Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Happy New Year!! I know many who aren't sorry to see the end of 2009. It's been a challenging year for everyone, our family included. The passing of John Noonan last May was unbearable, and then to add to that, our nephew Kyle Noonan was diagnosed with Leukemia. Kyle was in Memorial Sloan Kettering all summer, and is doing so well after his bone marrow transplant. He's an amazing guy, and has had so much love and support from our community.  My friend Mac McPeters has also been battling cancer since last Spring, and after surgery & chemo & radiation, he's back to work at Morristown High School and doing fantastically. And I'm not even going to go into all who've lost their jobs recently.... it's been a brutal year, and I want to wish all my friends and family members a happy & healthy 2010. There are better days ahead, for sure.     xxxxxx's to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Super Hero?

Ruby shows that even during the most mundane and primitive tasks---shoveling snow--one can look  chic and stylish. No need to put on some hideous puffy parka and a pair of 10 year old snow pants that your college age son has left in the corner of his closet! Get out that cat suit covered with zippers, and accessorize with a lovely scarf and a snappy pair of boots. Instead of grumbling about having to do this awful task, approach it with the hey-this-is-really-a-good-workout-attitude. Those biceps & deltoids will be moving for hours...and afterwards you can relax with a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate. It wasn't so bad, was it?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ruby's Favorite Holiday

Ruby loves Christmas! It's the only time of year when all-out shopping is not only okay, it's required! The commercial excess of the season depresses some, but puts Ruby in the best of moods. She's flying high going from store to store, and mall to mall. This year however, she's especially conscious of the economic downturn, and the high percentage rate on her credit cards. She doesn't want to be caught off guard in January, so it's cash only, and sales only. She's also finding great stuff at the top of the line discount store, Target.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Watercolor of David

This quick painting was done while David was watching the Yankee game on Sunday night. I can't get over how much fun watercolors are---they're so fast & spontaneous! People watching TV are the perfect subjects, I'm finding...they're distracted, and usually sit pretty quietly....unless something really exciting or frustrating happens.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Queen Elizabeth ll

Isn't this a beautiful picture of the Queen? I just love it, and can't get enough. I love the stamps, the postmark, and the illustration. She's so beautiful here! Not to mention her gorgeous crown, earrings, and necklace. And the way she's swathed in white fur. The entire image is to die glamorous!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Barbecue Print

          Here's my Barbecue pattern as a "laminate" for Michael Miller Fabrics.                                                  

It's part of the Modern Home group, and I guess it's laminated for picnic tables. Next summer, we'll be serving up veggie burgers and tofu chicken legs on it, washed down with Bud Lite. Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wow--still trying to recover from the MHS Reunion last weekend. It was so amazing & wonderful to see and reconnect with so many classmates...not only from high school, but from elementary school as well. In fact, I joined Facebook to get in on all the after reunion chatter. None of us can seem to let it go. Even Kristin Holby aka Clotilde, joined FB, something neither of us thought we'd ever do. *sigh* wish we had another one this weekend...oh well...gotta go back to FB to see what's happening!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Modern Home

My Modern Home design has been printed by Michael Miller fabrics!

If you go to you'll see the entire group. Some of the colors have been changed. For instance, the pink is now a khaki, and the pistachio is now a kiwi. But it looks great, and I'm so excited that it's finally printed. Check it out!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ladies in Black

I'm with Kadie Dempsey & Valerie Coll at the September 25th opening of the Gallery MacEgan in Morristown. Greg Egan is exhibiting his gorgeous watercolors at his new venue that he co-owns with his lovely niece, photographer Alexis Hale Egan. We all had great time. (Too bad David wasn't there, he was fishing in Jamestown, RI.) But everyone is so excited about this elegant new space, and all the endless possibilities for shows. By the way, my dress is by our favorite designer, Clotilde!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Marita on Miami Beach

Here's a lovely picture of Marita, on Miami Beach, in 1949. Doesn't she look beautiful? You can practically feel the warm sun, the sand, and the soft Florida air. The palm trees are blowing, and the big white hotel is in the background. She was 26 when this photo was taken, and I wonder who took the picture. Who was she with? The war was over, she wasn't in the Waves anymore, so she must have had a job, and was on vacation. She was still single.....had she met Ray yet?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bridgid Tatlow

This is a little watercolor of our beautiful niece. We were watching the PGA yesterday, and Bridgid was kind enough to sit still so I could paint her. She's such a beauty, and is going to be a Senior at MHS in a few weeks.
She's so bright and talented, and is a dedicated editor of the school paper. She also works on the literary magazine, and I'm sure on many projects that I'm not even aware of. She's getting ready to apply to college, and I'm so curious to see what school will be lucky enough to get her!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This little painting was done @ Mackerel Cove in Jamestown, RI. It's such a lovely spot for swimming, kayaking, and just reading on the beach. I saw this beautiful wooden boat that my father would have loved, and it reminded me of the Parkit.

Here's a watercolor I did of David while he was absorbed in the French Connection. He's wearing his Zeke's Creek t shirt, and has grown a nice little beard this summer. We're house sitting for Marisa & Jay, and taking care of their very sweet Labs. David has gotten us all into the Lord of the Rings while we're here....of course, I haven't read the books, so I'm very out of the loop. Everyone has to fill me in, but they don't seem to mind at all. They're wonderful movies!!!
I did this one of Ray in at Marisa & Jay's house. He was playing MVP Baseball 2004, and was so focused that I was able to sit and paint him for about an hour. We're having such a nice time going to the beach, and driving across the bridge to Newport. Yesterday David and the boys went sailing, and I walked around Thames Street in Newport. We just LOVE it here! David and Brian are working hard on the Katie N, trying to get her ready for Narragansett Bay. Tess, Zelda, & Edward were here for a few days last week, hanging out with Emmet & David & Ray. Before that, the cousins spent a few days at the Jersey Shore, in lovely Beach Haven. Cousin fun!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Artists Trading Cards

I've been working @ Morristown High School, in the Art Dept. since May 4th. I'm covering for Mac McPeters, who will be back in the Fall. One of the things I've been doing with the kids is Artists Trading Cards, and they're so much fun. They're trading card size, and are like mini works of art that you can do pretty quickly. They look great displayed in those plastic cases, just like Pokemon Cards. You can also find a nice box to put them in. I'm keeping mine in a candy tin with the Eiffel Tower on it that David got in Paris. Anyone can make them, and anything goes. I'm going to be doing them all summer, and I want to have a big collection of them.

More Artists Trading Cards

I suggest you start collecting all kinds of scraps and bits of cut out words and pictures. Old sewing patterns, any kind of typefaces that appeal to you, rubber stamps, pieces of screens, old postcards and letters--you name it. Organize your stuff in cigar boxes or whatever, just have it at hand so that when you're inspired, you can go to work. And keep plenty of gluesticks and nice heavy paper or board. Let me know when you want to trade, ok? Maybe in early August.....I'll be done working, and I'm going to want to go to the beach, and just have some fun.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Noonan Family

This is a beautiful picture of John, Marie-Line, Zelda, Tess, and Edward.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Man with Dog

This self portrait was done by John Noonan in the early 80s, when he and Marie-Line were living on the Lower East Side. We were all in New York, and it was a great time to be there. It was still affordable, and all our friends were laying the foundations for their careers. We were working hard and having a blast---there was no other place to be! Of course, John was only 29 or so when he did this painting, but he ended up looking EXACTLY like this. It's such a wonderful piece of folk art, and is so very John. He had a big mixed breed dog named Weezer in San Francisco that he loved very much, and the poor pup was lost in the park by a flakey friend. John never got over this....and I think Weezer was immortalized here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good bye John

My dear brother in law, John Noonan
passed away after a long struggle with cancer. He fought so bravely, and wanted to live more than anything. He loved Marie-Line, Tess, Zelda, and Edward so much. John was such a kind soul, with that Irish twinkle in his eye, and always had a smile. He was a poet, a musician, and loved Bob Dylan and a good cup of coffee. He was kind to everyone, and everyone adored him. He has friends from all over who are so saddened by his death. We will all miss him.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ladies' Weekend

Here's our cousin Robin, Sam, Linda, and me visiting Marita in Miami last weekend. Marita is unbelievable, and totally focused on her Bridge game. We had such a great time! It was just the gals, and it was so relaxing....we just hung out, did some shopping, and went to Coral Reef for dinner. Sam wore metallic shorts, and carried a silver vintage Chanel bag. Verrrry nice! She's moving to Napa to go into the wine business with Trevor, and wants to bottle her own. We spent the entire weekend discussing the name and image for the label.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Shoes! Hahahha.....who wears these? I won't be buying sky high super wedgies, but they are fun to look at, aren't they? Can you even drive while wearing them? I'm sure they're great for standing around at a cocktail party, but I cannot imagine taking one tiny, teetering step in them. *Sigh* my days are OVER for wearing high heels, I'm afraid. Maybe one or even two inches, but that's it. Time to head over to Century 21....what a great shoe department they have, BTW.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More birds! I'm going to send this piece out as a sample. I'm finally figuring out how to combine my illustration with my collage/rubber stamp technique. Why not use it all together? I like using old book pages as a first layer, and then painting on top. I just love collage, and all that texture you can get. More of this to come.....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring is officially here! I saw my first Robin today. He was kind of skinny, and a little leggy as he was trotting across the backyard. No doubt he was checking out the earthworm situation. If you look at the ground, you'll also see lots of green things poking up. The snowdrops are all over the woods, and today I saw some purple and orange crocuses. East Coasters are so STARVED for FLOWERS after the long winter....and this afternoon I actually bought my first pot of pansies . Yes!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This is the Miller House, by Richard Neutra in Palm Springs. I guess David and I are California Dreamin' lately....and also just dying to live in a modern house with lots of glass and open space. Palm Springs in the winter is just beautiful, it's clear and sunny and warm. We miss living in's such an inspiring and energizing place. And we have so many pals there! The colors are so bright and clean, and everything is so stylized. Cars don't rust, and people don't (seem to) age......

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I love this old Simplicity pattern! The main figure is holding up her round, white sunglasses. She's so elegant in her Barbie style striped sundress! She could be sightseeing in Rome, or just ready for cocktails at the country club. It's probably from the late 50's, slightly worn around the edges.....found in a box at a garage sale.

Friday, March 13, 2009

How can you resist St. Patick's Day? In Morristown you can't really avoid it. We have one of the biggest parades in the state of NJ; the entire town is blocked off, and the streets are painted with shamrocks! There are parade watchers and partiers everywhere, and lines outside all the bars and restaurants.....starting way too early in day. Babies in strollers have big green hats, and everyone's wearing those white Irish cable knit wool sweaters. I love it when the kids all try to look as silly as possible...what is it about this holiday that inspires such goofiness? Is it all the beer?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hula? Wouldn't it be lovely to be on a beach right now, listening to that ukelele? David & the boys could go surfing, and I would be sitting on my little chair with a book, partially in the shade of a palm tree. Or walking on the sand, looking for shells....any beach will do....we don't have to go to Hawaii. I'll take Sunrise Lake in New Jersey, at least it has sand. As long as it's warm, and the sky is blue. Right now it's March 6, and it's gray and raw out. At least last week's snow is starting to melt, that's a good sign.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I love this old peacock print. He almost looks like a Dr. Seuss bird! Remember the flighty mama bird, Mazie, in Horton Hatches an Egg? She was too busy and distracted to sit on her nest, she wanted to see the world. Faithful Horton (an elephant) sits on the egg, even when he's taken to the circus, tree and all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I should call this the Ruby Ritz Bird Blog! Let's just say it's "bird friendly". In anticipation of Spring, I put up this picture....I'm kind of done with Winter. Even though Spring is weeks away, we can still fantasize about it. After all, we're going into the last week of February (isn't it called "the cruelest month"?). Who said that, anyway? I'm going to be looking for those early signs of Spring--the crocuses poking up from the ground, and eventually, the daffodils. But let's not get too carried away--it's not March quite yet. Soon.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ruby wishes she could take a trip! She would love to go to someplace warm and glamorous, and just lie in the hot sand, soaking up the sun. Alas, her credit card is maxed out, so she can't really afford it. But all those Spring clothes are starting to look really good.....she's soooo sick of her tired Winter sweaters. And those salt encrusted boots! Ugh. She doesn't even have her toenails polished! How she'd love to be sipping a pina colada at one of those tiki bars right on the beach.....maybe she'd even consider getting wet....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh, how I wish I could've gone to Paris! David and Ray would have loved to have gone, too. *sigh* another time. I haven't been in sooooo long. I hope that David gets to the Flea Market!! I really want some old French ephemera, or maybe a beautiful box or tin. I want to find some nice chunky typefaces, the kind you see in Georges Braque collages.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

John Noonan, this is a card for you! Best wishes from all of us here........David is going to Paris tomorrow, President's Day, to visit John & Marie Line & Tess, Zelda, and Edward. 'Wish I were going too. He'll be there for 2 weeks. We all send our love...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day to all! What a nice holiday (sort of), hearts and flowers and candy and love! We really need a fluffy, frivolous celebration in the middle of all this dreary economic gloom. Enjoy, have a glass of wine and an after-dinner bon bon!

Monday, January 26, 2009

This picture of the cardinals is from a 1942 Marguerite Henry book called "Birds at Home". She was the author of some of my favorite childhood horse books: "King of the Wind", "Misty of Chincoteague", "Album of Horses", and many more. Feeding the birds in our back yard in the winter is a top priority for us.....also, I think winter is the best time for bird watching....there's no foliage to hide them!

We've had so much snow this winter! The deer come under the bird feeder and sniff around for any seeds that have dropped. They're so beautiful!

This is a view of the huge trees in our back yard. We had an ice storm last of the many this winter! It's been snow on top of ice on top of snow. I think there's going to be another one this week.....OMG....I'm not even going to start counting the days till Spring. How do the birds make it through this bleak, cold weather. I feel so responsible for keeping them fed!
This is a portrait I did of Trevor Sheehan, our lovely nephew. He's currently in Napa making his own wine, and is trying to decide what to name it. He's so talented, and we know he's going to be a total success!!!! We're so proud of him.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This is my first blog ever. It's kind of weird---what if I don't have anything substantial to say? I guess it doesn't matter, and you have to get over your initial stage fright. Everything feels so wonderful right now---Barack Obama is our PRESIDENT!!! It truly feels like we're entering a new age. We have such brilliant people leading our country, and it's so exciting.