Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Just a couple of days before Christmas, Jacob and I were busy making Grammy's famous sugar cookies again. He is a deprived child...he had never licked the beater after the cookies were mixed until he came to Grammy's.....something about uncooked eggs....He is sitting on his counter reaching crate as his job was to decorate them again

Christmas day brought a surprise to our house! Santa Clause left things for Jacob and Ashton. Jacob has been spending a lot of time drawing, especially with the caulk on the blackboard! The other side has a dry erase but he can hang paper there also. Santa also left him a Jacob sized folding table and two chairs so he can sit down to play with his play doh that his grandparents got for him.

And not to be left out, Ashton managed to stay awake once in a while, when he wasn't eating, in order to check things out. He was not too interested in what Santa left for him.
And my dad....I keep remembering what he looked like 15 months ago at 115 pounds and bed was great to have him with us for Christmas eve and Christmas day.
I have been doing some fabric collages. These are $75 each and are framed but have not been professionally photographed so this don't look straight, etc and the lighting isn't good. These are 14 x 16".
Ginko 1

Ginko 2

Ginko 3

Ginko 4

I have been busy working on my class which goes on line on Jan 21. I only have a couple of slots open at this time. I have two students from Switzerland, one from Australia, two from Canada and the rest from various parts of the US. This is going to be so much fun! I have been busy doing the exercises that I will be asking everyone else to do so I have some examples to show.

It is winter if you live where it snows, don't laugh at me, but today the temp has been down in the low 50's and it has been very windy which makes it feel even colder. I went out just a little bit ago and it is dropping to the 40's fairly quickly and with clear skies I know it will get really cold. Perhaps we need to light the Christmas lights on the orange tree so it doesn't freeze!

Tomorrow we head up to our cabin in the foothills of the Sierra. It is at about 3700 feet and a couple of good storms are coming in so we are all hoping for some snow. That way we can sit inside and do puzzles, eat, and drink hot chocolate. Of course, I still need to do some more work on my lessons for the class. My daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren will also be going up. A week in a small cabin with two young children....well, I am planning on taking ear phones for my new IPod!

I have been praying for peace around the world but I know that the reality of this happening is pretty slim. There are just too many places in this world, including our own country, where violence is rampant and shooting people seems to be the way to resolve problems with each other. It makes me so sad so hear of another shooting, or another drunk driver, killing someone. But I keep praying....

I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year. Life has been good to me. As I was thinking about what I accomplished this year and I am really amazed. It has been a busy year but I am hoping to get back on track, get better control of my depression which has been rearing it's head now and then, and to make lots of art. I have some fun teaching gigs set up, traveling around the country which I am looking forward to...two trips to the east in March to Cape Cod and then in November to New York. Fun!

Take care, plan well for the coming year and enjoy making art!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Two Days After Christmas....

Finally things have settled down enough so I can finally get caught up here. It has been a very busy three weeks....

I have spent a great deal of time helping my daughter out. Even though her husband is home on family leave for a while, they are both sleep deprived and are tired when a very active 3 year old wants to play. So....Grammy to the rescue. Yesterday I received a plaintive call...Mom, are you doing anything? (Of course not!) Would you like to hang out for a little while? (of course).
so over I go. Jacob would like to ride BART. So we make a stop at the bank, head for BART, ride all the way to San Francisco with the idea that we would quickly look around and then head back. Nope...he spotted the cable car which has a turn table right there at the foot of Powell where we came up from underground. So, an hour wait in line with all the rest of the tourists, and we were able to get an outside seat right in front so he could look out the front window. He loved the fact that we went up high hills and then hoped we would go fast like a roller coaster, coming down. Of course, I prayed that the grip man was on his job and would keep us safely on the cable...which, of course, he did. Got off near Fisherman's Wharf, looked for a place to get a quick bite to eat and then back to wait for the cable car ride back. Again, we had a front seat! Arrived at the foot of Powell, went down to BART past all the street musicians and headed home. On the way back Jacob fell fast asleep almost doubled over and he wouldn't wake up when we had to get off BART...does he ever weight a ton! and a sleeping child is even heavier.
finally he woke up enough to walk to the car but I called his dad to come out to the car to pick him up...then I went home for a nap.

This Christmas has been full of delight for Jacob...his family helped us put up the tree the Saturday before Christmas, after we had picked my son up who had come in from Ohio. He carefully held every ornament and exclaimed over their beauty. I have a wonderful pile of tinsel on one branch, right at his level. And of course, the tree is much more heavily decorated in one section! The joys of a young child.

I took Advent to heart and spent a lot of time in contemplation and then realized I had to get some shopping done. I had already made arrangements with the other parts of the family that come over that we would not exchange gifts, except for the children. The tree seemed a little forlorn without tons of presents but I felt much better about it...not piled with stuff. Of course, I gave my daughter and her husband a new dishwasher for Christmas which, needless to say, was not under the tree!

I received a number of books on art by Sister Wendy Bennet...I have just started reading them and am enjoying her commentary. I also received an 80gig IPod so I can also put books and photos on it. The idea is that I can put pictures of my quilts and grandchildren on it so I can show both around....

I received good news that my piece, Life Circles 2, was accepted in to the final jurying in my David Walker and that it was chosen for the cover of the catalog that is being printed for the FAVA show, The Artist as Quiltmaker XIII which will open in May. That was exciting.

Also received my comp copies of Vicki Anderson's brand new magazine, Machine Quilting Unlimited. She is the publisher of Professional Quilter. I received comp copies because I have an article in the very first issue! And the photo she has of me is to die for!

I have also been busy making robes etc for both three large kings and three small kings for the Christmas pageant at church. They all looked good although I wasn't able to be there...I go to the midnight service which is so calming and affirming.

I have done a couple of little things of birch trees....they are each 4 x 6 inches and are mounted on black mat board and framed with a matt black metal frame. These will go for $75 each and are ready to hang.

Birches 1

Birches 4

Birches 5

I am also finishing up postcards for the Art2Mail group which should go out in a week or so.

I've been busy cutting out rubber stamps that are 4 x 4" and have had a good time doing those...

And....writing the lessons for my on line class...I am really excited about it and feel it will be really good. Lots of exercises and fun things to do! I still have a couple of places available

The class will start on January 21 and will go for 6 weeks. Each week students will receive a lesson with a number of exercises to do. Each student will post their exercised in the folders on our Yahoo site and then we will discuss them before we go to the next lesson. This is all about the elements and principles of design.

I am feeling like I am about ready to start doing to serious work again. We will go away for the first week of January with our daughter and her family and go up to the mountains and hope it snows so we can sit inside where it is warm, eat home made soup, and watch the snow. What could be better? And then, it is time to get back to work! My studios await me!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Where Has the Time Gone? or, Why Haven't I Written Lately?

So much has been going on... for the past several weeks I have been trying to get my piece together for a show Larkin Van Horn is curating this spring. The title, "It's good to be green" can not include Kermit but may be anything else. I have gone through five different attempts to do this piece, which also happens to be 18" by 45" in the vertical. So, between a number of other things, like Thanksgiving, on Monday Nov 26 I daughter went in for a planned C section to deliver her new son. Of course, the night before I sure didn't get any sleep.

I had finally gotten my green piece together enough so that my plan was to get the facing stitched down while I was waiting.

We got to the hospital just shortly after she had gone in to the operating room. Three years ago, she gave birth to her son, Jacob, via an emergency c section so a planned one was much calmer and she was awake so she could see the baby immediately, etc.

David, my son in law, came out just 30 minutes after we got there to let us know the baby was in the nursery getting cleaned up...not much work done on my green piece then!

Of course, it was off to the nursery to goo over the new baby, Ashton.

this picture is actually within 30 minutes of his birth!

Of course, then in to the recovery room to spend time with our daughter and then the baby too. We hung out there for a while, got home later in the afternoon and then I picked up Jacob at the babysitter's and took him out to see his baby brother. Ashton is his baby...but he lets his mom feed him!
He is so cute with the baby and insists on holding him daily and giving him kisses. And of course, his dad has to help him change the diaper on the baby doll that I got him several months ago. The doll can wear the same clothes as Ashton.

Mom and baby came home this past Thursday. But what long days it was while there were at the hospital. I think I made two round trips per day which were 40 minutes each way. I spent the night at the hospital Tuesday night to help my daughter as staff did not return as quickly as she needed after she nursed the baby at night and she couldn't get him back to the nursery as she had had the picture me running around the hospital wearing my bathrobe in the middle of the night pushing an isolet to the nursery and then plopping back down on the plastic chair that stretched out so it looked like a bed but wasn't until the nurse brought Ashton back to us an hour (that's what it seemed like) later. I went home and collapsed and then took Jacob back out in the afternoon.

Then I spent the night at his house and then finally got word that they were coming home on Thursday afternoon. I am too old for this not sleeping thing. I was so happy when I finally got past the hot flashes and constant need to get up at night to go pee...

So now, I deliver meals, take Jacob out to ride the train, ride the kiddie roller coaster which is really herky jerky (I don't especially like roller coasters), and have him over to make cookies.

Jacob is a child who has not grown up with sweets...his parents are doing all the right things! He has only had cake on his birthdays! Well, just look at this face as he enjoys Grammy's sugar cookies! He ate four...completely surprised his mother but I know what magic those cookies have!
Now this is one happy little boy!

This is a small part of my green quilt....I wrote a whole lot about being green but most of it is covered up. I have been doing this a lot lately...writing on my quilts and then covering it up...the thoughts are there but are not necessary to appreciate the least that is the plan.Our church and another one have a youth art group together. They are looking at the 8 millennium goals of the UN and made six walls pieces on the goal of providing education for every child to the eighth grade. These plaques have casts of their arms and hands, raised as if in class with the answer. On the side of each on the back board is a prayer and then their names are on the bottom.

I met with each group as they decided what issue they wanted their board to focus on and then located images via the web which would express their thoughts. I then printed the images and did get transfers on the the back boards above the hands. The images come out a little rough which really is a good look with these pieces.

so, I have also been quilting my California Dreams 3 piece, working on my lessons for my on line class and now have a list of people to notify that they can sign up for the class. And all this is in between running a catering service to my daughter and playing special grammy to Jacob. Oh, and after I get my hair cut tomorrow, I finally get to go to my studio away from home!

I now have Pay Pal live on my website and will start registering for the class on Dec 4. But first I have to notify my list!