Wednesday, September 23, 2020

SUMMER DAYS ON PEWAUKEE LAKE

 Summer days are waning and afternoons sitting comfortably by the water will be few and far between.  What a peaceful place this is and filled with plenty of activity for watchers like myself.  Here are two small watercolors I worked on while sitting on the water's edge on some beautiful summer days.

Both paintings can be found in my Etsy shop by clicking here.

Watercolor, 5 x 7 in.



watercolor, 5 x 7 in.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

MORE STUFF WITH STICKS

A recent rainstorm brought more twigs down in the yard. After gathering them up I noticed that some of them were covered with wonderful lichens so I had to use them for something!  I  cut them taller than a small clay pot, and tucked them under a rubber band going around the pot.

 Then I filled an old jam jar with water and set it inside . . . 

 . . . followed by some sphagnum moss, tucked into the rubber band as I went around the pot. There aren't too many flowers ready for picking yet but it's a small pot, and along with some hosta leaves and other greenery it filled up quickly.

There's nothing quite like fresh flowers in the house!


Thanks for checking in!
-Nan

Friday, June 26, 2020

ABSTRACT RADISHES ON THE POTTING BENCH

Earlier this spring I made a potting bench out of 2x4's and cedar pickets.  I also added 4 corbels to support a shelf on either side. The corbels had been in my basement for about 5 years - finally put to good use!   
Once the piece was built, I used a homemade stain made of vinegar and steel wool. Fill a jar halfway with white vinegar, add a torn up very fine steel wool pad, and let it sit for a few days.  The vinegar breaks down the steel wool into rusty bits and when applied to wood, affects the tanin, which causes a weathered look I love. 

The bench is 2' deep and 6 ' long.  It has already been so usefull for transplanting things, arranging flowers, and getting vegetables ready to bring inside.  A couple days ago I pulled a big bundle of radishes and rinsed them and trimmed them right here to keep the mess out of the kitchen.


That very bundle of radishes became a playful little radish abstract this morning.  Not my usual style but sometimes for me it's all about color.  And it's fun to play around with different mediums and styles.  



The unframed print of Abstract Radishes is available on my Etsy shop, here:   https://www.etsy.com/shop/gillyflowercottage/.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

BEAUTIFUL BUNDLE!

My French Breakfast Radishes are coming in fast and furious.  There are a lot of radish salads in my future, so I've been checking out new recipes. This week it'll be Corn Salad with Radishes and Lime, Crunchy Garden Salsa, and Chicken Salad with Radishes and Apples.  

I've read that radishes are packed with Vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K.  Plus they're high in antioxidants, fiber, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, calcium, and iron. It's going to be a very healthy week!


Tonight I tossed them with my fresh leaf lettuce.  Soon, I'll have tomatoes, 
(my own) cucumbers, and peppers to add to the mix.  Bon Appétit!  


-Nan

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

GARDEN CLEAN-UP DAY

It was a cool and breezy day in SE Wisconsin and perfect for working outside.  So today I edged, weeded, transplanted, planted, swept, watered, and trimmed.  Late afternoon came with quite a drop in temperature and a great downpour!  What perfect timing!

This is an 8 foot  bench that was inspired by a photo I saved on Pinterest.  Made with 2x4x8 and 1x4x8 treated lumber.  On the right is my mom's geranium (over 7 years old now) getting used to being outdoors for the summer.

My little Bay Laurel topiary tree with the soil covered in moss I pulled from a shady nook in the yard.
A pot of mixed flower seedlings sits next to the Bay Laurel and Yellow Loosestrife is in the pot in the back.

Shallow clay pots of Stone Crop Sedum on the table .


A couple blooms opened on the Clematis today with many more to come!

The raised beds on the deck are bursting with radishes and lettuce.

This year I raised the canopy and underplanted my Quick Fire Hydrangea with 
Stone Crop Sedum and Blue Carpet Lobelia.
Another Pinterest inspired project.  I liked this one because it was all natural, just sticks and stones!

I cut out a special spot for Iris to check on front yard happenings while she's taking it easy on the patio.

Hello world!  It's me, Iris!

It's 64° and even Iris enjoys the warmth of the fire tonight!



Thanks for checking in!
Nan





































Saturday, June 20, 2020

FRENCH BREAKFAST RADISHES


I planted radishes again, but this year I planted two varieties, Sparkler and French Breakfast.
I've pulled and used some of the Sparkler, but I was curious to taste the French Breakfast even though they're not fully grown yet. so I pulled a few.   


They were delicious raw.  But I wanted to try cooking them, so on to a recipe for 


And I had to paint these little beauties before I cut them up.



Do you have a favorite way of preparing radishes?  If so, I'd love the recipe!

-Nan






Friday, June 19, 2020

EARLY SUMMER IN THE GARDEN


Summer is finally here!  
With all that's going on in the world right now, I am so grateful for my time spent in the garden - a retreat right in my own backyard!  This blog has been pretty silent for awhile, but it's time to bring it back to life.

When I moved into my home almost 4 years ago, it came with a pretty big yard.  There's an area in the back at the bottom of a little slope that is flat and in full sun.  A perfect place for a vegetable garden.  Nothing huge, just big enough for some of my favorite vegetables.  So I built this twig fence adding a little something new each summer.  The plank entrance came along soon after due to the mud.

 The posts, raised beds, and plank entrance are made with cedar.  All year long I save the branches and twigs that fall from my trees, along with longer branch trimmings from the shrubs.  When I get a nice big pile I head down to the garden and add them to the fence.  

Last summer I added the gate, and this summer I designed a sign for the entrance out of a piece of plywood that has been in the garage since I moved in.  This garden has become a place of quiet, peace, and solace for me.  I hope you'll check back, and watch my garden grow throughout the summer!


-Nan



Sunday, August 18, 2019

ORANGE FLOWERS

ORANGE FLOWERS
20 x 20 inch, oil

My favorite summer activity is working in my gardens.  Grooming, watering, weeding, feeding, and finally PICKING!  Now, it's August and the summer garden is bursting with inspiration!  Supposedly, yellow and orange represent freshness, optimism, remembrance, loyalty, and joy, among other things.  That's a lot of positive stuff making yellow and orange great colors to have in your home.  This painting was done on a warm summer night in my little home studio.  




Check it out at Gillyflower Cottage on Etsy.



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

IT'S WEDDING SEASON AND FLOWERS ABOUND!


It's wedding season and
WEDDING BOUQUET PORTRAITS
are keeping me busy these days!


A portrait of your wedding bouquet is a lasting memory of your big day! I have orders that brides themselves have ordered, bridesmaids have collectively given to the bride as a wedding gift, and mothers have given to their daughters.  Here are a few of the finished portraits:





 I work from a photograph that you send when you order.  First the pen and ink outline is done and then the color is added.  Shown below is my next bouquet waiting to be painted.  This one is full of roses, astilbe, dahlias, and eucalyptus!


The portraits can be done in 3 different sizes.  
Just use the pull down tab on the listing to choose 
the dimensions that work best for you.
Your custom watercolor, 
pen and ink portraits can be ordered here!

-Nan

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

BOTANICAL COUNTDOWN - DAY 2

ICELANDIC BLUE POPPY 

The Icelandic Blue Poppy symbolizes imagination, luxury, and success.  The delicate petals are wrinkled and crepe-like due to being tightly packed into the bud.  It is said that the hairs (which seem to be everywhere on this plant) have an unusual taste which protects it from predators.  And the seeds found in the pod of the poppy are used in cooking and bird seed.  

ICELANDIC BLUE POPPY
This illustration shows the flower, bud, leaves and pod.
8 x 10 inches

Close-up of fully opened poppy and dried pods.




Monday, May 6, 2019

BOTANICAL COUNTDOWN

PREPARING FOR GARDENING SEASON 
WITH 
A BOTANICAL COUNTDOWN

What do you do while you're waiting to get your hands in the dirt?  When May has arrived and the nights are still too cold to plant, and the ground is too wet to till?  

One of the best parts of spring's arrival on the calendar, is to plan your garden while you wait for spring to make its arrival in the weather department.  This year I plan on doing some botanical drawings while I wait, so I'll be posting drawings of some favorite flowers and plants.

11 x 11 inches

11 x 11 inches
  

Click the titles to go to Etsy for purchase information.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

MANDARINS AND POPPIES

Orange for its emotional warmth and blue for the sky and the sea, these colors are opposite one another on the color wheel.  And what good companions they make!

Since we can't grow anything outside in Wisconsin right now, what a perfect way to bring some of those colors of nature into the house!  This painting titled Mandarins and Poppies measures 24" x 24" and is available for purchase in my Etsy shop, Gillyflower Cottage.  Think spring!




Saturday, December 8, 2018

ILIA UNDERWING MOTH



Meet Livia, the latest addition to my Etsy shop, Gillyflower Cottage. 


Livia is loosely based on the Ilia Underwing moth.  She was lovingly and painstakingly made in Texas while I was visiting a friend and now she's made it all the home to Wisconsin.  Livia looks great posed on old text, an ornate old book, in an open frame, or on the wall all by herself.  The larvae of this moth feeds on oak trees so placement or display with acorns and oak leaves would make her very happy.  She is one of a kind and made of medium weight fabric, faux fur, and wire.    The furry abdomen gives her a very realistic look.   


 

Upon purchase, your moth will arrive wrapped carefully in 
tissue paper and ready to inhabit your home!

You can find her here!



Sunday, November 11, 2018

CHRISTMAS SALE!

AT GILLYFLOWER COTTAGE, 
THE WHOLE SHOP IS ON SALE!

With Christmas right around the corner, now is the time to order a 
unique and personalized gift for the people on your shopping list.

  10% off from now until November 30th using the coupon code, 10GILLYFLOWER.  
Not just the paintings . . . everything is on sale!  Even the personalized Home Portraits!

WHOLE HOUSE OR ENTRANCE HOME PORTRAITS, 
LOOSELY DRAWN OR MORE PRECISE - YOU CHOOSE!








Also on sale, my children's book,
"O is for the Big Oak Tree,
Children's Rhymes From A to Z"
*****************************
The page, 'G' is for your Grandparents, can be personalized!

*****************************
 

    You can visit my Etsy shop at:

(Don't forget to add the coupon code 10GILLYFLOWER at
checkout to get your 10% savings.)


Thursday, October 18, 2018

A NEW PROJECT IN THE WINGS

First of all, I'm back to the blogger platform for my blog posts.  While there were a lot of aspects of WIX that I liked, it's just not as user friendly as Blogger.  So this is where you'll find me in the future.

Sometimes you need a certain kind of day to feel inspired for a certain kind of project and today is the day to do a little experimenting with these interesting fabrics.  Each one has been chosen for a specific reason and I'm anxious to get started.  I hope you'll follow along . . . 


Sunday, December 10, 2017

LAST CHANCE - HOME PORTRAITS IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!

STILL NEED IDEAS FOR THAT SPECIAL 
PACKAGE UNDER THE TREE?

I'm busy in my workshop creating some 
one-of-a-kind gifts and
there are still a few days to order yours 
in time for Christmas morning!

H O M E   P O R T R A I T 
ordering deadline for 
CHRISTMAS DELIVERY 
is 
Friday, December 15th
Click HERE to order.
(Free Christmas gift wrapping upon request!)


"Give a memory of HOME this Christmas"




YOU COULD MAKE THAT IS ON FACEBOOK!

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