Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Painter Sisters

Another year...another birthday. 
This time my sister treated me to an especially wonderful night out.

We put on our aprons.

No, not aprons for cooking, but for PAINTING!
The art studio we went to is called Bottle and Bottega.  All the supplies are provided: the 16x20 blank canvas, paints, the apron, and the instructor.  There are two of these studios in Chicago; the one we went to is on Lincoln Avenue. Check out their website:    

All you bring is the bottle! And the snacks.
Tonight the instructor would be directing the students to paint Monet's Water Lilies.
Look to the left of the pretzels to see our inspiration painting on the easel.
As you can see the class was full of wanna-be painters.
Here are our paintings side by side in the process of painting. Mine is the one on the right.

These are our finished paintings.
That's why he is Monet and we are the Nelson sisters - the Painter Sisters!!
I'm not quite sure my painting is done...I'm thinking it needs something like decoupage or more paint.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Little Valentines Tea Party

Putting together a Valentine's tea party for my little sweeties (and their mother) with a little more than 60 minutes notice was a bit of a challenge.  Good thing I had made heart cookies beforehand!  And good, also, was having eggs, bread, peanut butter, graham crackers and fruits available in the City Nest.

Miss E is a bit of a discerning eater, but loves to help out.  Using a heart cookie cutter, we were able to oh-so-carefully cut a graham cracker into a heart shape
and she spread peanut butter on these hearts for her
tea party treat.

I whipped up a batch of egg salad and using raisin bread and the same heart cookie cutter made
egg salad sandwiches for the grown-ups.

Delicious banana bread (from the freezer) was sliced and spread with cream cheese.

Blueberries and orange slices were served from the tired cake plates.

And, yes there was tea!  In Miss E's tea cup was water and she served herself out of a creamer that was just her size, thank-you-very-much-I'll-serve-myself . 
Finally it was time for those cookies she had been eying since she walked through the door.

Meanwhile, Little Miss M was falling in love with Nemo..... 
 Following our little impromptu tea party was a time of crafting valentines for others.
How lucky I am that this little lady loves crafting with her MeMo!
Happy Valentine's Day
one and all!

Monday, February 11, 2013


These past couple of weeks have given me a bit of a wallop.  I recognize this is what grieving is all about to feel disconnected with routines and plans.  But what really touches me is the kindness of others.   We have received many cards, notes and emails.  A friend brought soup and muffins over.  Hugs and tears have been shared.   And flowers have brightened up our lives, too.
 To all of you:  Thank You.
   Your kindnesses have mattered. 
It has been hard to write on this blog lately (I promise to be better) because it seems rather trivial just now.  But just this morning, I recieved this lovely poem from a very thoughtful person at my job and it was just the right inspiration to share with you here right now.
from Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

                                                        Today, practice kindness.