Monday, November 24, 2008




Galena is the largest city in, and county seat of, Jo Daviess County, Illinois in the United States with an estimated population of 3,396 in 2006. The city is a popular tourist destination known for its history, historical architecture, as well as its ski and golf resorts.
Galena is located in the Driftless Zone, an area that was not covered by glaciers during the recent ice ages. This area, which includes the far northwestern corner of the state of Illinois, escaped glaciation, even while almost the entire state was glaciated, nearly to its southern tip. Because it escaped glaciation, this area is known for its hills, valleys, bluffs and large amounts of exposed rock.

Ulysses S. Grant, the future American Civil War general and 18th U.S. President, lived in Galena for several years working as an assistant in his father and brother's leather shop. Today the Grant home is a popular tourist attraction.

The city is named for the mineral galena. It is the natural mineral form of lead sulfide, and the most important lead ore mineral. Native Americans, including the Sac and Fox tribes, mined the ore in Galena for use as body painting. In the 1690s French trappers discovered the area and also began mining the lead.

Within a few centuries American settlers arrived in the area. George Davenport, a retired colonel in the United States Army, successfully shipped Galena's first boatload of lead ore down the Mississippi River in 1816. Three years later a trading post was built in Galena which led to the first steamboat arriving in 1824. By 1845 Galena was producing nearly 27,000 tons of lead ore. At that time Jo Daviess County was producing eighty percent of the lead in the United States.

FAMILY the Galena Territory

Down the winding country roads...

Over foggy wooden bridges that creek and groan beneath your tires....

is an log home that is nestled among the hills and trees...

The anticipation builds as you climb up the winding driveway and see the horses grazing on the sweet, and verdant emerald grass...

Corgis Bonnie and Clementine are there to greet you as you alight from your car. They show you around the enchanted grounds until you find their owners....

Grandma Lovely and Poopah, aka. Lary and Nancy who are always there with a warm welcome!

Even the barn cats come out to see who is visiting...

In the back of the house lives an old enchanted shag bark hickory tree named Norman...

come back for another visit soon!

Sunday, November 23, 2008



A few times a year my wonderful, crazy, artistic friends and I like to get together for a nice dinner, scrumptous dessert, good coffee and of course CRAFTS!

We try to create a different menu each time we get together so we can try new things!

No matter how much we eat, there is always room for dessert!


Apple pie!

These are some of the fun centerpieces that I created...

We like to pick on Jane!

We always have a blast when we're together!

Pretty Jane!

Me ~ Jane ~ Jeannie

The name Back Yard Studios came about when my husband, Mark, bought me a shed for my 40th birthday. (ok, that was three years ago, but who's counting!) He saw the need for me to have some place where I could work on my art and not have to scoop it up and put it away before I had to set the table for dinner!

We placed the shed in the back of the yard under a big tree, and up against the woods. All fall and the beginning of winter I worked on it; staining, building window boxes, putting in flooring, work benches, insulation and pine boards for my finished walls. My friend Jane's husband put in electric outlets on all the walls! Thanks Phil! My husband finished off the ceiling with pine and installed track lighting!

We even managed to fit a sleeper sofa from LL Bean into it!

Though the space is small, I have managed to fit a tv with surround sound in here! A space heater makes it usable all year round. Yes, even in the cold winter months it's very toasty in here!

Even Lily our pug comes to hang out!

I have had many dinner parties where my friends and I end up out here in the studio with hot coffee, dessert and crafting! Even the kids and the dogs enjoy hanging out. If it had a bathroom I don't think I'd ever leave! It truly is a special place....
Thank you Mark!