Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Anyone See The Eclipse?

I haven't had much time to post this week as I've been quilling, quilling, quilling! getting some inventory together for Jean Skipper's gallery, Artist Alley. Did I mention that my quilling is going to be for sale there???

Matt did get moved to Georgetown and everything went very smooth. I did cry, of course, but I'm getting used to the house being quiet again. I haven't tackled his room yet. I don't think I'm ready for that. His new place is a really great row house a block off M Street, which is where all the action is in Georgetown. Location, location, location... Unfortunately, he will only be there on weekends since he'll be traveling during the week. He started his new job just yesterday. He'll be in Portland, Oregon for the next few weeks for training - poor thing.

Did anyone see the lunar eclipse this morning? When I got up at 3:30, the moon was bright and no sign of an eclipse. I checked again around 4, it was behind the trees so I went out in the yard with my coffee, hand waving back and forth in front of my face to make sure that no spiderwebs got on me! still looking whole. At 4:30, it had disappeared in the fog! I'm not kidding. I went out in the yard again to make sure that it wasn't eclipsed, but there was no sign of the moon. I went out again at 6, still no moon. The total eclipse was supposed to be at 5:52. If it was eclipsed, there should have been a glow, so I'm thinking that it was below the horizon, behind the clouds or fog. Here I was, up early enough to see it, but the moon had disappeared on me - oh well.

Back to work... I'll post some pictures of the new quilling in a couple of days.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Letting Go

Just like this one, my nest will soon be empty. I was told that this is a hummingbird's nest, and finding one is supposed to be magical. I don't know if that's true, but it is amazing to see this wee little nest - it's less than two inches across and looks like spun cotton. When I found it, I held it gently in the palm of my hand so that I wouldn't crush it - kind of like the first time I held my son. Not in the palm of my hand, silly, but gently so I wouldn't harm him. The nest is now living in a plant in my kitchen. I wish you could see it in person. My photo really doesn't do it justice.

Tomorrow Matt will load up a truck and move to Washington, DC. All week I've been journaling about "letting go," but it doesn't matter how much I pour my heart out onto the pages, he's still going to go and I'm still going to miss the heck out of him. I want him to go - really! :D It's time for him to leave the comfort of home and spread his wings. Only then will he appreciate how good he had it! just kidding! (sort of)

I've been luckier than a lot of moms. Most kids don't go to college 15 miles away, so their moms have to get used to doing without them 4 years earlier. Being right up the road didn't mean that he came home every weekend, but it did mean that he could pop in whenever he felt like it, (usually when he wanted something to eat). I, however, could NOT pop in on him whenever I felt like it! I had to be extra careful about not invading his space! I do a lot of my shopping in Chapel Hill - groceries and other things - and if I happened to see Matt walking down the street, I could not roll the window down, wave wildly, and yell, "Yoohoo! Maaatt!" No, the rules that went into place around sixth or seventh grade still apply - no public sign of recognition. And definitely no public display of affection!

This is Randy & Matt - note that there is food and wine involved! Hmmm, seems typical for us....

The first time he was away from us for any period, he spent a semester in France. That was a looooong 5 months. It didn't help that there was an ocean between us. I obsessed that he would NEED me and that I would not be able to get there fast enough. But I think we probably talked to him more during that time than during the rest of his college life. Because we used Skype through our computer, we had a set time for him to call us each week. No other time has he called us weekly, but probably at no other time has he had so much exciting stuff to tell us either. What he doesn't realize is that it's ALL exciting to us - I want to hear about every little thing, no matter how mundane he may think it is. "Oh? You rode your bike 6 miles today. You bought a new T-shirt? What color is it?" I want it all, all the details of his life... So, as he goes off into the world, this young man of mine, I hope that he will call me often and fill me in on ALL the details of his new life.

From this

To this

...blink of an eye...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Bit of Art and an ANNOUNCEMENT

A couple of the ladies in the ATC forum where I spend way too much time had noticed some of my quilling and wanted to trade ATC's with me. The first one collects ATC's with roses, and the other was less specific but one of the things on her list was trees. These are the ATC's that I made for them:

The caption says, "I love bringing flowers to a woman when she least expects it." I thought it a great comment from one of these solemn boys. I've had this vintage photo for awhile and have been dying to use it. For the Autumn Leaf card, I layered different paper - the bottom paper is handmade paper with bits of orange flowers that matched the quilled leaf nicely.

While I'm posting pics, these are some pins that I made earlier in the summer. The customer asked me to make a yellow lab pin. I wasn't happy with the first one so I did another. I sent her the picture of both, giving her a choice, but she decided to take them both. No, I'm not telling which one I didn't like. I'm a perfectionist and things bother me that other people don't even see. I will tell you that the one on the right has eyelashes and the one on the left doesn't.

Here's the ANNOUNCEMENT. If you read about Randy and me going to Southern Pines and visiting Artist Ally last week, well it was not just an idle meandering. We did want to see Jean's gallery and visit with friends, but also, we wanted to see how my quilling would fit in with the other art in Jean's gallery. Since then, I've been back to Southern Pines to meet with Jean to iron out the details and I am very excited that my quilling will be in Jean's gallery! excited would be an understatement! I'm hoping to have some things ready by the beginning of September for the next First Friday event. WooHoo!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

If One More Person Asks, "Is It Hot Enough For Ya?"

Yesterday was one of those days that when you stepped outside it felt like you had stepped into an oven. I felt like I wanted to turn around and go right back in the house. We've had basically no rain so I went out to fill the bird bath and water the potted plants - there's no hope for the grass, it's shot. One of the yards on my street has an irrigation system so the grass is still lush and green, but the rest of us have watched ours turn dull and brittle - it crackles when you walk across it. The birds spend more time at the bird bath than at the feeders in this heat. They gather in the butterfly bush beside it, waiting their turn,, then will sit on the edge and drink, keeping an eye out, then step right in for a dip. They look like it feels so good. There are cardinals, bluebirds, goldfinch, purplefinch, chickadees, even thrush. Randy and I have tried and tried to get pictures but, of course, they are scarce when we're out there with the camera. Randy even sat on the deck steps, hiding behind the rail, for awhile, wondering where everyone was, when he heard them fussing in the trees. He looked around and our neighbor's yellow cat, Peaches, was walking through the yard. No pictures, but he did get his cat fix!

Later, I went to a meeting downtown, and when I was crossing the street, I heard something behind me and a child yell, "Mommy!" I turned and a woman had fallen and was lying in the street. She wasn't moving. I ran back across the street. To make a long story short, she was okay, but the heat had gotten to her, made her lightheaded and she fell off the steps at the curb. So this heat will really get to you. Even my dog Tucker is feeling it - he loves to go for his walks, but in this heat, on the way home, his tail is dragging! and so is mine and Randy's!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tossing & Turning

I suffer from insomnia and I generally take something for it. When I forget "Mother's little helper" I toss and turn, waking up every hour or so. I don't know why I don't go ahead and get up the first time and take my pill so I could just sleep, but i never do. I'm just too lazy so I lay there and suffer through until I finally give up and get up. I TRY to stay in the bed until after 4, but some nights it's really hard. My mind starts churning with everything I could be doing instead of lying there. And when I get up - I don't do all those millions of things I thought of. I drink coffee, read email, then I might start on something. Now you know why my little business is called 3 AM Designs...
I spent a day dismantling my aquarium. It took a lot longer taking it down than it took setting it up. I had enjoyed it while I had it, but awhile back I had rearranged my studio and had moved it to a corner. At the time I could see it from my worktable, but then I got a tall shelf for my paper and the only place to put it blocked half of the aquarium. I was down to 2 fish, not counting the giant pleco and the tiny albino cat that hung around doing nothing, and I needed to replace the light assembly. I tried replacing the bulb, but of course, that didn't work. That never seems to work in this house when a fluorescent light burns out - after many trips to the store, I end up replacing the whole dang fixture, sometimes after trying to replace parts. So I made the decision that it was probably time to part with the aquarium. I found a home for the fish and took them to their new father last week. While there, I asked if he was interested in another aquarium and he was willing to take it off my hands. I hated to let him see that his new pets had lived in squalor, so it was not just a matter of emptying the water. It's really nasty under that gravel! Needless to say, there was water spillage even though I tried to prepare for that by putting plastic on the carpet. I had to siphon 20 gallons, 2 gallons at a time, and twice, the hose that I thought I had securely fastened flipped out, pouring water on me, the carpet, my paper... it was not a pretty sight. It's probably good that nobody else was around to hear me. It's hard to get all that water out of carpet - I went through a lot of towels. I think I'll miss my fish. I enjoyed them when they were in front of my table and I could look up and watch them for awhile. I had red swordtails that had babies and that was really amazing. Some of them survived to have babies, too.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Southern Pines excursion

Randy & I went to Southern Pines yesterday evening. It was the first time I've been there in many years. It's such a nice homey town. They were having a community event, "First Friday," with an art walk, music, and lots of people out and about. Our town, Hillsborough, has "Last Friday." These events remind me of the old days with all of the people congregating downtown. In Hillsborough, there's a band in front of the courthouse and people bring lawn chairs and blankets to "sit a spell" and listen.
But, I digress. We went to Southern Pines not only to attend First Friday, but to visit my friend, Jean Skipper's gallery, Artist Alley, where she sells art made only in North Carolina. The gallery has a nice variety, and Jean has done a beautiful job with her display of the artwork. I was glad to get a chance to meet Jean's son, Alan (Allen?) after hearing her talk about him - and he's just as nice and handsome as I thought he'd be! It was great to see Jean and my other friends, Amy Smith and Penny Arrowood (what a nice surprise that she was there!), who both have their work in Jean's gallery. I met all of these artists at Art & Soul. It goes without saying that a good time was had by all! at Art & Soul, and last night!
I guess one of Randy & my hobbies is eating out - we love to try new restaurants, so an added treat last night was a meal at Corfu Taverna, a Greek restaurant, next to Jean's gallery. I had one of the best meals ever - no kidding! Grouper with a lemon caper sauce, and if that wasn't enough, shrimp and fresh veggies. Randy had lamb shank with garlic embedded throughout - he said it was pretty incredible. After all that good food and the drink with my meal, it was all I could do to stay awake on the drive home. It's about 90 minutes, but it seemed to take longer to get home than it took to get there. I guess because of the full tummy, being late, and it was dark and much less interesting.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Starting this blog site over

It seems that everyone has a blog these days, so I thought I'd get myself one. I tried this before, but I wasn't very good at keeping up with it. I posted now and then. I had good intentions but time seems to get away from me. But I plan to do better with this one - really! When I started the last one, I was going to use it mainly to post pictures of artwork, but this time I want this to be a place to share my thoughts, as well. Not that anyone is interested, but I wanted a place to write them besides my ratty notebook. I've found that the thing about reading other people's blogs is that I seem to have a lot in common with the writers. So many times I find myself saying, "oh yeah, I've felt that way." or "I remember that." We're all just cruising along in this life, having similar experiences, and maybe, just maybe, we can share something along the way. I've gained some things from reading others' musings, and I hope that someone may read something here one day that may help them along, or maybe give them a little chuckle.
So the summer as been speeding by. A lot of stuff has been happening - some good, some bad, but mostly just a lot! I've been doing some art, reading, going to a movie here and there. I got older - I don't know if I want to keep having birthdays. Remember when you counted down the days to your birthday? and you weren't just 5, you were 5 and a half, then 5 and 3/4. Now, the excitement has been replaced with, well maybe not dread, but something close to it. And my age is now "More than half a century!" I'm surprised that I can even get around - not really, I'm totally exaggerating. I actually bought myself a bike last week, and yes, I did get a helmet, too. I'm practicing what I preached to my son, Matt, all those years when I wouldn't let him ride his bike, rollerblades, or skateboard without one.
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