The weather is changing and soon the leaves will be falling. This season's free digital background download will let you carry these beautiful leaves everywhere with you yet requires no raking! Visit my shop > digital download > free seasonal download page and select the image for your device. No need to fill in address or payment information because it's free through September 30th!
Blowing around the Wintergarden today . . .
thistle down (Cirsium vulgare)
It's quite magical to watch these burst open and spiral up into the twirling summer breeze, until you realize it's spreading itself all through an area across the path that was finally rid of unwanted intruders and the last weed had been pulled by a vigilant husband. Ah, but that is next months garden problem. And maybe a problem for the neighbors. For now I will just watch them float in the evening sunlight and be thankful I have some time to enjoy outside while the music in my head plays a strange medley of Seals & Croft's 'Summer Breeze' and Mumford and Son's 'Thistle & Weed'.
Welcome! I'm really happy to finally have a place for my website, blog, portfolio and shop to be at one address, along with a new event page to share local art related happenings and so much room to grow it boggles the mind! I picked Squarespace to build my new home after about a year of research and starting trial accounts on many services, Zenfolio, Shopify, Photoshelter, Bigcommerce, Wordpress, etc. and also trying (one more time) to mold my existing Smugmug website into what I needed it to be. Squarespace won and Smugmug has been cancelled.
So far, it's the first time I have ever had FUN creating a site and the first time I haven't used Dreamweaver to build it. I wanted clean, light and modern, but totally customizable and that is what Squarespace is. The design interface is simple, yet in-depth enough to tweak every tiny detail. Check boxes, sliding bars, drag and drop, tools to edit images, and the ability to insert code only if I want to. I fought and wrestled Smugmug for 4 years trying to get it to look the way I wanted it to, even with customizing code and css in Adobe programs it refused to do exactly what I wanted. I'm a visual person, so code, while interesting, is the last thing I want to do while creating a pleasing visual experience. It's been so much fun that the last two weeks I've chosen to work on this in my spare time and at night over any other relaxing activity.
And, I'm still working on it, partly because it's so fun, so any feedback or suggestions are welcome. I would also love to hear your personal experiences with other site builders and services and the pros and cons you've encountered.
In the meantime, I'll just be here . . . playing, and probably rearranging things just for the sheer fun of it!
It's so nice to be able to get out for sunrise walks in the back yard again with the nice weather the last week. My new favorite spot to sip my tea is an old wicker chair across from this wonderful statue we added last year. After acquiring her, free from the local facebook trading post, I hauled her in a garden cart from driveway to back yard looking for the perfect spot. I had promised my husband, who could not lift her, I would not try to move it while he was gone...yeah, right. He should know me better than that after 23 years. The cart tipped going across the river rock 'stream' so that is where her journey ended.
After doing some research we have determined she is Guanyin, the goddess of mercy that listens to the cries of the world. The only cries she is hearing now are the starling jays, robins and crows that perch above her, and the occasional, frustrated meow of Mikey, the Wintergarden cat, as he tries to catch the them.
Sometimes it is necessary to refocus, to simplify, and to bring all incoming and outgoing energy together into a place where creativity can be central to everyday living. I am so lucky to have a room in my home that is going to help me do this.
Technically, it's called a conservatory, ". . . a room with glass walls and ceiling attached to a building by one wall, and generally used for the growing and display of plants." I dislike this term and I've always felt weird calling it that, it sounds so formal, and I am anything but formal.
A few years ago, while trying to decide what to do with all of my creative outlets, how to rebrand my painting, photography and design into one, it all came together while using an online translator to find another term for this room. Being Scotts, Irish and German I go to those first and I rarely find a useful (or pretty) word in German, but this time I was pleasantly surprised to see Wintergarten. It was perfect. My favorite season. When the garden is sleeping (requiring much less of my time) and covered in a sparkling, frosty, fog embraced cocoon.
Since we moved here I have struggled with what to do with this room, and how to find time to create, and how to balance time with the family and work. I think turning this space into more of a wintergarden, and less of a conservatory is the key. Where I can go at any hour and grab a pen or brush without worrying about making a mess. A place where a vague idea can grow and become something more. A greenhouse for art.
So there it is, a renewed space, full of furniture projects right now to make it what I need it to be, but a hopeful and exciting start of things to come from a new studio space, from the wintergarden.