Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Fling

Our women's group at church hosted a Spring Fling brunch/bake and craft sale/silent auction last week. The food and decorations were divine. The atmosphere was fun and the shopping was great!
The decorating plan was to go a bit "retro." Everyone wore spring hats and aprons. It made for a fun atmosphere. Cousin Lyndsay had great ideas gleaned from the internet, and our savvy women carried them out. Our girls helped clear tables, and W. was the cutest star worker.
 We enjoy great support from our neighbors and neighboring church friends.

Group photo of the main workers. (A few were missing.) L. to R.: Paula G, Sharon S, Lyndsay S, Shirley M, Bonnie M, Betty G, Brenda H, Paula M, Gaylin S. Lovely women, lovely day.

Friday, March 30, 2012


It's feeling like Spring around here. The grass is really greening up. Nests are appearing, the birds are singing. We have seen blue jays, mourning doves, sparrows and finches at our bird feeder. This morning we heard a wood pecker knocking a hole in a tree outside our bedroom. And the other morning, L. spotted this duck on top of the barn. Funny!
I have been wearing this little bird nest necklace for a week. Friend Lori made it for me for my birthday with 6 little "eggs" to represent my 6 kids. I love it and have an "order" in to her now for a few more for gifts.

And here are M. and Josie, enjoying the chair in Husband's office. Oh, Josie!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oscar Howe

We did a study this week on Native American artist Oscar Howe. Oscar Howe (1915-1983) was born at Joe Creek, SD on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. He was descended from Yanktoni Sioux chiefs. As a child he lived in poverty and lost his mother at an early age. When school age he was sent to the military-styled Pierre Indian School. Because of a skin condition, harsh rules and the extreme change from his accustomed home life, Howe ran away repeatedly, and was finally sent home. His Grandmother Shell Face began to teach him traditional Native American hide painting. She also instructed him in Native American traditions and legends.

In 1935 Howe contracted tuberculosis and was sent to the famous Santa Fe Indian School where he met teacher Dorothy Dunn, who nurtured his talent. He began with traditional Native styles but later began to develop his own style. He was at the school until 1938. After graduating at age 20 he worked in laborer jobs and then taught high school and painted murals.

Howe served in Germany in WW II where he met his German wife. He attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Oklahoma Univesity. He designed the murals for the Mitchell Corn Palace from 1948-1971.

He became a Professor of Art at the University of South Dakota in 1957 and taught there until 1983. Because of the unusal linear style he developed, he was rejected from Native American art shows for non-traditonal style. Howe's protest letter eventually opened up the Native American art world to new directions in style. He was named South Dakota Artist Laureat in 1960.

After hearing about Howe's life in class, we looked at examples of traditional Native American art, talked about traditional colors, then showed examples of Howe's art so they could compare styles. We did a study of his painting Eagle Dancer. I copied the main lines by pencil over tracing paper, then outlined those in thin Sharpie. Then I printed them off for the kids to color with Prismacolors.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Week

We celebrated St. Patrick's day with Aunt Marilyn, and her fun package of green wear from her girls. Before that we got up early for the three little girls's piano contest and theory test. They all did well. Both L and M passed the theory test and there was an Excellent and two Superiors on the recital pieces.
 After the morning of piano and Irish visiting, (by 10:00 AM) we headed over to niece Kris and Chad's and helped them move to their new house. It was a fun day with lots of family and lots of trips in and out with our arms full. We were a little stiff and sore the next day!
We continue to crochet. We are making some things for our church's Spring Fling bake and craft sale this weekend. I found some fabulous bags of yarn and embroidery thread for a great price at the thrift stores this week. Also a book for L's collection for 50 cents. Nearly like new!

Friday, March 16, 2012


It's my 51st birthday. Flowers and card on table-Breakfast in bed-Tea on demand-Lunch at Minerva's-Shopping with Hubby-Nap-Ham, asparagus and summer squash supper-Evening visit with Daughter A.-Girlfriend Karen's first granddaughter born today-Facebook wishes-Birthday cards and calls. Thankful for all of you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kindle Clutch Purse

Friend Nancy, who is totally talented in the piano department, got a new Kindle Fire for Christmas. She needed something to stash her cursor and a screen polisher and other miscelleny for the Fire, so she very cleverly silver-duct taped a Ziplock bag onto the front of her Kindle cover. Which worked. And looked kind of tacky. So, I, (her craft queen friend) decided to make her a little clutch to attach to the front of the Kindle cover. At first it was going to be made out of felt, but when we recently learned to crochet, I decided to go with that.
My first attempt was cute, but was not quite the right size. (above)

 I tried again (size is better) and also figured out how to attach it to the Kindle cover using elastic. Nancy does my music and I do her crafts. Works for us.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Group Embroidery

My art classes finished our embroidery project on Friday. We made decorated tissue holders. I taught them one more stitch--the whip stitch--to close up the edges of their felt pieces. This project was found at Martha Stewart. The felt was cut to 6 3/4" by 5 7/8". The kids sewed free form designs onto the felt, then folded the longer ends to the center and whip stitched the edges closed. Each student got a packet of pocket tissues to put into their holder, which was fun. The project took three class periods for 4/5/6th graders.

Daughter W and Friend Hannah work on their projects.

Needle arts are a useful, inexpensive craft for kids to try. If you want to start your kids on embroidery, try a stamped cross stitch pattern. All you need is a hoop stretcher (easily found at second hand and thrift stores), and a needle and floss. There are many tutorials and sources (even online about basic embroidery/sewing or any fabric store can advise you. There is a resurgence in hand arts right now. There are likely many women in your neighborhood or church who are experts in embroidery, knitting, crocheting or sewing and would be willing to teach a new generation of handcrafters their skills.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Digging Channels

Every spring when I was a girl,  my Dad would send me out to dig channels to drain water off to the sides of the driveway. I still like to get out there and work on it on a nice spring day if I can. This week, there was a lot of melting going on, and the driveway was a sloppy mess. M. and Friend Ann enjoyed digging channels after we got home from Tutoring Center classes on Tues. afternoon. Happy farm fun with friends in the spring.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crocheting Our Brains Out

 D-I-L Mac has been having once a week crochet classes for a few of us. She can crochet and knit and do every other art or craft there is. The girls and I are going crazy making things with crochet. A. is going to the classes too and is getting good at it. Pictures, clockwise from top left: clutch and hip purse (Jannell)-straps can be tied to belt loops for hands free shopping, crazy quilt crochet blanket from thrifted baby yarn. I will finish the rest of the edge with more yellow and pink ribbon, (Jannell), pink variegated blanket for Pinky, W's stuffed dog (W.), Easter baskets (Jannell and M.), dish cloths, (J and L. and M.) Dish cloths, (M and J)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


 Last week Husband and I attended the Commodity Classic in Nashville. There were 5000 wheat, corn, sorghum and soybean farmers there for a conference and trade show. We stayed at the magnificent Gaylord Opry Hotel, which has 2,881 rooms  under several atriums.The plant life in these hotels is amazing.

 The first night our group went to the Stockyard Steakhouse, a lovely old stockyard building renovated into a resturant.

We spent time at the trade show and saw this Dekalb bike made by OCC's Paul, Jr. We also spent time in the basement of the motel while tornadoes went through the area.

Stained glass in the entry off the motel. On the way home we rode Frontier Airlines for the first time. They serve warm chocolate chip cookies and have cute animals on each plane. Our plane's animal was a bunny. We decided we like any airline with warm cookies and bunnies.