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New Yorkshire Terrier Design

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My newest Posh Pet Digs design: Cutting hedge portraiture of your favorite pets! A sweet little Yorkie in a topiary barrel chair complete with footstool! I love incorporating various flowers into my designs and I have been inspired by the architectural quality of orchids for quite some time. This arrangement seemed to fit the design. Wouldn’t it be fun to look outside and see this in your garden?!

This design will soon be available on notecards, linen guest towels, linen cocktail napkins, lavender sachets, limited edition pillows and limited edition prints at michellemasters.com




Wordless Wednesday

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Honest Scrap

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Lisa, the lovely and talented garden blogger from Get in the Garden nominated me for an honest scrap award and I am, well… HONESTLY honored! You must check out her blog… lots of great gardening information and she’s super nice. The idea of the award is for me to reveal 10 truths about myself that people wouldn’t learn from reading my blog. I then choose seven other bloggers to pass the award on to. So, off I go…

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1. My gardening/artistic entrepreneurial tendencies came early in life. My next door neighbor (you know who you are) and I used to sneak around the neighborhood and cut the blooms off of our neighbors flowers then put them in Easter baskets in our basement refrigerator for the night. The next day we would go door to door and try to sell them back to the neighbors. Can you imagine???!!!! My business practices have since improved, I promise!

2. When I was little living in Mississippi, I slipped on a pile of butter bean shells while chasing my sisters’ pony and broke my arm.

3. I was the self-professed Mud Pie Queen as a child which could easily explain my love of gardening and ceramics as an adult.

4. The only F that I ever made in school was in Art Class. I think my teacher had higher expectations for me than I had for myself.  She also threw a huge roll of tape at me once to get my attention. Loved her.

5. Had a close encounter of the God-kind when I was in high school and I’ve never been the same since.

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6. I let my horse in the house a couple of times after school before my parents got home from work. I was curious to see what he thought of TV. I never got a definitive answer… yay or neigh. Get it…neigh? Sorry… can’t help it.  I’ve have never tried to bring one of the horses in this house but I have thought about it.

7. I was in the garden deadheading when I went into labor with my daughter. The mid-wife lied. Natural was awful.

8. I almost blew myself up once with dynamite. One day gonna blog about that one.

9. Hid behind shelving at a local drug store from my father-in-law while I was having my passport photo taken because I wasn’t ready to spill the irresponsible beans that hubby and I were leaving the country, the farm, the kids… to see a concert. To my surprise and delight the plane didn’t crash, the kids and animals survived… and they maybe even missed us a little.

10. For the most part, I am the Cat that Swallowed the Canary everyday. I am so thankful to be alive and that I get to do what I love and sing my song in this life.

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I nominate the following bloggers and will continue to add to the list:

Benga at BengaQuickPhotography

Stacey at Stacey M Designs

Ester at MamaAfrika

Tricia at Luminosity




Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu

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Rosemary’s Pink Diamond Fizz Cocktail

Baked Brie with Dried Cherries & Thyme

Blood Orange and Radicchio Salad with Hazelnuts and Shaved Parmigiano

Creamy Potato Soup with Pancetta Croutons

Sauteed Asparagus and Snap Peas

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary and Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Souffle’ Cakes with Espresso-Chocolate Sauce

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Thanks to our friends Eric and Joanne Tills from our dinner club for letting me post the menu for our upcoming dinner. I’m certain it will be delish! Farmboy and I will be bringing the Chocolate Souffle Cakes so I will be certain to post about that later. I can’t wait to taste that Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary and Chocolate! Be sure to click on the titles above to view the recipes.




Avian Composition in Blue

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Entrance Garden Before & After

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Before… a blank canvas.

I love to see before and after pictures of gardens. It’s very inspiring to view the transformation of a space and what a difference plants can make. First, let me say that I am not a garden designer. I am a graphic designer/artist that looks at gardening a lot like painting. I am a plopper of plants… not a planner of plants. Horrors! I know. If a plant doesn’t work in a certain space I dig it up and plop it somewhere else. When I purchase plants I am thinking color, texture, scale, repetition… just like a painting or illustration. It is a very intuitive process. An experimentation of sorts.

In design school I had a Austrian professor who insisted that good design was like an English Garden- full of repetition, contrast, texture, shape and line. He also said “sink” instead of “think”. “I sink good design is like a beautiful English Gaw-den.” Think Schwarzenegger. Perhaps it was his “Terminator- like” accent that struck fear into me- but I’ve never forgotten his comparison of graphic design and gardening.

My gardens have evolved over the years. In the beginning all of my perennials were divisions or  transplants from my mother’s beautiful garden in Rochester, NY. Our home was built in the middle of a hay field with nary a tree within stones throw or shade’s distance. Talk about starting from scratch. I purchased this puny little weeping crab (Red Jade) that had maybe 5 branches on it from a local independent nursery. The owner of the nursery insisted that it would grow laterally- fill the space that I had designated for it. My thought… when eating in the dining room I did not want to look out and see the driveway or our company’s vehicles. As you will see boy did that little crabapple ever do its job! So much so that when the tree leafs out I can barely see the kids playing in the driveway or who just drove up. But… oh the view from inside! Flowers in the spring, a little shady spot in the summer and crabapples in the winter.

On with the pictures!

First-Season

Skinny little weeping crab (Red Jade). Dining room inside triple window.

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Before any hardscaping. Japanese Maple (Bloodgood) in foreground next to Sunset Rock- a boulder dug up during excavation… a perfect seat for watching the sunset.

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Perennials filling in.

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3 years later.

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Small fountain surrounded by hosta and irises with bleeding heart in background and lady’s mantle in the foreground.

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Finished fieldstone walkway. Farmboy and I made it from stone pulled from the fields before spring planting… took what seemed like an eternity to finish.

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Plantings of lavender, lady’s mantle, boxwood, spirea, lupines and Americana rose on trellis.

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Walkway lined with Royal Standard hosta on left and boxwood hedge to right.

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View to the barns from the driveway over looking the entrance garden. Japanese Maple to the right. Daisies, lavender and astillbe in the foreground. Sunset Rock behind lavender blooms.

Thank you for taking the tour with me. I hope it provides inspiration!




Lavender Sachets

The past week I have been very busy making lavender sachets. The fragrance in the air is lovely! Once I have received the hemstitched sachets from my linen supplier, I print each design and tie on a cute little bow. Here is a little photo progression what comes next!

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Irish linen sachets waiting to be filled…

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Aromatic french lavender buds…

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Happy filled sachets waiting to go bring a smile and be all lavender-y!

Click here to order online or browse your favorite designs online.




Oliver & Little Helen Chapel

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Bouquet of Lilacs

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Here is a new little design for the heavenly scented Lilac Handcrafted Soap we will be featuring at the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show.  The design will also be used for a corresponding Mother’s Day Card! A nice little card… a nice little gift… I’m just sayin!

This soap will be available to order on our website next month so be sure to stop by if you will not be attending the Flower Show!




Wordless Wednesday

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ABOUT

Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.

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This blog and all of the creative elements ie., written content, illustrations and photographs are the sole property of Michelle Masters Studio and cannot be reproduced in any form without the artist's permission.

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