Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kate's Vest

I've been part of a wearable art round robin group since last fall. There are 8 artists (I think all from the dollmaking community) working on each piece of clothing as it comes around. I've had Kate's vest for a while, knowing I wanted to do something with hands on the front, but not quite how to put it together. (Note that it's hanging in my lilac by the deck.)

Each article of clothing travels with a journal, and Kate's instructions were to do something to the vest that celebrates being a woman, what it means to you to be a woman. Once I read her request, and considering the 8 artists in the round robin, I knew I wanted to show hands - hands that do so much. (Incidentally, there's a nude flying woman on the back, embellished, and Anne Hesse did an amazing large beaded face for one of the pockets that will be on the front.)

So...last weekend I worked on those hand doodles (Zentangles - see below), and decided to take the scan of those, print it on fabric, and use them to make at least one hand on the front of Kate's vest. I misted them with one of the Adirondack sprays and a glimmer mist, and used one of the hands to represent the spiritual/mystical aspect. The top hand represents the artistic/feminine, and the bottom hand represents the earthy/nurturing. Each hand has a symbolic decorative element at the wrist (pulse point), and I have a metallic thread that swoops from one hand to the other to connect them all.

There are still three artists remaining to work on Kate's vest...I hope she'll be happy when it returns to her (fortunately, we aren't keeping our work secret). I'm anxious for my purple wool felt jacket to return - I love what I've seen so far.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Oldtimer wrote me a note yesterday afternoon - inviting me to a movie date. Sweet, sweet man. We went all out - movie tickets, AND popcorn and drinks. How do young people afford dating these days, when a simple movie date with drinks costs about $30?

But I digress...we saw Mamma Mia! and we both enjoyed every single minute of it. Singing, dancing, beautiful scenery, and Meryl Streep - you can't go wrong in my book.

Ah....Meryl Streep. Is there ANYTHING that woman can't do? She did her own singing in the movie, plus a bit of wall-scaling and dancing. I was mesmerized, I was inspired...what a feel-good movie AND one in which the audience actually applauded parts!

As we walked to our vehicle, my Oldtimer, the man who does NOT believe in purchasing movies for viewing at home told me that's one we'll be buying. Gotta love a man who enjoys a musical.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Brugmansia - "Before & After"

Remember I told you in the post about the weekend that the brugmansia blossom color would morph over the next few days? Here it is - the very same blossom - the top photo was taken the day the flower opened, the next photo was taken two days later. When there are several flowers open, you'll see a single plant with two or three different color blossoms. I find that fascinating.


Why do people put those music things on their blogs? Do they set their computer home page to their own blog and leave it there so they can sit and listen to their favorite music? Do they think that other people certainly have the same taste in music? Do they realize that some folks sneak a peek at their reading list while working at a desk in an office? Or while the baby is sleeping at midnight? Do they not know that some folks are still on slow connections and it makes their page load a little slower? Perhaps I'm already playing MY favorite music through the computer, and don't need the jolt from the cacophony of sounds.

I know I'm sound sensitive, I'll give you that. But I find myself getting crankier and crankier about telephone hold music, elevator music, music tastes foisted on me by others. Enough with the noise pollution, already. I read your blog, I love what you have to say, I love your eye candy, I read your profile...but keep your music to yourself, would you? If you can't do that, could you at least set it so your reader has the option to turn it on and find out more about you and what you love, rather than scrambling to turn it off? Thank you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Notes from the Weekend

My Spare Parts Round Robin doll (from the Crazy Art Dolls group) came home last week. Here's a shot of the finished doll. I need to take more detailed photos, but I thought a total shot was a good start. (I'm particularly fond of the shoes).
I was able to do a few creative things this weekend - such as this art journal prompt focused on hands - and Zentangles (start here, if you are interested). I also started on a pair of wild print pants.

We worked long and hard on Saturday, getting the pond weeded and trimmed. This required a climb into the pond, complete with muck in the shoes, in order to work on the edge. We have hundreds, maybe thousands, of fish - both goldfish and "naturals." They are curious - when we got into the water, they would bump and nuzzle our legs. At one point, Oldtimer was kneeling in the water and as he stood up and began to dance, he revealed that a fish had gotten into his shorts! The only excitement I got out of the deal was a blistered knee - hard to believe that kneeling on a thistle could do that much damage.

Flowers are gorgeous right now.
Though most of the hydrangea blooms blue, this one blossom has a hint of pink - and a few petals from the geranium above.

This is another hydrangea, called Endless Summer.

See this brugmansia blossom? Tomorrow it will have morphed to a lovely shade of pinky-peach.

Oldtimer & Cosmo love the evening hours on the deck.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Mail Giftie!

A couple months ago, I hosted a fabric cone swap on the CPS list - cones done in the style of Ruth Rae, whose blog is listed over there on the right. My friend Phyllis felt as though she couldn't participate at the time, but she was later moved to make a cone anyway. Just so happens she made it in my favorite colors, and then gifted me with it. Aqua is a color that just makes me so happy - it's the perfect color for me.
Here's a photo of the cone, hanging on my front door:

And this is what it looks like from the inside looking out:
You can also see my newly painted rockers through the window. We got them painted a couple weeks ago - they had been varnished wood which was terribly worn. Now I just have to make a couple of cushions for the rockers. I have the fabric chosen - I just need to remember how to fire up the serger!

Thanks Phyllis - I just love this fabric cone. I'll post photos of this month's gifties soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Lilac Bush

The photo above is of my aunt Beatrice and my mother - Lolo, of course. It's one I've loved in the past (confident Bea, shy Lolo), and recently arrived in my email, as my dear uncle has been scanning old family photos and sharing them. My uncle, always an important big brother figure in my life, was the fifth child and first boy in a family of 10 children. I could go on and on about the importance of my mother's siblings in my life, but I'll save that for now.

What intrigues me is the pose in front of the lilac bush. That lilac figures into many, many of the photos of my mother and her siblings. One of the clearest photos I have of my grandmother, the one I've set most as my image of her, captures her standing near the lilac in a dark coat. Someday, I think I'll go through the family photo album and count just how many photos were taken near the lilac.

When I was a child, we moved a lot. On my parents 16th wedding anniversary, they had moved 16 times - I went to 9 different schools. Sometimes I was able to stay in one school for a couple of years, but in third grade, I attended three different schools. I always figured that my dad, having lost both legs in WWII, was restless due to his limited mobility. Lolo tried to nest and make a pleasant home in every new place.

Everywhere we went, my mother planted a lilac. Sometimes they took a year or two to bloom, sometimes we got to see a blossom or two the very first year...and then we'd move. Lolo always said that getting a new lilac to bloom made us move!

I married very young the first time. My now-ex and I bought our first home on his 21st birthday. Continuing the tradition, I planted lilacs. We moved. He and I owned four different houses, and seemed to move every time the lilacs bloomed. Oldtimer and I lived in the house in NC for eight years, and yes, I finally got a lilac to bloom there - not easy in NC.

I'm glad this house came with the lilac already planted and blooming.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Out and about - plants

We ran errands on the Fourth. The home of James Garfield (20th US President) is near my office, and I always admire it this time of year when the clematis are blooming across the entire front porch. We decided to stop and get photos. I love this side view of the porch with the blooming clematis and the detail of the woodwork:
Here's a long side shot of the porch:
And here's a view of the entire front of the house. Note the beautiful blue sky:
Also on the grounds, this charming dogwood. I'm told it's a Japanese dogwood:
While certainly no elegant Garfield home, I'm pretty happy with how our yard and deck are shaping up. Here's a view from the yard, up to the deck. The Acer Maple is doing so well, and the hostas have filled in beautifully:
If I had my way, I would have one of every hydrangea possible. This one's just beginning to show its baby blue coloring:
Of course, our work would not be complete if we didn't have hanging pots and shepherd hooks:
I killed off all the hen-n-chicks I got last year. (I think I over-watered them.) I'm trying again with just one this year, in a pretty pot on the railing:
The Persian Shield wintered over ok, but the stems got a little sparse looking, and the purple color faded from the leaves. It's starting to shape up again now: