Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday evening

Turkey time and happy birthday to me!

Saturday morning art

First we made a snowman ornament, all bundled up with earmuffs and scarf.

Then, starting with a background of pastel rubbings, we created a snowy scene ready for skaters and sledders.

My sample to inspire the young artists. They all did their pastel backgrounds and were surprised at how they really looked like snowy hills.

Here we go with a beautifully chilly snowman.

A skater.
Children playing and building a snowman.

Frolic in the snowy woods.

And even a "stop and go light".

Friday, November 28, 2008

Moving along...

Checking off the list today. Freddie's in his new home and seems to be adjusting nicely. Julie came and conquered. The turkey dressing is assembled and ready for tomorrow. The brocolli/mushroom/cheese scallop is ready for the oven. The cheeseball is made and the veggies cut for the dip. Now to make the jello, cook the cranberries, and make the French Apple Pie. Mashed potatoes, gravy, and yams tomorrow. And Julie is making pumpkin cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies.

For the kids' art class in the morning, I decided to do snowmen ornaments and then a little watercolor lesson beginning with a pastel rubbing background to resemble snow slopes. I must remember my camera!

my days are full...

Up early with "Henri" this morning. Painter coming early too. And Julie will be here to help me with partially preparing some of the dishes for tomorrow's turkey dinner. Then, with having had experience with aquariums, she is going to help me set up "Freddie's" new home. He is growing out of his bowl. Kid's art tomorrow morning and I should have been organizing that yesterday, but instead, because it was my turn to choose, started reading the book that I picked for "Bookies" to read this time. The reviews say that "you can't put it down right from the first paragraph". This is true. I am attached to the heroine. The name of it is "Someone Knows My Name" by Lawrence Hill.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Each moment of the year has its own beauty...
a picture which was never seen before
and which shall never be seen again.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Busy time

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, but our special dinner will be on Saturday when Danielle will be with us. Brent is home from college on his winter break, and we will all be together. Grocery shopping done yesterday and I am ready. Now just to make the dressing and bake the apple pie! The others will fall into place and i will be in the kitchen the whole day. But I love Thanksgiving!

Today the painter returns, and I need to frame a few more pieces to replace the ones that sold at my doctor's office. Danielle comes at 5 and we will be busy with Thanksgiving crafts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And more...

Zentangle #3 "Foxy Loxy"

Zentangle #4 "Missy Beagle"
Maybe these will be characters in that children's book that I want to write some day!

Thanksgiving week

A few snow flurries yesterday and this morning it's frosty outside. Crunchy grass. A clear sky and a sliver of a moon. Henri chased Bunny out of the yard and Bunny hops away quickly and at least I know Henri can't fit through the fence anymore. On the scale, at the vet yesterday, he weighed in at 25.7 pounds. And he impressed her with showing off his "sit" and "wait" that he learned at the trainer, whom she had recommended to us. A good thing.

The painter continues, as I continue putting things away from the art show. Emptying one room; packing away another.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Zentangle #1. He reminds me of "Dirty Dragon". Does anyone remember "Dirty Dragon"?

Zentangle #2. "A Clever Caterpillar"
Our good friend, Tania, has introduced us to the world of Zentangles. They are done on a 3-1/2" tile (paper, board) Little works of art. What fun! You start out not knowing what you are going to come up with and all of a sudden it turns into something. Had to add a little colored pencil, and funny isn't it, how mine become animals.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The concert

Last night, we went to the inaugural opening night of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra at Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center in Frankfort. A beautiful program it was, Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and works by Shostakovich, Borodin, and Tchaikovsky. I feel enlightened.
"Where words fail, music speaks." Hans Christian Anderson

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Time

Today is children's art and we will be making this turkey popcorn mosiac. The picture of the turkey is glued onto a sturdy piece of tag board. You must have one with backside feathers visable. Ahead of time, I have dyed the unpopped popcorn kernels with a few spoonfuls of rubbing alcohol and food coloring, spread them out, and let them dry overnight. The children will color the turkey first and then glue the colored popcorn on to make his feathers. Cute and colorful!

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile." William Cullen Bryant

November 21st...

and it's my birthday!

One of my best friends calls on the telephone every year, on the morning of my day, and sings a little song to me that she made up. She sings it to everyone in her family and to her best friends when their birthdays comes around. It's the best present ever! I have to write it down so that I can put it here and in my journal. It goes:

"Hey April!
It's your birthday!
I'm in charge of the stars

And I'm here to say -
Hey April!
It's your big day today!" by JoAnn

creative spirits

The cool blues of winter.

Winter nights and snow remind me of the color blue. When I was young I had an electric blue dress coat, 3/4 length sleeves, with matching long gloves - oh, and matching shoes. Heels! I also had a hooded black velvet coat. Both are favorites memories of mine. I wish I still had them.

So I named this piece "Blue Velvet".
"She wore blue velvet
Bluer than velvet was the night
Softer than satin was the light
From the stars."

When something surprising would happen or something would go wrong, the favorite German phrase was "himmel mein mitte" or as my mother would pronounce it "himmel mein mitze". It meant "oh my heavens" or "oh my head or out of the center of my head".

This one my children remember, when they would be playing too hard or giggling too much or being too silly, she would say "pretty soon you'll be crying".

A good time at "Creative Spirits" on Wednesday evening, with a paper glazing demonstration. Nice! Surrendered two of my finished ledger pages to the appropriate recipients. As shown above, one to the theme of "Wrapsodee In Blue" and the other "My Mother Always Said".

Then, last night was puppy preschool. Henri did well, although he had kind of a "naughty" week. Growing pains. At class, we tried his patience with "sit" and "wait". He is also learning to "come" on command. Maybe. Some agility instruction included running through a tunnel, and climbing up and going down a wooden slanted thing. These are lessons in bravery. Now to practice what we were taught and to be nice to Timber.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Wednesday is collage day and it was a good time today! Everyone getting a handle on their colors and textures to use in their piece. Then a stop at Sir Speedy to pick up the copies of my ledger pages for "Creative Spirits" tonight. And then a stop at my doctor's office, after a telephone call telling me that three of my framed prints sold there, so i needed to stop and pick up my $. I need to send out a thank you for that nice sale. Back home and the painter is here painting and I will be busy tearing rooms apart. They need it and this is the only way I can be forced to get it done! Always get this yearning for a clean house before the winter holidays. Fa-la-la-la-la!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Book Club today! Didn't finish the book, but certainly an interesting read and I want to! "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan is a book about Frank Lloyd Wright and his love affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney. I like this author! This is her first novel and I can't wait to read her next one.
The lovely bookmark, made to match the book, was given to each of us by our fellow Bookie, Lorraine, who is also one of my collage students. A nice surprise!

Monday, November 17, 2008


A lone leaf hanging on, refusing to give in to the winter season on it's way.

A dusting of snow on the Jack-Be-Littles this morning.

We had a lovely crowd of shoppers at the art show yesterday. I always enjoy seeing many of the friendly faces that have been following my art shows for about five years now. They're in my guest book from the first art show that I was in! The weather cooperated and sent us a little snow shower, and I played my new German Christmas CD, "Stille Nacht" by Rudi Knabl, to add to the festive mood.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Log Cabin Center for the Arts Christmas Art Show
and Sale
Sunday, November 16th
12 noon to 4 pm

Featuring the works of
Nettie Botts and students: Weaving
Marge Boyd and students: Calligraphy
Karen Caldwell and students: Gourdcraft
Jane Dwyer and students: Basketry
Ann Fowler and students: Basketry and Paper Art
Lois Hrejsa and students: Watercolor and Pen & Ink
MaryAnn Grzych and students: Poetry
Keith Miller and students: Woodcarving
Sonya and Dan Snyder and students: Silver Jewelry
Karen Stasky and students: Stoneware Pottery
April Schabes and students: Collage
Rick Steffen and students: Nature Photography
Lenox Wallace and students: Watercolor
Marilyn Vandenbout and students: Papermaking
Chris Opp and students: Tole Painting
Nicole Ferrill and students: Silkscreening
Denise Dulzo and students: Quilting
Catherine Myers and students: Beaded Story Jewelry
Frank Coughlin and students: Creative Writing
Linda Whittaker and students: The Artist’s Way
April Schabes, Magen Martin, Jennifer Denham, Amy Bennett, and students: Children’s Art
Kris O’Reilly and students: Children’s Nature Photography
Laura Milkert and students: Family Pottery

Plus Christmas wreaths, reindeers, and crafts
by Blanche Sanders and The Center staff and Fellowcrafters
at The Center
12700 SW Hwy Palos Park , IL (708) 361-3650

My "Fancy Nancy"

Not this guy, but the story below...

Yesterday, Danielle strung these new beads and made herself a pretty necklace. She is going to wear it on Sunday when she visits the art show at The Center.

She then decided to make one from these, that were her first set of "beads". She wants me to wear these on Sunday. Of course!

This morning is "Children's Art" and we are going to make these scarecrows and then glaze our "face vessels" from last week. Then it's back home to continue getting ready for the art show tomorrow. Folding and stuffing and matting and folding and stuffing and... and... and...

Friday, November 14, 2008

"I Remember Mama"

Today is her birthday, and as I was looking through her recipes and her poetry, this poem stands out because I knew my time would come one day when I would have to face these thoughts myself, as she had done.

"I Never Will Forget"

I had the sweetest kind of mom,
I never will forget.
Her ways were fine and so sincere,
Sometimes it seems like yesterday -
That she was standing here.

Tho I know she's far away,
I feel her closely yet,
Because I know that in my heart
I never will forget.

'Cause fifteen years ago today,
God took my precious mom away
To heaven's glorious land, I know -
That like an angel, her shining
Soul must glow.

She raised us seven, firmly yet gently
Always there to help.
Little though she had -
She made it seem like plenty.

As a child, you couldn't help but mind
Our little old-fashioned mom so kind,
'Cause she was never loud or rough
Her manner so sedate
And never would she say or do
A thing to irritate.

I wish that I could touch her hand
And hear her speak again,
But thoughts like these just fill
One's heart with pain.
And sometimes I am restless yet,
Because I never - never will forget.

by Gertrude Erika Berglund

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tomorrow is my mother's birthday and strong thoughts of her bring memories of good smells in the kitchen and baking cookies. One of her favorite things to do. So I am baking "Tiny Toffee Squares" for art class this morning. yum. It was one of her favorites.

Tiny Toffee Squares

1 c. butter
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1-1/2 t. salt
1/2 # sweet chocolate, melted
chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla, then sifted flour and salt.
Spread dough evenly in ungreased 10"x15" pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from oven and spread melted chocolate over at once. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Cut into 12 strips on the long side and six on the narrow side while still warm.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Bell

This is Henri's bell. The trainer said he would quickly learn to ring the bell when he has to go out. He has!!! I showed him with his paw, but being the free spirit that he is, he nudges it with his nose. Tomorrow night will be his second class and he has learned this little lesson before that. Well... most of the time anyway.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Three ledger pages, three different themes, to get done before next Wednesday evening! Should be one, but I am behind and catching up as with everything else. I am trying to concentrate and get inspiration for these themes and I finally began with this one expressing the color "Blue". The cool color of blue always reminds me of snowy winter nights, I guess. Icicles and ice skates and crisp clear starry nights. Even though this is just my start, I needed to sit back and look at it and we'll see where it goes from here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Starting shopping!

I needed some quilting batting, so yesterday afternoon Julie came over and we dashed to JoAnn Fabrics. Good sales and was surprised to get my Christmas shopping started! A little way down from there was "Kris Kringle Haus" and so we jingled our way in there. More shopping! A lovely little shop with lots of ornaments and such from Germany. Then, a little further on, into the pet shop for a small aquarium for "Freddie" who is eating more and "you know what" more and needs a cleaner and bigger environment to be in. And here is "Henri" who had been waiting for us to get home. Julie says he looks like "Fozzy Bear"!

In the evening, it was the annual meeting at The Center. It's always a very rewarding time and the slide show that they put together, a real treat!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Another week gone!

Overwhelmed again. So much to do, and so many more wonderful things to do!

Yesterday was art for the kids at The Center and we did clay. Face Vessels. Pinch pots with faces. Now they will be fired and then we can glaze them.

Classes in full swing and now to get ready for the art show in one week!

The Log Cabin Center for the Arts
Christmas Art Show and Sale
Sunday, November 16th
12 noon to 4 p.m.
The Center
12700 Southwest Hwy
Palos Park, IL

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Life with Henri'

This is Timber. He lives with Henri'...

And here is that little pup
Who has a colic up
Right in the middle of his top head...

When he is good
He is very, very good...

But when he is bad
He is horrid.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Puppy Preschool!

Last night was preschool for "Henri"! It's a great little class and his classmates are twin beagles, a pommeranian/beagle mix, a black lab, an english boxer and a german shepherd. They had a fun time! "Hen-ri' ". "Outside, outside". "Good do your job!" "Quickly, quickly inside!" "I love you." All the lingo has been going through my mind all morning. A good thing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quilting Day

Coming along, after yesterday's quilting session, and now that it's put together, I am ready to quilt. The fun part! Making it real. I have always loved quilting and am so glad Denise decided to teach at The Center. I am surely squeezing it in, but I can not resist. And the quilting part is such a wonderful winter thing to do in the evening.

Yes, when i write this blog, I do feel like it's bits and pieces of a letter that I am writing to "Joanne". Have written to her since I was a little girl. Forever, I am a fan of the handwritten letter and now this has to do most of the time with the busy world we live in, and I know she is there. But I continue to have on my list for the week to "write a letter".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Two days home, with no where I have to be! Morning pages consist of list making, but at least I am writing. A poem for poetry class even popped in somewhere. I have to write things down to keep my head on straight. Collage plans for Wednesday's class, a drawing to finish for Thursday's pen&ink class, to be productive with collage notes from Laura's class, and decide on clay project for Saturday's kids' class. This morning I need to cut the strips that will connect my quilt squares together. Now to see if everything fits together!

Monday, November 3, 2008

And home again...

The roses seem to be enjoying these sunny autumn days too.

I love the pinks against the colors of this season.

The sweet Jack-Be-Littles are still perky.

And I think the colors of my Sunset Maple in the backyard are at their peak this week. The color change seems so late this year. Each one, a little watercolor all by itself.

A beautiful Sunday

Today was the dedication of the new art building at The Center.

There were two and now there are three beautiful art log cabins!

Adorned with mums and a big bright orange ribbon to cut for the ceremony.

A beautiful deck built on the side of the new building and wonderful walkways to connect them all.

Happy pansies on this beautiful autumn day.

The ceremony over and time to look back once more at the beautiful colors soon to be replaced with snow.