Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ah yes...the valentines.

Every year I have a valentine party for some ladies who just love to make valentines! It's a happy holiday, so a fun time even if you are just making them all for yourself. It's a day that's needed in the middle of winter. The first gathering was in 2001 and the group has grown. The count now is 30! I guess, next year, I will have to have two days of it because I know there are more ladies who would love to have a day making valentines! Aren't there? So here are mine, just being started and this week is the deadline! Next Saturday is "V" day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, Thursday...

Fabric all cut out and ready to stack in order and begin quilt.

Yesterday, in quilting class, got them all ready to go. Now to begin sewing!

And today is art class and I've begun this painting. I'm always drawn to snowy sledding and skating pictures, and this is a memory of a fun day!

"Nature has a beautiful habit of surprising us day by day." from Marjolein Bastin's Nature's Sketchbook Perpetual Calendar.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Class today

Although this collage is supposed to be about "what's on your mind?", I really didn't like that brain floating around up there. And that brain is a copy of an image from an old book of my mother's oldest brother from school days way back then, "Control of Body and Mind" by Frances Gulick Jewett, copyright 1908. I really wanted to use that brain. Anyway I decided to remove that busier portion of the piece because I think I was looking for a calmer mind. Calmer thoughts.

I had found some old curled up strips of text (can't remember where they came from) and liked the effect of sending those "thoughts" down from the top of the piece. Then, from another page of the "Mind" book, I added a brain wave, by way of matte medium transfer. I like it; it's like a little pen&ink scribble.

Narrowing it down with a mat, I can now decide what finishing touches it needs.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


He's at it again!


Thought the snow had stopped last night, but this morning woke up to lots of that white fluffy kind. Sparkly, when one turns the outside light on to let the dogs out. Pretty. Better than the muddy yard underneath. Lots of projects going on around here this week. Yesterday, I began to sort out one section of my artroom, did some painting, gave some thought to my collage for class, sent hubby to the printer to drop off some things to be printed, and worked on valentines! It's almost that time!

I love watching this tree as it goes through each season.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday supper at Julie's

Julie treated us to her homemade tamales. Shrimp & Poblano, Chorizo, and Cheese & Corn.

Chili, for those who wanted some on top.

Homemade guacamole.

Grilled chicken with cilantro and jalapeno. Grilled outside!

Quesadillas with the grilled chicken, grilled red onion and chihuaha cheese. And Lemon Cheesecake for dessert. Good family time.

An Evening of Variety...

Yesterday we went to see the Opening Night Arts Group and "An Evening of Variety II" at the Marg Kallemeyn Theatre at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights. It was a most enjoyable time! They have a 6 piece band that was great! And there are about 22 in the ensemble who all have beautiful voices, are all wonderful dancers and can all act. Andy Avalos is the master of ceremonies! What a treat! He announced the forthcoming performances for 2010 which will be " The Pirates of Penzance" and "Willy Wonka". . It is a small theatre so you are very close to the activity and there isn't a bad seat in the house. It's sure worth looking into, if you haven't been there.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Tall grassy figures
Tossing about their tresses
Those roadside ladies

This morning was poetry class. I did the assignment, but I was also inspired to do a haiku about these grasses that I see all along the roads while I am driving. They are always swaying in the wind and waving to me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dreary days

An icy morning. The streets were clear, but driveways and parking lots all ice. Drawing class and woodcarving this morning though, and it's always a pretty day at The Center.

The fire welcomed and warmed us.

"It is a joy to hold a lovely scene, a delightful moment, in memory." from Nature's Sketchbook Perpetual Calendar by Marjolein Bastin.

The woods are sleeping; waiting for spring.

Don't you think?
A touch of green.

Memories of winter crafts. Beauty all around...

...but in woodcarving class, hubby cut his finger and so he had to wear the carved "blood drop" pendant for the day. I think it's related to the "dunce cap".

The week goes on...

Yesterday morning, in my collage class, everyone got a start on the portion of their "feelings" collage that they did last week. With some encouragement, they will do a "packing tape transfer" (like the brain here), and a matte medium transfer. Add a little acrylic wash and a few "sprinkles" on top of the cake.

Moving on with the day to quilting in the afternoon, I am still cutting out my flannel squares for the middle and the backing of this quilt, but had to start the machine quilting and sewing a few together to see how it would look - and to know what I was doing so that I could continue at home. The weather promised problems and so we left a half hour early. Glad we did as it started to deliver that freezing rain as I drove home.
Today, I paint!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Today was book club and everyone loved Sue's choice of "The Art Of Racing In The Rain". Next pick is "The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit". I would like to find an old (I think 1955) copy.
Anyway, I took my camera with and brought it back home, without taking one picture. I so wanted to find something to take a picture of today. Oh well...tomorrow is another day.

And it was Monday again...

It was a wonderful family-packed weekend from Friday through Sunday. A pizza lunch, valentine-making with Danielle, bowling, a pajama party, Sunday School, church, frosted tree viewing, Sunday ravioli supper here, and "Wii". Then Monday morning - out with the paints!

Then, cutting my squares for the quilt I'll start sewing on Wednesday!

And off to Monday afternoon's Calligraphy class!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gray days

Yesterday was a gray but pretty day. Everything was gray. The sky was gray. The trees were frosty gray. It looked like something out of a fairytale. Today it's just gray. Everything is still. No movement. I finally saw some birds sitting on the telephone wires. I enjoy seeing an entire line of them sitting there and always wonder why? Here's what I read:

"It fits their claws easily, and they are high enough to see things- with no branches for predators to climb up. Hawk populations increase where there are telephone poles to perch on."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lettering practice

Yesterday afternoon, while I practiced my Bookhand...

... Danielle practiced her lowercase alphabet. Hard for little hands, I think doing this together worked well. She worked longer than usual with me struggling at her side.

They found it!

The juncos came. Here they are, hopping around, looking for seed.

The snow melted and they found it.

Beautiful little birds; their greys and whites blend like a little watercolor painting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Yesterday, Marge and I took a ride out to Mayslake Peabody Estate to see the Midwest Collage Society's "Memory" exhibit.

A dreary winter day, but the Tudor-Revival style buildings are lovely at any time of the year.

The exhibit is outstanding. Each piece, interesting and inspiring.

The grandeur of the rooms gives an air of elegance to the exhibit.

Inspiration follows you as you look out every window, from the beautiful buildings to ...

the lovely landscape...

to the beautiful architecture inside.

The buildings seem to beg you to stay... and paint.

The Portiuncula Chapel, a replica of the Portiuncula Chapel in Assisi, Italy.

It was such a nice venture. See you soon, Mayslake! We'll be back.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Remember them?

Just a start, but I brought watercolor paper to pen&ink class today instead of drawing paper, so I decided to paint! Had the photographs of last Spring's doves that nested here, so went with it. Have to get some darks in there, so we'll see what happens.

Yesterday's class

A perfect class of 9 perfectly wonderful gals! With soft music playing, they did a magazine collage of what was on their minds today. Their thoughts on paper. Peggy fills her paper with a nice composition.

Teri S and Judy work with decisions.

Teri S, puts in a lot of thought and Sandy lays down some good ideas. Chocolat!

Here Teri M looks for just the right placement.

Denise's is in the foreground, finding pictures that pleased her.
The class pulled out images, words, and text from magazines of things that describe their thoughts right now. From that collage, they are to choose one section to concentrate on, photocopy and expand on to begin their work on a finished piece next week.