Saturday, May 30, 2020

Life on the Home Front: Memorial Day and Beyond

Peony week officially began on Sunday with my first blooms (not these). It's one of the most special flower weeks of the year! Aren't these Coral Charms my sister had amazing!!!!!

Cousin Olivia turned 3! We brought presents to her lawn and enjoyed seeing the extended family.

My sister gave me one of the coral charms. You can see that one day later it had already changed color!

Monday, being Memorial Day, I didn't work at the flower shop but rather did chores around the house and we all enjoyed an outside dinner with hamburgers and hotdogs and radishes fresh from the garden!

We also had some sparkler fun. This child loves fire.

Tuesday was my flower day and it was fun to work with 200 peonies, snapdragons cut fresh from the farm, and lots of other colorful ingredients.

As the week has gone on more of my peonies have opened!

I enlarged one of my flower beds and added a hibiscus and a rose.

Michael managed to capture this picture of our red-shouldered hawk babies! We all love taking walks to our woods to check on them!

More peonies! The Bowl of Beauty has produced many blooms this year!

I ended the week with a Wendy Hollender Botanical Drawing class. 

And pizza for dinner on Friday night. And now the sun is shining, the air is cool, and it's the start of another weekend.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Life on the Home Front: End of School

We are officially done with the school year! Hooray! Now for summer -- which may be more involved for me because there is no online school to occupy the kids for a few hours each day. Laura and I are going to brainstorm activities on Monday.

We made Laura her own "room" for the summer in part of our loft. She loves it and we love it. All of us want it for our own room. And she gets to sleep with a portrait of Grandma Laura above her bed.

We got a few senior pics taken of Drew -- at least enough to send one to the school and have something to work with if we need invitations for an open house later in the summer. Maybe we will get around to taking some more.

 I had a great day at the flower shop on Monday creating 40 bouquets. I loved the bright yellow pop of the Billy balls in these bouquets.

And then there were moodier red, white, and blue versions.

The day I've been waiting for has arrived: Laura has decided to read the Anne of Green Gables books this summer. Phew! I was worried she would never choose to read these. It should be a good summer!

I am working hard on my art this summer. I've been taking online workshops with John Muir Laws and Wendy Hollender. I'm nearly finished with this five-painting commission which is being turned in to cards and prints.

I'm also enjoying my in-person class. Last week was drawing, this week was portrait painting and I tried gouache. Next week will be oils!

And I need to keep up with the nature journaling too! Got the lily of the valley in before it died. The bloom life seemed so short this year.

And Friday we said goodbye to the school year. Laura graduated from elementary to middle school (heading into 5th grade). David said goodbye to middle school and heads to high school in July. James is done being a lower classman and looks forward to being a high school junior in July. Drew was still sleeping when we took this picture.

I spend a little time each evening crocheting while we watch an episode of something. I'm glad my arms have improved and I'm not in so much pain (sadly, it means no black tea again). I've been cranking out a lot of tea cozies!!!

Drew is happy to be DONE with high school!!!

 I've been so eager to create some beauty to photograph and managed to get the chance Friday afternoon. It made my heart so happy and full to be surrounded by beauty.

And bunting.....bunting is the best.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Life on the Home Front: Week 8 and 9

The last two weeks have been full: the weather is feeling warmer, leaves are on the trees, school is nearing its end. 

David had a Zoom recital for cello! So painless for the parents -- no place to drive and show up on time and it only took 15 minutes to get through all the students! We are thankful for our cello teacher and David's weekly lessons!

Leaves on trees make a huge difference. The world feels completely different. I love trees. They make me so very happy.

We've even managed to start eating outside when the weather is warm and dry enough!

A glimpse into a weekend moment: Laura relaxing on the couch with some strawberry-rhubarb pie.

I am getting the gardening work done a little at a time. Already the garden is farther along than when I took this photo. I'm excited for June when the flowers are at some of their best!

Our local Red-shouldered Hawk nest -- I love taking a walk and checking on things. If the hawk is not in the nest, he is sitting on a nearby tree keeping watch!

Flowers are a huge part of my life right now. The week of Mother's Day I worked four full days at the flower shop. The demand was so great, even with three people working, we had to turn people away.

Working with flowers makes me so happy and towards the end of the week I start getting excited for Monday to be back with them.

The Mother's Day flowers were so very, very beautiful!

We have a number of dedicated tea drinkers in our house and poor Michael now has to share his pot with the diligent students who share his study.

One of the most refreshing things I did in the past two weeks was to take time to watch The Sound of Music with Laura while I sewed. I did this the day after the week in the flower shop and singing along with all the music filled my heart with joy. Laura loved it too!

Another thing that brought me so much joy and happiness these last two weeks was re-reading Susan Branch's two "fictional" books about her becoming an artist. LOVED them all over again and for those days I was imagining myself holed up in her cottage on Martha's Vineyard.

I'm moving forward on art ideas -- and art workshop ideas! Those on my newsletter list will be the first to know my ideas for the fall (sign up in the side-bar if you aren't already).

With church being online we had time and energy for Mother's Day breakfast this year. A special treat.

Somehow it is Saturday again and I am working on planning out my week, chores, gardening, and moving furniture around to better suit our family's needs. Laura is getting her own room in the loft for the summer. It's so cute I want it too!

And how cute is this mole? Every year we have a high school junior in the house we get an adorable mole project for that person to do (I don't remember which class assigns this). James' turn this year and we have a Samurai mole.

And now it's time to go find some lunch and transition to other chores. Have a good weekend!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Life on the Home Front: Week 7 Completed

We completed our seventh week at home on Thursday night. I'm used to it now. It's going to be harder figuring out how to go back to a more fast-paced life.

Monday found me back at Blooms by Wildwood doing my thing with flowers. Aren't the tulips amazing?!

 I needed to make 40 bouquets this week so I went back on Tuesday to finish.

We celebrated Laura's birthday on Sunday but Monday was her actual birthday and she was delighted to receive this squish mallow turned hoodie from friends!

I had a fun conversation with a friend about dolls and the joys of sewing. I pulled out the fox I knitted one of the kids and the tiny Holly Hobby that is a replica of the huge one I had as a girl.

This time at home has been a wonderful chance to empty my mending basket, use up fabric, make a few masks, etc. Here's a collection of fabric I pulled out to make a little boy mask.

A random photo of the living room this week. I'm taking so few pictures -- mostly because the scenery doesn't change.

Some of you wanted to know where Rachel was -- she is sheltering in the town where her university is located. Exam week ahead. Go Rachel!!!! Pass those exams!

 Some of my vintage sheets which I use for tablecloths or fabric. They make me happy.

I try to paint at least 3-4 days a week (of course not the whole day, but at some point during that day). This week I was working on a rendition of the heather garden in Manhattan.

A pretty photo that popped out of my camera on Friday.

And now it's the weekend and we have a HOT day. I'll let you know what we are up to next week!