Monday, September 27, 2010

Freshening up the place

After living the past 15 years with carpet which was already old when we moved in - I decided this was the time to get rid of it. The only word I could use to describe the old carpeting is disgusting. So grandson Trevor and his neighbor pal Brendan are lifting it out in sections. Since I live in a small space and it is up a flight of outside stairs (a bit rickety) I refused to have the furniture removed. NO carrying it up and down those stairs. So everything has to be moved from one side of te room to another and hopefully leave room for walking to kitchen and bathroom. right now we are on the third section to come out. First, the big hoosier had to be emptied out to move it. I didn't want my grandmother's dishes to come crashing down. So granddaugher Candis was enlisted to empty it and stack them wherever she could find a safe spot.

I've been to the paint store, the local family owned business where they know everything about finishes! I am paying more there but I really value their expertise and patience. Over the years I have carried in some fabrics, dishes, wood, and other things to color match. and now, because I am painting over a hardboard subflooring with all kinds of hideous stains - I need to use the very best priming paint that will hide them and also give a good hard finish. I used this paint in the bedroom a year or two ago and t is like concrete. such a wonderful hard surface and easy to mop or dust mop. Bedroom floor is a darker peach color. Living room will be a green called Quaking grass. Makes me think of a meadow. a fresh spring meadow. Now, that leaves what to do with wall.s I have a lovely green on one wall and two dfferent shades of muted yellow on other walls. I think that the two greens will overpower the room, so I got a paint called Cake Batter (matched to the background of the old china) which will cover the green wall, and if I like it well enough I might just keep going and have all the walls the same. This would be a first for me, as I love color. I have a hunch it will look so lively and fresh that my linens and slip covers and table cloths will really show well - and the paintings that will be repositioned. busy, busy time.

New technique

Yesterday in Sacramento at the Mixed Media Group, Rosemary taught us to make fused fabrics with scraps of fabrics and bits and bobs of other materials, including papers. All with double sided fusible webbing. We had so much fun playing with the stuff she brought for us to work with and each of us made a sheet to use any way we want. Most people were making little purses, but I knew immediately that they would make wonderful mail art. Soon I"ll be posting pics of the post cards I'm making with my own fused fabrics.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sweet moments

My youngest son was born in 1970. While cleaning in the studio I came across a box of cassette tapes and there was one marked Matthew 1977. I don't remember ever seeing it before. I don't think I knew it existed. where has it been all these years? who made it? why didn't I know about it? well, I popped it into the cassette player and sure enough, a little child was reading, and then I heard the voice of the man recording it. It was my father. what a sweet moment, and then to be able to walk to the back door and call Matt and Christina to come listen. He had never heard it before either. We were all just beaming and glowing over it and Christina remembered a tape she and her grandmother had made when she was about 4. When her grandmother passed, it was given to her, so we listened to it too. another sweet moment.

The tape of Matt's voice was in a box with some cassettes my aunt Verna Mae had given to me many years ago. Our tastes in music were not alike in any sense, I probably assumed they were all music and never really looked at them. This tape was music to my ears today. I think it is the only one we have of Matt as a little child. The rest of tapes can go to the library used book/music store. Matt now has his tape to keep next to Christina's. How cool is that?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Requiem and requiem two

Last night was Jodi's memorial service. I was moved by the people who spoke and how we had all valued the same qualities that were uniquely Jodi. Jodi made everyone feel special, feel loved. It just poured out of her. She was so highly charged that she could wear me out - all that boundless youthful exuberance. We all loved her, and I can't tell you what a huge hole it makes knowing she is not among us now. Because Jodi had MS and had ups and downs associated with the disease, she also knew a lot of pain and discomfort. We will think of her now in heaven, pain and care free where she can spread her love and friendship with all the angels. It's going to be a much livelier place there now.

On the way to the service Sally and I stopped at one Jodi's favorite thrift stores. I bought a book "The Man who Sang the Sillies" by John Ciardi, illustrated by Edward Gorey. One of the poems is called "Say yes to the music, or else". It reminds me of Jodi Jodi loved music, collected boxes and boxes of old records. When I was with Jodi for any length of time, because of her boisterousness, I wished she would "chill out" a bit. Jodi was Jodi and she went where the music took her. And that's one of the things we loved about her.

Say yes to the music, or else.

What I have to say of Clarence Fud
(who wouldn't say yes and wouldn't say no) is:
Once you turn into a stick in the mud,
You can't be sure where your big toe is.

Suppose it itches, suppose it twitches
and wants to go where the music goes?
If you are stuck in the mud, like Clarence Fud
You can't get the music into your toes.

I can tell you that Jodi was NOT a stick in the mud. If her big toe twitched and wanted to go where the music was - well she just followed it there. She was alive and vibrant and so full of life that she threw off sparks. Cat and Gene raised this wonderful woman who was so non- judgemental, so open and caring. They can be very proud of this remarkable woman.

I thought I had written about the passing of Ray. Last Thanksgiving I had dinner at Rays house. I posted pics and told about it on the blog. Well, Ray started having health issues, and was being treated for bleeding ulcers, but nothing they gave him helped with the pain or the bleeding. They ran test after test, and would send him home again. Many phone calls, trips to ER, etc. they finally found he had pancreatic cancer. He didn't have much time left, but enough that he could see his attorney and get his affairs in order. His remaining son came home, and he and his partner and Zachary took care of Ray with the help of hospice.

His funeral was really very touching and I learned a lot more about Ray, who I had great respect and affection for. Pillar of the church and community kind of guy. Although he was so quiet you'd hardly notice him in a crowd, he had a kind of noble stature in a country kind of way. One of his good friends, the old Irish priest told it like it was. With humor and grace.

Jodi's only child Zachary lost his grandpa, Ray, who he lived with, and then his mom only a week later. We are all prayiing for strength for this young man. If you could see his sad face you'd weep, as it's all there - the pain and loss. I hope some day I can write about something wonderful happening in his life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brief candle

My best friend's daughter was killed in a highway accident last evening. I can't even imagine the pain they are feeling. Half an hour before the accident she was happy, excited and getting dressed up to go to a concert. Music was her passion. The last time I saw her was at Ray's funeral. It's a sad time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How do you feel about fall?

Deb over at her blog expresses my feeling about the change of season so well, I decided to post the link here so you can read her words. I've been feeling fall sneaking up on us with the days getting shorter and the shadows getting longer. Even Lulu's coat is a bit thicker on her sides. A friend reported that she saw geese heading South. Go over and visit Deb and see how she is handling it.
In case you haven't looked back at my homage to fall from last year, here's a quick link back to my falling leaves/skydivers.

Bay area book arts jam - and mail art

My plan was to show my books at the bay area book arts jam in October, but I realize that the day would be too taxing. I no longer have the energy for day long events where I am running on adrenalin and excitement. I'll miss the one on one meeting with book art enthusiasts, but I have to accept the limitations of advancing age. Damn it I said I have to accept it, I don't have to like it. Thank goodness we have our local venues and our online friends. I'll be more active in online groups again and want to do more mail art. I've been creating altered post cards. Now, who will I send them to????? Hmmmmm...... If you'd like to be on my mail list, email me at and you may just find a card from me in your mail box!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Art show in Lodi - a walk through

My art pal Roberta took pics at the gallery and tells about what she saw on her delightful blog. If you want to see it, go HERE.