Saturday, July 31, 2010

thursday's plein air painting

On Thursday, our art class was off to Judy's beautiful garden. We look forward to this spot each summer. It's like walking into another world. Restful and beautiful...

and colorful.

Many sessions here, I land by her potting shed. I love it. It's weathered, antique-y, charming and quiet.

Judy always has all kinds of interesting displays and surprises set up throughout her garden. I loved this little "still life", although it meant lots of ovals and elipses!

I decided to sit myself down and give it a whirl!

I even got to do some lettering!

It's tricky because the sun keeps going in and out and the shadows keep moving.

Soon it was time for lunch, but this is what I got done. I will still put in some more darks and a hint of the chair to continue the shadows.

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Happy Face"

Looking through the photographs that I took yesterday at "summer art", these three together reminded me of a face. Just use your imagination - eyes, nose, mouth. Maybe I was out in the sun too long. I will post these for "Friday's Pretties"...more pictures of the day to come.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yesterday's workshop

"Nature Assemblages". I decided to put together another one before the day of class and this is it. I have many seashells and wanted to use some in this one with the photo of my grandmother's brother and his wife on their little sailboat in Germany years ago. I seem to have used him in several of my collages. "Uncle Oswald". He used to send little German dolls and toys to me when I was a little girl. I still treasure them. Another collection. Oh, will have to show you one day.

Here is my class, busy busy.

Planning and planning. And, not in their frames yet so they can dry...

A lovely bird theme, done by Nancy.

Denise's wonderful handmade paper background with the natural colors of dried leaves and the added distressed "Lingering Leaves" music makes for a nice composition.

Betty's delicate use of shells along with the colors of the ocean.

Beautiful butterflies and feathers to match the wing pattern on a lovely patterned napkin background by Jane.

This photography of a shadow against the water-washed sand gave Peggy a very interesting idea to work with. I think she added just the right elements to highlight this excursion. Note the silver snake in the bottom right hand corner.

And simplicity is the key here in this lovely memory-of-the-day piece that Pam did for her niece.

"Intellect" is an exciting, youthful, colorful collage created by Brooke.
It was a delightful class! Everyone did a lovely job! And we all got home before the rainstorm!

Henri's two!

Yesterday was Henri's birthday. He is 2 now. He went to the "beauty shoppe", but was anxious to come back home to play ball. "Happy Birthday", Henri!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rick Bayless!

Rick Bayless at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville last night. Julie and I arrived two hours before "show time" and we got number 237 and 238! Ouch! Oh well, before it was time, we had a nice supper of tapas at "Tango". Very yummy. We had Peppercorn Skirt Steak, Tango Salad, Baked Goat Cheese and Escalopes Saltimbocca. A very nice place to eat and try these different things. Then on to the book signing. 300 people were signed up and it was sweaty! Rick gave a very nice introduction to his new book and cooking, although we couldn't see him, but it was well worth it. We were tired and snored last night.

He looks and talks just like on t.v. and it was a delight to meet him.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July's ledger page

This month's theme for me to do was "Travel". Some place I traveled to and what it meant to me. 2004, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Europe. My good friend, Marge, was going with her daughter's art class from high school and there was an opening! She asked me! At first I, with mouth open, gasped "oh no, I don't fly". My husband heard my conversation on the phone and quickly encouraged me to say "yes". I swallowed my nervousness thinking of this once-in-a-lifetime trip and the rest is history. I had the time of my life to say the least. There are so many places that stand out from this trip and are dear to my heart, but the Begijnhof in Amsterdam calls to me and I think about it often. It is "a bewitching sanctuary of elegant houses around a tranquil green that was founded in 1346 for the members of a lay Catholic sisterhood, the Beguines." In my notes from the trip, Kathrine who was our city guide told us that "single ladies lived safely here. There is a church and two hidden churches." I have always wanted to read more about it. "After the Alteration (Protestant overtake) of 1578, when Amsterdam came under Calvinist rule, the Begijnhof was the only Roman Catholic institution to be allowed to remain in existence. This was because the houses were the beguines' private property." I found it absolutely haunting and mesmerizing. The grounds and the buildings are charming and there is such a mysterious feel about it. Lace curtains and the most beautiful rose gardens. It's very quiet and visitors are asked to respect the privacy of the current residents.

In my collage, with some memorabilia and some drawings and paintings that I did, I have "remembered" our flight with Lufthansa, our ride on the Eurostar, Copenhagen, the buildings of Amsterdam, Paris, the pastoral countryside, The Little Mermaid, sailing across the Baltic, a windmill in Potsdam, Phantom of the Opera, England, Trafalgar Square and, in the center, my painting of one of the houses and it's rose garden in Begijnhof.

What a ride!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Yesterday was T-Ball practice with Danielle in the morning, as it was rained out on Saturday. Then to Aunt Julie's in the afternoon for another fish fry! Brought some zucchini home too, from her garden. Time to make zucchini bread!

A beautiful Caprese Salad started us off! The big red tomatoes were from our local farmer, but those little orange ones and the basil are from Julie's. The little orange (dark yellow) tomatoes are called "Yellow Pear Heirloom". Julie plants them every year.

And here's the Walleye and Northern. Yum!

Lemon to squeeze, of course!

A favorite; oven-fried potatoes.

And a dip in the pool...

while Missy continues to be on "bunny watch"!
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Assembling nature

Getting ready for my workshop next week, I found these shadow box frames on sale at Michaels a couple of weeks ago. Perfect for the ladies to assemble their treasures in.

Everything fits in just nicely.

Looking back at photos I took during the process, I see that I also happen to like this. I had laid the collage on top of a piece of scrapbooking paper while I took the picture. I think I do like that too, as a larger border around the collage and then maybe put in a larger frame. So...for another time.

I think some people will have seashells and that is something that I have an abundance of, so just started playing around with them here. These came out of a box that I collected in the east coast, many years ago before I was married. Oh, and one of my mother's Cracker Jack prizes - a little heart with a ship engraved on it. I'll probably wire it on at the end.
"It is a joy to hold a lovely scene, a delightful moment, in memory." Nature's Sketchbook by Marjolein Bastin

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yesterday's poetry

Yesterday, I hosted the summer poetry session here. We have a pot luck lunch after our readings and discussion, and I wanted to have some garden flowers on the table. "Slim pickins" in my garden between the heat and the fact that it is not being well tended this summer. But I found a few beauties to satisfy my vase. The blooms on the hydrangea bush are small this year, but actually I thought I had lost it, so this is good. I love the white. It's so summer pristine.

And the pretty purple is Wind Flower. I meant to take more pictures for Pretty Fridays but I forgot. So if any "Pretties" stop by, I hope you like these. Maybe there will be more for me to pick today!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Wednesday Workshop

Yesterday the flowers happily greeted us outside the Log Cabin at The Center. It was a quilting workshop with Denise and we were making trivets.

Here is mine, using different fabrics that Denise brought along. We wound fabric strips around clothesline and then sewed it together with a zig-zag stitch.

Esther brought lovely colors to match her daughter's dining room table.

And Denise showed us how we could shape it into a bowl while we were sewing.

She told us it can become addictive...and I know it can!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good morning!

Good Morning, Glories!

I am fascinated with the morning glories before they open. They remind me of candy.

Pretty candies. My mother loved pretty candy and I can see her licking her lips.

Little ones and big ones.


Swirls of sweetness.

Announcing the morning...

"Each day holds a beautiful secret that is yours to discover..." Nature's Sketchbook by Marjolein Bastin