The BIG move

wes siegrist

Wes standing out front of the cabin after we got the moving truck unloaded.

Well, I’m finally back! We just got our satellite internet hooked up a couple of days ago, and what a process it was. Actually just about everything with this move has been a major process. After we shared everything that has happened with our dear collector friend, Mike, he called it “The move by Murphy” since nearly everything that could possibly go wrong… did! But here we are almost 3 weeks later now . . . I believe, as I’m having a very hard time keeping track of the days currently. Things are slowly improving though and we’re starting to get settled back into a semi-routine of normalcy thankfully.

My house warming gift was an amazing collection of over 74 chigger bites! Wes says it’s the most he has ever seen on anyone, and I look like I have the measles! I made some homemade spray using tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil, and thankfully have only added a couple to my stunning collection since using it.

siegrist house

Our first supper on the back porch

I won’t bore you with all the details, since most of you already have enough stress and problems of your own these days. So I’m going to keep it on a positive note, while focusing on our many blessings, and mainly share photos with you from our new property. We bought a 1 bedroom log cabin that the seller actually built himself, and he did a beautiful job! His name is Wesley as well, so it’s very easy to remember.

nature photo

The lovely view down our driveway

The home is situated on 6.3 acres of mixed woods and an open area for gardening. The amazing surprise is that there is already a perfectly level spot where he had an above ground pool, so next spring I’m going to get a belated Christmas present! I haven’t had a pool since leaving home when Wes and I were married, and can’t tell you how much I’ve missed it, so as you can imagine I’m already counting the days until next spring!

nature blog

The view from the front porch

Several deer frequent our woods and enjoy eating the plentiful acorns. There are so many acorns in fact that I’m thinking about getting a hard hat to be able to safely walk through the woods this time of year… HaHa! I’ve seen a few squirrels off in the distance and although no birds have visited our feeder, the woods are full of them. I must admit I greatly miss all of my wonderful critter best friends from the yard in Townsend, and look forward to the day when I make some new ones here. I do have 3 female Ruby-throated hummingbirds that hang out almost constantly at the feeders and are thoroughly enjoying their new diners! 

hummingbird photo

My new best critter friend!

We have found several amazing salamanders while working in the yard and walking through the woods. One was very BIG and another was very tiny, both great surprises!


I believe the big one is a Red Salamander (Pseudotriton Ruber) and the wee one is a Woodland 

woodland salamander

This adorable baby turtle was yet another awesome find, that Wes made one day!

baby turtle photo

A wonderful family bought our home in the Smokies, and the best part is that they absolutely LOVE my critters! I can’t express in words how very happy this makes me, and she has been texting me, telling me how they are doing and how much their 2 young boys adore the bunnies, birds and squirrels, especially Bunny and Growlin’ squirrels! They love how they lay on their bellies to eat. And eat they are, as this delightful family is feeding them and taking great care of them, and probably spoiling them even more than I did, if that’s possible. A BIG heartfelt thank you to them for taking such awesome care of them all for me!

log cabin

The front of the house prior to our porch renovations

siegrist home

The dining room, which is where I’ll probably paint part of the time

We’re currently still using a card table as a dining room table and sleeping on our camping mattress on the floor. Hopefully the new carpet will finally get installed this next week, and we can build a new bed frame and move what little bit of furniture we brought along with us, into its proper place. I think then it will start feeling more like home to us. We’re in the process of building a roof over the back deck, and will spend tomorrow spreading 6 tons of crusher run gravel on the driveway, as there’s a steep area that has washed out with all of the unbelievable recent rains. There’s one thing we don’t do anymore, and that’s get bored! 

wes siegrist studio

Wes building shelves in the new SAA office, studio, and framing area.

I’ll be sharing photos of the progress on different projects as we go along, as well as photos of critters we find, so be sure to visit the blog each week, to see what’s new! Soon I’ll start painting on miniatures again too.

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists Art That Matters to the Planet Show
August 14 – October 25, 2021:The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Jamestown, NY

Society of Animal Artists Animal Impressions Show
August 21 – November 7, 2021: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ

Exquisite Miniatures is currently at the beautiful Elliott Museum located in Stuart, FL 

We are delighted to have our history-making tour on display in this beautiful museum! So if you’re in, or are going to be in the area, plan a visit to see over 60 of our miniature paintings in person, grab a magnifying glass and experience the “wow factor!” And if you fall in love with one . . . well, it can be yours forever, as all paintings in the exhibition are available.

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE

Contact us by EMAIL here:

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

A Very Happy New Year to You!!

Me on the snow covered swinging bridge here in Townsend.

Yes . . . we greatly enjoyed our final morning of sledding last Monday!! It was even better than the day before, as I found a natural snow ramp, that when hit directly on the way down, sent you airborne, flying through the air a bit before landing and continuing the exhilarating journey downward!! After a couple of hours of this great fun and exercise, I finally wore myself out climbing the hill over and over again, and conceded to Wes’ wishes to return home and get back to work. But alas, it was another wonderful morning on the “slopes” though!!

A beautiful scene that we enjoy, on our daily walks, covered in snow.

Our beautiful snow lasted until yesterday, when it finally gave way to the rising temperatures and the sunshine. However, I sure enjoyed it for the week that we had it! By the end of today, there was still a very small remnant of what was “Mt. Snowmore”, on our back deck. Mr. Cardinal kept climbing on it searching for left over, and somewhat buried, sunflowers seeds. This past week, we thoroughly enjoyed our daily walks through the winter wonderland that Townsend appeared to be, and I believe I hit every other telephone pole with a big snowball. Why the telephone poles, well because they don’t pummel me back with a deadly amount of snowballs like Wes does when I throw them at him. He’s really no fun to play snow balls with!
Okay, I have several photos of our house and yard that I’d like to share with you, so I will now take you on a short, little photo journey . . . so sit back and enjoy!

Our sweet little house surrounded by a marshmallow world.

Our magical winter wonderland in the front yard.

Our walking path in the back yard.

The gorgeous Little River in Townsend, a short walk from our house.

Besides playing in the snow as much as I could, Wes and I have been getting quite a bit of painting done. We also enjoyed a wonderful visit from our dear artist friend, Karryl, this past week. She was able to stop by and enjoy spending a night with us on her way down to see family in Texas. Of course we fed her a nice dinner, then we enjoyed playing games and later watched a funny movie together. We filled her with grits and blueberry pancakes, and one of my special coffees with “fluffy milk”, the next morning, before seeing her off for the rest of her journey southward.
Last evening, New Year’s Eve, we enjoyed a nice meal at Pizza Hut with several of our dear friends. We all returned to our house afterward, where we enjoyed a few assorted desserts and had a great time watching old episodes of “I Love Lucy”. Sides were spitting and tears were running down the faces of many of us, as we laughed until it literally hurt, at that hilarious Lucy! She was certainly one of the best!! The one episode with her as the ballet dancer is amazingly funny!! A wonderful way to get ready to start the new year off I’d say!

Dovecakes and her friends, along with hundreds of other birdies, kept me very busy with refilling their treats this past week!

Handsome P.W. enjoys the yummy nut crunchies!

Fresh off the easel;
I finished my miniature painting of a Meerkat this past week. My miniature painting will be featured in the upcoming Gallery One Masterworks in Miniature show. Wes finished his miniature painting of a lovely setting with several old boats in it also this past week. I’m also continuing to work periodically on the commission of the winery in Italy.

"Sunbathing Meerkat" by Rachelle, measures 3¾ x 2¾ inches.

"Low Country Fleet at Rest" by Wes, measures 1½ x 4½ inches.

I‘m excited to share with you a bit of information on our soon and upcoming workshop at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  It will take place Friday, January 14 – Sunday, January 16, 2011.  The class will include a gallery walk by us to discuss and field questions about our 70 paintings concurrently on exhibit at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as well as a Power Point presentation by Wes, on the history and scope of miniature art today. There are a few spaces left if you would like to join us!

For more information please visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert  Museum website.

We hope to see some of you there! It’s going to be a lot of great fun in a beautiful location! We also look forward to seeing several of you at the opening of the Miniature Art Society of Florida’s 36th Annual Miniature show this next weekend, at the lovely Dunedin Fine Art Center in Dunedin, FL. The show runs January 9-30, 2011. If you have the chance, it’s a great one to see!

Hope you continue to keep warm and I wish you a truly wonderful, happy and healthy New Year!!

Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂