Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hip Baby Boomer - Yes, I mean Me!

It is baby week for me, and when I saw these baby birds reaching for food, I felt that deep pull of maternal instinct kick in! It is a real emotional empowerment, that desire to keep my loved one's fed. And this week especially, as all of our grandchildren are in Colorado for a visit, which is unusual and wonderful!

So as I fuss over the Holland babies, let me tell you a funny thing about being a baby boomer. As the role of grandparent is new to us, and we are just barely in the boomer generation, we create new ways of thinking about ourselves as the "older generation" in our ever growing family. I can envision myself as a grandmother, but I'm not sure yet about being married to the grandfather of 3! So I did a little research about what all the hip baby boomers are doing out there in this wonderful world of grandparenting. I mean, being hip is something that is kind of a stretch for me...I was always the nerdy Susie Homemaker girl, not really the Happening Hipster during any previous decade of my life! So, research is a legitimate thing when one wants to know what real hip grandparents are doing.

Do you know what one finds when they Google "Hip Baby Boomer"?

Yes, my friends, I received many links to information about getting a Free Hip. Funny, huh?

So, I am feeling old, I am feeling weak in the knees (my particular area of future replacement parts), and I am feeling very hip, for my grandfather/husband and I are no where near needing any sort of mobility help! We are young, active, vital, and yes, the grandparents of 3. Or so I think (3 grand babies, that is), for Thomas and Jenny have been in labor all night, and I am ready for the phone to ring with a "Come on up, there's a new baby for you to meet!".

Our bird's nest of hungry babies is full, all in Colorado, and we can walk there under our own steam!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm off to a grandma rave...kidding!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Soft Sunflower Folk Art Pillow

It is sunflower time in Colorado, or so I am told by my handsome husband, who grew up in Kansas and knows his sunflowers. As we drove yesterday to Greeley, Colorado, we saw our highways lined with sunflowers ready to burst with yellow light! I'm also told that a patch of sunflowers is difficult to walk around and through. Their stalks are thick, prickly, and densely packed together. I'd love to have my picture taken surrounded by sunflowers though.

Did you watch any of the Tour de France? The Sunflower fields in France are sooo lovely. I'd like to say that someday I will see them in the meantime...I've made this soft sunflower folk art pillow!

There are eleven shades of yellow and gold in this needle felt pillow. It is great fun blending, twisting, and playing with the wool roving that I use in my dry felting! I added some tiny seed beads for sparkle, because in my sunflower fantasy, sparkling happens! If you'd like to see more photos of this playful pillow, you can check it out at Soft Sunflower Pillow.

I hope that as you enjoy the last week of July, you come across some lovely sunflowers and perhaps even taking a stroll amonst them. Please let me know how it goes!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Peacock Feathers

I am in love with peacock feathers, and this lovely pendant is my new favorite thing! My daughter Jessie took care of many of the birds at the Denver Zoo, and while on duty, found discarded peacock feathers on the walkways. Those peacocks are free to roam the zoo grounds, and often show off their magnificent feathers to amazed children and zookeepers alike. So I have a fun collection of feathers.

I asked my mom to help me decorate a lampshade with peacock feathers and that was one of our most recent shared home decor projects. What a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon with my mom!

When I found this lovely peacock pendant on an etsy shop called, I knew I'd want to share it with all of you. This charming shop is located in Portland, Oregon, and it looks like they have found huge success on the etsy marketplace. I hope you will enjoy looking at all of their jewelry as much as I did!

Thanks for stopping by today...have a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Heartfelt or Knee-Jerk?

I have had a revelation about how I make decisions and then take action! This bolt of insight came to me while I was making the bed, which, a lot like the time I spend knitting, is fertile thought time. Here's what I learned mid-pillow plump:

I make decisions one of two ways
Perhaps you can relate? There are many decision points in every day life, and when the decision involves choosing either A or B, it is easy for me to apply the socially acceptable "What SHOULD I do" rationale.

This is different for me when the decision point involves no outside observers! My choice only impacts me, and in those moments, I am learning to make HEARTFELT DESIRES  take center stage.

What is exciting to me is knowing that as I gain the wisdom that comes naturally with my gray hairs, I can begin to make heartfelt decisions even when other folks are involved. I am at the stage of life where knee-jerk reactions can ease up a bit and I can enjoy the larger world of deciding what truly makes my heart sing. I really can release the rest. As the world keeps turning, I am happy to report that more of my heartfelt needs and wants are being met by me and those who share this wonderful ride with me.

What is the most significant heartfelt desire you have back-burnered or given up hope of claiming for your own? I think you should let your heart sing!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Color Inspiration and Abundance

I have been looking very carefully at the colors in my life. It takes, for me at least, a deliberate effort to be present during my creative time, as I can often find my mind racing from project to project, what needs to happen tomorrow, and how much corn on the cob to buy for dinner. Deliberately quieting my mind and looking very closely at color is a wonderful retreat from this busy mind.  

I want to share with you today some of the colors I found around my home--colors that inspire me in my folk art, but more importantly I think, inspire me to realize how much beauty surrounds me.

I am looking today in my family room and my flower beds. It has been interesting for me to see these two spaces in my home through the lens of my camera. I know my silk flowers to be lovely, but looking at them in this light and so close helped me to really see them for the first time in years.

The way that this gray-green leaf of my hydrangea bush is gently holding the rain from the storm that happened in the middle of the night adds to the beauty of the color itself.

I think that taking the time to slow down, look around my home, and then really look up close at the things I have decided to fill my space with, is a great way to be inspired by color and inspired by abundance. What is the color of your abundance?


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Talented Friends and their Talent for Sharing

I am fortunate to be surrounded by many talented friends and family. If I threw a party and everyone were able to attend, there would be mosaic artists, quilters, doll makers, knitters, garment sewers, painters, illustrators, authors, fiber artists, and musicians. That would be an interesting party to attend! I would like for there to be a show and tell!

I would like to share with you the art of one special friend today, Terry Gonzales. Terry made this lovely fabric wall hanging that captures the beauty of a fish in the ocean. It is made using a fun technique involving coiled clothesline and strips of fabric. The fish is an applique sewn on top of the coil.

I found more information about this fun technique on one of my favorite resources, In an article on their popular site, I found great instructions for a coiled clothesline bowl, which I'm showing here. I hope you will want to visit their site and learn how to make one, too! Now that Terry is so good at this technique, she has another way to share her many sewing skills.

Coiled Clothesline Project

So I'm thinking a lot about talented friends and family today. I think this is happening because I went to a funeral with my Mom, sister, and brother-in-law earlier today for one of my Mom's talented friends. In Betty's eulogy I heard again about how she shared her many talents with the world! The celebration of her life seems to be incomplete without a celebration of how she generously shared her creative talents. It made me realize that the time I share today with friends and family, doing fun-loving, creative things together, is really building memories for a lifetime.

It gives me food for thought, and I want to honor my talented friends and treasure the wonderful time in our vibrant lives we have yet to share... I hope you enjoy your creativity today ;) I think we should all get ready for that amazing party with a show and tell!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Garden Walk on Wednesday

Wouldn't it be wonderful if this was a photo of my garden?! This lovely path is one I am walking down more often these days, but it belongs to the nice folks at the Denver Botanic Gardens. This is an ideal place for me to relax, sketch, and design the kind of wool art that I love to make. There is a program at the Gardens for artists to create art; botanical art is very popular. Held on the first and third Thursday of each month from 6:30-8pm, artists can meet one another, hear an informational lecture, and enjoy the Gardens. I will be sketching in the garden again on July 16th!

If you'd like to learn more about all that the Denver Botanic Gardens has to offer, here's their information. Denver Botanic Gardens

I send my best wishes and hope that where ever your path takes you today, it will be a lovely day for you--

Friday, July 2, 2010

What I love today...

When I was four years old, my family lived for one year in North Hampton, Massachusetts. We were there so that my father could finish an advanced degree at Clark College. My three older sisters were in school during the day, and my younger brother was a baby at this time (in fact, today is his birthday!). I was my mom's "Helper" during the school day, and one of the things I loved about that time in my life was having her time and attention, which in a large family, was even more special. When the laundry needed to be done, we walked with a wagon to the neighborhood laundromat. I was told that if I behaved and helped her with David, I could have (all to myself!) a can of cold Dr. Pepper! In a hot, hot laundromat on a hot day, that cold pop tasted so sweet--perhaps more so because I felt like I'd earned it!

While we waited for our laundry to process, my mom stitched the lovely crewel embroidery you see here. Her stitches are so uniform and delicate. Her color choices are so wonderful. The composition of this design is so fluid. I have always loved this piece, and I loved watching her create it, day after day, load of wash after load of wash. If David and I stayed happily occupied in the laundromat, she might even complete two whole flowers in one day! It was great to watch her progress.

The sweet ending to this story is that on one special Christmas morning, my mom gave me this stitchery blocked and framed with three layers of soft green matting. It is framed without glass so that I can touch her stitches and easily remember that time we spent together. It is one of my best treasures!

Here's to you mom! We will always have that year in North Hampton...
And here's to you brother Dave...if you had been a fussy baby, I may not have had this delightful memory--or this delightful embroidery to treasure. Best wishes to you on your special day.

Thanks for stopping by,