Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sleepless Meandering

Hasn't happened in a long time...this sleepless process. I was in bed by 10, but must have been that the dogs were in and out, not cuddled in with us...that woke me...

I have checked out the blogs of children and husband. Committed to making something by hand made for a number of friends...FACEbook challenge...

Thought about what I have learned regarding making changes in a life...not so easy to do, but one of the tenants is to announce intentions...so living healthier and visiting the gym more often count in that arena...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Little Girls

Just wanted to say to you mother's with little boys, little girls can sometimes be a handful too.
I know a little girl who:
 used to set the lit candle in the book shelf,
 used to spin in her mother's top load washer,
 climbed trees higher than any little boy in the neighborhood,
 was known to walk out on the second story roof and invite her siblings out to play,
 enjoyed eating worms and mud pie,
 knew how to climb up on to the roof of every garage or barn in neighborhood,
 laid pennies and dimes on the railroad tracks,
 could whistle with a steel whistle and with fingers in her mouth,
 pitched better than all the guys, and
 made a coach say, maybe he was leaving too soon.
As day time had too many opportunities - she stayed up all night with the drop light in her closet reading..once she learned to read. She wasn’t interested in dolls, or playing house, nor did she wait to play with others. She liked green beans, fried chicken legs, and mashed potatoes, and if those items were not on the table she didn’t mind not eating.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Past

For years this special tree had been boxed away in all its original packing...

Forty years later as Patty, Peggy, Susan, and I cleaned out one of the out buildings, we found this square box that says 'Everygleam Stainless Aluminum Christmas Tree'. Patty and I vied for the box and ownership...but it was decided it would go to Patty's home for the first year, travel to my home for the following year, and then on to Peggy's for the year after. Our tree will now make this journey from Oklahoma to Virginia and then on to Colorado and back to Oklahoma. Susan cannot understand our fascination for this relic. But she was only two at the time Mike was injured.

I was 10 years old the year friends brought to our home on Christmas night or morning an aluminum tree, and presents that we did not expect or hope for. We have no idea how it got set up, and could only guess who provided the gifts. We were hoping for the return for the day of our 5 year old brother, who had been injured in late fall in a bizarre accident.

My sisters and I climbed out of bed on that Christmas morning with one and only one expectation - We knew that Mom and Dad were on their way to pick up our brother at the hospital. He was going to come home just for Christmas Day. Our Grandmother would be coming soon with cinnamon rolls and the ham to be baked for dinner later that day. But when we walked into the living room, there stood an aluminum tree, decorated, and gifts for all of us.

Mike did come home for the day, and returned to the hospital for additional days finally coming home to recover in January. It was magical, and sharing this story today with a friend brought fresh tears for the wonder and thoughtfulness of our friends who made celebrating that Christmas more than we hoped for.

My grandson, Emerson, helped me assemble the tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I decorated it with the ornaments Patty purchased. This is my favorite time of the year, my favorite holiday, for me there are so many magical memories. And I wish you and your family the blessings of the holidays....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stone Carving weekend

We hosted the Back Yard Stone Carvers and an intensive 3.5 days of carving at our home over a long weekend. Here is the result of the assignment, find a found object, no larger then a 50 cent piece, add a component to it, either organic if it is an inorganic piece,or inorganic if it is an organic piece (made out of clay). Then each student produced something, received the instructor's okay, and set it on a table. Students drew numbers and then selected the piece they wanted to complete. I choose an acorn cap with a spiral. I chose dendritic stone and Brazilian soap stone to complete the work. The piece is about 2.5" tall by 2.5" wide by 2" deep.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Risk Taking

I was reflecting on the differences between Ron and I. Yeah, I know he's a guy and I can be somewhat girlie...but what I was thinking about are our personalities...

I am shy - he never met a stranger
I often bite my tongue - he and our children speak their minds and seem comfortable in explaining what and why they have come to the decisions they have made - I need the time to reflect and often cannot verbalize why I have come to a decision - I just know it is right for me
I had a catholic upbringing - he learned to challenge authority at an early age
I was raised with a gaggle of kids - Ron spent most of his childhood with adults
I was raised in the country and a small farming community - he was raised on the beach and in a metropolitan area
I really didn't want to learn to drive a vehicle- Ron was driving before he had a driver's license (okay, okay it may be a guy thing)
I have no close friends from my teenage years (beyond my sisters) - Ron has a couple of bests from high school and they spend time catching up a few times a year
I lack a sense of humor - Ron has a well developed sense of humor
I get lost in a world of things - Ron is a people person

Our commonalities are we-
like to travel,
enjoy driving,
are spontaneous,
are not afraid to take a risk,
enjoy working with our hands,
like trying new things,
trust each other,
and at 37 years of marriage I still consider him my best friend

I'll always be glad he -
risked speaking to the "girl who brought her dad to class"
was adventurous enough to invite himself to the Denver Museum of Art with her,
was impressed by a girl who wasn't afraid to slide under the car in 20 inches of snow to be sure the shifting gear was secure, and
was not so macho he had to buy the coffee and German chocolate cake.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Embroidery and other needlework

I think my grandmother and mother taught me how to embroider. I know I learned smocking from Leona or Greta in Brownies and or Scouts. But if a kid was sick, she could be sure that Grandma or Aunt Lena would have some little needle work project to help pass the time. I never enjoyed cross stitch, but I loved the process of growing stitches. As a teenager I had bell bottoms with embellishment. I still have a red velvet skirt I made while living in Denver...

..but here is a site that I discovered about two weeks ago after that discussion in the "Artist's Statement Workshop". And this site re-acquainted me with a long unpracticed skill, embroidery. Many of you I am sure have books and magazines..but if you need a quick look and direction I would encourage you to check out this web site http://inaminuteago.com/stitchindex.html Sharon b's Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework Here is a sample of what it inspired me to do..

I have decided to retrieve the work on the skirt and re-purpose the embroidery...but this decision also comes from looking at this site,and thinking about my sisters, my daughters, and nieces...and planning for a Christmas treat so here is a tease, I still have to purchase a few yards of material...but I know what I will be doing over the next few months, when I am not working on a block for my daughter's block swap. So the July block is done, the lemonade..
and I just need to work on the exterior awnings. I washed the cloth today, tomorrow I will cut them and edge them so I can begin the "fun" work of creating gifts.
The green silk is from Kazakhstan, Ron brought it home from a trip to the East, the small piece of cream silk is the portion of left over from Anilia's wedding cape, the black corded silk (that all the material is laying on) came from a store a few blocks from Erica's home in Baton Rouge, P. Tree Textiles.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What do you do?

When the "oldbikerider" leaves for these trips, people always ask what do you do? well this year I am working on the yard, he kindly taught me how to mow, and when it's not to hot and the grass has grown, I mow.

I am working on a quilt block theme "Swelter" for the month of July. This block is the result of deciding to do a glass of lemonade, but more directly a result of a workshop I took a weekend ago about developing an artist statement. You can see Toni Bowman's work at this web site http://www.cpsvp.vt.edu/gallery-3.html. And Vikki King who is a portrait artist, her site is http://www.ebsqart.com/Artists/cmd_vikkiking_Profile.htm. But back to the block, it was the conversation
Toni had with the facilitator about her daughter's work that led to this block..and hopefully a few other ideas.

But in this time of quiet and stuff that needs to be done, there is a planning time
for other work to be done, like the awnings. This was such a success, we plan to make more for the front of the house as well. By just hanging them on the exterior we were able to decrees the interior temperature by my guess is a minimum of 5 degrees, if not more... so, Ron may be away, but there is much to be completed.