Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Few Words About My Mom...

Today is Mothers Day and I'm thinking about my mom, who passed away in 2007. We had a really wonderful relationship and we spent a lot of time laughing together.


When we went shopping, usually at TJMax or Marshall's, off-price stores where we looked for bargains, we'd frequently get into fits of laughter as we pulled out improbable outfits for each other. We always ate lunch at Papa Gino's, where a seafood salad sandwich was our preferred choice. We had little rituals that were simple and fun. She was always grateful for our "days out".

At the age of 85, she was in rehab, after suffering two aneurisms which caused bleeding in her brain, she still made an effort to look at the humor in every situation. After surgery and a month in rehab, there came a day when she must have felt herself slipping away. She told me that she was going on a "big adventure", and that she was going to see my dad, who had died a few weeks earlier and "boy, is he going to be surprised!" My tears were mixed with laughter and I was devastated when she died the next day. My support, my rock and my partner in crime was gone - such a huge loss!

The day had gone dark and rainy, but very soon after mom had died, my niece Amy looked out the window and called over all of our family members who had gathered to see a beautiful rainbow in the sky! It was amazing timing and I do believe it was a sign that my mom had indeed begun her "big adventure".

I just felt like I needed to write about this today.
I hope everyone who is a mom, has a mom or memories of her mom, is enjoying a wonderful day, as I am.

Smiles...
   Judy


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring is Springing!

Today is a perfectly beautiful New England spring day! Our cats are lounging in the sunshine on the porch - their favorite place. When we got them from a shelter several summers ago, we made the porch their temporary home, with the screen door closed to the rest of the house. We spent a lot of time out their with them, keeping them contained while they let off some of their wild energy! After a month we brought them in, but they've always claimed the porch as their own, loving the afternoon sun.



Outside, the forsythias make a bright hedge against our neighbors' white fence, and the trees are sprouting their spring green leaves. This year, for the first time, I'm seeing some orangey blossoms among the yellows. Maybe the colors are extra bold because of the looong dreary winter!!



And when I arrived home a while ago, I was greeted by the once a year appearance of wild violets in the front lawn. I just love them.


This week I'll be buying some perennials for our front stairs and my container garden in the back yard.
Thoroughly enjoying the season!

Hope you're having a great week!

Smiles...
   Judy




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wish I knew more...

I've been fighting with my computer for an hour, trying to do a new blog header! I don't know enough about photography and editing and I'm really dissatisfied with this latest one. I tried it with a black print background and added the words using Picmonkey, but it ended up looking like a big storm cloud on top of my blog!


I could really use a Photoshop course, but meanwhile I'll plug away and probably try a new approach in the next few days.

My life has been full of creativity lately. I'm counting my blessings that I have so many opportunities around me. I belong to a great Arts Collaborative and we had our Spring Show last week. I had only one new picture in it, along with some older ones…


I also belong to a fabulous stitching group which meets one morning a week. Each person is working in a different medium, it seems, and I've been inspired each and every week I've been there. We're all women, and there's lots of conversation and laughter, too.





A friend from my art classes, Rosalie, had an opening for her show of vegetable paintings last week at Create Artisan Studio, our local hub of creativity. Rosalie is on the right in this photo, and on the left is AnnMarie, the owner of this fabulous place. My exhibit will take place here in June. Love it here!








Here's a vegetable-themed doll Rosalie made in one of our classes!


And, as always, our art classes with Amy Ropple, whom I admire so much, continue on. My creativity has increased greatly since I started taking classes - quilt collage, drawing, paper mache, beading, fiber studio - and often we have the handsome Cairo, one of Amy's parrots, on hand to entertain us.


At the moment I'm working on this little beaded doll, just for fun. I'll share a better picture when she's done.


Hope your week is going well and that you're finding time to be creative, too!

Smiles...
   Judy




Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I hope that everyone who celebrates Easter is having a very nice day.

I received some unexpected flowers yesterday from my nephew, whom I've been helping out by caring for my sister, his mom, who is in rehab after a fall. Thoughtfulness likes this makes tough times go so much more smoothly.





And today, although my husband and I are having a low-key day, I'm wearing this pretty pin given to me by a friend Debbie on Valentine's Day. It reminds me of something my mother would wear, and Debbie did buy it in an antique shop. So pretty and given with love.


I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful friends. Later this week I'll be going to a quilt show in New Hampshire with a few of them and I'll be sure to take some pictures to share!!
Hope everyone is having a creative weekend!

Smiles...
   Judy

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Happy April!

I've been away from my blog for way too long and I miss it. There's a lot going on in my life right now and I've felt pretty scattered, but I want to get back to posting some of the creative things I've been working on. I have to admit, I'm very fortunate to belong to a few circles of very creative people. I'll write about them as the month goes on.

For today, here's a little watercolor painting I did this morning. I was in an art supply store recently and just couldn't resist a box of watercolor pans, like the set I had as a kid, but with twice as many colors!
I knew I had a busy day ahead so I took a few minutes to do this. The centers are made with dimensional paint.


And yesterday, as I prepared a little Easter gift for a friend, I realized I didn't have a gift bag, so I took some time to make an easter basket out of scrapbook paper and paper punches. Pure arts and crafts, but so much fun!



I'm finding that just the act of being creative, no matter what the project, increases my sense of joy and well-being each day. Tomorrow I'll be going to a stitching group I recently joined and tomorrow night is my textile studio class. Sitting and stitching in these upbeat gatherings is a great antidote to some stress I've been dealing with lately. Creativity can be a blessing if we allow ourselves to enjoy it.
I hope to share more projects in the days to come. 

We still have snow on the ground, but I love the promise that April brings. Hope your month is off to a good start.

Smiles...
   Judy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Silver Linings

February has been a difficult month here in New England.
 I've lost track of the number of snow storms we've had, 
which have left us with piles of snow,


and ice dams on our roofs (this is not my house),


which have resulted in many leaks inside the house.




Needless to say, many of us, including me, are feeling a bit bleak about the weather
as we look to the home repairs we'll be facing in the spring.

But today, when I was out driving, I noticed that beyond the dirty snow
there was a beautiful azure sky.


When I had parked the car, I took more notice and spent a few minutes
just looking up. So much beauty right above my head!




And I thought back to this paper cut I had posted on Facebook a couple 
of weeks ago, reminding us of how much worse it would be if snow were black!


Silver Linings…!

Hope your February is going well!

Smiles...
     Judy


Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow Day

It is a very snowy, blustery day here in New England, and the new, rapidly
 falling snow is adding about a foot to our already high snow banks.
Children have the day off from school, my husband is working from home,
and I am building fused fabric trees on a teflon sheet on my dining room table.
This will later be lifted up intact and placed on an in-process landscape.
I'm hoping that the different colors will add dimension to the tree.



Outside our front door, the snow has totally blanketed our front walk
and post lamps on each side. This will be a job for the snow blower!


In the backyard, the snow is building up against the fence. The photos
don't capture the swirling snow as it falls, but it is accumulating rapidly.


I hope that all of my blogging friends are cosy and warm,
wherever you are.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Smiles...
    Judy