Sunday, February 20, 2011

TO BE CONTINUED...

Have you ever been in the middle of a really good movie with a storyline that has built up to a pivotal moment and then suddenly the screen is cast into darkness and words are stamped across the screen...To Be Continued? Just when you have gotten to the good part and you are enjoying watching the unfolding story you are left wondering what is going to happen next, uncertain of the outcome, a happy ending or a sad parting?
My life story was heading towards a happy ending of the current unfolding wedding plans of my daughter but like any good movie a little drama had to be cast into the plot, plans can never unfold so smoothly nor the end of a story be reached without some conflict. I am sad to say that my mother has taken a turn for the worse and her condition is getting increasingly more and more difficult to manage. Crucial decisions are going to need to be made that are heart breaking and difficult.
Our plot line is running along the lines of bittersweet, not being fully able to embrace the joy of the upcoming event due to the tension of the situation and the conflict of emotions. Only the Script Writer knows the outcome. We are but actors on the stage of life strutting and fretting our hour upon the stage stumbling over our lines in a less stellar performance. We are bumbling through each act as best as we can. The director is yelling " CUT!" the camera is panning away in a drawn out fade leaving the audience dangling...To Be Continued...

P.S. I will be taking a blog break this week to split my time between the hospital and wedding planning. Please forgive my inability to respond to comments or emails during this time period. I will return as soon as I am able. I hope that each and everyone of you have a wonderful week full of joy and spilling over with blessings!

Friday, February 18, 2011

BRIDAL FLUFF AND OTHER STUFF...

This has been an incredibly busy week here at the Quill, so busy I have not been able to post so much as a simple " hello" . I have read all your comments and I am in the process of responding to them all so please bear with me. I had no idea that wedding plans could be so consuming. I did not have a wedding so this is my first experience in the planning process. I have been dubbed the unofficial wedding coordinator assistant, it is a little overwhelming.

Darling Daughter and I are zipping emails, phone calls, and texts back and forth at the speed of light with one million and one details or ideas spinning themselves into an intricate web of both wonder and delight. We found, visited, and secured the venue. OK, I know this sounds hokey but the place is called An Enchanted Evening. The following photos are from their website. It is a wooded mountain top vista over looking distant mountains and a beautiful lake. The setting is completely natural with the landscaping incorporating native stone to blend with the natural beauty. A perfect setting for a semi-casual outdoor nature themed wedding with a back up plan of indoor areas in case of inclement weather, which will not happen! (At least if I have any say in the matter ;c)

Between appointments and plans I have been making some wedding fluff and designing some other stuff. When I made these topiary's for the studio...The first thing my daughter said when she saw them was that if she ever got married she wanted to use them in her wedding and she will. These will flank the arbor/gazebo opening where the wedding cake and dessert tables will be set up. She requested some extra fluff for this area and for lack of knowing what to call these, I have dubbed them poofs...
Five down and ten more to go!

What are these works of wonder you might ask? Humble coffee filters! The studio has been looking something like this, long rows of these...
Bunches of these...
(Leave it to Blogger to unpretty your post by flipping your photo on its side, it won't load the photo correctly!)
Tufts of fluff...
Poofs!
Please ignore the supply closet behind the poofs, I am trying to figure out exactly where one hangs fifteen rather large poofs and it is getting annoying ducking under them every time I need something in there!

Not to worry, I am not leaving you out of the loop here. When I start the next set I will take step by step photos and share a little tutorial with you all in case your present or your future holds some need for poofs of your own. This first set was an experiment and I learned some helpful things in the process.

The dress is in alterations, the Cinderella " something blue" shoes are back, bridesmaids have ordered their dresses, decorations have been decided, honeymoon booked, venue and photographer secure, and we have not even touched the tip of the iceberg that is the wedding fluff of it all!I have to show you the ceremony arrangements she has chosen, I love this idea!
I found four domed iron bird cages yesterday on clearance at Hobby Lobby, 66% off! Gotta love those markdown aisles! Thank you Hobby Lobby for making a little more room in our modest budget.

I am working on clips for the photo trees, will be weaving birds nest baskets for the flower girls to carry and scatter hydrangea blossoms from, weaving nests and sculpting a bride and groom bird to rest in the photo trees, and stringing chandelier crystals with pearls to dangle among the poofs. I am also playing around with some ideas for fabric floral chokers for the brides maids to wear and hair accessories for the flower girls. Well, I am off to make some more fluff and stuff, pinkie swear I will share!

I hope you all have a blessed and beauty filled weekend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

FOR THE LOVE OF BIRDS, BURLAP, AND BLOOMS...

Whats not to love about blissful birds song, rough nubby burlap, and beautiful blooms? I hope you won't mind if I send you skittering across blog land today to visit a couple of friends with some wonderful things to share. With the sunshine beaming brightly today and the snow melting off my thoughts have turned to spring. I long to see the plump robins clad in their red vests return. I am anticipating the first of the wild violets to appear on the hillside. I cannot wait to awaken in the predawn morning to the sound of bird song.
(Photo Source used with permission Life @ Ruff Haven)

If you are like me and would like to have a touch of spring before it gets here why not get your craft on with a wonderful bird inspired crafting session hosted by Marianne of Life at Ruff Haven. Marianne recently posted two wonderful tutorials, one doing a reverse bird image application to a journal (More Fun With Varnish) and the other of adding the image to the textural surface of burlap (A Little Word About A Bird On Burlap). Both of these mixed-media techniques could be added to a variety of projects to enhance your artwork. Marianne was so gracious to let me use images of her artwork. Thank you, Marianne, for the wonderful inspiration! I hope you too will enjoy visiting her.
Just in case you have not heard, there is going to be a wonderful celebration of spring at a brand new art event hosted by none other than Karla of Karla's Cottage! The event is called Bird Song and will be held at the infamous cottage/studio of Karla on the weekend of April 30 - May 1, 2011. Ask me am I dying to go to this intimate gathering of friends, artists, and teachers...YES! Ask me if I am swooning over the beautiful projects...YES! Ask me if I am participating...YES!, but only in a small way as a sponsor for the event.
I want to attend in person so badly, it is within easy driving distance and so affordable too, but things keep cropping up to deter my being there so I thought if I could not be there in person I could be there in spirit through promotion and sponsorship of the event. I began working on some bird and bloom themed tags and supply kits to send to Karla for all the students and teachers plus I will add a piece of artwork for the raffle. I can't think of a better way to sing in spring than to usher it in with the creative energy that is sure to be served up at Bird Song!Last but not least, I wanted to wish each and everyone of you a beauty filled love fest kind of day this Valentine's Day! I'll be spending my day with the bride to be picking up a newly dyed pair of blue shoes and having a fitting done on the wedding gown, looking for supplies to make invitations, buying more coffee filters for some serious wedding fluff, and meeting with the maid of honor to look at brides maids dresses. I am ever so hopeful for a quite evening of snuggling on the sofa with my Handy Hubby to round out the day.

Here is a sweet scented, pale pink and green tinted, blush of spring rose just for you, my Valentine friends...
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

GIVE AWAY WINNERS...

Thank you all so much for the sweet kinds words of encouragement that you left on my give away post. I love making things and sharing them with you. I also love blogging and sharing snippets of my world with you. I only wish I could make and send something to each and every one of you, I truly do. I can only hope that my words communicate how special I think each and every one of you are.

The Custom Random Number Generator has chosen the following winners:

The itsy bitsy baby boy shoe goes to...Leanne of Provoking Beauty!
The pretty pink baby shoe goes to...Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage!
The Lady Bird shoe goes to...Marcie of The Rustic Victorian!
The Nature Quotes Journal goes to...Susan of Susan deGeneres Studio!
The fabric Peace collage goes to...Lori of Katies Rose Cottage!
Congratulations to all the winners, please email me your mailing address and I will get your packages in the mail the first part of next week.

Even though I cannot make something for each of you I can give you something that you can make something with, some free images from a crumbling old volume of bound Godey's Ladies Books I bought at a flea market several weeks ago. The pages are very old and thin and even with a black backing behind them when scanned some of the back page shows through but it looks kind of neat and layered to me and I hope you will think so too. Just click, save, print and enjoy!
(FREE IMAGE)
(FREE IMAGE)
(FREE IMAGE)(FREE IMAGE)(FREE IMAGE)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PEACEFUL REFLECTION...

Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And Something you give away.

- Robert Fulghum -
I was perched on a stool in the studio watching the day unfold itself from sleep. The sun began to rise with a big gaping yawn, opening wide its full orb. My gaze followed its fingers as it stretched and reached out embracing the new day. I watched as it slid one fingered ray towards my window giving it a playful poke. It is a familiar morning game this chasing of shadows. A shadow slides across the wall, a sunbeam finger playing tag with it.

Peaceful thoughts settled themselves at the seat of my soul as I watched the play of light and shadow. My days have been a little topsy-turvy lately, busy in a good way, no time for stillness. The moments of idle silence were pure bliss. Quietness was upon me...Peace.I observed the intermingling play of light and darkness. Light touching darkness...Peace. Light over shadowing darkness...Peace. Light shining through the darkness...Peace. Light casting away dark shadows...Peace. There was an exquisite beauty of the two touching, for one would not be possible without the other.Sitting in quiet reflection I realized that peace is not something you wish for, it is something you make time for.

Peace is something you do, it requires that you halt all action for just a moment or two, longer if you can spare it, and just let yourself be.Peace is something you are, in spite of the shadows that might darken your days, peace is an internal ray that reaches outward and steadies you.

Peace is something you give away, a gift that you give to yourself, a pregnant pause from the stress, anxiety, or daily demands of life in which you simply sit quietly. Were it not for the shadows in my life, I would not so greatly appreciate the lightness of peaceful pausing. Quietness of time, ceasing of action, resting from thought, withdrawing from emotion, basking in stillness, noiseless reflection, to me this is peace.Flickers of Scripture flit across my mind:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have
peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Light overcoming darkness...Peace.


I could not have bask in the stillness more than a few moments but it was enough to center myself...To let quietness settle upon me...It gave me something to hang on to...And I knew the full lightness of its beauty would surround me as I began my day...I am wishing for you peaceful hearts and thoughts as you to pursue your day.

I am linking with Faded Charm White Wednesday.

Blessings,
Sandy

P.S. This fabric collage is one of the prizes for my 500th Post/Follower Give Away. There is still time to sign up, visit THIS POST and leave a comment, winners will be chosen on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.

Friday, February 4, 2011

AS AN ART PERSON...

A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, and extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.

- Victoria Scunda -
Conversations with her are beginning to take on so much more meaning. This one began with a simple silly question and answer session pinging back and forth through the air waves from one residence to the other. Tiny keys were being tapped and pings heard on both ends once messages were delivered, not my favorite way to carry on a conversation. I prefer face to face time, seeing an expression or catching a glint in the eye, the animation of a mouth in movement as it pours forth sound. I want to hear voices lilt in the rise and fall of emotion. I am a visual conversationalist.
But, not for the world would I have given up the few scant minutes in which this particular conversation took place. Of all the things she could have been doing or of all the people she could have asked, it was me she wanted an opinion from...as an art person. Nothing prepared me for the well of emotion those few scant words conjured up.
This was our cyber conversation:

*Ping Ping*

Hey, as an art person you might understand my question. What color are clouds?
(A devilish streak took over and I gave her the home school answer knowing this was not what she was seeking. Sorry, once a teacher always a teacher.)

From space clouds look white but the color changes when light is refracted through it like when they look pink at sunrise or gray in rain, since they are moisture they really have no color. Also the intensity of color can be due to the thickness of the clouds. Too scientific?

*Ping Ping*

Ha ha. I was looking for more of an artful view but right answer. Like, clouds are gray and blue and pink and yellow and plots of color.
Oh, let me try again.

Clouds are wisps of spun white sugar against a field of blue on a lazy summer day. Clouds are cotton candy pink in the early blush of the morning. Clouds are steel blue like the iron girders of a skeletal sky scraper on a gray winter day. Why?

*Ping Ping*

Better. I don't know, I heard it in a movie and wondered how many people would just say white.
Oh.

*Ping Ping*

I think of them as being gray and blue with a hint of yellow most of the time. It made me think of how a painter sees things. No color is just as it appears.
True.

The discussion continued as we discussed dutch painters and the Mona Lisa. The conversation concluded that we were in agreement, neither of us were big fans of the Mona Lisa.

I thought to myself, What just happened here? This was a whole new line of communication, a foreign form for me to be sure, but, a language she has fully embraced and she wanted me to experience it with her...texting. I never thought modern technology would be able to bring us any closer but I felt a shift from mother/daughter to friend/friend. This could have very well been a conversation between my best friend and myself.That one little phrase, ...as an art person..., kept ringing like a chime over and over in my mind. I sensed that this text session was underscored with meaning. Art, the creation of beautiful or significant things. Person, a human being or an individual. I was no longer just a mama who made things but a real art person, an individual, who created things of significance and had an opinion of value that she wanted to share.

While texting will never be my favorite form of communication this will remain one of my favorite cyber conversations, the day my daughter saw me as something other than a mother and the day I saw her as something other than a daughter, we are friends.

P.S. The photos in this post are of a piece of jewelry my daughter made. The past few Monday afternoons we have spent together in the studio, I as her teacher and she my student, making a variety of fabric flowers. She loved the necklace I made her for Christmas so much she wanted to learn how to make them herself, this is her first effort. I think she did an amazing job and she is a pretty amazing person too!
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