Planning the Garden


A Zinnia flower from last year’s garden

It’s that time of year again!  Time to start dreaming about what you want to plant in the garden!  I have a few small raised beds by the house that I’ve unsuccessfully tried to grow vegetables in. I say unsuccessful because any veggie that I plant in them is doomed once the free-ranging geese and chickens discover them.  What I  really need is a fence, but that probably won’t happen anytime soon!  This year I plan on filling them with annual flowers.  Hopefully, the birds will be able to control themselves.  I’ll find another place to grow my veggies far away from roaming fowl.


Purple Kohlrabi that had to be grown far away from my feathered friends.

When thinking of the seeds that I want to buy, a vision of the ultimate cottage garden comes to mind!  I love heirloom gardens! The old varieties, of course, have that nostalgic charm, I mean, who wouldn’t want to gaze out at their marigolds and fondly remember their Grandmother!  There’s a reason they’ve hung around all of these years!  The flowers may be simpler in some cases, but they make up for it in vigour and sometimes scent!

This year’s top ten dream list includes the following:

1. Marigolds.  Always and forever!!  Their bright and cheery faces make my day and they do indeed remind me of my Grandmother! They last a long time in fresh cut bouquets too!  I also like their pungent scent. I can’t be the only one, right? How about you?

2. Zinnias. So many luscious colors!!! Total eye candy and they also last quite a while as a cut flower! What’s not to love?

3. Nasturtium.  Edible flowers that attract hummingbirds? Yes, please!  They really do brighten up a salad, so if you haven’t tried them yet, I highly suggest it!

4. Cosmos. Bright, delicate, and lovely.  I have a small patch that has reseeded itself two years in a row.  No small feat here in the frigid Adirondacks! Fingers crossed that they come back this year!

5. Celosia or cock’s comb.  Now this one is one that I SAY I’ll grow every year, but always forget to buy the seeds!  The flowers are unusual, they dry very well and hold their color for everlasting bouquets.

6. Bachelor’s Button.  Lovely shades of blue that are hard to find in nature!

7. Calendula. Another edible flower to throw into your salads!  They say you can also use it in soups, but I’ve yet to try that.

8. Snapdragons. The taller, the better! Colorful and creates lovely structure in bouquets!

9. Pansies or Viola.  Edible flower in many shades of loveliness!  They tend to die off when the hot weather sets in, but they are a most welcome sight for sore eyes in the early spring.  If you’re lucky you get a few stubborn ones that will continue to flower even in the snow (that is until the temps REALLY plummet)!

10. Last, but not least, Dianthus.  Clove scented heaven!  Great in bouquets and another beloved flower for hummingbirds and butterflies.


This annual poppy reseeds itself year after year!

So there you have it!  Of course, there are sooooo many more flowers that I want to grow!  In time, I hope to add to my garden space around the house and then I’m going hog wild!  Flowers everywhere!  Until then, this small selection will do just nicely!

What about you? What are you most excited to grow this year? Leave a comment!

Happy growing!


Sunday Thoughts: February 19, 2017


“Winer Barn”

I’m hoping to make a habit out of this blog thing!  It’s easy to fall away from it when life sweeps you away, but I feel like it is a good creative outlet that I can’t ignore any longer!  So Sundays are for blog posts!  Observations of the week! This week: change in the air….literally!

Today was the most glorious of spring days, except it’s February and this is the North Country!  We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground here, enough to make you burst out in a sweat when trying to walk through it.  Today, however, it did not radiate its usual cold up back at me on my morning dog walk.  No, the sun was shining and I could feel a distinct difference in the way it felt on my face.  It was warm & inviting.  It felt close.  So much different from just two weeks ago!


“Snow Path”

The dogs had a jolly time romping through the snow and soaking up the sun, stopping periodically to make “snow angels”.  An activity they relish in!  Soon it will be exchanged with rolling in mud puddles, much to my chagrin.  Yes, those snowy pathways will soon be replaced with lush greenness & spring flowers.  I will revel in it with every bit of my soul!   As mentioned in other blog posts, it’s no secret that I’m not a winter person.  I appreciate the changing seasons and get much delight out of walks with snow falling gently and quietly around me.  It is dreamy to be out walking with the dogs and camera in a winter wonderland, but I will not mourn it once it is gone.  It’s never gone for long up here anyway!


“Dew Kissed”

There is much to be thankful for in life. The small things, when counted and appreciated, form one big mass of light that creeps deep into the soul!  For example: As I sit here writing this, my cat is skitter-bugging around the floor chasing something invisible. I’m thankful for this moment.  It’s small, but she brings me joy and that’s definitely something to observe and be grateful for!   Take some time to give thanks to even the tiniest things (especially when you’re having a hard day) and I promise your soul will thank you.

So there is this week in a nutshell!  Warmth!  Sunshine! Change in the feeling in the air!  Gratefulness!  All exciting things to let soak into our winter-weary bodies.




Tree Love 

A couple of years ago I started a project.  It was a series of trees in various mediums from embroidery to paint.  Trees are a favorite subject of mine & I find it calming to create them.  Each one has its own personality that comes alive upon creation.  I use ‘real life models’ for a lot of my trees and there is certainly no lack of inspiration.


Apple Trees in oil paint.


A gnarly old maple tree in embroidery.


Apple Trees in Liquid Pencil.

Lately, I’m back at it!  Upon starting a new Society6 shop, I decided that I wanted to do something different than my photography.  This is where my trees can make their grand entrance! I’m using it as a place to list my latest creations!  I’m absolutely bursting with ideas for new tree illustrations!


Old Tree


Poplar Trees

Well, it’s back to the drawing board for me!  Literally! Stay tuned for more happenings around the studio! ♥


Nut Tree


Food Photography from the Studio

Today as I gaze out of my snowy window, I keep my mind fixed on the arrival of spring.  Currently, a winter storm rages outside with the possibility 16 inches of snow. It’s hard to believe we only have 5 and a half weeks left until spring!  My creative mind is racing with the promise of delicate lilac flowers wafting their scent through the yard. Oh, that smell!  I’m filled with visions of apple blossoms blowing in the wind, raining down their petals, and covering the ground much like this snow that’s happening now.  But!  I must digress!  The subject at hand is space!  I have a lovely studio space within my home, but with all of the props that I’m hoarding, I’d like to move this space out of the house!


Book and Flowers

This is where all that spring dreaming comes in handy!  Amidst the thoughts of misty rain, fresh air, and daffodils is the urge to convert an old granary on the farm to a new studio space.  The space is warm and welcoming with wood walls and big old beams above.  It has two little old windows and a big sliding barn door.  Although not huge, I think it will have plenty of room for all that I’d like to achieve.  It will spark new ideas and get the clutter out of my house!  I’ll use it for still life, lifestyle, and food photography.


Misted Lilacs! Oh, spring!!

So stay tuned!  I plan on documenting my progress on the little granary!  I can’t wait to start sharing new photography that I’ve taken there once it all gets organized!  Now until it warms up out there so I can start working on it, I need to finish some sewing projects, start some art projects, and get the last of my seed orders in!  Onwards to spring!  ♥

Where the Heart Is


“Mountain Reflections”

“Home is where the heart is.”  We’ve all heard this before.  But what if your heart is torn between multiple places?  I live in a beautiful land.  The Adirondacks.  Forever wild.  But it is not where I am from.  I have to say, however, that where I’m actually from never felt like home.  I have no sadness for what I left behind there.  There is a place between where I grew up and here that tugs at my heartstrings though.  It has an ocean and stone walls and antique homes and old cemeteries.  It also has dear friends.  I’m often torn when I go down for visits.  I miss everyone terribly, but I’m not sure if I even fit in there anymore.  Funny how the heart sometimes does not know what the answers are.   I also happen to feel quite at home in Vermont.  It’s no surprise as I have family roots there. Let’s not even bring up how I feel when I visit the Quebec province!  Talk about feeling at home!  There’s also many family ties up there.  It’s hard being torn between so many beautiful places!




Stone Walls! 


Old Cemeteries! 

The hard part about being torn is not knowing what direction to take.  The Adirondacks are gorgeous, but I feel like a reluctant resident among the mountains.  Randomness brought me here.  Circumstance keeps me here.  We have a love/hate relationship, the ADK’s and I.  In the spring, summer, and early fall we are in love.  When temps dip to below 0, we despise each other. It’s enough to crack the hardiest of people.  I long to go back from whence I came, but I know it has its own challenges.  For now, I’m here.  Dreaming, but I’m here.


Mountains and Fields

So instead of feeling lost, I need to focus on gratitude.  Right now.  Deep breath.  This is what life is right now.  Answers will come.  Patience is required.  I have to enjoy the now.  Whether I stay here or leave, I must feel not anxiousness for it. Be present. It’s the best gift I can give myself.

Hearth and Home


“Days Gone By”

The sun struggled to come out today, but ultimately lost its battle with the clouds.  Errands needed to be done this morning & because of road construction, a detour had to be made.  Now, there are many ways to get to where I was going, so I decided to opt out of using the detour.  I made my own detour away from the confused leaf peepers lost along the way on Adirondack back roads.  I went down REALLY back roads.  As it turns out, it was the perfect day for a little distraction.  The lighting was beautiful & highlighted the more colorful maples.  I brought my camera, but decided to just soak it into my memory instead of stopping to click away.  I passed old farms tucked in the hills, some still in use, others collapsed and abandoned.  I daydreamed about what life must have been like for the hardy folks who made this place home in the 18th & 19th centuries.  It couldn’t have been easy.  Heck, it’s not easy now!  If I had any sense at all, I’d be following the snowbirds down south!  I may not have the hardships that they experienced, but I know what it’s like to tend to a wood fire 24/7.  I know the ‘joys’ of having to dredge through the snow to feed the animals & bust ice out of water buckets.  I know what it’s like to have near freezing temps in my drafty old house when the outside dips to negative 30 and the wood stove struggles to keep up.  Their lives revolved around the hearth and when the outdoors finally reaches the freezing point, so will mine.  I find a certain kinship with them.  My brain gets seized with nostalgia & I long to be done with all the distractions of modern life.  But then, I put aside my uneasiness about the times we live in and instead decide to be in awe of the foliage, the mountains, and the old architecture that we still have left.  Yes, I guess these days aren’t so bad after all.

A Grey Day


“Through the Grass”

It’s funny how you get used to the sunshine.  Day 3 of cloudy weather and I can feel an immediate change in my mood.  It’s still pretty green here, considering that it’s October 1st.  What colorful foliage that can be found pops against the grey sky.  Walking through the woods and fields, wildflowers can still be found.  It’s a reminder that there’s much left to the season to be explored. The distant mountains are just starting to tinge to shades of yellow, orange, and red.  Slowly things grow tired of green.  We have been lucky in that we’ve escaped a frost thus far.  The gardens are still producing tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers.  There’s also a plethora of squash, gourds, and pumpkins which reminds us that the fall season is indeed in full swing. The air is fresh and the days are getting shorter.  It’s time to take in the houseplants and prepare the wood stove.  Time to ready the nest for winter!  In the meantime, you can find me enjoying the last bit of green and warmth of the season.


Well, the birds are gone, except for the hardy souls that stay to brave the winter!  The barn swallows and all of their cheerful chatter are off on their fall adventure to elsewhere.  The geese are gathering in chevron flight and pointing south.  The lovely songbirds of summer have left behind the chirps of crickets to fill in the void, that is until the first frost.  After the frost there’s almost a deafening silence.  Perhaps it is a welcome rest after a season of busyness.  Until next year my feathered friends!  Cheers!


“Perched Barn Swallow”

The Changing of the Guard



As summer hands over the reigns to fall, it is a good time to reflect on the season’s blessings.  Summer brought many changes in my life.  It handed me good times and bad.  It inspired me to reach for new goals.  It inspired me to get off my duff and start practicing yoga!  Something that I now look forward to daily!  Facing fall, I’m filled with both excitement and anxiety.  What kind of things will I accomplish in the coming season?  What lurks around the corner?  I remind myself not to get ahead of today.  Today is filled with its own things to discover, tackle, and be thankful for!  The most important thing is to remember thankfulness, even if the days seem cruel, hard, and long.  The frustrations you may be experiencing today, will be gone soon enough.  Times of joy and times of sadness come in waves.  It’s learning how to navigate in those waves that can be challenging!  The greatest thing that yoga has taught me is to remember to breathe.  Whether you practice yoga or not, I think this is indeed the very best thing you can do for yourself!  It sounds so simple!  Breathe!  I don’t mean breathe, I mean BREATHE!  Deep life-filling-your-body breath and the sweet release of the exhale as you let go of the tension.  It is nourishment for the soul!  I look forward to the changing seasons and also find happiness in today.  Thanks for taking the time to share a moment with me in your day!  Enjoy!

Wave Goodbye to Summer



Although it’s only September 2nd, I can already feel the change in the air.  It’s as if mother nature flipped the switch to fall.  The air is cooler and the foliage is looking tired.  If you peer up into the mountains you can even see the leaves tinging yellow. To some, this is a most cherished time of year!  I will admit that the glory of flaming leaves carpeting the Adirondack and Green mountains like a calico quilt is pretty impressive, but still, autumn saddens me a bit.  It’s time time to say goodbye to the gardens and to greenery and brace ourselves for the biting cold and barren landscape.  Of course, I manage to find beauty in the cold and vastness, but my eyes will long for the lush green spring!  Goodbye summer!  You were glorious this year!  Until we meet again!