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Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service

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To celebrate our beautiful parks in America Michelle designed this charming design complete with topiary bison, old faithful inn, a flowery geyser and mountains from Yellowstone. The Hedges & Hares bunnies had to make an appearance of course. This park ranger looks ready and willing to help!

Support and celebrate amazing parks and monuments in our beautiful country!! Michelle is hoping to plan a trip out west to Yellowstone next year. For more information go to nationalparks.org or to order this design on notecards, prints and linen gifts click here.

 




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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 




CountryLiving FAIR here we come!

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Michelle Masters Topiary Art is so excited to be showing in the CountryLiving Fair in Rhinebeck, New York this year! What a thrill! The Fair is June 5-7.  I have heard that it is a must see show. If you are in the area you have to put it on your to-do list!

Stay tuned for new products and designs as we prepare for the show!

You can buy your tickets HERE.




ARTiculture! Philadelphia Flower Show 2014

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What a theme to work with! Where do you start… where does it end? ARTiculture. The fusion of ART and HORTICULTURE. A fun concept to work with- but rather challenging to encompass.

My design went through many revisions. I wanted it to be fun, colorful, current, yet historical and relevant to Philadelphia and the Flower Show. There are numerous Art and Garden references. Can you find them? I’ll post the nods at the bottom.

Articulture Artwork

I love the little guy in the gallery of the garden who is viewing the flower series. A Surrealist exhibit is currently being featured at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and it seemed only fitting to add a melting clock to this fantasy garden full of sculpture, art and topiary. I had hoped to sneak a de Chirico train in the distance but there had to be some restraint… believe it or not!

Did you find the art references? Here is the list:

There are also historical garden references…

Every year we stay with friends in Kennett Square during set-up for the show. They live a half of a mile down the street from Longwood Gardens. For years I have driven by the gate on my way to work in Philly. This summer I finally had the opportunity to go! It was amazing. The topiary garden was more than I could stand! The conservatory, views, orchids- were completely overwhelming. I really couldn’t take it all in. A second visit is in order. : )

Come to the Philadelphia Flower Show! It is a blast and a welcome relief to the winter. I’ll be there in booth Z-1002. Stop in and say hi! For more information click here.

 

 

 

 

 




The Nantucket Cranberry Festival

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Fabulous Find Friday… The Cranberry Festival! Do you see those tents in the foreground on the left… and the tiny little lighthouse off in the distance on the right? Nantucket Island- where Farmboy and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary this month! Twenty years!! I thought that it would feel much longer, but its only been a blink in time. How can that be? I’m pretty darn thankful.

It was our first time to visit Nantucket and what a fun and relaxing time we had. Our room at the Centerboard Inn was spectacular (more on that later). We rented bicycles and pedaled everywhere we wanted to go on the island. Our dinners never tasted so good after all of that excercise! The meals were wonderful. There is quite a selection for dining out on the island. Loved our experience and meal at Company of the Caldron!

IMGP6333Our bikes are in there somewhere! I loved my basket.

A couple friends who frequent Nantucket recommended that we attend the Cranberry Festival and I’m so glad that we did. There was something for everyone and I learned so much!

IMGP6313There was a sheep herding demo…

IMGP6314and a very enthusiastic sheepherder. : )

IMGP6320There was a machine that drove through the bog and released all of the little cranberries!

IMGP6322Do you see the beauty?

IMGP6327And can you taste the deliciousness? Try this simple recipe.

IMGP6330These guys wrangle in those cranberries for harvesting.

IMGP6329And there they go… off to the grocery stores just in time for Thanksgiving.

Ok. so I have a tiny confession. I’ve never tried that can-shaped burgundy gelatin-looking 18oz cylindrical mass at Thanksgiving. Not a chance. Turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy… and no way that I was going to plop a slice of that round goo on my plate to join the yum. I did NOT see the merit.

Oh, but the fresh cranberry. Who knew? I highly recommend those little cuties in their natural state and I also recommend the Cranberry Festival. There was food, music, horticulture, agriculture, sheep herding and sheep shearing (just wait until you see my Wordless Wednesday photo/post for that). It could require an explanation…

 




Nantucket Island

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Houmas House Gardens

A couple of years ago Farmboy, the kids and I surprisingly decided to drive down to Mississippi and take my 95 yr old grandmother to Thanksgiving brunch at Houmas House in Louisiana.  What can I say;  we try to be an adventurous bunch whenever possible. That was the year that we discovered the Columbus Topiary Garden… pajamas and all.

This time of year makes me think of our trip: going home, that amazing lunch and sitting with my grandmother in the gardens. Boxwood hedge, century old live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, and distant sculptures framed by long allees create a series of exterior spaces to take in and savor. Let’s stroll through an old southern plantation garden, shall we?

Our day at Houmas House ended with standing on the levee overlooking the Mississippi River watching the sunset. Not too shabby. If you are in south Louisiana/New Orleans area during the holidays… the Thanksgiving Brunch is to die for. You will NEED a walk through the extensive gardens after you leave the table! Believe me.

For more information on Houmas House, its history and gardens or to make dinner reservations click here.




Landscapes for Landsakes

Isn’t that a great title? Farmboy and I had a wonderful opportunity this past weekend to attend an exhibit presented by the Agricultural Stewardship Association in Cambridge, NY titled Landscapes for Landsakes– the 11th Annual Art Exhibition to Benefit Farmland Conservation. Located on a beautiful farm, nestled in a valley surrounded by flaming orange and red hardwoods, it was quite a visual treat and very well attended.

Maple Ridge Farms is the estate/gallery were this event is held annually. An old rough-hewn, wooden peg barn was converted into a lovely gallery-  well lit, gigantic walls and a wide open interior. In the lower part of the barn (shown below) a gallery was created as a special Tribute to Barns after the curator Serena Kovalosky’s numerous conversations with artist regarding the disappearance of many of the historical structures in the local landscape.


35 different artists created work that celebrated the landscape, farms and animals that inspire them. Beautiful oils from Leslie Peck (shown at top), an artist that we had seen in a gallery in Saratoga, were for sale as well as some compelling mixed media pieces, ceramics and photography. The $5 admission was well worth the price and included samples of New York State wine and cheeses. 50% of the art sales were also used to benefit farmland conservation.

Farmboy and I were inspired to create a beautiful community event in one of the old barns at home… if only there was more time in the day. : )

For more information on this event and the conservation of farmland please visit the website.




Olive and Gourmando


This past summer Farmboy and I had the opportunity to drive up to Montreal to meet some friends, do a little site-seeing and go to a Coldplay concert. It was my first time to Montreal and what a treat! The Old World inspired architecture was a nice change of scenery from our bucolic Upstate New York digs… not to mention learning about the history of the area.


Our “in the know’ friends recommended that we try Olive + Gourmando in the Old City of Montreal for breakfast.  After a short walk from the business district we found ourselves in breakfast heaven. So many delicious choices; french pastries, fresh breads, baked goods and their memorable savory creations.

The ambiance was as delicious as the food with intriguing lighting and smells of buttery croissants and fresh coffee wafting through the air. (Yes, I said wafting. snicker.)

Farmboy and I ordered double Americanos to start the morning off with some rich coffee goodness. I chose the “Poached Egg on your Face” sandwich- a pressed panini made with ciabatta and filled with carmelized onions, aged Comte, confit tomatoes, speck and a cooked egg salad. Yowza. What a way to start the day!! Delicious!

So, when you find yourself in Montreal put Olive + Gourmando on your to-do list for breakfast. You will be so glad that you to-did. And don’t forget to…




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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