December 26, 2018

#MeettheMakerWeek 2018

picture of several handmade denim purses

During the week after Thanksgiving, I participated in the Instagram challenge #MeettheMakerWeek.  This challenge is coordinated by artist and small business owner, Joanne Hawker.  You can learn more about Joanne at her website and on Instagram

This is the second year I've participated in this week-long challenge.  I have also participated in the month-long challenge #MarchMeettheMaker.  Instagram is my favorite social media medium.  I enjoy being able to share pictures of what I'm making.  Additionally, I have always loved taking pictures of nature (trees, flowers, water) and I find Instagram to be ideal for sharing those images.  Lastly, I include a weekly pic and Insta-stories of my dog, Jules.  I can be found at @snowywindgrams.  For this blog post, I'm sharing my pictures, with the post, from #MeettheMakerWeek.  

~Thank you!

*All photos taken and owned by me 

September 15, 2018

Artist Inspiration

My first art gallery experience was to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  In particular, I remember viewing the art at the East Building.  The East Building houses the museum’s modern and contemporary art collection.  I was amazed by the bright colors of Kandinsky and Matisse, the splatter paintings of Jackson Pollock, and Giacometti's sculptures.  I decided then that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I remember trying to make my own version of Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist) using crayons.  

Wikimedia Commons
In this blog post, I plan to share some of my early favorites from the National Gallery.

Matisse paper cuts:

Henri Matisse used a cutout technique in which he cut sheets of paper painted with gouache in meticulously mixed hues. He used a pair of scissors to transform painted paper into plants, animals, and figures. These ensembles allowed him to continue creating art despite his failing health once he reached in his early 70s.

Pollock abstract expressionism:

Jackson Pollock developed his monumentally influential "poured" paintings by dripping and flinging intricate layers of paint all over his canvases.  His used unstretched canvas that was laid on the floor of his studio. This method introduced gravity, velocity, and improvisation into the artistic process.  Line and color stand alone, functioning entirely independent of form. 

Wiki Art

Kandinksy brilliant colors:

A pioneer of abstract modern art, Wassily Kandinsky believed that the act of painting was deeply spiritual and transcended cultural and physical boundaries. His abstract style allowed for conveying human emotions and ideas.

Wiki Art


August 19, 2018

Rocky Ridge Hike

This hike blog is dedicated to my old dog, Rissy.  We used to go to Rocky Ridge Park and run loop #2.  And while dogs were supposed to be leashed, due to the ‘rocky’ trail and my ability to trust Rissy, she was often off leash for the back 1.5 miles.  Jules, my dog now, is part hound dog and unfortunately cannot be trusted off leash. While she and I have been to the trail, we do not go as often. The #2 trail can get very rocky and it can be dangerous to be jogging with a dog on a leash.

Myself & Rissy
Jules at Rocky Ridge
Rocky Ridge is one of York County, Pennsylvania’s eleven county parks.  This year, 2018, marks the 50th year of the York County Park System!  Rocky Ridge was the first county park to be established.  The park was purchased for $153,000 in 1968. Kerry Flinchbaugh, a William Penn High School student, won the contest to name it.  It gets its name from the abundant amount or rocks and boulders found on this ridge top.


Jogging through the trees and mountain laurel, one feels like you are in another world, a fairyland.  It is rare to run into other people, though it is popular with mountain bikers. When you emerge from the woods, there is an observation deck where one can take in the view of the area.  The return stretch to the parking lot is surrounded by wildflowers and butterflies. There is a small pond full of bullfrogs, dragonflies, and cattails. In mid-summer, the pond is often dried up with only the cattails remaining.

Loop #2 is one of nine numbered trails.  Each trail is clearly labeled. The park boasts twelve miles of trails open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.  Both Rissy and Jules looked at these large mammals with puzzlement; what is this super large dog that does not smell like a dog?
Entrance to Loop#2 from Loop#1
Observation Deck
I often grumble about what York County lacks, but one thing it definitely does not lack is quality hiking and biking trails surrounded by beautiful nature.  We often forget the beauty just outside our front door. Maybe you have a local park that you enjoy.

*All photos taken and owned by me

July 3, 2018

Back From a Break!

It’s been more than a few months since my last blog post!  Part of the reason for this long gap is my position as a high school Social Studies teacher.  A lot of creative energy goes into engaging high schoolers in a discussion about our country: its history and current issues.

On a more personal note, I needed to take a step back from my art & Etsy.  My shop success or lack of was really weighing on my creativity. I was doing that comparing thing where I read others successes and think “Where is mine?”  So much of what I was reading about running a handmade business in Facebook Groups and Etsy blogs didn’t jive with what I wanted as an artist. There is a lot of emphasis on finding what sells, looking for trends, and making what the market wants.  But as an artist, I want to create what I envision. I’m not in this to be another ‘worker bee’ producer in the market.

So after taking this much needed time off, the creative juices started flowing again and I started painting.  A teacher friend gave me clothespins from a classroom that were headed for the trash can. They had student names written on them.  I came up with 3 design ideas; dog bones, flowers, and turtles. From there, I was inspired to paint daisies for my new logo and my handbags, followed by the urge to sew, followed by more dog themed clothespin ideas; fire hydrant, ID tag, and dog house.


My art will find its market.  I feel so much better about what I am creating and much more fulfilled inside.  Also from this break, my new logo and updated website banner emerged.

I look forward to sharing my art and more hiking adventures throughout this summer and into the fall.  

Happy July!