So long Sherman!

We've had a good run. I know one should not be as emotionally attached to a vehicle as I am to Sherm, but we've been through a lot. Fun roadtrips, fun off-roadtrips, a Skamper trek to Bonnaroo, many MegaPrint dump runs...it's been the stereo at many-a-party, a roof when I needed it and we've been through over 100,000 miles of awesome. I loved that truck.
But...all good things must end and Sherm has moved onto a new family. Everyone at work got him a card to say goodbye and I saw him off the way he wanted it-- gas tank on empty and a Billy Joel mix in the Cd player. :)
Janis the van and I are going to have a happy life together. I know it.



It’s freaking cold out today. And since I am heading south in ’09, I sold my Blazer (“Sherman”) with 4-wheel drive and bought a fancy new van for my travels. Today I fought the cold and wind to clean out the 5 plus years of memories from Sherman, and (aside from a box full of ancient treasures and an old, petrified hotdog) stumbled upon a pamphlet from the corn maze Larry and I went to at Moulton Farm in Moultonborough, NH. It’s hard to believe this was just last weekend—it was t-shirt weather, and today it is threatening to snow!
But that was sadly the last day trip for Sherman and I did want to post these pics to give a shout-out to Moulton Farm. Aside from an award-winning corn maze, they have everything there from fresh seafood to local, organic produce, to a yummy bakery section. Larry and I rocked a hot cider and an apple-struedel-something-er-other (it was delicious!), while walking through the corn maze…surprisingly a first for me, who grew up in the North Country. But between getting lost (oh yeah, we went all the way back to the beginning), the treats and the laughs, it was a fun time. Though I kept thinking David Bowie was going to appear out of nowhere in tight spandex with a crystal ball, or I’d bump into Hoggle, but maybe next time…
You can't get the full-on redneck experience unless you get your picture taken behind this thing:

A little Blair witch action:


The potatoes are speaking to me

Saturday was a great day that started off with one of those perfect mornings. I caught up on some sleep and didn’t roll out of bed until 10:00, feeling rested for a change. I made some chocolate cappuccino coffee. I put on my new favorite music mix, threw some homemade sweet potato fries in the oven (shoot me a line if you want the recipe!), and sat on my couch to enjoy my java as I watched the remaining orange leaves fall off the trees into the sun-glistened river. I got in some plant watering, threw in a load of laundry, and was feeling pretty accomplished; it had been a while since I had enjoyed a morning like this. And just when I thought that the day couldn’t get any better…ding!….my sweet potato fries were ready and THIS emerged from the oven! I think the universe was telling me to have a nice day.


Saturday night's all right for fightin'...

There was Benny. There were jets. Oh yes…I crocodile rocked. Saturday I went to at an Elton John tribute band concert at Meadowbrook and it was pretty boss. (Yes, I said ‘boss’…I’m bringing it back). The food was quite tasty and the band sounded pretty authentic, complete with a costume change and I was able to convince “Elton” to wish Maureen a happy birthday. (When I asked him to sing her happy birthday, he replied, “oh, darlin’ I can do better than that!” and called her on stage to sit with him for a rendition of ‘Your Song’—it was great!). Fun times.


How I feel today...

I'm stressed. But I also know that everything is going to work out.


My dream pool

Somewhere in a sketchbook from the fifth grade or so, I have a drawing of this idea I had: a foot shaped pool (I want all of the toes to be jacuzzis). I just found this online, so clearly someone stole my sketchbook and the idea leaked out. But someday I want to be sitting poolside by one of these babies, with an umbrella drink in hand. Or a snowcone. Yes...I think I will probably have monkeys serving snowcones. And one of those big, bouncy houses shaped like a dragon...and a life-sized Chutes and Ladders game...and a...
Sigh. Dreaming is the best. AND, hanging out with all those monkeys would never get old. Ever.


Mmm...cinnamon rolls and potato pancakes.

Ok, it’s too soon to start getting all sentimental about my leaving this fabulous job I have, when I have months to go before my departure. But c'mon...who works for a company that has Breakfast Day? It’s just one of the many small details that have made my job so great, as well as the friends for life I have made here. I’m going to miss it all.
I just wanted to share a pic of our breakroom table at work, and a shot of Joyce (aka Rox) flipping some flapjacks. Check out her apron! Woot woot!


An adorable thank you. :)

It really is the little things in life. When I delivered a custom work to a client a couple of weeks back, she smiled and handed me this decorated envelope, with this endearing note enclosed. It’s really things like this that inspire me to keep going with my freelance career and affirm that there are people out there who believe in me. Thanks, Zita! :)


Rumney Open Studio recap

Well, as promised, I have an update of the fabulousness that happened in Rumney this past weekend. We had gorgeous weather. Absolutely gorgeous. The sun was shining, warming the air and illuminating the bright hues of foliage. It was breathtaking and inspiring, as I took the opportunity to drive around to visit all of the artisans in their studios.
And boy, what inspiration it was! Each individual artist brought something diverse to the table and didn’t disappoint. Polly Bartlett’s beautiful weaving was glorious in color and texture (and she made a delicious fresh spinach dip that I have to get the recipe for!). Richard’s pottery at Shanware Pottery was elegantly displayed in his bright, new shop, where the walls were adorned with the stunning works of Sarah Mazur. Mindy Beach offered a glimpse into her world with her figurative drawings, costumes, collage and color in her gorgeous second floor studio of artistic eye-candy. (She also had a yard sale, where I scored some vintage Tinker Toys and a plaster sculpted hand). Pat Giebutowski welcomed people to stroll through the sunny greenhouse (full of leafy, blooming plants) of her recently remodeled farmhouse to reveal a room of her gorgeous classical style egg tempera paintings (and offered up a sample of her husband’s delicious homemade wine, Pluarity Raz-yummy!) Terry Downs kept people intrigued as he walked you through the process of creating an etching, and displayed some of his spectacular works of local spots in Rumney. And lastly, atop Stinson Lake Road, at Moosewood, the Kings offered a glance into their creative world, with Wayne’s Photo expressionist images and Alice’s dazzling handcrafted jewelry. (My apologies Ed…I couldn’t make it to your place on Saturday, but I look forward to seeing your restored vintage instruments next year!)
It was truly amazing. Here is a sampling of some of the images I captured. I know—it’s a lot, but there was so much to take in and I’m just so excited to share! And I'm excited to work on this project again next year, so mark your calendars for next Columbus Day weekend!
Will you look at the weather? Weeeeeee!Richard's stunning glaze colors at Shanware Pottery...
More Shanware. Beautiful.
Wall mural in Pat's dining room--gorgeous!

The infamous homemade Plurality Raz...delicious when paired with a sharp cheese and dark chocolate

A sampling of Pat's work... Stone floor greenhouse and easel in the sun. What would be better than that with a cup of tea on a Sunday morning?
Learn from the master: Terry shows us how he creates his etchings
Steps in the etching process displayed on the wall

Mindy Beach's figurative hanging sculpture

Mindy's fun, hand-sewn quilts
Mindy's figure drawings--stunning!

Alice King's unique, handmade jewelry:


Don't think twice, it's all right...

What a beautiful weekend. Our first annual Open Studio tour in Rumney was a raging success (more on that to follow!) and we closed the doors to the Art Barn once and for all. Amy and I took time to reminisce and reflect, and know we will leave this experience as better friends in the end. It has been a fabulous two seasons, which in the last couple of hours ended in a slightly ceremonial gathering of artists, friends (and my mom!) who helped clean up the barn and take down signs. And as I closed the large, clunky doors to the barn for the final time, I took a deep breath and realized what a truly amazing feat this has all been. I turned around (Jim snapped the pics), walked away, and knew that it was only the start of where I am going to go. Thank you Amy and Dave, for such an amazing opportunity, and for your unconditional love and support.


Open Studio event this weekend!

So after much deliberation, Amy and I have decided to close the doors to the Art Barn for good. Amy and I both work full time and have independent freelance projects going on; that, in combination with a slightly suffering economy (especially in the northern part of the state!), we sadly have decided to close our doors once and for all.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been a support to us over the past two seasons. It has been a remarkable experience and couldn’t be done without the love and encouragement of friends and family. While it sad that Amy and I will no longer be business partners, I am excited for our new ventures, and I know we are both moving onto bigger things…

The Art Barn will be open for its final days this Columbus Day weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. (We're offering 10% off barn wide, and have lots of new jewelry, signs and cards that came in this week for early Christmas shopping!)And while the closing of the barn isn’t going to end on as much of a party note as usual, I am excited to announce an exciting event that the barn will be part of.

For the past three months or so, I have been working with a group in Rumney called the Rumney Village Artisans, to make something happen. And I think this is going to be a good one. The RVA will be hosting a town-wide Open Studio Tour, which invites leaf-peepers and art-lovers alike to tour the studios of many amazing, local artists. This is a beautiful drive down the rural roads of Rumney, where 10 artists welcome you to tour their studios, see works, purchase gifts and enjoy complimentary refreshments. We’ve got everything, from weaving to sculpture, to pottery, to (one of my personal inspirations and college professors) Terry Downs, who will be displaying collections of his drawings and etchings. It is truly going to be fantastic. So swing on through Rumney, pick up a map and experience the rare opportunity to get behind-the-scenes of some up and coming artists in the world.

Maps for the event will be available at most Rumney businesses (including Ryzaks, Rumney Village Store and Shanware Pottery), as well as the locations on the map for this weekend event (or you can click on the map below to make it bigger, then print it from here). Below is the poster I designed (also clickable and printable!)…please send this link along to anyone you think might enjoy the journey, so we can help support our local artists! If you have any questions or need a map or directions, please feel free to e-mail me at veggieartgirl@yahoo.com, and I’ll send one to you!

Thank you everyone again for your love and support...it is overwhelming and beautiful. And stay posted…I’ll be back in Spring of 2009 with a new shop (VeggieArtGirl: an earth-friendly boutique)…opening on Squam Lake!


Reclaimed beauty

This was a custom piece I created for Betsy, who wanted to add a touch of color to one of her therapy rooms, by painting an inspirational verse she loved. As the deadline for this job was quickly approaching, I had the challenge of trying to find or build exactly the right canvas out of salvaged wood. I pieces smaller planks together on the floor in my studio with plans of gluing them together, but wasn’t happy with the composition. Then low and behold, one sunny Saturday morning in late August, I was yard saling around town, and saw this piece of wood leaning up against an old barn in Rumney. I slammed on the brakes and pulled into the driveway, only to discover that the old barn where my best friend once lived was being torn down. They were selling the old barn boards to furniture makers and antiquers alike, who were paying top dollar and loading it into their vehicles. But I just had my eye on this piece, which was at one time used as a built-in tabletop in the barn, aged nearly a hundred years. It was weathered and dirty, but with a good scrub and a sanding, a splash of color and Betsy’s words, it turned out to be quite charming.

My cat, Moe, who normally is quite the introvert, refused to move from this photo opp. I think she really liked the smell of the wood. But then again, just yesterday, I caught her licking a belt buckle on my bedroom floor. She’s a special kitty.
Oh, and upon returning (with my best friend) to the site of the barn, we happened upon these three lovely dresses in a free pile. Hey, any chance to have a photo shoot, really…


Going out with a bang...

Though the leaves are turning vibrant hues of oranges and my second favorite, (and pumpkin themed) season is upon us (aka “sweater weather”), sadly I have to say goodbye to my absolute favorite time of year: Yard Sale Season. (That is a season right? In my book, there are four New Hampshire seasons: Yard Sale, Pumpkin, Mud and Freezing Cold!) Anyways, it will be easy to trade in early morning iced coffee runs and bargain hunting for the taste of apple crisp and hot cocoa knowing I gave Yard Sale season a better-than-good effort. Ok, I mopped up this season. Between a couple of town-wide extravaganzas and a scattering of flea market appearances, I made out like a bandit. With my new upcoming gallery space in the works (more on that later…I’m getting excited!), I have been in search of practical ways to display my art, as well as some nifty vintage finds to decorate my space.
So when I found out the Canaan town-wide yard sales were last weekend, I immediately called my best friend to see if she wanted to make the trek with me. Last time we went, our adventures ranged from meeting a lady who followed the Grateful Dead while bargaining over a hand-knitted wool sweater, to a $10.00 dresser score, to finding a beautiful Red Sox tabletop that came from a sports bar at Disneyworld. She was in. I told her to be at my place by 10:00 a.m. At 9:55, she knocked on my door smiling…bananas and Capri Suns in one hand, a camera in the other.
Man, what a fun day. We hopped in the purple van and drove all over Canaan in search of…well, whatever we saw that we wanted, really, which ranged from furniture to vintage clothing. At the first stop, we not only happened upon our buddy Jim, but we scored a handmade, vintage bar, originally marked $25.00, which the lady sold us for $8.00 (still to be determined who is going to receive this groovy piece of furniture for Christmas) and we knew it was all uphill from there. (Yard saling tip: if you want to creatively bargain over an item, just stand in front of it for a long time, verbally express your love for it, scratch the head a bit, invite a buddy (if available) to look at it with you and have a conversation about how you “love the piece so much, but you don’t know if it will work” and maybe scrunch the eyebrows a bit. They’ll give in and the price will drop.)
Best scores of the day: vintage teal green baby scale, 2 plant stands made of sticks, giant red velvet lampshade, yards of swirly printed fabric, one plastic lobster, the $8.00 bar, a box of 50+ records in a groovy metal case, retro red lamp, spinning card rack, lime green raincoat, old sheet music from the 1800’s, giant jewelry box, and some vintage sconces.
Favorite people we met: a toss-up between the dude who told us about the first time he got drunk off of whiskey in his basement and the lawn-full of shirtless beer-drinking men, trying to sell a $35.00 refigrator.
I give the day four stars. :)
And then, it got even better. Spyboy and Stema reunion at the Lucky Dog. Amazing music. Glowsticks. Good times.

Aargh! Me thinks me spy yard sales ahead!

Any adventure with Anna wouldn't be complete without wigs and accessories...

Check out the bar!

Half of a rotted deer target? I smell photo opp!

Anna, practicing her deer kung-fu.

Ok, well this was just, well...I mean, how can you not?