Monday, April 27, 2020

Escaping Florida

 Once we decide to go...we are gone. The Covid 19 virus is spreading like crazy. Check points at some state lines, Hotels closing ...we hear the call of the Fisher Crow "Uh-Oh, Uh-Oh, Uh-Oh....yup it's time to dash home!

 For MILES we see signs for South of the Border! Please Bill can't we stop?!

Begging Bill to stop at South of the Border!
It's a ghost town, but still pretty cool!

Lots of big painted cement animals, like this slinky dog, below.

Word is now this virus has spread world wide. It's now a PANDEMIC! Gotta get home.
 Our dear friend Maureen lets us stay with her for our second night. So happy not to be at another Hotel!

 From Maureen's it's a long cold rainy drive home,.
 We are rewarded with hugs and purrs from Tinkerbell on our return.

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like HOME!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Abbreviated Florida Vacation

 The following is about my abbreviated vacation, driving from Massachusetts to Florida before we realized the COVID-19 virus was spreading south.
Here are my Journal entries for the 18 day vacation that should have lasted a month.

The first thing I do is figure out what to wear. How can anyone pack with out pictures?
 We traded in my VW bug last year for a big Subaru Forester, anticipating this long trip down the coast
Husband and I fit EVERYTHING in the Subaru with almost the whole back seat for Ellie our Airedale terrier!

We had planned on bringing Tinkerbell our cat. on this adventure. But she was so freaked out on our practice runs before the trip, we decided she'd be happier at home.

First stop is at my friend Mo's in Virginia. Lots of hugs and kisses. Still no real threating reports about this new virus.

A year ago we booked a great rental house in Venice FL. We could take pets, and best of all it was near "Dog Beach". an amazing place where you can bring your dog to run free and mingle with other dogs.

This was Ellies first time getting more than the tips of her toes wet. So much fun!
 After only 4 days of Beach fun, the Corona virus hits Florida. All beaches will close in two days! We spend one last day at the beach.
So now back at our rental, we are quarantined. That's okay, we have books, a puzzle and I have my sketchbook/journal to work on.

Back yard excitement. With a sound like gunfire a palm branch falls from the tree! Much to Ellies dismay.

Our trip is all about nature now. And there is plenty of new stuff to see!
While creating my shell/Sharks tooth mandala, a ANOLE Lizard drops from the tree onto my HAND!
Ellie enjoys chasing these quick little guys, that scurry all over the back yard.
 Everyday we take morning and evening walks. In the early morning we see Ibis birds pecking about on the lawns.
 In the early evening we follow the chirpy sounds of the Black Bellied Whistling Ducks.

Strange how they can perch on wires with webbed feet.
 Diagonally across from our rental, is a most beautiful garden with a HUGE living oak tree. There appears to be robust pathos plants, fern  and Spanish Moss growing wild on this behemoth.

 We have heard a new bird call, over and over again. Finally identify it as a Fish Crow.

I have never seen such an enormous cloud of yellow blooms! This tree is similar to the Catalpa tree I have in my back yard that is mostly all white blooms in the spring.

On one of our walks I discover this incredible snake plant, about 3 feet high!

Also what I thought were baby squirrels are actually full size adults. They are smaller than the grays in Massachusetts.
So we have kept ourselves amused in this tropical paradise. But now with the ever looming treat of COVID-19 we are cutting our vacation short and heading home.

This is a pic of my TV tray art set up on the back porch, where we spent most of our days.

I think we will try this vacation again next year when our world is settled.

This too shall pass. Stay safe!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Medway Arts Week

A night of free entertainment at the Medway Thayer House, for Medways Art Week. Friday 4:30-8:00

My Program "Beyond Colored Pencils" at 4:30-6:00, will feature on going demonstrations on how to enhance a coloring page. I'll show you techniques to use with special watercolor pencils that activate with watercolor brushes, pastel pencils that smudge, and blender pencils that blend several colors for a graduated effect.

Community posters to try these mediums will be set up for teens and adults, and posters with crayons available for the younger kids.

There will be other hands on arts projects along with music and dance at 7:00 PM. Go to: Made In Medway for a list of all events.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bunny Egg Hugger Craft

 In 2001, my good friend Lugene and her boys, Josh and Matt, came to my house to dye Easter Eggs.
An Easter paper craft of mine had just been published in the children's magazine  "My Big Backyard".

The craft was a egg holder in the shape of a bunny. I had successfully made this craft with lots of kids at my school presentations, and showed the Bunny to my egg coloring guests.

After coloring 4 dozen eggs we all decided we could make THREE DOZEN Bunny Huggers as name tags for our Easter dinner tables! A grand idea to accomplish in an afternoon...but we did it!

We had a blast! Here is how you can make your own Bunny Hugger for
 Easter Sunday, or any ol' day.

Cut an 8 1/2" piece of paper in half.

Fold the bottom edge of one of the sides up to the edge to make a triangle.

Cut the rectangle shape away to make the triangle. Cut carefully and save that piece.
Discard the top 1/2 of your piece of paper.

Cut a long triangle shape into the point of the triangle (while folded in two).

Fold the saved rectangle piece in half and draw a paw and a foot.

Cut out paper pieces for eyes, tail, ear centers, nose and whiskers.
Cut out the Paws and Feet while paper is folded in half so you get two of each.

Bend the triangle shape around a toilet paper roll section and glue or tape in place.
The toilet paper roll section will give the Bunny stability to hold an egg.
Fold tabs over on the paws and feet to glue onto the Bunny Body. Add the eyes, ear centers, nose and whiskers.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Sketching the Gulf Coast

Escaping New England's below freezing weather, husband and I head for Florida!

One mission is to find a place to rent for 2020. We want the gulf side, but haven't seen too much more than Venice FL where husbands Mom and Dad lived. We've been visiting Venice for 30 years!

After seeing other areas from Sarasota to Naples we ended up liking Venice the best. So we found a house to rent and will take our dog and cat with us next year!
 The islands, or Keys off Sarasota are lovely. Anna Maria Island was beautiful and we were lucky to get a great 80 degree day.

 Another mission was to lay Bills mom to rest. Her ashes have been hanging out on a shelf with our dogs and cats ashes for almost 3 years. She is finally at rest with her husband and daughter in Venice.

 The weather was pretty cold for 1/2 our visit. I had to buy polar fleece PJs to make it thru the cold snap. I had not packed for 40 degrees at night and high 50's during the day!

All in all a fabulous visit. We missed incredibly cold temperatures in Massachusetts and got to see alot more of FL than we had ever seen before.

Back home today the weather has been pretty good, in the 60's. Best of all we are back with our fur babies that missed us very much.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

20% off all art until August 2nd!

Baby Mandala. Personalize with babies name and date. 

Wedding Mandala. Personalize with bride and grooms names and date

Please visit us at
41 Main Street (Rt. 27)
Natick Center, MA
(508) 653-2526

Our Next Featured Artist is
Judith Moffatt - Illustrator, Author & Teacher
Take 20% off now through August 2

Save on Judith's mandalas, mandala coloring books,
posters & chicken pincushions!

 Judith Moffatt is an illustrator, teacher and crafts woman. She is the illustrator of over 50 books for children, and popular magazines including Highlights and Ranger Rick. Ms. Moffatt has taught Children's Book Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and continues to present programs in the New England area to colleges, public & private schools, libraries and civic organizations.

Combining design, illustration and craft, Ms. Moffatt has self-published a series of Mandala coloring books and personalized art pieces. Each Mandala is created with an eye for detail and filled with symbolic meaning. Her latest passion for crafts has produced a plethora of whimsical pincushions with personality.


Five Crows Gallery & Handcrafted Gifts
41 Main Street (Route 27)
Natick Center Cultural District
(508) 653-2526

Sunday, July 22, 2018

My Garden

I adore my gardens. I should say OUR gardens as husband Bill provides most of the brawn that goes into their creation and maintenance. The shady Hosta Garden has three sections. Although not planned, the over all look is a big PEACE SIGN, with paths our dogs have created and we have added stones. Here's our new dog Ellie. We call her Ellie Font, she has very prominent ears.

This year we finished off the largest section. Next year we will attack the smallest  piece. 
The front garden is all sun, so this is where we can grow Day Lily, Balloon flower, Peony, Miniature Lilac, and Black Eyed Susan. All the gardens are lined with interesting rocks that I've collected since high school. I remember when I got my own home my mother said "and don't forget to take your rocks!"

Yesterday it was terribly hot and husband and I worked avoiding the sun. We were in a rush to finish as it will be raining here for three days. Perfect for a few of the plants I transplanted. One picture shows the bird bath, the other an overhead shot from the upstairs bedroom. 

This morning the rains began on schedule. The hanging plants are under the deck table so they don't drown, and Ellie is making a bee line for the door to get out of the rain. 
Hope when the sun shines later in the week we have time to get back to the garden. Working in the garden is so satisfying!