Dream and Design!

Put on an architect’s hat. You might discover a place filled with patterns and colors.

A place for friends.

A place for a party — with pets.

Cartoon of dog drawn by student next to a photo of dog. Both are placed near a round table with paper "food."

A place for quiet thoughts.

Small figured drawn by student and placed in an "alcove" created by tiny boxes.

A place to dream.

The children at Carlin Springs Elementary School created these designs in after school art club. Materials included recycled boxes, plastic lids, ribbons, beads, pipe cleaners, colored papers, markers, stickers, tape, glue, paint, and photos.

Often we look at books from the public library for inspiration. For younger children, you might read Home by Carson Ellis or In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck. For older children, I bring out a book I bought many years ago, Houses by Piero Ventura.  We design by drawing, cutting, folding, and gluing until our homes are complete!

Student holding stickers and working with an assortment of materials on the table.


Strawberries | watercolor | 6" by 6"
Strawberries | watercolor | 6" by 6"

Strawberries. You can grow them in pots on a deck. Just find a sunny space, fill your containers with soil or growing medium, add your plants and then water. Don’t forget the TLC.

I have a small garden plot outside my kitchen door. We pick berries for breakfast!

For more information on growing strawberries in containers, read the advice in the How to Garden Guide.

Blue House

Blue House | watercolor on grey background | 5″ by 6″ | NFS

February Snow

Grey clouds. Icicles on the trees. White streets  dotted with colors. Cars muffled by an airy,  frozen quilt. At the first snow I become a tourist in my own town.

As I walk through my neighborhood, I start thinking about winter gardens. For sparkling textures and winter color, I look for ideas at the web site of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Of course, my children always wanted to lure rabbits to our back yard. That’s possible with advice from this article called Inviting Wildlife into Your Garden by Claire Hagen Dole.


Reading. Writing. Painting. Creating. Tending the garden. Snooping through books at the library. Looking for woodpeckers and Virginia bluebells. Walking the dog along the river.

I have worked as a messenger, a maid, a server in a tea room, a teacher, a writer, an illustrator and a registered architect. Now I lead workshops for children and teens. Together we create drawings, paintings, books, 3D constructions, and inventions of all kinds while exploring our city and the wider world!