Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


"I haven't much time to be fond of anything...but when I have a moment's fondness to bestow, most times...the roses get it. I began my life among them in my father's nursery garden, and I shall end my life among them, if I can. Yes. One of these days (please God) I shall retire from catching thieves, and try my hand at growing roses." ~ Wilkie Collins
Do you know Mr. Wilkie Collins? One of my favorite authors, Victorian era novelist and playwright,  life-long friend of Charles Dickens, and a must read for fans of British country house mysteries.  Some say that the genre began with his novels, The Moonstone, and The Woman in White.

"Won't you come into my garden? I would like my roses to see you." ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

"He who plants thorns must never expect to gather roses." ~ Arabian proverb and truer than true, don't you think?
Spent blooms have their own glory. I'm hoping.

Hope things are coming up roses at your house. XO

Monday, May 27, 2013


Happy Memorial Day!
Photo taken at Talbot County Community Center. Flags for Heroes.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Still working from my church and abandoned house photos taken in Dorchester county. Finished this today, and couldn't wait to show you because it has a surprise. And because I worked really hard on it.
First, the original photo...

Then my fabric version...

I'm not the kind of person who sees Jesus in her French toast, nor have I ever grown a vegetable that looked like a dead president, but check out the left hand window, top middle pane, on the lower sash. I'd just begun working on this when I realized there was a face in the window besides the one on the right, and I didn't put it there myself. I've cropped it so you can get a better look. It's hazy, but squint a little, or tip your laptop screen. I'll wait.
Can you see her? It was very clear when I printed the photo onto fabric. She appears to be sitting sideways with her head turned toward the window, if that helps. She's wearing a flowered dress. Mike thought it looked like a sheep. I think it looks like a lady, and I'm just dying to go back down there and take more pictures. Do I really think it's a ghost? Of course not! Am I going alone? No way.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


As you know, I've spent a lot of time in Dorchester County with my camera over the past several months, and as much as I love Blackwater National Wildlife refuge and all the waterfowl photo-ops, I'm equally intrigued by the many old churches and abandoned homes. Recently, I've begun to incorporate them into my artwork.
With a picture of a church window as the background, I added machine and hand stitching, snippets of vintage fabrics, and scraps of paintings and photos that I'd transferred to fabric for previous projects. The picture of the smaller barred window was taken on Elliott Island and I believe the church window is on the way to Hooper's Island. The egret photo was taken at Blackwater. The vintage photos are from my stash. 
There are so many locations where the marsh seems to be reclaiming these old buildings. I should stitch faster before they're gone. Every needle tells a story.

The original photo...

 The finished piece.
8 X 11 fabric and mixed media

Monday, May 20, 2013


Last post, I promised you snake pics. It was actually quite a week for wild things. Spotted this guy fishing in the shallow water of low tide at Blackwater. He would lie quietly until the water around him rippled with minnows, then strike. I believe it's a northern water snake. Saw him again in my dreams that night. Unfortunately.

Endangered Delmarva fox squirrel.
Don't normally see camels and baby kangaroos at the local Tractor Supply.
Wild strawberries in my garden.
Wild irises on the marsh.
Painted turtle in my yard.
My little woods is carpeted with wild mushrooms.
Gotta run. Hope you have a good week, with a little wild in it.  XO.

Friday, May 17, 2013


"Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy, you must have somebody to divide it with." ~ Mark Twain

I married my "somebody" thirty-three years ago today. Happy Anniversary, my darling. I love you to infinity and beyond. Also, one year ago today, we adopted this little somebody. It's our Scout-iversary!! So much to celebrate!
Started the day with a little walk in the woods. It's one of those crystal clear mornings we  appreciate here on the shore, because so much of the time our warm weather comes with a truly awful mugginess. The spider webs were sparkling.

There was a lovely sweet-clean smell that I couldn't quite place, but it reminded me of childhood. Walking the fence line, I found the source. It was the blackberry vines that climb our pine trees and tumble over the fence. They'll have to be cut back, so I added that to the chore list for this weekend. We'll need to address the "buttercup situation," as well.
Abby has agreed to help with that.
As I looked back for puppy pictures from a year ago, I could see that we are slightly behind last year, in the garden. The oriental lilies are just beginning to bud and the roses are well behind. My newest bloomers are these white flowers, which I absolutely love. Are they irises or lilies? Not sure. They're a perennial that came with the house.
I'd love to stay and chat a little longer, about spring things...what's growing in my garden and what's growing in yours, but I have plants to water, a trough to scrub, a barn to sweep, and an anniversary to celebrate. We'll talk later. You'll die when you see the snake pictures I took at Blackwater on Wednesday! Have a great weekend! XO.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


After two days of blustery wind and unseasonably cool temps, it feels like spring again. The farrier was due here today, so I hurried through my barn chores, and spiffed Abby up a  bit...
Abby mostly loves a good grooming, and will frequently doze off during her favorite parts.
One "not so favorite" part is whisker trimming. She was starting to resemble a billy goat, so I persevered and got the job done.
Smooth as a baby's bottom. Really. You non-horse people may not know this, but a horse's muzzle is every bit as soft as a baby's butt. Maybe softer.
That done, I had a little mosey around the woods and pasture with my camera. Sadly, Monday's high winds toppled two nests. 
There did not appear to be any survivors.
This time of year, there is something to new to see everyday. I thought "we" had taken care of this....
And this, the biggest dandelion I have ever seen. I dropped my phone in front of it, so that you could get an idea of its size. That's what a steady diet of horse manure can do.
Of course, I wasn't alone. Fitz came along to make sure I was safe, and just as I was complimenting him on his tree climbing skills, he stepped on a rotten branch, which broke and dumped him on the ground. I always think cats look so embarrassed when they fall. He'd probably rather I hadn't told you.
Does anyone know what these little white flowers are? There are hundreds of them.
Back in the pasture, it is buttercup city. My farrier gave me some tips for getting rid of them. They like acidic soil apparently, so spreading lime is one thing we can do. Also, Tractor Supply has a spray that will kill them without harming the animals or the grass. I try to limit my use of weed killers, but I might have to try it. 
Of course, I have to leave you with at least one garden pic, so I'll show you my dianthus border.
Hope spring is giving you roses as well as buttercups. XO.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Wanted to show you the latest iris blooms today. I've been taking pics of each different color as it bloomed and posting them here and on Facebook. I waited until late this afternoon, so the sun would be just right, only to find someone had already picked them. Let me think....who could have done that?
Look at me when I'm talking to you, little lady!
Fortunately, there are plenty of buds left, so I'll have another chance. If you think picking flowers is Scout's only gardening skill, you're wrong. She likes to help with the potting, and she's a "self-starter." I don't even need to tell her what to do.
We think she might be gifted.
In art news, my sweetie gave me a light board and two Ott lights for Mother's Day. Now, I'll be able to sit downstairs and work on needlework in the evenings. Up until now, I needed to go up to my workroom to stitch at night. Today, I used my new light board to paint this seagull from one of my photos.
I've got lots of needlework projects buzzing around in my head, as well. I feel a creative surge coming on. I've been known to stitch until my fingers bleed when the motivation is right, so stay tuned blog friends. XO.