Summer

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This is the view from my porch – what I call the door yard.  I watch my birds at the feeders and relax on my shady porch with my kitty.  It’s my happy place!  My little slice of heaven on earth is right here ; )

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My Babe built me this beautiful little porch just last year!  We’ve been enjoying it so much!  It’s such a great place to relax and visit together with family and friends.  We both liked the idea of having a porch before we built it – but we had no idea how much we’d love it!!!

 

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This is my favorite chair – the hammock chair!

Also, My Babe and I have a wedding anniversary coming up soon.  Counting my blessings and so grateful to have a beautiful home and family with this man!  I’ve been married 14 years with this guy – My Babe ; )

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Woodland Flowers

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Loving these shadeloving flowers from a garden I toured yesterday with my girlfriends – flower goals for my own gardens someday!!!  I did bring home a pot of red trillium – finally!  So excited to have found one and have it planted in a special little woodland border at home! I’ve been wanting a red trillium for my garden for over ten years!

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Spring Woodland Garden

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I take a walk around the yard nearly every day to see what is blooming…sometimes kitty comes too – I think she expects me to be hunting mice with her ; )

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I take a 3 mile walk every day too, for exercise, and when I get home I like to sit a minute on the porch and rest – kitty likes that too!  How is your spring going?  I hope you’re enjoying all the spring flowers where ever you are!

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Paints

 

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Sets of paint – I just love all the colors!  First picture shows the original Sennelier set of 8 half pans and the expanded set of 12 half pans that I upgraded to.  I use it for any traveling/outdoor painting.  Next picture shows my Cotman sketcher’s pocket set of 16 half pans – this was my first set and it served me well the first year – now my son is using it for his set.  Lastly the Lukas set with 48 half pans that I use for everything.  I’ve had the set for two years now and I love it!  So far, the only color I’ve had to refill is the sap green that I added.  I replaced the phthalo green with sap green because I like the yellow greens better for botanical painting.

Terrarium

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I’ve had this little maidenhair fern in this terrarium for three years now!  I put it on a bed of moss and bark with coal in the bottom to keep the water pure.  I do add water once in a great while, to make sure it’s moist and happy.  I know it wouldn’t survive our dry Maine winters without this micro-climate!  I’m so happy it’s thriving!

On a side note, sometimes the life pictured on a blog is so simple, calm, and pretty…so, to post reality I took a picture of what was happening in the rest of the living room today: toys and books out and the boys playing legos ; )

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Studio Set-up

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This is how my desk usually looks when I’m painting.  This is the way I like to have my water, paints, and brushes set-up.  I may reference pictures of real flowers/animals/etc. – so my phone is handy for looking those up.  I have errasors, pens, pencils, paper towel, etc. in the assorted containers.

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And, this is the rest of my “studio” space – my bedroom ; )  I have an ironing station because I do all of My Babes shirts and pants – he likes to dress professionally for work!  We spend time up here in the evenings after the boys go to bed.  He reads the news or listens to Old Time radio in bed, while I draw, paint, journal, etc. at my desk.

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The best feature of this room is our his and hers clossets!  He installed those organizer shelves/racks so all our clothes can hang or be folded neatly – so great to have plenty of space for my wardrobe and I don’t have to share it with anyone ; )

White Watercolor

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I played around with whites today.  I finally got the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White that I’d heard works so well.  I’d been using opaque white gouache for adding finishing details and highlights to my illustrations, but sometimes it took many layers to get the opacity I wanted.  This bleed proof white is just what I needed!

New Travel Palette!

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Do you remember *way* back to the sample of watercolors I got from Sennelier?  I squeezed all the paint in those sample tubes into some half pans so that not a drop would be wasted ; )  The paints were perfect primaries for mixing and I had fun playing around with the sample colors.

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Then, my Aunt gave me the Aqua-mini from Sennelier and I’ve used it since as my travel palette – compact and equipped with a little brush – perfect for little sketchbook paintings.  My only complaint was that there wasn’t much space for mixing colors or making washes…so I put a MEEDEN paint box on my wishlist that would fit 12 half pans!

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Now I have all my Sennelier half pans in one set together – and still in a small enough tin to take anywhere/anytime!  It has plenty of spaces for mixing colors and I keep my travel brushes inside too.  I’m so ready for spring and getting outside to paint again now!