Sunday, December 30, 2012

A snowy sunny Sunday ....

Today is a gorgeous winter day!  The sun came out and chased the grey skies away, and everything sparkled ....

We've gotten more snow in the past week than we had all of last winter.  The dogs and I love it!  There are definitely some challenges to dealing with this much snow, but it's so much better than the mud we were dealing with earlier this season.


The tree by the pond, weighted down by the snow ... I was trying to hurry up and get this picture before the winds came up and blew the snow from the branches ....


Had some chores to do this morning, one I hate, is bringing in more wood for the week.  And today I had to first dig out the pile of wood before I could bring any in the house ....


That was a lot of work, and I was hot and sweaty by the time I had brought the wood in and cleaned up ... guess I got my aerobic exercise for the day!  All stacked and ready!


The other "chore" I did this morning, was to create a path in the snow for the donkeys, so they could get out of the barn and into their outer shed ...


They wouldn't even venture out until I walked a path for them ... it gets deep quickly for miniature donkeys!  Here's Merlin heading back ....


Then Sam and Cosmo ....


While Merlin watches everything from the safety of the barn .... isn't he so cute?


While I was working on my chores, my neighbor Sally came over and took Rocky with her as she went cross-country skiing on the snow mobile trail down the road .... the trail has a decent surface so it's easier for Rocky to manage the snow.  They were gone for over an hour, which is why I have a snoring dog behind me as I create my post for today!


That's them on their way back home ....


Of course, Lily needs a turn when Sally gets back to my house ... though Rocky needs to torment her a little first.


Unfortunately, Lily's not too dependable off-leash like Rocky is ... so she only gets the shorter walks off-leash.  But with the snow as deep as it is, she's not anxious to go too far ....


And thank goodness for my neighbors ... mine are all wonderful.  Sally especially, she's adopted my dogs and helps me take great care of them ... she's definitely prone to spoiling them more than I am!


Lily ... in all her snowy glory!  She and I are both prefer the cooler weather, we're definitely not heat seekers!

Hope everyone has been enjoying their Holidays ... I spent some of my time off updating my website and uploading my 2013 daylily price list.  The list has links to many of the pictures of the daylilies .... check it out at http://www.mysticmeadowsdaylily.com

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Holidays ...

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc .....

Today, in the spirit of the holidays, I thought I would share with you my Christmas Decor and some of my collection of Santa's.

It all started with this Santa (in the middle), bought at a craft show many years ago ... one of the few handmade Santa's I have found.


I just love him ... and was horrified to come home last year and find him on the floor, Rocky had taken him off a lower table.  Rocky quickly learned to leave the Santa's alone!  The only other handmade Santa I have found, so far, is this one ...


Notice the base, it's the bottom of an old lamp.  I found this wonderful Santa and reindeer at the huge Holiday Craft Show at the Erie County Fairgrounds quite a few years ago.  I've gone back to see if I could find another good one and have been disappointed in the quality of the crafts in more recent years.  He sits on my clock table with another interesting Santa my friend Shannon gave me ...


This Santa is obviously on the move!  Here's my fireplace mantel and large Santa's and gold twig musicians ... I won the musicians at a Holiday party I went to with my Mom a few years ago, it was her annual Master Gardener Holiday party.


Next is my collection of woodland Santa's ....


Trapper Santa in the back left, in a canoe in the front.  Here's one my friend Judy gave me that matches my kitchen!


And my leaning Santa in the window with the succulents ...


My advent calendar Santa ... I move the Santa in the pocket along each day ...


My largest Santa with feather trees and more reindeer ...


Here is my manger scene with a large donkey watching over it.  My friend Mary found the donkey head at a re-use warehouse and bought it for me.  We think it probably came from an old manger scene ...


Here's a collection of smaller Santa's on my dining room table ... same craft table I used to make my barn quilt square I posted about previously. 


This Santa sits on the moon and hangs on the inside of my front door ...


Speaking of the front door, here's the outside of the house with my white wreaths ..


That picture would look so much better if there was snow on the ground!  And last but not least, my tree.  I went with a smaller tree this year and am very happy with it.


The gate behind the tree is to keep my silly dog Rocky from standing in the bay window ... I'd come home and see him standing there with his tail wagging a mile a minute ... how he didn't disturb any of the glass items on the shelves on the windows, is amazing.

I have many other Santa's that I no longer display, most of them aren't as interesting.  I haven't bought any new ones for a couple of years, since I am now very particular about what I want to add.  But I do keep looking!

If I don't post a new blog next weekend ... I need to finish getting ready for Christmas dinner, house cleaned, cookies made, etc.  Have a safe and wonderful Holiday, enjoy the time with your friends and family ... I know I will!

Friday, December 7, 2012

My grandparents art ....

On my last post, I mentioned that my grandparents were artists ... on my Mom's side.  My grandfather, Arthur H Lindberg, was the known artist.  My grandmother, Esther B Lindberg, was known for her quilts and her gardens but not her art.

Here's a picture of my grandparents when they were young, living in Kenmore, NY.


Actually, now that I look at this picture again, this might have been taken on Long Island.... but I love how "stylish" they were!

My grandfather was an art teacher in the Kenmore School district and lost his job during the Depression.  My grandmother was also a teacher, if I remember correctly, she was an English teacher.  When my grandfather lost his job, he used his talents to bring in some money.  He did amazing portraits, restored damaged paintings ( Charles Penney told me that my grandfather had done restorations for him!), created fancy calligraphy scrolls with gold-leaf, illustrations for books and magazines, etc.

Here he is with his box of pastels next to him, I always wanted to play with the colors in that box when I was a kid!


He was known in Buffalo, NY for a series of oil paintings he did of the Buffalo waterfront in the 1940's ... this is the article that was published:

 Most of the local art community still only knows him for that one short series ... I've been trying to educate them on his real passion; New England landscapes.  Every fall my grandparents would travel to Vermont and Maine so my grandfather could paint ... here are some of his landscapes:


 
 

Watercolors, acrylics, pastels .... he loved them all.  There are pieces of his art in the Albright Knox Art Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Art Gallery.  I donated another piece to the Burchfield a few years ago, and took a few of my grandmother's pieces with me to see if they had any interest in her art.  And they did, so they now have two pieces of art from my grandmother too!  She spent all that time watching my grandfather, that she decided she might as well try too. 

Here she is with my kitten, Sly, on her lap ...


She was an amazing gardener and quilter, my inspiration for my gardens and quilt!  And a really good artist too.  Here are a sample of her work:

 
 


As you can see, she was very talented also ... though my grandfather (the "artiste") didn't agree!  LOL!  And my older sister Sandy was lucky get this talent and uses it as an Interior Designer.  I think I got their appreciation for color and putting colors together, even though I can't even draw a circle. 

My Mother has made me the keeper of the family art and I have plenty of pieces from both of them to sell.  So if you are interested in an original piece of art, just email or call me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Quilts & Barn Decorating!

I missed a week of posting ... it's been crazy at work, and too much to do at home.  You know how it goes!  I have friends coming over this afternoon to look at my grandparents artwork, guess that's a good topic for my next post.

As I was getting things out, I found a picture of my grandmother with one of her quilts and thought I'd post about quilts and the quilt square I made for my barn ... that's where the "barn decorating" comes in!

My grandmother, on my Mom's side, was an amazing quilter and gardener and artist.  This is a picture, or collage of her and some of her quilts.

 
As you can see from the upper left picture, she won many awards for her quilts.  The one below that is the family history quilt ... here's a better picture:

 
Starting in the upper left corner and going clockwise, it shows the family coming over from England shortly after the Mayflower, her birthplace in Worcester, MA and then on until they came to Buffalo, NY.  It's just an amazing quilt.  I have many quilts she made for me, we all do.

I was looking for a quilt for my bedroom, it's lavender ... and wasn't thrilled with what I found that I could buy, so I decided to follow my grandmother's lead and make my own.  So imagine ... I had never quilted before in my life, and I needed to make a quilt for a king-sized bed.  Yes, I was a bit crazy!  LOL!  I did do it, it took me 6 winters to piece the top together, and then another winter for an Amish girl to do the actual quilting!  And I'm planning the next one in my head and can't wait to start working on it after the holidays.  Here is the finished quilt:

 
One of the quilt magazines I read, had an article about New England Quilt Barns .. I knew as soon as I read it that my barn NEEDED one!  So I looked for a quilt square pattern that I liked and thought would be relatively easy to paint.  Then I bought a 4 x 4 piece of birch plywood, because it has a very smooth surface, and a regular piece of 4 x 4 plywood to mount behind the birch for added support. 

I set it all up in my dining room ... I rarely use this room for dining, but often use it for many crafts.  I carefully drew my lines, bought my exterior paint colors and painting tape, and started.


Slowly, but surely, I painted on the colors ... 2 or 3 coats each depending on how it looked when it dried.  Carefully took the painters tape off the section that I just finished, and touched up anything that messed up when I removed the tape.  You can see my "pattern" on the white paper that I had colored in as my guide.


More colors added ... my guide is now in the middle of the square.


Now what to do with the middle?  My neighbor, Janet, was over and I showed it to her ... she said "let me paint one of your daylilies in the middle".  She's an art teacher and a great artist.  I was floored, what a great idea.  I gave her a photo of my own introduction, Mystic Avalon, to use as a guide.  She sent her husband over to get the square and went to work.

She called me a week or so later and told me she was sending her husband over with the finished square, and she hoped I would like what she had painted.  I said "you're coming too?", she said no, she was afraid I wouldn't like it ... I told her to stop being ridiculous and to get her butt over here.  And this is the amazing daylily she painted:


Isn't that just gorgeous?  I was almost jumping up and down I was so happy with what she had done for me!!  Here's another picture:


It was just perfect!  The perfect center for barn decoration at a daylily nursery!

We mounted it on the barn, we screwed 2 x 4's to the barn so the square would not be flush on the barn, to give it some breathing room ...


I added a border ... since this is made of 2 sheets of plywood I wanted a border to try and keep out some of the moisture.  I had thought that I would put a white border on it, but Melanie Mason (North Country Daylilies) was here visiting before she spoke at our dayliliy club meeting, and said she thought a yellow or gold border would be good.  She was right!


I tried all summer to get a photo of the barn, square and lots of daylilies blooming, but it was a really tough summer (too dry), and I never saw this bed of old spiders blooming very well.

Here is what it looks like from the end of the driveway by the road ...


So I've taken you on a quilting type journey today, hope you enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to taking this same picture with lots of snow around ... can't wait to see how much the quilt square stands out then!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Visitors to the Farm ...

I get many human visitors to the farm ... and many other types of visitors.  Today I thought I would share some pictures I've taken of visitor on the non-human (mostly) variety ...

Most of these seem to be of birds, I feed the birds starting in the fall and I stop again in late spring ... today I'm not very happy with my flock of blue jays, they have totally emptied my feeder in less than 24 hours.  Mostly they push the seed out looking for what they want to eat!  But they are gorgeous!


I seem to take lots of pictures out my kitchen windows ... here's woodpecker working on the hanging suet ...


I love the contrast of the bright red cardinal in this picture ... they don't seem to come to the feeders, but eat seeds that fall on the deck and ground.


We often see pheasants ... not because they are successfully living here, unfortunately ... one of the neighbors buys them and releases them.  I'm wondering if he thinks they will re-establish themselves?

A gorgeous male:


Two pair on my deck ....

These next 2 pictures are human type visitors ...


They didn't actually land in my yard, in this picture they landed in the neighbors cow pasture .. the first time I heard a balloon, I didn't know what I was hearing ... then it came over the trees and I realized I was hearing the whoosh of the fire heating up the gas that makes them rise.  The dog, donkeys and I all stopped and stared, as they barely made it over the tree tops.


Here they look like they will land in the trees, but they did make it over them.  I have discovered that this is a balloon company that operates out of East Aurora, NY, the small town 10 minutes from my house. 

Here's a bird many dislike ...


Especially those with ornamental fish ponds in Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs.  The herons have learned that there are easy pickings in those backyard ponds.  I don't care that they are fishing in my pond ... I have enough fish to share with them.

Here are a couple pictures from the summer bird feeders.  I didn't realize I had Baltimore Orioles until one flew over my head one spring ... so I bought a feeder and they come regularly.  Their coloring is just amazing!


And  the smallest of the visitors .... the hummingbird!  I love these birds and the noise they make as they are defending "their" feeder against other hummingbirds.  They chitter at each other ...


These last 2 pictures were taken by my neighbors, Sally & Bob ... my other neighbor Thelma called breathless ... and said there's a bear, see to your donkeys, I have to call Sally, Bob's working outside.  I looked out the back and didn't see anything, but went out to the barn to see what the donkeys were doing ... and they were freaking out!  They obviously knew the bear was around, they were running in and out of the barn, back and forth ... I finally got them into their stalls and the doors closed and they settled down.


Bob took this picture from their porch .... my neighbors on both sides of me are back quite a bit from the road, close to the creek that flows through all of our properties.  I'm close to the road so I didn't see the bear since he probably was following the creek.


We've all heard of bears visiting the area, but this was the first time Sally & Bob had seen one ... as they watched it walk around their house!  Bob sent me these pictures so I could see for myself.

I wish I had my camera with me 2 weeks ago when the dogs and I walked around the pond, there was a gorgeous fox in my back field ... he stopped and looked at us and took off quickly when he saw the dogs.  He was beautiful ... gorgeous red/orange coat and big fluffy tail.

Hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the visitors to my farm!