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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Orange Days

This morning I found Mr. Oriole was enjoying the orange I set out for him yesterday. I shot this, sitting from my spot at the kitchen table, zooming in through the picture window. Can't believe it came out so clear! If you've never heard the song of an Oriole, you've missed one of Nature's Blessings. It is clear and sweet, quite unique.

It was good to have this little gift this morning, as life is feeling a little foggy these days. Phil's mother, Rita, is in her final days. His sister, Kathleen, has taken her in and hospice is involved. Last night she perked up a bit, ate a little bit of popsicle and actually responded to Phil's good-bye by saying, "I love you too."

This will be the closest I've ever been to watching someone die. So it's a learning experience on many levels. I see each family member responding in their own unique way. Emotions are all over the place--tears, silence, laughter, stories, questions. I see family coming together, expressing their love to one another and to Rita. I see how very important faith is during this process. I see the power of prayer at work. I see how the body physically begins to shut down, and how the spirit waivers back and forth between this world and the next. Yes, I am learning much. Perhaps this is Rita's gift to us.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First Boat Outing 2009

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Our first outing on the boat Friday was spectacular. Warm and breezy on the river, and after dinner we caught this sunset from our dock. THEN the stars all came out! It was just fabulous.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring is busting out all over!

This morning the pear tree was in full regallia! It looks like a fluffy white cloud. Shasta was enjoying its shade even. And my two tulips became 6! The other 4 are this bright yellow. AND to top it all off, a gorgeous orange and black Oriole was at the feeder just a few minutes ago, sipping away at the grape jelly (which became grape juice overnight with the rain). I quickly ran out and replaced it with fresh jelly. And now we're off for an afternoon and overnight at the boat. LOVIN IT!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two Tulips

After all the cold and rain, it was a joy to find these two tulips fully open this morning, their happy faces open towards the warm sun. Looks like there will be at least 4 more of them. They're so bright, they almost look like poppies. If I get a chance today, I will try to sketch them. They're just so happy and bright. Did I mention that I just LOVE Spring?!!

Today is off to Mary's for SoulCollage. I'm so excited to have a group for this; I've been wanting to form a group for years now. Apparently, the time is right.

For now I'm going to sit on the sunporch and finish the newspaper with a cup of coffee, then take Shasta for a walk. I just love being retired.....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Addison's Collage

Addison was here today while Amy & Mike went birthday shopping for her party tomorrow. I can't believe she's going to be 3.

So of course we had to do a little craft project. She was very much into using the glue stick. Most pieces have glue under AND on top of them. She kept commenting, "This is beautiful!" and "Perfect!" after each addition.

As you can see, I had fun too.

Grandma is happy to have yet another budding artist to play with! Happy Birthday to my little sweetheart.

Hyacinth Day

It's a hyacinth day! I planted these just last Fall and they picked today to dress up in all their full glory. I didn't realize they would be various colors. The blue-purple ones came up first, but today I see there are pink and cream colored ones too.

I'm so glad I took the time last Fall to plant these bulbs. What a payoff this Spring!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a different perspective

As I was walking past our front window this morning, my eyes caught sight of the shadow of the red maple in our parkway. It was casting a beautiful long shadow all the way across the street, and it just seemed to capture the essence of the beautiful shape of this tree. It will soon be in bloom, and these individual branches will no longer be distinct.

So I grabbed my camera and walked outside, in my slippers, to capture this beauty. Something about the contrast of the graceful dark branches on the light hard pavement strikes me. I'm not sure what, if anything, I will do with this, art-wise. But I'm glad I am recording the moment here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What is my name?

This is one of the pieces I'll be putting in my show. It's giving me some problems: Not sure what to name it (even though I created it over a year ago!), and not sure how to display it. With that rounded bottom, it won't stand up by itself. Phil says he can make a table-top easel from wood that has a nail in it. We'll see what he comes up with.

This is actually an old plastic (looks like wood) clock that I found at an antique/junk store. It makes a great shrine for Mary's face. You can't tell from the photo, but the stars are hanging free and move with the breeze. There's a mandala behind the turned posts that I made several years ago for a friend of mine.

I tried to make it look aged and antique-y. It does have a somber look to it. Ah ha! I think I'll call it Peace. It has always given me a peaceful feeling, hanging in my library/guestroom.

OK, one problem solved. Phil can solve the other one!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Day

What a wonderful day we had Sunday. Here are the grandkids, all dressed up. Don't they look just too cute? The weather was wonderful, and the kids were able to have their egg hunt outside. Everyone had a great time.

Now it's down to business with getting all my stuff ready for the art show. It's a rainy cool day today, so it's a good day to do just that.

Next week the boat goes in the water--woohooooooo!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting Ready...

I'm beginning to get my pieces ready for my art show. It's going to be a lot of work, but I can already see how it's going to be helpful for me. By re-visiting each piece, I am re-living the feelings and emotions I had when I created it, plus I can see it through new eyes now. This canvas is titled "Washing Down." I painted it on a solitary retreat to Christ in the Wilderness, which is in Stockton, IL. The heart radiates with various layers because of God's love washing down over it. It was a feeling of complete peace and well-being, of One-ness.

After writing a little blurb about it, I will wrap it up and pack it. Then on to the next one!

The other photo is of a book I purchased today at Barnes & Noble, "Mixed Media Self-Portraits," by Cate Coulacos Prato. I've been drawn lately to the idea of doing self-portraits. In the past, I have thought of self-portraits as being slightly narcisistic, but I've come to understand how powerful they can be. From the book: "The first stab at self-portraiture can cut incredibly deeply. It takes no small amount of courage to seek inside the soul..."

I'm beginning to think that this stage of self-portraiture will open the door to a whole new level of art. Which is one of the reasons for this show: to organize, evaluate, summarize what I have already done, in order to clear mental space for the next stage--whatever that may be.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Katelyn and I just finished this Easter diorama. She had some great ideas. Here's what she says:
What I wrote on the hotel was "Easter Hotel." The people who stay in the hotel can watch the Easter parade. The people in the parade are made of marshmallows. Please don't eat the Peeps!

Now we will have our diorama on Easter day, and all 3 grandkids can play with it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fleamarket Finds

Had such a wonderful time today with my two beautiful daughters at the Kane County Fleamarket. Twas quite a blustery, cold day for fleamarketing, but we managed to have a great time anyway. Some of the vendors were indoors, so we pretty much stuck to those places.

Here you'll find my great treasures: some lovely vintage photos--the beautiful girl has handwritten a note to her music teacher, Mr. Santucci, dated 1929. And the children are adorable. Also found some cool artifacts that may just be what I need for my "tin dolls" project
coming up in May. Those cool numbers are actually tin.

Afterwards, we stopped at Mill Run Inn in Geneva for an early dinner. It was so very nice to spend time with my daughters. They are so busy with their teaching jobs and with their children, that we don't often get a chance for the three of us to play. Thanks for sharing this great day with me, Amy and Jennifer!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I just hung up my Easter Garland that I've been working on all week. Some of you at Creative Spirits will recall I was cutting out the eggs last Weds. night. In fact, you'll probably recognize the pear napkin!!

Each egg has 1 piece of text (most of it French), one tissue/napkin type of image, an animal focal point, and perhaps a sticker or two. I made them in assembly-line fashion. Fun to do, and it adds a whimsical touch to the house.

I have some hanging from the front window, some over the kitchen area, some near a hallway. You can see by how many BIRDS there are, that I am still into birds.

Now on to my next project--a fold-out birthday card for my brother's 60th birthday.