Jack Russell, & Horse Paintings for ebay

This horse painting was one of those that as I was working on it I was sort of “is this working right?” about it, but then once I set it aside and let it dry and then brought it out again I loved it. Sometimes it takes that time distance to see clearly, or maybe just time to forget before a second look. A lot of life is like that, isn’t it? It’s up now in my ebay listings.

I was working on slightly more complex backgrounds, and also painted this Jack Russell. I like doing the blue dogs!

jack russell

We went over to Melissa’s this morning and I got a lot more photos of the horses. They’re good at standing around looking interested. Elle loves their dog, too. She managed to open a door to go out and find her. Good thing she didn’t manage to get too far!

a Labrador painting for etsy

I put up this happy girl in my etsy shop today. This week I worked on more-detailed backgrounds than I have been painting lately.
labrador dog

And if you liked my chickadee series but thought they were over priced (as if!), I lowered the prices on the whole series a couple weeks ago. Etsy is a place where either something sells right away, or else it drops down in the search listings so no one ever sees it after a couple days. So I lowered the price, to see if anyone takes another peek! Here’s an example of one of the paintings. I’ve been working with some of the vintage items I’ve thrifted, re-purposing them into paintings.

pretty tablecloth

This beautiful vintage rose tablecloth doesn’t match my decor, really (being pink), but the pattern is so lovely, and the size is just right for my table, so for $2 I couldn’t pass it up. It has such an Anthropologie feel, but their tablecloths run $50 to $100 so I’ve never been able to justify buying one even though they’re retro lovely. And I bet this one is retro real, not repro. One edge has some little snips in it, like someone’s child was learning scissors (not like this has ever happened in OUR house, ahem), and I dabbed on some fraycheck so that should take care of it.

And here’s a morning gloried tree that’s new this year. Several blocks away there’s someone with a gloriously flowered yard, and they have the morning glories creeping up the one tree, so it’s not an original idea to me. But as my trees get bigger each year, they should be able to support more flowers! It’s a wonderful way to introduce color more at eye level.

Flowers, potting bench

Before I forget to mention it, in my pillowcase mania I did check Joann’s online site and discovered you can purchase a pair of 2 to embroider for as low as $4.98 and none exceeded $10. So if you go in on a coupon day, you could get a set pretty inexpensively! Nonetheless, I bought some fabric and a blue pen and will sketch out some of my own and get exactly what I want!

Now on to the main business. Our garden still isn’t in great shape, but next year it should be even better. The quaking aspen trees are 3 times as tall this year than they were last when planted, so they are famously quick growers, hooray! Maybe in about 5 years time they’ll be doing a good job of keeping the house cool in summer, fingers crossed.

The first year we moved in, I hadn’t discovered the joys of thrifting, and purchased this potting bench at a local antique store. There wasn’t a price on it, and under the assumption, “If there’s no price on it you can’t afford it,” I rarely ask about things, but something prompted me to ask about the bench and it was only $25 so I bought it. One of the proprietors said he’d knocked it together from spare boards, and that’s a window as a backboard. This year I planted sweetpeas at the base, which was a mistake as I should have planted morning glories which would have crept up the legs prettily. There’s a climbing rose (still small) off to one side, and in a couple years it should sweep over the top of the bench. It’s a great place to leave all those tools and things, instead of the garage.

I think the susan’s are coming to the end of their glory, so here’s a photo before they are gone!
black eyed

Finished pillowcase

I wanted to show off the needlebook I use when embroidering. I bought it maybe 6 years ago because I thought it would be a good gift for someone, but then just ended up hanging on to it. It has two pockets inside, which just fit a twist of embroidery thread, and pair of thread scissors. It’s perfectly small for carrying everything around without losing the parts.

I finished the embroidery on this pillowcase that I thrifted half finished. Someone had done the pink flower portions, and a little green. I filled in the rest, and added the lace hem. I have a big bag of thrifted trims, but astonishingly almost everything is ecru and not white. I thought this lace matched okay, but it was the only thing in the bag that worked. I have another pair of pillowcases I’m finishing, and if nothing shows up quick while thrifting I’ll have to buy lace. Oh the horror!

A busy couple weeks

Elle and I have been doing the mommy and me swim time at the public pool. On the one hand, she’s terrified and does the full body cling in the water. But on the other hand, she still loves to go and hates to leave. Yesterday we got to use the big twisty water slide together, and of course she loved it. Tomorrow is our last session, but I think I’ll sign us up for more. Summer has finally gotten hot!

Since the class is midday, it interrupts her nap time, and so I’ve been going less painting. It’s also slowed down my thrifting, but I was able to catch up today. You just ever know what you missed if you don’t go.

I picked up this cowboy/western shirt pattern, even though I doubt I’ll ever make it. You never know, and for a quarter it sure can’t hurt to just throw it in the collection. It’s interesting how this style has changed zero in 50 years. Or perhaps it’s come full circle….

And I also picked up a spectacular doily collection. I don’t collect doilies, but these look like handmade lace and some look very old. This first one has the center embroidered with a few roses, but the focus is really the lace. I’m sure it’s hand tatted. The whole thing is as big as a serving platter.
rose doily

This next one I just thought was unusual. How often do you see a square doily?
square doily

And this one has crocheted pansies around the edge. Aren’t those pretty?

This is a collection of small doilies. I saw someone use the very smallest as hanging snowflakes at Christmastime, and thought it looked beautiful. I’d have to collect many more before I could do that, though.

This one just looks old. It has embroidered white roses on the center. It’s about as large as two coasters.

And lastly, this one has fantastic lace.

If you know of any good craft use for these, let me know. I don’t know how to best purpose them, beyond maybe framing.

thrifted pillowcases

I never find shabby chic pillowcases, even though it seems like everyone else can always show off a huge assortment. And I don’t think I’m too picky here, there just are never great pillowcases. But I found 2 that are perfect, and while they might remain pillowcases I might just cut them up for that pink and green quilt I want to make for Elle. That embroidery on top is really dark orange and not red, so at least it doesn’t show up right on my monitor (and it’s a table runner, not a pillowcase)!

out thrifting, pretty glasses

I picked up this carafe and pretty water glasses today. Three of them have the gold rims still in pretty good shape, and the rest have seen a lot of use. The lady helping me said, “These are pretty worn, let me see if I can adjust the price.” They came down $8 so I said Sold! There’s no makers mark and I have no idea about the age, but the scroll work and the gold are pretty.

Oh, and here’s the box they came home in. Someone has a sense of humor!


I taught another drawing class and used fruit for a still life, and had more lemons and limes than we could eat, so made lemon lime marmalade, heavier on the limes. It’s color isn’t terrific, but it’s good on toast! The recipe is found here, on recipesource. No, I didn’t make 3 quarts worth, only 4 jars!

This is following last week’s attempt to make raspberry jelly. A kind friend gave me a big bag of frozen raspberries, which did get made into that galette in this month’s issue of Victoria magazine (turned out very good, but could have used hazelnuts instead of pistachios just fine), and then the rest of the berries strained very nicely through a piece of flannel and became jelly. I had bought a book about fine preserves while out thrifting, and this was the first recipe I’d tried. The lady recommended against using pectin because it stops the color from being as ruby as it could be. So I made up a batch, and it didn’t firm up very well. She said if this happened to put the uncovered jars into a sunny window for several days, and then finish canning when they’d reach the desired consistency. Now of course this didn’t sound quite right, but SHE’d done it successfully, and I know the sugar level in jelly is sufficiently high that it retards bacterial growth, so I said okay and covered the jars with paper towels to keep the bugs out. But a couple days later I was still thinking about it (because I don’t like to eat food after about 3 days old–I figure the mold is there but too small to see) so I went online to the extension service, which said, “Throw out grandma’s canning recipes and all books written before 1988 because their recommended practices are no longer safe.” And then something about micro-organisms have changed. So I tossed the jelly, but will keep the book for its old fashioned recipes but ignore the canning instructions. Now I want more raspberries for another go!