Christmas with Friends

Merry Christmas, y'all.  May you have abundant joy in this most beautiful season!

Books by the Beach --- all done at last!

My latest miniature building is finally finished!  Hooray!  Here is "Books by the Beach."  Click on the individual photos to enlarge.

These little places are always fun.  This is my little "free library" put together with a simple kit.  It was actually a garage in its original incarnation!  Instead of a garage door I used a patio and French doors.  Those doors took some engineering; the opening was too big, so I used corrugated cardboard to simulate siding and added trim where needed.  I used scraps of old wood on the front and along the bottom.  (I save stuff like that.  When I'm out walking in the woods, I frequently look down.  There are treasures there!)

A sea gull's eye view of the interior.  Picture-taking today was a challenge!  The open roof was the only place I could get a photo of the whole inside.  You can see a table strewn with magazines, a book cabinet with nicely full shelves, and cool decorative items.  (I loved the oversized eyeglass frame.  I painted it brown with pink and aqua polka dots.)  There's a comfy rocking chair in the corner and a little lamp table.

In this photo you may be able to see the artwork on the far wall a little better.

I don't yet know what my next project will be.  I'm just glad this one has been completed!  What happens to these little places?  They are not for sale.  Actually, I don't think anyone but me would be excited enough to make a purchase!  I display them in my studio.  And then I look forward to my next project! 

If you'd like to see more of my miniatures, click on the page link "My World in Miniature" right under the header.  There are more nifty little buildings there.  I hope you enjoy them.

New Stuff!

A little stack of my new Fiesta Ware dishes - sunflower, poppy, lemon grass, turquoise.  I bought a four-piece set in each color but love, love, love mixing them for the table.  These were 50% off at Kohl's on Black Friday, a perfect time to buy.  When they arrived yesterday afternoon, I put them all out on the counter and admired these bright, cheery jewels for the kitchen.

I have two older pieces that I found years ago while antique shopping, a yellow sugar bowl and cream pitcher.  I'm not sure of their age.  The Homer Laughlin China Company started making these in 1936.  A lot of American households served meals on these colorful dishes; my parents didn't have Fiesta Ware, so I suppose I'm buying a part of my childhood that didn't exist!  Our favorite Mexican restaurant serves fabulous food on these nifty dishes.  I had to have some myself!

I rarely buy dishes.  My other everyday dishes are varying shades of white and ivory, and my wedding china is ivory with green and yellow and platinum rims.  (Yes, I use it regularly.  Every day is indeed a special occasion!)  These new dishes, though, are so sturdy and substantial and just plain fun.

Interested in the history of Fiesta Ware?  Right here:

Fiesta Ware



Sunrise on this beautiful morning, one of the reasons I am an early-riser.  Wishing y'all a blessedly bountiful and a bountifully blessed day.  Every day is Thanksgiving Day, you know!

A Blog Hop!

My blog friend Margot Potter is participating in an international blog hop and has featured me and two other bloggers today.  Here's a link to her site; I'd like y'all to join her!

The DIY Doyenne's World-Wide Creative Blog Hop

Margot gave me four questions to ponder, sort of an artist's statement.  Here they are with my responses.


I'm almost finished with my latest miniature building, a little beach-side free library where miniature beach goers can leave a book and/or take a book.  (You can see this little creation on the page "My World in Miniature": click on it right under the blog header.)  I have photos of my other little places on the page "My World in Miniature."  Take a look!  I'm also working on two contributions for Somerset Studio magazine, the Black and White and Gothic assignments.  Writing, too.  I'm about to embark on a poetry/photography collection.  I've done these as individual books before but never together. 


Frankly, it's quirky as am I!  I love what's vintage, nostalgic, retro.  I quite consciously incorporate myself into almost every art piece, poem, photograph.  Details and mood are important. My work suggests that something's happening in those little worlds that may be difficult for some to sense, but I know what's there. 


I taught high school English for 37 years and spent a great deal of time inspiring others to think creatively.  I retired in 2006; now I have the time to produce for myself.  Yes, for myself! Self-publishing lets me put my writing and photos into organized collections. Oh, it would be nice to get paid for my writing and my art.  I wouldn't turn that down.  I have so many ideas in my head, though, and I simply have to get them out.  My little studio here at home is my favorite hideout.  Farm work occupies plenty of time.  Creative work occupies the rest.


I am inspired by other artists.  I save my issues of Somerset Studio magazine for reference and use them often.  I am inspired by the natural world around me.  True story:  My introduction to mixed media art was the finding of a few very small acorns and broken pine twigs.  I brought them home and designed my first piece with them.  Little forest findings are favorite materials!  My miniature buildings are usually  interpretations of places that actually exist; some are places that I would love to see in the real world.  I keep notebooks of ideas, quotes, and words.  Because I'm a voracious reader and note-taker, there's a constant flow of inspiration.

Fall Trees

Y'all may have expected a blast of fall color here, but our part of North Carolina is still pretty green.  When we get colors, we get a little gold, a few touches of red, and a fair amount of brown; the mountains lay claim to far more brilliance.  Here in the north central part of the state it's more subdued.

I've always been taken by the shapes of bare trees.  This one on our neighbors' land caught my attention this morning.  It's obviously been broken, most likely by strong winds.  It lives, though ---- relatively fresh little branches festoon its raggedy top.

Here on the farm we hear, see, smell autumn.  The crickets are quieter at night.  The bees slumber peacefully on sunlit flowers in the afternoon.  Two nights ago we heard a pack of coyotes close by.  They change their ranging patterns seasonally.  The deer have developed their winter-gray coats, and the growing fawns have long lost their spots while the bucks are losing their antlers.  I sense that familiar fallen leaves smell just a little bit, especially early in the dewy morning. 

I have never considered autumn to be a barren season.  Every sight, sound, and fragrance is unique.

"If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere." 
 Vincent Van Gogh  

Quiet Days - a few photos

Our fall hay cutting is just a few weeks away.  Early morning sunlight makes the northeast field even more beautiful.

Pretty weeds tangled near an old fence.
I love this old farmhouse and have photographed it several times.  It's on one of my four-mile walking routes; stopping to take pictures means the walk takes longer.  Delightful! 

 Nice old barn.  This farm has been in the same family for many years. 

Expansive views, here a beautiful field, are part of why we love living out here.  That's red clay in the foreground. 

This is what we see as we approach our farm from the west.  That red gate is new.  It marks the old entrance, long gone.  I love that huge pin oak tree. 

Wishing y'all a peaceful day from here on the farm.