Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordful Wednesdays

It's Wednesday I have spent hours trying to coordinate a bike ride for the area around Pattibears Place. In September , when all the leaves are changing we hold Harvest Fest. By that time I will have painted black cats and pumpkins, scarecrows and witches.This year to make the most of all our natural resources we are adding a bird watching tour and an Autumn Colors Bike Ride. This should be alot of un, with the proceeds going to The Care and Share Food Bank of Marquette County.
With several routes to choose from, people of all ages and biking abilities will be able to join in. From Packwaukee to Germania , and on to Lake Puckaway , the scenery is beautiful and in its prime colors.
               I am also working on getting vendors for Father Marquette days which is August 21 and 22nd. Food, parade, softball tournaments and much more. The Rotary Club is working hard to help rebuild Father Marquette days to what it once was. A wonderful idea, and weather you are a Rotary member or not, everyone should roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help. I contacted EMMY FINK, from channel 57 here in Madison. She is the TV personality for Buzzed into Madison. She will once again come out and do a story to help promote Father Marquette days.
Today two young guys from San Francisco were in town talking to everyone. Commenting on what a great old town and how this could be a really great place for cute art shops and unique businesses. They are right, we need to get back to basics and pull together to help get Montello back on the map. What can we offer a new business at this time, not very much. We need more input from each other and networking to share and spread the word that Montello is still here and has lots to offer.I have contacted the UW extention office about some regional marketing classes they hold and hopefully a few of us can attend and learn some new ways to get Montello out there.
All this can be done.....I have been told by people who have lived here forever, that in years past because this is a farming community if some disaster happened on your farm......before you could think to ask for help, neighbors were there with food, tools and a helping hand. That is what we need today. Togetherness, promote the area, not just individual businesses.
In the mean time I keep filling my shop and making some sweaters for my Aunts shop in Watertown, Wi.  Josephine's Paper Box. If you are ever in the area you need to stop in, what a great variety of items for any occasion. I am also hoping to get all the loose ends for the diner tied up so I can finally get the work done and be open. A friendly place for locals and visitors to get a meal anytime of day. Fresh baked rolls and my favorite CUPCAKES!  So, I will keep on it , not just so I can have a great new business and make some money, but it will be an anchor for the downtown area. A much needed addition. So I have many irons in the fire and I wear many hats some days, but I love it ....most days.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Playing Nice Together

Montello, where my shop is located is a friendly, quiet town. Everyone knows everyone and people help out each other whenever they can.  
WELL, almost.
Our little city is probably best known for its biggest tree, ( the plaque was removed after a large limb fell off ) the CourtHouse, it is on the historical list and the Granite waterfalls.
That was until a few weeks ago when the water was turned OFF. Yes, turned off, they are man made from the old granite quarry. Tonight there is a city council special meeting to see if that water will come back on or if the falls as we all know them are a thing of the past. I will have to catch you up on all the details after the meeting. I would'nt want to give out any bad info.
Other than that....

Our group, meets every Wednesday to try and get Montello back in the tourist mode and get the tourists back visiting on a regular basis. We have so many things for families to do. From fishing and boating, to swimming and bike riding, bird watching, maybe some quiet time alone. An Amish community, great shops, good food and all without the remote or batteries. We are close enough to the Dells that you could camp here ( much cheaper) and visit the Dells for the day and save so much money and enjoy the vacation!
All summer , in fact all year we have great events planned to help show us off. We have fishing, hunting, snow mobiling, ice fishing, bird watching and this has been declaired the Year of John Muir in Wisconsin. His exhibit is at our Historical Society right downtown.
July 3rd  Taste Of Montello at the City Park followed by Fireworks

July 24th Christmas in July in the downtown shops

August 21 & 22 Father Marquette Days, crafters, parade, womens Club pie sale and so much more

August 28th
 September 25th Harvest Fest, bike ride for the Food bvank, Bird watching tours,  fall craft show and more

October 23   Oktoberfest

October 30th Withes night out

November 26,27,28  Holiday Happening Downtown Montello

So there is much in the planning, but although I do not belong to the Rotary Club or Lions Club , I do not mind pitching in to help find vendors for the events or help fill the parade and get them advertisied. Our end result is the same MONTELLO back on the map. Now, if I can just get that concept across to everyone else. We will have smooth sailing !  COOPERATION has been in short supply and that needs to come to a halt right now. It is far better to market a whole area than one shop or business at a time. My work is cut out for me , but I am emailing crafters , posting on calendars and inviting everyone to come and see Montello!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Can't Wait for them to grow up...

Today at the shop there were two ladies with an adorable, energetic little one in tow. The young Mom kept saying I can't wait til he walks alone and can talk etc. Having been the Mom and now Grandma and Great Grandma ( I think my favorite so far ) I toatally disagree. Leave them small as long as posible. Stop pushing to have them grow up and do BIG kid things.
Some examples
Talking, while it sometimes baffles us what they want in the early stages, it sure beats, talking back, yelling and the teenage girl whine. 
Walking, yes it is so much easier on your back but then there are mobile and into everything, we are  at the climbing on furniture stage.
Right now we have two little guys at our house one and two. Both adorable in their own ways. One is a Grandma's boy and the other prefers early mornings with Papa and the morning news.
I wish there was a way to bottle that innocence and save some for later. They are amazed by birds in the tree, flowers growing or a cookie out of the oven. Grandma can still fix anything, from a boo boo on their finger to the Elmo dvd.  I see WOW in their eyes when I read the book at bedtime and know which puzzle piece goes where. Soon enough though this will come to a screeching halt and they will go to school.
Last week we had birthday cake for the little one and the look on his face as we lit the candles and he licked frosting was priceless. My little baker JJ helped make the cake and as always taste tested the icing and was on had for a piece of cake. As I watched them I thought back to the others at that age, wide eyed and innocent and hanging on my every word, maybe that is what I am afraid of losing. Will Grandma always be the smartest?  I know I thought my Gram was. Can I live up to her?  I sure hope so, I try to fill these visits with hugs, love and some fresh baked cookies and I always seem to be feeding them and wiping little faces. I know they all can't wait to grow up, I have two 15 year olds at home who are racing towards being grown up. Summer drivers Ed, part time jobs and on the horizon dating!  Very scary for me and exciting for them.Please slow down, I am not ready...  Let me savor these years as they go so quickly.....slow down!  I can remember when babies were babies until they went to school, now two year olds can work a vcr and go to preschool and learn sign language. Call me old fashioned but I want to hold on tight as long as possible.I am not afraid of getting older, it is them getting older and maybe not needing Grandma as much, that could be, but for right now I am holding on for dear life and enjoying each day and the adventure we go on together.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our furry family members...

Yesterday our family lost one of our furry family members. Timmy our 13 yr old collie who has been like the bad little boy in our house for years. He arrived on Valentines day when he was just 12 weeks old and won our hearts. He was a leaner, could'nt seem to get close enough to anyone. He thought kids hot dog buns and crusts of bread were treats and would drop to a sit at the raise of a hand, hoping you had bread. He never minded kids crawling over him, counting his toes and even dressing him up a time or two. His faithful friend Lassie passed on last year and it has been a long sad year for him, he seemed to age immediately and miss her terribly. I am probably the worst, I cry at Lassie movies, hallmark commercials etc, but a couple months back I met through emails an author who had written of his own journey through the passing of his two pets and I am hoping I can use that to help not just me but the kids get through this a little easier. Christine Bellport on Madisons Channel 15 was kind enough to get the word about him and his book out to our area , and I can't thank her enough. This morning , as tears rolled down my cheeks fed the bread crust to the squirrels, Timmy would have gotten it if he was still here.
How a Denver attorney learned life lessons from his dying dogs

Fetch — The Denver Post
Denver attorney Doug Koktavy discovered how to live in the moment with his canine best friends

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rock Painting at Pattibears Place

Friday was the first class in rock painting I have given so far this season. Three young men seven, ten and thirteen came. Normally my first class is a bunny so the student learns to make fur strokes and gets the basics of rock painting.  This was not the case, not only did these three not want to paint a bunny, they each wanted to paint a different animal.....and none had fur!

The littlest decided on a turtle ... and angry turtle. He did fairly well for a first time and added some great color to the turtle shell and in the end he did look angry turtle.
Student number two had a rock, not shaped like any animal, so we took another route and painted the animal on the rock.  Not the rock into an animal , like we normally do. He made a lizard, colorful with it drawn completely by him.
Number three had heard his mother say the day before in my shop that she wanted an owl and he found a rock that would work. Just let me say feathers are harder than fur to paint, and this student had never painted before either. But, he listened and tried his best and in the end MOM got an owl

This is how it usually goes!

Find a smooth rock, for a bunny a baked potato shape works great. As you get more experience you can work around odd shaped rocks. Basecoat your rock with black acrylic paint. This gives you a base to work from and helps get shadow and depth to your painting. Use a wide brush, ( good brushes are not necessary for this part )       Use chalk to outlind where the face is, the ears and where the back legs are. This is just a guide and will be covered up later. It helps to look at a picture, I recommend the kids books on HOW TO DRAW ANIMALS a great source to show features and proportions.

Next thin some white paint to use for your fur strokes. The most important thing to remember is to stroke in the same direction the fur grows!  Outline the ears, nose and eyes. you will fill these in later. Remember there is never too big of a mistake you can't correct....Just paint it black and start again! The back legs are painted like wheel spokes coming down , the face fur grows up from the nose and to the sides from the eyes. The cheeks are little white puffs with a triangle of white between for the chin.
As you practice your fur lines will become finer and you can get even more detail. Let your white fur lines dry completely.
The back of the bunny, no tail yet, that is a final detail
add brown for the eyes and flesh for the nose and ears

Delute brown paint to a tint and cover the white fur lines. Leave the cheeks and chin white
Add some white eyelashes around the eyes, paint in the pupils and add awhite reflection dot. Brush in a few black eyelashes and last but not least  Do not forget the tail....and you are done

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Black & White Wednesdays

This is my first week following Lisa's Black & White Wednesdays and I can hardly wait to check out all the other blogs
Here is my photo....if titled it would be CHEESE ! This is my Great Grandson JJ and he is a ham. It is amazing to me as I watch him, exactly how much he is like his Dad. And just like dad he is a grammas boy.  Secretly I would'nt have it any other way. JJ is also my cupcake buddy, we bake and he always comes running when he hears the mixer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A great giveaway

Bloggy Blog Designz is having a Giveaway!!! They are giving away blog designs and all kinds of goodies. Plus ALL entrants will receive 20%off their purchase through the end of the month! Be sure to check out their website for more information, or to enter yourself. Take a look at their portfolio and packages to see what's right for you.

The first 5 entrants will receive a $15 giftcard. The giveaway will close on June 19th, so be sure to have your posts done and comments left by midnight! Good Luck to everyone!

(Our Design List is open after July 1. Discounts from this giveaway do not apply to designz in progress)

It smells like summer

Even though it has rained for what seems like the last week, you can smell summer and family fun.  Campers have started to fill the two campgrounds near our house and the smell of bacon on the old coleman cookstove in the morning brings back fond memories of my DAD out there making us five kids breakfast early in the morning after he returned from those 5 am fishing trips.My Dad taught us all a very important lesson. You see he died when he was just 38. We took a family vacation every year, even if we really could'nt afford to. He gave us all memories that we can carry over to our own kids and grandkids. I took my first grandson Joey fishing and taught him to bait a hook. Now he is showing JJ how. Thanks Dad. I guess with Fathers Day fast approaching I think more of him, but every day I find one of those things that seemed to come so easy to him in my everyday life. He loved us , and all of us not one more than the other . Maybe just differently, but not more. I was adopted and he never once made me feel like I wasn't his. Thanks Dad. He set a good example for my brothers to follow, and they did. It is not how much you spend on your kids, it is how much time . Yesterday I colored with JJ, my great grandson and showed him a trick my Dad taught us when we would all color on the kitchen table on a rainy Saturday. Take a peice of paper towel and rub the area you colored and it looks soft .  Dad , thanks again.  I remember him coming to pick me up from a friends on Friday night in his work pants and tshirt with his boots not laced. "Please don't get out I thought" and he would send me in to pick up the pizza from Genoe's. My love for Wisconsin, came from him. We used to drive up to the Dells and then up to Phillips for summer vacations. Candy ( licorice) hidden in his glove compartment, rainbow cones on the way to pick  Mom up from work on Saturday afternoon. Being the one who got to sit in the third seat in the station wagon. Saturday morning trips to his Grandmas, she would call him and two Uncles in like they were still boys.   Being able to be the one who went with at 5am to fish, I never caught anything, but I would'nt trade that time we spent just talking for anything. I can remember just going with for the ride, didn't matter where he was going. How many times did I go with to pick up car parts or maybe to Walgreens for party supplies. It didnt matter as long as we were with him. He was what Dads are supposed to be and I just hope he knew just how I felt even through my teenage years when things were bumpy. Dad you were the greatest and I LOVE you !

Wow, how the memories flood back when evening sets in and you can smell the campfires and smores!
 Families enjoying time together and back to basics. It is great. I just hop, my kids and grandkids will have as much to think back on years from now.  If so, I did it right!
 In the shop I am busy painting signs for those very campers to hang at their sites or attach to those movable homes on wheels.  I love that each piece sort of tells me what it will turn out to be and no two bears or raccoons are ever alike. In fact I just sold one that looked a little grumpy, it must have been painted on one of those days  LOL. I was asked where did I learn to paint the other day and Dad popped up again. When we first started camping we had a tent and went to Savannah, Illinois to an Army Corp of Engineers campground and there , I met Jack and Jean, a couple who ran the small store. Jack would sit behind the cabin and paint on mirrors. I could have sat there all day, every day. To me it was like magic watching the scenes unfold. That is how I feel when a piece of old wood becomes a bear or sign for someone.  Again Thanks DAD.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dairy Daze ......cupcakes, cows and kids oh my

Today is the beginning of Dairy Daze in Montell. But, for me it started early yesterday as I began the baking for the Cupcake sale.
These are the rootbeer floats cupcake, first recipe wasnt what I wanted so these came out great!  18 of these jumbo cupcakes. oh, did my kitchen smell delicious!  here is the link for the recipe
These are banana split cipcakes. The centers are filled with banan, pineapple and strawberry.  Here is the link for the recipe
the cupcakes on the left are Funge Mint Sundaes topped with Andes mint pieces.
The cups have malted Milk caupcakes topped with a malted milk ball. Here is the recipe link
 Those are fudge mint cupcakes in the middle.
I also make strawberry sundae cupcakes. the centers are filled with stawberry and topped with whipped frosting and a cherry.

7:30 this morning I came to the shop to put out my decorated COW, open the doors and get ready for the other members of our group to drop off cupcakes.  Shirley from Rustic came and dropped off some cheesecake brownies. Then before 9 Jean from the Gardne Center came with some brownies and muffins. My shop smells wonderful.
The weather is funny today, cool but very humid so campers are out and about checking out the shops. No kids participated in the sidewalk art contest HUH, maybe the cloudy skies kept them away.

It has been a long day and the smell of these cupcakes has been driving me crazy, but it was good practice for when we open the diner. I can see it now CUPCAKE of the DAY!  How much fun is that.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thankful Thursday at Pattibears

First off, I was thinking back to 1 year ago when we were waiting for little Carsen to be born. Not sure if he would have Down's Syndrome, what other problems he might have.  Well as I watched him try and walk this morning I feel very blessed that he was perfect . Happy, outgoing baby that at times never seems to sit still. A blessing.  He was pictured in an ETSY treasury today

The adorable little sticker will be 1 tommorrow.  Last fall he sold many hats with that photo.

Thankful that school is out and the kids no longer need a ride back and forth each day and can help out at the shop.  My lawn can get mowed and no more 6th grade Math homework to help with. Mikey is going to Jr. High.  Now that makes me feel really old and a little scared, but this is thankful Thursday so I won't dwell on it.

Liz is off Sunday to St. Norberts for a summer college program, a great kid, smart and funny .  This time next year she will be gradyuated and off to college.  How time flies.

Matt and Chrissy are home and working hard at the resort nearby, I am thankful they have their jobs as jobs are hard to come by and this one is within walking distance.

Thankful that at home all seems well, for the time being. It takes so much energy to be stressed and I can really use the break. Having MG stress can knock me out and I have a full house, 3 teenagers, 1 eleven year old, 4 days a week a 1 yr old and a 2 yr old then 2 grown daughters ( here is where the stress comes in ) 3 dogs and a hubby ( can be major stress) LOL so thankful right now all is good!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Summer is here and time for our Big Summer Sale. The 6 car wooden train set is our first big sale item. This beautifully handcrafted set is made to be played with. Each car can be arranged in any order. Engine,12 inches, coal car, 9 inches, log hauler with logs,11 inches, open car with barrels,11 inches, a dumper car that really dumps , 11 inches, and a caboose, 10 inches. A must for the train lover in your family this season! Perfect toy to bring out imagination, no batteries required, runs on imagination!

Each set is on sale for $25.00 shipping is $22.50    total $47.50  to order
Personalized Gingerbread Family is a cute way to decorate for the holidays. A great gift idea for Grandma, the sitter or Yourself!  Add the family name and names of each member . The Big gingerbreadman measures about 16 inches high and is handpainted and ready to hang. Please specify how many small cookies up to 6.  More upon request. Special requests or wording available.  $15.00 and 9.80 shipping total $24.80 to order
Think ahead to your holiday shopping and order early!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time to many

recipes and so little time.  Beofre the rain came today the shop was fairly busy. It is very nice to see visitors walking the sidealks and checking out the shops. Past visitors coming back to visit is also a very good sign that things are picking up in the area. Sales were good, not amazing but good. The painted door from the other day SOLD !!!!  Now I can paint more, I hate to paint more big pieces if those I have are not selling, silly maybe but that is my thought process these days,
  With next Saturday our dairy Daze, a big deal in Wisconsin and the theme for our bake sale being ice cream I have been hunting high and low on blogs to find just the right cupcakes, having not heard back from the other bakers in our group . I am going off on my own and baking what I want.
Root Beer Float Cupcakes'
Servings: 12
Prep time: 20
Cook time: 20
Total time: 40

1 cup rootbeer soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup rootbeer soda, reduced to 3 teaspoons
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp root beer extract
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

Vanilla Bean Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup shortening
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean pods or paste
Preheat oven to 350
Combine rootbeer soda and apple cider vinegar, and reduced rootbeer soda,allow to sit for a few minutes. Add sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and root beer extract.

Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients being careful not to over mix.

Pour batter into cupcake molds, 2/3 the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Combine all ingredients and beat with a mixer until fluffy.
Top cupcakes with the vanilla bean frosting, and enjoy!

Arent these just adorable? I am going to make Big cupcake and mini cupcakes!

•½ cup unsalted butter, softened

•2/3 cup sugar

•3 large eggs

•1 tsp. vanilla extract

•1 tsp. orange extract

•1 ½ cups all purpose flour

•1 ½ tsp. baking powder

•¼ tsp. salt

•¼ cup milk

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

2.For the Cupcakes: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and orange extract.
3.In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4.With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5.Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost.
The batter was thick,
Frost them with vanilla buttercream if you want to go for the Creamsicle effect,

Well, I am off to find just the right icing for a hot fudge sundae cupcake and then home to try out a batch or two. There is time enough to get back on the diet, and kids are home to taste test. Tomorrow I will be at the Garden center cutting out the end of our cows for dairy daze and then getting mine painted and decorated, I will get photos up as soon as it is done. This is just one of many events we do to get people back into town and visiting us, After the floods 2 yearsa go and the loss of some of our tourists we try anything to get people back in town,  NOW if ice cream themed cupcakes don't do it maybe nothing will LOL

Saturday Morning in the Shop

While I was dusting and running the vaccuum I thought I would take a video to show some of what is in the shop. I say this like I know what I was doing....NOT the case. In fact this is the first time I have used the video setting on my camera so I am hoping it works.  There are so many things in the shop that don't get listed on Etsy or on my website and so I thought I would share them this morning.
We have a saying at my house...if it stands still long enough Grandma will paint on it. That is probably true, I love to paint on old furniture, window, logs, rocks, pots and just about anything. I have tried my hand at watercolor, oils and acrylic. I find I am too rigid for watercolor I go crazy as the paint flows where ever and oils , I am in too big of a hurry to see a finished project so acrylics is my maine medium. I also do almost all my work freehand because I am a lazy painter. I do not like to take the time to trace a pattern do the basics then trace somemore. At classes I took when I worked at Michaels in Chicgo Ridge it made the instructor nuts that I would'nt trace. 
People always ask , were you trained, how did you learn to do this?  Well , I see images in wood patterns, clouds etc. crazy as it may seem that is how it started. I grew up in a house built back in 1959, our bathroom was covered in pink 6 inch plastic tiles with a sort of wavy pattern and if while taking a bubble bath you looked at them just right you could see faces, and so much more. If only you could sketch while in the tub. Gram would certainly not have allowed that LOL. The we began our camping vacations and at our stays in Savannah, Illinois, I met Jack & Jean they ran the little camp store and everyday Jack would sit behind the store and paint beautiful wildlife scenes on mirrors. Oh how I wished I had bought one back then. He made it seem so easy, the trees and deer seemed to just flow from his brush. I have yet to try that but now know that  feeling now as I turn an old ironing board ( hubby said I never knew what they were for ) into a charming Santa or a log slab into a friendly black bear.
Then in the evening I turn into my Gram, after dinner is done and we settle down I crochet the little sweaters and blankets that fill the shop. Our last 3 little ones were boys so all those cute girly sets are just for the shop. but I have a chance as my daughter is due in November and my fingers are crossed for a little girl.
Well enough for now, the shop is now open and hopefully the rain holds off and we have a busy day

Friday, June 4, 2010

Photos from the shop

This is the little girls MOOSE hat. I came up with these for Moosefest the beginning of May. I am thinking..... change the bow and it could be a reindeer for Christmas

Little boys sweater and earflap cap, also a matching blanket as well as a hooded sweater in the same color

I charged the batteries and with a rainy day outside it seemed the perfect time to get the photos taken and share them , here on the blog. So many of the pieces I paint are too big or too heavy to sell online, but they are here in my shop in Montello.
The green window was an old storm off a house in town, reuse/recycle less waste... this is from the same house but being so small I can't imagine what it was a door to!

Finally Friday

this has been a long week. Although I woke up to the sound of rain this morning, ( and I have a leak in the new section of roof ) it should be a nice day to finish projects and get ready for the weekend. I don't seem to have enough hours anymore, with trying to get the diner funding and all the work done, the shop and keeping it filled, 3 teenagers, a hubby, 3 dogs and 4 days a week the little guys stay over. I am ususally too tired to even enjoy all the planting I did and to just RELAX. But, rain helps downtown, It is funny how many people come out in the rain to visit the shops. With memorial Day behind us each weekend gets a little busier. I am picking up six more windows tomorrow and will hopefully have some time to work on them, if I can get one of the teenagers in my house to come and help watch the shop. There used to be no problem but now they all work at the resort near us and have STUFF of their own to do. They are great kids, just very busy! LOL I need to make sure we get all our plywood cows cut out so the local businesses can get them decorated for Dairy Daze , June 12th. It should be alot of fun , with visitors voting on their favorite COW and with the cupcake sale, we hope to be very busy. The money from our sales goes to help premote the downtown area and pay for advertising and such. This months theme is ice cream named cupcakes like rootbeer float, hot fudge sundae etc. I can't wait not only to bake them but to samle a couple. I am making some mini ones for tasting! I started the South Beach diet and this is killing it, how can you bake and not taste these cupcakes, oh well I can start again after the bake sale.

I am going to try and take start to finish photos on my next garden window I paint, many people are afraid to try things like this and I hope they realize YOU CAN do it. Then maybe one of the rock painting. I do classes for kids and adults during the summer. Kids are so much easier because they are not afraid to try and adults are fearful they will make a mistake. No mistake is so bad, if you don't like it ...paint it black and start again. I have more than a few times. I think more people need to know there is no right or wrong way to paint, paint because you enjoy it. If you like it , it is GOOD. I paint not just to make money at the shop or on Etsy but it is my main stress reliever.......teen, hubby =stress and painting makes it all better!
I hope you have a great Friday and enjoy your weekend I am hoping to but as with all families anything can happen and things change in a flash so ROLL with the changes and don't sweat the small stuff ( the wisest thing a friend ever told me ) and it is all small stuff!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


somewhere I saw this on a blog and thought , "what a great idea, how many of us get so busy we forget to just stop and be thankful". It doesnt have to be something huge, maybe the fact that it rained just enough to water the garden yesterday, or that the project you started finally finished. Thats where I am this morning, after weeks of second guessing the other businesses in town, last night at our meeting the majority ruled to not bring The Great American moose Fest back next year. That is not something to be thankful for , but the unknown, the guessing and worrying what will happen. That I am thankful for is now over. In order to enjoy this, I will not ponder what is next and how our event will come together for next year. Not today, it is Thankful Thursday. I am also Thankful that I got a few orders finished and felt so good I painted to large windows and they are ready for the weekend. Of course when I went to take a photo the camera was dead, this I am NOT thankful for. I came home to find two little ones still at my house, thankful they are healthy and safe, also that daddy is on his way for them. LOL
I am one more day living with a functioning with MG, it is a good day

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

50's style meatloaf

Part of my plan with this diner is to make it a family place where everyone can come enjoy some comfort food and reconnect. From the seniors in town to the kids who need a place to get a basket of fries and a couple cokes and talka bout boys or girls and just have a place to BE. That spot where you can stop in the morning for a cup of coffee and a muffin on the run or grab breakfast and read the paper. No dress code just good simple food, at reasonable prces with some friendly conversation and maybe if you saved room a cupcake for desert!

Enjoy moist, delicious meatloaf slathered in Heinz Ketchup with this free meatloaf recipe from H. J. Heinz. Equally great for family dinner or Monday Night Meatloaf at the Diner.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutesIngredients:
•1 slightly beaten egg
•1 cup Heinz Ketchup ®
•1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
•1-1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
•½ cup dry bread crumbs
•½ cup chopped celery
•½ cup chopped green bell pepper
•½ cup chopped onion
•½ teaspoon salt
•¼ teaspoon pepper
In saucepan, cook onion, celery and bell pepper in oil until tender-crisp; stir in ketchup. Combine ½ cup ketchup mixture with ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Shape into a loaf (8” x 4”) in shallow baking pan. Bake in 350°F oven for 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Pour remaining ketchup sauce, cold or heated, over meat loaf. Makes 6 servings.


While I had time on my hands today, I came across a photo of a handmade tutu on Etsy. Adorable little pink tutu, but what came to mind next brought tears and lots of happy memories. When I was about four my Grandmother took me to balet lessons every week. We practiced doing somersaults in the grass( I never did go straight) and she taught me to skip. Both of us right down the middle of the street. I never became a ballerina but she didn't care. Many years later I walked a little grandaughter to ballet and watched as she twirled and pointed her toes to Snow Whites Whistle While You Work. She also did not become a ballerina but those walks to the park district and alone time we had would in later years be very important. Sam like many teens hit some rough patches andseemed so far away. I spent many night crying and worried for her. Yet, on Mothers Day she left me a small red box with a bracelet she had made, but best of all was a small note she left saying how she remembers all I tried to teach her and loves me for it. That is what I hope my Gram got back from me all those years, becuase she not only made bad Ballet ok she made everything OK.

Wednesday 's

Wednesdays are almost always not very productive. We have a downtown business owners group meeting at 8:30 to discuss the upcoming events in town and how we can best promote our town and businesses. A very friendly group of four or five of us , planning to "SAVE the WORLD" one event at a time. About 10 am we return back to our businesses and get the day started. MOST of us,

I am a first thing in the morning person. I have myastenia gravis and am at my best early in the day. Somedays I come in at 7:45 with an idea and get right to painting and g all day each piece coming so easy. Other days like today I am thrown off by a change in plans. Today our meeting is at 6:00 in the evening! I have accomplished little all day.
Montello where I live has a population, at the time of the 2000 census, was 1,043. A toursit area that two years ago was hit by floods and last year had a drop in tourists due to the closing of our boat launch. With fewer tourists of course our shops make less money, the locals have a harder time finding jobs and we are forgotten. I have decide this just can't happen. Montello is a great small town for kids to grow up in, friendly people and loads of natural resources . So I am working to get us back on the map, all the while still filling the shop and trying to keep home life good for all of us. By all of us, I mean I am never quite sure how many will be there. Some days there are us ( my husband and I ) Kathy my daughter and her son Mike, Liz, Chris and Matt ( three teenage grandkids) 3 dogs and 4 fish. Other days my oldest grandson Joe is there with his two little guys and even my daughter Cheryl and a stray friend or two. I can't tell you the last time I was home alone!

My son has backed me along the way with my shop and website. Without him , I dont even want to think how things would have been. I use my painting as a stress reliever, stress is my #1 trigger for my MG. A Profitable shop would be nice, right now after two slow summers we are tredding water and I may have to make a decision to close the shop....but for right now I am painting to fill orders and keep my sanity.With the help of my son I am going to revamp the old diner in the photo and give out downtown the anchor it needs and a central visitng location for the locals and toursits alike. It will be alot of work and I am knee deep in paperwork right now , but if you want it, and focus anything is possible. This is how I see the next chapter in my life!!!
but until that chapter starts I will be painting because painting takes the stress away and the customers visitng makes each day enjoyable. But, today I was interrupted and didnt get an early start so I have finished almost nothing and now that I am typing this....IT IS OK tomorrow will come soon enough and I will get everything done! I had a good friend who worked with me at Michaels about 13 years ago and when I would worry about what seemed like everything she would say "Don't sweat the small stuff... and it's all small stuff" and she was right. So I will get stuff ready for the meeting tonight, reada few more blogs, finalize my cupcake recipe choices and call it a good day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial day Weekend....great fun

The weather was perfect for visitors to come up to Montello and visit the shops and see all the great stuff we have to offer. Campers were seen pulling in on Thursday and the sites were filling up fast. Downtown where we are located the sidewalks had shoppers strolling, many with ice cream cones and doing some shopping. The windows I painted earlier this week are gone! In fact we had two ladies wanting the same one. How fun. I will get a few more done this weekend and get some more of the cutre camping , cabin signs done. Then I am off to paint and decorate my COW for Montello's dairy dfaze on June 12th. Local businesses are painting and decorating wooden cows and we will have visitors vote on their favorite cow. I will also be hosting this months CUPCAKE SALE at my shop. I ahve been baking and finding new ice cream themed cupcakes and have a few that are a gourmet delight. When we hold these bake sales the money goes to help pay for advertising for other events throughout the season and purchase decorations and such that we need for the downtown. Our last money helped pay for the Moose fest appreciation dinner, gas for the shuttle busses and we still have a little left. So come on down and get your self a cupocake or two and enjoy Montello and my shop.