3.05.2015

Artist for a Day


When I was a little girl I would excitedly wait for Mrs. Cornell to come
into our classroom with a great big stack of white paper
and a basket full of paints.






I was am 8 year old girl filled with anxiety and joy.


Oh how I wanted to grab hold of that paint brush and
swipe it magically across the paper and see my own masterpiece.

A bird or a tree or a person. ANYTHING would do.




And  I tried. I really did. I drew and painted and imagined.
I persevered.
But what was in my mind and what lay on the paper never seemed to match.


As an adolescent and even as an adult, I still tried.
I waited for it to click.
But it didn’t.


And then one day I picked up a camera, and suddenly the pictures in my brain came to life..
The way I saw the dappled light in the woods, the way the flowers absorbed the sunlight, the way the ocean called my name.


I didn’t have to worry about being anxious. Photography became my paintbrush. And with it I was able to play with color and shadow and texture and  joy.


When I found the waterlogue app and converted several of my photographs to “watercolors”, I suddenly felt like the little girl sitting in that art class back in the early 1970’s.


For a moment. I could “paint”!!


It was pure magic. A gift from above….this app that made my photographs look like I imagined they would in paint!  The paintings I dreamed of making.


So now I play with my photographs and Waterlogue. I PRETEND to be a painter. I imagine dipping my brush in the watercolor tray and swiping the color across the paper. It makes me (and the little girl) smile. A big, big smile. Because I know that God  is telling me that I AM good enough. I AM blessed. I AM talented!


And that’s when it hits me. I AM an artist. The camera is my medium.




And I will paint the world!


Please visit a few of my  talented artist friends here:






2.28.2015

50% off all Cards and Tags in My Etsy Shop!




Saturday

Dreaming of the Garden


Happy Weekend Everyone!

It's chilly here….and the probability for yet more of the white stuff  next week is pretty high, but my mind and heart are in the garden!

Have you started planning? planting? harvesting? (lucky people).

I have started a blogging series for the edible South Shore & South Coast magazine's website.

I start with a piece on planning. It's perfect for novice gardeners or those of you looking for a bit of guidance!

I hope you will stop by and have a peek.

AND I WOULD BE EXTRA EXCITED IF YOU COULD LEAVE A COMMENT THERE, OR SHARE ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER,  OR PINTEREST! I AM TRULY HOPING TO MAKE THE PASSION I HAVE FOR GARDEN WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY INTO A LONG DREAMED OF CAREER. 

2.25.2015

Snow Delay


There was a snow delay this morning.


2 hours.
Yessss!!!!!
First time in years.




It seemed like a gift really.
Two Extra hours of morning light!
My absolute favorite part of the day.


And extra sleep for many. 
 Well, not for me, but I didn't mind.
I was awake, and I am not someone to go back to sleep, 
so I went out and shoveled just after 6:00.


It was so peaceful!
Only one car had gone down our street.
The snow sat light and fluffy.
It's funny, four inches seemed 
like a dusting after 2 blizzards and a few random snow storms.


The sun wasn't quite up yet, the sky was brightening, but
 the world was still basked in a black and white mask.



The snow blanketed the maples, and covered the pines.


I snapped a few photos of the garden and the trees and the house.


I was trying to be patient as the sun slowly rose above the horizon.



I wanted the glow that fills mornings with hope and smiles.



I just wanted to grab hold of that feeling. The feeling I often miss leaving early for school.




I lingered. I paused.


And eventually it happened.



But just as it happened, I stepped too confidently into my driveway
 and camera and photographer went down fast.


Oh, I'm fine. And the camera is fine. 


But I decided that was a sign to head in for warmth. And tea. and toast.And children happy to have their mama home.






But first I stuck my head out the door and took a few shots of the icicles.
These huge, frozen daggers hang 5-6 feet long off of our roof, a sparkling  rock hard time capsule of this winter's storms.






I am fascinated by their mystery, their twists and turns. Their longevity.


Perhaps those icicles are meant to be a sign for me. A sign that CHANGE is being carried on the wind. Changes in me and my life. Changes in what I value and what means the most to me. Changes in how I live and what I strive for.




I love a snow delay.


2.10.2015

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Soda, PERFECT for Valentine's Day!


A repost because it is so yummy!

Well my daughter got a soda making machine for Christmas….back in the 1970's it was the Easy Bake Oven, then Snoopy Sno-Cone, and now a soda machine! Kids these days get real appliances, which in a way is great, because mom can borrow them!

I have been making lots of carbonated water, just plain, like a Club Soda….boy it sure has saved LOTS of $$$ on seltzer. Typically we buy four 12 packs a week. 


I am not so fond of the ingredients in the mixes….even the non-diet flavors have artificial sweeteners….something we just do not use. 
So I decided I would try my hand at a homemade syrup. Yes, it contains sugar, but we aren't drinking it daily, and it is also made with organic fruit, and water….and that's IT!!





When I was growing up, my dad was a pharmacist at a local drugstore. Back in those days he would even serve drinks at the fountain. It was here that I first fell in love with simple syrups. Not a summer has gone by since childhood that we haven't mixed lime rickeys on a hot summer afternoon….not the fake green ones, but the crisp, tangy ones made with club soda (soda water), simple
 syrup and fresh squeezed limes. 



I also made a cranberry simple syrup over the holidays for our homemade sangria. (see it here). 


I decided to make a small batch for us to taste test.



The syrup and the sugary strawberries were heavenly!


Just the right amount of sugar, and such a wonderful fruity flavor.


Of course, when I started to pour the syrup into the bottle of carbonated water(silly me), I created a volcano. It was the volcano of my childhood, pink foam shooting straight up and over! It was like a Brady Bunch episode for those of you old enough to remember. But I managed to save things and we had a BIG laugh. 


After that, we poured the syrup over ice and added the water. MUCH smarter. 


We each added the amount that made the taste right for us. 



It was so pretty….and soooo tasty. Perfect for a Valentine's Day dinner or party.
Cheers!

Strawberry Simple Syrup for 4 (double for a larger group):

 1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water (add more if needed)

On medium-low heat, combine sugar, water, and strawberries.

Stir until sugar dissolves. 

Continue cooking over a low flame, allowing strawberries to cook down.

Remove pan from heat. Strain strawberry mixture through a fine strainer over a bowl or measuring cup, pressing on strawberries to collect all juices.

Allow strained mixture to cool.

Store in refrigerator or use right away.

Serving suggestion:  Fill glass with ice, pour a small amount of syrup over ice. Add club soda, and stir lightly. Enjoy!


Please leave a comment if you try this!!!




2.07.2015

What Gardeners Do in Winter

 I thought it was high time to interrupt this Massachusetts winter with a bit of garden talk.

Because all over the Northeast, as snow continues to fall., and 
winter has become a bore (and a chore)….


...there are gardeners who are thinking of things other than the icy driveways...


...the difficulties driving...


….the mile high snowdrifts….


….and the impending forecasts.



We are planning.


First it is a flash through our minds. A color, a texture a scent. It's a memory from a moon swept summer evening, or a dewy morning's lung-filling air. (so pure)


Then it is about glossy paged catalogs and reliable websites. We read up on our favorites. 


We work our budgets and draw our maps.


We check our seed supply from last year, our own personal seed banks. We nod at what flourished, and shake our heads at what did not. (But it's always fun trying).


The lists begin…what to plant and when to plant it.



Perhaps that tomato variety a friend recommended, or a flower that reminds us of a loved one.


The planning process is purposeful, yet delicate; it is eagerness and patience bundled pleasantly together.


Perhaps Mother Nature knew that gardeners needed this time...


…a time to plan what we will guide forth from this earth...


…a time to dream of a velvety petal or a golden pumpkin.


A time to relish in the past, yet hope for the future.


This year I feel I am being called to teach about gardening...


…to encourage new gardeners, to guide those who have become complacent ...



…but most of all, to show how something so simple can change us forever.

A request:

Please share a gardening tip, favorite plant, memory of the garden, or garden story in the comments section! I will be compiling your ideas into a future post. 

Please include your location.

Feel free to share this post on Facebook so that we can compile LOTS of ideas from gardeners everywhere!

Thanks!




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