Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's a Small World After All

My husband and I decided to have dinner at a local restaurant.  He wanted to sit in the bar to catch some of the March Madness games.  The bartender and the waitstaff was very kind and attentive to us, to the point that my husband said, "You can take their (the couple sitting next to us) order, they were here before us."

At one point, I decided to comment to the bartender that the bar was always so busy in this particular restaurant.  The bartender then said, I haven't seen you and your sister for a long time.  I thought in my head, "Ok, he has me confused with someone else." So I just smiled.  He then said that he knew me back in the 70's when my parents use to bring us to this other restaurant in a different town. He was a waiter back then.  My husband then jumped in and asked "How many sisters does she have?" and he said the correct answer.  So, here it is thirty years later and he recognizes me.  Amazing!  I unfortunately, did not recall him or his name.  It just goes to show you that it is a small world after all.

Do you have amazing connect stories like this one?

A Bit of History

My girlfriends and I went to visit one of our friends that had moved away from our town.  She lives about an hours drive towards the northern part of Massachusetts in the famous town of Salem, where it is known for the witch hunt in the late 19th century.  I was intrigued by the door and the sign that was on her home.  It always amazes me at the history behind a home, such as this.  

Here is the sign that is near the front door. Think of all of the history that is behind those doors.  The other amazing thing was the good feeling that I got when I first walked up to the house.  Notice, the front door and the beautiful cottage lace decorations around the frame.  Come to find out that the door on the house is one of the doors that has been photographed for a  poster called "The Doors of Salem."  

We had a wonderful visit.  Our friend made a delicious lunch and the afternoon passed by so quickly.  The most important thing that I saw and felt was the love that she had for her new home, the town and the people that she has met.  

I thought about how we have a bit of history as friends and how our children spent a great deal of time with each other.  I also smiled at the thought of how she has moved to a town with a great deal of history and will part of the continuing history to this lovely home.  

Do you live in a home of historic value or do you know of someone who does?  

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Raffle Give Away: $25.00 American Express Gift Card

Would you like to receive a $25.00 American Express Gift Card?  

All that is required to be placed in this raffle is to subscribe and follow this blog:  "A New Beginning. " and make a comment on one of these posts.   When the blog hits 100 followers/subscribers, a winner will be picked.  Invite your friends to join this blog and be part of the raffle. 

here is the link that you can copy and send to your friends:

March 20, Official Start of Spring

The winters are long in New England and I always look forward to March 20th, the official start of spring.  Today I saw beautiful soft buds on my magnolia trees, so lovely to see even before they bloom.  

Last year, I was given some seeds to plant from a friend from gather.  I will have to figure out where I stored the seeds and get them into the ground.  

To kick off the spring season, I am raffling off a dvd of Martha Stewart's Gardening tips.  6 hours of Martha's best gardening tips on two dvd discs.  

If you would like to be part of the raffle:
1) Please make sure that you are subscribing and following my blog: a new beginning.

2) Please comment below your favorite gardening tip.  

I will choose the raffle winner on April 10th.  

The $25.00 American Express gift card raffle is still going on, the winner will be drawn when I have reached 100 followers.  Please tell your friends to join.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Magic of the Ocean

As we begin to talk about finding a place to retire to, I have been on a slow journey in discovering what I love and need in my surroundings.

As an artist, I  know that I need the visuals of water and greenery. I have a passion of the ocean and lakes that surround our states.  I find being able to see or be near water is very soothing to my soul.

Living in Massachusetts with the four season has spoiled us to enjoying the variety of plants and greenery in various stages.  I marvel at the most simple of things, such as a new bud on my magnolia tree, rows of flower beds in a garden, the colors of the leaves in Autumn, the oak tree  branches with a light layer of snow.

Are there environmental qualities that you need in your surroundings?

I would love to hear what visuals you love in the area that you live in.

A true friend shares.

In 1993, when we moved into our new home, my middle son had a friend, whose mother is so sweet.  One day she brought over some bleeding heart roots and lily of the valley.  

When you take something so beautiful out of your yard and pass it onto a friend, it is a true sign of life long friendship through the special gift of sharing.  Though the bleeding hearts did not survive, as I did not plant them in the most optimum location, the thought of the tender pink heart blossoms will stay in my memory forever.  

I took a stab at painting the bleeding hearts with watercolor, but I think I will go back and try the painting with acrylic.  I hope to achieve a softer blend to the petals.

I hope this spring or fall, you will share the gift of transplanting a bud from your garden to a friend's.   Please let me know if this is something that you have done in the past or plan to do in the future. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm on a roll

In the perfect world, I should probably live in a field of flowers.  I love how flowers make me happy and smile.  Today, I was inspired to paint some Japanese Anemones.  I chose to do it in watercolors.  

Living in New England, we won't see an abundance of flowers in our yards until May.  There will be a splattering of colors here and there, but often those will fade away before the real sun decides to visit.  I did see one lonely crocus in my front garden bed the other day.  I think the rain that fell the last three days must have drowned it away.  

When I visited California in February, there were flowers blooming everywhere and pollen on the cars.  My sister's neighbor had a lemon tree that had tiny buds in September and full lemons in February.  The lemons from her neighbor's tree had this unbelievable sharp lemon smell that oozed through the skin.  Nothing like the premature picked lemons that we find in the grocery store in New England.  

I was able to get to the farmer's Market on Saturday while visiting my sister and found rows and rows of fresh cut flowers.  How lucky to be able to grow them so early in the season.  

Do you grow your own flowers?  If so, what do you have in your garden.

Painting is therapeutic.

For anyone that paints, I find it very therapeutic to envision a piece and sketch it out.  Lay out my paints and then begin layering the colors on.  While painting, you have to stop and allow the paint to dry before painting on the next layer of colors.  This gives you time to reflect on your piece and plan a process of steps for each phase.  Today I finished a piece that I had started in the fall of 2009.  It only needed minor adjustments to the border, but it took me a long time to feel that I could finish it.  It is one of my many paintings involving lily pads.  Lily pads have a very zen look to them.  I like the shape, the color, the ability for it to float endlessly on top of the water.  I love Lily pad that bloom beautiful flowers.    

Here is my final piece entitled Lily Pads.  I hope you like it.

Is there something that you look at that makes you feel zen?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A Box of Four Leaf Clovers for you.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day on Sunday at a gathering at my sisters' home.  She made a delicious corn beef and cabbage dinner.  I decided to make a green almond gelatin that tasted better than it looked.

Today,  I was thinking about the four leaf clover and how we use to think it was lucky if you found one.  I wonder if anyone has actually found one.  We spent many a summer day, looking in the grass for four leaf clovers.  Who knew that clovers were weeds and not appreciated by grass aficionados.  We have an acre of "blue grass grown by hydro seeds and I'll tell you, if there is a patch of clovers in the beginning of spring on our lawn, there won't be any by the next month.

Here's wishing that you have a life of finding four leaf clovers, where ever you look.    Please let me know how you are doing on this St. Patrick's day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Do you gather?

I have been posting my paintings and trying my hand at writing on for a year now.  The site will pay you points  for the amount of views or comments on your post. When you have a certain amount of points, you can cash them out for gift cards or cash to your paypal account.  If you would like to join gather or check it out, click here to join.

I just finished my first painting in 2010.  While walking through conservation land, there was a beautiful fresh water stream flowing through the marshes.  Here is my take on the stream with moss growing on the top of the water.

I will be posting this painting on gather as well.  Thank you for viewing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Painting "Lavender Farm in Tuscany" is featured in

Wahoo! I was honored today by having feature my painting "Lavender Farm in Tuscany" on their "Featured Section."  With it, brought a flurry of views to my painting and comments from some very kind followers.  One of the comments that I received said, "I can almost smell it."  Truly that is one of the best compliments that I have received, as words made my painting come alive.    

The lavender plants are abundant in Tuscany.  They are full, round and fragrant full.  Tiny yellow bees hover over the plant; transporting honey from plant to hive.  This painting makes me feel at home.  I know that there is a farm like this in my future.  

What do you think about owning a lavender farm in Tuscany?