Monday, November 30, 2009

Late November Sunrise

This morning when I woke up, I could see a gorgeous sky from the windows stretching across the front of our small home. Normally I would have lingered in a bed a few more minutes, at least until the coffee that my husband graciously makes every morning was finished brewing. But that sky was too beautiful, so I climbed out from the covers, threw on a pair of cords, grabbed my camera from my desk, and trooped downstairs ready to capture a few decent shots. At that time of the day, the sky changes so quickly that you must act immediately! So here are a few pictures...

This was what I first saw... the colors just beginning to come over the horizon against a still-dark sky. Because my photo was not clear, I did some photoshop work.

But the sky changed quickly, with stormy clouds building, and so I grabbed the camera again and shot these...

I hope you were able to take a few minutes to enjoy the grace of a new day beginning. If not, you can at least share in the beauty of mine.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Portrait Listings Coming Soon...

I hope everyone in the US enjoyed a festive Thanksgiving and appreciated time with family and friends! Christmas will soon be here... so hard for me to believe, but I've been doing a little shopping on Etsy this morning because I realize I just can't wait any longer!!!

I'll be heading out to the studio soon to get started on a new canvas, but before I do... here are a couple things soon to be listed on Etsy.

BLACK BEAUTY... Even grackles can be merry and bright! This is a 12 x 12 oil on canvas with edges painted.

I don't often paint people, but I will if I have in my hand a very clear photograph and a good description of the characteristics and personality of the subject. So I will list an item for a CUSTOM PORTRAIT with these as examples.

Mommy's Girl... 9 x 12

Wedding Day... 18 x 24

Music Man... 16 x 20

Child in Blue... 24 x 30

Happy weekend, and happy shopping, everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I have just begun updating some of my Etsy items for the upcoming weekend shopping frenzy... some are on sale, some have free shipping, some have both!! More will be added as the days progress, and the sales will be good until Christmas. Browse through the photos here, and simply follow the links on the title to go directly to that item in my shop. While there, you can also do a search within my shop for etsyholidaysale and etsyfreeshipping to see more items.

Also, please note in my shop that when you spend $65 or more before shipping, you will be sent a FREE piece of jewelry... to give as a gift or to keep for yourself! It could be a necklace, a pair of earrings, or even a bracelet... whatever it is, it will be a unique piece and a fun surprise!

For now, here are a few of these merry offerings... on sale or with free shipping... priced right!

Midnight Sparkles

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose...

Silver Bells...

Song of the Rain...

The Good Earth...

Secret Garden...


REMEMBER... EXACTLY 30 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! Be sure to make your purchase by December 15 to ensure on-time delivery! I make daily trips to the post office to ship items, so as soon as you pay, I will ship within 24 hours!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures... Five Fabulous Finds

Ah, the week of Thanksgiving, and I have much to be thankful for, one of which is the wonderful friends I've met through the Etsyveg team! This week's treasures are from some great fellow members of this team which promotes awareness of animal rights, our responsibility to the planet, and a healthy diet that benefits all.

First, a gorgeous pair of fingerless gloves by lostmitten... toasty warm!

Mmmm...aahhh... handmade soap, so pretty, by greenlovestore...

Sweet and soft Christmas angels by asecondchance... just beautiful for the tree!

A silvery owl on a chain by lulubug, one of my favorite jewelers...

And finally, the most luscious silvery-gray dress by ravissant... perfect for holiday events!

Until next week, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, count your blessings, enjoy your friends and family and pets, and remember, BUY HANDMADE, SHOP ETSY!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bits and Pieces

So my husband makes custom knives, as I've posted before, and he also makes a leather sheath for each one, which means that there are bits and pieces of leather left over from many of his pieces. I have made a few necklaces from these small pieces, incorporating the leather as the focal piece and of course adding the beadwork. They are all very earthy and somewhat organic in style and color.

This is my latest piece which I posted on Etsy this morning... Branches and Berries...

It's beaded with gunmetal grey and deep red glass seed beads on a bib-style piece of soft, black leather.

It hangs from a black leather cord and is strung very simply with ivory bone tube beads, grey cat's eye glass rounds, and carved soapstone rounds.

Here is another style, Woodsong, with a fringed rusty-brown leather pendant, complimented with jasper and a lampwork glass bead, and strung with a variety of beads in gorgeous browns, oranges, and creams...

Lizard Song was listed on Etsy and featured in VickiDiane's Artists Exposed treasury of Etsy Project Embrace members.

It features black leather adorned with a beautiful crystallized agate and two silvery lizards amongst some very dark and earthy beads.

The experiments will continue... so look for more of these kinds of necklaces over the next few months!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Early Morning Sunshine

After two grey days of chilly rain, today promises to be gorgeous. When I went to get my second cup of coffee, here is what I saw...

It was so lovely and soft with the fog rising over the ground, the raindrops sparkling on the branches, and the sunlight shining through the trees and creating long shadows in the yard. Just for fun, I spent a bit of time in Photoshop... what do you think?

Now that the sun is out bright and full, I'm headed out to the painting studio! Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Birds in Oil

Better to have the birds in oils on canvas than in spilled oil out on the sea and shore! They are much happier this way!

Here's my just-completed painting... still wet, but listed on Etsy this morning. Song in Blue is 12 x 12.

On gallery-wrapped canvas with 1 1/2 inch painted edges...

This photo was taken inside the studio on a gray day, using overhead lighting, similar to what you'd find in most homes. You can see the difference the lighting makes in the colors of the painting.

There are two more 12 x 12 canvases in process in the studio... one has bright, abstract background and will feature a raven or a grackle; the other is a silvery, winter scene with a smaller bird, perhaps a titmouse or a warbler. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures... Five Favorites

Today's treasures come from my fellow team members from Etsy Project Embrace. Each of these artists donates a portion of their sales to cancer research through the American Cancer Society, so that when you buy from them, you are also helping to spread hope and light to those struggling with cancer.

Each of these five fabulous finds are priced just right, perfect for holiday gift-giving!

First, a gorgeous bowl, Hawaiian Coconut, by GlazedOver... who is also hosting a giveaway on her blog. Follow the link to her Etsy shop and you'll find the link to her blog!

A fabulous bracelet, full of sparkle, Entre les Etoilles by RoughMagicCreations...

Fun and fab accessory, Ruffles and Cream by Poppyswickedgarden...

Feminine and oh so pretty, Virtuoso Opus 16 earrings by ErikaPrice...

Two Star candleholders or trinket dishes by loveartworks...

And just because I can add however many I want... a lovely necklace and earring set, Fallen Leaf and Dragonfly, by lovely Laura Slocum of CreativelyTangled...

Until next week, remember to BUY HANDMADE and SHOP ETSY and TEAMEPE for all your holiday needs!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Autumn Blessings

I have been so grateful lately for many things... for this gorgeous weather we have had the past three days, for my wonderful husband, for the old folks at the nursing home where I sing, for my two fabulous and patient bandmates, for my great kids... each so different yet so special, for the trees and the woods and the birds which fill my daily life with beauty, and for my health and the chance to create and share art and music.

And so today I created a new necklace which I have named Autumn Blessings.

It's full of the lovely shades of fall in its gemstones of unakite, orange jade (dyed), carnelian, mahogany obsidian, petrified jasper, and millefiori goldstone, as well as a few pearls, Czech glass crystals, carved soapstone, and seed beads. It closes with a silver-plated filigree clasp. It's earthy and somewhat organic, easily dressed up or down, and I'll be listing it on Etsy this week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

No Kill Zone

When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man we call him a vandal. When he destroys one of the works of God we call him a sportsman. ~Joseph Wood Krutch

It's deer hunting season once again in NC, and I am starting to hear gunshots around our home in the woods and on the mountain. Of course the nearby State Park is off limits, but this area surrounding us is open territory, or so that's what hunters think. Now I know that not all hunters are inconsiderate and disrespectful, but some are, and they don't care whose property they go on in search of deer or turkey or whatever wildlife they are interested in shooting.

I recently heard a story of this happening from a friend who lives three miles up the road... of course the hunters left the unwanted deer parts along the side of the road where my friend and his dogs could find it and deal with it. This happens a lot around our area, and wandering dogs are often hit by cars and injured or killed because they are drawn to the smell and cross the road in search of a tasty snack. Hunters don't think about that after-effect of their sport, I suppose.

And I am also not too fond of those hunters who tempt deer by placing out deer corn or other treats to lure them into their sights. I have to say that I was quite proud and warmly drawn to my husband when he told me of the time he was out walking in the woods and came across such a stash of corn... he peed all over it, thereby giving the deer a better chance!

We have enjoyed a family of deer on our property, and in our front yard, quite a bit during the summer and fall. The above photo captured them one summer afternoon, but the little fawn has grown quite a lot over the past few months and it worries me that a hunter will catch one of these beauties in his sights one day soon. Perhaps I should put out deer corn in my yard to keep this family close by! I know the pros of hunting... keeping the deer population from getting out of control, feeding the rural folks in our area who often rely on that meat for the coming months. But I also know that I could not hunt and kill, and I do not want anyone doing it on my property or in the nearby woods, and I do not want hunters to use my property to access other areas.

So my husband suggested that I call the sherriff's department to see what needs to be done about posting legitimate No Trespassing and No Hunting signs. That way, if someone does come on the property, we can call the sherriff's office and press charges, if we so desire. Of course one would hope that the signs would be enough to ward off hunters so those kinds of measures don't need to be taken. I believe I will follow through with this on Monday, and perhaps if there are signs down on the main road at our private road and drive, hunters will think twice before coming in our direction. And perhaps with luck, we can continue to enjoy the visits of that beautiful family of deer in the coming year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures... Five Fabulous Finds

At six weeks, the countdown is on! The holiday season will be soon upon us, and already I've been making a few purchases at Etsy for smaller stocking gifts for my family. So with the holidays in mind, here are some great ideas for gifts... and one perfect Thanksgiving card!

In the mail yesterday, I received a fabulous package... and it's my first listing for today's Five Fabulous Finds. From GreenPost, a member of Etsy Project Embrace, came a wonderfully and ecologically-minded wrapped package, all in recycled materials, of seed-filled, plantable gift tags! You simply must check out this Etsy shop where you can find eco-friendly cards, tags, and so much more.

The most wonderful Thanksgiving cards ever... from Chickabug, a fellow member of the Etsyveg Team.

Beautiful upcycled cashmere fingerless gloves by BlueMoonRose...

The most luxurious handmade soap by Sagegold... I can personally attest to the first-class quality of this soap! Not only is it gorgeous, but it's creamy and soothing and smells absolutely wonderful!

And finally, rustic dragonfly magnets... perfect for home or office, by Merritthyde...

Until next week, remember... SHOP HANDMADE, SHOP ETSY!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Garden's End

Today has been another lovely day in a string of warm, October-like days. I have loved this weather... more like autumn than October was! I did some yard work today, clearing out dead vines, raking, cleaning out the gutters... and I picked the final veggies out of the garden. Sad to see that end, but it sure was good while it lasted! And we'll be enjoying these fresh peppers in some yummy meals this week! Nothing like a little heat to liven up a meal!

Summer has its fresh greens... but autumn has its own earthy, rich colors... a perfect background for the last bowl of veggies from the garden.

And from a different point on the color wheel...let's not forget that gorgeous blue, autumnal sky... the background for one of our persimmon trees... ripe red fruit still hanging on. Our dogs love to eat these when they fall to the ground!

Until tomorrow, when I'll post my Tuesday's Treasures, have a great evening!