Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Check out Susan Tuttle's new book Exhibition 36: Mixed-Media Demonstrations + Explorations that has just been released in bookstores and online. Susan will be giving away one copy to an eligible person in a random drawing that will be held on Tuesday, December 16th at noon on her blog.

Post about her book on your blog and leave a comment and links, etc, you'll be entered.

In the meantime, check out Chrysti Hydeck's blog, Chrysti is giving away a copy of the book in her 29 Days of giving blog post.

For Chrysti you need to respond to this question. "How does Art play a prominent role in your life".

Here is my answer....

Art is about sharing a part of myself with friends and family and people far and near. It’s an expression of love, anger, politics, history, heritage, and just fun. It’s an escape from reality, it’s reality, it’s perception and impression. It just happens sometimes, other times it doesn’t.

So.....go enter, and you'll have two chances to win this incredible new book!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

bonniebluedenim's advent calendar

I miss having an Advent Calendar, so, inspired by my twitter friend who is making this advent calendar for all her online friends, thank you, StephanieInCA

I give you bonniebluedenim's version of a digital advent

Day 24: Can your dog/dogs do this? Still time to train them before Christmas?

Day 23: Bailey the Unknown reindeer, dog people everywhere will love him

Day 22: Looking for a unique place to spend the holidays, the new year, or summer vacation, check out these places from Jeff at My SuperCharged Life.

Day 21: Fun dancing reindeer and Santa, rated G

Day 20: Here are some Wacky Santa's you don't want to show up at the kid's party.

Day 19: Ok, it's time to play James the Christmas Zebra
Have fun! I scored 500 on my first try. Watch out for the exploding pudding.

Day 18: Send a Holiday Tattoo Santa to all your friends and family.....if you dare....

Day 17: Hello Kitty runs amuck for the holidays. I hope it's not on your preteen's wish list.

Day 16: Red or Blue state? You have to love Barney, tour the White House with the Barney Cam

Day 15 : Which of Santa's Reindeer are you? Take this quiz to find out!

Day 14: Need some glitter for your website, check these out from BlackDog

Day 13: Check out Erin Bode she also has a new Christmas album, I just heard one of the songs on the radio. Wow! Erin is from St.Louis.

Day 12: Ok, the cat people need equal time. Here is a fun photo

Day 11: Everyone needs an interactive Christmas Card.

Day 10: The lighter side of advent. Check out this blog, dog nativity, ok it's a few years old, but the photo is cute and maybe it's not too late to add your own caption.

Day 9: Eid ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice, falls approxinatley 70 days after Eid ur Fitr ( End of Ramadan) and is celebrated in honor of the prophet Abrahams's willingness to sacrifice his son as a proof of loyalty to God. Celebrations usually include presenting an animal ( usually a cow or sheep sacrifice) and the meat is shared with family, friends, and those in need.

Click on the link below for some craft ideas to use with children. This holiday is December 8 in 2008.

Day 8: Do you remember cutting snowflakes from folded paper? Make a virtual snowflake on this BHG website. You can search for my "virtual flakes" by clicking on "search" and entering bonniebluedenim, Saint Louis, and you'll see them fall from the "virtual" sky. Be sure to try making your own.

Day 7: Hanukkah starts on December 22, and I like to coexist and celebrate everything!

Here are some fun do it yourself sites that will be fun and get you ready for the Festival of Lights.

check out these gingerbread Dreidels from the Food Network.

or how about this fun R2D2 Droid Dreidel, just print it out on cardstock and fold on the lines!

And all of us who are clueless about what to do with a dreidel, should probably watch this video, it looks like fun, enjoy! ( Are those chocolate coins?)

Day 6: Maybe today would be a good day to start making an advent calendar for 2009. Here are some cool on-line instructions.

A cute little chest of drawers...

Little hand made envelopes hanging from garland on your mantel....

Here's a fun one for knitters

Here's a cool altered clipboard version...

Gather a few nuts and try this one...

Here is an assortment to peruse.

Day 5: Ok here it is, CHOCOLATE. Calorie free, guilt free, just plain free.

Day 4: Feeling like getting a puppy for the kids for Christmas, don't forget our shelter friends, , or

Day 3: Make sure your kids' toys are lead free, use this widget to help you check.

Day 2: It's never to late to send some JibJab's to friends and family.

Day 1: Are you clueless about advent calendars? check out this link. Or this one Christmas Puppy Advent Calendars. How can we live without it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Art In A Carton - Do you want to play?

It came in the mail a few weeks ago. My "Art in a Carton" gift from Susan J. Letham in Rendsburg, Germany. I found out about this 'round robin', of sorts from Mollye Self's blog site. Mollye is a ZNE member living in Shreveport, LA.( I love the wonderful global connections we can make in the Internet art community!)

Here's what Susan says about "Art in A Carton..." What is "Art In A Carton"?"Art In A Carton" is essentially a three-for-three swap. It's an artsy little "Pay It Forward" idea I dreamed up over Christmas, while hunting around for something small and sturdy in which to package and send out an item of art. While surveying my kitchen-come-art-studio, I picked up an empty milk carton. All of a sudden, my mind went "click!", and an idea was born. Standard milk- or fruit juice cartons are a perfect way to package and sent small items of art, and they can be turned into art objects in their own right, too!"

What you do to take part in "Art In A Carton"You find three half-litre or litre (or one-pint or one quart) milk or fruit juice cartons and make sure they are clean. You decorate the outside of the cartons, then fill them with small items of your own art. See the list below for a few starter ideas.You send one "Art In A Carton" package to the person who sent "Art In A Carton" to you.Then you take a look at the address labels, find a label with the oldest date, and send the second "Art In A Carton" package to that person.Send your third "Art In A Carton" package to an artist of your choice. It might be a good idea to ask the person if s/he'd like to play, that way it's more likely they will keep "Art In A Carton" moving along. For this package, choose someone whose label is not already included in the "Art In A Carton" label collection. Along with the third carton (only the third carton), you package up the project description that came in your package, the remaining artist's address labels, and pop in two labels with your own name and address. Remember to write the date on which you package up your project on the back of your labels. At some point a little further down the art line, your labels will carry the oldest date, and other artists will send "Art In A Carton" to you as a gift.You are welcome to make and send more than three "Art In A Carton" packages if you wish. Just make sure each package that you send to a "new" artist (the third and further packages) contains a project information sheet and a set of labels with dates. Make copies of the labels if necessary. Email me if you need a fresh or additional copy of the project information sheet.

The contents of each box will vary, depending on what I feel like making or what I use from my art gift stash. Items might include mini art chests filled with artsy delights, ATC, little art journals, paper dolls, journaling , art clay faces, matchbox art, unused rubber stamps, tags, ornaments, and the like

Ok! Now that's how Susan describes the project. The photos here are the very cool art items I received from Susan, also in the box are the addresses of the two people I am suppose to send art to, as well as two labels that I will forward that the next person will send art to.

Now where do you come in? If you would like to receive an "Art in a Carton" box from me, and are willing to post photos and links on your blog and will be willing to send out three "Art in a Carton" gifts, two addresses which you will receive and one person that you line up.......leave a comment below! I will pick a name from all the comments received and you'll get my box of art and will be included in the game. ( I'm dreaming that lots of folks will want to play.) And you can wait til after the holidays to send your art, as mine may not get to you right away. So leave a comment by December 15.

So if you would like to see a better explaination of the whole thing, visit Susan's blog

I love the work that Susan sent, this very cool folder, a little collaged ornament/box, velvety leaf, a fabulous ribboned and jeweled pyramid box made with origami papers, just beautiful, and a stash of fun fibers. The box is decorated with a very cool Moroccan image and sparkly sequins.
I hope you will play along.

Be sure to check out my non-profit group's blog to see the progress of our toy distribution to families in need in St. Louis.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jeff Foxworthys 12 days of Christmas

I've been listenin' to the Christmas radio station, can't help it, I get the biggest kick out of this song. There is probably a fine line between "shabby chic" and "redneck" and not sure what it means if you don't know if you have crossed it or not!

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the holidays! Getting ready for toy distribution at BRO
( And hope to get back into some art projects during December!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Six Words For America

Here is your chance. Inspire our new president.

Six words to Inspire a Nation!

SMITH Magazine and the National Constitution Center ask you to help President-elect Obama inspire America.

In six words, give him guidance. Or offer ideas for his inaugural address. Or share six memorable words for January 20th and beyond.

In six words, a President can say a lot: "Malice toward none, charity for all," "Nothing to fear but fear itself," "Like a thousand points of light."

So give your speechwriting a try. Submit your words before January 5, 2009. Thanks to Bernie Berlin of "A Place To Bark" for the link.

Here are my 6 words

"Seek justice, love kindness, walk humbly."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Veteran's Day 2008 Part 2

I enjoy wandering around the cemetery and reading the stones, imagining what the people were like and what their families were thinking about and remembering when they ordered the stones. Here are a few, humorous, sad, profound, and ordinary.

I'm worried about these two wives being together for all eternity, what were they thinking. But they both loved the same man, I assume, and it at least appears they weren't divorced wives. Can you imagine that,....?

The cemetery gives you a print out of about 50 different religious emblems you can have on your stone, or you can choose to have no emblem. . I found this grave way over along the wall, near a back entrance. They bury people, sort of in order as they die. Very military. But makes sense, they work in a section for several weeks, then wander to another. I had a morbid need to watch the progress after my parents died. ( they died about 6 weeks apart) My mother passed away first, they had a temporary marker at first, they would bring in a pallet of markers and install them all at once. I saw my mom's marker on the top of the pallet, then they had them leaning upright against a stone wall, it was very tempting to try to thumb through them like cards, but they must weigh, gosh....a lot....( a technical term). My mom was on the front of the stone for about 2 -3 weeks. Then my dad passed away, and they brought in a whole new stone, putting my dad on the front and my mom on the back.....

I digress as usual, I thought Pershing Flanders sounded very cool, he wouldn't want an identifying mark other than Musician Artist..and a cut above.

I was just sure this read Harley Davidson.

Michael Joseph Blassie had been interred at Arlington National Cemetery in the tomb of the Unknowns, as the Unknown from the VietNam War. His remains were identifed with modern technology, and he was reinterred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

So remember our Veterans and those who serve all of us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Veteran's Day 2008

Veteran's Day at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Saint Louis, Missouri. My parents are buried here. And it sounds strange, but I enjoy going there. It unfortunately is a very busy cemetery, performing over 30 burials a day. So many WWII veterans. I find it comforting is some strange way, to know they are all watching out for each other. It is interesting to go and see the changes that occur and how folks remember their loved ones. I'm fascinated by some of the things that folks have written on their monuments, and saddened as well at times. You can tell when someone has lived a full long life, or their life was cut short by war, or perhaps they were a child of a veteran. Everyone has a story.

If you wander into the older section, you see that the cemetery overlooks the Mississippi River, in the center of the photo you can almost make out the Gateway Arch. I've altered the lighting on this photo, it was a gray day, with the sun peeking in and out. Pretty typical for St. Louis in November.

I stood around and waited for the sun to come back out at this section, the bright sun glaring on the head stones was wonderful.

More playing with Photo Shop Elements, maybe someday I'll figure out what I am doing, and can do it on purpose.

My dad's stone, my mom is buried here as well, she is memorialized ( is that a word) on the back. Remembering their wedding day, and that they are together forever.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Ginkgo leaves!

ginkgo biloba leaves

It started off as a gloomy fall day. The weather report grim. A hard freeze is expected this evening and those plants that have been hanging on in the planters are sure to bite the dust tonight. Then after midnight, rain. Rain will mark the end of the fall leaf photos til next October. I wandered out to my non-profit group ( ) and was struck by the yellow leaves. Driving down the street, there would be a car, covered with yellow leaves, and the contrast with the charcoal asphalt was striking. I didn't have my camera. I took care of my assorted projects, headed back home, and got it. Those darn people cleaned off their car. But all over town, these ginkgo biloba trees were sheddingtheir leaves at precisely the same time, and almost all of them at once. I drove aimlessly through Tower Grove Park ( need to remember there are other drivers, they managed to miss me, whewwww). I stopped and took a couple of photos and one of the ladies from the Knitter's Guild saw me, she was headed to the BRO with Build A Bear bears we gave them last year, that her group knitted little sweaters and hats for. I told her to tell the folks I was distracted and would be back shortly ( I am a volunteer). Then, Eva from church drove by, she was as excited as I was by the leaves. Ok, we were starting to back up traffic. I drove around and got a few more, outside the fence at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The photos don't really do the day justice, the contrast was impressive. So my friend Chrysti at Altered Abbey asked on Twitter today....What did you do that was creative, well here it is.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Odds and Ends of Life

Some musings.....

The election came and went, and how exciting was that. I worked as a Democrat Election Supervisor at the St. Louis County Poll that was located in the Tesson Ferry Library. Concord Township - 96. There were 1300 voters who braved the beautiful weather and the threats of long lines. Some waited over an hour to vote in the early part of the day. After about 11am we had a steady flow of people. Everyone was orderly and polite and patient. What more could you ask for. Well. I got more. The people I voted for actually won for a change. We didn't make Missouri a Blue State, But St. Louis county was true blue for Barrack Obama and Jay Nixon.

America is a wonderful place and all we can do is try to find common ground, and work together for the good of all the people!

Staying busy preparing for Toy distribution with my non-profit group I need to do some blogging for them. We have already packed up toys for over 1500 children. The agencies will be picking up their toys during the next two weeks. First on the list is the Juvenile Court of St. Louis, they will be picking up over 250 toys and books for their Winter Festival.

Our toy distribution days at our office will be December 1 - December 5. Parents and social workers will be coming in during those days to pick up gifts for their children and clients. During that week we will distribute toys for 1750 + children. Our trusty team of holiday volunteers will show up and give us much needed help! Hope to post some photos.

We received a donation of 3,000 books from First Book. We had to rent a UHaul to get them in one trip! There were 6 pallets!

Hasbro Toys sent us 101 toys for our distribution!

Art has gotten placed on the back burner, there are some Somerset STudio submissions I hope to make in the next few weeks.

We have Thanksgiving Dinner at our church. My friend Dena and I will host, we have done this the past two years, this will be year 3. My house is too small to have family and friends in, so we have it at church, invite folks who have no plans, and have three ovens to roast the turkey, bake pies and breads. It's fun and there's always room at the table. ( Not to mention room for more than one table!)

St. Louis weather is turning cold and gloomy, but the leaves are still brilliant and hanging on. Winter is sneeking in!


A fun little dog collage, made on a rolodex sized card!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life of a Trial Juror - Day 2

Up early, again, 5:30 am. I move slowly. Plus, I have to share kitchen and bathroom space with Rick. Normally we don't need to occupy the same space at the same time. We will be in serious trouble if he decides to retire. Packed a diet dr. pepper, cheez-its and a power bar in my bag with my assorted books and headed to the metro link station.

Bought another round trip ticket with a $5 bill and got a not so shiny Sacagawea Dollar as change, obviously NOT a quarter. Arrived in Clayton after a 10 minute ride? It was fast! Followed by a short walk to the court house. I was instructed by the nice lady at security that I didn't need to put all that stuff in the basket, it could be in my purse. ( The sign implies that electronic devices may need to be inspected and that large jewelry may set off metal detector. I put my Sally Alexander pendant and my copper watch, palm pilot and cell phone in the little basket. I didn’t want to tell the nice lady I would lose it if I stuck it in my purse. )

Up the escalator, but missed the first elevator going up, got involved in reading the bulletin boards and discovered that apparently the judges take turns being the Jury Commissioner. Interesting. I think in the City of St. Louis this is a political appointee, I could be wrong.

Signed in, they scan your little bar code from your id badge, very efficient. Checked out the vending machine, and bought some fruit snacks. (I know, I had cheez-its, but I wanted something sweet and chewy) As I listened to the change going into the machine, I was thinking, oh, they keep this up pretty nicely, the machine was full of snacks. Then a fellow pointed out his coffee from the vending machine looked like weak tea. Maybe it was weak tea? Just how do those machines make coffee anyway?

I headed to the same chair as yesterday. It was under a spot light of sorts which made reading more comfortable. Then I worried I would have a hot flash. Shortly thereafter I was chilly. Who can explain. Got out my copy of Michael De Mung’s Secrets of Rusty Things. This is the ZNE Book of the month selection. ( or as I like to say our Autumn Book Club selection.) Studied the next three sections and made copious notes to use for the next assignment. I need to go explore the REStore store. Actually it’s the Habitat for Humanity Store. It sells construction supplies that have been donated or are being recycled. It might work as a source of stuff, but it may be too new. I need to check out a junk yard. Nonetheless, I will be able to post the next assignment in a timely manner.

Then a nap was in order.

I saw the same lady from yesterday who had talked about how tacky it was for attorneys to advertise. She apparently had been lost in the garage yesterday while looking for her car. Today she didn’t remember that she had a badge she was suppose to show. She took a nap, too. So did several other people. Some wear of the size that they could curl up in their chair. Bummer.

Overheard telephone conversations in which jurors described their jury experience to family and friends. One of the ladies that sat on the same panel with me was describing her bike accident with a car that excluded her from the Wal-Mart parking lot accident case.

About 10:30AM another very nice lady appeared and announced that the cases that were pending for today had either been settled or postponed and we were excused. The crowd cheered.

Headed home via MetroLink, it always makes me feel sort of Washingtonian when I ride it. Came home, ate the cheez its, finished the book, now, time for a dog walk while the weather is still beautiful!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Day In The Life of A Trial Juror

A day in the life of a Trial Juror

Jury Duty Day #1
I didn’t get picked. One of the other jurors who didn’t get picked said he felt like he had a big R on his forehead, for reject. He was kidding, of course. The judge had given us a firm lecture about the fact that not being picked was not a reflection of our intelligence or lack thereof, interesting none the less. Since I didn’t get picked, I can tell you about it.

First, I enjoyed my Metro Link trip. I don’t often ride public transportation, as I am retired. And the train rails didn’t go my way when I was working. Everyone was driving into town, I was driving out. But that too, is another story. I dutifully bought my round trip ticket ( $4.00) from the vending machine, used a $5 bill, and was appalled that it only gave me a quarter in change. I kept searching for more quarters, didn’t find them, got on the train and decided I had made a 75 cent donation to the mass transportation system in St. Louis, which could use the money. But clearly needs more than 75 cents. (Yes, yet another story for another day.) I clearly get excited every time I ride the Metro Link Rails; I especially like to take them to the baseball or hockey game. (maybe twice a year! Lol)

Imagine my surprise (and the first of several minor embarrassments of the day), when I discovered that said quarter was actually a Susan Anthony dollar coin.

I passed the security screening, and made my way to the elevator and into the Jury Assembly Room, 6th floor of the County Court House. Nice people. Nice chairs. The little things matter on jury duty when you could potentially sit there for 8 hours. We have little badges that we are required to wear everywhere we go, even at lunch, so that lawyers won’t discuss cases with us. Then you must turn them in at the end of your service so they will pay you. ( the badges not the lawyers.) If you are picked for a jury, you get $18 per day. If you are not picked, you get paid $10 per day. Oh, and they pay your mileage from your zip code to the court house zip.

Shortly after assembly the bailiffs come from the various court divisions to take a panel of jurors to be interviewed. Voir Dire (Tell the truth). Which we did, which may explain why we weren’t picked.

The case involved a man who backed into a woman and her grandchild in the parking lot of one of the local Wal-Marts. The man’s mirror hit the woman in the back or shoulder area and hurt her neck, subsequently she needed to have surgery, and it aggravated a preexisting condition. The man also left the scene of the accident and the police had to go to his house to find him. Sooooooo we had to be questioned about our experiences with suing people, relationships with lawyers, claims filed, accidents, injuries and anything else we thought might cause us to not be fair and impartial. Whewwwww.

My list of offences.
1. I am related to three lawyers. My brother, an assistant prosecutor and later a corporate utility attorney; my niece, a patent attorney; my niece’s husband, who handles assorted cases.
2. I filed a worker’s compensation claim, this caused a chuckle, I broke my ankle while playing volleyball with my students during the school day. It required surgery, screws and pins, later removal and physical therapy.
3. I was side swiped by a truck mirror while on a bike trip in Door County, Wisconsin, the person left the scene of the accident. The ER told me my shoulder blade was broken, follow up with a local Orthopedic MD said it wasn’t broken. Mess up the trip, but I lived to tell about it and had on a helmet.
4. Hand a minor fender bender with another person, who left the scene of the accident, no injuries.
5. Served previously on a jury.
6. I am familiar with the location of the accident.

Now, some of the other tales…….

Some of the individuals said they were familiar with a local chiropractor involved in the case. They did not have a professional relationship with this group, but indicated they had seen billboards advertising the practice. In response the plaintiffs lawyer asked them if they had an adverse feeling towards this group. They indicated no.

As an afterthought the lawyer asked if anyone objected to his law firm, which is Brown and Crouppon , a local law firm that advertises heavily in the media. One of the women, who appeared to be in her 70s indicated she did. Her story was that her 92 year old father was an attorney from the old school, and you just didn’t advertise. Her words…”It’s just tacky”. And yes, it would affect her decision in the case. (She didn’t get picked.) ( I found this interesting. My niece’s husband is in a photo with the partners from his law firm on the cover of the local YELLOW PAGES,)

The best story and it nearly floored the lawyers, was the story from the woman sitting next to me who filed a suit against Great Clips. It was over a bad haircut. They apparently gave her bangs in the back, she indicated this was her first law suit (almost as if she had more planned for later.) They settled out of court. After all she said they said on the door that they guaranteed you satisfaction.
I have never seen a lawyer speechless.
While standing around outside of the court room, you couldn’t help but over hear some of the conversations with lawyers and their clients. Bits and pieces I heard. “You can’t have in your possession over 96 30mg tablets of pseudoephedrine. ….later there was an additional comment about your can’t have that much Anhydrous ammonia if you are not a farmer. I think they were negotiating for probation if they bypassed the jury trial.

So that was my day. Lunch was in the court house snack bar, yogurt, chips and a diet coke. I caught up on reading my library book , Tess Gerritsen’s The Keepsake. While reading, the elderly gentleman next to me sort of chuckled at what I was reading and asked if I had read Anne of Green Gables. My reply, “Why, yes, I just finished that for my book club”. (Really)

So check back and see what tomorrow brings!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't It Make Your Red State Blue

Hoping to turn Missouri Blue on November 4.

Be A Patriot - VOTE

Yes, I am a patriot! I love my country. I taught American Government, Economics and History for 25 years to 8th graders in a public school in Jefferson County, Missouri. The front lines on the home front. One doesn't need to carry a gun in combat to be a patriot. Public School Teachers are heros, too. When I taught school I tried to instill in my students a love of their country, the responsibilites of citizenship and the rights of citizenship.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Do you remember the School House Rock version

Tomorrow I head out to Clayton, Missouri, the center of government for St. Louis County, Missouri. ( Did you know the City of St. Louis is a separate entity from St. Louis County, it can be confusing.) I'll be serving on jury duty. It makes me think about our rights and duties as citizens as I go to serve. I know, it's not that big of a deal. A lot of people have the attitude that they wouldn't want 12 people who didn't have enough influence to get out of jury duty to determine their fate. It's the system that we have established, it isn't perfect, and it only works if we participate.
Next week I'll be serving as a Democratic Election Supervisor. Another important responsibility of citizens. Someday, perhaps when you are retired, sign up to do that with your local Board of Election Commissioners. Perhaps your employer will allow you time off for that. ( We can dream!)

Most importantly, vote November 4. ( Of course you can tell by my side bar, I have an opinion about who you should vote for.) Get out and vote!

PS. I've been using my Dover clipart Vintage Song Sheet Covers.

Growing season ends 'til next spring.....


Very chilling words...literally and figuratively. I was ok with the lower temps. The freeze takes care of mold, and fleas, which are good things. And I know the next part is true "THIS IS THEN EXPECTED TO END THE GROWING SEASON UNTIL NEXT SPRING". But I have never seen it in print in such a way. It seems so sad. No growth til March 21?

In many ways I dread this time of year. Less light, shorter and shorter days. But it's cooler, and I love cool weather. But I love the light.

Is this why economic downturns happen in October? I know it will be ok.

Monday, October 20, 2008

ZNE Book of the Month Club

I'm excited, to once again, be coordinating the assignments for the ZNE Book of The Month Club. We're working on Michael de Meng's wonderfully, colorful book, The Secrets of Rusty Things.

Just what does this mean???

Chel in the Land of ZNE sends me the book! I study over the material and devise a writing assignment, an art project and other prompts for the book club participants. Each book will have 4 weeks of assignments. The participants post their reponses to the Discussion Boards on the ZNE Network. I take their responses and post them to the Book Club blog for the world to see. Sometimes we don't share all the secrets so you need to sign up!

Each participant also receives a ZNE goodie bag, that I put together from my stash of stuff! ZNE covers the postage. A Place To Bark receives $10 of each participants registration fee.The Book Club went "LIVE" today, so there is still time to sign up. ( the link may show the last book club title, but it's still the place to sign up!) We will conclude this book in mid December, stretching out the assignments, with one in October, two during November and the final one in early December. There is ample time between assignments, and extra time for Thanksgiving and completion in time for Christmas.

Our next book club will start in January, we'll be working on "Artful Paper Dolls" New Ways to Play with a Traditional Form, by Terry Taylor. Lots of time for all of you international ZNE fans to get your book online!

This and That!

A recent art project, mail art envelope swap!

My great Niece at her 6th birthday party, blowing out a candle, she had a hard day partying and getting diagnoised with strep throat at the med-stop. And Payton studying her new Hannah Montana sweat shirt, very cool!

My great-nephew Alexander.... 10 months!

Cocopuff being blessed by the pastor!
Here are my doggies heading home from the Blessing of the Animals, I had to stay at church and go to a community meeting with local candidates for office.

I've been neglecting my creative side lately. I've been too busy with church projects and BRO projects. The BRO did win a grant of 3,000 new books from FIRST BOOK, we pick them up October 23rd, at the Coast Guard Armory in Granite City, Illinois. And we won a grant of 101 toys from Hasbro, they should be delivered to us around Halloween. Just in time, as our toy distribution is the week after Thanksgiving. I've been prepacking toys for about 1500 children and will give those directly to the agencies during the first weeks of November for their holiday events during December. Imagine holiday shopping for 3250 nieces and nephews. We do some bulk shopping from a local vendor and a little online, but my favorite BigLots Wholesale has been rebuilding their website and haven't reopened yet, at least the last time I checked. So I have been hitting all of the local Big Lots, Tuesday Mornings, and Marshalls. They love to see me coming, I really boost their sales for the day.

At church we have been busy with an Autumn Fest. We had chili, pumpkin painting and carving, crafts and stuffed candy bags to give out on Halloween. The Blessing of the Animals Service involved taking two of our 4 doggies to church for a service and blessing....and it was fun, followed by the MCU community meeting. Not to mention our Presbyterian Women's project of Care Kits for girls for the BRO. We packed 100 care kits for girls 9 -10 years of age. Each had a cheerful washcloth, shower gel, chapstick, colorful socks, African American Girl paper dolls, a small handmade jigsaw puzzle, mardigras beads, toothbrush and toothpaste and a beanie baby.

I keep muttering to my husband, "why am, I so tired?" ( His kind answer, " we ARE getting older",.....thanks dear, at least he said WE)

There was a birthday party for my 6 year old, great niece, Emma at the Rep, lunch with the retired teachers group, Book Club discussion A Thousand Splendid Suns, and......moving one of my church friends to a new apartment, ( first we had to locate one!)

Check out this blog give away. An INCREDIBLE eyelet setting kit full of scrumptious eyelets that have been discontinued! If you win, you will get:An eyelet setter, THREE leather punches, and 1200 unique eyelets (these are EZ set aluminum eyelets that set beautifully and don't split on the backs)the types and shapes of eyelets include heart mixture, angel mixture, triangle mixture, teddy bear mixture, halloween mixture, pastel yellow, star mixture, diamond mixture, lavender mixture, square mixture, butterfly mixture, and holiday mix.

To Enter the drawing: Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to (a giveaway like this should be shared), and then leave her a comment.

Kristin will draw one lucky winner (using a number randomizer) on Oct. 31st, Halloween! Trick or Treat?

It's time for more art posts and fewer dreary political posts. I did like the swing music below. Be sure to listen.

And I finally mailed off my Mail Art Envelope swap.