Friday, November 13, 2009

Quilting Retreats at the Iron Horse Inn in Granbury Texas

We recently had the pleasure of hosting a lovely group of quilting ladies as they got together to have a quilting retreat. These ladies quilt together regularly and it was a pleasure to get to know them and be a part of their group for a short time!
I was particularly impressed with the fact that every one of these ladies was working on hand quilting - not a sewing machine in sight!

The colors, and designs in the studio for that weekend were beautiful and inspired me to get back into my own hand quilt, which I have been working on for many years now. The ladies kindly took a look at my work in progress and gave me a few pointers from their years of experience and expertise. Thank you ladies. I can't wait to have you here again soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Autumn display at our Granbury Texas B&B

Just finished putting the final touches to our autumn display on the porch of the Iron Horse Inn. It is such fun playing with pumpkins, mums and hay bales! The colors are great and the porch looks so cheerful with this new display.

What a great tradition this is, I love to see all of the pretty displays outside peoples homes and stores. Downtown Granbury is looking particularly lovely at the moment with so much orange and brown, haybales, pumpkins, and corn stalks everywhere!
Thank you HGMA (Granbury's historic Merchants Association) for the work you do to make the square look so pretty with every season!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cottages in Granbury Texas - in the gardens of the Iron horse Inn bed and breakfast

The Iron Horse Inn Cozy cottages


Although the Iron Horse Inn is known as the largest historic bed and breakfast in Granbury Texas, what is perhaps not so well known is that we also have 2 charming guest cottages in our gardens.

Our Nantucket Cottage has a lovely four poster bed, and a separate living room with wood burning fireplace.



This is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, you can snuggle down in this cozy cottage, play your favorite dvds, or just sit and read in the relaxing living room which overlooks the lush


A separate bathroom with antique claw foot tub and stand up shower completes this sweet, romantic getaway cottage.


Our adorable Garden Gate cottage is a 1950's house with 2 bedrooms, bathroom, living room with tv and dvd player and a fully equipped kitchen. This cottage can sleep 5 comfortably and is popular for family getaways or girlfriend getaway.

The cottage has a queen bedroom with rollaway sofa, which can sleep 3 people comfortably.

The sweet twin room is an ideal kids room.


The Garden Gate cottage has a large living room with TV and DVD for sitting back and relaxing, while we pamper you!
If you want to self cater the Garden Gate cottage has a fully equipped kitchen.


So if the bed and breakfast experience is not for you don't forget to check out our guest cottages, located in the lush gardens with all of the hospitality that The Iron Horse is well known for, and privacy when you want it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pet portrait artist in Texas - Liz Van Der Werff

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a talented artist who among other things, paints the most gorgeous portraits of pets. Liz Van Der Werf, is a fun person to be around and her animal portraits are really lifelike!

On her website, Liz has a fascinating animation section where you can watch a painting develop through its various stages. Check out the link below to watch the portrait of this lovely persian cat develop.

Liz recently took a workshop at the Iron horse Inn with Qiang Huang and while the rest of the group were painting flowers, she found an old doorknob I have here(with a very interesting history!) and proceeded to create a still life with it - the resulting painting is fabulous.

She also paints wonderful portraits which really capture the character of the subject. Check out this cutie below!

Liz offers art classes and we look forward to having her offer a workshop here at The Iron horse Inn!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Unique artistic talent here in Granbury - Stacy Watkins

One of the most unique artists here in this part of Texas is the very talented Stacey Watkins Martin of your Private Collection Gallery, in Granbury Texas. Stacey has created a new art form using resin, fused glass, metal and painting. Stacey describes here work as:

"The art I have composed is a blend of phosphorescent pigments and resin. The medium I use is not common. My artwork changes in the dark and is able to glow with contrast of vibrant colors by absorbing UV light (black light or natural sun light). My artwork visually evolves and is re-born with each new day’s dawn of early light. The purpose of my art is to be an extension of my faith and a reflection of the Lord’s spirit. I try and let the Holy Spirit work thru me when creating art. I hope to captivate imaginations and provoke minds to take journeys that have no spiritual exit."

It is quite an incredible experience to enter the dark room at the back of the gallery and have the UV light switched on - Stacey's pieces come to life and give off wonderful almost phosphorescent colors and light. I would encourage anybody in the metroplex area to take a trip to the gallery on the historic square in Granbury. It is well worth a visit. Maybe while you are here you could pop over to the Iron Horse Inn and take the historic tour with fresh baked Irish scones and beverages!

Qiang Huang - what an artist!

This is called "Jade cup" and is one of the fine paintings produced by Qiang Huang, Texas artist

At our recent oil painting workshop with the very talented artist Qiang Huang, I was amazed at just how popular this guy is! There were so many inquiries about the workshop and so many people who would love to have attended. His workshop was really something, with some fascinating powerpoint presentations, which gave all of the particiapnts a lot to think about and try at home.

Qiang posts a piece of work every day on the Daily Painter, check out what he is producing. He also has a great video on youtube where he does a demonstration of his technique - fascinating!
I look forward to our next workshop with Qiang here at the Iron Horse Inn Artistic Retreat Center, in Granbury, Texas.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My dream of an artist retreat center and why.

When I bought the Iron Horse Inn Historic Bed and Breakfast, my hope was to fulfill a dream of mine, to develop an artist retreat center. Although I don't call myself an artist, I am pretty creative and love to work with my hands, and I love being surrounded by creative people during our art retreats. We have so many different art forms here, including oil, watercolor, quilting, and fabric art and I hope to introduce a lot more, including polymer and beading.
I believe that working with our creativity puts us in touch with our souls. I believe that it is really important for all human beings to find their creative outlet, but unfortunately too many people either don't get the encouragement early on or don't believe that they "have a creative bone in their bodies" I hear this so often when I meet people at the bed and breakfast who hear about the art retreat center. I believe all humans have the capacity to be creative. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if everyone was producing creative works of art!
While doing my research last year to set up a series of residential artistic workshops, I was stunned at the huge number of creative folks that are out there, quietly working away at their art form. I plan to introduce some of my favorite artists through this blog, over the coming months.
The first artist that come to mind is a master of fabric art. What she produces are not so much quilts as pieces of art that look like paintings. This lovely piece was created by Lenore Crawford, and this is how she describes her work:

"After working in a medical laboratory and chemical research lab for many years, I decided to

pursue art as a full-time endeavor. Creating art is my dream job. I now walk up to my studio

in my attic and play with fabric and fabric paint for a "job"! I also travel occasionally either

for teaching or gathering more inspiration for my art. Currently I am teaching my fusing/fabric

painting technique such as was used to create Monet's Garden Walk shown above from a photo

taken in Giverny, France, in May."

I got to meet Lenore last October at the Houston Quilt Show and I was blown away by the beauty of her work. I got to visit her during one of her workshops and it was obvious that all of the participants were having a fascinating class. I hope we can bring her to The Iron Horse Inn next year to give a workshop.

This lovely piece is entitled "Birch Trees"

Check out Lenor's website to see the full range of her work.