Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Christmas Botanicals Class

 Time has flown this fall and here we are at Thanksgiving! I have been busy giving nature journaling classes online this fall and am excited to announce my online Christmas class: Christmas Botanicals! This class is all about connecting with nature through the month of December. With videos you can watch whenever you want, we will dive into nature walks, learning all about conifers, berries, and pine cones, discuss the historic use of greens for decorating at this time of year, and of course spend time painting all these lovely things! You can find all the details over on my website here

You'll also see this class advertised: it's part one of my signature class on famous artists and authors and the nature that they loved. I can't wait to explore with students the nature that captured the imaginations of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Beatrix Potter and paint it all into our journals. This would make a great Christmas present for someone!

I'm off to work on the Christmas class and then get some pies baked! We aren't doing a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year -- just soup and salad and pies, ALL THE PIES! Everyone has chosen a pie and I need to bake them today. For those of you celebrating, have a Happy Thanksgiving! A heart of gratefulness can be one of the best things we take with us into 2021.

Monday, September 7, 2020

End of August Beginning of September

 The last two weeks have been full, as usual. Look at this beautiful collection of spices! My neighbor who grew up in India has been teaching me some of her recipes and these were the spices (some of them) needed to make Biryani this past week. 

I took Michael's mom over to visit my mom for lunch this week. All this outdoor entertaining is wonderful and it was the perfect weather.

My mom's flowers are just stunning, and they went with the tea cozy!

David and Laura picked out pumpkins from the patch they helped Grandma plant. Earlier in the summer they spent quite a few days helping with garden work. 

The pumpkin patch grows in a big field. 

Of course we had to say hello to Job the donkey and his attentive care-giver.

Mom keeps busy taking care of her people and bringing them lots of joy and love and good food! 

I took care of myself this week by scheduling a kayak time to my secret point. I enjoyed studying, planning, reading, and painting, not to mention watching all the wildlife and doing some plain old thinking.

I spent some time creating flat lay pictures for my nature blog -- do you know about that? It's where I blog about nature! And soon I'll be sharing some of my favorite nature books!

It's dahlia season and on the weekends my sister orders lots to put up for sale. They are just too pretty!

Sometimes my morning walk is extra special. What a gift.

Since I last wrote we had a son turn 18! Congrats Drew! We decorated by finding a whole bunch of things one can legally do when one is 18 and hanging those ideas from the bunting. Finally Drew can buy spray paint and actually get a job without having to get a work permit.

I've worked at the flower shop quite a bit lately -- lots of weddings and extra orders. This was an anniversary bouquet made to look similar to the original wedding bouquet. Those types of orders are fun to fulfill.

One Sunday afternoon we met at the park to celebrate Drew and cousin John's birthdays. 

The cousins enjoyed seeing each other -- we all enjoyed being in nature!

One weekend we had a lot of social engagements and I made A LOT of pies. 

This one was rhubarb:

This was a peach tart:

Once in awhile I get a chance to paint the flowers at work.

My online nature journaling classes started this week! I am very excited about them -- can't wait to "meet" everyone I don't know in person. My mind is bursting with ideas for the next five weeks.

One last picture of flowers.

Our Labor Day fun plan was cancelled due to rain so we are now working on house organization and the to-do list. Wondering if our evening meal will be rained out too! 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Butterflies, Flowers, and Everyday Life

 We hatched our final butterflies last week. Since they seem to hatch around 9 or 9:30 in the morning I've missed them while at work -- but Michael takes videos and sends them to me so I don't have to miss out on the fun.

This is the end of my exercise walks: the reservoir at Eagle Creek:

Drew and I did an "end of summer before college starts outing" -- we didn't eat cake like Rachel and I did, we burned up calories by canoeing on Eagle Creek. 

We had some good laughs about this seemingly very tall Great Blue Heron.

I spent a total of three days at the flower shop. Such gorgeous flowers right now because Emily's in-law's are bringing in fresh flowers from their farm.

Such happiness is wrapped up in these bouquets!

While I worked on market bouquets the other talented floral designers created wedding flowers. They were so beautiful I could almost cry!

On Friday I got to help make the wedding installation on site (at our Central Library!):

Rachel went back to Purdue on Saturday and Sunday evening we enjoyed a barbecue dinner with both Grandmas present. There was local corn (thanks to James' side-gig as a corn-picker on Saturday) and local tomatoes (nothing like them!). 

Masks are our new art form around here and this week James created a dwarf beard mask for one of his teachers at school. 

My garden is just full of birds and butterflies and hummingbirds and praying mantis' right now. It's bringing me so much joy!

I also enjoyed taking time to paint our Cake Bake Shop experience from last week. 

And now we are into a new week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Beautiful August

I'm thankful for temperate weather so far in August -- it makes for a beautiful month. 

Flower therapy Monday: I loved the candy pink colors and the bright pink wheat stalks. 

I got two morning walks in and loved this view so much I had to paint it later in the week.

David met the sign that graduated in abstentia for him from eighth grade back in July.

White peaches are my favorite! They taste like a raspberry-flavored exotic fruit. Their color is just beautiful too!

I kept up the hard work on preparing for my fall online nature journaling classes. If you haven't checked them out yet, you can find all the information here! Did I mention that I'm also blogging exclusively about nature now on my new blog "The Nature Journaler"

Drew is about to end his Subway career so Michael and I went to visit him. 

Thursday brought more beautiful flowers:

Friday I snuck away to my secret point with blankets, books, paints, and food for a few hours of vacation.

It was glorious!

There was plenty of wildlife to enjoy as well!

Rachel heads back to college this week so we planned a mother-daughter outing to celebrate the end of summer. We headed to the Cake Bake shop in Carmel.

This was a FUN outing: chocolate cake, macarons, and loose-leaf tea!

This is a destination not to miss!

We're going to miss Rachel! She's got to go back and work hard on that engineering degree!

And that was our week......

Monday, August 10, 2020

August, School, and How Long Will This Schedule Last?

Looking back at pictures for this week reminded me that it was a full week. As usual I was at the floral shop on Monday:

These flowers from my own garden made me happy all week sitting on the coffee table.

I got in my three walks with a neighbor. Sometimes we see exciting wildlife like deer or bunnies, always lots of birds.

We had more butterflies hatching! I can't get over how tiny the wings are when they first hatch and how big they become within an hour.

After a lot of hard work I got my new website ready to launch! And two online nature journaling classes available for purchase!

The first class will be six weeks long and will cover September/October (late summer flowers, butterflies, insects, seeds, etc). I'll be sending out videos each week and virtual nature walks as well as instructions and pdf's. My classes will also meet for discussion via Zoom each week. I'm excited!

You can find more about them here on my website.

The second class will be four weeks in Oct/Nov and cover fall foliage! Looking forward to this!

I also took photos and uploaded a bunch of products to my online shop.

I have milkweed greeting cards and milkweed giclee fine art prints. They make me happy.

I also have a brand new set of cards with artwork celebrating the historic Washington Heights community in New York City.

Thursday found me back at the flower shop with lots of flowers! AND it was the first day of high school for James and David! David is a freshman this year and James a junior. So far they have had three days of school in person! Long may this continue!

I was blessed to be served dinner by a friend one evening. The beauty and deliciousness of the food ministered to my soul, not to mention the conversation.

I think it was my week of food blessings as a total of four different friends/family sent things our way. One day at lunch my walking friend delivered green beans (incredible!) and a tasty lentil soup. Such a treat!

Friday movie night came and Michael agreed to let us watch Julia & Julie. It was good to enjoy a foodie movie.

Saturday I had the joy of creating a tea party reunion for our Sketching England group.

We had a tea party on the lawn!

And there were flowers, mostly from the garden, to decorate.

And some very beautiful food that made me happy. It was so good to see our group together again and to hear everyone's plans for the upcoming year.

James has made his own masks for school -- one for each day -- and the dragons snap on and off for easy washing!

Our monarch chrysalis' decorated our Sunday table. They make me so happy.

And now we are into a another week! (PS: It seems I should have called this post "things that make me happy"! ha ha! I could also say "things that I am grateful for")