20 June 2011

City Fresh Haul

A few weeks ago, my daughters and I signed up for "produce shares" from the Coventry City Fresh program.  To join, you sign up for either a "single" share or a "family" share a week in advance.  Our first shares have been family shares.  The produce is from local farms and is picked and gathered the morning of the share distribution and members pick up their "share" Tuesdays from 5-7 pm. You can then decide if you want to pay for the next week's share or you can skip a week if you like.  We've picked up shares for 2 weeks now and each time there was someone on site making a recipe from one of the items for us to sample.  The link to Coventry City Fresh's blog is http://coventrycityfresh.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-coventry-city-fresh.html 

Here was our "haul" from the first week;

The items included:
1/2 Pint Apple Butter

8 oz Maple Syrup

2 lbs Corn Meal

1 Quart and 1 Pint Strawberries

1/2 Pint Huckleberry Jam

1 Bunch Green Onions

2 Heads Lettuce

1 Bunch Bokchoy

1 Bunch Garlic Scapes

1 Bunch Mint
The variety allows you to enjoy some old favorites, as well as try some new things.
Bon Appetit!!

14 June 2011

My Birthday Weekend

June 12 was my birthday.
Now, I'm not one to make a big deal about my birthday.
- It's not that I don't like birthdays and I've always thought
my birthday fell at the absolute BEST time of the year...
School was ending
Summer was just around the corner
People were graduating
going on vacation
getting married
it was almost exactly
in the middle between Christmases!
So, you can imagine my surprise when a co-worker baked a cake for me on Friday
and my co-workers all signed a card for me and shared my cake.
Saturday, Tiana and I went to 
Parade the Circle on Wade Park Oval.
(PTC is an artistic, funky, creative parade and is a lot of fun!)
Saturday evening, my family took me out to dinner at
"High Thai'd" (formerly Mint Cafe) on Coventry.
I had a wonderful time and the Thai food was superb!!
(even my father in law really liked his entree - even though he 
is not a culinary adventurer like my daughters and I!)
Back to the apartment to continue our celebration with a birthday cake
and some fun time with my grandson, Julius.
All this, and my birthday wasn't even until the next day!!!
Sunday, I was amazed that so many people at church knew it
was my birthday, then I realized...  Oh Yeah...
After church, my daughters "kidnapped" me to
Lucky's Cafe in the Tremont area.

The brunch there was sooooo delicious.
The restaurant was featured on a TV show,
Drive Ins, Diners and Dives.
It may seem like a hole in the wall 
in a less than "posh" neighborhood,
but let me tell you!  It had some of the best fare I'd ever tasted! 
While at the restaurant, my daughters presented me with a birthday present..
a beautiful Asian fan!
I had the best Birthday ever!!
thanks Tiana and Cara!!!

A few of the "charactors" from Parade the Circle

My Beautiful Birthday cake!!  Yum!!

I'm a fan of Asian fans!!

10 June 2011

My Remains of the Day Journal

I recently took an online course taught by Mary Ann Moss, on how to make a Remains of the Day Journal.

I decided (a few months ago, actually)to create a "Remains of the Day" or "ROD" journal to highlight my life during the next year.  I entitled it "53" as that will be my age.  I made the cover out of scraps of fabric, lace and other fun things.  I am still working on the inside "signatures" and will begin sewing them in as I finish.  

My favorite colors - green and blue!

Here is how it looks laid out.

To close it, I wrap the loooong tie closure.

04 June 2011


Not a day goes by that I don't observe, experience, think of ... things that I would consider

Take the other day for example;
My son (the one in S Carolina) called to tell me what my 4 year old grandson Alex was up to.
He told me he'd heard the following conversation between Alex and my daughter in law, Erica..
Alex:   "Mommy, can you show me how to cut out a circle?"
Erica: "Sure, buddy.  Whatcha makin'?"
Alex: " I want to make a DVD."
Erica: "Oh, great! What is your movie going to be about?"
Alex: "I'm not making a movie, I'm making a DVD!"

...later that evening, after Alex was in bed, Mike and Erica decide to watch a DVD together, only to find the DVD player wouldn't work because...
"someone" had stuffed circular pieces of paper in the DVD player!! 

(my grandson, Alex)

31 May 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Yesterday was the first truly "hot" day in Cleveland. 
We went from winter ...
    ... to Monsoon ..
        ... to Summer
(as a co-worker put it - Spring was rained out this year!)

My daughters and I attended the University Heights Memorial Day Parade.
Soldiers, bagpipes, drill teams, politicians and classic cars! 

Fun fun.!

Next, headed home for some BAR B Que!!!


Hope your Memorial Day was memorable!
Many thanks for those who have given their lives in service to our nation.

27 May 2011

My Easter Artpiece

Last month I was busy working on an art piece for my church's Good Friday program.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was one of several artists asked to create my own interpretation of a particular part of the Easter story.  I was working on "Jesus was nailed to the cross."

My painting of Jesus Nailed to the Cross

I began by decoupaging strips of telephone book papers to the canvas with matte medium,
until I had covered the entire canvas.
The telephone pages represent that Jesus died for everyone,

Happily creating!!


Once I had covered the canvas with telephone book pages, I gessoed (an acrylic paint primer) over all of it, wiping off some of the gesso so the words could show through.  I also added and gessoed some of the "ugly" words in black on the bottom of the canvas, that describe man's sinful nature.
There is a great abyss that separates man from God.

I added (and gessoed) words describing the attributes of Jesus, in red, to the top of the canvas

next, using acrylic paint, I rough-painted the form of Jesus.

Christ is the mediator between God and man.  Only He can stand in the gap.
He took upon Himself ALL of the sins which man had committed in the past...
...were committing as He hung on the cross...
and ALL of the sins we would commit in the future,
All the sins of all the Adams, the Jezibels, the Gingus Khans, the Hitlers, the nice old ladies across the street,
all the murders, stealing, lying, disrespecting, prideful lusting, the forsaking and denial of God...
Every transgression of every human being past present future,
Only Christ is the spotless, perfect sacrafice.
Our sins are covered by the blood of His sacrafice.

I added more detail

I finished off the highlighting, shadows and bordered the painting with distress ink.

The finished piece at church.

24 May 2011

The RANDOM Adventures of the Gabriel Gals.

My daughters and I enjoy Randomness.  We find humor in the most absurd of situations and we are very impulsive in the things we like to do. 

Saturday (which turned out to be a gorgeous day!) we decided to go to the 2nd Annual Cleveland Asian Festival downtown.  We were immediately greeted by the aroma of ethnic foods being cooked over at the food venue. We made our way over to one of the performance-stage tents to see what type of dance was being performed.  We were ecstatic to hear a song from one of our favorite Indian movies "Lagaan", so there we stood at the edge of the venue singing - fairly poorly - the song "Radha Kaise Na Jale".
Comically RANDOM!!

We watched performances from India, Thailand, China, and Japan. We ate Korean, Phillipian, and other Asian cuisine - Yum! I purchased some exquisite jewelery from Cambodia and a beautiful fringed Japanese shawl.

Beautiful Japanese traditional dancers.

The city of Cleveland has decorated sculptures located throughout the city, commemorating the
Year of the Rabbit.
This Rabbit is a punk rocker, located in the Asian Plaza.

As we left the festival and were walking back to our car, we had to cross a bridge over a freeway overpass.  We paused to watch the cars and trucks racing below.
Then we each began to wave at the drivers.
Nearly all of the drivers waved back at us! 
It was fabulously RANDOM!!

We decided to continue our Asian Adventure by picking up some Take Out from Tree Country Bistro
Tree Country Bistro on Coventry.  It serves Japanese, Thai and Korean food.  It was de-lish-shosh!! (although a bit pricey)
We ended up parking on the roof of the parking garage and decided to amuse ourselves by watching the crowds below, undetected.  We had a blast being RANDOM!


18 May 2011

Of Rain and Rainbows

" I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,  I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind."
                                                                      Genesis 9:13-15

I love Cleveland. 

But sometimes I can get downright fed up with the long periods of foul weather.
It has been raining, about to rain or just finished raining for the better part of 2 weeks now.  My sinuses, my aching arthritic joints and by overall attitude has suffered as a result.

Gloomy, gloomy.
Sixteen shades of gray day in and day out.

Some years we skip spring altogether and go from 50's and cold drizzle right into 90's and humidity.

Well, this morning as I got my aching bones up and ready for the busy day ahead, the weatherman warned of heavy fog and periods of rain and thunderstorms - (again!!) throughout the day.  I emerged from my apartment expecting to see the gray pallette again, and was pleasantly surprised to see - ah - sunshine! 

As I rode the bus downtown, I realized the sun was shining - yet people had their umbrellas up and vehicles on the road had their windshield wipers going.  It was sunny, yet the rain was downpouring!

Well, that could only mean one thing.  There's got to be a RAINBOW somewhere!!!

I strained to see the sky over the top of the buildings in search for my rainbow.  Finally, as I disembarked from the bus and turned the corner through one of the quads on Public Square, I saw it...

A beautiful big rainbow, stretching over the square and out towards the lake!!!

"Thank you Jesus!!!" I said out loud (yes, I don't care who hears me AND I've been known to stop perfect strangers on the street to have them look at some of God's masterpieces... rainbows, full moons, and all!)

I knew I had to get a picture, but all I had was my cell phone. I'm not very techno savvy, but hey, go for it, I thought to myself.  Unfortunately my bus was just pulling up.  I struck up a conversation with the bus driver about the rainbow, on my short ride to my office - all the while trying to strain to see if I could see any remnant of it.  As I got off the bus, I saw the rainbow behind City Hall, only this time it was beginning to diminish into the lake.  I snapped this photo of it:

I was so thrilled to get a picture with my cell phone.  I crossed the street and 30 seconds later as I turned to look at the rainbow again, it had disappeared!!

I truly felt the Lord had allowed me to see this rainbow as a way to encourage me during such a dark, gloomly period and just to say "hi!" and let me know He was thinking of me!!

It made me smile all day just to think of it!

Meanwhile, it rained.  And thunderstormed. and rained some more.
Forecast for tomorrow;   showers and scattered Thunderstorms...

But, at least I know the Lord of the Universe is thinking about me!

08 April 2011

Made Me Smile

Sometimes the most random-est things make me smile.
Take this evening for example.
I was sitting on the Healthline bus, listening to my MP3 player and reading the latest edition of Somerset Studios.  The bus was stopped at a light just before an underpass.  As I glanced up, I saw a train engine coming  over the over-pass, which was enough to make me smile, right there.  ( I love trains!)  But, what REALLY made me smile was the long line of bright green with yellow trim John Deere harvesters that followed behind it.  A virtual farm equiptment parade!
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I guess it doesn't take much to amuse me...

06 April 2011

Searching for Inspiration

In my quest to create a God-honoring art piece for Easter, I have spent a little time surfing the net for ideas and encouragement. It has been exciting and thrilling to see the vast number of artists who are Followers of Christ.

Very Inspiring Video! 

After thinking and praying and reading over Scripture, I deciding to start my project.  I have decided to create a collage  which will depict "Christ on the Cross".  I've begun decoupaging the background with slips of the local White Pages.  This represents "the world" that God so loved that He gave His only Son... (John 3:16a).  Below are pictures of me beginning my project.

26 March 2011

On Faith and Art

Oh, Hello there!

So much has happened in the past 4 months that I feel were blog-worthy, but I am still trying to develop the discipline to maintain blogging... so bear with me!

Last week I was asked if I'd like to contribute an art piece for an Easter project for my church.  Several artistic members of the congregation were each asked to portray an aspect of the Easter account from scripture.

My assignment:  Jesus is nailed to the Cross.  Luke 23:33-38. 
"33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”[a]
And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:[b]


As I sat in prayer and meditation during the week I asked God to enable me to glorify Him by creating an artistic expression which would help the viewer reflect on Jesus' sacrafice and love for us.

As I searched the internet for ideas, I came across a website (one I'd placed in my favorites probably a year or so ago)  It is called "Create By Faith"  http://createbyfaith.ning.com/

The following video has inspired me to forge ahead with boldness in merging my faith with my art.
Hope you too are inspired by it;

Makoto Fujimura - The Art of "The Four Holy Gospels" from Crossway on Vimeo.