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New Product- Baby Announcement Canvas Art

I am SO excited about this new product. A perfect gift for new parents and a lovely piece of art for the nursery! Our giclee printed canvas is gallery wrapped, embellished with a chocolate grosgrain bow and ready to hang. Personalize and unique, this is sure to be a hit!

For the little princess, you may choose from a light pink or pale green border. Special Delivery, Princess Crown or Baby Rattle topiary designs are available.  For the little prince you may choose from a baby blue or pale green border. Special Delivery or Baby Rattle topiary can be featured .

Have you seen the sweet little coordinating lavender sachet linen door hangers for the nursery as well as the personalized linen pillows??

Announcement Pillow and Door Hanger

Each aromatic sachet hangs from a sheer organza ribbon. A fragrant little happy to help that little sprout get his/her beauty sleep. Perfect for a shower gift even when the little one is still a surprise! The pale green design can be for a boy or a girl. Shown below is Princess Sleeping with Light Pink border and Princess Crown Topiary featured.

Princess Sleeping

For pricing and ordering information click here.




New Design- Corgis Milo and Howard

Are these guys the cutest things you have ever seen?! What personality in those little faces and bodies. The lovely and talented landscape designer Deborah Silver from Detroit Garden Works contacted me regarding doing some custom work featuring her two little scamps. I went ga-ga over Deborah’s beautiful gardens, Italian pots and charming pups. I think my exact words were “Drool, drool”. Poetic, I know. Art is my gift, words… perhaps, are not.

If you are in the Detroit area you should stop by Detroit Garden Works and meet the celebrities, Milo and Howard. I hear they are quite a hit. Customers often visit the store with their dogs… don’t you just love that! I wish I lived closer. They would totally have to kick me out at closing time. Be sure to visit Deborah’s blog Dirt Simple filled with lots of info and garden eye candy. I loved the before and after Riverside landscape project and the Spring pots with pansies and lettuce. Great idea!

The Corgi design will be soon be available in notecards, limited edition prints, limited edition pillows, linen towels, lavender sachets and linen cocktail napkins. See pictures below for references of Deborah’s beautiful gardens and Corgis!


I got alittle crazy and put it all together! Couldn’t help it.




Plant Trickery

My nightstand is piled high with vegetable gardening references this time of year. I cross reference everything since I might miss some juicy tidbit that could revolutionize my gardening plans. For instance, I purchased a charming little artichoke this year at a garden center. I’ve not seen them available here in central New York before. What a thrill! So of course I came home and read everything that has ever been written about growing them. Unfortunately my research enlightened me to the bizarre knowledge that I have to “trick” the plant into thinking that it is two years old. If you know me you know that I not good at tricks, pranks, poker, OR jokes for that matter. The trickery is written all over my face. I may as well have my forehead tattooed saying that I am not telling the truth. It’s a gift or a curse- not sure which.

Back to the artichoke- Artie, of course. I have told him that he is behaving like a 2 year old. The pouting and wilting has got to stop. I think he believes me at this point.  If he puts on buds I’m pretty sure that I will have succeeded in the plant trickery. I try to look at another plant when I discuss the Artie’s age so that my face will not give away my untruthfulness. I even feel guilty writing about it.

Upon a little internet research I have found that there is such a thing as Plant Trickery. There are plants that disguise themselves using their appearance or fragrance. We all know of the sneaky Venus Fly Trap and Pitcher Plant who lure clueless bugs they want to snack on. Talk about deception!  In either case THEY are the ones doing the tricking. For our purposes we will disregard this type of trickery since this is a post about tricking THEM.

If you have plants that you need to… let’s say, “disguise the truth” to here are some guidelines that you may want to follow.

  • Be kind. No plant likes being made a fool of. Do not ruin the trust you have built- the roots of your relationship if you will.
  • Wear glasses when telling the plant the necessary false information. If no sunglasses or groucho marx glasses are available, it may be necessary to avert your eyes. Remember your eyes are the windows to your soul.
  • Add some fertilizer. A little manure can help the trickery go down easier and “take”.
  • Tell the subjects’ neighbors to keep a leaf on it. Even if they know the truth they are not allowed to share it or “snip-snip”.
  • Lastly, when all else fails embrace your plant just as he or she is and call it a day. Life is too short to stress or not adore and embrace what you have.




Mouse Patrol




New Design- Special Delivery

I have had this little design knocking around in my head for the past 4 or 5 months. Maybe that is the gestation time I need to take an idea and finally get it on paper. : ) So nice to finally see this little guy in person. This design will soon be available as a New Baby greeting card. Hope you like!




Spicy Indian Dinner Menu

Farmboy and I hosted our dinner club with this menu one snowy January evening. The flavors were meant to heat up a cold winter night and feature some new spices that I had never cooked with before. We served the appetizer with Indian beer and featured a nice mix of Indian/World music. The inexpensive glass hanging candle votive added a nice ambiance to our dinner as the evening went on.

Seekh Kebabs with Herb Yogurt Dip

Beet Curry Soup with Feta and Cumin Crackers

Spicy Chicken Coconut Curry

Mughlai Chicken

Basmati Rice with Indian Spices and Traditional Raita

Mango with Ginger Mint Syrup




The kebabs were delicious as was the beet curry soup. I couldn’t decide on the main course so I prepared two separate chicken dishes for us to try. I thought the Spicy Coconut Chicken Curry would win for heat but it wasn’t as spicy as I had expected. The Chicken Mughlai was scrumptious… very complex flavors! I’ve made it couple of times since the dinner. The Basmati Rice and Raita I have continued to make as well.

Dinner clubs are a great way to try new dishes and cook with spices you normally wouldn’t- not to mention creating lasting friendships. Many of the spices for these dishes I did not have in my kitchen so it is a bit of an investment in that regard, but they are great to have on hand. I encourage you to get out of your culinary comfort zone and try cooking with new spices, new flavors and new friends!




Happy Mother’s Day

LaLa’s Drawing

My other Artist, The Bean. We love to draw bunnies together. I can feel the LOVE.*so thankful*  Hope your day is simple, fun, full and Blessed!




The Garden Fairies Visited…

and decorated! I caught a glimpse of them. Two little girl fairies. Cousins, I think.

Before and after.




Spring Plowing in Waves of Umber

It’s that time of year again. I am so ready. Spring has finally arrived in Central New York. Did I say that I was ready… that my mood is greatly determined by the temperature this time of year? A chilly day can make me feel down right cranky and completely out of sorts. I wait like a child at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning for those first bulbs to pop up. Sometimes its a challenge being transplanted from a warm climate to a cold one. We won’t go there…

Spring planting. It’s a busy time of year here at the farm. As soon as the ground is dry enough to work the harvesting equipment gets moved out of the way and the planting equipment starts to make an appearance. The plow gets new points, worn out pieces get replaced and the planting depth gets tested and set. When Farmboy and I were dating I often rode around in the tractor with him. Seeing the plow systematically slice through the earth and turn it on its end was quite an experience. I found it mesmerizing… almost hypnotic, artful and lovely. The soothing way that waves roll onto a shoreline, the waves of green sod would turn, roll, fold and come settling down upon itself to expose the dark loamy soil underneath. Powered by an enormous tractor, the plow cuts the earth like butter. Smooth. Clean. Almost effortlessly until an underground stone is snagged sending one of the blades springing up into the air with a loud bang.

I find it interesting- the beauty and simplicity of the process juxtaposed with the forceful way the carpet of the earth is sliced and then exposed. It is harsh yet graceful. From a solid carpet of green comes a textured pattern of umber. Down folds the sod, full of nitrogen to fertilize this year’s crop. Up come the grubs, worms and bugs- a feast for the birds following behind.

I told Farmboy that I wanted to photograph the process and he suggested making a short video which I thought was positively genius since it would show the action. If you look closely you will see the vertical rotating wheels in front of the end blade slicing into the surface leaving a clean path for the crest of the dirt wave. I hope you find it visually interesting. Double click on the image below to start the video.




Happy Derby Day!

It’s the Run for the Roses. Hope your pick wins!




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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