Posted by: Rachelle Siegrist | March 1, 2015

Getting Ready for NatureWorks

Getting Ready for NatureWorks

By Rachelle Siegrist

dove in blizzard

Well, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I missed posting last weekend. It’s a long story, so I will graciously shorten it for you. I drove us home from Charleston, Monday two weeks ago, in snow and sleet, with a sick Wes in the passenger seat. Thankfully I managed to stay well for a couple of days after returning home, long enough to unpack from the trip, wash clothes and get a few other things done, while taking care of Wes. Then Wednesday, a week and a half ago, it snowed. Since I was still well, and Wes was snug inside with plenty to drink, I decided to go out and make a few sled runs . . . why not!

sledding with rachelle siegristHang on . . . here we go!

snowy dinner party at rachelle siegrist houseDinner party on the porch anyone?

Sitting on my sled, perched atop the hill, I gazed up at the surrounding woods. The clouds had finally parted, allowing the sun to once again shine down, filling the ice covered trees with what appeared to be thousands of diamonds, each one displaying the full spectrum of colors in a rainbow. Needless to say, it was absolutely stunning as I looked around, and unlike anything I had ever seen before! I quietly sat there for several minutes just admiring this wonder of nature, then decided it was time to take the first ride, then the 2nd, 3rd and so forth and so on. Sometime later I decided I had better go back in and check on Wes and get busy. Little did I know while enjoying my sled time, that the bomb was going to drop that night, and Thursday morning I too would wake up with a fever, bad sore throat . . . and no voice to boot!

crepe myrtle in the snowThe crepe myrtle looking gorgeous decked out in snow!

domar drive in the snowOur snow encrusted road out front

rachelle siegrist in snow in smokiesHa . . . I escaped!!!

What a pickle we were in, both feebly trying to take care of the other. Thankfully, while still well, I had made a large pot of soup, so at least we had plenty of healthy food already made. Friday, we managed to get the van slowly up the snow-covered driveway and went to the Dr. in Maryville. After whispering to the Dr. about how my friend in Charleston was given a hot toddy to help with her sore throat and lost voice, and that it had helped her, she told me they do help . . . to go for it. With gin, for making my gin raisins, being the only thing I had to make it with, I searched the Internet for a recipe. After finding one and making my medicinal concoction that night, I took one sniff of it, and thought “This is gonna be really bad!” It was totally nasty tasting and I had to convince my throat that it could swallow down the last couple remaining gulps. Within minutes, I was in bed, having completely forgotten I had aches and pains. Then, for two hours I lay there, feeling like I was completely roasting alive! After that came chills so severe I felt like a human earthquake, and was sure I was going to shake the screws right out of the bed! Thankfully, after that I finally fell asleep and slept like a baby, until sometime mid morning! I woke up with no more sore throat and my voice back, so I guess they do work, if you live through the experience . . . ha ha!

siegrist front yard in the snowCare to sit and relax a spell?

siegrist house in the snowstorm 2015Our house nestled in its snowy blanket

siegrist studio in the snowBut of course . . . more snow!

Sometime during the next couple of days, more snow fell . . . and then more snow fell, until there was almost 10 inches of the white stuff! It was beautiful and my heart was completely broken, not being able to go out and sled and play in the most snow we’ve gotten since moving here! Not to worry though, I took photos of it out the windows instead and lay on the couch admiring it while resting. My sweet Carolina Wrens, Peeps and Elvira came and hung out with me for a while, sitting on the moss topped flowerpot, just outside the window nearby. “How very sweet!” I thought, as I watched them contentedly sitting there, absorbing the few rays of sun that occasionally pierced the cloud shrouded sky. The hardest part of it all I must admit, was not being able to go out and feed and take care of my birds like I normally do!

carolina wrens on mossSweet Peeps and Elvira

house back in snowThe back of our house decked out in white

slate colored junco in snowJuncos seem to thrive in the snow and this one was like a feathered snow plow!

It’s almost two weeks later now, and thankfully we’re both feeling better and have been happily back at the easels for days. No, I never did get to sled again, but yesterday we sure enjoyed going for a walk in the snow and eating a delicious jalapeno covered pizza at Pizza Hut! One would’ve thought we had been given the world and all of its treasures! Today Wes has been packing up our miniature paintings, and we’re finishing the final details in getting ready for the upcoming NatureWorks Show in Tulsa, OK this next weekend. Thank goodness Wes had the foresight to have us fly out there this year! Needless to say, we’re greatly looking forward to seeing many of our collector friends again this year!

snow covered deckLots of the white stuff!

~ ————— Ω ————— ~

~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~

I finished my painting of an Elk which I photographed during our trip into Rocky Mountain National Park this past August.  It was one of those amazing magical encounters, which are usually once in a lifetime! Wes finished his painting of a Sheep which we photographed at the Museum of Appalachia, and one of a Little Dipper, both of which he had started before leaving for SEWE a couple of weeks earlier.

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park painting

“A Magical Encounter” by Rachelle

Little Dipperpainting by_Wes_Siegrist

“Little Gold Dipper” by Wes

sheep painting

“Wooly, Warm and Weathered” by Wes

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

Posted by: Rachelle Siegrist | February 17, 2015

The BIG SEWE Weekend!

Attending the Big SEWE Weekend!

By Rachelle Siegrist

maloney point overlook in the great smoky mountains national parkMaloney Point overlook

It was a gorgeous day, when we left our home here in the Smokies last Wednesday, and headed to Charleston, SC to participate in the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. Our winding drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was delightful and we decided to take full advantage of the amazingly beautiful weather and sunshine, with a picnic atop the Foothills Parkway. We enjoyed our sandwiches, while parked at an overlook offering a grand view and lots of warmth from the sun to boot!

wes and rachelle siegrist picnic on the foothills parkwayPicnicking on the Foothills Parkway

We arrived in North Charleston that evening and I was thrilled to find that we had a lovely view of a Cypress Hammock complete with swamp below, from our hotel room! As the sun set, Spanish Moss laden Cypress Trees were outlined against an evening sky painted in shades of pink and yellow, creating a most stunning view indeed!

charleston sunset

Early Thursday morning, we made our way to the Charleston Place Hotel, where the art would be displayed in the grand ballroom. By early noon, our miniatures were hung and arranged, and after a quick bite to eat, we were ready for the show to start. Later that afternoon we walked down to Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, located in downtown Charleston, where we enjoyed a delicious Greek meal! Sitting at a tall table nestled in a large window, passerby’s entertained us as we ate, parading by with their beautiful dogs of all shapes and sizes!

rachelle siegrist at the belmond charleston place hotelStanding on the grand staircase inside the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel

After changing into formal wear, or what we call our “Superman switch”, taking place in the back of the van, we were ready for the big event that evening. We were delighted to see several of our collector friends there, and to sell paintings as well! The air was festive and alive, as the sea of tuxes and evening gowns filled and mingled about the room.

wes and Rachelle siegrist at SEWE gala opening 2015Wes and I with our miniature paintings at the opening

SEWE gala opening 2015Just a fraction of the large crowd at the opening

Friday was another good day at the show, and we enjoyed returning to Taziki’s for dinner, along with artist friends, David and Cathy Lanier. Saturday evening treated us with a delightful dinner with several dear collector friends, at a wonderful restaurant called FIG, located not too far from the Charleston Place Hotel. The camaraderie was wonderful, as we told stories and shared much laughter, all of course while eating delicious food! My dinner featuring slow baked Beeliner Snapper, nestled on cabbage and topped with delicate black trumpet mushrooms, pecans, and fino sherry was absolutely delicious, and the Citrus Soufflé topped with blood orange, crème fraîche, and a generous amount of chopped pistachios, was absolutely scrumptious, with Wes and I deciding it was one of the best desserts we had ever had!

dinner at the FIG in Charleston Valentines DayDr. Bob, Teri, Boon, me with little buddy Sean, Wes and Eugene at FIG

red snapper dinner at FIGMmmmmm . . . my beautiful and delicious Red snapper dish!

Citrus Soufflé at FIG CharlestonEven bigger Mmmmmm . . . our scrumptious Citus Soufflee!

The last day, Sunday, started off with a “trip around the world” while viewing an amazing collection of photos which two of our collector friends have taken during their trips globally, and had on their I-pad . . . a true visual delight indeed! Unfortunately by that evening, Wes was feeling a bit under the weather, so we had to forgo our traditional Sunday evening dinner with friends at T-Bonz. The weather forecast for traveling home Monday looked ominous with a wicked winter storm approaching.  Thankfully Monday morning proved otherwise, so we started the journey home.

golden retriever at SEWEA very happy attendee at the show

With Wes resting in the passenger seat, I drove, for the first time, through falling snow and sleet for a couple of hours.  Not the easiest of tasks by all means, but nonetheless I felt as if I had really accomplished something! Having only slid a couple of times, I decided I had done pretty well indeed! Safely back home, Wes is slowly improving while I’m trying to get caught up on things. Hopefully he’ll be feeling much better soon, and once again back in the grove, we can start getting ready for our next show, NatureWorks,  in Tulsa, OK, in a couple of weeks.  Many thanks again to all of you who happily took our miniature paintings home, making the show a success for us!!

ice in the smokies february 2015Currently from our backyard, which I call “Frozen World!”

icicles in the smokies

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~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~

Wes recently finished a painting of a Mallard duck trying to navigate the swift water in the Ohio River, which is excitedly already sold!

dusk painting by Wes Siegrist

“Navigating Flood Stage” by Wes

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

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