Archive for March, 2009

Nina News

K was asking for some new pictures of Nina.  I hope you don’t mind.  🙂





I took a bunch of pictures outside yesterday and had Nina next to Molly but I have NO IDEA where those pictures are hiding.  😦



She is 3 1/2 months old and was 36# last weekend.  Thankfully she now will climb in the truck herself as there is no way I’m picking her up!!  

She loves outside but prefers to nap in the house.   🙂  

This afternoon we got some sleet/ice balls and she was THRILLED!  She would be the only one happy about the 6″ predicted by the weatherman.

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Other BFA Gallery shots

When we first got to K’s BFA gallery opening… well of course we went to see her spot first.  🙂  

Then we decided to walk around a bit and find some of her friend’s gallery spots.  I’m glad we did it then as it wasn’t so crowded in the 5 – 7 p.m. slot.    Also during the 5 – 7 p.m. period, they had a variety of appetizers (hot & cold) and desserts along with drinks so we enjoyed a bit of that as we walked. 

This is a shot down an aisle when it wasn’t so crowded.


Beth & Kyle are 2 of the RAs K works with and they did their gallery together since they are both in cartooning.  (I’m not sure of the technical name of their major focus.)


This is the library they made up.  The shelves were full of comic style books.  They had other students make books for the library and they both did a good assortment themselves.  The books were free.  🙂  (The gallery was like any other gallery, you could ask for prices but nothing had a hanging price tag.)  Kyle built the shelves and the end tables between the reading chairs.  


I got a book by Emma. First because she is K’s friend but second because the cover was an old map and I like old maps.   I then chose a tiny tri-fold book because it had a drawing of scissors on the front.  

Later after we left the show and while we waited for our pizza, we looked at our books.  K had the main book about the library so I got to read that.  Then I read my 2 books at the hotel later that night.   

I was so impressed!!  The drawings, the things they shared, the ideas.  Amazing!  I just don’t know how to convey it all yet.  But I suppose part of my high interest is because I like altered books and making books.  I just don’t do that as often as I’d love to do it!  

This is K’s friend, Emma’s area.  


She draws these freehand (not enlarging somehow) using pencil and charcoal.  It is beautiful!!  The long one is a self-portrait and looks exactly like Emma.  I loved her choice of the charcoal on cardboard.  🙂


I didn’t stop long at this one but really liked the layout and display the student chose.  K says it is watercolor!  Beautiful!



This made the mixed media-fiber art part of me happy.  🙂


sprinklesI saw this from afar and came for a closer look (then forgot to back up and get a full picture!) and loved what I found!  This self-portrait was depicted with… sprinkles!!  🙂  I love sprinkles. 





This is one of many I didn’t totally understand.  (And Phil learned early on in the evening, not to ask “Why?”. )  The story here is that the jars hold the salt collected from one’s tears.


I just had to have a picture of this! 


The title of the piece is “Soap Bathroom”!!  There was a toilet, sink, and towel bar, all carved out of soap!!  An empty soap dish made out of soap.  haha!


Here is an up-close shot of Steffany’s wallpaper – 



This ceramic display was quite interesting.


The aisles were more crowded as the evening progressed:


Me & my hubby:


K had an email on Monday saying that over 4,000 people attended the Friday night opening!!!  

I hope you enjoyed this small peek at the BFA exhibition.  It is open through next weekend if you are near.  I know a great tour guide.  😉

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Friday night was opening night for K’s BFA gallery show.  All the undergraduates receiving their Bachelor’s of Fine Arts this May participate in the show.  (There are some other avenues for those in the writing program and the performance areas, too.)

K started planning this in the fall and worked so very hard these last many weeks preparing for her show.  

Each student (230) had a piece of wall and the area around it.  She & her friend, Steffany, found their walls were using like colors so they went in early and could get a prime location and miss the lottery selection process by agreeing to be next to each other.  It was really a great spot!  Their area was along the outside wall of windows and at the corner of a row so we had extra area to step back and watch.  

The watching from afar was quite entertaining and fascinating.  To see the girls interact with those viewing their displays, with each other, and with their friends stopping by was so fun for Phil & me!

We arrived and had parked by 3:35 p.m. and walked a block to where K was finishing her Friday class.  We got to meet her favorite teacher & great mentor!  It was wonderful!  Of course, he filled our ears with how wonderful our daughter is so we will bask in that for awhile if you don’t mind.  🙂   He has been a super help to K and it was good to tell him how much we appreciate it.  

We went to a nearby restaurant while K hustled back to her room about 3 blocks away.  She quickly freshened and changed and met us at the restaurant.  

Then back to the building for the gallery opening.  From 5 – 7 p.m. , faculty and the seniors were allowed for the preview showing.  K was allowed to bring in 2 guests and we were honored to be there!  It was nice to be able to see some of the works before it was opened to the public.  


We were able to meet Steffany (R) and her grandparents (from MI) along with their friend, Emma (L) and her parents (from NY).  It was interesting to watch the girls and we enjoyed visiting with the families too.  


There were tables of appetizers, desserts, and drinks scattered through out the gallery so we had a few samples as we found Emma’s work and Beth & Kyle’s space.  Beth is K’s senior RA and Kyle is an RA, too.

Steffany designed and printed this wallpaper (the green diamonds in the background of a lot of pictures) on fabric using screen printing.  The images are fruits!  THEN she coated the wallpaper/fabric somehow with a fragrance blend that smelled like fruit punch so she had sniffable wall paper!  It was a riot to watch people read her title card, you could see the ? in their head, and then actually smell the wall.  Many took pictures of each other smelling the wall.  


The title of K’s work was “Everything but the kitchen sink bag.”  Playing off the common phrase of women packing everything but the kitchen sink, she designed kitchen sink bags!   She did the whole thing… from design, to pattern making trial & error, to cutting, and sewing all the bags.   She had 9 bags in her 3 colors and in 3 sizes, all had pink zippers, and all had a gray lining that she had hand dyed to coordinate.  A variety of fabrics were used for the outside of the bags: vinyl, canvas, and suede.  

She then sent her dear dad the drawings of her idea for a display rack.  Phil welded the base and fit the pipe pieces together to her specifics.   It was designed for her to be able to take apart and set back up.   She painted it in the weeks proceeding set-up.  Only when a plumber stopped Friday night to talk about her bags (he was thrilled she featured his occupation!) did the whole pipe relation to the sinks actually “sink” in.  🙂  

Sometimes people would just walk by and be puzzled because they hadn’t looked up to read her title (we so nicely painted) on the wall.  Others would see the bags, wonder, then read the title, and smile!  

Here are a variety of pictures from K’s spot.





Business card holder



Interview with the school paper

Interview with the school paper




There were still a lot of people looking around as 10 p.m. neared and many just hanging out with their student or friend.   Security let us know it was time to leave at 10.   We had our coats in K’s locker and they let us leave that way out the other doors.  

We met Steffany outside and shared a pizza together at K’s old stompin’ grounds, Pizano’s.   We headed back to the car while the girls headed to their rooms.  We arrived at our hotel at midnight!  Too bad we didn’t have much time to enjoy the niceness but it was quiet.  🙂

On the way home on Saturday, Phil & I continued to enjoy the experience of Friday night.  It was just wonderful!  Many of K’s friends came to congratulate her and one even made her a card.   It was quite a night for all of the seniors.  

Another time I’ll show you some of the general pictures around the gallery.  

And yes, the one in Headwear II designed and made her cocktail hat for the occasion.  🙂


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About My Leave of Blogging

So if you read the last few posts … or wherever I put it… JP & I got slammed with the flu now turned into a head cold.  Blech!  

So there wasn’t enough brain matter that was usable for blogging.  

I thought I’d post an update.  However, there is not much to say.  

Nina went to Puppy Preschool again this morning.  We were supposed to work on “drop it”.  However, she could NOT have cared LESS about any toy that was offered to her.  She never picked one up so I never could tell her to drop it!  

In Dorman’s words…. “Some people’s children!”  


Meanwhile, Phil got a haircut tonight and I made him mark the hem on my new pants.  I draped the pants over the back of the rocking chair so I could fix them tomorrow.  

I was in the kitchen and noticed Nina chewing and looking guilty.  


Finally, I went to once again get something out of her mouth. 

A PIN!!  

She pulled it from the hem of my pants that were hanging there.  Just chewing away.  

I don’t have a more recent picture of her.  Hopefully this one that K took when she was home a few weeks ago will suffice.  


Now Nina nearly looks me eye-to-eye when I sit on the floor with her.  

She really likes being outside and spends most of her waking time outside.  Then we bribe her to come it.  🙂 She prefers to nap inside and her food is here.

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Do You Feel Older Today?


phil-second(there are 2 candles on the cake)



45 more years



One who needs glasses


 a happy family with a great dad


Happy Birthday Phil!

Enjoy your pie on Pi Day!  3.14

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Tuesday Trip

Over last weekend, K was feeling the pressure of her BFA show looming heavy on her shoulders.  I said to Phil that maybe I needed to go help.   K suggested I come on Tuesday so I rearranged the schedule here for that to work.  She had until Wednesday to finish any painting or construction on her space.  She needed painting help.

Early Tuesday I drove the 1 1/2 hrs to the train station.  I took the train another 1 1/2 hrs to downtown.  Then I got on a bus!  All.by.my.self!  :))  

I texted Keturah when I was waiting for a bus and she left her classroom and waited at the stop for me.  I knew where I was ending up but it was noon for her anyway.  We went about a block to subway for quick lunch.  

We walked to her room about 2 blocks and of course by now it was raining.  😦 It was only a light rain but still noontime crowded streets with umbrellas and my load was not so fun.  

Have you ever wondered how someone in Fashion Design with a focus on Accessories decorates her room?  


There we packed a cart to move the rack Phil had made for her show.  

We went the 2 1/2 blocks to the building in the rain pushing the cart.  😦  Upstairs we got her supplies out of her locker nearby and got to work.   I was able to get a sticky nametag pass and that meant that K didn’t have to be with me all the time.  Such freedom!  haha!  

The gallery space is on the 7th floor and K’s spot is along the outer window wall.    Here, I’ll show you the view!


I’m scared of heights so this is with me standing back three feet but stretching out the camera so see what I could get!  LOL!

This is in a newly aquired SAIC building.  I have been in the part with the classrooms once before.  It is just beautiful!  The lobby had very nice hardwood floors.  Her locker was NEW and HUGE!  😉  

She had painted the wall a gray with a touch of violet.  Then she printed out her wording the size she wanted and had cut out all the letters.  But she kept them attached and had a line running through them for leveling and spacing.  🙂    


We had about 5 sections I think.  That took awhile to get them level.  Then we traced all letters with pencil.  I did most of that while  she used a tiny brush to touch up the corner where her wall meets the neighbor’s white (so far) wall.  



Then time to paint.  We had little (maybe less than 1/2″) art brushes to fill in the letters.  TIME!   At 3:30, we gasped as this was taking a long time.  I called JP and decided to delay my departure to an hour later than the latest I had planned.  We finished one coat of paint.  


Then we assembled her rack and worked a bit on a second coat.  She said that after I left she worked about an hour more and finished the letters.  🙂 


We hurried back to her room having to go out the freight elevator this time.  😦    This put us out on another side of the building so that was a full 3 1/2 blocks back.   The cart was nearly empty but the sidewalks were full with those heading home.   Why do they think those carts come with steering mechanisms???  

I had taken stew so we heated that in her micro and ate fast.  Then repacked my backpack (on wheels) and left.  She has a great produce store so had gotten many lovelies for us.  I had a huge bunch of brocolli, 2 boxes of strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and many zucchini!  

She got me on the bus and I headed back for the train.  However, the bus was FULL and going slow with lots getting on each time.  😦   I got to the stop w/ 9 mins until my train left.  And they leave on.the.dot!   

I ran up the street, in the building, across to the escalator, and carried the heavy backpack up some of the steps.  My heart was going to explode at this point.  Ran to the doors to the trains, the train was not as the schedule said on track #2 but on track #4.  Not far, but nerve-wracking for this novice!!  I got a seat which was grand.  🙂  

By 45 mins until my stop, the car was empty.  So I thought.  Later, I learned there was a girl on the top level sleeping.  🙂  I tried to sleep but only got a numb hip.  😦

The wind heading home was intense!!  The weatherman said the winds were up to 45 mph.  I got home at 9:40 p.m.  

All this and the next day started with a dash as Nina & I headed to Puppy Preschool.   Amazing that I just keep going.  🙂  

Some of this is vague on purpose so as not to ruin the moment of the gallery opening.   🙂   Some of it may be vague because I now have the flu and my whole head is vague.   😦

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Slam the Brakes!

The whole plan for the week & weekend came to screeching halt when the flu slammed into JP. Fever, aches, and now a BIG cough. 😦

Praying we can reschedule our guests.

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Weekend Flooding

Before I can tell you about Tuesday, I have to show you Sunday.

We had lots & lots of rain on Saturday and Sunday.   Three inches was in the gauge at Grandpa’s.

If you’ve never been here, we live on the high point.  Our fields hardly ever flood, our house stays dry.  But not all the frost is out of the ground yet so all this rain had no where to go.  

I took these out the kitchen window.  I wasn’t going out there!


I think you can see it gushing in the ditches and filling in the low area around the finishing building. 


It is all gone now.  It drained fairly soon after the rain stopped.   

Today… blustery cold!!  I was just out running around with Nina and my face was frozen.   I had the rest of me covered.  The west wind is extreme!

ETA: 45 mph wind today made for 9′ wind chill.  I said it was cold!

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Saturday’s Soap Demo

My Saturday went really well!  I’m pretty recovered today with a long to-do list that I’m working on.

The set-up for this day was super! They had a main session, then a time to choose one of 3 workshops, lunch provided (the part I had was yummy!), then 2 more workshop slots. The vendors were in tables around the outer edge of the room where the main session & lunch were held. 

We were able to sit in on the main session and that was an interesting discussion on local foods.  How to sell, how to buy.  

The first workshop they could choose included Roger who owns the grist mill in a neighboring ‘mill’ town.  We know them from church and had been to their open house a few years ago.   It was great to hear him talk about grinding wheat & corn on his mill since I’ve done a lot of reading on grinding grains and like to grind corn & wheat with my Whisper Mill.  

Roger did his talk from his display table near us so it was easy to listen in.  🙂   He had built the coolest mini model of his mill!  Amazing and with moving parts!

I was the first afternoon workshop. I only had an hour whereas the other demos I’ve done, I’ve had either 1 1/2 hrs or 2 hrs.  So I cut out the actual measuring of oils. I was at an hour and still waiting for a trace and to pour in the mold. They were all saying to keep going, it wouldn’t take them 15 mins to walk upstairs, etc.  

I finished.   And didn’t muff up my double swirl… .which I usually don’t do in public!  

The class had an extra fee but the organizer had it higher than I had suggested.  The fee covered that they got to choose a bar of soap, a wrapped & pretty ready to sell bar. It was on their registration but they were oh-so-excited!

THEN I had some ends they could choose from as well. (to make up the extra fee)  Someone asked this OR that and I said, ‘no both!’    And when there were still ends left in the box, I said to get a few more. They were over the top thrilled! 

Plus they really liked the teaching too.  They asked great questions and got up to look in my soap pot several times. Best class ever! (not counting my one-on-one.  )

They asked if my lotion recipes were in the packet.  I almost asked if I had “stupid” stamped on my forehead.  So they said they are campaigning for a lotion class next year.  I guess I didn’t make it clear MY recipe for soap wasn’t in their packet either. You know what would happen if it was… 

There were 4 of us there as vendors. Two of us led a workshop, too. I had super sales!! I knew there weren’t many registered AND they were having a silent auction, too. Where was all this money to come from? 

They were ALL over it!  I had over $230 in sales. JP helps at my table and actually did nearly all of it this time. I was there to help bag a few things and answer some Qs but he did it.  I’ll give him some commission from it. 

I didn’t see the final auction price, but was asked to donate something as my pay for having the vendor spot. I had a gm lotion and coordinating soap in a clear bag w/ nice bow. Value was $14.50 and the first bid I saw was $17.  It was money for the Master Gardner program. 

A great day and some new contacts I hope as well. 

I had my camera and was too busy to remember to take pictures of our table or my class.  😦  

I was interested in one of the silent auction items: a large violet plant.  When I looked before lunch the bid was only $2.   However, after lunch I never made it back to see and honestly, I wasn’t there to spend money.  😉  

But I did the happy dance as we were all cleaning up because…. they had collected the extra desserts for give away and then put 2 little violet plants there.  Hmm… me & my big mouth said if they needed a home, I’d take one.  The person was quite pleased with my interest, said I could have 2, and quickly delivered them to my table.  🙂  I am anxious to see their colors.  🙂  

I must continue on… a busy week here!

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Spring Sprung A Leak!

Just had to tell you that spring has sprung!  Personally, I get more excited when my daffodils bloom but….

Gpa M came to borrow our gas tank that we use on the grill.  He uses it for his turkey cooker which is really used for cooking syrup.  (…or for cooking sweet corn depending on the season.)

He tapped 2 maple trees yesterday and today had 7 gallons of sap!!  (See… I said it sprung a leak!)  And the tap came out of one tree or something or other malfunctioned so he should have had more!


JP likes it.  He likes it even more if someone else cooks the pancakes.  :\

Do you tap maple trees?  Is it flowing where you are?  Do you like it?

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