Friday, January 23, 2009

Exciting News to Share!

For me part of the joy of receiving good news is sharing the news with my wonderful new friends in Blog Land. So here goes - my garden and art will be in The March issue of Country Sampler Home Tours edition. Franscoise O'Neill ( Fabulous Fifi) and Sunday Hendrickson (devine art director) scouted my home and garden in August 2007 and a year later Sunday called me with the exciting news that the Home Tour Issue of Country Sampler wanted to shoot my garden. Needless to say, I was excited beyond words. Sunday and fabulous photographer Mark Lohman arrived at my home in August 2008 at 6:00 AM to shoot my garden.

When I met Sunday and Fifi I thought "blogs" were something that only Politicians and Newspaper writers used to promote themselves. LOL - I visited Fifi's fabulous blog, and was immediately hooked on the world of blogging. Fast forward a year and a half later and I am sharing my joy and excitement with you on my own blog.

Now for the fun part. . .Elizabeth Preston, Associated Editor of country Sampler Magazine, asked me if I would be interested in donating a painting which the magazine would give a way to their readers. Of course I said yes and donated one of the paintings that was photographed for the magazine. I do not have all of the details yet as to how the give a way works, but will let you know as soon I have more information. The painting is the one of "The Garden Shop" which I use on my blog banner.

"Give-A-Way Painting"

Yes, Bentley will be in the magazine article - Sunday was able to get him to "pose" for only one shot as most of the day he spent running around in and among the cameras and camera cords.

Bentley, My Studio Assistant

Have a lovely week.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meet Bentley, My Studio Assistant


I thought it would be fun to introduce you to Bentley, My faithful Studio Assistant, since so many of you have e-mailed me asking about Bentley. He is a 3 year old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier - an Irish breed sharing its ancestry with the Kerry Blue and Irish Terrier. The breed is affectionate and loving and are people dogs. Wheatens are a single coated breed and do not shed.

I adopted Bentley from the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of Southern California almost two years ago and he has been a joy from the moment I met him. The Wheaten club puts a lot of effort in matching the dog to the perspective owner or family and in educating the new owner. His owners put their Wheatens up for adoption since they were retiring to the desert and felt it would be too hot for them to be comfortable. I was fortunate to meet his owner who shared lots of helpful information about Bentley - the most important was that Bentley would rather sniff around and explore than play with his toys - hence his nickname - "Inspector Bentley".

The following photos were taken as I was setting up my blue and white china for a photo shoot for the "Tea In The Rose Garden" painting shown in my previous post.

Hmm, wonder what that is - looks like something to eat!

I will just act like I am looking at the birds and no one will notice!

The coast looks clear, think I will make my move!

I will just take a quick sniff and no one will know!

Sniff - sniff !

That was disappointing - just some strawberries and not a treat for me!

Oh well , there are lots of other things to inspect!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blue and White Inspirations

I find constant inspiration to paint from the things I love the most - soft blue skies, blue and white china, flowers in my garden, antiquing and flea markets, faded blue denim and sharing the joy of my inspirations and creations.

Finding inspiration

Here . . . . . . .

There . . . . . . .

Everywhere . . . . . . .

The blue sky, red roses, garden hat and blue and white china were the inspirations that inspired my "Tea In The Rose Garden" painting

What are your inspirations?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Making Changes in 2009

I am back from taking a break.

Happy 2009 to all of you. I took a little blog break to make some changes and simplify my life to create more time to pursue my love of painting and closed my retail shop at Debra's Cottage. I will still be involved with Debra's by painting commission art for her customers and blogging about her fabulous shop. There will always be a part of me in her adorable shop as she plans to continue to use the cottage I painted for her as the banner on her website and on her packaging and store labels.

One of my favorite sayings is one I learned from well known decorator and author Kitty Barthlomew. ( - -" It's Not what you don't have, but what you do with what you do have". This year I plan to re-decorate my home on a budget by using what I already have and "re-purposing" my furniture and art. My decorating style is Cottage Garden with a bit of Shabby Country French thrown in.

A recent Home tour of the cottages on Balboa Island (a tiny island located on the Newport Bay about 2 miles from my home) inspired me to turn a cottage garden painting in my home into a "seaside" cottage garden painting and to add Seaside to my Cottage Garden style.

Come along with me for a little tour of some of the darling cottages which were my inspiration for a Seaside Cottage Garden Painting.

Finding Inspiration . . . . . . .
Balboa Pavilion - a 100 year old Landmark building on the water in Newport Beach, CA . A short ferry ride from Newport Beach to Balboa Island Here . . . .

There . . . . .

Everywhere . . . . .

Original cottage garden style painting with a window in the background, green watering can and large terracotta pot.

After the Home tour inspiration I decided to make some changes to the painting to give it a Seaside Cottage Garden feel - I painted out the window in the center - removed the large tera cotta pot, added flags to one of the pots and started painting the green watering can red. Next I painted in a blue sky and ocean and sail boats to change the Cottage Garden look to a Seaside Cottage Garden.

Here is the completed painting with changes hanging on the wall in my living room with a totally different look and feel.