Ida Bohatta(1900-1992), children's book illustrator, ViennaPrepping right now. Our guest list has expanded and the humongous pork roast that looked like leftovers for days looks just right. We are now at 15. I baked two layer cakes (from the Ghiradelli cocoa container...fab) and froze one of them. The other I split open and iced this morning manifesting itself as a proud and tall, four layer cake. I put pearly decorations on the top so that is ready. We made ice cream sandwiches with the cookes we got yesterday and used up the remaining chocolate icing to make chocolate oreo type cookies to offer around too. There was a great deal of effort put around cleaning out the fridge--from processing stuff to throwing stuff away. I am making an order of whole wheat twists to use up the bulgur wheat that Rob is so interested in my getting rid of. Rob is busy making the table bigger and finding chairs for tonight. Kitty and Alex are skiing and will be back to the full house they seem to be enjoying.

Last night's entertainment was teaching each other how to whistle through our hands and flip bottle caps to shoot them across the room. Great Hilarity. There was dj'ing by the teens with Alex gracefullly dancing for us. I think that boy has dancing genes like Kitty. Tonight there is cake and all sorts of friends from the older ones to peers. So there should be some fun for everyone.

Ida BohattaI was floating around in my illustration haze yesterday and banged into Ida Bohatta through my search for Erzegebirge stuff to draw.  Turns out, Ida Bohatta figured heavily in the illustrations of my childhood in birthday cards and postcards from Mrs Eddy (my grandmother) and later my mother. They were often images of little fairies with bugs, or gnomes at the holidays and the like. And guess what? She too, is part of this charming German tradition that is part of my personal DNA, my illustration mis en place.  Bohatta was born in 1900 and attended German art schools and then on to the Successionist program. The illustration at the top of the page was completed when she was fourteen years old. That training and rigor did not seem to dampen the spirits of this illustrator whose whimsy and world is equal to the Englishwoman, B. Potter but in a different spirit. I need to go further on this...but just wanted to share this new illustrator. I have a bid on a little book she did for my friend , J Decker, who may be inspired by this illustrator who lives in the same charming forest she does.

Have to go. There is bread to punch down and tables to set.