Monday, December 28, 2015

Turning 80

It's hard to believe I turned 80 yesterday (December 26), given my impression of what 80 looked and acted like up to this point in my life. Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised at reaching this age, since my parents lived to 89 and 91. I was loved by a wonderful man for 57 years; I have two children who make me proud. My art brings me pleasure and lets me express my love of all things. And music. Shortly before my dad died he said, "oh, what would we do if we didn't have music?" I laugh at this often, especially when hearing an organ at full volume, remembering how his tastes stopped many decibels lower.
I suppose it is natural to be philosophical at milestones such as birthdays and year ends. This statement that my daughter quoted on Facebook recently really caught my attention: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I like that. . . it seems to be a good way to live these next several years. With my cats.
Elizabeth, Rah-Rah, Tarbaby at 6 months old sharing a box

Tarbaby, Rah-Rah, Elizabeth at 2 years old sharing the headboard

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Decorations with the Cats

Christmas decorations get more simple each year. My cats thought the Santas were especially for their enjoyment, and I found each one snuggled up on Santa's robe at one time or another. 
Rah-Rah often visited the nativity set, perhaps because it was on the table by her favorite window. She still is fascinated by the moving objects on the computer screen.
Elizabeth loves to lie on her back with her front legs stretched out, hoping for a tummy rub.
Lest it seems I took a holiday from quilting, here is a child's quilt I made from nine Bingo "cards" our guild made and played with in November. I also made a baby quilt for my next great-grandson Knox Kuykendall (due in January) and one for my great-niece Peyton Rose Woodland. But these were delivered or mailed before I remembered to take pictures.
The Bingo blocks were made in five colored rows using different types of fabric. Instead of B-13, N-40 or G-55, the caller said Yellow-floral or Green-paisley or Blue-solid. We paid money into our Children's Quilt fund and will make quite a few quilts from the Bingo "cards" that were made. See Pine Belt Quilters blog for November and December for more Bingo pictures.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Mule Barn wins 2nd place in SMAA art exhibit

It's always affirming to win a ribbon in an art show, especially when competing against several other types of work. Our South Mississippi Art Association's annual show was held this weekend, with 110 pieces entered. My work goes in the "Other" category--meaning not oil, not watercolor, not photography, not drawing, not sculpture, not wood, not pottery, not stained glass. So "Other" contains mixed media, collage, fabric art, digital art, and anything that doesn't fit elsewhere. A second place ribbon is a big win in this stiff competition. A large mixed media collage by Andrea Kostyal won 1st place.

The Mule Barn, 24" x 36"
The Mule Barn depicts a section of the Ag Museum in Jackson. Five sections will be stand-alone pieces but can be displayed together to create the entire scene. Five artists are working on the piece, pictured below. My section is second from the left.
Here is an in-progress picture while decisions were being made about how to approach the piece.

Elizabeth was my constant helper

Thursday, December 3, 2015

And It's Already December

Last month my quilt guild (Pine Belt Quilters) played Bingo using fabric "cards" we made in colored rows, so instead of hearing B12 or G55, we heard calls like Yellow Batik or Blue Floral. I assembled nine "cards" into a children's quilt with screaming chartreuse sashing and black cornerstones with tennis shoes for the border.
We hosted Susan Cleveland for a workshop, and I finished the project started there. Sometimes the busy-ness of the season makes us forget that we actually got something done.
I enjoyed heading up a group from my church in making two new felt cutaway banners to celebrate the blessings of the fall season. They are 96" long and 48" wide and hang beside the baptistery. These are felt over netting, allowing the bricks to show through. The designs are by Fashions by Sarah and are the same type we made last fall for advent. The four advent banners can be seen here.

I made a trip to Dallas to visit my son and his family the weekend before Thanksgiving. Brittney, my oldest granddaughter, is expecting a baby boy next month, and there was a shower for her. Lots of pictures. One of my favorites is of the six sisters, with photos standing in for Kelsey (at Oklahoma Baptist University) and Katelyn (married living in Michigan). L to R: Kiesha, Kaley, Brittney, Christy.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a dedicated cat lover, but that little dog in Dallas really won my heart. Meet Willow: