Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our Beautiful World

     This week on Our Beautiful World the word to picture is "Halloween" and as today is Halloween, I am posting a couple pictures depicting the holiday!  A couple of weeks ago the word was October and I posted several pictures of Halloween because in my mind the word October is synonymous with Halloween!
      But I did not post every picture I had!  Halloween through the years to me has been a time to dress up; to be another person or character; and, of course, to trick or treat!  In my home town, we always had a big costume contest on Halloween...and a parade!  Living in Illinois, the weather could be very unpredictable on October 31st.  So often it would be pretty chilly and we would either have to layer up under our costumes or wear a coat over them.  I usually chose the layering up which worked well except after the parade we would meet in the Legion Hall and it would be HOT!  But, by golly, even though I was hot...I looked good!!! (in my eyes!)
     I have another Halloween story, but I am going to save it for my Memory Monday blog next my picture is another brief tradition that my grandkids and I established...decorating our front porch!

The grands and me...with our friend, Jack
The windows behind us are in my studio and for the time "Jack" was visiting, I would be in there working and invariably would be startled by his presence when the wind would cause the rocker to move!
Happy Halloween!

Both my grands and I made quilts together; this one was created and pieced by my grandson when he was about nine or ten. We entered it in my guild's quilt show that year and he won second prize for small quilts!!  Quite a surprise for both of us!!!  They now display it every year at his house as part of their Halloween decorations.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Memory Monday # 43

     I do have one memory of the sixth grade year...I don't know what the occasion was but my dad and a bunch of his friends who were also fathers of many of my friends participated in a fund raiser by taking part in a amateur variety show.  The show took place at the East School Building; the  rooms were quite large and a couple of the upstairs rooms had a wall between that could be rolled away creating a very large area.
     The front of the room became the stage by pushing the teacher's desk out of the way and lining up the student desks in rows for the audience.  My dad and his buddies were dressed to represent Hula Girls from Hawaii or some such tropical island!  They are all pretty hefty guys and some pretty darn hairy too!!  My dad was quite the cut up...I have entertained my friends with "Dad" tales for many years!

My dad is the guy on the far right!!  What a sight!!
     It was sometimes kind of hard to look at my classroom in the same  light after this outstanding performance!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Memory Monday #42

    I am now "cured" of rheumatic fever! And I am entering the 6th grade.  I have no really strong memories of the sixth grade except by all notions, I should be repeating the fifth grade.  At the end of the year...fifth grade...I had to take the tests that all took to move on to the next year.  The school principal at the time told my mom that "yes, I could take the test, but because I had missed about 80% of the school year, I would probably not do too well."  My mom had been "home schooling" me and the education I on one...was most certainly the best I had in 12 years!  I not only passed, I had one of the highest scores of the class!  That was the last time that ever happened!!!  I was not a very good student most of the time...usually really excelled at what I liked, but bombed on anything that did not interest me!!
     And another clear memory is that cute little baby time went on,  our relationship came even closer. I still wasn't able to exert myself overly much so I spent quite a bit of time with him.  We have some great pictures of us the socks on me!!!
Jay and Jacky-1950ish

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Beautiful World-Chill

      This week, the given word from Our Beautiful World is "Chill"!  Now that is an interesting could down, calm down, or a feeling of being cool...a look, a temperature.

     My "chill" pictures depict more the temperature/weather related definition!
Observatory tour on Hawaii..yes, it was very chilly on that mountain top..32degrees!!
Holly berries in the snow.
Snow sliding off the roof of our shed!
Our live oak tree in our back yard...yes, we get snow in Texas!

Ice sculpture at Gaylord Inn

Monday, October 14, 2013

Memory Monday # 41

    Another memory I have during my fifth grade year is:
      Because I was bed-ridden with the Rheumatic Fever diagnosis, I would have frequent company...friends come to play quiet games, neighbors...and one guest I clearly remember was our pastor, Father Scanlan.  He was quite a character!  Actually, I had been kind of scared of him before he came to visit. In church he could be a bit intimidating....he was very tall (at least to me), had pure white hair, and became very red faced when he was upset about anything.
       I remember on one occasion he got really mad at everyone...many people had a habit of leaving mass early, right after receiving communion.  Back in the forties', the altar was set so that the priest had his back to the congregation during much of the service.  This one Sunday, as the door to the church was quietly but obviously closing before the end of mass, Father Scanlan turned around...very red faced...and yelled that if "another person leaves before the end of Mass, the door would be locked at the beginning of the next mass and not unlocked until the end!!!" And to be sure to spread the word to those who had already  left early!! (I don't think a priest or any other figure head could get away with saying that today, but back then, he was the authority whom we all admired and looked up to!)
     But when he came to visit me, he brought with him his two Irish Setters!!  And that was the only time that I remember animals being allowed inside my mom's house....(for all her wonderful motherly ways, she was very adamant about animals belonging outdoors!) I don't know if it was Father Scanlan's presence or my love of dogs that made her allow them in,  but it sure made me a happy little girl each time he came to visit! And created a relationship between us that lasted until he retired and moved away a few years later.
An Irish Setter (not Father Scanlan's but looks just like one of them!)
And another one...aren't they just magnificent!?!?!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Beautiful World-October

     The pictorial blog, "Our Beautiful World", has chosen the word "October" for the theme this week.  Although Fall/Autumn is the season, and a beautiful season....  October is also the month for one of my favorite holidays when I was a kid....Halloween!! I doubt if there is a soul out there that is not familiar with the history and traditions of Halloween, but for those who need a little briefing, especially how Halloween is celebrated in the USA, I have linked to a site that will tell you all you ever wanted to know!!

     Dressing up was a blast and still I am showing pictures of my kids, grandkids,  and me in various costumes!
My Mimes! probably 2007 
My girls and I...Raggedy Ann and Andy...I am a cowboy!  1974
My girls...1968
I am a a skit for teachers when I taught in a high school in Mississippi-1975

Monday, October 7, 2013

Memory Monday # 40

      For this week, my memory is about the next year of school.. the fifth grade...a very interesting year.  For a couple of years, I had been victim of many bouts of strep throat. Back in the 50's the usual solution to any childhood ills was to yank out ones' tonsils.  But the doctor never seemed to feel I was in good enough health to do the surgery.  Then as I entered the fifth grade, I was suspected of more than lethargy...I was running a persistent low fever and lacking in energy. So our local doctor sent me to a specialist in a nearby city to get checked out.
      It turned out that I was diagnosed with rheumatic fever.  Now, again,  this is not a disease you ever hear about now, but then it was considered to be a real scary thing to have.  Without proper care, it could lead to a heart murmur, a defect in the chambers of the heart which could lead to even more complications!  Needless to say, my parents did everything they could to make sure I was well taken care of.  The prescribed treatment was total bed rest!  So I attended the first six weeks, then was withdrawn and put to bed. My parents set up room #4 on my floor bed was placed in the upper right corner, right by the bathroom door.  When I say bed rest, that is what I mean!!  My mom would not let me move an unnecessary muscle!  The only time I was allowed out of bed was to use the bathroom!  She brought all my meals to me; she bathed me; she was totally dedicated to making sure I got well!!!
The downstairs floor plan to my childhood home from age seven through high school.
      If you recall in my last memory, my baby brother was born just the previous while my mom was nursing me back to health, home schooling me, and seeing to all the other household management, she was mothering a one year old baby!  What a gal!!  I remember her sitting up his playpen in the area where the open double doorway is.  He and I became very close because of spending all this time together.
      Keeping a 10 year old child occupied had to have been quite a challenge!  This was also before we had DVD's; Game Boys; etc. So the entertainment came in the form of reading, drawing (fortunately I loved to draw), listening to the radio, and a whole lot of game playing...quiet games!

My little corner of the world...for six months of my life!!
      I remember even having a new pet!  I had a goldfish!  And I was very taken with the Wizard of Oz Series...I read them ALL!!!  And I created a whole portfolio of fashion.  I loved drawing models and wardrobes for them.  I also liked to write...I fantasized a whole world of characters..illustrated yet!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Beautiful World

    And the word for the week from the Our Beautiful World blog is "Together"!  What a great word!  One cannot help but conjure up all kinds of visions of "togetherness"..., friends, community, etc.  A few pictures that I just love depicting together are as follows:

All my Most Favorite People...together!
I could have posted a couple hundred pictures get the idea...hop over to the blog that I have linked for you to see what others around the world have posted for "together"!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Two Challenges Completed

     First, yesterday, my studioQ (or as I lovingly call us...the Creative Crones) met and had our reveal for our first new challenge.  The challenge is to find a picture you like in a magazine or one you have taken; then pick out 5-7 colors you like; take the picture with you to the paint shop and find paint chips that are as close as you can find to your chosen colors.  We have ten members now and so whoever is coming up with the challenge must get enough paint chips for each member; place them in baggies and hand out at the meeting.
     After one has shared the picture (just to see where the colors come from), everyone takes a bag with all the chosen colors.  Each is to find fabric that depicts the chosen colors and create a work of art with the colors.  We decided this will be a two month challenge and we started our first one two months ago.  The art work can be any size, any shape, the only stipulation is you must use all the colors plus black and white; you can use as much or as little of each color as you wish.
My journal for our Color Chip Challenge
I decided I want to keep track of our challenge by creating a journal with each challenge.  The column on the far left is my color chips, the right column is the fabric I chose to use.  The picture I got the colors from was of a school of yellowfin surgeonfish.  The picture was too large to download here, so I cut out a couple of the little guys and glued them into my journal.
My Color Chip Challenge: "Yellowfins"
     Seven of our ten members were present yesterday...and we have six completed examples of our first challenge which I had introduced to the group!
Group Picture of CC Challenge-Picture used is in the upper right corner

One of our group doesn't use fabric; she went to the paint store and got more of the same chips I had given her and created a journal page for the CC Challenge.
An absent member emailed hers to me so I could show it to the group!

     And my second completed challenge was for the "Art Quilters Around the World" blog. We also do challenges every two months with the topic coming from one of the members at a time!  This challenge was to use the phrase "The Road Less Traveled"..please go to the link to see all the gorgeous interpretation of this theme!  I am always amazed how each artist can get such different take on the same theme!
My Challenge for "The Road Less Traveled"
By going to the link, you can also read about how each came to their particular finished project.  By unanimous decision, the quilts are always 11.5 x 16.5 in size...but that is about the only restriction in making them.