Monday, April 26, 2010


I adore white, don't you?

There is a profusion of glorious whites and off-whites in our garden and down the road.

Steve's barn is gorgeous with his apple trees and even the humble dandelion decorating the field.

There are still a few fruit trees clinging to their blooms...

Some tinged with pink to make their whiteness stand out...

The scent of white lilac is almost overpowering along the gate beside the studio.  I take little breaks to stand there breathing in great lungsful of the perfume and sometimes, it must be admitted, shedding a tear because that was my mother's favorite scent and it makes me miss her so much.

The lily of the valley I showed you last time has bloomed more by the day and I have little sprigs in tiny vases all over the house.

Shall I press some stems in the phone book to save? Hmmmm.

Everywhere you look spring has brought a beautiful freshness with the white we're enjoying.

Even the fences look crisp, and the dandelions along the neighbor's path seem like party favors nature will blow with a whim, to bloom another day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lily of the valley

For days now I've been eyeing the lily of the valley. 
This is the first year they've bloomed.

Always before the slugs got them or some mystery prevented them from bloom.

But today we have a nice little patch, hiding along the back fence.

Just like I always dreamed they'd be.

There's something beautiful about a dream come true, something absolutely spectacular.

Even when it's just a tiny spring flower and I alone with my camera in the rain.

I firmly believe we're surrounded by miracles, and we ought to reserve a little time in even the busiest days for observing them.

I am refreshed and so much richer for having seen lilies of the valley spangled with raindrops right in my own garden.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

reaching higher...

New things are always harder, aren't they?

I'm heading for New York again, to do the Surtex show. Earlier this year I decided I'd been in a rut, and it was time to do something fresh & new with my display.

But new and fresh takes so much effort! I have been working into the night, putting in hours and hours. Then looking at my mocked up display I wondered if it was ugly after all that.

Thank goodness for friends when you get lost! They can give you the impetus to fly again.

I was reminded of that when I spied a pair of trumpeter swans who'd landed in the field behind the studio yesterday. After loud consultation for an hour one of them pushed and prodded and soon they were flying north again, the last stragglers after everyone else had migrated.

This year friends have done the same for me, sharing information and in a million ways saying, "Yes, it'll be wonderful!" 

This year I'll be traveling with my new friend Caroline Simas. Surf over to Caroline's blog ... she is the consummate Southern girl and has a sweet distinctive style all her own. My friend Sue Zipkin will be just an aisle or two over, Megan Halsey will have her art hanging just down the aisle.
And next door my floral girlfriend, Jane Shasky. Hurrah for the artist community!

"Yes," Sue emailed this morning, "we will look good."

I went out to the studio again to look at my growing pile of prints and the samples that will hang on my walls. And she was right. It IS looking good!

I think I'm reaching higher, looking fresher, and the hard work is paying off. Will you be in New York in a few weeks attending the show? I would love to see you...

And here is a tiny peek at what I'll be showing... a happy birthday!

(apologies for bad quality image but I have had a few rip offs lately so must be careful what I post)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

At home in the garden

I think I've been blessed with the most beautiful home on earth.
Not the fanciest or most grand (heaven forbid!) nor the most expensive either, simply the dearest.

Here are a few of the reasons why I love it so, on this sunny day at home in the garden.

I apologize in advance~ this is going to be a long post full of photos. The garden is just too lush and full for any less.

Here I am in front of the studio, right next to the raspberry patch, where a big pile of steer manure is shrinking daily and the garden is reaping the benefits already. And I am wearing summer clothes, hurrah! Sunshine!

The viburnum over my shoulder may not look like much from a distance but up close what a beauty! I fell in love with it at Christiansons' Nursery five years ago and am still a fan.

Just on my right is the big barrel of wild European strawberries that will taste like mangoes. They've just begun to blossom.

And the white bleeding hearts are the very breath of springtime... all that gorgeous green!

I could never get enough white bleeding heart... I buy at least one each year.

My faithful friends are never far away. Here's Katie snoozing by the studio door. 

Mr. Wonderful was calling down from the deck offering me a lemonade!

The shy corydalis is blooming by the back fence.

I accidentally stepped on some of its lovely foliage but thank goodness it is springing back.

Now I'm going to wander through the field with my sketchbook to finish some drawings of Barb's early peonies...

Those are just a few of the reasons I'm thankful today for my own dear home and garden.

What do you love about yours? 

Monday, April 12, 2010


Ordinarily I avoid weekends in the tulip fields (too many tourists!) but somehow they were calling my name when I jogged down our street yesterday with the doggy pals...

This field is the closest one to our home and I loved the reflections shimmering in the puddles.

What a sea of color!
And just down the street from home...

We meandered through the mud and down the road a bit...

You can't see the tourists too much in my shots but this little valley was full of them! I took pictures of people from Egypt, Romania, Korea, India and Japan. The tulips are like a mini-United Nations. And so many wanted photos with Luna, Penny and Katie.

Then on the way home a great delight! Pink lemonade from the neighbor girls, as lovely as the flowers in the fields, tending their lemonade and flower stand.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunny San Juan Island hopping

My family is blessed to live in such a gorgeous place. 
But it rains. Oh, yes. It does rain.
So when the blue sky shows, we are seized with an irresistible urge to go outside.

This time we hopped a ferry bound for Friday Harbor.

We indulged in our usual pleasures...
a game of "which boat would you choose"...

...watching the float planes come and go...

... spending rather too much at Serendipity Used Books.
This time we played "catch that fish" with a harbor seal named Popeye.

And of course we spent hours picnicking and walking hand in hand, laughing and taking pictures, pictures, pictures, because that is just what we always do!

There's nothing like springtime in the Pacific Northwest on a sunny day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Beside the studio door

Now that spring has really arrived, I'm having trouble even getting from the back door to the studio without stopping with my sketchbook. The inspiration is so tempting.

The French doors near the press in the studio open to the cherry tree, where we will be snacking this summer on the ruby fruits. 

This year the blossoms are stunning...

The cherry blossoms aren't the only wonders that draw my imagination and my eyes.

Along the fence, under the apple trees and firs, woodland beauties crowd together...

and in the center of the garden, the raised beds are sprouting heirloom vegetables and herbs,
some with names to make you grin... Grandma Einspahr's dill, Speckled Brown Trout lettuce...

and just to the left of the studio door, between the ferns and the Colette roses that will bloom in June, a patch of brilliant red tulips blowing in the sunny breeze.

Consider this your invitation to tea in the garden beside the studio.