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Catching Up…

Oh little blog… I have missed visiting you. I love the history that you hold. At times I have thought that it was time to end but I’m not ready to close that door. Let’s pretend that it hasn’t been so long and that the ups and downs of life don’t keep us from writing or using our creative voice. Let’s just do a little recap and catch up…

Last year was a bit of a challenge. We had to say goodbye to our sweet Oliver and it absolutely broke my heart. I had his companionship for 14 years- in the studio, in the kitchen, at the barn, in the garden, in my lap on the couch. His passing left such a void in our home and in my heart. The sadness that I felt overtook my creative voice for a while. I suppose that is a natural part of grieving.

After the Philadelphia Flower show last March, my ongoing issue of tendonitis progressed and placed limitations on what I could do physically. Simple, everyday things like brushing my teeth, picking up my coffee cup and washing my hair were very painful- not to mention packing, shipping and doing the most basic tasks for my business. My creative voice got quieter and quieter.

Don’t get me started on politics. Drama and uncertainty has played in the background noise of daily life.

On a happy note, my sweet husband and son fashioned beautiful cedar raised beds for me over the winter and what a difference they have made! Our potager has been going for a number of years but this is the first year that I have gotten to enjoy it more than feeling the burden of the work that is needed to do digging and weeding. The boxes and the stone walkways have been so easy to manage this year. I hope to do a blog post about that process!

Did I mention that we got a puppy? In confusing fashion for the family, I cried all of the way home from seeing the precious, squirmy puppy-breath puppies. I am a “both/and” person. Both happy (about puppies) and sad (about Olie) – at the same time. It is beautiful and abundant but sometimes confusing and overwhelming.

Oh, I do love dogs and one day I want a whole herd of them… or pack, or gaggle. Oliver’s little sister Gracie was adjusting pretty well but we wanted to introduce a puppy while she was young enough to play with him and teach him the boundaries here at the farm. We knew a puppy would be easier to acclimate to the chickens, cats, horses and Lily- the guinea pig.

We couldn’t decide on a name for the puppy so we settled on two derivitives of and including Theodore- Theo and Teddy. He really doesn’t seem significantly confused. He politely ignores or responds to all three names.

Having teenagers makes life busy. Really??? Some of us weren’t prepared. I thought those toddler years were pretty dang extreme. What was I thinking?

Where do I give my list of 10 things to do or not to do??!! Here I am rambling on and on and not giving any advice/tips to hold your attention. If you are reading thus far, bless your heart.

Speaking of “bless your heart” – we went to MS to celebrate my grandmother’s 100th birthday! It was a trip down memory lane to share with my family the many places and family that were a part of my growing up. My grandmother is something else. I wish that you could hear her voice and see her hands that I have known all of my life. I think I could draw her hands by heart. It was lovely to hold them again.

I’ve been going to PT for a while now and I’m happy to report that my arm/elbow has gotten much better!  What a difference. The puppy graduated first in his puppy school class. As shown above- he has out grown his older sister in only 8 short months. There were 4H presentations and horse shows, track, Young Life camp, Horse camp and the Newport Flower show over the summer. So many good things…

Fullness. It’s hard to sum up. My cup runneth over.

I am beginning to find my footing, my rhythm and my voice again. It was a bumpy year.

I think that we are caught up Little Blog. I hope to come back more often. You are such a good listener. ; )

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French Bulldog Design

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These little guys are so cute… this design was inspired by a friend over on Instagram…. @FiveFabulousFrenchies! Aren’t they precious!? Their mom gave me permission to use them as my models for the new design. Wasn’t that generous?! I was having trouble picking what color to show this sweet, clownish little breed.  After seeing these charming dogs and their fabulous poses it became clear! What is better than a plethora of pretty, posing Frenchies??  Not a thing.

This design is available on notecards, linens, prints, marble coasters and pillows. For ordering information click here.

 




Swimming in the Fish Pond

Gracie in the pond




Poodle Club National Specialty Show

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Are you a “poodle person”? My in-laws have always had standard poodles. They make wonderful farm dogs… who knew!

My friend Jane Hellman from PUDELZ.com will be set up at the Poodle Club of America’s 83rd National Specialty show in Salisbury, MD starting this weekend.

IMG_1214Jane has everything that you can imagine that is poodle related… including these lovely cards by yours truly. : ) She will have a nice assortment of my cards including the Topiary Poodle, Holiday poodles and Oodles of Poodles on the topiary couch. Stop in, see her and find your perfect poodle themed gifts.

Can’t make it to the show? You can order all of my poodle designs on various gifts right here!




Riding to the Hounds

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A beautiful day for a ride at lunchtime! Queenie the Pony is a surefooted, sassy pony. Yesterday we rode to the hounds… Oliver and Gracie, that is. Good for the mind and even better for the soul.IMG_1736

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There was significant water play and creek-crossing practice. Sorry for the tilt-a-world… it’s not easy trying to take pictures on the back of a fidgety pony.

IMG_1754Heading home.




Congratulations Jewel!

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The 2013 National Dog Show Best in Show award winner was Jewel… and American Foxhound! How grand! I know  from experience what good dogs they are. When I was little occasionally we would have to bring one of the hounds home from the kennel for her to have her pups in our barn. You have never seen/heard anything so joyful as a litter of hound puppies bounding out of a stall for the first time! I’ll never forget it. : )

This is my little nod to the American Foxhound and its garden portrait from 2010. Here is the original post. Congrats Jewel and your owners/handlers. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day victory.

foxhound-portrait

To order the American Foxhound Garden Portrait on notecards, prints or linen items click here.

 

 




I Think Gracie Dropped Her Keys…

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Design

Doesn’t every Cavalier King Charles need their own royal topiary throne in the garden complete with David Austin English Roses and Burberry Pillow? I think so! This design will soon be available in notecards, linen guest towels, prints and pillows online at michellemasters.com. Until then… give us a call toll free at 888.313.0239 to order.




What I see while I’m weeding…

Don’t you just love help in the garden?




Oil Sketch of Brady

One of the next dog breeds that I will be featuring in a garden setting will be the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This is Brady. Doesn’t he have a sweet little face? Stop back in to see the finished “Cavalier Garden Portrait”.




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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Philadelphia Flower Show
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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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