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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Front Door Decor for Spring

I drove by my front door this morning on the way to the post office, and saw that there was nothing decorating it except an old cracked magnet hook. Um, time to add a little touch o' Spring, I think.
Started out with a metal wall pocket I found at Goodwill back in the Fall. It began life as a green-ish color and I spray-painted with a texture paint that was supposed to make it look kind of rustic instead of cottagey. It's been on a shelf in the den ever since, waiting for inspiration. It was a long winter.
Ah, but today it just seemed like Serendipity the way I found all the components of a sweet little Springtime display here at home. The wall pocket, a forgotten silk ivy, the bird and nest that have been perched in the kitchen window. Made for an okay door decoration. But.
I kept going back to it, going out on the porch and looking at it from outside. It was nice, but something was missing. Oh, that'd be color!
Now began the hunt for some silk flowers. Wait. I donated all the silk flowers last Fall, keeping only a couple of small swags for candles.
My goal was to decorate the front door using only what I had in my house. Now I'm thinking that if I have to go buy a small flower pick, I will, but first I'll see what I have for ribbon. Perhaps a bow to add that little splash of Spring brightness.
I have lots of ribbon for scrapbooking, but nothing appropriate for this. Still thinking silk flowers. Still thinking I'll have to buy some. REALLY wishing we had a Hobby Lobby closer than 45 miles.
I turn around and glance around the room, and lo and behold, there it is, up on top of tall shelves, put away in "storage". A basket with a silk flower arrangement from my Dad's funeral. I've used it during the summer the past few years, so I really wasn't sure I wanted to tear it apart. I'll just look and see if there are a few picks I can pull out and then put back easily. Well, there were several that ended up in that wall pocket, and there is grave doubt they'll ever go back in the original arrangement, but that's okay. I love the results.
This brought a tiny touch of Springtime to an otherwise cold and dreary day, and helped brighted my heart just a tad.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Wishes

I haven't taken much time to blog lately - it's just been busy around here.
I will catch up this next week, but wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a Happy Easter and post some old Easter photos of us.
The first photo was taken in Henderson in Grandma's and Grandpa's driveway. It's Tonita, me, and Alan. I don't know why Arlan and Randy aren't in the photo, since I'm sure at least Arlan was born. I don't know the year, but Alan looks to be about 2 or 3, so it'd be 1966-67-ish.
The second photo was taken Easter Sunday 1973, just before we went to Sunday School, then to Grandma Adams's for our Sunday morning gathering with all the Aunts and cousins. We celebrated Easter with baskets of candy and inexpensive toys like buckets with shovels or plastic kites. (I never got a kite to fly until I was an adult and Greg taught me how.) Mom always filled our baskets with jelly beans, Peeps, marshmallow rabbits, and chocolate eggs. Oh, and that green plastic grass.
We always went to Sunday School, and once in awhile the entire family would attend church services. After SS, we'd stop in at Grandma Adams's, then head to Henderson for dinner with the Regier's. Grandma Regier liked to hide chocolate eggs in the backyard and have us hunt them.
Tomorrow we will attend our church service and have lunch with Greg's family. No kites or Easter egg hunts anymore, but we'll enjoy being together.
Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It is Done...

The shaving of the cats, that is. They were both slightly traumatized, but only Max had to be sedated.
Why shave them? Both of them had fur so matted I couldn't even begin to comb them out. It got so bad that they'd run away if they saw the comb in my hand. That's what happens when they wiggle and roll around on the floor all the time.

Sounds like this may be an annual event - but I really am going to comb them every day if they'll let me. Sigh.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm sorry boys.

But it must be done...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Show and Tell
After talking about my crafting heritage, I decided that March's Show and Tell photos will be of some of the things I mentioned in my last post. Since I was able to dig these out of the hope chest with little difficulty, today I photographed my two ceramics projects. These are both dated 1969, so I about 8 years old when I made them. Mom was taking ceramics classes at a place in Waco (NE). It was in the basement of a lady's home, and she had shelves and shelves full of "green" (is that the correct term?) items already molded, just waiting for paint and glaze. When Mom decided that my sister and I could go with her, I was thrilled.

I remember searching the shelves for just the right project, then having to very carefully scrape and sand off the seam lines the first week, paint the second week, then glazing the third week, then finally getting to bring it home. The lady would fire our creations in-between classes. Making ceramics is not for those who need instant gratification.

The pink heart dish was my first project. I don't remember why I painted it pink, but I do remember choosing the blue spotted glaze to go over the top. I thought it was so cool how the little blue dots sort of "popped" during firing and became "soft". This dish has been on my dresser wherever I have lived, ever since I brought it home. It has a fair share of chips and dings. A few years ago I tucked it into my hope chest for safekeeping after I chipped it once again. Hopefully there will be a granddaughter to give it to one day.

The kitten has a glaze that was called "brown sugar". I think we painted the kitties white, then added the face, ears, and paws details, then put on the glaze. My sister made a matching kitty and we displayed them together in our shared bedroom.

If I ever went back and made anything else, I don't remember. Mom made several projects that were distributed to family after she passed away. This is the one piece I kept, and it has hung on my dining room wall for almost 11 years now. It is a bas-relief of the Last Supper. This, too, I hope will become a family heirloom.
(Click on the Show and Tell photo at the top of this post to see what everyone else is sharing this week!)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

March is National Crafts Month

I have always enjoyed creating, and when I think about where that love of crafting came from, I have to give credit to my parents and grandparents.

Mom used to sew. When I went to Kindergarten she made all my new dresses. She did this with four small children, and was about 20 months pregnant with her fifth. Oy. When I was in High School, she made us each a pieced comforter for Christmas. I knew she was making them, but she was good at keeping them hidden when we were home. They are all well-used and loved. Mine finally shredded in the washer, but I have a small piece of it in a hoop that I hang on the wall. My kids also each have a comforter she made for them a year or two before she died.
She also took ceramics classes in 1969. I have the piece she did that is the Last Supper. Mom also took my sister and I to classes. I have my pink covered heart dish, and my "brown sugar" kitty. Tonita and I made matching kitties. Mine is standing, hers is lying on it's back like Max and Tucker do when they're shamelessly begging for attention. :o)
When I was in High School, cousin Barbie (I think?) taught Mom to crochet. We all learned how to make those zig-zag afghans. I don't have the first one I made anymore, but I do have one I started, oh, four or five years ago. It's long enough to keep me warm while I crochet, but I haven't worked on it in probably 2 years.
Many of you may not know that my dad was kind of artistic. I have some award-winning drawings he did in elementary and Jr. High. I don't recall that he ever "created" art or crafts as an adult, but that doesn't mean he didn't. I do remember he told me he really didn't care for construction. The man was a mechanic. Perhaps that was his creative outlet?

Grandma Regier sewed. I have a pieced quilt she made for my High School graduation. Some of the fabrics in the quilt I remember from her clothing when I was a small child. My kids each have a quilt she made and gave them when they were born, as well as a knitted blanket. When they were a little older, she used polyester fabric scraps to make them "TV blankets". Just lap quilts for them to snuggle up on the couch with when they watched TV. Again, I recognized some of those fabrics from my childhood.
Grandma told me once that she didn't really like to sew. I don't know that she meant the creative part of making a quilt, I'm thinking she meant more the mending. She had a husband and three sons on a farm. She mended a LOT of denim! My mom used to take Dad's jeans to her to fix, and I was always impressed with how nice they looked for someone who didn't enjoy what they were doing. :o) She also embroidered a set of "Weekday" tea towels for my 7th grade graduation. I used those puppies for years, and I still have them. I'd like to frame the embroidery for the kitchen, but they're so stained and ragged, they wouldn't even be charming. Yet, I'm glad I used them. I thought of Grandma every time I picked one up.

Grandma and Grandpa also gave us handmade gifts for Christmas sometimes. I still have a shadowbox from the mid-70's. I think Grandpa built the box, and Grandma filled it. Then they sealed it with a piece of glass. Grandpa also built a knitting "thing" using a board and nails, and Grandma made scarves one year. Mine was a deep red. I don't know where it is, but I wish I still had it... Grandpa liked to do woodcrafts. In his later years he built birdhouses, that I think he then sold.

My Grandma Adams was the person who taught me to embroider. I still have my first piece. For our wedding gift, she made Greg and I goosedown bed pillows and embroidered pillow cases she had done. I've never used the pillow cases because I didn't want to ruin them. I know, I know. They won't have meaning for anyone unless there are memories connected to them, and that means using them. I'll get them out of the closet and see what I can do...

Me, I like lots of kinds of crafting, but especially cross-stitch and paper crafts. Yes, I can sew, but I'm not neat, and I don't like tailoring (my sister has set the bar REAL HIGH on that one - she loves to tailor and does a great job!). I love things with texture and have done indoor, outdoor, and even concrete crafts.

Lucky for me, I married a man who enjoys building and creating. I don't think I knew this about him the whole three years we dated. The first year we were married, his mom gave him a latch hook rug kit. He worked on it awhile, til I asked him to show me, then I finished it. :o)

(Okay, I know I need to show photos, and I will. It might take some digging in the photo boxes and scanning, so just keep an eye on future posts.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Coffee center

Here is the finished coffee center. Now our occasional overnight guests will be able to partake of their favorite morning beverage. Oh, and Greg, too. If he ever will make coffee. The idea of the coffee center was to have everything easily accessible so he'd use it... :o)
It is so nice to have these mugs out of the cupboard. I'm sure it'd look more "decorated" if I used matching cups or mugs, but each of these has a story and mean something to us. That's more important to me.
The frame on the wall was $1.99 from Goodwill. I picked it up last Fall when we first talked about building the coffee center. When the weather warms up I'll spraypaint it black.

Greg did a great job on this project - once again I'll say I'm married to the man who can do anything! :o)