Thursday, December 30, 2010

Now that Christmas is over, I can share one of the big secret projects I was working on.  A few posts ago I showed you the pillows I was making for my oldest daughter, Robyn.  I also created a lap quilt for her to go with them.  I FORGOT to take pictures as I went along, but I have these two of her opening it.  Around the outside border, I lettered some of the verses from I Cor. 13 -- the "love chapter" in the Bible.  Fortunately I have a book by Lisa Engelbrecht that explains exactly how to letter on fabric.  Click here to see/order the book.  And it worked beautifully!  There are 5 quilt squares that match the ones in her pillows, and 4 pictures that I printed out on special (hopefully) color fast printer fabric.  Maybe the next time I stop by her apartment I'll bring my camera and take some close-ups.  Anyway, she was thrilled!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yummy Treats

There's my latest creation -- in the pan and ready to be chilled, sliced and served.  But not for my family -- for the birds outside my window!  I found out that our little feathered visitors are extra hungry in the wintertime, so my latest hobby is making "bird dough".  This one has shortening, peanut butter, corn meal, chopped peanuts and assorted dried fruits.  And a nice layer of bird seed on top.

No wonder my husband refused to eat one of his favorite Christmas treats while it was cooling in the pan:  almond bark with pistachios and cranberries (see below after it has cooled and been broken up).  He was afraid it, too, was for the birds.  I guess I see how he could be fooled!
And below is a little junco visiting one of our feeders during a snow storm.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I like Christmas.  A. Lot.  But I was pretty physically and emotionally exhausted by the time the 26th rolled around.  And that was the 4th Sunday of the month, which meant that I had "art team" at church.  Which is a very cool thing except that it involves getting up extra early to go to church, and you have to have some creative energy.  So the rest of the day I hardly moved from the couch, and I took a nap today as well. 

So today I actually felt like doing a little creative play that wasn't Christmas card or gift related.  I started by taking a picture of the sun setting through the bare trees out my front window:
I know it looks like the moon but it was quite shrouded by the clouds.  I decided to try to add a layer, and I remembered a picture I took earlier this winter -- a close up of some ice crystals on a river:

I added a dark frame, a little gaussian blur and played with the layer effects.  This is the version I like best:
It's fun to play.  And I love perusing all the blogs I follow -- so much creativity to inspire!  I'm so glad for the blog community and the sharing that goes on!  Here's to more play in 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

May the simple gifts of Christmas be yours in abundance!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waves on Lake Michigan

I have to admit that the better photos on this blog were not taken by me, but by my son on his iPhone camera.  We were driving along Lake Shore Drive on Monday and noticed that the waves were ridiculously wild.  We couldn't resist pulling into a parking lot (which cost us $8.00 -- a bargain in Chicago!) and taking some pics.  The above one he submitted to our local tv station and it was picked as one of the weather photos of the day and shown during the evening news.  He just happened to capture two waves as they smacked together and created quite a display.

And below, look at  the great composition in that shot:
You can see the icycles were sideways from the blowing frigid air:
Lastly is my picture of Jordan, the master photographer with his iPhone:
The wind chill was below zero and it took a very long time to warm up, but what a great adventure!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Playing in the snow

Yesterday our family decided to enjoy a somewhat mild winter day by going to Waterfall Glen, a forest preserve not too far from our house. After trudging through the snow all afternoon, we came back to our house and feasted on pizza while we decorated our Christmas tree.  I was too tired to get any tree pics, but maybe another time!
 Lovely daughters staying warm in the late afternoon sunshine.
 Even Skyler was able to come with us and get a workout running through the woods.
 The sun set pretty fast and we had to move along.
Our son reflected in the frigid water.

Happy winter!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas spirit

I just watched this and it gave me chills!  How fun to have been there!

Click here for an uplifting Christmas surprise!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More Pillows!

I have to give equal time to our daughters, and I made pillows earlier this season for our youngest.  So Robyn helped me choose fabric for some pillows for a window seat in her new apartment.  They aren't exactly a surprise, but they are for Christmas, so I'm going to try to make a lap quilt to go with them. 
The ones that are diagonal are paper-pieced, which is a lot of fun to do.  But now I must get back to my sewing machine.  So many ideas -- so little time before Christmas!
Blessings to you on this Advent season!