Sunday, July 31, 2011

a good thing

Below is a letter that I would like you to read from  a favorite blog of mine .  I hope you have gone there; it's on my list of "blogs to know".  Always, his writings hit home.  Warm your heat.  Make you laugh out loud!  And I hope you will join me in supporting the circulation of his wonderful reflections.

Dear Readers,

In the 2 1/2 year life of this blog, I have never made a commercial appeal. I have never asked you to buy anything. I don't even allow ads on this blog. I have been entirely happy providing a small bit of entertainment for the appreciative comments and emails I receive.

The other day I received an email from Scott Cramer at Northern Sun ( Scott is one of America's more admirable entrepreneurs, having built Northern Sun from a kitchen table enterprise to one of the country's leading novelty companies. Scott proposed using two of my items (including the "Enjoy the little things..." saying at the top of this page) as bumper stickers. I authorized his use of the items but suggested that "Enjoy the little things ..." might work better as as a notecard or on stationery. I also suggested that a 2012 "Enjoy the little things..." calendar might be well-received -- or, indeed, a 2012 calendar illustrating a Robert Brault saying each month.

Scott is considering my proposal, and this post, plain and simply, is an appeal to my readers to help him along in the consideration. If you would drop an email to Scott (, expressing your interest in a set of "Enjoy the little things..." notecards or a Robert Brault calendar, I would be much obliged. And if you copy me to the email (, I will be make a note that I owe you one.

Thank you all -- and smiles,


the journal

Well, I decided to use my leaves for the cover of my MYM journal and then, yesterday, Marge and I delivered ours to the art league.  There was a tableful of beautiful journals already there when we arrived.  Soon they will go on display and we'll all get to browse through them. 
And now, I'm hooked!  I've already begun another one!

Friday, July 29, 2011

journaling along...

Tomorrow is the deadline!  We turn in our journals, however done they are.  So, journaling along, I've added some of my own poetry into my pages. 

I've filled the birdfeeders.
The Redwings are back.
A bunny enjoys the spillover -
As Starlings flutter about 
 impatient for their turn.

A breeze whispers
Tiptoeing through
almost unnoticed
Until the windchimes tell.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.


Each moment of the year
has its own beauty...
A picture which was never before
and shall never be seen again.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The warm wooly sheep grazed
Among fluffy white seed heads
While the field napped.

Baaa!  Baaa! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

thumb fun

This week, Danielle and I did some Ed Emberley fingerprint paintings.  She wanted to begin with a spider and then added more.

I love this happy little mouse she did, and he's on rollerskates.

A bookmark for Daddy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Got out the paints!

When in Canada, last week, we visited an art gallery and I was so inspired by Anne who was there greeting the lookers in the shop.  I had missed her little workshop at the Lodge where Brent was staying by one day!  Her watercolors are beautiful.  With her encouragement, I decided to give it a whirl when I got home.  Negative painting.  I have always loved the look...but it takes lots of practice.  Here's my first attempt. 

Lucious Lunch

With Julie home for the summer, it's cooking, cooking, cooking!  Yesterday Danielle and I went over for lunch.  Danielle squeezed the lemons...

Lots of them...are you puckering?

for lucious fresh lemonade.

I grated the cheese and sliced the mushrooms, and Julie made the pizzas.  Pam Anderson's homemade crust
and Martha Stewart's tomato sauce.

They were so good! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the color of sheep

Getting my sheep cards ready for packaging, I am reminded of the day I took this photograph at the County Fair.  I fell in love with these sheep.  I do hand-color this card, because the color is so subtle, it can hardly be seen - it just adds life.  So subtle, you can hardly tell.  Do you know the colors of sheep?  French GreyRose PinkPale Rose....and Sahara Desert for the hay in the background. 

As I color them, they become real again.  I'm back to that day.  I can feel the softness of their wool.  I can feel them breathe.  I see their ears twitch...their eyes blink at me...

I can feel the warmth of the stall.  I can smell the hay.

I had won a blue ribbon for this photograph when I entered it at the Fair that year.
I named it "Comfort Me".
I can't remember what kind of sheep they were, but I think maybe Rambouillet. 
Just so sweet.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

a fun saturday night

First a few games of Dominos.  And the choice for dinner was to try something different.  okay. 
Al Bawadi Grill in Bridgeview.  This restaurant was on "Check Please" and so we were interested.

Hummus:  Chick peas pureed with tahini, olive oil and lemon juice.  Fresh and excellent.

Falafel!  Oh my gosh!  Yum!  Chick peas, onion, parsley, garlic, spices, deeply fried, served with tahini dip.

And then came Cynthia's "Mix and Cut Fruits" with cream, honey and nuts.  It was so pretty and like dessert first.  I had fresh lemonade, also excellent.

Greek Salad and a very good one.  Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumbers, feta cheese served with house viniagrette and olive oil. 

Here we are tasting everything.

Oh my much food!

Here was my dinner, the mixed grill.  Lamb shish kebab, chicken shish tawook, and kufta kebab.  A taste of each.  And two different rices.  The one with the larger rice that looked like orzo had an especially wonderful flavor.

And this was Julie's Chicken Shish Tawook.  Good choice!

Here we are at a special table in a "tent".  This added to the ambience of this place; warm and authentic.  The hostess was so friendly and we had an exceptionally great waiter.

And then this morning I had a wonderful breakfast...

Greek yogurt with fresh raspberries and homemade granola!  Our friend, Linda, made this last week for our breakfast at Julie's, and now Julie made it yesterday and it's a recipe that's a keeper.  So good. 

7 c. uncooked oats
1 c. wheat germ
1 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
1 T. vanilla extract
1 t. salt
1 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. pecans

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and bake in a shallow pan at 275 degrees for approximately one hour, or until coconut is slightly browned.  Cool.  Store in refrigerator.  makes 18-20 servings. 
Thanks to Gooseberry Patch.

For lunch today, I had an apple cut-up, spread with peanut butter, and dipped in the granola.  Yum again!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Get on with it!

I had a recent request for one of my sheep drawings.  It's not on my other blog .  I haven't put anything on there for a long long time.  Why haven't I?  Organization!  So...I am going to try be organized.  I am going to do it!

July is whizzing by

So yesterday I finished the four squares for my Rainbow Challenge block for July.  Red, white and blue.  Now, to sew them together.

Henri always has a nice litle siesta while I'm sewing.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Dan had to say good-bye to his beloved Farley last night.  We are all very sad.  He was just a big ol' teddy bear.  A big ol' faithful, loving companion.  He was Dan's "shadow".

Monday, July 18, 2011

O Canada...

Brent, relaxing and enjoying his time with music.

The Guide Shack.  This is where he stayed the extra three and a half weeks of his vacation.  Nice!

No words needed.

And the glorious Canadian sunset...

Reflecting on the birches.

Oh those colors!

and a good-bye.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the lake...

Lake Wabaskang...and we're ready for a boat ride!  It was a lovely cool morning...

And now, it's a beautiful breezy afternoon and off we go to fit in a boat ride before we have to say good-bye.

Beautiful islands and bays.

Our captain, Brent!

This eagle posed for me!

Back on the deck, the Boat House.

Love this colorful "collage" of bobbers and poles.

Lookin' back...

Mommy Duck and her babies.

The Fish House.

A walk along the beach, just enjoying what we could find.  Driftwood, snails, rocks...

and dragonflies.