In simpler times, food was one focal point of the Christmas season. Christmas trees were decorated with fruits, cookies, and other foods, and families would spend hours stringing popcorn and dried fruits to make festive garlands to decorate the tree.


We strung popcorn once when the kids were really young and hung it outside on the backyard trees for the birds. It was actually fun and went pretty quickly (and our dog helped with clean up), but I’m not really sure why we did this only once. Maybe we should try it again this year! Did you know that when making popcorn garlands, it is best to use day-old popcorn because fresh popcorn breaks too easily?

Draw A Bird Day, February 2017

Last month on the 8th I found myself sorely underprepared for Draw A Bird Day, so this month I drew two birds.  These penguins cracked me up when I first saw their photo because the one on the left looked quite chatty while the one on the right seemed rather stoic.  Makes me wonder what they truly were communicating to one another.



Thanks to a very dear young lady, Lisa S., for granting me permission to use her photos from the Toledo Zoo as reference.  She has a keen eye for taking charming animal photos as well as delightful close ups. Thanks, Lisa!

Happy New Year – Happy New Hobby

I have been making some cards this past month but mostly I have been practicing my watercolor skills.  I am getting a little better week by week, and I find that painting the same subject two or three times really teaches me a lot about mixing colors and how to get the best consistency of paint for the subject matter.  I have shared a few of these on Instagram and/or Facebook so I thought I would share them on my blog.  Keep in mind I am just a beginner and hope to be much better by this time next year!  Below are some projects that I did in November and December.  I seem to be drawn to animals (mostly birds), flowers, and landscapes.  Today I will feature some of the critters I’ve been working on as well as a picture of my instructor and classmates who helped me learn so much!


Mallard and his reflection


Chipmunk – turned into a birthday card



Chickadee 1

Chickadee on a snowy branch

Chickadee 2



Classmates – Carol, Mark Willenbrink – Watercolor Artist, Me, Cindy, and Hao