Friday, May 29, 2020

Fast Forward to Friday

So here we are, 2 1/2 months later.

Last week, Aaron stopped by in the evening for our yearly Mother's Day tradition. Normally, we go to Starbucks on Mother's  Day in the evening and chat for an hour or so. Obviously, as this is not a normal year, that did not happen. But on Thursday, he stopped by Starbucks and then came to our house, where we sat outside. Harley, our super friendly next door neighbor's cat, made friends with Aaron.
Have you been trying different creative ideas during this time? I have been collecting ideas, which I fully mean to accomplish this summer.

Like this rock painted to look like a lemon slice.

And a garland of watermelon pompoms.
If you aren't familiar with Marisa of The Neon Tea Party, check her out. She has lots of great ideas for pompoms, tassels, and tie dye, with great video tutorials.


For the last week, I have been kind of beating myself up for "wasting" the last 2 1/2 months and not getting any sewing done. Here I have finally had all this "free" time and have spent virtually no time in my sewing room. But then I started to make a list of the things we have gotten done.

Just this week, we repainted all the baseboards in our house.

We made furniture (desk from Sauder).
Mark needed a desk in his office that actually fit him. He had been using the one made for me by my father when I was in 8th grade, very well built, solid maple. But the leg opening was only 15"--just fine for when I was in 8th grade, but not workable for someone who is 6'2".
After we unpackaged everything the other night, it was time for dinner. True to form, I would rather be completing a few steps on the desk while Mark was doing the cooking. We play to our strengths.

And I have to say, Sauder gets extra points for having every single screw and part labeled and in its own compartment, with easy to follow instructions (and a place to get video tutorials if you needed extra help). Although with Mark spending 30 years in the cabinet industry, he knows his way around cabinet hinges and how to adjust drawers.

So this desk is stable. And we made it through desk construction emotionally stable. :)

This cutie lost her first tooth.

The other huge project I completed this week was going through every.single.picture.folder on my computer. It's something I have been wanting to do for years. It all started when I wanted to find some pictures of a specific quilt. And realized it was like finding a needle in a haystack. What year did I make the quilt? What month of that year did I take any pictures? Total disarray.

As of last night, all my quilt photos are in folders by name of quilt. In the process, I also culled and deleted many bad photos I have taken throughout the years and screenshots I no longer need. This makes me realize I have not been exactly doing "nothing"--I have actually accomplished something in the last 2 1/2 months. A couple more things to do, and I'm pretty sure I will feel like sewing again.

In my yard. Does anyone know what this is?

In March, Charlotte and I had a date at Color Me Mine. We painted donuts--I made a mug, Charlotte made a bank.

Then the shelter in place happened and we couldn't pick up our projects. The store opened briefly this week, three mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. I quickly made a trip to pick up the donuts. I've been enjoying my mug. If only I had a real donut to go along with my coffee.
I found this picture from years ago, probably around 1975. Proof that I'm a natural redhead. And Mark's beard was dark.
Stacie took a picture of us this morning.

And then I took one of Ella and Stacie.
More things are opening up, and I admit to being very apprehensive about it all. No matter where you are, have a good weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 5/21/20

Our new pergola was installed on Friday morning. We love it. The weather has been beautiful this week and I have already spent many hours out there reading. I haven't been sewing, so reading has been a nice way to spend the time.

Sunday afternoon, we "attended" our niece's college graduation from Willamette University. Mark had intended on being there in person; I couldn't attend because of my annual quilting retreat with friends in Yosemite. However, neither of those things happened.

Rose is the daughter of Mark's youngest brother, Pete, and wife, Jane.

Thank goodness for Zoom! The university had done a wonderful video presentation with speakers and the presentation of graduates.

We all convened at 2:15.

I particularly love this picture. See the guy in the middle of the right side? That is Pete, and this particular screen shot reminds me of the Brady Bunch.

The presentation of graduates went pretty quickly, with Rose being right about in the middle of them all. She was particularly proud of the picture she had given to the university for the presentation. She had spent a semester in Spain, and afterwards did a lot of traveling. She posed with this funny face in front of many historical landmarks, and couldn't resist using this picture for the graduation video. I suppose it makes sense--if your graduation is going to be out of the ordinary, you can use whatever picture you want.

Make that face again, Rose.  I wonder how many times her partner, Bradford, has seen this face. :)

After the ceremony was over, we stayed on and chatted for awhile. It was a really fun afternoon, and we were honored to be included.

Any moms out there feeling like this? I'm pretty sure our daughter-in-law feels like this on a daily basis.

Just because it's funny...

I finished a puzzle. As I neared the finish line, I could tell that one piece was missing. I knew exactly who had it--Mark. He doesn't actually do puzzles. So naturally he thought it would be funny to put in the very last piece. So he confiscated and hid one of the pieces, so he could "finish" the puzzle. Ha!
Facebook rolled out their equivalent of Bitmoji, where you can customize your own avatar. This is as close as I could get. Have you tried this yet?
We drove down to Reedley yesterday. Although we are still not allowed to see my father in his care facility, we stopped by my cousin's house. On the way, the clouds were gorgeous. I enjoy big billowy white clouds. We are to the point of the year in central California where every day will be sunny, with little change in weather except for the temperature--which will go up, up, up. We are surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, which we rarely see, although since the pandemic and with fewer people driving, it seems that the air quality has been much better.

Is your area loosening up the restrictions? That is just beginning here in California. As of yet, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Mark and I will continue to live a restricted life for awhile longer and see how things go. Maybe it's not too soon to put up our Christmas tree...or at least start some holiday sewing.

Even lemonade is harder to make.

No matter what stage in life you find yourself, this certainly rings true.
But it kind of makes you wonder where we will find ourselves five years from this point, doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Art Installations

Mark and I are visual people. We enjoy having artwork on our walls. While we could wallpaper our walls with quilts, and there are quite a few hanging in our home, we enjoy handmade art by different artists.

Our most recent acquisition is this edgy piece by Jordan Wiebe (you can find him on Instagram here: @jordanweeb), he's a friend who used to live here in the valley and now lives in Minneapolis, MN. He recently began selling some of his art, and this is the one we chose.

Mark recently wanted to duplicate part of my Delta Breeze quilt into fused glass.
He chose that lower right corner, and did a magnificent job.
Some of the colors mimic those in Jordan's piece, so we hung them together in my office. I like the juxtaposition of the edginess and feeling of Jordan's street art along with the modern traditionalism of Mark's piece. I think they look wonderful together.
If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you will remember that Mark did so much of the prep work at Thrift on Blackstone. The manager, Ilone, had many, many ideas of how to make a thrift store seem more artsy, with an Anthropologie feel. Mark then had to figure out how to bring her ideas to reality.

The store has big windows in the front, and she has come up with creative ideas to fill those windows.

One window changes seasonally, and I'm constantly amazed by the ideas she comes up with.

This was the first installation, and involved making and hand painting flowers made from newspapers!
As you can see, there was an ombre effect.

Next came origami cranes.

And then a darker, spookier version of those origami cranes.

When spring and summer rolled around, this gorgeous dress was front and center.

But I may just be the most impressed with her current installation. While the store has been closed because of the pandemic, Ilone has been working on her current art project. I'm always intrigued by how she turns thrifted items into stunning art displays. A restaurant across the street went out of business several months ago, and they had plastic lids from the drink cups. I don't know about you, but I would never have thought up a creative use for plastic drink lids.

Ilone was inspired by Monet's Water Lilies paintings. Also, it would never cross my mind to combine the two...

She used alcohol paint on 7,000 lids. Yes, you read that correctly: 7,000 lids.

She then strung them together.

It turns out that they were quite a bit heavier than the previous art installation projects, so Mark added a support bracket midway on the hanging rod.

And this is the stunningly epic display she created.
I just know she is already working on ideas for the next installation. And like all of them, it will be creative and amazing. Quite something for a thrift store, don't you think?