Thursday, January 19, 2017

back to christmas...

long story...
after closing on this house on december 18th, 1995, we had three days to move from my Dream Home into a pint-sized fixer upper...
yeah...
the week before Christmas...
it was not a Good Time and i was not in a Good Place...
on the 23rd, i came "home" from working the night shift and found that Michael Myson and Melissa had put up an old artificial Christmas tree that was already broken before it was dropped off a friend's pickup truck ... Mikey had run wires from the tree to a nail in the wall to keep the tree upright, and the two of them decorated as far up as they could reach
 with whatever they could find...
it was touching and endearing and beautiful...
yes, it was...
but... 
instead of feeling blessed by the Spirit of Christmas in my youngest children's eyes, i  was overwhelmed with Sadness and Loss...
and after they left to spend Christmas Eve with the eXMan and his family... 
Guilt came to live here...

the next year, i bought a new tree...
a slim (skinny) blue spruce
we set it up in the living room and decorated with homemade ornaments that Michael and Melissa made with raw hide and pony beads and conchas 
and some pink berry picks that i found on sale...
i didn't have a tree skirt, so i spread woven place mats under it and i thought it was beautiful...
and it was all ours...

after a few years, that skinny blue spruce was losing more needles than it was keeping...
and its wire branches were not up to holding ornaments
or even lights...
and all of my kids started calling it Mom's Charlie Brown Tree...
so i let myself be shamed into buying a big fat tree - Melissa's tree - and it is beautiful, too...
she decorates it with red and white ornaments
 and cranberry bead garlands and popcorn garlands...
it is a proper Christmas tree
 and it always looks awesome...

but i missed my skinny little spruce...
i had collected a lot of southwestern-themed ornaments and garlands
and even a birch wood tree topper...
but still no tree skirt...
so i decided that i would put up MY tree in my bedroom
 AFTER i made a tree skirt for it...

fast forward five or ten years...

short...

last year, in july, i paper-pieced four spirit guide animals based on Quilted Legends of the West by Judy Zehner and Kim Mosher...
 joined them into a big square...
not looking like much...
and sent it off to Liz Bowman to do her quilting magic...
ooooo!!! dream catchers!!
i dunno how Liz always manages to make my mediocre piecing look so incredibly awesome...
anywho...
 i trimmed off the corners (thanks to my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Walsh, who taught me how to make a compass with a string and a pencil)...
 crossed my fingers...
 cut a slit and center hole...
 and bound it with bias binding (thanks to The Net and all its continuos bias binding tutorials)...
maybe THIS should be the right side

and brought my sad, skinny little blue spruce tree in from the cold...
coulda done a better job with those ornaments ... there's always next year
gonna hafta move that into the corner so i don't run into it
gonna need some PRESENTS to put under there!!!
purty, innit?!?
the tree needed some company
so i dug out the little Nativity...
sweet Baby Jesus
and celebrated with my skinny little blue spruce tree till the day after Christmas...

and now i've decided that i need another tree for my space ornaments... 

and that tree is gonna need a tree skirt...
don't worry - it's just a phase

cuz we don't need no stinkin' bare-bottomed trees...


i am linking up with Mama Spark's WIPS with Friends


Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
George S. Patton

Thursday, January 12, 2017

night at the museum

waaaay back in 1994
 there was a nighttime opportunity to attend the Star Trek exhibit at what was then the Denver Museum of Natural History and i dragged took (most of) my kids to see it... 
now THAT was an eventful night - we ran outta gas on the way home and Earth Science pushed us to the nearest gas station, BUT i had already spent all the money i had at the museum and had to borrow gas money from my kids, which is another story for another time cuz THIS story is about how Melissa became enamored with museums...

Melissa lurves rocks ... she lurves to talk about the differences between sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks ... she lurves to look at rocks, search for rocks, study rocks...
 i don't know the difference between obsidian and onyx or diamonds and cubic zirconia ... a rock, to me, is a rock
and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (formerly known as the Denver Museum of Natural History) has lots and lots of rocks to look at ... so, even back in 1994 at the tender age of  8, when she was SUPPOSED to be on her way to becoming a Trekker at the Star Trek exhibit, Melissa fell in lurve with Gems & Minerals instead...
and THEN she saw the mummies and fell in lurve with Ancient Egypt...
and THEN she discovered the IMAX theatre...
and THEN she found the space hall... 
and THEN... 
well...
because she lurved the museum so much, i invested in a membership that we have used for the past twenty years... 
sometimes we go for the special exhibits. sometimes for IMAX, and sometimes just to look at the rocks...
anywho, when Massdrop offered a fat quarter bundle of Lizzy House Natural History fabrics, i pounced on it...
then bought some yardage...
 and made this...
bugs and dinosaurs and rocks and whales and stars and other fancy stuff
and the BEST part...
oooooo!!!
a fabric representation of a
Night (and several days) at the Museum
Ancient Egypt - Robots - Rocks and Gems - Mammoths and Mastodons - Mayans and Aztecs - Dinosaurs - Bugs - Space - Star Trek - Pompeii - Volcanoes - Mythical and Magical Creatures - Lewis and Clark - Poison - Sherlock Holmes - Chocolate - Whales

and, of course, two of Melissa's favorites - the Saber Tooth Tiger that growls when it's fed coins 
and the two ginormous slabs of petrified wood...
grooooowwwwllll!!!
yes, yes that IS Jamie on her shirt!!!

and, since i didn't get her scrapbook (that i've had thirty years to put together, but didn't) finished, i gave this quilt to her for her birthday, too... 
cuz that's how i roll...

design for the quilt's front was found in a quilters' magazine last year - sorry, i don't remember which magazine or the designer's name
quilting of Isis by Liz Bowman of Milan, Michigan

Larry Daley: You know how you were telling me that the key to happiness was something, but then the sun came up? I think i figured it out, It's doing what you love.
Teddy Roosevelt: I was going to say diet and exercise, but the love thing's good, too.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Thursday, January 5, 2017

except-ional

i'm a Yes ... But-ter...
and i argue with myself...
just about anytime that i say anything, it will be followed up by 
yes ... but
there's almost always a but in there somewhere...

Melissa is Except-ional...
which is the same as saying yes ... but
but (you knew there was gonna be a but, right?!?) nicer and more politically correct

last year i found the Gerbera Garden pattern and used it to make a leftover throw...
the leftover yarns made a pretty throw, but (there it is) it was worsted weight and there are very, very large spaces between the petals - my knees can fit between them...

so when i decided to crochet a field of daisies for my room, i knew i was gonna hafta buy smaller yarn (like the pattern SAYS to use)... 

i like the colors of the original Gerbera Garden pattern, and i LURVE orange...
 but (another one) my room doesn't like orange...
so i went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bunch of sports weight acrylic yarns (there would be no crocheting or knitting going on if i had to use wool ... there WOULD be a lotta Benadryl lotion slathering) in colors that i thought were gonna play nicely together
 and started crocheting... 
but (were you waiting for it?) then i remembered that  i didn't like the pattern's directions
At. All.
 so i changed the way the flowers were connected to each other and crocheted some more...
yuck
in the meantime, Melissa decided that SHE needed to make a field of daisies, too 
except she chose peaches and purples and greens
 (to go with her birthday roses quilt)
by that time, i had given up on making THAT afghan, and finished off the mess i'd started by making a scarf...
still yucky
i whined for a while...
i still wanted to make a field of daisies for my room
but (there it is again) i wanted it to be pinks and purples and blues...
so i went BACK to Hobby Lobby, bought some more yarn, and then crocheted for a couple of months till i had this...
better ... MUCH
in the meantime, Melissa was working on hers ... 
she, too, had a hexagon-shaped lovely afghan... 
except she decided that HER field of daisies needed to be a STAR...


 it's EXCEPTIONAL, innit?!?

"There are always exceptions," replied Flea. "They are what makes you exceptional."
Mo Willems, The Story of Diva and Flea

Saturday, December 10, 2016

and seven to grow on...

even before i finished putting together eight squared , Melissa told me
 i want one just like it...

just like it?!? i asked

yes, she said
 except... 
i would like peach-colored roses
and a purple background
and pillow shams that will fit my king-sized pillows

so ... NOT just like it?!?

and then she reminded me that she was gonna be thirty in december, and maybe it could be her birthday quilt

well ... that will mean a quilt with 30 roses instead of 64...

even though i knew i didn't want to make another 64 of those stinkin' paper-pieced roses, thirty didn't seem like all that much...

okay, she said
except...
i'd really like it to be square ... how are you gonna make thirty roses into a square?!?

easy - the front will have 25 roses and the back will have the other five...

okay, she said
except...
i really kinda need all thirty roses to be on the front...

huh?!? you NEED all thirty roses to be on the front?!? how 'bout five rows of six?

okay, she said
except...
that wouldn't be a square ... i really need it to be a square...

you NEED it to be a square?!? okay, how 'bout i make it 6 roses by 6 roses? and that would give me till your 36th birthday to get it done...

okay, she said
except...
i want it this year...

when i was a kid and i said i wanted something, my dad would tell me that people in Hell want ice water ... and i remember thinking that people in Hell would probably settle for ANY kinda water...

anywho...
 long story short...
is it too late for that?!?
 i pieced the 36 roses and put them all together...
 then i bought all the purple Lakehouse hydrangea petal fabric i could find 
from wherever i could find it 
and added some pale green batik
cuz i couldn't find enough purple Lakehouse hydrangea petal fabric
and a naming block rose for the backing 
and sent it off to Liz to be quilted... 

i was gonna name Melissa's quilt
  and one to grow on 
(that's what my mom called the extra candle that she added to my birthday cake)
but with all those extra roses, it's
And Seven to Grow On...
cue the angels...

Your thirties are just like your twenties ... except you look ten years older and everything is a little less fun.
anonymous

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

some 'splainin'

because sometimes two words may not be enough...
it never occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, not everyone knows about training dragons...

Halloween is a Big Deal around here and Melissa ALWAYS dresses in costume...

when she was little, i made the costumes for her...
Flower Power

my very own Little Mermaid

Princess Bumblebee

unless i ran outta time - then my mom would help out...
Miss Kiss

clownin' around
and now she makes her own... 
baneling bridesmaid

Lieutenant Ihearya
the ranger's apprentice

 this year she decided to be Toothless from
Toothless - the Night Fury

she spent MONTHS crocheting the shawl...

the wings of a pitch black dragon
and she told me that it was totally worth it!!!

Monday, September 26, 2016