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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


Saturday, November 1, 2014


Yesterday was Halloween, not my favorite holiday-BUT certainly the 3rd graders I work with were excited about the day! We teachers TRY to get a bit of academics in before the Halloween parade and party, but it is OK if we don't-the kids are just TOO excited...

Now that our own children are grown and (almost all flown) the Halloween traditions have continued with my parents and my nieces and nephew. Everyone gathers for trick or treating, pizza eating and counting all the candy.

Traditions are important for marking the years. I have become a bit melancholy lately. I can't seem to figure out the next focus of my work life. Trying to grow HeART-Felt and working as an elementary teacher full time is exhausting. My days are filled from 8-5 with very little breaks trying to figure out what is best for 48 - 8 year olds. That demands all of my attention and then some. I am enjoying teaching the craft/art classes I have put out into the world this fall, BUT I have gotten very little response. So the business aspect of HeART-Felt isn't really happening. If you judge a business by making money-or even breaking even?! And that is the definition of a business right-to make money/a living...

So I am trying my best to relax and be open to the possibilities of what the future brings. Focusing on the traditions of the holiday season which we are about to enter-Thanksgiving and then Christmas-may help me to see where I need to go with HeART-Felt.

                                           Third graders and their "witch' in the back row.
My favorite Halloween book and our dog Purl dressed as a skunk.
My husband always has something new to add to the Halloween tradition. This year he found the wine and created "Fresh blood" (sprite and tart cherry juice) for the kids to drink.
My nieces counting their loot!
My adorable father with just a few of his grandchildren.

This Sunday (November 2) I will be teaching a fun paper class.
We will be collaging with pages from old books, creating motifs from colored papers and stitching on top of it all to create depth and interest.

Thanks for taking this journey with me!