Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have a list a mile long today and so I'm glad Henri is enjoying his naptime.   Sweet dreams!

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's almost February!

Yesterday, I went over to Julie's for lunch and some fun.  She brought Danielle home after Sunday School and they wanted to work on some Valentines, so off I went with supplies in a bag!  First lunch!  Julie made a wonderful salad to comply with our "January eating plan".  So good!

And homemade Calzones.  So good that I forgot to take a picture until they were almost gone.

Then on to the business of the day.  My annual Valentine Party is coming up and so Julie had her supplies all ready and began assembling them.  It's a secret what they are; you'll have to wait to see!

And Danielle decided to make hers for her classmates.  23!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January's Red

Here is my piece that I am doing for So Scrappy , using up scraps of fabric that I have along with the main color for January, red.  I have pinned on the batting and the backing and started machine-quilting.  I have the urge to add bangles and beads and call it an art quilt!


Banana Crumb Muffins

1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Lightly grease 10 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.

In large bowl, mix together 1-1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter.
Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until mositened. 
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons flour and the cinnamon. 
Cut in 1 Tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. 
Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes (I would say 20-25 minutes), until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yesterday's pen and ink class

Beginning a new drawing a week or so ago, I chose this photograph that I took of The Wayside Chapel.  I love snowy pictures!

Baked some Struesel Banana Muffins to take with ...

They are good banana muffins!

and continued with my snowy drawing. Not done yet.  Still have to put in many more of those teeny tiny branches.  I love the winter trees too, with all their twisting and turning branches and the discovery of all their hidden nests.   Our snow outside is just about all melted away; maybe just in time to get some more?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday's collage

Yesterday was my collage class, and after two previous sessions of distressing and altering papers to use, we began our pieces.  I asked the class to choose a photograph or picture for their inspiration with color and images.  Here is mine with a washy background and my start at building a favorite Canadian Fishing Resort with my inspiration coming from my photographs from last summer. 

 Part of my busy class.

Here is Barb's background with lots of movement! 
And then my camera batteries went to sleep, so more next week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"May it be said of you that you relished the dance of life, and at its end, went out applauding the band."  Robert Brault

My grandmother's plant bloomed like crazy this January.  There were about fourteen big bright blooms like this one on my plant all at one time.  I remember these plants on our "back porch" when I was a child in our big brick house that Grandpa built.  I can not even imagine how old this plant is. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

backgrounds for a new collage

Three canvases and I decided to try three different applications on them to inspire my class on Wednesday, for those with the "blank canvas syndrome".  The first one, above, I applied (poured on) three acrylic washes, rolled them around a bit, then laid a sheet of cling wrap on top and left it there to dry overnight.  It makes its own "paths" and this was the result after I removed the cling wrap this morning when it was completely dry.  Very texture-y.

This one, I learned from Laura.  I spritzed the canvas with water and then squeezed on the two dark colors of thicker acrylics.  While wet, I laid on the cling wrap and smooshed it around to cover the surface and to mix the colors together a bit.  I removed the cling wrap, added some white and smooshed again.  Removing the cling wrap again, I spritzed around the edges and let it run to soften those hard edges.  The green was probably too thick in the front and I probably should have spritzed it more with water, but when i start collaging on top of it, that will break it up and it will be just fine.  I actually think I like this one the best.

On this one, I again began with spritzing the canvas with water, then applying tube paint acrylics; all three colors at the same time.  Then laid the cling wrap on top and smooshed it around.  Then I picked up the cling wrap, repositioned it and smooshed around again.  The paint was thick, so when i removed the cling wrap this time, I stamped into the wet paint with bubble wrap to give that texture.  I then spritzed the edges and let the paint run a little to soften those edges of the painted areas. 

Now to collage!

Friday, January 20, 2012

a quilting afternoon

Snowing like crazy outside and so quilting seemed like a good idea today.  Don't know what this is going to be, but Denise gave us these instructions this past week.  The "Rainbow Challenge" for the month of January is red and it must be the time of the day with only indoor lighting because the "red" in this piece is really absolutely cardinal red!  Looks pinkish here.  Just enjoying this design and again using scraps for the striped parts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

a new book

Danielle received a new book from a very good friend of ours.  "The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse" by Eric Carle.  What a delightful book!  Danielle and I loved reading it, love the beautiful animals in the book, and afterward she added to the collection of beautifully colored animals with her blue giraffe. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Every season tells a new story...

Nature...that perfect place where we can simply be ourselves.

Beauty is a gift that nature gives us every day.

The true treasures in life are found in the simplest things. 
Marjolein Bastin

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Snow People

Danielle made a Snow Lady at Aunt Julie's house today.  Long eyelashes and red pepper lips!  Isn't she pretty?

They coaxed Brent outside to join in the fun and so the Snow Lady now has a companion.  Like those sideburns and beard? 

Here's a good look at his teeth. 

Missy was only interested in the carrots.....and the red pepper lips!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

another play!

Lots of different little posts that I want to make yet and, for one, wanted to tell you how wonderful "The Sound Of Music" is at Drury Lane in Oak Brook.  If you are in the area and can still get tickets, it's definitely a treat.  The voices are grand!  The children adorable!  I think I need to buy the movie now. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

this morning...

On Monday mornings, I drive out to Dan's to be with Kassidy and put her on the school bus, while Dan drives Danielle to her school.  Today was the most beautiful drive.  It's early, so the trees were white and frosty and inbetween the branches I could see last night's Full Wolf Moon going down.  It was like a huge orange melon!  I wanted so to stop somewhere and take a picture, but I couldn't.  As I got to Dan's street, the fog was lying low over the fields like a big down comforter; one that you could just lie down on and snuggle into.  It was so beautiful with the morning sun coming up behind it.  Then later, on the corner, while waiting for the school bus to come, I heard the loud CAWS, looked up, and two big crows were having their morning conversation.  Majestic.  There IS a reason that I have to be out and about at this early hour.  It's priceless.


The Artist's Way group that I belong to made prayer flags for each other in December.  I chose a quote by Les Brown for my inspiration.  "Shoot for the moon even if you miss it you will land among the stars." 

I had never made a prayer flag before and we just kind of did what we wanted and it was fun! 

Another project I did were these little wired ornaments made on mat board and little glittery-edged tags.

Picking dried rosebuds, ornamental pear and evergreen from my garden, they are fragile but I love the nature-y things.

and glittery ice skates.

I love my Christmas tree, loaded with ornaments, all with meanings and memories. 

Lots of my Mom's crocheted snowflakes.

Just dreamy to me... 

till next year.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

December memories

 Twas the night before Christmas...

The day of The Nutcracker. 

Being that I could not post pictures during part of the month of December, with computer troubles, I still feel the need to do it.  Important memories for me. 

Sewing more stockings.

My Chicken Salad for the Christmas Tea at The Center. 

Covering lots of Christmas Journals for gifts to friends. 

Gingerbread House drawing with Danielle...

and Kassidy.

Still one more post of holiday things to remember...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

more lake pictures

Before I'm on to something else, I had to show you some more of my pictures from our walk at the lake.

A beautiful picture-taking day.  Beautiful Lake Michigan.

The sand was so pretty, mixed with the snow.  Wisps of color.

We left our footprints along the way...

as we looked for pretty rocks that weren't frozen to the sand.