Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last weekend my husband needed to be in Milwaukee for work, so I came along for the ride.
Love the old town feel of Milwaukee.  They just don't make buildings like they used to!

I don't get to big cities too often, and when I do, other people are usually in charge of directions.  But this time it was up to me to get from the suburbs to downtown, through road construction and lane closures...and I'm really happy to report that I survived!  I've never been known for having a stellar sense of direction, so it was a proud moment for this slow-moving country girl to prove that I CAN find my way around!

The first stop on my big city adventure was the Milwaukee Art Museum.  There they had a special exhibit about the history of color photography in America, and I'd been wanting to get there to see it.  I discovered a few inspiring photographers to find out more about.

The last time I was at this art museum marks the start of my love of Gabrielle Munter's paintings.  You can read my post about that museum visit by clicking here.  So I visited her paintings again this time.  Yep, still in love.

This photo was taken at the lake, right outside the museum.  

After the art museum I walked along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

I happened upon a group of special needs kids who were making and flying paper kites in the park.
It was so neat to see the delight on their faces and to hear their belly laughs when their kites were up in the air!  
I sat on a picnic table and watched for about an hour; it was really touching and I can't stop thinking about it.

This is my favorite graffiti of the day...

"act natural"

Loved being out and about in the city.

Doesn't matter whether we live in the country or in the city...
we're ALL happy it's finally Spring in Wisconsin!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Just winding down after a busy week and weekend.

We're all pooped!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The book was a church rummage sale find.
Just learned today that the founder of Earth Day was from northwestern Wisconsin.
I watched a PBS program about him today in the studio.

I've been wanting to use these recycled paper beads I bought awhile ago,
and figured today would be good, being Earth Day and all.

I made the pendant from a real acorn cap, one of a bunch that I gathered up north last Fall.
To the inside of the acorn cap I adhered a paper flower and red glass bead, then filled the cap with resin to protect its contents.

Most of the parts of this necklace were once other jewelry pieces I've taken apart and re-used,
which was my weekend project...

I get asked a lot if I have an online store and always sheepishly reply,
"um...well...I do...but there's nothing listed for sale right now."
So I've decided to do something about that, starting with this necklace.
That's this evening's project.  :)

Happy Earth Day!

(Update:  This necklace has been sold, thanks!)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

We had the strangest weather yesterday.  
Sunny then snowy, sunny then snowy.  
Repeat over and over.
The front yard on my way back from the mailbox.

In the afternoon, I was in the studio watching this weather pattern unfold out the window,
so I stepped outside with my camera to capture the clouds moving in.
Quite literally there was a blue sky one moment, then the clouds quickly rolled in.

See the snow falling from the gray cloud?

There was a near white-out snow for a few minutes.
I couldn't see the hills or Rib Mountain in the distance, or even the edge of the field.

And then this.
Like nothing had happened.
Except that the sky was a more clear brilliant blue.

This week there was terrible flooding near my hometown in central Illinois.
By the farm where my family lives, the river and creeks overflowed, some of the roads were under water and damaged.  
The sweet little church that was a huge part of my life growing up had a basement full of water.
It was scary for awhile as the rain continued to fall, but everyone's fine and safe.

This church was a gift from a dear friend from home, she gave it to me several years back at Christmastime.
This friend and I also took Confirmation classes together at our church years ago.
 My little church stays on a shelf in the kitchen year-round.  I put a string of white lights inside and plug it in every day.

The very same day as the flooding at home, I snapped this tractor picture while driving down the road, not even looking into the viewfinder.
See the cross on the church in the background?
Purely coincidence...
Or is it?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grandma's handmade blue apron.
Church rummage sale black handmade apron.
Great-Grandma's white handmade apron.
Mom's red handmade apron.
Mini Violets rooting in a glass jar.
Blooming after a short winter rest.


I've been taking baby steps in making healthier food choices for my husband and me.  While I've always been conscious of what I eat because of some food sensitivities, slowly I'm incorporating "health food" into the meals I prepare for both of us at home.  Sometimes they're a hit with you-know-who, sometimes...not so much.  It's tricky to make good-for-you food that doesn't taste like it's good for you, if you know what I mean.

At the grocery store the other day, I bought a few veggies I'd never prepared before, and pretty sure have never eaten.  Today I played with turnips.  Thinking that a turnip just has to taste better if it's disguised as a french fry, I chopped three turnips into long thin slices and put them in a single layer in a roasting pan.  

The butcher knife was my great-grandma's.  Best. Knife. Ever.

Then I mixed together a few TBS of olive oil and a few shakes of Herbes de Provence, a spice mixture made up of rosemary, marjoram, thyme and savory.
(I like this blend because it does not include oregano like some other spice blends do)

I poured the spice and olive oil mixture over top of the turnips, added salt and pepper, and stirred to coat.

After roasting at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes (turning over the fries once in awhile with a spatula),  here's how the turnip fries turned out.

Just to make the transition a little easier, I mixed the turnip fries with roasted sweet potato fries on my husband's plate.
 He didn't say "you don't really need to make this again", so I consider it a hit!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hello there!

Lucky The Studio Cat
At last.
A blue sky, take a walk kind of day.
Happy Dog.  Dirty Dog.
A hawk supervises.
Birch Trees.  Love.
Sand Hill Cranes
Yep, dogs can smile.