Thursday, September 5, 2013


                BUCOLIC MOOD available now in my Etsy shop (see link at right)

Lately I have been incredibly bored with painting and I had no idea why but yesterday while looking for something in my spare room I came across my "dolls in progress" from last year and my interest was peeked once again so I am thinking that maybe all I need is a change now and then to keep my thoughts fresh and exciting!
Does anyone else ever get "creative ennui?" or am I bi-polar?
Have a lovely day!

Tina xo

Sunday, September 1, 2013

NEW WORK! On a Warm Day.....

Well I have been sticking to my commitment to paint every day and I am proud to show two new pieces I have finished this week:

"Summer Sunday" and"The Church in the Swamp"

I am already at work on another new piece that is in a new style for me but again filled with texture! I just can't seem to go flat....
well off to prepare a quick lunch and get back to the paint palette!! 
Have a fabulous Sunday....

Tina and the "gang" xoxo

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Playing with Mixed Media!

I love playing with materials and textures and so this past week I toyed around with a few ideas I had and this painting is the culmination of ideas.
I used humble cardboard to make the small garden shed and hive and covered both with layers of molding paste and paint before attaching them to the canvas with soft gel. 

             The photo is a copy of a vintage picture from a friend's family archive ( his name was Henri)


 I went a little crazy with texture but then I was never was what one would call subdued when it came to art!

I have so many ideas and only so many hours to work with and I fell way behind when I had the accident with my hand. 

Well I am off to visit blogs and then work on something new but I do hope everyone is having a fabulous Sunday filled with blessed peace and happiness.....

Tina xo

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hopefully Clear Sailing Ahead!

Well just when I thought life was headed on an even keel......nope....on June 28 I fell down a flight of steps and mangled up my left (dominant) hand. Yep and to top it off I had a 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/4" piece of wood embedded in the wound that I walked around with for 3 weeks before I realized it and had it surgically removed.
Good grief I will not go into any details but I had a real challenge just doing dishes or dressing, so painting and writing were out of the question! In the last week though I was finally able to get back on the horse and caught up on a couple of commissioned paintings I had waiting in the wings and here they are...finally...

I have tried to keep up with blog posts so I wouldn't lose touch with how everyone was doing and now that I can move my hand again I will be visiting and leaving comments again...yippie!!!

Hope everyone has been having a great summer so far? Talk with you soon!

Love Tina xo

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quick Update

As many of you know Pumpkin finally lost his battle with his illness and left my side on April 20th.
I will always miss him and there is a huge empty place in my heart since that day! Till we meet again little buddy!

Then on May 3rd I had a terrible car accident in which I miraculously was unscathed but the other person involved died at the hospital. It was a horrible experience and I thank the Lord that the memory of that day is fading.

Although the car is drivable the cost to repair the frame and add two new doors is too costly for me so I had to buy another used car that seems so far to be running well (fingers crossed)!
I had always prided myself on my spotless driving record so being involved in a collision that resulted in a death kept me awake nights trying to reconstruct what had happened and was there any way I could have avoided the accident. But like so many things in life no matter how many times I questioned my memory I could not find any answers.

I hope life has been quieter for all of you?

I would be remiss if I didn't mention 2 ladies who lifted me from this dark place.
Many thank yous to Angela @
for the beautiful scriptures you sent to me, it lifted my heart dear friend!

And to Maggie@
who wrote me a lovely and heartfelt  email that meant a lot to me!

So many wonderful people are on Blogger and I am grateful each day to have met you all, you have become so dear to me!

So here's to a better tomorrow and happier times this summer. I look forward to celebrating some of the good times this year with you all!

Love always
Tina xo

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Keeping Hands and Brains Busy....

Sometimes the best medicine for a weary heart is to create something. This week I spent some time working on a little 12" x 12" acrylic and oil paint work that is definitely different from my usual fare.

                                                   MADAME CHOSE
She has an almost "Art Deco" look to me which was nothing I was aiming for but I like it anyway. The title was a remembered expression of my father's who never really learned French in all the years we lived in Quebec, but he knew this expression which is a generic term for any woman, sort of a "Madame Whoever" if you will.
My dad was from Texas and if you think Dr. Phil is full of cute sayings you should have known my dad!
The other thing I worked on was another little textile piece that I have been experimenting on. My only dilemma is how to mount this??? Some pieces I have seen are mounted on canvas which leads me to believe they have glue applied to the back. My only fear is that will stiffen the fabric and give it a "frozen" look which I don't like. Does anyone have experience mounting textile art?? Please feel free to pass on any info you have garnered.

I had planned on mounting an old spoon over the patch of brown velvet on the right side, I thought that would give it a cozy, homey look. The velvet is special to me as it was in an upholstery book filled with many samples of cotton velvet in different colors that my son found in someone's discarded trash when he was just 7 years old. Even then he knew his mom loved anything that could be used to make something pretty and Montreal is a great city for finding discarded treasures!  I really do miss trash days in Montreal!!!
Today though I plan on finishing a little painting in watercolor and gouache that is going to become my header for this blog and my Etsy shop. I have wanted to learn how to make a decent header for awhile now and Etsy has a quick and easy tutorial that even I can understand!

                                       Now for a quick Pumpkin update!
Pumpkin is holding his own for now. He is eating well and still preening his fur and paws but his right eye looks like the pupil is " blown" which is an indication of a stroke or some neurological problem. I spoke with the vet and she was kind enough to level with me and explain that in her opinion Pumpkin probably has generalized cancer and there is really nothing, at his age, that can be done about it so I am spending lots of time with him, holding and rocking him (his favorite thing) and whispering love to him.
Animals are always brave and accepting of life's circumstances, it's we humans who rail against fate and curse the darkness rather light a candle, (well I find myself doing that a lot) I am getting better though which must be the wisdom of age! I do believe that there is beauty in everything life offers us and I am trying very hard to find the beauty in this experience so these precious moments with Pumpkin will leave me changed in a good way!
Have a wonderful Tuesday and on Pumpkin's and my behalf I say thank you again for the prayers and well wishes, they have lightened my burden!

Love Tina xo

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quick Update

To all of you wonderful friends who left comments and well wishes for Pumpkin I wanted to let you know that your prayers have made a difference! Although Pumpkin is never going to be a young cat again he has rallied and is holding his own for now. He is eating and seems to be pain-free so I decided to get antibiotics from his vet to add to his routine and although I am not sure it is making any real improvement, it can't hurt at this point.

I am at peace with whatever the Lord brings and for now He has seen fit to leave Pumpkin here with me for a while longer and I am grateful!
Thank you for your prayers, I know in my heart that those thoughts and prayers strengthened both Pumpkin and myself!

Love Tina xo

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Prayer Request Today!

I don't know if anyone will stop by today for a visit or not but to anyone who does I am asking you if you would be kind enough to say a prayer for my 15 year old cat named Pumpkin.

He has been a wonderful cat who has been asked to travel many miles and live in many different homes and kept his dignity through it all. He is one of those cats that keeps all other felines in line with just a look or one "meow" and many times I have wished I knew how the heck he accomplished that little trick so I could learn how to keep people in line that way too!
Over the last year he has been slowly showing his age more and more and consistently losing weight and this past week I took him to his vet once more and got some special canned food to try to bolster his little body, but to no avail.
I will not go into all the details but I feel in my heart that his time is coming to an end and it is very hard for me to face.
We are in the middle of a winter storm, my car's transmission went last week and my budget is depleted, so all I can do is hold him in my arms and rock him and pray that Jesus will peacefully take his little soul home.
I am asking that you please take a minute from your day and pray that his passing will be easy and quiet with little pain.
I thank you in advance for your thoughtfulness and compassion.

Tina xo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Private Studio..

Ok I am being a little sarcastic, but this is were I work my magic. Is it  a kitchen with a bar counter top that looks into the salon (get that...SALON, fancy huh?) or my studio?
Well it started out as a kitchen but then I realized that as a person living alone this space could be whatever I wanted it to be so!

Note the happy lights hanging there? I finally took them down but now I miss them terribly, they were very cheerful to look at! Oh and see the refracted light on the right side? That's the reflection from all the crystals I have hanging in the windows around the house.

Sketches done on long, lazy weekends, trying different mediums, watercolors, colored pencils, gouache, pastels and ink.
A wall in the SALON where I put up works in progress so I can see them in different lights as the day goes by. That also helps me to decided if I am happy with the results or want to change something. I also have a few clippings from magazines of houses I like a lot. Sort of a poor man's vision board!

Another view of my main workspace. I have a framed photo of one of my favorite artists Miriam Wosk, who sadly passed away a few years ago. Her work was so free and filled with energy that I still frequently visit her website to view the video of her working at her art.

You will also note to the right there is my Bodum with Starbuck's coffee inside (it is never very far from my side):)
The little picture next to Miriam's is the Last Supper which hung in my grandmother's kitchen for many years. The scraps of paper stuck in the frame were bits of salvaged wallpaper from a 300 year old home.

Well I hope that little trip through my work area was not too disturbing for those of you with faint hearts, haha.
Enjoy this lovely wintery day....oh who am I kidding if the flipping snow does not leave soon I am going to be a raving lunatic!
How about you????

Tina xo

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Memory of an Irish Lady

Today on St. Patrick's Day my thoughts turn to the Irish side of my family, the maternal side to be more specific, and present my great grandmother Catherine Lenore McDonald and her young family....

Although this photo needs major restoration, it is clear enough to identify Catherine and her husband Silas VanDette, my grandfather (the young man standing with his hand on his sister Maude's shoulder) baby Joesph and Laurence leaning on his father's leg. This was taken at the turn of the century in Montreal Quebec Canada. She had three other children who passed away at a young age, Victor who had  Meningitis, Arthur who caught Strep Throat at 16 and died within 4 days, and a 4 year old named Mamie that I never did find out how she passed.

Story has it that my great grandmother was a very tough Irish lady who ruled her home with an iron will that never failed her to the very end. Her daughter Maude died at 68 and never married or had a career because mama decided that was how it was going to be! I heard many tales from my mother about the way Catherine's household was run and to say she was strict in all she said and did is a vast understatement.
So the fact that she was born on Valentine's Day 1864 doesn't seem to have soften her demeanor overmuch! Still she was loved by her family and always had a little dog by her side, the last one so devoted to her that he followed her into death.
I have many photos, much crochet from her hand, camisoles and hand crocheted table cloths and these few precious items she always had with her....

A small silver pill safe, one of her many watches and a gold locket my great uncle Joesph created for her (he was a jeweler for many years at Birk's in Montreal) the initial's are C and L for Catherine Lenore. These items are laying on one of the many doilies that graced her home.
I guess on days like today (St Pat's) even though I never had the opportunity to meet Catherine in person I feel very close to her and wish I knew more about their family story. How did they arrive in the U.S. and why did she end up in Montreal married to my great grandfather? No one ever was able to give me those details and now those who might have known are long gone.
So to you Great Grandmother I wish you the very best St. Patrick's Day, I hope you are having cabbage and corned beef up there with the Saints! Hugs and Kisses from a grateful female descendant!

Tina xo

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hey It's Me Again!

I haven't forgotten that I wanted to SHARE more of my real life, not the life I wish I had, lol, so here goes reveal number one!!!

I live in a rental trailer in a "seen better days" trailer park in upstate New York. Now do I wish I lived in a lovely home in a sweet burb....well do bears poop in the woods? But life brought me here and I am trying to make the best of it for now until life takes it's next turn!

It looks worse than it is right now because everything is still in the "end of winter" condition and that always sucks. Once the garden kicks in it gets a much softer and cared for look.
One bonus: note the field in the second photo, it's a farmer's field that gets mowed a couple of times a year (feed for his dairy cows) but while it is growing it houses many birds and is lovely to look at on a summer day. I especially love when the grasses get high and the wind willows through, simply lovely! It's like a beautiful sea of green waves.

So here I am in my most recent incarnation (there have been MANY!!!) I am constantly re-inventing myself and my life and it has been a wild adventure in many ways. In a future post I will endeavor to tell the tale of how I went from having a gorgeous home in Kansas City to living in a trailer park in upstate New York and some great adventures in between!

Now what have I been working on this week? Ummmm let's see:

I know these two paintings don't even look like the same artist painted them and I have to wonder who the heck I am channeling some days, :)
In the second one I used actual fabric pieces applied with Mod Podge for the dress she has on. I relied heavily on texture medium for the first sweet lady. 
Today I am planning on working a little more on a few fabric collages I have started and then I may sit at my craft table with my watercolor paper and gouache paints and see what I can come up with. 
Because of the life I have led I tend to be very interested in women's lifes and the struggles they have been through to arrive at the place where they find themselves now. Sometimes I look at very old photos of those lovely, noble women who came before us and I so wish I knew what they were thinking, what their hopes and dreams were and did they come about before the end of their lives. Ahhh well, more food for thought.

Enjoy your wonderful weekend and have some cabbage and corn beef for the Auld Sod, I think this weekend we are all Irish in our hearts!

Love you....
Tina xo

Monday, February 18, 2013


A busy happy weekend....

Making more of those sweet textile brooches and now I am assembling a mini quilt that I am going to hang in a unique way so stay tuned for another of my creative but slightly wonky ideas!

                                                         LITTLE HEN
                                                         BIRDIE BLUE
                                                        BIRDIE BROWN
I decided to combine fabric and paint to accomplish the effect I wanted. I found I really like working with paint on fabric that way, such a change from canvas! And then being able to embellish it with embroidery thread is quite exciting. 

I hope everyone had a happy weekend? I just wish that Spring would get here as I feel a little worn out with the cold and ice this year. I will be so much happier when I can mover further South and be closer to family and warmth.
Starting this week I would like to borrow a page from other blogger's books and get a little more personal about my self and my life in my posts.
Sometimes it is hard to share details and reveal grubby bits but I don't want anyone to ever get the impression that my life is all sweetness and light. There is struggle and agonizing and all that jazz and I don't want to feel that I have to hide the circumstances of my life and that sharing some of it will cost me friends. 
I care about each person I connect with here and some of you are VERY special to me. I have read your honest posts about your lives and envied your courage and now I feel it is my turn to stand tall and be myself, warts and all!
I treasure you all and hope I get the chance someday to meet you in person and give you a big hug!

Love to all 
Tina xo

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Textile Art and New Directions

I have wanted to stretch my wings into textile art for awhile now and this Spring I decided to give it a try and see where it took me, these are my newest experiment and they are available in my Etsy shop (see right side-bar).

All the materials I used are VERY vintage, even the thread is over 60 years old.
In the last one I used a small silk medallion from a collection my great uncle had as a boy at the turn of the last century. I have been told they were giveaways in boxes of product like oatmeal.
Next I am going to work on some little mini quilts and I am toying with some unique ways to display them!!! Stay tuned for more fabric fun!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thursday, January 31, 2013


But cold, cold, cold! Even the old Federal Building that now houses the Cultural Arts Center was freezing, we even kept our coats and boots on!
Even so it was fun and I even sold a painting, which is always a plus in my book, and met some fabulous people.
Let me introduce you to just a few of the local artists who keep life interesting here in the North Country:

 My friends Julie and Kendra!
Julie makes wonderful benches from old headboards!
Kendra is a retired executive chef who writes for a local magazine doing, what else, restaurant reviews!
 And here I am, awfully cold, but looking forward to a great day!

                             Our display, with my paintings and Julie's benches.

Here's Judy, a lovely watercolor artist and on the board of directors for the North Country Council on the Arts! She and her Husband Rich work tirelessly to preserve Plattsburgh's historic heritage.

And this talented lady (on the right) is Anne Rooney whose beautiful woven scarves and home decor items are to die for! The other sweet lady was buying one of Anne's creations!

This amazing photographer is Bobby Ziemba who takes incredible and very nostalgic paintings and then prints them onto canvas and mounts them like a painting. The one to his left is a photo of a local one-room schoolhouse that is still lived in today. It looked so real I almost had to reach out and touch it to assure myself it was a photo!

Here is adorable Shawn, a wonderful artist and huge in the printing industry locally. Her illustrations, which grace many greeting cards, are beautiful and colorful and capture the local flavor perfectly!
(her buddy in the back is a plaster statue from the Strand Theater which is under renovation)!

A new friend here, may I introduce Tim Palkovic who for many years painted scenery for the local college. Now retired, he has started on a new path painting local scenes and writing for a local magazine. He and his wife are a great couple and definite asset to the art scene.

This lovely lady (last name Snow) makes the most amazing spices combos for all types of recipes and I bought a bag of her corn pudding spice and her special meatloaf spice mix! Do I have to say I am dying to try it soon?
The two girls with her are her nieces and sadly I never did get first names as we were all so busy chatting with guests!

Adorable and multi-talented Stephanie Dejoseph. Her precious designs are so warm and made with such love and skill that....well you should just visit her Etsy shop:

Sadly there were a few people whose names I didn't learn but whose photos I am including here.
                                          A sweet couple who do metal art
          Awesome lady who made the most creative bags I have seen in a long time!
Who does not love dangling earrings? This wonderful woman fits the bill with her creative offerings!

And I have to include a photo of the lady who is the director of the gallery and the organizer of this show, her first and may I say a huge success!!!
Meet Shawna Armstrong (on right) and her assistant (whose name I missed, sorry), congrats ladies on a wonderful show!

Because of the cold I never did brave the out of doors to get a few photos of the buildings facade which is awesome but this May there is going to be a show featuring quilts and textile arts and I am planning to participate. The weather should be much more compatible with roaming the grounds for photo ops so I will be sure to get a few then!

Hope you enjoyed this visit with the local art community and didn't get too bored with my ramblings. Hope you are safe at home and keeping warm! Love ya!