Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New paintings

Sorry you all have had to wait so long for some more of my hubby's new art!  But I have a nice collection waiting for you now! First is a small series of 8x10 landscapes he's just finished, with beautiful fall colors!

Second, a summer collection, with the same size canvas:

And then, we have  two more  marina paintings. We were surprised to find how many people loved the boat paintings, we have had several requests for more! So here are two more:

Smart Cleaning

Hello to a beautiful Tuesday! I always enjoy Tuesdays, because it is then, no longer a Monday. It seems to me that I allow a weeks worth of woes to fall all at once onto my Mondays, and I find myself sifting through the list of to-dos, and forcing myself to spread them out into a feasible schedule.

Today I could wake up leisurely, take a morning stroll in the neighborhood (which I must boast, has the most beautiful fall colors in the city thus far), and continue calmly with the rest of the days chores.

Laundry, dishes, computer work, errands, all these things are so much more enjoyable when you have made time for it, instead of rushing back and forth an a confused effort to conquer all, and then finding you've created a monster which is taking over your home.... and yourself!

Don't be grumpy ladies!!!  My mother dedicated an substantial portion of my studies into how to manage time in the home, and, with all my studies, I have found that I am the queen of "learning as I go".  Doesn't matter how much you've learned, you still have to develop your own time management (however, what she taught me has been priceless).

Mondays are my "de-scramble" my mind and organize days. I usually start my mountain of laundry, which kindly lasts me all through the week. On top of that, I look at the weeks agenda, see what in necessary to make it happen, and schedule my time accordingly. My aunt shared her business secret of leaving Mondays to plan and organize, and Fridays to tie up loose ends, I have found this advice to be priceless!

Tuesdays- Thursdays can change, but consist of the same basic principles. Daily chores, and then the unique weekly tasks are divided amongst them according to which days I have the most time available to me.

But my favorite daily activity: BRAIN activity! I LOVE to be creative, to work with  my hands, and to experiment. I make time almost daily to exercise my need for creative, constructive time, by either trying something new, or working on a project I am familiar with.... Whichever suits my fancy in the moment!

So far I am learning to do stained glass (working on a window project now), I am learning to crochet ( on my second "fancy" scarf), I am making jewelry, sowing, decorating, spending time outdoors in my yard, gardening, playing my guitar, photography, cooking something new, and the list goes on!

This is the blessing of having a husband who is motivated by creativity also, and keeps it as a priority. It feeds the need for accomplishment, and fuels your creativity.

Enjoy your Tuesday! And find some "creativity" time!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blackberry Farm

If you haven't heard of Blackberry farm, it won't take too long until you do. One of the most well-known mountain resorts, which easily run you over $1000 a night. And you will see why when you visit their incredible property, luxuriously designed rooms, and taste their gourmet meals.

What few people know is, Blackberry Farms official photographer- Beal-Thomas photography were Jonathan's employers during his internship at Maryville College. And he continues to do as-needed photography work with them. He has photographed multi-million dollar weddings there before. Stunning work!

My first taste of the "high-life", I drove up to this multi-million dollar farm property, in my old, dirty, overheated Pontiac to drop my husband off. He had two days to drive the property and photograph the biking trip of two well known bikers: Robbie Ventura and George Hencapie, two Tour De France competitors, who were staying to enjoy the fresh mountain air.

I dropped Jonathan off, and then I would return to pick him up. The driveway is as far as I was allowed to go, but I can say I've been there! I didn't feel put out not being able to join him there. Nor did it make me feel less important, instead, i was SO proud to have a talented husband, and to be able to be a support.

I was his "mobilization"--- "I love you, have fun, do good, and I will see you soon!"--- Then I drive away into the distance, as he jumps into the Mercedes cars and does what he loves to do. He leaves with my support, and returns with my adoration. We come home together fully satisfied, to our warm, little home, decorated by a budget, to a crowd of young people gathered to learn from us in the evenings. I would take that over Blackberry Farms any day! (Doesn't mean a night there wouldn't be dreamy!)

If you ever get the chance, make some memories in the Smokies! And visit this exquisite resort.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I am sorry it has been a long few days since I have written. Life has a way of throwing events, surprises, and distractions your way.

All last week my brother Josiah stayed with Jonathan and I to prepare to go to the marines. Today is the first day at Paris Island in S.C. He will be going three days without sleep, losing everything familiar to him, and stretching himself to the limit, since the moment he stepped off the bus.

Will he make it? I have full confidence that all his father and mother instilled in him, all the disciplines he tried to escape by leaving family, will return and pull him through.  "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown he will not depart from it." Pr. 22:6 Today is day one of the long process he will be taking to "grow up".

His last words to his father was that he would graduate in "dress blues". He a young man who wants to do his best. And the Lord's hand is on him, pursuing his life, revealing his love and mercy, even on Parris Island. There is no place, where the Lord is not there.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Dining Room

Being a newly wed, and in my first home, Fall decor wasn't right on hand. Thankfully I found some inexpensive resources, some free time, and was able to get to work! Here are the results of my Wednesday evening!

First things first... without the table settings!  My house has all arched entries, and this is the view walking into my dining room. Now for some close-ups:

Above my buffet,I stole some odds and ends form my moms fall decor stash, and added a cornucopia to the scene!

Next, since my at least 30 year old cabinets are too shallow for my dishes, I had to resort to shelves, which my husband painted. Here is my fall touch on the shelves...

I found some glass vases I had stowed away, and filled it with acorns, fall berries all to make a nice center piece, for very cheap!

My wonderful oil lamp ($6, just had to brag).

My table with settings!

These are my favorite napkin rings, given by my mother. Birds are my theme.. LOVE them!

And of course, since this blog is my "brag" page, I must share my dining room paintings from my husband (which are always temporary, since they are always selling).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall in Tennessee

What makes fall in Tennessee?

Long hikes in the Smokey Mountains...

photo by: Jonathan N. Howe
The final crop...

photo by: Jonathan N. Howe
The fruit of your labors...

photo by: Jonathan N. Howe

Autumn trees...

Excursions to the open country...

Close friends and family...

This is fall in Tennessee

Autumn Inklings

The colors of fall are like none other, they are so vibrant, alive, so full of light. I get so excited when I see the colors begin to change. In my neighborhood, we are surrounded by beautiful old trees, it is like entering a dream when you walk down the path, and the trees shower you in their gorgeous colors.
Play your classical music, brew a cup of fresh coffee, light some candles, open your windows, and soak it in. Better yet, take a morning stroll each day and watch the colors grow, then fade with the season. Soak it up!
And always have a fuzzy blanket handy.... in fall colors of course!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Still Life

It is a wondeful gift, to be able to make a small item you find, into a beautiful work of art. Woodcrafters, potters, designers, the list goes on!
Jonathan had some extra free time a little while back, so he rummaged through the house, and found small items to paint a still life from, this resulted in a series of 9x12 inch paintings!  They are so fun to hang on my wall, they complement my rooms so beautifully.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Barn

When  Fall finally rolls in, one of the most marked images it brings to my mind is, a barn full of the years Harvest...  I may not be able to fit one on my litle suburban property, but I sure have one!  This is a picture of a barn, owned by some dear friends of mine. This is where my sisters wedding reception took place, and it is where my wedding reception took place!

When I think of fall, I think of dancing, fun boots, delicious, hearty foods, color, flannel, family, friends and fun.
This barn holds inside its walls, multitudes of "fall" memories.
For my wedding, we had dancing, football outdoors, the wedding party wore boots! And the food was hearty bundt cakes, fruits and vegetables!

How do you decorate a barn for fall?  Simply by using it for it's purpose!

You MUST wear boots!

(inside the barn, line dancing at my wedding)

You MUST enjoy yourself, let go of your insecurities, enjoy the moment!

Make lasting memories, include someone close to you.


Enjoy YOUR barn!


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