Decking The Halls

Shopping and decorating has begun. Last week I stole some time to venture out just a bit, with my daughter on a quest for a specific item. Of course, that usually means that I find everything but. One (unexpected) fun find that I couldn’t/didn’t resist were these felt flake placemats. Snow in any form typically puts me in the holiday mode so, my decorating began with my favorite dinnerware group, “Hilltop Snowmen.”DeckingHallsNow . . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!DeckingHalls2DeckingHalls3LoDeckingHalls4DeckingHalls5


This week is dedicated to family and home arts. Lots of gathering, pie baking, table setting, crafting & stuffing!Some of our typical Thanksgiving holiday traditions . . .

S – O   •   T – H – A – N – K – F – U – L – L !Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Henny-penny, Cockylocky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy!

Drought Distraction

Just under 100 is predicted for the next three days with RAIN possible! Hopeful news. Two months down, one to go, for this dry and extremely HOT summer. Lots of outside watering time and moving plants away from the scorching sun, has been somewhat of a distraction from painting.

Fun however, has been keeping an eye on a family of tree frogs that have spent their summer in these cool, wet cans which also house my pretty Gerber Daisies.

Enjoyed watching them both grow.

Inside watering (with color) too & keeping cool in the (Joy) studio – Finishing up our 2013 Christmas collection.

So Much Life

The ‘so much life’ I mention in the last post was certainly felt the second week of our mini art camp. Besides Independence Day falling smack dab in the middle, I began the week by stepping on a sliver of glass going for my first cup of coffee Monday morning. Unable to retrieve it on my own after soaking and searching with magnifiers, I bandaged and hobbled through the best I could.

The second surprise was a phone call from my aunt Lois who was just in from Texas. Although aware of her trip, she phoned to let me know that she had decided on this visit, to bring my grandmothers photos, collected over at least three lifetimes! This, at my periodical requests to document (some day) the rarely seen (Tuesday’s) treasures, with hi res scans (on my equipment) and hopefully gather the accompanying family stories/history. How could I pass on this opportunity, right? Naturally, I could not . . .

Making time for everything was more than challenging but recognizing the rewards in all, I wore myself out trying to keep up. Did I mention, all took place during a period of record breaking heat and drought not felt in Missouri since the dust bowl years? Ten days straight, over one hundred degrees. Whew, brutal!

After most of the work was complete and a major clean up, I saw a podiatrist the following Monday. He successfully removed the obstacle of the pain in my foot. Ah, relief. Staying off my feet for a few days . . . doctor’s orders! ;-D

Hydrangea Highlight

Summer is heating up – mid 90s, all week!

The Hydrangea bushes love it. Me, not so much.Plans to sketch more of the pretty blossoms is on the schedule.

Work to be done from cut subjects in the cool of the studio, naturally.

O Tannenbaum

Looking back, it seems I made several posts on Christmas trees, Christmas tree Art, Christmas Tree fences  and Christmas tree decorations last year. Surprisingly, this year we went back to nature. A real tree!

About three weeks ago, I heard the roar of the tree trimmer’s grinding machines coming up the hill. I panicked and then started making calls and sending e-mails letting Ameren UE know that I did not wish to have my trees trimmed. I argued that they were not yet a threat to the above ground power lines in the likely hood of an ice storm. They did not agree . . .

Here is the last one of three White Pines that I planted twenty two years ago just before it got the axe, rather the chainsaw.

The good news – The topped towering pine, became our Christmas tree this year. Not your typical winter evergreen but, it’s tall (aprox 12′-14′), it’s real and it is perfect for our not so typical Christmas.


O Tannenbaum“, or, in its English version, “O Christmas Tree“, is a Christmas Carol of German origin.

A Tannenbaum is a fir tree (German: die Tanne) or Christmas Tree (der Weihnachtsbaum). Its evergreen qualities have long inspired musicians to write “Tannenbaum” songs in German.

The best known version was written in 1824 by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz. The melody is an old folk tune (Lauriger Horatius). The first known “Tannenbaum” song lyrics date back to 1550. A similar 1615 song by Melchior Franck (1573–1639) begins:

Ach Tannenbaum, ach Tannenbaum, du bist ein edler Zweig! Du grünest uns den Winter, die liebe Sommerzeit.