This part of my blog is all about the things I collect or the things I make myself. I love so many things, I paint and draw and want to learn oils and pastels. I knit and crochet but want to learn tatting. I embroider and can turn my hand to most things given a chance. So much still to learn and do. I live in hope of some day reading all my books, learning all I want to learn and now I am learning to blog. You will often find my original poems, poor as they are I offer them here. I also appreciate other people art and will feature things I find that I have enjoyed. That includes pictures of fairies and fantasy or maybe just anything beautiful.
I try to use my own photo's as much as possible, sometimes I borrow from the web. If I inadvertently use your picture without giving credit, please do let me know and I will either credit or remove it, I hope you will do the same with mine.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Favourite places................

Some of the places that are always on my never miss list.
When we go out to the Sleeping Bear Dunes natural area there are places I just have to stop. In every little town in Northern Michigan there are places that tourists will love. My personal favourites are ones that sell and display hand made items made by people who live here in Northern Michigan.They sell art by local artists, photography by local photographers and pottery and garden things. I can't afford to spend much ever but I do buy small things when I can, I get much pleasure from looking at what people create. I get inspiration to do things myself. I like the simple things too and have often found a piece on the beach that is beautiful just as it is. I surround myself by these things that I love.
The first place I will show is is called "WildFlowers" of Glen Arbor. Its a garden shop and much much more, in fact they have expanded and grown. Yes expensive, but what isn't these days. They are beautiful from the outside in.

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The whole of Glen Arbor is an art colony of sorts. On the main street are art galleries galore that feature local artisans and craftspeople. Unique things in each store. I don't often get time to browse there but I always make time for Wildflowers.
Going in the opposite direction towards Charlevoix is another place I seldom miss is the Bier Gallery
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This wonderful place exhibits all the things I love from sculptures to glass, to all kinds of hand made items.
I have collected a few of the froggy sculptures. I also have some of the cats. I would love some of the bigger things but its an expensive choice and so far anything I have bought and spent money on has been damaged by small kids one way or other. SO now I limit myself to smaller items that I can still enjoy without the disappointment when it gets broken.
Now I have been visiting and collecting small things for many years and I have always assumed these things will always be there. Not local artist who I loved retired. WHAT? the nerve so the last time I stopped at his studio he was not selling. So the small things I now have will be it. No more. He carved Sumac into little creatures that were very simple but that I really liked. These are two I own.

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Another that I miss is Norman Brumm. I have several small pieces of his. Norman died in 2008 and did many wonderful things. His gallery was full of amazing things besides his own work. That's all gone now. There are places that still sell his work but its not the same.
I enjoy the shop or studio as much as seeing the things they sell. One of my favourite stores that I dare not visit often is Pier 1, if you go there you know what I mean. Its a place that is dangerous for me. I am sure a lot of people can relate to that.
Another gallery in Leland is fascinating and the sculptures are recognizable when you see them. Main Street Gallery Leland.
The sculptures are lifelike even though they are metal. No small things there.
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I would love some of the other things like the giraffes or horses, but well, I can only admire them for the beautiful work that they are.
Then there is the Twisted Fish Gallery that I wrote about on our last trip north. I often stop there just to look at the gardens. I have also bought a few things for the garden too. The art gallery inspires me and all the other lovely things.
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Well I could go on and on, we have such wonderful things here in Northern Michigan that inspires creativity. We have famous authors who live around here and of course such people as Ernest Hemingway was inspired by Northern Michigan. If I can not live in England this is the place I love to be. So much to see and do, one can never be bored. Now if only we could have shorter winters.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Some pretty things.............

Not a lot going on really. Well that's not exactly true we have been out and about, but no thrift stores. So I will be showing a few things I want to remember.
I have ordered over time several things from Craftymoose Crafts, Debbie does wonderful bead work. Can you see the little bee's and the dragonfly.?
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Flowers and ladybug on this one. I have them all around my house in plants. Also violets. Debbie does an amazing job, so delicate and detailed.
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Well, on to other things. One thing we did on our day out this weekend was to stop back at the glass blowers in East Jordan.
I bought a pumpkin. I bought one last year. I don't do Halloween but I love Harvest festival and the pumpkins remind me of that.
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Something else I bought at Ravens Hill these little glass things that I will use one way or other. So pretty. I will either wire wrap or somehow use as a pendant or on a purse. We shall see. Meanwhile they are just pretty things.
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AT the glass blowers I bought a spider. I already had one that sat on my flowers but I liked this one. People do some crazy stuff for Halloween, so it's chance to buy unusual things. I do not like spiders, but these glass ones are fascinating, I have other glass ones but this one is cool, and my lady spider too.
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Maybe these spiders will keep the real ones away?
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You know I like glass, well if we have a nice weekend next week I will be going back to a small town called Alden to a shop there, they have these little glass trays and I want to get some for gifts before the snow flys.
One day I will go around the house and show all my knick knacks that should take awhile lol.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Unfinished stuff.................

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Unfinished is all I have at the moment. I have been drawing loads of stuff but have not had time to finish them yet. So here are a few rough drawings
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I like horses and I am trying to find ways to do quick sketches
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My camera does not capture drawings very well either, so these are not so good. Wonder what they will be like painted? I would like to do some plain old drawings but I need to find a fixative to stop them smudging and fading. This is my sketch book anyway so I guess it really doesn't matter for now, Its water colour I am practicing.
I like to do faces, lots of faces
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And flowers
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Especially sunflowers
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I think I am going to do a couple of horse drawings and frame them...........or maybe make some cards. I don't know........
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I really should quit wasting time doing this and get on to more practical things. I need to get sewing. I am all done with my garden for this time to work on Christmas gifts. I am still enjoying the sketch books though. I don't seem able to stop.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sketching outside.................

Today was a beautiful day. I sat outside on the deck with my paint box and sketching book. I had already drawn most of the pictures and this was a perfect day to fill them in. Good light.
Well they will be fiddled with from now till I close up this book but you can take a peek as they are now......I will go back through the pages and add some words as they come to me.
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Sometimes I get an idea from other blogs, sometimes from books and some just come to me.
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some things I just can't explain. (above) This little lady is way too stiff, but not as bad as she started out, I must read up a bit on this technique. I could not get her to relax.
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Pouting cherub
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More faces and stuff
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Practice with eyes
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More stuff
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more birds and flowers, never get tired of them
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more sunflowers
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nearly done
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Animals always a great subject for me, now to get them lifelike without overdoing it

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That is not easy, some people can just make them live with just the colour and mix of the paint. I am not there yet
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more critters
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Frogs from a book I have..........
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and lastly
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By the way, that is hay, not his rocket boosters

Thursday, September 25, 2014

More Bizzy Bees.................

Bumble Bee.....
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I just love the fuzzy little buzzers. I think this may be a carpenter bumble bee. I find it difficult to get good information with pictures to ID them.
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The green ones that glitter are sweat bees, don't know why they are called that. Too pretty for a name like that.
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This is a Honey Bee, this is the one who we like to keep to make honey for us. This is an endangered species, or soon will be. Glad to see them busy.
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The following two are Tri coloured Bumble Bees.

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Wasps do the same job in many ways, but they are not as friendly. They can be bitchy.
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hips and haws a sign of Autumn for sure. Hips are oval and the haws are round.
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Another Bumble
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Well this was a dud of a post but I wanted to use my bee pictures.
How about I throw in some seed pods LOL.... Tickle weed and lambs tails (grasses) no idea what the real name is. I am going to have to get some nature books for next year. When I was in England I knew all the wildflowers and grasses but not here in Michigan. I am on a mission though and Tristen is going to know the woods as he grows, and know what grows there.
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I liked how the light shone on this grass, and again I don't know what it is but I will learn
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These stick to you as you walk through the long grasses, a smaller version is heck on a dogs coat.
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Queen Annes Lace
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well, thats it for now, not a normal post for this blog but I wanted to use my photo's so for now its going to be fine. Maybe later I will change it over to the Garden Blog but for it be.