It's been far too long since my last post, but sometimes life leads you on unexpected journeys that are very different than the "plans" that we have made for ourselves. I will continue to set goals and look ahead to the future while enjoying the unexpected pleasures that come along my way as well. Chet and Sissy are doing well, and are a continuing source of love and inspiration to me. I took these photos of them on 11/12/10.
When a friend left an entry on her Facebook page about a nest box with owls, I never thought checking that site out would have such an impact on my life for the next few months. It has been such a great experience, it is really hard for me to describe. The education about owls (and many other things) has been wonderful, and the people I have met through there have been awesome. My creative energy has been channeled to that lately and a very devoted group of people have even created a Wiki page for that Owl Site. On the front page of the Wiki site you will see a link to Colleen's page, and I invite you to please visit! The little owlets have fledged and the video has ended, but the memories of this great experience will last forever. Books are now being written by an author that knows how special this event turned out to be. If you ever read Molly the Owl, please note that I was there while nature was writing the story! I really feel a need to get back to painting now......maybe an owl.......
I bought a wire chicken basket with twelve wooden eggs in it at a yard sale a few years ago. I have been saving it... waiting for the perfect design to paint on the eggs. I saw a Terrye French design for Easter Eggs, and knew that was what I wanted to create! After two weeks of painting in my "spare" time, I have twelve hand painted Easter eggs that I love!!!
Well, I have a pan of chili cooking on the stove and I just brought the Shelties in from a fun and playful session of Frisbee. The husband is busy ice fishing, so I would say it is a good time to update my blog. I have been busy crocheting necklaces at night after work, and they have been selling well. Soon I will need to put that aside so I can start painting a little again. It is hard for me to find the block of time needed to devote to a painting. It takes a couple hours for me to really get into it and start to feel creative, but that is hard to do after work at night when you are already tired. I also tend to get a rush of adrenaline after I have been painting so it is hard to just put the brush down and fall asleep. Getting up the next morning for work is quite the chore then!
I received a wonderful gift this week. You know some of the best things that happen are things you simply cannot plan for. I have admired the work of artist Robert Duncan for some time now, and if you are not familiar with his work, you can view his web site here:
He has several paintings that include a tri-color sheltie (which of course are especially near and dear to my heart). Robert and his son have recently started a facebook page for Robert's fans. They had a quote contest in which they asked for fans to submit quotes to be possibly used for next year's calendar they are working on. If they decided to use a quote that a fan submitted, that person would get a free Robert Duncan poster of that fan's choice. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and entered a few quotes. Because they only had a few people submit quotes they ended up giving each person that entered a free poster. That was very nice by itself, but when I got the details sent to me, Robert was actually going to sign the poster if I wanted him to, and asked who I wanted it signed to. How special is that!!! I asked him to make it to my name and "A fellow Sheltie lover", and sure enough that is what he did. I chose the poster called "Winter Friends".
This is a quote from Robert and Josh Duncan's Facebook page "I don't want life to imitate art, I want life to be art!" by Ernst Fischer. In my opinion, Robert Duncan is painting the art of life.
Here is a picture of my new Robert Duncan piece of art and please check out his website as his paintings are truly wonderful! The quotes that they decided to use are being kept a secret until the calendars come out. I will have to let you know if one of them chosen was mine.
Not much exciting has been happening in my neck of the woods lately, so I decided to post a story about a little Blue Merle Sheltie named Gracie. I don't claim to be a great story teller, but here it goes.
My Sister-in-Law decided that a Sheltie might make a good dog breed for her daughter, my niece, Kaylie. Kaylie participates in 4-H and wanted a dog that she would be able to train and show. I already had my male Sheltie, Chet, so my Sister-in-Law asked if I would ride with her to Chet's breeder so she could pick out a puppy for Kaylie. I had no plans of getting a new puppy myself that day, but there was one tri little girl that I just couldn't leave behind. That also turned out to be the day I got my little Sissy girl. Kaylie was trying to decide on a name for her new little puppy, so I told her the story of how the lady (Pat) from The Sheltie Shop named her little female Sheltie Gracie, because she was born just before Thanksgiving. Our Sheltie puppies were born in early January, but my niece fell in love with that name, so Gracie she became.
Gracie has become a very important member of their family and my niece loves her very much. She is a small, petite little Sheltie that is a perfect match for a young girl. Kaylie has two younger sisters and Gracie loves to run circles around the girls while they are on their swing set, or while they practice cheerleading, keeping them all herded together!
Below is Kaylie taking Gracie to a retirement center.
Gracie is also featured in my shop, The Tri-Color Sheltie Store and More!
I am so excited! I won this wonderful primitive candle keep on eBay, and received it in the mail today. The artist that painted this candle keep, paints excellent Sheltie and Greyhound items on eBay under the name ofsheltie_blessings1and hermepage is here:
If you are interested in unique, hand painted, one of a kind Sheltie or Greyhound items, this is an awesome seller to follow. She takes great care with all her paintings and you will be totally thrilled with the results. She is a seller that goes above and beyond what is expected.
This little candle keep is a Terrye French design.
Sissy really seems to enjoy her new Toss N' Tug toy. Chet will latch on to it once in awhile, but Sissy always wins in a Tug of War with him. He graciously "lets" her win that is. If he is in a Tug of War with me, forget it. He never lets me win! In this picture he is going for his trusty soft Frisbee. Both of them love to play Frisbee every day!
Happy Birthday my gentle, loving little girl. You turned two years old today and have enriched my life so much. Your strongest bond is with me and you are never far from my side. Waking up in the mornings to your little kisses starts every day joyfully. You are such a blessing.
Happy Birthday my noble, loyal little boy. I can't believe you are four years old already. I wish time would slow down because I can't imagine a day without you. I am so grateful I was given the gift of having you in my life.
I found the article below and thought it would be fun to share. When I was little, the park was fenced off and the person that owned it then had a herd of buffalo roaming in the park. I would always try to get a peek of the buffalo when we would drive by. I am glad it is well taken care of now and open to the public. The following pictures were taken there and several are featured in my calendar.
McCourtie Park Information
Garden creates fantasy out of cement!
SOMERSET CENTER -- As dusk approaches and the winds ruffle the autumn leaves, their shades of gold and red casting a kaleidoscope of colors in the bubbling brook that winds its way through McCourtie Park, you might catch a glimpse of a woman dressed in a long blue gown moving quietly across a bridge. Or is she wearing black? Ghost hunters disagree on the color of her dress, but the suggestion of a gentle ghostly presence is just one of the unique features of this roadside park in the tiny hamlet of Somerset Center, just east of Lenawee County’s Irish Hills.W.H.L. McCourtie, owner of the now-defunct Trinity Portland Cement Co., in Cement City, along Highway 127, had a fondness for concrete and whimsy. His estate, known as Aiden Lair, was the perfect place to create a fantastical garden. It looks like a fairy tale run amok. Cement chimneys created to look like tree trunks rise out of an underground rathskeller built into the side of a hill where McCourtie (known as Herb to his friends) played poker with such Detroit bigwigs as auto baron Henry Ford.Local lore says tunnels ran underground here, perfect for bootleggers to smuggle liquor for those all-night poker games. A total of 17 cement folk art-style bridges cross the meandering stream on the 42-acre property.These unique sculptures, called El TrabejoRustico, Spanish for rustic work, were created by Mexican artisans Dionicio Rodriquez and Ralph Corona of Texas. McCourtie had made it rich as a Texas oil man before returning home to Somerset. Also known by the French term, fauxbois, or fake wood, it's a complex process of shaping, molding, staining and adding texture to the concrete so it looks real.For years almost a forgotten technique, this early- to mid-20th century folk art is now enjoying a resurgence in interest.Built in the early 1930s, each bridge is unique and beckons walkers to cross over and into wooded glades which, in the fall, are ablaze with color. One bridge, surely a home for hobbits, has the look of a thatched cottage, albeit a cement one.A simpler bridge is designed to resemble an old-fashioned swinging bridge, the cement scored to replicate ropes and wood; planked seats, also out of cement, invite visitors to stop halfway across and rest.Weeping willows crowd the sides of the stream, dripping long, feathery branches onto the waters. Secret glens offer seating and elaborate birdhouses, including several tall purple martin houses that can shelter more than 200 birds.Interestingly, this place of enchantment, located just off Highway 127, on historic US 12, now designated as a Heritage Trail, often is empty, though it is just off the highway. Maybe gnomes have stolen the signs marking it as a park, so look for street signs. It is on the northwest corner of US 12 and South Jackson Road. After turning north off of US 12, take the unmarked road on your left.There is no admission fee, and, if you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the wandering ghost, referred to, affectionately, as The Lady in Blue.
Jane Ammeson is a freelance writer based in southwestern MichiganPress News Service - Grand Rapids PressSunday, September 16, 2007
This is a beautiful and easy crocheted necklace made with ladder yarn. I found the yarn easily on eBay, ordered it and had it within a week. The brand of yarn I used was EROS. I used a crochet needle the size of 7 or 8.
Leave a tail of yarn about 12" long then start a chain about 60 chains long. Leave about a 12" tail of yarn at the end and cut and pull through the last chain. Do this a total of 5 times.
You then simply tie the five strands together where the chains end and then tie the end of both tails of the necklace together. The length of the tail of yarn or the number of chains could be changed to suit your taste.
Beads could be slid over the two knots at the end of the chains and fasteners could be added to the ends of the tails of the necklace if you want to make them a bit fancier or adjustable.
This necklace was made with 3 strands of chains and a pendant added. The sky is the limit with all the different colors and styles you could make with this type of pattern and it is so quick and easy. Have fun!