Surrounded By Blue Birds

fall wreath

Happy Fall Ya’ll! Wow . . . It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! But here it is the 21st of November already. I guess time flies when you’re having fun or working on a lot of projects! Either way, I seem to be having a hard time keeping up with what day of the week or the month it is here. It’s like we’re living in the twilight zone, in a good way, here in Grandview! 

We finished treating the cabin with log oil, a job we’re both very thankful to be done with indeed! It looks happier and in much better shape now though and that makes us feel good. We also finished building the greenhouse this past week. We’re digging the floor out in it, about two feet down, adding nice geothermal insulation properties to it. We’ve also managed to fill the leaf compost on the left of it, using a minuscule fraction of the leaves our numerous trees have shed this past week. That being said, we have raked and blown leaves multiple times and since most have come down now, I’m thinking we’ll be doing a little less of this activity this next week.

building a greenhouse

Here’s a look inside the greenhouse, with our few plants brought along from our garden in Townsend, and they seem to be very happy in their new warm home! About half of the floor has yet to be dug out, and once we’re finished I’ll be sharing a step-by-step of the building process on a blog post, in case you’re curious to see how it was built.


One of my projects this past week was to create the stone patio entrance to the front deck. We had already moved the rocks there and had them scattered about. I spent the entire day carefully moving them around and arranging them, before digging out some of the gravel and dirt beneath, to seat them in place. It was like putting together a giant, heavy puzzle, one piece at a time, making adjustments as needed, to make it fit together just right. 

making a stone sidewalk

I was quite pleased with how it turned out, and thought it kind like creating a large abstract! I’ll be adding onto the patio later on, as we’re planning to build both a pizza oven and rocket stove in that area, to enjoy cooking on, and of course for free! We’ll be building a roof on part of the front deck as well later on, so you’ll see those changes as they happen.

stone patio ideas

Another fun wood working project we did yesterday, was build several birdhouses and put them all about the yard. We used wood we had and the old metal poles the previous owner left from his above ground pool he once had. We just had to put two poles together to make each one tall enough, and voila’… we had the perfect birdhouse pole! The day before we built these, I had walked out to dump the compost in the compost bed, and suddenly stopped dead in my tracks, as a beautiful male bluebird flew up, landing atop a birdhouse mere feet in front of me! I was thrilled to say the least, and even more so when I realized that I was surrounded by bluebirds! There were a dozen of them everywhere I looked, atop several houses, on the greenhouse, the clothesline and even the table saw! It was absolutely amazing, and I stood there very still, feeling as if I was a part of this beautiful bright blue flock! Talk about immediate rewards for your work, that was certainly the case yesterday! Of course, we placed them so that we can see a box out of every window in the house 🙂

bird houses

Wes has spent some time in the crawl space underneath the house, putting foam insulation on all the water pipes. Definitely a job I don’t envy him of at all! I did get down and peer into the nicer space, which is actually inside what was once part of the garage, hence this photo. Another job he will be very happy to be done with!

wes siegrist

We take daily walks together along the multiple trails we have made through our woods, and I usually take several trips around them each day when possible. Walking in the woods is certainly one of my favorite pastimes, and I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy doing just that daily now. I love collecting beautiful leaves, or acorns or other interesting natural objects I find, and I created this lovely autumn bouquet using those things. I still had the carnation and few little rust-colored daisies from the arrangement I was given by a friend a couple of weeks ago, which I added to it.

autumn flower arrangement

If we’re out walking late enough in the evening, we get to watch “Batty”, our resident bat who comes out many evenings performing stunning aeronautical ballets as it eats bugs. It’s great fun to watch and at times it quickly dips down, zipping along just above my head. Amazingly it can change directions instantly in mid-air, a feat that doesn’t look possible, but for Batty it is and comes with great ease! Our mail lady kindly dropped off a few oversized packages for us one evening, since she only lives a couple of properties down from us, and we were on her way home. When Wes stepped out to help her, he stuck his head back in the door, telling me to come look at the moon. I stepped out with camera in hand, and it was truly amazing! Although my photo doesn’t do it justice in the least, it was huge, and bright orange, looking more like the sun rising than the moon! Even though it was quite frigid out, I had to stand there admiring it, and watching as it slowly went higher into the sky. 

moonrise photo

The deer have been back a couple of mornings this week, and we see them walking the trails we’ve made. This delights me, and I love seeing fresh tracks and scat many days, knowing that we have made them happy with these trails leading through our woods. We still have one more loop to add to the existing trails, and will probably do that sometime soon, then I hope to add fun little trailhead signs. Once completed I’ll take you along on a walk in the woods with me through photos and stories.

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
Wes and I each have a painting in this wonderful exhibition currently at the  The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, located in Oradell, NJ, November 20, 2021 – January 16, 2022

 Exquisite Miniatures 

is currently at the beautiful Elliott Museum located in Stuart, FL, where it will be on display until December 15th.

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

Incredible Time Travel

We’re going to do some time traveling today through the magic of photos! Since Wes and I are preparing to list our house for sale this week, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back in time and see what changes have taken place over the past 20 years that we have lived here. It’s truly amazing to see the incredible transformation that a lot of time, hard work, tenacity and patience can create! I tried to take photos from the exact same location, from which we took the original ones over 20 years ago. I guess for us as artists, it was like creating a work of art using a BIG canvas! A masterpiece  in which we put a lot of blood, sweat and at time, tears into. So I hope you enjoy seeing these amazing “before” and “after” photos as much as I did! 

“Before” and “After”

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I believe our lives are made up of different chapters or seasons, and there comes a time when the page is turning  and a new chapter is starting. And many times change can be very scary, as we tend to settle into our lives of comfort and sameness, but sometimes wonderful things happen when we’re willing to take that leap of faith, follow a dream and step out of our comfort zone. So while Wes and I are somewhat nervous about the coming changes, we’re both excited to see what this next chapter brings us, as we embark on our new adventure in life together! And don’t worry, I’ll keep you up-to-date each step of the way.

With the coming move, we are currently having a BIG moving sale on some of our artwork, and this includes some of our larger artworks! So if you would like to acquire one of our paintings for your very own collection, here’s the LINK to Collector’s Corner and if you see paintings you’d like to get, please email us at:


siegrist miniature paintings

These are 4 of the numerous miniature paintings available through our BIG sale!


See our miniatures in person this week

 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:

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by EMAIL at:

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Bouncing Baby Squirrels

baby squirrel photo

The first peak outside, “WOW . . .it’s a long way down!”

We’re excited to have new little ones around! You know, the kind with four legs and covered with fur, sporting a long bushy tail? That’s right, we have two adorable baby squirrels, who decided to start checking out the big outside world this past week, and we have had so much fun watching them explore everything for the first time! 

baby squirrel photo4

“If you’d just get out of my way, it sure would be easier to get out!”

Of course, one was much more adventurous at first, and was brave enough to venture completely out of the safety of the box, but it took it quite a while to muster up the courage to do so!

baby squirrel photo2

“I don’t know if I’m quite sure about this”

They would peer down at the ground when looking out of the box, as if thinking . . . “Boy, that’s sure a long ways to the bottom!” Finally one got brave enough and came completely out of the box! He did a wee bit of exploring right around the box, while the sibling watched his every move, nervously from inside. All was fun and games until he climbed up onto the wet slippery roof, and then down he went! Of course I was sitting out on the porch at the time watching them, and I gasped out loud when I saw it happen! 

baby squirrel photo3

“Oh No . . . now what do I do?”

I stood there watching intensely for a few moments and was about to head down to check on it, when I saw it emerge from the leaf litter, shake it off, and immediately start climbing back up toward the box. Half way up the tree, it just froze and started crying, and I felt so sorry for it. Then suddenly it regained courage and continued climbing up the tree, only it went up the wrong part, and after going back down and finding the other trunk, it climbed up the rest of the way, and carefully climbed back into the safe box!

baby squirrel photo5

See, I was okay, you didn’t need to worry

Since the box is only about 15 feet from our dining room window, we have certainly been well entertained at meal times! Today, they’re both out and about exploring their big wooden jungle gym for squirrels, and one even climbed all the way to the very top of the tree! Of course it wasn’t there very long at all, before heading back down to the familiar area near the box. 

baby squirrel photo8

It’s been truly delightful being able to watch these two adorable babies interacting and playing with each other, whilst building up their strength and increasing their dexterity. Now just a few days later, they tend to walk along the narrow, bouncing limbs of the vine with the dexterity and confidence of a tight rope walker, much more graceful and sure-footed than in the beginning.

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“I’m going down to the ground, but I’ll be back, so don’t be scared”

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“Oh . . . I sure wish he’d come back up here!”

The one baby went down to the ground and was gone quite a while before going back up into the tree, where he joined his sibling. Then just a short while later, they both ventured down the tree and out to explore the big world. 

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“See, I came back for you”

I don’t know if they’ll be back to the box for a nap or to spend the night, but I’ll sure watching for them! I got several adorable videos of them, so I’ll be making a short video and will share it with you next week. 

Celebrating Easter . . . for He is risen!!

In The Studio

I finished my painting commission of two Purple Martins this past week and got the time-lapse video made and uploaded to YouTube, and here it is for you to enjoy! 

 See our miniatures in person this week

See the show online now here: 30th International Miniature Art Show
May 1-31, 2021: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC (We are the judges for the show this year!) 

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website,

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle