Monday, October 31, 2011


First, a little pumpkin fairy would like to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!  She has found mommy's wallet, I think she is trying to tell me we need to go to the store and buy candy...

Working on a big custom framing project at the moment and will post photos in a few weeks of the finished product.  In the meantime, I adore these old photos of my husband's grandmother on his mom's side. They are absolutely precious and I had some frames stored away in our basement and found them to be perfect matches for the old, vintage style.  I have the perfect spot in mind for our room which is painted a rust, orangeish, redish tone.  (ps...don't you just love the porcelain doll?)

Friday, October 28, 2011

history in the house

Maybe it is because my husband is reading The True Life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots and I am almost done with the 800 page 17th century romance novel, Forever Amber, that has inspired me to recently feel the urge to:

A) Shine my silver (who voluntarily does this today? Ugh...not sure what is wrong with me):

And B):

Begin painting a piece depicting what I think the rebellious and daring Amber St. Clare may have looked like after she recovered from the plague.  I am a firm believer that artists are inspired by their subconscious and I often times will be mid-way through a painting and figure out where it came from.

Lately I have had an obsession with combining funky shapes, colors, patterns and modern elements with traditional subjects. 

Amber enjoying the sweet scent of roses in contrast to what will be a modern, graphic backdrop of colors and forms.  When I took a Summer en plein air painting course at The Torpedo Factory years ago my instructor emphasized just throwing color on the canvas and going from there.  So, I'm just throwing color on right now...we'll see what happens to Amber as I work.

20" x 20"...acrylic on cotton and I am sure I will use pencil, crayon and a hodge podge of other things

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

remember these?

found them nestled away in the children's section at the library.  Had to get them!

Monday, October 24, 2011


12" x 16" acrylic, gold drawing ink and pencil on canvas with polycrylic finish.  Edges painted rose.

Dance, laugh, drink, sing, love

Sunday, October 23, 2011

chartreuse & co


2 huge barns, many vendors, to die for prices and a gazillion things that will make your heart go pitter patter.  Just go....there is a holiday tag sale Nov 4-6.  I'm sure Jenny and I will be there. 

Got this darling little table today...$49 at that:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a bit of kitsch

I have never been a needle point kind of gal and when it comes to Leila I'm not much of a fan for anything "princessy."  However...exceptions can be made.  Although long, it is a gorgeous 5 hour drive to my parent's house through the Shenandoah Valley...Bath County, Va and more.  If you take the time to stop, you can stumble upon some really fabulous places in the towns you pass.  Karen's Emporium in Churchville, VA is just one of them.  So Mom and Pop she has no website and greets you with a warm "Hey, how you doin'?" in her thick Southern accent every time.

I had passed her store time and time again.  Finally, Leila and I stopped...just the two of us.  I needed to nurse her, change her diaper, etc...she was only a few months old.  Karen welcomed us with open arms and let us do everything we needed to while we talked and I learned more about her.  She and her husband live in an old church they are renovating and her husband makes signs for her store
 (read more about this below.) 

During that visit I found this needle point piece that I had to get...every home should have one piece that has a little kitsch.  As we left, she gave Leila a little stuffed duck and told us to come back.

Got rid of the 1970's look and painted the frame a taupe:

The next time we stopped at Karen's her husband was there.  He is an incredible artist who free hands custom signs for personal and commercial purposes.  Probably most well known for creating all of the signs as you enter the town of Princeton, NJ...he is also old website : (

As we left, he insisted we have this sign for Leila which he made:

I am working on my own kitschy painting at the moment.  I had an urge to paint roses and some funky happiness...and this is what happened.  Will post photo when done.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I love how places so far away can have such a universal feel.  Just wrapped up this painting of Siena, Italy...however I can't help but think of Frederick, Baltimore, the towns through Philly you pass on the train up to NYC or NYC itself.  The paint is built up with texture and layers.  Acrylic, pen, crayon and bronze drawing ink on textured cotton with polycrylic finish.  10" x 10" x 1.5" deep.  Will be up on Etsy soon!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

jereme seams

My sister asked for some photos of Leila's nursery several weeks ago...received this darling custom pillow as a baptism gift over the weekend which was made based on the photos.  Love!

She is just getting started, but check out the artist's new blog.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The hitting toddler

Two weeks ago at library class Leila decided to exercise her new found love of hitting other children.  Fabulous, a mother's worst nightmare...I am trying to figure out how to end this phase stat.  I politely approached the little girl's mother and apologized for Leila's aggressiveness towards sweet Claire.  Good thing I did!  She was very nice and we got to talking and found out our little girls are only 2 months apart.  Two play dates later and many lessons in sharing and not hitting (on Leila's part), Jenny and I seem to have a lot in common besides being new moms.  We both love sprucing up second hand furniture and design and she told me about Chartreuse and Co. (can't believe I hadn't heard about it!)...if all works out hopefully we can leave the girls with our husbands this weekend and go searching for a few hours!  I have a serious issue with places like this...for me it is comparable to being in an art gallery, art supply store or stomach does somersaults I get so darn excited!  Must remain calm. day when I was in Italy I took the train (by myself!) to Siena for the day and did this loose, gestural sketch in marker.  I recently translated it to canvas using acrylic on cotton (or shower curtain I should say...I had this shower curtain I loved and eventually shrunk it in the wash and didn't have the heart to throw it out.)  Voila!  Shower curtain is now painting backdrop.  It's a small, funky, super thick and super fun painting...almost finished but not quite.


Leila seeing her first cow over the weekend.  She said "MOOO" when she saw him.

More pics to come, but here's one from the weekend with just 3 of her 17 cousins before her baptism.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

One year ago today

you were born and were brave enough to enter this bright, strange world.

Momma held you close and we bonded as mothers and daughters do.

Dada loved on you like you wouldn't believe and it was a beautiful thing to see.

You slowly became your own little being, your personality shining through.

Winter passed and Spring came.

And you discovered new sights...

and new heights.

You are a sweet little girl who learned to talk...and to walk.

And this morning, open your first birthday present.

Like your name, you have blossomed into a beautiful flower...happy birthday, baby girl.

Monday, October 03, 2011

the handmade ornament

It's no secret that I am a sucker for all things handmade.  When I was growing up, like most, I loved decorating our Christmas tree each year and I loved even more all of the ornaments with photos.  You know the ones you make for your parents in kindergarten with your school photo...the older you got the more embarrassing it was to see.  My husband and I have a huge box full of black and white photos of us growing up which I made into ornaments and hung on tree branches to use on our centerpieces at our wedding reception.  Now, we use them as our Christmas ornaments so our entire tree is full of black and white photos.  love it.

I decided to make a few Christmas ornaments for my sister and brother in law using pics from the last year as a small gift to give them this weekend...they are Leila's Godparents.  They will be here for her baptism and first birthday party on's a small token of appreciation but I'm sure will get many years of use: