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Monday, June 27, 2011

What's been happening lately....

Dinner with family....
 Steven looking hostile...

Matthew listening to Garret tell about work..... which often goes over my head
Jeff pretending to help in the kitchen

Brock getting dinner ready.  He's become a pretty good cook.  Marianne would be proud.  And surprised.
Bees on the deck
Had to have another bee man come take the big swarm (this wasn't the BIG one) and remove this one.  They added these guys to the existing hive, with newspaper in between the current residents and these so they wouldn't get involved in a hostile takeover.  Wish it was that easy with humans...
 Then there's more Bad Art Night night once again.  No shots of what I was working on, so I'd better work on that.  I'm still decorating cigar boxes... 

In the background besides those already mentioned are Nancy and Barbara and Beverly working in the foreground.  She always has the most interesting projects...
My bracelet display at Savvy Skirts last Thurs night.  Thanks to all my friends who made it over to support me and meet Sheri and Patty.  It was a fun and busy night.  My feet hurt when I got home--not used to standing for that long any more. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Heart and Humor of the Family

I've never written about my dad, but he was such an influence both durng his lifetime and after his death 15 years ago.  I think about him often and find myself sounding just like him, especially these past few months when we had young kids here.  I would say something and realize, "Oh gawd, I just channeled Dad!" 
The family--Mom, Brock, Jeff, Garret, Steven, Matthew, and I, which is the total of our small family--got together on Friday night to honor my sister, who died 10 years ago.  Her boys are wonderful men now--she'd be so proud of them.  When they were growing up, Dad would always find a way to make them laugh--and not just a little, but hugh belly laughs.  A favorite memory is playing Balderdash.  Dad could do a great 10 year old's definition of any word, which means including some kind of bathroom humor.   He adored those boys and was never happier than when he got to spend time with them.
People who knew Dad loved him.  I've tried to explain how he was to Matthew and other friends, but there's just no way to describe how he was with others.  He used language in a most unique way--many words that are bleeped out on TV--but with Dad, they made people laugh.  I mean who else can say that being called an asshole was a compliment? 
He wasn't happy all the time--he definitely had a temper.  But he would express it, get it out there, then it would be over.  I don't think he ever carried anger around with him--he let it go.  You knew when he was mad, but then life would return to normal.  I'd say he mostly got his way in our household--he was the dominate figure and his girls respected him.  He always came in and kissed us goodnight when we were little, and called "I love you" to each of us from the bedroom after we'd all gotten into bed.  He hugged us when we saw him and never left us without another hug.
I have many good memories of growing up in a house where there was much laughter.  Admittedly, I was never a morning person, so didn't always appreciate my parents' ability to wake up smiling and happy everyday, but they did.  If any of us, even Mom, tried to sleep in, Dad would give us his "cold water treatment," which meant he'd spritz us on the face or put a dab of cold water on our neck.  We could usually hear him coming because he'd give fair warning and the 'fighting' would begin with everyone laughing as Dad ran in with the cup of water.  Well, everyone else  not a morning person.
Born in Germany, sent here ahead of his parents for 2 years to live with an uncle in San Francisco, he never looked back.  He chose not to dwell on the negative about Germany or the losses his family suffered.  He preferred to enjoy life.  He used to tell Marianne and me he was born in San Francisco, and we never learned too much about his life before he came here.  He did mention putting girls' braids in ink wells in school, and his cousin Harry told us how he'd climb out the apartment window as a teenager living with his uncle and Harry would have to let him back in late at night.  No question about it--Dad was always a character.
He'd call me when I was living alone and say, "Do you still live in the same place?  We haven't been there in so long, we thought you'd moved.  When are we going to be invited for dinner?"  Subtle.  So then I'd invite them over on a night when I knew they already had plans, and he'd call me one of his famous names....but laughing.  And he could never say goodbye on the phone.  He'd keep talking and talking, so I'd ask to speak to Mom.  She'd get on the phone, I'd say "Bye, Mom" she'd say bye and hang up.  Sometimes, he'd call me back and laughingly call me another one of his famous names.
 One of my funniest moments with Dad was when he was lying in traction with a bad back.  His closet was always immaculately kept--I swear every hanger was 1.25" apart for his suit jackets and pants.  He had that German training....everything perfectly aligned.  I was in talking to him, and of course, he couldn't move, so I walked over to the closet, and shoved all his hangers to one side, then laughing, ran out of the room as Dad shouted, "Come back here, you little son-of-a-bitch!"   It was a very funny moment, but being a force to be reckened with, I had to put them back exactly as I found them before leaving the house. 
His death 15 years ago at age 80 left a big hole in the family.   Mom and I talk about how we're glad he died suddenly without some prolonged illness and before seeing his youngest go from cancer.  He lives on in our memories as a dominate force--affectionate, funny, caring.  He used to tell me men liked to date me because they enjoyed coming over to see him.  Ya know, he was probably right.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ribbons at the Fair

 Okay, so it's not like winning an academy award or emmy...but I did get ribbons on everything I submitted, so that's not chopped liver, either.   What an old expression....
  I was going to submit just my jewelry, but Matthew suggested I do more since I had to schlepp it over and pick it up, so I entered 1 knitting project and 4 weavings.  I got an honorable mention on one necklace and on my woven clutch purse.  Below is my cocoon, which they didn't hang as they told me they would--I hate seeing weaving all bundled up when it's something wearable.  I was going to complain to the woman who heads the home arts section of the fair, but didn't see her there.  But the cocoon took a 2nd place ribbon.

I like my foot in the shot...cute.  These pictures were awful between the glass and the lighting...
You can barely tell what this is--it's my rayon chenille striped scarf with a small row of beads...and it has a 2nd place ribbon too.

I love this ribbon...also 2nd place for my crocheted wire freshwater pearl necklace. Now THAT'S a ribbon!  I think I ended up with 3 2nd places and 1 third place ribbon for my knitted hat and 3 ribbons for honorable mention.  As Dad would have said, "It's better than a kick in the ass."   He always had the best sayings.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yesterday's show

The sun came through the fog yesterday for awhile at La Nebbia for our show.  I had a fun day--met and talked to many people and even sold a few things   Before the show even started, a family showed up and I started talking to the son who is in his early 30's.  He had a southern accent, turned out he's from Birmingham, so I told him I lived in the suburbs with a relative for about 6 months years ago...and he was from the same suburb.   Then I mentioned my cousin's husand being rabbi in a small town, and he is also Jewish.  Turns out someone Bruce and I met  when we were there together about 15 years ago was the best man at his grandmother's wedding!  So he walked me over to the car to introduce me to her, and she also remembers my cousin Ann!  They didn't know each other well, but she knew of her years ago.  Such a small world.
  I got to use the big tent so didn't have to schlepp my canopy and sand bags.  What a treat!  I like the way I used the space, which turned out to be a double spot since no one else wanted to be inside.

Then this morning I got an email from the people who are heading the fine arts division at the fair and they said I have a ribbon on a piece of jewely at the show!  They didn't say what color--but it's 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, not just honorable menton.  And I don't want to minimize honorable menton ribbons since I appear to have one on my weaving.  Sandy Halpin, who got Best of Show in the textile dept took, pictures and posted on FB, so I saw the ribbon.  I'm hoping to get there early in the week....especially now. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New art...need more room

Just recently, I started decoupaging cigar boxes I have for carrying my jewelry to shows.  I always feel ambivalent about using them since I was a health teacher at one time, but they're very functional and easy to carry.  But who gets into decoupage now?  I missed that opportunity in the 60's or 70's when everyone was covering every object they could get their hands on.  Where art's concerned, I'm a late bloomer.
I've collected cards from friends, students, and parents over the years that I collaged on my classroom bulletin board every year, so now I'm using them on the boxes.  The second box has a high-heeled shoe from a card that says, "Darling, don't be sensible."  I love using some of the sayings or greettngs from the cards as well as the pictures.  It also makes them special to me since the cards were kept for a reason.
So here are two boxes I've done recently and the newest bracelets, finished in the last two days (and I wonder why my arm still hurts):

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Tangled Sweater

 It's a good thing I love my cat....yesterday when I was spending way too much money at the gem and jewelry show, Farwell got frustrated by having to stay inside due to more rain and jumped up to get my newly knitted, not-yet-worn sweater off the loom.  He loves to grab hold with his teeth and knead my things--lucky me.  This barely has my scent on it, but he had at it.  I got home and the sweater was a twisted shape on the floor.  Fortunately, only one sleeve seems to have suffered minor damage, so I didn't kill the cat.  Plus, with all the colors and design, the little pull shouldn't really show.
The sweater is knitted with Nora's Silk Garden, a blend of silk and wool.  Sounds lovely, but in reality, it can be pretty scratchy.  Living here, I might only be able to wear it 2-3 times a year.   Seriously, I'm just happy to have eliminated 10 skeins of yarn from my stash!  Then good friend Edelle sends me a box of her stash yarns yesterday, so I'm still behind!  I decided a project for today is to organize my yarns according to either projects or into single-skein color bags.  They're sort of organzied already, but I've added a few (dozen) yarns since I originally created the bins and bags  

Oh, this is just one small corner of my yarn world.

I'm teaching a jewelry-making class next week for my weaving study group on crocheting with wire and beads.  I had shown my necklaces one day during a 'show and tell' session, and they asked if I could teach them how to make them.   I taught myself how to do these:
 using the crochet hook instead of knitting with wire, which gave me tendonitis ( which I have again from opening jump rings, etc).  I've been collecting stones and beads and wire for the group to use..... I decided I had to charge for the class with all the materials I've purchased--only $20 a person--but we don't usually charge for what we do in the study group.  I should think about teaching in other places since most classes are at least $65 for 3 hours, like at Stitches.
Here's the treasure chest of goodies all set to go.   That will be a busy weekend with this on Sat and the La Nebbia show on Sunday.  I just hope the weather improves. 
 Oh, and I belong to a jewelry designers' group on yahoo called Beadaholiques.  They periodically do jewelry swaps where you put your name in and the host gives you a partner, then you make something for them along a theme.  This is a summer bracelet theme, and I decided to throw my name in for the first time.  I've been paired up with a woman from Houston, and we're to make and send something to each other by the end of the month.  This should be fun!
 I've also entered several woven, knitted, and jewelry pieces into the SM County fair this year.  I didn't enter last year, but the year before, I won two ribbons, which was cool.  I think it's worth entering just for the free entry and free parking! 
  Lots going on...seeing U2 on Tues night in Oakland, so takng BART over and back.  Again, LET'S HOPE THIS FREAKIN' WEATHER IMPROVES!