Monday, March 31, 2008


i woke up this morning with thoughts of planning and planting my flower beds. this is an exercise i find really delightful!! i have a lot of perennials planted which come up every year and are the bulk of my beds. but the real fun comes in selecting and planting all of the annuals which will add color all summer long. i am lucky in that my flower beds have 3 different sun exposures which allows me to select 3 different kinds of plants. the north side of the house gets a good deal of shade so i like to plant impatiens to add color to the many different varieties of hostas i have planted there. the impatiens get very big (bill fertilizes every saturday morning) and add so much personality to my back patio area. then there is the east side of my house which gets more sun and can take a bigger variety of plants. i like for this long bed to be very showy as it is the first thing you see when you pull into our driveway. the entire front of our house faces south so i plant sun-loving annuals in those beds. last year i was disappointed in how my south side annuals did so i'm going to shake things up this year to try to get more impact. what fun!!

the above original art is entitled "garden delight". i love the bright colors and my signature circle flowers. it is for sale in my etsy shop.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

into the wild

last evening we watched the new movie "into the wild" and it really moved me. set in the late 80's it gave me such a nostalgic feeling. not that i've ever been to alaska but i remember the call of the wild as a young person . . . the dreams of getting out into nature and living off the land. i never tried it but the yearnings were there. truthfully, i still feel the pull to simplify my life, unload the baggage of materialism and be free.

for me the best thing about the movie was the music -- all original songs written for the movie by eddie vedder. i bought the soundtrack back in december and it is a mainstay when i'm creating in my art room. second to the music was the scenery shot out west, in mexico and of course in alaska. the acting was also superb; i was most impressed by the lead actor. he was delightful.

the above photo was taken by my husband bill in ontario, canada a couple of years ago. we were boating across the lake toward this opening in the trees. when i look at the photo it's like it is calling me to come explore and see what's waiting for me through that gap. what's next in my life? where will this wondeful journey take me?


i’ve been thinking a lot about changes around me. i’m losing my job the end of april so that is a big change. i’ve known it was coiming for almost a year so i’ve been on a quite an emotional ride -- disbelief, anger, sadness, sense of loss. but lately i’ve been embracing this as an opportunity to grow and change. who knows what’s out there if i don’t go looking for it?
another change is the weather and how the warmth of the sun, the birds singing and the plants sprouting all do wonderful things for my sense of self. i’m much happier and energetic when the weather is nice!
my dog presley is getting old, old, old and i am having to face the fact that he just won’t be around forever. my husband says that presley has already been around forever. smile! i’ve been saying that presley is 15 years old for a couple of years now. he may only be 13 or 14. i’m just not sure. anyway, he is slowing down and sleeping longer and harder than ever. he can’t hear well, has lost most of his teeth and will stand in one spot for long periods of time with a lost look on his face. it’s so sad. so i am having to think about how his loss will change my life and my daily routine. he has been my constant companion for so very long.
i am working to change myself as much as possible. when thoughts of "i’m old" start to creep into my mind, i flip the switch to "55 is as young as i want to make it". it’s all about attitude. when i’m plagued by self-doubt about my art or going out to get another job i concentrate on everything i’ve accomplished in my life and the experience i have to offer the world.
my last bit about change is when i feel resistant to a change at work i hum that song to myself. you know the one -- "change, change, change will do you good". it makes me smile and somehow the annoyance about the change just floats away.
what changes are you dealing with in your life? please let me know.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


the sunshine today has me longing to be out on a stream in my kayak. my husband and i bought somewhat matching kayaks (his is blue and mine is red) a couple of years ago and we love to be out paddling. there is something very peaceful about floating calmly down the stream communing with nature. we haven't tried any adventuresome whitewater paddling yet; we're more the laid-back-enjoy-the-scenery types. you really never know what you're going to see around the next bend of the stream. sometimes we'll come upon a huge mass of deadfall blocking one side of the stream. another twist might bring a lone fisherman in a small row boat. but my favorite thing to spy is a crane. they have such a quiet hauteur about them and will hold their position in the stream until you're almost upon them. the message is clear -- they are the true inhabitants of nature and we we are mere visitors. and then they calmly spread their wings and lift away, their feet dangling and leaving a trail of water in their wake. oh glorious day when i get to see a crane in all its majesty! the above canvas is titled "crane in the cattails" and my son matt counts it as his favorite of all my work. he is my soul mate in all things of nature and i know he would enjoy being out on the stream with us. maybe one day he'll join us for a peaceful idyll. and, maybe we'll be lucky enough to see a crane.

Friday, March 28, 2008


there are places i remember . . . and this will be one! or, you could just as easily title this one "what a mess!" this is what my art room looks like after a day of putterin' around. i used to clean and straighten up after each canvas but more and more i find i'm much more creative if i just trash it and let it go until i can't find the tools i need to create any more. for this photo i closed the vertical blinds to keep the sun out but that is definitely not the norm. i love the way the sun streams in and how the angle of the sun changes as the afternoon wears on. it is a big part of my inspiration. here are a few other places i will always remember with fondness:
the creek behind grandpa farmer's house
grandma farmer's feather bed
the woods behind my dad's house where we spent hours and hours playing
myrtle beach -- the first time i ever walked next to the ocean!!!
grand canyon with my kids
camping in algonquin park ontario, canada
the back yard of the house on kinsey
the front porch of the house on elm street
and many, many more!

cup of friendship

this original canvas is going to hang in my friend and co-worker laura's kitchen. i'll always think of her when i see the photo. it's a lot like her . . . exuberant, bright with a wickedly funny dark side, multi-dimensional and always a bit off kilter. we may not be working together too much longer but i hope we stay in touch. if not, i'll always keep her as a fave in my lifetime cup of friendship. and, hopefully, my little piece of art will make her think of me and smile every once in a while.

what is a home?

home is . . .
where i can wear pajamas any time of the day and not feel guilty
being greeted so warmly by my dog presley every time i enter
a retreat from the pressures of a demanding world
memories of happy family gatherings with anticipation of many more to come
waiting for bill to come home and fill my arms with love
a happy circuit -- refrigerator, art room, bathroom, reading chair, refrigerator . . .
a nesting place filled with love, laughter and comforts beyond compare

spring thoughts

tuesday was warm and sunny which found me outside surveying the signs of spring in my backyard. the sparrows are nesting in the birdhouse on the back fence post. the crocus are peeking up out of my bed of hens and chicks. sprouts are out on the honeysuckle vine. all of this made my heart sing. it will be no time at all until i am out in the flower beds with dirt on my hands and fresh air making me euphoric again. tuesday evening i headed straight to the art room and created the "spring blooms" 12" x 12" canvas seen above. my tribute to the first signs of spring here in ohio. you can check it out as well as many other original pieces of my art at my etsy boutique:
Happy spring -- get out and enjoy the nicer weather!!

life without music?

when i look back over my life i sometimes wonder what i would have done without music. it has been so very influential in my life. i love to sing although i've never really done it in public unless you count junior high choir and the times i let loose when i have my ipod on at work. :) my biggest musical influence has without doubt been the beatles. have you ever noticed that no matter what mood you're in, there's a beatles song to support it? and, if you're in a particularly low mood, there's nothing like a good lennon/mccartney melody to cheer you up. beatles music is a mainstay in my art room along with stacks of paper ready to be torn, my messy box of pastel chalks and stacks of finished and ready-to-create canvasses. while i'm at it what would life be without silly dancing to music? this habit of mine tends to annoy my husband but free spirits have just gotta move. :) the above custom canvas titled "retro guitar" was done for a co-worker as a gift for her husband. she gave me all the bands he liked and i incorporated bits of lyrics into the piece. it is one of my favorites. i welcome commissions. post a comment here or e-mail me at

Thursday, March 27, 2008

testing, testing

testing, testing, ttesting