Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sweet Autumn

(photo of an autumn past)

Early Saturday morning, first cup of coffee on the patio, comfortable in real slippers and a light flannel robe... brought a great deal of reflection.  It began simply enough, with the thought that in other places I've lived, comfortable at this time of year on the patio in a robe would have been surprising in that the weather was warm enough, not cool enough, as is the case now.  I never realized until moving to the Phoenix area, how many of my memories are accessed by visualizing what the seasonal indicators were at the time.  Were there leaves on the trees, was I wearing long sleeves or short?  Though we see seasonal changes here, the most notable is simply the temperature, so the year-round warmth keeps me confused, and I find my year slipping past, thinking once again that it's still summer.  I may never adapt.

This was a rough summer for me.  I've been secretly proud of how relatively untroubled I've been by July's high temps the first few years we lived here.  This year was different, and I found myself thinking summer would never end, wishing for a break.  Lolo always said to be careful of wishing your life away...

Perhaps the long hot summer, or the awareness of blessed coolness, caused me to dip my toe into a bit of melancholy, thinking of autumn activities such as trips to apple orchards and pumpkin patches, wandering the farmer's market filled with the colors of fall in gourds and pumpkins and apples.  Every memory, from our first taste of a fresh apple cider doughnut to pumpkin carving with the kids came clear, and I felt a longing for fallen leaves and the scents of autumn.

In the past, I was never thoroughly able to enjoy fall, because the specter of winter loomed, grinning, over the sweet colorful landscape.  I rushed through those brief fall days, mostly concerned with battening down the hatches, winterizing the yard, and wondering if kids' costumes would fit over winter jackets.

Just as I was about to dive into full-blown melancholy, the sun rose enough to tint the sky peach, lavender, palest blue.  The hummingbirds, usually the first to work the yard in the morning, began their aerial maneuvers overhead, with occasional dips and swoops that defy logic.  Hearing an odd noise to the left, I looked up just in time to see a Gila woodpecker gripping the hummingbird feeder tightly, surely giving me a dirty look for letting it go empty.  These are the memories of autumn in suburban Phoenix, and this is where I'm supposed to be now.  I put down my coffee cup and headed to the kitchen to make hummingbird nectar.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Quick Project Update

Not too much to say today, but because it's been a while since I posted photos of completed projects, I thought I'd share a few photos.
 Tags made on laminate samples, using primarily Tim Holtz ephemera packs for the images.

 Mixed media decorative canvas.

 Things with Wings shrine.

 Decorative pillows from cutter linens

 Painted and redecorated master bedroom.

Junk journal (cover)- some printed digitals, some old papers and junk.

 Inside the junk journal

 Again, inside the junk journal.  (Printed digitals from Ephemera's Vintage Garden.)

 Small mixed media canvas from a class at Craft Fusion - Class by "Blooming Gayls."

Grandmother Clock shrine using base from Joggles and Graphic 45s Halloween in Wonderland.

That's all that I've completed for now.  I seem to have been bitten by the junk journaling bug, and am enjoying using a mixture of purchased digital images, old papers, new papers made to look old, and more.  I'm primarily journaling in Traveler's Notebook sized inserts, but am also enjoying altering old magazines and digital printouts.  I have a couple dolls in the works, but we know how that goes... I'm terribly slow in finishing.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Childhood Sounds

(Dad in his wheelchair)

As a child, one of my favorite things to do was lie in bed and listen to the grown-ups talking in the kitchen.  Sometimes it was late at night, and they were sitting around the kitchen table, discussing the things they didn't want the kids to hear (that's how I found out one of my aunts was expecting her third child).  Other times, it was a late night game of hearts, being re-hashed as to how a hand should have been played.  My favorite time, though, was Saturday morning, when my dad didn't have to go to work, and I could listen to him wheeling around the kitchen; he would sing and whistle, and his wheelchair tires would squeak on the linoleum floor.  Someone, probably my mom, made it a rule that I couldn't get out of bed before 7:00 AM on Saturday, so I would snug down under the covers and just listen.

Weekdays, mom usually made the pot of coffee the night before.  In the morning, she would set it over the flame to re-heat, and I could hear the tap-tap-tap of her wedding ring against the Corning Ware pot, as she tested to see if it was warm enough yet.  Mom hated early mornings, but got up every day to pack dad's lunch, and fix his breakfast - one fried egg, two pieces of bacon, a piece of toast with marmalade (which he dunked into his egg yolk, a taste I never acquired).  As soon as he left, she went back to bed.  To this day, the thought of the tap-tap-tap of a wedding ring against the coffee pot is incredibly comforting.  Those sounds signaled that the routine was in place, and all was right with the world.

Next week, my dad will have been gone 34 years.  It's been longer than that since I've heard the wheels squeak on the floor, the whistling, the songs.  Longer still since I've trailed into the kitchen on a Saturday morning to see his bright blue eyes welcome me, and then have him whisper "it's almost 9:00 o'clock, go in and tell your mom it's time to get up."  I wonder if he knew I could tell time, and knew that 8:15 was not "almost 9:00 o'clock."  He just wanted her to get up to share the morning with him...