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The Columbus Topiary Garden

Oh my, what an amazing amount of ground we covered over the past week. From Lake Ontario in New York State to the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana.

22 hours in the car one-way… I thought I would be a blogging fool.  Unfortunately, I needed the stars to align and pigs to fly before I could “write” in the car. Oh well. While surfing the web via my laptop in the car (Have I mentioned that I am married to the most amazing IT guy not to mention he’s also a charming and handsome farmer? What more can a girl ask for!)… ok. Back to the story.

While driving through Ohio I was reminded by RoadsideAmerica.com of the unusual topiary garden on the grounds of the Old Deaf School in downtown Columbus. It was listed in their Columbus attractions as Topiary French People. Well, I’ve seen that garden over the years in magazines and I couldn’t wait to see it in person.  I love that Farmboy and the kids are always up for a detour.

This amazing garden was created by Columbus sculptor James T. Mason to mimic the famous painting “A Sunday Afternoon On The Ile De La Grande Jatte” (1884-6) by French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat.  Farmboy was completely enchanted. The Bean yelled out while running in and out of the figures “It’s like we’re in the painting!”. What a treat and yes, those are my children running around Downtown Columbus in their pajamas. Please don’t call the Board of Parenting Fashion Police. What can I say, we left the house at 4 in the morning… at least they are wearing shoes.

Our timing seemed perfect to view the garden… almost planned. The sun was low in the sky, casting long shadows from the figures and accentuating the detail in their forms. It really was enchanting and I will always delight in the memory of seeing the kids running around the figures as if in a strange shrubby Other World.




New Holiday Designs

My new Holiday designs for 2010 are now available online! The Snowflake Topiary and the NOEL design can be ordered in Boxed Seasonal Greetings (shown above), Linen Guest Towels (shown below), Linen Cocktail Napkins, and Lavender Sachets.

The designs are both simple and sweet. Honest, unpretentious yet classy and eco-friendly, the Holiday cards make a green statement on numerous levels. Printed in the US on recycled fiber cardstock, the Holiday cards have a earthy appearance and smooth feel. There is truely nothing else like them on the market! For more information click here.




La Contessa Jewelry

Oh, you will love this! I met Mary DeMarco designer and owner of La Contessa jewelry at the Philadelphia Flower Show a number of years ago. Botanical in theme and beautifully detailed, her work is right up my alley. Over the years I have purchased many goodies from her- for myself and as gifts for friends and family. Shown above are some of the pieces that I collected and wear often. Aren’t those rabbit earrings a trip!?

Hummingbirds, owls, squirrels, mermaids, butterflies, frogs, flowers and turtles are featured adorning her jewelry. One of the things that I find so lovely about Mary’s work is that the BACK of her pieces are also artfully detailed.

Two years ago I was looking for some salad servers and purchased a pair at La Contessa. I love them. They are pewter and each handle is sculpted with flowers and birds. The eyes of the large birds on the end have glistening stones. Every time I use them it makes me happy. Last year I picked up this matching coffee scoop. The inside of the scoop is a nest! Don’t you love that!? Delightful on a daily basis.

Pictured in the center above is a charming jewel studded butterfly and sunflower salt shaker. For more information on La Contessa visit their website. You will be so glad you did! Happy Fabulous Find Friday! : )




Giveaway Winner!

First, let me thank all of you for leaving comments for the giveaway. I LOVE the ideas that you posted! They have already given me some great inspiration for future designs.

The winner of our first Giveaway is Paula Chaffin! Congratuations Paula!  You have won the $50 Gift Certificate. Yay! I will contact you shortly to set up your certificate then you can shop away!!

I will be doing other giveaways later in the month. Thanks again to all of those who participated. I appreciate it SO much. : )




Pennies from Heaven- Glazed Carrots

Adapted from “The New Basics Cookbook” by Julee Rosso & Shelia Lukins

  • 5 carrots- peeled and sliced 1/4 thick
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place the carrots in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Then rinse under cold water and drain.

2. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together until well mixed. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a skillet. Stir in the cooked carrots and the orange juice. Sprinkle with the sugar-cinnamon mixture and cook over medium heat until the carrots are glazed and the sauce is slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

4 to 6 portions

**  Original recipe calls for the following additional ingredients added at the end. Cook until heated through:

  • 10 dried pitted apricots, slivered
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted



$50 Gift Certificate

To celebrate my first anniversary of blogging and to kick off the holiday season, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway at michellemasters.com. You know, one of those things bloggers do wherein you leave a comment and are automatically entered into a groovy contest. I know it’s not Oprah’s Favorite Things Giveaway… but we have to start somewhere!

With your newfound winnings you could purchase:

Holiday Cards,

Lavender Sachets,

Monogrammed Stationery,


Hostess Gifts,

A Print for your Powder Room,


a Pillow of your pooch,


or beautiful Handcrafted Soaps!


Rules for Giveaway

A winner will be chosen on Tuesday Nov. 16th using random.com.

The contest is open to everyone.

Leave one comment per person on this post telling me what you would think would be fun to see in topiary!

How easy is that?! Maybe it’s your dog, your mother or your favorite pair of shoes!

Get that imagination growing and leave me a comment! Feel free to get the word out- share, tweet, link and repost!




Bearded Collie Design

This furry guy on a comfy topiary couch is based on one of my customers’ dogs named Monroe. Doesn’t he look ready for a picnic and more than ready to crawl over into your lap if you sat next to him?  Monroe is a Brown/Champagne colored Bearded Collie. This design will be available in both brown/champagne and the more common gray/white.

The Beared Collie design will soon be available online in the following products: Notecards, Linen Guest Towels, Linen Cocktail Napkins, Limited Edition Prints and Limited Edition Pillows. A sweet, unique gift for the Bearded Collie owner! Email mmasters@michellemasters.com with any questions.




Babson Boulders, Gloucester, MA




New Monogrammed Pillows

As some of you may know I have been experimenting with fabrics/designs and coming up with some new products. Yay. I love this little pillow. Isn’t it sweet…  a little vintage, a little french inspired. It will be available with cream or black fringe or a black and cream gingham cord.

I was also thinking it might make a nice wedding pillow. Larger and square the bride and grooms’ first names could be on either side of the monogram in the white space below the ribbon. Below the design could read “founded on (wedding date)” in a script font. What do you think? Can you picture it?

The black and white toile backing is also a splendid touch. This pillow will soon be available for custom orders online. Until then feel free to email me with any inquiries mmasters@michellemasters.com.




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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