Friday, April 30, 2010

"You know you're spending too much time alone when your solitude starts begging for a little privacy." Robert Brault

It's Friday!

I knew it was coming and I missed it! The full moon on Wednesday. The Full Pink Moon. The name, according to the Farmers' Almanac, came from the herb moss pink or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of spring. Other names for this moon are the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and, among costal tribes, the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Again...where did this month go? Today, poetry classes. This morning "Understanding Poetry" at St. Xavier's Renanissance Program. The theme of the class,"aging", must have influenced this poem that I wrote last week.


The minutes tick on
With no compassion
Selfishly concerned
With their own timely fashion.

Days dissolve
Like sugar in tea
As I try to lengthen
Each moment with me.

Weeks whisk away
They're in such a hurry!
Barely aware of me
Not seeming to worry.

And one into another
All the years meld
While I grasp to hoard
Each memory held.

As these thoughts I encounter
I stop often and wonder
What's left of them -
What is the number?
by me

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love those sheep!

Leaving art class at The Center today, it was a joy to see the sheep again nearby. Tomorrow in poetry class, we are talking about imagery and how a good image can put the reader right into the scene, making him see, hear, smell, taste or touch what's there. "Although sight may be the main sense invoked by an image, all the senses can take part." (from "Creating Poetry" by John Drury) Thinking about images I saw today and jotting down sensory details, these are a couple of my thoughts for my homework .

The warm wooly sheep grazed
among the fluffy white seed heads
while the field napped.

The afternoon wind
released music
from the waiting wind chimes
and the trees danced.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


A good collage class this morning, and a good quilting class this afternoon. But I forgot to use my camera! I did remember to catch my bleeding heart when I got home. Used to have a pink one that my daughter bought for me on Mother's Day after my mother was gone. Now I have a white one. Amazing little flower.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The leaves

"There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf."
Albert Schweitzer

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.
Gertrude Berglund

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Remember that robin we showed you the other day? I think he wants to nest in my tree!"

Quilt #2

Finished sewing all the squares together for Dan's quilt/throw yesterday. Didn't know if I had enough emphasis in it, but the dark green diagonal rows really give it some punch.

Now to clip all the seams to make it "frayed and fluffy"!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shades of spring

Lots of projects to work on today, but here was some continued inspiration for a new weekly project. A quilt journal! I love the idea, which will start out simple for me, but it can turn into mixed media by adding extra things onto the quilt "page". I cut out the pieces yesterday, but this robin was peeking at me this morning and so he influenced me to name this one "Shades of Spring". Each weekly piece should represent something that was memorable to you that week.

Pieces cut, assembled, and pinned for quilting.

Quilted. Not too straight, but this is supposed to be impromptu and fun. The tops represent the colors of the sprouting trees and the bottom, the bark and grass. (Looks like an earthquake, huh?) My quilting teacher, Denise, has been doing this for some time now, shows us her piece each week, and it just sounds so interesting to me, that I have to give it a whirl. I love journals! Denise was inspired to do these journal pages after reading an article in Quilting Arts by Jeanne Williamson. . This is a good way to use up small pieces of fabric that are hanging around and also recycling interesting things to use as embellishments.

Friday, April 23, 2010

This morning, at our poetry session at St. Xavier's, we studied some of Shakespeare's sonnets. Today is the anniversary of his death in 1616. He was 52 when he died. I read that the stone that covers his tomb is inscribed with this curse.

"Good friend for Jesus sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here!
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones. "

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Painting class today

Isn't it funny? I decided to do one of those waxed paper papers this morning before I went to art class. It looks like a abstract of what was to come.

Lois had brought a lovely bunch of lilacs to paint. I loved the blossoms and also tried to concentrate on the stems and glass container they were in.

Watercolors ready, I had in my mind something that Uta told us. Remember to use black when painting glass.

Just a start...but here goes. And soon it will be "summer plein air art" sessions. I need to get ready!

More of yesterday

I am excited about the results of these papers! On wet watercolor paper with a splashed on wash, I laid a sheet of waxed paper on top of the wet paint. I mean just lay it on and do not disturb. It does it's own thing!

Again, I love the interesting patterns it creates.

Organic type shapes.

Splashed-on washes of acrylic. Just roll them around the wet paper.

Always wet watercolor paper, and here a green wash with isopropyl alcohol dropped on.

And another.

This one has table salt sprinkled onto the wet paint.

Salt again, gives nice texture.

Sanded magazine page done with a stencil underneath the paper.

Bleeding tissue.

Patterns made with drawn lines of acrylic ink which are then dry-brushed while still wet.

Adding shapes for contrast.

Wet crumpled brown paper bags rolled with acrylic paint on a brayer. Then ironed.
Caution: These may become habit forming.

Yesterday's class

A wonderful class! A full house! I think everyone had fun creating all the papers we did, but I didn't have time to take many pictures. And this morning, baking cookies for art class today, so will show you just a few of the results and more later!

Busy! busy!

Just washes of color merging together.

Here are many scraps of papers glued down with a gesso wash over. Not done. Will add a wash of something else on top.

Washes again with gold too.

Coffee on wet watercolor paper, added in layers after each layer completely dried.

I added a blue wash here and there too and will add more.

The true color is really coffee brown. Lighting playing tricks on me. Now you must come back later to see "the rest of the story"! We had some lovely results.

A peek outside revealed these Dutchman's Breetches hiding among the other wildflowers.

and, of course, had to visit my favorite Wild Ginger.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The blooms are bloomin' and I haven't had a problem with allergies in a long time, but this year I do! Finally went into the doc yesterday as I worried it was becoming a sinus infection. I don't feel really sick, just tired, worn down and spacey. So now I'm on an antibiotic. I hate pills! I won't tell the pill. Repeat after me: I will pretend to like it and hope it helps. I will pretend to like it and hope it helps. I will pretend to like it and hope it helps.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Yesterday was Rob's birthday. No cupcakes. Rob's is not a dessert eater, but his favorite cake is "Jello Poke Cake". Do you remember that cake? It's always fun to sing happy birthday to Rob with his jello poke cake!

While we were at Julie's, I took pictures of a couple of the photos that she had enlarged from Brent's trip to Wales. (Sue asked me to share them with you.) I meant to bring his album and CD home and forgot, but will do that because I envision watercolors and collages developing from them. I think it looks like a magical place. Can't you just see the leprechauns hopping around?

and the chimney sweeps?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pansies and Pop-Ups!

Arriving at The Center, late afternoon on Friday, these pansies were on our dressers to greet us. It was the weekend for the Spring Folkcraft Retreat. It was sunny and nice, so we gathered on the deck off the fireside room before dinner.

This beautiful and absolutely yummy salad started each of us off for dinner. Freshly picked from the garden at The Center was fresh asparagus, sorrell and, oh dear, one more green that I have forgotten the name of. Will have to fill in later... Lovage! That's what it is. Wonderful stuff!

After dinner we were on to learning to make pop-up cards, with Lois H for our teacher.

Here was our first design, designed by Lois, which we painted and then cut. It featured a pop-up in the middle. To the left, a door that opened to reveal a curly pop-out worm and on the right, a pull-down tab at the bottom which revealed a lady bug in the center of the bush.

Our second one involved much cutting for all the pop-out boxes that these flowers are glued onto. Then we cut out the flowers, stems and leaves out of colored cardstock to decorate. What fun! Later that evening we roasted marshmallows by the fireplace outdoors and had Smores and tea.

Next morning I looked out my window to the woods colored with bluebells and daffodills. What a nice view to wake up to!

After breakfast we were busy again, pressing pansies to put on the glass candleholders we were making. My "Microfleur" worked well.

Here's Lori gluing her posies onto her glass holder.

A walk amidst the wildflowers was next on the agenda before lunch. Just look at the baby mayapple!

And here is the hickory tree I was looking at on Thursday. Amazing to see what was inside of that big bud!

Trout lily.

The Song of the Scilla Fairy
"Scilla, Scilla, tell me true,
Why are you so very blue?"
Oh, I really cannot say
Why I'm made this lovely way!
I might know, if I were wise,
Yet - I've heard of seas and skies,
Where the blue is deeper far
Than our skies of Springtime are.
P'r'aps I'm here to let you see
What that Summer blue will be.
When you see it, think of me!
from "The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies" by Cicely Mary Barker
and past the chapel...

into the chapel garden...
and the Herb Cottage with it's path lined with bluebells.

And again in the woods, trillium.

Wild violets.

It's so much fun to see and recognize the wildflowers of Spring!

The afternoon was the time for basket-making. A basket to take our pansies home in. Here's Lois L showing us how we will begin the bottom of the basket.
Okay, I'm started!

Lori going along good and getting to the top row!

Lois too!

Mary Ann added in a row of green which looks very pretty!

Linda says "it's like a miracle"! And it truly was.

Lois finishing hers and helping us decide on colors to trim it. You got us through it, Lois!

All dressed up and ready to go!

Some finished off with cutting their tops like little picket fences and I am waiting to add a "finished" top to mine.

It holds my pansies to go home and I love it. When I do that last finishing step, I will show you. But it was time to go home and we had our tea and our good-byes. A wonderful time, as always.