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A little trip down river

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My husband's nephew recently purchased a motorized bass boat and brought to the family boat house on the river, where it is available for us use at times.  Until now, our trips on the river over at our cottage have involved rowing of various kinds. A little trip on the river in a row boat or canoe is great, especially in the canoe because it is so smooth, quiet, and peaceful.  However, we are a little bit restricted by time and distance when rowing.  Getting out in a power boat, even though we only "power" along at five miles an hour, means we can take a little trip down river to Lake Ontario and back in about two and a half hours. That's a pretty little trip down this very still, quiet part of our river. A couple of days ago we had an opportunity to get away from the farm for a couple of hours so we dashed over to the cottage with an impromptu picnic dinner and took our first little trip down river in the power boat.  We didn't have enough time to go all the way to the Lake, but we enjoyed a lovely cruise that offered up plenty of beauty, wildlife and opportunity for some much needed relaxation. Along the way we encountered one swan couple, and a bit further along we came across a family of swans.  I have been longing to capture some great photographs of swans ever since I moved here five years ago.  We were able to get very close to the swans this time, and though I didn't have the big Nikon with me, we did have my husband's Nikon CoolPix along and I was able to capture some photos I was very pleased with.  There are two in particular that are particularly inspiring as subjects for paintings - one will be an oil, the other a watercolor. In the photo at the top of today's post, do you see the blue heron the background, at river's edge? How cool is that? I didn't even notice him until my husband pointed him out, after I got the shot. And, speaking of photos ... as a part of the revamping I am doing of my online presence, I am closing down my second Etsy Store, "Firefly's Studio" and reopening an all new Etsy Store devoted entirely to my fine art paintings and photography. You will still be able to find my knitting patterns and gifts for knitting folks at the I Live on a Farm Etsy store, but for fine art products (oil paintings, watercolors, limited edition prints, note cards, and photographic prints) go to Fleckenstein Fine Art at Etsy. I haven't had a chance yet to prep any of the swan photos to sell on Etsy, but I have posted a number of gorgeous prints from the Tree Peony photos I shot this year. Printed at a professional lab on Kodak Endura Metallic photo paper, the tree peony photos would look beautiful hanging on your wall or displayed in your office or studio. When I got the first set of proofs back from the lab, I was thrilled with the brilliant colors and rich details made possible with this fantastic paper. I am also posting limited edition prints of some of my fine art oil paintings. There is a new one there that hasn't been available until now, "Haiku 1" which you might enjoy. For my readers only (and it will include those on my email list) I am offering a 25% introductory discount in the Fleckenstein Fine Art Etsy shop today through Sunday evening (June 19, 2011). So, if you would take a minute to check out the new store (new items are being added every few days as I have time), and if you see something you would like to buy, use this code, FLECKEN25 in the PayPal checkout. My son and I are working on some cool things that we will be able to unveil by late August -- lots of work getting everything done, but worth the effort. If you haven't visited his Etsy store recently, you should today because he has some new releases of his vintage-inspired subway signs and bus scroll prints -- you just might find your neighborhood or favorite line represented. When he first started creating his signs and prints, he spent a great deal of time meticulously recreating the lettering found on the original NYC subway signs of the 1900's. To create a new piece, he thoroughly researches a city or neighborhood, looking for insight into what he feels best represents that specific area. Once he has decided on the streets, stops, etc. that will be used, he uses the lettering he made to create a layout digitally. Along with reproductions of authentic subway signs and bus scrolls and his own designs, he creates custom signs for people who have lived or traveled around the world, or featuring specific neighborhoods, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, bands/concerts, etc. Some custom signs even include family member names and important dates. As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless. This just in ... my son just issued a coupon code for my readers only. Today through Sunday night, get free U.S. domestic shipping on any order you place at Flying Junction. Use this code at PayPal checkout: SHIP4FREE. You can find his work, or contact him about your custom project, by visiting his Etsy store. He especially enjoys hearing from the readers of my blog, so give him a shout! I have to run along now. Hope you have a great weekend with some awesome weather! ~firefly

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