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. ; )






The Argyle Equestrian Jumping Prix and Charity Derby

13626958_1406369303003357_1490525396801170117_nOh, what fun way to spend a beautiful August day! If you are in the neighborhood you have to stop out at Sennett Parcel Farm for a great day of food, music, and equine beauty! The event is open to the public. You can bring a picnic lunch or purchase lunch on the grounds. Joelle’s French Bistro from Skaneateles is providing a luncheon. Tickets are required. Garden party attire is encouraged (there is a prize for best dressed and best chapeau!)  The event is being held tomorrow at 11:30 and goes throughout the afternoon.



Michelle Masters Studio will have a basket of goodies, topiary and an original drawing that will be donated to the silent auction to benefit the Saratoga WarHorse organization. This non-profit group brings together retired racehorses with veterans for a three-day experience that has proven to be effective and invaluable for those struggling to adjust to life after military service.


We want to wish our friends at Sennett Parcel, Claire Affleck and Lily Henson the best of luck in their events tomorrow. The Masters family will be cheering you on!

Shown below are  photos from last year.




Bailiwick Market



There is a new market and cafe in town and I am so happy that my products are included in their offerings!  The market is owned by the Hourigan’s- a local farming family with deep roots in the community. Farmboy and his dad have had the pleasure of working with them for many years!

What a beautiful building and interior space. My pictures don’t do it justice.


FullSizeRender 3


Located on a picturesque spot in Elbridge, New York- Bailiwick Market and Cafe is a community gathering space offering food, art and fresh air. Local artisan goods and locally sourced foods are available for purchase. Live music is also featured throughout the season.


I love the giant dairy cow out in front of the building… it’s spots are painted in the shapes of all of the continents. How fun is that!?

A herd of dairy cows graze in the pasture next door- very apropo.


Stop in for a visit when you are in the area! You will be glad that you did.  For more information visit:

Photo Essay of Onyx and North

onyx and north2

The trot


Onyx and North hay

I’m back… finally!


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.


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!

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.


Getting Ready for the Derby

Queenie and North went through a loooong winter and were so happy when it was warm enough to turn them out without their blankets. Oh the joy of rolling in the snow when you are itchy from shedding and have to wear a blanket all of the time! I’m not sure if it makes me excited to get back in the saddle or nervous with all of that bucking, kicking and rearing!

A Frosty Morning on the Farm








Oh Happy Day!


Well, it’s finally happened. We have eggs. It’s like Christmas morning every day. Philamenia, Lucille and Stormy are such good chickens. I swear Lucille comes to the door to tell me to check the box if she is out and goes back in the coop to lay her egg.

On a different note… Countess Cluck is now apparently Captain Cluck and looking for a good home.

While he is only doing his chicken-y job… chasing people with claws and spurs bared doesn’t go over well. Gracie has become a tremendous asset. Captain Cluck will not go after us in the garden if Gracie is there! That little turkey… Cluck not Gracie. I know what you are thinking. Can’t go there. ; )

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.


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.




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.

photo 1

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.


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


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

Let the clucking begin…


As it turns out, having chickens is BETTER than I imagined- and we don’t even have eggs yet! Have you ever seen a chicken chase a butterfly, “ride” a bicycle or sneak up on a sleeping dog? They are so funny, curious and all henny-pennyish.


From their cardboard box brooder to their fancy Amish-made coop they have grown and flourished! Whew.

There is something so relaxing and pastoral about seeing them out pecking about, perhaps like watching a lazy cat napping in a sunbeam. It makes me stop, hesitate and acknowledge the simple beauty of daily life.


They are officially free range…. and super nosey. If there is an open door they will go through it and we are concerned that they may be conspiring to get into the house.

Although we purchased electric mesh poultry fencing, we never electrified it. (I wasn’t quite sure if we were keeping the chickens in or the predators out with the electric fencing.) When they were little they wiggled through the square mesh. Now they are too plump to get through even with a running start. Thankfully we haven’t seen any predators during the day and the coop is built like Fort Knox so I rest easy at night. The girls head right up the ramp by dusk and I play them like a harp (with petting) when they are sitting with their backs to me on their roost. It’s funny and bizarre and (confession) I can’t keep my hands off of them.

IMGP7467We have a lovely variety.



Stormy– The Polish Hen. Her plume has grown so big that she can’t see a thing and is always getting left behind. She’s reminds us all of Cher in one of her Bob Mackie get ups.


Then there is Dawn Stripe– a Speckled Sussex- brave, yet friendly.


Lucille– the Rhode Island Red- friendly, curious. She likes to peck at my rings and bracelets.


Noodles– Ameraucana- a beautiful bird! Prettier every day. She lays Easter eggs… blue and green. Oh joy.


Philomena– Plymouth Barred Rock. Love her. She is the biggest, fluffiest and the most curious. She always is the first to come over and say hello and she loves to be hand fed clover.

Photo to come…

Last but not least is Countess Cluck– a Silkie. She is the runt of the group and squirts through the fence with the greatest of ease. She is still a little puff ball compared to the others.


Those presumptuous birds think that the potager was planted just for them. They speed up and down the garden paths, rarely vearing into planted beds- much to my relief. While sitting on the garden bench, they quietly coo and preen like ladies gossiping at lunch. Can you tell that I find them enchanting? If they had started pecking my tomatoes however, the spell… would be broken.

We are saving our egg cartons for the big day! Soon the nesting boxes will be open for business. Maybe we will even sell eggs in our new CRAZY wonderful gypsy farmstand!! Did you see how that got started??? Putting the finishing touches on it soon to be put away for the winter. Next Spring say hello to the HEDGES & HARES farm stand on Old Seneca Turnpike!


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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Upcoming Shows

Philadelphia Flower Show
PA Convention Center
March 5th-13th
Booth #Z-1002

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