Bzzzz bzzzz bzzzz

I’ve been a busy bee!  Quilting and sewing up a storm!  We’re preparing for a trip to Florida and Tennessee, and I had some gifts to finish up before we go.

One of my nephews had requested a pillowcase with dragons, so I made one for him.  His little brother is all about the camo, so he is getting a camouflage pillowcase (I hope he doesn’t lose it!!  lol).  The middle brother has no preferences, so I picked blue flames for his pillowcase.

Pillowcases

My sister has a new grandson.  Boy2 wanted to help me make him a quilt, so we put together some flannel blocks.  Boy2 did rather well.  😀

Colin quilting Zs Quilt

On the other side of the family, another great-niece was born in February, so I made self-binding receiving blankets.  Receiving Blankets

Her little cousin (the preemie born in January***) is getting a quilt.  Her mama has referred to her as “my little gummy bear” since before she was born, so naturally the quilt has gummy bears on it!

GummyBear Quilt

Boy2 also helped me make a little tote bag so he could carry around our iPad.  I love the colors!Tote
I also prepped 500-ish hexagons in patriotic themed fabrics for a hand-piecing project to keep me busy while on vacation.  This is what it should look like when it is finished:

Patriotic Hexes

I have not had time to work on MMMonet at all this month.  I plan to get back to it once we’ve returned home.  😀

*** Our little preemie is such a fighter!  She’s 10 weeks old now, and weighs 3 pounds, 2 ounces.  The nurses have removed her PICC line, and her ventilator, and started her on physical therapy.  I cannot wait to meet her!

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MMMonet Perspective

I was a bit too eager to publish that last post.  <wry grin>  I had other pictures I wanted to add!

This first picture gives an idea as to the size of the stitched area with four pages done:

IMG_1634a

This one shows the overall size of the project (the red line shows the outer border of the painting). Please forgive the wrinkles!!

Perspective1b

Hopefully, it will look something like this when it is done (fingers crossed!):

Claude Monet - La Manneporte (Étretat) smaller

At the end of February, I had completed paged five & six, and almost one-third of page seven.  I took the month of March to work on other projects that had pressing deadlines.  More on them, later!  :D

 

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MMMonet, Page 4

Sky, sky, sky!!!   Not just blue, but green, lavender, pink, yellow and gray!   So cool when you see them all together.  :)

I started this page on October 27 and finished it on December 4.

Page 4:  79.5 hours (14 stitching days)

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If you didn’t feel like sitting through the slide show, here is the beginning and end of page 4.  You can click on the images to see a larger version. 😀

Day 048

Day 048

Day 061

Day 061

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MMMonet, Page 3

I liked stitching this page because I could see the arch taking shape.  There is still quite a bit of rock, but there is more sky.  I like the contrast.  :)

I started this page on October 8 and finished it on October 25.

Page 3:  98.5 hours (14 stitching days)

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If you didn’t feel like sitting through the slide show, here is the beginning and end of page 3.  You can click on the images to see a larger version. 😀

Day 034

Day 034

Day 047

Day 047

 

 

 

 

 

Even though I’ve only posted 3 pages of stitching, I’ve almost finished my 6th pattern page.  I have maybe 8 hours left on it.  I’ve skipped several days in a row with this one.  Shoulder issues and other projects have taken precedence.

I’ve been working on a baby quilt and receiving blankets.  I’m a great-aunt again!!!  Our niece gave birth on January 18….almost 16 weeks early!!!  Mother and baby girl are both doing well, thank goodness.  This week, our nephew and his wife will be welcoming their second daughter.  So many blessings!!!  :)

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A wee bit melancholy

MomMy mother would have been 71 today.  She was killed in a car accident when I was eleven.  I was talking with my (younger) sister this morning and we were reminiscing.  I am always amazed that her memories are so much better than mine!  She will say, “Do you remember when…?” and sometimes I can recall the event but quite often I draw a blank.

DDC 1971

My mother holding me, holding my sister.

I think that is a defensive mechanism.  Some things I remember quite clearly.  For example:  My dad walking into our hospital room, still wearing his hunting gear, with an empty holster (a float plane had been sent out to collect him and his hunting partner the morning following the accident).  He sat on the edge of my sister’s bed and sadly told us that our mother had not survived the crash.  I folded my arms across my chest, looked him square in the eye and said, “I am not going to cry.”  Everything that followed – that entire year, in fact – is a blur.  I think that is a good thing.

I do have some happy memories of my mother:  She made matching clothes for me, my sister and our dolls – I still have my doll and one Matchy Matchyof her outfits. Mom came into my first grade class and taught us how to knit. In second grade, she helped me make a quilt for my sister. I taught myself to read when I was four and she always encouraged my love of books. Once when I was playing hide-and-seek with my sister and friends, Mom let me sit under her quilting frame  – she kept right on quilting and never did let on that I was crouched at her feet! She let me use her Tri-Chem paints to make pictures. She taught me how to make gooseberry pie and sourdough starter & how to deep-fry doughnuts. Mom never scolded when my sister and I brought tiny crabs home from the beach – she would just tell us to turn right around and put them back where they belonged. She brought newly hatched baby chicks into my fifth grade class so everyone could hold one. She showed me how to stuff the bodies of her Japanese dolls. She taught me to not be afraid to go into the chicken coop in the early morning to collect eggs when the Alaskan winter sky was as black as pitch. Mom loved working in her garden – she’d stay out there for hours and come in with a slight sunburn and wake up the next day as brown as a berry!

She had a great sense of humor and loved to tease.  One of my best memories is of looking into her face and seeing her beautiful smile and the twinkle in her eye.

My father was alone for a long time.  He remarried when I was nineteen.  My stepmother is a wonderful woman, and they are perfect for each other.  I’m glad he found her.  Awkwardly enough, my stepmother’s birthday is the same day as the anniversary of my mother’s death.  She doesn’t care to celebrate her birthday, but it *is* nice to have something pleasant to associate with that day.  :-)

Oh – one other thing I do remember about my mother.  Her favorite hymn was “Joy Unspeakable.”   When her friends were planning her funeral, they asked me for my mother’s favorite hymns.  I remember being angry that they refused to include it, because I felt it was the perfect song for her.

Joy Unspeakable by Barney E. Warren:

I have found His grace is all complete,
He supplieth every need;
While I sit and learn at Jesus’ feet,
I am free, yes, free indeed.

Refrain:
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.

I have found the pleasure I once craved,
It is joy and peace within;
What a wondrous blessing, I am saved
From the awful gulf of sin.

I have found that hope so bright and clear,
Living in the realm of grace;
Oh, the Savior’s presence is so near,
I can see His smiling face.

I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll;
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.

 

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Monet who? Impressionism? Wot?

I didn’t quite grow up under a rock (I grew up on a rock, well…a small island in the back of beyond..close enough) but I knew who Monet was.  He’s one of them there Impressionist fellas, yeah?  Dabs of paint on a canvas done in a hurry?  (No, I didn’t pay much attention in art class.  lol)

I didn’t look closely at any Impressionist work until I was working on completing my Richard Armitage DVD collection.  I watched The Impressionists as soon as my copy arrived. Here are some of my favorite screencaps (click to see ’em bigger):

Richard Armitage as Claude Monet in The Impressionists (2006)

Richard Armitage as Claude Monet in The Impressionists (2006)

RA Monet The Impressionists3

RA Monet The Impressionists2

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched it since then!  Not just for Richard Armitage and his frightening facial hair, either.  lol  I fell in love with the paintings.  Cézanne… Degas… Monet… Amazing!!

The Detroit Institute of Arts has one of my favorite Paul Cézanne paintings.  When I’m at the DIA, I always make sure to hang out with these guys for awhile.  :)

The Three Skulls

The Three Skulls by Paul Cézanne. c. 1900 (Detroit Institute of Art)

When I was visiting a friend in New York City a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend some time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I could have quite happily spent all day in just one or two of the galleries, but that would have been rude.  Gotta admire more than just your favorites, right?

Edgar Degas.  Such a talented man!  Click on the picture below to see more details – it’s one of my better photos!  😀

Edgar Degas

L-R: The Dance Class (1874); The Little Fourteen–Year–Old Dancer (model executed ca. 1880, cast 1922); Dancers Practicing at the Barre (1877) Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also has several paintings by Claude Monet, including my favorite.  The Manneporte (Étretat) takes my breath away.  I’d love to visit Normandy some day, just to see the view for myself.

Etretat, Normandy

Even if I don’t ever get to Normandy, I’ll have my own cross-stitched version of The Manneporte (Étretat) soon enough!  I’ve stitched five pages of my pattern now.  You can see MMMonet: Page 1 here and Page 2 here!

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MMMonet, Page 2

This second page is mostly rock, but there is sky at the bottom of the page.  The rock is extremely detailed.  Tons of colors and having to re-thread the needle after a stitch or two!  The sky is a nice change of pace.  Different colors (obviously) and not so many thread swaps.

I started this page on September 22nd and finished it on October 7th.

Page 2:  113.75 hours (stitched over 15 days)

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If you didn’t feel like sitting through the slide show, here is the beginning and end of page 2.  You can click on the images to see a larger version.  😀

Day 019

Day 019

Day 033a

Day 033

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