Photography show tomorrow evening

December 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Posted in art, family, Holidays, inspiration, Life, love, photography, shopping | 1 Comment
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One River, a photography show curated by me and my husband, will open tomorrow night (Friday, December 2, 2011) at Marti’s on Main in Albion, New York.  The public is welcome to the opening reception from 5:30 to 9:00 that evening.  If you are one of my readers in the local area, I hope you will come by.  It will be a fun, warm, and happy evening.  We have fifty six photographs printed on Kodak’s Endura Metallic paper in sizes 8×10, 11×14 and 16×20 all matted and framed in the exhibit.

The photographs have been shot over the past sixty years by four members of our family: my husband’s father, my husband, me, and my son.  We have all been shooting photographs on the property and along the river where our cottage is (the cottage has been in the family since the 1930’s), and here at our farm which is situated on the same river a few miles southwest of the cottage property.

Going through a gazillion photographs to choose a dozen or so from each artist was a beautiful experience because we got to know each other as artists even more than before.  We have all been working in the same locations all these years, but each with a different artistic view, style, and appreciation for the bounty surrounding us.

A few of my pieces are available for sale in my fine art Etsy store, if you can’t make it but would like to make a purchase.

Also of interest is the varying photographic technology that has been available over the years.  My father-in-law’s pieces were all shot with 35 mm cameras from WWII Germany using Kodachrome color slide film back in the late 1940’s.  His photographs feature many people and we think people will love seeing the photographs and the details such as clothing and hairstyles of the time.  His photographs, scanned to digital by my husband and then printed on Kodak’s wondrous Endura Metallic paper, are a visual treat worth taking a little drive on a winter’s night to get a chance to see.

My husband’s pieces were shot with various 35 mm cameras and then a Nikon digital camera in later years, whereas my work, and my son’s are all Nikon digital.  So, we believe it will be very interesting for exhibiti visitors to see this One River photographed over the years, captured by the artistic vision of four different artists from four generations of the same family using a variety of photographic technologies.

Each piece in the exhibit is available for purchase and because of the holidays the gallery owner is going to let people take the pieces they purchase at the opening home with them that evening (usually the pieces remain hanging until the close of the show three weeks later).  We also have close to twenty 4×5’s mounted on black core gater board on miniature black wooden easels available for purchase — these are printed on the same gorgeous metallic paper.

The show also features poetry of my father’s — a few are printed out on large paper and framed to hang along with the photographs.  I will be doing a live poetry reading on opening night of one of my father’s poems as well.

There will be hot mulled cider, hot cocoa, plenty of coffee, homemade cookies, popcorn, carrot cake, and some other goodies and treats.  We have photographs framed, unframed, etc. priced from $10 to $100 plus books of the photography and my father’s poetry, and several framed pieces of my son’s recreations of NYC, London, and Paris subway roll signs — something for everyone, and a great evening as well.

For more information, or to schedule a visit to the gallery some other time, you may phone gallery owner and curator Kim Martillotta-Muscarella at (585) 589-6715.

I hope to see some of you there.


The children are nestled, all snug in their beds

November 25, 2011 at 9:44 am | Posted in gifts, Holidays, knitting, shopping | Leave a comment
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…and I can’t sleep.  Too many things on my mind, so I am up writing instead of sleeping.

Here is something I can do while I am unable to sleep:  Announce on my blog what I am doing and what my son is doing for online shoppers today, Black Friday.

From Me:  Buy One, Get One Free on all of my Knitter’s Eye Charts and other prints.  Buy one, get one of equal or lesser value free — no limits (includes sets of three).  Buy from my Etsy shop or my website.  This also applies to any fine art photographs or prints of paintings in my fine art Etsy store.  Just type “BOGO” in the comments section of your order order and tell me which item you choose for free.  Ends today, November 25, 2011 at midnight.

From My Son:  Buy One, Get One Free on any of his 12″ x 18″ Subway Signs and Bus Scroll Paper Prints (includes collections of three).  Buy from his Etsy store or his website, and enter “BOGO” in the comments section of your order form and tell him what you want as your free item.  Free item must be of equal or lesser value of paid for item.    Ends today, November 25, 2011 at midnight.


It is “Black Friday” already, and I know the stores are not open yet but people are out there in the world standing in lines waiting to participate in various stampedes in order to bring home all sorts of things.  I went to a Black Friday event one time, back in Los Angeles.  I mostly did it because I wanted to have the experience of it.  I have never been that much into shopping, and the idea of going out into a big mob of people in the wee hours of the morning waiting to crowd into a store and try to grab some things marked way down before someone else gets a chance to … that just isn’t my cup of tea.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it.  It just isn’t for me.

But I did do it the one time, to see what it was like.  I almost didn’t go, because when my alarm went off I decided I would much rather go back to sleep than to get up and go out in the cold dark morning air.  Before I could fall back asleep, however, I remembered my sense of adventure.

I’m glad I did it the one time, because it was an adventure.

Right now, I wish I could get some sleep.

Happy shopping,


Gathering up the wild things, 2011

October 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Posted in art, Christmas, country life, family, Holidays, inspiration, knitting, Life, love, marriage, photography, relationships, shopping, travel, Vintage | 3 Comments
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This is what I see today, as I look out the window of my studio writing. Though I didn’t shoot that photograph today or this year, it is pretty close to what I see out there right now. Just imagine the same scene with darker clouds and a steady rain, and you will see what I am seeing right now.

What is the weather like where you are? How has the season evolved in your corner of the world so far?

A couple of days ago my husband and I did the coolest thing: I noticed over the past few months a number of older wild grapevines around our farm about 1″ to 1 1/2″ in diameter, and those grapevines got me to thinking. I love to cut wild grape vines and make wreaths with them, so I wondered if we could cut the thick old vines and fashion them into a very large wreath to hang on our barn. We have wanted to make a large outdoor Christmas wreath to hang on our barn and it was exciting to finally have a natural ingredient we could use to make one.

As you look for unique, inspired gift ideas for people on your list this year remember to check out our Knitter’s Eye Charts (as seen in Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits this fall) and other gifts for knitters in the I Live on a Farm Etsy store.  Or, give an inspiring eBook or Kindle book to someone you love. My son carries a great variety of vintage-look Subway Roll Signs and Bus Scroll Prints representing New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris, London and more — he also creates custom signs with the same vintage look. You can find my original paintings, fine art prints, photographs, and note cards in my Fine Art Etsy Store.


There was a little window of opportunity two days ago when he got home from work, before it started raining, to get out and about and cut the vines we wanted to use. Cutting the vines off of our trees will help the trees survive longer, plus and it provided us with plenty of thick vines to coil around for a four foot diameter wreath. It is beautiful, rustic and hearty looking. We will still need to find things to add to it in order to make it more decorative and I hope to be able to light it up somehow at night so people will enjoy it as they drive by.

Our closest neighbors have a beautiful huge red barn, and they hang a large wreath on it every Christmas season. It is lit up at night with an outdoor light and is a very lovely sight to see if we happen to be out on a snowy winter night. I hope our wreath with bring the kind of joy to others that our neighbors’ wreath has brought to us.

We will hang it right over our quilt square, and it should harmonize with the square because of the double wedding ring pattern on the square. (If you are not familiar with the quilt square we have hanging on our barn, here is a link to my blog on that subject from back in 2008 when we first hung the quilt square.)

08dec08_2carolersoutsideWe have also been out gathering up wild things from our environment this week for use in a new generation of my Thistleonian characters. It was important for us to get out and gather the wild things I need for the little guys before the elements start making them look too weathered.

One of my favorite ingredients is not wild; I use soybeans to make their little arms. The farmers around us who are growing soy beans this year were out everywhere bringing them in a couple of weeks back, so that was our cue to get out to someone’s field and snag a few remnant bean stalks from the edge of a field. Though they are not “wild”, they are natural and perfect for Thistleonians. The soy beans inside are small and cream colored and are beautiful to use as accents as well.

I have also started drying milkweed pods– my all-time favorite of beautiful wild things to gather from the outside world. Beginning in early October I watch the pods (they grow in front of our barn, beneath our Quilt Square Block along with various wild flowers) for signs they are ready to harvest. What I am watching for is the first pods that burst open on their own to release their seeds and silky threads. When that happens, I can gather as many as I need and start getting them ready for drying.

I enjoyed spending time with my husband, driving around and raiding fallow fields and soy bean crop remnants to gather the items I need. We did this kind of “wild thing” foraging the first couple of years after I moved here but it has been a while since we did so and it was just great to get back out there and spend that kind of time together. I treasure him for many things, and this is an example of why. He not only supports me in theory on my various creative activities, he gets involved and plays the game with me on those things he can. (Thank you, dear husband.)

I am looking forward to spending some cozy time during dark and stormy autumn days (much like today) working on Thistleonians. I also have on my list of creative things to do the knitting of a new pair of knuckle gloves or fingerless gloves for myself, as the pair of Fetching fingerless gloves I made my first year in New York are frayed and will have to be replaced. I would also like to knit some socks for my mother and x-mother-in-law (what should I call her now?), lacey fingerless gloves and a scarflett for my daughter, a sweater for my grand-daughter, something I have not figured out for my son, and a new hat for myself. Oh, to be able to knit the many things I have on and in my mind to knit.

The past couple of weeks my husband, my son, and I have all been working to prepare for a group photography show in December at a nearby art gallery. The show will feature pieces by me, my husband, his deceased father, and my son along with poetry written by my father; I will do a poetry reading of some of my father’s poetry opening night of the show. This show will be at the local art gallery in one of the nearby villages and the opening will be Friday December 2nd in the evening. If you are in the Western New York area and would like an invitation to the show, contact me via email or with a comment on this blog and I will send one as soon as they are ready.

I have shot upwards of 75,000 photographs since I moved to New York — most likely many more than that. I went through about half of them in an effort to select the best ten for our show. I wanted the photographs I am showing to be of a fine art nature, to reflect my artistic ability with the camera as well as my eye for composition and color. The photographs needed to also reflect my particular artistic style and communicate something important about my vision as an artist.

After many hours reviewing photographs, I narrowed my choices down to a couple of dozen, then my husband helped me select the best fifteen of those. We tried to go with ten, but could not cut it down further than fifteen–which is still quite an accomplishment I think.

The photograph at the top of this blog is one I chose, and sprinkled in the blog you will find others. If you would like to see more, I have posted prints of some of them for sale in my fine art Etsy store as 8x10s.

We also went through my husband’s photographs as well as his father’s and chose fifteen of each of theirs as well.  My husband’s father brought cameras home with him from Europe after World War II ended, and he trained himself in the use of those cameras.  He shot some wonderful photographs at our cottage featuring family, friends, and the family dog.  You can see from the shots he captured that he had a good eye for composition as well as a understanding of the wonderful natural light in this part of the world.

My husband’s photography reflects his deep love of the landscapes from his childhood and lifetime spent on and around the Oak Orchard River.  He is also a self-taught photographer with a great passion for cameras and photographic technology.  He had devoted many years to studying cameras and photographic techniques and has gone out in the field with a variety of cameras and different types of film plus digital media to apply the knowledge he gains from his studies.

I haven’t seen my son’s choices yet for his photographs for the show, but I know they will be awesome. He has done some very interesting, and quite beautiful photography around the farm and our cottage but he also has some breathtaking portraits of The Duke (his English Bulldog), wild life photography, and street scenes in Los Angeles and New York City. I have no idea, out of his large body of work, which ten pieces he will choose to show … I am looking forward so much to getting a chance to see! The gallery owner also wants to devote a section of the gallery to display  his digital artistry, reflected in his reproduction New York Subway Signs and Vintage Maps.

Our photography show will primarily feature photographs shot over a period of sixty to seventy years in and around the same locations — but through the eyes of four different photographers, using various films and cameras and photographic technology as it has evolved. The photography will be gently tied together via the poetry of our fifth artist, my father.

Once we have everything printed, matted, and framed and hanging in the gallery I believe it will be very interesting to see our various takes on this beautiful environment we have all explored and enjoyed over the years.

Well, I have a two and a half year old crawling back and forth across my back while I try to write and my poor back just can’t take it any more this morning so I am going to end off here.

Here’s wishing you and yours a beautiful week-ending, and weekend coming up!


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