Sunday, August 29, 2010


Yesterday we drove to Pittsburgh to attend a birthday party. It was a surprise party held at the "Church Brew Works", voted #1 brewpub in Pittsburgh. Originally this 8,000 sq. foot building was the turn of the century architectural wonder known as The St. John The Baptist Church.
Now, it is a fabulous restaurant and microbrewery featuring their own beers as well as a full gourmet menu. It is a surreal feeling to sip fine beers while pondering the beautiful stained glass windows.
The very front of the church houses the shiny tanks of the brewery and many of the original pews are everywhere in the bar and the restaurant.
The birthday party was held in this outdoor section, called the Hop Garden, where there is seating for about 50 and included a fabulous buffet as well as three different birthday cakes. I was pretty happy about the cakes! (my not so secret passion). Even thought it is open to the sky, the tall brick walls provide a very intimate setting.
After dining and drinking and singing the birthday song and opening gifts, we headed back home. It was a great evening! You can see more about the brewery, including some really beautiful photographs by visiting their web site at

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Ah, the rest of the fair pictures! This is the place operated by a local Methodist Church; the place where we found homemade elderberry pie. What a strong memory from my childhood. My Grandmother would send us girls out with a pan and instructions to bring back enough elderberries to make at least one pie; and it was magnificent! Roy and I spent a lot of time in the bunny barn and Roy made friends with all of them.
Even though I was totally disappointed that there was no Farris wheel, there was a beautiful carousel.
And the size of these sunflower heads was not to be believed!
Here you can see a really long display of farm produce.
And, these vegetable baskets were beautiful enough to grace the cover of a magazine!
This is the display of crocheted quilts and afghans.....
...and these are just a few of the many quilts that filled the length of this show barn.
We will go back each year to celebrate all that is sweet and good about our new home. However, successive years will not have the surprise and joy and the memories that this one had. It was a wonderful day....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Welcome to the Crawford County Fair! I hope that through the following photographs you will know the essence of a county fair in rural Pennsylvania. I remember my Father taking my sisters and me to the fair and I have strong memories of lots of mud, cotton candy and a lot of animals! It's been over fifty years since I have been to this fair. It is larger, cleaner (still muddy) and quite grand in what it offers. There are still bright eyed kids showing their 4-H projects and show barns of hand made items, baked goods, quilts and rows of farm implements. Tomorrow I will post more photographs.
(All photographs containing horses are for Vanessa.)
Awww..... baby pigs!
Is this the most handsome goat you have ever seen? And so photogenic!
This beauty was in line to enter the judging arena.
I promise many more tomorrow!


A couple of weeks ago I bought a sketch book, because I thought it was something an artist had. I don't do sketching; I should be doing that but I don't. So, I decorated the front and back covers and admired the beautiful thick white pages. And, I didn't do any sketching, or anything. Finally, the other day I took pencil (and eraser!) in hand and began. I drew this street scene and then redrew it with a thin Micron pen. I kinda liked it! Then, yesterday I added color in the form of very watered down acrylic paint. You see, I have been wrestling with the idea that I SHOULD be giving watercolor a try, but I really LIKE painting with acrylics. The final product looks very much like water color to me. So, right now acrylics are where it's at. Another sketch will be forthcoming! However, not today. Today we go to the fair! Stay tuned!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Grilled chicken breast with basil citrus seasoning
Grilled yellow squash and zucchini strips ( from our CSA vegetable basket)with Italian seasoning
Sliced cucumber (from that same basket), cherry tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden
Beringer's White Zinfandel
During the summer months we generally eat like this several times a week. It is a flavor party !
(now I need chocolate)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Today we ventured out between the raindrops to attend the "Art Fair on the Boardwalk" at Conneaut Lake Park. It was so beautiful! The entire boardwalk was lined with white vendor tents showing painting, sculpture, photography, the requisite jewelry, stained glass, metal work, and some fabulous handmade art dolls. It was a very good thing that there was jewelry there because I left home without any earrings! (oh my).
Standing up on the boardwalk you have a nice view of the beach and can appreciate a cool breeze too.
This building is the Beach Club and you can see some pretty jazzy beach front homes across the lake. I grew up here and remember fondly weekend dates to the park; the best part had to be the hand cut french fries, served in a newspaper cone with vinegar. I can taste then this minute! Behind the boardwalk is the park itself with adult and children's carnival rides and various places to get food and drink. Of course, the park seems smaller now, and worn and shabby, but in my mind it is still the best of what it was like growing up here.
Today I remembered......and it was good.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Today we took a short drive to the "Conneaut Cellars Winery" for a tour and tasting. This is a display of oak barrels situated at the entrance to the winery.
Here you can see Roy at the tasting bar discussing the finer points of wine (like, its good, I'll buy it) and we did find two that we really liked.
One of the employees gave us a short tutorial on grapes and vines. When we told her we were interested in growing grapes, she cut off a clipping for us to take home.
Yeah we did. A split case of "Midway Blush" (a mellow rose blush wine), and "Colonel Crawford" (a semi-dry red).
Here is the vine cutting in a bucket of water, which is to be changed every day until a tiny root shows up. Then, we need to plant it in dirt. Apparently the very best grapes are grown in the very worst soil. We have a good share of gravel and rock so it should work out. Our biggest challenge is to keep the deer from eating it. We are putting up a greenhouse soon so that should take care of the problem. You can read more about this local winery by going to their web site at They have some wonderful recipes using their wines which I intend to try over the holidays. On September 12 they will be celebrating their "20th Harvest Picnic"; wine tastings and food and assorted activities. We will be there!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This is the time of year to begin preparing for the winter that we KNOW will come. One of the important things is to have your chimney cleaned. We have a pellet stove on the first level where my studio is. We have a wood stove on the second level. So.....enter "SOOTY GEORGE", the area guru of chimney sweeps.
Our chimney has been sucked out and swept and cleaned and is now ready for Santa. Cheers for "SOOTY GEORGE" !

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This weekend is the second annual "Thunder in The City" event showcasing classic cars and bikes. On Friday there was a band and street dance at Diamond Park. Today started out with a pancake breakfast at the Unitarian Church and moved on to a day long Community Art Show at the Episcopal Church at Diamond Park. My lovely lady, "Bella" was awarded second place in the "People's Choice" voting. I guess the art show visitors liked her as much as I do! This afternoon was filled with the Classic Car Show and the bike parade into downtown Meadville. Seriously, there were hundreds of bikes! The sound was deafening!
The retail stores moved their inventory out on to the sidewalks and there was live music during the afternoon.
This lovely lady with the funny nose is a friend and fellow artist. The streets were full of people, made all the nicer by having the major streets in town blocked off from traffic (except the bikes).
I decided to leave my altered couture inside. Here you can see the jeans and skirts and dresses, bags and painted shoes. Of course, I was my usual walking billboard for my clothing art. It was a fabulous day and we are looking forward to this event next year.