Cynthia St. Charles Store

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Eighteen

Green Fingerpaint

"fingerpaint" monoprinted cotton, machine quilted.

The extra postcard is going to Micki in Yorktown Heights, NY this week.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Copper in the Kitchen?

While exploring options for our kitchen renovation - I stumbled upon the idea of using copper as a finish material.
It started out with a sink. . . .I fell in love with a hammered copper kitchen sink from Mexico.
Then, while researching a backsplash for the sink - I found several suppliers of heavy copper that comes in a huge roll. This can be mounted as a backsplash - and the idea intrigued me.

So - I ordered a set of samples. offers a broad variety of beautiful finishes.
Here are images of the samples that came in the mail. All of the samples are at least 6".

By the time the copper samples arrived - I was talked out of the copper sink by several granite fabricators - who say their appearance deteriorates rapidly. In fact, our fabricator is throwing in a beautiful mocha colored Elkay E-granite undermount sink.
Who can resist a free sink? It certainly works with our budget and virtually everyone says these sinks - fabricated with 80% quartz are virtually indestructible, easy to keep clean, and beautiful.

As far as the backsplash - our fabricator is going to create a granite tile backsplash for us. . .
and these wonderful copper samples are going right down to the studio!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mexican Sink

We are gearing up to gut the powder room.
This sink I bought in Mexico may be going in there.
I must admit I am not 100% convinced.
I keep getting stuck on the "how" part of using it. What countertop? What vanity?
Space is limited. I have notion to set it into a semi-circular mosaic tile countertop (of course I would have to make that - and I have never made a mosaic before in my life!) A small cabinet painted boldly in coordinating colors . . . . is that too wild for all the other refined finishes we are putting elsewhere in the house?

Other people have suggested a white cabinet and countertop. I am not quite seeing that, either.
Joe is leaning towards something uncomplicated - like one of those complete units - sink and base - available at Home Depot and Lowes.
Hmmmm...... Stay Tuned!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Here is an example of the granite we are thinking about for the countertops in the kitchen. It is called Baltic Brown and it comes from Finland.
I like the way it compliments the volcanic stone fireplace in the adjoining family room.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kitchen Tile

Tile SamplesI have never had ceramic tile in a kitchen before, but we plan on having it in this one.
This tile color is called "rust". Below, you can see the current kitchen finishes in the background.

This tile is a black color (not apparent in the photo).
It is a Marzanni product called Imperial Slate.

This is the best thing we have found so far, but I am still not sold on it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Foyer Chandelier

New light fixture in the foyer!
It looks great with the wrought iron railing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lady of the Lake - Travel Log Tuesday

The hike to "Lady of the Lake" is pretty easy - about 1 1/2 miles. It is a forested path - not my favorite - we like a hike with a view.

The lake itself is nice, and this would actually make a good first backpacking trip for kids - if only the location was not so close to Yellowstone Park.

In over 10 years of hiking in the Beartooth Mountains - to over 80 lakes - this was our first ever bear encounter.

We saw the bear a little further up the trail along Zimmer Creek. It was a black bear, and no problems whatsoever. Still, this is near where three people were attacked by grizzly bears while sleeping in a campground last July. We chose to sleep in our car at the trailhead this trip.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Seventeen

Blue Petroglyphs

Hand dyed cotton, block printed, screen printed with Thermofax screens created from my photos o petroglyphs. Machine quilting.

Extra Mail Art postcards are going out this week to Jackie in Boca Raton, Florida and Jeannie in Richland, Washington.

If you have not already put your name in the hat, please send me an email with "Mail Art" in the subject line. Include your full name and mailing address, and you will be added to my weekly drawing to receive one of my Mail Art postcards in the mail.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Our house has had white walls ever since 2003, when we moved in.
I love color, but there are places where the ceiling is 20 feet high.
When we moved here, I wanted to be able to focus on my art - that was my priority, so we have lived with white walls for over 7 years.

Well, part of our renovation is painting. As we paint, we have discovered that some areas (hard to reach places) have probably not been repainted since the original white paint was done when the house was built!

So far, we have painted the hallway and foyer - Earthy Cane.
The living room is Chicory, and Creme.
The kitchen / family room will probably be Texas Sage.

Standing on a ladder for hours is torture for my feet, so our progress has been rather slow, but steady.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Peeling Back the Layers

Renovation News:
We have been pulling up carpet in our living room and hallway.
The carpet we removed was gray.

But we discovered lime green fibers underneath. Apparently this house was decorated at the height of style in 1978. (was that really the style?)

This is the same shade of green of the fixtures and tile in two of the bathrooms on the main floor.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Peeling Back the Layers

Renovation News:
After pulling up the carpet in our living room, we found a speckled underlayment.
Apparently, this room was used for staining all the wood trim in the house - base moldings and door casings . . . maybe even the solid mahogany doors.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have posted to my blog on a daily basis for about two and a half years.

Between my studio activity and my travels - I have managed to find something new (and potentially interesting) to post each day.

As of January 1, 2011, my husband and I have begun an intensive renovation of our 30 year old home. We are doing much of the labor ourselves, and this has really cut into both my studio time and any chances for travel.

I fear my posts will drop off significantly over the next few months, since I don't think my audience is going to find pictures of a gutted living room all that interesting . . . (and frankly, I don't really want to take pictures of my place looking like this!)

Anyway, advance apologies to those who have come to look forward to that daily art or travel post. I will continue with my Mail Art Project, so that is guaranteed to show up on Mondays. I am also adding a weekly travel post on Tuesdays for places I have failed to get posted on the blog in the past.

Bear with me - I will be back in my studio soon, I hope!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chickadees 12 x 12

Here is a small piece I just finished 12" square.
The background is a gelatin plate print, machine quilted.
The chickadee is a Thermofax screen made from chickadee pictures I took at my backyard birdfeeder.
I embroidered some twigs in the beaks of a couple of the birds and added glass beads for berries.
I think this is kind of a fun little piece.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Travel Log Tuesday - Goose Lake Trail

These pictures are from a dayhike to Goose Lake.
The "trail" is actually an ATV road - very rough, but wide enough for an ATV to navigate it.
We had the trail to ourselves most of the day, but we did encounter two dirt bikers and a group of three ATV's.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Sixteen

Hand dyed fabric, block printed, fused "sushi" fabric scraps, machine quilted. Edges are sealed with acrylic paint.

Extra Mail Art is going out to Rebecca in New Zealand, Carol in Boise, Idaho, and Judy in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The quote on this week's card:

"The trouble with the Rat Race is that even if you win you're still a rat."
-Lily Tomlin-

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Frosty Morning in Central Montana

During a recent visit to my parent's ranch in Central Montana, fog moved in during the night, frosting the surface of everything. These two pictures show the hedge.

I went out at dawn with my camera. Below, the corn stalks in the garden.

I love the little tufts of frost on the tire.

A roll of wire.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sketchbook Project

Have you heard about the Sketchbook Project?
Link to their web page here.

It's like a concert tour, but with sketchbooks.
Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country.After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.

Above - the cover for one of my sketchbooks.
Below - a couple of pages from that sketchbook.

This book is going off in the mail ASAP. Thought I would share a few pages before it disappears.

I call this junk mail collage. I browse the junk mail that we get and clip interesting images.
The blank pages were painted with watercolor paints.
Images glued in place. Then I add a quote that I like and a little doodling.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rocky Mountain Parnassian

We saw this butterfly during a hike in the Beartooth Mountains late last September.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Fifteen

Duct Tape Postcards!

I wrapped these postcards with batting and duct tape, then screen printed, machine quilted and embellished with some hand sewn paper beads. I bound the edges with a little strip of duct tape.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Frosty Morning Hay Bales

Here are some pictures I took recently while visiting my parents in Central Montana.

It was foggy and frost covered everything.