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Artists who paints in oil en plein aire. Member of the three member Plein Aire Cottage Artists. Members: Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Chandler and Helen Tilston

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Party Happened

And they saw a star in the west.  It was the Space Shuttle Endeavour and she boomed through the sky, transporting 124 guests and their significant others and children, plus numerous dogs, cats and at least one horse. The first annual Masked Ball would soon be underway at the beach side home of Helen Tilston Painter, in sunny Florida, USA.

Space Shuttle Endeavour
The manifest listed guests showing a plethora of passports: Australia, Austria, Holland, U.K, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Monaco, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Japan, China, Phillipines, Scotland Ireland and the Aran Islands, Wales.  All U.S. States and Hawaii guests were on board a special Boeing 747, as it  piggy backed  the Shuttle  from California.  The weather made for a perfect touch down at the Cape.

Some costumes were shipped in advance from Italy Anna  From PortugalVal

Before dinner it was horseback riding on the beach, with lead pony Spotty
Spotty Pony getting her sea legs
Who are these bloggers on horseback?

We talked, we danced, we dined, we laughed, we hugged and the finest wines were poured.   We discussed the arts.

We watched the sunset.   We heard the cock crow at day break and knew that, shortly, following a breakfast of freshly squeezed Florida orange juice, Fresh Fruit Salad, Cappucinos, French toast and croissants all would amble on board Endeaver and bid fond farewells.  Gift Bags were presented  and  included Florida key lime pie

 Florida oranges, Floria key limes, lemons and tangerines.  The countdown started 5-4-3-2-1  poof

Key Limes

Oranges locally grown in Florida
As Endeavour boomed into space, I could hear all of you singing We'll Meet Again

I said a prayer and  thanked God for meeting each and every one of you.
You have brought me so much joy, wisdom, beauty, laughter and friendship this past year. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand and may your hearts overflow with goodwill, peace and joy and success beyond your wildest dreams.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I won this gift

Spice Girl safely guarding my gift

My father used fondly say in his Irish accent "Ah sure I would not win an argument not to mind a prize".
Well dear father I won a beautiful giveaway. I will toast the memory of both you and my mother as we dine, in style, this weekend.

Kathysue from Good Life Design offered this generous giveaway and I was the lucky winner.  Today the package arrived in the mail.  The door bell rang and Spice Girl barked. She has agreed to securely guard my gift and know she will be rewarded too.  The gift is the makings of a delicious dinner, one just needs to buy the protein.  I selected Beirut, Lebanon as my choice of dinner. The company Destinationdinners

She will receive her reward on Sunday

Our plan is to have six friends for dinner on Sunday and yes, I will use, my finest silver, Waterford Crystal and Crown Derby Dishes.  Recipes are included in the gift and we are going to serve Kibbeh Bil-saneeeyeh (Baked Spiced Lamb)

Thank you Kathysue from Good Life of Design  and Destination Dinners for this fabulous giveaway.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Come all Ye Faithfull Followers and Readers

Original oil painting by Helen Tilston

Last night I had a dream. In it I was hosting a party for all my followers and readers.  It was so vivid:- images of the invitation, menu, music and guests were all there.  In the interest of preserving the identity, mystery, mystique, charm and carisma of my readers I have decided it shall be a masked ball.

The Master of the Household has received Her Majesty's command to invite
all my faithful followers and readers to a Reception to be given at "Innisfree" my island home on
Original pinting by Mary Rose Holmes
December 18th. 2011.  A special space shuttle will transport you from wherever in the World you are.

Indian Rocks Beach Sunset

 We shall watch the sunset as it kisses the Gulf of Mexico and embraces  the ocean and all who live by her shores and also cast her mantle of protection on the visitors who live here with us this day.
Drinks will be on the porch.  Many of you will know each other as pen friends only, therefore, adequate time shall be left for conversation and the gentle lapping of the ocean and the chords of the harp and angelic voice of our Entertainer.

 The menu will be elaborate with local specialty seafood and locally grown produce and fruit to sustain you as you meet  and become more acquainted with such beloved friends.

 What I shall be wearing:
Masks will be provided.

RSVP (As Entertainment, Orla Fallon has agreed to be here with her harp). Music requests will be accepted.

I know all of you will be in attendance.

What will you be wearing? Can you post a picture of your outfit  on your blog on December 14?

One day later the Space Shuttle will depart from Cape Canaveral and transport you to your homes.

( Photos, not captioned are  Pinterest)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My day was interrupted by an Angel

View from my studio door
 Mantle in  our living room

Christmas is fast approaching and the calendar is filling up with invitations, tree lighting, Christmas parades, celebrations, parties and gift giving. Life has become slightly hectic.  My past two days have been spent, decorating and preparing for **our annual art exhibition** in January.  The house needs some Christmas decorating.
Edge of Mantle   "Castellovicchiomaggio chapel" by Violetta.I was with her when she painted this, in Greve in Chianti, in 2007, following our exhibition at the Biennale in Firenze.
My staircase leading to living room
Then to my studio to work on completing paintings and putting the final touch on some.  My studio is on the ground floor.  I get south facing light and reflections from the canal, which is an extension of the intercoastal waterway which connects to the Gulf of Mexico. The canal is like Venice without the bridges.    My view is breath-taking and I count my blessings to live here.
Painting drying in the Florida sun
My Studio which receives the ultimate light and  dappled light from the canal
Our Lady of the streets, I am working on when interrupted

**Plein Aire Cottage Artists 3 Members/3 Friends:-Violetta Chandler, Mary Rose Holmes and Helen Tilston Annual Art show" **
I am working on a new portrait of "Our Lady of the Streets" I have a new model for "Our Lady" and her mantle is green.   Shhhhhh!  Suddently I hear a sound. Is it of this world?   I drop my paintbrush and rush to the water's edge and there to my surprise is a young manatee.

It is all alone.  Often they swim in pods but this "Little Angel" is going solo.   We looked at each other for a while, we communicated in silence and I bade him "a safe journey and a very blessed Christmas"   I believe he told me he would return again.
I felt very special to have been vistised by such a rare and beautiful visitor.

Manatee sounds

Have you met an manatee?