Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween!
No, this is not my front porch. Although I wouldn't mind if it was! It is actually the stairs to a charming old Bed and Breakfast not too far from the cottage we are building. I thought this massive mound of pumpkins looked rather festive. Actually I don't even put a pumpkin on my front porch anymore because around my house the squirrels and chipmunks tend to do their own kind of carving through the skin while filling their tummies at the same time. So we have to keep our pumpkins indoors so we can enjoy them longer.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Monday!

I spent the weekend cooking and cleaning the house. We had the whole clan over to celebrate two birthdays in the family. Gone are the days when we each would have our own separate day of celebration. As the kids get older and more involved in their own lives it gets harder and harder to find a day that fits in with everyone's schedules. I don't mind though. It makes the parties even more fun when you celebrate two or three occasions at once.

We have a busy week ahead. Will write more about it in a later post. Going to bed now as I have to get up very early in the morning.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Miscellaneous Stuff

We've been busy shopping for flooring, fireplace stone, light fixtures, etc. for the cottage. Got an email yesterday telling us that the walls have been plastered and will be ready for painting next week. This is where we have to kick into high-gear to do out part. We have opted to do all the painting ourselves as well as installing the floor coverings. It's called good old fashioned sweat equity. We did a great deal of rehab work on the house we currently live in, but we were 26 years younger than we are now. So I have a feeling we are going to need need to have mega doses of Advil on hand after next week. We ordered the bathroom tile last night...should be ready to be picked up in a couple days. Tonight is paint selection night. I hope I will be able to make a decision on colors.

Don't forget tonight is Project Runway's season finale. Also, Linda Woods and Karen Dinino, of VISUAL CHRONICLES fame are going to be on THE VIEW tomorrow (10/19). Click here for more details. Finally, I signed up for this class and I sent for this kit to use with it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Do The (Red) Thing

Check this out. Good Stuff. Great Cause.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Forever Plaid

Last night my DH and I went to see a local production of Forever Plaid. I had heard of the musical but didn't really know anything about it. Well, it turned out to be a very delightful trip down memory lane - back when the music was upbeat and happy. I found myself tapping my toes and humming the songs all the way home! The actors in this particular production were very talented and their harmonizing was as smooth as silk. Click here to listen to some of the songs.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Morning Collage

I recently came across Keri Smith's website and was inspired by her "Morning Collage" exercise that she does daily. I thought it was a great way to train myself to do something artistic everyday...you know before the busy-ness of the day sets in and you find you have run out of time and/or energy to pick up a brush, paint, paper or glue. The pages are small...mine are only 4 x 6. It usually takes only 30 minutes or sometimes an hour if things are flowing as easily. I don't put much thought into it before I start. I just let the pages evolve as I go along. Very freeing! I work on these pages as soon as I get up, in my PJ's, before I do anything else. And I have noticed that my whole outlook on the day is improved since I started doing this. You can see Keri's morning pages here. Another artist who does something just as inspiring is Marieke Berghuis and you can see her work here.

More Morning Collage

Friday, October 13, 2006

Studio Friday - FEAR

Casey suggested FEAR for Studio Friday's topic this week. No doubt about it, this was really thought provoking. Here is what she wrote:
"I am filled with fear. Fear of what ifs,fear of the unknown, fear of the known ~ patterns I tend to fall into, bad patterns I have spent years trying to break free of. I think part of dealing with fears and breaking out our superhero capes to fight them, is naming them. Not tip-toeing around them, letting them linger in and out quietly, lurking in the shadows, giving them power, but to drag them out into the light, so the sunlight can shine through the holes that fill them, holes we otherwise can’t see. We doubt ourselves. How can we not? Regular jobs rely on managers and supervisors to tell you what to do, how to be, what to say, how to act. But as artists, we must rely on ourselves to find vision, truth, creativity. Talk about pressure. This is part of the struggle and the brilliance of so many artists, the thing that makes us insane with fear, but also the thing that makes us strive to do and be more ~ the thing that brings out our own unique creative genius, our own vision of art and story.We all have insecurities and fears, but that’s all they are. They are not fact, they are not truth, so let's drag them out for the world to see, and maybe, just maybe,we’ll realize some of them aren’t so scary."
If you want to see Casey's Studio Friday submission click here. And click here to see what others did.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Oh No!

Yikes! I woke up this morning to this. I don't know about you, but I am not quite ready to deal with snow, ice and slush yet.

UPDATE: What a difference a few hours make. Everything is back to being all sunshiny and bright and fall-like again.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Bithday N!

Today is my daughter's 23rd birthday. Wow! Why is it that HER birthdays always make ME feel old? Anyway, I decided to do something a little different for her birthday cake. I was inspired by the Country Living Faire I attended over the weekend (see previous posts) and made the pumpkin-shaped cake that was featured on the cover of their October issue. I baked it in the Great Pumpkin Cake Pan from William Sonoma. The stem and leaf decorations are made from marzipan.

This is my 100th post! I can't believe I have written that many posts already. I didn't realize I had that much to share. You know television shows make a big "to-do" when they tape their 100th show. What a coincidence that we just happen to have cake to celebrate with!

More Pics From The Faire

And More Still...

Country Living contributing editors Ed McCann and Richard Kollath held demostrations on fall floral arranging and pumpkin carving doing something different each day of the 4-day event. These guys are so creative and super nice.
This is a pumpkin basket carved out the same way you make the fruit-fulled watermelon baskets in the summer.
Artichokes in an urn?...Why not! The white pumpkin behind it is made by drilling small holes with an electric drill and poking Christmas tree lights through each hole. Clever, huh?

More Fall...

We went to the Country Living Magazine Faire over the weekend at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. It was the first year this event was held at the Gardens and we are hoping that they plan to make this into an Annual event. There were lots of room displays (by the way, those are pin cushion plants pictured below), demonstrations of floral arranging, soap making, cake decorating, pumpkin carving, as well as artisans and vendors selling antiques, fall decor, baskets, clothing, furniture, plants, food, etc. etc.
Quilts similar to those shown below were raffled off...alas, I was not one of the lucky winners, boo-hoo!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Fall

Just a little teaser...more to come tomorrow. We're having the most beautiful weather this weekend here in the midwest. Gotta go back outside to enjoy more of it!
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