Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Born at 7:21 pm 17 years ago, today is my son's birthday. This morning I made him French toast with Cherry syrup. Paul made cupcakes and I decorated them as sushi when I got home from work. Most of it was colored fondant and frosting, but I used pearlized, extra-large jimmies for the rice and spread green sparkle gel on the "nori" to make it shimmer like the real stuff.

Afterward, we all went out to dinner at Fushi Yami and had hibachi and sushi. (Delish!)

It is hard to believe he is becoming this man before my eyes. I wish I could show you how much he has grown, but he didn't give me permission to use birthday photos of him online. Ah well, I have the memories in my heart.


A Weekend in the Life...

20100821130312, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Saturday I met with Al and El to discuss a college gallery show proposal at Shawn's, a local restaurant. I had the best Peach-Pear smoothie. After some decisions were made, we went on a hunt for the local Agrari Gallery which turned out to be a conference center with wall space. Not quite the gallery situation I was thinking of, but it is a start for this area!

Al and El wanted to go to Blumen Gardens, so I agreed to some with and I'm so glad I did! I had no idea this beautiful space was here right in Sycamore! The photo above shows a succulent garden on the roof of a small shed. NPR, was being piped from inside. We wandered around and looked at the beautiful plants. Sunflowers were everywhere and they, along with some other gorgeous flowers, attracted butterflies and moths of all types. We even saw a hummingbird moth. Al got a good photo of it.

20100821125923 20100821131735Succulant20100821130854

Then it was off to the studio. I hadn't been in there since the summer shows! It was a mess. I cleaned and straightened and organized. Now it is ready to roll.

Sunday Maria, El, and I went shopping at , a local farm market. I hadn't been there before either. I'd passed it several times in the past, but just had never stopped. Again, I'm so glad we went! You wouldn't believe the great prices! 75 cents for a huge, fresh red pepper! Crazy! Our idea was to shop, then come back and cook a meal together. That's exactly what we did. El provided with best bi-color sweet corn and some yummy cake batter flavored iced drinks and crusty bread. Maria made roasted red peppers, a tomato-potato-jalapeno dish& salsa. I made a zuchini-leek-squash dish with parmesan and feta cheeses. We also had salmon burgers and pork patties.

After that it was straight back to the studio to take advantage of the clean-up the day before. I started a new block showing the bog at the Ridges in Door County.

The Ridges Bog

This morning, J. started his senior year at school. I really am praying he will do well. (You can pray too, if you're generous and the praying sort.) His birthday is this week and I'm hoping to make cupcakes decorated as sushi rolls. I thought if I used green fondant for the nori and rolled little bits of fondant for the rice, it could be good! This coming weekend, we'll be taking him to the Ju-Rin in Geneva for lunch.


The honey bees lost their hive today

The tree that was marked earlier in the year by the city to be cut down is not gone. They came today. The bees are buzzing around so confused. They don't understand where their home has gone. I'm sure they won't make it through the night. When I came home from work, they were clumping together or digging into the ground. I feel so bad for them.

Hopefully the raccoon family made their escape and found a new home. The woodpecker no longer has a home either. Poor little things.

The tree was rotten in the inside. It needed to come down for the safety of the electrical wires and houses. It is just a shame.

Door County Dreaming


It has been over 2 weeks since we visited Door County for vacation! I miss it so much already! It isn't the shopping, or the food, or the business that I enjoy. It is the textures and colors and patterns that make me feel at home.

The Ridges - doe and fawn

The pebble beach at Algoma, the rocky bluff at Cave Point Park, the twisted roots at Ellison Bay Bluff - the water, the sand - it all soaks into me. I could walk The Ridges all day. This year I walked by myself. There was a doe and yearling fawn, still with its spots, that stood and watched as I walked past not 10 feet from them. Magical.

I found blueberries among the ferns. These were captured in a large bowl at Hands on Art Studio.

Hands On Art Studio
The best thing happened. Through a series of coincidences and networks, one of my prints sold at a reception for Nik Garvoille's KNOCK Magazine at Plum Bottom Gallery. When I went to pick up the check, the gallery owner, Chad Luberger, asked if I might be interested in having my work there. Of course the answer was an enthusiastic, "yes!" We traded: a print for one of his ceramic mugs. It is more beautiful in person. There are crystals in the glaze that sparkle in the sunlight. You can see it below on the rock wall at our campground.

Piece by Chad Luberger from Plum Creet Pottery (owner)

That was the fantastic news that I wanted to share earlier! Chad is choosing the work to be sent up this week. It is scary and exhilarating at the same time. I needed a challenge to grow in my work. This is just what the doctor ordered!

Canoeing on the Fox River at Wedron

Canoeing on the Fox at Wedron, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Recently I joined a Meetup.com group whose purpose is to do outdoor activities together. July I wasn't able to do much with them, but now that the shows are over I'm hoping to become more active.

I've never canoed before, but it seemed to come naturally. Maybe that is because I used to go fishing on a boat with my brothers and father. We did a12 mile ride. My arms were so sore afterward, but it was completely worth it! I want to go again soon.

I was hoping to get some good reference photos for prints. Earlier in the year they group had seen a heron's rookery, an eagle's nest and many turkey vultures roosting in old, dead trees. The only animals I saw were some livestock cooling off in a creek that drained into the river.

The colors and textures reminded me of Door County, but the bluffs were smooth and looked painted. The trees were different types than up north as well, so the greens were not the same. The river is green and murky. Teenagers were jumping off the bluffs into the water below. I cringed every time they did so. I guess I watch too much Lifetime TV. I was frightened for what could happen to them.

It really was a wonderful day. I can't wait to paddle a canoe again!


Euphoria and Hard Work

I have some amazing, wonderful, huge art news to share; but I want to keep it in the wraps until it is official. Let's just say that a life-long dream has become reality. Details to come soon.