Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Gratitude

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Live event painting for a holiday wedding

Just wanted to share with you another one of my sister's wedding paintings. As most of you know, my sister is a live event painter which means she paints the goings on in front of her at a wedding or special event.

She starts the painting at the wedding and finishes it at her studio. This particular wedding I attended too. I took the reference photos for the painting. See my prior blogpost with the photos by clicking here . It was a New Year's Eve Wedding.

We were high up in one of the opera boxes and had an aerial view of the wedding, a location far different from all my sister's other paintings. I took tons pf photos as reference.

I took many photos of the bride and groom dancing as the client almost always want their first dance in the painting.

Here they are, the bride and groom, Caroline and Charlie. My sister even put the wedding photographer in the painting.

The family is usually included in the painting as well. So I took many frames of this group. The parents and siblings of the happy couple.

And here's the artistic interpretation of the moment. It fascinates me to see how much work my sister puts into each section of the painting. Making sure it all fits together so it is visually pleasing.

It's funny how one moment in time can be captured like this. A few people are smiling, one is looking down.

The chandeliers in the ballroom at the Boston's Park Plaza Hotel were spectacular.

I think their beauty was captured in the painting as were all the architectural details of the ballroom.

And there you have it. Many, many weeks of work and endless hours of tweaking the painting to get it just right. I think this is my favorite painting so far. The bride's mother told my sister she "absolutely captured" some of the background people without even knowing them. Cool stuff.

If you live in the New England area and would like to inquire about a live event painting for an upcoming event, please contact me at .

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Autumn daytrip- Beverly and Hamilton

I have another catsitting assignment. The lovely Miss Tiger Lily is under my care for a few days. She lives in a gorgeous home. Here is the view from the dining room. The trees are still colorful around here. I love it!

Before deciding how to spend my day, I spent some time feeding and cuddling with Tiger.

It was Veteran's Day and so no work for me. I did not go to a parade but I certainly thought about our veterans today. My Father is a World War II veteran. He joined  the Navy at age 17 and I am very proud of him.

I decided to take a spontaneous daytrip to the North Shore. I wanted to go back to the Jolie Tea Shop to replenish my tea stash. My friend Debbi accompanied me.

We started with lunch at the Weathervane Tavern in Hamilton. Debbi had been there before. Cute from the outside.

The interior of the Tavern was cozy and comfortable. It was clearly a local hangout. There were not many tables in the place but we found a seat. It was late lunchtime.

Here's the dining area. Rustic decor. A very casual, unstuffy atmosphere. I had the baked haddock and salad. Debbi had the veggie wrap and we split a side order of sweet potato fries. It was all yummy.

The tea shop was closed. So we decided to take a ride to Beverly. The area was so beautiful and the trees were still colorful. A ride along the North Shore is the perfect thing to do on a day off.

We really had no destination in mind. I remembered visiting a cute shop called Sweetwater & Company last year and I knew it was in the area so out came the GPS and we were off to Beverly Farms. We found it!

It was just as cute as I remembered. Don't you love the pumpkin in the urn? It looks so pretty with the bittersweet draping around it.

Debbi loves swans. She photographs them in Melrose all the time so the minute I spied this sign I called her attention to it.

The Cygnet Restaurant was charming on the outside. I loved the choice of colors and the sign of course.

I opened the door so we could check it out. Simply gorgeous! Small sofas at some of the tables. Elegant but comfortable.

We checked out the menu and saw there were swan and cygnet sizes for some of the entrees.

The reception area  was decorated with pet photos. I will definitely have to try this place in the future.

We planned to go for a coffee later in the day so we found a bakery called Half Baked.We thought it would be a good place for coffee and dessert. It wasn't open but I just had to take a photo of this sign in their window.

As is my norm, I found a kitty to talk to. I do attract cats don't I? This big kitty came right over to us then went to the yoga studio where I presumed he/she belonged.

We were still searching for a coffee shop but the ocean beckoned. Yes it was chilly and windy but the sun was starting to set and it was oh so beautiful. This was the view from Lynch Park in Beverly.

The sky was dramatic. I told Debbi it's too bad I have to work and miss sunsets most days.

So on the way to the beach/ocean, I spotted a velvet sofa at the side of the road.  I have a gift for spotting roadside treasures. I pointed the sofa out to Debbi but then I said never mind we won't stop.

On the way back from the ocean, I decided to stop and take a look. We walked up to it. Well, there's no place to sit on this sofa! But isn't it magnificent? The sign stated it was not free. The seller wanted $50 for it. I took a look around the back of it. Cat scratched. I laughed out loud. I am quite familiar with cat scratched sofas.

I had to pass it up but I still think it was pretty. Debbi thinks I am a lunatic for even stopping. Perhaps I am.

One last look at the beautiful velvet sofa with no seating. I wonder how much it would cost to reupholster it?

Well, we finally found a local coffee place. Atomic Cafe on Cabot Street in Beverly did not disappoint. Debbi had the mocha chai latte. It looked spectacular.

I had a cappuccino and a ginger molasses cookie. The cookie was huge, perfectly chewy, and intensely flavorful. I knew when I looked at it that it would be delicious. It had those deep cracks in it and sugar you can see on the top. So yummy!

I drove Debbi back to her house and then I went back to give Tiger Lily her evening meal and her daily dose of lovins.

I had a perfectly wonderful day.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Fall celebration- the Harvest Dinner

Saturday night I hosted my annual Harvest Dinner. We already had a pumpkin on the front steps and the leaves cooperated. They fell in all the right places. All I needed to do was add a dried hydrangea wreath to the front door.

I had just finished setting the table. As I admired my tablescape I decided to take a few photos. Percy, the champion photobomber decided to come for dinner.

A vintage tablecloth with lace edging was layered with a pumpkin colored lighted table runner. I love the pop of color and the ambiance the tiny lights create.

I bought pumpkins and some leaves from the Dollar Store. I use them in business too! The pumpkins were a takeaway gift for my guests.

One bouquet of Fall flowers from Trader Joe's became three small arrangements.Two floral arrangements in vintage bottles graced the table and a third in a mason jar was placed in the condo's common area.

I always use my green goblets for the Harvest Dinner. The table always needs a little green to break up the orange. Now you can see the tiny lights in the runner!

The menu was as follows:  turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce,  cream cheese mashed potatoes, butternut squash, apple pie, chocolate cake, pumpkin muffins, and maple leaf cookies.

One last photo. The party was over and time for a little rest before the cleanup. Time to put Harvest Dinner 2013 to bed.


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