Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rocks, Prizes and Banners

On Friday, I mentioned my sons and I were going to visit a rock museum.. Well, in my foggy-headed-cold- medicated stupor, I forgot the camera! And even though two of us were fighting a cold, we had a fun time. Here are links to what we did and experienced:
Idaho Mining Museum
Idaho History
After the mining tour we visited the Old Penitentiary. Just the Women's side was open for viewing. We took the "self-guided" tour and read some interesting facts about the women who were imprisoned in this tiny building. The men's pen opened in 1870 and closed in the 1970's, which was amazing in itself considering how old it was then.
The men had to quarry the stones from the hillside we visited to build their own jail cells. I think we will go back for a guided tour and learn more about the history another time.

This weekend was the annual "Trunk-or-Treat" event at our church. Families with small children walk around the church parking lot and "trick-or-treat" from the decorated trunks of cars. My husband and older son enjoyed participating last year, but since it was our first year at the church, they didn't realize prizes would be awarded to the most originally decorated trunk. So, this year they started planning, but couldn't agree on a theme. At the last minute they had a brainstorm and loaded up the back of my husband's truck with their props (mostly furniture from my living room!).

Here are a few photos of their "Living Room" in the back of the truck. My son was dressed in his jammies and played the part of the annoyed and grumpy home owner who has to get up and answer the door to trick or treaters. (the "hippie" sitting next to my son is the Children's Director's child). They took the extention cord and plugged in my son's TV, and a lamp. It seems their idea was a hit! In fact, a lot of the trick or treaters wanted to watch TV instead of "Trunk-or-Treat". They came home pretty pleased with themselves and were awarded a prize basket as well!
In it was microwavable popcorn, plastic popcorn containers (they are cute...they look like popcorn bags from the movies), 4 movies passes, and movie candy!

And, I guess I asked sweetly enough this weekend , because my husband made a blog banner for me! I'm still playing around with text colors, and am not sure about the parchment (a warm color) on top of the grey- toned background color. But, I'm liking the new banner!

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Passed Painter of the Day"~ Prior-Hamblin

Recently while looking through my reference books for inspiration. I revisited some pages that I had bookmarked in hopes of painting them someday. The artist/artists I found was William Matthew Prior.....and his brother-in-law Sturtevant Hamblin. Their flat, distinct, recognizable style, has been a clue for some unsigned portraits painted in the mid-nineteenth century.

William Prior lived from 1806-1873. He traveled New England painting portraits and landscapes, and settled in Boston in 1845. He lived with his brother-in-law and his family, the Hamblins. Sturtevant Hamblin was also a portrait painter. And during this time, many unsigned portraits were painted with the flat, signature style attributed to William Prior's work.

There is no documentation to know for sure, but these unsigned paintings are thought to have been the result of a school of painting/ or workshops given by Prior-Hamblin. Portrait artist living in the area at the time might have taken some instruction from these painters. Perhaps they were the "Bob Ross" of their era? :)

My sons and I are visiting a rock museum today....not sure I'm really excited about it, but it fits in with the Earth Science curriculum we are studying. So, maybe I'll have photos of rocks to share on Monday! (just kidding!)
~Have a wonderful weekend~

References:"American Naive Paintings" by Deborah Chotner © 1992
"American Folk Art Postcard Book" published by Running Press ©1986

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hey, hey, Look up, Look up!!

It's a new banner! My husband has some new software for his computer and he made this for me....he actually made 3 because I couldn't decide! :)
I probably won't keep it there because it doesn't have the blog name on it "Painter of the Past". But,hmmmmmm, maybe I can ask him sweetly to make one for my blog? "Oh, Honey........"

Just a note~ I removed the banner and am awaiting a new one!~

Friday, October 19, 2007

How Exciting!!!!

Yesterday's mail brought one of my favorite publications!.... Early American Life and this issue was especially exciting because my friend, Lana of Honeysuckle Lane, and I have an advertisement in it! We are on page 78 if you subscribe.

Home school has kept us busy this week, and all of us are ready for the weekend!
This Friday, I thought I'd show you what God is doing with His paintbrush in our part of the world.
This photo of the top of our tree was taken at night.
Looks like it's glowing! First the pretty leaves, and then.....guess what we will be doing this weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2007


The Primitive Gathering is updated and there a many wonderful offerings this month. Please go take a peek!
Here are my items for the month:

"Let's Go Sledding"
"Early American Ornaments" You can see them HERE
My website has been updated with a new page~ "Silhouettes"
....and from this page is a link to another page to view each silhouette in a frame.

Pear Tree Primitives

.....and one more thing! I've updated my Etsy store.
(You can view my gallery on the left sidebar.) Here is a link:

My Etsy Shop

Thank you! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I'm happy to report we had a calm and "event-free" weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Kitchen is Clean!....

So here are some photos of it as a continuation of Monday's post: My Talented Husband
It's an "economy-cottage kitchen" (a nice way of saying it's small!). My husband rebuilt the base cabinets that were falling off the wall when we bought the house. (We love a home with potential, lol!). He put in the black laminate counter tops and composite sink, even though plumbing is not his favorite home improvement project!
He made the door fronts of the cabinets using beadboard and put in the beadboard backsplash, job was to prime,paint and seal all of these. We left the top cupboard to the right of the window open and added the beadboard to the back of that. One of the bottom cabinets holds the microwave, and below it is a drawer bin. Someday, when I have time, I'd like to paint something decorative and hang it above the stove.....although, I do love the white.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm hoping ours is calm without any trips to the ER, like last weekend!

~ I'm very honored to be featured on the Bliss Guild Blog~
~ Thank you so much ladies!~

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Christmas in October

A group I'm in had a Christmas ornie swap, and I just received my box of goodies in the mail! It's literally like Christmas! I made six ornies to give and received six ornies! It was so much fun to see the talent that arrived in my box! Here are some pics....and I just grabbed the only tree I had decorating my home at the time, my Pear Tree, so for Christmas I will use a larger tree!

From my friends.....

Lorraine~ a sweet striped star with a cute face

Lana~ a lovely paper cone with ribbon
(Lana has some on her website too! Click here)

~ a sweet snowman with a ruffled crepe paper collar

~ a yellow glass-glitter star with a banner that reads "Dream"

April~ a wonderful Folk Art santa with a tree, and looks just like a chaulkware santa

Betty~ an adorable punchneedle ornie with a crescent moon and tree design

Thanks girls....these are all so very special!

Monday, October 8, 2007

My Talented Husband.....

builds and makes furniture, plays several instruments including piano and guitar, directs a church and a high school choir, cooks delicious meals, and has many other talents, but the afore-mentioned all have need of his talented hands!
This weekend he was chopping green onions for potato soup, and sliced his thumb. OUCH! He calmly called out to me saying, "I think you need to drive me to the ER."
Of course, I freaked out! He looked a little pale, not from loss of blood, but from the accident itself.
We went to the ER and he ended up needing 4 stitches on his thumb.
And in the photo (he reluctantly let me take), you can see he has a big white bandage on it. Despite his ailment he played the piano and directed the choir Sunday morning at church!

We are very grateful the damage wasn't worse, and of course, he feels silly telling people how it happened (did I mention he was reluctant to take that photo and let me blog about this?lol)... I thought I'd show you what those hands have built in our home, and why I'm grateful for them, and him!

We had to down-size when we moved a few years ago and in the process needed to sell most of our furniture. With our current home, we needed "custom-designed" furniture. Here is what he has built:

A dining room buffet, a butcher block, a hutch for the end of the kitchen counter, a wardrobe for our bedroom....and that is just some of the furniture...lots of shelves, and of course a new bathroom and outdoor shed. He also put down the wood floor, and rebuilt the kitchen cabinets and put in the laminate countertop....I'll have to show you those when the kitchen is clean! :) His next plan is to build us bookcases in the living room.....but not until his thumb has healed!

Today at 12 pm is the theme update on American Folk Art
here are 2 of my new offerings for the update:

Friday, October 5, 2007

"Passed" Artistry of the Day

I don't know if I have the discipline and patience to sit and stitch a sampler as young women of the past were taught to do. Well, maybe if it was for a grade in school I'd do my best. But then again, would my teacher have the patience!?


(Kudos to those of you who are stitchery artisans! One of whom is my father-in-law...yes, I typed "Father" in-law! He is accomplished at his craft of cross-stitching, even winning ribbons at his local fair! Wish I had photos to show you, because he does incredible work.)


The stitcheries and samplers of young school girls of the 19th century showed not only skill and discipline, but an art form that represents Early America. These early American's decorated their homes with these samplers, or "patterns to copy". Mothers taught their daughters and more wealthy families sent their daughters to school to learn to read, write, and stitch! The teacher would sketch out a design onto cloth for the young girl to copy by stitching. Usually these were made using silk thread woven into linen or cotton cloth, and over time the thread would fade and the cloth would become darker. The sampler design usually consisted of a large border that was filled with simple shapes, such as, birds, flowers, houses and trees. Inside the border you might find the alphabet in fancy lettering, numbers, or a poem. And the proud stitcher would add their name and the year they finished the sampler.
Samplers tell about the lives of the young early Americans and are beautiful artifacts for learning about what was important to the one who left it behind.

As I said earlier, I'm not sure stitchery is for me, but I love to paint, so I painted a sampler instead (it went a lot faster for me than stitching it!). This framed sampler is on TDIPT Mertcantile this month.
Here are a few websites that have examples of samplers and more of their history:

(References and sampler photos: my son's school curriculum)
(this site has samplers from all over, not just Early America)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Autumn Blessings

It really felt like autumn this weekend. There was a crispness in the air and after a rainy Friday, the temperature dropped down in the 50's! Since it was in the high 70's/ low 80's last week...that was quite a change. Here is a photo of the reserve across the street taken from our front steps. The trees are already starting to turn.

And with this cooler weather we wanted warm comfort foods. That is just one of the things I love about fall, the soups, stews, chilies, breads, pies....and the house smells so good when these are cooking!

We pulled out one of our favorite soup recipes that a friend gave to me years ago...(and I'm not sure who to give the credit to, as I recall, it was given to her as well). So we made some rolls to go with it, and it lasted us a few meals. This soup is always better the next day after you cook it! Here is the recipe for this yummy Minestrone Soup:

1 lbs Italian sweet sausage
1 Tbls olive or veg. oil
1 med onion diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 tsp dried basil
2 small zucchini sliced
1 can (14oz) Italian pear tomatoes
(chopped; undrained)
1.5 cups chicken (or beef) broth
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 tsp salt (more if using low sodium broth)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can (14oz) Great Northern beans; undrained

Slice sausage (1/2 inch pieces). In Dutch oven, brown sausage in oil; drain excess oil, leaving enough to sauté onions until tender. Return sausage to pot and add garlic, carrots, basil. Cook 5 mins. Add zucchini, tomatoes with liquid, meat broth, cabbage, salt and pepper. Bring soup to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Add beans with liquid; cook another 20 mins. Garnish with shredded parmesan.
Serves 6 to 8 (depending on how hungry they are).... Enjoy!
When we moved into our home 2 years ago one of the first things we planted was a pear tree....seemed silly not to have one of those since that's what I named my business! This year the little tree produced pears. At first, we weren't too excited because they looked so small and not very edible. But they surprised us and these past 2 or so weeks, we've enjoyed eating our pears, and some of them actually look like pears! I think we have probably eaten the last of the season's, but it was a treat to eat ones that we grew.

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Couple of Things

Just a few announcements:
The folk artists of The Primitive Gathering are hosting an October Gift Away to celebrate our six months as a gathering & to show our appreciation to all of you. Please visit The Primitive Gathering Gift Away from Oct 1st to Oct 13th to register for the gifting of our hand dids. Winners will be posted on the October 15th update!!

This is my first month to begin selling on:
"To Dwell in Primitive Thymes"
an online market that has many talented artists.
I will be updating on the first of every month,
so please go check it out!