Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring has come to Bishop last!

I thought it would never happen -
but the snow has melted
and the grass is greening up!
Please come and celebrate the return of warmth 

with us in Bishop Hill at our annual
Spring Jubilee

Saturday, April 11th
Several special events will take place throughout town;
we hope you'll take time to sample these:

  • The Bishop hill Arts Council Welcome Center will host an Art Show featuring Galesburg artist, Jillie Swanson, with a meet the artist reception from 10am to noon.
  • Sweet Annie Primitives will hold a Spring Open House from 10am to 4pm.
  • “Put a little Art in Your Garden” will be the focus of a Studio Open House at Hantverk Galleri. Find handmade garden-inspired pottery birdhouses, plant pots, fairy houses and more from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Stop in at the Bishop Hill Museum to pick up some bird nesting material to offer to your neighboring feathered friends!
  • Richard Morthland will perform a first person portrayal of John Deere.  This program will be at 2pm in the Dairy Building, located at 410 North Erickson Street. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Warmth and good cheer in the year ahead!

my view west
This morning I awoke to find a crawl of weather-related cancellations running across the TV screen during the local news. Snow is predicted for our area and the temperature is expected to drop well below zero in the week ahead. I immediately felt uncomfortable by the ominous forecast. Brushing back the curtains, I saw it was still dark outside. I caught a picture the full moon just before it slipped below the horizon at dawn. 
a frequent visitor
Most cultures have given meaningful names to the full moons throughout the year. Here in the Midwest this month’s moon, The Wolf Moon, was at it’s fullest on January 4th at 10:52 pm. Howling heard in the cold dark of night inspired the name and, although the calls you hear today are more likely coyotes than timber wolves, that eerie midnight song is just as chilling. Burrrrrrrr.
The beauty of living in Bishop Hill is never more obvious to me than when I’m forced inside by weather. I live in a cottage built in 1928. It was the first dwelling in the village built - not retrofit - with central heating, indoor plumbing, and electricity!
my little mermaids
The tiny footed tub in the guest bathroom was the height of luxury back in the day. Generations later, it still delights the youngest of my clan! How easy it is to romanticize the past. But truth be told, thinking of what winter weather meant to the settlers of this community, makes me feel snug, warm, and most fortunate to be living here NOW!

May the frostiest of your days be warmed by the same sort of epiphany that comforts me here in utopia today. Plan to visit again in 2015. Honor the past but let our history reminded you how privileged you are to be living in the present! Cheers to you in the year ahead.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lucia Celebration Continues in Bishop Hill

The weather is unseasonably warm and contributes to the festive mood here in Bishop Hill on the second day and night of our Lucia festival, Saturday, December 13th.
Before I moved to Bishop Hill and was charmed by its culture, I was aware of Lucia and even recalled a Lucia Betsy McCall paper doll that was created in the early 70's. It makes a lovely memento of the day and I include it HERE TO DOWNLOAD with an invitation to join the crowd tonight as we celebrate the darkest night and the bringer of light, Lucia.
 Enjoy these offerings:
- the Peoria Cooperative Academy Chorale will perform at 6pm in the VagnHall Galleri
- the Mountain Men will entertain visitors in VagnHall Galleri at 7pm
- Brian “Fox” Ellis will share traditional Swedish and Pioneer Christmas stories and lead a  sing-a-long of favorite carols at the Welcome Center from 6pm-9pm 
- Hammer and Pick will be play from 6pm-9pm at the Steeple Building
- Woodcarving Demonstrations will take place at the Steeple Building from 6pm-9pm
- Soup and Chili Supper at the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church will begin at 4:30pm and continue until the pot is empty! A free-will donation is appreciated.
An Old Fashioned Barn Dance will be held at the Colony School featuring The Rusty Pickup Band on Saturday, December 13, at 7pm. All dances will be taught and called by Gail Hintze and Jim Hicks. Admission is $5 per person, and beginners are welcome. No partner is necessary.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Market continues in Bishop Hill

Grab some goodies at the Chocolate Walk when you visit!
I made them again: crunchy butterscotch nests with gumdrop cardinals. These, are part of a tempting array of chocolates and other confections that await you in the Bishop Hill Welcome Center this weekend Saturday, 12/6 and Sunday, 12/7 from 10am - 5pm. Fill a plate or a box; the goodies are sold by the pound. The proceeds from the Chocolate Walk will fund public events and Arts Council programs in the year ahead.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bishop Hill Cookie Walk This Weekend

held at the Colony School
Friday, Nov 28 and Saturday, Nov 29
 9am to 4pm
This is a fundraiser for, and sponsored by,
The Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association
       The Bishop Hill Community Methodist Church         

There are many many superlative bakers who contribute their cookies and sweets to this event each year. I strive to keep up with them but know have a way to go. This year I made the delicious cutout shortbread cookies shown above. They are flavor-packed with almond and coco and the combo is the best tasting shortbread I have produced yet.

However, in the presence of such seasoned bakers, I generally opt for no-bake confections that please the eye and palate but also fall in the no fail category of desserts. This "recipe" is great to make with children.   It's also great for folks that don't bake but want to make something festive.

Because my business is  The Feathered Nest, and I sell all sorts of eggs, it's only natural that I make these: I just finished a batch of gumdrop chicks in haystack nests for the Cookie Walk and plan to make a chocolaty version for the Chocolate Walk next weekend.
Not able visit Bishop Hill to pick up some goodies at the School? Try your hand at making a few nests! You can find a pictorial instruction sheet HERE. Very easy to do and nice for any holiday. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Photos of Bishop Hill - Do you see what I see?

I had fun taking pictures this past weekend in Bishop Hill. The weather was beautiful and the town was filled with gleeful guests enjoying the harvest celebration. I remember a time when cameras held film and every shot was executed with care because to print photos took time and money. Digital cameras have changed all that. In two days I clicked hundreds of pics expecting to use the best of the best here for your perusal online. When I got home and  reviewed my photos I laughed at my folly. Because I was hasty,  many of my shots contained unattractive modern elements like coolers, speakers, and trashcans. Only a decade ago I would have framed each pic to avoid such blemishes but I thought it would be easy enough to crop or erase them. But it's not so easy. Other views of the crowd often captured at least one person in an unattractive pose or gesture. Lots of oops here and there.
And finally, what made me laugh the most, was discovering that a many of my photos contained one or more photographers front and center, snapping the subject I was focused on!  If you would like to see some amazing Ag Days photographs, courtesy of Lou Lourdeau, (no butts, coolers, or photographers) check out this posting on the BHHA website!

This brings to mind something I read last week. According to the latest statistics in a recent Wall Street Journal article by Eben Shapiro, smartphones have exponentially increased the amount of street photographs taken. In the piece he goes on to report this jaw-dropping statistic: Every two minutes today we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800s. 

Ah, but I wonder how many of these images have the ability to provoke thoughts or start a conversation?

That said, I am always interested in how visitors “see” Bishop Hill. I live here and often overlook the corners of the community an out-of-towner includes in his snapshots. I would love to view the pictures that Bishop Hill guests wish to share. I am working on an online album to which folks can add their best. Please email me for details if you have something to contribute. Want to share images today? You are invited to add your photos to the Bishop Hill Arts Council Facebook page. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. When folks see Bishop Hill at its best, they are far more inclined to visit!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkins galore in Bishop Hill

Bishop Hill's Jordbruksdagarna  celebration delighted all who attended - especially the young and young at heart. Thanks to those who came from near and far and special thanks to all the hardworking vendors and volunteers that made this festival outstanding!
If you missed picking out that special pumpkin from Ryan Werkheiser, owner of Nature's Creations at 21229 North 500th Avenue in Kewanee, his farm will be open to the public on Wednesdays through October 22. For an appointment, call 309-932-3834.

Check out more from Ryan here:
October 5&6 and 11&13, Knoxville Fairgrounds
October 11, Fall Review, Cambridge Methodist Church 
October 18, Craft Show, Galva High School