Tag Archives: oakridge nursery

I’m Getting Crafty for Christmas!

christmas centre pieceHard to believe I know, but I actually made that Christmas centrepiece I’m holding. deb and meThree friends and I met at Oakridge Garden Centre in Steinbach on Saturday where Glenys and Debbie had arranged for us to take a class in making Christmas decorations from pine sheryl adrianwith the talented and terrific Sheryl Adrian. desserts oakridge nurseryFirst up cinnamon bun steamers and some decadent desserts to share in the Oakridge Cafe while we caught up on each other’s lives in an hour of non-stop talking thenmaking centerpieces at oakridge nursery we were ready to get started on our projects under Sheryl’s tutelage. Here’s how mine progressed.

making a centrepiece

Step two making a Christmas centrepiece

step three making a christmas centrepiece

step four making a christmas centrepiece

step five making a Christmas centerpiece

final step christmas centrepiece

Our Christmas decorations were each unique, just like we are.

deb christmas centrepiece


Esther's wreath

Yes Esther was a bit of a renegade and decided to make a wreath instead of a centrepiece. esther's wreathEsther was a little wild and crazy on Saturday and she didn’t even have that glass of Sangria till after we’d finished making the wreaths. esther photo bombHere she’s actually photobombing my picture of Glenys at work. final productsWe were all very happy with our final products and we still had time to do some Christmas shopping in the wonderful Oakridge gift shop. esther presentsAfter that, we were off to have supper and open gifts before exchanging our last 2014 hugs and wishing each other a Merry Christmas.  It was a great day and exactly what I needed in the midst of busy holiday preparations. 

Other posts about the T-4’s adventures…….

Should the T-4’s Get Tattoos or Go Sky Diving?



Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Nature, People, T-4s

A Lovely Day in Steinbach

My friend Esther and I are both turning sixty this fall and so our two younger friends Debbie and Glenys planned an absolutely lovely autumn adventure for us in Steinbach, the town where we all got to know each other when we were teaching colleagues. The day was full of interesting experiences but there was plenty of time to visit and relax.  
Debbie had even made a hand drawn map that showed all the possible places we might make stops. 

The morning started at Rhyme and Reason a Steinbach heritage home that’s been turned into a homey, comfortable place to eat.
We were given the upstairs room to ourselves for our breakfast. A tiny electric fireplace soon had the space as cozy as could be and we awaited our meals which were presented beautifully and tasted just as good. 

After many cups of coffee we wandered over to the Cultural Arts Centre to check out a piece of public art by J.D. Lees, which I had never noticed before. It’s called A Love for Learning. Located near two of the first school houses in Steinbach it pays tribute to the educators of the community.

You can see a school bell in the design and the bright rainbow of colors represent hope and new beginnings. The six sections of the sculpture symbolize the major areas of study the schools in Steinbach offer-science, vocations, social studies, the arts and physical education.

The Scrapbook Cottage was our next stop. Debbie works here and happened to know it was International Card Day and they were offering free workshops led by Scrapbook Cottage owner Sharon Reimer. Visitors could come in and make a card with the staff providing materials and instructions. We had lots of fun visiting, making our cards and just browsing around the well stocked store that offers all kinds of interesting thing to look at and buy even if you’re not a devoted scrapbooker. 

Ten Thousand Villages was nearby, a store operated by Mennonite Central Committee that has items made by artisans all over the world.

Since the store is run by volunteers almost every penny of profit goes right back to the creators of the goods. We browsed to our hearts’ content and I treated myself to a new necklace.

Back in the car with Debbie as our trusty chauffer we were off to Penner Pumpkins a place for family fall fun.  You can play with the kittens, enter the corn maze or take a walk through the scarecrow forest. I bought some gourds and pumpkins for my Thanksgiving dinner decorations. 

By now it was time for lunch and we headed off to Quarry Oaks Golf Course where the fall colors were spectacular. We sat by an open window for our meal and enjoyed the good food, the great view and more conversation. No, we hadn’t run out of things to talk about yet. We never do!

Although it wasn’t on Debbie’s map, we decided on a spontaneous side trip when we saw a sign advertising Ev’s Open House.  Ev Wiebe is a talented designer of beautiful things and she had her home filled with Thanksgiving and fall pieces that were unusual and so reasonably priced. I bought a centerpiece for my Thanksgiving table and we enjoyed visiting with Ev while sipping some of her spicy apple cider.

Dessert was saved for last at Oakridge Nursery where Debbie and Glenys treated us to mini cheesecakes and lattes. They had even brought candles and Esther and I had to try and blow them out in one breath.

It was after 5 o’clock before Esther and I headed back to Winnipeg. We’d had a lovely day in Steinbach. 

Other posts……..

The Wave-Art In the Interlake

Finding My Inner Artist

Devour the District

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Food, New Experiences, People, Retirement, T-4s

Finding My Inner Artist

I am not an artist! I have never been able to draw or paint and art classes were excruciating experiences for me in school. I remember in grade eight, my art teacher held up my attempt at a drawing assignment on perspective for all the class to see, and declared in a loud and sarcastic tone, “MaryLou Peters you can’t even draw a straight line with a ruler.” I had to take art in junior high. Art class was on Friday morning and Thursday night I would sit at the desk in my bedroom in agony trying to finish my art homework. My mother, bless her heart, often took pity on me and helped me finish so I could go to bed. 

During my teaching career when  I would sketch something on the board for my students while trying to explain a concept or idea they would frequently laugh at me or offer to do the drawing for me. 

You can imagine my trepidation then, when I found out that the next meeting with a group of friends I have been getting together with regularly since retirement, would include a session of painting–just for fun. “Hardly fun for me”, I thought, but I wasn’t about to spoil things for the other three women in our little group we call the T-4’s, since there are four of us and we all have taught together in the past.

We started our afternoon together with a leisurely and lovely lunch at the Oakridge Nursery Tearoom which serves hearty soups, light sandwiches and sinful desserts. Enjoying the food and the good conversation I could almost forget about the art experience ahead. 


Then we were off to my friend Glenys’ lovely home to paint! And guess what? It was FUN! We painted with food coloring and Glenys gave us each a paint tray with little sections in which she had arrayed the colors in complimentary order.

 We painted flowers and Glenys had beautiful photographs of flowers for us to look at as samples. She encouraged us to draw ‘large’ and touch the corners of our paper. She had provided different kinds of paint brushes.


My friends were all so affirming and encouraging about my painting that I didn’t feel awkward or inept. Glenys had carefully chosen serene and inspiring music to provide a background to our brushstrokes. 


The glasses of white wine and dishes of various kinds of chocolate that Glenys and my friend Debbie provided to compliment our painting session, helped erase any inhibitions I may have had about my artistic capabilities.  We had such a good time chatting and painting and laughing together. 


Glenys had even bought frames for our paintings and when they were all displayed on a shelf they looked great. I wasn’t even embarrassed about my paintings being seen with those of my three friends who are all naturally artistic. 

I may have to re-think my assumption that I haven’t an artistic bone in my body. With a little wine, a little chocolate, the right music, easy to use materials and the affirmation of friends even I can be an artist. 

1 Comment

Filed under Art, New Experiences, Retirement, T-4s