Monday, January 15, 2018

NTAQ January Meeting

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” 
― Pablo Picasso

    My NTAQ Art bunch met today...as always, a real boost to share our creativity with each other.  Our challenge this month was a painting by Georges Braque "The Echo".  It is an abstract picture with some definable objects.  Our challenges are not necessarily to interpret the pictures exactly but to use the shapes and colors as inspirations to create something original. Here is the picture on my design wall with my work.  It is not one of my favorites but since I rushed it together I guess it will do.  I was working most  of the day and night yesterday getting my "Century Plant" finished so I only spent from 10:00 to Midnight last night on the challenge!

Georges Braque/ Jaye
And here are the ones done by the others:

Bethany
Wendy
Kay
Heather
We had a couple people not able to be at the meeting....here is a picture of all the challenges together
Michelle's is upper left...I didn't get an individual pic of hers

     Then we had our "show and tell" of other works! Kay had really been busy since our last meeting.

Kay says this was done "just for fun"!
Kay added the circles after finishing the quilt, feeling it needed a little something more!
A small work Kay brought to get some suggestions on what to do with  the background.
This is a sea turtle Kay did as a reminder of her recent trip to Hawaii
     Bethany had been busy doing some ice dyeing:     


Bethany plans to leave this as a whole cloth quilt and add stitching
      Wendy had a most spectacular quilt to show....the backs of her quilts are alway as wonderful as the fronts!!
The front
The back
    And I showed my Century Plant.  I had originally planned on entering this in a show in South Texas named "Life on the Rio Grande".  I didn't get it finished by the deadline...so I am now going to get it finished to enter in the SAQA Conference Texas Only SAQA members' show in April.

My "Century Plant"
It is not quite finished....I need to quilt the borders and stitch down a few of the blooms that I haven't done yet.  I also took several pictures on the process of this quilt as I did a few things that I had not done before and plan to write a blog on that.  So I am not going into much detail on how I did this one.
     And the meeting ended with lunch, conversation and lots of laughter, as always!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Memory Monday

“I celebrate the connections in my life, from my past, present, and future. I joyfully accept love in all its healthy forms!” 
― Amy Leigh Mercree,


     We are now back at Dick's parents' home.  While we are there, all the neighbors throw us a shivaree.  Now for those of you who are not familiar with the  custom, shivarees were "celebrations" of marriage. Originally they could get pretty wild...usually a newly wed couple would be in their new home and the community would show up one night and mischievously wreck their home! Nothing malicious...all in good fun! The couple would expect this to happen so would have beer and snacks set aside for when the partiers would show up.  Sometimes the bride would be "kidnapped"  while the groom had to watch his domain being wrecked!  Then all would get back together and help clean up and the party would  begin. Crazy, I know!  I wonder if they still do that anywhere?

    Because we were not living in the area, what we got was just the party!  It would not have been appropriate to wreck his parents' house!  It was a nice party, a chance for me to meet all the neighbors. And their tradition was to give the couple a "money" tree.  Bills had been collected and some creative person would make flowers or something out of the money and place them on a branch....a much nicer tradition than what I was used to!!!
Dick and Jay after the shivaree with money tree
This picture was taken in Dick's parents living room...that is a window behind me, showing off the beautiful farm land that surrounded them. Right down the road were his paternal grandparents and just a few miles away, his maternal grandmother...all of whom were at our wedding.  His brother and little sister Janice are still living at home.  Fay is nineteen and farming with his dad; Janice who is 14 years younger than Dick and in total awe of him, is eight.
25th anniversary
This is a picture of Dick's mom and dad celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary August 14, the summer before we got married.  We were in Reno at the time so not able to attend.  Brother Fay 18 and sister Janice 7, in the background.  Again, a community party held in the church hall.

    Next stop...Reno, Nevada...our first apartment!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Memory Monday

“You can start anew at any given moment. Life is just the passage of time and it’s up to you to pass it as you please.” 
― Charlotte Eriksson

     How appropriate that today, a Monday,  is the first day of the New Year!  I am returning to my Memory Monday blogs and I love "fresh starts"....a new day, a new week,  a new year!  And also appropriate is that this memory is also about New Year's eve!

    So here we are,  back in Pittsfield after our brief honeymoon in St. Louis. It is December 31, and we are going to yet another Dance Club party at the American Legion....there will be much drinking and eating and general chaos!  My sister and her family are still at Mom and Dad's...totally, there are 12  of us sleeping there.  My cousins who don't party with my parents stay home with Judy's babies...Doug 2 and David 20 days old.



     Looking back, I am sure this whole "everyone together" was a little foreign to Dick who although had a large family of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents...more than mine...but they all lived close enough to go home in the evenings!  I do remember at one point while we were all there,  all we girls were in another room doing something, baby David began to cry, but then got quiet.  Judy went to check on him and came back just astonished!  He had been on his back and was now on his stomach!  He had rolled over at 20 days old! It is a miracle!  Then Dick quietly (he was a quiet person), said "Oh, I hope it was alright.  He was fussing and I had seen others turn him over which seem to quiet him, so I just did that too!"  Well, you can imagine!  All my female relatives just thought that was the bravest, smartest thing a man could do!  From that moment on, Dick could do no wrong in their eyes!  You have to realize, men had very little to do with babies back then so for him to even think about what to do was amazing!


Judy with baby David, Doug and my mom looking on
     So that evening we all dress up and head to the American Legion; after the dance we went to a house party of some friends of Mom and Dad.  Now we are going home and are all feeling no pain at this point.  I remember as we six (mom, dad, Judy, my BIL, Dick and I) all pile into Dad's car, Dad driving, he begins to back out to the driveway, swerving backwards while gunning it.  Dick looks back and hollers...Dad brakes and we stop just inches away from a large tree! 
    When we get back to the house, my poor sister who was just 20 days away from having a baby and who had probably not had an alcoholic beverage since her own wedding, became very ill!  While Dad who is pretty bombed himself, takes care of her, Mom and I are taking care of baby David....he needs a bottle...and we rock him.  The strangest thing about having been drinking and rocking....one gets very dizzy!  So when one of us got dizzy, the other would take over!  We took turns until he finally fell asleep! Tough kid!  He survived!
     Then, before we headed to our new home in Reno, Nevada, we go to Dick's parents to spend a few days with them.
     

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last Blog for 2017

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” 
― Frank Herbert

     I haven't blogged for the whole month of December, so for my final blog of the year, I am going to combine LOTS of topics!
     Early December, Andrea and I flew to Portland, Oregon to attend a wedding of Dick's brother's granddaughter...or my great niece!  We planned to be there a bit longer to see something to the area.  On our first day, we did a personal walking tour....and went to the Portland Museum of Art.  One of the exhibits that was going on was a retrospect of Three Wyeths, N.C., Andrew, and Jamie!

A Window painted to honor the Illustrator, NC Wyeth
Three Generations of Wyeths

Then we walked to Powell's Bookstore....advertising to be the largest Independent new and used bookstore in the World!  And I can believe it! It takes up a whole city block and contains over 68,000 square feet of retail floor space....several stories high... nine-color coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections.  Needless to say, we did not see the whole store!

Just a sampling picture of Powell's
     That afternoon, my SIL Janice flew in for the wedding from Belton, Missouri and had planned to stay at the same hotel where we were.  She texted me when she got in and, coincidentally, she was in the room right next door to us! We had read about a craft fair down by the river that evening in a big warehouse, so we ordered a Lyft and took off.  

The Fair
Food trucks are a big item in Portland....we saw them near Powell's when we were there, but it was too cold for us to partake in outdoor eating....but this evening, there were several set up behind the building with many of those outdoor heaters.  We ate our dinner standing up huddled under a heater, then went in to join the crowds!  None of us are too fond of crowds so we stayed about an hour then called another Lyft to go back to the hotel...to the bar for a hot toddy!!
     The next morning, we had scheduled a city tour for the morning.  The wedding was to be at 3:00 so we had plenty of time to check out Portland!  It was a good tour, although, again...chilly and damp!  But that did not "dampen" our spirits! One of our stops was a Japanese Garden which was very lovely...then a stop along the river, the Wilamette...and then a tour of one of the best known homes in the area, the Pittock Mansion.  It is now a part of the Historical Society of Portland and one of their moneymakers to go towards the up keep, is to rent various rooms at Christmas to different groups to decorate according to their interests.  Then, of course there are the fees for visitors...but it was a beautiful place...and again, very popular!
The Japanese Gardens
Andrea, Jay, and Jan with Portland on the Wilamette in the background
The Pittock Mansion overlooking the city
The staircase at the Pittock..it split at the landing and went to the left also.
     We returned to the hotel to shower and dress for the wedding.  It was a lovely affair; the venue was a unique location...I don't know what the building had been originally but the huge room, which the family had transformed into fantasy, was just perfect for this couple. After a very short service, the entire attendees, approximately 300, I think I was told, were served  fun buffet dinner of the couples' choice...tacos and all the traditional sides!!

Jon and Lauren
Sister of the Bride-Emily/ Mother of the Bride- Cathy (my niece)
Jay and Andrea having a great time at the wedding!
    Dick's brother, Fay, took all of us back to our hotel.  Jan was flying home the next day, so we made a plan to meet at the airport for a brunch before she had to leave.  Cathy who lives in Portland, picked us up and for a least a short time, we all got together...all 13 of us minus the bride and groom.   After we saw Jan off, we went back to Cathy's house to visit for awhile then the suggestion was made to go see Multnomah Falls, just outside Portland along the Columbia  Gorge. What a site!  611 feet of cascading icy water!

Multmomah Falls
Then Andrea and I were taken back to our hotel.  All of the family were heading back home on Monday; we had planned to stay another day and had scheduled an all day tour along the Oregon coast.
     That Monday, we woke up to sunshine for the first time we since we had come!  Although it was still pretty cool, it was good to have sunshine while we toured because we did a lot of getting in and out! The coast is beautiful; we did a lot of walking /hiking at various stops. At one stop we were really in the forest primeval! There was a steep path leading down to the beach which I only tried part way.  On the path, there were many surfers in their winter wet suits heading down.  Brrrr!  I headed back to the top to wait for the others!

Pacific Coast, Oregon
Rock formation at certain locations along the coast
A temperate rainforest with fantastic mossed covered trees.
Not a sign we see in Texas!
The next day, Tuesday, we had an early flight out and got back to the DFW area before noon. Great trip; beautiful wedding; got to see lots of relatives and lots of fabulous scenery!!
     The rest of the month of December was spent with my art groups, working with my art, and celebrating Christmas.   My first art meeting was the North Texas SAQA  at which we all brought goodies to celebrate the holidays. We discussed what we want to do next year and then our fab show and tell!!







     And my North Texas Art Quilters (NTAQ)  met at my house...again plans for next year and another fabulous show and tell...







And then we went to lunch at a new restaurant, Rise, in the  Shops of Clearfork area.  It is a souffle eatery, very yummy...the best French Onion soup I think I have ever had!

Most of NTAQ
    Another nice surprise...a couple friends took me to Dallas for a belated birthday dinner...a new place for me.
Yummy seafood!
     Andrea and Leo came over on the Saturday before Christmas.  Sunday we went to see "An Act of God" at Stagewest where we also had dinner.

Cast of An Act of God
    We had a nice quiet Christmas Day...Marti and her family had decided to go on a Caribbean Cruise over the holidays; they all like to do physical stuff...snorkel, zipline, etc. which Andrea and I are not that crazy about so we opted to stay home, saving our money for a trip next spring to Colorado.  I can say I had a Wonder Woman Christmas....my personal hero since childhood!


     Then on the 29th, Dick and  I would be celebrating our 54 anniversary if he were still with me.  As it was, I had decided to go out to the National Cemetery where he is interred in part.  I say in part, because I am still dispersing ashes when I go on trips where he would have gone too.  Andrea offered to go with me so I met her for lunch and we drove over there....very nice surprise...I did not know that Christmas wreathes were placed at each and every tombstone and along the columbarium.



Nor did I know that there is an organization where one can donate and/or volunteer to lay the wreathes known as Wreathes Across America.  I will get involved in it next year.  They may be the ones responsible for other times of decorating the cemeteries...I'll have to check it out!

     So in drawing this lengthy blog to an end, I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year with this card I stole off Facebook, posted by a fellow Unitarian Universalist!
Love to all, Jaye