Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cupcake collage

Using my photograph as a reference for a collage...

And using a piece of mat board, I began with a simple sketch

and then just blocked in color with acrylic paint

Then I gathered papers that satisfied the colors I wanted to use and began layering

and layering, coating both sides of the papers with medium as I went along

and layering and layering, trying to create a painterly effect

and now I will add a little more detail to the candle flames and put a finishing coat over all. Almost done.

Friday, February 27, 2009

An email!


Danielle sent me an email from Florida this morning. Today, they are in Busch Gardens. I wonder what she's telling me?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yesterday's class

Everyone working hard on their winter journal projects. Joyce's theme is "Out The Window". Her cover is peeking out on the left, with a beautiful window giving way to a winter scene outside.

Denise is creating pages of "Winter Wonderland".

Judy's theme is "Winter White and Words". Words and letter writing, combined with beautiful garden thoughts.

Mary Ann has chosen "Winter Fantasy".

Peggy gives us a "Winter View". Highlights of the winter months.

Teri S loves to write her own stories and is working on a fascinating little book about Josephine Bonaparte.

Again...Judy's lovely pages of words and garden thoughts.

Mary Ann and Joyce giving finishing touches and sharing ideas.

Teri M's "Long Winter's Nap".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Here birdie, birdie

Danielle made this nice birdfeeder in preschool. It's a rice cake covered with birdseed. Come on, birdies!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Morning visitors

Here comes the mourning doves! Is it nesting time? Last year they built a nest in the awning over our deck before we even realized it. Of course, had to wait for the lone egg to hatch before opening it for the season, and it was twins! Then we had to wait for them to fly, and they are not good housekeepers!

No, no...don't be cuddling up here.

Oh, and my son got a job! Before that happens, he is off on a flight to Florida to meet up with Danielle who is there visiting her other grandparents. I can breathe now...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Got a junk drawer?

Doesn't everyone have a junk drawer? Or two or three or four? I have them! Places, where I save bits and pieces of things that I just can not bear to throw away. Parts of old games that get separated from their boxes. Messages on sticky notes.

Being that Earth Day is in the month of April, and my class is invited to have a display at the Palos Park Library, we will be doing "junk drawer collages" as our next project. Using things that would maybe someday be thrown out and instead give them a new life.
I'm sure we will come up with some interesting pieces of art!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The weekend

Snow. And it sure looks gray this morning. The newspaper says snowy today; storm total 3-6 inches. Blowing snow tonight; a few snow showers. Up early to a bowl of warm oatmeal with brown sugar and walnuts sprinkled on top. Comfort food.

Later, when letting Henri out, he and I both stopped in our tracks to hear one lone crow cawing up in the tree by the squirrel's nest. I ran for my zoom lens but couldn't get back fast enough, for when Henri ran down into the yard, the crow flew away.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Another significant lay-off at Panduit yesterday and my youngest son among them. Oh!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cherry Coconut Bars

Yes, they were yummy!

Cherry Coconut Bars

1 cup flour
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.

To prepare crust, combine flour, powdered sugar and butter in a medium bowl; mix well. Press into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake 20 - 25 minutes, until lightly golden.

To prepare filling, combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Spoon on top of crust and spread evenly. Bake 20 - 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Makes 16 bars.

the week marches on...

Today is drawing class. Baking a new recipe this morning to take. "Cherry Coconut Bars". They sound good and tomorrow is "teacher's" birthday! The snow from yesterday is still on the ground and it's still winter, but it must be time to think of spring, because that's what I'm doing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The day.

Today was a beautiful celebration of my friend's life. The mass, a comforting tribute. And then quality time spent with her daughter and friends. Special time. A connection that she made possible a long long time ago. And now it's snowing; a fluffy white blanket over all.


Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Looking through years and years of photographs all morning. I'm so glad that I always was a "picture-taker". So many memories. Where does the time go?

Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us. ~Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest"

pages and pages

Working and working on these ledger pages. Five to complete for our finished book. Satisfying a theme that each participant has chosen. Here we have "Simple Wisdom", "Step'n Out of the Box", "Time Traveler", "Quotable Mosiacs", "Poetry thrown into Collage". Loved it! But now is the time to be done!

Monday, February 16, 2009

and life goes on...

Telephone calls this morning. And then continued with working on ledger pages due this week. The one that I thought I'd have most trouble with came through easier than I thought, and the one that I thought would be easy, gave me trouble. I will sleep on them tonight.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
'Tis the seal, despair, -
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 'tis like the distance
On the look of death.
Emily Dickinson

My dear friend,
Ge Ge
1/29/41 - 2/14/09

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I save rocks, among other things. In one of my many little containers of rocks, this perfect little heart shaped one was right at the top for today. I must separate them all and put all the hearts in one bowl.

Up early, as usual, and will work on ledger pages project. My head cold is nagging at me and now have to look out the window at still a little more snow. A few days ago, there was a little green peeking out from one of my pots on the deck and now it has a little cold white cover over it. Brrr.

Friday, February 13, 2009

So much to do...

...and I think I have a head cold. This afternoon, I planned on working on my winter garden journal for my Wednesday's collage class.

I also wanted to continue with the 5 ledger pages that I need to do before next Tuesday! Colder today, but it's sunny and I want to feel inspired. Go away cold germs!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back to the pumpkins

Okay, I have to show you "Henri" and his long legs. Still a puppy, but Mark can hardly pick him up anymore. Doesn't he look like "Chewbacca"? He's just as sweet as him too.

And today is drawing class and back to the jack-be-littles.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Quilting class this afternoon and I finished my tote bag! Thank you to my good teacher, Denise. What an accomplishment! What fun!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

journaling on...

Worked on my journal for my collage class yesterday afternoon. Enjoyed the time space in my day to do that. I had to dedicate a page to the mourning doves as they are a part of the nature scene around here. Decided to put in some of the paper that I had made on Sunday with the "Creative Spirits". Pages not done, but want to start concentrating on the cover and the binding.
My heart goes out to our friends in Australia. We know how sad it is when we read about the forest fires in California. I just needed to say that I am thinking of them.

My friend there writes "Whole communities have been wiped out and so many perished. They had no warning. The fire came so quickly and just engulfed everything in its path. I think the worse thing is that it was deliberately lit. Everyone is calling it murder, a mass murder. The latest death toll is now 181 and there are still 30 fires burning. Anyone wishing to make a donation can go to "

Victoria State Premier John Brumby said: "We have had whole communities just completely wiped out, completely obliterated, by what people would describe as literally a fireball that just came over the hills and devoured everything before them."

"It's the largest natural disaster in our state's history and Australia's history."

Monday, February 9, 2009

notes from a friend

I have a friend in England whom I have never met. Only via the internet. Her name is Julie. She has been missing for a while and I was so happy to find her writing again and couldn't wait to post to her. She, in turn, sent me two "squirrel jokes" because I am a fan of squirrels. Thank you, Julie!

What’s the squirrel’s favourite game? … Nuts and crosses! *groan*

Another squirrel joke April, just for you…*What’s a squirrel’s favourite treat?
* A day on the beech!!!"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

the creative spirits

"New Beginnings" art retreat.

Here we are today at The Center.
Marge had wonderful folders all ready for us, with instructions and paper goodies.

Painting away...
and busy.

All of us, "creative spirits".

Colorful painted tissue papers left to dry.

"A beginning is only the start of a journey to another beginning." author unknown

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday's Child

This morning's project was doll-making. Danielle picked out the buttons for the eyes and nose and then she picked from some yarn I had for the hair. I read that "a child making a doll can be equated to an adult artist making a figurative sculpture. Doll-making is an excellent venue for helping children's creativity flow. The most artistic aspect of this project is the ideas you come up with to give your doll an interesting personality." This is only the start and we will continue when she is back during the week. She giggled through the whole time. I think the doll did too.
The moon is so pretty this morning. Almost full. In the 40's today, they say! A nice day for a drive and I intended to go with Julie to visit Brent at college, but now with Henri's postsurgery care and everything else going on this weekend, I must stay home. I am disappointed, but there's promise of going again in the spring.

Danielle wanted to make "people" last night after supper, so I cut and she glued and drew the faces on. She calls them the "princess" and "daddy". She folded a piece of waxed paper and put it on the princess' head for a bridal veil and gave her fancy shoes. And Daddy with no hair please. Hmmm.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Today with Henri

"Henri" seemed a bit confused about what happened to him yesterday. I had a hard time convincing him that he should keep his Elizabethian collar on, resulting in us both being up most of the night. Both of us sleeping off and on. Me keeping one eye open so he would not disturb his stitches. Now it's 6:30 a.m. I am up and he is snoring. Today I will be home all day, playing nursemaid. The list of instructions are staring at me, as we begin the countdown of 10 days until the sutures can be removed. They are all in bold print and I hear "Charlie Brown's" teacher's voice as I read them.

Do not feed or water Henri for the first 2-4 hours.
Avoid situations that may lead to stress.
Check the surgical incision each day.
Discourage any licking, scratching or chewing.
Restrict Henri's activity.
Finish all medications.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


"Maybe I do miss you, Henri." says Timber

This morning Henri needed to be at the animal hospital at 7. Reason: neuter. He weighed in at 42 pounds. He was first, everything went well, and he is resting. Have to call later this afternoon for pick-up time. Oh...Henri.

Drawing class this morning, so that took my mind off him. Still cold today, but tomorrow it is supposed to warm up. We'll see.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Collage today

Working on our "winter garden journals" or "thoughts of winter journals" or "journals". Everyone has their idea in mind and in the process of finding images, colors and textures to go with it. This is my beginning.

And on to the birds that brave the winter and the bunny that hops by my window every morning and hides in the sedum.

And then there's the crows and the hawks.

And working on my neighbor, the squirrel. All the beauties that continue to hang around for the winter. I think we are all having thoughts of spring - they and me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The nests

This is the nest where our neighborhood squirrel lives. He has been scampering up and down the trees and then back with something into his warm home. I wonder what he is finding?

This one seems to be "for rent".