The Presidential Portrait Miniature and Kayaking


 Wes and I enjoyed spending some time in the great outdoors this past week, while taking advantage of a couple days of nice weather! We decided to spend our time on the water whilst kayaking and fishing, and the first afternoon found us under brilliant clear blue skies. The Tree Swallows and Canada Geese are obviously starting their nesting season, and I love sitting in the kayak and watching the swallows zip back and forth across the sky above, between sitting on bare tree limbs towering above. While watching the acrobat show in the sky, I was serenaded by the calls of the geese settling disputes over who’s territory is whose. A couple of times they flew nearby which was lovely to watch, and I managed to capture this video below for you to enjoy!

Since our lakes are actually rivers controlled by dams, we never know exactly what we’re gonna find in certain areas, or how high or low the water will be. While at times it can be frustrating, I guess it always lends an element of surprise to our adventure! Since the water was very low that afternoon, while Wes fished nearby, I pulled my kayak up onto one of the sandy beaches, and walked in the sand for awhile. It was almost warm feeling in certain spots and felt so amazing to my sand starved tootsies! As I walked along, I started noticing footprints and upon closer inspection realized they were from the geese. When I came upon this perfectly formed “X” made by the geese, I realized they obviously know where the treasure is buried! Next time I’ll be taking my shovel along… Ha ha!

canada goose footprints

The water is very clear presently and appears a brilliant blue color! I loved how the shore along this island looks as if it had actually been carefully raked, to make it have the uniform lines in it.

wes siegrist at the lake

We saw where the beavers are obviously enjoying this “buffet of bark” off of a huge tree that recently fell down in one of our wind storms!

tree photo

I simply can’t resist taking photos and videos in the clear water with my GoPro camera, and captured this cool looking photo this past week. So in case you’ve ever wondered what it looks like at the base of a cascade, well here you go!

underwater photo by rachelle siegrist

– Ridiculous Remedies – 

Here’s this week’s ridiculous remedy from the old 1892 cookbook, in case you have gilt frames in your house that you want to make shiny and bright! Okay, so I’m not sure where one would’ve gotten “flour of sulphur” from, or how well this worked, but it certainly should keep your home free of vampires if you used that much garlic . . . Ha Ha!!

everyday cook book

– In The Studio –

My Presidential portrait miniature commission of President Joe Biden, arrived at the Woolaroc Museum this past week, where it will be placed in the Museum’s historic Presidential Portrait Miniature Collection! This is the 3rd Presidential portrait I’ve painted for the collection, and Wes has painted one other for it. Even though there are many challenges in painting a portrait this small, one of the most stressful parts, is cutting the painting out of the paper, to make it fit inside the gold oval frame! As you can imagine, I made one wee careful cut at a time, until after what seemed like a hundred precision cuts later, it finally was the correct shape and size!

miniature portrait by rachelle siegrist

And voila’ . . . Here it is!

Portrait miniature president joe biden by Rachelle siegrist

President Joe Biden

I also finished my time-lapse video of the painting process and have embedded it here for you to enjoy! Even though I painted it, it’s still fun for me to watch it come to life in this video!

– See our miniatures in person this week –

 Exquisite Miniatures at the Norfolk Arts Center, in Norfolk, NE

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website,

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

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Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Fun Outside and at Our Easels

rachelle siegrist kayaking

Well, we managed to get out and enjoy the great outdoors a couple of times during the past two weeks, and I must admit it was very nice indeed! The weather forecast for the one day promised clear blue skies and no wind, so we decided that would be a great day to get back out on the water for a little while! While there was no wind at our house, by the time we arrived to our embarking destination, the wind was blowing hard enough it was creating good-sized waves, with some even white capping! Having driven the distance to get there, we decided to go out for awhile anyway. It was actually fun riding the rise and fall of the waves, and upon paddling around a bend in the water, we were able to escape some of the wind, especially when heading up a small stream. There the water was quite calm and clear as glass, offering a diver’s view below the surface of the frigid water.

mountain stream

Within no time, the sun had all but disappeared, dropping the temperature quite a bit, but thankfully we had brought along enough clothes to layer up, keeping most of us warm, except for our hands, which were pretty cold even with gloves on. During the times the wind was at our backs, it was great, like getting a perpetual push from behind! However, when we turned, facing into the wind, it was a different story all together, and we had to really work at it to make good headway. Nonetheless, it was glorious to be back out on the water again, and I must admit it felt really good too, to be back in the van and out of the cold wind.

dirt dobber nests

I thought these Mud Daubers had impeccable taste in the location in which to build their nests!

Another day was predicted to be partly sunny, so we jumped at the chance to go walk in nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I think that forecast was totally missed, as I don’t believe the sun came out at all during the day, but we enjoyed a delightful hike, and seeing the beautiful vistas offered through the naked woods this time of year! The gentle rise in elevation during our hike kept us nice and toasty too! 

cades cove

The past several days, a beautiful Hermit Thrush has been gracing our back deck with its’ presence! It’s always a delight to see rare visitors in the yard, and I absolutely love watching it eat off of the wooden picnic table, which seems to be one of its’ favorite locations!

hermit thrush2

I’ve been keeping our better camera on the dining room table, to be able to get a few nice photos of it.

hermit thrush

~ Ridiculous Remedies ~

Okay, it’s time for a few laughs again this week with more ridiculous remedies from my 1892 Everyday Cook Book, and remember I am in NO way suggesting that any of these be used! This first one is really odd to me, since I grew up in Florida and spent much of my earlier life striving to have tanned skin! I can’t imagine wanting to do something to erase it! And I wonder who in the world Fuller was, and how far one had to travel to get water from him . . . Ha Ha!

everyday cookbook3

This one is quite interesting in the day and age when many are trying to do just the opposite of this! Nonetheless, it sounds like they have figured it all out and as if they’re trying to fatten up the family hog . . . HA HA!!! I’m very curious to know what bathing daily will do to help fatten one up. Makes you wonder if doing just the opposite and not bathing, is a way to produce weight loss? It would save on the water bill regardless. Ha Ha!

everyday cookbook2

Oh my goodness, this I just can’t even begin to imagine enduring, and who in their right mind would even consider gargling with borax . . . YIKES!!!

everyday cookbook

~ What’s Happening in The Studio ~

Wes finished his miniature painting of an adorable Little Rock Pica. You have to look really close to see it tucked in there between the rocks, hence the title “My Hiding Place”. This painting is available for your own collection.

rock pica by Wes siegrist

Wes’s “My Hiding Place”

While I love painting portrait miniatures, they’re very tedious at times, so I had to take a wee break from my Presidential commission and started painting a miniature version of Claude Monet’s beautiful “Springtime”. I am having great fun with this one and am imagining the lady being myself, sitting out in the warm spring air and reading a delightful book, whilst being surrounded by all of the lush green foliage!

claude monet's springtime in miniature

I’ve made lots more progress on my commission of President Biden for the Woolaroc Museum’s Presidential Portrait Miniature Collection, and will probably finish it this week. I’ll be making a time-lapse video of this miniature, and will share it with you once finished.

Rachelle Siegrist painting President Joe Biden in miniature

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website,

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

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Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Get Ready For Some Laughs

cute squirrel photo2

Our resident squirrel, Skittles, looks exactly like how I feel on some of these gray, cold winter days . . . HaHa, and I think she too is dreaming of warm summer days! But whatever she may be thinking, we’re enjoying watching her carry BIG mouthfuls of leaves, moss and other natural materials, up and into her box. She has raised baby squirrels in here many years now, and we love seeing her poke her little head out of the hole, knowing eventually it will be several babies who are poking their heads out, taking their first glimpses of the outside world!

Our other resident squirrels, nicknamed the Lovies, continue to bring us laughter with their hilarious antics, whilst playing and wrestling together. They have done this since they were young, and we’ve so enjoyed watching them over the years! One day recently I was watching them, and noticed the one had a hold of the others tail, and was suspending it from where it sat on the vine! The upside down squirrel seemed to be enjoying this gravitational release off its’ vertebrae, as it stretched its arms and even its toes out! I didn’t get that encounter, but caught this cute video of them recently playing outside the kitchen window.

~ Ridiculous Remedies ~

Since I received an overwhelmingly positive response regarding the “remedies” from the 1892 Every-Day Cook-Book, I’ll continue to share a couple every week with you, until I eventually run out. Just remember that I in NO way am suggesting you use or do any of these! So here you go and I hope you enjoy a laugh or two! 

everyday cook book6

Okay, so I guess you’re okay if you get bit by a happy dog instead of one filled with madness…HaHa! I can just imagine if one was alone and had to perform this unbelievable task of holding the hot iron on there, while patiently counting out 8 seconds. And really? . . . lunar caustic sounds like acid from the moon, no wonder it would turn black . . . Yikes!

Well, now comes the big choice, is it worse to have unwanted hairs or possibly a disfigured face? Hmmm… I guess that’s up to each individual HaHa, but I think I wouldn’t want to risk disfiguring my face! 

funny remedies

everyday cook book5

I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite sure what garbanum is, but it doesn’t sound too good. When they say this is severe, I was thinking “Really? . . . You think? . . . I would say so!”  And can you imagine putting kerosene on your face? I would be sure not to do it near a lit candle, as you could burn your face off and then it really would be sore! Now aren’t you glad to know however, that if something is sore, you only need to rub some sweet oil on it to make it better . . . HaHa!!

Well if you are plagued with tape-worms, then here you go, this should help with your unwanted situation!

everyday cook book

Hmmmm . . . I wonder what happens if you’re a little late in doing the next step, or why you have to fast during breakfast and super, instead of lunch? And although I’ve personally never taken caster oil, I’ve know a few people who have, and from the look on their faces, I don’t think it’s a very pleasant thing at all!

Now here’s one that I actually totally agree with!

everyday cook book2

~ What’s Happening in the Studio ~

Wes finished his painting of one of our precious squirrels who obviously enjoys eating out in her feeder! This feeder box is located just outside out studio window, so we can watch them eating out of it all throughout the day, which is truly delightful! She is available for purchase, so contact us if you’re wanting to give her a home!

squirrel painting by Wes siegrist

“Excuse Me, It’s Empty Again!” by Wes

I’m continuing to paint on my laughing zebra, and am still having great fun with this hilarious painting! I’ve just put in a couple of washes for the background color and am starting to build up some differentiation in value by stippling the background. Then comes the fun part, painting in all those amazing whiskers!

zebra painting in progress by Rachelle siegrist

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

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle