Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart 2011

It’s the end of January and while I'm trying  to stay warm and marveling at all the snow we have here in central Jersey, I'm also dreaming of the spring and my garden (and the mud!).  But before I go too far off into thoughts of spring, I am taking a little trip through the blog world, courtesy of  One World One Heart.  Doesn't the name just sound wonderful?!  In its fifth year, One World One Heart is an amazing event organized by Lisa Swifta of A Whimsical Bohemian, who I might add is a very talented artist and she must not sleep because I just cannot figure out how she has time to do all she does as well as OWOH.  Of course, there is the possibility that all of the characters she creates come to life in January and February to help her?

I am very excited to participate this year.  Last year 1,088 bloggers from 40 countries took a two week whirl wind tour of each others blogs.  What is OWOH?  It brings together bloggers across the globe who share a common interest.   For me, three things make this fun, first there is this long list of blogs (1,088 last year!) that I can meander through, visiting people around the world, knowing that they all are connected by One World One Heart.  This is better than the random visiting I seem to do.  Second, everyone has a door prize and you can leave a comment to enter to win!   And finally, I am hoping to make some new blog friends.  Here's my door prize.
Handmade note cards from original watercolors
Three handmade blank note cards (and envelopes).  The images on the cards are from my original artwork.   The note card on the left is the Bar Harbor Shore Path, the top right is Long Pond, Mt. Desert Island and the third card is a sure sign of spring, Tulips.  My medium of choice is watercolor.  I’ve tried pastels and colored pencil, but always come back to watercolor because I love the freedom.  My favorite thing to paint are landscapes and typically I paint somewhat abstractly.  I’ve recently started to look for other things to do with my artwork.   These note cards are fun.  Adding the different papers with the images is kind of like framing artwork.  I’m also experimenting with jewelry and fabric but both of those endeavors will require a bit more time.  Before the end of OWOH I may have a few more cards to add to this bunch.  

How to win? Leave a comment and your e-mail before midnight, February 16th.  The winner will be selected using random number generator on February 17th and announced the same day.  The cards will be mailed shortly thereafter.

Thanks for visiting.  Hope to see you again.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A FUN Visit to the Library of Congress

It will be fun, and you can visit from the comfort of your home!  I discovered a while ago that the Library of Congress has an amazing photo collection.  Once in a while something jogs this poor little memory of mine and I check out the photographs.

Take a quick peek at the Library of Congress main page and when you have time to explore, go back to look for pictures of your state or town or something in particular you might be interested in. I also discovered they have a Flickr photostream.   It's not organized, at least not that I could tell.  I got a bit lost looking at pictures.  There are over 650 pages.  Needless to say I did not see all of them, or come any where close to seeing all of them.  I did see a picture of Connie Mack.   Anyone know who that is?  He was a rather well known team manager for the Philadelphia Athletics back in the early 1900s.  There was a stadium named in his honor.  It was demolished in the 50s or 60s.

Here's a few things I found in the Photochrom Prints:

Orange Grove, California
South Dome, Yosemite

Cromwell's Bridge, County Cork
Nassau Hall, Princeton University
Detroit, Belle Isle, Forrest Drive

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Art of Fern I. Coppedge, 1883-1951

Fern I. Coppedge was one of the Pennsylvania impressionist artists and part of a 20th century art movement  centered around Bucks County Pennsylvania, mainly New Hope.   The movement was often referred to as the “New Hope School" or the "Pennsylvania School" of landscape painting.  The artists of the movement came to prominence in Bucks County after 1915, or after two popular shows, the Armory Show at New York City’s 69th Street Armory that introduced New Yorkers to modern art and the Panama Pacific International Show a World’s Fair In San Francisco.
The Road to Lumberville
Although there were three notable artists from the New Hope School, John Fulton Folinsbee, Walter Emerson Baum and George Sotter, Fern Coppedge was quite well known.  Fern was born in 1883 in Illinois and dreamed of becoming an artist from her early teenage years.  She found inspiration in the reflection of sunlight off of snow and sea.  She learned on a visit to her sisters’ watercolor class of the wonderful possibilities that paint would provide.   She later attended the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League of New York, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.   
The Delaware Valley
Fern was also a member of a group called the “Philadelphia Ten“.  A group of ten women artists who exhibited together, both in Philadelphia and in traveling exhibitions, most of whom had studied at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women or the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  It's believed that while at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts she met and possibly studied under Daniel Garber, another well known Pennsylvania Impressionist who introduced her to the New Hope area.  Fern painted the villages and farms of Bucks County mostly under the cover snow.  She also painted harbor scenes from Gloucester, Massachusettes where she spent summers.  She worked directly from nature, tying her canvas to a tree during winter storms!   She was not a studio painter.  She painted outisde in the winter in a bearskin coat, with earmuffs and gloves. 
Backroad to Pipersville

In the book Pennsylvania Impressionism by Brian H. Peterson there appears the following quote from Fern

People used to think me queer when I was a little girl because I saw deep purples 
and reds and violets in a field of snow.  I used to be hurt over it until I gave up 
trying to understand people and concentrated on my love and 
understanding of landscapes.  Then it did not make any difference.

Lambertville Church

I love her use of color in the winter scenes.  She brings an otherwise white, somewhat bland landscape to life, without it looking unreal.   She captures those colors that are truly there if you only take the time to look.   She also helps us see the shimmering colors and changing light, which we all too often miss as well.  She captured the beauty of the area.  Luckily for us, it's still just as beautiful here.

New Hope is still an artist colony and tourist area. It’s just across the river, and up a bit, from us.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An ETSY Treasury inspired by the snow

It snowed again last night.  We did not get as much as NY!  But we got enough!   I love the snow.  It's the cold, windy weather I'm not so fond of.  It seems you can't have one without the other!   The sparkling of the snow in the sun inspired me to create an ETSY treasury.   What is an ETSY treasury?  It's a collection of items (a treasure chest if you will) with a common theme.  It's serves many purposes:
  • I get to "window shop" looking for fun things and inspiration and ideas.  It is AMAZING what's out there.
  • I get to share what I find with you - always fun.  
  • I sent a short note to the artists whose items are my treasury.  It's a way to meet artist, so it is a little networking tool.
  • But really most of all it's just plain fun.    Music is playing in the background and in between songs, there is the music of doggie snores!  
  • And people do this for you so it's nice to reciprocate, or pay it forward?
Here is what the treasury looks like.  If you click on the link below the Treasury you can then click on any of the  individual items to view them or go window shopping in the shops.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Recipe Card - Mrs. Smith's Onion Pie

I made recipe cards to go with the breads I gave at Christmas time and thought it would be fun to share.  There are so many places on the web to find fun graphics I thought this might be fun to dig into to my recipes and share some with you.   Mrs. Smith's Onion Pie happens to be one of my favorite recipes.   It's SO easy to make and the taste is worth singing about!  The onions are sweet and the Swiss cheese like velvet.

CLICK on card to open large version to print
Who is Mrs. Smith?  She was like a second mom to me.  I actually had two second Mom's.  I'll tell you about the other one later.  Mrs. Smith was my first, second mom, confused yet!   The Smiths moved away in 1967 to Ithaca, New York.  It's a beautiful place, we've visited often, but I still miss her!   She was full of love!  Everything was fun.  What comes to mind when I think of Gwen are waffles.  If I was at the Smith's in the morning or at lunch time, Gwen made waffles.  I must have been at their house quite often because I remember a lot of waffles!   She played a game with Guy, her son, and I where she would lie perfectly still on the couch and we would hide little army men all over her, in the folds of her clothes, in her hair, in her socks. It kept us busy for quite a while.  I realized in my 30s or so talking with someone about it one day that she was actually napping AND entertaining us - oh how clever!  I remember she made me feel loved and so special and I spent a lot of time at their house. 

I hope you like the recipe card.  I hope to have another one for you in February.   


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Welcome to a new follower

Welcome to Brenda from Oceanside California.   Thanks for following!   Brenda has an Etsy Site and a blog  Please stop by and visit Brenda.

Photo from; posted by peasant
 I love followers, both on Facebook and on this Blog.  
Please share Edge of the Woods Studio / Conrad Designs with your friends.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meet another Etsy artist . . . Rita from Surfing Silver

I’d like to start to share with you some of the wonderful artists on Esty.  First up is Surfing Silver.  When I first found this shop, Rita was making beautiful surf-inspired jewelry.  She is still doing that but she has now expanded into custom work, making pieces from your child’s artwork.  Take a look at the pieces below.  They are amazing .  And what a great feeling for a child, or parent, or grandparent, to see their artwork transformed this way.   I can only imagine how much fun this must be for Rita.   Here is a little bit about Rita and some pictures of the jewelry, as well as the links to her Etsy shop and to her facebook page

Sacred Lotus Silver Earrings

ABOUT RITA . . . Born in So California and lived there all my life except for a brief stint in Hawaii. As a child and adolescent in So Cal I lived in a house where we could see the ocean all day, everyday. Having a houseboat at Lake Powell allows me to live on the water for a time each year. Being an artist I have always been fascinated with water and especially moving water. I have studied the movement of water for years. When I first started working with PMC all of my other art immediately went on hold and my paints have been put aside for now. I never thought I would get into 3D sculpture, but I have found that carving has become my favorite thing now, and my pieces are taking on a sculptural quality. I am constantly evolving so I'll just have to see where this takes me. I was trained by the world famous metal smith Tim McCreight and I am guild certified in PMC techniques by RioGrande. I currently belong to the PMC Guild and teach PMC classes.

Your Child's Artwork

Silver Wave Bangle Bracelet

Your Child's Artwork

Cloudbreak at Tavarua

Foot (or hand) print of a loved one

So, what did you think.  Don't you wish you had your kids artwork?  Or maybe even your own from days gone by!   And the waves!   Do they make you feel good.  Can you feel the warm sun!  It works for me!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe New Year filled with god's blessings.

Santa brought me a new camera and a book and the supplies to learn Chinese brush painting.  Lots of new things to learn.   Here's a picture of our back yard the day after Christmas.  We just missed a white Christmas.   I've tried my hand at Chinese brush painting.  I am having fun experimenting with the brushes and paper, both different from the brushes and paper I am used to.   The paper is placed on a  blanket to soak up the water, with weights on either side to hold it down.  I am used to taping the paper to a hard board to keep the paper from buckling when it's wet from water or wet paint.   Brushes are held straight up, instead of at an angle.   I should have something besides doodle lines and dots to show soon!

I am starting the year out in a Etsy Treasury.  Here is a picture of it and here's the link

Lots of great items in this Treasury.  It is always fun to look at what other people make and learn about what inspires them.