Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Friday, March 20, 2015

POSTCARDS FROM VEGAS

While Las Vegas is not a vacation destination we would normally choose, Mike had to go on business and I tagged along because I had reached the absolute end of my tolerance for MUD. It was sunny and warm, and in four days I did not see a single snow flurry or bit of slush. Lovely! Excellent meals, some Cirque de Soleil, a Faberge exhibit at the Bellagio, and miles of walking with my camera. My Fitbit is proud and sending me encouraging messages. Thirty thousand blister inducing steps in one day! A personal best to ease the guilt of those excellent meals.
We arrived home in the wee hours this morning, caught some sleep and woke to snow, which turned to rain and now more MUD. I am grateful for the getaway and the first day of spring. 
It took some doing, but I managed to find some wildlife that looked like this, in Vegas...
Tropical gardens at the Flamingo.
Rather than this...

The Wynn.
Bellagio
Wynn.
Caesar's Palace. The Forum Shoppes.
Pansy parasols at the Wynn.
Bellagio
Happy first day of spring, blog friends! Wish you were there! XO

P.S. Hey, you people with selfie sticks, be careful. You're gonna put somebody's eye out!

Friday, March 6, 2015

DRIVEN TO ABSTRACTION

We've had another week of frigid temps with alternating snow and ice storms, in this winter that will never end. Hopefully, having more daylight at the end of the day will make it seem more like spring. I hear we should reach the 50's every day next week. Hurray!
On the upside, rotten weather means more time indoors and a jump start for my creative mojo. Earlier in the week, I was seized by the urge to fling some paint around, followed quickly by a desire to play with fabric. Here's how that turned out.
Collaged paper and acrylic, with charcoal on canvas board.
Printed this on white cotton, and then gave it the fabric treatment. You might say, I was driven to "abstraction." 
Mostly fabric and a bit of paper on linen. Nearly all the fabric is from a very old quilt I bought at auction. I'll be really sad when this one is used up. It had the most interesting bits of fabric and almost no repeats. I don't mind that it's in really rough shape. I love every little faded, stained scrap of it.
Haven't decided whether to add text. I am open to suggestion.
Also made some time for dog pics. My little Scout is growing up and was very cooperative with the props. 
After last night's snowfall, Abby was convinced that horse-eating snow goblins were waiting for her outside the barn. 
She made very sure it was safe before going out and making snow angels.
Mother Nature apologized for yesterday's excess and offered this. The Full Worm or Sap Moon.
Have a wonderful weekend, blog friends. Don't forget to spring forward. XO.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

OLD MAN WINTER

Old Man Winter was rather late to the party this year, and now we can't get him to leave. I don't mind the snow so much, but my old eastern shore bones are not accustomed to this level of cold. I have had some fun with my camera though, and renewed last year's fascination with frozen bridges. 
Choptank River
Choptank River
Dorchester County. We actually kayaked here a few months ago.
Also managed a couple of quick trips to Blackwater where not a lot of creatures are stirring, besides eagles, who are not only stirring but nesting, a few heron, and this disgruntled penguin.
Exercise caution when landing in icy conditions.
We've had frozen pipes in the house and barn, but were able to get the water flowing with no ruptures. Lots of folks on the shore were not so lucky. I think by now even Scout and Nigel are tired of playing in the snow. 
Inspired by the frozen marshes in and around Blackwater, I am working on this...
Vintage fabrics and papers, hand and machine stitched on a cotton print of my hand-painted background. It's a process!
 One last thing. While we've been having all this wretched weather, we have had the most spectacular sunsets. This one in particular, had a peculiar beam of light shooting upward from the horizon. 
I think Mother Earth is dangling these little treats in front of us at the end of the day as compensation for what we've endured, such as the icicle bending wind that has accompanied the deep freeze.
Stay warm blog friends! XO

Saturday, February 14, 2015

VALENTINE'S DAY

Happy Valentine's Day, blog friends!
Mixed-media art quilt. Vintage and photo-printed fabric/paper.
Wishing you love, chocolate, roses...and a cuddle buddy. Stay warm. Looks like Old Man Winter is about to get a little crazy around here.
Scout and Nigel

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

HELLO FEBRUARY

The first days of February were bitter cold with howling winds, but ending in glorious sunsets. Mother Nature, doling out a little treat for bearing up bravely. Reflections in the ice on the river made these sunsets especially beautiful.
The groundhog may have had bad news for us, but the weekend was a taste of spring. Stayed busy on Sunday with outdoor chores. It was warm enough to take Abby's blanket off, so of course she had a good roll (or three) in the mud.
Nigel supervised, in the manner of the country gentleman he is. Leaving the dirty work to me.
We went into our little woods, I with my camera and Mike with his bush ax, to look for fallen branches. A number of wasp's nests had been shaken from their perches.
And now, this...
Has become this...
We are in the midst of an ice storm today, and as I have already had one near miss today, clinging to the handle of the back door with one hand and my camera with the other as my legs went out from under, I am planning to hibernate and cuddle with my dogs, shuffling very carefully out to the barn when need be. All this cold and ice, and we still haven't had one good snow storm. There's still time, if the groundhog was accurate.
Stay warm, blog friends. And upright, if you happen to be out on the ice. XO



Thursday, January 29, 2015

WHERE I'VE BEEN

The past few weeks have felt a lot like this...
At times like this...
And even this...
My parents, in their mid and late eighties are experiencing serious health issues. They live an hour away and since Christmas I have discovered there is not enough of me to go around. I am so grateful for the support of my husband and children, cousins, my dear MIL, and others who are too far away for hands-on assistance but keep in close contact by email and phone. So important to have a sympathetic ear at the end of a long day, particularly last week, when they were both in hospital at the same time. 
On the upside, my Fitbit is very happy with me. That hospital parking garage allowed me to rack up some serious stair step points.
Anyway, I'm not telling you this to whine, just wanted to explain my absence. I've missed you and this blogging thing terribly, and hope you will bear with me while I sort things out. 
I did manage to start working on this, before things got crazy.
Because I am feeling so stretched at the moment, I was delighted when this happened. I intended to make a early start yesterday, but...
A neighbor, of the "not a horse person" variety called at 7:30, to say he'd spotted a horse in his backyard. "Quite large, with tan and white spots, and a braided tail." My first thought was whew, not ours, and then...what to do? After some calls and texts around the neighborhood, we established who it belonged to, but couldn't reach them, and so I set off with a bucket of grain and carrots, and a lead. It's quite a hike to the neighbor from here, but I made pretty good time (pleasing my Fitbit again), and shook my bucket of grain in the direction of the last sighting. This adorable little face peeked around from behind the garage, and made me laugh out loud. The stray horse was a mini, which had looked much larger to the neighbor who hadn't yet had his first cup of coffee. I brought her home and stashed her in a stall, leaving a message for the owners to pick her up at their convenience. I was secretly hoping she'd still be here when I returned from visiting my folks, but she was gone. Still, it put a little button on my day. In the past few months, we have found a kitten, two beagle pups, and now a miniature horse. What next?
Don't you just want to squeeze it?
I'm off now, and I promise to be back before long. Nigel misses you, too. XO