Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

I like odd shaped pumpkins because, like people, we are all different and special. This picture was done in watercolor and, if you look closely, you will see that it is unfinished; the upper leaf is only a pencil line and has yet to be completed. I see this picture as "a work in progress", as we all are. Fall is quickly approaching and I'm looking forward to decorating the house and preparing for all of the festivities!

Carrot Top!

I painted this picture based on a little sweetheart who was in the class I read to as a part-time "storyteller" at the local elementary school. She liked the story and it showed all over her little round face. The book was "The Secret In The Matchbox", which was very special and enjoyed by the children.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Remembering My Brother Bobby

My brother, Bobby Hart, died tragically in a car accident in the fall many years ago, along with his two best friends. He was only 21 years old. All of them were wonderful young men. He was the light of my father's life, and they were very close. My dad never drove a car again after Bobby died and never completely recovered. This watercolor is my adaptation of him at this age, and although it may not look exactly like he did, just seeing it makes me happy...remembering. Sometimes art, in its many forms, can be very healing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Crochet Baby Hat with Flower Accents

I have crocheted these baby hats for many new babies of friends (primarily from my stitchery group) and also for family members. These pictures were taken of a doll modeling my latest hat--front, side and flat views so you can see how it looks. If you love to crochet, as I do, try making one of these. I crocheted this hat based on a pattern I must have found years ago and embellished it with tiny roses you can buy at a craft store or make yourself with ribbons. Below is a very similar pattern I found online that you can use for free. I would love to see what you come up with!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Once-In-A-Lifetime Flea Market Find

This angel was stuffed head down in a box at a local flea market. When I pulled her out and looked at her, she was wingless, and I made a pair for her so she could fly. I realized she was a Venetian Angel similar to those that Loretta Hines Howard collected and donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for their annual Christmas Angel Tree. Years later, I took a trip to New York just before Christmas with my daughter and son-in-law and will never forget the sight of this tree and all its beauty. If you ever get a chance to see it, do. I believe it will be as unforgetable an experience for you as it was for me. To find out more about this exhibit, view the Met's website here:

Mother and Daughter in Watercolor

A mother and child...what could be sweeter. It says a lot without words. Speaking of words, I love this poem my sister Vanessa sent to me and hope you can relate to it too.

You Tell On Yourself

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak,
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the use you make of dollar and dime.

You tell on yourself with the things you wear,
By the spirit in which your burdens you bear,
By the type of things at which you laugh,
By the records you play on your phonograph.

You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you delight to talk,
By the manner in which you can bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.

By the books you choose from the library shelf,
By these things and more, you tell on yourself

- Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas is coming! I know it's only July, but how quickly the months go by; it will be here before we know it. This is one of my hand-made ornaments from my "Lil Kids" collection. Each one is different and customers have often asked me to make ones that looks like their own children. When she first saw these years ago, my mother commented, "Rina, this does not look like your usual work." Although different than my angels, these have been very popular with my customers and I've loved creating them. I will be making a select number for Christmas. They can be customized to your liking. If you are interested, please contact me.

More Lil Kids

Here are more Lil Kids for you to see...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Gift From The Sea

My daughter Robin loves the sea. I made this seashell wreath for her wedding, which was by the ocean in Half Moon Bay. It's now hanging over her fireplace at home. Have you ever read "A Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh? If not, do yourself a favor and add it to your summer reading list. It's a wonderful book!

Granddaughter Victoria

Over the years, granddaughter Toria has spent so much time with us on the farm. I captured a photograph of her in a rare quiet moment and then painted this picture with watercolor paint and chalks for highlighting. This was done long ago. We see her less now that she's 16 and a busy teenager. Oh how fleeting this stage of a child's life be savored and enjoyed while it lasts!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Apricot Season Arrives--Hurrah!

My hubby Walt uses a food dehydrator to dry apricots. It is easy to make these. All you need to do is wash the apricots, cut them in half and remove the pits. Place the pitted apricot halves in a bowl and pour 1 large can of unsweetened pineapple juice over them. Remove each apricot and lay them on the trays. You can re-use the pineapple juice many times. These take 12 to 24 hours to dry depending on the thickness and ripeness of the fruit. We don't worry about using sulphur; the taste is the same and the only difference is that they are a darker color.

Another great idea is to freeze apricots for a healthy and delicious snack. Use a thin skewer to insert in a fresh apricot half (which allows you to hold the apricot like a Popsicle once frozen), place apricots on a tray and then freeze. These are especially wonderful on a hot summer day!

Apricot Liqueur

I first started making Apricot Liqueur many years ago. I have a wonderful recipe originating from France. We give these aways as gifts at Christmas, and it's funny how many requests we get for them every year.

Apricot Pie

I just finished 10 pies to freeze. We grow the Blenheim variety which is the best ever but does not travel well. Sadly, many orchards have been sold to "grow" houses. The apricot season is short-lived in our orchard, but there is always another bounty in store for us on the farm. Next will come the harvest of apples and walnuts.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm Looking For A Good Home

This is a watercolor picture I painted of Teddy Bear, who is available and looking for a new home (as his "I'm Available" tag shows). I had so much fun doing these and I created different tags for my friends and customers.


This is an old family photo of my sister, Vanessa, and I. It was transferred onto silk, and I then painted around the photo adding lace, etc. It is quite large and is in a frame, with other family photos, on a wall in our home. My sister and I travelled to England together years ago. I have many fond memories of that trip, the things we saw and the people we met.

A Rose by Any Other Name

These roses were created with bread dough and glue, with several shades of paint mixed in. These were air dried and have been in a glass cabinet for years. I used roses from our garden to copy in color and form. I have decorated many items with bread dough roses over the years, and a friend even had me create a cake top for her daughter's wedding. Fun and rewarding!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This 76-Year-Old Soul

This angel was made from Super Sculpey and was then painted with acrylic paints. She hangs on our Christmas tree every year.

Just where do I start when it comes to sharing what's inside of this 76-year-old soul? I wonder if anyone will be interested..I hope so. Most of the bloggers are so young and I wonder if, at my age, I have the willingness to focus on a few art forms or am I doomed to be a jack of all trades.....loving almost every and all forms of creating? A little of this I blame on a grandfather I never met who was a gifted sculptor from Italy. In the early 1900's, he carved statues for the then Bank of Italy in San Francisco, which later bacame the Bank of America.

I read somewhere that we should be "open to everything and attached to nothing" but feel I am attached to, and identified with, my love and involvement in painting, sculpting, free form knitting and crochet, gardening, hand-me-down family antiques, quilting, music, reading, etc. One lifetime is simply not enough time to taste it all. What a joy it has been and how thankful I am for all the gifts given me to share with others. I hope that you will enjoy seeing some of the items I have been creating ever since I was a young girl.