Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Memories

Snow Dove

Christmas Cherub

Through the Window

Promise of Spring

The Nutcracker

Looking Up,Up,Up

Winter Nest

Trimmed for Christmas

Traditions are wonderful, but every now and then I find myself straying with curiosity or need from the familiar and my family's time worn traditions.

This year indeed I did stray. Decorations to deck the halls were taken from storage, the wreath and swag were hung to greet visitors, but when it was time for the traditional tree of Balsam or Spruce to be brought in to decorate, a grand winter storm appeared leaving a thick sticky blanket of new snow. We have donned snowshoes is years previous to search for the perfect tree, but this year I decided to leave the snowshoes hanging. For many years my father has wondered what a tree of Cedar fully decorated would look like at Christmas, and lo, that perfect Cedar was standing in our very yard. The scent of a fresh cut Balsam tree is wonderful at Christmas, but I think I may decide to permanently change this tradition! Cedar is beautiful as a decorated tree, with no sticky pitch!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chronicles of Whimsy Winners!

The Toad Prince

The first Chronicles of Whimsy giveaway is now officially closed. The Whimsy clock chimed noon, and with my Toad Prince overseeing, the Christmas vessel was reopened, given a very, very good stir, and with tightly closed eyes so as not to peek, the Chronicles of Whimsy winners were drawn. I wish to thank every one of you for popping in and leaving so many wonderful comments and compliments! It has been a true joy to see you here! I hope you will stop back often! Please be sure to look for Whimsy's next giveaway in February. I love giving things away around my birthday! :0)

And now, without further ado, the Toad Prince and I shall announce the Whimsy winners.....

For the two ACEO prints Pegasus and the Unicorn and Peek A Boo...the winner is...Phaedra96!
for the handforged hook by Blacksmiths III...the winner is...Lindax!
Congratulations to you both!

Please remember to look for the next Whimsy giveaway this coming February!

~ I wish you all a beautiful Christmas, and the best of New Years! ~

Monday, December 14, 2009

Waiting for the Christmas cheer

The Christmas vessel

Forest in frost

Christmas is coming ever closer. The trimmings are out and the windows have been beautifully frosted by nature in amazing ice designs. Soon the house will be filled with the fresh aroma of forest pine and wonderful scented cedar bows.

If you haven't already entered the Chronicle of Whimsy's first giveaway, please look to the post below. Happy winter everyone!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chronicles of Whimsy Blog Giveaway!

Pegasus and the Unicorn

Peek A Boo

Blacksmithed iron split top hook

Welcome to the Chronicles of Whimsy!

In celebration of the Chronicles of Whimsy's first holiday season I am having a giveaway! Two winners will be chosen. One winner will receive one each of the ACEO prints Pegasus and the Unicorn and Peek A Boo, the second winner will receive a beautiful blacksmithed hook created and graciously donated by my husband of Blacksmiths III. His shop can be viewed at

To enter this giveaway, please leave a short comment at the bottom of this post saying what you love about this holiday season. This giveaway is open to anyone worldwide. Entries names will be stirred together in the Christmas vessel and winners will be drawn when the time strikes 12:00 noon on the Chronicle of Whimsy clock, December 16th, 2009. Please check back in to see if you are one of the lucky winners!

Good luck to all, and I wish every one of you a beautiful Holiday Season!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cats and I

Yesterday it snowed.

So today the cats and I took a walk in the woods,
Bumble and Prince,



no not the Cheshire Cat, but really close,
it's Fuzzy,

to look at the beautiful trees,

and visit the grand old Birch. This tree is special to me. I dreamt of it sitting on this hill when I was very young, and saw it for the first time ten years later growing on property we had just purchased.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grandmother's Art

Winter Creek, oil on stretched canvas

Winter Sunset, oil on canvas board

It may seem as if I have been creating with oils again but, not today. Instead I thought I would share a little of grandmother's art with you.

Here and there you may have come across writings of a gentle grandmother full of love and talent, lost to me in my early years, and an easel and art box brimming with paints, brushes, and memories. Recently the beloved art box was once again opened, spilling those wonderful memories and stirring a desire to share with you art she created before and during my youngest years.

Only a few of her many paintings are with me along with an old tattered box containing a treasure of sketches and illustrations from her 1950 Home Study Course by the Washington School of Art, some of which I will share with you in coming posts.

For now I hope you enjoy this little travel back in time with visions created when I was very, very young.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nature's Beauty

Portal to the Equine Soul

Autumnal Sunset

The gentle eye of the horse, where one can almost see into its very soul. The blazing colors of a gorgeous autumn sunset, skies painted for us as the world slumbers.

Nature's beauty surrounds us all.

Autumnal Sunset was the wonderful setting sun we viewed this evening. The image captured the colors perfectly with absolute no enhancement.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beautiful November Day

Baby Tomatoes

November Sun Halo

What amazing images my new camera captures, like the fine hairs on a baby tomato. After spending glorious time searching out nature's beautiful November details I turned to walk inside at the close of day. What my eyes beheld was the setting sun framed by a beautiful halo. This stunning halo was created by refraction of sunlight through 6 sided ice crystals in a thinly covered sky of cirrus clouds. Even at the close of seasons beauty can be found!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

On the First Day of Christmas...

Fountain of the Ancients

Prince of the Kitten Clan

Mossland, Realm of the Fairies

my true love gave to me...a Canon G11 camera. And what an amazing camera it is! The stunning detail it is able to pick up is fantastic! Far more than my naked eye can see! I have been eagerly working my way around inside and out photographing beautiful details of the many moss and lichen covered rocks, trees in varieties of Paper Birch, Pines, Balm of Gilead, & Cedars, late autumn plants & mosses, plus our variety of animals to build up a wonderful image library for future art projects. And when snow falls there will be snow laden trees, snow flakes, snow sparkles, crystal icicles, snowscapes!

The three images above are a small sample of the many captured today.

Fountain of the Ancients is a beloved fountain beautifully aging in the greenroom. Little birds have said it is the ultimate avian bath when placed into the side courtyard during summer.

Prince of the Kitten Clan is of Prince, one very brave and confident kitten who believes he truly is of royal blood, and thus should be treated so by his older cat and human subjects. Silly kitten!

And Mossland, Realm of the Fairies is a soft, tiny, 4 inch island of beautiful green moss covered in a forest of stunning orange red spikes. This beautiful miniature island is growing in the center of an enormous grey boulder forever resting on the pasture's edge.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pumpkin Today, Pie Tomorrow

For many years it has been a Thanksgiving tradition for me to create our homemade pumpkin pies. The word create was chosen because I would carefully select the perfect golden orange pumpkin harvested from our fall gardens, then clean, carve, cook, and puree it. Creamy white goat's milk from our Alpine does blended into the fresh puree, along with farm fresh eggs with rich golden yolks, sugar, and traditional spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. This delightfully smelling mixture was then poured into glass dishes carefully lined with handmade dough. After baking, beautiful rich colored, aromatic spiced pies were delivered from the oven with crusts that flaked and melted in your mouth.

Tomorrow the above pumpkin will begin this traditional journey. And even though the locally raised pumkin was not grown in our garden this year, I am positive it will yield the same deliciously flavored pies as the pumpkins before it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November Gardening

Rose Fountain

November Jalapeno Peppers

What better way to start a wonderful day than to open a door to greet the warm sun, view the beauty of lush green plants, and inhale the blissful scents of a flowering rose. All this and more from the humble greenroom.

For us the greenroom is a wonderful thing. A Northern Minnesota growing season is very short, so planting too late in an outside garden may create beautiful plants right up to the first killing frost but nothing to harvest. Planting earlier is not often an option either as late frosts, very cold or frozen ground, and even possible snow prevent seeds from germinating and may kill or rot them before the ground warms well enough to promote growth. What the growing season will be is often a mystery (I'm sure our wild creatures could tell us).

Though it is best to grow most of the vegetables in outside gardens, planting a few of the less hardy, those that require more time to mature, and something we may enjoy fresh late in the season, in the greenroom is wonderful . This guarantees some harvest of fresh produce to pick and beautiful green plants to look at well into the cold winter months. Some of these are happily growing as permanent residents in the greenroom's warm earth floor, Moroccan Mint (for delicious teas), Egyptian Onions (a delicious little bulb), and a beautiful climbing Canadian series rose (for beauty, aroma, and wonderful rose petal water) are a few. Others are contentedly tucked into roomy growing pots, with Jalapeno Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Rosemary, Sage, and even Celery included.

How wonderful to have a little Secret Garden growing right in the heart of ice and snow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beauty in the Greenhouse

Climbing roses still blooming in the greenhouse

The rose's greenhouse companion Rosemary

Long, long ago...well maybe not quite so long ago (12 years) we installed a wonderful greenroom on the south side of our home. An antique French door and four window panels in the medieval styled great room look directly into this growing area, and one turn of the knob to open the door sends heavenly wafts of moist garden air perfumed by blooming roses, green herbs, and fresh earth drifting through out the entire house. How refreshing during the long, cold winter months in Northern Minnesota.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Arab in Umber

It was good to work at the art table again after finally coaxing myself out of many months of creative hibernation. The pencils were layed out, glass drawing surface was cleaned, art lights were switched on, and the piece that appeared was 'Arab in Umber', a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" ACEO created with watercolor wash and Prismacolor Pencil.
This original is now available in my Etsy delarenaissance shop ~