Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcoming the New Year

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. We stayed close to home. Our weather brought more snow and blustery winds, and although it was fun to wake up to a "White Christmas", it's not fun to drive in!

So, I decided to use the break to do something I resolve to do each more organized! A few weeks ago, my son had a dentist appointment, and while I waited for him I picked up the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens . It had so many great ideas for organizing that it got me inspired. (I bought my own copy so there wouldn't be any excuses!)

Our home is small, aka: our "Colonial/Farmhouse Cottage", so if you walk in and put the mail on the table, or put your coat on the sofa, it automatically looks cluttered....anything out of place makes the whole house seem a mess.

So this past week, I've been cleaning out closets and rearranging things so "everything has a place" and a purpose. Now if I can get everyone else who lives with me to have the same New Years might just work!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas Wishes

This week has been a little crazy! Getting special orders finished/ family and friends Christmas presents made and shipped out.....I know I'll be ready for a break next week, as I'm sure most of you will be too! Thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement on the Mary post. I appreciate them very much. I'll post something new next week....surely I'll have a story to tell after Christmas!

Wishing Everyone a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.
May your time together be a Blessed time of celebration.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mary and the Babe~ The Painting Process

My husband requested a painting for our church's Christmas Eve program and order of service for the bulletin. So, I asked him to find a photo or a painting of something he had in mind. He chose Roberto Feruzzi's painting entitled "Madonnina"! No pressure there! He said, not to worry, just to make it look like the faces I paint...well, that's all I CAN do!

Here is Roberto Feruzzi's beautiful painting and click HERE to read about the story behind it.
(I can't seem to get Mr. Feruzzi's painting to enlarge, so please visit the website for a larger view.)

I thought I'd take you through my painting process.
(I was told this didn't sound boring when I mentioned to my friend I was thinking about blogging about this! So......we'll see how many click on through!).

Now please remember, I'm self-taught, and this is just my way of doing things. I'm sure a trained artist would chuckle at my process, but it works for me!

When I start a painting, I always start by drawing my subject. I wish I could just "paint what's in my head", but I have to visually see something to draw it. So I will usually look at another painting, photo, or take several objects from several paintings and compile a composition.

Since my husband really liked Madonnina, I didn't change too much of the positioning and composition. Here is my drawing based on the painting:

I then use that drawing and trace it onto my canvas. So when a customer requests a painting that has previously sold, I still have the drawing to use for their painting.....(but no two paintings are ever alike, and as you can see in the photos, my painting isn't exactly like my it's a "varied" art!).

And now the painting begins! I usually paint the background first, (bringing the paint around the sides), and then paint one part at a time. For example, on this painting, I painted the cape then the the scarf, then the faces.

After I "think" I'm finished with it...I tend to look at it for a few days and tweak it here and there. Then I seal it and it HAS to be done! going back after that!

So, not too scientific, or secretive...just my simple process. And now my husband has some artwork for his Christmas program!

It is freezing here, literally! (I think tomorrow's high is 32!). Stay warm, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stockings, Swaps and Surprises

Whew~ it's been a busy week! Lots of activities for the boys and our online school....but, after a "rushing around town" sort of day yesterday, I came home to a package on my front porch!
I joined a Secret Stocking Swap with the online group I sell through: TDIPT Mercantile

Anything from any of these talented ladies would be such a treat! And I was NOT disappointed! I received such a wonderful box of goodies from Paula of Hidden in the Attic.
Every gift she sent is absolutely beautiful! She is a very gifted artist and I feel so spoiled by her generosity! Here take a peek at what was inside:
(Please click to enlarge each photo so you can see the descriptions)
(I've been wearing those warm red socks all evening!'s cold here!)

Thanks so much Paula!

Mary and the Babe are finally finished.....I'll post a photo and the painting process tomorrow.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Santa Dog

Hope you had a great husband and I had the rare opportunity to go antiquing~alone! So I didn't quite finish Mary and the Babe, (Mary doesn't have eyes just yet!). We had fun poking around a few shops. Found an oval frame to use for a future silhouette painting, and a few other little trinkets. I also finished decorating for Christmas, and as I did...I spotted the Santa hats! Poor Roscoe didn't even get a chance to wake up from his nap before I had it on him, asking him to pose! He is most cooperative after a are a few pics from his "photo shoot"!
(Roscoe is our 9 yr old white miniature schnauzer, and a really good sport!)

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Little Tag

I've been tagged by the very talented Cathy of Tadpoles and Teacups to list 5 random things about myself. If you would like to play....consider yourself tagged!

1. I used to be obsessive about cleaning my home...until I had kids!
(now I feel a great sense of accomplishment if I can put things away and sweep the floors once in awhile!)
2. I don't have a favorite color. My boys think this is strange. If I had to choose would be white (Click Here if you want to read a "scientific explanation" of the color white). To me, white means I'm free to paint any color I choose!
3. I love the history and provenance of "old" things. And love to make things look "old". My boys think this is strange too!
4. I ran the Houston marathon when I was 18. I'm not an "athlete" by any means....rather uncoordinated if the truth be told. But my Dad was a runner and inspired me to train and try it.
5. Cooking is not something I enjoy. I wish I did, but I just don't have the seems I have a million things I'm doing at once when I'm cooking and I can't concentrate! So, my husband cooks most of the meals, so I can concentrate on those other million things!

Hope you have a great weekend....stay warm! I'll be finishing the painting Mary and Baby Jesus, as per request by my husband for our church's Christmas Eve program and hopefully have something to share on Monday.

Monday, December 3, 2007

~*~*~* A Winter Wonderland *~*~*~

When I pulled out the Christmas decorations this weekend, I noticed a definite preference in my decorating choices for Christmas. I guess I never realized it before, but I tend to fall for soft, white, round men! (Sorry honey!)
As I carefully unwrapped each snowman from his tissue paper and bubble wrap and set them on the dining room table, it occurred to me that I might have a problem! Oh well, I guess I'm a softy for a top hat and a carrot nose!

(I'm having techno problems with my photos. I can't get them to enlarge, so you'll have to take my word for it that I have "several" snowmen on the buffet!)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tis the Season

This week has been busy with painting for web updates, as well as, state writing tests for my boys. I know that we are looking forward to the weekend...and believe it or not, I don't have any projects for my husband! We'll, maybe I can think of something??

I've pulled out all of the Christmas decorations from the garage, so I guess we will turn on the Christmas music and start our decorating! Have you started or finished your Christmas decorating? Although I've been making Christmas items since Oct!? I feel a little bit behind on decorating my own home for the season!

Here are some photos of the items I've been painting this week and that will be offered on TDIPT Mercantile on the 1st. Can you believe it's December already?

The first offering is a framed silhouette of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.

And the second offering is a table runner made using the same process as a I use for floor cloths. I've painted a simple winter snow fall scene.
Please visit TDIPT Mercantile tomorrow on the 1st for to view all the artist's's always fun to see what everyone has created.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book."

Austin Phelps, American Educator and Clergyman (1820-1890)
"A room without books, is like a body without a soul."
.....attributed to Cicero

Our Thanksgiving was quiet (well, as quiet as 2 boys and a dog can be), and filled with projects. Extended weekends seem to be the only time to complete unfinished projects in the house. We were finally able to paint the bookcase my husband made a few weeks ago, and after the staining and the waxing.....stacks of boxes of books were "freed" from the garage (that's another L-o-n-g weekend project!). My husband is a collector of hymn books some dating back to 1637....those revered books were given a place of comfort long before...but, the poor "family/livingroom" books,(as written in my hand on the box) have lived in the garage since we moved in about 2 years ago. It was like Christmas opening each box! And I'm sure the books are happy to breathe again too.

"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1875

All but one box of books found a place on the shelves, and in other nooks of the house. I guess "the man with the tools" will have another bookcase to build, because I didn't have enough room to decorate!
Here are a few photos's been cloudy and cold with snow flurries here, so I used the flash. In our previous home, I painted the first 2 quotes about books on our family room walls.

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1811

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Craft Fair

Welcome to Pear Tree Primitives' Christmas Craft Fair Offerings~

~Snow Pokes~
This trio of "Snow Pokes" are ready to decorate your home for the holiday season. Each snow poke is made of clay, painted, sprinkled with glitter and sealed. They measure 13 inches and each has a pretty paper collar, and ribbon attached. Sold as a set or individually...
Set $27 plus shipping (making more for a set)
Individually- $10.00 each plus shipping
Snow Poke 1....Blue Ribbon
Snow Poke 2...Red Ribbon
Snow Poke 3...Trio of Ribbon *SOLD* Thank you!

~Vintage-style Silhouette Charms~

Each charm is hand-painted on glass, then soldered. I've left some silver, and "aged" a few as well. The 4 square charms measure 3/4 of an inch square and are $15 each (plus shipping).

The 3 long rectangular charms measure 1 and 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inches wide and are $17 each (plus shipping).

The circle measures 1 and 1/2 inches round and is $17 (plus shipping).
The charms come with a choice of silver ball chain, black cord, of black lace ribbon.

4 Square Charms~$15 each
Bird (silver)
Rose (silver)- *SOLD*
Girl (black patina)
Boy (black patina)
Sold as a set (girl and boy): $30

3 rectangle Charms~ $17 each
Parasol (silver)
Matron (black patina)
Young Miss (silver)

Circle Charm~$17
Lady with Comb (black patina)

~White Winter Stockings~

These stockings are made using ivory wool felt. I've blanket stitched each stocking and added vintage buttons to each side. Beaded and ribboned lace are also hand-stitched as an embellishment.
Each stocking has a soft gold ribbon hanger, and is open at the top to add your own candy or evergreen sprig....OR tuck a vintage silhouette charm/necklace inside for a sweet gift to a friend (or yourself)!

Large stockings measure 5 and 1/2 inches (without gold ribbon hanger) and are $5 each plus shipping

Small stockings measure 4 and 1/2 inches (without gold ribbon hanger) and are $4 each plus shipping

Both Sets~ $25 (plus shipping)

If you would like to purchase and item, or have a question about an item please email me at:
Thank you for visiting!

(Little update....Please click on the photos to enlarge, I just made them larger. And the Snow Poke with the tall top hat has a new home...thank you!).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Snow, an Award, and Happy Thanksgiving!

We awoke to snow this morning....just a light dusting, but enough to get my boys excited about the possibilities snow can bring! It fell for about 30 minutes but soon melted away....oh well, I'm sure we will have more that will be fun to play in later. Here are a few "not-so-great" photos. It was C*O*L*D and my hands were shaking (probably didn't help that I was still in my robe!).


A big thank you to sweet Manuela, who was recently awarded the "Friendly Site" award, and passed it along to me. Thank you Manuela! If you haven't visited her blog, you should click on over.....Manuela always has fun projects and decorating ideas!
And to keep the award going, I'm passing it along to Cathy and Lana...both very talented ladies, as well as, having fun and friendly blogs.

Wishing you and yours a Very ~HAPPY THANKSGIVING~

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Promise

“May God give you...For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”
~An Irish Blessing~

We've had rain and drizzle most of last week, which was needed, but was a little wet to rake those leaves I've been avoiding. The weather was still damp on Saturday, but after spending most of the day (and night) painting the commissioned floor cloths...I needed a break. So, we pulled out the rakes and as we made our way to the front yard...this was awaiting us! Hope you can see the beautiful arched over our street, starting behind the neighbor's home and then across the reservoir.

And speaking of floor cloths, here are some photos of the
commissioned penny circle half-round floor cloths I finished this weekend. They will cure for a week and then be shipped to their new home.

The bookcase was painted too...but it still needs a coat of stain and wax....then Books!

Today is a special day....Happy Birthday to my sweet husband, may you have many, many more!

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Passed" Painter of the Day

This week I've been working on a floor cloth special order, and on a "commissioned" piece for my husband. As busy as we all can be during this can you say "no" to your husband?! He asked if I would paint a portrait of Mary and Baby Jesus for the Christmas music program for our church. If the "commissioned" painting of 'Mary and Babe' turns out I'll post a pic when it's completed.

My son's school Art curriculum for this week was another unit on portraits. I am really loving this!....he is being a sweet boy and trying to enjoy it with me! We are beginning another lesson on portraitists. This week we studied Thomas Sully 1783-1872, who was born in England and moved with his parents to the United States when he was nine. He attended school in New York, but when his mother died, the family moved to South Carolina where his uncle ran a theater and Thomas acted in plays with his brothers.
Thomas' older brother was a painter of miniatures and taught Thomas how to paint. Thomas opened a studio of his own, but wasn't happy with his work, so he traveled to England to further his painting skills and education.
When he returned to the US, he settled in Philadelphia, but traveled throughout the states painting and even traveled to England to paint Queen Victoria.

Thomas Sully painted what he called "Fancy pictures". His style of using soft colors and shadows to create a warm and tender lifelike image of his subjects made him a popular artist and one that is recognized today. Here are a few of the over 2,000 portraits attributed to him.

~I'll be finishing up the floor cloths and painting the new bookcase this weekend.....hope you have a good one~

References: My son's home school curriculum.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Simple Offerings

The Primitive Gathering is updated for the 15th.....lots of wonderful wintry offerings are available for viewing.
Pear Tree Primitives' webpage: Click Here
The Primitive Gathering website: Click Here

Monday, November 12, 2007


......a little more breathing room! Changing the template is a little like rearranging the furniture in your home. This might become a new addiction, lol! Hmmmm, I may just change it again next week!

The weekend was busy with getting my items ready for The Primitive Gathering update on the 15th. Here is a sneak peek at my very "humble" offerings. And with the help of some books and my online friends for support, I spent an afternoon teaching myself how to solder jewelry. When this is perfected, I hope to offer hand-painted charms in a few weeks. So stay tuned!

And "the man with the power tools", aka my husband was back to building this weekend. His thumb has healed nicely and he wanted to build us a bookcase or two before his "workshop" (the back porch) became too cold this winter. Here are a few photos of him in action! Now the next step is painting it.