Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's Blooming on Your Windowsill?

Somebody who reads my blog (Melissa) really likes the photo of my kitchen sink :)  She even sugusested I use it for my header since she visits my blog to view the picture I had posted about my bulbs.  I am happy to oblige Melissa, but hope you don't mind a more recent photo of my sink =>
 I was getting sick of my winter header too.  I am in the process this weekend of taking down the last of the winter decorations and moving towards spring. It started on Friday when I came home from Costco with a lovely bunch of pink Gerbera daisy's.  This is the time of year I need flowers and plants indoors.  As you can see from my window sill/sink picture the great out doors is still in it's shades of drab browns and grays.  I am so getting the itch for spring.

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land    S.S. 2:11-12

..yeah  that is what I am talking about :))))

Narcissus in full bloom

My narcissus are done blooming as you can see on top, on the left of my header picture and need to be put out in the garden soon. Above is a picture when they were in full bloom.

 I have snuck outside on a few warmish days and pruned a few roses.  I quickly found out I needed some new pruning sheers.  Perhaps a trip to the hardware store for some pruners and just maybe they will have some primroses available...something with color....soooooon :)

So what is blooming on your windowsills?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Focused on Art Classes

The first month of the new year has not left me as idle as I would like to have been =)  I think January loans itself to a quiet restful month which I love to relish. I still haven't found the time to look at my garden catalogs, one of my usual January pursuits.  I started teaching again and had to put some effort into prepping for some new classes.  Two of my four classes are new this year in that I am calling them advanced.  I have taught some of these kids for 3 or 4 years now. I have taught them my whole bag of drawing tricks so to speak.  So I decided since this will be my last year with this group, I wanted to explore color and painting with them. Only problem is that I really only know how to paint with oils, and using them in our classroom situation is impossible.  So we are on a journey together of discovering watercolors =>  So here is my attempt at our first lesson.

half way through...the question is when to stop?
Here is Nita Leland's website where she shares this lesson.  I am relying heavily on other people's experience here. I can't wait to see what the kids do.  I will bring my camera tomorrow and share the fun with you later.

ha,ha I feel like I reverted to my 70's pop art

Some are mentioning that they would like to try it. In comments I give Judy the materials list. Then click on Nita's website above for instructions. It is easy and fun! But you must show me yours if you do give it a go ;>

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Women Who Wine

About a year and half ago I was invited to join a small neighborhood group of women wanting to explore and find out more about our growing and booming regional wine industry.  Well what an adventure this has turned out to be.  From where I live there are 160 wineries with in a 50 mile radius. There are over 600 wineries in the state with the majority of those facilities with in a couple of hours  from my house.  Nearly all the grapes in the state are grown here in our semi arid region.  Now if I lived in England for sure I would be doing castles and garden tours, but this is still a very cool thing to explore.

It has been a most informative and enjoyable experience. I have met a large group of wonderful women.  We have explored wineries, vineyards, tasting rooms, cheese bars, and all sorts of dining and shopping experiences along the way.  Because of our large group status we are able to make special appointments with most places and get guided tours and special tastings. We have had many a delightful picnics, luncheons, blind tastings in our homes during winter weather..all sorts of outings and explorations from some large industrial plants that are moving up here from CA to some very special boutique designer wineries.

The newest adventure that has come our way has been the oppourtunity to blend and bottle our own special Super Tuscan blend of wine.  I am not going to go into all the details here.  If you are interested I have another whole team blog for the group that has our latest adventures documented on there. See... Women Who Wine.  Let's just say it came about as a complete surprise to all of us. When the opportunity was presented this group of ladies jumped on it and the final results was truly a unique and fun experience.  We ended this adventure last Saturday as we and our husbands all pitched in to bottle the finished product.

You know I recently read about a study that was done a few towns away from my home town in New England that showed that happy people can influece people up to three degrees of separation...

Results Clusters of happy and unhappy people are visible in the network, and the relationship between people’s happiness extends up to three degrees of separation (for example, to the friends of one’s friends’ friends). People who are surrounded by many happy people and those who are central in the network are more likely to become happy in the future. Longitudinal statistical models suggest that clusters of happiness result from the spread of happiness and not just a tendency for people to associate with similar individuals. A friend who lives within a mile (about 1.6 km) and who becomes happy increases the probability that a person is happy by 25%

Click here for the entire article

My conclusion to this article and what I know about life itself is to get involved and get out there. Find some upbeat folks that love life and know how to go out and tackle it. You will be glad you did, and you yourself will have opportunities to spread the joy around :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tea Party!

The best way to find sunshine on a cold winter's day is to have a tea party with someone you adore!!!

Ms Bear is wearing a tea party hat too!

Puddin Toes is too shy for the camera

Please smile for Nana

Shy smile =]

Nana's teapot and cup

Puddin Toe's teapot and cup

The best shot I could get of her outfit. Doesn't her hat match well :)

She adored her Bubble Gum tea.  She kept saying over and is delicious, I like it so much, so tasty, so good...I was giggling the whole time =]  Consequently we went home with some of that tea and some left over goodies for mommy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Settling In...

In case your were wondering...the tree came down Saturday.  I think it was barely up two weeks.  I usually keep it up a tad bit longer since I am such a late starter in getting it up.  I do hate to take all the Christmas decorations down right away after Christmas. January can be sooooooooo  bleak.  Over the years I have adopted a more winter decorative approach then just Christmas, so I keep up some of the twinkle lights, the glittery things, candles...lots of candle and some touches of red.  I must make it through to the begining of Feb. when I can just about begin to think about spring starting to burst. Some years around here we can have an early spring starting in Feb.
 Another tacktic I use for those mid-winter blues is greenery and bulbs. I was just in time to snatch up the last box of narsissis bulbs, and plopped them into some water just before wrapping my packages.  I already have some blooms bursting forth.  At the same store I pick up a discounted cyclamen. It has perked up just fine with lovely pink blossoms ready to burst.   This is the time of the year I also indulge in some weekly bouquets of fresh flowers too. I just picked up two stems of pink lilies for under $4.00 at my local super market.  The scent is heavenly.

Last week we just layed low. I couldn't even motivate myself to go out and hit those great after holidays sales.  Oh well, I think I did my civic duty to the economy during my Christmas shopping. It was a great relaxing week of reading, blogging, and some movie watching.  Tonight I found out we are having some guests coming into town for the weekend...I am really glad now that I got that tree down =]

What are some of your tricks for getting through a long winters night?
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