Friday, December 23, 2011

A Pink Christmas

The brief pink sunrise this morning offered this photo op. It almost hurts my eyes as I try to focus it clear.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Snow Pics

This mornings walk was other worldly. I just love the starkness of the black and white transformation.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

First Snow

It arrived late this afternoon. We've flirted with a few flakes here and there, but the snow today has taken on the feel that it might be here for awhile.  We made the last chance effort to get all the outside things done this week. I trimmed Cerra's hooves yesterday and did Cheyenne's today so all should be ok for the next three weeks. The waterer has been serviced, the hay is handy and dry. Winter is on our doorstep tonight and it's so nice it is coming on in a nice peaceful way.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This is Embarrassing......

"I know you guys love me, but, this get up is ridiculous!"

........ Maggie

Yes, dear one; however, you are such a dear, you may be mistaken for a deer.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Where's The Tooth Fairy?

Remember long ago and far away when losing a tooth meant a visit by the tooth fairy? As an adult the tooth fairy takes delight in removing as much cash as possible from one's checking account. Must be how she finances all those kids. 

You tell where this is going...

We sure needed some of these..........

Dr. Steve got our culprits rounded up............ well, thank goodness it didn't involved the whole cast of characters........

The upper fourth tooth from the right is "#13"--- an unlucky 13 for Don and ALSO for Sherri. Don had his pulled on Monday and I had mine extracted on Friday. How's that for a coincidence? 

Don's tooth had been bugging him for a long time and after trying the alternatives his problem was resolved on Monday. "I feel your pain, hon. No, really I do." I laughed and said it must be sympathetic. Well, it got worse and by Thursday I was headed to see Dr. Steve and an x-ray revealed an infected tooth.  A referral to have a root canal up at Eau Claire was arranged. Unfortunately, I'm not that patient, and a total wuss with dental pain so, after yet another sleepless night, I pretty much begged to have it removed. Friday morning..... relief!!! By the time we both get done with all the antibiotics I hope we can FINALLY start feeing better.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Split Rock Lighthouse Shade

Mr. Valley waited a long time for me to get this done. The depiction of the Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior, WI, will be cozying up his den and joining his lighthouse collection. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holiday Season Kick-Off at WOA

I've been busy in the shop making ornaments for Wings Over Alma. We will be setting up for the Holiday Show next week. SHOP LOCAL folks! There are so many opportunities to keep the dollars in your own hometown, state and the USA! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thank you, Maggie and Don, and friends! Yesterday was a gorgeous 50 degree sunny November day. Which is unusual for my "special day"!

Today's clouds, chill and soon to arrive snow flurries, remind us all that our glorious fall weather is almost over.

The horses had to stay home and play with me yesterday, but this morning Cerra was busily untying the chain on the gate so I took her hint. Their other pasture actually has some grass left to graze and provides a little variety to their day. They sure got into a routine over summer and won't like it when they can't go "out to eat".

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This little face just grabbed me! What a little sweetie in a Halloween costume!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dutch Oven Bread

Dutch oven bread is a favorite this time of year. The crustiness reminds me of someone! 

I set it late afternoon or evening....let it do it's thing overnight and bake it in the morning. Crunchy fresh bread yumminess.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gourds As Wearable Art

Lisa Johnson helped us ring up sales on Saturday and found the perfect fashion accessory at the Gourd Fest table! $350 was raised through generous donations toward the Refuge Farms horse rescue! The snake gourds were a big hit.

Art Tour Photos

The Fresh Art Fall Tour was a huge success! We have had a beautiful stretch of weather that was with us through the weekend. Having mid-80's in October was a real treat. Crowds of people arrived on Saturday and Sunday after a slower start on Friday. 

Thanks to new friends and old who visited and brought treasures home with them. I think there were hundreds of photos taken over the weekend--and the stars were the chickens, horses and geese! The horses went out to pasture today for a well earned day off. They're such hams for the camera.

We are talked-out hoarse and tired but after we rest up we'll probably be silly enough to do it all again.
Guest Artist, Jan Brunkow with her framed silk paintings.

Jan's card display and decorated gourds.

Jan's watercolors and oil paintings.

Friend, Janene Nelson helped us on Friday. Thanks, Janene!

My giclee art prints display.

Framed originals in the main studio area.

The Daisy collection.

More of my paintings and pastels by the glass bins.

This sunny window sill holds the "pink" glass display.

Cobalt and clear glass pieces.

A colorful collection of flowers and mission style panels.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Setting Up Gourd Fest

I made trip to the garden with the John Deere wagon to pick gourds today. It's in the 80's which is pretty warm for the first week in October. I wasn't sure I was going to have much to offer for the Gourd Fest which benefits Refuge Farms, but I was surprised when I filled the wagon and three big pails full and STILL have more to pick!
The snake gourds are huge and very unique! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Art Week

I borrowed this from a fellow artist because it is so TRUE and reflects the mood of this busy week leading up to the Art Tour weekend.

I am so excited about the tour this year. This is the first time I will have prints available of some of my current works. Gail Pommerening did a beautiful job on the first artist proofs of five of my originals.

The artist proofs are the first prints that will be the precursor to an actual edition of prints. This is where the colors are set and each print is scrutinized as being the most exactly to match the original. Gail has invested in the giclee technology that can do this and is a master at manipulating the image. A giclee print is created from an archival printer that has 12 ink jets that applies ink dots of archival ink to create the image. The result has a beautiful matte texture and is especially suited to reproducing my pastel works. However----a print is still a print! It is not an original. But it's as close as the process can achieve and I think the result is beautiful.

I will also be displaying:

      Over 30 original works in oil and pastel

      Dozens of stained glass panels 

      Multistrand necklaces, earrings and bracelets

      Hurricane lamps

      Seasonal Ornaments - angels, snowmen, etc.

      and I'll have the Gourd Fest --- which will benefit Refuge Farms! (Wait until you see the  SNAKE GOURDS! They are awesome and not scary at all!)

To top it all off --- Jan Brunkow is the Guest Artist! She paints on silk and has GORGEOUS framed silk paintings as well as beautiful WEARABLE scarves. Jan will also have framed watercolors and note cards available.

The weather is going to be gorgeous so it will be a great weekend to hit the road, see the colors and some great art along the route.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Catatonic Humor

Paisley has been getting a little closer to nature---chick nature, that is. The other day I came out of the shop to find him under the chick's heat lamp and was grooming himself. All the chicks were huddled in the corner wondering who the intruder was. Screen installed over chick house!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Not Quite Napa....

..... but they are getting ripe, and tasty and heck, they're ours so I think they are pretty wonderful! We planted these concord grapes by our backyard raspberries three years ago after having tried growing concords out by the big garden (to no avail). They had a few grapes last year but just before they ripened they disappeared....... birds, bees, squirrels.....who knows who got to enjoy them. 'Twas not us!

Wisconsin vineyards are literally a growing concern and there are getting to be many in our area. Maybe we will rival the Napa/Sonoma Valley someday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chick Day at Catfish Corner

Summer went by too quickly, so I'm behind in getting new chicks started. Yesterday was the delivery date of my day old chicks. Twelve Gold Stars and 12 Black Australorps, and a rooster of each variety. Look out Louie---Louie II and Louie III are in the house.

Here is a new Little Louie. He has a paint dot on his head to identify him as a rooster.

I put up the larger chick pen today and got them moved out of their baby box and into an area with two heat lamps and more room to roam. 

Maggie is thoroughly mesmerized by them. They are so tiny and spritely that she can't help but enjoy their movements and little peeps. Even Paisley cat came over for a visit. He's harmless and the chicks seem to realize he isn't interested in hurting them.

Now, if I had a nice broody hen who would like to "mother hen" this group...... will have to see if I there are any volunteers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Showy Blossom - Cardinal Flower

We found a little nest of these bright blooms on our way to Maggie's hunting grounds. The photo doesn't even do it justice with its brilliant red against the green leaves.

It's called a Cardinal Flower and according to Stan Tekiela's "Wild Flowers of Wisconsin" they are found throughout the state, preferring wet, shade, along streams and wetlands. They are poor reproducers perhaps because they can only be pollinated by hummingbirds. Thank you, hummers, for keeping our little patch well pollinated.

I might add that there were several spikes like this one and they seem to be thriving in the cool, wet, swampy area where we found it. It's one of those "do not dig" wild ones that won't survive in a home garden, although cultivated varieties are available at garden centers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beaten, Bruised, Battered.....Dipped and Fried

Such was my experience at the Wings Over Alma trail ride last Saturday. Of the 26 riders who took the trek into the fine city of Alma, I had the naughtiest horse. How embarrassing!

She hasn't been a naughty trail horse before, so I was surprised by her adrenalized behavior. She looks so innocent in this picture!

It was quite another picture when she was tearing me through tree branches (they don't taste as good as they look), running up hills and pushing past other horses.

Once in Alma, we tied up on the picket line next to the railroad tracks while we had refreshments at the Center. During that time I think there were three freight trains and one barge that went by and all the horses had a big training session with loud sounds. That picket line was swaying! If we had been there for the day, all would have gotten very used to the experience.

She didn't calm down all day--the way back was even hairier than the trip there. An emergency dismount as she was pointing me into head-high branches got me a excellent score from my riding buddies as a good call to evacuate. The landing, however, sent me rolling.

No damage! Yay! Naughty horse was remounted and down the hill we went. Upon arriving in the meadow in sight of the end of the trail, some of the rest of the group decided to take another half-hour loop until dinner. Noooooo thank you! I've had enough for one day. I've been beaten, bruised, battered, dipped and fried! Stick a fork in me, I'm DONE!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Maggie's Hunting Training Begins

Maggie is 6 months old now and had her spay operation two weeks ago so now it's time to get into her retrieving duties. She can't wait to have a job to do. She has so much energy she's wearing us out.

Yesterday was the first time swimming in the creek behind our house. She took to it immediately and was TOTALLY under water a couple times only to pop out and dog paddle like a fiend! She found out swimming is a lot harder than just running around so big nap followed.

This morning we introduced the air gun and a dummy laced with duck scent. It was irresistible! She had a few really good retrieves and one PERFECT one. She wanted more....but quality was starting to suffer so we called it good for today. Keep her wanting more is the ideal.

Tomorrow we'll take the .22 and make a little more noise.

It's That Time Again!

The Tour is a little over a month away and I have been SO BUSY! Haven't even had time to update the blog so I have lots of catching up to do. The link for Fresh Art is so beautiful. I don't know who did all the work, but credit is due! Each site has a little profile and photos--check it out!

I am going to, for the first time, have giclee prints of some of my work, thanks to my artist friend, Gail Pommerening. The link will take you to Gail's website. She has an archival giclee printer and is scanning and printing for me. All this while getting ready to be on the Tour, too!

Trail Ride and Art Show
We are both self-taught artists and are serving together on the Wings Over Alma art committee. And speaking of WOA, the current show is called Horse and Harvest. The artists' reception is going to be very different this time--it is also a trail ride! Saturday, Sept. 10th at 1 p.m., riders are invited to meet at Robin Secrist's ranch and we are going to ride over the hill to Alma in cattle drive fashion! But without the cows.

We will arrive at the reception which runs from 2-4 pm, tie up the horses, and will feast on cowboy themed sweet and savory treats while we enjoy the art display. Then we will ride back over the hill and have a potluck at Robin's at 5 pm. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? The best part is, you don't have to have a horse to participate.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Home Update

The roof is done, the siding and our entry patio. We are really enjoying it and once we get some plantings done it should be a haven for hummers and butterflies, too.

Our naughty doggie Maggie has been digging up the place. Planting flowers probably won't be an option right away!


Two Amigos!

The slightly expanded breezeway. Shelves and STUFF to follow. Maggie has the best dog house in Sconnie.