Monday, November 23, 2015

Crochet 501

This is certainly not going to be my shining hour, just fair warning.
The challenge for the week at EIM is crochet. It's something I'm crazy familiar with, and if you've visited with me before, you may know that already. If not, check out my "Woobie" page for the lowdown.
I made a blanket earlier this year that I was exceptionally pleased with and I gave it to my parents. I had reason to visit them last week and I took a photo of it, not realizing I could put it to good use! This is what it looks like:

Woobie 501
The reason for my visit brings me great sadness as I share the news that my "baby" brother died of a heart attack last week. Craig was 51. He leaves a wife, Rose and her children, Sarah and Willy; his son, Damon and Damon's mother, Judith; our parents, Allan and Grace; our sister, Deborah and her daughter, Justine; my children, Terrance and Erica.
That's my compact little family; both of our parents are only children, so that's it.
The evening sky has one less star to light it up; his light gone all too soon from his earthly vessel. Damon wrote an amazing tribute that any parent would be so honored to have bestowed upon them. I have copied it here, as a reminder that I, too, could live to this standard.

Though not a huge fan of speeches, there is something needing to be said that comes straight from the heart.
You were honestly the one person in my life that I could always turn to when something was wrong or I needed someone to talk to. Some people have to choose to only remember the good parts of someone when they die, but I don't. Even when you were alive I could say nothing but positive things about you. You were one of the few people I could say 'I love you' to and mean it with all of my heart and soul. Nobody in the world will ever be able to replace such a wonderful man, a man that only ever wanted one thing: world peace. I hope one day your dreams will be achieved and that you'll have a birthday in which I can actually say your wish was achieved. 
You were always there for me and I'll always be there for you. You taught me everything you knew, you taught me about being passionate about peace, you were the best person to ask for anything math related, and you were one of the easiest humans on earth to naturally feel love for. I still can't believe you're gone from this earthly plane of existence, and although you were never a religious man, there is something inside me that continues to hope that you're looking down at all of us, probably making your wonderfully corny dad jokes. I miss you so much and there's nothing I wouldn't give to see you again, even for a moment.
You will always be an amazing person, and more importantly the best father I could have ever asked to have. Rest in eternal peace and I hope with all of my being to see you again one day.

I can only wonder what my kids will have to say about me when the time comes? I have vowed to myself to use the good china, drink the champagne instead of waiting for the "right" occasion, to hug my children a little bit longer, to love Gil with all my being and to find the light again on Earth. 
Have a brilliant day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

She's a Maniac!

Over at EIM the theme this week is "Nymph." Unlike many weeks this past year, I was not at a complete loss as to what to do. However, I learned that there is a tangle called, "Nymph," by Melinda Barlow that I'd not seen before (or was blissfully unawares).
If you have been here before, you may recognize my discontent with patterns featuring triangles.
But, I will NOT be defeated!
And as my procrastinator self loves a good distraction; I dove right in!
Nymph Bijoux

Nymphie Twinchies and Zinchies, oh my!
on Waffle box paperboard

Then I pulled out a box of Staedtler Karat Aquarelle, which up to now I had not opened. 
Little did I know what I've been missing!

Mixed-Media Fridge Magnets
Aquarelle, Sharpie, Perle Cotton and Sequins
Whew! I even made a French knot with some antique Perle cotton from my Nanna's stash. I could hardly contain myself. That's when I started singing the disco song from "Flashdance," which started out more from the Nymph side of things than the mania. 
Think about it. Uh huh.
But I digress. This is a (mostly) family-oriented venue, after all.

Where were we? Oh, yeah....
I wanted to see what these Nymphs could do in a more traditional setting, so this came about:

Before Shading

After Shading

Which do you prefer?

Along the way I saw samples of this week's Diva Challenge focusing on simplicity, or at least giving tangles some space to breathe. I enjoy Laura's challenges, but I had not done one in a bit.
So you get this:

Simple Flower
Totally unadorned, I want you to have this to do with it as you like. If you do decide to use this, please do me two favors: 1) credit me for drawing this simple pattern in the first place and 2) show me what you did with it by link or attachment to:
I'd love to see what, if anything, happens with it!
Thanks for stopping by! Have a brilliant day! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

In the Water

This is a spastic time of year for us. We love the excitement, but could use a little less, you know what I mean?
The next couple weeks are going to be spent being in and around water. Gil does underwater portraits and clients like to have holiday photographs. It's fun and a lot of work, but the results can be pretty spectacular (if I don't say so myself).

by H2Oh!Photo
I don't get too wet; my job is all the post-processing. Keeps me out of trouble for weeks on end. Thankfully, he's also quite handy in the kitchen and takes on the bird for Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner!

The word of the week at EIM is, "Nymph," and while some of those beauties could be classified as water nymphs, this is my take on it. The botanical name for the water lily family is Nymphaeaceae and I took this photograph at the Conservatory in San Francisco in 2006.

Nymph inchie
Water Nymphs
San Francisco
A bit easier than trying to draw a nymph or anything closely related. I'll have to give that a try when I'm a bit less busy!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Conscious Decision

This past week was spent in New Jersey comforting a new widow. I only met her and her husband a year ago, though to Gil, a lifelong friend. I did not feel I had the right to intrude upon her during what is obviously a stressful and emotional time. But when the diagnosis was dire, we made immediate plans to visit, not expecting that Lloyd's departure from this Earth would be almost instantaneous.
Sylvia still wished us to visit.
Thus I went to the land of my birth, but do not recognize it anymore. That was very disconcerting.
She was a gracious host and completely at a loss of what to say or do, much like myself, plunged into the midst of her emotional pain.
I was so happy to see the trees had left some of their blazon autumnal color after what has been a warm fall for the area. I was even more grateful for a brief escape to the shore to get that salt air and sand into my lungs, my hair, my shoes. We busied ourselves, if only for a mere hour, with nothing more than picking up colorful scallop shells, our only souvenirs of the trip.

Long Beach Island
Well, not quite only. We came away with the knowledge that we offered comfort, a small dose of healing and a lot of hugs. An invitation has been extended for her to visit for the upcoming holidays, which we hope she takes us up on.
And there is that conscious emotional decision, to have hope, to seek joy and wonder. And thus this inchie within a twinchie:

The prompt for the week is appropriately enough, "Emotion." It's always kind of freaky when the art and the life intersect like so. But isn't that part of art? To explore the present, even if the emotions are raw. Isn't that what makes us insanely human?

(There are SIX "joys" buried in this two-inch square. I found a magazine from last December and it was loaded with "JOY!" For collage freaks, it was made from a single-source).

For the twinchie challenge, TwobytwobyTuesday, that I also host, I made an actual pieced Nine-Patch to go along with this weeks concept. Not my shining hour considering I've been sewing for, well, a long while. But I had to try to do it!

Eventually that'll make it into a much larger patchwork!

I haven't done much else this week. My son was visiting and well, the weather said the high country had a bit of snow overnight, so we decided to have lunch in Flagstaff. (For the record, about 10 inches fell there). Just a quick jaunt...

Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of sunny Arizona, huh? We're supposed to have frost here at home tonight! Crazy!

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate the company and your thoughts. If you have a chance, check out the other blogs I've mentioned here and the fine artists that participate. And even give them a chance to create teenie artworks!

Have a brilliant day!