Thursday, April 16, 2015

lambing loves

With the Art of Spring Workshop and all the little lambs taking every-single-bit of my time, I just had to sneak in and share some of the images from the past two weeks.  Lambing is always a highlight of my year.  A mix of the most holy moments and the holy shit ones too!     
I hope springtime is reaching you...wherever you are...and that it blesses you with sunshine kisses!  

love & lambs,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

love & lambs

...learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest...

                                                                               Jesus  |  Matt 11:29

Friday, March 27, 2015

art of house week

Open House Saturday


Come on in.  But, leave your shoes on, 
we are headed out...


Art of Spring: pink cheeks & mud puddles

Our silly & joy filled springtime workshop is almost ready, 
want a sneak peek?

In all of the planning for our *springtime open house*, I have made sure to set out extra jackets, hats and scarves.  Grab what you need, it is still a bit chilly and you will want to be warm.  

Are you ready?  Bundled up?  We are taking a short walk to the outdoor studio. 

Come on in the gate...say hello to the ewes.  
This is what a springtime "welcome to our adventure" is like~
Jump into class with us - we are just getting started this week!


I hope you will forgive my sheepy addiction, hopeless lamb love affair, woolly affection and know that my heart (and art) are ready for everything that spring has to offer.  

This upcoming month is promising abundant blooms, gifts of newness, and bringing us hopeful messages for our ready hearts.  Let's grab our sketchbooks, we don't want to miss a thing.  

While coming up with ideas, I focused closely on the *short sweet projects* that we can start and finish with ease.  How does that sound?  Like a quick dose of love & inspiration in our busy lives.   
Like a daily creative vitamin?  

Oh, yes...I like that idea.  


Can I interest you in something delicious?  My sister has cooked up something sweet~

I just peeked in my oven and a plume of steamy scented yeast, cinnamon, cardamom, and orange zest hit me! We're going to enjoy a bit pan of fluffy and fat cinnamon rolls this morning - some plain and some studded with toasted pecans and golden raisins. The orange zest in our dough will be repeated with some zest in our icing drizzles....see how the icing melts down into all the swirls?  
Oh, these are going to be good! 
We're using up the end of the winter oranges today and juicing them into a big stoneware pitcher so you can pour your own. It's refreshingly chilled and such a perfect balance of tart and sweet!  

I have some gorgeous red and green apples that I'm cutting into thick slices and tossing into a pan with a quick knob of farm fresh butter, a  sprinkle of coarse salt, and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Not too much! I'm going to get them warm and starting to sizzle and let the edges get a bit of color before tossing them around in the pan. I want to keep these a little firm so we'll watch them closely and take a taste every once in a while! Just before these come off the stove we'll sprinkle a little nutmeg - or maybe cardamom - over the top and toss them quickly to coat....perfect. 

Our stoneware bowls will look so pretty with those fat rolls and toasty apples. Grab some juice, and a mug of coffee or tea, and lets get going on our projects that are coming up! Make sure you grab one of those flour sack towels from the stack on the table...I think our fingers will be sticky after this yummy meal!

Our scrumptious breakfast menu  |  Rhetta's Spring Table


While we are all together, I wanted to share the friends that have agreed to take part in this little spring workshop:

Valerie Weller  
Of course I love this girl.  We all do.  You can see her bright & blooming heart through the beauty of her art.  Her sweet additions to our classroom are already making it more lively than usual, her charming rooster is a favorite already!

Rhetta McIff
My sister, my friend and my personal masterchef-foodie-extraordinaire.  Just wait to see what she is dishing good in so many delicious ways!

Farm girls
Some lovely ladies of the farms - with adoring poems & stories to warm our hearts. Thank you for sharing your sweet words in our upcoming class.  xo


friends of the farm...with their funny little bunny

Please use what you have and what you love.  If you are not sure, wait and see how they are used in the classroom.  I love using items from my own stash, don't you?

Sketchbook and mechanical pencil - the inexpensive ones are great! 

Watercolor paints of your choice, I use several varieties at a time

Watercolor or Neocolor ll in flesh color 

Mix of watercolor brushes, watch first class video for more information 

Black uni-pins - o.1, o.2 and o.3 and a black fine-point sharpie pen

White sharpie fine-point poster paint pen and uniball signo white pen

a couple of small canvases or wood blocks (cut 5" or 6" long from 2x4 wood)

Canvas or wood panel at least an 8x10 size

Watercolor paper (hot pressed 140lb).  A larger sheet or block (I use a 12x16), an 8x8 block or loose sheets (watch the in-class project videos to see what size you want to use) 

"Paper Source" cards or small smooth surface (hot pressed) watercolor paper/cards.  I love these for art journaling watercolors.  Link here.  I use the "ecowhite" cards.  They fit so nicely in an art journal, in a card, or in a frame.

Art journal of your choice (I show you many ideas in video below).  I have purchased one for spring from Badger and Chirp, (an etsy shop I love)

Variety of acrylic paints (I love heavy body acrylics) in spring colors: magenta, yellows, white, greens, blues...

Paint brushes used for acrylic painting (an inexpensive set is great)

acrylic gesso - I use Daler-Rowney simply acrylic gesso - any type will do. 

decoupage or mod podge (matte finish) and a glue stick

Krylon workable fixatif spray 

a mix of few colorful papers, ribbons, photo corners, and a stapler

These links are just to be helpful, I am not compensated for any links I share.

Valerie's projects:

1 sheet of 16 x 20 Arches 140 LB cold press paper

Watercolors (any kind that you like and may use regularly)
(I will share my palette, as I get asked about my paints and colors often- but don't feel compelled to buy all new things)

Watercolor brushes- I like to use a #12 Round, #2 Round, #1" flat wash brush, #3/8" Angle shader or a #1/2" Angle Shader

A bone folder, ruler, and Xacto knife for cutting and folding the arches paper into a journal booklet.

A yard of of grosgrain ribbon

Extra Fine sharpie, or Pentel Stylo (If you have a fancy ink pen like a Lamy Pen, that would work too- but the sharpie is just fine for this process.)

A uniball signo white pen

and a plastic straw


“Not all of us can do great things. 
But we can do small things with great love.” 

-mother teresa

A little sketch video of springtime goodness. Grab your sketchbook & pencil...
and sketch along with me. We will finish this little watercolor together in class.


Our spring art will include pencil sketches, watercolors and acrylic projects

pigtails & pigtails
barnyard blessings
boxes of bunnies

friends of the farm
baby bulbs
well loved eggs (oh, my)

a walk to the farm
charming roosters 
(guest artist - Valerie Weller)

lambs in the willows
to market - Daisy & daisies 
(think Downton Abbey)

little black sheep blocks/canvas
piles of vintage quilts 
barn cats
& more...

Our class begins this week, sign up here: 

Art of Spring : pink cheeks & mud puddles

A great price for soooo many projects!  


Art journal helps - some ideas for making your very own at home.

Let's keep it simple. 
Springtime art that is simple, joyful, and nourishing - start to finish. 


Invite family and friends...such *springtime merriment* - colorful stories from the barnyard, playful sketches and art, and delicious meals should be shared with those we love!   

I will see you on Wednesday~
love & lambs to you,


Thursday, March 26, 2015

in anticipation of spring

Can I just tell you how much I adore you?


Saturday, March 7, 2015

pink cheeks & mud puddles

I can feel it already.  

It's just around the corner...


To me, the anticipation of spring is like looking forward to a huge event each year.  The longer days of playful sun, bright blue sky, and a warm breeze makes it easier to get up and about, right?  And add to that - every new gift the season offers: the budding trees, the little shoots of peonies, the migrating birds and the newest babes in the barnyard.  Our list of grateful newness just grows and grows!  

Every single gift makes me smile with joy.  Does it do the same to you, too? 

Obviously the lambs are a HUGE part - my youngest son, helping at the farm

Our new Spring workshop starts in April.   

My heart is full of joyful ideas for a spring class, one that is engaged in the wild and playful abundance that this season offers.  I want to invite you to come with me... to be captivated by what is just outside our doors.  To grab our jackets, muddy boots, and  jump into all new ideas awaiting us.

 Over a dozen, divinely touched, hope-filled, and lighthearted projects 
to gift our hearts and homes. 

The Art of Spring : pink cheeks & mud puddles

Our workshop is already being filled with so many adorable projects in all types of mixed mediums.  
We will be filling our sketchbooks, art journals, canvases, blocks, and spring studios with the this year's most precious things:

pigtails & pigtails
barnyard blessings
boxes of bunnies

friends of the farm
baby bulbs
well loved eggs (oh, my)

a walk to the farm
charming roosters 
(with a lovely guest artist)

lambs in the pussy willows

to market - Daisy & daisies 
(think Downton Abbey)

little black sheep
piles of vintage quilts 
barn cats

and more... 

a welcome message from me each week

& spring treats from my favorite chef - Rhetta - yes!

Our art will include pencil sketches, watercolors and acrylic projects.


Once purchased, this Art of Spring workshop is yours to keep.
I will send you a confirmation email within 48 hours and a welcome email on the day of class.

Our online Open House is HERE

The Art of Spring : pink cheeks & mud puddles

 Class begins Wednesday, April 1st 

3 full weeks of workshop instruction 
easy online access 24/7 at your fingertips
every level of ability welcome  
a teacher who adores you and your art 
over a dozen unique and personal art projects (with many extra sketching ideas) 
delicious Springtime recipes and instruction 
merriment & stories from the blessed barnyard 
a riotous & very loving private online facebook group


A great price for soooo many projects!  

This is a perfect season to watch with our artful eyes - 
it is brimming with new delights everyday!


I have an original Art of Spring Workshop and  I love every adorable and meaningful project.  

If you didn't have a chance to take the Original Art of Spring, all of the information is right here:

a 12 project, art-at-your-own-pace,  online workshop 

These are just a few of our many more! 


"Life doesn't have to be to perfect to be beautiful"

love & lambs,

Thursday, March 5, 2015

happy Saturdays and sweet sheeps

I love Saturdays.

And, even more special?

Saturdays devoted to art.  Oh...I looove that.  

It has been a whirl of colorful fun, a month of weekends devoted to our Saturday Mornings 2 class.  Every bit as fun as the first (I think - even though we did miss Downton Abbey this time), we have been all over the place with colors and styles and fresh ideas.  So many ideas!

We were really quite orderly and well until the Great British Bake Off projects came about, then our classroom really took off with pastries and cakes galore!  We have a bakery full of cakes/cupcakes on facebook that are ready to be shared in the classroom.  


Seriously,  it is the wildest and most fun I have had in my studio (and the kitchen) in a long time.  So fun!


Just of few of our clever ideas this time around...and the projects are now instantly ready in the classroom.  Just sign up - easy.  Over a dozen projects and many dozens more sketching ideas!  

Here are all the details:  Saturday Mornings 2 : love & whimsy

and our original class (with Downton Abbey):  Saturday Mornings 

If you were on the bench about it, you really shouldn't is really that fun.  They are so Simple.  Adorable.  Doable.  Easily giftable.  And (as I am obligated to state) highly, highly addictive.


This is also happening this week.

Snow + sheep = a heavenly mix.  

It was quite the morning of wet and woolly fun at the farm.  I can't remember being that soaked (and smiling that big) in a long time.  The sheep were so attentive (because I was laughing).  They were just so adorable in all of that fluffy soft snow.

I even caught a few smiling at me, I am quite sure of it, in their merriment of the big snowflakes falling.  They are such good friends.  Good listeners and so willing to patiently listen to me and all that I have to share.  I remind them of springtime, we talk about the littlest lambs, and share all the hopes and happiness that is yet to be.  (It may sound a bit crazy...but it is true...they are lovely friends to have.)

I hope you will join me here this weekend...for our soon-to-be Springtime Workshop that is in the works.  All of the sweet ideas, details, treats and dates will be available and it is ewe approved.  True, I checked and I can hardly wait to share the fun!

In the grace & peace of the One who loves us like little lambs,
wrapped in His goodness,


Friday, February 13, 2015

paper hearted

From our current Saturday Mornings Class...little heart blocks.

Tenderhearted with my little paper heart.

I think the middle of February has always been this way for me.  The holiday falling between the big deep snowfalls and the wistful way I viewed the ideals of romantic love.  My heart, a mix of every sweet love story you can think of, so caught up in the infatuation of it all.  Honestly, hopeless...I have always been addicted to love.

I am a sappy romantic.
I am a hopeless idealist.
And...I really

My tenderheartedness comes from a deep place.  
A place that knows love and loss.  

Many, many come from this place.  I am not alone.  We hold hands through these times, don't we? 

Too many times spent hoping, wishing, and kneeling - longing for something different - something to change.  And a tired mind, trying to hard to make up for what the heart wished it had.  
I had a heart that was too broken to be mended and had to be made new.  

Have you ever just asked for a brand new heart? 

It may sound sad, but it isn't.  

There is a gift of new life that accompanies those that fall into the arms of God's grace.  When our own ideas, strength, and desires fall apart and we crumble into his hands.   His heart is for us.  He knows every tear, He comforts every sadness,  He makes us smile (and laugh loudly) with things He knows we love.  

For me today, it is the the dancing lambs in the field and the big owl bobbing his head from the big tree.  He knows.

His love is what our heart wants most of all.
Real.  Honest.  Adoring.  Never ending. 

I pray, that if you are in a place of quiet tenderness, wanting and needing to be loved, you will open yourself to what new-heartedness is offered.   Perhaps you will quietly hold out your hands and hold out your heart, and be willing and expectant that God's love will cover, embrace, begin to warm you.  

I can't imagine a better Valentine.  

Grace & Peace, 


And please don't think for a minute that I don't love a sweet box of chocolates, a bunch of fresh flowers or a little heart shaped note...I do!    

{Paper Hearted}

Yes to this sweet book!

A beautiful friend is sharing a new story.   It is a brand new offering from Courtney Walsh, called Paper Hearts.  A darling story that I can't wait to read.  I am still and will always be a hopeless romantic you know.  Hopeless...Lol! 

I think any beautifully told story that bring our  hearts back to a place of love are worth sharing and telling.  I am so grateful for writers that do just that!  Thank you so much Courtney, for bringing a story to life that makes our hearts so happy!  

I also think her book's trailer is a fun watch, you will love it.   She is also welcoming so many artists and friends to take part in her launching of this precious story, you will want to see how all of these lovely ladies take in the message and thought behind Courtney's Paper Hearted theme.  She is doing a giveaway as that! 

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