Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Collage Discovery

Yes, it's 2:00 a.m. and I'm on a collage reading kick. I have another cool book to showcase on my blog: Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected by Claudine Hellmuth. Not only am I impressed with her techniques, but her resources are excellent and her website provides a plethora of information and blogs of other collage artists. Her website is: There are also art zines and magazines listed. I am going to check out Dog-Eared Magazine After reading her website, this is her second book and it sold over 25,000 copies.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Collage Unleashed

I spent the last couple of days doing errands, spending time with family and friends, doing a lot of sleeping, and perusing books. Recently, I checked out books on art and collage. Art is such a great method of expression and have used it a lot this year for enjoyment and relaxation. I picked up the book entitled Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista. This is my favorite one so far. There's so many ideas and inspiration that I just want to dive in and collage away! This is her website: She also has a list of collage workshops. I hope this will inspire you as it has me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Art, Books, and Musical Saturday

(Lighthouse--New Buffalo, MI--LCS 2009)
Here's a photo from August. I've been giving framed photographs as gifts recently, so I wanted to post one of the possibilities.
I enjoyed my Saturday. It started early and it was a fast, furious, and fun day. Steve and I drove to the Main Library for the 8th annual Open Book Festival. I've been on the committee seven of the eight years and I believe Steve has been a costumed character for all of them. Steve literally took the shirt off his back for me as I needed a black tee shirt to go with my Cat-in-the-Hat costume. (We swapped shirts). And he lovingly, painstakingly painted the whiskers and nose on my face. I have to say they were the best kitty whiskers I ever sprouted for Open Book or Halloween! ;) The morning was spent greeting happy little patrons inside and occasionally waving to cars outside (some even beeped back). I also hosted Karen from Indianapolis. She is a wonderful storyteller (and family friend). She wowed the crowd (40+ per session) with her songs and storytelling. I was honored to escort her and spend time with her. We had the best drum session yet! The 3rd annual RhythmWorks family drum circle rocked the library. We had 75+ people playing various percussion music. This year there were no hiccups and no damage to any drum equipment. (I had to take off the whiskers and put on the library bun this year. It worked). Patrons smiled and enjoyed themselves and Vinny, Judith, and Joyce brought drums into our souls for an afternoon. The day left me exhausted but happy and grateful for a successful day! :) Of course, photos will follow soon.
After Open Book closed the chapter for this year, I ventured out into DownTown South Bend and participated in ArtBeat. There were tents lined up with art in each one. Artists, dogs and live music--it doesn't get much better than this! Beautifully adorned scarves caught my eye and I ventured over to the St. Margaret's booth. I purchased a beautiful long blue-green scarf that is called "Silk Creations". Women who live in St. Margaret's house create the scarves. Here's a url for more information: Tonight I really wanted to visit friends but I was just too tired. After Steve brought me home, I slept for a few hours, called a dear friend, wrote a few things (including this blog), and now am seriously thinking about going back to sleep. I look forward to a beautiful day tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wild Thing

Steve and Monster--AB 2009
I channeled my inner children's librarian today and played a costume character for "Wild Thing" from the book "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. It was a lot of fun. I overheard adults saying that this was what they read as a child and this influenced their reading. It's really cool how adults introduce this book to their kids. I also remember this award-winning book and tonight was able to relive the memory as one of the monsters in the program. Steve almost sported the costume tonight, but he lucked out--he was too tall. (The costume would have given him an enormous wedgie). I was the shortest person on staff tonight at 5'7 and it fit me perfectly. He kept my monster horns from bumping into the security gates and from tripping over my monster feet. And we traveled out into the library proper and people of all ages smiled, waved, and hugged me in the costume. And I loved the photographs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I walked in the parking lot on my way back to my library branch after a meeting. I noticed a young man, probably in his mid-twenties, opening a pack of cigarettes in his car. I didn't really care about the smoking so much until the man took the top part of the cigarette case and promptly tossed the plastic covering (trash) outside the open window onto the pavement. Hmmn. I calmly walked up beside the vehicle and picked up the litter he just tossed into the parking lot that my custodian has to clean every morning because of slobs like him. He was obnoxiously puffing away on his cigarette when I said sweetly, "This must be yours, sir." I handed/put the litter back onto the driver's side of his car. The look on his face was priceless. It was not the most street-wise thing to do, but I tire of people throwing debris on the ground, especially in a place that that we all work so hard trying to beautify. Anyway, I'm off my anti-litter soapbox. Going to rest so I can be healthy and strong for the weekend. Big day Saturday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn Poems

Last Flowers from My Garden --LCS 2009
{Last Flower Lives}
Last flower lives
in a fall garden, resilient--
during deep frost.
{Mulches Front Garden}
Mulches front garden
beneath a pre-autumn rain--
fallscapes and raindrops.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making Magnificent Mango Punch

Magnificent Mango Punch--Mini-Version LCS September 2009
I published my third article on eHow. com: How to Make Magificent Mango Punch.
The punch is very simple to make and no worries about red dye to stain carpeting at church, home or school. Yes, it is Scorch-friendly, I can and have made it so you can, too!eHow is a fun website on networking and writing how-to articles. My friend D. gave me the url and the idea to start writing non-fiction articles: Please let me know if you are interested and I will send you a friend request.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Three Little Birds and Twittering

Bob Marley's song "Three Little Birds" and Twitter(ing) have been on my mind lately. Interestingly, there are three little birds on the cover of this book. I have Bob Marley's Greatest Hits CD on my iPod and that really inspired me to walk for a long time this weekend. It's also a great song to keep life in perspective. Look at nature and take a moment to enjoy the scenery. I also read The Twitter Book, which talks all about the culture of Twitter. I recently opened a Twitter account, so that's a good first step. I'm still figuring out Tweetdeck.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Music, Revisited

Playing Another Gretch Drumset--SJS 2009
I'm so happy. I received a phone call from a friend I performed music with a long time ago. He's back in town. He's in the process of getting a celtic/folk/indie/jazz/rock band together and asked me to join as a percussionist. I thought about it (for a second) and said yes. Music follows me throughout my life and I believe I am meant to play. My friend will work around my library schedule and it should be fun. He'll get a CD for me. I'll listen to it and play along. This will also inspire me to fix up my drumset and start practicing again. He'd like to do weekend evening performances (and I'll be freed up for that!) starting around November. I look forward to this new adventure. Very stoked.

Class Reunion

We attended Steve's 20-year class reunion (Marian High School) last night at Villa Macri in Heritage Square. It was casual but upscale at the same time. We found the reunion upstairs in a private room on the top floor. Televison screens adorned one side of the wall. A narrow hallway contained the cash bar and some places for people to sit. As we walked into the back room, hor d'oeuvres including shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, spicy chicken, an assortment of vegetables, cheese, and meats, and bread. Next to the white bread was oil that one can dip. (Cannot resist bread, folks. Love the bread). There was a cash bar and there were delicious desserts including brownies. Mmmm. Square tables seated six. Old photographs adorned each table (including a round table when first walking up the stairs). There were photographs everywhere and old yearbooks. I thought that was a thoughtful and classy touch. Fortunately, from attending Holy Cross College for two years and knowing various people mostly through Steve, I knew a lot more people than most spouses of class reunion attendees. We did miss a few people who were living too far away or attended the family picnic beforehand. But we enjoyed it and I met new friends while hanging out with others. After throwing a large event like LaSalle Retrofest, I have a renewed awareness and respect for people who take on and throw large events like class reunions. For me, I had a ton of help opening a library branch and throwing this event. Others may only have a few people or even do this themselves despite how far they are living, family, home, and work commitments. Well, kudos to you! (As soon as we can download photos, I'll post a few here).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September Saturday Afternoon

(Another Beach Photo--LCS 2009)
It's a beautiful day in Indiana. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Both of my felines are napping on the porch. Last night Steve had his Freeport Game and I skipped my walk. Too tired. I took a poem, displayed it on the left side of the bulletin board and then took a white sheet of paper and placed it on the right side of the board. I cut some old photographs of grass, flowers, etc., and created a photo collage. I've created two so far. I enjoy doing this on the front porch and listening to 88.1 jazz. Javacat also supervises me. I worked at Barnes & Noble this morning and tonight we will be going to Steve's High School (1989) reunion. It should be a lot of fun. Photographs will follow.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Capturing the Sunset with an Evening of Music

A gorgeous sunset--LCS 2009
Steve and I enjoyed a light dinner at The Phoenix. We then drove to Bridgman, Michigan to capture another gorgeous sunset on Lake Michigan. And we did. To our surprise, we arrived late enough in the evening that we did not have to pay for admission. However, we were also surprised at the sea of humanity on Weko Beach. But since this is a large beach, there was plenty of room for everyone. Then we heard the live music. Awesome band. Didn't catch the name, but they played jazz, blues, classic rock, and even disco! Music from Eric Clapton, Santana, and the Commodores echoed across the beach. And the sun set like a red ball into calm Lake Michigan. The clouds, fuzzy, hazy, and colorful, adorned the sky after the sun set. Soft waves washed on the shore. And then the moon came out. We stayed until about 9:30 p.m. and then left for home.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Garden and Labor Day Weekend

carolgarden #32, 2009--LCS
I took this photograph of a hibiscus at a staff/friend's house this past week. Her garden is amazing and inspires me to pull the weeds in my front yard. I'm going to post a blog about her and her garden. She brings flowers into the library all the time. Thank goodness for three days off. It's been hectic in my world. This morning I had my art appointment, worked all day a bit short-handed, and then went to dinner at Sunny's (Korean restaurant) with friends. It was a great time. I saw a wonderful patron/friend inside and one of my best friends at the tables outside. Then I saw my friends outside and we ate, laughed, and chatted. Of course we closed the place down. After dinner I walked for over an hour. It's peaceful outside in the evening.
Tomorrow I have errands to run and a hair appointment. We're leaving Sunday and Monday as flexible, too. I need time to write and to work on stuff around the house. And sleep, of course. A hobby I am ALWAYS perfecting.

National Lampoon's Garden Adventures, and Last Thoughts on 46

Update on Sake Sakura: We will be making an appointment to get Sake's MRI. It's been really hot and our schedules have been nuts,...