Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Busy Week and Lots of Good Family Time

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough” 
― Walt Whitman

Tuesday, November 15-Book Club at the Villas.  The book reviewed was "The Law of Gravity" by Liz Rosenberg.  A good read about the legalities of a promise...dealing with family and health issues. It made for a very lively discussion!

Wednesday, November 15 was my turn to have dinner for the Awesome Foursome... a couple years ago four of us living here who are all single gals, decided to start a little dinner club and once a month we meet and eat at each others' homes....except for one who doesn't like to cook, but she takes us out so that is OK!  I usually experiment on them with new recipes.  I had wanted to make a ham loaf which I had not done in years and because I had a new attachment on my mixer to grind stuff that I wanted to try out, that is what I made.

Thursday, November 16 I attended an all day workshop with Debby Maddy on dyeing with Indigo and creating shibori fabric.  Great fun!  And I learned a lot although I don't have anything to show yet because I am sooooo slow in anything I do!
Wrapping a long silk scarf on a slinky to get a very cool patterned scarf !
Debby showing a lot of her work and telling us how she got the different patterns
The vat of indigo dye used to make the shibori and other indigo dyed fabric
I love the  look and did get one of the kits so I can make my own indigo at home...need to find a slinky! Anyone know where I can get one?

Saturday, November 18 was my birthday and my granddaughter Kathleen had just gotten home from school for Thanksgiving vacation. So she and  her mom and dad took me out for dinner that night.  My choice...Italian!

Kathleen, Me, Marti and Graham
We took a picture back at my house  when we got back.  Marti had also brought a variety of "Nothing But Bundt" mini cakes for dessert.  YUM!

Monday, November 20 my buddy Debby came up from Glen Rose to take me to lunch.  We spent the day catching up as we hadn't seen each other for awhile.  I drove all around to show her some of the new things being built around.  Neiman Marcus has opened up their new store in an area called the Shops at Clearfork....a very upscale shopping area not too many miles from me.  Then we drove up to the Montgomery Plaza area which she had not seen and ate at Gloria's... a Mexican restaurant that advertises "with a Latin flair"!

Tuesday and Wednesday, I spent most of the time getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Andrea came over on Wednesday to help.  Then Thursday, November 23 was Turkey Day!  I hadn't had Thanksgiving for the family since I had moved into my condo.  We used to host it every year when we had a larger place. But this year those able to come were at a manageable  number of eight and since my kitchen remodel adding more counter space was finished, I wanted to host again! I had a great time...as I hope every one else did! 
All my peeps...Kathleen, Colin, Graham
Andrea, me and Marti
Bob and Eddy Lou...Graham's parents
My Grands...Kathleen and Colin
Andrea-my sous chef and all around helper!
After eating, we all went over to Bob and Eddy Lou's to finish out the day with football, more eating and games!  Graham's sister Angela and her husband Brant were also there after eating with his family...switching off every other year. Marti had brought her iPad to show them a video she and her team of teachers had made while learning to use some new equipment....very funny!!!
Brant, Marti, Angela and Graham standing
On Friday, November 24, I had gotten tickets to see the film "Loving Vincent" at the Modern Museum in Fort Worth for Andrea and me.  We spent Black Friday at home dyeing fabric, trying some new techniques we had both learned from various classes, then after a quick midday meal, we got cleaned up and went in to see the movie.
All these portraits by Van Gogh come to life!
It was just fabulous!  Really well done!  It is an hour and a half, animated character using these portraits as well as many familiar landscapes and scenes from Van Gogh's paintings.  It is difficult to explain just how they make it...it does have story line which takes place about a year after his death.  A few years ago, a couple guys came up with a theory that he did not commit suicide, but was shot either accidentally or on purpose.  This film runs with that idea which is quite compelling.

And while at the Modern, we got to see it all lit up for Christmas!
Looking in from one of the patio areas
An exhibit with the outside lights showing through 
Overlooking the water surround with Museum Way in the left background 
Saturday, November 25, Andrea headed on home about midmorning and I had one more meal with the Ayers...a last chance to see the Grands before they headed back to school on Sunday!

I hope all of you reading this had as a great a week as I did....Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Memory Monday - Wedding (Part II)...and the honeymoon!

“A wedding is an event, but marriage is a life.” 
― Myles Munroe,

The day has come...it is a sunny but cold day in December/Illinois.  The wedding is taking place at half past the hour of three.
My dad and I, getting ready to go down the aisle.
My dad who is usually a very jovial guy has a very serious look on his face..and funny thing, my sister got married about four years before I did and there is a picture of dad with Judy with the very same expression on his face!

Our wedding party consisted of  my sister as matron of honor and a junior bridesmaid. Nancy was a  daughter of good friends of my parents I had know all my life.  Most of my girl friends were already married or had moved away....and I really didn't want a huge wedding.  I had too many bridesmaids dresses that never got worn again and I didn't want to inflict that on my friends! Dick's brother, Fay, was his best man and my brother  was a groomsman. So we did the vows' thing...and exchanged rings (already tried on in the snow covered Rockies!).

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dodds
All of our album wedding pictures are in black and white..1963 style.. the one of Dad and me is color as are a couple others...probably taken by one of my cousins.  Anyway...on to the reception, held at the Old Orchard Country Club.  We had the traditional toast, cutting of cake, etc....no band or extras of any kind....just not done back then, at least not in Pittsfield.

The toast...at the wedding table
Pictured above from the left...Dick's dad, my mom, Dick, me, Dick's brother Fay and my sister Judy.
Then we, the newly weds, left the reception to go back to my mom and dad's so I could take off my wedding dress and get into my going away attire. Another tradition was for the bride to change from her wedding dress to a nice outfit to drive away.

On the way to change clothes
One little deviation from the norm was the driver of our "getaway" car...it was my mom!  Usually it is the best man or one of the groomsmen, but as we were going back to my home, my mom wanted one last goodbye!  And to get a picture of us on our way out!

And we are off on the honeymoon!
Honeymoons were not quite as flamboyant as they are today.  We went to St. Louis, Missouri for a couple of days....no reservations or particular plans! It was probably around 9:00PM when we got away.  St. Louis is about 1 1/2 hours from  Pittsfield.  We were pretty tired from our night before and all the tension of the wedding so we just checked into a motel as soon as we got near St.L.

 The next day we enjoyed some touristy things in the city...it was December 30th so all the Christmas stuff was still up...then that night we had a nice dinner and went to a movie.  It was "The Cardinal" an Otto Preminger film with Tom Tyron.  It was a big film in 1963....it brought out many controversial topics about the Catholic Church at a time when the church was going through some questionable dealings itself. I've linked you to IMDb info on it if you are interested.
1963 BlockBuster!
On December 31st, we returned to Pittsfield, to my parents, to spend New Year's Eve with my family and another big party at the American Legion!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Memory Monday...The Wedding! (Part I)

“In Marriage You Learn To Give Up The "Me ness for We ness!” 
― DeBorrah K. Ogans

We made it to our respective homes...it is also Christmas, my mother's crowning season!  And now, on top of that, she has a wedding to get through and a new grandson.  My sister, Judy, who is to be my matron of honor just gave birth on December 10th to her second son, David.  My sister and family did not live in Pittsfield so they, as well as my three cousins (who were older than we were...really closer to mom in age), I and Dagmar were all staying at Mom and Dad's along with my younger brother, Jack who was 13-14. Mom would not think of putting any family up at a local motel! And Dick showed up on the 28th, after Christmas.  He did stay in a motel as did his brother who was  to be his best man. His brother, Fay, had brought his girlfriend, Sarah with him.  I think Sarah may have still been in high school.  It would not do for her to stay in a motel so we had made arrangements for her to stay at a friend's house.

Judy with baby David- two year old Doug and my mom in the dining room.
There had been quite a few deliveries to the house of wedding gifts.  It was the custom then to spread gifts out for all to see...does that still exist today, I wonder?  Here I am at the front door collecting some to the gifts being delivered.  Brides-to-be did register at the local jewelry store who would stock up on the chosen silver ware pattern, crystal glass ware and china pattern so all anyone had to do was to go in, pay for what they wanted to send and it would be wrapped and delivered. 

Here I am at the door with little Doug, getting more deliveries!
My parents loved to party and were charter members of the Dance Club started many years ago when I was little.  About four or five times a year Dance Club would hold a big shindig with live orchestra and all!  It was a kind of rite of passage to get old enough to be able to attend DC as a guest!  The night before our wedding, there was a big Christmas dance held at the Legion Hall.  We all went...my cousins who didn't partake in such festivities stayed home to babysit my nephews.  After the dance different age groups would head out to another party...one of my friends had invited Dick and me out to her parents' house while the parents went to another house. I think Judy and her husband Jim may have gone back to my parents' house as she had just given birth to a baby not three weeks earlier.

I was twenty-three; had been out of college for a year; had worked for a year teaching; owned my own car...I was an adult!!  But around one or two AM, my mom calls out to Shulman's where we were partying, to tell me I should come home!!!  I needed my rest....after all....I was getting married the next day!!    A couple of Dick's friends from college were also there...one was to be a groomsman and the other, just came along for the ride!  

I was furious with my mom....she and I were really very close and very much alike but we did tend to clash occasionally! Deep down I knew she was right, so Dick took me home and probably went ahead and partied without me!!  The next morning my mom serves me breakfast in bed!!!  My last meal as a single girl!!  Doug was my constant companion so he crawled up on the bed to help me eat!  

Doug helping me eat my LAST meal!
I have very little memory of the next few hours. We were to get married at half past the hour of three!
Again, my mom..who was an avid reader and lover of words and phrases...was very taken by using the "half past the hour" in stating the time on the invitation.  She had seen it in a book somewhere!  Several days later,  Dick made a comment to the me that he wished we had the time earlier because all his family...mom, dad,  little sister, Janice, two grandmothers and a grandad would have to drive back home late and in the dark.  Remember, they are in Missouri, across the Mighty Mississippi and about three and a half hours away.  I wish he had said something much earlier, but then we might not have known as mom kind of did it all while I was working away in Reno!                                                                                                                                                

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Very Artsy Weekend Plus

“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” (I say, every day!--JD)
― Charles Darwin,

     This past weekend was a very fun, busy one for me!  On Saturday, I drove to the The Black Walnut Cafe in Flower Mound to meet Andrea.  We had made plans to go on the Cross Timbers Artists' Tour and decided to meet for breakfast first.

     I put the address into my GPS and was just sailing along great!  Then I came to a complete stop on 121 Airport Freeway....construction!  I could see my next exit just 1/2 a mile away which took me nearly 30 minutes to get to!  Needless to say I was a bit late, but no problems!  Although several of the NSAQA group were going to meet there, Andrea and I decided to take off on our own as we knew we wouldn't be able to see it all.

    As you can see from the pamphlet with map inside, there were 23 stops spread all over the Flower Mound, Lewisville, Highland Village, etc. I wish I had taken more pictures but two of my favorite spots were:
Barbara Oliver Hartman at her sewing machine demo'ing in her studio
Barbara explaining her system of sorting colors
One of many of Barbara's award-winning quilts hanging in her home
Another artist I really admired was Mark Clark who custom makes musical instruments out of oddities. Please be sure to go to his link to see even more of his unusual instruments!
Mark Clark with one of his many unique instruments
More of Mark's instruments and workshop in the background
Another favorite of mine is Dianne Hicks; she does a variety of mixed media but especially watercolors and paper making. And I love her studio!  Very unique! And a couple, Gloria and Richard Gatti, who are weavers with wonderful looms and a lovely yard and green house!

     On Sunday I met my daughters and SIL for lunch at Gloria's in the Montgomery Plaza area. Then Marti, Andrea and I went on to Casa MaƱana to see a wonderful performance of Evita!

Me and my babies!

Although I was very familiar with the music and story line, I had never seen the stage play before and was thoroughly entranced!  So much so that I have checked out a biography of Evita Person to get the behind the scenes story.

     On Monday, my NTAQ group met; there were only five of us but we still had a great time and terrific art to share! Our challenge this month was a Modigliani "Gyspy Woman with Baby".  It is alway so much fun to see how each of us interpret the challenges.

Gypsy Woman with Baby

And here are our works of Art on this subject:
Heather chose to emphasize the oval shapes in the painting, particularly the eyes, a prominent shape in all Modigliani's paintings.
Wendy also concentrated on the ovals and linear lines in the painting..the collar, for example.

 Andrea also emphasized the oval shape in her quilting. You can enlarge any of these pictures to see the quilting closer.

I chose to do a more realistic but abstract interpretation of the challenge.  I have not quilted mine yet but will probably just do straight vertical lines.

And here are all our challenges...laid out on one of Wendy's lovely rugs!

After our challenges, we had a big round of show and tell...except me!  I had nothing else to show.  I am working on a couple of art works at home but they are still on the design wall!  Maybe next time!

      The following are by Wendy...several of these are also hand quilted with perle cotton thread! And the backs of her quilts are almost as interesting as the fronts!! Some of these are baby quilts for others....lucky babies!


   Bethany also does many of her works for other people.
A Christmas quilt for a cubicle!

  Heather had one of her abstracts that she is doing for the TEXtile SAQA Conference in San Antonio next spring.
An abstract of mud cracks at the Rio Grande/Big Bend
Kay does a lot of dyeing of her own fabric as well as incorporating commercial fabric in her work.

Kaffe Fassett fabric
A whole cloth hand-dyed fabric for the back
And then we had lunch and a yummy cake for dessert made by our hostess, Wendy!  Next month, a new challenge and out to eat together to celebrate Christmas!!!