A Unique Primitive Art with a whisper to the past~

These truly ARE the voices in my head.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Merrye New Year!

To all of you so goode and dear, I send my best wishes for a New Year surrounded by goode health and happiness. May your endeavors bring goode fortune and you find peace in simple pleasures.

We are off this afternoon to travel a bit North to a very snowy Saratoga, known for it's horse racing.
This evening the streets will be alive with music and art. There are many venues to keep us more than busy. Children's crafts, story telling , barbershop quartets and even magic shows. This is a family gathering and it is rich in all the arts. 7 Nations will be the starring band. I've enjoyed them quite a few years now. I cheered when they were asked to play at the Winter Olympics at Salt Lake...and now I can see them in person. That is a very goode thing indeed. However you spend this holiday, be safe and have a wonderful time.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

~ All Goode News ~

For anyone wishing to stop by my next show~ here is the info. I am booth # 35. Netty will not be here this year as she has not been feeling well through the past year. I will announce our local shows on here when the time comes!

24th year. The original Valley Forge Market.

Show Dates & Times:
JANUARY 31, 2008
FEBRUARY 1, 2008
FEBRUARY 2, 2008

9 A.M. – 6 P.M. FRIDAY
9 A.M. – 2 P.M. SATURDAY

The Heritage Market of American Crafts, formerly held at the Hilton Hotel, will be held at the Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel on North Gulph Rd. in King of Prussia.

Such a busy time here for all of us! This holiday, we have spent the days visiting family, watching the girls play basketball and enjoying 4 preteen/teen girls have a blast. A peek at a couple special pieces completes it all. I'm happy to say that the new year will bring a studio for me. Like so many of you, work has been the kitchen table or living room, but now I have 2 good size rooms to call my own. One will need to be enclosed with windows, a door and finishing walls. It will take awhile to do it bit by bit... but oh how happy I am to have a real drawing table and put my Great Grandmother's macaroni table to use. I can't wait for Spring so I can begin!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!!!

Fire Away!!
I wanted to put up a fun snow man for all of you~ He is the last formal design for 2007. Many of you know that I draw designs faster than I can sew them up! I draw nearly every day and while a certain percentage don't make the grade, the practice makes perfect! I've tried a couple times to have people sew my designs up for me, so that I could see how they worked out and if they needed adjustments. It can be difficult ... as difficult as finding the perfect dance partner.... but if you keep the faith , they will find you. I am ever thankful for the gift of my dear friend here that can take a simple drawing, some scribbled notes and make these designs come to life!!! There is much to be had from this Goode Wife in 2008~ the steps are not solitary though. I could not walk this journey without all of you and my family. I will post again very shortly with what is up ahead real soon, but til then, enjoy this little guy. He'll be a pattern next year, along with some show designs from last year and some that my dear friend has sewn up and tried out for me the past few months!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


The snowflakes have been gently falling all day. They are the big fluffy kind, that beg you to stick your tongue out and taste them. A goode day to cozy up after a few days of visiting and eating way too much. So here I am at the Comfort Cottage with work in hand and watching a gentle snow. There are four young ladies here with us and so while homemade turkey soup simmered, I put in the movie "Little Women". Such a perfect day and wonderful to share with these young ladies. A chance to take a peek back in time where politeness in speech, manners and a well rounded vocabulary were a strong part of life. Now that they have seen how it once was, perhaps we shall be privy to a play or "Pickwick Papers" a la` Comfort Cottage.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Say A Prayer, Pay A Visit

There are many families this holiday that are missing a loved one far from home. Some have lost their loved one. Take time to make a difference in a family or a soldier's life. Continue it beyond the holiday and through the year! My father was gone many a Christmas when I was young. My brother went on to serve also. Our family now sends thoughts and prayers to cousin Ben who is on his second tour. May he safely return home. He and his family are in our hearts this Christmas~ we extend our heartfelt thanks to all the soldiers and their loved ones for serving the United States and giving so much of themselves.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

That Didn't Hurt A Bit!

Trudy, of Crows in the Attic, has tagged me to reveal 5 things about myself and tag just as many friends for the same~ hmmm.. lets give it a whirl!

  1. I love anything Nightmare Before Christmas.

  2. I was scouted in High School by RIT to be a medical artist....but I didn't want to draw dead things!

  3. I was scouted at the Lake Placid School of Art by an Art School in Tennessee, to go on with my art education and then to the Hallmark Co. I had moved so many times when I was younger that I wanted to stay near home.

  4. I worked and paid my own way through 3 years of college.

  5. I originally wanted to go to school and learn "claymation.

And now you know a wee bit more about me! Education is very important to me, enough that if my parents could not afford to send me, I would work hard and go as far as I could. As with any gift, school does not change it, it gives you support and knowledge with your materials and techniques. I'm thankful in looking back~ there are so many things that I learned and still use and share with fellow artists today. If you have the resources near you, take a class! You will be amazed at what is inside you, and if you step out of your media, you have the chance of discovering a hidden talent or a new passion. Art Rocks!

Ok... lets see if I can come up with 5 or nearly that many fellow blogging friends that haven't been already asked~

  1. Cassie ~ from Mockingbird Hill, and a girl after my own heart when it comes to Rick Springfield!)

  2. Kat ~ from Scardey Katerpillars No More. Amazing strength inside and out.

  3. Susan ~ from Miss Maddies (oh I just love learning about people and her passion for all things OLDE!)

  4. Carole ~from Carole's Country store. Such treasures on her blog and in her store!

  5. Sandra Evertson ~ I love her work, it's so darned inspiring.

Friday, December 14, 2007


We have much to get ready for today!! It snowed about 4 inches here yesterday....but we are expecting a Nor'easter Saturday night. This picture was from Last year's big dumper. Jess and Finnegan. Finnegan is a cross between a Pit Bull and Lahasa apsa. He looks like a Pit with very, very short legs. This also means that we have to shovel paths for him!

Today we will be getting ready for the storm, and tonight I will be getting the details set and out for The TDPIT Mercantile. Please do stop by and enjoy the work of some very talented ladies! If you missed the first of the month release, grab a mug of peppermint tea and really enjoy! You may find the perfect gift for someone you know~ and what is better than something handmade with much love! I'm sure that I will have a more up to date snow picture after the big dig on Sunday!

Monday, December 10, 2007


My work deadline has ended tonight, but for those patiently awaiting TDIPT Mercantile's next opening...there is still a wee bit of time to wait. I can't wait to see what the 15th holds! So many talented ladies form this group. I'm so happy to be a part of them and I'm having a wonderful time letting what I love lead the way. I hope that the wait isn't too long for anyone.. I do suppose it is better to be busy, so perhaps I should start for next month. Oh.. a special Thank You to Sandra Evertson, one of your blog posts helped me put the finishing touches on one of my pieces. I hope that you will enjoy her on the 15th!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Netty's Picture Trail

After having some problems with her website, Netty has descided to put up a picture trail instead. It's still under construction~ I hope that you enjoy!!! I will also put this link among all of the other goode sisters.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Always Blessings, Never Losses

I was very touched by these profound words. Tim and I were ending a busy day a couple of weeks ago and had turned the television on, surfing the channels. Usually we watch the History Channel, or Discovery, but this particular evening, we were drawn to a program by John Edwards. We came into the program partway through , but it didn't matter. When the words were uttered by a young mother that had lost a child, her words made an instant connection with my heart.
Her words sit with me every day now. I'm ever the "PollyAnna" when it comes to people, always looking for the good. Of course, I've been swatted at by people that are not goode. I'm just more diligent. I refuse to change my heart for a very few. The blessing perhaps isn't in the person, but in the lesson learned from them. I keep true to myself and honesty beside. It has brought me far. Always Blessings....
Years ago, I wanted the Christmas holiday to have meaning and not be so commercial. I stepped back a bit for my daughters. Santa would bring each of them three gifts. One from each of the Wise Men. It kept true to their Religious learning and the magic within.
My daughters have finally realized that the Spirit of Christmas resides within. They came to me and told me that I was Santa.right after Christmas last year.I was blessed that at 11 and 13, they were older than some children. We all sat and talked about what Christmas is about. I was very adamant... Santa only comes when you believe. I dreaded the approaching holiday though, Imagine the blessing, when both girls stuck their letter to Santa on the refrigerator this year!They still kept belief and hope that the Elves would leave the telltale hand prints that their letters will be safely delivered to Himself, The Elf. I had thought that perhaps I had lost one of the most important parts of their innocence, and instead was blessed, to know that they keep it all still close to their hearts.
As the year comes to a close and we all reflect upon the people and events that have shaped our lives this year, I pass on to all of you, the most profound words that I have found this year and will keep close to my heart.
"Always blessings, never losses."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Because, I'm the Mom

When someone can put into words best what you are thinking, it's wisest to hand them the baton and say, "Thank You!". All Mom's can surely relate to this with a smile. As a Mom with a child having an ASD, it really rings true, especially, that we do have to go through this list perhaps a lot longer than for some children. I'm hoping that if Bailey sees it long enough, it will reinforce and still keep her attention! As for Jess, she rolled her eyes and simply stated..."that is so like you, to even make it a song". Gee, she used to love it when I picked her up at school and had one of my new dollies strapped in the front seat. What's up with that???

A Lovely Talk With Anna Lee

Friday morning was quite a nice Vermont morning and perfect for a radio talk. The skies were a bright cobalt blue and the air crisp. There have been quite a few overcast days here lately in the North Country. Sometimes rain, sometimes snow showers. Snow has been peeking through the tops of the mountains, a prelude song for the valleys. As Netty and I sat cozy in the room with mikes all set, I felt more like I was having a ladies tea among friends. Our host Anna, has been a friend for many years now. Before the show aired, we had time to catch up a bit on each other's lives. I first met Anna some 10 years ago as she was crafting using found materials for some of the local stores. She's since gone on to publish a book for young readers, develop some games and work as a local radio host.

Netty and I had much to share! We both talked about how our art started and what fuels it now. Netty and I are both inspired by history. Netty's paper and castings tend to reflect her love of the American Revolutionary time period. My work shows Black American influence as well as people and animals of my personal history. Art inspired and with a purpose. We also talked about the first American Folk art~ the graven images carved on tombstones. We shared how we both try to keep images, techniques and materials simple, as was done generations ago. It is difficult to do everything as we would like, but we do what we can. Same as in our everyday life.

Netty is the most self sufficient person that I know. I wish that I had known her as a young teen when I sat reading the Mother Earth News from cover to cover! She shared some of her gardening and reminded us to keep the seeds to plant for next year. She can make and cook a pumpkin pie from scratch on her old cook stove in near the time that it takes you and I to pop a frozen pie in the oven and keep an eye on it. Netty is working towards teaching hearth cooking among other things in her 1780 home. Many people at the Poultney Show remembered the little holiday show there several years ago. I was invited by Netty to bring some of my work to the event which raised money to put up a historic marker in nearby Middle Granville. Many of our customers at the show as well as the listeners Friday morning heard the encouraging word~ Netty hopes to bring about a similar holiday event next year!

We were on the air for about 40 minutes sharing and hoping to inspire. Whether it was in art, to work from home, or try to keep life a little slower paced and simpler where you can. We can't all live as Netty does, and many don't wish to. I know that in raising my daughters and helping both my parents, that I can't do all that I would like right now. I can however, continue to learn and hold it dear. Bit by bit, I aspire to live my life stepping back a bit to a simpler and more self sufficient way also. Most importantly we hoped to encourage to not be afraid to share a bit of yourself or your heart. You never know just how profoundly you will touch or impact a life, by what you do or who you are. Just as our lives have been touched and inspired by others, we hoped to "pay it forward" over the airwaves.

It has been a very busy week and weekend for me with family needs and preparing for our first big snowstorm of the season. The girls have pajama's all set to wear inside out and backwards in hopes to secure a snow day tomorrow. I love that I can be home with them and enjoy watching through their eyes along with a cup of hot cocoa to celebrate. I plan on getting up very early to work and share my time with "the March Girls" ... a perfect morning to to share with one of my favorites~ Little Women.....at least until I have to start shoveling.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hitting the Airwaves~

Netty and I are off to the local radio station for an interview. Reaching out and giving back is always a part of what we do. We've both been published, and both shared our knowledge and our love of what we do with area groups. This is a first for us~ to be heard on the airwaves of NY and VT. How fun! It gives us a chance to spark a little interest, perhaps inspire, and even change some one's life to a certain degree. The ability to do any of this is our greatest reward. While it is true that we make a living selling our passion, for the most part it is nothing that anyone needs. It is a want. We recognise this and are very thankful indeed. We also recognise that sometimes our greatest success comes when we touch someones heart, inspire them to create or perhaps take their own journey and find their own passion within. While the airwaves of this small town station, do not reach as far as some, they touch many lives nestled between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. Thank you Ann, for giving us the chance to reach out and share a bit of who we are and what we do. To give back to others who have given us so much... to inspire people to make their dreams can come true is the best gift for us.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Meaning of Success

The dust has settled as the last show of the season has ended. The work however has not. The whirl of the sewing machine could be heard before the sun arose this snowy morning. There is much to be done!
The Poultney Show is a very charming one indeed. This is the second year I have shown there and with great success. How does one measure that? For some vendors it is strictly monetary. A 98% sell is a great success, and with the bumpy economy, I am very blessed to have that. To an artist it is truly more. It is a chance to show others your heart and passion. I love to see people and children walk through and smile. Some enjoy the whimsy, others the ugliness of extreme ( so ugly it's cute). Still others, see the historic nature of some of the items and techniques. I was so endeared to see an elderly woman pick up a Maude Addie doll and hug her. She kept going to her and picking her up, just enjoying the doll. Still another endearing moment was when a long ago customer from my show days in Chester, squealed with delight in finding me once again. She rattled off the dolls that she had and pridefully announced that she still has them all. She picked up one with great care for her sister's Christmas gift, "This is the perfect gift for her, because she loves your dolls and has been looking for you." she said happily. This to me is success. To not only share my passion with others, but to know that it is their heart also and they hold dear the treasures that were made with much love.
It was great to see old friends, especially some that I had not seen in many years. The local radio station announced to her audience, that she had found the most unique booth she had ever seen. She encouraged the local listeners to come and see for themselves. Wherever the Good Wives go, we are unique, but it is that we follow our hearts and speak with our hands. The Good Wives have had a successful year, and we are truly grateful to all of you that have made it the success. We have invites to other shows, to meet with Historical Societies, as well as a media interview after the Holidays. It seems that there are many that share our pleasure, hearts and passions, locally once again.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Caruso Family Reunion

It has been a hectic few days here. A two day show to prepare for, a Thanksgiving feast to cook and enjoy and the celebration of a life well lived. My great Aunt Jenny was born 91 years ago to Frank and Serafina Caruso. She was 1 of 23 children born and 1 of 9 that survived past childhood. Italian through and through. She was a small and birdlike woman and as feisty as they come. Our holidays at my Grandparent's spent in Upstate NY, always included "the Aunts". They would all come through the house before dinner, husbands in tow and dressed to the nines. Each Aunt brought the dish for which they were best known, except Aunt Julia. Aunt Julia would travel up from the Boston area and always bring the most wonderful Italian desserts from a bakery. I can still remember the killer cannolis! Aunt Jenny would bring her rice pudding. Such a time we all had!! My Grandfather played the trumpet and my Grandmother the organ, there was always plenty of music, song and a nip of anisette in the after dinner coffee.
There is only one Aunt remaining now, Aunt Marge. Aunt Jenny passed in her sleep very peacefully. I know that she is joined by a large and welcoming family and so we celebrate Aunt Jenny and all the wonderful memories! I will return in couple days to share more of the show. For those new friends met there and dear old friends that I haven't seen in many years~ welcome and thank you for stopping by! I enjoyed seeing you at the show.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Drum Roll Please......

It is with great pride and pleasure, that I announce my part of this group of VERY talented ladies. I will have my premier debut tomorrow on the 15th. If you haven't visited this online magazine yet, by all means do so! Grab a mug of hot chocolate, or my personal favorite, mint tea. I have enjoyed watching the talent of these ladies for a few months now, and I'm never disappointed. There are two openings. The first of the month and the fifteenth. Some I've known for years and others I am just getting to know. These ladies are a very warm and kind group and have welcomed me aboard with great hospitality.

You will not see my pattern releases on here. Only finished items, (which was what I was looking for). My pattern releases will be announced here on the blog, or perhaps back on Crow Soup in the Spring. I haven't fully decided yet. The patterns will not be ending. It will take me a bit of time to dance some new steps, so bare with me. Right now I am deep in dollie making for the show next week. TDIPT Mercantile will give me a chance to explore and just break out a little with something finished. I had a blast with the three characters that you will meet tomorrow. I'm not sure how to make the banner clickable, but I have put the link in my Goode Sisters and Goode places section.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are You In Our Area?

The phone has been ringing and emails have been coming in... when will the next show for The Good Wives be??? Will you do one for the Holidays??? Well, if you are in our area, grab your calender and a pencil to mark it down! We did this show last year for fun, and much to our surprise, people were looking for PRIMITIVES! I let customers and show managers know that we were interested in coming back, and so....

The Vermont Farmer's Market Christmas Fair
at the
Poultney VT High School Gym
November 23 & 24

This is on rte. 140 in Poultney Vt. If you need directions, just send an email! It is about 8 miles from Granville. We will be located in the center area of the gym. Stop by and say hello~ we'd love to meet you!.......the next announcement is coming in 2 days!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sharing A Favorite Friend

I thought I would share a very dear pattern with you. Designs are inspired by many different things. More often than not, with me it is a person and they come through in animal form. This design, however was not the case. When I was 6, my father was transferred to Goose Bay Labrador. We spent about 2 years there and it was the most memorable place for me. Great amounts of snow, the Northern Lights, bears, Eskimos and geese in flight are imprinted in my soul. As I watch the geese making their way south for the winter, I enjoy their stopping by. I remember hearing them call to each other as I lay warm in my bed. They keep the memories close, what better a gift?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Changes Again....

For at least right now, the Hags Mag is closed. So many of the artists had so much ahead with shows and full lives, that it was difficult to get enough together. I admit, I have been fast at work too. I love every bit of Fall and all that it has to offer, so it is sad for me. You see, as I waited those 11 hours that Bailey was in surgery, I kept positive thoughts and prayers and let my drawings take me deep within. Pattern designs are just a small part of the artist within me and there was a part of me that also wanted to explore more one of a kind pieces.
I had shared these thoughts with a friend and fellow artist in July. Soon after, Ye Old Hags Haunt Magazine was born. Perfect...just as the drawing I had done for this crow back during that long day in March. I wanted to share her with you. She is from a favorite book of mine, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare. If you have never read it before, please do! It is about a young woman who leaves her home in the Caribbean and must take on the Puritan ways of her Aunt's family in Connecticut.
This is my spin on Kit. She has a chemise, underskirt and pantaloons that cover the wire crows feet for which I am known. I love the English bodice. A blend of many things that hold my heart dear. She is dressed in black, to signify an upper class Puritan family. Puritan or Witch?
For now, she will reside with me...I have the perfect doll house that stands empty upstairs at the Comfort Cottage. I will have to share a picture of her in this little home........

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stick Season

The leaves have fallen...they smell wonderful mixed with woodsmoke on these chilly cool mornings. The trees are so bare with just their sticks showing. The mountains have taken on a different color. A cold, blue gray. They are still beautiful mind you, and I love it when the snows peek through. The clocks are all set back and I am happy that time was extended to do this. I have SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. This time of year was once the most difficult, but now I know how to keep the meltdown days at bay. I have this year round as some do. Now with the help of light therapy and walks outside everyday, the meltdowns have gone from 1-2 times a month several years ago, to 1 last year. I'm a very different person and quite happy. I do mourn as Stick Season approaches. It's just that it is very long time until the buds appear. I choose to celebrate the late Fall and Winter ahead. Mourning is a brief affair, perhaps more so as snow flurries are expected later this week. It's time to enjoy oatmeal and hot chocolate. The brussel sprouts are best picked right after the first snows. There are squash ready for the days ahead and peppermint tea to sooth a cold evening. The Holidays are fast approaching and I am sharing one of the new Santa's for this year. It was drawn last Fall with the others an put away to tweak and refine for this year. Most of my designs are done this way. Now, some are off to my favorite shop...and some are set to go to licensing companies. This is my Jigs character from my pattern series and always close to my heart!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Better Way...

to enjoy a fine Halloween day~ than with an interesting place to visit! Thank you for stopping by. I've been buried in a couple deadlines and I will be be posting more next week as I work my way past some really fun designs. I have lots to share! But for now, as Santas have invaded my worktable, my heart is still holding on to my favorite time of year.

Sleepy Hollow is among one of my favorite stories and it is a part of the history surrounding this area in Upstate NY. Kinderhook is one of my favorite villages to stop by and an area which I would love to explore more of. Until then, this will have to do. Enjoy this link perhaps with a cup of mulled cider. I hope you find it as interesting as I. I hope you have a nice little journey with it!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happiness is......

....a brand new ream of ledger paper! I go through a couple every year for all my rough sketches. A new ream holds so much promise ahead. Visions, inspirations and studies. I used to be uncomfortable and unsure of exactly where I stood art wise. I love the craftsmanship of the Victorian area, such intricate details in in their homes, dress and lifestyles. I also love the simplicity of Early and Colonial America. As I draw and design both influence me. In it all whimsy takes hold of my hand and comes through more often than not. I have to work and study at the extremes. Pull apart the elements and techniques . I enjoy it and it is far more the challenge. I'm comfortable now in both places and enjoy celebrating them both. I'm beginning to do more formal drawings and designs again and am balancing it all. I am a mix of fine things and simple, whimsy and serious. Perhaps both times were a deep part of my soul and it is in this time that I can share.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Dance Ahead


Well, my friends, it has been a strange and busy week! So many of you wrote and everyone felt the same~ keep the art! And so I will. It will take a bit of juggling with a new schedule, but new pattern releases will be put on here and I will make an announcement, right before their debut. Also, I have joined a group of very talented women and will be offering finished work. I will make a formal announcement and add a banner a little later. Til then, enjoy a look at my Ebay offering, Charlotte. Named after someone very dear to me. She's very extreme! She will also not be offered as a pattern, just as a finished piece. Enjoy, the day~ we are at peak for Fall foliage and enjoying the fruit of Fall. Apples!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Changing the Dance

It appears that there are changes ahead for me. Sometimes you get to steer and other times, the steering is done for you. Change has always been a part of my life and I always look at it as a wonderful chance for an adventure. I have decided that it is time to step away from Crow Soup. I can hear the gasp! It does not, however, mean that I am stepping away from the patterns. They will continue and there are plenty of new ones ahead. I've learned from this past week, that viruses and upload issues don't matter. I never could have imagined the response I received by putting my patterns on this blog, in what I had thought was a temporary move. As one special customer wrote me, "how could you not realize how big your response would be!" I hear so often that Primitive pattern makers are becoming fewer and fewer. I still enjoy the dance and I have many designs to share.

The big question... what will you do now? I will listen to all of you. I will put my new pattern releases here for now. I had intended this blog to be a place to write and share and so I am unprepared for a pattern world change. I would like your input here, because without all of you, this would be nothing and my writings better served in a composition book. Tell me what you would like.... to continue the Good Wife as I intended and create a sister blog of new pattern releases and perhaps a sharing of other artists? Or just add new patterns here on a monthly basis. If you are unsure or uneasy about a public comment, just send a private note my way. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Getting My Feet Wet

My family and friends have given me the nudge. They have been nudging for a couple of years now,"why don't you put your work on Ebay???". I'd thought about it. Studied it and watched how it all worked. I even took a little day seminar last year and learned some really neat things. Then, this Spring as Bailey was healing from surgery...I took a step. I put my patterns out....but now I'm getting that nudge again. (Italian families are good at that , but they can also be loud too.) As with anything you have to put your time in.. time, so that people can get to know you and your work. It's official..I'm getting my feet wet and hope to offer some of my work beyond my pattern line. I hope that you enjoy my first piece~ there are 2 day's left on her. Meet Goody Mugwort. ( I was kind of getting used to her hanging around here too....)

Goody Mugwort

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's Time Again~


Time sure flies here! Already, the second issue is up and my favorite piece is sold. To be known as just a pattern maker online and take a step towards finished offerings can be a wee bit scarey, but so many of you have written such nice letters about my work. You are all so encouraging and I thank you for taking the time to stop by here and my other haunts.
We are almost at peak for the leaves turning. This week is starting to feel more like fall, last week was very hot and summerlike. We made a lovely fire this weekend and enjoyed time together with hotdogs and marshmallows of course. This morning was damp and dreary, so I put a little pumpkin spice in my coffee before I brewed it. It's all good... the color of the mountains, the smell in the air of leaves and woodsmoke...and pumpkin spice cawfee... what a wonderful Fall.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


She's 14. Where is that little baby I held so close and rocked to sleep? The scraped knees, the melted ice cream she wore.....has grown up in a blink. Not all the way, thank goodness, although she would tell you otherwise. She is my boy-crazy girl that is ALL girl~ all that glitters.
I wasn't prepared...not at all. After her surgery in March, she was tutored at home and then there was summer vacation. Two days after school started, we met Greg, Bailey's boyfriend. He's funny and smiles a lot. A good balance to a more serious Bailey. They seem to have a good friendship, but Homecoming? A date? So soon??? Bailey was very matter-of-fact as to what kind of dress that she wanted and where to get it. She wanted something strapless or a halter look to it. It had to be long too. Within 30 minutes she had found it (much to my surprise) I asked her if it bothered her that it showed her back and her scar. It didn't bother her in the least and she let me know that it was just a scar. I told her that she was just as beautiful on the inside as she was the outside. She's not quite understanding that, but she will. You see,Bailey has Asperger's Syndrome. An Autistic spectrum disorder. She is wired a bit differently and it can be difficult for her socially. I'm very proud of her, she's had many struggles in her 14 years....but look at her shine!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Netty and I have been doing a lot of reminiscing lately. Time and art moves on for artists and we are constantly exploring and changing. I've always given Netty credit not only for showing me the world of primitive dolls, but encouraging me to find my way in whatever direction or media captured me. She's always been there for me and a trusting soul. She told me several weeks ago that I had made my own way (with my dolls and patterns) years ago. It made my heart smile to hear those words from my beloved friend.

Jessie, was nearly 3 years old the first year that Netty asked me to her home with some work for me. I would draw and sculpt for Netty. Now Jess has just turned 12 but it seems like just yesterday that Netty and I would work and fine tune images for chalk ware. I only worked that one year with her and had not sculpted until this summer. I have had the time of my life designing dolls. Netty has continued her chalk ware journey with her own images along with her papers and wax. The fun and magic of The Good Wives is that we don't know what the other is working on. Netty knows I will have dolls and I know that she will have papers and castings. When we get to the show and start setting up, it is the most wonderful time looking at each others pieces and simply enjoying the artist that each one is.

I do still get the urge to sculpt and have wanted to explore chalk ware. I grew up surrounded by the world of ceramics. I have done a bit of sculpting and learning of the chalk ware process to feed my artistic soul. It's fun, but it comes behind family and the world of patterns and design. I thought I would share a peek of the mold making process. It will take a lot more exploring and learning and that is what makes it fun. I am circling back to some of my old beginnings and they are now new. Life is pretty neat like that.

Perhaps now is a great time to click on Netty's link to the left. There you can see Netty's fine website and enjoy her work. I am particulalry fond of her chalkware witch shoes~ she never ceases to amaze me. They are a must have!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Whispers

It's here already... slowly creeping in like the the foggy dew that you can see settled in the valleys very early in the morning. It's the cooler mornings turning crisp, the smell of leaves, woodsmoke from stoves early in the morning and late at night....it is also the smell of apples. Today, we will head up North to my home from the Comfort Cottage. The apples have been ready now for a couple weeksnow, but we usually wait for a frost to pick them. With that comes a favorite dessert, the recipe, a gift from a wonderful friend. Jean worked with me at a store. She is a farmer's wife and she has worked the farm along side her husband and sons. They are of hearty farming stock; warm and friendly people. With calloused hands and twinkling eyes, Jean would bring us goodies for our break at the store. We were often amazed at that ,for we knew that she was up before the sun to help with milking and feeding her family along with other chores. She is a wonderful cook and her joy is baking. She would often share with me that she wished that she had been a baker. This recipe shows Jean at her best. It is served with what they call a sweet gravy. Try it, I'm sure it will become a fall favorite and tradition for you as well. Thank you Jean for sharing your love of baking and recipes with all of us at the store. The store is no longer there, but your warm smile and kind ways stay with me as a favorite along with this recipe.
Apple Dessert with Sweet Gravy

Fill a buttered baking dish 1/2 full of sliced apples. Pour some cinnamon sugar over top of apples, In bowl mix 1 cup of flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp soft butter and 1/2 cup water. Pour over top of apples. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until done. Serve warm with sweet gravy on top. Serves 4.

Sweet Gravy

2 sticks margarine 1 cup flour
2 cups water 1 cup sugar
nutmeg to taste

In sauce pan melt margarine, add flour and sugar, mix well. Add water, stir and cook until thick. Remove from heat and add nutmeg. Serve over apple dessert or other desserts. Best if served warm.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Summer's Goodbye Song~

Summer has quietly gone and now Fall whispers in the air. The leaves are at about 25% color here. The mornings have been foggy and you can smell the wonderful smell of leaves. What I wouldn't give for a candle that would have such a wonderful scent! The picture was taken about 3 weeks ago. Bailey,Jess and Rosie wanted to join in the picture with the sunflowers at peak. Now they are gone, our way of giving thanks to our wonderful birds and animals that keep us company at the Cottage. I have much to share and catch up with in the coming days...to include a wonderful apple recipe. It's a bit different, and received from a dear woman that continues to work and farm alongside her husband and sons... and enjoys time with her grand babies. It will be sure to please....

Monday, September 17, 2007

Take a moment will you, or better yet, make yourself a cup of tea and follow the link to Ava Grace. The auction went live yesterday and will continue until the 22nd. There are many pages of heartfelt donations that artists put their love into for dear Ava. For you, it is a chance to help and receive something special. You can also make a donation without bidding. Take a moment...make a difference.

For Ava~

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hear Ye....Hear Ye!!!!

Meet mean ole Francine.......................
And Duncan, with his prize winning pumpkin..........
And my personal favorite, Eleanor Higgins.
It's time!!! I'm very pleased and excited to be a part of this magazine. As most of you know, I sell my patterns online, but a finished piece 0nline is very rare. Finished pieces are usually available through the couple shows I do a year or the few stores that I sell my work in. The pattern design and licensing keep me very busy along with my home and family life. I decided this summer that I wanted to do an online magazine and mentioned it on the hag's forum, a couple weeks later Donna ( of Cameo Moon) had a surprise for us...the rest is history. When Donna told us that she had a surprise, she meant it! What a fabulous idea. Halloween is my favorite time of year and for those of you that know me, you know my passion for 1700-1800's Graven Art. Such a goode opportunity from a wonderful friend. Special thanks go to Verlene Brooks for doing all of the work to get this magazine up for Donna~ she has made Donna's dream come true and given us an opportunity to further ours in creativity.~~~ On a special note, I shall return here on the 17th when I finish the show at Eagle Mills. It has been very busy with patterns and getting ready for the show~ Thank all of you so much for your patience with the pattern orders. While the days here are always full ones, I look forward to enjoying my favorite time of year......you can smell the leaves already here!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Miss Maddie's Wee Family

Life circles continually and touches our lives. Jessie's wee little mouse, Ty (he had the same hairdo as Ty Pennington) passed quickly in July with no warning. Off we went to the pet store because Jess is is all about her animals. I decided that 2 mice would be ok...as long as they were the same sex. Silly me~ Maddie had babies a month later. They are 3 weeks old today, eyes opened and running all over. The top mouse is Elvis with his white belt. The middle mouse is Cody and the tiny little brown mouse on the bottom is Hershey. I think Hershey will be staying with us along with Miss Maddie. Some of the others do have homes now. Finding homes for 7 mice is a challange! It was great to see wee new little lives and welcome them , but as new lives begin...others pass. I received word on Tuesday that my longtime friend Mark, had lost his battle with cancer. He was my age. He was from the Seattle area but his heart was was in Upstate NY and it was his dream to move back here. We had many talks over the years of life, death and spirituality. He is home now and without pain. I have taken time to reflect and honor the special friend and gift that was him. He's near always..I just know it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Kevin McKrell

Meet Kevin McKrell and the Hard Road Ceilidh Band. Kevin recently changed his band to a more traditional sound. This is a favorite song of ours that he wrote and is very popular here. You can hear the pipes practicing in the background before competition. Sorry it was a bit shaky!!

Tagged again~~that tickles!!

it's true...it's true I've been tagged again. This time the name game. This is how it goes~

Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Ok, drum roll please~

  1. A is for antiques which within hold stories told.

  2. N is for nice to everyone no matter young or old.

  3. N repeated is for nimble here; nimble of hands , but not of feet, I fear.

Thank you Cassie and Angie for tagging me~ I've had to be away a bit longer than expected, but I have lots of lovely posts to share! Now....who to tag? Carole, June and Sandy! I hope you have as much fun with it as I!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Hike Through History

This past Sunday was spent with family doing what has become a yearly hike. Just outside of Albany and not far from Altamont is Thatcher Park. The park has a wonderful hike along it's limestone cliffs. The history here dates back to the late 1500's. The trail is called the Indian Ladder trail and it was used by the Mohawk/Iroquois Indians to reach Henry Hudson's Trading Post.

In 1777, Jacob Salsbury, a spy during the Burgoyne Invasion was found hiding in the caves along here. The Battle of Bemis Heights, is the 2nd Battle of Saratoga. It was the second and last major engagement in the Battle of Saratoga. Burgoyne's expedition had failed in its attempt to gather supplies, previously at the Battle of Bennington in August. Burgoyne later surrendered at the final Battle of Saratoga.

Finally, the Helderberg War, was a tenants' revolt in upstate New York during the early 19th century. Dutch settlers were brought here by Patroons. They paid heavy rents until they freed themselves. It began with the death of Stephan Van Rensselaer III in 1839. Stephen, was a landowner and a patroon of the region at the time. The patroons owned all the land on which the tenants in the Hudson Valley lived. They used feudal leases to maintain control of the region. This Anti-Rent War led to the creation of the Antirenter Party and influenced New York politics from 1846 to 1851.

This weekend, it was a wonderful hike of about 3 1/2 miles and A LOT of stairs. The history makes it even more interesting to think that you are walking the same path as so many of our ancestors. The limestone cliffs are as beautiful as the view across the valley to the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. If only I had worn my heels, I probably could have seen Granville!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Simple Wish....Answered

In '96 I saw my dream come true. Our little family moved up on the hill into a little house near woodlands, with a view of the Green Mountains. There was a little brook that babbled in the back yard during the spring and we saw rabbits,turkeys, deer and even a moose. As a girl I would read Mother Earth magazines while other girls read teen magazines. I had grown up living with my Grandparents between the moves that are part of a military family. I learned how to cook and can because, in an Italian family, the kitchen is the heart and everyone pitches in. I took all of this with me up on the hill, with visions of a small vegetable garden and a wonderful yard perfect for flowers.
Five years later I came down the hill. Dreams shattered, a broken marriage and wondering if I was making the right decision for all of us. The girls would come with me and we would live 10 miles away with my parents, both of which had serious health issues and needed me. As I drove down the hill and I could see from the main road, the only flowers that I was allowed to plant. My beloved sunflowers and burgundy Hollyhocks. I left that day with tears in my eyes and a wish that someday I would have at least the hollyhocks to I would know that everything was going to be OK, I would be on the right path.
This Spring Tim watched as a plant grew in an odd place. It was growing in a crack of concrete as one walked out the back door and onto the stone patio. A bird must have dropped a seed he said.. at first he was sure it was a pumpkin, but nixed that within a couple weeks. He decided to wait and see what it was~ "probably, I'm waiting on a weed." During the spring Tim made some big changes in the patio area. I was planting sunflowers. They are a symbol to me, of giving back by feeding the birds and the squirrels.
The plant by the door continued to grow and suddenly I knew.. it was a hollyhock! "Amazing!", I thought , the neighbor had yellow ones, and surely that was it! As you can see, it wasn't yellow. The pictures came out a little brighter, but they are indeed burgundy. I have gone around the neighborhood and haven't seen any hollyhocks except for the yellow ones. I know now that all is answered. I made the right decisions and my path is the right one for my daughters and I. He answered and I knew He was listening that day.