Enjoying Home Projects and New Shows Opening

buidling a stone patio

Wes and I have spent a big part of this past week playing with rocks, whilst building a stone patio in the backyard. Albeit a lot of hard back-breaking work, it’s been enjoyable nonetheless, as we try our hand at being stone masons. Its been great fun watching it turn from a mostly muddy section of the yard into something beautiful! One of the hardest parts of the job was bringing down wheelbarrow loads of stones from up in the woods. There’s a couple of piles of sandstone, which were considered “B” rocks and left when they mined a small section a long time ago. So I say we’re going to the “rock store” when we go to the main pile and look through the rocks. It’s very enjoyable, as you always find wonderful rocks and knowing they’re free, well, that’s the icing on the cake!

building a stone patio2

Now that we have the patio completed, we’re beginning to construct a pizza oven in the back corner of the patio. I’ve taken photos throughout the process and will share a time-lapse video of the construction of it once I have it made. 

With a couple days of rain, we spent some time on inside projects, one of which was recovering the dining room chairs which we purchased along with the dining room table, at a Habitat for Humanity store.  I’ve recovered many pieces of furniture in my time, and even though it had been awhile, I got back into the swing of the art very quickly. It’s quite satisfying seeing the transformation of something that looks old and worn, into something beautiful! 

recovering furniture

And voila’ . . . Here it is below, looking like new! There’s actually four chairs, the forth one was just awol during the photo 🙂 We installed the chandelier several weeks ago, which totally transformed the feel of the entire dining room! Sometime soon I will share before and after photos of the inside of our cabin with you, which I think you’ll enjoy. 


log cabin decor

The yard and woods continues to be filled with birds! It’s truly delightful peering out all the different windows and seeing flocks of Chipping Sparrows, juncos, and so many others! The rock platform seems to be one of the favorite feeding stations for my numerous feathered friends, and it’s so enjoyable sitting in a chair nearby to watch and photograph them. 

tufted titmouse

One of our Tufted Titmice taking a peanut

red-bellied woodpecker

Woody, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, trying to decide what to eat next

white-breasted nuthatch

A beautiful White-breasted Nuthatch going for a peanut

tufted titmouse2

A Tufted Titmouse springs a “fur collar” compliments of the wind

We enjoyed a lovely lakeside view during a van picnic one day this past week, after going into town. It’s been fun and interesting finding new parks and locations to have picnics and explore, and I’m looking forward to having time to start exploring more of the hiking trails and kayaking spots nearby. 

watts bar lake

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, located in Oradell, NJ, until January 16th, 2022

Society of Animal Artists The Kingdom Show
The Midland Center for the Arts, located in Midland, MI, until January 16th, 2022 

The 47th International Miniature Art Show (MASF) is now open and we are delighted to announce that we each received an award in the show! I got 3rd in Birds and Animals on my painting “Among Cypress Knees and Wes got 2nd in Opaque Watercolor on “Excuse Me, It’s Empty Again!” 

Among Cypress Knees

My miniature “Among Cypress Knees”

Excuse Me, It's Empty Again!

Wes miniature “Excuse Me, It’s Empty Again!”

You can view the show online and make purchases starting January 16th at 5:05 PM EST!
The show is being held at The Dunedin Fine Art Center, located in Dunedin, FL and runs through February 6th, 2022. 

MASF miniature exhibition

The two panels displaying our miniature paintings.

Evelyn Burrow Museum exquisite miniatures exhibition

Our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures will open in February at The Evelyn Burrow Museum, located in Hanceville, AL. 

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE hereartofwildlife.com

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Waterfalls and Water Droplets

wes siegrist hiking

There’s something very soothing about walking through the woods, during a light misty rain. The moisture collecting along the outstretched arms of the trees, forming thousands of droplets that fall, softly landing on a dense blanket of freshly fallen leaves covering the ground below. Whilst walking along, all you hear is the peaceful symphony composed by these droplets . . .”drip…drip…drip“. The falling droplets mixed with the sound of my steps on the moist earth, blend together creating a rhythmic pattern, lulling me into a state of complete relaxation. 

nature photography

Everywhere I look are thousands of water droplets, precariously dangling like diamonds from the tips of the pine needles, and it’s simply beautiful! The miniature droplets which created a magical woodland weren’t the only delightful surprise, as we discovered that what we thought was a dry creek bed is actually a seasonal creek, and after the recent rains, came alive with the sights and sounds of running water all along the trail! 

nature photography2

We found numerous cascades and even a couple of little waterfalls along the creek. The one below was about two foot high and filled the air with a delightful sounds of falling water as we walked along.

nature photography5

There were several more smaller cascades as well along the creek blanketed by ferns. Every twist and turn brought a new watery surprise, and I was thrilled with our latest discovery!

nature photography6

Wes and I were like two little kids again, out playing in the creek after the rain had finally stopped! I found this small waterfall shown below most interesting, as it falls inside a small cave like area, where the hollow underground alcove created a lovely sound. 

nature photography4

Sunken Creek (shown below), which emerges from the dome shaped opening and flows constantly, was up and running and quite lovely to hear. I recently transplanted some beautiful lush clumps of moss near the mouth of the little stream, and it appeared to be thriving with the abundant moisture. I’m planning to make this a lovely area to sit by the stream, using stones, ferns and moss from our property, and will share the progress of it with you, as I go along.

nature photography3

I must admit that I wishing to be the height of a Barbie doll and have a wee kayak and tube, so that I could be taking advantage of the miniature whitewater stream! It would’ve been an awesome ride indeed!…Don’t you agree?

nature photography8

Whilst “playing” in the creek, we saw several frogs, and a big crawdad, who got swept downstream by the rushing water. We’ve seen him several times in the little pool area, so he obviously craws back up when the water slows down. The funny thing is, that I no longer dread a day of rain, since I know it will bring to life my “sleeping creek”, and fill Sunken Creek with wee bits of whitewater!

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
Wes and I each have a painting in this 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. 

Society of Animal Artists The Kingdom Show
November 26, 2021 – January 16, 2022 at  The Midland Center for the Arts, located in Midland, MI. Wes and I each have a painting in this exhibition

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE hereartofwildlife.com

Contact us by EMAIL here: siegrist@artofwildlife.com

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

There’s Gold In Those Hills

auntumn leaves

“When leaves turn to flame”. . . I couldn’t help but think of that line out of “September Song” off of Willie Nelson’s Stardust album, whilst walking through our woods this past week. There is a tremendous amount of oak and nut trees on our property and many of them recently turned yellow and gold with the onset of colder temps. Thankfully I captured several nice photos of them for you, before four days of rain set in. 

auntumn leaves3

There are also numerous  sourwoods, a favorite of both mine and Wes’, that fill the forest with bright splashes of red! Then of course there are the beautiful sugar maples, and there is one tree in particular in the backyard that is absolutely splendid to behold right now! Once the weather clears up a little, I’ll be sure and get a photo of it to share with you next week. 

auntumn leaves4

We added two new sections to the trails this past week, and I enjoyed getting to walk them several times, never tiring of the sections of yellow woods they lead me through, especially when paired against a gorgeous clear blue sky!

auntumn leaves2

We made a trip back to Townsend this past week to get our bikes that we had to leave with our friend Kit when we moved, because there was no space to bring them with us. Happily we were able to get together with he and his visiting mom, at our Townsend neighbor friends Dick and Elise’s beautiful home. It was a delightful reunion for all, as we sat around their table beautifully decorated in fall attire, whilst catching up on recent happenings and enjoying delicious food! Later that afternoon, we visited with friends Fred and Barb for awhile, before driving the nearly two-hour drive back home. 

auntumn leaves6

To get to our house, we drive along roads leading to the top of the Cumberland Plateau where Grandview is situated, and there are several beautiful views offered along the way. I thought the section shown in the above photo, was very picturesque while being “kissed by a cloud” as one of our friends called it upon seeing this somewhat mysterious looking image. The image below is from a lookout point along the same road and offers a grand view indeed! Who knows, perhaps that’s why they named the little community Grandview. 

auntumn leaves7

The photo below showcasing some lovely fall color, was taken along the road we live on. There seems to be a lot more reds here in the autumn than in Townsend, and it reminds us both of our two memorable visits to Vermont during the fall!  

auntumn leaves5

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you that we finally got the new carpet installed in our house this past week, and I must say I’m over the moon with delight! We patiently waited nearly 6 weeks for it, so it was a happy day indeed! I was most impressed with the efficiency and great job by the two guys doing the install, and I just had to take a photo of his seam sealing process, as it was very interesting to watch, and I still can’t find this seam in the living room . . . Job well done indeed! 


I’ve been painting the past couple of days, but not on miniatures. It’s actually a few tables we have that needed a little sprucing up, so as not to diminish the beauty of the new carpet . .  Ha Ha! We also made more progress in the office/studio the past few days, and it continues to look better and work more efficiently. Soon I may actually be painting on a miniature once again.

siegrist studio

See our miniatures in person this week

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 hereartofwildlife.com

Contact us by EMAIL here: siegrist@artofwildlife.com

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle