Saturday, February 26, 2011

Flower & Garden Show

When it's snowy outside and you're longing for spring, what do you do?


Why, of course you grab a friend and run to the Flower and Garden Show, of course!


Which is how I found myself inhaling the perfume of violets and daphne and hyacinth yesterday with Jane Shasky, the wonderful watercolor artist.
I have a favorite nursery, where I've bought hundreds of plants over the years... Christianson's Nursery. They always have the most lovely garden in the show and took home the gold medal again this year. It is easy to see why.

John Christianson always has a wealth of ideas anyone could appropriate...
plants, display and growing methods and hardscape plans we can tweak and bring home to our own gardens.


I want a cold frame like this! Perhaps we'll alter our shoddy old greenhouse...


Maybe find a bike and rust it a bit, train a wee curling vine up the spokes...


And oh, for a sweet gate like this one!
and stone pavers for a planter or step, tucked about with English daisies and mosses.


Or a water element, even a horse trough. Hmm.


The garden show is the best place to overhear snatches of conversation...
"... So I told him I am not going to have those garbage cans showing at the street this year. I am definitely planting my sweet peas right beside the garage!"
and, "I just couldn't pass by that hellebore and they actually had those pinkish trilliums!"


Jane and I went determined to conserve our nickels but we went home with a few choice flowers and packets of seeds, hoping ahead for the springtime that is surely just around the corner.
Never mind the snow!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inspiration


Where do you get inspiration?


What makes your creative gears turn?


For me it's nature and an old fashioned walk alone.
Barns.
Moss.
Flowers.


Light and life.


That's why I love the outdoors.
Today's chill invigorates me.


First I spent an hour shoveling snow...  wind in my hair and frozen silver glitter blowing back in my face.


Then down to the field and off on a trail with a girl's best friends.

And back, imagination lit, to a cup of strong tea and hours of intense work by a crackling fire.
That's bliss!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Art & Soul Retreat blog hop

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
and a prize (oh, goody! goody!) 

 Are your fingers just itching to learn a bit about letterpress printing and get your fingers good & inky?

I'll be teaching at Art & Soul in Portland this autumn... letterpress printing. Going to haul lots of type, printing plates, paper, inks and other juicy art stuff. And my tabletop proof press. Woohoo!


We'll be printing & embellishing bookmarks, stationery, greeting cards, folding books, paperweights...
piles of lush printed papers. 
It's going to be a paperholic's dream.



But that's not all. Glenny's got a stellar lineup of wonderful instructors and tempting classes. Scoot over to Art & Soul (click here) for more information and registration.


Ready for a little taste?
Hop over to these blogs and you'll see a few of the other instructors and what they're planning. Just click on the artist name and you'll see their blogs.

Oh my goodness, you'll swoon when you see her work. I am drooling over the opportunity to take one of her classes. Wow. Her work is just fabulous.

Jenni blogs about her charmingly whimsical art... so sweet. She's teaching about how to paint a story.

Fused glass! Woohoo! Her class is sure to be fascinating. Imagine slumping your own glass...

She's a folk artist teaching mixed media relief work... I love her birds. No wonder she's so popular!

Papier mache clay folk art. She's teaching how we can make darling tiles. It's the grown up version of what I did in school... I fell in love with tile making way back then. Doreen's pieces look like vintage storybooks.

Want to collage some journal pages? Join Corey. And her jewelry is worth a blog peek, too.

Encaustics... painting with wax. Sounds addictive. Wouldn't this be fun to try?

Jen is a darling Australian whose jewelry from found objects is fresh & captivating. Boy, does her roundup of classes look like a wonderful form of self expression.

She makes the most amazing blown glass beads and she's going to teach torch fired enamels. Pure magic. I've done kiln fired enamels but never with a torch. I'm enchanted with Barbara's work.

Another mixed media genius! And she is going to let us all in on her secrets. Joy!

And that's just a start. We are going to have major creative goodness in September. 

Meet me in Portland!
Party in my room on Tuesday night... Let's do an art trade and chocolate feast!!!


If you're thinking of coming to Art & Soul in Portland, won't you email me? I'd love to get together, there is going to be serious artsy goodness there.

And something I have not announced before...
If you sign up for ANY of these classes, comment and tell me what you signed up for.
I will send you a special surprise! Just a preview of what we'll experience when we meet in person.


Friday, February 18, 2011

A whisper of spring




 There was a whisper of spring in the air this afternoon!
And everyone in the valley seemed to be outdoors celebrating.

It was all buds and promise.
And I was out with the rest, hunting for hints of spring green.



 Even the bare trees and the snow geese know it.

Migration is just around the corner.
The nursery has their bare root blueberries in.




The snowdrops in the garden are blooming with joy.

Spring... it'll be here soon.


 Are you as ready as I am?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

England


I've been thinking of Jane lately and remembering the lovely visits I had with her at her home in North Yorkshire.



Oh, the honey-colored light. The warm British smiles. The hedgerows and stone walls. 
And the endless cups of tea!

 
Jane is so English. We drank tea from sunrise to midnight, walked the moors and indulged our artistic eyes completely.


I gave my camera a good workout. 


Oh, how I'm longing to go back.

Are you a lover of all things English, too?






I am trying to convince Mr. Wonderful to go to England this summer. On a shoestring, of course.

Mr. Wonderful, are you listening?


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Choosing the bright side

Sometimes life isn't easy.


Disappointments and little sorrows darken the skies.

We are saying some sad goodbyes in our family this week, and the cottage has fallen through and there are other reasons why tears have fallen in our home.


But there are reasons for joy and gladness, even on the days when you have to hunt a little harder for them.

Signs of spring are showing up already.
The snowdrops are blooming.


And we are choosing deliberately to stay thankful and happy, and choose the bright side.

God is so good to us and we know it.


Spring is just around the corner and hope abounds.
The door of possibility never closes.