Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Heads or Tails is a weekly meme hosted by Skittles. This is my first week participating.
The prompt for today is: Guard
You can easily see who the guard is around here - Tucker, our Corgi-mix - mixed with what is the million dollar question! When he first came to live with us, we thought he might not be able to bark because we never heard him make a sound for several months. We taught him to "speak" for treats, but he still didn't really bark. Then he made a "hello" kind of howl one day when we came home. We got pretty excited and made all over him about it. Since then, he's been barking. Not a lot - mostly just when UPS or FedEx or the garbage trucks come by. I guess his previous owners must have taught him to never bark and once he realized that we weren't going to fuss if he did, he decided it was okay. We love hearing his special "hello" bark when he's happy to see someone.
Here he is guarding the house.
And he's not going to let anyone get my rusty wabbit!
Don't even think about touching this car!
Monday, November 3, 2008
The hostess this week is BeeDancer who has given us this assignment:
I'm relatively new to blogging, & I'm sure this has come up before, but I'd really like to know WHY you blog. Tell me how you got started or why you got started and why you keep it up. Plus there's a photo requirement: Post a picture of the one person/place/thing that most symbolizes the town or area where you live.
Why do I blog? Well, this is what I wrote in my first post on this blog:
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.I'm still blogging along for pretty much the same reasons. Some days, I post some art, some days I've posted things that read more like a journal, some days I'm dry and can't think of anything so I don't do anything.
I enjoy playing with the look of my blog, adding stuff, taking away stuff. I keep looking at other bloghosts because sometimes blogger drives me nuts. I really enjoy reading other blogs and I spend way too much time doing it!
Now for part 2, the photo that most symbolizes my hometown, Hillsborough, NC. This is a photo taken in front of the court house during a Last Friday event. People enjoying music and each other.
There are more photos of Hillsborough events here.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I'm glad that the brochure gave an incomplete description because once I tried the torch a couple of times, it wasn't as bad as I had feared. I didn't burn anyone or any buildings. whew! I'm even considering purchasing my own torch now. I haven't told RJ yet. Wonder what he'll say when he comes home from one of his business trips to find a tank and torch sitting in the garage? Do you think our home owner's will go up? Maybe I'll have to make a place outside for my torching?
I'm so glad that I didn't miss taking this workshop. I couldn't believe what you can do to metal just by folding it, hitting it with a hammer, and heating it. Of course, it depends on how you fold it, where you hammer it, how many times you heat it, etc... But some truly amazing things happen. We worked with copper in our workshop and I hope to have a chance to apply these techniques to other metals, especially silver.
Here are a few of my pieces from the workshop:
Saturday, November 1, 2008
And Carolina fans love their blue - they fill every arena for every sport with Carolina blue.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. My first choices were photos of my son and husband, but I thought that was so typical. So I thought about what family means to me besides my husband and my son. It means many things - my in-laws are family to me. And, of course, my brother and sister are family, and I have some friends that feel like family. But deep down, when I think of family and home, I think of these people.
This is my family - my parents, sister, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. The photos were taken in my aunt and uncle's backyard in Bladenboro, N.C. Our family has changed since these photos in 1966. Sadly, our grandparents and our parents are no longer with us. Most of us have married and had children, and some of our children have had children. But, we have a lot of memories of times spent together that will never be forgotten. And that's what family is all about - the fond memories that warm your heart.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
That was the time I stayed 6 months with Grandma, and I remember that she used a washing machine that she had to wring the clothes by hand, and she had no dryer - maybe nobody did in 1958? I'm not sure, but she still had at least 6 boys at home that I can remember, a cousin and me staying there, her and my Pop - that's a LOT of laundry to wash, wring by hand and hang on the line! Then she had the IRONING to do! Even the sheets got ironed by Grandma - in Florida, in a house with no air conditioning! In between all of this, she cooked 3 FULL meals, with biscuits, each day for all of us! She couldn't get away with giving us PB&J, you know? Lunch, which was called "dinner", had to be almost as big as supper. The boys came home from their jobs, or school, to eat and they ate a lot! Cooking and washing dishes for this crowd three times a day, in a kitchen that did not have a microwave or a dishwasher, or anyone willing or able to help her. I guess you do what you have to do, but when I think about this and compare it to my life - I have it soooooooooooooo easy, yet I bitch and moan at the drop of a hat. And I never heard Grandma complain.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Themes to choose from:
- A visit by your mother in law
- Bedtime Stories
- Raising a Teenager
The words: Ostrich, goosebumps, magazines, soup, cats, lethargic, noodles, tequila, doorknob, biscuit
Wild card words: prehistoric, Jedi Knight, cactus, periscope, humor
Your job is to write a story (true or made-up), poem, song, letter... whatever strikes you ABOUT one of the three themes. You must INCLUDE all 10 words. Wild cards words may be used in addition to or in place of the main 10 words
I'm one of the lucky ones. Most women I know have a hate-hate relationship with their mothers-in-law. A friend of mine once said that she was sure that her mother-in-law must be a dinosaur because every idea she ever had was prehistoric. I was blessed because my mother-in-law was also my best friend. However, I didn't know that in the beginning. I had no idea what to expect.
RJ's mother comes from a pretty famous Southern family. Practically everything in their hometown is named after her family, so I expected that she might be a little bit uppity. She was also the type of woman who got up and dressed every day as if she had someplace to go even if she didn't. I'm talking about dressed to the nines. And the woman never wore a pair of pants in her life. She belonged to the Junior League, too, for goodness sakes. Not only that, the woman could cook! Can you tell that I was a little intimidated? And this was all based on what I'd heard - I'd never even met the woman.
How was I supposed to measure up to this woman? I came from a middle class family that had nothing named after it. If I'm wasn't going anywhere, you can bet that you would catch me in my blue jeans and a t-shirt, and back then I could barely heat up soup with noodles, let alone bake a biscuit.
So you can imagine that I was more than a little nervous when I heard that RJ's parents were coming to visit. In fact, I wanted to turn into an ostrich and bury my head until the weekend was over! First of all, RJ and I weren't married. He had moved in only a couple of weeks before this and he was sick with mono. His parents wanted to visit to check on him. I was sure that they also wanted to check out this girl that was corrupting him, convincing him to live in sin. They probably had this vision of wild parties with the Jedi Knight serving tequila shots. Ok, that might be pushing it - she might not have known who the Jedi Knight was, but she probably imagined the wild parties, or so I thought anyway!
We lived in an old rental home, that I could only do so much with. No matter how hard I tried to clean it, it still had the lingering odor of the previous owner's cats, who must have used the carpet as their litter box at some point. But I cleaned and cleaned for days for this visit. Poor RJ couldn't help because the mono made him so lethargic, but he tried by straightening up the magazines and a few things in the living room. By the time they were due to arrive, I didn't think the house had ever been cleaner.
When they pulled up out front, RJ, turning the doorknob as he looked out, said, "Oh my God, she's broken both her arms!"
As she walked up the walkway and got closer, we saw that it wasn't casts on her arms, but she was wearing formal white gloves that came above her elbows! When she reached the door, without cracking a smile, she said, "I'm hear for your white glove inspection. Step aside, please."
She walked in and proceeded to run her fingertip along my mantel! The rest of us were cracking up. She turned around, hugged me, and said, "Never worry about the shape of your house, dear. We are coming to visit YOU, not your house. Now, do you have any ice tea?"
That was when I discovered that my mother-in-law had the very best sense of humor, and that she was to become my very best friend in the world.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I had another photo in mind for this week's theme: Sad. But I was driving past the Colonial Inn and decided to stop and shoot some photos. Anyone who has lived in Hillsborough long enough to remember when the Colonial Inn was a thriving inn and restaurant is saddened by its current state. Most are angry.
I've lived here since 1983 and even before moving here, I would drive to Hillsborough to eat at the Colonial Inn. It was famous in the area for it's delicious food served family-style. The building itself was beautiful. It was hard to believe that it had been around for more than 200 years. The porch was lined with rocking chairs, inviting one to sit for a spell. This is my son sitting in one of those rockers in 1995.
It's not hard to believe the Inn is over 200 years old when you look at it now. The current owner, Francis Henry, bought the Inn after it closed in 2001. I don't know why. He paid $410,000.00 for a beautiful historic landmark, only to let it go to ruin.
In 1781, General Cornwallis used the Colonial Inn, then called the Tavern House, as his headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Aaron Burr and Dolly Madison were both guests at the Tavern House, so this is not just any old building - it's a building with history. Even without the history, this building is loved by the residents of Hillsborough.
Francis Henry has been asked, fined, practically begged to repair the Inn. But he has continued to let it sit and grow worse each year. When he bought the Inn, it had been closed for a year so it's possible that some damage was already beginning, but had he started making repairs right away he could have stopped the progression of the damage. But perhaps there is hope for our beloved Colonial Inn. A recent article in the Chapel Hill News tells us there is.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
So, this meme has a theme every week, and the theme this week is view. The photo I'm posting is the view through the window of my breakfast nook. Did you ever wonder why it's called a nook? Anyway, I was watching the cats - there is a tiny bit of black just below the birdbath - circling each other, while the hummingbirds seemed to be oblivious. I grabbed my camera and shot a couple of pics. I caught this hummer (red arrow) in flight. I knew if I'd stepped outside, everyone would have scampered. But it came out pretty well considering that it was taken through a window and a screen.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
- The winner (that would be me -grin) may place the logo on his/her blog. [Done]
- Link to the person who gave you the award: The Altered Gypsy
- Nominate at least 7 other blogs. I chose the blogs listed below from the blogs that I read regularly, and that either make me laugh or inspire me in some way.
- Link to those blogs
- The Cookie Sheet
- What About Mom
- Bye, Bye, Pie
- Sweet Repeats
- Confessions of An Apron Queen
- Gingham World
- My Life in Pictures
So, I love your blogs, y'all!
Monday, September 22, 2008
She also has the cutest little gift bags! I have seen these in person and they are sooooooooooo soft! You owe it to yourself to check these out!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A couple of months ago, I visited the Newseum in Washington, DC - a fascinating history of journalism. I was surprised to find myself moved to tears by the incredible 9/11 display. Seven years later, but it was still as raw as though it had just happened. I was not alone in my grief either - others were tearing up right along with me.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Finally, I found the Quillers group on Yahoo. There were others out there that liked to play with paper like me! This group was such a helpful resource. I could get answers to my questions, find out where to get supplies. I learned so much from these other quillers. Then I found the North American Quilling Guild (NAQG). These quillers also proved to be a valuable resource.
One Saturday, a few of the quillers in North Carolina met in Burlington. They taught me so much in those few short hours that I just couldn't get from a book! One of them taught me how to make roses. I'd been trying and trying to make them, using the directions in a couple of books. But, having someone demonstrate it in front of you is so totally different. I was finally able to make a rose! yippee!
Friday, September 5, 2008
Here's my recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have no idea where this recipe came from. It's written on a smudged 3x5 index card that I've had forever.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
2 cups quick oatmeal
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 oz milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Go make some cookies! I'm off to Atlanta to help my big guy settle in. Hope the storm stays away so we can fly home.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I got up early, Dad had already left to report for duty at the Air Force base, and mom was still asleep. I was probably thinking that she'd feel better when she had some friends. So, while she was still asleep, I slipped out of the house. Our house was "base housing" and it was on a sort of courtyard where 6 or 8 (I can't remember - I was only 6 when we moved from there!) houses faced a central yard. I went from house to house in this little courtyard. I told the women who opened their doors to find little me standing there in the early morning, that we just moved in and that my mommy wanted them to come over for coffee so she could meet them. (heehee)
These women were wonderful - they told her not to worry about it. They ended up getting together some coffee, cups, and food from their houses. Soon, we were having a "coffee" on our living room floor. Then these lovely women pitched in and helped my mother unpack. She had her some new friends - and I helped.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This "Wavy Flag" was the design for July 3 - the reason I've intended to post the pattern all month. But it IS still July, so it still counts, right? Plus, I figure that flags can be used ANY time of year, so it's never too late to have a pattern for a flag.
This is a fairly easy flag to make and can be used on a greeting card, gift tag, scrapbook, page, ATC, or just as a decoration - whatever way you can think to use it.
5 diamonds (2 inches, 5.1 cm)
2 marquis (1 ½ inches, 3.8 cm)
2 marquis (2 inches, 5.1 cm)
4 marquis (3 inches, 7.6 cm)
2 marquis (4 inches, 10.2 cm)
1 banding (4 inches, 10.2 cm)
18 marquis (3 inches, 7.6 cm)
2 bandings (3 inches, 7.6 cm)
9 marquis (3 inches, 7.6 cm)
First make a star. Using five (2 inches, 5.1 cm) lengths of white strips, form each into a diamond. Attach the five diamonds together to form a star shape.
Fill in the around the star with 10 blue marquis shapes, using the photo as a guide. Outline with the (4 inches, 10.2 cm) banding strip of blue to help give it shape.
Place a row of 9 red (3 inches, 7.6 cm) marquis in wavy pattern, again, using the photo as a guide.
Place a row of white (3 inches, 7.6 cm) marquis below this row.
Place another row of red (3 inches, 7.6 cm) marquis.
Glue a banding strip of red to each side to give stability to the shape.
This is another variation of a quilled flag - the heart flag. This one is glued on a piece of mulberry paper to be used on some future project.
I hope you enjoy these little patriotic quillings.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Apparently, I wasn't the only one to watch the movie, The Bucket List, the other night. The Apron Queen was so inspired that she has started a neme centered on the theme. By writing up your own Bucket list and linking back to hers, you can enter to win some vintage aprons. How cool is that?
Jack Nicholson is a rich guy - owns the hospital, even - and is rooming with Morgan Freeman, just a regular guy. They both have cancer with only a short time left to live. Sounds like a depressing movie, right? Well, it has a few sad moments, but it's also very funny. These two guys become good friends - predictable because it IS a movie, but it's still worth watching. Morgan Freeman starts writing his Bucket List - things he wants to do before - yeah, before he kicks the bucket. Jack Nicholson gets in on it, and the list gets longer, and they actually decide to try to do the things on the list.
While watching it, I can't help but think, what would be on my list? Some things are going to be on there, no matter what: See my son happily married, see my grandchild(ren). But what else? What are the things that I've always wanted to do? Realistically, of course. Unrealistically, I'd like to win a gazillion (it is too a word!) and share it with everyone I know that needs a little help. But, the lottery doesn't go that high, and I don't seem to be lucky where it's concerned. Anyway, here are a few things I'd like to do sometime in this lifetime:
Take a hot air balloon trip
Run a 10k (and be in good enough shape to finish!)
Visit Napa Valley
Visit the Scandinavian countries
Spend a month at the beach
Spend a month in the mountains
That's the list for now. But it can, and probably will, change over the remainder of my life.
What about you? Besides winning a gazillion dollars, what would you want to do?
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Wow! I'm feeling pretty darn special right now! The very talented Miss Amy has bestowed the Arte Y Pico award upon my blog. Amy is my good friend, but she also has a lot of talented friends, so she didn't have to choose my blog, but she did! I feel very honored that she thought my blog worthy of this award. Thank you Amy . It's true.
It's my turn to pass this award along, but it's very difficult to choose from all the creative blogs I read. But, here is my list of artsy blogs that I think are deserving of the Arte Y Pico award:
Lucy, I mean, Cookie
Jane - I don't how strict I have to be about the "art" rule, but Jane runs a very creative blog and it is one of my very favorite places to visit, so I'm going to give her this award. She has, after all, created some pretty special art named Sally, Susan, and Spot.
If you have been selected for the award, please pay it forward, following the steps below:
- Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.
- Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog so everyone can view it.
- Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
- The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the "Arte y Pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.
- Please post these rules!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Now 6 collages, tiny or not, could have taken me the whole day!! Luckily, we had Sally Jean, cute as a button, reminding us to "just do it - tear it, glue it, don't think about it!" Every few minutes I had to put it between the glass, hold it up to the light to check everything out, work some more...
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
When I first got home and before I got too sick, I decided that I was going to reorganize my studio because I had bought so many supplies for my classes. I went out and bought a bunch of plastic bins and started moving stuff out of my studio. Then I got sick. I would do a little bit of work and have to rest. I am now sitting in a studio that is empty (well almost). All of my stuff is piled in my son's room. I have to decide how to rearrange the shelving in here before I bring everything back in here. As much as I want him to visit, I hope my son doesn't want to use his bed anytime soon! Because where, oh where! would I put everything that is on and around his bed???
On to better things - at least I think it will be better. Yesterday, I spent some time taking pictures of the things I made at Art & Soul - about time, don't ya think? I'll be telling you about them over the next couple of days.
This second one is 7/8 inch diameter and thick - over 1/8 inch thick. I used a metal button to create it and I needed to be sure that it didn't poke through. It has a nice heavy feel to it. I also created a bail on this one by draping a piece of clay over a drinking straw. The bail is attached and basicly glued to the charm with more clay, using a paint brush and brushing, brushing, brushing it until the connection point is smooth. I wanted to be sure to learn to make a bail before I left this class. I wish I'd had time to make one of Melanie's beautiful fancy, "snake" bails, but I did good to get this one attached before these had to go into the kiln. After the PMC is fired and tumbled, it comes out very shiny sterling silver. You can leave it that way or use various things to change the look. I wanted mine to look a bit aged, so I used "Black Max" (I think that's right) to help age it and to highlight the lines.
Tomorrow, I'll show some more of my beautimous projects...