Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's a girl! It's a boy!

I knew I saw them this morning! Two little heads bobbling around saying "feed me, feed me"! What little cuties! Little? How did they fit in those eggs? Oh, Mommy!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Busy Saturday

It's the time for parties and visiting! Today is a graduation party and we will have the chance to visit with our wonderful neighbors! Then, working on samples for the three collage workshops that I will be doing this summer -

Bookmarks! Wednesday afternoon, June 10, 1-4 pm. These bookmark tags with envelopes to match make nice little gifts. And then recycle some envelopes to make corner bookmarks. They slip on a corner of the page and stay put. Also nice for little gifts!

Lunch Bag Scrapbooks! Wednesday afternoon, July 22, 1-4 pm. Make a folded-bag scrapbook from a stack of humble brown bags. This can be a lovely little themed scrapbook, to document any subject you like: garden notes, summer recipes, what happened this spring, book of poems, quotes, my trip to the zoo, or a quick little gift for a special occasion.

Memories of Summer! Wednesday afternoon, August 19, 1-4 pm. Put memorabilia together into a collage. Start saving ticket stubs, photos, bottle labels, maps, feathers, coins, and other meaningful things you find this summer. Make photocopies if you choose to save the originals. You may end up with a lovely remembrance to frame. "Summer 2009"

Friday, May 29, 2009

my violin

Yesterday, had a lovely visit with out-of-town cousins. This morning, picking up Danielle. She wants to help water the flowers. Trying to fit in finishing "my violin" inbetween.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's happening?

Well...the dove moved into my planter 17 days ago. Not sure what day she laid the two eggs, but they say it takes about 14-16 days until they hatch. Through heat and rain and storm, I thought she never left. I think how tired she is. Now I read "the parents share the incubating duties, the male sitting much of the day and his mate during the night." Could be. She seems to have moved her position sometimes. Very quiet though. No cooing, so not to wake the sleeping eggs. coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Isn't this a most beautiful color? I have always loved the spiderwort since I can't remember when. It's so long ago, I can't even remember when or where I first was introduced to it. It's a little wild and quite aggressive, but I love the look of it. It's little flowers are so perfect. Then, when reading "Memoirs of a Geisha", it's mentioned that spiderwort was used for painting the silks. I have painted with the juice from the black iris and as I look at these little ladies in my garden, I think they want to be on my palette too.

"The roses fauld their silken leaves
The foxglove shuts its' bell
The honeysuckle and the birk
Spread frangrance thro' the dell
Let others crowd the giddy court
Of mirth and revelry
The simple joys that Nature yields
Are sweeter far to me." Robert Tannahill

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back to work

A call for personalized watercolor flower notecards. I'm more comfortable with uncial letterforms, but italic will be my choice for these dainty cards. Practice. Practice. And thank you, Barbara Close, for teaching me how to paint these wonderful flowers!
Continuing on with "my violin".

Then, gathering things for our "tin ladies" workshop on Sunday is fun! Little assembleges that are something new for me, but I am excited about them!

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25th

And a Happy Anniversary to me and hubby today! 46 years!

We had a small wedding. I wrote the invitations myself and later on my cousin, Joanne, had a lady paint beautiful little flowers around the lettering, framed it, and sent it to me as a gift.

I have saved all the memories. This was my little pile of receipts. The bill for the wedding flowers shows that my bridal bouquet was $11.50. The Maid of Honor's bouquet was $7.50. The groom's boutonniere was $1 and an extra .25 for the Best Man. Corsages for the mothers were $3.50 each and the vase of flowers for the altar was $7.50. The entire floral bill was $41.34.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law to be hosted our wedding reception at their home. We had a small wedding. We had "Original Swanson's Caterers" for 50 guests. The buffet cost $100.00. The wedding cake and bride&groom ornament = $22.00. And the charge for the lady to stay and arrange the food, etc. was $7.50. The entire amount with tax was $134.38. The menu included "roast choice beef and gravy, swedish meatballs, baked ham, their famous potato salad/or small buttered potatoes, creamy cole slaw/or kidney bean salad, relishes, vienna butter cookies, jello fruit molds, assorted bread, butter and delicious coffee." Oh, with "Sparkling china and silverware. Chafing dishes for all hot foods".

Here is my engagement ring box and the little pouch that held my wedding band.
Our wedding night at the Holiday Inn in Oak Lawn was $12. Then we headed north on our honeymoon. We were given a gift of a week at "Scholl's Winchester Lodge" in Winchester, Wisconsin and from there we went to Duluth, Minnesota for a visit with an aunt and uncle, and then on to "Memory Lodge" in Ontario, Canada.
Among the other souveniers is an album filled with my bridal shower cards and our wedding cards. Amazing memories.


Another day to catch-up on projects started. Nothing planned. Another free day.
In my class last week, we began a collage to the theme of "something that jogs your memory". Using magazines, we searched for an image that brought a memory to mind. For me, it was a violin. When I was in grade school, I had the opportunity to take violin lessons. Well, you know how music lesson-practicing goes, and that I would rather play paper dolls, I never mastered it. Now, I think and think about it. I wish I still had my little violin. So, sob-sob, this is the start of my "memory" collage. I put an image of myself in here, a matte medium transfer, but I do have a photograph of me and my violin too that I must add.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


These purple flowers are so pretty in my garden, but I can not remember what they are. Does anyone know? Sometimes I save the little information tag, so will look for that.

What's on at Gallery M

So excited for Uta, my online friend in Australia! Her and her daughter and her granddaughter have an exhibition of painting, mixed media and photography at Gallery M. "Peeking Through Someone Else's Window" by three generations of women. Every piece is special; take a look!


A day with nothing planned! Is it true? Hooray! I guess I will start by getting my writing tablet and just write. Write and doodle. Try to decide what I want to do first. Just me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dinosaurs Alive!

It was off to Brookfield Zoo today for Danielle, Dan and I to see the animated dinosaur exhibit.

18 life-size animated dinosaurs, including the largest animatronic dinosaur in the world!

A full day. A beautiful day.


Let's eat! "Club" gathering last night, and my friend's cousin moved his business and opened a new little Italian restaurant in Mokena. Homemade beef, homemade sausage, crisp salad, excellent pizza! Just yummy! They have wonderful old family photographs hanging on the walls; a family I have known since I was young. Family coming in and out all evening and old Italian tunes playing in the background. Give it a try! Mangiare bene!

Friday, May 22, 2009

This morning

Picked a bouquet from my garden for the breakfast table this morning. "Daddy" had a doctor's appointment and then came here to have pancakes and bacon with Danielle and "Grandpa". We made time to play "ball and chicken" with Henri and to watch "Mommy Dove" still sitting on her two eggs. Yes, there are two. And they are supposed to be pure white, but when got a peek yesterday they seem to have a pinkish tint. I guess they are girls!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trillium and frosted lemon bars

Drawing class this morning and a beautful day it was! Our first chance to experience plein air. I sat by a big tree with purple trillium growing all around it in a ring. The nasty gnats were nonstop though! For today, I made "Frosted Lemon Bars". A first-time recipe and didn't know how they would be, but they were delish!

Frosted Lemon Bars

2 cups corn flakes cereal, crushed to 1 cup (I used Special K)
1 cup flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened

2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Lemon Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (may need a little more)

1. Crust: Combine corn flakes, flour, brown sugar and butter; mix well. Press evenly in 13x9x2 pan. Bake at 275 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. Bars: Mix together the 2 Tablespoons flour and 1/4 t salt. Set aside.

3. Combine eggs, brown sugar, coconut and vanilla in bowl; beat well. Add flour-salt mixture and nuts; mix well. Spread over baked crust.

4. Return to oven and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bars are lightly browned.

5. Icing: Combine powdered sugar, melted butter and lemon juice; beat until smooth. After bars are baked and still warm, frost with icing. Cool and cut into bars.

Wildflowers at The Center

The Purple Trillium. (Walkrobin, Stinking Benjamin, Red Trillium). Mixed in with the others, I ooohed and aaahed when I came upon it.

One of my favorites, Wild Ginger.

Here is Wild Ginger's flower. Each plant has this single purple-brown flower, which hides along the soil surface.

And the beautiful Bloodroot.

Yesterday, as collage class worked, Danielle painted this "zoo picture". We guessed looking into a window at the penguin or dolphin exhibit. "Yes", she said, "that is what it says at the top".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Early morning

Up very early this morning. The moon and Venus, both bright and beautiful. I don't go to the planetarium, but I do love to look up at the night sky and wonder who I am looking at.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another week

Waiting for the peonies to pop. The sun will be out today, it's warmer and will be going on to the 80s tomorrow! Silly Spring! I'm still reading. The robin eggs next-door have hatched and the daddy robin is hopping around pulling worms. And the dove, here, is still a-sittin'.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Chilly this morning! It's 41 degrees right now, so guess it went down in the 30s last night. I did bring my plants in before I went to bed. The rooftops are frosted and the grass is crunchy, but the sun is coming out now to warm things up. Today will be a reading day. Book Club on Tuesday!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16

Today is my friend Pat's funeral mass. It's a sad rainy morning, but I know the sun is going to come out because she wants me to remember the good times and be happy. This beautiful message on her memorial card tells me so:
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free. I'm following the path God laid for me. I took His hand when I heard Him call. I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or play. Tasks left undone must stay that way. I've found that peace at the close of day. If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss. Ah, yes, these things I too shall miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow. I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life's been full, I savored much. Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief. Don't lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me. God wanted me now; He set me free.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Spring Program

The Spring Program

The little girls giggled
The little boys cried
But the show went on
And the mothers sighed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An almost lazy day

Well...lazy for me anyway.
Started out with an early drive to take Danielle to preschool. Last day and "Spring Program" tonight! Then, breakfast out with hubby. On the way home we stopped at our favorite farm market, M & D Farms, on Will-Cook Road and picked up my hanging baskets for my yard. I chose geramiums with trailing ivy added. Two white and one pink. Guess that got me in the mood for working in the yard and so out I went with my snippers and collected two big brown garden waste bags-full. Felt good! All my sedum is cleaned up, Audrey! Then, it was so nice out that instead of coming in to do something in the house, (which would have probably turned out to be artwork!), I sat on the deck in the warm sun and ...just sat! Was nice.
4:00 made a quick burger early supper and now we are off to see Danielle in her "Spring Program".

My poetry

Since some have asked about our poetry class, I will give you a sprinkling of my poetry that i recited at the luncheon this week.

"The Notebook"

Wish I had a notebook
Within where I could write
All those thoughts inside of me
That just don't come out right.

I wish that I could tell it
All the secrets in my heart
And we would laugh together
At the tales I'd impart.

I wish that I could tell it
All my worries deep within
And it would form my words
Into a great big grin.



The day runs on with hours fleeting
I grant to each new chance a greeting
As it comes in and rushes on
I try to savor each short meeting.

Soon the morning's gone away
But I want meaning to this day
I hasten now with expectation
I still have time to win, I say.

All too soon, noon comes around
Its message, a defeating sound
I resist this mid-day triumph
I am aware I'm losing ground.

When at day's end, I'm feeling sorrow
For minutes gone that I can't borrow
Conceding to my pitiless victor
I fall asleep dreaming of tomorrow.



I watch the sprouts begin to climb
The breezes whisper of springtime.

A cloud floats by; forewarns of rain
But the sun recaptures its domain.

The game they play is watched by all
And needing a drink, being small -

The sprouts stretch with each raindrop
As "that glow" wins o'er the treetop.


"Spring Fling"

The spring rain came
We love the game.
This is our chance
We blossoms exclaim!

And so without another glance
We begin our yearly dance.
Leaves unfold and blossoms bare
What a beautiful romance.

We arrive without a care
Of trouble, we are unaware.
Growing, stretching in the breeze
The time is here to take the dare.

We flaunt our petals as we please
We don't mind if no one sees.
As we dance around the trees
As we dance around the trees.


"The Mistake"

She made an unforgettable mistake
I can not see past it.
Anger finds each open space
Engulfing me like a fire lit.

Taking over my every thought
Filling my world with hatred.
Unforgiving, on this I dwell
A sickness inside me is bred.

Now, how can I so better be?
This feeling's not right, I say.
How can I judge this - a mistake?
It does no good to feel this way.

So, this burning inside, I still.
The mistake could have been mine to make.
Thoughts of past ones do haunt me
I feel how her heart must ache.

The weight of guilt is heavy
Can forgiveness lighten our sorrow?
To free myself, I let it go...
And get on with tomorrow.


"My Dog"

Why don't you talk
If you think you're a boy?
Please, a hint of a word
Would bring me joy.

Your expression is such
I know something's there!
Just let it come out!
You know how I care.

I sure wouldn't tell
Our secret would be
Between us, you know
...Just speak to me.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rainy Wednesday

What a lucky day yesterday weatherwise, compared to today. Pouring rain and not a bit of sun! Collage class today and it was a good one! Finishing up one project and starting another one to end the session. The best group of gals! Picked up my herbs from the plant sale at The Center and now just to find time to do some planting.

The Poetry Luncheon

Yesterday was a beautiful day and a perfect day for the poetry luncheon. The sun was out and there was a slight breeze. Here is the walk, on the side of the Wayside Chapel, leading to the chapel garden where the poetry reading takes place. This was our 8th year of doing this special day!

The lovely woods, on the other side of the walk, gave a serene and beautiful feeling to all.

With St. Francis behind us, this is our "stage". (He also helps by giving me a little poke, so that my voice will come out.)

And here, the chairs are lined up on both sides of the podium for our guests.

Another year done and all the guests, with smiling faces, enjoy a cup of tea.

St. Francis celebrates with us!

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's a Monday

Ran for a haircut this morning and now it's on to finishing some quilting homework and searching through my poetry stash. Tomorrow is the Poetry Luncheon at The Center and I am not sure what I will recite yet! They also want to display the quilting projects from Denise's class, so trying to work on that too. The sun is shining, it seems to be warming up, and "Mommy Dove" is still sitting in my planter.

A Mother's Day Surprise!

Look what landed in last year's hanging planter right off my deck! Oh dear! She snuggled right in and I know what is happening. "Daddy" is pacing nearby. They are cooing. It was such a mess last Spring, when they nested in our awning. I watched and watched so that they wouldn't do that again. But, this little gal tiptoed right in, during the night. "Henri" keeps looking around, but the planter is high enough so that he can not see her. Yet! I am sure once the "family" arrives, he will have a fit! Last time, it was twins and they teetered on the brink of the awning for days! What's a mother to do?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Thinking of my Mom. These are silhouettes that we had done at Riverview many years ago. A man would cut them from black paper as you sat there very still. Riverview Park was one of the greatest of all amusement parks, located at Western & Belmont. It closed in 1967. I have many memories of those times. It was wonderful.

Dinner and all at Julie's

Julie has one little apple tree in her backyard. The blossoms were so pretty yesterday, along with our other little blossom. "Picture perfect".

Deep inside another little evergreen tree, baby robins just hatched! Mommy was away from the nest briefly, so I took advantage of another available Kodak moment!

Inside, we made coffee filter butterflies for Spring. Coloring the coffee filter with washable markers, you then spritz with water and the colors run. Dry and scrunch together at the middle. Secure with a spring-loaded clothespin and add eyes and pipe cleaner feelers.

Surprises for me! This beautiful big planter for outside my front door and a lovely bag of traveling goodies for my trip to Minnesota in June. Our gourmet "Cinco de Mayo" dinner was "Grilled Chicken and Red Onion Quesadillas". The chicken breasts marinated in a mixture of cilantro, garlic, jalapenos, sherry vinegar, olive oil, Kosher salt, pepper and oregano. And Skirt Steak marinated in fresh lime juice, olive oil, cumin, red pepper flakes, S & P. Oh my gosh! Was so so good!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A cloudy and chilly morning. Breakfast Casserole in the oven. I hope the day warms up as Julie and Rob are having us over for a "Cinco de Mayo" Mother's Day dinner this afternoon.

Working on a journal page this morning and because I am doing the pages separately and then will assemble the "signatures" after the pages are done, this one came out up upside-down. Pat, are you telling me that you are watching? I will leave it that way.

Friday, May 8, 2009

For Pat

Friends depart, and memory takes them
To her caverns, pure and deep. Thomas Bayly

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nice rain...........Ribbit!

Collage class

In yesterday's class, I introduced matte medium transfers. I love the irregularities of them, just like a washy watercolor. The class is going to experiment next week. Here, the "A" and the sunglasses are done in that technique. Now that I have removed the taped borders, and it's almost done, I am still thinking about adding some stitching.

And this is just an idea in the making, continuing on with Audrey.