Oh, I have to say that I made collared greens tonight for dinner. I’ve heard of them for years, never had them before, but I like kale and figured they would be fine. Since I couldn’t get any leeks, the greens were the next best thing (makes perfect sense!). After a quick search for a recipe, I cooked them up with bacon fat and lots of onions and garlic. The part I didn’t know about was how to serve them and with what!

I figured collared greens were a southern dish, so I decided on black beans and rice. I was told later that the Cajun south doesn’t necessarily do collared greens, and southern dinners typically have the greens as a side dish. Well, I have to say that collared greens with rice and beans as the main dish is pretty good! A bit of salsa and sour cream, if you need to spice it up a bit, works too. And crumbled bacon bits were very much present. Passed on the corn bread since my love doesn’t like that, but I think it would’ve been grand.

So much for my creativity today!

Busy Week

It’s been a busy week in Lake ……… sorry about that – got carried away! It HAS been a busy week, but when I try to remember what it was I was so caught up in, I have trouble spotting any one thing that took all my time. Lots of little things, important at the moment, that needed doing. Now all I remember is the time lost.

Some of my busyness was in free-arm quilting two more quilt tops. I’m feeling more comfortable doing it – and have a better control over the machine now, too. Here’s a shot of the third one – of course, the back shows my work. #3 quilt finished

Some of the time spent was computer related – getting things working correctly again. And that always takes more time that you ever anticipate. My love says I have expectations that are waaaaay too high and that I should just be glad things work when they do! I won’t go into my harangue about computers.

Two more women joined our little troop going to Mali in January! Our merry band of seven should have a grand time with each other, much less our journey. Starting to seriously think about mosquito netting and hand sanitizer and camera supplies.

The camera is the thing I’m concerned about the most. Mine is old enough that they have discontinued making the cards for it and when you can find any they are really expensive. If I can be sure of the ability to upload my pics off the card while at an internet cafe, that would be fine. Otherwise, I’ll need some other means of storing pics – either an expensive chip or maybe another camera (those one-use wonders would work if I bring a lot). Decisions…..


The jury system is an interesting and humbling process. I witnessed the action today during the Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Excellence Awards jurying. I had submitted my gut work in the crafts category and was sort of holding my breath as the awards are in the thousands of dollars.

As an observer, we could take in the proceedings but could not make any comments or ask questions. We were treated to images of a wide range of work: metals, glass, jewelry, quilting, ceramics, wood, weaving – some serious, some humorous, some traditional, some very out-of-the-box, all of it well crafted.

My submission was deleted during the first round. So much for thinking I have quality work! I know the quality of my images was up to par – I’ve got a great photographer who does a super job. But the order of the images was not the best – it is hard to imagine how they will look as they are shown three at a time – and I don’t think my work is as ‘polished’ as a lot of the others. That’s my initial deduction from getting cut – I’ll have to think about it a bit more.

The jurors didn’t make any comments during the first three rounds of voting, so it is hard to know the exact reasons why some work was rejected and others kept in. When they started discussions during the 4th round, it was interesting to hear what caught their attention. I captured some of their comments and thoughts:

– dont’ necessarily like the pieces but I respect the work involved – complex image – texture surprise – body of work is important to show a complete look, to show growth – narrative within the piece – stimulating, makes me think – challenging, edgy – intellectual and personal – letting the ordinary become more/something else – the images shown together need to work together

If nothing else, this gives me something to think about when I hit the studio next. Of course, the next time I submit will be with different jurors and different competition. No guarantees on anything.


I like small things. And huge things. This past week I’ve been into small. A friend of ours is very into kites and suggested I think about making miniature kites – they don’t take much material or space and are ever so cute when flying.

Well, that piqued my interest for sure. Found some construction info on one of the many kite websites and tried my hand at it. Used regular paper, some nice rice paper and a plastic grocery bag for the bodies of the kites. Flat toothpicks and horse hair became the spars (the cross pieces that stretch out the body – I think I got that right!). Curly gift ribbon became tails.

One or two of the minis (all under 4 inches with the smallest being about 1.5 inches) actually seem to fly decently, although I’m finding it hard to determine. You don’t use a very long string (actually sewing thread) for these little guys so there is lots of arm waving to get them moving. There seems to be a pivotal point of weight vs size of kite surface that I’m not sure I have quite right, yet.

Oh, and here I sit describing them without having a picture to upload. Will get to that tomorrow. The kites are in the basement studio and I am not. Way too much to expect me to dash out of the office and down the stairs for a picture. Even though I am breathing now…..


This past week has flown by!

Thanksgiving was a pleasant blur of travel and activity: in Columbus for my family gathering, in Cleveland to meet and greet the youngest son’s in-laws-to-be, and in Youngstown for a bit of time with my love’s sister and sister-in-law. All comfortable gatherings filled with good food and friendly banter.

The only downside to the whole affair was that I brought home a cold. I find that I really like to breathe using both nostrils, so the challenge has been to find something that helps that process to happen while not either putting me to sleep (except of course, at night, when I want that to be my mode of operation) or keeping me wired. We had some old meds in the cabinet that have worked; the trick is in duplicating them with the newer reformulations that have happened in the med world. So far so good…… breathing is still happening regularly.