Congratulations Jewel!


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.


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



Raku Day


Oh what fun! Some of you may know that I have a bit of a “thing” for ceramics. It’s something like horses… I started young and it has always been a part of me. Apparently my mud-pie days made a big impression.

Well, I have been sneaking over to the studio at Clayscapes and doing a little throwing. There will be some new hand- thrown pots with topiaries available at the Flower Show. Yay.

But that is not what this post is about. This post about Raku Day! The superb folks (Don Seymour and crew) at Clayscapes open the studio to the public for a wonderful event this time of year. Here how it all goes…

IMGP6546For a small fee ($7) you choose a vessel of some sort that has already been bisque fired.

IMGP6549Then the kind folks help you bring your ideas for that little pretty into being through glazing and surface design.

IMGP6543The outdoor low-fire kiln gets loaded with pieces.

IMGP6551After the kiln has reached the necessary temperature (maybe 15 to 20 min.) the lid is raised and the vessels are literally glowing hot.

IMGP6555If there is a crackle glaze, the surface is blown on to produce the crackle effect by cooling it more quickly.


They are then placed into a fireproof container and combustible materials (straw in this case) are added to aid in the reduction of oxygen. This oxygen reduction creates the color in the glaze and the clay body itself.


A toasty pull from the flaming garbage can, then a quick dip in water… and they are done! The water stops the chemical reaction of the glaze and fixes the color.


The pieces still bubble and steam as they cool for handling.

Did I mention there was delicious food? And a gallery? I’m so thankful to have been introduced to this fun, creative group. They inspire me.

The kids had a blast. If you are nearby you should come next year for this event ~ or ~ check out the studio. There are lots of people who have never done ceramics before and the classes work with any level. It’s a very welcoming group. For more information visit their website.

Before the Harvest






2013 Holiday Card Design

Partridge Card both

A charming new design for this year, the Partridge in a Pear Tree Topiary is now available as a boxed set of 10 Holiday Cards with contrasting Poppy envelopes ($18). Printed in the US on acid-free, recycled cardstock, the cards are shown with envelopes inserted. Order now while in stock!

New 2013 Holiday Design

Partridge in a Pear TreeTXWM

A new little design to get into the Holiday spirit! The Partridge in a Pear Topiary design is available on Linen Guest Towels, Linen Cocktail Napkins, Lavender Sachets and Boxed Seasonal Cards. A perfect gift for the holiday hostess. To order click HERE.

First Snowfall 2013




Sketching Today

horse sketch

Thought I would do a “little” sketching in the studio today… that is my foot at the bottom right. I had to stand on the table to see the whole thing. My proportions are all out of proportion from drawing while standing next to the table. The watercolor paper is attached to the surface- I wish I could stand the table on end.

The photo reference was taken at the Kentucky Horse Park during a demonstration with a Friesian on long lines. I love the angles and motion. They are such beautiful horses.

Sometimes when I haven’t painted in awhile I work really big and just play. The opportunities for disaster are tangible. The paper is fairly light-weight so it may not hold very much water. We’ll see what happens with this one!


New Birthday Card Design

work of art cards

This little guy has been hanging around the studio for awhile. I’m so happy that he’s ready to start sending out those birthday greetings. The card reads: Happy Birthday   inside:  to a real work of art.   Hope your day is a masterpiece!

To order the “Work of Art” design or other charming topiary themed birthday cards click here.


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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