Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

Memories come in waves, with scent being one of the most powerful influences. The distinctive smell that accompanies digging out pumpkin seeds before carving immediately take me back to childhood. Autumn is synonymous with golden leaves and the search for the ultimate pumpkin. Crooked Run Orchard in Purcellville, Virginia is your destination for a picture perfect search!

Sketching always precedes setting up shop with an approach as meticulous as an architect, followed by surgeon-like steady! Before you know it jack-o-lanterns set houses a glow beckoning brave visitors, while pumpkin innards are the prime ingredients to Thanksgiving’s historic desserts.

The all-American staple is Libby’s pumpkin puree. “When Pilgrims first arrived in the New World, they discovered many new things. One was the Native American's use of pumpkin. Many people associate pumpkin pie with the Pilgrims, but in actuality their first pies were not pies at all. Early Americans would scoop out a pumpkin, fill it with milk and pumpkin flesh and cook it for hours in hot ashes, often adding spices and syrup to make pudding.
Pumpkin soon became a focal point for the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving festivities, so much so that one early celebration was actually postponed until the arrival of a supply ship carrying molasses — a vital ingredient for baking the much-loved pies.
Early American cooks soon found all kinds of culinary uses for pumpkin. This golden fruit of the vine found its way into breads, puddings and sauces. Settlers would also dry out slices of pumpkin and store them for later when the snow was high and food was scarce. Pumpkin still remains a staple in America's kitchens even to this day.”

Whether you’re using pumpkins and gourds as your centerpiece or for pumpkin bread and pies, they are merely accessories to the purpose for gathering. We are so fortunate to have celebrated Thanksgiving in America and enjoy the freedoms on which our country was founded.

Thanks for following www.thepaintedmemory blog!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birthday Bubbly

Birthdays crave the excuse to pop the champagne and celebrate. I love the idea of creating a customized card. Inspiration is never hard to come by! Quirky personalities, hobbies, and a milestone year are the perfect recipes for witty lines or unexpected delight visualized by a wash of color.

In the hustle of today’s busy schedule, the art of present wrapping seems nearly to have been lost. A beautifully packaged gift not only demonstrates you’ve taken the time to create something special, but it also begs to be unwrapped!

Detail is King. Ribbon makes all the difference. Even the plainest of papers become elegant, electric, or country-chic when dressed with a gross-grain, plaid, picot or dupioni silk tie. The accent of something natural sparks a multi-sensorial flair. It immediately makes the gift that much more tactile and impressive. A fresh sprig of greenery, a cluster of wheat sheaths, a twig of barriers, or dainty flower dimensionalizes the package – almost haloing it with a glow!

Even a small box wrapped with black & white polka dot paper plus an ivory & ebony plaid bow evokes simple sophistication with the inclusion of a white daisy with yellow center.

Carolyne Roehm is the queen of exquisite gift-wrapping, and surprises her readers with unexpected combinations of materials. When packaged together, they are a work of art!

In Cincinnati, we have no shortage of unique ribbons thanks to Margot Madison Creative Stationery on Madison Road in O'Bryonville. Margot’s fantastic taste in style and variety of ribbon will set your packages apart from the crowd the next time you wrap a gift. She also offers an incredible range of cards and stationery available as custom designs as well. Be sure to visit Margot Madison this holiday season. You’ll be surprised how much you now enjoy the wrapping as much as the giving!

Give a memory that lasts forever this holiday season. A custom work of art is an heirloom to pass from one generation to the next. For ideas and inspiration, visit The Painted Memory.

2010 Calendars - HOT OFF THE PRESS!

I'm excited to feature newly painted watercolor scenes of some of Cincinnati's favorite sites and activities. They're the perfect host gift, stocking-stuffer, and treat for yourself.

The calendars are 5"x7" and include an acrylic frame for $26. Bring a splash of color to your desk or mail a reminder of home to an out of town friend.

They are perfect for the holidays! Please send me an email if you're interested.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keeneland Calling

The hint of color atop the trees and at the fingertips of each branch lining I-71 is a tease of Fall’s arrival. October marks a horse themed month! A packed Land Rover filled to capacity with tailgating provisions kicked off our journey south of the Mason Dixon Line – destination, Keeneland with “Kitt” guiding each turn thanks to Knight Rider GPS ;)

After passing through the puzzle-pieced stonewall of the Keeneland entrance and a parking spot claimed, spirits began to flow. I’m now requesting a showdown with Giada ( and believe even Carolyne Roehm ( would have given her nod of approval to the considered details of the Autumn spread.

With a final toast to the winning bets soon to be placed, friendly banter based on faux rationale defending horse selections, and the echo of the opening race trumpets, persuaded our attention to investigate the favored horses from the paddock view. What a treat to be invited into the inner circle of the paddock fence and appreciate the beauty of such a magnificent breed merely inches away. (Thank you, Sarah!) This was definitely the highlight.

From a distance, a fellow painter caught my attention. A gentleman whose hands were smeared with oils, and brush busily filled-in a semi-blank canvas entranced me. Passersby transformed into blurred and quiet serenity as his talent transfixed me.

Soon the spell was broken. The deep saturation of jockey silks gliding by on horseback led us to various bets and shouts of celebration with each turf and dirt race. Our eyes glued to the finish line!

The Painted Memory

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hyde Park Living - Spotlight Editorial

Thank you Hyde Park Living for the complimentary editorial in the October Issue! Such a thrill to be featured and thanks to all for your notes and calls of enthusiasm.

Be on the lookout for 2010 Cincinnati Calendars soon to be available! Special watercolors of your favorite spots, perfect for your desk or as a gift.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dog & Pony Show

Velvety, moss-colored hills bordered with rustic wooden fencing paralleled the road toward what felt like an imaginative land tucked behind an unassuming cluster of stately homes. It was like traveling through a veil, hopping from a world of tricycles and tee-ball to the high class Camargo Hunter Trials. At the entrance stood the most breathtaking pony to greet us – milk white with chocolate splotches and crystal-clear periwinkle eyes. I stopped in my tracks. Her quiet beauty was like none I had ever seen.

The enchantment of horse and hound on a fox chase across a course with creatively arranged hurtles, hedges and ponds took on the essence of an impressionistic painting as the red coats bounded by.
In America, fox hunting is also called 'fox chasing,' as the purpose is not to actually kill the animal but to enjoy the thrill of the chase. A hunt is led by a Master of Foxhounds and may go without a kill for several years, despite chasing two or more foxes in a single day's hunting. As a rule, foxes are not pursued once they have 'gone to ground.

Eager guests include neighbors and dogs, all intently transfixed on the athleticism of the participants. At a further glance, dotting the ring, enthusiastic tailgaters cheer and peddlers display their equestrian-type baubles and finds in great variety.

Wishing I had my easel and paints, I snapped pictures to capture the scene and translate to canvas. The goal being, to soon add a horse portrait to my pet gallery.