Friday, October 31, 2008

Seasonal Painting Series-Autumn Observations #1

I'm going to try to get one of these posts out each day until i run out of Autumn themed paintings! Hopefully this will inspire me to paint more...
Photos like this...

Are used as a guide to paint this..."Looking Up!" is painted in watercolor, and the branches were blown onto the paper using a straw.....( i learned this cool technique while teaching in a local daycare. Hey! it works! ;)


Happy Halloween!
(This was Lola in her kitty cat costume last Halloween. This year i hear she is going to be a broccoli. Yes, a broccoli... Seth hasn't decided yet...stay tuned...)
Broccoli costume is too small! Last minutes changes are be announced!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No more baby.....

Look what happened in a blink of an eye.....
Our Lola can stand up and play with her toys without holding on to anything....

She can "read" her own books....

and clap to the music....

and dance to that music too! Look at those hips go!

And suddenly, she is walking!

all by help needed.....

She's even running!

She can hang out with Pollyanna, and dig in Grama's plants....

cuddle in the dog beds..... (i'm not sure what the dogs think about this)

She can look out the window and watch the squirrels

and Gipetto is no longer safe and sound in his favorite chair any more.... I cannot believe she is no longer a baby any more...We have a full blown toddler now!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today we got up early and i brought the dogs out and it was so cold! We had our first snow yesterday. It was nothing like the blizzard parts of the Northeast got yesterday, but it was a sharp difference from the weather we had gotten used to! We had a few more flurries on and off during the day today, but that wind was so cold! For the first part of the day, any time i came into the sun room, the dogs and cat were all curled up in front of our little stove. This is easily the four leggeds favorite piece of equipment in the house!
After everyone was settled, i got out my grandmother's old cookbook
and made my first apple pie of the season.
Even tho the crust edges got a little dark, it sure is good!
Later in the afternoon i packed Pollyanna and Zinnia up in the car and off we went to our groomer's shop for a bath, ear cleaning and nail trim. This was Pollyanna's first trip to the groomer and she was a bit overwhelmed by all the dogs that came running up to greet her when we entered the shop!(I'll remember to bring my camera next time)
Anyway, the girls are just lovely with fresh smelling, silky coats, and both are tuckered out from their experience. I just walked out into the sun room and there they were again, laying in front of the stove again!
Pollyanna is one pooped puppy!

My New Friend Manuel....

See that little guy sitting on Cornelius' lap? His name is Manuel, and he is only about 2 1/2 inches tall! He is handmade out of felted wool by a very talented artist named Stacey Hsu. In addition to making cute little guys like Manuel, she also makes sock dogs, (i LOVE sock dolls) and is an illustrator and writer of children's books. A portion of her sales goes to local animal shelters(this is so important and something i also do. )

Look at that sweet little face!

Manuel came with his little scarf and his own tiny ball to play with. How could you not fall in love!!?? To check out Stacey's blog, click here
To go to Stacey's Etsy shop, click here
To look at Stacey's illustration work, click here

Thanks Stacey for all the good work you do! You are such an inspiration to me! And i'm sure a few more of your creations will find their way home here in the future! ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Give us this day......

While out with the dogs very early this morning....

I looked up, and it was beautiful.....

A new member of the family....

After Mom's dog Toby passed away this Summer, Dad said "No More Dogs"..... But the house got mighty lonely, and they started looking in the papers for puppies for sale....

Meet little "Chloe"

For the last 20 some years, Mom and Dad have rescued older dogs. And along with those dogs came the problems those poor dogs brought with them. Missy, a poodle mix was...well, grumpy, and would not hesitate to bite the hands that fed her. Then sweet Kaylee came. She was a tiny, undersized Maltese "breeder" who was rescued from a puppy mill. She was bred so many times she hardly had any teeth left, due to calcium depletion. She was also deaf and blind. Still we all loved that little dog...Then came Toby. He was a mix...part cocker? part shi tzu? He had "emotional" issues and major separation anxiety... It was very hard for them to go away, and whenever they left him in our care, they always worried. This time they decided to start with a fresh slate and get a puppy. Sure it would be a lot of work, but a lot of joy too!

Chloe is a toy poodle. She looks bigger than Polly in these photos because she is a little puff ball of fur. But she will be visiting our friend Chiloe the groomer for her first grooming experience, and we can't wait to see how she looks when she is all spruced up. Here is Mom holding Chloe and Pollyanna. The girls are already becoming good friends.

And you can see Mom is already in love.....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Hats

Happy Hats! Hats for babies, toddlers, kids...even adults! All of these plus the baby blanket went to The Paper Sparrow yesterday. I hope they make some little heads warm and toasty!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dog Tag! All About The Robinson Pack

Our good friends Paula and Smokey from the Fraker Farm tagged us for an interview! Thank you Paula and Smokey! This is going to be so much fun!

Ok! The dogs are all lined up and ready to go!

Please answer the following questions:

1. What breed(s) are you?
Gipetto: I'm a Malti-poo - a maltese/poodle mix.

Zinnia: ummmm...i was slipped into a basket with a litter of dachshund/poodle mix pups..We think i may be part cattle dog/part border collie/part kangaroo(because i jump so high)/part alien...
Pollyanna: part chihuahua/part pug, so depending on how i turn put when i am grown, i am a "Chug" or a "Pughuahua"
2. How old are you?

Gipetto: I am 14, tho sometimes i act just like a puppy.
Zinnia: I just turned 2.
Pollyanna: almost 3 months old already!

3. What is your full name?
Zinnia Zoe

4. Do you have any nicknames?

Gipetto: I have many! Geeps, GP, Geeper Peeper Foo(Safou calls me that) Peeps, Lover boy, Petto, Mr. P....
Zinnia: I am called Zin, Zinnie, Zinnie the Pooh, Zinnie Poo the Kangaroo (because i can jump so high)
Pollyanna: They call me Pol, Polly, Pollywog, Pollywallydoodle, and i am sure there will be more names...

5. Where do you usually sleep?

Gipetto speaking for them all: We sleep wherever we want to, but mostly where our people are. We have dog beds all thru the house, and we are allowed to sleep on the furniture. But our favorite thing is to lay on the couch at night when Mom is working on her projects, and also when we get to sleep in bed.
6. What is your favorite thing to do?

Gipetto: Sleep, eat, snuggle, be admired and get my belly rubbed.
Zinnia: RUN, guard the house, try to get every one's undivided attention, PLAY, chase balls and kongs, chase the birds at the feeders, BARK, jump, get rewards for doing what mom asks, playing with Polly, play tug, licking and guarding Lola, playing with Seth, (i had to cut her off you can see, Zin is rather high energy, and sleep and food come low on the chart here...)
Pollyanna: I like to do everything Zinnia and Geeps do! And i love my treats for training!

7. What is something unusual/interesting about you?

Gipetto: Whenever anyone comes into the house they are always trying to get away from Zinnia and Pollyanna, and want to pet me. I am the Lover of the family... Oh and when i was a pup i fell down the back door steps and to this day i am still nervous on those stairs!
Zinnia: When you pick me up i sit bolt upright in your arms. I can straddle the dog house to see over the fence(even tho it has a peaked roof) I can "hear" my favorite visitors coming before they turn down my street! I can run so fast and jump so high....
Pollyanna: I am just adorable! And everybody loves me, even Bella the cat. 8. Who is your best friend?

Gipetto: My brothers are all gone, so Mom is my best friend now.
Zinnia: Olive is the best! Geeps and Polly are fun too.
Pollyanna: Zin and Geeps and Bella and Chloe!

9. Did you go to obedience school...if so were you "TOP DOG" or did you flunk out?

Gipetto: You cannot learn to be a great Lover in school. That comes naturally....
Zinnia: I was voted "Val-dog-torian" in my puppy class! I have the ribbon and certificate to prove it too!
Pollyanna: Not yet, but maybe i will go with my new cousin Chloe...

10. Can you do any tricks?

Gipetto: the tradition of the great Lover, i wait till my human relaxes and then i stick my tongue in their mouth and kiss them. It works every time!
Zinnia: I can do everything! I jump high, i roll over, i sit stay, i can jump thru hoops, i can fly like a bird, i can(again, i had to cut her off...she is very proud of her accomplishments.)
Pollyanna: If i try really hard i can sit and then Mom gives me a special treat! And i am learning to climb up the back stairs, but they are so big for me! And i know how to be really really cute!

Thank you, Robinson crew!.... now they want to pass this tag on to...
OLIVE and Kate! And anybody else out there who wants to join in!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fiber Heaven...

My daughter Kate and i took a ride yesterday to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck NY, to attend the 36th Annual NYS Sheep and Wool Festival . What a beautiful day it was! The sun was shining and the sky was clear blue, and there was enough chill in the air to make you want to climb in under all that wool! This festival is HUGE so i had already decided that i wouldn't try to drag my daughter thru all the sheep, alpaca and llama barns. I'm like a little kid at a petting zoo when i go to these things. Anyway, we walked our legs off, met some really nice folks, bought some lovely yarn, and had a great time outdoors in the gorgeous Autumn color of the countryside. Here are a few pictures from our day....

Going over a huge bridge, i was so taken with the Fall colors i tried to take a picture out the window, but couldn't get my arm out the window high enough to get over that darn railing...oh well, you get the idea....(ps- i was NOT driving while i took this shot)

Once we got into the gates of the Fairgrounds, we were surrounded by a sea of humanity, so it was real hard to get space and stillness enough to take some good shots inside the vendor barns....
If you love yarn, color, texture, artistry, you would have been on sensory overload, just as i was. I wanted it ALL.... If only i could afford it......

There were knitters, crocheters, rug hookers, spinners, weavers, fiber artists, carvers, jewelry artists, designers, farmers, breeders, dog folks, color, smells, sounds, wine, cheese, honey, soaps, meats, jams, jellies, cakes, cookies, food vendors, musicians....baas, bleats, moos, barks..... i was in heaven...

A Peruvian Band entertaining by the food vendors

Gorgeous Autumn foliage and fresh fresh air

Lots of tents and demonstrations going on all day long

This woman (i didn't get her name) was showing us how to dye wool using grape juice! Fascinating!

I had to keep reminding myself to watch my step as i kept looking up into the trees.....

TONS of people everywhere... from everywhere!

Beauty all around us

And of course, many many sheep! These two were in a petting area near the children's rides

and little ones kept bringing them pellets and pulled grass to nibble on......

On the way home we stopped at this place to browse thru all the interesting "stuff" they had to offer....
It was located in the little town of Red Hook NY which is lovely...Very charming....

We also stopped at a local farm stand and picked up a bushel of Honeycrisp apples to share, and Katie got a huge pumpkin for her front porch and i bought "Indian corn" to hang on my doors, and some nice raw honey. I'm so glad to have these pictures to remember the day by but i am sure it is locked in my memory as one of my favorite days ever....