Saturday, January 20, 2018

Christmas 2017

This was my best Christmas in a long time.   My daughter really aimed high and hit it!   Relatives came from Arizona, north and central Texas, and Louisiana.

I put Christmas quilts on the wall, one of them serving as my tree. 

My favorite Santa, a gift from my former in-laws, was up.   He even spent a few days at a local historic museum.

My nativity from Spain was also displayed at the local museum for the holidays, and then came home to remind me of the story behind the holiday.

All three of the Christmas paintings that I've done were up on the walls.

My favorite grandson spent several nights with me.   He's almost 18 and very responsible and sweet.   But the Mom in me really comes out whenever someone spends the night here.   He went to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.   I had gone to bed at my usual time (all those visitors makes me tired!) but woke up at 1 am and noted that he wasn't home.   Thankfully, he answered my text and was safe and just a little delayed in coming back.

We had a White Elephant exchange.   We did family pictures.  We did a full sit-down meal with 15 family members, including my daughter's father and his wife.   We did presents. 

We played games.  Different combos of relatives spent time together and got to know each other better - e.g. the 22yo uncle from Ft. Worth and the 8yo nephew from Louisiana went to see Star Wars.  I spent time with my precious 3yo greatgranddaughter who had a bit of a cold and needed some quiet time.   I actually fixed breakfast for my grandkids! 

What a wonderful way for all of us to be together.

  I give special thanks to my co-greatgrandmother who hosted the Louisiana family by providing hotel space and hosting several meals.

Obviously, we can't do this every year.  It took a lot of coordination of schedules, foregoing of being together with other arms of the family, and some sacrifice.  (e.g. My grandson skipped playing in the band at the state football finals in Arlington.)   But I am really glad it happened.

Thank you, sweet daughter.

Another dog portrait - Gypsy

(Note:   I found this in my drafts.  It was written some time last November.   Whoopsie!)

Yesterday I painted my great-niece Rachel's dog, Gypsy.   I don't believe I've ever seen this little one, but she looks very lively and sweet.

Rachel sent me a picture which I enlarged and turned into black-and-white.  Then, using a mini-projector checked out from the nearby public library, I sketched her outlines onto canvas.
Using acrylic paints, I colored the outline in and then added some touches that seemed to capture more of her spirit.

I'll deliver this painting to Rachel's mom, Debbi, at Thanksgiving.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Birthday PBS

Well, actually, it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act.  But close enough for me. 

The LBJ Library had a special exhibit of PBS artifacts and my daughter and I visited and had a lot of fun.

Oscar was there.  He hid for a while but then came out and looked around.

He seemed happy enough to see me.

Big Bird is really very, very tall!
He photobombed our selfie.

The Count was there, but he was kind of in the dark and it was hard to take a picture.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Concrete planter

 The Pflugerville library sponsors craft days monthly.   I've done several in the past.

This project was the one for July 2017.  The library provided instructions and supplies.     It was fun and very easy.

Basically, you take two containers which coordinate in sizes.  Spray cooking spray on the outside of the inner container and the inside of the outer container.   Pour in mixed QuikCrete.   Weigh down the center.   Let dry overnight  Twist off the plastic containers, add a foam piece, a faux plant, and some rocks.  Ta da!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Another Phaebys Painting

My daughter and I went to Painting With a Twist for her birthday.   Such a delightful experience.
The topic was Paint Your Pet.   She worked on a portrait of her latest rescue, Chai'na, while I did a portrait of Phaebys as a puppy.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Fairy Furniture

There was this book at the library and it looked interesting.   So I checked it out and was intrigued.  

Went out into the yard and pruned some bushes.    Let them cure a few days.   Then made this fun little chair.

One thing led to another and I made a bench.

I don't know whether the fairies will find the furniture or not, but I'm enjoying seeing these little treasures


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Words Can Be Art

I was cleaning out an old email account when I came across this piece that my niece Debbi wrote and read at my Mother's funeral.   It is very moving and really captures my Mother's spirit.

My Granny
I have many pictures of my grandmother.  In all of them she is beautiful and smiling.  I have pictures from when she was a girl, pictures of her as a young mother, then a grandmother, finally,  pictures from when she was old - a  lifetime full of pictures put away in albums and  boxes.  But  I have other  pictures of my grandmother.  Although  not captured with a camera, these  pictures were captured by my heart and I will  carry them with me always.
I have a picture of myself sitting beside Granny at church when I was a little girl.  After finishing a hymn, my sister or I told her that her voice was squeaky - she gave us a Certs to keep us quiet - and when it was time for the next hymn, her voice rang out again in praise of the Lord. I have a picture of her teaching Sunday School when my mother and aunt were girls. I can picture always seeing praying hands proudly displayed in her home.  I have a  picture of her saying the Lord's Prayer with my Opa at the time of his death.   I have pictures of her caring for others in sickness and need, always willing to help people.  I truly believe that Granny pleased God.  
I have so many pictures of my granny with my family - playing rummy and dominoes, serving the foods that she knew were our favorites like pannas and coffeecake and pear pie, working on a jigsaw puzzle - the whole time knowing that Opa probably had the last piece in his pocket, teaching us to crochet and embroider, sitting out under the huge pecan trees on Holmgreen telling stories and wondering where did that red croquet ball go.  I have pictures of her taking us as children to the Witte Museum, to picnics at Opa's  park and to the zoo, where she and my Granny T. spoke to each other in German sometimes.  I always wondered what they could have been saying about my sister and me, surely we were perfect children.  I have a picture of going out to eat at Ryan's as a family and Granny being sure to take home a little treat for her Koozie. 
I have a picture of Granny and Opa taking my mother out to Alpine to pick up my dad from college, and I have a picture of her admiring the roses that she so enjoyed on a trip with my aunt.  I have  pictures of Granny laughing and  smiling at every family event -graduations, weddings and funerals.  I have  pictures of her warm and genuine welcome as  each new member was added to her family.  Each person in Granny's family knew without a doubt that she loved them dearly and cared about them and I know that Granny pleased her family.
I have pictures of my granny with her friends.  From my childhood, I have pictures of her cutting up with her friends at the bowling alley.   I have a picture of her with the Galloping Grannies - her group of longtime friends that got together each month, one time enjoying a day at my parents˜ house with my mother and aunt.  I picture her and Cleora,  friends ever since childhood sharing so many memories.  I have a picture of her sharing the daily newspaper with her friend down the street and checking up  on her neighbors.   I know that she was a true and loyal friend and I know that Granny pleased her friends.
I have pictures of my granny and her beloved husband, George.  I have a picture of them from their wedding day, just starting their lives together.  From years later, I have a picture of Granny and Opa talking quietly in the kitchen of the house they built, while we grandkids drifted off to sleep on our cots in their bedroom.  I have another picture of  all of us being snuggled right between them in their bed, waking them up early the next morning.  I have a picture of Granny and Opa at their 45th wedding  anniversary, still so happy to be with each other.  Granny was a good wife and a loving and faithful one.  I know that Granny pleased her husband, my Opa.
I have all of these pictures, and so many more, in my heart.  I also  have a  book that Granny made for me.  It is one of my treasures.  In  it, are many pictures, but also, there is the key to Granny's life.    She wrote down stories  about her family, her childhood, her life - her  history.  But on one page, she wrote her plans for the future.  Her  plans weren't to become rich or to  have great possessions or to become  famous.  This is what she wrote and this, I believe, is the key to my  Granny¦ she wrote 
"My plans for the future are to live each day the best I can to  please God, my family and friends and myself and to be worthy of the love a good man gave me."
I think that is exactly what she did each day and how she lived each day and each one of these pictures I have shared with you shows it.  Rest in peace, Granny.  I'll love you forever,