Spring

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all healthy and safe during this pandemic, just writing those words feels crazy, but these are indeed crazy times.  As of now I have been following the guidelines of the government and observing a 15 day hiatus from working and restocking cards.  I fear is the virus is only going to get worse and we will soon be required to shelter in place in Massachusetts.   Know that my prayers and positive thoughts are of my community, family and friends, hoping that we can all withstand this health and economic crisis.

On the Drawing Board

I’m thinking ahead to better times and trying to focus on that.  So when I get back on the road, I will have lots of new cards, starting with a new graduation card, I hope to get that in early as students will be graduating earlier this year.  There will be a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day card, a new Woof wisdom and Cattitude, Birthday and Flower. That should keep my busy for awhile!

New on the Racks

I was able to get a new Easter in my racks, you will also find a new Emerson, Bird, Thank you, Anniversary, Birthday and Flower.

Music

I have a gig scheduled for May 9th, at the Java Room, with my buddies Jon Swenson, John Ferullo and Kathleen Larkin.  Honestly, I don’t know if it will take place.  The Java Room, is closed as of now and may still be so then.

Thank you and stay safe

I’ll leave you with the words of Emerson in the hope you can find some solace in nature during this crisis, at a social distance!  Wishing you the best, Betsi

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, breathe the wild air.”

Winter Solstice

I’m late.  My holiday commitments and festivities really got the better of me this year, but it was fun!  I hope you enjoyed the holidays as well!  Freehand Cards and Gifts had another banner year, thank you for that!  I certainly couldn’t do it without your patronage and support.

On the drawing board

I have a long list, but I’ll start with a new flower, then a Valentine, a Woof Wisdom, Cattatitude, Bird and Birthday.  There is also a new Bug Poem coming.  That should keep me busy until spring!

My Themed Christmas Tree

This year, along with 40 talented volunteers, I created a tree for the Concord Museum to represent the book, The Night Before Christmas, by Clement Moore and illustrated by Roger Duvoisin.  I used the book as a template for a play produced by a family of 6 children in 1970.  There are 5 scenes, each depicting lines from the poem.  Here is a photo

 

There are many more decorated theme trees and wreaths at the museum’s exhibit, it runs till Jan 6th.  The museum is located in on Concord Turnpike in Concord, MA.  A fun way to enjoy the season, especially with a 6 yr old!!

Music

My next show will be with Kathleen Larkin, John Ferullo and Jon Swenson at the Java room in Chelmsford, on May 9th  at 8pm.  Its a very fun, low key evening and the Java Room serves excellent snacks, deserts, coffees, teas, mixed drinks, wine and beer.  Come by and say hi if you have nothing to do!

Thank You

I mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter how grateful I am to everyone who supports me by purchasing my cards.  Its had to believe that I can make an income selling art cards, but thanks to you, what at first seemed an impossible dream has come true, so many thanks to my customers, you rock!  I wish everyone a wonderful New Year filled with joy and happiness !

 

 

It’s almost Fall!

The leaves are turning and the sun is setting earlier, last nite I saw that there are only 98 days until Christmas, yikes!!  I don’t even want to think about that, lets enjoy this season!!

New on the rack

Well, there is a new Monarch butterfly card, as part of the bugs and poems series.  The poem included is by Cheryl Perreault, one of the famous and very talented “bug poets”!  There is another New Baby card, another Magical Birthday (the mermaid), another Emerson and this year’s Halloween card comes with a surprise inside!!  Check it out, it may be useful to you on All Hallows Eve!

On the drawing board

I’m working on a new wildflower card, a Thanksgiving and Christmas card, more Alcott and Emerson cards and maybe a new birdie.

Music

My next gig is at the Farm Fair in Chelmsford, Saturday, the 21st of September.  There will be a variety of musicians performing, they are all great and it’s going to be a beautiful warm sunny day, so stop by if you are in the neighborhood.  Music starts at 12noon.  I will also be back at the Java Room in Chelmsford, Dec 7th, with John Ferullo, Jon Swenson and Kathleen Larkin, 8pm to 10pm.  It a very nice place to sit and listen to music there are great snacks and a wonderful selection of beverages available as well.

Thank you!

So far this year has been another record breaker, my sales are outstanding and I must thank you all for that!  How lucky I am to be able to generate income from peddling my art, it’s hard for me to believe sometimes!!  I wish you the very best fall season and I’ll check back at the next solstice!  Thank you, Betsi

Summer soaking and solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!!  And happy birthday to my beautiful niece Kerry,  born on the solstice!  Here in Concord we are a bit water logged but the gardens are greening like never before!!  A little sunshine would go a long way, that’s my solstice wish!

New on the rack

The “Bugs and Poems” series has been completed.  There are now six bug cards, a firefly, bumblebee, ladybug, stink bug, luna moth and swallowtail butterfly.  Tucked inside each one is a poem written especially for that bug.  The “Bug Poets”, Kate Chadbourne, Kathleen Larkin, Cheryl Perreault, Trisha Knudsen and Lisbet, did a fabulous job capturing the essence of their bugs and adding little bits of their kind hearts and gentle souls to their prose.  All the poems are life affirming and uplifting, just enough to bring a smile to your face!  Thank you to the “Bug Poets”, for a job well done!!   You will also find a painted trillium card and the new graduation card will stay out for awhile to cover the rest of June’s graduation parties.  The Emerson series is shaping up, there are two cards so far and a third on the way.

On the drawing

I’m working on a new Baby card, a new Birthday card, more Birds, another Emerson, Alcott and a Magical Birthday Mermaid.  That should keep me busy throughout the summer!

Classes

The next class I’m teaching is on July 25th at the COA in West Concord.  We will be painting a swallowtail butterfly plant stick.  If you are a Concord senior and interested in joining us, please contact Tina Close at 978-318-3020.  Here’s a photo,

Music

My next gig is at the Java Room in Chelmsford on Aug 3rd, at 8pm.  Sadly Jon Swenson will not be joining us, but the other usual suspects will be there to swap songs, John Ferullo and Kathleen Larkin.  The Java Room is a great place to hang out, no cover charge, excellent desserts, salads and sandwiches as well as coffee, teas and alcoholic beverages.  If you are in the area please stop in to say hi!

Thank you

I guess that’s it for now, I will say goodbye again and also thank you so very much for your loyal patronage.  I appreciate all your support and I wish you the very best summer possible!

 

 

Spring!!!

What a beautiful Worm Moon last night, now all we need is a bit more warmth to melt the snow and water the roots to feed the buds…hello Spring!

New Cards

Let’s see, there is a new birthday, a new red-winged blackbird from Great Meadows, a new blank orange tiger cat, a new Lady bug, a new thank you and a new Easter.

On the drawing board

I’m working on a spring botanical, a new graduation card, a new mother’s day, a new father’s day, more birthday, coastal birds, flowers, get well, Emerson and Alcott are all in my plans.  It will be a busy spring!!

Classes

I’m still teaching at the COA in Wes Concord, April 11th we are crafting a bunny from paperclay.  If you are a Concord Senior and interested in taking the class, please contact Tina Close at the Concord COA  978 318 3020. Here is a photo of our project.    Our butterfly class in March was a great success!!

Music

I will be performing with my friends, John Ferullo, Jon Swenson and Kathleen Larkin on April 27th, at 8:00pm at the Java Room in Chelmsford.  (not May 5th as I wrote before, my mistake).  It’s always a fun night, lot of laughs and original music and the Java Room serves great snacks, coffee, tea and alcohol, best of all the show is free!  Hope to see you there!

My Catalogue

I have not updated my catalogue on this site because I need to find a better way to do it.  I will probably photograph all my cards as it will be easier to keep up.  If you have any questions about cards and don’t see them on the racks in the my stores, please feel free to email me at mandrioli@aol.com, I will be happy to help.

Thank You

I guess that’s it for now.  I hope this newsletter finds you well and happy!  Get ready to be blown away by mother nature’s gift of Spring!  Enjoy!!  As always many thanks for your support over the years, I’m humbled to sell any cards at all!!

 

winter solstice

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

We are in the thick of yuletide excitement!!  I just love this time of year, hope you have all your shopping done and you can just enjoy the season.

New on the rack

Well naturally I have a new Christmas card, also a new Sympathy card.

On the drawing board

a new Woof Wisdom birthday card, some get well cards, more flowers, another birthday and of course a new valentine.  That should keep me busy!!

COA Class

I will be teaching a class at the COA February 28th.  We will be making a monarch butterfly.  If  you are interested and a Concord Senior, contact Tina Close at the COA.

Music

March 15th, my buddy Kathleen and I will be performing an Irish set for the COA St Patrick’s day party, I believe it starts at 1pm.  And later in April, on the 27th, we will be back at our favorite venue the Java Room in Chelmsford.  Songs in the round, with John Ferullo, Jon Swenson, Kathleen Larkin and me!  Always a fun time and it’s free, the snacks, coffee, tea and drinks are delicious too.

Concord Museum

My tree was well received this year at the annual Family Trees Exhibit.  I tried to recreate a scene from Louisa May Alcott’s book Flower Fables.  This story was called the Frost King, below is a picture of the tree.  This one was special to me as I plan on making many more fairies and continuing where Louisa left off.  I will keep you posted on that progress!!

Louisa May Alcott’s book
The Flower Fables

Thank you

Well its hard to believe another year has passed.  It’s been 5 years since we closed the West Concord Supermarket and I decided to expand my little card business to the surrounding towns.  I’m always surprised and delighted with all the support and patronage I receive from you!  My heartfelt thanks and wishes  to you for a happy holiday and glorious new year!!

 

Fall update

My favorite season is here, officially on the 22nd, but today it really feels like fall!  Time to get a pumpkin, rake leaves and think about Halloween and Thanksgiving!  I hope  you enjoy this weather as much as I do.

Whats New

Well I made good on many of my promises from last time.  There is a new Catattitude card, Wedding Card, Alcott Card and Birthday on the rack.  No Mermaid yet, it’s coming but now I have to address all the hallmark events like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My new Halloween is out and Thanksgiving is on the drawing board.

COA Class

I’m teaching another class at the Concord COA October 9, 2018.  It’s running 12:30 to 3:00.  We are painting a sculpted cardinal, contact Tina Close at the Concord council on ageing if you are interested in coming.  The class is open to Concord Seniors only.

New Accounts

I’ve been selling cards at the 6 Bridges gallery for some time now, it’s a great place to get original artwork, right on main Street in Maynard.  I hope to add some bird sculpture in the future.

Music

December 8th is my next gig, at the Java Room in Chelmsford.  The usual suspects, John Ferullo, Jon Swenson and Kathleen Larkin.  It’s free and you can come and go when you please, plus the Java Room is a great place for Coffees, teas, alcoholic drinks and snacks, come by and say hi!

Craft Fairs

So far this year I’m only doing one fair, that is the Conant School event, on October 21, in Acton at 80 Taylor Rd.  I think it’s 9 to 4, love to see you there too!

Thank You

As of last week I am making my living exclusively from my greeting card business and teaching.  This is an amazing accomplishment for me and of course the credit really belongs to you, for all your support over the years, my heartfelt thanks, I am so lucky to have patrons like you!!

 

 

Summertime!

And the living is easy…..I hope you are looking forward to a fabulous summer, I know here in Concord, the kids are still in school, but soon to be released.  YEA!!

What’s new?

I’m teaching another class at the Concord COA.  This time we are making a dragonfly garland.  The class runs from 1pm to 3:30pm on July 26th.  We will be painting 3 dragonflies to hang as a garland in a window or on a door, or from the ceiling.  The class is for Concord Seniors only, please contact Tina Close at the COA to sign up.

On the drawing board 

I have a new wedding card coming as well as a new Alcott card.  I have an idea for a new Catattitude card and maybe a mermaid will be created, that seems like a summer theme!

New account

I’m pleased to announce I now have a rack at the Donelans in Lincoln, which is very exciting!  It’s a wonderful grocery store and my husband works there, so I’ll get to visit him when I restock!

Music

It looks like just one big gig this summer, at our favorite place the Java Room in Chelmsford.  I will be joined with Jon Swenson, John Ferullo and Kathleen Larkin, Saturday Aug 4th.  If you feel like a little folk music fix, that’s where you should go!!

Thanks

My best wishes to everyone for the summer ahead.  And many thanks for your support, there would be no freehand cards with out great patrons like you!!  Thank you!

 

Spring is here & Snow tomorrow!!

Okay I am ready for Spring, goodbye winter, no more snow, no more shoveling, no more cold!  I’m just saying what everyone thinks, maybe our wish will come true!

New on my racks

There are a few new birthday cards, a new birdie card, a Lousia May Alcott card, a new Easter of course, and a new children’s magical birthday line, starting with a Unicorn then a Blue Dragon, both cards have special surprises inside..kinda like Cracker Jacks, HA!  I also have journals for sale at Verrill, Firefly and Revolutionary Concord.

What’s Next?

Well I have been promising a new wedding card, it’s coming soon.  More spring flowers, new birds, a new thank you card, a new mothers’ day and fathers’ day and graduation card as well as a new Alcott card.  That should keep me pretty busy !

Music

I have a spring gig at the Java Room in Chelmsford on May 5th. I will be with John Ferullo, Jon Swenson, and special guest star Kathleen Larkin.  The Java Room is a very fun coffee shop and bar, with delicious sandwiches, salads and desserts, and there is no cover for the music.  The show runs from 8pm to 10pm.

Many Thanks

As always I have to mention how very grateful I am for the support I have received in the past and I appreciate your efforts to keep me in business.  I hope the Spring is full of fun and happiness for all of you, see you in the summer! All the Best, Bets

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!!

Merry Christmas!  I’m actually updating my News Page on Christmas, just before I leave for my sisters house in Hamilton.  What a beautiful day, with the fresh new fallen snow and the sun shining!! It will be a wonderful celebration.  I hope your Christmas and holidays are wonderful too!!

New Cards

This season there are new birthday options on the rack, a new Christmas card of course!!  A new holiday thank you and flower, a new Thoreau card, a butterfly and a new anniversary.  On the drawing board are more birthday options, for kids, a new valentine naturally, a new bird, maybe a new cat and the wedding one I’ve been promising!

Classes

I taught a class in December, the Swedish Dala horse at the Concord COA, which was well attended and very fun.  Everyone made a beautiful horse, I was impressed!  Here are some examples of the students excellent work!!

There will be another scheduled February  22nd 1pm to 3:30pm, we will be crafting a Hummingbird Window Charm, here is the example…

Journals

I have purchased a new binding machine, so I can make my own journals.  I know they will be available at Firefly and Verrill Farms and on line, more on that as it developes.

2017

This was another banner year for me selling cards and I have you to thank for all the support!  I am always amazed that I can sell so many cards in just a few towns, thank you very much for your patronage!!

2018

I hope you all enjoy good health and happiness in the year to come and have a great holiday season however you celebrate!  All the best, Betsi