Category Archives: family

Think Good Thoughts

We could use all the prayers and moral support you can spare this week.

My husband is having surgery on both eyes on Monday morning. (eye muscle surgery to correct double vision.)

And then our beloved cat Angel is having surgery on Wednesday.

Think good thoughts for smooth surgeries and healthy recoveries!

A Girls’ Day Out

My mom and I had a girls’ day out earlier this week.

Our first stop was Utrecht Art Supply, a national chain full of every art supply a professional, amateur or student could ever need. I didn’t buy a lot because I’m waiting to get my supply list for the upcoming semester of design classes. But I thought this pad of disposable palette paper looked fun to try. It’s specially treated heavy paper, like really thick wax paper, you can put any media on, mix it up, water it down, and then throw away the paper, saving yourself the clean up mess.

We headed to the historic Third Ward, known as the new art and fashion district. We started with Broadway Paper, a stationery store full of greeting cards, calendars, notebooks, gift wrap, stationery, and gifts. It had everything I was hoping for, and reminded me of the Paper Source in Chicago, so I will definitely go back again. I bought this cool letter set, which included a great selection of vintage-style papers, airmail paper and envelopes, graph paper, ledger paper, and stickers. I am hoping to use these supplies in some handmade books I want to try making this year.

I also picked up this great magazine Anthology that can be hard to find in my neighborhood. It’s always full of interesting articles about creative people from all over the world, featuring home decor, travel, design, entertaining, and culture. This particular issue has an excellent article with Lotta Jansdotter!

We had lunch with my mom’s friends, which is always great fun! We ate well, had great conversation, and shared our goals for 2012. I brought my homemade caramels for a hostess gift, which were a hit.

After a little window-shopping at a couple more boutiques, we stopped by the yacht club for a cocktail. My husband and I got married there ten years ago, so it’s always fun to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere. Plus, they make the best mojitos!

I’m so happy we were able to spend another great day together, so I’m adding this to my list for 2012, to have a girls’ day out with my mom every month.

Christmas Celebrations

We celebrated Christmas with lots of fun festivities!

We went bowling… for the first time in years. It was fun, although ugly at times, making it even more fun.

We soaked up some fresh air with a hike along the mighty Mississippi River.

We did a little antique shopping, finding all sorts of old treasures to marvel over.

We did a lot of cooking, including trying these fabulous cheese straws for the first time.

We baked cupcakes, hence the necessity for the above-mentioned hike.

We had fun eating surprise chocolates, which required a workout at the local gym.

We admired the neighborhood Christmas lights, which we heard was a project by the electrical students.

We enjoyed a peaceful Christmas Eve service, surrounded by beautiful luminaries and lots of singing.

We chilled out to a very important Christmas football game.

We shared presents, told stories, laughed and relaxed!

Hope you enjoyed your festivities too! Next up, I’m looking forward to the New Year’s Eve festivities… still to be determined.

A Birthday, Turkey and Cookies

I just had quite an eventful week. As my mom said, “I’m thankful to have so many wonderful things in my life to be thankful for.”

We celebrated my birthday with a celebratory lunch and a hike through the woods and along the beach.

Then we celebrated Thanksgiving with family, catching up, telling stories, laughing, cooking and eating.

Then we enjoyed my family’s annual Cookie Day, a full day of marathon cookie making. I think we made over 20 varieties this year!

Today, after hosting an early breakfast for the family before they had to hit the road, I took a nap, laid on the couch to finish my book. I can’t remember the last time I had such a lazy day. Now I’m refreshed and ready for a new week filled with creativity.

It’s Good To Be 43!

It sounds strange to hear myself say I am 43, but it feels good too! I’ve enjoyed a lot of great adventures over the past year, so I’m looking forward to more.

This is the first time in three years that we didn’t travel to New York City to visit my in-laws to celebrate my birthday. Instead, we are going to start the day with a delicious beverage, lunch at one of my favorite restaurants and then to the Milwaukee Art Museum to see the Impressionism exhibit. Should be a fun day!

I have missed spending the week in New York, but I am excited to see my family for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hope you enjoy a warm and cozy holiday too. (don’t eat too much!)

Missing In Action

I went missing in action this weekend! At the last minute, I decided to go to Minneapolis with my mom and two aunts to visit my brother.

We got to see the farm where my brother works.

We also got to climb around some of the silos and huge farm tractors and equipment.

My brother is responsible for ensuring proper storage and treatment of 4,000 acres of corn and for getting all that corn to the graneries.

We cleaned out his pantry closet,

and reorganized it for him, which I love doing. He said his kitchen looked like it exploded!

One day I made my niece go with me to Treadle Yard Goods, a fabulous fabric and sewing shop in St. Paul. Wish I lived near that shop because they offer a great selection of sewing classes.

I was looking for some of the new Loulouthi fabrics by Anna Maria Horner.

Then my niece made me go shopping at the Mall of America and Hollister, which had the coolest web cam window of the surf at  Huntington Beach, California. We both want to learn to surf, so we stared at that view while waiting in the check-out line.

Another day we got to visit my cousin Linda and her family on their alpaca farmette. Bummer that I forgot to take any pictures of her adorable alpacas! You would have loved seeing them.

I’ve never ridden on an ATV, so that was a fun adventure to ride on their trails through the woods.

It was a fun getaway, but it’s great being home again! I have so much to catch up on this week. Hope you all enjoyed your weekends too!

Art Cards – Week 24 – A Trail and A Cousin

For the first time in awhile, I managed to keep busy and on-task last week, thanks to the to-do list I made. Since it works well for me, that will be my new weekly routine, to make a list on Sunday night of the things I need to accomplish for the week.

One day last week, I made a spontaneous decision to go for a long bike ride. It was one of the highlights of my week, so I thought it was good inspiration for my first art card, which turned out to be a dreamy image of a trail with a cool quote I found.

At the end of the week, I went to visit my cousin Kim who has been going through some difficult times. It was really great spending the afternoon with her and my mom. We are the same age and were the closest of friends growing up, like sisters. We still remain close, but live farther apart these days, so we don’t get to see each other as often. I thought it would be fun to use an old photo of us from our high school graduation party to illustrate side 2 of my card, which turned out to be a goofy little image of us.

Check out the art my creative buddies Michelle and Sandra have been adding to our Flickr group – I love seeing our variety of styles, inspirations and techniques.

Here’s to another productive week!

Art Cards 2011 – Week 7

We don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day in our house (we prefer to save the celebration for our anniversary), but I ended up picking up  a box of Godiva biscuits for Dave, and he bought me this lovely bouquet of spring flowers. It’s been so refreshing to have flowers in the house this past week!

I can’t believe we are in week 7 already for this art card project. Yippee! That means we are getting closer to spring with each passing day.

I decided to sew a little art card using snippets from my tiny Valentine’s Day stash.

We had some problems with our washing machine earlier in the week, with water spilling out and flooding the unfinished half of our basement with a shallow layer of water. Thank goodness everything of value was stored in plastic bins or on shelves off the floor. We had to throw away a bunch of empty cardboard boxes, and hang a pile of rugs out in the winter elements to dry. After testing the washing machine, we think it’s fixed and still working, so we are relieved to not have to spend $400 on a new one right now.

I pictured those adorable mini clothesline quilts when I illustrated a whimsical art card to reflect Wash Day, using my watercolor pencils and Micron markers. You might not be able to see it in the photo but I also rubbed on some glimmer chalk to add a little extra sparkle.

I find it’s healthier for me to focus on the positive and try use such an experience as a chance to challenge my imagination and illustration skills.

Don’t forget to stop our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their art cards.

A Weekend To Remember

Thank you everyone who played along in sharing five things people might not know about you! It was fun to learn a few of your new secrets.

I am at a loss for words on how to describe the Linkin Park concert I went to over the weekend! I was so thrilled to just be there, soaking in the awesome vibe. I was happy to come home with ringing ears and a sore throat from screaming and singing.

It was an amazing show! They played all of my favorites and my brother’s favorite too.

The band came out with a new CD last fall, so they played some of their new tunes in the middle of the set. It was obvious they have been rehearsing because their performance was better than I imagined it would be. No fluctuations in their voices – every note and scream were in tune and solid. Every single song sounded better than the recorded versions!

We didn’t get tickets to be in the mosh pit because I’m short and would have had trouble seeing in that massive crowd of crazy screaming people.

As a member of the Linkin Park Underground (fan club member), I was able to get us really good seats, where you could see the veins popping when Chester screamed. Aw yea baby!

As you can tell, I snuck in my camera and took a ton of pictures and a recorded a couple videos.

What a rockin fun group of talented guys! I already can’t wait to see them again!

I spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with my brother which was a blast, even though we both had to spend a lot of time doing homework (he’s getting his Masters degree in Business Administration). I love those kinds of weekends!

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