Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last day of April

"P" is for "Poetry".
For inspiration, I used one of my mother's poems, that she wrote years ago, and I have hopefully sent these "p's" twisting and twirling through my collage.

Putting the final touches and the wire on now for the "Alphabetica III" exhibit at the Orland Park Library. Goes up tonight!
The Leaves
When I can take some time to pause
And gaze up at a tree,
I think of little things
my mother 'd say to me.
She'd say that on a windy day,
when she would watch the leaves,
It seemed as though a story they'd tell,
a-nodding in the breeze.
You get a dreamy feeling
on a lazy summer day.
Above you there's the blue, blue sky,
A billowy cloud goes drifting by
And sometimes as I sit here too
I can see it's really true,
The twisting, twirling leaves do
tell an endless tale to you.
by Gertrude Erika Berglund

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The best asparagus recipe

Sugared Asparagus

3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 pounds fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 cup chicken broth

In a skillet over med-high, heat butter and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add asparagus; saute for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove asparagus to a serving dish and keep warm. Cook sauce, uncovered, until reduced by half. Pour over asparagus and serve immediately. 4-6 servings.

This recipe is from "Taste Of Home" magazine from some years ago and is one of our favorites. Have to make it several times every asparagus season!

Wildflowers at The Center!

After collage class today, I took a walk to admire some of my favorite Spring wildflowers. No sun, but they tried their best. "Virginia Bluebells"

"Spring Beauties!"

"Cut-leaved Toothwort"

"Trout Lily"

" May Apple"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Company coming!

Having my morning coffee in my "rescued" German coffee cup, with my lists in front of me, planning tonight's dinner, and all the other lists that are on my brain. Bought an extra ham at Eastertime, as Julie had Easter dinner this year, and so brother-in-law and sister-in-law and a very lovely cousin are coming to help us eat it. Making it on the grill rotisserie just like Rob and Julie did at Easter. Yum.

Glazed Ham
Escalloped Potatoes
Baked yams
Sugared Asparagus
Homemade Applesauce
Rolls and Butter
Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Monday, April 27, 2009

a watercolor morning

Painting with "Prang" Glitter Watercolors this morning, Danielle and I had fun!

I painted a field of wildflowers and a blue sky with some birds flying above.

And Danielle painted a decorated evergreen tree...

and a beautiful rainbow! Very glittery!

She had arrived as a kitty cat this morning.
Then, after lunch, we picked up Marge and off we went to see the Downer's Grove Library Collage Exhibit and pick up what we could for the upcoming Orland Park Library Collage Exhibit.

In the morning

Watched "Mary Poppins" yesterday, all morning, before going to the theatre.

The Show!

Downtown! And walking down LaSalle, on the way to the theatre, the city is beautiful!

Flowers brightened up the Spring rainy day.

Heading to the Cadillac Palace Theatre...

And here we are! It was a wonderfully enjoyable performance. The scene design was out of this world! The acting, the voices and the dancing of the cast fabulous! The Cadillac Palace Theatre is a beautiful old theatre. It opened in 1926 and has the look and atmosphere of a French palace. Rose-marbled walls, crystal chandeliers, gold plaster ornamentation and huge mirrors. They say, modeled after Versailles and I felt like I was there.

After the play, we had dinner at "312 Chicago" on the corner of LaSalle and Randolph. A scrumptious meal and, as you will see, I forgot to take pictures before we started eating but you can get a glimpse of what we had anyway. We both chose "Mista", a mesculun mix, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and red wine vinaigrette. Absolutely yummy!

Then, I had "Ravioli Mare" with scallop and shrimp ravioli, roasted cherry tomatoes, shrimp broth and crispy leeks.

oh my gosh!
Julie chose "Tortelloni con Ricotta", which is homemade tortelloni stuffed with ricotta and spinach in a brown butter sage.

oh my gosh!

Then we shared a decadent dessert of "Flourless Chocolate Cake" with a light orange sauce and hazelnuts and chantilly cream.

oh my gosh!

Then the rain had stopped and we had a leisurely walk back to the parking garage, enjoying the city scenes once more time.

A memorable mother and daughter day! Thank you, my Julie!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Mary Poppins" today!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Treasure hunt!

I knew there was a rummage sale at a local church this morning and so I got myself out the door early to go. Here are my finds!

This clear glass plate has evergreen trees etched on it and will be pretty to bring cookies to the Christmas Retreat at The Center. Then there is sheet music to use for collage. "Camp of the Gypsies" and "Scarf Dance". And then a "thing" that is a good find to take apart for the "tin dolls" we are going to make next month with the "Creative Spirits".

A pretty little sugar bowl made in Tunstall England, a necklace to take apart and use for the "tin dolls", and a lovely old cup from Germany. And fabric to use as my lining for a bag that I am making in quilting class.

I could not resist this little guy. He is movable, with pieces to use with the "tin dolls", but I don't know if I can bear to take him apart. All in all, a grand total of $4.75!

A busy day

Company coming! Spent the day grocery shopping and assembling dishes to put in the oven later. Had decided we would have snack-type food rather than a sit-down dinner. They are fun, but lots of work too. Special neighbors, so wanted it to be special.

Julie's homemade guacamole with tortilla strips.
Cheesy bean dip.
Baked cheese squares with chilies.
Shrimp Quesadillas with poblano peppers and chihuahua cheese.
Mexican chicken wings.
Fresh pineapple, strawberries and grapes.
Homemade Samoas with coconut ice cream.

The weather was beautiful yesterday, and we were able to sit outside and eat on the deck. "Henri" was very excited to have company and behaved quite well. "Timber" is always good. It was a very enjoyable time! Now, lots to catch up with today. A collage piece needs to be done by the end of next week for an exhibit at Orland Park Library! Morning pages, class stuff and tomorrow is "Mary Poppins"!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pen & Ink

Pen & Ink class this morning and I am finally deciding how I want to do the red-winged blackbird. Think it will be interesting long and narrow with lots of sky around him and a few branches coming up from the bottom. A relaxing morning with pointalism.

"Paper Towel" paper

This is one of the things we did in my class yesterday. Having mixed three different acrylic washes, I took a two-ply paper towel and folding it in different directions, dipped it repeatedly in the cups of colored wash, "tye-dye" style. Separate the two layers and hang to dry.
When dry, lay on freezer paper, shiny side up, and coat with matte medium. Dry again. It will peel off of the freezer paper easily. As you can see above, when placed on top of an image, you get a nice translucent effect.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Class and Spring Beauties

Spring Beauties bloomin' and a full house today! A wonderful class of eleven!...and Danielle. A little flustered, not knowing I wouldn't have an empty stool this session, but they were great and we all got through it. With a little luck, I had enough watercolor paper cut and enough of everything else. Everyone got a good start and next week we will have fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Project: Women of Literary Distinction

With a taped down watercolor paper, I began with a gesso undercoat on both sides. Then I chose text to identify my subject and continued with a coat of a light colored acrylic wash.

After that was dry, I applied a secondary medium intensity color, applying it to the outer edges and working toward the center, but not covering the first color completely.

After that was dry, I applied a third wash of a darker color, burnt umber, sparingly to outer edges but not covering all of the first or second colors.

"I speak for those children..."

I have chosen Audrey Hepburn as my person who has left her mark on the world. This is my beginning and I began to chose some pieces to layer on and will continue on with my class.

Where is April going?

The month is flying by. Still raining and Henri is still on the lookout for the robins and the rabbits. Woof! And the little fluffy white tail going bouncing out of the yard like a ping pong ball!

"Not to live for the day, that would be materialistic -- but to treasure the day. I realize that most of us live on the skin -- on the surface -- without appreciating just how wonderful it is simply to be alive at all." Audrey Hepburn

Will be collaging all day today and preparing for tomorrow's class. The last session before summer. Summer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

To the groomer!

This morning was "Timber's" turn to go to the groomer. A first for our wonderful senior dog, but his feet were looking like the Grinch. He was not really happy to go, but we knew he would feel better.
He did very well and looks squeeky clean and trimmed, but he was glad to be back home.


And "Henri" went running away and was glad it was not his turn today!

Meeting on Sunday

A rainy April day, but yesterday was our meeting of the West Side Calligraphy Study Group and a good meeting it was! The main order of business was collating our new 2010 calendar and it looks great! Each page is a little work of art. And after that, it was a nice afternoon of showing and sharing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Yesterday, we had tickets to see the Ragtime Piano Festival and it was great! There were about seven pianists. Three young people and their fingers flew. Sue Keller is the main attraction! She is a wonderful pianist and a funny funny lady. An enjoyable afternoon. The concert started at 2 and they were still going strong at 5:30 when we had to leave to pick up Danielle. She had been at "Daddy's" enjoying her newly-learned two-wheeler with training wheels. Then back at "the ranch", it was time for paper dolls and off to bed. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday morning

Staying at Julie & Rob's while they are away, and here's my early morning coffee in one of Julie's new coffee cups...and good morning beagles!

This is "Abby". She is up a couple of times woo-woo-wooing during the night and now she will be napping all day. She doesn't mean it. She is blind.

And this is "Missy". She was rescued. She is a very good girl and loves to be outside basking in the sun. They are both good little granddogs!

Friday, April 17, 2009


This morning is poetry class. I didn't write this week. I didn't do my homework. And I just need to be home today. tsk-tsk. Many projects in many stages, and I just need to sit and think about them. An exercise we did, in the last poetry session, was to pick a title of a book from their library at The Center and use that in a poem. We glanced at the books rather quickly and "Games People Play" caught my eye. Maybe sharing it here with you will help justify my not going today?

Games People Play

I think of what people say
and they shouldn't.
Of what they should say
but wouldn't.

The games people play.
The things they do and say.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Wildflowers

One of the treats of Spring for me is to see the wildflowers coming up at The Center. Lois posted a sign in the art cabin, so we would identify one of the earliest beauties, the Bloodroot.

And here they were, still all buds when I arrived this morning and by the time I left around noon they had all opened up!

Pen & Ink day

Pen & Ink class this morning and I love this photograph that my husband took. Love the way the redwings sit on the tip of the tree branches. A nice little silhouette and I think I will just do a simple little drawing of this today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Class today

Today was the last class of this six-week session. Next week begins the final session before summer break. The class is working hard, each on their own interpretation of a chosen photograph. Here, Judy works on one of a stone sculpture.

Peggy's beautiful floral.

Joyce's sunny sunflower!

Denise worked from a photograph of pumpkins.

Teri busy working on finishing another piece, while her cityscape waits.

And Danielle's drawing of the morning. A quickie and then she was off to plant seeds into little starter pots with Aunt Julie!