Thanksgiving in our home begins with thinking of family; where and what time to meet, and then what goodies to give and share.
On Thanksgiving day we take an early morning walk with my sister and niece, then meet with the Antl side of the family for dinner at 3 or 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon. We take turns with my husband’s cousins hosting Thanksgiving in our homes.
About 30-35 members of our clan meet on Thanksgiving day bearing delightful delicacies, and we enjoy a wonderful pot luck dinner complete with turkey. My daughter has developed a secret recipe for deviled eggs and that is the delicious specialty we traditionally provide along with a relish tray.
Making Deviled Eggs for Thanksgiving
This November we celebrated Thanksgiving at our cousin’s house in North Ridgeville, Ohio. They like to deep fry their turkeys and cooked up three of them. It was a beautiful day, unseasonably warm and this year our daughter’s boyfriend joined us again. Apparently, we haven’t scared him away — yet.
Thanksgiving With the Clan, 2015
After Thanksgiving we start thinking about a newly created event called “Black Friday”. It jumpstarts business and gets many people to start seriously spending for the upcoming holiday. On Black Friday, special savings are offered on products within a limited time. I remember it becoming popular in Ohio around 2003.
I’m not a fan of Black Friday since it interrupts and overshadows traditional Thanksgiving and tends to focus folks’ attention on a shopping extravaganza. The stores are even starting to open at 3 p.m. Thanksgiving day to sell their wares. Humph!
On Black Friday eve, we go through the newspaper advertisements looking for sales that interest us and plan our trip. As much as I don’t like it, the savings are too good to pass up and we usually start shopping on Black Friday at about 5:00 a.m. I refuse to go on Thanksgiving day.
Black Friday Shopping, 2015
Our Niece Working on Black Friday
This year I went Black Friday shopping with my sister, daughter and her boyfriend at 5:30 a.m. We went to Kohl’s department store first, and we were out until 9:30 a.m. It was fun shopping together and we were exhausted by the time we got home. Time for a nap and a nice weekend ahead of us.
Over the years I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family planning, decorating, and dressing up in costumes to celebrate Halloween. I treasure all the memories: walking with my daughter, niece and sister to go trick or treating, attending parties with my family and friends, and watching “The Addams Family” television show reruns.
This year, my daughter walked her boyfriend’s little sister around the neighborhood on All Hallows’ Eve and she decided to dress in costume. Originally she wanted to dress up as Tinker Bell. And after many travels to stores looking for reasonably priced costumes, which are hard to find the night before Halloween, she decided to be an angel.
Our Halloween Angel, 2015
It was challenging to find a costume that night; and finally, we found a white long sleeve T-shirt on sale plus, a reasonably priced package containing a halo and angel wings. Her costume was simple, cute, creative and effective. She wore the halo, wings, white shirt and black leggings trick or treating with Maddie and looked like the sweet angel she is. The best part was seeing her use her creativity and patience to select a costume. She has learned to spend her money wisely and I’m so proud of her.
What’s really neat is that on the first Halloween we took her trick or treating, we dressed her in costume as an angel. So being the sentimental mom I am, I took pictures and I’m featuring them here to show how she’s grown and to remember these moments. I love her so much!
Our Daughter Now (2015) and Then (2001)
September 30, 2015
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This was a fun project! I created original artwork and design for a local sport and social club’s houseboating event; a six day houseboat trip on Norris Lake, TN.
Original artwork and design by Carolyn Antl
The design was printed on t-shirts and coolie cups, which were handed out to people on the trip. With this design, people were able to identify the figures (their friends) in the design. They had fun with that and loved it!
Lees Parts is a small business that designs, manufactures and distributes custom, handcrafted pinball mods for pinball machines worldwide. The founder, Lee, grew this business out of his enthusiasm for playing pinball and asked me to design a logo that would reflect his brand. This is the process I went through to design the logo for Lees Parts.
LeesParts.com pinball mods logo in black and red
First, I got together with Lee to learn about the business, his target audience and preferences. He wanted the Lees Parts’ logo to promote a good business providing handcrafted, hand tested, quality pinball mods that are durable and easy to install. And, his preferences included using red, black and white in the color scheme.
The audience likes their machines to be fast, intuitive and pretty; interactive with lights and booming sounds and phrases. And, increasing game play and enhancing the play field are the main benefits to the consumer using Lees Parts. As we work on this, that will be the main message to convey. Perhaps it will be used in the tag line on the upcoming new website scheduled to go live in January 2016.
I worked up conceptual mocks in Adobe Illustrator, since its vector based and the files are scalable, then printed them out and reviewed them with Lee. There were two mocks Lee liked and that I thought would work well for his business — they reflected the ideas in the creative brief. I went back to the computer, worked on them some more, nailed one down and put the finishing touches on it. This resulted in a good strong logo for Lees Parts.
The final logo for Lees Parts in black and white
The main text is bold and flows like the chute in a pinball machine, especially the letter “S”. It’s stylized and has a good look and feel. The font used for “PINBALL MODS” is rounded reflecting the smooth round motion and shape of the pinball, and it tells you what the business is about; pinball mods.
The client is pleased with the final logo. It’s clear and easy to read at a small size, in both print and online. And, it’s strong in black and white. The logo is complete.
Later, I was asked to produce some artwork for promotional material, for coasters and T-shirts. The logo was combined with a star bumper element for coasters. This symbol is iconic in the pinball community.
Lees Parts logo designed with a star bumper element for promotional coasters
For T-shirts, the hand drawn image of Lee himself was added. This works especially well since it promotes a handcrafted look and holds the attention of the person viewing it — it’s interesting and memorable.
Lees Parts T-shirt design with logo and www.LeesParts.com
Soon I’ll be working on www.LeesParts.com website to make it fully responsive and include social. I’ll keep you posted.
June 30, 2015
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When gardening, I like to create a beautiful space that nourishes birds, butterflies, bunnies and other backyard wildlife. Creating a safe habitat for them is fun! It supports backyard critters and provides backyard interest for my family, plus it’s refreshing exercise for me.
This is a view of my backyard bird and butterfly garden.
In 2003 I decided to make our yard more inviting by planting trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. I was eager to transform the backyard yet I didn’t know what I wanted to plant or exactly how to garden. By using the internet, reading books, and talking with family and friends, I’ve learned much about landscape design and gardening.
Historically, before 2003 our front yard had some small evergreen shrubs and hosta plants along the front wall of our home – it needed some improvement. The backyard needed much more work. It had an old rusty chain link fence, one very old, large maple tree, and grass.
The first change was to create a nice backdrop for the gardens before I started planting. The rusty fence was replaced with a traditional wood fence and I painted it white. Then I researched and planned for the gardens. Here are some helpful tips in case you are interested in starting a garden.
Plan your garden on paper before choosing plants. There are many types of gardens; fruit, vegetable, Zen, and formal just to name a few. I planned to create a garden mostly for birds and butterflies with a tropical look and feel.
Before selecting plants, three key items to consider include learning about which zone the garden falls under regarding location, the soil conditions and the lighting conditions.
To learn more:
• Reference a gardening zone guide to learn about which zone you are in.
• Learn about the soil conditions with an inexpensive, easy to use soil tester kit from your local garden center.
• Watch and write down the lighting conditions for specific areas of your yard.
En example of a plant zone hardiness map for the United States.
Research plants online, in books, or visit a local garden center and read the informative tags on plants to select the right plant for a specific spot in your garden, whether it has bright sun all day, part sun and part shade, or all shade.
After testing the native soil in our yard I found out it is clay based and highly alkaline — it’s hard and poor. A few plants, for example Lilly of the Valley, Purple Tall Bearded Irises and Red Raspberry perennials grow well in the native clay soil, and many plants don’t. I must prepare and enrich the soil in my yard before planting.
To improve the quality of soil before I plant, I mix my native clay soil with Miracle Grow Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables, Garden Magic Topsoil, and coffee grinds. Sometimes I’ll throw in a little compost or peat moss, too.
To provide a garden for birds and butterflies, select plants that will attract and provide them with fruit, flowers, nectar, and shelter. Include bird baths and saucers to provide them with water, and bird houses for shelter.
The following plants have proven to be winners in my northeastern Ohio yard, located in zone 5. The perennial plants have survived two extremely cold winters with temperatures as low as -20 degrees F.
Annuals: Marigold, Geranium, Portulaca, Salvia ‘Vista Red’, Pansy and Viola
Annual and Perennial Herbs: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Parsley (Flat and Curly), Thyme, Rosemary, Sage
Bulbs and Rhizomes: Hyacinth, Tulip, Canna Lilly ‘Red King Humbert’
The Canna Lilly is one of my favorites.
Perennials: Black-Eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’, Lobelia Cardinalis ‘Queen Victoria’, Coneflower, (Echinacea) ‘Sombrero Salsa Red’, False Indigo ‘Purple Smoke’, Fern ‘Ghost’, Hardy Hibiscus ‘Jazzberry Jam’, Hardy Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’, Hens and Chicks, Hostas, Iris ‘Purple Tall Bearded’, Poppy ‘Beauty of Livermere’
Perennial Ground Cover: Lilly of the Valley ‘Bordeaux’, Pachysandra (Japanese Spurge), Sedum
These plants work well in our garden since they are hardy in this climate; provide fruit, seed, nectar and shelter to animals, and are low maintenance. Plus, these varieties bloom at different times of the year — there’s always some color and interest in the yard.
Gardening is interesting, endless and ever changing. I don’t feel it’s ever finished, but rather a creative work in progress. I’ve been working in our garden for 15 years and enjoy the opportunities it provides to learn and grow.
I’m an enthusiastic gardener and find the work pleasant and relaxing — it is a lot of work, but if you enjoy it, it’s not so much work and well worth the effort.