Tag Archives: Schmidt’s Garden Center

Martha Saves Christmas

sketch of pinkk cyclamen in lacy wrap

"Cyclamen Persicum" mixed media by Kerry McFall

“Having a quiet Christmas” is just code for “we don’t have anybody to play with.”  That’s what I’ve decided after spending the first Christmas in my life without being surrounded by all sorts and descriptions of friends and relations.  We thought it made sense to just stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet for once, after all the travels last year, and with the kids away in the wide, wide world…   as Christmas got closer, it seemed less and less sensible.  For a bleak while, it even looked like we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our Christmas Eve traditional dinner with friends because The Chef had to work… but Martha stepped up to the plate in the nick of time, and just like in the “Heroine’s-Name-Here Saves Christmas” kiddy tales, she went the extra mile, and we had such a lovely time at her home!  She and Dave and Alice and Avery gave us a very warm welcome, dinner was delicious, and except for an unlamented lack of illuminated reindeer or inflatable Santas, it was just like on TV!

Our hostess gift to her was going to be bulbs – maybe some paperwhite narcissus? – but the cyclamen shelf at Schmidt’s Garden Center caught my eye, so we decided she would be able to enjoy it indoors now and plant it when the sun comes out of hiding in a few months.  Plus, I really, really wanted to have a go at sketching those lacy silverish leaves… this has been photoshopped just a bit, and I’m still trying to decide whether or not to get out my pen and ink and do another session with some cross-hatching.

My New Year’s resolution is probably going to be “Don’t be Sensible.”  Especially about Christmas!

A Question of Purple

Purple Finch on bird feeder

"Purple Finch", mixed media by Kerry McFall

Many thanks to Schmidt’s Garden Center for granting me permission to work from their photographs!  This little seed-cruncher was featured in their most recent online newsletter, and I fell in love with the patterns in his feathers.  Their newsletter always has bright photos and interesting discussion, a pleasant break from a world full of less uplifting news.

I’ve always wondered about who decided to call this bird a Purple Finch.  In my opinion, it’s not purple at all.  It’s pink.  There might be a few purple shadows, but this guy is definitely pink – and yes, I did get carried away just a little with the color intensity, but I’m not striving for reality, just that zing I always get when a flash of color flies past.  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site says, “The Purple Finch is the bird that Roger Tory Peterson famously described as a “sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.” ”  Right on!