Monday, September 21, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

September has been speeding along since my last post, and along the way I have added a birthday to my record.  I am now 70 and cannot quite take it in.

Keeping to my promise, I did return to visit the dahlia farmer's stand and brought back a bunch of pink dahlias, to admire and sketch.


Even with careful diagonal re-trimming of thick stems and daily changing of water in the vase, dahlias do not last too long.  And so I enjoyed taking lots of photographs of the blooms and buds and making many little studies, showing the flowers' life stages.


I filled several sketchbook pages with graphite and colored pencil drawings and wondered why I don't draw more often.  It is great fun to concentrate on discovering how dahlias are constructed.


I do plan on using some of my photographs as reference for yet more dahlia drawing.


Work is also continuing on my major knitting project, the fair isle jacket.  The sleeves are done and the fronts and backs are nearing completion.

I've also been reading wonderful books by Robert Macfarlane and Nan Shepherd inspiring me to spend more time outdoors.  Lots of walks have taken place on some the recent cooler days.  


Even though peaches, plums and tomatoes are still available at the farmers market, I have also begun sampling this years' apple crops.  Each apple farm seems to have a slightly different variety of these delicious fruits.


My plan for future market visits is to always try at least one variety that is new to me, along with gathering together some of my traditional favorites.

Autumn in New York is a time when lots of cultural activities begin their season and the city provides a feast of opportunities.  I am looking forward to sharing some of these with you all.  Meanwhile, I thank you for your visits and kind comments on my prior post.  It's grand to hear from you.  

61 comments:

  1. Happy day Frances. It must be all those apples because I'd swear you were 7, not 70. I love dahlias too and especially pink ones. Enjoy the cooler weather walks.

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    1. Thank you Donna for your compliment. It might be apples, or perhaps I've never been married or had any children. An easy life?

      Yes, long walks are much more fun as the air cools. xo

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  2. Beautiful dahlias and I love your drawings.
    I'm not a huge fan of apples.......except as apple sauce with some lovely roast pork.
    I agree with Donna......you certainly don't look 70.
    A belated happy birthday.
    Hugs from The UK.

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    1. I appreciate all of your kind words, Sheila.

      Apple sauce is wonderful, as is apple pie or crumble, etc., but truly I just love a ripe apple as it is.

      xo

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  3. A Happy belated Birthday, dear Frances! Keep your curiosity and sense for beauty in nature and art, which lead to the precious moments you share so generously with us on your blog! Be healthy and happy!xx
    The dahlias are so tender! Hope to see new drawings of yours in future.:)

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    1. Rossichka, you are such a dear. Thank you for your wishes. Yes, curiosity is to be encouraged...and if we can blend it with our senses...well, isn't that what life is about?

      More drawings will appear. xo

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  4. I like your drawing studies of the dahlia – you have a good eye. Autumn in New York is a great time and I have enjoyed meeting you several times during those golden months. We have an apple festival in the North Georgia Mountains where they grow many apples. I like the “pink lady” but there are so many delicious varieties. A good lunch meal for me is an apple with a piece of sharp Cheddar cheese. Do you have a favorite variety?
    Your pretty pale rose dahlia is so tender – it looks like the “Dinner Plate” variety. Happy belated birthday. It is true you look much younger than your years – it must be all that walking in Central Park (and clean eating and living…)

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    1. Vagabonde, I would love to visit that Georgia apple festival. I will be looking for pink lady apples at the farmers market. There is one particular lady farmer who always has a fantastic assortment of apples, with well-written descriptions of their characteristics. Some are new hybrids, and she always lets you know which "ancestors" are in the mix. She also sells pies...I think that this fall I will take a pie home.

      Thank you also for your comments about my sketchbook. There were more pages but I thought that the colored pencil studies would make better photographs.

      Age...what is it? Each of us inherits genes that set our own histories in motion. If we tend our gardens, we honor those possibilities.

      xo

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  5. Happy birthday Frances and many more of them!

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    1. Thank you Sue! I am so happy that you've resumed blogging. xo

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  6. Happy Birthday! Keep travelling and discovering, it's the key to staying youthful xx

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    1. I do agree with you, Celia. Curiosity can be very healthy. There is always something to discover.

      xo

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  7. Happy Birthday. Enjoy drawing more. I bought a new sketchbook the other day. The potential!

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    1. Katharine, there is something fabulous about a new sketchbook. That something grows even better with every page that we fill.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes, too. xo

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  8. Happy belated birthday, dear Frances. I hope you have been celebrating this remarkable number. Wishing you all the very best for your coming year and hope you will realise at least one big dream or plenty of the small ones you long for. I love the paleness of that Dahlia. Before, I never was so much in favour of Dahlias as we have to plant them before summer and bring them back in in our climate before winter. But in pots, they are quite easy to keep and they are so easy to multiply. We have plenty of different apple varieties and they start now to be ready for picking. There are so many different, I could make different blog posts about but right now, too busy with all other stuff around here. Try out every apple the lady on your farmer market has on offer, you will see it is amazing what an apple can give us.

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    1. Thank you for your kind wishes, Bayou.

      Now you have me considering taking some pictures of that apple farmer and her fabulous stand for a future blog post. xo

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  9. Frances, I used to think of dahlias as stiff orange flowers, (as they were in my Grandpa's garden). But the pink ones are so lovely, so frothy and gentle. I could not have resisted buying them! Your sketches are so clever, I enlarged them to look more closely.
    And 70? no, not really!

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    1. Yes, really!

      Like you, I once associated an entirely different color range for dahlias. It is fun to discover just how many varieties do exist. xo

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  10. Many Happy Returns Frances, you are a remarkably young 70. Your dahlias have obviously given you lots of pleasure and show your artistic skills. I hope you enjoy autumn in NYC. xxx

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    1. Oh, thanks so much, Val, for your kind words. The dahlias were very effective muses.

      Autumn in New York is a very appealing time.

      xo

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  11. Happy birthday frances! I agree with celia that curiosity and flexibility keep you young. You certainly have both in spades!

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you so much...wasn't Sunday grand! xo

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  12. Those pink dahlia drawings would make a fantastic fabric design. Having been lucky enough to meet you, I can attest that you are a very youthful 70.

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    1. Thank you on all "counts" Lucille. Textile designing was once a goal of mine. Never quite fell into place, but I had fun taking a course at Parsons School of Design. Now I can properly appreciate textile designers' talents.

      Do remember, I was only 69 when we met! xo

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  13. Happy birthday dear Frances. I have said before but it is hard to believe that is really your age, you are so youthful. Your dahlia drawings are quite beautiful xxx

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    1. Cheers, Gina. I really do want to spend more time filling up some more sketchbook pages. It will soon be time for me to start considering designs for those Tea Cup cards.

      Meanwhile, let's raise a toast to Summer 2015, and its many pleasant days. xo

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  14. Happy belated Birthday to you! I enjoy reading your blog but never left a comment. So here is the right opportunity to do so. Dominique from France

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  15. Happy happy happy belated birthday, Frances; you wear your years with such spirit and grace. And I'm looking at those delicately Victorian flower drawings of yours and thinking yearningly of light linen curtains patterned just thus.

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    1. I appreciate those kind words very much, Mise. You've got me thinking about light linen curtains...perhaps with a slight breeze. All of a sudden we are having some cool breezes hereabouts, and I might have to think about the windows that I've been keeping open during the summer heat. No curtains, just blinds.

      xo

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  16. I do hope you had a very Happy 70th Birthday, Frances - quite a landmark birthday. I am still recovering from turning 60 a few years ago, but the years fly by...

    I adore the colour of those dahlias and haven't seen anything so pretty over here. Your drawings are lovely too and as others have commented, they would make a lovely fabric. Enjoy Autumn in New York!

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    1. It's funny Marianne, I think that I might cling to the notion of still being in my sixties for a while longer. It was a good decade. I hope the one I've now entered will be as good.

      Yes, those large pink dahlias really are scene stealers.

      xo

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  17. Dear Frances,

    Happy belated birthday to you! Seventy is such a great age! You don't look a bit like it.

    The dahlia's you have drawn look beautiful. I believe it is a 'cafe au Lait' dahlia. Isn't it! I think it's one of the prettiest.

    Have a lovely autumn! It's getting chillier and wetter in Rotterdam as well, but no storms yet.

    Madelief x

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    1. Madelief, I thank you for your birthday wishes. And so far, seventy seems to agree with me very well.

      The softness of the multi-layered petals of those pale pink dahlias realy are pretty. I thank you for supplying their name.

      Cooler air still flowing into NYC. Socks are advised, as I reluctantly put away my flip flop sandals.

      xo

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  18. Happy 70 birthday and i wish you many more years with love and good health. I love the colour of your dahlia's, they are so beautiful!

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    1. Jolanda, I appreciate your wishes very much. It's so odd to have reached a year with a number that amazes me. I rejoice on reaching that year, but still wonder about the journey.

      xo

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  19. Happy Birthday dear Frances! We are just about the same age. Not a bad age to be I don't think. I love your dahlia drawings. My husband and I are going to New England soon, and we're so looking forward to the fall apples there. I'm also looking forward to your reports of the New York season.

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    1. Carol, it's grand to see your message and to know that we are contemporaries. Not a bad age at all, I agree.

      I imagine that you will find all sorts of apple varieties up in New England...along with leaves that will be beginning there color changing beauty.

      xo

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  20. Hello France's

    Oh how lovely to find you again and to rediscover your blog. This is an old sign in from me so you should see me again signing in from Wildgrass Studio.

    Your blog is as lovely as ever and I enjoyed reading it.

    xWWx

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    1. Absolutely lovely to see these comments from you! Thanks so much for visiting...and for the birthday wishes, too.

      Best wishes to Scotland...please do visit again. xo

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  22. Happy (late) Birthday to you Frances. I love your dalhia drawing, you are so talented! Groetjes Corry.

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    1. Corry, thank you so much for your visit and comment. You can now see that we do share an appreciation of pink dahlias. I think blogging is wonderful when it allows us to discover how many ways we do connect...all around the world.

      xo

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  23. Oh HAPPY BIRTHDAY Frances (a little bit late, sorry!)
    Dahlia is a beautiful flower, my favourite this time of year. You have made some lovely drawing there!
    Best wishes for a great weekend now...
    Titti

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    1. Titti, I am so glad that you liked my dahlia pictures, photos and drawings! It's fun to have interesting flowers to draw.

      xo

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  24. Belated birthday greetings, Frances - seventy? Surely not! Your lovely face wears those years very lightly indeed. Here's sending you very best birthday wishes from me and Tom. Cxx
    PS Please do keep drawing - I very much enjoyed seeing your pictures.

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    1. Thank you for your wishes, and also for the drawing encouragement, Chris. This is an energizing time of the year, I think. xo

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  25. Happy Birthday, Frances! I'm creeping up on 73 and still haven't gotten used to the seventies. Your drawings are lovely.

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  26. Thank you so much for your comment, Vicki. I so admire all that you accomplish around your beautiful home, and in your teaching, wonderful photography...and particularly in your writing. Perhaps we can recreate the whole notion of the seventies! xo

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  27. This is a very nice autumnal post. And, happy birthday - you don't look your age!

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    1. Jenny, I appreciate your visit and kind words very much. Please do return for more visits.

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  28. Lovely to see your drawing again! And a very happy belated birthday - you certainly do not look your given years, and are a constant inspiration! XXX

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    1. Aw shucks, Gretel. I keep wondering why I do not allot more time to drawing...every time I actually get around to picking up a pencil or pen, the time spent is bliss.

      Thank you for those birthday words, too. Do be on the lookout for another email from me. xo

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  29. Frances, Happy Birthday wishes, you are an amazing example of age doesn't matter. You are always so full of enthusiasm for life. I do appreciate the numbers are hard to take in, as you feel the same in your head and yet the years have rolled on.
    I am happy to see the sketch book out and hear how much you enjoyed drawing. I am doing a little each day and as it is with a dip in pen seems slow progress but very enjoyable.
    Enjoyed seeing all the farm stalls, so colourful and fresh food. My little apple tree has inspired some baking.
    Looking forward to seeing that wonderful knitted cardigan. Take care Millyx

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    1. Milly, your sweet words do touch my heart.

      Sometimes I do feel like a person who pretends to still be an artist, even if my soul says otherwise. If I look at some older, now much older, drawings and paintings, I wonder if I actually made them.

      Crazy thoughts, that only I can amend by some more drawing and painting. I like the notion of slow art.

      Knitting photos to come. Promise. xo

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  30. Gosh Frances, I am really late for your birthday, 70! I hope you had a smashing day to celebrate such a marvelous new decade ahead. My 62nd is tomorrow, but I am afraid we will spend it on the road to Lousville, ky to set up a show. I never tried graphite color pencils,are they softer than the usual colored p"S?

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    1. Best wishes to you for wonderful connecting and selling with the folks you wil be meeting at the Louisville fair.

      Thank you for your kind words, too. When I typed graphite pencils, it just meant good old ordinary HB, 2B, 4B and their family.

      Derwent colored pencils do have a black in their choir, but it's different from my old friends. Not softer than a 4B.

      xo

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  31. Happy Birthday Frances! Your blog is very inspiring. I love the photos of dahlias and your sketches of them.Best Wishes from India!

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    1. Sheela, I am so glad that you liked my post and hope that you will return for more visits. (There is no particular schedule!)

      Cheers!

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  32. Beautiful drawings. Wow 70 years old young....you certainly are young in your head...a belated happy birthday.
    Hugs from Switzerland

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