Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bad, bad times . . .

My little 93 year old mom had a stroke on Friday and another on Saturday morning.  She has been so active and has loved her life at her assisted living place.  The two strokes have left her immobile, unable to talk, unable to swallow, can't open her eyes and is paralyzed on the right side.  Everything medically that can be done has been done.  She was clear throughout her last years that she did not want to be kept alive on any kind of life support.  She is sleeping and slowly leaving us.  

We are trying to remember she has had a wonderful life.  But it is still now good.  My sister and brother are here and we want to help her be comfortable and know she is loved.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve party.  We did just appetizers, but lots and lots of different kinds and Rainy brought a great cocktail made with vodka, grapefruit juice, pomegranate seeds, and fresh mint.  Yummy.  We had bacon wrapped water chestnuts, cheese-hamburger dip with corn chips, corn/bean salsa dip, cheese dough wrapped olives, cranberry/brie phyllo bites, spice turkey dip, fresh veggies, candies and cookies, meatballs - a long list of goodies.  We ended with some Patron XO in perfect little chocolate cups.

Some good friends stopped by and joined in for the party.  We picked up Mom from her senior apartment complex and she seemed to enjoy herself as well.  Later we opened gifts much to the joy of Weston and Walker.  It was a fun evening with way too much food and a little too much to drink.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Busy, busy, busy -

I am not even sure of all that we have done and enjoyed in the past few days.  But today is December the 24th and I want to say "Merry Christmas" to you all.

Last night we took the grandsons to see a basketball game at the MSU Fieldhouse. The MSU Bobcats played the Wyoming Cowboys.  They lost but it was a fun game.  There was lots to do for the little guys.  They had their picture taken with "Champ", the Bobcat mascot.  There were a ton of people there from Wyoming and that was good - always makes for a good game with the place is rocking.

I am working a bit each day on my first weaving.  Still loving it.  I replaced some of the warp that didn't work for me.  I find it very relaxing.  This will be a scarf when it is done.

Tonight we will have a Christmas Eve party and open a few gifts.  Stan, Rainy, Weston and Walker will join us.  Mom and her friend, Cleo, will also be here.  Tomorrow we will have dinner here for about the same crowd I think.  Tonight it is appetizers and tomorrow some ham and other good stuff. 

Blessings to you all.

Friday, December 19, 2014

More holiday activities

We went to the little guys' Christmas program this afternoon at their school.  It was really good and always fun to see all the kids excited to be in a program.  Almost every child is dressed in their party finery, but once in a while I will notice a child who either forgot that today was the "program" day or wore the best they had.  One little guy had on shorts (this is Montana and the high temp today was 32 degrees), old tennis shoes and a very worn t-shirt that was several sizes too large.  His eyes were scared and he kept looking around.  My heart broke for him.  I want to do something to help but don't want to embarrass.  Not sure which way to go here.

I came home to work on my learning mistakes.  I am trying to learn to do some weaving.  Of course I have to do things my way - lots of things to learn.  I used some yarns for the warp that were not good choices.  I wanted a lot of different kinds of novelty yarns so they would also be in the fringe so they needed to be loaded as warp.   It was impossible to move the heddle back and forth freely as a frew of these yarns fuzzed and caught up with themselves and other yarns.  So last night I cut off what I had done and this afternoon reloaded some newer yarns that will behave better I think.

Here is a picture of what I cut off.  I love the colors and the various textures the different novelty yarns add, but I did not love the way some of those yarns behaved.  Of course an experienced weaver would have told me that, but I wanted to travel my own path.  I will do something with this little sample - maybe use it or part of it in a small wall hanging with a quilted piece..

Also walked by this little Christmas tree I have used for years.  I made it over 15 years ago one evening with the help of a good friend in Denver.  Every year I drag it out, pull and pinch here and there, and enjoy it as much as the first year I made it.  It is made on a tomato cage frame.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Busy day . . .

We had wonderful, busy, Bozeman kind of day.  It was a gorgeous day with lots of blue sky, sunshine and a bit of snow melting.  We did a little more decorating, some more Christmas shopping, ate our lunch out and then came home to enjoy our work.

Since Bob had the carotid surgery a couple weeks ago we decided not to put up the big Christmas tree this year as it is 8 feet tall and comes in three very heavy parts.  We store it in the attic storage so we have to get it out of there and downstairs - way too much work for us this year.  So we just did a little tree and some lights here and there.  It is nice and quite understated for us.  Change is good.  No studio time today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oops - another week slipped by . . .

Where does time go and how does it all happen so quickly.  Since I was here last there has been a lot going on it seems but not much of interest.  We did get some snow and cool weather over the weekend and you can barely see our house from the highway with all of the snow on the trees.  It started out as rain, then wet snow and then colder snow - total of about 8 inches I think.

I did get the warping process started on my new loom.  I had to keep watching the beginning weaving class on Craftsy.  I love Craftsy!  Now I need to finish the warping process and get started weaving.  It is going to be a scarf I think.    I have been busy with Christmas stuff so it might be a slow process and I keep wanting to do quilting on my gingko leaves.  Too much stuff I want to do.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tired Tuesday . . .

I think all of the health problems of my loved ones these past few months caught up with me today.  I woke up tired and have stayed that way all day.  But tomorrow I know there will be more energy.

I continue to quilt on the gingko quilt - a little at a time.  Here is a cup that I made using reverse applique.  I started with 7 layers and cut away sections.  The bright pink is the top of the layers and the blue plate is the bottom layer. It is part of a project I am working on with two of my fiber art friends.  We try to have coffee together once a week.  We each made three of these that are totally different.  I will will share more with you on that later.  Wait until you see what we are planning to do next.

The Christmas cactus is in full bloom again - as usual - this time of year.  It starts in early November and continues until mid winter or even sometime in March.  This cactus was started from the original plant that my Grandmother Kimble had.  Or so the story goes - I didn't know her.  But I do remember the original plant at my aunts house when I was a little girl.  My cousin took starts off it for all of the cousins who wanted a plant and this one is mine.  I need to trim it back.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New week. . .

Mondays are great days - starting a new week.  I like Mondays, but Wednesdays are my favorite day because I love the sound of the word.

Bob continues to improve from his carotid surgery last week.  That is good news.

And I am back in my studio.  Here is the view from my new window this afternoon.  We replaced the older windows with newer, more energy efficient ones, and I have taken down the curtains and am enjoying the view and the great light.

We have only a little snow left.  We have had some good snow fall and some very cold temps but we have also had many days with above average temps and wind and that makes short work of the snow. There will be more coming for sure as this is Montana.

Here is one of the things I am working on now.  I am quilting big gingko leaves and then finishing it off.  It is a quilt that was done through a Round Robin I participated in several years ago and I am now getting it done so I can move on to another project.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Time brings good things . . .

My son, Stan, had very serious heart surgery the end of August.  Although he did not have a heart attack, he did have two major arteries bypassed which the doctors said avoided a heart attack that he may not have survived.  He is an athlete as he is an avid exerciser, skiier, and third degree black belt. He stays fit and young at 48 until the chest pains started this summer when he got his heart rate elevated.  He has worked hard to recover and today he went skiing here for the first time.  I am torn between being happy and wishing I could just put him back in the womb for protection.  LOL!  That is the mother in me I guess.

I have been enjoying my little Janome embellishing machine I bought when in Houston.  Here are some little squares I am using in a wall hanging.  More on that later.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wanting to blog again . . .

The time has come when I really want to blog again.  I am anxious to share some stuff I am creating and times with family and friends.  It will be more like a journal.  Exciting for me to write again.

We just got back from Billings this afternoon.  Bob had a carotid endarterectomy on the right side. The words are interesting, huh?  They opened his neck and right carotid, cleaned it all out and stitched it up again.  He is doing great.

I bought an early Christmas present while there for myself.  I have been thinking I wanted a rigid heddle loom and found a good deal on one through Craigslist while we were in Billings.  This is the one I bought and will set it up tomorrow.

It is a Kromski Harp - 24 inches.  I can upgrade it to the Kromski Harp Forte, but I will use it as it is for a bit first.  I am a real beginner's beginner so I signed up for a Craftsy class to help me get started.  Fun stuff is coming!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Great day . . .

We decided to take off and head to the hills.  It is really not that far.  It was a rainy day - great day for creating in the studio, but Bob didn't want to work outside.  Who can blame him?  So off we went.

We drove east to Livingston and then south on one of the "back roads of Montana".   It was mostly a dirt road, but in good shape.  Lots of gorgeous scenery and then we traveled over to a paved road south of Big Timber. From there we went further south to the Natural Bridge falls.  The natural rock bridge collapsed in the late 80"s, but it is still a site to see as the river goes underground.  When the water is high the water goes over top of the normal underground part, but the run off from the snow in the mountains is not in full force so the main river still drops underground for a bit and comes out below.  The second picture shows some of the scenery and the third one a small plant growing in the rocks.

Loved it all.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lots of winter - lots of love -

We have really been having the winter lately - not unlike everywhere else I guess.  We did not go south this winter and probably should have.

I was walking downstairs this afternoon late and this piece seemed to be on fire from the setting sun coming in through the window.  I did this dragon fly several years ago and always thought it didn't quite capture what I had hoped so it hangs in my studio at the top of the stairs.  But today, with the late sunlight, it captured me.

When I got downstairs, Bob surprised me with these flowers.  Love that man!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Now to clean up the studio . . .

I have worked off and on for the past 10 days to complete a challenge piece for our local art quilt group.  I turned it in today.  There are a few issues, but it is done.  I learned a lot.  I never give enough time for this kind of project and with the holidays and some early January commitments,  it was no different this time.

The title of the challenge was "Gone Downtown" and it could be anything related to whatever we thought when we heard that.  In Bozeman, every summer, there are beautiful big baskets of tiny petunias hanging from every lamp post on main street and that it was I always think of so this is what I did.  I would do lots of things differently if I were to do it again, but I did like the flower basket.

There had to be a 2 inch wide entry of the gray fabric on the left someplace and a two inch wide exit of that same fabric someplace on the right.   Then they hang them all together in a line staggered so one gray exit lines up with the next gray entry. Most others did not think of Bozeman, but rather childhood memories or vacation times.  So they are all different which will be nice.  It should be interesting.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Go Broncos - - -

Having lived for many years in Denver, I am a hard core Broncos fan.  So I am thrilled that they are going to the Super Bowl in a couple weeks.

Here is a cute picture of my older son, Stan, and his two boys, Weston and Walker.  The little guys have been so excited and have jerseys for Manning and Welker that they wear often with great pride.  It will be a fun Super Bowl at our house.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Little Sassy . . .

Here is our little "wild kitten" Sassy. 

Her mom is a feral cat that has been in the community (we live in the country) for a couple years.  She brought Sassy and 3 siblings around to a safe place under one of our decks about a week before Thanksgiving - right before our week of minus 20 temps.  The kittens were about 4 weeks old then and we fed them all and kept them warm - outside - with a little shelter and an outdoor pet heating pad that Bob put together with the help of the pet stores.

We did that for about three weeks as we tried to interact but there was no catching them.  The momma was very skittish as one would expect.  We finally captured all but this one and took them to our local animal shelter, Heart of the Valley.  They make sure they are healthy, spay or neuter as needed, give shots, chip them and then put them up for adoption.  The momma, being feral, would be adopted as a barn cat and they wave the adoption fee for her.

This one was not about to be caught, but we finally succeeded about a week later.  We socialized her for a few days inside in a kennel and then we just fell in love with her and decided we wanted to keep her so we have.  And she has become a wonderful member of our household.

This morning was her first trip to the vet and she is healthy and about 11 or 12 weeks old now. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It has been some kind of year . . .

First I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year as you welcome in 2014.

I have tried to get back to blogging - not made it as you can tell.  But I think I want to try again.  We will see what happens.

Right after my last blog from our Memorial Day trip, we moved my 92 year old mom into a senior living place where she has her own nice 2 bedroom apartment.  We worked hard for several days getting the move done, unpacked, pictures hung - you know the drill.

Then 4 days after she moved - on June 4th - she had a subdural hematoma - bleeding in the brain between the outer cover of the brain and the inner side of her skull.   It was major.  She ended up having surgery as they thought she was a good candidate for a few more years.  She has recovered over the past few months and is now enjoying her life in her senior living apartment, participating in lots of activities and enjoying new friends.  She walks without a cane or walker, takes total care of herself with just a little assistance for a couple meds.  So it all worked out well but it has been an interesting many months of hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and family - support and conflict.  Enough said on that!  I am just glad she is enjoying a bit more of life.

Our holiday time was wonderful - good memories and some time to do a little creating . . . 

Here is a project I am working on now.  It is a table runner made from dark batik.  The thread is gold metalic with charcoal in the areas where you can't really see the quilting.  The second photo has side lighting so you can better see the quilting.   It is good to be back with my work.