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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Graduation 2009!

We had a great time at Kayla's graduation! What fun with lots of extended family and the kids. Friday we arrived in town around 3 and had lunch/dinner at Steak 'N Shake. We got to the kids house after checking into hotel around 6 then we left for graduation ceremony. The ceremony was quite nice and actually went quickly even with 119 graduates. On Sat.,Bob and his son, Ron; Mary Jo's father, Bob; and Bob's ex wife's husband, Jim all went golfing. They had a great time and weather was beautiful. Then it was time to get cleaned up and head to the open house. The kids combined 7 other graduates along with Kayla's open house and held it at the Baptist Church in their Youth Hall. It was a great idea to combine and really made it interesting and fun for everyone. I put Kayla's pictures on my Flickr page which you can click on at the sidebar.
Here is the video of Kayla receiving her diploma! How cool is this!
video
It was also Ian's BD this weekend and he turned 13! Here are some pics of him as well! Ian wanted an ice cream maker and a ceiling fan for his room! He's a great kid and in 5 years we'll be attending his graduation!
Grandma Lois with Ian and his cousin (who also has a birthday this coming week!). Grandma made them both new afghans which were wonderful!! So soft and comfy!

So all in all it was a busy, fun weekend! Congrats again, Kayla & Ian too!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Graduation Time!

So experts say don't take pictures of your quilt on the floor...so I didn't (at first!)..here's Kayla's graduation quilt 'draped' on the chair...
And this is Kayla's quilt on the floor with me taking the picture from a stool! Not a good thing to do. I think it looks better on the chair!
Anyway, we leave tomorrow (Friday a.m.) to head to Indiana for night time graduation. On Sat. Kayla has her open house the the Church Hall along with some other friends of hers. That's from 2-5 then we all head back to the kids house to celebrate Ian's birthday! He'll be turning 13! Hard to believe but then it's hard to believe Kayla is graduation and starting college in the fall. She's going to Ball University in Muncie, Indiana.
I've been a little under the weather (again!) and just getting a little sick of being/feeling sick. I don't go back to my RA Dr. until July but I just may try to get in earlier. So maybe the travel will take my mind off of it! Sounds like a plan to me. Until next week...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Friedensreich Hundertwasser Completed

So here are some pictures from Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the Inspired by Master we're working on now. From his paintings, we are to create an art quilt based on our interpretation of his work.
This is what I ended up making - my interpretation of his work. Hundertwasser was fascinated with spirals, and called straight lines "the devil's tools" . I did put one straight seam line in my piece just to go against the grain so to speak! He used bright colors in his work and lots of green but I decided to not use green and focus on orange and blue.....just because I hand dyed the fabric and I liked it so much! The piece is 17" x 20" . You can click on pictures to see work closeup.
Closeup of the cut out circle and beaded circle.
Another closeup of some of the cut out circles I sewed onto the background after I beaded them.
I have to admit it was fun to work on and didn't take that long to make. Nice that there's no target date on these other then Mary has worked on getting us a place to exhibit our pieces in the fall. But we don't have to make a quilt for all six artists...just do what we want to do. Here's the list of artists that are influencing our 'artistic' capabilities! Klimt; Beardsley; Hokusai; Mucha; Hundertwasser and Helen Frankenthaler. Quite a mix isn't it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Being retired you forget what a holiday is all about! Seems like we are on holiday every day and every weekend. At least when we remember it's a weekend! That's the hardest part is trying to remember what day it is! So today will be like a 'normal' retiree day!
I've been trying out some of the recipes from Bethenny Frankel's book and made her stuffed mushrooms yesterday. They were fantastic! I did make some changes only because I didn't have everything and had some leftover ingredients to use. I added about 1/4 cup of chopped spinach and about 1/8 cup of balsamic rice. These were great and a good replacement for meat. I also made some banana chocolate chip cookies that are wonderful! Only 1 tsp. oil and no egg...really good too. A great snack! I did order the book as the one I'm reading now is from the library. I've watched Bethenny on Housewives of New York (she was also on the Martha Stewart Apprentice show) and I think she's a hoot. Plus, I like her ideas on weight control. Just logic to watch your portions and balance carbs/proteins/etc. My cholesterol is way down and I've really been trying to watch even more our food intake (I've been off my statin's since my RA started up in the fall). I don't want to go back on the statin so if I can keep my cholesterol under control by the diet, I'll do that instead. I'll never give up my sweets! But it's a matter of give and take! I'll give up some other food so I can have my sweets! That's just me!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday

Weather actually was beautiful yesterday! I didn't think it would get past low 60's but it did! Bob used some new tools to wash the higher outside widows for me yesterday. This has always been a test of how much my body can twist and contort to clean the windows on the east side of our house. They are a few stories up so I would literally 'stick' my body through the window and hang on to clean them. At 62, the body isn't 'sticking' out windows very well now a days! Hence, the new tools. So the window washer did a pretty good job of it! He used an extension tool with a squeegee and soft cloth then rinsed...actually, he rinsed in what he thought was a jet dry mixture but I ended up buying the wrong thing. I bought Jet Dry to clean your dishwasher with! Next time we'll use the right stuff.
Cody is still with us as his 'dad' is being held captive in the hospital for another day or two. He has some bruised internal organs and better he be watched by Dr's. and nurses. He did have some more tests yesterday so we're hoping they'll come out OK.

In my post on 'cutting up a quilt', I was showing a piece that I cut circles out of. Well, I got playing the past two days on doing the same for my Inspired by Master piece. I spent most of the afternoon sewing seed beads on some circles I cut out. I finished adding all my 'embellishments' yesterday and only need to sew the facing on, label and I'll be finished. I have to put the label on Kayla's quilt today as well so I should have pics to post on Monday of these finished pieces.

Here are some of the circles being worked on. I love doing hand work and especially beading!
We had some rain early this a.m. but it's suppose to still be a nice temp out (70's). Just hope the rain holds off for all those folks camping and enjoying the long holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sleepy Time!

Mandy had Cody for a sleep over last night. Randy, Cody's dad, was in a motorcycle accident yesterday afternoon and will be in the hospital for another day. Randy has a broken shoulder and some broken ribs but it could have been worse. Our prayers are with both Randy and Lori, as I'm sure the stress and worry is a lot for her as well. We enjoy watching Cody so it's not a problem for us! He's a riot and Mandy enjoys the playtime and company as well.
The dogs love sitting on Bob's lap and I know why! So they all can sleep! This is typical in our house at night! Cody was on Bob's side but moved when I took the pictures.
It's overcast this a.m. and cooler than the past few days and some rain is expected. We did want to wash windows this weekend but not sure that will happen today. It's only 50 right now (7:30 a.m.) and I don't think it will get higher then low 60's if that! Good weed pulling day! UGH..but better then sweating pulling weeds. I want to finish working on my Inspired by Masters piece. I'm doing the hand work now and should have it finished this weekend. Then to start on my Art of Nature piece which is due in July. Several ideas but nothing definite yet which is typical...too many ideas are always floating in my brain!

Friday, May 22, 2009

You cut up a quilt how??

My friend, Mary (check out her website on my sidebar), is always cutting up her quilts and sewing them back together to make a unique piece of art. For the Salvaged Threads Fiber Art Show this year, Mary submitted 3 pieces that were made cutting up her quilts! You can see these pieces on the Salvaged Threads blog page. This exhibit juried in 'repurposed' or used materials in the piece. I had one of my pieces accepted and you can see and read about it here. All of the quits are 'for sale' and there are some really nice pieces. Mary sold one of hers already!!
Mary has cut up her quilts for a long time and inspired me a few years ago to do the same with one of my pieces. I did end up making several ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) from a piece I cut. It was fun and a little scary but makes good use of a quilt you aren't hanging or showing. I do save my pieces I cut off of my quilts when getting ready to bind or face. Being inspired by Mary and the Kemshalls (Linda & Laura), last fall I cut circles into one of my art pieces. What fun!!! I beaded around the edges and added 3 circles cut from the excess quilt to the bottom. I love doing this type of hand work and I think it added something to the piece. You can click on the images to see the work closeup.
Circles (Oct. 2008) 17" x 16"
Here is a close up of the cut out circle
These are circles I added at the bottom
So have fun and cut up those quilts or left over pieces of your art work! It was in the high 70's/low 80's yesterday but not supposed to be as warm today. Only in mid 70's which is perfect. Bob and I did go to Salvadore Scallopini's for dinner which was fantastic! And we stopped at Dairy Queen for a blizzard! So I just shot my sugar/carb/fat intake for the week!!! Actually, we only ate half our meal, 1 slice of bread and I didn't eat all my blizzard! I've really been trying to watch my cholesterol so guess it will be an additional 30 min. on the treadmill or working out with Gillad today! Guess it was worth it!



Thursday, May 21, 2009

They're back!

Every year we have robins nesting under our deck and this year is no different. There are 3 babies in the nest and they are so much fun to watch. When the kids where here on Sunday we sat for quite awhile downstairs just watching mom and dad feed them. We won't even put out our deck furniture until the babies have left the nest! Don't want to disturb them! In fact, Bob places a piece of plastic on the deck floor above the nest so when it rains they don't get wet! Are we obsessed with animals or what!
Here the little ones are calling for breakfast!
Dad responded with a good dinner!
Another beautiful day today. Bob is off from golf so we'll do some work around the yard and maybe go to dinner! Sounds like a plan to me!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hundertwasser in progress

I've been working on my Inspired by Master's piece (based on work by Friedensreich Hundertwasser). This was my initial thought/layout. I really wanted to use my daisy I printed out.
I had some hand dyed orange and blue fabrics I just loved and found a small fat quarter of commercial fabric so I made the swirls. I also printed out on organza two smaller daisy's.
So I pieced my background and quilted it. I used two different quilting patterns (free motion) and I'll be adding some hand stitching to this as well (but after I get my other elements sewn down).
Then I fused my swirls onto the quilted background. I liked the daisy(s) but decided not to use them and now I'm onto another approach! Go figure! I have all these stitches on my machine so I'm using one that's a triple straight stitch which I think looks good on the swirls.
Here's a closeup of the stitching. The stitch runs so quickly I was having some problems controlling around the bends! It takes some time to do the stitching around the swirls. Then I have lots of hand work to do on the piece. I'm saving my daisy prints to use in my journal quilt for the month of June. You have to check out some of Hundertwasser's works to see all the colors, swirls, circles, etc. he used on his pieces. Anyway, this is "Robbie being Hundertwasser"!This afternoon Mandy and I will be going to Nick's kindergarten class for Pet Week! We signed up last week when I picked him up from school. I know he's looking forward to Mandy coming to his school. I did this for Amber when she was little too. Should be fun for everyone! With the sun shining and beautiful temp (60 @ 7:00 a.m.!) should be another great day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No Frost!

After a few days of frost each morning, it was nice to wake up to 50 degrees! Maybe spring is here after all! Now I'll start thinking about getting some plants.
Yesterday, my friend Karen and I went eye glass shopping for me! I hate trying on clothes and eye glasses! You would think with all the technology, someone would come up with a better way for you to see what you look like in new glasses! That's the whole point of why we need glasses! You can't see without them! Yet, we're expected to purchase eyeglasses when we can't see ourselves in them! What's wrong with that picture! hmmmmmm

Anyway, Karen and I had such a nice day. We started out with lunch at one of our favorites restaurants, Pesto's!

The food is fantastic and they always have over 12 desserts, that are to die for! We ate Margarita Pizza, crab & mushroom soup, chicken salad and for dessert, the largest, most delicious Chocolate Eclair I've ever eaten! We had to split it since it's well over 6 inches long! I should have taken a picture! Next time I will.

So after all that food we had to do some walking so we headed to Hobby Lobby where we kept fondling fabric! Karen tried to lay her head down on some of the fabric so I had to pull her away (actually, I kept petting some of the baby blanket fabric myself!). Then we headed off to Michael's..this was after we stopped at one eye care center that had glass frames starting at over $250! NOT! We did end up at the mall and Karen found some glasses for me. Actually, I found some for her! I should have taken pictures of her in the glasses! Yes, I did bring my camera so I could see what I looked like in them. Didn't help much so I relied on Karen's advice. I think she made a good choice for me! If not, it will give us another excuse to go eye glass shopping!
We did end up with a coffee for the ride home. All in all it was such a nice relaxing day with a friend!!
Speaking of friends, I did go and visit my friend Patty last Friday while the kids were in school. She's doing just 'OK' but was as funny and interesting as always! Her memory is just so sharp and she keeps telling me "you need to do something about your memory, it's terrible." She's right! Patty was asking if I remember when my mom and I visited her when she lived at Somerset apartments. My mom had a Shi-Shu Maltese mixed little dog that we brought with us. Patty's slider door to her balcony patio was open and the little dog went out for a 'walk'. Only the walk ended up being a 'drop'! She fell two stories as we watched her! I thought my mom was going to have a heart attack. I ran down the stairs and fortunately the bushes broke her fall! WHEW! I forgot all about this story until Patty reminded me. We did have a good laugh about it. It wasn't funny at the time but gave us a chuckle.
Today is grocery shopping and Dr's. apt for my annual physical. Maybe some sewing to work on my Inspired by the Masters. Just another wonderful retiree day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grand Kids,Grand Food and a Grand Weekend!!



OK, so this blog won't interest anyone but family (hmmm maybe they won't even care!) but I need to post it so in my old age I'll be able to look back and remember! Let's hope!

So, Thursday I started off picking up kids from school then on to the library for our 'book' and DVD fix. Amber did get two books on CD which we've listened to in the car (it's really a good book..June B. somebody!). Then to home to make Taco's! Kids helped and we had a good meal. Then outside to play. The girls (Amber's friends) played Hanna Montana (what else is there to play!) and Nick decided to fly his kite.
After flying the kite, Nick challenged Grandma to a game of basketball. So what's up with a score of 4 - 8 and I didn't get the 8! Little bugger kept stealing the ball and shooting! Well, I wore him out...ok, he wore me out and it was time to go inside and do homework. Which they did willingly! Nick read from his school book and did a great job. Amber read as well and I'm so impressed with their reading skills.


Our littlest reader!

So after school on Friday we were waiting for Auntie to come over. I mentioned Grand Food in this blog title and it was because Dawn fed me/us again! I feel like I have had my own chef with Mother's Day and this weekend. Dawn brought on Friday some of her spaghetti and turkey balls, salad and we made mac and cheese for Nick and leftover Italian Gardens pasta. Amber and I made chocolate duo cups for dessert when we got home from school so we surprised Auntie with that part of the dinner.

On Sat. we got up and after it warmed up some went outside. Yep, had to play some more one on one with Nick...no, I still didn't beat him. I think I had 4 or 5 points but he did get 10! And I even stole the ball from him a few times!

So now Nick and I decided to race our trucks down the driveway. This is me checking out the truck he gave me to race with. Sure didn't seem as fast as his truck & it wasn't!



We just sent the trucks off - you can see the flash of yellow on the bottom left...that's Nick's hummer off and running!
We're pushing off for the 20th time! No, I never beat him in this either!


This was from Thursday...still flying that kite!



This was the money shot of Hanna!


Getting a 'new' Hanna ready for her show (the girls took turns being Hanna).










On Saturday, I surprised the kids with the new Crayola 3-D kit (really cheap with your JoAnn's coupon! Thanks, Carol T.!). This is a fun play item. Kept the kids busy for a long time and me too! You use the chalk to make designs and then put on your 3-D glasses. The chalk colors pop right up!


Someone had to give directions.



Some more of our art work!


This is a really neat 'toy'! Kids loved it and so did I! Really fun!



Not so much fun!



So Amber wanted to do her Pottery Wheel gift she got last year (not sure if it was her birthday or Christmas and not sure if it was Santa or who but.....) The box cover sure makes it look easy. NOT! This was a bugger...now I know why you pay so much for good ceramic pieces! So does Amber!


What's the big deal! It's a piece of cake!


This about says it all for Amber and I!


She did get into it and we did end up making a small vessel.


See two finished! But grandma broke Amber's in the morning. You have to take it off the wheel to dry! Duh! Sorry, baby!!! We'll try it again sometime soon!





Yes, Amber, you need to take these things up to your room! And grandma knows you took pictures with her camera! Remember we have eyes in the back of our head!




Amber and Libby painting before dinner on Saturday.





Auntie made Sea Bass for her and I, which was fantastic! Auntie also had roasted potatoes, salad, pizza rolls with eggplant and she also made cake for dessert! She's such a good cook so I felt waited on all weekend with the food! Plus, it was so nice to spend time with Dawn. With her work schedule and play schedule, we don't get much time together. THANKS HONEY!!!


Nick helping Auntie make pizza on Sat. That's what they wanted for dinner.


Amber elected to continue painting rather then make pizza.



After dinner on Sat. kids wanted to play Monopoly which was fun but some of us were getting tired and some of us were getting broke! So it worked out well for all! Had our dessert, then kids had baths and after Auntie left, we curled up on the floor to watch the Grisly Bear special on NatGeo! Good show!




Sunday rolled around and we met Auntie at Wilson's Wienie's here in Goodrich for breakfast of blueberry pancakes and crisp bacon. Yum!! Auntie had to run off to Costco and Target and get back home to pack up. She'll be up at 3:00 a.m. to get to her flight at metro @ 6:00 a.m.


The kids came back to grandma and grandpa's house to wait for Darrin and Kris. So we had to do some 'crafts' of course! We did some stamping on paper and on puzzle pieces. Then outside to walk Mandy. After a snack, they wanted to paint rocks. This seems to be the thing to do at our house. I can remember Kayla and Ian painting rocks too. Something about the rocks at our house.


"But, grandma, I have to find just the right rock! "


Just what they need - more painted rocks! I'm sure mom and dad will be thrilled!




The Artist at work!



So that was our Anniversary Weekend! I know Kris and Darrin had fun and I had a great time as well. Probably Grandpa was the only lonely one but he did have Mandy with him and he was only alone on Sat. and Sunday for a little while!
So in addition to the grand food I had this weekend, check out what Kris and Darrin brought me back from Sutton's Bay! Wine and Cherry Pie!!! YUM!
So thanks to all my kids for giving me some great memories!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And I'm off....

60 degrees already! Rain quite heavy last night. Later this afternoon, I'm heading down to babysit the little ones (gosh, before long they won't be little ones, will they!). Kids are headed off to their annual, anniversary get away in Sutton's Bay. They were able to get an extra day which is nice for them and this grandma! So most likely I won't be posting for a few days.

Yesterday (or was it the day before! hmmmmm), I finished putting the binding on Kayla's graduation quilt. It's good tv work for hand stitching down the binding. I did some last night but still have about an hour left.

I did start work on our next Inspired by Master challenge. Here's my piece in progress so far. I won't work on it until next week. It's my interpretation of the works of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

My initial design is on the tracing paper and this was my start. Actually the swirls were my starting point. They were just fun to make and the fabric seemed perfect.
I had two hand dyed fabrics that I just loved and wanted to use them in this piece. I have some other elements that will be added but they aren't finished yet. So here's my start..doesn't look like much but hopefully in a few weeks it will!