Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31st!

It's warmer out this morning and the birds are singing again. There is only rain in the forecast, I think. It's the last day of March. Spring! ... truly Spring! I will be working on my lettering all day today and I have chosen some lines from a poem by Emily Dickinson. Looking at my email, there is reminder of a haiku contest at the Palos Park Library. I love haiku! Can I think about that today too?

Monday, March 30, 2009


Today, Danielle and I made butterflies. I made templates for the different parts of the butterfly and traced them on wrapping paper of different patterns. Danielle cut them out and glued them on cardstock.

She then decided that the butterfly needs a bright sun and some clouds in her sky.

Add a little green grass, and it's a masterpiece! Isn't she beautiful? Thanks for this "out of this world art lesson" from www.deepspacesparkle.blogspot.com .

Last night

Next deadline: The calligraphy calendar page. Will take hours of lettering practice again to get it right. It's for our Study Group, and I have the month of November (2010) to do. I'm excited! I've missed it!

Timber Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-ing. Waiting to go to bed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh, oh!

The snow is back! The dogs went sledding out onto the deck this morning. "Henri" seems confused. Me too!

Pages done!

My ledger pages done! The theme for Gai's page is "Simple Wisdom". I chose quotes from Laura Ingalls Wilder. "The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies."

And on the back - "As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful."

This is for Mary's choice of theme; "Poetry Thrown into Collage". One of the first poems that I remember reading was introduced to me in grammar school. "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. It makes me read dramatically and I think it's just amazing.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe,
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh, Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The theme for Carolyn's is "Time Traveler". I can only think of how fast time is going. Don't dare blink! I had to stick in a picture of Elvis that looks kind of dreamy because it reminds me of my Mom. She loved him and I wish he were here and I wish she were too.

On the back I have music, from a child's vintage song book, called "The Clock".

This one I did for Deb's theme "Step'n Out Of The Box". I guess I never do anything like this in bright colors with large animals chasing crazy ladies who are mowing down the roses!

On the back, she is peeking out of the disturbed garden to see if anyone saw her.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekend work

Finishing up the ledger pages that I am doing for our "Creative Spirits" group, as next week is the deadline! This page is for Nadine's chosen theme of "Quoteable Mosiacs" It is actually a calligraphic piece that I did, of a quote that I love, then cut into squares and mounted onto the page to make a mosiac.

Each of the 13 participants had chosen a theme and, following a chart and beginning with our own, we each made a page for each of the 13 themes over the period of a year. Besides making an original for the chosen theme each month, we made copies for the other participants so that everyone would have all of the pages in their ledger. I think that adds up to be 156 pages in all!

The back of the page reveals the quote.
When the oak is felled
the whole forest
echoes with its fall,
But a hundred acorns
are sown in silence
by an unnoticed breeze. Thomas Carlyle

Friday, March 27, 2009

The movies!

Went to the show today to see "Monsters vs Aliens" with Danielle and Dan. We put on our 3-D glasses and it was so good! The characters are hysterical and adorable and we really enjoyed it. Danielle too, inbetween putting her head under Dan's arm when the aliens came on the scene. Next comes a new "Ice Age" in 3-D!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A special treat!

This week included "income tax day". Danielle was here, so she needed to come along. Our "income tax man" surprised us and treated us to an ice cream sundae at the new little ice cream parlor next door to his office. Danielle drew this picture as a "thank you". I labeled it and we will mail it to him today. Thank you, Mike!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today was collage class in the morning and quilting class in the afternoon. I am making a second tote bag hoping to really remember the steps. I love the little "journaling" fabric that Denise found and when this bag is finished, it is going to hold my journal and books for traveling.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Today, Brent drives back to school. Spring break is over. He and Julie came for supper last night and I decided to make a pork roast, "grandma style". I got down my grandma's old aluminum roaster from the shelf and put it on top of the stove to roast slow. The meat gets nice and browned and the bottom of the pot gets all dark brown and sticky. And the meat gets so tender and some falls apart in chunks, "grandma style". Yum.

Writing again...

"There was a pretty angel, and she was so pretty."

The story

Danielle's Book #2.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A rainy Monday

I thought I had forgotten
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain. from "Spring Rain" by Sara Teasdale

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Birds' nests

Reading an article on birds' nests this morning, I find that you can help the birds find things to build their nests. It asks, "have you ever found an old bird's nest? You will be amazed at what you find."

Some of the materials that you can provide are dried grass, yarn, spanish moss, dog hair, human hair, short strips of cotton fabric, string, pine needles, feathers, short thin twigs.

Yarn and cloth should only be about 3-4 inches long. Never offer plastic or nylon.

I have a container with openings that is for this purpose, to fill with offerings for the birds to build their nest. Now, to find it.

My nests

Listening to the birds singing about Spring, made me think of these "nests" that I did. Little assembleges. I enjoyed doing them so. I think they deserve to be in the "Earth Stories" exhibit. I enjoyed thinking about what some birds collect to build their nests and leave behind.

This one particularly has a soft spot in my heart because it has a tuft of "Clifford's" hair in it. Birds do collect that too! I love these little frames to put them in. They even come with "specimen pins".
Today, I am going on a hunt to see what the birds are up to now!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Well, let's see how my collage of "Junk Drawer Journal" has progressed. It is a busy one, with a travel theme, with stop, caution, and go lights on the sides. Fun, because for a start I used a card that I received from Julie about having adventures together.

A beautiful day today and home to be creative, but had a hard time getting centered. Maybe because a very close cousin of mine, in Maryland, is in the hospital. She will be okay, but can't get her off my mind.

Dan and Danielle were here for our St. Paddy's Day dinner yesterday and tonight we had leftovers. Yum. A very tender corned beef from Berkot's. Get it there every year.

The weekend!

Home today! And working on pieces for the exhibit at the Downers Grove Library in April. The theme is "Earth Stories" with an "emphasis on the need to recycle and reuse". Being the saver that I am, I guess that I have enough to fill many canvases!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quote of the day...

Today was poetry class. I must quote a line from Mary Ann's poem.

"Walk around feeling like something wonderful could happen to you today, if you only make time to let it begin." "The Art of Existing" by Mary Ann

First day of spring

And here comes those naughty Buttercups!

and the sophisticated Shubert Plum.

sweet Forsythia.

and the Magnolia waits.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A story

Yesterday, when Danielle was here, she started writing these little squiggles, with a sun drawing on the top. She told me she was writing words and that she was writing a story. She began to tell the story as she was writing. I quickly grabbed a pen and began taking down her dictation. Here is her story...

I made copies, stapled them together, and told her that this is her first book.

Thursday's art class

Worked on my little painting again today. A little more to finish. I think taking photographs of your work, helps you to see the parts that need to be strengthened. Home now, it's a pretty day and so now I am going to wander around outside and see what's sprouting.


I've corrected my time setting! It was scary, but I went in there and did what they told me and it worked! Now you will know that I really do go to bed at night.

Today is art class. Painting this morning. Posting later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

nature's journal

snowdrops bloomin'
robins hoppin'
grass greenin'
ducks puddlin'
clouds cloudin'
horses grazin'

did I hear a frog?

Colors and textures

Last night, I began collecting colors and textures from magazine pages to use for my class project today. Like my cupcake and Walton collages, we will be choosing a photograph to use as a reference for a collage. This photo is the one that I am using for a watercolor and I have decided to also use it for my collage. I'm excited to start! I hope my papers are too!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The maples are budding! What a pretty sight. And sky so blue.

Even with "Henri's" antics, we had a great book club meeting this morning. "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" was definitely a good read and Pauline had every character in the book so well-described, that I want to read it again to catch up with what I missed!

Afterward, lunch at "Bonfire" in Homer Glen was excellent! I had "Classic Caesar Salad with sauteed shrimp scampi". Yum. I am not big on dining out, but I definitely will go back here. They have a mouth-watering menu.


Danielle's birthday cake drawing.

And today is "Bookies" book club here, so I better not be sitting here blogging! Unload the dishwasher and grab the mop!

Monday, March 16, 2009

On with the day...

Did get to work on my little watercolor yesterday afternoon for a while.

This morning, Danielle and I had a lovely time. She requested pancakes and bacon for breakfast, which I made, while she drew pictures of birthday cake, balloons and presents. Now I will continue to paint. And plan for my collage class. And cut fabric for a new quilting block. And get ready for book club tomorrow, which is here at my house. And make spaghetti sauce for supper!


Spring Break! Brent's home and we had his birthday celebration last night. It was Ed & Joe's for pizza, and then back to their house for cake. Julie made a yummy marble cake with fudgey chocolate frosting. Not wanting to set the tablecloth on fire, there weren't twenty candles on the cake, but enough to wish on. Happy birthday, Brent!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The sun is up. The sky is bright. A good day! Brent is coming home for spring break and we will be having a birthday celebration tonight. His 20th!

I made my Mom's "Banana Cake" twice this week and have had requests for the recipe. This is one of my favorites to use up ripening bananas.

"Banana Cake"

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 c. sifted cake flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 medium banana, mashed
2 T. buttermilk

3 T. butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T. cream (or milk)
1/3 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat thoroughly. Add sifted dry ingredients, mashed banana, and buttermilk alternately in thirds, beating until smooth after each addition. Spread in greased 8"x8"x2" pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

To prepare topping, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add cream and nuts. Carefully spread over warm cake. Place about 5" from broiler and broil about a minute or until topping is bubbly.

Old Time Hints. Do you know these?
If you do not have cake flour - put 2 T cornstarch in measuring cup and the rest all-purpose flour.
If you do not have buttermilk - Mix a couple drops of vinegar with milk in a small cup and then measure out your 2 T. (It's usually one tablespoon vinegar and then fill to one cup level with milk. )

Saturday, March 14, 2009


"Walk To Walton"

"Objet d' art"

"Flap Like Eagles"

"Miss Hickory"

A trip to Westmont, yesterday, to borrow one of my "sold" collages for a photo shoot today for the Midwest Collage Society. We also squeezed in lunch at the "Bohemian Crystal". yum. Now, this morning, I need to decide on the three collage pieces that I want to have photographed for the portfolio CD that MCS is putting together. I need to decide on my three favorite pieces. I do have favorites. I know everyone does. Ones that turn out like everything went into place like you planned it. It was bittersweet picking up "Walk To Walton" from it's owner. I get so attached to them. Why do I do that? Okay, snap out of it! Now to decide. (1)"Walk to Walton". (2) "Objet d' art" (it received an honorable mention in the Alphabetica II exhibit) and for (3) I think it will be "Flap Like Eagles". No one knows about "Miss Hickory" except me. It was one of my favorite books when i was in grammar school. The end.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yesterday's collage and...

My winter garden journal finished.

Working on another junk drawer collage.

And today, the beginning of a watercolor from a photograph taken in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Collage class today

Danielle was a guest in collage class today, so I brought along a bag of punched out colored paper shapes.
And here is her collage of Easter eggs and flowers!