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Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Break

Friday marked the last day of school for 2 weeks. It is a defiant perk as a teacher to get these 2 weeks off! I will be doing lots of family activities; traveling to Kentucky to be with our son James and his family, hosting a friend who use to live in Germany with us, hosting 2 different sisters and their families (one from Seattle and one from New Jersey) LOTS and LOTS of family time! One thing I do like to do over break is to catch-up with my reading. Here is a peak at what I am trying to complete over the next 2 weeks...

 This is a journal which was given to me by my friend Amy, who happens to be the author of the book below-which I just finished!
 This book was so wildly successful that she and the publisher created the journal so that others can document their lives. I am going to spend the time over break creating my "Encyclopedia of Me."
 I was given a gift certificate to a local book store by one of my students- this book spoke to me. My new moto for 2015 is, "Say YES to everything!" So I thought this memoir might be helpful...
 These are just a few of the magazines which have piled up this fall. I am determined to at least glance through them. Rip out articles I may read and then recycle the rest!

 I bought this novel back in the summer. One of the gals at the bookstore said it was one of her favorite books of all time. Hoping I can make a dent this holiday break. I always have the goal each winter break to spend one whole day reading in my pajamas...
A friend just gave me this book. I am hoping it will help me to let go of outcomes; "When and where  will my studio/gallery space happen/be? Will I continue to teach in the public school system? How can I make my mark in this world? What is the right thing to do?..." My anxious mind is constantly seeking answers that really aren't available right now! So one of my 2015 resolutions is to "Let go. Let the Universe provide."

                                                     Have a great week-

Sunday, December 14, 2014

tis the season

At one point in my life I knew the history of the Christmas tree (Germany-maybe 1800s?), the pagan celebration of mid-winter, Chanukah celebrations, and of course after 12 years of Catholic school all of the pageantry of  Christmas. But working and trying to figure out all of the presents which need to be purchased and is now ALL about how much I can get done BEFORE Christmas! I am not proud of that, BUT it does seem to be my MO these days.

My husband and I did get to the Illumination light display at The Morton Arboretum this past week. We also visited his family in Michigan. So I am not a total Scrooge. I am trying to take sometime to enjoy the season....hope you are too!

                                     Spectacular lighting at the Arboretum.

                                                        My favorite shot....

 The stark landscape of Lake Michigan this time of year.
 The natural treasures we found on a walk in Michigan
The Greenbush Brewery all decked out for the holidays...
                                                                       Loving Bianca....

 I made my husband pull over so that I could get a pic of the street lights.

                                               I think it was worth it!

                I do like the yarn bomb banner all decked out in Holiday lights....

                         Here is to the season. Hope you are more relaxed than I am!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Another Piece

Yesterday I hosted an open house for Eileen's sister Peg to showcase and sell her beautiful glassware. She has wonderful jewelry and house ware pieces created with fused glass. It was/is another piece of HeARTfelt which I want to develop. This piece of my business model is the hosting of artists to promote and commercially sell their art. I envision hosting an artist for 3 months. That artist would be featured in our gallery and would also hold workshops to share with others their techniques in creating art....

It is a fascinating journey. Classes, gallery space, open-studio time and space, rentable studio space for artists, artist-in-residency programs...all of these components need a space.  My vision has always been about "a space to CREATE." I have been working hard exploring the different aspects of HeARTfelt's bussiness model. Some have been successful, some not so much... ALL have been a learning experience.

The biggest step in the process is to find appropriate and affordable space for HeARTfelt to unfold. I need to put it out to the universe, start pounding the pavement, and explore the next piece for HeARTfelt...

                                                  " A SPACE to CREATE"

*****WARNING***** This week's photos are quite blurry...start squinting....

Just a few of Peg's pieces
We had a steady flow of holiday shoppers.
HeARTfelt sold a few holiday ornaments and banners as well.
Before the open house Eileen and I got to take a nice long walk to exercise and catch-up on our week. A red-tailed Hawk swooped down and rested in one of the trees in our neighborhood. So majestic.
This little doggie was barking like crazy as I passed him on my way home. He is all decked out for the holiday season!

Have a wonderful week.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Day is really a warm-up for the WHOLE Holiday season

Thanksgiving week was a short work week, BUT a high intensity home and food prep week. I was lucky to have Wednesday off and even luckier that our amazing daughter Virginia was willing to do all of the Thanksgiving food prep with me Wednesday afternoon and evening. Our son James and his family made it to our home on Wednesday evening. It was 3 days of watching baby Audrey crawl around and babble at all that she encountered. She especially seemed entranced with our wired-hair dachshund - Purl.

Like many families, we had the traditional Thanksgiving feast and all sorts of extended family over to celebrate the day. But I think my favorite part of this weekend was Friday night when our family just laid around and played Trivial Pursuit in front of the fire!

Every year I have grand plans for making most of my gifts. At the very least I create small ornaments for my co-workers and friends. This year I am a bit behind on my holiday gift production. My energy has been going into HeARTfelt classes (3 December classes are still available... follow the getlostintheprocess link to sign-up!) BUT I have 25 days to crank out some knitwear, cards and ornaments....


These birds were decorating the Anthropologie window. Can't get them out of my mind...I think I am going to have to come up with a pattern to recreate...change a bit to make them my own!

Virginia's girlfriend Zoe is in crunch time- her portfolio is due! She spent a good part of her vacation creating watercolors of her collection. She is an amazing designer, I think we will all be hearing about her in the future...

 Friday, during the day, while watching the "best baby in the whole wide world" I made these mitts for our granddaughter.

Our town has a tree lighting ceremony on Friday evening. We missed Santa on the firetruck lighting the tree, but it was still quite fun to walk around our town.

  The highlight of my weekend-being with my family all together just enjoying each other's company.

I am doing SUPER simple decorations this year....

                                                                                           Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


My list is LONG, hope yours is too...

                                                  Loving, supportive PARENTS

                              YOGA  and my many wonderful teachers

               My wacky HUSBAND whom I have shared many adventures 

                                                              NATURE all 4 seasons of changing beauty

              Our grown CHILDREN and the PARTNERS they have choosen

                          BIKE RIDES exercise with friends which is really just THERAPY

       My many FRIENDS, ALL of whom bring warmth and energy to my life

             SWIMMING OUTDOORS even though it is a short season here in Chicago

         My four SIBLINGS, their SPOUSES and all of my NIECES and NEPHEWS    

                                                                     the ability to read BOOKS

                        CO-WORKERS whom share in the day to day of my work life

                 KNITTING  which is sometimes art, sometimes relaxation, always an obsession

                      All of my many BOSSES each of whom I have learned from

                                                                     ART the observing of and the creating of

My GRANDPARENTS who created wonderfully strong children and they in turn created me

                                     FIBER in all of its wonderful, supple, interesting glory 

                   NEIGHBORS who are always willing to lend a helping hand

children I teach, travel, great food, wine, dinner parties, sappy/funny/poignant movies and plays, museums, solo walks with the dog, PBS and NPR, a shoreline-any-shoreline, new adventures....the list goes on and on....

                                 Our GRANDDAUGHTER, for the possibilities to come 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week. The start to the holiday season-







Sunday, November 16, 2014


Mid November, the holidays right around the corner and my art/craft home studio looks like a "bomb has gone off!" The HeARTfelt classes are great, BUT I have to "lug" all of my supplies to the classes because I don't have an public studio space. I am a pretty organized person, so gathering supplies and holding classes at other places is fine-BUT I never put things away-right away...So my studio space is a MESS!

This weekend I am determined to clean, organize and start my Christmas projects for my friends and family! HeARTfelt's classes did not go this weekend-SO I have plenty of time to get my STUFF cleaned-up. I have said it before...sometimes you just need to clean and get organized before you can produce/create...

My fabric table is always a mess. I am trying to get 2 quilts completed for Christmas gifts. I need to organize the fabric and get some of it on the design wall!

This is my cutting table....HUM not sure how I can cut ANYTHING when it is piled high with supplies?!

The corner where I create my paper and paint projects needs organizing....

I actually spent 2 solid hours in the studio cleaning things up....Then I went for a bike ride. Good thing because last night we were hit with snow. Not a lot, but enough that I don't think I will biking again until next spring!

Time to embrace the snow and cold....It maybe time to hibernate?!

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Looking for Color

The grey days of November are upon us here in Chicagoland. So this week I attempted to record as much color outside as I could. Take a look:

                      This was from my solo bike ride this week. The colors popped out at me because look what is on my knitting needles right now...

I am hoping to have this sweater finished by January. Then when I wear it I can be reminded of the wonderful fall colors.

Yesterday my Mother and I spent the morning in the city taking an architectural bus tour and then walking around the gardens of the Art Institute. Chicago picks a book once a year to feature and this years is a GREAT one!

This staircase is not outside BUT I had to include the detail of the amazing marble work.

My mother in her favorite garden at the Art Institute. The water in the fountains have been drained, but it is still a peaceful place.
So many rich beautiful colors in this place.

After our city adventure, my Mom took me to see a yarn bomb in her town. I took about a million pictures...INSPIRATION!

I ended my day with a bike ride with Eileen. We rode to a forest preserve near us which is preserving an old horse/dairy farm.

I love the reflection in the windows.

Shouldn't we all have a painting over one of our doors?

I seem to be taking an awful LOT of pictures of "paths" lately....I wonder what that is about?!

HeARTfelt has two classes this coming weekend:


Why not JOIN us?

Have a wonderful week....




Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The more I question-the more I know-I need to stay strong!

I was with a friend this past weekend talking about my struggles to get my HeARTfelt classes off the ground and profitable...I was telling her how anxious I am about the whole endeavor, and how I over analyze and question EVERYTHING....She replied with, "Don't we all do that?!" It made me stop and think. I am on the right track - I know I am!

That evening I led participants through the "Stitched Paper Collage." Throughout the evening I heard people say, " I never do this kind of thing. I just am not very creative!" NOT TRUE (as evident by the pictures below.) I also heard how relaxing the evening was. People lost track of time. They were getting, "lost in the process..."

Everyone should be "creating/making." When we humans take time to make/create with our hands, our regular stress-filled life is forgotten for the moment. If you don't want to take a HeARTfelt class, go find something else to CREATE! I guarantee you will feel better...

The start of the collage - the black and white background.

                                                                       Adding color

 Taking time to think about the next step.

                                                                         Adding texture with stitching.

                                           Finished products.....

 Taking a break from teaching classes this weekend. BUT HeARTfelt classes will be back on Nov 14 and Nov 16....sign-up at