Thursday, August 6, 2015

pretty & practical

I am a collector of loves. 
  are you too?

As a granddaughter of a generation steeped in war and sacrifice, I am humbled by the gifts that my Grandmothers continually share with me. Both have passed and both are so very missed.  Their daily reminders aren't necessarily their journals or photos (though I value what has been shared with me greatly), it is actually through the things they lovingly used in life that keep me closest to them.

It is what they used in their daily lives that has come to live with me:

handpainted benches 
needlepointed pillows 
gorgeous original paintings
tiny stitched purses 
tattered kitchen cloths 
candy dishes
a butter churn (painted hot pink)
cream and sugars
the cutest salt & peppers

and their choice of colors that speak to my artist heart, too.  Yes!

As I look around me, they are everywhere-here with me.  To have them a daily part of my life is a living memory, the story my grandmothers have left behind, "Be careful with the money you have. Save and spend on the best things. Tend and mend the things you love.  Create a space of beauty.  Choose the things that are pretty & practical."  I can't say that these things were ever spoken, but the messages are clear in the sweet treasures I hold.

In the time I knew my grandmothers, I was unknowingly collecting, and now cherish not only the things around me but what they remind me of...
To share and care for what you have.
Have candy or coffee at the ready.
To touch - hold a hand, hug, kiss your grown children.
To listen. They were the best listeners I have ever met.
& To use, repurpose, and love the simple things.
Do you feel the same way?

I am sure this is why Jeanne Oliver's latest offering really spoke to my heart, she is a loving collector of these same beautiful treasures and she is taking the time to really delve into the heart of home.  I think I love that.

With her invitation, I want to share a course I am in love with already.  It is so beautiful!

Look at the intro to this lovely event:

Each week will contain step by step videos with decorating, cooking, gardening, entertaining, housekeeping and much more!

The following will be shared:  The Art of Farm to Table, The Art of Gathering, The Art of Domestic Moxie and The Art of Reclaimed Style.

This four week course is your favorite home and cooking magazines come to life!

Maybe it will even bring back sweet memories and we will all learn from each other.
Come join us...
The early registration price for this four week online course is $42.99.  This course will begin on September 15, 2015 and you will have LIFETIME ACCESS* to the videos. 

Week One
The Art of Farm to Table
This week is all about gardening, cooking and preserving food.

Week Two
The Art of Gathering
This week is all about opening your home and creating a space where people feel loved and special.

Week Three
The Art of Domestic Moxie
This week is all about creative and fun ways to keep your home.

Week Four
The Art of Reclaimed Style
This week is all about using what you have and finding new uses for found objects.

"I grew up with a large garden, morning cereal often had fresh berries from the backyard, clothes hung on the line, the sound of the sewing machine filled our home and my mom’s homemade grape juice is still one of my favorite things on earth.  I have always loved home and home is the place I want others to feel loved too.

Over the years I have also heard other women talk about things their moms or grandmothers did to make their homes special and practical.  Torn knees were patched, everything was made from scratch, fresh produce was preserved for winter and someone was stitching something sweet and lovely.  I think that many of us want to make sure we preserve some of our favorite memories and make them a part of own modern lives.  We want to create an artisan home!

When we can embrace our handmade home and see the beauty in the little things then our homemaking becomes art!   It is not perfect and the beauty is actually in embracing the imperfection.  It is following my Grandma Jeanne’s advice to only surround yourself with things you truly love and use.  It is pulling out your prettiest things and not saving them for company but lavishing your family daily.  It is not apologizing when your home is messy and inviting friends and neighbors in anyways.  It is about allowing your home and gifts to be used to do something sweet in you and those around you!  It is about sitting down with moms and grandmothers and grandfathers and hearing about their stories and finding your story in the midst of it.  It is about passing on the best of it to our children and grandchildren. 
I am so excited to open registration for Art of Home | Modern Simple Living. This course came about while talking and cooking with my mom and sister.  My sister and I both couldn’t stop smiling about the heart of the course which was including the older people in our lives and listening to the ways they were taught how to make art of home!"                                              Jeanne Oliver

I know you are as head-over-heels about the content, too.  I am going to take some time this year for this beautiful course and I wanted to see if you want to join me?  I anticipate we will both encounter delicious and memorable moments of...home. 

My Grandmothers also treasured their travels -- pilgrimages,
and this is something special I will be sharing soon, too.


Friday, July 31, 2015

the next...

It has been a wild summer! 

Our wonderfully successful *Summer Faire* workshop is in full bloom.  We have so many artists creatively engaged in all new projects, painting the most beautiful art and having a great time. too!  

I get so excited about my art when we all paint together -- I love being caught up in all of your creativeness.  It is pure joy.  Painting alongside you, my friend, is my favorite part of living a creative life - it's true!  

My sweet little cottage (our stonehouse) in the mulberry trees sold last week and we only had a week to close.  We frantically worked to get it ready for the new owners while tearfully saying goodbye to a decade of adventures+healing+hopefilled+moments+memories.  

I am still so caught up in that bittersweet place of holding on to it all -- while knowing it is time to move on.  Ouch, right?  

The huge key I am holding (above) fit our old front door.  So precious.

Now the new adventures begin.  

I have a few things coming up soon that I want you to know about.  I will be in Italy in September (next year) and I want to make sure you are invited!  I have two trips will want to look through both.  They are each uniquely created, divinely prepared, and filled with so much love!

If you haven't been to is your turn!

Being invited as a guest artist on these trips is a dream come true, but having you come with me would be *the best ever* collision of heaven & earth I can imagine.  

Beautiful Lake Como
September 10-17, 2016

I took this trip last year.  

It was much more than I ever hoped it would be.  Italy is a gift of heart.  It has a richness and depth of places, times, peoples, and the most beautiful warm light that makes everything look like it is right out of a fairytale!  It settles on your heart and stays with you forever (like spending a moment in heaven - I am serious).  I honestly stood on the shores of Lake Como and joyfully cried, it is that beautiful.  

The landscapes, art, people, and daily interactions -- lavish you with color, depth, and overwhelming gratitude for those that came before us.  What a wild treasure of history to experience.  It is breathtaking. 

For all the details on our Art & Faith Creative Retreat - please visit Laura's site.  She has such a heart for women and she loves to share all she finds.  It is a trip of the heart for sure!  She has every question answered and would love to hear from you, too.

Laura has a wonderful payment plan (that I used last year) and is so helpful with travel tips, too!

I have a very special collection of Wild Faith projects I have saved just for this will love the adventure in Faith & Art that we have planned.  Yes! 

Beautiful Orvieto...
September 18-24, 2016

My other wildly fun week in Italy will be spent in Orvieto with Kristin Steiner.  I fell in love with this place through photography.  I was sold on the beauty...the heart of this amazing place simply shines.  The images that I have encountered and the reviews I have read, told me Kristin and her husband are special people, and that this is a place I need to experience for myself.  It holds my heart.

After speaking with them by phone, I was captivated.  I am on a pilgrimage this year (my upcoming workshops) and this is where I need to be.  Does it speak to your heart as well?  Are you ready for a new pilgrimage in your life?  (We will talk about this in detail this fall) 

I hope your heart will lead you here with me...

We will have a whole week together - me & you.  I have a collection of special projects just for this specific place and time, too, beautiful art to create together!  And with hosts like Kristin, I know we will be lavished in attention and love.  Our week will be full of Italy's best.  We will be staying a delightful old monastery and treated to fresh markets, romantic meals, special moments in 14th century cathedrals, and visual surprises awaiting us every day.  

I am so excited -- I can't wait!   

All the details are here.  She has an easy payment plan and all kinds of helps with travel.

Stepping into a trip like this is very life affirming and faith building, it is so exciting.  I know it can be frightening to try something new, but you are with me, and God's hands are on us -- both!  You won't be disappointed.  

We will embark on this wonderful adventure together...and it will be heavenly!

If you have questions, I am available: |

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Faire Open House

Open House Picnic

Hello sweet friend...I was sooo hoping you would make it!
(Hugs and kisses all around)  

Come and see what I have 
-just for you-

Summer Faire  |  Online Workshop

We are headed out on a picnic today!

*   *   *
It has been so fun this month, bringing sketches together and thinking of you.  I always get so excited for summer workshops that I can hardly function as a normal person.  I am sketching and imagining at the grocery store and in line at the post office (no wonder they whisper about me).  There is no end to creative is everywhere!  I just sketch away thinking and wondering if you will pick yellow...or pink...or my favorite blue.    
Summer mornings (and evenings) have such beauty, don't they?  It is as if we chill out and let our sweet artist hearts have a break from our stress.  We are more apt to sketch on our porches, more willing to sink our toes in the grass and sand and experience the world around us.  Does summer speak to you too?    
Each morning I grab my cool drink and skip to my studio.  I seriously do!  Right now, it is filled with bright colors, fresh (and buggy) blooms, and plastered with photos and sketches of summer's most wonderful things. This is truly what I hope for you as well, an artist life that is abundantly blessed with life's amazing gifts.   

Heavens, I need to be a better hostess...
Let's get you a cool drink and see what our chef has prepared.
*   *   *

The sun is out and we have things to do! Let’s take our snacks with us today so we don’t lose a minute of the fun… 

I’ve packed a little bag of goodies for each of you that we can eat along the way! We’re taking nice big water bottles filled with chopped frozen fruit to keep it chilled….frozen grapes and slices of lime are my favorite! Perhaps you want the frozen pineapple and cherries? Oh...try the watermelon! Those cold bites of sweet fruit are so refreshing!
So nothing can spoil were snacking on a pearl couscous salad packed full of chopped cucumbers, little bits of preserved lemons, grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, fresh mint, and crumbled feta. We’ve dressed it with a simple vinaigrette and there’s a little roll of fresh flatbread you can scoop with but there is also a’s probably at the bottom of the bag where all spoons go! These flavors just melt together and are so refreshing…  This salad would be good with lentils, too, or quinoa, or white beans! Oh my.   
Oh...for those adventurous eaters I've tossed in some jicama sticks, carrot sticks, sliced fennel bulb, and sweet baby radishes to snack on. There, in your bag, is a cute little container of fresh hummus to dip them in. Fresh hummus is so fun to make and tastes so good. We are going to keep our energy high for all the adventures we’re going to have! (Is there some reason you are all drawing your radishes instead of eating them?)  
When we’re tired and ready for a break come back to the kitchen, grab a chair and put your feet up...I have adorable little ice cream cones with a sweet scoop of gelato. I couldn’t help it - I made pistachio, raspberry, and salted caramel. A scoop of each? I just can’t choose. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors of this summers events!  
Welcome to our Summer Faire...  
Rhetta McIff

Rhetta, our bon vivant - fresh & delish chef, is serving up the most wonderful farm-fresh, bright and lively, dishes for us again this summer. I am always awe of the things she is able to create, she is an adoring (and adorable) food-maker.   
She makes the kind of art that you can eat. Now, that is brilliant!   
Even if you don't jump into every art project, I know you will want every recipe. Her fresh offerings are so captivating!

We also have one of my favorite guest teachers with us this summer. Oh my goodness - I am in love with Valerie Wellers heart and art.  You too?   
She seems to live a life of colorful loveliness.   
Her love of teaching artist-hearts is so evident. She is so good at sharing techniques, a  wide variety of ideas, and her love of color is so wild!  I love that! Her projects are full of great content with thoughtful meaning and an abundance of love mixed in.  
When she shared with me the projects she had planned each week, I couldn't believe how lucky we are!  What a treat!  

our guest artist - Valerie Weller

*   *   *

While you are sampling the tasty treats, let me tell you what we have planned. 
Our workshop this summer is a mix of 
*sumptuous spirited summerlicious joy*  
It can't get much better than that! 

We have daily garden giftings, maker-creations, romantic sketches and watercolors, summer sparks and muses, art that tells stories, and instruction that gives us permission to play...sometimes the reminder "It's okay to play in your paint" helps us get our feet wet (and then we jump right in!)    

fast . easy . fresh 

We are filling our three weeks together with easy sketching, watercolors, art journaling, and makery:  
a favorite mailbox collection
market fresh wreaths
kitchen window cottages

ice cream & gelatos
tomatoes & "basil" the cat
potted herbs and vintage seeds

bikes & blooms - stops & smells
street fair treasures
summer porch art

garden steps, stoops, and stories
a big summer canvas (or creative art journal pages)

...and new scrumptious recipes to try, too!

Each week, on Saturday, our classroom will be filled with brand new projects, instructions, tips and helps, fresh recipes, and creative ideas. Each project will be listed in the classroom in order -- for anyone that is new to any of our mixed media techniques it will be easy to follow.  
Dozens of fresh sketches are included each week.  Photos and videos of each project are available and easy to access on multiple devices (computers, laptops, ipads, phones).  You will be sooo immersed with ideas and techniques your sketchbooks will be filled with joyful projects to keep your art going all summer long! 

Summer Faire

We will have three FULL weeks of inspiring and spirited art
& a delicious mix of fresh organic recipes. 

Projects to keep your fingers, tummies, and  hearts full of creative fun~ 
available all summer (and lifetime access) long!

Class begins Friday evening,  July 10

Each week's projects will be immediately available on each Saturday for three weeks. 
You will have access from any computer with your passwords.  
So simple!

(an amazing price for all the content!)


You will receive an email confirmation and welcome letter within 48 hours of signing up.  
          *Please make sure to give me your preferred email address when you complete your payment. 


materials list: 
***I strongly encourage you to grab a basket and shop your own stash. You may want to see the projects first before purchasing supplies.These are many of the items Valerie and I use in our projects, and you are always welcome to substitute

watercolor paper - a pad, notebook, or block of 140 LB cold press & hot press paper (Arches, Cotman, Strathmore Mixed Media - vellum, Windsor & Newton) any size you like. For some projects sheets 9 x 12 or larger will work best.  

watercolor brushes -  a mix of “watercolor” brushes, like:  #12 round, #8 round, #6 round, #2 round, #1" flat wash brush, #3/8" angle shader or a #1/2" angle shader and a mop brush. You may want to choose a variety package or use what you have and love. 

watercolor paints - (we discuss this in class)  Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artists' Crayon Sets or Angoras are great starter sets. I am using Sennelier. Valerie is using Holbein & Windsor Newton.

watercolor palette - a surface to mix your paints 
clipboard - large enough to hold your watercolor paper

mechanical pencil
sketchbook - one you will use
white eraser

art journal - any type - store purchased or homemade 
book paper, random colorful papers
photo corners 

wood blocks (from a 2x4, cut in squares/rectangles) or thick/wide canvases
fine sand paper 
white gesso - I like Daler-Rowney

Krylon workable fixative spray
black pen -  uni-pen 0.1, 0.2  
white pen - uniball signo pen

white acrylic paint - I prefer Golden brand heavy-body acrylic paint
summer palette of regular acrylic paints - you choose
extra soft artist pastel white or soft white chalk

matte decoupage
sharpie fine point pen in black (or other mixed media pens) 
needle & thread
small pieces of fabric (a summer variety)


Now, can I interest you in a little Open House Project?  

Oh, I hope so...we are going on a picnic!


We will finish our *picnic collection* in class along with 
some of these fun projects in our first week:

 *   *   *
Try something new.  You will be stunned by your own darling art (from your very own fingertips). My workshops provide simple, easy to follow instruction, a loving and a wildly supportive artist community, and the gift of *merriment* throughout the summer. 
I will be with you, too -- in our online facebook group with help and encouragement.  Whether you are new to art or have been with me for a long time...we are going to have a great summer adventure together!  I can hardly wait!!!
 love & gesso,

 *   *   *

A special treat for those that missed our original summer open house - Wildflowers.  Here is an adorable summer project to add to your summer collections!  

May I sit with you?  xo

Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer Faire - our new summertime online workshop

Are you ready? 

Summer Faire
{to do. to make. to say. to go. to be}
our online *summertime workshop*

For those that have taken my summertime courses, you know the joyful mischief we get into.  
It is always a treasured few weeks of playful fun together -- I never want it to end!

If you haven't tried a summer workshop with really should.

So silly.
Wonderfully simple and wildly colorful projects.
Joyful messages of hope.
And organic deliciousness, too.
(Last years Farmer's Market was a hit!)

You really can't find a more wholesome and fresh mix of fun.

We also boast the very best collection of artists to share it with as well!

This summer is full of just this:  joyful, faith-filled, and simply sweet art. 
You are welcome to sit and stay - breathe and be - and spend time in this artist community with me.

Let's bring along things that summer days/nights invite: new adventures,
exciting creative ideas to try, fresh faith filled moments, and new friends to meet. 

Once again we will have delicious recipes with the freshest ingredients

just from the market -- treasures of beauty and so good for us, too!


& a special guest artist that I know you love, Valerie Weller, 
that has planned a mix of her favorite summer loves too.


You definitely want to come with us, this will be too fun to miss.  
There is  already so much goodness planned!!!

a favorite mailbox collection
market fresh wreaths
kitchen window cottages

ice cream & gelatos
tomatoes & "basil" the cat
potted herbs and vintage seeds

bikes & blooms - stops & smells
street fair treasures
summer porch art

garden steps, stoops, and stories
a big summer canvas (or creative art journal pages)

...and more!

Always...dozens of sketching projects for: art journals, canvas art, block art, watercolors, acrylics, pen & ink, collaging, and photography ideas.  Loads of instruction and new fun ideas to try! 

oh yes...silliness is always our best friend.

Summer Faire

We will have three FULL weeks of inspiring and spirited art
& a delicious mix of fresh organic meals. 

Projects to keep your fingers, tummies, and  hearts full of creative fun~ 
available all summer (and lifetime access) long!

Class begins Friday,  July 10

Each week's projects will be immediately available on each Friday for three weeks. 
You will have access from any computer with your passwords.  
So simple!


an amazing price for all the content!

You will receive an email confirmation and welcome letter within 48 hours of signing up.  
          *Please make sure to give me your preferred email address when you complete your payment.  

Open House for our Summer Faire workshop will be here on my blog,
Wednesday, July 1.  All material lists will be available then.  

I can't wait to see you!



My other Summertime Workshops: 

(sign up)


(sign up) 


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