Monday, May 31, 2010

Leatherback Tobacco Beetle

Yesterday my husband and I very quietly celebrated our 40th anniversary.
This was my present to him, created with memories.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Living On The Edge

An April storm washed away the parking lot that had been on the side of this apartment building.

Treasure Box

Treasure Box

The Princess slept over Friday night and after playing with the dogs, making mud (you know all you need is dirt and water), having a snack picnic style on a towel in the yard, kicking the ball with the neighborhood kids, taking a walk, and eating pizza, she said, "I have an idea, we can do a project". We have a craft book, Craft Projects for Princesses, which she took off the shelf and chose a treasure box as the project for the evening. I just happened to have the necessary supplies close at hand.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wellness Weekend Arrival

For the past 6 years during Mother's Day weekend, my daughters and I have participated in a Women's Wellness Weekend sponsored by a local YMCA and held at Camp Hazen in Cheshire, CT. This year we decided that we would do something different and plan our own Wellness Weekend. My daughters, MA and CL, conspired to plan our destination and managed to keep it a secret from me. With much anticipation we prepared for the weekend, gathering supplies for our projects, working on our ATCs, listening to the weather to decide on what to bring for clothing, choosing snacks and beverages and arranging little surprises for each other. Friday afternoon arrived, the car was packed, and we headed south on route 9. Our first treat was in gift bags in the cup holders in the back seat. MA, my oldest daughter, had brewed "Sumatra" ice coffee for us and presented it in Starbucks cold cups. After much joking about going camping, as we crossed the CT/RI border, it was divulged that we were going to Providence. We had reservations for two nights at the Courtyard Marriot in downtown Providence. If we didn't all have an affinity for Providence when we arrived, I believe we did when we left

CL, my youngest daughter, wrote out an itnerary for us so we would be able to accomplish our planned activities.

We arrived at our destination around 6:00 P.M. and settled into our room.
We exchanged Mother's Day gifts and the ATCs we made to commemorate the weekend.

The ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) were made by CL, left; HM, center; and MA, right.

After unpacking, it was time to scout out a place for dinner. We took a walk and after considering our options decided on "The Melting Pot", a fondue restaurant. We started with the cheddar cheese fondue made at the table with beer, garlic, cheddar and swiss cheese and served with a variety of bread andveggies, and apples. We then enjoyed a salad after which indulged in batter dipped teriaki sirloin, shrimp, and veggies. At this point, we decided that we would have to go back the next night for dessert.

Wellness Weekend Featured Artist -CL

Our plan for the week end was to have each of us plan a 2 hour workshop for the three of us.
We tried to keep the workshops a surprise, but through a series of events, ended up learning what the others had planned.

After a breakfast at Starbucks and a walk along the canal, cut short by thunder and lightening we returned to our hotel for our first workshop. Our first featured artist was CL who presented a workshop on "Dream Boxes".

We had some liquid refreshment chilling for our break.
We worked on collages to place in our Dream Boxes and learned to make transparencies using packing tape. A surprisingly simple yet very effective technique for putting a bug in a jar.
We all enjoyed working on the Dream Boxes and were pleased with our results.
Left, MA; Center, HM; Right, CL
Dream Box by HM
Dream Box by MA
Dream Box by CL

Wellness Weekend Break for Lunch

Not wanting to brave the inclement weather we opted for room service for lunch.
We had a spectacular view from our window of the city amid gray, overcast skies.

A view from the hallway outside of our room.

Wellness Weekend Featured Artist - HM

After lunch, it was my turn to be the featured artist. My project was "Spoon Poetry" as featured in an article by Kelli Perkins in the May/June 2008 issue of "Cloth, Paper Scissors". I brought a selection of silver spoons with holes drilled, old books, alcohol inks, and gel medium.

MA is deep in thought selecting the words for her spoon poem.

The "Vicor of Wakefield", a gift from her sister, was her chosen book for selecting her words. This was especially appropriate since MA is an extreme Tim Wakefield fan.

MA's poem in progress.

Our spoons were colored with alchol inks and then the words were glued on with gel medium. Both sides of the spoons were then coated with gel medium.

HM's poem in progress.

CL's poem in progress.

CL' s finished poem.MA's finished poem.
HM's finished poem.

Wellness Weekend Out To Dinner

The rain subsided, the sun came out, a cold front blew in, and it was off to eat dinner.
We decided on Re Rah, an Irish pub for dinner.
MA and CL stopped to pet a lion.

Wellness Weekend Featured Artist - MA

After dinner it was MA's turn to to present her workshop.
MA's featured project was "Envelope Books".
She designed a template that we used to cut our envelopes out of decorative papers.
We then folded and glued to create our envelopes. Strips of card stock was added for binding.
We created our covers and the assembled our books with metal rings.

CL is intent on getting the hole punched in "approximately" the right place.
MA is showing CL just how wide the card stock needs to be.
MA is sizing the cover to fit the pages of my book.
The inside of CL's book.
The outside of CL's book.
The outside of HM's book.
The inside of HM's book.

MA spent so much time instructing and helping CL and me that she didn't have much time to work on her own book so there are no pictures to show.

And we had reservations for dessert at the Melting Pot

Wellness Weekend -Fondue Dessert and Next Morning

After a day of creating and sharing our techniques and projects it was time to share once again.
This time it was "Chocolate Fondue".
After perusing the menus, we opted for "Turtle Fondue", a combination of chocolates, caramel and pecans.
Served with two platters of fresh strawberries, rice krispy treats, bananas, cheese cake,
brownies, and pound cake. After all that we still requested another bowl of strawberries.

After our indulgence, we returned to our hotel in time to watch Saturday Night Live with guest host Betty White.

The next morning we displayed our finished creations.

And then packed up our supplies.

Then it was off to Starbucks for coffee and a walk around the city.

Window seats at Starbucks in the lobbly of the Biltmore Hotel.

The Federal Reserve building which has been converted to a restaurant.

With strong wind gusts, it was too cold to do much walking, so after a short time we went back to our hotel, loaded the car, and headed back home.

We all had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to our 2nd Annual Wellness Weekend next year!!