Carolyn Antl

C. Antl's art and musings.

November 26, 2015
by Carolyn
0 comments

Thanksgiving 2015

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

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

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

Black Friday Shopping, 2015

Our Niece Working on Black Friday

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

October 31, 2015
by Carolyn
0 comments

Halloween 2015

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

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)

Our Daughter Now (2015) and Then (2001)

August 13, 2015
by Carolyn
0 comments

Design for Sports Club Event

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

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!

Designing makes me happy.

May 27, 2015
by Carolyn
0 comments

Bird and Butterfly Gardening

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.

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.

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.

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

Shrubs and Woody Stems: Arborvitae ‘Bobazam’ (Mr. Bowling Ball), Azalea Exbury ‘Lemon Lights’, Azalea Evergreen, Burning Bush, Butterfly Bush Buddleia Davidii ‘White Profusion’, Grape ‘Concord’, Lilac, Viburnum Burkwood (Mock Orange), Viburnum Linden (Cardinal Candy), Raspberry ‘Red’, Rhododendron, Salvia Nemorosa ‘May Night’, Quince ‘Texas Scarlet’

Trees: Alberta Spruce, Arborvitae Emerald Green, Crabapple Malus ‘Robinson’, Cherry Prunus Serrulata ‘Kwanzan Cherry’, Magnolia ‘Sweet Bay’, Pine Pinus Strobus White, Serviceberry ‘Autumn Brilliance’

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.

Happy gardening!