Jerry’s Map!

My husband, Jerry Gretzinger, is a fantasy map maker and a couple of years ago, I commissioned Greg Whitmore, a family friend and really skilled videographer, to make a mini movie about Jerry and his map.  My able son, Henry Gretzinger, also helped with the camerawork.  The movie accompanied Jerry’s first map show and was also posted on Vimeo, a site for videographers to exhibit their work.  This film was just now picked as a Vimeo favorite and is now kind of a cult viral hit!  Watch it here.

I also provided a link to Jer’s blog on my earlier post  Fake Rock Farm.  His map pieces decorate the front of our barn!  Congrats, hubby!

Hubba Bubba


After the population of 4-leggeds multiplied rapidly at Fake Rock Farm with the addition of Clarence the lamb and Casper the goat, I had to face reality.  Now was not the time to introduce a puppy into the mix.  So I told Jerry that I was officially no longer searching for a dog, but waiting, instead, for a dog to come to us.

So, of course,  my brother-in-law called us the other day to ask us if we wanted another dog.  He’d found a stray miniature schnauzer in his Grand Rapids neighborhood and after a week of searching for the owners was coming up empty.

Long story short.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you:










Fake Rock Farm: what does that name mean?

In 1989, the Staley/Gretzinger household, comprised of parents, Meg and Jerry, boys, Hank, age 6, and Lucky, age 4, and Mary, the dog, escaped New York City to spend the first of many Augusts at our newly purchased farm in Maple City, MI.  The farm had been a working family farm of 40 acres and included a white farmhouse, big red barn and many outbuildings:  a granary, rabbit hutch, chicken coop, tractor barn and guest garage.

After a year or two of getting settled, I realized I needed an artistic outlet and was desperate for downtime from too much young testosterone.  Many of the barns and houses in this area were partially built using local stone, but ours was a boring poured cement.  LIGHTBULB!  I’ll PAINT a stone foundation on it!  That will look cool (and give me a ready excuse to exit the house with a cup of joe every morning for an hour or so for almost 3 summers!) This is the barn today, with granddaughter Penelope in the foreground.  The blue and green panels above the milking floor door are blown-up images from Jerry’s map.  After a year or two I rounded the front facade and started painting the side wall.  Every day a stranger would pull off by the side of the road and stop to chat about the project, talking about how real it looked.  “Thankyou,” I  would reply politely, but to myself I’m thinking, “wait a minute.  what about the joke part of this!”  I tried to remedy that by painting the word FAKE in the stonework.  

Many. many family photos have been taken in front of these doors over the past 22 years.  This one is from last summer.  The four Gretzinger progeny:  Aaron, Henry, Nelle, and Lucky.

Nelle Gretzinger is the wonderful mother of my granddaughters, Penelope and Violet, pictured here with their Granpa Jerry.

Urban granddaughters brave the WOODS !!!

Here are Penelope and Violet Sorrentino clinging to each other on the way up the Empire Bluffs Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, our backyard at Fake Rock Farm.    From Brooklyn to bear country.  (Speaking of bears, bear with me while I figure out the new blog format that Henry switched me to last weekend in New York. )  This wooded trail climbs up the back of a 450 ft.  sand dune.  The woods are scary for our delicate urban gals, but Sugar the dog is completely at home.  When we crest the bluff and look out, this is what we see.  Way, way down there in the water are 4 dots (swimmers.)   Can you see them?   

Meg Staley Handmade has a cousin in Montepulciano, Italy!

My sister, Lynn Staley, has a great eye and loves clothes, design, and all things artistically quirky just as much as I do. Must be the DNA…Here she is in Montepulciano modeling a local designer’s clothes so her friend, Gail Anderson, could snap a picture for me. She was right. I loved it. Unapologetic color. One of my mottoes.

FYI this designer’s website is: Gee, maybe I should have a website….. Nope, not ready to be a grownup yet.

New Tee shirts for Trequanda Friends

>It’s the eve of my trip to visit my sister, Lynn, at her new home outside of Collevecchio, Italy. She designed my new logo, Meg Staley Handmade, and in return she asked me to design tee shirts for friends in Trequanda. These came out well, I think. Double clamp dye, with roller printing and screen printing on top of that. Now, if only my brain would retrieve some of that Italian I learned years ago in college!