To the New Year

Yesterday, on New Years we had ice/rain/ice event. Really it was a good day for it, most people didn’t have to worry about going to work., then not so many accidents. Today it is just cloudy and I went out in the yard to see if I could find a little something to take a picture of. These little gems were Iris and with the two of them and ice they resemble a heart.
Now that all the leaves are off of our pretty birch tree there was all kinds of lichen on the tree.
This stays so green all winter and in the spring it has pretty magenta flowers.
Ice on the trunk. I had to be careful, it was a layer of ice on the ground.
A lot going on here, taking the old calendars down and unpacking the new ones. I will give you a close up of the painting I did yesterday. Paint, pencil sharpener, color wheel, etc. I really may put things away on here.
Let’s Party! Images of some of our cats, former and present. I had drawn this several years ago and then misplaced the tablet. Recently I found it again and thought it was a perfect day to paint it. It is on Aquarelle Watercolor 140 lb. I have on similar that I did after I lost this one and it is in the shop now and I will get this one up soon.

When I downloaded my camera pictures this morning I was disappointed to find some images missing. I had that happen recently another time. They were pictures of the four of us at Christmas. It is time to purchase a new one. Can’t stand to have that happen again.

This is just a practice piece but I want to, along with my paintings, sell stitchery items. It is in the baby stages right now and I will keep you updated. I just really enjoy doing handstitching.
This table always has something going on it. Always have my mask nearby to grab when I am going out. Great binoculars Tom purchased for me. They are fabulous!! Matt Medium, watercolor crayons that I use to draw placement on my paintings. It dissolves when I paint over it. Pencils, scissors and rulers oh my! I have gotten two new taller chairs to sit up at these taller tables. I used to feel like a short kid at the dinner table. It will be more productive to use now.
Remember Joy. Taking down the Christmas tree today, it is always sad but life goes on. Those branches are from a redbud that I trimmed up. Couldn’t stand to just throw them away.
Sharing this ham recipe from the Kroger mailer from Christmas. It was very very good. I had not bought a ham before what had the skin that needed removed and leaving the fat on. It was so good that Kevin has requested it for his birthday.

My goals for 2021:

Read more books …..Make more art…..Finish quilts…..develop a stitchery line…..organize my basement studio (that is where my fabric is at)… on our pictures, loose and digital…..I have my grandmothers cookbooks that I want to look at and do something with…..strip and stain stairs and windowsills…..paint the kickplate part of the stairs…..chalkpaint tables and such…..Figure out all of the other great things that my new sewing machine does other than forward and backwards…..Read through magazines I have….tear out pages I want to keep and recycle the rest.

I don’t do resolutions, I can never keep them. Lists are my thing, then I can check it off.

I am reading a new book that I received from Sam. “The President is Missing” by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. I am just into the first couple chapters but it has been good so far. Will do a book review when I am done with it.

I have high hopes for 2021. I have been applying to art shows, and now up to four. Outdoor shows with masks and sanitizer, and distancing are good. I also think the vaccine will be well on its way to being in peoples arms.

My Anthony Fauci bobblehead. Tom ordered this right after Dr. Fauci threw out the first pitch at the Nationals game in July. I think it finally was delivered in November. He kept telling me “You are going to Love this” and I do and did and really was surprised. It sits prominently on my bookshelf with many others we have collected.

We sure have missed going to Tigers baseball games among so many other things too.
But I think most of all of the people who have lost their lives and who have lasting effects from having Covid-19.
We have so many things to never forget and are always learning.
Please stay healthy.


Winter Solstice:

solstice that marks the onset of winter, at the time of the shortest day, about December 22 in the northern hemisphere and June 21 in the southern hemisphere.

Happy Winter Solstice to all of you. Now we can look forward to seconds added on to the day to begin the slow ascent to longer days. I don’t know the difference, some definitions show December 21 and others December 22. I will just go by my Charley Harper calendar.

This little painting is titled “Preparing” and is our Christmas Card this year.

“All the Woodland Animals were Decorating in Preparation”

Four days until Christmas and I pretty much have my list and am checking it off.

Wrap gifts, make goodies, grocery store and finishing touches, plan to be ready by Thursday.

I think with this picture I was trying to take an image of the full moon but I just couldn’t get it right. Doesn’t it look like a reindeer though?
Last night, the sky was clear and I was able to see Jupiter and Saturn, and I took photos (to the best of my ability). Tonight is supposed to be the night where they are in alignment but it is a cloudy day. Here is a video I found that explains the phenomena.
I am happy to report that progress is being made on this quilt. One side has these flowers appliqued on and now I have started on the other side. If a little time each day is devoted to the project then it goes much faster.
I want to share this beautiful dimensional birthday card one of my gal pals sent. I feel very special because I am sure it was time consuming.
Here you can see the three layers. It is a fabulous card from a fabulous friend. You will be glad to know that Pavel was not bothered by my flash.
It was a banner week in the mail. I also received this journal from my other gal pal. Each page has a treat on it from hidden tags to papers that she dyed along with interesting cards.
Here are some of the dyed papers, a flower that she made.
Tags and pockets, it was just beautiful. With each page turn it is a treat.
The vintage looking papers, lace and torn fabric for the ribbon.
I am ending my post with Miggy or his whole name is Miguel Cabrera. One of our favorite Detroit Tigers. Miggy the cat is a polydactal with extra toes and it is like he has baseball mitts on his paws. He is such a sweetie but so big, 13 to 14 pounds. Every night when I go to bed I have to wrestle with him because he thinks he is going to sleep on my chest and stomach. After seven to ten minutes he finally gets the hint. He is so long that when we shut the bedroom door he can reach up and open the door. With his big paws he can maneuver round door handles too.

I hope you are doing well, are safe and healthy.

A woodpecker, Art Dates, morning sky, Quilts, delightful room

Everything came together with these next set of pictures. I had my camera near, and also had the stronger lens on. I saw this woodpecker peaking out from the side of the feeder where the suet is.
I had to wait awhile but he decided to jump on the roof.
He then turned around and showed me his beautiful markings.
I think he was watching me take his picture!
Thinking about coming onto the other suet.
I was so thrilled to get these pictures. I don’t know what kind it was but he was beautiful!! I was so Delighted!
Noelle came over for an art date on Halloween. We decided that a Halloween Journal page was in order. She was dressed like a sweet witch and we printed it off in an eerie color. We used blending inks and stamps. Noelle is a cat gal like me and she needed a Sophie fix.
The picture we used for her page. Sophie again made it into the picture. She is truly a ham! Each time Noelle comes over I enjoy seeing what she is putting into her sketch book. Some really great ideas.
I had another Art Date with Lela and we worked with watercolors. Various kinds, just kids watercolors, watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, artists watercolors and various papers. We also did washes, and blending and found what papers worked the best.
We used the hairdryer to quickly dry the watercolors. Lela was using the watercolor crayons to put various shades on the pumpkins and blending them. We had a really nice time and it gives this budding artist good ideas to go forward. She has many good and good ideas going on in her sketch book. It’s fun!
Sunrise sky on 11/18/20. Breathtaking and Georgeous!!!
This little quilt is my own design. It has it all, piecing, applique, embroidery and mitered corners. I would work on it every morning for an hour or so and it is completed. My goal is to use up everything that I have and minimally purchase anything. I have my own stash and inherited wonderful fabrics and quilts and tops from my Mother. I will be busy until I can’t see anymore. I made the top five years ago and finished it in 2020.
The next quilt I pulled out and have been working on.

My Mother passed away in 1997 of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is just a horrible disease that has no cure. A person that is affected by it has holes in their brains and it can affect their eyes, balance, short term memory and then dementia. It is Alzheimer’s on steroids, from the first time we noticed that something wasn’t right until she passed away in 1997 it took only 55 days and she was 70 years old, it was very much shocking. My sister and I became acquainted with a group of people on a site who also had a loved one die of this disease. There are 143 hearts on this quilt, just a tip of the iceberg but it is a way that we were going to bring attention to this somewhat unknown disease. I started this quilt in 2000 and pulled it out this year to get it finished, it should take me all of 2021. The hearts are embroidered by many different people. I would send out names, blocks of fabric and a heart template and they would send back embroidered hearts. Some people just did their own loved ones and others asked if someone could do theirs because they didn’t know how to embroider. All the fabric is from my Mothers stash. The words at the top of the quilt….We Lost You to CJD… the bottom…..You Are Not Forgotten. I now work on appliqueing the side petals each morning. I will probably need to make more. Just taking my time and enjoying the process.

This view brings me joy. It it looking from our foyer area into my studio. So many things that I love in this picture. The paintings in the studio, my Carrie Schmitt original, the little table I found at a Meijer store in Michigan. I keep candles in it. I would collect miniatures when growing up and I keep them in that little shelf with a glass door, found at Home Goods. The chalk painted table in a turquois blue. The little heart wings on the shelf is by Janet Lynch of Heart Werks, a local artist.
Two pretty deep drawers that hold candles in glass jars.
One of my favorite pieces of pottery from an artist at a show. I don’t know who they are, it was a husband and wife team and she was also an art teacher. It was during my first year of doing shows. Do you have any areas in your home that just give you a great rush of joy?

I hope you are staying healthy. If you have any comments or questions I would love to get them.

The Colors of Fall

It was such a beautiful day, from early morning to this evening. I am trying out an updated Envira Gallery and learning how to put a gallery in my blog post. Some of these pictures I have had and others were taken today. I did not have the strong lens on my camera but if you look closely there is a hawk on the swing set. Our warty pumpkins decorating the porch. The morning cloud reflection in the pond with the sun shining on the newly cut corn field. A close up of the neighbors tree that is absolutely gorgeous. I have quite a few things to share that it is overwhelming to think about doing a big post so I may just do little bloggings through the week.

The Dunes National Lakeshore was beautiful

Last weekend we went to Chesterton, IN and made our way to the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore. We started out at the Visitors Center and walked around looking at the art and gardens. The inside ranger told us about getting to the Riverwalk and driving around Beverly Shores. These two guys had their masks on.
Racoon art on a two-sided bench.
You know who
White tail deer
Saw Whet Owl. I really was looking forward to the 12 minute videos they were showing at the visitor center but they were a no go because of the virus. There are many good videos on YouTube under Dunes101 though.
We were driving down US 12 and turned at the sign for Kemil Beach. This view will be beautiful in a couple of weeks. There is just a touch of red right then.
Turning on Lakefront Drive we parked and walked down to Dunbar Beach. It was very windy that day which made the lake all the more beautiful with the waves.
The breaking waves just sometimes reach us. On the horizon is Chicago, 35 miles away.
Dunbar beach is right next to the Century of Progress Homes which have a very interesting history. I found a couple of good articles that answers many of our questions that came up. Someone did live in that first house because that sign says Beware of Dog. This article is from 2018 so I would bet that 2020 did not see a tour. We went down a road that ended up being a dead end and saw the Old North Church Replica but didn’t know it at the time.
We then moved down Lakefront Drive toward Beverly Shores which also has an interesting history. We stopped at Lakeview Beach and I was able to get a better picture of Chicago.
The path to go down to the beach was closed but it was below the rocky area. Probably put those there to fight against erosion.
I love the skyline of big cities. I remember driving near New York City and seeing that skyline, it was memorable for me.
We turned around going west on Hwy. 12 past Burns Harbor where you see steel mills and look for the sign to find the Portage lakefront and Riverwalk. It was kind of tricky to get to it and we had to turn around once. It was worth it once we got there. This is the riverwalk and it looked interesting to walk out on. Notice there is no one out there. The waves were splashing into it. There was one guy who decided to give it a try. I should have gotten a picture of him trying to make it out to the end, he gave up halfway in and came running back wet and cold.
This picture is not clear because all of the water splashing onto the riverwalk.
We were fascinated by the surfers. Probably watched them for 45 minutes. I got a good group of pictures of this woman getting up on her board. Here she is just ahead of the swell.
Starting to get up on her board.
Standing and riding the wave.
Still going and she looked good.
She is starting to go down because the wave is going down. It takes them a while to find a wave to get up on. Not too many times did it work for them. They had wet suits on and some had head gear too. I spoke with someone in Chesterton and she said that someone is out there 365 days a year. Some men will come out with ice on their beards.
Here are the waves hitting the rock wall.
A good picture of the waves and swells and the steel mills in the distance. Tom and I both love watching the water and had an enjoyable two days away. Getting a little bit of nature and a big body of water and it is only two hours away.

Beautiful Mandalas and Color

Earlier in the week a cold front was moving in and the clouds in the sky were low and blue. We were due and it is almost October. I always look forward to a change of seasons and the cooler weather. I knew that frost would be showing up soon during the night and decided to take advantage of the changing colors of leaves and enjoy the flowers that are still blooming.
I strolled around the yard getting colors and textures to make madalas. Here is the official definition from Merriam Webster: Definition of mandala

1: a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe specifically a circle enclosing a square with a deity on each side that is used chiefly as an aid to meditation
2: a graphic and often symbolic pattern usually in the form of a circle divided into four separate sections or bearing a multiple projection of an image

The Following are the four that I came up with. I used almost all of the cuttings.

I have these little blocks of color around our house. We are going to be painting and I have gotten samples of colors to see what they will look like. Some make the team some don’t, these are still on the bubble. You can ask for small jars of paints, I picked mine up at Lowe’s for $4.00 each.
The color on the right is a sage green, it did not show as well on this picture but they will be on rooms are beside each other. I do like it and the rooms have many large windows.
This sage plant looked like the same color as this little Pewabic Pottery vase but once I got it out in the sunlight the sage is more purple. I was delighted to be reintroduced to the vase…it does help to dust a little deeper sometimes.

Tom and I are taking a couple of days away this weekend. We are just going to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and I am hoping to get some good pictures. My camera batteries are all charged. We are celebrating 40 years of marriage October 4th. In leu of the pandemic we thought with being careful we could get two hours away for two days. Our masks are all washed up too and ready to go.

Stay safe and healthy.

Remembering 911

19 years and I can still remember how I felt when listening and watching that day. What started out as hearing that a plane had gone into the World Trade Center Tower, thinking it must have been an errant small plane that had gone off course. Then realizing it was full size airliners that were intentionally driven into these towers. I still feel that fearsome pit into my stomach just like that day, when thinking about it.

We visited New York City in 2016 and of course made our way to the World Trade Center Memorial.
I always try to feel what it was like that day for the people walking down the street. For the size of the buildings and the area that they fell… isn’t big in comparison. You watch when the towers fell after burning with the jet fuel and it is unimaginable what terror there was. The people who were in the tower above the hole of the plane and had no way to get down. They would call their families for the goodbyes and some just jumped to their deaths.
The first responders who were there to do what they were trained for and lost their lives when the towers fell.
Just remembering all the souls that were lost that day also at the Pentagon, at the field in Shanksville Pennsylvania. What horror they went through.
We did change that day, life is always throwing things at us but we will prevail, adapt and overcome.
This is in Battery Park in lower Manhattan, which is just down the street from the World Trade Center Memorial. This was between the towers and they have brought it down to Battery Park and turned it into an eternal light. Here is information about it and it seems as if it has been moved closer to the memorial.
This is a picture of the WTC memorial from Battery Park. Think about sitting in that park, or walking through it and watching the planes fly into these buildings.
I want to leave this post with the picture of the Statue of Liberty I took while at Battery Park. Both Tom and I loved New York City. I could have sat there for hours to just take it all in. Looking out at Ferries and thinking about what history happened in this area. These waters are where the British brought their ships up in the 1700’s. These waters split to make the Hudson and the East Rivers and a little further up the Hudson is where the plane had to be landed ten years ago, an amazing feat that was. We could go on, and on and on, we have a wonderful country that always prevails, with pain, but we remember.

Artfest, West Central Home and Garden Tour, Bloomfest

This next weekend I will be selling my art at the Artfest that is running with the West Central Home and Garden Tour. This is a nice write up about this with all the information . It runs on Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13.
Here is the list of the artists that will be there. It is on a triangular grassy area at West Jefferson, Garden Street and Swinny Park Place.
My booth from Bloom Fest on August 29th. There were such a nice amount of artists an array of food trucks. The Allen County Board of Health came and inspected and gave it high marks for following protocol. The same method will be handled at Art Fest this weekend. So far it looks like 70’s and sunny….fingers crossed.
I will have new art pieces up too.
An illustration and poem from the Small Talk book. I thought it may be apropos for this week.

Just a little bit today

This Saturday is my one and only in person art fair this year. There will be 75 artists and vendors with all safety measures put into place, Social Distancing, Sanitizing and masks. I hope that you might want to get out and see some great artwork, soaps, plants, jewelry, pottery and much, much more. I am getting my new work together, cards and prints to have for sale.
This week I took a walk through the neighbors garden and found these little red pretties.
Lisa also has some yellow sunflowers. Always a favorite of mine.
Last week I took an online, mixed media art journaling glass. It was a lot of fun and I also was able to pull out many unused supplies. For example, this was the first time I had used this Eiffel Tower stamp.
Since the journal was about me I found a young picture of my Mom and changed the brightness and turned it into sepia before I printed it.
This was a fun page to do but my die cut didn’t cut perfectly, and that is why I used the saying that I put at the top.

That is all I have this week, the class was a week long and 10 pages. Now I am getting ready for the show.

I hope everyone is well, and stay out of the way of the hurricane. Sheesh….so much going on.

If you would like to get these blog posts into your email (the pictures are always nicer), go to my homepage and on the right side you can put your email address.

A book, FWMA and around Fort Wayne, New Sewing Machine

Last week my husband was on vacation so we decided to explore our own city. We ate in restaurants that had outdoor seating and went to places that we had not been to. Masks and sanitizer in hand I share it with you.

We decided to take a look at the newly developed Promenade Park and sat in the swings looking at the riverfront. These kayakers came along and lined up and took off to race each other.
They were paddling like crazy with smiles on their faces.
The splash pad is always a favorite place and it was a warm day, then there is a shallow river area that has running water coming up to the splash pad. You can see a girl sitting in it.
Also this week I have signed up to do this 5 day challenge which should be fun and I will be showing my daily creation on Facebook.
We visited the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and they had some Chihuly pieces.
Blue and Orange are some of my favorite combos.
I loved this little glass lady holding her cat on her lap.
My husband was fascinated by the repurposed pieces made into a sculpture of a tank church.
A wall mural of a tiger reading a book with a cave and water.
There was a large photographic exhibit of Armenia. I loved this picture of all these children.
My sewing machine gave out last week so on our rounds we stopped at Joann Fabrics and I picked up a new one. They had the sewing machine area chained off so only one person and the saleswoman could be in the area for social distancing.
These masks were made with the old machine, that I had to keep fighting with. Since the new I have made four more and they are so much smoother. So far so good.
As we were sitting on the swings at the park we took pictures of each other. I had taken a mask break.
Tom still had his on. My friend Kathy from Michigan has purchased some Detroit Tigers fabric for me. Those masks are on the list to be made.
We had our dining chairs recovered recently and I love how they turned out. Originally I was going to do it myself and picked up foam and fabric. That was five years ago…..I decided to have someone more knowledgeable do it.
I am not a person who matches everything and I chose this fabric to accentuate the rug under the table. The people I had do the job is Phenicie Restorations in Huntertown, IN. They also fixed the arm on this chair which we are so so happy for.
We then walked around downtown Fort Wayne around Parkview Field and found this great statue of Johnny Appleseed. He is buried here in Fort Wayne.
This is the book I am reading right now. Stories of women ages 40 and up who have second careers. It is interesting. Isn’t the cover illustration great?
One of the days we ate lunch at the Friendly Fox…outside of course. I noticed that this Italian Market was just a few doors down, and checked it out.
Also this little library was outside the Italian Market. I love little libraries! I have many books and don’t use one but I the looks are so sweet!
This artisan pasta is so pretty.
Lasagna Noodles!
The colors of the drinks!
We like to explore cemeteries and went to a large one….Lindenwood. It is sooo big and thought this memorial plaque was nice.
These people loved their dog! Very heartwarming.
This is a beautiful headstone!
On Thursday evening we made our way to Lagrange County where my husbands family lives on a lake. We took a pontoon ride and the went to a restaurant on the lake. It was a beautiful night and we sat on the outside deck overlooking the channel.

The turtles and carp and catfish were right outside the deck waiting for food to be thrown over the side for them. It was like Sea World!
This is what it looks like when a french fry gets thrown to them. I don’t know if the turtles get any bites because the fish over power them.
In the Flow magazine there is an article titled “Happy to be Here”. It said: We’re constantly hearing how happiness comes from within. But it’s also true that your environment can bring you joy. This article explores how our surroundings impact our happiness. Into it a few pages is a boxed excerpt that is titled “JOYSPOTTING”. It goes on to say that you should notice what makes you happy, what makes your heart beat faster or what inspires you. Take photos and note them in a joy journal.

This was my joyspot picture for the week. Seeing those turtles looking up expectantly for a piece of food just struck me funny. Usually turtles swim around quietly going about their business asking for nothing or just sunning themselves on a rock. I have never seen them asking unabashedly for something.

I hope you have a joyspot moment this week.

Stay safe and healthy.