#12 Hey! Where'd ya go????


Just quiet.

(And fighting a bug...bleah.)

But: I will return next week!

With: News about the porch! News about Toronto! News about other Stuff!

So please check in next week, 'kay?

Thank you,

Karen Anne


#11 The Giving Tree/s

What wonderful things might your trees have to say?

I love this work of British artist Tim Knowles... capturing the Inner Artist of trees is waaay better than watching cats paint any day, right? It makes my imagination skip and jump with joy!

Want to see more of Tim's work? Click here and enjoy!

That's it for today, dear reader, since I'm off to the great outdoors now to figure out how to attach pens to raindrops and/or sunbeams...


#10 I Love Hydrangeas!

Always have, always will. But I haven't had much luck in growing them until this year. And, while the plants are still young, they seem to finally be taking hold and have offered me some blossoms in return for all my fussing and fretting over them. Sweet of them, huh?

I have been gathering small bouquets of them to put around the house. I took some pictures yesterday and then played around on Photoshop. (I won't get into any debates about whether or not tweaking in Photoshop is "cheating". It's just one tool among many.) It always amazes me how just changing the lighting, color, and grain in a photo can so drastically change the mood of a photograph.

Here's the original photo, in all of it's pink sweetness:

Then I increased the light and tweaked the color a bit - an ethereal sort of feeling now:

Then I went back to the original and played with it in a different way and now it looks old and moody:

Back again to change it to black and white:

And then again to see what a filter with the black and white would do:

Each has qualities I like, but I think I like the original and the simple black and white version best. Maybe I'm a purist at heart after all!

Which one speaks to you?


#9 Today I'm Grateful for...


Especially the one's like my dad and my husband who have raised strong, independent, confident women.

And who never, ever felt cheated that they didn't have sons.

It takes an extra-special man to be the father of daughters.

So, to Dad and Dean: Thank you for being extra-special! I love you both with all my heart!

Hope you enjoy your  day!


#8 big. Big. BIG!


It's one thing to say that our porch will be 12'x35' but quite another to see what 12'x35' looks like! Take a peek at how it's going:

Big, huh?

I think we're gonna have to have a few parties when it's finished!


#7 Progress on the Porch...

We're having a wonderfully big porch added along the back of our home. I posted about my idea here, and since then we've gotten a home equity loan, hired a contractor, and behold: work has started!

I took this photo on Friday after they had dug and filled some cement footings:

This is how it looked when they finished today:

And this is a wee bouquet I gathered in my garden and put by my kitchen sink:

It's wonderful to be able to gather pretty flowers when you can't get out your back door without looking at a really big mess! And having these by the sink really makes me happy when I'm cleaning up...


#6 Today's Lesson...

If you want to have a stick, don't settle for a small one. No, no, nooooo...

Go for the one that is really, really long! (There's another 3 feet of stick that didn't fit in the picture!)

And then, before you settle down to chew on it, run around like you're Really Something. Because, I mean, you really ARE something if you've got a really, really long stick, right???

I'd love to be Jake. I'd love to know what it's like to experience the unfettered joy he experiences on such a regular basis.

What a kid! (Well, you know what I mean...)


#5 Ebullient defined...

"Zestfully enthusiastic."

Yup! That's MEEEEE!!!!

(I love being retired!)


#5 I finished!

As of 8:11 this evening, all my planting is done! A front went through and took the heat and humidity with it. Then a nice, steady breeze picked up and allowed me to plant without them pesky 'skeeters  a-bitin' me! Yahooo!

I also figured out how to tie up some bushes to keep them from being in the way of the construction crew that starts work on our new porch TOMORROW!!! To say I'm excited is an understatement! Dave The Construction Guy says it will take 6-8 weeks but I can't believe it will take that long...but I guess he knows better than me since it's his business, huh? I can see it all finished in my imagination, and already I'm thinking about next summer...hanging ferns and having a cup of tea in the morning sitting in a wicker chair perhaps...or maybe one of the porch rockers that are popular around here. I'm hoping for some good deals on outdoor seating as the summer ends. I loathe the thought of using crummy old plastic chairs on a pristine porch. Plastic won't do at all...

Speaking of seating, my studio now boasts a new IKEA Poang chair that Dean got me for my birthday. I drove over to get it on Thursday and had lunch with Emily while I was in her part of the country.  She helped me get the box in the car. (Nice to have strong kids!) I put it together yesterday and tested it out for the rest of the afternoon. It feels like it was made just for me; it's perfect in every way! Here's what it looks like in the color combo I got:

It has a nice sort of bounce to it that I love. I wish I could have one for the living room, too, but there isn't any room. Having this chair will definitely get me up to the studio, but I'm going to have to figure out how to sit in it and work at the same time or nothing will get done!

I'm looking forward to a good week. My friend Brooke is coming over early in the morning for a garden and studio tour before we take Jake to school and then have a leisurely breakfast together.  I'm going to declare the occasion the official celebration of leaving the employment of Dickinson College two years ago this week. Two years of absolute bliss! (Actually, if truth be told, I celebrate leaving Dickinson every day!!!)


#4 More time in the garden...

My timing on finishing the studio was a bit wonky since it coincided with the garden being ready to be tended. I run upstairs and gaze at the amazing space at least once a day, but the bulk of my time is being spent outside - buzzing around the flowers with the bees and those blasted mosquitoes that have been trying to eat me alive. I'm especially sensitive to mosquito bites and get huge red itchy blotches; one on my calf is 4" in diameter. Fortunately the bites on my face are not quite that big, but I still look a mess. Thank heavens the bees have left me alone!

I love being out there, though, so mosquitoes be damned! Here's a peek at the back of the garden where I've got vegetables and a two new beds of perennials planted to keep Lillehus (my little shed) company:

I'll list all the plants I've put in later  - as they grow and are easier to identify. I've purposely put a lot in knowing that they may well need to be moved, but I want to see what does well where they are this year. I've done a lot of amending of the soil, and this year I'm adding a layer of mulch to try and cut down on the weeding and watering. I've put soaker hoses in the beds, too, and those should make watering easier.

Okay, that about does it for today!


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