Thursday, November 24, 2011

from the heart

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.

J.A. Shedd


Thursday, November 10, 2011


for many years I have been gushing about our fave retreat, where we vend and teach annually - the East Coast Art Event - Art is You in Connecticut
Being alumni since the first year, we have had the pleasure to experience its growth
every year getting better and better
the super sweet & talented Sal & Ellen outdo themselves every time

In 2011 they introduced a beautiful art retreat to the West Coast - ART IS PETALUMA
and we are super-excited to vend & teach in Petaluma in 2012

and for 2012 they are going global baby!  ART IS YOU - AUSTRALIA

it looks absolutely fantastic

what a wonderful experience - spread the word!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

loss for words

excitement doesn't begin to describe the feeling I had when I was perusing Stampington's website and stumbled upon their preview of the new Sew Somerset coming out December 1st
holy-cow my first cover!!!!!!!!!
I knew my Mixed Media Sewing Cards had been accepted as an article but I didn't have a clue that I was in the running for the cover.  Make sure to grab a copy - there are a ton of great articles, techniques and beautiful eye-candy.  I am so touched to be included with all sorts of talented artists.
at a loss for words but if I had sum it up...delighted, surprised, in shock...such a cool opportunity :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

very strange...very strange indeed...this Halloween is an almost exact repeat of last year...
our first snowfall...but Jack doesn't seem to mind...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

aaaaaaahhhhhhhh, apples!

hubby and I went to the local orchard
and got a ton of freshly dropped drops
after the recent wind storm we knew that drops would be perfect
mostly Macs and Cortlands
so much cheaper per lb (only 29 cents - wow!)
we pet and fed the goats, picked some unique squash
and headed home
so I better get busy processing!
this year I am making Caramel Apple Jam, Apple Leather (natural fruit rollups), Dried Apple Rings, Apple Chutney, Frozen Apple Filling and a bunch of fresh eating & baking as well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

packed to the gills and ready for artsy fun!

our car is jam-packed with goodies and we are hitting the road for one of our fave art retreats
in Danbury, CT
so looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new
Super excited for my workshops, the special events, the Art Trunk...and lots of giggling
hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

delicious autumn

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns. 
~George Eliot

Friday, September 9, 2011

Somerset Studio Sep/Oct 2011

I adore all of the Stampington Company's magazines...but when I discovered them many years ago, it was Somerset Studio that took my breath away...I was officially hooked.  Ever since, I have been impressed with the quality of the publication and the enormous creativity within.   It is always very inspiring.
so I am humbled and very excited to share that I have an article appearing in the latest issue

it is a beautiful issue - go grab a copy and curl up w/ a blankie and some tea :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I have often spoken about the fabulous East Coast art retreat
The workshops are amazing but did you know there is awesome shopping as well?  Come check out the Art Trunk show for wonderful supplies, goodies and unique art!

Art Is...You is being held at the 
Danbury Plaza Hotel which is located at 18 Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury. 

Conveniently located off exit 2 or 2A from Interstate 84 in Connecticut, just 5 minutes away from I-684 & Rt.22 in Brewster, N.Y. and 30 minutes North from White Plains N.Y. on I-684.

Exit 2 if you are coming from New York
Exit 2a if you are coming from Connecticut
There is a large carpark.

ART TRUNK SHOW TIME -  Sunday October 9, 2011
8am-10am:  Preview for retreat attendees
10am – 5pm: Open to the public
5pm – 8pm: Retreat attendees - Raffle, Special presentation by Kecia Deveney, Flamingo Race, Cash Bar and bar snacks
AUCTION – On Sunday night they will have a “Brown Bag” auction.  Each fabulous donated item will have a brown bag beside it.  Purchased raffle tickets are placed in the bag associated with the item you wish to win and at the end of the night they will draw the winners. 


Friday, August 5, 2011

picklin' time!

the garden has bursted forth w/ harvestable veggies
every evening I poke around my cukes, tomatoes, beans and peppers
I am amazed at how many mature just from the day before - the cukes are especially impressive
photo credit

pickling has officially begun in our farmhouse kitchen - dilly beans, bread & butters, sweet green tomato pickles, etc - the canner has been bubbling and I adore seeing all of the jars lined up neatly in the cupboard filled w/ yummy veggies

just for fun...

The following pickle history comes from Mt. Olive Pickle Company. 
  • In 2,030 B.C., cucumbers native to India were brought to the Tigris Valley. There, they were first preserved and eaten as pickles.
  • Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8) and history records their usage over 3,000 years ago in Western Asia, ancient Egypt and Greece.
  • In 850 B.C., Aristotle praised the healing effects of cured cucumbers.
  • Cleopatra attributed a portion of her beauty to pickles.
  • The Roman Emperor Tiberius consumed pickles on a daily basis.
  • Julius Caesar thought pickles had an invigorating effect, so, naturally, he shared them with his legions.
  • The enjoyment of pickles spread far and wide through Europe. In the thirteenth century, pickles were served as a main dish at the famous Feast of King John.
  • Pickles were brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus, who is known to have grown them on the island of Haiti.
  • In the sixteenth century, Dutch fine food fanciers cultivated pickles as one of their prized delicacies.
  • Cartier found cucumbers growing in Canada in 1535, and they were known to the colonists of Virginia as early as 1609.
  • Queen Elizabeth liked pickles. And Napoleon valued pickles as a health asset for his armies.
  • Samuel Pepy's diary mentions a glass of Girkins as something to be highly appreciated.
  • In 1659, Dutch farmers in New York grew cucumbers in what is now Brooklyn. These cukes were sold to dealers who cured them in barrels and sold them from market stalls on Washington, Canal and Fulton Streets. As it turns out, these pickle purveyors started the nation's commercial pickle industry.
  • A fondness for pickles has always been a national characteristic of the American people. It's a good thing, since our country's namesake, Amerigo Vespucci, was actually a pickle peddler in Seville, Spain. He supplied ships with pickled vegetables to prevent sailors from getting scurvy on long voyages. While Columbus is credited with discovering America, Vespucci was apparently a better PR man. We're named for him. We became the United States of America -- instead of the United States of Vespucci. And that's probably a good thing, too.
  • George Washington was a pickle enthusiast. So were John Adams and Dolly Madison.
  • Pickles inspired Thomas Jefferson to write the following:
    "On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally's cellar."
    We're still trying to track down Aunt Sally's recipe.
  • In colonial America, the pickle patch was an important adjunct to good living. Pickles were highly regarded by all of America's pioneering generations because, under frontier conditions, pickles were the only zesty, juicy, green, succulent food available for many months of the year.
  • In colonial times, and, much later, on farms and in villages, homemakers expected to "put down" some pickles in stone crocks, and to "put up" some pickles and pickle relishes in glass jars.
  • In 1820, Frenchman Nicholas Appert was the first person to commercially pack pickles in jars.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


is almost here...whoooopeeeee!!!!!
photo credit - Kecia Deveney
We are soooo excited for our art retreat that begins next week.
Kecia Deveney - Bohemian Romance
The workshops are amazing  - Kecia and Lesley have outdone themselves with gorgeous stuff!
Lesley Venable - Architectural Assemblage Angels
We have an amazing group of women, tons of goodies planned and we should have a really great time.
Will be sure to share some pictures!!! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

cuteness alert

had to share a pic we snapped when puppy-sitting

Monday, July 11, 2011


"The summer night is like a perfection of thought."
- Wallace Stevens

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Get Your ART On - $50 Off One Day Only!

Our wonderful friends Sal & Ellen have
announced a great 4th of July special
for their FABULOUS Art Retreat

"Metal Marionettes" Workshop - click here for info
Oct 6 - 11, 2011
"Whiter Shades of Pale" Workshop - click here for info
Sign up ON MONDAY 
using the coupon codeJULY4
This will give you $50 off your full registration
but it is only valid for
one day – July 4.
Story Boxes Workshop - click here for info

We hope to see you there :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Looking Forward To It

soon we will be...

Lesley Venable - Architectural Assemblage Angels

photo courtesy of AitR Instructor Kecia Deveney

Kecia Deveney - Bohemian Romance

photo courtesy of AitR Instructor Kecia Deveney

photo courtesy of AitR Instructor Kecia Deveney

photo courtesy of AitR Instructor Kecia Deveney

photo courtesy of AitR Instructor Kecia Deveney
photo courtesy of AitR Instructor Kecia Deveney


photo courtesy of AitR Instructor Kecia Deveney

Monday, June 20, 2011

Art Is...Teaching

I just received word that my class proposals were accepted & I am excited to announce I will be teaching at

September 19-24, 2012

and of course we wouldn't miss

October 4-8, 2012

hope to see you there - more detailed info to come!

but in the meantime - be sure to check out the ART IS...YOU 2011
Fabulous instructors, wonderful workshops, yummy food, awesome goodies & vending...inspiration and friendship galore!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

The sun lay like a friendly arm across her shoulder. 
~Margorie Kinnan Rawlings, South Moon Under

Sunday, June 5, 2011


i believe the universe shows little signs of encouragement when you are on a good breadcrumbs sprinkled here & there
maybe its just in my mind, maybe its luck or coincidence - but i do know that whatever it is, it sure does help to keep me encouraged to keep plugging away
for years i have been striving toward a goal of living homemade - grow, mend, make do, upcycle/recycle
you can read about it in my previous post

but this year i have really tried to prepare for some big transitions - we will be building a goat barn and chicken coop this Fall, almost completely from upcycled materials (i will be sure to share some pics as we progress).
goats have been on mind for years & fact my very first blogpost ever was about how dearly i wanted goats.  it is finally going to come to fruition in the next year or so
so i have been researching & reading anything i can about keeping goats - i would LOVE to go to goat school which is a fabulous course founded in Maine.
photo credit:  Homestead Revival
i have also been studying milking goats and how to create wonderful homemade cheeses, butter, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, etc.  since i do not have my precious goats yet, i have been practicing with cow's milk - some recipes are ultra-easy, while others take a bit more steps.  keeping and sustaining cultures is fascinating and not hard at all if you stay organized.  i have found great resources on the web and in magazines
i recommend Mother Earth News and Hobby Farm Home magazines
also online check out Homestead Revival - wonderful posts on making a lifestyle change, dairy goats, keeping cultures, etc

so, yes, yes...back to my point...the breadcrumbs...
i have been dreaming of buying several items to help me as i push towards this lifestyle - a grainmill, a yogurt-maker and a dehydrator.  none are cheap.
photo credit:
so rewind to late winter when some friends & family held our annual swap party - everyone comes w/ 10 or so items that they no longer use and we have a fun & frenzied swap, then anything leftover is donated.  so as i placed my items here & there on the tables, i saw an almost brand-new yogurt-maker!!  i was so excited and nervous - i wanted that thing!!!  to keep a very long story short - i got it :)
photo credit: Raw Guru
now fast-forward a couple months - i am at a yard sale w/ my hubby.  it is a good one and we are loading up w/ stuff.  after my initial sweep, i practically bump into a brand-new, in the box dehydrator that i hadn't noticed right away.  it had never been used, all parts were there including the optional upgraded accessories.  i was able to get it for $5
so i know my examples sound very materialistic, but these were items that improved and encouraged my path towards homesteading.  every day i receive all sorts of forms of encouragement...something as small as the swallows happily nesting in our carefully placed birdhouses makes me smile with contentment that this is the right way for us...we are not lost and the next breadcrumb is right up ahead.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

wooo hooo!

love it when exciting stuff is in the mailbox!!!!

I am tickled to share the good news that I have an article
"Appliqued Anecdotes-Storytelling with Paint, Paper & Stitch" appearing in Art Quilting Studio-Summer 2011 issue
there is a ton of cool art & techniques in this issue - go grab a copy! :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

the year of the Cucurbits

i am ultra excited about the new addition to my gardens this year - a good old fashioned melon/squash/gourd/pumpkin patch.  In case you were wondering...Cucurbitaceae is a plant family, also known as gourd family, which includes crops like cucumbers, squashes (including pumpkins), luffas, and melons (including watermelons). 

We will begin digging this weekend - luckily my hubby sweet-talked our farmer neighbors and we have use of a small bobcat and rototiller - wooo hooo!  Definitely will be a huge back-saver as this garden will be large so the plants have plenty of room to spread out.
We will be trying all sorts of varieties including...
TONS of interesting winter squash & specialty pumpkins

photo-Johnny's Seeds
Rouge Vif D'Etampes
photo-Johnny's Seeds

Marina Di Chioggia
photo-Johnny's Seeds
photo-Johnny's Seeds
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Musque de Provence
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Long Island Cheese
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Speckled Hound
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Blue Hubbard
photo-Country Living
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Waltham Butternut
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Vermicelli Squash
photo-Johnny's Seeds
Buttercup Squash

plus a big crop of summer squash as well
photo-Johnny's Seeds

photo-Park Seed
Horn of Plenty
Related Posts with Thumbnails