Trick or Treat

What a Halloween this is going to be with Hurricane Sandy. A while back we decided to skip throwing a ‘monster’ bash and now we’re forgoing any major decorating with the threat of highs winds and heavy rain, but a girl has to have at least a little Halloween fun. 
My big treat is pumpkin carving this year. Oh how I love the smell of pumpkin guts. It’s a total throw back to years gone by carving pumpkins as a kid and all the excitement that went with it. 

A Volkswagen bus is the design of choice this year, with a little help from a pin on Pinterest. It turned out looking a little like a space ship with a face, but cute nonetheless. My husband’s design on the other hand is… 

downright frightful. Or at least sort of is when lit up at night. 

Whatever your plans are this week, whether its for Halloween or not, stay safe and don’t float or blow away with all this wacky weather. 

It’s Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, can you believe it? Truth be told, I’m having a hard time believing it. I’m told it’s Tuesday. The calendar says it’s Tuesday and yet it seems like it was Saturday just yesterday. Maybe it’s because Saturday was pretty close to a perfect day. 

I headed two hours south to the Duchess County Sheep and Wool Festival. My whole interest in the festival kind of cracks me up since I don’t knit. Or should I say, I don’t knit very well. I tend to talk too much when I knit, which is just the opposite with other creative projects. When I paint, I am oh so quiet….anywhooo….I digress.  
The back road ride was stunning and matched with equal beauty at the festival with all the yarns and roving. Roving is what I really was on the hunt for. There’s a shop locally here that carries roving, but the colors I’m looking for have been hard to come by and I needed to stock up. It was well worth the trip. 

When I had my fill of roving, a stroll through the barn had me cooing and sweet talking the llamas and sheep. Don’t they make you want to quit your day job and buy a farm? As you can see my love for barnyard animals is present and growing. 

Friday’s Quote

‘She turned her cant’s into cans and her dreams into plans.’ – Author Unknown
This week has been filled with highs and lows, which has been a bit like riding a roller coaster. Although I would much rather just ride one, such is life. In trying to focus on the highs, here’s a rundown of all the wonderful things that have happened: 
:: Getting my first student signed up for my class
:: Receiving an offer to teach at an art camp next October [a post about this coming soon]
:: Hearing how well my hand scrubs are selling 
:: Making time to create this lovely lady pictured above
:: Watching my campaign successfully launch 
:: Volunteering for a great cause 
:: Making new online friends 
May you have a weekend filled with memorable moments blog friends 🙂

Please and Thank You

Using one’s manners and showing appreciation is something I believe strongly in. Throughout each day a simple ‘thank you’ can be said many times. To the woman bagging my groceries, to a kind co-worker willing to help out, to another driver letting me go ahead of them.  It’s because of all these thank yous that there comes a time, when a ‘thank you’ is not enough. It doesn’t truly convey how I thankful I am. A desensitization of the word seems to happen, letting the words fall flat. 
My sweet, kind, loving neighbor has been so supportive. She cut my hair when I was ill and feeling totally not feminine or attractive, sent her husband over with a tray of food, and just last week, she graciously welcomed me into her salon as a vendor to sell my hand scrub [and referred me to another boutique]. With four kids and working long, long days on her feet, I wanted to truly show her my appreciation and do something just for her. 

I know she likes wine, but I couldn’t leave it at that and as a marketing girl, I know it’s all about packaging. Who doesn’t love to receive a nicely packaged gift?! 

Gathering a paper wine bag [which could easily be made if you don’t have one on hand], bakers twine, a paper doily and a decorated paper clip, I was quickly able to turn a bottle of wine into a sincere thank you.  

Table Talk

For a long time now, we’ve been in the market for a new kitchen table. My parents had given me our family table way back when, which has followed me from apartment to apartment and then to our home. It was a great table, with many memories, such as the visible marks I left on the table when learning how to write all those years ago and the name of each family member on the bottom of the chairs – Mom, Dad, Nicole and Scott. That way my mom knew exactly which chair belonged to whom when she put them back after mopping. 
But the time has come to replace the table. It has truly seen better days. The search for a new table though has been going on for quite some time with no luck. Trying to find a farm table in the shade, size and style we were looking for proved to be much more difficult than I imagined it would be.  
I was on Pinterest one night and saw a beautiful table, that the pinner said cost only $65 to make. Not quite believing it I asked my husband, who said it look pretty accurate. So you know what my next question was, right? Can you make us one then? 
That my friends, is exactly what he did. I truly never expected him to build one, at least not so quickly with all the other fall projects that are waiting to be attended to. We went to the hardware store that weekend, bought the supplies, for $65, and two weekends later, this beauty is sitting in our kitchen. 
I’m still using the old kitchen chairs, even though they don’t match. Maybe until this new family table has a little more of a story to tell, I’ll be ready to get new chairs. Until then, they can continue to tell their story of all those meals and memories shared. 

Friday’s Quotes

That’s right, this Friday there are multiple ‘quotes’ or rather intentions to share. I’ve been taking an online class that has been not only focusing on new art skills, but also the power and importance of intentions. Setting them for yourself, saying them on a daily basis and slowly watching them sink into your life. And that is exactly what has been happening. 
[be lulled by an inner sea] 
Each day the teacher posts a prompt, shares a video or some other tool to get the class going and although I can’t quite keep up with the speed, I am taking it in, in my own way and on my own schedule. These intentions have created some inner peace and reflect a new wave of change that has been happening. 

[The Power of a Flower. Plant the seed. Watch it grow.]
As for the art itself, each piece is done on watercolor paper with a mix of India inks, watercolor paint and pencils as well as some gel ink pens. It’s been great practice for me at sketching and writing in cursive again – it’s been ages. Creating on paper versus a canvas has also helped me let go and just have fun with the process without taking it too seriously. 

[be filled from within] 
It’s much easier to throw away a piece or let it go when I’m not happy with it when it’s on paper. Mentally I am so not there when it comes to a canvas. I want them all to be good. 
[dance in the sun wearing wild flowers in your hair] 
I encourage you to set an intention and see what comes of it. What do you have to lose?
Have a lovely, creative weekend.

Apple Picking

How I love a family farm, an orchard and a cool crisp day. Autumn’s show is in full swing here and I was just itching to get out yesterday and enjoy it. 

We were able to bring Jax with us too. With his eye sight back, he’s been able to accompany us on some outings. He has a new lease on life, one that we’re all enjoying.

There was lots to take in on our hike through the fields, including one that looked a bit ahead of schedule and reminded me how the stark qualities of November can be just as beautiful as the colors of October…

…not that I’m rushing things along. I’m quite happy right where I am in this moment. 

A Happy Day

Yesterday was a full day with happiness surrounding me from start to finish. It started off with great news on the doggie front. His blood pressure is finally where it needs to be and his eyesight is returning. That alone is reason enough to be happy and celebrate. 

By mid-morning, when I found a place to teach a four-week beginner mixed media class, I was ready to do cart wheels. The next two weeks will be filled with recruiting for the class and general class prep and I cannot wait.

The afternoon I spent winding down at the spa. What a total indulgence. For the holidays last year, my brother gave me a gift certificate for the spa and I was long overdue in using. I booked a hot poultice thai massage that helped me soak in all that was good. The medicinal hot poultice was used for detoxification, healing and deep relaxation. Accupressure was used to open the energy channels and was followed by a a massage.

Trust me, it was as heavenly as it sounds and it gave me the energy I need to begin this new teaching adventure.

Rainy Days

Rainy days at home are just as enjoyable as snow days at home for me. This last stretch of rainy days invoked some serious nesting and creating. It’s been a stirring experience that has lead to this latest trio of artwork. 

The mix between paint, fabric, ribbon, paper and other found materials makes me smile. It comes from a genuine place. 

Not sure where these lovelies are going to hang or where they are headed to, but they have brought me joy in the process of creating….
 
 
…sitting by the fire and dreaming of what’s next.