InnSane: Halloween

Well, we have some trick-o-treaters coming up. I have to keep running up and down the stairs! 😉 I may move my base of operations downstairs!

Well, it’s great exercise.

Oh, boy. They are starting to come in droves. When Kim and I lived in Los Altos, CA, we used to dress up and scare the little things to death. 🙂 However, with Kim in Huston, and me trying to run the inn by myself, well, I didn’t dress up. 🙁

And so it goes.

Well, we’ve had a Suicide King, some hippies, a dinosaur, skeletons, Miss Muffet with spider, and Goldie Lock with one bear as well as a host of stuff. I decided that I would put on ma jeans, ma hat, ma boots and dress like I used to dress in Texas. So, for here, this is a costume but I dressed like this for 15+ years.

I let my hair down and I now look like I could play with the band The Outlaws. 😉

She’s right mate!

Thanks, Kaye, for the wonderful painting of the “cockie”. That is, the painting of the Pink and Grey Galah. It’s a bird people. Fer cryin’ out loud.

I took some pictures and I hope to put it up soonest on the blog. Thanks for the warm regards.

And I’d like to thank all the people who have been sending us cards and letters thanking us for a wonderful time they had. You are too numerous to mention. Louise, yours was the last card. We got it today. Thanks.

See you next year,

Mark and Kim LaPolla

Kenn Backhaus: Photo Op

Now, you’ve people have been patient. This is the last set of photos that I readily have. We still need to download a few from the camera but I’ll have to wait till Kim gets back from Houston. She’s distributing brochures and scouting people for the Fiber Art Workshops. Don’t forget to took at the Alternative Menu if you want plainer food.

OK. That’s all my pictures for Kenn’s class. Enjoy.

Indian Summer

Well, it’s hot! High of, supposedly 65 degrees but actually a high of 61. The whole week is going to be in the high 50’s and the lows will be in the high 30’s.

It’s so beautiful right now, the grass is bright green, the sun is warm and shining and the wind gives just enough of a bight to tell you it’s fall. If the wind fails to communicate this to you, the trees are bright red, golden, ah, gold, and pink and all the colors of the rainbow. There’s even some green left on the trees, not counting the pine trees.

Pat and Larry Butynski came for a stay here. Lovely people. And remember, read the alternate menu entry for plainer foods.

Winter Workshops here we come!

Reporting from Houston and the International Quilt Market and Festival

This is my first time to this quilter/fiber artist mecca. What a fantastic show. What fabulous organization.

Market was wonderful. So many great new products to set your imagination soaring. I picked up a ton of brochures and information. I think I’m going to have ship it back rather than put it in my suitcase or I might go over the weight limit — not to mention having to carry it. (I do not have one of those “new-fangled” suitcases with wheels — a definite must for the next time!)

I also met a host of new people and people I had only talked via email. It is great to put faces to names. I met Gabrielle Swain, Esterita Austin, and Laura Wasilowski who will be teaching for us in 2007. Their work is stunning in person. I peeked in the window to classroom where Esterita was teaching a class and the students work hanging on the walls were fantastic and everyone sounded like they were having a great time.

I also met Laura Cater-Woods demo’ing at the Bernina booth. We are very excited to have her coming to teach for us next year. Her free-motion work looks like such fun and she is such a enjoyable person to be around.

I took a workshop from Pamela Allen, who will also be teaching for us in 2007. She is such a blast! The workshop was great fun and Pamela has such a great sense of humor. Her “quilty” ties are just so cool — like her art, they are embellished to the max.

I also was able to see Katie Pasquini-Masopust again. I took a workshop from her way back at the start of my career as an artist and was stunned by her work then and her new work is even more incredible. I wish it were in our budget to buy one of her pieces. She will also be teaching for us in 2007.

Quilt Market had a good crowd in attendance, but it is nothing like Festival! The vendor aisles are teeming with happy shopper — I being one of them! All the tempting goodies make it hard to remember that I only have one life to live instead of 10.

I’m hauling many pounds of brochures over to the convention center from the Four Season where I am staying — a couple of blocks away. So far I think I’ve carried over about 70 pounds! (Notice how number of actual brochures doesn’t matter – it is the weight!) Now I’m off to carry my next load of brochures. Thank goodness the weather has be beautiful here in Houston — in the 70s all week.

Alternative Dinner Menu for the Art Workshops Program

For those of you who want plainer, simpler fare, or if you have are a vegetarian, lactose intolerant, wheat intolerant, or just intolerant, there is always the alternative menu. All meals have plenty of vegetables but the meat, if you aren’t a vegetarian, for the alternative menu will be plain chicken, and other plain dishes, such as chicken. So, get the alternative menu and enjoy.

Remember to tell us (in advance) if you’re vegetarian, lactose intolerant or just want the simple menu. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

Flash! See the results of our customer survey!

For those of you interested in the regular menu… During the winter, we’ll be serving German food and some Russian food. Remember, you get basically 3 nights of standard fare, e.g., Maple Salmon, Breaded Chicken, Sole Almondine, and 3 nights of German and Russian food. For weekend courses, it’s a different mix. During the summer program, we’ll be having, besides the standard fare, we’ll have 3 nights of Spanish cuisine. Of course, for the weekend courses, it’ll be a different mix as well.

See you at the workshops.

Fiber Art Workshops

Don’t forget, we are also starting up art quilt and fiber art workshops. The following is a list of instructors

2006 Weekend Fiber Art Workshops

April 20-23
Fabric Collage
Lesley Riley
Collage, Embellishment and Surface Design
All Levels

October 19-22
Designing Your Own Landscape Quilt
Natalie Sewell
Intermediate Level

November 30 – December 3
Exploring the Surface an Integrated Approach
Judith Trager
Painting, Layering, Applique
All Levels

2006 Week Long Fiber Art Workshops

April 9-15
Releasing the Creative Block: an Introduction to Working in a Series
Melody Johnson
Fusing, Assembly Techniques, Design Variations
All Levels

April 23-29
Tempting the Muse: Beyond the Surface
Laura Cater-Woods
Personal Imagery, Collage, Embellishment
Intermediate and Advanced

October 22-28
Drawing, Painting, Realism in Machine Embroidery
BJ Adams
Layer and Blend Threads for Realistic Images
All Levels

November 5 – 11
Surface to Surface: Pattern in Nature and Fabric
Carol Anne Grotrian
Surface Design with Resists, Stamping, Painting
All Levels

November 12-18
Fabric Painting
Ginny Eckley
Painting, Free-Motion Stitching
All Levels

December 3-9
Designing from Nature
Ruth McDowell
Machine Piecing Techniques
Intermediate and Advanced

Originally Published 10/28/05

Filet Mignon

That’s right. This winter, I will be serving filet mignon steaks, with a baked potato and, perhaps carrots or maybe string beans or perhaps, and I think this is the right thing, sautéed beets.

Not just shish kebob but actual steaks cooked to perfection with a little bit of butter on top and maybe some sautéed onions and peppers.



With Kim gone to Huston and Quilt Market and the big, 50 thousand people, quilt show to spread the word about Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops, I get to hang all of our paintings and photos and works on paper upstairs. And here’s the cool part, ANYWHERE I WANT.

Some of the hooks that TIsh and Eliot had were out of the way. Ouch.

Plus, I’m doing a bunch of maintenance. Sigh. Still have much work to do. For example, putting storms on the windows of the carriage house. I have them all up for the kitchen, or almost. I can’t find one storm window. Sigh.

Well, we’re still open and we’ve had a few inn guests even with the weather what it is. Today is sunny, finally. Maybe more people from the City will be up.

Stella Jay

We have this rather large Jay, that John says is a Stella Jay, that has been eating the ornamental corn on the kitchen porch. We hung up ornamental corn everywhere, both inside and out, and one day, I found it stripped of all the corn. Then I say this big Jay eating it. It would land on the corn and peck at it, picking out each kernel.

In two days, we had three ornamental cobs.

We are still open and the foliage is still not quite completely changed. Well, I best go make breakfast for our guests.

Salminen Photo Op: Another Finally

Here are some great pictures of a wonderful workshop. Next year we are going to have to take a group photo of every workshop. I usually photograph at least the first night of eating but sometimes we miss day students.

Wasn’t that fun?

Martin Photo Op: Finally

Well, it has taken a while to put these up. I ran out of space on blog spot and when I asked them if I could somehow expand my disk quota, I didn’t get an answer so I put these up on the website and am loading them via an image tag and a URL. Click on the photos to see the larger size.

This was a fun workshop and here are the pictures to prove it. Click on the title of this entry to see the 2006 instructor roster.

Some of these pictures made the website, too. Look under Painter’s Week in the fall. Now all I have to do it put up Backhaus, Salminen, Lawerence, Dews, Painter Week, and so many more. Sigh! Enjoy.

InnSane: Well, the workshops are done for this year

Though, you can sign up any time for next year. See you next year.

Painter’s week was the last. We had a lovely group of people. It was fun and

everyone enjoyed themselves.

I’ll be putting up pictures soonest. Plenty of workshops with pictures

that still need to go up.

See you all next year. Thanks for a lovely workshop season and don’t forget

we aren’t closed. The inn is still open.


Mark and Kim LaPolla

2006 Art Workshops

(See below entries for new, menus, and other interesting tid bits. Scroll down.)

Date Instuctor Media Location
Jan 15-21 [5-day] Maltzman, Stanley Pastel Out/studio
Jan 22-28 [5-day] Pendell, Debi Mixed/Collage Studio
Feb 2-5 [3-day] Apgar Smith, Betsy Watercolor Out/studio
Feb 5-11 [5-day] Rose, Howard Oil Out/studio
Feb 16-19 [3-day] Carson, Sharon Oil/Acrylic Studio
Feb 23-26 [3-day] Lindsay, Ann Watercolor Studio
Apr 9-15 [5-day] Johnson, Melody Fiber Studio
Apr 20-23 [3-day] Riley, Lesley Fiber Studio
Apr 23-29 [5-day] Cater-Woods, Laura Fiber Studio
May 4-7 [3-day] Woolery, Lois Portrait Studio
May 11-14 [3-day] McFarlane, James Watercolor
May 14-20 [5-day] Wiegardt, Eric Watercolor
May 21-27 [5-day] Painter’s Week All
June 1-4 [3-day] Zhang, Hong Nian Figure Studio
June 4-10 [5-day] Daniels, David Watercolor Studio
June 11-17 [5-day] Rohm, Bob Oil/Pastel Outdoors
June 18-24 [5-day] Hoyt Cantarella, Virginia Oil/Watercolor Studio
June 29-July 2 [3-day] Apgar Smith, Betsy Pastel Outdoors
July 2-8 [5-day] Evans, Margaret Pastel
July 9-15 [5-day] Betts, Judi Watercolor
July 16-22 [5-day] Uhl Spicer, Jean Watercolor
July 23-29 [5-day] Dunlop, David Oil/Watercolor
Aug 3-6 [3-day] Granger, Nessa Watercolor/Collage Studio
Aug 6-12 [5-day] Maltzman, Stanley Drawing/Pastel
Aug 13-19 [5-day] Castagnet, Alvaro Watercolor
Aug 20-26 [5-day] Curtis, David Oil
Aug 27-Sept2 [5-day] Whyte, Mary Watercolor/Portrait Studio
Sept 7-10 [3-day] Rose, Howard Oil
Sept 10-16 [5-day] Mueller, Ned Oil/Pastel
Sept 17-23 [5-day] Taylor, David Watercolor
Sept 24-30 [5-day] Griffel, Lois Oil
Oct 1-7 [5-day] Lawrence, Skip Watercolor/Acrylic
Oct 9-15 [5-day] Painter’s Week All
Oct 19-22 [3-day] Sewell, Natalie Fiber Studio
Oct 22-28 [5-day] Adams, BJ Fiber Studio
Nov 5-11 [5-day] Grotrian, Carol Anne Fiber Studio
Nov 12-18 [5-day] Eckley, Ginny Fiber Studio
Nov 30-Dec 3 [3-day] Trager, Judith Fiber Studio
Dec 3-9 [5-day] McDowell, Ruth Fiber Studio

originally posted 10/09/05. See below for actual news.

InnSane: Winter Workshop

Don’t forget to sign up for the winter workshops. They start Jan 15 2006. We already have sign ups.

You can click on the title of this blog for weather information or go to for more information.

It’s finally gotten below 72 degrees. But cold? Not yet. The leaves are turning colors and everyone is having fun. This is the last art workshop of the year, painter’s week. That’s all the food, fun and camaraderie without the instruction and the tution costs.

Salad Dressing on the Side

One great comment I got, (Loved the Salmon, Loved the Meat Lasagna, Would like to see the Pasta Primavera replaced, though normally we serve that with chicken and everyone loves it), was “please serve the dressing on the side because it was heavy for some.”

Well, my friends, you can always request it on the side. We had one workshop where 1/2 the workshop, about 12 people, got it on the side. So, don’t be afraid to ask for it on the side but do that in the beginning of the night before we toss the salad. Even better, ask for dressing on the side in the beginning of the week. We have all those dressing carafes so no problem.

And don’t forget, we have the alternative menu. That’s all veggies, mostly steamed veggies with some light sauces, like soy sauce. Some of those veggies get served with the regular menu.

Innsane Weather

It’s been HOT. 80 degrees. I must say. Is this Fall weather? We could have kept the pool open. We needed to have kept the pool open. Sigh.

80 degrees. What IS this, Southern CA? LA?

Thanks Diane

Diane, part of the wonderful Skip Lawrence workshop, gave us some great cheese and a figs preparation to try together. We’ll drink it with the wine that Pat Dews gave us.

We are touched and happy that you gave us these wonderful presents. Thanks.

And thanks again, to all of you out there, for all the wonderful cards and letters. Not to mention the wonderful comment cards. Thanks to all the artists that gave us art works: Pat Dews, Charles Gruppe, to name a few. And thanks to all the artists that added their fire to this wonderful endeavor.

BTW, what’s the difference between a gift and a present? You have to be present, and present, for it to be a present. 😉

Thanks again. And thanks to all of you for a wonderful season. Next up, painter’s week. (And to all the people who asked: no, I can’t come home with you to cook for you and John can’t come either. 😉

Skip Lawrence’s Wonderful Workshop

Well, the people from Skip’s workshop are just wonderful. They love the food. They love being and they love Skip. What more can I ask for? Well, they also love John and Victoria, our head waiter and our waitress, respectively.

Well, they love Kimberly and Kim and me. Yes, they love it all. We have plenty of returning people and some new ones. They even set up the studio and what a great job they did.

The maple salmon was a smash hit. Next, it’ll be the chicken.

Gerri’s Pine Trees: An Art Exhibition

We are proud to display this wonderful art project by Gerri Barrow. The concept behind this project was for Gerri to paint the creek side pine trees at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn during each art workshop she has taken. Together, this is an impressive body of work, each tree done after the style of one of our, Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, excellent teachers. These are not in chronological order.

Each painting is of the same pine tree.

And finally, here is the latest one painted at the Brommer workshop. Sorry it took this long to complete the set but this one broke the disk space camels back or something like that.

Pine Tree after Jerry Brommer

Pine Tree after Betsy Apgar Smith

Pine Tree after Tony Van Hasselt

Pine Tree after Robert Wade

Pine Tree after Judy Betts

Pine Tree after Barbara Nechis

Pine Tree after Skip Lawrence

Pine Tree after Alvaro Castignet