Wednesday, September 29, 2010

harvest moon

harvest moon

initially,  this piece was going to have a black cat, but i like the crow so much more.  i'm really happy with the results of this piece.  i feel like i'm in grade school again with all the ripping and pasting i've been doing.  i remember in art class all the little square pieces of tissue paper that we would glue down onto our  pictures.  it was always so much fun.  the other night i was thinking about my past art teachers and realized that they are the ones whose names i remember.  i think i might remember one or two other teachers i had, but it was my art teachers that left  the biggest impression.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

things we found this weekend


young and old



i hope your weekend found some of the same!

Friday, September 24, 2010

fallen leaves

oak leaves and acorns 
there's no denying it, fall is here.  i'm seeing a shift in what is inspiring me lately, as seen by my piece in the above photo.  even though i'm not fully ready to embrace the idea of fall, it's hard not to be influenced by all that fall has to offer.  pumpkins are showing up everywhere, along with gourds of all shapes and sizes,  squash is ready to be picked and eaten, yummy apples and pears, and on our daily walks we could spend all of our time collecting beautiful leaves which have just fallen.

fall inspiration
here's the beginning of my next piece, a pumpkin!  i might add a nice black cat for halloween, or maybe some maple leaves, we'll see.  hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ground cherries


have you ever heard of ground cherries?   they're one of my favorite fruits and a must have in my garden.  they are a small, yellow fruit, about the size of a small cherry tomato, and they are enclosed in a lantern type husk, similar to tomatillos. the taste is very hard to describe, a little tomato, maybe grape, but very sweet.  there is definitely some nostalgia for me when it comes to the ground cherry.  my grandma  always had ground cherries in her garden and  i always looked forward to going out to her garden to find them or better yet she had a bowl full waiting for me. every time i pop one of these little guys in my mouth, i think of her.  i love it.


it seemed that only people in the area where my grandma lived had ever heard of them and grew them.   we lived 3 hours away and no one around us knew what they were.  i now live in the same area as where my grandma lived and they are still popular around here, but if you go outside the area there aren't too many people who have heard of them.  i know very little about this yummy little berry, so i Googled it.  according to Wikipedia they are also called cape gooseberries, but i've never heard that name before. they are similar to the tomato plant and are in the same family as the tomatillo.   i think they are native to central and south america.  they are an annual for us but they will reseed.  i guess you can find them along roadsides, but there are many different plants in this family and not all are safe to eat.  

ground cherries

i grew mine from seeds from Seeds Savers Exchange.  the day i planted my little plants in the garden, we received an unexpected hail storm and they all died.  luckily i was able to get more from a friend who grows them on their farm.


last year i made jam from them,  this year i might try a pie.  my grandma used to can them with either apples or pears.  they also store very well for months.  last winter i was able to buy them at the farmers market in january!  what a treat.   my favorite way to eat them though is right out of the garden, that's amelia's favorite way too. 


Monday, September 20, 2010

a little brookie

brook trout

this past weekend we went to the Driftless Area Art Festival in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. the art festival had a wonderful variety of artists from the area and  so much talent. i didn't buy anything for myself, but i did get a lot of Christmas shopping done, which makes me very happy.  i'm trying to make the Christmas season a little less stressful than it was last year and i love being able to support local artists.

as we were leaving the fair my husband commented to me that he doesn't really care for the little girls that i draw and that i should try something else.  well, this of course didn't sit very well with me, i'm rather sensitive when it comes to my artwork.  so that afternoon when we got home i decided i'd paint a brook trout for him.  we had seen a woman  who made collages  from wallpaper, and a few of her pieces were fish (bass), and my husband liked these and i decided to make a  fish for him.  one of his requests  was that if i do a trout, i have to make sure i get the mouth right, because the woman  hadn't done hers quite right and that really makes the piece.

my husband said he liked this piece and the mouth meets his standards!  fischer loves this piece and wants to hang it in his room.  i have to admit that painting fish isn't my favorite thing to do, put i like trying new things.

most of this piece was created by painting on used coffee filters and tearing them into pieces.  the only part that isn't a coffee filter is the blue, which is from my first background for the fish that i didn't like, so i ended up tearing it and reusing it. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

a year in the making


whew!  this hat finally came off my knitting needles today.  i started it last fall, quit knitting it when i had to start knitting Christmas presents, and have picked it up only a few times since then.  now that fall is in the air, i wanted a new hat and that motivated me to finally finish it.    i really love the results,  the pattern was rather tedious for my attention span, with a color change every 4th  and 6th stitch.  lately if i have down time, i'd much rather paint, then knit.    the pattern was designed by Kathryn Ashley-Wright who owns the local knit shop here in town called Ewetopia, if your interested, you can download it off her website for free.  (by the way, the  photographer was fischer!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

busy little bee

bumble bee 
i was hoping life might slow down a bit after fischer started school full time this week, but so far it hasn't.  i wrote a great to do list on monday knowing i'd have one less child to distract me,  i had high hopes of finding time to paint, but then the unexpected happened and all things planned went to the wayside.
monday my husband found his mom unresponsive at her house, thankfully she is doing much better and should be out of the hospital tomorrow or friday.   this of course happened just as i was on the verge of canning my salsa and i had just bought 4 quarts of raspberries from an Amish friend to make into jam and had just cut broccoli from our garden to freeze and was drying herbs, in addition to at least 4 loads of laundry on the line!  all of this seemed so important at the time, but guess what,  it really wasn't.  when things like this happens it always puts a little perspective on life and you realize what is really important.  i eventually got my salsa canned and my jammed made, laundry off the line, i still haven't found time to paint, but that will come.  my to do list hasn't become any smaller, in fact it has grown, but that's ok, there's always next week and we're thankful that next week will have "grandma" in it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

all in a line

all in a line 
i liked the way this photo turned out of our drying socks, so i had to share it!  for me,  there's nothing quite like the fresh smell of laundry that has been hung outside to dry.    i'm proud to say i haven't used the dryer since March.   we have a lot  Amish in the area and they are my inspiration to  try and make my "drying on the line season" as long as possible.    i'm hoping not to use the dryer until about November, but we'll see, i'm not as tough as them, so it will probably be sooner than that. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

sunday sunshine

sunday morning

what a beautiful weekend it was here.  we couldn't have asked for better weather.  amelia's been asking to go fishing all week and that is exactly what we did on this beautiful Sunday morning.

amelia's first fish
amelia caught here first fish today.  (if you squint really hard you can see it in the above picture!)  the kids were catching fish left and right, granted they were all very small, but that didn't matter to the kids.  while we were there, a heron landed nearby and within a minute he caught a fish that was bigger than any of the fish we caught! 

looking for fish
i hope you too had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

where did summer go?

welcome friend
it seems i woke up the other morning and summer was gone.   it was no longer with us.  i wasn't ready to see it go yet.  how could it be gone already?  unbelievable to some, i felt like i didn't get quite enough hot and humid weather.  with the calendar change from august to september, came a season change along with it.   gone are the warm nights and warm mornings, the crickets are chirping less, the suns rays have softened and take all morning to warm up the day, and yes, the leaves are starting to change color.  i miss summer already, but i'm starting to feel the subtle shift inside as the seasons change. i know there will be some warm days yet to come, but fall is in the air.

Friday, September 3, 2010

little wren

the little house wrens in my garden were the inspiration for this painting. they are the cutest little birds and have beautiful markings on their wings and tail.  they flit in and out of my garden all day long.  in the spring though, they were the little buggers that kept eating my poor peas as they were trying to come up.  i would watch the wrens come into my garden and tear off little pieces of the leaves and fly away with them, eventually my peas died.  i'm not sure if they eat the leaves, or what they do with them, but no peas for me this year. 
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