little spring into your home? Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 23, 2009

Let it snow~

When life offers you snow, the only thing you can do is complain... or make a snowman.
Winter lasts a little longer in Maine~ so I haven't had the pangs of spring quite yet.

I choose to embrace old man winter- make time to paint, cook, build another fire and get cozy.
This is still less snow than we had last winter~ and spring did arrive.

Today I plan a warm, cozy day at home to do the things I like best.
A day such as this can hold all kinds of promise~ I will make the most of it... and perhaps a little snowman later this afternoon.

What are your special plans for this day?

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

A work in progress~

With snow in the forecast for later this afternoon- I'll work on this little house painting. There is still lots of tweaking left. I think my lobster is "boiling mad" and I need to tone him down a little.

A perfect day for a pot of soup on the stove and a fire later.
Are you having a lazy, quiet Sunday? What are your plans? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Studio Space~

Studio space...

I have been longing for a space to call my own. I room where I can have my art books, files, supplies, portfolios, my computer- you get the picture.
Right now I have a corner! We do have some plans to improve on this situation, but time will tell.

During each trip to the south shore I walk by this little building. In eight years I have never seen anyone there. No one to wash her windows in the spring. No one to fill the little boat window box. No one to spruce her up and give her the love she deserves. Out of view, but over the door there is a sign that reads~ "Studio". Hmmm. I've never seen an artist there. Perhaps she comes to work when I'm not around. When I peek in the windows during my visits, nothing has been moved, no jelly jar filled with wildflowers, no remnants of a recent fire in the tiny wood stove. Nothing hangs on her walls, there are no scatter rugs on her worn floorboards.
Someone must have loved her at one time. Someone must have looked forward to a quick weekend get-away. Someone must be paying the taxes on her.
I have long dreamt of owning this little studio. I have fantasized about sleeping in a hammock, opening the windows to let in the sea breeze, to endless days of sketching.
But for now, I will be glad that I have my little corner~ you don't really need a special room or building to dream.
If I should ever see a 'For Sale' sign, I would have to inquire~ but fear the taxes alone would put an abrupt end to this daydream.

Do you have a special space where you can work quietly, read, write or just be alone with your thoughts and daydreams~ I would love to hear.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home Sweet Home

First Home~Lifescapes

This is the first stage of an illustration for a young couple that recently purchased their first home. There will be a family tree added to the landscape along with a peek into their life together~ favorite places and activities, memorable vacations, their professions and special moments leading up to their wedding day and since. I will post bits and pieces of their Lifescapes when it is completed.

Working on this, started me thinking about my first home. The hopes, the changes in order to make it our own, the decorating, the gardens I would have. A first home or a new home bring on so many dreams for the future~the family you may raise, the pets you'll adopt, how you will decorate for the holidays. Do you remember your hopes for a first or a new home? I'd love to hear about your process of making it your own Home Sweet Home.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea...

Winter beach

I am off for a long weekend of rest and relaxation~ Early to bed and early to rise. The weather for the south shore sounds perfect for this time of year, so there will be long walks on a winter beach, plenty of reading and sketching.

What are your plans for this Valentine's weekend?

Happy weekend to you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A gift and an announcement~

Beautifully packaged adornments and note cards from Two Dog Pond

Cupid arrived early at my house! The lovely Rachel at Two Dog Pond sent me this special delivery. I'll start at the beginning. Rachel and I have been collaborating for a while on a little side project. She designs funky, fabulous and whimsical jewelry, which is only one of her many talents. Many of Rachel's designs are inspired by old post cards.

After we met, I started poking around in local antique malls for quirky post cards to send. Rachel came up with the idea of using miniature Lifescapes and other illustrations I sent, incorporating them into some of her designs. I was wild about the idea, as I have been searching for another way to promote Lifescapes.

Pendants~ Two Dog Pond and Lifescapes

Two Dog Pond holds a "give-away" starting each Monday. Rachel posts an interesting post card and visitors try to come up with a phrase, word, very short story or a quote that is appropriate for the back of the image to be made into a pendant. The winning entry wins the pendant.

Lifescape illustrations~ Bracelet~ Two Dog Pond {excuse poor quality}

If you are interested in a pendant or a bracelet of custom illustration- we can work together to come up with your very own "one of a kind". Please contact me through email. For all other images seen on the Two Dog Pond website or Rachel's blog, please contact Rachel directly.

My limited photographic talent does not give credit that these pieces deserve.

Please stay tuned~ Rachel and I may have few more ideas up our sleeves!

Thanks Rachel~ You're a gift.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Broken Wing~

And with a broken wing
She still sings
She keeps an eye on the sky
With a broken wing
She carries her dreams
Man- you ought to see her fly.

~Broken Wing~

Martina McBride

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Love Letters~

"A real love letter is absolutely ridiculous to everyone except the writer and the recipient".

~ Myrtle Reed

Valentine's Day ~ Saturday ~ February 14

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just what is a Lifescape?

Please click on illustration to enlarge.


Watercolor Word Journeys

Lifescapes are a combination of whimsical watercolor and written documentation of a person's life, a special occasion or a memorable event.

In preparing a commissioned Lifescape I will seek personal and useful information regarding the recipient through a series of questions and interviews.

From a collection of carefully selected questions, I will create a pictorial biography. You decide on the occasion and fill out a questionnaire. When completed we will review the material via phone, email or a personal visit. At that time, I can gather additional information for your Lifescape.

Typically your Lifescape will be completed within a week or two. However, this may vary depending on the time of year and other works in progress.

Simple matting and black framing are included in the price of your Lifescape, making it ready to give when it arrives.

The most requested sizes are:

11" x 14"~ Finished size- matted and framed~ 16" x 20"

8" x 10" ~ Finished size- matted and framed~ 11" x 14"

~Other sizes available~

You will receive the original watercolor, while prints may be added to your order for additional gifts.

~Prices upon request~

I will be posting small sections of Lifescapes that I am currently working on. To protect the personal information of my clients I cannot post the entire Lifescape.

All images are protected by federal copyright laws. No copies or reproductions are permitted without my permission. So please ask~ chances are I would be thrilled to share.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Valentine No. 2~ February 6, 2009~ Jean's Pendant

Jean's hearts~

This beautiful pendant was a gift from my Dear Mother-in-law last year. This little photo doesn't begin to do it justice. My beloved pendant is a 30" antique, sterling silver chain with 36 very personal silver hearts and a large, silver heart locket soldered onto it. You see, my husbands parents-who I love dearly, started collecting these precious hearts years ago. As they traveled the world Jean would always keep her eyes opened for a special sterling heart to add to her already full pendant.
I wish you could clearly see the inscriptions on some of these tokens. Some have the name "Jean" inscribed on them, some have other dear sentiments, there are cloisonne and even one or two holding precious stones. Each and every one of these sweet charms was held close and dear by someone at one time. Over the years, I admired this beauty and loved the jingly sound that it would make when Jean wore it.
I don't have to tell you- this sweet piece is ever so dear to me. I try to wear it at least for a few hours, every day in February- and other occasions that calls for a something a little special... and "jingly".

Do you have a piece of jewelry or some memento that someone dear passed to you? I would love to hear your story. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine's No. 1 ~Cherub Give-Away~ February 5, 2009

cher' ub~ n., pl. -ubs or -u-bim' angel, pictured as a chubby child with wings~ ---che-ru'bic (-roo'-) a. ~Webster's New World~

I am quite taken with cherubs- their sweet, innocent faces with pudgy cheeks and chunky little legs. It's at this time of year that I bring out a little collection of hearts and cherubs to place here and there throughout our home. Do you have a fondness for cherubs per chance? If you do- share a little tale
about Valentine's Day and one sweet cherub may fly your way just in time for this romantic holiday.

The winning tale will be chosen randomly by a sweet, blindfolded cherub living nearby.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Take Care of Your Things... February 3, 2009 No. 25

When I was young, my Mother always said, "take care of your things".
In a couple of weeks I'm heading to the south shore of Massachusetts for a get-away with friends. I did this little sketch of a nearby beach where we walk each morning. My plan was to make this into a small Valentine for each of my friends. That is, until my beloved standard poodle Lucca-decided it was her chew toy.
Never leave your things around~ was my lesson for today. Accidents do happen. Do you have a story to tell? Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 2, 2009

February 2, 2009~ No. 25~ Treat Yourself

Image obtained from google

According to the calendar, there is still plenty of winter left. However, the days are getting longer and sun a little warmer. It's during mid winter that it's important to "treat yourself".

Several years ago, when I was newly married- I worked hard at staying within our means and spending wisely. My Mother use to say to me~ "treat yourself". She was an accomplished CEO of our household. She always had a little something extra put away~ she called them "tuckies". To this day~ I try to have a little extra cash "tucked-away".

February is the shortest month- but it can also bring in the worst of winter weather here in Maine . Some call it the cabin fever month. When you are feeling tired of winter and ready for a change in the weather-no matter where you live~ how will you "treat yourself"? And do you have a little stash of cash "tucked-away" for something special?

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