Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Little Bit of Spring

It was inevitable.  You must have known I would be back to post at some point.  Today inspiration hit me as I made myself busy in my tiny backyard greenhouse moving herbs around. In my mission to shed any trace of winter left inside, I tucked a few plants into this pretty wall container.   

While outside, I found just the crowning touch for a dessert I had made earlier as I scrambled to get something together to bring my Mother tomorrow.  A velvety purple viola I plucked from a few volunteer blossoms.  

You can find the dessert I made here on Pinterest called Lemonies (Lemon Brownies).  There is no chocolate involved, the name is simply a way of describing the consistency of these delectable squares.  (I just love brown eggs, don't you?)

Still life of violas and a lemon, with a bit of zest scattered about on my time worn wooden board.  

Henri has been busy too.  Here is a piece of his raku pottery fresh from yesterday's firing.  I am leaving it on my kitchen counter for the time being.

Two more of his pieces that I had fun arranging.  One in a metal stand.  The other propped up to show the beautiful raku lustre inside.

And did you notice the 'frog' protection right there?  I just love that Discover card commercial.  So silly. You can view it here.  Good to be back on here again.  Happy Spring and Happy Mother's Day!  And while I'm at it, Happy Birthday to our youngest daughter Angie who had a birthday today!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Surviving Winter

It's good to get out out of the house, even just to go ice-fishing with my sweetie, like this past Friday on Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park.  

A close-up of drilling the first hole through the ice.  Each license holder is allowed 5 holes a piece.  It was so blustery though, that we only did 3 and then sat in the car to watch for flags to pop up -- an indicator that you may have caught something.

For reference this is the kind of fish we were hoping to catch.  Here's Henri posing with a brook trout caught in a much warmer month in Acadia.

Our picnic lunch during ice fishing was a salad of baby spinach and blackened salmon.  Turns out it was the only fish we laid eyes on for all of our efforts out on the ice.

The next day I made eclairs for us.

From scratch.  Sometimes I even surprise myself.

I will leave you with a peek of the napkins I sewed up from a few yards of fabric a few weeks ago.

It was during a particularly brutal part of the polar vortex we all seem to be experiencing around the country this year. So tell me, how are you surviving winter?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spectacular Little Moments

Sunrise captured by Henri as he quietly welcomes the day enjoying his morning coffee.  

The sweetness of an American Goldfinch having breakfast outside our window.  

While standing at my kitchen window, I notice the sun illuminating a crucifix on a cemetery statuary across the street.    It was my first time ever to see this happen.  

   Taken inside the cemetery, here is a close-up of the crucifix.

A lustrous tea cup unexpectedly and very recently given to me by a friend. 

My treat at the close of the day, is to drink my own home-made version of Venetian Hot Chocolate from it.  

Taken in the fading daylight, my image of it leaves room for improvement, but the dark, rich chocolate inside is heavenly.  

And yet another beautiful day in Maine draws to a close leaving me content just to be here.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

We've Got Winter

In the morning.

                                                                   Throughout the day.

At sunset.

All 9 hours of our daylight this time of year, we've got winter.  

We've got icicles too.  

Peek-a-boo winter, I see you.  

Hope this end of the year finds you well-fed and warm as the New Year approaches.  Happy New Year wishes to all of you from our little frozen corner of the world!  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Living In The Moment (and FARRAGOZ Art Course Winner)

I took these pictures while I was on the phone with a friend.  Don't worry, I told her there was a bright red cardinal right outside my window.  She knows me well enough to know I was reaching for my camera as we discussed how pretty our neighborhood was looking with its fresh dusting of white.

Holding my breath, I zoomed in on this red beauty, fearful he would flee before I captured the loveliness of his color.  My friend on the phone had just spent her first night in her new home just a mere half mile from us and was telling me how happy she was to have it snow on their first day there. She said her woods were so beautiful, she felt as though she was living inside a "Barbie Princess Fairy Tale" in her new place.

Hearing her say that made me smile.  Her happiness and gratitude for waking up to a beautiful sight in her new home was heartfelt.  She was living in the moment, in this normally hurried-up world and I felt her joy.


Thanks to all who entered my recent Farragoz Art Course Giveaway (valued at $150.00) hoping to win and see your name announced.  Before I announce the lucky winner though, I have a bit of a consolation for the others. Farragoz has agreed to discount their price for the next 7 days and offer their course for a mere $99! Any one of my readers is eligible, but you must email me directly at: to let me know before December 18, 2013 and I will pass the information on to Farragoz.

And the lucky winner is:  
    Marcelle La Cour            
 Congratulations Marcelle you will be receiving an email shortly!  

Monday, December 2, 2013


'Tis the season for a giveaway and I am so excited to be able to offer a gift (valued at $150.00) to one of my followers!  The gift is the online FARRAGOZ Furniture Painting Course that I myself have been enrolled in.

In this class, you will be given all the information needed for you to complete five (5) projects at
your leisure (the class runs 12 months) and you will be assigned an instructor that will personally guide you through each project.  You will learn the art of patina, and how to create beautiful pieces like those of craftsmen from previous centuries, using age old recipes and techniques.  No expensive branded products are used.  In fact, you will learn to make all of your paints, oil stains and decorative moldings on a shoestring budget using only materials from your grocer, hardware and art supply store!    

Here are the Farragoz versions of what you will be making:  An over-the-mantle trumeau mirror.

A clock face.

A display case.

A Byzantine icon of the Archangel Michael.

And a decorative plaque with angels.  (This is the next project I will be making.)

The first project that I completed was a Byzantine icon of the Archangel Michael.  

After that, I was able to apply the techniques and paint recipes I learned, to experiment and make my own version of Christ as a Child.

My second project was the clock face, which I decided to make into the table you see below.

I was offered this course in exchange for reviewing and sharing blog posts of my progress along the way, and I have found myself developing a real passion for it.  It is highly addictive to build your skill set with each new project that you complete, to the point where you begin to feel like a true artisan!  Once you learn the techniques of how to achieve the look of authentically aged patina, your ability to reapply them becomes virtually unlimited.  If you want to learn more about the course before you enter the giveaway, you can click on the link found here.

In order to be eligible to win, please make sure you are a follower of my blog.  This giveaway will run for 7 days and to enter, simply follow the instructions given below.  I will be announcing the winner in my next post so please stay tuned to find out if your name is announced!  Good luck to all!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

FARRAGOZ: The Art of Patina - Module 2

Recently I was offered a 12-month online course given by Farragoz, in exchange for reviewing and blogging about my progress along the way. Today I am sharing my second completed project, a clock face, that I ended up making into a table.   To achieve an authentic aged patina, you learn to make all of the oil stains and paints using inexpensive and common household ingredients.  For example, the gold paint I used in my clock face project called for the yolk of an egg!  

After going through the process of making this clock face, I realize in hindsight it is relatively easy. You are given step by step instructions, including a template and lots of advice and guidance along the way from your own personal instructor.  And like the last project, you simply start out with a plain piece of scrap wood that you learn how to transform into a work of art!  

But before I begin, feast your eyes on the beautiful Farragoz version of this project.

So, below is the scrap piece of wood I used.  It is quite heavy and pressure treated, but simply a piece of scrap wood that I started out with.

After applying several layers paint that I mixed up myself using the Farragoz-supplied recipes, I used carbon paper to transfer the design.  You may notice that my paint is already starting to crackle in places.  That is what you want to happen when you are trying to achieve an authentic aged look.

Painting all the black details does require a steady hand and a fine tip brush, but already, you can see it start coming to life.

And now, using the 'secret' egg yolk recipe, I am able to finish off all those gold details.  

Then onto my favorite part.  Transforming it into an object that portrays an aged surface of what ordinarily requires a great passage of time, or an environment of harsh elements.  

As I mentioned in the beginning, I decided to turn my clock face into a table.  Below is a photo I took of it outside the front of my shop after mounting it on top of an old table base I had.  

I decided a glass top would make it more useful and would help protect its fragile surface too.  Plus I am getting a jump on the holiday season while I show you my completed project.  TA-DAH!

And now a close-up of all the yummy aged details.

Eventually it will get added to a new room I am planning for my shop, as a cozy place to sip coffee or tea and perhaps do a little reading.  For now, I give you my dreamy, out-of-focus version, until which time I manage to find the perfect little spot in my shop.  

I am being provided this course for free, but my opinions of it are my own, and just so you know, my opinions of it are very high!  Perhaps you want to learn more about this course.  To do so, there is a link up at the top of my sidebar that you can click on that describes this course so much better than I ever could.  All I know is that I am thoroughly enjoying myself and very eager to start working on my next project!

Linking up with Marian at Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday