Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Grandma!

I am proud to announce that I am a new grandma as of January 10th, 2009!  Our daughter, Sarahjoy, had Gabriel after only 9 hours of natural labor.  She had a midwife and gave birth in a birthing tub. He was 20" and 8 lbs 12 oz at birth.  His APGAR score was 10!  He is darn near perfect!  During labor, they did a  lot of walking in their side meadow in the full moonlight. Julio was his normal patient and loving self and really supported the labor and birth process. They are quite happy and getting used to Gabriel's schedule.  In this photo, Gabriel is only about 2 hours old!  

Julio's mother, Cecilia, has been coming over
to help with the work of keeping the house going for them. She is an angel!  Here you can see that she is adoring this new grandson!

My husband and I will be going to Costa Rica to meet this new young man in our lives!  He will be the center of attention for some time!  Gabriel is our first grandchild!  In our family, the generations are longer than in many.  Each of the last 3 generations are over 30 years!    I have been waiting for this moment for a long time!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow in the Pacific Northwest!

We have snow.... a very unusual situation for us here in the Pacific Northwest.
 We don't have enough to be used to it and learn to drive in the stuff.  But it's BEAUTIFUL!  I took photos of our picnic table on the 14th, the 20th and today, the 22nd.  It is really stacking up!
The sun on the snow-laden trees and blue sky are a great combination.  This is the view right out my living room window of our pond.....currently covered in snow, and I assume frozen solid beneath.  We might even be able to skate there if this keeps up.                                                         Our marsh is already frozen solid across the four acres of it, and we had a community skating party there on Saturday.  It was marvelous to see the teenagers skating outdoors!  We had kids from age 2 to 16 and a multitude of adults of all ages.  Some of us skated and others stayed near the bonfire we built in a mortar basin on the shore.
 We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and had "some-mores".   Drinking cocoa from a mug at the edge of the frozen marsh is the ultimate!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nov & December BJP finished

After a false start on my November BJP, I removed the beads and the fusible silk leaf I had created using a real leaf as a pattern.  It was not turning out the way I thought it would, and the silk edges were getting raggedy looking with the handling.  I was pleased that I could just pull off the fused silk leaf and return to the original fabric "canvas". 
 So I began another theme for November.  When I originally began this piece, things were going along normally for us, then Craig's mom suddenly was in the hospital and died within 6 days.  It was a shock.  Craig, of course, went back to say goodbye to her and be with his sister and brother for the memorial in Maine.   One of the things she told me was that a ring with an aquamarine stone in it should be mine after she died.  We shared a birth month and birth stone.  I loved the ring, and was glad that no one else really wanted it.  I am wearing it constantly, and am working on remembering good times with her. She was a difficult person.  So, my November block took a right turn and became kind of a family memorial.
  The turquoise beads are to remember the aquamarine stone in this ring. The divisions show that there were three children (with moonfaces for each child), one had no children (leaves) one had one child (one leaf) and one had three (three leaves).
The 5 large-ish discs in the upper left represents the original family... mom, pop, and three kids.  The bead towers in the upper middle right have four beads at the tops and they look like miniature crosses in an old cemetery.  There are eight of them.... for mom, pop, gram, mom-mom, pop-pop, Aunt Edna, Aunt Ella and Uncle Bub.  The four large dark flowers are the four granddaughters... Diana, Sarah, Shelley, and Jill.  And the four green leaves in a row represent the great-grandchildren (two of which are still to be born).
I am mostly happy with it as a "journal" piece, but it isn't the best workmanship I've done with beads.  

And then I began my December block.  I had chosen a really cool piece of hand-dyed fabric, and wanted to make use of the variations on it with the beads. I was spending the weekend caring for a couple of teenagers while their folks were away.  They need rides and someone to cook, be there "just in case" and sleep over.  So, I had lots of time to bead and just be available to the kids.  

It was a challenge for me to do something in basically a monochromatic color scheme.  I used some interesting square black matte beads for the first path snaking across.  I decided to try a "nine patch" (a quilt pattern)  in beads, and liked it so much that I continued and filled that whole space with a basket weave effect.  The square bead at the bottom is a wood bead that I got in Costa Rica.

I don't really have any journaling aspects on this one... just that Christmas is a festive time with red all around to decorate the dark places with vibrancy and life.  And one of the best parts for me is that December is only half way over and my BJP is finished!  On to 2009!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our quilting guild is having a block exchange. Each month, one person presents the parameters for their quilt blocks.  Some people give just the dimensions, some request anything made out of batiks, some give a pattern, some fabric and then ask you to add some of your own.  All 11 people in your group go and during the month make the designated block for the person.  Then the next month, the people in that group bring back their finished blocks for her, and another person presents.  It goes on and on for 12 months, so you have 11 blocks made by others and your own to make 12.  And you  have made 11 blocks for others.  It is a great project as long as you don't let it overwhelm you.  
The first person in my group asked us to create  a block that represents your house, your dream house, your view out of your window (the real one or the imagined one!), your yacht, or your Fifth Wheeler.  I chose to do a modified version of my real house.  This is the cleaned up house I would like.  It's tidy and the flowers are all growing in the right places and not chewed to the ground by the deer.   We live in a log house in the forest with deer, raccoons, foxes and eagles as our neighbors.  We built the log house structure ourselves when we were young and foolish.   Now we're old and more desirous of some of the luxuries that other construction might allow.  Oh well!  This is my rendition of our house as viewed from the south side.  The left hand window on the second floor is a bedroom, and we have these lovely diamond paned windows in all the bedrooms.   So far the quilt block is totally done with fusibles and no stitching.... can't decide if I want to get into that..... she said it would just be a wall hanging, so it wouldn't need to be laundered.  I might do some beading and some machine stitching on it yet.... don't have to turn it back until the 5th of November, so can sit with it for a while and see how it feels!  

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October Finished

I am astonished at myself. I sat down and finished this month's page today ..... it's only the 12th!!! I really enjoyed using closely hued beads to fade in and out to mimic the colors in the water-color fabric. I had drawn paisley type images in the lower right and top center of the page. The one in the lower right looked more like a leaf, so I put a leaf on it, but it wouldn't stay in place.... I could have glued it, but chose to hold it down with a bezel.  Those bead are a dark green, but they look almost black in the photo.    It got pretty heavy in terms of value, but I liked it that way at the bottom of the piece. As I was putting away my beads, I ran across some tiny metallic butterflies, so added three of them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Changes to September

I realized as I was explaining this month's bead journal page to my daughter that the circle in the upper left hand corner was too out of place and glaring for the piece.  So, tonight I removed those light beads and replaced them with darker beads... some fabulous Charlottes that I have used in other areas of the piece.   I think I may be finished with it now!  I like the visual weight of the "grass" at the bottom to hold it down.  I think that this represents my only child.... a single large flower?  Her birthday is in September and her favorite colors are purple and green.  Oh yeh.... and did I mention that she is going to make me a grandmother in January?????

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September in process

I have been waiting, not all that patiently, for my hands to get rested.  I finally decreed that they were well enough and began to search in earnest for my format for BJP 08-09.  I got out my beading stuff and found a block I started in May of last year... it was 2-1/2"x2-1/2" and I really liked what I started there.  So I decided that since only about 12 beads had been attached so far, it could easily be my September block and my format for the new BJP. (The beads I had attached were the matte flowers that flow from the lower right to the upper left with a size 11 bead on top of each... I had only put on 6 flowers with the beads on top)  I started work again on Friday, then on the ferry going both ways on Saturday when I was  on a trip with girlfriends to see the quilt show in La Conner, WA.  One of the vendors at the show had beads for sale, and I found some new-to-me leaf beads to immediately add to my block.   I will be adding more beads, but probably won't be totally covering this piece with beads.... leaving some of the fabric showing.