Saturday, January 31, 2009

The party!

It was time! Here comes the valentines!

Tulips! And first we had our valentine exchange.

and did I hear food?

There was "Mandarin Sesame Salad", "Chicken Puff Bake", "Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese", "Cookies and Cream Cake", "Lemon Bars" and homemade "Fannie Mae Fudge".

Then on with the papers and glue to make a "tag book" to put some of our valentines in.

Everyone got busy!

It was a "full house"!


Friday, January 30, 2009


We're almost ready!

Rush, rush.

A very nice morning in LaGrange, with Laura and class, hearing and seeing demonstrations with a woman from Liquitex. Nice to see everyone in class too; friends that I have met there. I just had to go! Now scurrying to get ready for tomorrow...the valentine's party! It's 8:20 pm and I am still baking and putting prepared dishes in the refrigerator. Tables are up and now to bring out boxes of supplies from our past years. Tomorrow will be a blur.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Busy time

Busy day yesterday. My collage class was in the morning and quilting in the afternoon. My layers are together and ready to be quilted. The squares, the batting and the backing.

Meanwhile thoughts of valentines swirling in my head.

Baking date nut bread for art classes at The Center this morning and hubby will have to be the "hostess". I need to stay home. My lists are long. I make them in the tin cans, just like my mother used to do, with her recipe. Then, since today is my friend's birthday and because she is in the nursing home, us "girls" will be bringing supper, cake and candles, and gifts there tonight to celebrate her day.
"Happy Birthday, Ge Ge!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A morning of sewing

Tomorrow afternoon is quilting class and we are making a tote bag all in black and white fabrics with one other color for a "zinger". I have my squares sewn together, I have the batting and I have the backing. Now have to run to fabric store for fabric for the lining. Of course, I'll be looking at valentine supplies while I am there too!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Books, books and books

Making book samples for a project for the valentine party. Little books with envelopes inside to insert some of the valentines made on tags. My thanks to "Crafty Chica"! Today, making a list and planning the menu and another list and a run to the craft store. Lists, lists, and more lists!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Oh - oh.

Oh - Oh! It's the countdown! Next Saturday is my valentine party. Now to make a schedule, divide up the days and tasks to be done, and get busy! Why do I think everything has to be done the day before so that it's all "fresh"? Am I one of those people who work best under pressure? Well, I still have six days. But what about all the other things that come up during the week? Good grief!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The weekend

Yesterday was poetry class and our assignment for this time was to write a poem that recreates a memory, pinpointing specific details, creating a mood. Exercise #23 in "Creating Poetry" by John Drury.

Because one of my best friends is very ill right now, and she is most on my mind, I find myself reminiscing about being in Michigan years ago, when we both enjoyed cottages on the lake with our young families. My homework contribution was unfinished; a beginning draft, but is devoted to having time to listen to a rainstorm, the beautiful appleblossoms of spring, walking along the water and seeing the life of the turtle and the snail and the minnows, our favorite local farmer "Peacewood" and his happy greeting and his wonderful organic vegetables, the new kittens born in his barn, eating tomatoes right off the vine - how I love that smell when you break the stem, the smell of the grapes and the yumminess of putting one in your mouth, then there's the smell of the pigs - wow, the summer breezes, listening to the trees, the afternoon rides on the boat, finding the geese on your front lawn - oh dear, and the heron fishing on the shoreline.

Those days are gone, but what memories we have.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Winter daze

Icicles dripping! Temperature rising a little. It's still January though.

There is beauty in winter...

and in all the beautiful discoveries of it.

" Hello", little one.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday's pen & ink

This morning was drawing class and I continue on with my Jack-Be-Littles. Pointillism is my favorite way to render with pen & ink. Relaxing to me, as crocheting or knitting is to someone else. The sun is out. It's a beautiful day. And now I am off to get a haircut.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Here we are at the middle of another week, and it's collage class today! Danielle is sleeping and I am tiptoeing around getting my last minute supplies together. She was drawing and gluing last night and here you see her little paper assemblage that she did, adding floors of windows as she built her little house. A happy house, with curtains on the windows, a welcome door, a wreath, a tree and a dog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Robert Frost


The sun is shining today, but it's still frozen out there.

Book club this morning, and then we joined together to hear the inauguration speech. Hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Here they come!

The juncos returned, well one anyway, after getting the right seed in the feeder.

Read and read again today and finished! Book club tomorrow and the book being my choice...that was a good thing. "Someone Knows My Name" by Lawrence Hill. Very good book, I thought. Now looking up discussion questions and information from that time frame.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The movie

"Last Chance Harvey" was a wonderful movie. I have always liked Dustin Hoffman. Emma Thompson was great. I loved her. It is a movie that you wish would not end. Then we went to Papa Joe's for lunch. Garbage Salad with grilled shrimp. A real treat for the tastebuds! The shrimp is kind of blackened and excellent! A nice day. Now to finish reading for my book club on Tuesday...

another cup

Had to buy another cup! I have so many, but when I was in Home Goods last week I couldn't resist this darling bird.

Going to the movies with my daughter today. We will have a good time together. Trying to steer toward the bright side of things as two of my very best friends are ill and in the hospital. My club "girls". Friends since we were 13.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

For the birds

Noticed yesterday that my well-meaning husband had put only cracked corn in the little feeder for the juncos. No wild bird seed left in the container. We have one big plastic jug for thistle, one for sunflower seeds, one for cracked corn, and one for regular bird seed. Thought, "oh no, they won't eat that corn!" Looked out the window later and two were nibbling at it. I can't say they liked it or were going to come back though. Off to the store today for our beautiful little visitors.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brrrrrrr again...

"Where did Timber go?"
"Where are you, Timber?"

"Maybe if I just hide my head here, he won't see me."
Later in the morning, Timber was only out for a minute, but he loves to rub his face in the snow. Poetry class was "a go" for today and so I did go. Late, but I went.

Friday morning

5 a.m. and it's 15 below zero.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

...and colder. 9 degrees below zero now. And classes are cancelled. Now to think of what I can accomplish today and not waste away the day! Looking out, I want to just curl up with my afgan and pile of books. Saw some juncos yesterday flitting around in my tree and so I put some seed in this little open birdfeeder but no one has been interested yet. They are ground feeders, so I guess I will try putting it down lower. I love the beautiful juncos.

another cold day

6 below zero here this morning! It's Thursday, and it's pen & ink day. Will they cancel class? I'm working on a drawing of my jack-be-littles, from a photo I took in late fall, when I was still trying to hang onto them and they had frost on top.
Mark managed to get dogs out and in without a catastrophe this freezing morning. They knew they had to hurry and were glad to be back inside.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snowed in.

Blizzardy day. Classes cancelled. Everyone staying home; staying warm. Adding an extra week on to the end of the session.

Even the snowmen were bogged down. It was a feathery light snow, but a lot of it.

Now Arctic Blast tonight. Worried about getting the dogs out.

More snow!

Winter weather and Danielle continues to choose reindeer, when making thumbprint animals.

But now "Comet" has a flower following him. Think Spring?

My class starts today and wondering if we will all make it? Snowed again. Still snowing this morning. Sparkling snow. Quilting class also begins today, but it's supposed to begin snowing heavily again after noon, the radio says. Good grief!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Journaling on...

Continuing on with another winter journal page. The snowy sedum that I see out my sunroom window. The bunny that hops past that window early in the morning when the stars are still out.


Blizzard cancelled! Snow and more snow tomorrow, but no blizzard last night, as predicted. Mark shoveled a path out the back door, across the deck, down the stairs, on to the backyard for the dogs and so it's business as usual. More class planning and valentine planning for me today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Winter Garden Journal

Beginning the first page of "A Winter Garden Journal" or "A Winter Garden Story" or "A Winter Story". This will be the first class project this session. The music comes out of a vintage children's music book and I love the referral to snowdrifts. The center image reminds me of my Cleveland Pear tree out in front of my house and the beautiful sunrise some mornings, and I know there are a few birds around somewhere.


Getting up with the dogs early this morning, I braced myself for bitter cold. It's cold (15 degrees F.), but no wind. Not a breeze. Breeze...that's a funny word to think about at this time of the year. I wanted to hurry them along, so crunched though the backyard with them, and we all made it back in fine. No freezing feet. Colder tomorrow, they say.

Today, I will finish preparing for my class which starts on Wednesday. First to put the coffee on.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oh Henri!

Henri has a chicken toy that he loves to chew on. He also loves tennis balls.

He loves to play "fetch" and he carries the chicken in his mouth all the time and then fits the tennis ball in in front of the chicken. Can you see the tennis ball in his mouth too?

Here, he is showing you. And see that second tennis ball on the floor. He wants to fit that one into his mouth too, along with the chicken and the first tennis ball.
Then it's fun to drop them into the boots that are lined up for him, he thinks. Like "Bozo's Buckets".
"I got the chicken!"

"Hmpf", says Timber.

My little valentine

I have a shoebox full of my mother's old valentines. She loved them and so do I. They are treasures. Actually this one is not so little. She is about 11-1/2 inches. A perfect valentine...

with a signature on the back.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snowed in...

and planning valentines. Love this little vintage face from one of my mother's valentines. It is signed "To Gertrude...from Hanah". I don't think it's from her sister, as she spelled her name with two "n's"...Hannah. It's a wonderful valentine though, and probably from the 1920's. She reminds me of a little "flapper".

January 10th!

"Happy Birthday" to Chuck!
"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. "So it is." "And freezing." "Is it?" "Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately." A.A.Milne

Friday, January 9, 2009

"I like this chair! Maybe if I just hide here, they won't see me."

"Huh! Who me?"

"Nothin'. I'm not doing nothin' "