Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Busy days

Hi Everyone, it has been a very long time since I have posted on my blog! I have been extremely busy with my art gallery.  Then I finally had a big stalk of bananas grow on my banana tree patch, and had 65 bananas to use somehow!  I gave some away and made banana pudding and several loaves of banana bread.  Now I have another bloom, so another stalk will be forming! How wonderful to have bananas in one's own back yard! Eat your heart out, all you who are having snowy weather! It is 80 degrees in Florida!

My gallery is really going well. Some pieces of furniture sell within a day or two of being displayed, so it is hard to keep the space full!. I often forget to take photos, I am so busy getting things displayed. I have done some Christmas "smalls", too, such as painted wine glass candle holders, old shutters with snowmen painted on them, pillows and ornaments. It is time to decorate my home, too, so hopefully, I will post more this month. Hope you are having fun, too, this time of year.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

More Painted Furniture

Hi Everyone, here it is almost Fall and I am painting palm trees and the ocean on a chest of drawers! But I am in Florida, so this is the kind of furniture enjoyed year around here. I just finished this piece and put it in my gallery.

This piece is the bottom I painted to go with that shelf with the parrot on it that I posted last time. However, I didn't like the shelf on top of this, as they weren't the same size. So I think as coordinating pieces, the top shelf could be hung. They are both in my shop priced seperately.  Always in my photos, the colors are never exactly as they are in real life. This piece is a color called "Pear" by Martha Stewart.
 It went on beautifully and is a pretty greenish, almost a mint color, but true to a pear starting to ripen from green to yellow. I love it! The terra cotta color, I mixed myself and it is really pretty, too. Enlarge these for a better look.
Wish it were Fall here. In sunny Florida, it is hot and humid. For months our temperature has been in the 90s with heat index of over 100, so I have basically stayed in and painted all summer.  My garden has not liked the heat much, but does like the rain we have daily for an hour or so.  Tropical weather! I am ready for a respite!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Painting furniture

Hi Everyone, it has been a long time since I have posted! I have been extremely busy with the new gallery and I suppose, a little lax about anything but painting!! I am doing furniture besides my paintings, and am painting on leaves, rocks and all kinds of things! It is too much fun!  Above is a modern chair done with chalk paint and I make 2 pillows that can be used with it or in the room with it. The zebra pillow top is painted with fabric paint. The pillows I paint are selling fast!
This is a shelf and I am in the process of painting a piece sort of like a small buffet that this will sit on top.  It has three drawers, so I am trying to decide whether to paint them the reddish color and add tropical leaves....I probably will as it will certainly take it to an arty level and that is what I like doing.  Hope you enjoy seeing a bit of my new things. I would post more, but am having trouble with my computer right now. I am so lucky to have done this much. I wish I knew a little more about electronics, but that really isn't my field. Every so often I decide to never get on the computer again. Then I cool off and decide that maybe I can do it, so I just jump in not knowing what in the world I am doing.  Of course, none of you are like that I am sure.  Hope to have some thoughts and comments on this!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Egretta Wells Art Gallery and Treasures

Hi Everyone, it has been a long time since I have posted. My new shop is really keeping me busy in the studio and I haven't taken much time to photograph my creations. Today, I finally am posting a few photos of pillows I have painted, as well as a piece or two of furniture and wall hangers, paintings, etc. I am having so much fun! Every few days I take a load of painted things to the shop and work on displaying items. Back at the studio, I am designing and painting new items. The wonderful thing about this is that I rent my space, but don't have to sell things, because the owner, Susan, does that! She is so nice...the shop is very pleasant and is full of interesting things to see, not only in my space but in others as well. Susan carries furniture and accessories for the home as well as clothes and fashion accessories. It is a great place to shop!

I have some "beachy" items. 
This piece is a beautiful bowed buffet. It has been painted a gorgeous blue with top and feet in a soft caramel. Great storage plus a statement piece! I will try to get time to post more photos soon. Hope all of you are having a great week end.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Old chair, painted white with some bits of paint scraped off, and the chair seat covered in burlap with keys stenciled on.  The final touch is a key tied to the chair back.  I had a heck of a time blogging today. It has been so long, maybe I have almost forgotten how! Anyway, hope you like the chair. I am so busy in my studio and really having loads of fun! Hope you are enjoying this nice Sunday afternoon!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trompe l'oeil table and harp back chair redo

Hi Everyone, I am still painting some furniture for my art gallery just to add another dimension.  The wing back chair I painted sold immediately so I needed something else to put in that empty spot.  I painted this cute little table "Refined Red", a pretty color chalk paint from Vintage Furniture Paint Inc.  I love the paint because you don't have to wax it...the wax is already in it, and it goes on very smoothly and feels amazing to the touch. Inside the drawer, I papered with a little hounds tooth red and white check. But the top is what I am most proud of.  I painted a key, a letter and a pocket watch in Trompe l'oeil, which is a French technique and means to "fool the eye".  The objects, through shading, appear to just lie there on the table.  You feel like you could just pick them up! 

This photo is more true to the actual red color. Enlarge to see the details. They are in my studio in the photo, so I had to cover stuff in the background so you could see them! My studio needs a good cleaning and now that I am doing furniture, too, it is a bit over-crowded. I need to organize it a lot better, but just don't have time. I am painting as fast as I can!!!!I have watercolors going, acrylics, too and then the furniture. That is why my blogs are getting fewer and far between, but I appreciate you looking!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hi Everybody,  The chair is finished! It turned out really pretty. I decided on painting the legs vintage white, and to add a simple stripe down the middle just to give it some "spunk". Also made and stenciled a "Cafe Paris" pillow. It has 2 coats of chalk paint ( I mixed in fabric medium) and then a coat of wax and I burnished it to a satin shine.  It resembles soft leather.  Looks good and tomorrow it will go to my gallery. Hope the "artsie" look will fit in!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Flowers and painting a chair!

Hi Everyone, It has been awhile since I have posted. It seems this Spring is a really busy time, what with gardening and house cleaning and working on various projects for my art gallery/shop. It is so nice outdoors today and many flowers are blooming! The Mandavilla above is a new vine I bought to go on a trellis. Everything I have tried in that particular spot has died, so I thought this heat loving vine might survive. We will see!
 As you can see, this photo loaded twice....looks like I have twice the mini zinnias, so I will just leave it on here! I love zinnias because they love the heat and because they are excellent cut flowers for the house.

This year, I decided to make the "granny garden" a flower/herb garden.  I tried veggie last summer and it got hot so quickly that they did not do well. So I think herbs and flowers will do better. At least for now they look really pretty. I have basil and oregano in with the flowers. Notice in the right upper corner and you can see the large leaves of the banana tree. FINALLY, after about 10 years, I have a banana stalk growing.

These are what is known as "finger bananas". They are small when mature and very sweet and good. I see 3 "hands" of them. Can you pick out the hands?  

On a different subject, I am painting upholstery fabric on this wing back chair! Yes, the upholstery! I am using chalk paint mixed with water and fabric medium. Above is the start.
Here is the finished first coat.  You wet down the chair with a spray bottle of water first, then use very diluted paint on the first coat. Let dry overnight and then do a second coat.  This chair was flowered, so you can still see some of the flowers.  The second coat should take care of that.  It is a bluish gray color called Vintage. I plan to add some sort of decoration, maybe a twiggy tree branch on one side, or a stripe down the middle of cream color and paint the legs cream color.  I think up these ideas as I go along, so they may change. Anyway, I will post the finished product soon and then off it goes to my little shop!

It has been a fun Saturday! Hope you are having fun, too!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Yellow Flowering Tree and Spring Bunnies

Hello Everyone, I hope you are enjoying the first days of Spring! It is so lovely here, but verging on being hot! Our spring really starts in January and then often we have a cold snap and more  spring weather until by the first of Spring, it is actually almost summer weather. Both Fall and Spring are short seasons in Florida, while winter is almost non-existent and  summer is long. When one is acclimated to the weather here, you really enjoy it. It means that the sun shines daily....there is hardly ever a day without sunshine, so our dispositions are sunny, too! I remember gray days in Kentucky and am thankful for always having bright, sunny days here.  

The flowers are so lovely now. The yellow flowering tree is loaded with blooms. It bloomed once in January a bit, when we had an unusually warm day. Then the blooms dropped, so I figured there would be no more. But, it bloomed again just last week and is so pretty. Already the blooms are falling on the ground and soon the green leaves will appear. I love this tree. It is called Gold Tree or Silver Trumpet Tree.

Note the clear blue sky in the background.

It is time for little Spring bunnies, too.  I see them occasionally, munching on new and tender grass blades. Below is a watercolor painting I did of bunnies. Just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy!  Have a fun day everyone!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

News from Ten Gables

Hi Everyone,  My posting is few and far between now that I have the gallery and am painting as fast as I can! I wanted to share the birds that are hanging around here....the beautiful Sand hill Cranes! There were three, the parents and the baby, until recently,when the baby flew the coop, so to speak, and went on his own way. Now there are only two grateful parents feeding in our yard!

We had other birds come, too; this pair of snow birds from cold and snowy Minnesota visited us for a few days. We enjoyed their visit and it was nice weather while they were here. The visit was much too short, but hopefully next time will be longer. That dead looking bush in the background is where my studio was power washed with a bit of chlorine in the water and was sprayed on the bush. That is a no-no and you would think that people doing work would realize it. I should have watched them, but I was busy painting inside the studio. Hopefully it will come back to being green and healthy. To my brother and sister in law, wish you had stayed longer....they are pretty nice "birds" to have around!

Sammie-girl at Tea Time (above). You can see her little kibbles on the table with a container of one of her favorite treats...ice! No hot tea for her! She loves her ice cubes. She really needs a booster chair. Think of the havoc that would cause at the table!
I'm still painting pillows for my gallery plus lots of other things. Farmhouse country things and French Country decor is popular. I hope people realize that true art does not have to match your sofa.  I hope people will buy paintings just because they "speak" to them. It seems to me that people buy far more accessories such as pillows, signs and sayings, metal plaques and such than they do true art, original paintings.  Isn't it better to have a lovely timeless painting that has meaning than what is popular at the moment? Well, that is my thought.
Have yourself a great day!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Egretta Wells Art Gallery and Treasures

Hi Everyone, I have not posted much, as I am very busy painting for my art gallery. I keep telling everyone that I am painting as fast as I can! Take a peek!

I also have some antiques such as crocks, furniture and accessories. A new venture is painting furniture with chalk paint and I will be doing trompe l'oeil  as well. More casually and less expensive are the rocks and leaves I paint, which are great for small gifts.
Above are some of the fun little rocks. They are cute in the garden or as paper weights.

So what is "trendy" right now? Paris themed accessories, antique silhouettes, tin, burlap items, chalk and milk painted furniture, Farmhouse decorating and French Country styles, painted pillows.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Pillows painted for my Gallery

Hi Everyone,  I have been so busy and haven't really had time to do much posting! Not only am I making pillows for my gallery, but other painting, and even doing some chalk paint furniture! There are never enough minutes in the day! The above pillows would be really cute on a patio I think!
It is time for Caladium bulbs to start putting forth those lovely leaves.  Some in my yard are coming up now.
These pillows, too, would look nice on a patio or porch surrounded with real Caladiums!  More later, but for now I must get back to a big picnic basket I am painting. I will post it later. Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's happening at Ten Gables?

Hi Everyone,  We are having such lovely coolish weather, but every time it warms up and reaches near 80 for a few days, the weather thinks it is Spring and things begin to bloom.  Just look at this lovely gladiola that came up from bulbs planted last year and has already bloomed.  Hope I get some more! 

Some happy cows near our house. You can see that their field hasn't turned green yet.  The grass in our yard is really nice and green...must be a different variety.  In fact, Bob mowed just the other day!

My friends, Helen and Mike, have a wonderful garden and brought me three perfect heads of cauliflower the other day, plus a bunch of fresh broccoli.  I made roasted curried cauliflower  and it was delicious.  I dipped the florets in ranch dressing which helped to "cool"  the spicy taste down a bit.  Your can find numerous recipes on line for roasted curried cauliflower. Simple to make and really delicious. I would recommend it as an appetizer...you really can't quit munching on it! 
I've been painting lots of pillows for my art gallery, but these two I made from an old vintage tablecloth. The colors are so pretty! You can get at least 4 pillows from one rectangular tablecloth. Now I am looking out for cloths at thrift shops!!  Hope you are having fun and being creative, too.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hand painted Tropical Pillows

Hi Everyone,
What a gorgeous day we are having in sunny Florida.  It is picture perfect weather and lovely outside! How lucky to live where there is no snow, no grey days to speak of, where you can always go outdoors and enjoy green grass, flowers and the sun!
I have been painting more pillows for my art gallery. Hopefully I will be able to fill a whole big rack with pillows, but they go fast, so getting ahead is pretty hard.  I was off my "paint" for a week and in bed with the worse case of flu I've had in years.  My hubby, who took the flu shot,( and I didn't) had it, too, and he had it just as bad as I did. In fact, he caught it first and passed it to me.  We were both so ill for a full week and still have a bit of a cough.  There were times when I thought we'd have to call the ambulance, but thankfully, we hung in there, took over the counter meds and finally got well. I now have a new appreciation for feeling well and being able to paint!
Hope all is well with you! Spring is right around the corner and soon everywhere will have sunnier days!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Decorating for Valentine's Day

Hi Everyone,
It won't be long until Valentine's day and I have been putting out a few decorations in my dining room.  It is my favorite room, especially when the morning sun is coming in. I left the little feather tree up after Christmas and added hearts in red, silver and pink.  Other handmade Valentines are here and there, such as the one below.

I usually have some ladies in for tea sometime before Valentine's Day.  I have to decide on a menu soon.
Sometimes we all make Valentine cards in my studio while they are here. It is creative and fun!

The little Annalee cupid stands guard over the heart tree.  I love Valentine's Day....maybe because it seems to usher in Spring time! Does anyone have suggestions for a special Valentine tea menu?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cheese Fondue...an old recipe

Hi Everyone,
I am still on the New Year's Quest of Comfort Foods from Days of Old!
Yesterday I made my mother's old Cheese Fondue recipe.  It came from
an old Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book....mine having been published in the early 60's and mother probably got hers out of one published many years before that.  We now think of "fondue" as more a hot liquid cheese using for dipping veggies in or a chocolate fondue to dip berries, etc. into. THIS cheese fondue is a baked main dish. It is delicious and once you have it, unforgettable. It is close to a souffle, but with a bit more "body".  You might want to try this if you are looking for a nice main dish without meat.
                                                                         Cheese Fondue
                              from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book revised edition third printing

1 cup milk, scalded
1 and 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 pound sharp process American cheese, shredded (2 cups)  Note: I used sharp cheddar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
   . . . . . . . . .
3 stiff-beaten egg whites

Preheat oven to 325.  Combine milk, crumbs, cheese, seasonings, and egg yolks.  Fold in egg whites. Pour into ungreased 10x6x
1and1/2 inch baking dish.  Bake in slow oven about 35-40 minutes until firm.  Makes 6 servings (more like 4, if you are hungry).