Raindrops on Iris

It was a cool rainy June morning when we all climbed into our cars, heading out to view some iris.  The road led us to a farm along the Columbia River in Washington with views of the Columbia Gorge and the hills of Oregon.  Our host for the tour of his amazing gardens and Iris farm was Chad Harris.

Undaunted by the rain, he showed us around his personal gardens of trees and lovely perennials, all the while explaining how his garden came to be, and the plans he has for it in the future.  He shared with us tips for growing successful iris and just general gardening. We viewed his iris fields from every angle, walking on the soggy ground to see each planting.  After a picnic lunch in the shelter of his deck we once again headed out to the fields where he generously shared with us rhizomes of his wonderful work – all the while telling us about what he was doing and patiently answering our many questions. Thank you Chad for spending your day with us!  

Despite the chilly, rainy day we each had a wonderful time.  And brought home with us not just the iris cuttings but a memory of yet another beautiful time spent among friends.

Click the first image for the slideshow carousel. 

 Mt. Pleasant Iris Farm, Washougal ,Washington



1000 Mustangs*

The Mustang turned 50 this year.  An American Classic that has been loved by millions, including me and hubby.  And my Dad in his time, too.  He owned an original Pony car, the 1964 1/2.  I remember seeing photos of it, though I was too young to remember the actual car.  His was white with a red interior.

parade poster


We have owned a 1965, 1978, 1995 convertible and now a brand new 2014 convertible. So you could say that Pony Car is in our blood!  Shopping for our new car last weekend we heard about the Northwest Celebration happening in Woodburn, we decided to check it out!  One of the goals of this Parade was to break the worlds record for the largest parade of Mustangs. I am pretty sure they broke this record easily! (the previous record was 621)

It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Enjoy the following photos with captions telling the story of the cars we saw.




1404 Mustangs_004 1st shot

We arrived about mid-morning.  The Woodburn Drag Strip was already teaming with Mustang enthusiasts; the lanes of the drag strip lined up with 4 rows of cars sparkling in the sunshine.


1404 Mustangs_012 50 years grilles

It was fun to see the similarities and the differences side by side.  These two blue beauties represent the original generation Mustang along side the 2014 Pony Car.  50 years, side by side.


1404 Mustangs_013 Pony gascap

It was fun to get up close and take a look at the details of the cars assembled here.  We are all so familiar with the Mustang Icons: the Pony logos, the Ford insignia and the lines of these cars. Remember when the gas caps were on the rear of cars?


1404 Mustangs_041 Rusty Blue emblem

There were a lot of pristine automobiles at the is get-together, but who doesn’t have a memory of that rusty, faded icon on the side of the car. Even though these cars were less than perfect, they were more than worthy of being part of this amazing group of cars.


1404 Mustangs_054 reflection on black

This car’s mirror-like paint did a good job reflecting me kneeling down to photograph the Pony emblem.


1404 Mustangs_074 rusty red pony

Another imperfect beauty.


1404 Mustangs_052_ 1st gen white tail lights

This familiar tail light is from the same generation of the first Mustang that we owned, a 1965 model, white with red interior.


1404 Mustangs_068 90s taillight

And this tail light is the same as the 1995 Lazer Red convertible we owned.  Ours had a white leather interior.


1404 Mustangs_048 1st gen white grill

I love the way the grille of the Mustangs has evolved. But there is just something about those early models, I can’t resist capturing.


1404 Mustangs_045 Black grill

Love the way the sunshine sparkled on the chrome.


1404 Mustangs_044 Rusty blue

Even the rust can’t take away from the authentic look of this American classic.


1404 Mustangs_020 70s gen grille

The 70’s grille, still features that classic Pony.


1404 Mustangs_021 Lindas Turquoise Mustang Grille

As I was bending down to take photos of this Turquoise 1964 the original owner walked up and began to talk to me.


1404 Mustangs_032  Lindas Turquiose Emblem

Her name was Linda; she had purchased the car in Lake Havasu, Arizona.


1404 Mustangs_034 Lindas turquoise

She told the story of how she had the car painted by Earl Sheib at one time.


1404 Mustangs_029 Lindas Turquoise Mustang Steering Wheel

And she added the air conditioning, which froze her out, but was better than driving in the heat.


1404 Mustangs_035 Lindas Mustang steering wheel

Thank you Linda, for sharing your beautiful Mustang with us.


1404 Mustangs_057 Blue Pony under hood

There was lots of fancy paint and striping to admire.


1404 Mustangs_064 Roberts Mustang

We ran into Robert with his 2007 Mustang.


1404 Mustangs_067 Happy 50th

Everyone there was enthusiastic about the cars and the reason for the parade, Mustang Turns 50!!


1404 Mustangs_078 parade begins

This shot was taken just as the parade began.  It took a while for the rows to file out.


1404 Mustangs_085 red and white x 3

These beauties caught our eye, red and white all in a row.


1404 Mustangs_088 line of Pony Cars

Something I am sure I will never see again, a rainbow of Mustangs in all styles and colors.


1404 Mustangs_096 driving out

Cars filing out, on the right of the photo and the 3 rows waiting to begin the parade.


1404 Mustangs_123 1st gen white

Classic White Mustang speeds by.


1404 Mustangs_080 American Classic

For me, it’s like looking a memory when I see a classic white Mustang.


1404 Mustangs_103 taillights

Here you can see the way they style has kept true to it’s roots:  Classic 60’s in the foreground with the 2000’s generation on the road ahead.


1404 Mustangs_135 racing Robert

Mustang isn’t just about looks and styling, it’s about the way they drive!  That’s Robert racing by with a wave.


1404 Mustangs_164 10 miles of mustangs

It was rumored that the cars lined up for 10 miles, twisting through the Oregon country roads.  Here you can see them shining in the distance, the chrome and paint reflecting the springtime sunshine.


1404 Mustangs_185 return line

And when they returned to the Woodburn Drag Strip we had the chance to see them all one more time.



1404 Mustangs_200 Robert

Here comes Robert, racing in with the rest of them.


1404 Mustangs_210 Robert



1404 Mustangs_211 Linda

And this is Linda, in her sharp ’64.

See you out on the road this summer. We will be in that Race Red Mustang, top down and hair flying in the wind!


March * a new calendar & a new season

The weather has begun to turn here in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s decidedly warmer, tho no less wet out there.  Especially today.  But I am able to have the sliding door cracked open to hear the sounds of the rain falling, dripping from the fir trees in the yard.  The chatter of the birds adds a pleasant tone to the chorus.

I spent several hours in the garden yesterday preparing my pots for the new season.  I like to  pamper my potted fuchsias, roses and hosta’s with new soil, fertilizer and a trim to start their growing season off right.  And today nature is taking care of the watering chore for me.

I have a potted cherry tree on the deck.  I rescued this plant from a parking lot sale too many years ago to count. It was just a twig then, and on the way to the dumpster when I pulled up.  The guy gave it to me, he was just packing it in for the season and didn’t want to bother with taking it home.  I don’t know a serious gardener out there that hasn’t gone through this phase: all plants must live, no matter what!!

I dutifully brought my gift home and put her in a pot.  I think it’s been over 15 years, but I am not sure.  The cherry is a weeping variety, and isn’t much bigger than a twig, even now.  She is like a large bonsai on my deck.  She lives in a big green pot with a native bleeding heart and some other ground cover planted below her branches.  Sometimes I put lights in her during the summer, and at Christmas I hang ornaments from her branches.  No matter the season, she is a centerpiece on the deck.

cherry buds

This year I decided to take snapshots of a bud unfurling from the first time I noticed the buds swelling.  It’s only been a few days, so I only have two pictures right now. You will have to come back to see the complete series, but for now, the March calendar is graced with the image I took this week.


03 March 14 Cherry Buds



To see photos from 2012 featuring the cherry tree during a March snowfall see this post: sharons garden 2012 march edition

* Valentines Day

A definition of Valentines Day, paraphrased from Wikipedia: The day was first associated with romantic love in the 18th-century England. It evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). 

It’s the day when the whole world turns red and pink.  Tokens of our affection are handed out in the form of sweets, cards and flowers.   We decorate our world with heart shapes in all colors but mostly traditional reds, pinks and whites.  Retailers began reminding us there is money to be spent just after the clearance tags were put on the un-sold Christmas merchandise.

crochet heart

This week I have been observing people as I go out on my errands.  Actually, it’s mostly the men that I have been watching.  I have seen them quietly thumbing through greeting cards at the gift stores, hovering around the candy displays at the grocery stores, and choosing bouquets of  all kinds in the warehouse market.   The are alone, they are moving like ghosts or shy children, unsure of what to choose.  They don’t speak to anyone, and the expressions they wear on their faces is all the same: a kind of shell-shocked, am I doing this right kind of look.  Mostly over 30, they obviously care very much about getting it right: the once a year public display of affection.  It’s priceless!

cross stitch heart

This week I also paid a visit to Youngest Daughter.  She was making a Strawberry Valentines cake to share with her co-workers at a Sweets potluck.  She is so into holidays and creating things for her friends and family; I love watching her create!    

making the strawberry cake

And of course I can’t resist the opportunity to create a photo to share in my own way, too.  For the grand-kids there are heart shaped boxes of candy and craft kits to deliver sometime this weekend, and Saturday Hubby and I will spend the day together running errands and sharing a nice meal with all the other Valentine couples.

strawberry cake

Tomorrow the moment will be gone, and clearance stickers will mark the unsold candy and gifts at the stores.  Florists will breathe a sigh of relief that another year has come and gone, and count the receipts from all the dozens of red roses sold.  The boxes of chocolates will be opened and shared, the valentine cards displayed for a week or so, and new jewelry proudly shown off.  

red rose

I feel so fortunate to have my family and friends, and love having days like to this to reflect on how blessed we are; and to express my feelings publicly.  I hope you find some love in your little corner of the world! Happy Valentines Day.   ♥

made some art today *

This morning I sat down at the computer to do a bit of work ….  and instead wound up making art!  Here is my process, really its more like stumbling my way around all the little thoughts in my brain.

I noticed that the calendar was now bragging it’s no longer January (yea), and the photo posted on my Uncommon Everyday Art Facebook page was still set to December.  Guess it’s time to change that up.  So I think for a moment… brain takes me to this weekend.  I had spent some time in the garden on Saturday, pruning and cleaning up. Of course, I have a great shot of my weather worn hydrangea blooms that would be perfect!  Off my fingers go, making it happen.

TaDa!  New art, and a new calendar for my computer (and yours too!)

A ghost from last summer, hydrangea blooms weathered but still clinging to the bush.

A February calendar background for your computer. A ghost from last summer, hydrangea blooms weathered but still clinging to the bush. Feel free to share, download and enjoy all month long! Just leave me a "like" for payment.

 Feel free to share, download and enjoy the calendar all month long!

Just leave me a “like” for payment.

I had so much fun playing with that I decided to see what else inspired me.  My younger sister has a birthday this month, so I thought it was time to make up a new image just for her.  Browsing around my pics from last month, there was some shots of my beautiful white Amaryllis taken with my smart phone.  Not good enough… hmmm. Oh yea, the plant is still blooming!  Out comes the camera and my macro lens.  50 shots later and I have 3 to play with.

white amaryllis white amaryllis

white amarylis


















Now that I have spoiled the surprise for Younger Sis’s birthday photo, I guess I will have to decide if I want to still use it, or let my brain and fingers work together to create more art another day.  I promise to keep you posted!

* December wallpaper calendars are here! *

All year I have been creating wallpaper backgrounds for your computer.  It’s been a fun exercise.  Today I am posting the final month for the year, December.

christmas spinner

The image I chose this time is of my beloved Bubble Lights.  I can remember my dad putting them on the tree when I was a kid.   Because they would flop over and need to be adjusted, he would tinker with them all season long.   He also had a set of spinners that would be hung above a bulb so they would spin from the heat of the bulb.  I think he liked having motion on the tree. When he died I inherited the spinners, and keep the memory of his bubble lights alive in my home every year.

I also want to remind you that I have created a wall and desktop calendar for purchase. You can see the full calendar on my recent post It’s Calendar Season, the calendars are available to purchase on my webpage, and if you pre-order before Friday, December 6 I will include a free gift for you too!  Go to Uncommon Everyday Art for details on ordering yours.

Now without further ado, here are the wallpapers for you: to view and download full size: click the image to open in new page, then hover and click the numbers above the image. (either 800 x 800 or 1920 x 1080 , depending on the image you wish to download) 

December wallpaper square 2013 desktop bubble lights December

It’s Calendar Season*

Every year for as long as I have had a computer I have created a calendar for my family.  It was started as a gift to my mom many miles away, as a way to stay connected.  Those early calendars were full of photos of my girls and our family from the year, and even older.  The first efforts were created with the very earliest version of Photoshop, called Photodeluxe then.  The photos were mostly scanned from prints in my many photo albums.  As computer imagery became more sophisticated and I was able to afford a digital camera the work became easier (no more scanning!!) I became better at working with the photo editing tools of Photoshop, and my efforts became more complicated and creative.  

When mom died I didn’t have the heart to continue with the family oriented theme. I still wanted to create an annual calendar, the direction just changed a bit.  I just love having a new image with the turn of the calendar page every month, and in fact I have almost 10 calendars in use in  my home every year. (Including my own.)

This year’s calendar is different than previous years in that I have included artwork from another artist.  My sister in- law owns Paper Parachute, an art rubber stamp company.  I decided to include her wonderful designs on the pages of the 2014 calendar.

Here is the Wall Calendar, with captions about the images.  Scroll down for the Desktop photo calendar.  Both calendar’s are offered for sale, please take a look at my website for details (www.uncommoneverydayart.com).  I am also on Facebook, and would appreciate a “share” with your friends.  (Clicking the image will open the carousel to view the comments in full.)

The desktop photo calendar is printed as a 4×6 photograph.  The challenge with creating this format is balancing the opacity of the background image with the calendar numbers.  The same images are featured, but the embellishments are reconfigured and the cropping is changed some too.