Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What is Primitive?

I was thinking about how people look at primitive art. So much of the time people think primitive means ragged and drab and poorly done.

Primitive is

  1. My work has fine stitchery. I use tiny stitches, unless the project requires a looser look.
  2.  Not necessarily drab. Often I use vibrant hues that are completely saturated with color.
  3. Fun. I use big flowers and birds beside regular sized houses.
Lately I have been trying to finish up projects I started months/years ago. It is wonderfully satisfying to complete work. I would love to add some pictures, but my server is not cooperating, so on to tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A dogs day

My dog has the perfect life (except for dog food). He sleeps, rolls in the grass and gets petted on all day. He for some reason was terrible in love with one spot in the back yard. He kept going back to it and rubbing his face in it and rolling all over the grass on his back. I tried to get a picture, but he has camera radar, sort of like vacume cleaner radar. He does not like to have his picture taken.

Other than enjoy his company I was very on task out finishing the last three blocks from 2010 WBH.
I also finished sewing on the label for my Crimson  Tweed quilt. I am proud to say that I quilted it myself.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Time well spent

I am enjoying several days of quiet, just me and the dog. DH is in Minneapolis playing golf. I have always been a person who enjoys my own company. So I have been up reading and sewing all day. Actually I am working on completing the embellishment of blocks started at Workt By Hand 2010. My dad had died shortly before the retreat and I was feeling very calm and quiet and my blocks reflected that. What I thought was very nice needed work and it is getting it. These pictures show the progress I have made, but by no means am I done.

These pictures don't show well all of the embroidery I have done. Lots of bullion stitchery.

This is a small sampler I made while in Baton Rouge last time.

 I finished my bird sewing pouch from this year's WBH. It is at home with things I brought from my mother's house.

Speaking of my mother I got a call from the home that she won't wear anything but her night gown to meals and programs. I had to call her and speak with her about it. She thinks that it is no big deal, but she is upsetting the other residents. I am worried about this. I had told them she was difficult, but maybe she is more than they can handle. She has told everyone there that she is on the hunt for a wealthy man and may be behaving inappropriately in that arena also. ARGHHH! I am heading for Baton Rouge to sign contracts to list the house on Tuesday. It is going to be a real quick trip with me coming back on Wednesday. I am not going to see my mother because she will not understand me not staying for a week and I just cannot do that right now.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Guest Room

My son moved out a year ago and now has an apartment. He thinks he still lives at home, but I have been slowly but surely converting his bedroom into my guest room. He is coming home tomorrow, but is destined for the couch and his girlfriend will sleep in the guest room.

My mom usually gives me money at my birthday and this year was no exception. I took myself to one of my favorite antique shops, the Rusty Rooster, in Denham Springs, Louisiana and bought myself an antique window which was converted to a mirror. I have been watching too much Sarah's Summer House I guess.

This is the mirror I picked out. Note the small figurines are hiding the large ugly picture hangers my husband used.

This is the bedside table. I am trying to find a balance with a full look, but still leaving room for my guests to use the bedside table. More pictures to come as I work on completing this room, which is my pet project for now.

Friday, July 1, 2011

There is just about as much work in Memphis to be done as in Baton Rouge. Actually my mother's house is fixed and painted inside. I left Charles to finish up the outside which includes: power-washing the entire house, painting doors and shutters, replacing the doors and wood work damaged by termites and completing mulching the yard. I could not have done this without him. He is the best handy man in the world. The second best, but best to me is my DH.

I wish that I had taken pictures before Charles and Dee took down the jungle surrounding my mom's house. You could not see any of the house or the lovely picked fence or pergola from overgrown crepe myrtles, shrubs, weeds and trash trees. My mother thought it was beautiful. I cried from excitement seeing the house for the first time in over a year.

My mother would be so disappointed in this neat bed. She preferred a jam packed flower bed with no room for anything else. She had over planted it so badly I could not get in it to weed. She had 4-5 rose bushes planted in a two foot area.

This is the view from the kitchen door. No furniture and it looks so big now. My mother had it wall to wall with furniture, knick knacks and pictures. It is also clean. The woman living with her had not done a good job taking care of just basic house cleaning.

  Now you can actually see her custom kitchen installed five years ago. All old lady wallpaper is gone and everything is painted light colors.

Self portrait on the way home. I was so tired and not used to taking my own picture.

  Photo of the back of the car. It has taken me three car loads to get what I wanted home, which was mostly pots and yard art. I did salvage one small table my mother and I picked out together for my room in her house.

Walt while riding around with me. He fixed my mothers bed and moved her furniture around to her liking.

While on my way to Baton Rouge I stopped in Canton at the "P" and picked up my rug pattern.

This is the pattern I bought. Lisseanne Miller hooked it to look like her cat, Lowdie.

I am so grateful to be back in Memphis. Repeat after me "there is no place like home, there is no place like home...." I am cleaning and preparing for a visit from my son and his girlfriend. It just feels right.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Home for a minute

I should have taken lots of pictures, but literally for the last month I have been glued to moving things out of my mother's house. First I moved her to assisted living where she has a lovely apartment. She seems to be happy and that makes things so much easier. Then I began the huge task of emptying her house of 53 years. For the last 15 years there have been few repairs, but they did manage to totally renovate their kitchen and one bath (sorta). The wall paper my dad put up is falling off the wall in many places and paint and wall paper were done almost 30 years ago. Everything is hugely dirty because the woman who lived with my mother did a poor job of cleaning. Go figure, the room she lived in was worse than the rest of the house. My dad had a work shop that was piled to the ceiling. The pickers have loved going through the piles at the street. Truthfully, in after thought I should have rented a dumpster.

My husband had to be out of town on business most of this time and I tried to bring my little dog, Sparky with me, but he hated it there, so this trip home was to drop him off. The rest of my family bugged out on me. I have a small family with just one child, who has not learned that family comes before everything else.  My parents alienated most of the remaining members of our family. They had (have) mental illness and were not easy to live with or be around. My sister has nothing to do with my mother. She writes her about once a year and that is it. While I was having a horrid time moving my mother, she was helping flood victims. At some point her anger with my parents was transferred to me. Our scant communication is by text and I am now completely done. I imagine the next time I will see her will be when my mother dies and she shows up for one or two hours for her funeral. This is so hard you cannot even imagine. Not surprisingly all of the help she promised a year ago did not materialize (she probably doesn't remember saying she would help). In so many ways she has become exactly like our mother, the woman she will never see again. She said she wanted absolutely nothing out of the house. My mother had saved every stitch of clothes she ever wore, her cheer leading uniforms.... Also I found articles where she had been in the paper as a debutante, engagement, etc... Her report cards from first grade to grade twelve, stuff from her nursing school time, pictures, letters from friends and boyfriends and on and on. My mother adored my sister. She was her favorite child and I was the bad child. I tossed everything that I had put aside for her as she was very clear she wanted nothing. I did not get any pleasure from that it just broke my heart to get rid of her history. Nothing of mine had been saved and I did not expect it to be.

I had a monster garage sale and almost everything went. I was hugely blessed to have my friend, Deidra and her husband and daughter drive from Memphis to Baton Rouge to help me. I could not have done it without them. I only have a few boxes of leftovers and will take that to a charity donation this week. I was very fortunate to hire a nice, and hard working handy man to fix the house up enough to sell. I will have to thoroughly clean everything. Pictures next time I post.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It has been a long time

Well I have not posted in a long time because of family issues and travel. Over the past three weeks I have driven over 2200 miles. I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite retreats, Workt By Hand in Ohio, with Sue Spargo, Melissa Becker, and Alice and Sally of Kindred Spirits. It was bittersweet since my normal roomie moved to Germany and I was sleeping solo. Of course, since I have attended this retreat for the past 8 years and knew a great deal of people there. We worked on bolster pillows that are all going to be awesome. I particularly like what I am doing.

 Sue Spargo's design. I loved the butterfly motif.

Her pillow was just happy.

Melissa's pillow was soft and delicate.

Sally's pillow really inspired me. My name means the bee.

My sentiments exactly.

Ali used rug hooking and needle felting on her pillow and I really liked that.

Her pillow was just lush.

This is mine so far. All pinned, but not stitched yet. More on Bee attitudes to come.

I got home late Sunday after the retreat and left again on Tuesday morning in order to go and pack my mom up to move to an assisted living in Baton Rouge. She did not want to move to Memphis and I wanted her to be happy. I will post pics of her new apartment and the cleaning out process of her home of 53 years soon. It is going to probably take me all summer to clean out her house and put it on the market. In a few weeks I will make a huge push to get things ready. In the meantime I am having to replace my huge windows in my living room, because after 19 years of living here they are rotted. On my way to the window store to look at options and make decisions shortly. After the windows are in we will have to replace all of our hardwood floors that were damaged last month when we had in line winds of 80 mph that pushed water through the doors and lifted/ruined the floors. I told my DH that it is the year of doors and floors. Ouch!