Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Cottage Charm" Giveaway~ and the Winner is......

Here we go.....the names have been folded and placed in the bowl.

My "helper" is taking his job very seriously...he stirred and stirred the names again and again......

and the winner is~~ Natasha of Artistic Creations~~!!! Thank you all for posting such sweet comments...it's so nice to meet everyone. And now I have more blog friends to visit!

.....can't wait for the next Giveaway, this was so much fun!

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Cottage Charm" Giveaway ~May 26th~ Sign Up Today!!!

I've joined in on the fun....nothing like waiting 'til the last minute! I've joined my friends Lana and Deena in a Cottage Giveaway.....see this link to learn more! Kim of One Woman's Cottage Life has organized this great idea....

I will be adding photos in a few minutes of the giveaway goodies.....please sign up in the meantime!! Just enter a comment linked to your blog with an email addy...or sign with your email on the comment.

Saturday ( as late as possible) I will put all the names (probably two! since I'm starting so late!!) in a bowl and draw a name. I'll contact that winner and ask for a mailing address and post the winner Sunday morning.

Please sign up!!! Thanks!


For all the brave souls who signed up before I posted photos...here is what I'm giving away (sorry for rushed photos....hope you can see everything!)

Four notecards of my previous paintings,
some vintage lace, netting and doily, a botanicals painting book by Plaid and a sweet rose saucer of vintage buttons.

A pear make-do that I've made and a lovely vintage apron with kerchief pockets.

Respite with ROsEs

For the last few Fridays, I've been featuring a "passed" painter of the day. But this week has been a little crazier than usual...home school is winding down and the boys had an end-of-the year party with the extra-help class they attend...and, well, I'm sure you know how it goes.
(read a little story about that party at the end of this post)

So instead I thought I'd take a bit of a respite and show you the roses from an earlier post. I've cut some of these beauties and brought them into the house and AHHHHHH!! It is like we have our own little florist shop.

"I've always thought my flowers had souls." Myrtle Reed, Lavender and Old Lace

I think I'd rephrase that (sorry Myrtle) and say that flowers are good for the soul. . .my garden has been a happy place this week. Here are some photos of their blooms...sorry we don't have atomizers or fragrance diffusers on our computers! You'll just have to imagine..but the fragrance is wonderful!!

The only "Passed Painter" story I do have was told by my son. He was explaining to one of the teachers who helps in the "Extra Help" class what I did in my spare time...SO glad he didn't say something embarrassing, like..."she talks on the computer all day to her friends" (no matter how true that may be!)

He said, "She paints dead people" (and no, he hasn't seen that movie with the phrase, "I see dead people", lol). Obviously this could be taken several ways. I could work at a funeral parlor and put make-up on the deceased, or I could paint the recently passed in repose, or what I actually do, which is to paint people of the past.

I didn't have a chance to talk further with that teacher...so who knows what she must be thinking!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and please stay safe!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Teeny Tiny Tag"

Sweet Lidy of Tales from a Little French Garden House
who has a new advertisement in the latest edition of Romantic Homes...so look for her in your copy! and has a lovely website filled with wonderful treasures for your home: French Garden House has given me a "teeny tiny tag".

I'm to open the book that is closest to me and turn to page 28 and copy the 3rd paragraph. Well, the "only" book near me (besides the cookbooks in the kitchen cupboard) is a old hymnal. It sits on my desk because it has a beautiful, yet worn, cover and it looks nice sitting next to my pear!
This hymnal is from my husband's collection. By profession, he is the music director at our church and one of his interests in old hymnals. He has quite a collection and even has one dated 1637.
Unfortunately,this hymnal"Evangelical Hymns", is missing the copyright page, but seems very well-loved. I'm going to take certain liberties with the tag because page 28 in this hymnal is the beginning of a section and doesn't have wording. Also, since this is a hymnal, it doesn't have paragraphs, so I will copy a stanza instead.
So, here is page 31 (next hymn in the hymnal and stanza 3...this must have been a favorite of the previous owners, because it was bookmarked with a clover leaf).

"Beyond, beyond that boundless sea,
Above that dome of sky,
Farther than thought itself can flee,
Thy dwelling is on high.

These speak of thee with loud acclaim;
They thunder forth thy praise--
The glorious honor of thy name,
The wonders of thy ways." Conder

For this "teeny tiny tag", I tag Lana of Honeysuckle Lane's Simple Joys.
and Andrea of Southern Heart.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Around the Yard

This weekend was filled with needful tasks, but uneventful ones.
Which is the best kind of weekend to have after the eventful week we had last week.
One project my husband completed was the building of sweetpea trellis. To my surprise, the sweetpeas I planted about a month and a half ago decided to grow! I really thought with the strange weather we had last month (cold, then warm, then cold again), they wouldn't show their little heads...but, to my surprise they did and needed a place to climb. So, with some wood, nails, chicken wire and paint, the man "with all the tools, but always needs one more", made this cute trellis.
(actually, I don't mind that he wants more tools....he always makes something wonderful!)

Last week, for Mom's Day, I was given a clematis for the back porch...it is starting to bloom! This is the first bloom (and only). But there are lots of buds!

AND speaking of buds, the roses in the yard must have taken a consensus and voted to bloom all at once this weekend...the aroma is wonderful!!

I believe the previous homeowners envisioned an English garden with LOTS of Roses, Lilacs, and Lavender....and we are enjoying their efforts!

Friday, May 18, 2007

"Passed" Painter of the Day

It's Friday already....what a week. My older son was tested for allergies on Monday and has a TON! Poor guy, didn't realize he was suffering so. I immediately made an appointment for my younger son. He we KNOW is allergic to most things, but would like to know all the specifics.

Then on Tuesday my husband was in a car accident. He is fine except for a few bumps and bruises, but his poor little truck was totaled. The other driver is accepting all liability..she came out of nowhere trying to cross a two lane road and he couldn't stop! I know he is sad about his truck...hopefully we will be able to find something for him soon.

So, this week I'm feeling me age....(no, I'm not gonna say how old...lol). The stress of the week is catching up and I think we all need a relaxing weekend....indoors!...away from allergens and moving vehicles!
* * *
Today's painter is Deacon Robert Peckham (1785-1877). He was born in Petersham, MA and began painting in his early 20's. After his marriage in 1813 to Ruth Sawyer, he moved to Westminster where in 1828 at the First Congregational Church he was appointed as a deacon. He held that post for fourteen years. He was very vocal and passionate about his beliefs regarding temperance (not drinking ) and slavery. Deacon Peckham put his money, (or at least his house) where is mouth was...his home was used to hide the slaves who were trying to escape to freedom..he was part of the "underground railroad".

Apparently his church didn't like his mix of "church and state", so he left his post as deacon in 1842 and was excommunicated from his church in 1850. He moved to Worcester until 1862 when Congress passed the Emancipation Proclamation. Then he went back to his church and all was forgiven and regained his post as Deacon.

Most of Deacon Peckham's subjects were children. He had a distinctive style, and although he didn't sign many portraits, researchers have attributed many unsigned portraits to him based on the style, time period, and the fact that he painted subjects "as they really were"! He didn't try to make them too cute or hide any flaws. Little Oliver is one painting attributed to Deacon Peckham....he looks like he is full of mischief! And what was that mother thinking to give him a whip??

I'm still studying Deacon Peckham and haven't painted any portraits inspired by his work, but, for some reason Oliver just makes me laugh...maybe I'll try to paint him next.

Most of my research came from: "The Flowering of American Folk Art" by Jean Lipman * Alice Winchester© 1974

A wonderful book for your reference library....Oh! and a friend recommended "American Primitive Painting" also by Jean Lipman...so I ordered it and it should arrive any day! (thanks Lana)!

Everyone have a restful weekend!

(sorry, but somehow I had "not allow" for reader's comments earlier, guess I was tired when I posted. Yes! I would love for you to post a comment!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Emma Rose

American Folk Art
is having a May Flowers theme. The artists are updating their galleries with new offerings, and this months theme is "Flowers". So, I painted Emma Rose...she is loosely based on a painting by John Bradley ©1844 (remember the "Passed" painter that painted several portraits using a kitten and a potted rose bush in his portraits?). She is holding a rose plucked from the rose bush that her kitten is climbing...Ouch!

June/July's theme is "Americana", then for August its "Life's A Beach". Hmmmm, I'll have to start doing a bit of research for this one!

To see more photos of Emma Rose please visit my website:
Pear Tree Primitives

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Cottage Addition

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."
Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862
Well, that was the case these past two weeks for my husband and son. We had wanted a lean-to for garden tools, and had priced them at home improvement stores and decided it would be less expensive to try and build one. My husband is great with tools, builds wonderful pieces of furniture and always starts those pieces with an idea, then a drawing, and then dimensions.

The lean-to would be his first "construction" project. So, he bought a book that had a design he liked in it. Bought his supplies and started the project.

Building is sort of like sewing...not really, but it's the best analogy I could come up with this morning. Have you ever purchased a pattern, and just loved it and had to make it. You buy your material and notions. You lay out your pattern and start cutting. As you are reading each step and following the instructions, you look at the dress and have this panic attack because they skipped a step and now the collar of your dress is on your sleeve....well, ok, maybe it's not that bad. But, just imagine this scenario with large lumber instead of thread.

My poor builders (Ethan was "helping"), had this problem several times throughout their construction project. They had to rewrite the instructions, take apart already built doors, redo the roof line and of course make several trips to the hardware store.

But, the finished project is beautiful, VERY sturdy, and looks as if it is an addition to our little cottage. (In the photo at right, it still needs a little trim painted...but you get the idea). And it isn't even summer vacation yet.....perhaps I can talk him into building me a crafting/painting shed???

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Passed" Painter of the Day

Let me first explain my title, a bit of a pun..."passed", as in "gone on", "passed away", "deceased", Dead.....you get the idea. Sort of a play on words with my blog name, "Past", as in yesterday, history....well, ok, just didn't want you all to think I couldn't spell, (witch kan happin).

This weeks painter is Ammi Phillips. He, yes "he", (
I thought it was a woman for the longest time!), lived from 1788 to 1865 in and around Connecticut, Mass. He was named for his uncle, who had been named for the family's pastor. He was, in every sense of the word, a true itinerant portrait painter. He was self-taught and his style was influenced by past artists who had lived in his area, as well as, artist who were his contemporaries. Ammi's style developed and changed, and historians have categorized his works, ie; "Realistic Portraits 1820-1828", to identify these different periods. He traveled to homes to paint people in their familiar surroundings, and was well-known for it.

One interesting tidbit I found out about Ammi, was that he drew, or sketched his subject onto the canvas before he began painting. On one of his paintings, a sketch of a man's head
can be seen. It was nice to read this, because this is how I paint too. I'm not "free" enough to paint without a direction and plan. On the left is a portrait of a little girl and her kitten that was painted my Ammi.

Ammi's first wife, Laura gave him four children. She died in Feb. 1830 when the children ranged in age from 5 to 15. He married Jane Ann in July of the same year. She was twenty years younger than Ammi. He apparently enjoyed his new marriage, because he stayed close to home, not traveling about the country as he had done in the past. With Jane Ann he had three more children.

Ammi was a prolific painter, much in demand, and well respected for his art. He seemed to know what people wanted in a painting and was so successful in pleasing his clientele that he was able to provide for his family on the income from his portraits. What a way to earn a living: loving what you do and having it be appreciated by others.

~Have a Happy Mother's Day~

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I've just completed a portrait for The Primitive Gathering...if you haven't visited, you should click on over. It is updated the 1st and 15th of each month (I'm on the 15th) with lots of fun and creative offerings.

This is Rose and she is loosely based on a portrait by John Brewster....last Friday's "Passed" Painter. I seem to work best under pressure ....or at least faster under pressure! Our offerings are submitted on the 10th and I finished her last night!

Now I have to finish another portrait for American Folk Art by the 15th, awwww, I have plenty of time!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


I've been tagged by Manuela of The Feathered Nest. According to the game, I'm supposed to list 7 random things about myself. When I told my husband about this he said to list each family member and the dog as 1 through 4! ...he *thinks* he is so funny!

1. Actually, I will start with him! We met while I was touring with a Christian band (I sang) and he was the Music/ Youth guy at a church where our group gave a concert. Our group stayed in the area for a week and he drove to our concerts every night....he was a "groupie"! By the end of the week we knew we were meant to be! And one year later, after I finished my commitment to the band, we were married. It will be our 20th anniversary in August!!

2. I'm a homebody. I don't like to leave the house unless I have to. And grocery shopping is my least favorite thing to 'have to' get out and do!

3. I talk to my dog in full sentences and he really understands what I'm saying.

4. My husband enjoys cooking, so I let him! I don't have the patience to cook....or maybe it's the attention span? My husband says I should look at it as being creative. I guess I just enjoy other creative outlets more than cooking.....plus I'm terrible at it! And I'm a slender person...so, I always fall back on the old adage, "Never trust a skinny cook".

5. I love to garden, dig in the dirt, but I forget to water! Poor plants....so far my little herb garden hasn't suffered. Here is a photo...and let me just say, I don't like having my photo taken, but, here I am with eyes closed!, with Roscoe (see #3) and my new 'early Mother's Day' bird bath for my little herb garden!...this is not an attractive photo, but did I mention I don't like having my picture taken???

6. I can spot a barn red vs. a brick red door a mile a way! A few years ago I used to have a decorative painting business (small), painting faux finishes, stenciling, etc. And when a client had a certain color they wanted to use I would make up a sample board and take it to the paint store. The paint guys knew that I would not settle for a "close match". And that I could tell them if they needed to add a little umber, or more midnight blue, etc.
I'm not too obsessive about it when my boys dress themselves and the colors don't match perfectly....at least they did it on their own!

7. I keep my Netflix movies waaaayyyy too long! I've had a movie now for 3 weeks, and I can't find the time to watch it. So, if you have Masterpiece Theater's "Great Expectations" in your queue and you've been waiting on it...I have it, and I'll try to watch it this week!!

I'm new and I don't know many people yet, but I tag Robin of Robin Sherwood FreckleFarm (thanks Robin) Wendy of Whendi's Bears and Sylvia Anderson.
and if anyone else would like to join in, please do!

Friday, May 4, 2007

"Passed" Painter of the Day

Since joining the blogging world a few weeks ago, I have met some wonderfully sweet people who have lovely blogs (see "Lovely Blogs to Visit"). Oh, let me take a moment to say, if you would like to link blogs (I think that is the term), please let me know!
These lovely blogs are inspirational for the heart, mind and soul, and they reflect each person's interests. One of my interests is painting and I enjoy 18th and 19th century portraiture, in particular. So, as a way of keeping me on a "blog" schedule of sorts, I thought I would introduce or at least aquaint those who are interested with a deceased artist and call it "Passed" Painter of the Day on Fridays.....which is subject to move to another day of the week due to my crazy schedule!

This Friday's artist is John Brewster, Jr. (1776-1854). John was born deaf and was one of 7 children of Dr. John and Mary Brewster. He learned to read and write and eventually paint. He started painting portraits in the 1790's and went to live with his brother's family in Maine in 1796 . . . this was his "home-base" as he traveled from Maine to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York, supporting himself solely by painting portraits and miniatures.
In 1817, at age 51, he enrolled himself into a newly established school for the deaf: the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford. Here he hoped to learn how to communicate by using signs, writing (which he had already been taught how to do), using artificial speech, and reading lips.
He returned to Maine in 1820 and his painting took on a "renewed enthusiasm and vitality," according to Nina Fletcher Little, contributing author to "American Folk Painters of Three Centuries," © 1980, Jean Lipman and Tom Armstrong, editors (this is a wonderful book if you enjoy this sort of thing!). He painted at least 10 portraits that year. In his later years, 1835 and until his death in 1854, not much is known. His family didn't leave him anything in a will, so they must have thought him to be self-sufficient. He died at age 88 leaving a legacy of realistic and "picture-perfect" portraits (at least in my opinion!).
The above right photo is one of Mr. Brewster's portraits entitled "Child with Peach." Isn't she sweet?
Here is my interpretation of John Brewster Jr.'s "Boy with Finch" currently for sale on American Folk Art.

~Hope you all have a wonderful weekend~

Thursday, May 3, 2007

"My Morning Off"

On Thursday mornings, my boys attend a special "help" class which is actually a "help" for this home schooling Mom! I usually have about 1 hour and 15 minutes to run errands while they are in class, and I usually run over to Michaels to pick up art supplies...it's close by. But, I didn't really need any supplies. Although I have some self-imposed deadlines for finishing and starting portraits, I thought I would run into TJ Maxx, "just to look"!
I had literally "run" through this store a few Thursdays earlier after a Michael's errand and thought it would be nice to take a little more time to browse, because it is a HUGE store!
Well, it's a good thing I don't get out much!!! I had to make some quick decisions because of the time frame and I guess I didn't realize how much I missed seeing home accessories.

Before we moved, I worked part-time at a home accessories/furniture shop where the owner was kind enough to let me sell my creations. I loved decorating with ALL the goodies that would come into the store. Ahhhhhhh.....~****~......~****~.......
*Dream Sequence*

Anyway, back to TJ Maxx.....the last time I was there, I only had time to browse through all the lotions. But today, I went straight to the home accessories and found this perfect little pear. Oh, there were LOTS of other goodies, but I needed this sweet pear for my desk!

I walked out into the aisle, pear in hand, and saw the linen section of the store!! Last years, "spring/summer" quilt has seen too many washings and, well, I found this sweet quilt!...on Sale!!

I then saw a lady looking through large hanging rugs, thinking......., "that would be nice, since we put our wood floor in last year, we haven't had a new rug for it, just the old one, hmmmmm????"
So, I went over to look and actually found a salesperson to help me take down this rug I brought home!
Because theses purchases were quick decisions, I was prepared to not like them when I got home, but,...... I think I might just keep them!....and next Thursday, I think it might be safer to run my errand to Michael's!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bringing in the May

"In medieval England, people would celebrate the start of spring by going out to the country or woods—"going a-maying"—and gathering greenery and flowers, or "bringing in the may.". . . .According to Shmuel Ross (found it online!).

Hope you get to dance around a Maypole today!!! (Or, at least, smell some flowers).
And before you get too dizzy......click on over to Honeysuckle Lane...Lana's lovely site:

She has sweet offerings for May and she also has a blog if you would like to leave her a note:

"Spring has many beauties, and May is a fresh and blooming month....."
Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers