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Goodies for Mom

 

Loved by moms everywhere… chickadees, flowers and topiary! How can you go wrong? Both of these designs are perfect for Mother’s Day! Each design has a corresponding Card, Soap, Lavender Sachet and Linen Guest Towel!

For both MOM Topiary or Lilac Bouquet ordering information click here.




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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Happy Memorial Day 2016

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Photo Essay of Onyx and North

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The trot

Introduction

Onyx and North hay




I’m back… finally!

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Oh my, what a busy couple of months it’s been!! I have so much to blog about! How will I ever have time? I haven’t even mentioned my latest Fabulous Find. I spent the summer testing it out to see if it worked the way that I had hoped (teaser).

The Clothesline Festival was a complete washout for me this year. : (  I think that it was my last outdoor festival. (Never say never, I know.) It rained buckets and my new tent leaked. I had quite a bit of damage. Lots of cards to throw out and many prints to reframe. It was very discouraging.

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On the happiest of notes… please meet Onyx- the newest member of the family. Maybe HE is actually my BEST FIND EVER… besides Farmboy, of course! Onyx is a sweetheart… a big, still growing 3 yr old draft cross- 1/2 Percheron and 1/2 Quarter Horse. The picture below hooked me… what a sporty, handsome guy!
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He came from Corner Haven Farm in Trumansburg, New York. The owner Michelle Debell is known for her schooling, training, horse shows and turning out some wonderful mounts. Queenie, Lala, Onyx and I have been out for a hack a number of times since he’s come to the farm and I have found him to be fun, brave and willing. I hope to have many years with this guy and lots of fun riding with my girl and with Junebug. How fortunate I am to be able to share a great passion with my mother and my daughter. What a gift.

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Skaneateles Festival- Brook Farm

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” Tonight’s performance immerses us in the world of opera, and, at Brook Farm, opera is immersed in the world of nature.” (From the evening’s program.) How fortunate we are to have world class music here in the little village of Skaneateles.  Seventy-five artist from around the country and the world will be showcasing their talents during this year’s Festival.

The evening of the performance- A Night at the Met/opera was featured. Last year Gypsy music from Eastern Europe was the highlight. Nearly every year since the kids were tiny we have brought the summer to a close on the lawn at Brook Farm. Built in 1902, the home is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Metropolitan Opera sprano, Lisette Oropesa, the MET Opera Orchestra Musicians and the evening cricket accompaniment brought a lovely surreal quality to the close of the day. A special moment in time.

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The festival will continue through early September. We have heard that this may be the last year that Brook Farm will be hosting Picnic Saturdays and the evening concert- so if you’ve never been and wanted to go… now is the time! You will love it. For more information go to Skanfest.org.

 

 

 

 

 




Swimming in the Fish Pond

Gracie in the pond




Highlights from the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show

IMG_1002Lights, Camera, Bloom! The theme this year was Celebrating the Movies and well, the world’s #1 event did not disappoint. The partnership of PHS with Disney/Pixar produced quite a spectacle with a lot of WOW factor. I was very happy to see so many young families walking through the show… starting the tradition. Many customers that I spoke with had grown up attending the show and this year had brought along their own children.

Now, the whole princess thing can be a bit much I know and I was concerned when I heard all of the movies represented were Disney… but the displays were so creative, sophisicated and artful.

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IMG_1009Cinderella’s Banquet Table  IMG_1011Loved the colors in the Alladin themed design

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Cinderella’s Glass Slipper is back there under the glass dome…

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I thought the interpretation of the Disney Princesses was so creative! Above is Merida from Brave…

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Pochantas

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Ariel

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Loved this take on Rapunzel!

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A little Remey’s Bistro from Rataoullie

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An interpretation of Frozen  IMG_1047

Enjoyed Burke Brothers design… they incorporated real chickens who where quite a hit.

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This garden was my favorite, I think. The Mulan inspired garden.

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It was sublime.

IMG_1052  IMG_1054Loved the ceramic fish swimming above the pond and in and out of the irises.

IMG_1055  IMG_1057How gorgeous is that?! Can’t I do something like this on my deck?

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Mustn’t forget Never Never Land and the Lost Boys.

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Do you see Hook’s hat? Tinkerbell was in there too!

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Lots of orchids.

IMG_1063This design was so creative and the photos won’t do it justice. Imagine that the rope line in the photo is the line from a boat with an anchor at the other end. The vertical beams are a dock and we have an underwater view with the fish swimming by. Clever, right? J Downend Landscaping did the design based on the movie Nemo.

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Do you see the fishing boat at the top with the oar?

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A Winnie-the-Pooh inspired landscape. Very sweet. Made me think of the Bean.

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This landscape was based on the original Parent Trap movie. Loved that film.

11037879_10203988189160505_5396313622474975104_nAnd my MOST favorite highlight of the 2015 Flower Show was working with my two favorite girls- Junebug and Lala. Three generations of gardeners… what a joy!




Never a Dull Moment

Oh, my… such a beautiful day- sunny and warm. Junebug was here visiting before her trip back to Florida. The kiddos were home working on their schoolwork. I was busy in the kitchen making carnitas for dinner. We all heard the strange, distinct sound of a propane burner in the distance.

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The hot air balloon on the horizon was a welcome sight for those of us needing inspiration, distraction or reason to procrastinate. Once we realized that it was landing in the backyard, there was much squealing, dog barking, rooster crowing and horses running around the pasture with their tails straight up in the air, snorting mightily at the colorful, heavenly apparition.

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It really was quite surreal. I’ve only seen them from a distance. We received the customary bottle of champagne from the balloon pilot- a 200 year old French tradition. We were happy to oblige.

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If you are in the Finger Lakes call Dave Longeill (315-252-2495) for a trip. He takes off from Skaneateles Airport. This landing was something like his 1,820th landing! I’m thinking if I were going on a balloon ride LOTS of experience for a pilot would pretty attractive. That being said, if you land here at the farm you’d better be sporting a bottle of bubbly.

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Hopefully I will be able to ride North sometime this month… after he calms down. He was pretty excited about the whole affair.

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Junebug is thinking a hot air balloon ride would be a great birthday present. Note to self… : )




Farmboy Calls Fowl…

For showing him this video….

Then he got all soft towards getting chickens. (Actually, I suspect he may have started to thaw last year when he saw an excited 6 year old leaving our local farm supply store with her daddy and a cardboard 6-pack of chicks.)

That’s how it all started this Spring… only 5 years in the making.

Note to self… never take an excited 9 year old to a hatchery to “look” at chicks with the possibility of buying. I was so swept up in the moment that we were picking out breeds like ice cream toppings at Baskin Robbins. Our little flock of 6 is a motley crew. We even have a rocker named Stormy who reminds me alot of Cher in one of her Bob Mackie ensembles!

On the way home from Nature Berry Farm (a hatchery outside of Rochester) I had a mild breakdown… you know the kind. OMG what have I done??? There are peeping animals in the backseat and this is going to change our lives forever. We are now (gasp) “chicken-owners” and they didn’t give me any kind of manual or pamphlet of 12 steps to great egg-laying chickens, or even a chicken coloring book for that matter! Heaven help us… what do I know about raising chickens?

I’ve never been around birds all that much except enjoying them at the bird feeder. We once cared for a friend’s cockatill that always asked “can I come out?”.

That being said I do recall sitting perfectly still beneath a gumball tree in MS. for countless hours in a lawn chair with bread sprinkled all around me as well as piled up in my hands. There were birds everywhere. Now that I think about it… I was Crazy Bird Girl. I think I remember being asked to play football and declining because I had “better things to do” like sit in a lawn chair beneath a tree perfectly still for hours. What were my parents thinking? What were the neighbors thinking? What exactly was I thinking?

And then there was the time I was sitting peacefully on a chaise lounge on my grandmother’s porch petting a cat when a bird flew across the lawn and landed on my shoulder. Before I could register that a bird flew across the lawn and landed on my shoulder the cat jumped up, grabbed the bird and ran off with it. What!? Huh?! Seriously?! But, but, but… what just happened?! Sigh.

There you go. Serendipity or something.

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On a side note… It’s been a challenge trying to blog about all that has been going on around here this summer! It’s too much! My kind husband/editor gave me some insight and I will soon release a barrage of post that have been nicely broken up and organized.

So stay tuned for the full story. You have to meet all of the girls and hear about the wagon adventure.  : )

 

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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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