Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Willie Dixon Wilberforce My Easter Story

Let me introduce Willie Dixon Wilberforce, Baby Willie, Willie Boy, or Willie Bill. I have never had a cat with more nicknames. But when the cat is as sweet as Willie, they just pour out.
Two weeks ago, going on three weeks saturday morning, Mr Willie stopped eating. He would drink water but nothing solid. I tried all sorts of delicacies but no. I watched him get weaker and weaker. I bent everyone's ear telling them about Willie. One morning he was so weak, I had to accept the fact that he would not make it.
He lives in the shop and is happy there. I contemplated bringing him up to the house (Chester and Penelope be damned) but the last time I did that he peed on a loved carpet. And truthfully, if he was sick, he would be more comfortable in surroundings that he knew well. Daily I went to the shop with sadness and trepidation. But there he was in his little bed. He had drunk some of the water.
My vet is a very practical man. He said "Well, you know he is 18 years old and that is old for a cat. What do you want to do?" I took him home. Willie didn't seem to be in pain and I would sing to him and brush him gently. He loved it. I know that because he would purr the whole time.
Then, on Sunday, bright beautiful Palm Sunday, he ate some cream cheese. That evening he had some more. He is now eating as much as he used to. He is still old and still bent but he is still here.
Happy Easter
Happy Passover

Identity Theft?

Now, I ask you, is this identity theft or just like liking like?
I do indeed love black and white babies. They have more sparkle and personality. Not that I am prejudiced.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The "Middle Wife"

I received this very funny, poignant email from my cousin. It made me laugh and want to cry for the sweetness of the story.

The 'Middle Wife' by an Anonymous
2nd grade teacher

I've been teaching now for about
fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the
one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years
When I was a kid, I loved
show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them
get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet
turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I
never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it
in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.
Well, one day this little girl,
Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the
front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her
She holds up a snapshot of an
infant.. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his
'First, Mom and Dad made him
as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach,
and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella
She's standing there with her
hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder
with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.
'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my
Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh,Oh,Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back
and groans.. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now
this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and
'My Dad called the middle wife.
She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's
man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down
with her back against the wall.)
'And then, pop! My Mom
had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew
up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread
with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too
'Then the middle wife starts
saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe.
They started counting, but never
even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered
in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center,
(placenta) so there must be a lot of
toys inside there. When he got
out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in
Then Erica stood up, took a big
theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest.. Ever
since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case
another ' Middle Wife' comes along.

p.s. This is a photo of my darling niece's little girl, who is now nine!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Come Fly With Me

I got "captured" with the idea of having a purse for my passport and photo I.D., also added a pocket for a house or car key. On the cover I put a antique Chinese coin to represent going to foreign places. The moths represent flying at night. To me, flying at night (because I can't sleep on a plane) is really an adventure. The person is going into the unknown blindly.
The tapestry fabric is a recycled pillow. The cord is chenille but I had to dye the cord to work with the ash green of the tapestry.
I lined the top with a turquoise silk and the bottom (the holder of the necessary info) is lined with chartreuse silk. I do love working with silk. It is so responsive to the hand.
Now all I need is an itinerary and a place to investigate!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Love Affair

For as long as I have known this bush, every spring it becomes covered with luscious pink blossoms. The fragrance is heady. The color takes my breath away and I feel transported to another universe. The whole bush is covered by pink blossoms. Front, back, top and both sides. The bees come all day long to pay homage to its beauty and vitality. I cannot walk by without smiling.
It is overwhelming how Spring walks into my garden.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Russian Blue"

I call this fabric "Russian Blue". I really fell in love with this fabric. I kept touching and stoking the fabric and I felt I could make something interesting and worth using.
I have lined it with a very dark royal blue jacquard satin. Also, I made it for everyday use by making it large enough to hold a pocket book. The braided straps are made of black cotton and wood loops. The handle is of course bamboo.
The carving is a piece of Jadeite. The man said it was antique. It does look old and the red seed pods are from Cuba. I felt that the red set off the blue tapestry with just the right emphasis.
I had fun making it but there was a lot of hand work. Not my long suit. I need to buy more patience the next time I go to the fabric store.
This purse measure 14" x 14", not counting the handle.

Friday, March 12, 2010

First Day on the Job

This photo encapsulates the wariness of the first day on the job. You don't know how to act or where to put your feet but you are there!
This little guy is very serious and looks very carefully at life. He has yet to explain it to himself. And yet, when he knows that fun is coming his way, that wariness goes from his eyes and they become "Irish". The twinkle that is there is absolutely contagious. And you follow in the trail of fun.
He now has the tools to help his father remodel the house. And he already knows a lot about how tools work. As you can see, I am charmed by this guy and happy that he is part of my family. His name is Hollis!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I was discussing the word "product" with my darling niece. I think that word is very disparaging to effort of the artist. Many yeas ago, I heard Harry Connick Jr. tell his interviewer that he would have a new "product" out shortly. Now he is a man that has been entertaining since he was a young child and yet he could demean his gift by calling it a product.
Well, I don't want to do that to my efforts. This is the "product" of the last six weeks. I just enjoy the fact that this is the first time that I have been able to make three. I mean 3 purse in six weeks. Yeah!!!
I feel so "productive"!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Vintage Basket Purse

I found this vintage needle point about one month ago. I have been thinking about it from the day it came into my life. I offered it to my darling niece but she said that I should keep it. That presented a new set of problems. Should I keep it and use if as the pillow that it was intended or should I just feel free and cut it into the size I wanted? I have a hard time in cutting or changing a piece of work that someone else has crafted. Even though it is mine and even if it is old. I felt very daring and I went ahead and cut it to the size I wanted. I had been looking at one of my books about handbags and I was intrigued by the "basket purses" there were popular in the 1880's. I liked that idea. Even though I did not use a basket for the foundation, I did use a form the wrap the needlepoint around. The top, which is silk, does not close but it gives the impression of closing. The chain seems to enrich the colors of the needlepoint. It has changed from from my original concept but it always works better if I follow the flow. It is not a small purse. It measures 12" (top of silk) x 8" wide.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mental Stimulation

I subscribe to a site about cat's health. I was reading that all cats need mental stimulation. Cats are one of the most intelligent of animals. I have always known this but with two cats that chase each other around the house constantly, I didn't think that they would need stimulation. After a couple of days of thinking about this, I went on line to look for web sites for cat toys. They had become bored with the cat nip toys, balls and their cat tree. They like the tree most of all but they have begun to use it as a bed, rather than an exercise toy. Now, after seeing how much fun they are having, I will have to schedule purchases or make toys for them. Penelope can't stop playing. Chester likes the cat nip that I laced the card board scratching round. As I said before, Penelope really does know what looks good on her. She is a natural star, what charisma!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Clever Little Fellow

While looking for some papers, I came across this little Amber Frog. He is studded with tiny cabochons of Turquoise. Toward the end of my Uncle's life, he became very interested in frogs and their metamorphosis. My Uncle was spiritual and always optimistic. While I worked for him, he had been interested in butterflies, I imagine,for the same reason. He felt that we all had the potential of becoming better. He must have bought this frog to include in a piece of jewelry. Maybe on closer examination, he felt it wasn't fine enough. Or what I prefer to think, he was so charmed by this little fellow that he just held it in his hand to look at it. Being Amber, the hand would warm it and the energy of the stone would be able to communicate.
Regardless, Froggy is charming.