Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Monday, August 29, 2011

Birthday Weekend Extraordinaire

I am very tired but the feelings of joy & happiness from the weekend are still with me & should carry me thru packing for our trip tomorrow. Karlie turned 2 on Aug. 21st. For various reasons it was decided that rather than Karl & I going to Midland last weekend, they would come here for a party with friends & family.

We had sooooo much fun. One of my favorite things was having both kids and spouses & Ms. K here all together. It wasn't a sure thing until fairly late in the planning as Ashley has a new job at Central Market and they are in the middle of Hatch Chili Fest. She was able to make it and Friday night we all went to dinner at a family favorite, Mr. Chop Sticks in Denton.  Sat. morning we did the Akers traditional brunch of sausage gravy & bisquits.  When Elliott played baseball as a kid we had to have it every Sat. morning as he was sure it gave him home run advantage.

Back to Friday night.  Ashley is experimenting with ice cream, having taken a class last week & acquiring a new book on the subject.  OH MY GOSH! Did she succeed! Two flavors, Salted Caramel & White Chocolate Pecan along with Chocolate coating and homemade waffle cones! DELICIOUS.  She didn't have the means to make enough for the party so this was a special family treat. 

I don't want her to leave her jewelry making but we all think she could have another career in food. She also did adorable & delicious cookies for the guest's treat bags (by the way, Joann's Fabric has Martha Stewart tape so you can get it with a coupon for less than the Japanese version). Also, the dress & doll she made for Karlie were absolutely precious & much admired by everyone.   Those should be on her blog http://ashleyakers.blogspot.com/ soon.

The plan was that Karlie would take a nap to be "fresh" for the party. She knew something was up and didn't go along with that program, giving the big people some momentary concern but all went well after Aya (Tia Ashley) convinced her to get dressed in her party attire.  When I got back from picking up the cake & balloons she was over the top excited and that lasted until she collapsed into sweet slumber that evening.  For some reason I can't get the videos of her blowing out the candle here but it's really cute and on facebook. I was proud that she remembered her "thank yous" and shared toys and pinata thrashing with her guests. That one would have never let go of it's goodies without bigger kid hits as it was the largest, densest pinata I'd ever seen.

Years from now, Karlie will have to look at pictures to "remember" this celebration. I hope she will always know what's important. I made her a book in case she needs a reminder. Don't we all need to prompted occasionally? 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Little Things

The beginning of the school year has always been a kind of New Year for me. As a kid I always loved getting new supplies, especially the crayons.  Later when I became a teacher, artist & quilter, supplies often served as a form of inspiration.

Last week I took advantage of the school supply sale and found a new sketchbook with paper heavy enough for mixed media. I painted & decorated the cover so I'm all ready for new ideas.  I'm not heading back to school but hope our upcoming trip will allow time for new ideas in addition to escaping the Texas heat.  
Speaking of school, life will be quiter in the neighborhood with all the children gone most days. My neighbor, Raina, is eight years old & going into 3rd grade. For her birthday this summer she asked for and received a sewing kit. Her excitement is inspiring. I invited her to pick some fabrics from my stash and helped her with lessons on the machine. This is her first project.  Isn't it cute? I can just imagine what she'll be doing when she's 12 or 20.

Another small project that I'm enjoying is Priority Quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative http://www.alzquilts.org. /index.html. It's a very worthwhile fund raiser that I'd encourage every quilter to join. Our family has been touched by dementia and as the population ages more and more of us will be dealing with this issue. This is a small thing we can do to help. Here are my 2nd & 3rd quilts.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Blue, Blue Day

 It was blue here yesterday in a good sort of way.  It was still HOT so we (Michelle, Lu  & I) worked inside. This was our first experience with Indigo & I will definitely try it again.  I did a bit of silk, yellow wool, yarns, some vintage prints; a faded jjill knit shirt (not in picture) along with several pieces of previously dyed fabric that I stamped with soy wax. That was fun too. Michelle did a great asian jacket, overdyed shirt & yarn. Lu's antique laces really turned out dark and yummy along with her fabrics.

Very pretty stuff and on top of that fun we got a bit of rain last night.  Two good things in one day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Different Kind of Art

This is my latest creative project and the most recent improvement to the Wimberley property.  Actually I really only had a small part in the project. I drew our 3 signature oak trees on the steel.  Karl spent some very hot torturous hours over the last 2 weeks cutting and constructing the sign. The front we rusted with vinegar and the back is stainless & the frame is cedar.  I think he did a great job. Now to just get moved down there.

We delivered and installed the sign over the weekend and cooled off at Blue Hole in Wimberley. I sure wish we had that option here where it's even hotter. I heard someone is starting to count 105 degree days. There were rumors of rain in Gainsville today but I'm disinclined to believe it and wonder if this weather will ever break. I had to get out yesterday as my sewing machine isn't well. Doesn't that always happen when you've got lots of project?  I took it to the machine hospital with a promise for  Thurs. release. I kept busy inside today with house & studio pick up; laundry; office stuff; reading; and design work on Karlie's birthday surprise. Tomorrow I'm going with a friend to see "The Help"; I loved the book and hope the movie is good. Growing up in Houston in the 50's & 60"s the book rang very true for me.  I'll let you know what I think. Hope it's cool where you are.