Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Gala Post!

Arts and Awards! The two go together like wine and cheese so consider this an exclusive invitation to my “Gala” (almost "Giller!") post.

First, have some complimentary champagne and let us look at the art

I recently purchased this little painting from UK artist and illustrator, Karen Davis, who has a most magical blog, Moonlight and Hares. I have always admired her creations so when she posted this little ACEO painting (2.5” x 3.5”) my heart leapt! Fortunately for me, she put the original up for sale and soon it was on its way across the Atlantic Ocean from Wiltshire, England, to Alberta, Canada.

When the package arrived I was off to the framers. Diana, at The Right Angle, understood my vision for the painting and quickly undertook the task of putting the pieces together.

I think she did a fantastic job.

On Sunday, Hubby hung it in the front hall for me as the wee toddler napped.

I love it and stare at it! To see more great art and items of beauty, head over to Karen’s blog and say “hello!”


Now, ahem, on to the award[Z] portion of the evening!! :-)

I have been honoured with the Best Blog Award by both Anna of Green Tapestry and Rebecca of In the Garden.

Rebecca also, very generously, offered me the Honest Scrap Award. As did Deborah of Green Theatre a short while ago. If this was an Oscar moment, this blog would be the sleeper movie that all of sudden got nominations! I am really thrilled to know that people whose blogs I admire are looking my way as well. It is an honour!

I really wasn't sure I would be able to properly acknowledge these awards so I was hesitate to accept. However, I am really quite moved to have these truly great bloggers take notice of my blog, so I want to say "Thank you!!" and accept them here in my own way.

First, let me say something about the award - givers, whom I admire tremendously:

Anna at Green Tapestry – another incredibly talented UK-er! (Coincidence? I think not!)
She has a great talent in her garden and her allotment. She also heads out in her caravan and finds the most beautiful hidden gardens to share with the rest of us. I truly enjoy seeing the gardening world through Anna’s eyes – and her great photography. She can also write an enticing tale and if you check out her letters on Teza’s Garden, I guarantee you will learn something new about gardening.

Rebecca of In the Garden has a terrific creative sense in her garden - and writes beautifully to boot! She also has great taste in plants! Check out her post on the “blues” in her garden. Rebecca shares the same zone as me and inspires me to try new things. I am so glad I found this blog.

Deborah of Green Theatre has an amazingly elegant approach to gardening. Everything looks like it was meant to be. She also has the spookiest Halloween house ever! Deborah's design sensibility and gusto for creative projects always inspires me.

Since I am quite new to blogging I still move in small circles and many of the blogs I enjoy have received these awards once or more already. Therefore, I would like to call your attention to three blogs that I greatly admire that you may not all be aware of. They are:

Northern Shade Gardening
This is a knowledgeable and daring Zone 3 gardener with a wonderful eye to developing a woodland shaded garden. If you want to learn the “good stuff” about gardening – go there – her archives are a treasure trove!

The Informal Gardener
Miss M is in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Canada. She has a great sense of the beauty of the natural environment and can also teach you a thing or two about growing vegetables using sustainable methods. Her photographs are lovely and make you want to eat your veggies!

Sweetbay gardens on a large property in North Carolina, US. Now, to say this property is stunning is an understatement. Her garden, dotted with gorgeous pine trees, is a haven for pollinators and other creatures, including her sweet horses and cats. Her photography is amazing and, particularly, her photos of her roses are to die for. She also has an amazing variety of plants that elbow each other to outperform just for her. You could spend hours on this site!

I encourage you to stop by for a visit at any of these blogs for some inspiration. I won’t ask these gardeners to carry on the award as I think they tend to explore the same fabulous blogs I do and have very likely already been awarded in recognition of their great blogs. However, please do check them out and poke around their archives a bit if you are looking for some enchantment on a November evening.

The Honest Scrap award asks that I share ten honest things about myself. Be prepared to be agog (hee hee;))

1. My taste in music is changing. I am falling for opera. Who knew?
2. When I was pregnant I loved anything that tasted of spinach, oranges or salmon. Still like them better now than I did before baby.
3. My hubby can raise one eyebrow, like James Bond. I know this is more about him than me, but I love this “party trick”. We have a picture of him in a tuxedo on our wedding day with his eyebrow raised and his arms crossed. *Sigh* Does this make me a Bond girl??
4. My ancestors on my Mom’s side are Loyalists.
5. One year at university I ended up taking Children’s Lit and Advertising during the same term. I kept finding great parallels in that they both drew from the well of the familiar-to-us-all characters to tell their story.
6. Having lived in port cities, one of my favourite sounds is the sound of church bells muffled through the fog on a Sunday morning as I sip my tea.
7. The very first story I read my son after he was born was “Wind in the Willows” – a little each day as I cuddled him. (The copy I read from belonged to Hubby when he was little)
8. I, ahem, have been known to make sound effects when I drive.
9. I love trees – in nature, in paintings, photographs, sculpture and even silver engraving.
10. I will conclude with a super-secret tip: My Dad tells me that you always look for gold tangled in an upturned tree’s roots. I can’t help myself and always take a second peek when I come across one in the woods. Let me know if you find any!

I would also really like to say “thank you” to all the visitors to this blog. In the eight months I have been blogging, you have all been so encouraging and so inspirational. I’m learning so much from each of you and truly admire all your creative talents. A toast to all of you!


Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Wow! What an amazing painting, even more eciting when you get it from so far away. It looks fabulous hanging in your front hall.
Thank you for all the kind things that you have said about me, we have a few things in common. I actually like opera, and developed that later in life as well. I also love trees, have planted 33 at Kilbourne Grove so far. Number 8 as well, but I won't comment on that!

Karen said...

It looks lovely in the frame! I'm so pleased that you are happy with it and that its gone to such a lovely home! :) xx

sweet bay said...

What a delightful painting. It's beautiful (and beautifully framed).

Congratulations on your award. It's well-deserved! I love reading your blog.

Thank you so much for the award and your very kind words. You've made my day. :) I will be sure to visit these other blogs.

miss m (InfG) said...

I've used the word magical in my comments before so please forgive me for using it again but is there any other word to describe that wonderful painting ? (Btw Karen, great work and lovely blog !)

That is clearly your style and I've sensed it all along (it's no surprise you ended up taking Children's Lit!). You have a gift for writing and should do it for a living (do you or have you ?)

'Twas a pleasure getting to know you better, Ms. S !
ps. I'd like to join the club on opera, but try as I might, I'm still not a fan ! :P

Congrats on your award and thx so much for passing it along. :)

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

What a beautiful painting, and a great job of framing to bring out it's beauty.


Kiki said...

Wonderful post...lovely to hear more about you! Awesome! I loove the art and look forwrad to checking out the artist's looks lovely and she is very talented ! Congrats on your awards..I enjoyed my visit!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Deborah: I would love to have the space to plant 33 trees! I am working on a tree plan now for the garden and I just cannot commit to leaving any out! :)

Karen: I couldn't be more thrilled than I am with this painting - I love it! You are a very talented lady.

Sweetbay: I always enjoy my visits to your blog so much - it is a mental vacation!

miss m: Thank you for the kind words. I do love writing and do write for my work - but it is very "on message" and not nearly creative enough for me, so maybe the creative side of my writing is starting to appear here a bit?

I love your blog and am so glad to have found it! :)

Jen: I always think it really honours something beautiful to get it framed properly. I plan to pass this painting on to my son someday so I want it to be well cared for in that frame :)

Kiki: Thank you for visiting! I am just getting to know your blog and love your photogrpahy - wow! You know I will be back. :)

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Love your post!! Your picture is lovely, so special and enchanting I can see why you had to have it. The framing job is perfect. I went to the site and really love the 'Beyond the Gate' print. I'm trying to find a spot for it somewhere...

Thank you for your kind words, I'm so glad you enjoy my little blog. I'm very flattered that you think my rambling, redundant writing style is beautiful. It's great to have someone in the same zone to share ideas/experiences with.

Such fun facts about you! I've tried to like Opera, but am still somewhat on the fence. You had very healthy pregnant cravings, for some (emabarrasing) reason, I craved McDonalds!?

Very interesting parallel between children's lit & ads, and I love the idea of looking for gold in tree roots.

I love trees too, anything tree themed is wonderful, fabrics, art, dishes, clothing, jewellery (and of course, in nature).

ruthie said...

Now that is a treasure, karens work is beautiful isn't it! well done on the award x

Kiki said...

Yay!! thankyou so much! I am happy I found your blog is a delight to visit!!Have a magical day! Again Great post!
PS: I went to Moonlight and Hares..and fell in love...thankyou!!!

Anna said...

I love your magical painting ! Thanks for your nice words - I'm blushing. I greatly enjoy your blog and your photos. I nearly did a degree in Children's Literature but ended up doing Politics and Sociology instead :(

Anna said...

P.S. Like the new header !

Helen said...

Ms. S. Congratulations on your awards -- I love the gracious way you acknowledged them. Also, a fabulous painting. The framing is just perfect; lots of white space to set off that lovely little image. I'll have to check out Karen's site. Thank you, too, for being such a loyal visitor to my blog. Always appreciate your comments.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Rebecca: I'm glad you checked out Karen's site, her stuff is beautiful. Thanks also for sharing a little about yourself on your blog. It's nice to know you :-)

Ruthie: Yours is the beautiful blog that introduced me to so your "circle" of creativity. I think you must have some special magic happening out your way :)

Kiki: I am glad you enjoyed the visit to Karen's blog. She is a very gifted person :)

Anna: I think the line between Children's Lit and Politics may be shorter than we think. It's all epic stories and grandiose characters (or, at least, in politics, those who think they are grandiose!) :-)

Helen: Thank you for stopping by! I always enjoy your posts- both smart and funny :)

Northern Shade said...

Thank you for the kind words. I love the header photo, with the white frosting on the green bough. This is when the conifers, that tend to fade into the background all summer, start to come into their own.
It's always fun to see lists of garden blogs, many already favourites, and a new one to visit too.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Northern Shade: I am such a fan of your blog - I think I followed it for ages before I dared comment! :)

Thank you for noting the header update. I am having fun with my new camera but lots to learn yet.