Thursday, July 28, 2016

This Week At The Farm + 18 - Oh Wow!

It's been a busy week here at the farm. I don't know where the days go. It has been incredibly hot here with no rain for at least 2 weeks. When you walk across the lawn or through the fields, you can hear the grass crunch under your feet. It is really disconcerting to say the least. The hay crop, which is what the sheep eat in the winter, has been dismal. We aren't sure what we are going to do about it. It's not like we can make it rain. All we can do is wait and hope it does rain so that the grass will grow. 


Here are a couple photos of my garden. It is mostly mulched except where I put late sunflowers in. They have yet to germinate because of the lack of water. And I have caught the birds eating the little sunflower shoots. The challenges of gardening and farming are real. 


I have my second Creative Retreat here at the farm this coming weekend. It is Fabric Printing and Embroidery. Should be lots of fun. 

(There is still room in my Color for Knitters and Embroidery on Knitting on September 24/25. Check out the class info here.)

I've been doing a bit of fabric printing in preparation for the students. Here are some of my test prints of various stamps I made. 






Work on my book has been pretty much stalled because of the Retreats. Julia and I did get the shelves painted for the pottery shed in this pretty orange color. 


I'm loving the spray paint. It now works on plastic which is super fun. It also comes in amazing colors. I've got a few more ideas I want to try on possible projects for the book. 


Julia turned 18. It is astounding to me that 18 years have gone by since she was born. I guess that is what happens when you have kids - the years fly by and all of a sudden two decades have passed and you don't know where the years went.  


We had a lovely dinner party with friends to celebrate this big milestone. Tonight she is going to the Town Hall to register to vote. She is super excited about that. 


I hope you all are having a good summer and enjoying yourselves. I'll be back next week with photos from this weekend's retreat. Cannot wait to see and meet everyone.  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Our Farmhouse in Country Home 2016

Way back in 2004 when print magazines abounded, our home was featured in one of my favorite magazines called Country Home. It was so exciting to see our place in print - including being featured on the cover. 

Our house on the cover of Country Home in 2004
Now in 2016, magazines are folding left and right. I don't know about you but I really miss getting magazines in my mailbox. In the evening I would sit and savor the pages and learn about the homes featured. The internet is fine but there is something about having pages to turn. I find it so much easier to really inspect a home on paper vs the screen. 

Last September, a photo crew arrived from the NEW Country Home to shoot our home once again. This new version of Country Home is a yearly magazine with very little advertising. It features about 15 homes and each place is given a lot of pages. 

Here is a little 3 second video preview for you. 




You can find the magazine on the news stand and at Barnes and Noble like I saw it yesterday. 



Country Home has a nice Instagram feed which you can follow here

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lampshade Painting/Fabric Printing Retreat 2016 - Day Two

Wow - the past weekend was certainly a whirlwind. Day One of the first Creative Retreat here at our farm went great. Day Two was Lampshade Painting Day. I had never taught this class so I wasn't sure how it would go. The first time teaching any new subject is always a bit of an experiment - kind of like doing a craft for the first time. 

I must say, I think it was successful. Although there was a whole lot packed into the day, almost everyone finished their lampshade. If they didn't, I sent them off with paint and the where with all to finish. 

It is always so amazing to me how each project made differs so much in the end. That is how it is with individual art making - you see the personality of the artist coming out - even if they are not very experienced at painting or making. 

Here are photos from the first half of the day. Students had to plan their lampshades and then begin. Blank canvas fear for sure but I could slowly see their confidence increase and they began relaxing into the brush and the paint and the creativity. 



Some of the lampshades I have painted for inspiration amongst the jumble of the studio. 


Everyone is working away - deep in concentration. 








They barely wanted to stop for lunch. We decided to take a photo of the half way mark in front of my shed. 


And then they got loopy! 


Lunch was awesome - thanks to my friends Cathy and Cynthia who were helping for the weekend. 


All afternoon, everyone painted their heart out. It was a race to finish. Perhaps next time I will suggest smaller shades but truth be told, I think no matter how long they had or what size lampshade, I still think it would have been tough to finish. 










Here are the finished and almost finished lampshades. Aren't they fantastic? 



Here are a few more views. 






I'm hoping everyone will send a photo of their shade in their home. That would be fun. I am so proud of all the students. What a great day and such good work and art made. 

I will definitely be teaching this class again next year. To find out when, make sure you sign up for my newsletter at the top right of the sidebar. 

FYI: On July 30th I have the second Fabric Printing Day here at the farm. There are still 3 spaces available if you are interested. The price is $250 for the day and it includes morning food, full farm lunch, and all supplies. More info here to sign up. If you have any questions, please send them on to kristinnicholasATgmailDOTcom. There is an Add-on Day too which is Crewel Embroidery for $160.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fabric Printing Retreat 2016 - Day One

We had a great weekend here at the farm. I had a full house with 6 students. Three students were "returnees" which is very cool - so nice to see them again! The photos today are from Day One of the Creative Retreat which was Fabric Printing Day.

On July 30th I have the second Fabric Printing Day here at the farm. There are still 3 spaces available if you are interested. The price is $250 for the day and it includes morning food, full farm lunch, and all supplies. More info here to sign up. If you have any questions, please send them on to kristinnicholasATgmailDOTcom. There is an Add-on Day too which is Crewel Embroidery for $160.

I really do love these days sharing my skills here in my studio IN PERSON. On-line classes are great but it is a whole different dynamic teaching in person. I think students catch on quicker. And then there is all the personal interactions between me and everyone. It is so interesting to see how each student progresses through the day and to see what designs they come up with and how their project turns out. 

I'm off to sell our farm raised lamb at the Tuesday Farmers Market in Northampton today. I will leave you to peruse all the photos and see what beautiful projects everyone turned out. I'll be back with a recap from Day Two within the next couple days.