Having a wonderful weekend - quiet and peaceful. I've spent the majority of the time in my studio, the first time since before Christmas other than just to throw something in there to get it out of the way, or quickly grab whatever I needed out of there. Nigel had electricity put in for me as a Christmas present, a monumental extravagance and headache which I won't go into because it was one problem after another. But I will say it's so wonderful to go in and flip a switch and get light, or flip another switch and get heater, or flip another switch and get music - all without hooking up strands of extension cords all the way to the house! Thank you so much Nigel! My hero, as always! And far more than I deserve I do realize!! But you're stuck with me, so there!
As I said, it's been lovely and quiet. I've cleaned and put things away and got supplies ready for my next major project. I might as well tell everyone now what it is because I'm sure to "spill the beans" before the actual event. Liz and Jake's First Wedding Anniversary is in June and to celebrate it, I'm making them a scrapbook to commemorate their lovely day together. There's also a little something extra, which will be kept a surprise until June! Ha Ha! Fooled you Liz, didn't I? Hey, a Mom has to have some secrets from her kids! I realized that if I didn't get started soon, it would be June before I knew it.
The studio is very cozy now and last weekend, Isabel spent several hours in there, all by herself! She loved having the freedom to do whatever she wanted (within reason of course). All I told her was to put away whatever she used and try not to get the last item of anything in particular, at least without asking me first. She did great and she created the sweetest piece of art from a covered tin that originally held chocolate cookies from Christmas. I forgot to take a picture of it, but I will later and show it on my sidebar. Quite frankly, I'm feeling pretty icky now; I've caught a head cold from Nigel. We've been passing bugs and germs around seems like forever in this family.
Yesterday, while she was with my Mom, Isabel made chocolate covered coconut almond balls! Mom said she (Isabel) did all the work and you can see for yourself what a great job she did!
I finally got the house back in order after all the decorations were put away a few weeks ago. It takes me that long (a couple of weeks) to get back into the swing of things but it's a nice feeling. Sort of like a cleansing of the soul in a way. Things get put up and cleared out; shelves get dusted, pillows get freshened and items get rearranged. Somehow everything has a newness about it, sort of a fresh start, which of course is what January is all about!
And I found the purple silk irises!! My memory is simply shot to pieces these days, which greatly irritates me because I've always had such a fantastic memory. My latest bumble involved three vases of purple silk irises and bulbs. The bulbs are in resin which looks like water and they look so real people are constantly asking about them and trying to get a closer look. Nigel especially likes them because irises are his favorite flower. I keep them in my kitchen garden window so they're constantly in view. Anyway, in early Autumn, I carefully cleaned them and put them away because I use other decorations in their place during the holidays. But could I find them anywhere when it was time to bring them back out again?? Absolutely and categorically NO! Everyone (and I do mean everyone!) looked everywhere!! I even sent e-mails to my daughters, asking if they remembered seeing them when they were here. But they were nowhere to be found! After searching the entire house and studio, garage and both attics, all of them twice I might add, I finally gave up. That was about two weeks ago.
Today, while I was putting something away in one of the attics, I bent over to put something down, then turned my head up and immediately recognized the bags holding them! In my genius mind, I had decided they needed to be put up high, away from being jostled or broken. To accomplish this, I put each vase inside a large plastic bag, then tied the bags up high on the wall behind a large heating duct thingy, well out of the way of everyone and everything!! And yes, I said thingy because I haven't got a clue what the silly thing is called. So there!
You can imagine my delight - and frustration - when I saw those bags! I immediately remembered my thought process at the time, though why it eluded me until then I'll never know. I guess I was just too busy and too caught up in everything else going on to remember it. But they're now back in the garden window, looking as lovely as ever! Nigel bought them for me from his Mom's shop. See what you think!
Another item I found - although it wasn't actually lost; it was just put aside and ignored since Christmas - was my art journal I bought in Washington, D.C. this past summer. It's really nothing more than a small bound book, with each page marked in half, with a place for the dates and an empty space for "daily art". The idea is to literally sketch something - anything - every day for a year. It's actually been a lot more fun that I initially thought. At first I was concerned I might grow tired of it and leave it half finished. But it was a challenge to my mind and this hasn't happened so far. That is, until about a week before Christmas when I lost track of everything, my mind included! But I've pulled it back out and caught up on all my sketches! I find I sketch often if I have it where I can easily see it and get to it quickly. I've even drawn some things while having my morning tea before work!! Weird, but true!! I'm NOT a morning person at all so go figure! But don't be thinking these are highly detailed pieces of art. They're not; not in the slightest. They're just fun and lighthearted and I've discovered it's a wonderful way to unwind and de-stress. And it's also helped me try out different color combinations together that I normally wouldn't use. I make myself use an ink pen rather than a pencil; otherwise, I'd spend forever and 16 days erasing and redrawing just to get something "right". After I draw the sketch in ink, I color it in with these really cool Crayon Twistable Colored Pencils. You twist them like a mechanical pencil when your lead gets too small! They don't break like regular Crayons do and there's no pencil sharpening mess to deal with! Isabel and I both love them! The colors we found were a bit limited, but I suspect this is only a temporary thing until they catch on, which I'm sure they'll do. I mean - what's not to like?!
Another project Isabel did this weekend (she was definitely on a roll, wasn't she?!) was making paper dragons! 2012 is the year of the Dragon and Isabel made one for me and one for a dear sweet friend of mine who works with me; her name is Kim and she's Vietnamese. I can't wait to take it to her tomorrow and see what she thinks! Here's a picture of Kim's.
Well......I know I shouldn't begin a sentence with the word "well" but that's how I tend to close things out. I'm reminded of my math teacher, Mr. Joe Miller. He knew I hated math and he tried to help me as much as he could, but I must have exasperated him beyond belief. I simply don't get math! Now...where was I going with this? Ah yes....well......(Ha Ha! Pun intended!) Whenever Mr. Miller would ask me a question I didn't really know the answer to, I'd begin by saying, "Well.....". I would then lead everyone along an obscure path of explanation which frequently lasted some minutes, after which Mr. Miller would shake his head from side to side, a slightly indulgent smile on his face, then he'd call upon someone else. At other times, when he was in a more playful spirit, he would immediately respond to my "Well......" by stating, "A well is a mighty deep subject for such a shallow mind Oliver!" To which I would invariably agree and rather than waiting for my lengthy diatribe, he would immediately ask someone else the answer. He was an excellent teacher and even though I hated math (still do as a matter of fact), I thoroughly enjoyed his classes! To Mr. Joe Miller!!
And to All of You - With Love and God's Blessings! Jan