African Violets…


Big, blooming and beautiful… My violets at their peak! I’ve had the plant on the right for almost eight years. They love the sunroom light. Once every week or two (depending how dry they get), I put them in a butcher tray with water. I try to catch rain water in a large bowl, they like that best!

I have one droopy violet, run roh! Seems like it happened before with my larger violet, but then it ended up being OK… Suggestions? Ideas? When you read about transplanting African Violets the process seems long and complicated. We transplanted one and it ended up doing fine. We didn’t do anything special. Let me know if you have any secrets to making these plants live long, happy lives!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Carol Bass – Show in Charleston through March 2015!

Carol Bass ccpl show mar2015 cbfb

Carol Bass. Fabulous, bright, happy colors! Her work is so amazing. It’s unique, and that’s what I love! If you live in the Charleston area, you’re in luck! For the month of March 2015 Carol’s work will be displayed at the main Charleston County Public Library on Calhoun Street, in Charleston, SC. The show is called W A V E L E N G T H S.

Bonus… Carol is as incredible as the art she creates! From paintings to the  “Walking Houses” and “Totem” sculptures, all of her work is out-of-the-ordinary wonderful! Check out her website and see for yourself, or better yet… make it to the Main Library in Charleston in March!

Work by Carol Bass

Work by Carol Bass

The layers upon layers and the varying textures and colors make Carol’s work so interesting!

Carol Bass’s work is defined by bold strokes of vivid color. She improvises like a jazz player, a child playing on the beach. She dances with a long brush and thinks of the energy flowing, connecting us to one another and to the natural world. 

Her work ranges from her dimensional “Walking Houses” and “Totems” series in the 1980’s, constructed from found object, to her energy sculptures and present-day abstracts.

All images& bio via Carol Bass or Carol Bass Art Facebook, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Reminds me of a John Matthew Moore painting… | barbara stroud

STUNNING, isn’t it? Tulip photo taken with iPhone in sunlight with black car as backdrop – he he… I’m quite sure I looked a little crazy holding a vase of tulips outside the window on a chilly day as people drove past and slowed down. I was trying to get a nice black background to make this pop… I would have preferred a chocolate backdrop, but the car is black, so… This photo reminded me of one of John Matthew Moore‘s fabulous paintings – they are beyond stunning!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Photo – Keep your eye out for whimsy! | barbara stroud

Nestled amongst the many elegant,  stately homes in Charleston, SC you’ll find touches of whimsy… be sure to keep your eye out for it!

Speaking of Charleston, SC – have you voted for this years top city in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best? This survey is LIVE THROUGH MARCH 2, 2015 – enter your vote today!

Something to make you smile :)  Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Elise Phillips!

Happy Hour by Elise Phillips 36x36" Oil

Happy Hour by Elise Phillips
36×36″ Oil

Elise Phillips. I love the name of this painting… Happy Hour. Many of her paintings depict Pennsylvania scenes. She did a great job, because before I even read her bio I looked through her paintings and thought of Pennsylvania. This is nice, the cows eating on a cold winter day, the house in the background, all toasty warm with a fire in the fireplace… and lights on in the house. The subtle shadows on the snow are just beautiful as are the trees. A very nice painting indeed!

Read a bit about Elise, from her website, and be sure to check out her paintings while you’re there!

Elise Phillips was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania into a family with an extensive background in the fine arts. Her great, great grandfather founded Newman Galleries in Philadelphia in 1865, and today she is the fifth generation of the family to exhibit there.

A graduate of The Hussian School of Art in 1983, she was an accomplished illustrator and graphic designer with many successful commissions in the business community. With an inherent passion for painting, she enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, emerging well schooled in the tradition of the Academy.

Elise has for many years maintained a studio in Elverson, Pennsylvania, where the bucolic countryside is a source of inspiration for many of her paintings, as is the Jersey Shore, New England and the Eastern shore of Maryland, where she is a frequent visitor.

An award winning exhibitor, she is a signature member of the Philadelphia Water Color Society, a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, Oil Painters of America, Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters, and the French Creek Art Colony.

Images via, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

House Plan: 514-20 Katrina Cottage available at!

House Plan 514-20 by Katrina Cottage Designers for

House Plan 514-20 by Katrina Cottage Designers for

Looking for a small plan? The 514-20 House Plan is one of the Katrina Cottages designed by Marianne Cusato, Architect for This cottage is 832 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There is a fabulous front porch perfect for entertaining. What a sweet plan!

House Plan 514-20 by Katrina Cottage Designers for

House Plan 514-20 by Katrina Cottage Designers for

This house has a generous size front porch, measuring at 8’x15’6″ which makes it quite nice for entertaining, or for just sitting on your porch in good weather with a tea and a good book! Simple but efficient floor plan, perfect for those just starting out or downsizing! Life is less complicated with less stuff!

The plan is open, you walk into the living space, then on one side is the kitchen, the other side is the bathroom and at the back of the house is one bedroom, there is another bedroom off of the living room. Which gives you your own sense of space in a small house.

All images via, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Suzie Baker!

Morning View, Rocky Point, Laguna 10x8 Oil

A Negative View on Saloons by Suzie Baker
12×16 Oil – SOLD

Suzie Baker. Gorgeous, loose, fabulous paintings. Absolutely stunning in every way. Check out her portraits, landscapes and still life paintings! I was so excited when I ran across her work! I saw it on Twitter of all things. I’m trying to get with it and figure Twitter out… I’m getting it a little more… so I am thrilled that my little learning curve ended up with a prize… finding Suzie’s work!

This painting, A Negative View on Saloons, drew me in immediately. I love paintings with a dark, dark and then something to offset it, and these greens are perfect!

Waving to the Folds On Shore by Suzie Baker 9x12" Oil

Waving to the Folks On Shore by Suzie Baker
9×12″ Oil – SOLD

I think the abstract quality to this piece is so nice – fresh and different. Not too far out for people who need a painting to look like “something”. You know exactly what this is, it has great movement and luscious paint!

Read a bit about Suzie from her website – this made me smile:

“I have a degree in Advertising and Fine Arts, and for years I worked as an Art Director in ad agencies before trading in my Pantone swatches for a palette and brushes. My business trips are now en plein air. I love my job! I paint in oils and am motivated by color, immediacy of stroke, composition, the camaraderie of other artist and ultimately the desire to evolve as an artist. I endeavor for my paintings to communicate confidence in execution with a fresh, intuitive, spontaneous, quality. In my life, I will paint till I can paint no more. When I’m not painting I’m thinking about what I want to paint next. I can’t, not paint.” – from Suzie Baker, Fine Artist

Images via, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Salmon Recipe – Perfect for those of you who don’t think you like salmon! | barbara stroudThis is a Bobby Flay recipe (from Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill) – I first read about this recipe when I Googled “Salmon Recipes for Non Salmon Lovers”. A blog called FoodCrave featured this recipe – and I really liked the info they gave. They cooked it longer than the original recipe called for, which I liked (5 minutes on each side) AND they used a cast iron skillet! Perfect, since I don’t have a grill pan.

The original recipe was posted on Epicurious, this is where you can print the recipe without all my blah, blah blah…

Fred cooked it 5 minutes on each side like I mentioned, then we put the topping on, and stuck it under the broiler for less than a minute – wow! And I didn’t think I liked salmon :) He got the pan nice and hot, and had coated the salmon with olive oil and WOW what a nice crispy top that made!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artists: Signe & Genna Grushovenko!

Wheels to the Curb by Signe & Genna Grushovenko

Wheels to the Curb by Signe & Genna Grushovenko

Signe & Genna Grushovenko. Unique. Retro. Cool. Two for one!

I think it’s so cool that this husband-wife team work together on each piece. I love the retro’ness (is that a word?) of these paintings, reminds me of when I was a kid. Each painting has such life, color and expression.

Check out their work, but also check out their blog!

Read about Signe & Genna, from their website, I love reading about how they collaborate on a painting:

Partners in both life and art, Signe & Genna have been collaborating for nearly ten years.  

Genna begins their process by applying rich layers of pattern and tone to gessoed masonite or linen supports. Signe then selects an inspiration image from their extensive collection of vintage found photos, draws with oil pastel atop the abstract underlayer using the photo for reference, and completes the image with blocky ‘panes’ of oil color.

The final results of their collaboration are multi-layered paintings with deep surfaces, crisp at first glance but rewarding the careful viewer with an undercurrent of complex tonality and colorplay.

And because I’m so interested in the artists themselves, I thought you might enjoy this… from Bennet Galleries website:

Signe was born Kerry Signe Cornell in Michigan in 1974. She spent her first five years in the small town of Houghton Lake until she moved with her family to the equally small town of Washington, Georgia in 1979. Always drawn to the creative outlet of drawing and painting, art was a natural choice for a major upon entering college at Young Harris in the even smaller town of Young Harris, Georgia in 1991. After one year at Young Harris, Signe transferred to the big city to attend LaGrange College. After four years of art study at L.C., Signe opened Gallery 155 in Pine Mountain. A short lived venture, Gallery 155 closed it’s doors in August of 1998. The next month, Artists in Residence gallery opened with Signe as one of it’s founding members. Married to fellow gallery partner and potter Gennadiy Grushovenko in 1999, Signe teaches and paints full time at Artists in Residence and is proud to show her works with successful galleries in Atlanta, Knoxville, Chicago, and Asheville. Over the past five years, Signe has been honored with a number of awards at shows and festivals throughout the southeast and has been featured at the Period Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska, the LaGrange National Biennial, and at the Art With a Southern Drawl exhibition at the University of Mobile, Alabama.  Her recent exhibitions include solo features at the Tucker Gallery in Evanston IL & Gonchary Gallery in Kiev, Ukraine.

Image via, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Interior with dancing sunlight… | barbara stroud

I think the lines of these chairs are elegant in a casual sort of way. The chair on the left is very old (antique), the chair on the right is newer, both are slipcovered. I think slipcovers are the way to go. We were in NYC one year and stopped in ABC Carpet and Home  (ohmygosh, the most wonderful home store – wow!), and found the fabric on the antique chair.

I snapped this photo hoping to get a little light on the wingback, but I still love it, with the dancing light on the rug, so pretty!

Paintings by Ken DeWaard (top) and David Kasman (bottom)… both are treasures!

Catch you back here tomorrow!