Friday, January 31, 2014

Red-Tail Hawk Nest

Last week I spotted two hawks in the nest, but of course my camera battery wears quickly in the cold weather. Thought I did get a lovely shot of falling snow in the woods. Pass this way regularly, hope to get another opportunity to photo the hawks, not today, camera battery on charger...

Lunch Walk to Schaefers Greenhouse

Got past a few winter blues with walk down to the greenhouse. Lovely colors ready for upcoming Valentines Day! Very easy to assimilate into the warmth with water fountains flowing and staff showering the plants. I might have to come back for some quick plant sketches!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter Weeds

Always loved milkweeds, wandering through the forest of them as a child, plucking the silken strands and making little nests of them...

Winter Ducks

Love those winter duck prints through the river ice/snow floes. Winter feeding must be difficult.

Great Blue Herons

Had a chance to walk down to the river with great temperatures today. Hoped to see the bald eagles so many have reported seeing on the Fox. I was busy trying to get great photo of heron I hadn't realized there had been a mate directly behind.

Stefanie and Randell's birthday Gathering

Postponed Saturdays gathering until Sunday for roads to be cleared. Stefanie and Randell both turned 26 this month and baby Fyodor is almost 6 months! All 20 pounds of him get heavy quickly. Just so wonderful to have the kids all together for a meal and birthday deserts. They all enjoyed my vegan chili with cornbread and pear-cranberry cobbler with coconut milk frozen cream. Rachel baked apple pie too!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Three days later...

Double shifting takes a toll on intentions, so along with tackling that half hour organizing the studio, I'm prepping and cleaning for birthday gathering this evening and hoping weather holds out for me. Randell's birthday a bit early and his lovely Stefanie's a bit late. They are both 26 this month. Remembering the bad weather in January '88 and needing to take the beater work truck to the hospital through heavy snow. Marker page a bit different and less successful but fit in...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Creativity Challenge day 3

There is still time to put in on today's challenge of half hour spent cleaning and organizing the studio. A few minutes here and there and a few minutes more. Still going on it after double shifting today. But I did work on this vision board today, it needs more work but I made quite a bit of progress using's O Dream Board Envision Your Best Life app.
I found this app after following Judy Grupp Studio blog who alerted to the article by Martha Beck on making a vision board. Check out her blog, beautiful colors and whimsy to be enjoyed!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Creative Dream List

Day two of Creativity Challenge is to craft your creative dream list. Rather than a complete list, it is a beginning list to add onto as the imagination garners new projects. Some the intentions begin here: finish hobby woodcraft painting project already in hand, macrame a new stack of plant hangers, sketch and linocut Chicago alleyways, fill up Make Your Mark sketchbook with marker sketches, fill up Project Sketchbook Danger, danger with color pencil sketches, complete children's book illustrations, oil pastel portrait of Jeanette I had started, new oil pastel of Ojo now deceased, donation piece for annual cat auction fundraiser that falls right after Christmas every year, oil pastel of winter weeds, watercolor of fall leaves, drawings added to monoprint papers from workshop, shrine illustration, bird sketching. There's a start, and I have faith to boot.
Another springtime sketch from Dillman's. Think maybe this needs to be added to the list, maybe executed in pastel...

Monday, January 13, 2014


Faith 1)unquestionable belief specific in God, religion, etc. 2)a particular religion 3)complete trust or confidence 4)loyalty
I jumped on Michaela Christallo's "For the Creators" blog's Creativity Challenge 2014. Today's challenge was to set your one word intention for the year. I believe I was guided to "Faith." The pillow I had found on side of road during one of my lunchtime walks in September, took it home, washed it and stitched it up. It's message purposeful. My daughter painted the "Faith" sign for me for Christmas. I had it up above my kitchen cabinets with my chicken collection, but when the challenge arrived, I gave it prominent position on the mantle. Just changed out Christmas decorations yesterday and chose old reproduction of Edward Hick's "Peaceable Kingdom." It all seems to be flowing in place, just spread out the pieces below to accommodate "Faith" and achieved today's challenge with a photograph.

Congratulations on RC and Meghan's Engagement!

So pleased to announce at the 5th anniversary of their courtship, RC has proposed to the lovely Meghan. Great things going on!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

More Fruit

I was rather excited about drawing this banana and intended to sketch several, but ate it instead. There will be many more bananas...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tundra Shots

Had to recharge camera batteries to take any pictures in the bitter weather. A couple dozen tundra shots, but watching out for the friends and helping out with some extra food sources. Squirrel hasn't bothered with his ear corn, up feeding from scattered bird seed. Picked up extra suet yesterday as that is going fast too. Rabbit and coyote tracks were not quite as interesting as the squirrels antics back and forth. Surely the dogs were not pleased with his traversing the drifts at their window.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I bought a green pineapple when on sale before Christmas, forgetting that I bought an FFA tropical fruit bushel from my niece. So I have enjoyed two fresh pineapples this month, but after drawing the pomegranate I felt compelled to draw the second pineapple. Rather difficult to concentrate on, much like drawing a pine cone, really have to get into the pattern and adjust for size of cylinder. Why did I get myself into this? Anyway worked until I felt marker page was done. After slicing I threw the waste out by bird feeder, can't say that any of the wild ones will try it, but with no water in sight they may go for it. Tossed my stems from turnip greens there last night. Doesn't appear they touched that either. Never know. Many footprints nearby in the snow. Camera battery refused to work in the cold. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Feast Day of St. Andre Bessette

Maybe I'll get back out to take photos of the tundra called my yard... but as today is the feast of St. Andre I thought to share photos back from St. Joseph's Oratory, Montreal, Quebec. Many miracles occurred here. There are two walls of crutches and canes left after maladies had been healed. Quite amazing to see. Quite wonderful to believe so deeply. The second photo is of St. Andre's heart, it is three times the size of a normal person and carried much love for all.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I hadn't seen him in about six months although I saw some tracks in the snow near my garbage cans a couple weeks back. I've been feeding him on and off for almost three years. Last year he showed with battle scars across his nose and also cut his nose trying to escape the trap. Still a handsome dude though. Thankfully on Monday he showed asking for food and I set a can in a trap. Minutes later his new life began. Neutered and vaccinated and no longer fending for himself in the bitter weather. He's not sure that he likes being in my house yet, still segregated from my other cats although I suspect Hobo has faced him at the screen door. They've encountered each other outdoors as Hobo sneaks out with the dogs. The long hoped for project of capture completed, the new project of becoming part of the family pack begun. A promising start for the New Year.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pomegranate Practice

A little practice before devouring the treat...

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I believe I am surrounded with the best kind of neighbors although I was wondering why White Face wasn't at the hay bale with the rest of the clan. They do have shelter access, but bales are out in weather. Just peace to witness.

Treasure from the River

Just a little clam shell turned and turned for new views. I have little altars of finds around my space, shells, rocks, pinecones and feathers. Stuff my childself really likes. And markers in my sketchbook is somewhat freeing too, no deadlines or commission looming, just childlike practice.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Thoughts about 2014

Happy New year to all! Had a couple new marker sketches to share but thought the totem back from Dillman's Bay Resort in Lac du Flambeau may represent influences, commitments and intentions for the New Year. Where the eagles and loons and crayfish shared witness to the past and provide some direction for the future. The springtime photo has been my screensaver for some time now and leaves me with peaceful remembrances of plein air sketching. The flow of water very important and nature coming into its glory. Peace to all this New Year!