30 May 2010

23 May 2010

Magpie May Ten



The last time I walked into an antique store before this month was November of Nine. There are a couple of reasons. I tend to binge on antique stores. Having gone into one, I fret about what I might be missing in all the others. It is usually a flurry of visits followed by return trips to buy that thing I couldn't get off my mind. After a wild week of shopping, I have too much stuff and that feeling of 'ahhh, ughh, shouldna' done that.'

Also, from January through April, I emptied my mother's house. She lived there 49 years and while I have mentioned this before, I will say again, I did it single-handedly in a flurry of fear and anger, driven to accomplish it before mother died. Now it's a blur and I do not know how I did it. I got rid of things I would buy. I just sort of did not want my mother's things. To be sure I kept more than I know what to do with, but not more than a full car load really. It has too much ennui associated with it.

But now, just a month later, I am back to buying other people's crap. And here is how that started. I took just one hit, a trip to the school estate sale. I thought "maybe someone brought in some sewing notions." I spied with my discerning eye the a cardboard box. It was filled over flowing with bags of buttons sorted into colors.


Indulge me.

White, pink, ochre, coral, crimson and black...



Be reverent and enjoy the plate of teal buttons.


And this little dear gal who sorted all her buttons into colorways also saved....
bless her heart....
her buttons cards.


And friends, four dollars later, all of the above was mine. I am glad they went to me because I do believe I share that little lady's joy in these buttons right along beside her.


A stolen hour last weekend with Sparkle the Esquire and I own these matchbooks. Why?
Not sure but Kimmie bought the other bag and I had to have them.
That is a 1969 copy of a 1908 Sears catalog. And a chemistry text, of course.


Also a cool box of blocks with which I could spell Thomas.


And May's last booty...


I will sit with mother today and make a necklace from those beads.
Why does someone else's junk offer up possiblity while my own childhood stuff just holds melancholy?
I guess that question is the answer...

16 May 2010

Get a Hobby She Said


Five months. Five long months. Betty Jean has been my primary focus for five straight months. She requires 24 hour supervision and assistance. I was on death watch for the first four months. I asked her doctors for Hospice and both said no. I was shocked. She is so chronically sick and weak and needs constant care. I realized she is chronic, ill but stable. She continues to decline but its pretty slow. This is the new normal. She has quite a bit of time left. She needs increasing care and assistance. Now what? Do I continue to provide 100% of my efforts to her, or is it time to turn my attention to my husband and daughter? We need a little more balance. I knew it this was coming. I knew mother was aging and there is only one way that story will end. But the details are a mystery. Of course they are. I guess I thought the decisions would be more obvious. She lived her life small, slow, steady. Her decline is small, slow and steady.


Five long long months ago, I told my husband to get a hobby. I knew my priorites would be mother and my child and since he is a big boy, he would have to go on the back burner. No it isn't fair but there is only so much attention to go around. And I need it from him. Harsh, maybe. True though. So I said "husband, get a hobby not a girlfriend."


He did.

He has a very full-time job. He leaves every morning at 6:30 and walks in at 6:20. Every day. Also he has had two weeks off since I have known him. Work is his life. During his off time, he works. He enjoys work. So his hobby involves work of course. He loves wood and was a carpenter before his current career. He started with reclaimed barn wood which he loves to work with. Beams and flooring. He uses it for his own projects and sells to others.


Barn doors. Architectural items.


Buckets of hardware.


Furniture.


Okay, husband. Enough already.

And yet there's more.

He has been such a foundation of strength for me while I have been a bit unpleasant at times. Also, I want everything from his hobby for myself.

12 May 2010

Willing Heart


I received another unsolicited gift. This from Renee. While she lives in northeastern Oklahoma, we met in classes at an Oklahoma City paper store (still can't get on their email list, wth?). She also went to Silver Bella last November. She kept to herself. I just figured Jemellia and I were a bit much for her. I mean, some people don't want to have a margarita while they eat key lime pie. That is what being with Je and me is like, I think. It's a...lot.

I ran into Renee in a class a couple of weeks ago. I love seeing her. I guess because she is nice, seems a little mysterious and also seems mature. Like a grown-up. Centered? Yes, that's it. I love that in people, right? I took a picture of her train case. She had this beautiful embroidery piece there. Look, you can see a little bit of each of us in this photo.


Then, I received a mysterious package a couple of weeks ago.


Inside was this box with an embroidered top.
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.


A note I will not reveal was something about going through the contents of this box. Curiosity. Distraction. The things we need when under stress, in crisis, hurting.
Renee knows.


 Here are a couple of things from it.


I haven't gone through it.
I just want to take my time. Be with myself. And curiosity. And feel close to Renee.
Who is less of a mystery and yet, even more interesting than ever...

One thousand thank-yous, Renee.
I receive the sentiment, labor and love.

06 May 2010

04 May 2010

How A Hot Tool Releases Stress


We all need to focus on meditative tasks that bring us to our center, right? Especially in turmoil and stress we must. I must. I have been working on it and there are a few things that make me feel better. I tend to project to someday how nice a vacation would be. Someday I would love to have a margarita and sunshine and time.  But, someday rarely happens and today is the one that needs help. Someday is just fine out there all by itself, dreamy and tan. Today needs the lift.


One of the things I do to find some peace is make lists of what needs to be done. Making my list clears the circling, disorganized thoughts. Marking an item off the list pulls that pendulum a little more to the middle. The other thing which helps is busy hands. Busy, creative hands especially. I recently learned a new skill and it has been so comforting. It involves a hot tool my friends, one very hot tool....


In March, my twirly, sparkle Kim suggested I take a soldering class with her. We did a whirlwind road trip to Dallas to Heather Ales' Soldering Class. Heather really knows her way around a hot tool. She knows how to work it and how not to get burned. She taught us like the well trained Madam of the Tool she is. Here is my first piece.


Oh and there's Charlotte Perez, vital, vivacious, a bit of a vixen. Oh I like her...



Of course home, alone, I struggled. BUT the great thing about soldered charm making is there are many steps. It only takes a few minutes to sit down with the images and blade (oooh, a sharp tool) and make small collages. Time and energy have been so limited around here that my wee collages themselves have been such a respite. You can accomplish something really sweet in such a little time.


I have had three soldering sessions and have come up with these charms.


Here are a couple completed necklaces.


Here is my favorite. I have always been drawn to chairs. Perhaps I just like sitting but mostly it is about form, function and textile.


I used images of my old button cards for the back and some encouraging words meant to be worn against the skin.


I hope I have made Heather proud. I know I am.

Thanks for the new skill Heather, what a pleasure it is.

That's what she said...
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