I need to show off these two paintings, just to give my pinterest board somewhere to pull from. Do you want to see everything I’ve painted this year? Please visit my 2016 board!

This lovely scene is from a customer’s photo. I painted it faithfully, will my own style added. I just love it.



This pretty girl has passed away, and deserved to be memorialized. She’s the best bichon I’ve painted yet!


I decided it was time to make something again, that wasn’t a painting. Oh sure, I have a quilt top that’s been languishing for about 3 months, and I’m just not inspired to complete it. From what I read on other’s quilting blogs, this is not an uncommon occurrence. We get caught up in the beautiful fabric, in the what could this be? imagining, then buy the fabric and get it mostly put together and then decide it’s not quite all what we had imagined in our head. So we set it aside and let it rest until somehow, magically, our imagining expands to include the reality — and we are finally ready to accept what is and finish the project.

My quilt hasn’t hit that stage yet, though.

So I thought I would turn to knitting. And make a shawl. Because I used to visit this wonderful little knit shop in Saratoga, it was barely two rooms, with walls of cubbyholes filled with wonderful yarns of breathtaking colors and textures. In the window were always shawls displaying kits you could buy–wonderful artistic shawls made up of varying weight yarns and colors (combined together despite the seeming incongruity of the weights and colors) to create a work of art.

That kind of knit shop. A this ain’t your grandmother’s knitting knit shop. And keep in mind this was ten or twelve years ago.

So with this in mind, I went online to find out what kind of yarn shop I could find locally now. And I did find one. But the website was difficult for me to navigate, and I was going to town anyway, so I went to the shop and asked the person, “Where are your kits?”


And she asked right back, “Why do you want a kit?”

Which made my heart sink a little bit, because I knew the conversation was not going to end well.

Well, I explained, I want a kit because I know what it will look like at the end and I won’t have to figure out how much yarn to buy or what kind is the right weight and really it’s all put together ready for me to just buy the components and go home and make it. –I didn’t phrase it quite that well, because I was so startled she asked. Because um–artistic kits using variable weights and colors? Maybe some fringe on the ends?

She showed me displays on the wall, but nothing like what I had in mind. Not even close. Not even close to close. Because, shh, this was your grandmother’s knit shop. Sigh.

So she showed me one display that was sort of all right, because in my mind I still wanted to knit something. She asked what color I had in mind. I thought about what I would wear that particular shawl with, and came up with the astonishingly ordinary answer of, “How about something neutral?” even though this was the complete opposite of why I had visited the store in the first place.


There were three brands of yarn that would make the pattern I picked, so I went with the one easy to care for. Because at this point I didn’t feel so invested in the project, it was nothing what I had been hoping to find.

I picked out the color and she agreed, “That’s the most neutral one we have.” She did not say this sounding like I had made the right choice.


Pictured is the top of the shawl, and after this point I will have to change needles and start knitting lace. When the colors changes appear, the shawl will be pretty.


Oh, and I bought sparkly beads. And a crochet hook to insert them. I’ve never added beads to knitting, but it’s high time I did, right?

Now all I need are a bunch of movies to cozy up with and evenings to do so.

Yeah, I’m dreaming big.




I’ll just show this one off because it’s so pretty. The photo I was sent had strong contrasts in shadow and light, with the sun off to the side. So many photos are sent to me with the sun behind the subject, so the face is all in shadow with a light halo around the edges. These are really difficult to work from, because the shadow flattens the subject and I have to figure out how facial projections might appear in reality. Natural shadows, on the other hand, emphasize the shape and natural curves.




pretty song friday

Do you collect those little figurines in the Red Rose tea boxes? I do. The tea makes decent iced tea, and you can’t beat the price. I wouldn’t buy it if they didn’t have the figurine in the box, though. The “prize” in the carton for adults.

They’ve released a new series, called American Heritage. My first “prize” in the box was a little White House. I’m so glad I got it–I bet it ends up being the hardest one to find.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-8-11-54-pm

(image from the Red Rose Tea website.)

But then I visit the website and see you can buy past releases. D’oh! There’s two from the Calendar Year series I don’t have — the Christmas tree and the Easter bunny. Wouldn’t those be the two you really want? But they’re sold out of those ones, so I’ll have to look at antique stores and flea markets.

I’m excited to collect the new series. I’ll be buying a lot of tea.🙂 I’ll bet I end up with 5 of the Tea Box figurines — which to me is the least-exciting figurine. I understand *Why* it’s part of American Heritage, but I don’t know, a bald eagle would make a better figurine.

I’m glad they have a new collection. I was getting pretty tired of opening a box and finding a Mariner’s Hat in the Nautical collection. You just don’t need more than one Mariner’s Hat figurine.  And I only ever got 1 mermaid. Could have used another mermaid.




Isn’t this one fun? I’m going to enjoy having it in my living room until it sells.😀

24″x36″ oil on stretched canvas. Available in my etsy shop.



I love this painting. The colors came out exactly like I planned.

20″x24″ oil on stretched canvas, with a hemlock slat frame.

Available here.