Saturday, August 4, 2012


This week, the one that begins with my mother's birthday on July 29 and ends with the anniversary of her death (five years this year) on August 5, has the potential for being rocky every year. I say "potential" because these things vary. Some years it's okay. Others, not so much. Sometimes bracing yourself for it just means it pops up somewhere else. I still have a lot of big, yucky feelings, understandably. To add into that, my 96-year-old grandmother was discharged last weekend from the hospital to a nursing home--the same one, actually, in which my mother died. When I visited my grandmother in the hospital I really thought, well, I thought I'd better tell her whatever I needed to tell her, and I did. Last weekend we brought the kids to see her in the nursing home--this is her third rehab stint there, all after hospital stays--and my oldest looked drawn. He remembers just enough of visiting my mother there. But we visited again on Thursday and he noticed right away how much better she seemed. She sat up and visited with us, enjoyed the kids, and she and I joked and laughed together. I felt so much better after that visit with my grandmother.

And despite the sneaking feeling that I spent a goodly part of the week lying on the couch in a heat- and inertia-fueled stupor, that's just not so (although there was some of that, too). We began the week by taking the kids to Watch Hill's Flying Horse Carousel. This was my daughter's first ride on the carousel.

While she was riding she was almost solemn. She smiled when we waved to her, but otherwise, I think she was just quietly soaking it all in. After her two rides were over and I went to help her off her horse, she didn't even say anything (unusual for this talkative girl), she just wrapped herself around me and hugged me tightly, so overcome, I think, with absolute excitement and joy. That ride was just so wonderful she was rendered speechless.

Later in the week I took the kids to the zoo, and later still, the oldest, youngest, and I painted rocks. My daughter had been asking to paint rocks again so on a hot hazy afternoon, we did. My oldest and I took our inspiration from an activity in My Art Book, which I borrowed from the library. It's based on Australian dot paintings from the Balgo Community--but really it's just taking the technique of painting dots and transferring it to rocks, not trying to reproduce the traditional paintings (which would give me pause). My son opted to paint a turtle but without the extra layers of dots; since he was painting a local turtle that already has spots, he kept his dots to the shell. I decided to paint a snake and go all out with my dots.

This was just super fun to make. And since I have acrylic varnish on the shelf (what don't I have, I wonder), I made it shiny. I want to make more--and even though we have rocks aplenty, I couldn't help but bring more home from the beach today, to become more animals, more shiny rocks, more brightly colored happy things.

Which is why I also painted this:

It's on a 6x6 gessobord, in need of a frame. It's a fragment from a favorite poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot. (I have also embroidered this fragment on my jeans.) I was trying out some different Pages + Paint techniques here, although no collage. It's just a happy piece, created to make me happy.

In the same vein as beach rocks and mermaids, this week I received a sweet little package of sea glass and driftwood from Cameron at Paint Myself Pretty.

The bag is shiny so it's hard to get a good picture of all the goodness inside, but it's also so pretty with that sticker and all that I haven't been able to make myself tear into it yet, even carefully. I'm just enjoying looking at it the way it is. But soon I will pour the sea glass into a little bowl and put it on the table so I can just look at it and enjoy it all. Thanks, Cameron!

And I've been working on my Ravellenic Games lace:

I've been trying to do a repeat per day (64 stitches times a 24-row repeat). The pattern says it took 15 repeats to get a 60-inch scarf, but my gauge must be different, because even with stretching, I don't think that will happen. That length right there is eight repeats. So while I may meet my Olympic goal of a repeat per day, I don't think I'll be done with the scarf at that point. I want to use every bit of that skein of lace weight. It's really pretty stuff, too. Here's a close-up; unblocked, of course.

So that's been the week, pretty much. Posting may be spotty for the rest of this month; we'll see how it goes. Pages + Paint had me in the computer a bit more than I wanted to be in July, trying to contribute to the discussions on the blog, in the Flickr group, and in the private forum. I'm feeling I need to counter-balance that and step back a bit (so much so that for two days this week, the laptop was not only off, but shoved under my bed so I couldn't even see it). Summer feels like it's slipping through my fingers, and I'm not quite, not quite ready.

What good things snuck into your days this week?


Jen said...

All of this sounds so fun! I love the idea of painting rocks. I just put My Art Book on hold at the library (the whole time I was searching I was hoping your's wasn't the only copy in the state. It's not! :-) The lace is looking gorgeous. I love the yarn! We have been so busy these last few weeks that we haven't had a chance to be home and get really creative. I miss it. Hopefully this week we'll be able to slow down a bit and try out some things. I'm feeling restless because of it!

Donna Lee said...

I have the gold painted rocks my girls made. One of them (shaped vaguely like a frog) is on my desk at work. One of my large rocks has little rocks glued to the top of it like a Mom carrying her babies.

August is slipping by so fast. I haven't been to the beach yet. It's been so hot that the idea of driving down there is not pleasant.

Maybe one day in September we'll make it. I don't need the amusements or boardwalk, just the water and the sand.

Cameron said...


I came by to let you know I got your wonderful box of shells...and the pretty candle, too!

Thank you so much. You're right, the purple ones are surely amazing. I'll have to find something fun to do with them :)

I'm so glad you are enjoying the sea bits I sent you....even if they are still in the bag...haha!

I'm loving the painted rock...I bet the turtle your son made was cute. Can't go wrong with turtles ;)

Please take care :)

Bells said...

something kicks in in August - I remember it's a tough month for you.

I hope if you keep making colourful pretty things it will soothe you through the sadness. Loved the Eliot piece.

lamina@do a bit said...

So sorry about your mum... I lost mine 8 years ago end of March... so that time of year is hard for me! I always feel better when March is over! Hope you feel better soon too :)

How absolutely gorgeous about your daughter and the carousel... awww Love it!

Love the rock and scarf... lovely!

Rose Red said...

These kinds of anniversaries are not easy. And you've reminded me my dad would be 81 in a few days time. But how lucky you are to have had the chance to tell your grandma what you needed to say.

Loving the painting - must remember to paint rocks with Connor one day.

And the merry go round story is lovely. I always loved the merry go round - I never wanted to go on the more "violent" rides - the horses were my favourite.