Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Texture Tuesday

Hi Folks,
Just playing with Kim Klaussen's latest texture for Texture Tuesday. I have been saving these textures and not doing anything, so I wanted to give it a try.

I happened upon these pink poppies in a friend's garden. They were so beautiful, I just had to take tons of pictures of them. These are just a couple.

I really love the intensity of the natural picture,

 but I also think the softened one is sweet.

Or maybe a bit over done! I think I need more practice with layering and light.

And a couple more in natural mode...

Which do you like best?


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Loopy for Lupines

Hi all,
I ran into my old friend Cass today-it's been years since I've seen her. Met her new husband-I didn't know she had a new life! I've been thinking about her all day. It is so nice when people pop back into your life.

Hummer in my garden
Overwhelmed by computer work and petsitting duties, I decided to take a drive to Pudding Hollow and look for the fields of lupines I'd heard about. It was overcast, but bright, and I thought it would be a great day for taking pictures. Pudding Hollow is the name of a tiny old settlement on the edge of Hawley State Forest.

As I followed route 8A north of Plainfield, I noticed that the little brook beside the road was all bulldozed and the banks lined with new-looking rocks, new guard rails and patches of new pavement on the road. There were lots of dead trees and boulders along the bank. This little stream had turned into a raging monster during Hurricane Irene last August. Another stream, tinier yet, had a boulder bigger than a car balanced in it, along with dead trees. Amazing, the force of water!

Can you see that tiny trickle?
I crossed a new bridge, went past Middle Road and drove up the hill to Pudding Hollow. There is an old meeting house and a town building of sorts. The road goes up the side of a very steep hill with beautiful old homes on either side. Beautiful homes, beautiful gardens, beautiful view! But no fields of lupines.
On Forge Hill Rd.
Eventually the road turns to dirt and diminishes to a one-lane trail overlooking a gully on one side. I never ventured up it before, but as I have a Subaru now, I thought I'd give it a try. Surely there were no lupine meadows up here, but maybe I'd find myself on one of the state forest roads. Then it started down, steep, winding and pitted, around a hairpin turn, a lovely house! Then pavement. More houses and suddenly, fields of LUPINES! It was heaven, I stopped and took pictures-50 or 60 of them. I won't show you all of them, though.

After getting my fill of lupines, I found myself back on the new bridge via Middle Road. I had made a big loop in my quest for lupines-looping for lupines! I remember taking Mom and Trisha and her mom, Helen, on Middle Road one time and wanting to take that steep hairpin dirt road. That old car with 4 of us in it never would have made it, and Helen was going to cry if I did it. I turned around and always wondered where it went...

Then I stopped at Plainfield Pond for pictures of the Mountain Laurel on the other side of the lake.

I'd live in this cabin by the lake!

So pretty!  Later today I drove by a small roadside swamp and found this sweet family of Canadian geese.

In the last few days I've spotted a moose, a cooper's hawk, a scarlet tanager & rose breasted grosbeak, many deer, one wild turkey and 6 turkey buzzards. I love living in the country...

Got too excited to focus!
Finally, summer in New England! Just driving around gives me a thrill. The weeds and wildflowers on the side of the road are lush and glorious. The smell of the tiny white wild roses permeates the air--around the next bend someone is haying, and that smells even more heavenly!

Side of the road
One year for a craft fair I made potpourri and pillow stuffing I called "side of the road" - lavender, pine needles, hay, tansy and sweet fern were some of the ingredients. Tansy and sweet fern have scents reminiscent of sagebrush, strong and resiny. Can't resist!

A gentle stream

Confucius said
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Happy trails!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rhapsodising in Bloom

Hi All,

I'm so excited-I just won "Doodling in French" by Anna Corba from the stampington.com blog! I've always admired the art of Anna Corba, her clean and simple style. I can't wait to see what is in her new book! Check out the blog. There is much to see there, and new ideas almost every day.

We had some hot humid weather over the holiday weekend, which turned dry and gorgeous most of the week, interspersed with rainstorms. Ideal weather, I think. I love cool breezy evenings on the porch. Summer is not here officially, but it seems to be. I have been wandering back and forth in my sparse gardens, mostly containers, looking at the progress there. Perennials have all come back to life and there are buds and blooms all over the place. I have finally had some luck with my clematis (!) after years of trying. I have lots of blooms on both of them!  Not the gorgeous full vines that a neighbor has wrapped around her mailbox, but blooms, nevertheless! Oops, no pictures yet! But here is my huechera:

This week I got the pleasure of pet sitting at one of my favorite places with the prettiest gardens. I love this place. It has a view to die for and two lovely Australian shepherds. Did I mention the gym, the pool, the greenhouse, the vegetable garden, the raspberry patch...we should all be so lucky!


Her flowers beckoned me as the sun was going down. This little corner garden has always thrilled me in the late afternoon. The sun sets early here, as there is a woodsy hill to the west. The light reflects off the garage and stone walls, flowers scent the screened porch...

I don't know what this is but I love it!

Right now, I'm sitting here under the influence of peonies. Their heady scent has inspired this post. I planted this peony about 4 years ago expecting that sweet soft light pink...what I got was this amazing luscious magenta! This year, I finally have enough blossoms to pick a few. I added some clippings from my pink willow for contrast. (The willow is really a lovely pink, mottled with green)

Ooh, flash not working-yucky color!
I am going through an especially busy time right now, and am missing you all. I have lots of artistic ideas in my head and no time to do them yet. I recently spent an evening watching an old mini-series on Netflix and I deconstructed several old Readers Digest condensed books. Their covers are so pretty, I am thinking of using them for a new line of something...even the spines will be used. And I want to try antiquing the coverless pages into book bundles. Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage gives a tutorial here-looks like fun! Karen has a wonderful blog-check her out!  Hopefully I can get my hands into the mod podge and have some artistic fun soon. Meanwhile...

Another bad photo, but you get the idea!

I hope you are all enjoying warm weather and blooms!

Joyous June!