Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Newest (Ad)Venture!

This is my latest project and why I have been absent lately!

My friend Charlie (top) and I have rented a store front and are opening an antique shop with all of our stuff.

Charlie has been an antique dealer for 30 years and I am honored that he asked me to join him. I have dabbled for years, and for the past year have been doing shows but am now in what we call "Charlie Boot Camp" and I am learning a lot.

We had been tossing around some ideas for a while, and one morning he came over and said he found a space and did I want to see it - so, we drove over (the store is in the town of Weedsport, about 17 miles west of Baldwinsville) and I said "OK"! We rented the space on a Friday, the next Monday was June 1, so we started in cleaning and painting and hauling and arranging.

We aren't officially opened yet, but we are there and lots of folks have come by and we have been selling them stuff! Another friend of mine is involved (placing her items to sell in return for shop sitting) so we have three folks to cover the shop and we can be opened a lot of hours. The location is great - on a well traveled route about a mile from the thruway and a gateway to the Finger Lakes region and right on a Wine Trail (we have lots of vineyards around here ) and right across the street from a wonderful coffee house that has great music 4 nights a week!

We are setting aside a space in the shop for painting and studio work - and I am really anxious to get to the point where sort of settled and I can return to painting and making things right in the shop!! Miss that for sure!

So that is what I have been up to for the last couple of weeks - wish us luck!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

i Love My House (the story of her new windows)

Oh, I just love my house. And in celebration of her upcoming 150th birthday, we are replacing some of the windows on the first floor.

Well, actually, the windows have a story attached to them. They were purchased for an addition that went south (think: contractor going out of business and skipping with our deposit etc etc). So for several years the windows languished in the barn. What to do, what to do.... You see, they are new construction windows (Andersen Series 400 for you millwork junkies out there) as opposed to replacement windows, so their addition into existing window holes takes a bit of finagling.

BUT the first one (of 7) is in and now we know how to do it!

We removed the old one, took out the channel for the weights, re-framed and voila (just like that ha ha) the new one was inserted (thanks to our friend Oliver for his timely arrival on the scene and his help! ) and we will be able to re-use most of the inside and outside trim ( the new ones are a bit wider oh, and a bit shorter, did I mention this was a bit of a challenge?).

We chose to replace the one on the northwest corner of the house - that one really takes a beating with the weather.

As we were disassembling, we were marveling at the great workmanship of those carpenters in 1860. The beautiful stout boards, the (still) straight and true framing and the wonderful square nails. It was exciting to try to envision the original workmen and their surroundings. Such a different world.

So now, the window goes up & down, stays up without a paint stick or curtain rod, opens from the top & the bottom, no more aluminum storms - and when they are all in, they will make the house much more energy efficient! Yea for modern technology!

And as an added bonus, the storms are going to be made into a greenhouse :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Missing our Moms

This has been an incredibly beautiful spring....

However I've been feeling a bit melencohly as of late and really missing my mom.

This beautiful weeping cherry is in my friend's mom's yard. Her mom recently passed away and we were there digging perennials to add to our gardens in her memory and her beautiful weeping cherry was in all it's glory.

Here's to moms in all their glory and for all of their love.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Studio Bits

Here are some recent bits from my studio. They are made of muslin, and in the case of the dolls & bird pieces, they are sewn, stuffed, painted & sanded. The dolls are dressed with little clothes I've fashioned or painted right on to them. The bird sits on a stick that is fastened into a wooden candlestick. He (looks like a he, don't you think?) is part of a series.

The painted quilt is sandwiched muslin & cotton batting, machine quilted, painted & sanded and painted some more.

All patterns and designs are original to my mind & fingers EXCEPT the one in the orange dress, the first painted doll I ever made (!) and the body is from a pattern by Susanna Oroyan from her book "Anatomy of a Doll" 1997 published by C&T Publishing, Inc. You can find her wonderful and inspiring books on

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mama Robin

I was finally able to get a photo of the Mama Robin on her nest. She built it on my back porch in a wreath I had yet to take down.

Lots of stealthing involved to get this not very good photo, as she is very diligent and isn't too sure about the family that keeps coming out the back door that is just to the left of her digs out of the photo. We do try to use the front, but always need to take the dogs out the back, just 'cause that's what they are used to and don't like to change that routine! They are, of course, oblivious to her presence, and probably wonder why we keep rushing them off the porch. But she does make an excellent watch bird. and the job is hers as long as necessary! And there she is in profile in the huge Norwegian Pine along the side of the drive.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Welcome to my blog!! Whatever it may become!

I see this as an opportunity to connect with others, share my little world and preview some of my works in progress now that I am back in my studio full time. And maybe as a catalyst to spur me on to actually finish some of these works in progress!

Of course, spring is a HUGE thing here in CNY where our annual snowfall average is 120"!!..but it is all gone now and some of the spring bits are up!!! Tulips are at their peak, Forsythia is just going over. Forget-me-nots cover the yard as do the violets and the Meadow Sage is beginning to bloom. I transplanted a great deal of my non-spreading (ie non-crazy) plants into a raised bed and all are taking. The "other" perennial garden With the help of my house mate and all around great guy, John, a dozen Rose of Sharon bushes are now successfully transplanted to the west side of the house and are budding! Yea!!

We also have a Mama Robin who has built her nest on the back porch on top of the winter wreath I had yet to take down! She soundly scolds us as we try to tiptoe in and out - but are mostly trying to use the front door when we remember. I hate for her to be so stressed and surely don't want her to leave her eggs! I have been totally unsuccessful in capturing a picture of her - she is very vigilant!! I'll certainly post it if I get one.

A few weeks ago, my goodest CNY friend Connie's mom passed away and I will be going to her mom's house on Saturday as she is sharing
perennials with fellow gardeners so her mom's beautiful gardens will live on! Helene was a fantastic gardener and I have been a recipient in the past of some of her plants and am honored to be asked to come and share in the garden bounty.

Blessed Be!!