Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Marshmallows and Wine

Do marshmallows and red wine go together??   Well, sure ... if its early spring, and you are sitting by the fire  with your sweetie, waiting for the full moon to rise ---    then marshmallows and red wine are perfect together!!

Folks Like Us

Yesterday Cathy and I spent the day hanging our artwork getting ready for the show that opens on Friday, titled "Folks Like Us".   It was a cold, rainy day - not at all what we wish for in Spring.  Once we got everything inside we could stay dry for a while.  We shuffled her pieces and my pieces, looking for the best arrangement to please the eye.  We think we have a great show in the works.  Even the bank manager stopped by to say how much she liked our art and how well our pieces work together.  That was nice to hear.

We took a break for a late lunch and walked the long way back in the rain, stopping into art galleries and admiring old buildings, budding gardens, and the promise of spring.    Then we had a fresh look at our gallery, made a few adjustments and left feeling confident in our presentation. 

We are both looking forward to the opening reception Friday, April 2, from 5-8 pm  -- 211 High Street, Chestertown,  if you are in the area be sure to come by and say hello   --- I'll have pictures on Friday

Sunday, March 28, 2010

DIVA Dinner

Our DIVA (Discovering Individual Vision & Ability) group has been getting together on a sort of regular basis for 4 years now.  We all met in a 6 week class on Introduction to Interior Design.  When the classes were over we stuck together.  We started out discussing design projects, makeover ideas, and DYI lessons.   We visited each other's homes, make a variety of crafts - from floor cloths to mosaics & stepping stones - and we always have a great meal!!

This week's meeting with the DIVAs was a cooperative dinner at Marian's house.   Marian and Diana coordinated the main dishes for our meal, Marian hosted at her lovely home, and the rest of  the group filled in with appetizers, salad, bread and wine!!   As usual, we ended up with a feast.

Diana made chicken, & artichokes in bechamel sauce PLUS she made Pots De Creme with Frangelica for dessert!  Yum........   Marian made chicken with fennel & onion, with a wine & pine nut sauce.  It was so delicious.   Then we were seated in Marian's lovely dining room and raised a glass to friendship, good food, and more good times to come. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Marking 11 years!!

Thank you, Bob - thank you for the flowers, the gifts, the celebration - and for giving me such a great place to work -- and, thanks Steve --  for wine, friendship, and a helpful spirit always .

Wow - can it really be 11 years already?    In a small town even a casual comment can change your life.  Back in 1999 when I heard Robert Ortiz was looking for a 'helper', I made a casual remark about how much I admired his work.  He makes original design furniture that is so exquisite its a real work of art.  Little did I know that I would have the good fortune to work with him and not only see first hand, but also be part of,  his amazing creations.  He took me in with no experience and taught me how to finish furniture that everyone wants to caress.   Along the way he has taught me so much more.  He's a capable, kind and patient teacher.  He sets high standards for himself and makes those of us who work with him want to rise to our best level too.    Every March he indulges me to celebrate my 'anniversary' with the wood shop -- today Bob, Steve and I had lunch,  filled with good food, good friendship and lively conversation   - in a small town there's always something to talk about  ---  and sometimes it will change your life.

This bubinga top looks like it has 'hills and valleys' - but I assure you -- its totally flat
Here, I'm working on a mahogany case with a wenge top  --- wenge is a beautiful chocolate brown wood with a fine straight grain, from Africa.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Big Show Countdown

Cathy and I are both spending our days preparing for the April Show.  I've finished painting, but now I'm concentrating on 'presentation' --- It kind of feels like when I used to dance on stage.  Learning the steps was only the beginning - then we had to rehearse the 'style' of the number and the 'staging' of the show.   

I painted several new screens for this show - and I cant wait to see how they are received - but painting the piece is only the beginning.  Even though I'm very happy with them, I want to present them in a way that everyone can appreciate.

 I know Cathy is working on lots of new pieces too.   Together we will be hosting the Opening Reception from 5-8 pm  - April 2 at PNC Bank, 211 High Street, Chestertown--  come visit with us - cheer us on - and have a glass of wine ..  We'll be the two with the biggest smiles (plus name tags:)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baltimore Screens

If you find yourself strolling the neighborhoods of East Baltimore you will be treated to a unique form of folk art.  Ever since William Oktavec painted the first screen in 1913 residents of Baltimore have been displaying these pastoral scenes on their windows and doors.   It's a perfect way for the city dweller to gain a bit of daytime privacy.  They can have their windows open and allow the breezes in because the people walking by see only the beautiful paintings - while those inside can see straight through. 

During the 30's and 40's these screens were so popular it is estimated there were over 100,000, mostly in the neighborhoods of Canton and Highlandtown in East Baltimore.  The traditional scenes most often show a red-roofed cottage - and a pond with swans.

I'm very pleased to say that I will have a gallery showing of my Baltimore Screens in Chestertown for the month of April.  I'm sharing the show with my friend, Cathy Edwards, who paints wonderful traditional folk art.   Join us Friday, April 2 at 6pm for the opening reception --
211 High Street
Chestertown, MD
Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sand, Surf ... and Art

Art classes in Virginia Beach are the BEST!!   Last week 24 of us, plus our talented teacher, Beth Wagner, all gathered at the beach for a great week of friendship and art classes.   Beth guided us through Beautiful Backgrounds, Floral Collage, Roses & Hydrangeas - and Tulips on Lace. 
Plus ... Goodie Bags for everyone!!

We get lots of personal attention from the teacher

Beth is there for all our questions, she guides us through each step of our projects, making sure they all turn out beautiful - and we have learned the lessons to take home with us so we can work on our own.

Wednesday morning we had a celebration in the bar to watch the Martha Stewart show - where it was revealed that I won a FABULOUS trip to Singapore!!   We toasted Martha, me, each other - and Singapore!!  You can see us there in the bar  - and behind the bar --(it was before lunch)!

Back to work ---
-- we had door prizes each day --
  The winner was "Princess" for the day- note the crown :)
There was birthday cake ...... and flowers in our hair ..
The whole group would agree --sand, surf, and art classes at the beach  are THE BEST!!
We're already planning next year!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hello, Brian

It was GREAT to hear from you -- please email and send me your email -- would love to catch up with you

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lovely Lettering

Oh so many years ago I took some calligraphy classes and have enjoyed lettering envelopes for brides and fancy parties ever since.   But my love of beautiful handwriting is much older than that.  My friend, Becky, and I have been styling our lettering since way back in high school, where we'd meet  in between classes and marvel at each other's newest designs.  And, guess what ....?  She does calligraphy, too - and beautifully.  My latest project is lettering envelopes for a dear friend's 50th wedding anniversary party.  There's a lot more that goes into such a project than just writing.   First, I set up my 'light box' -- which is my glass top dining room table.   I cover it in white tissue paper, clamp my light to shine from below, and wash my hands to make sure I dont smudge anything.   I practice at least half an hour and then I start writing.   I like morning light because there are less shadows and I work for about an hour and half at a time.  I like a quiet room - no music, tv or people.  My husband finds some place to go so I can concentrate.  The finished product is always worth the effort - and the best part is seeing the smile it brings to my customers and friends.