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!   :D

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)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.   :D

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Day 019

Day 033a

Day 033

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MMMonet, Page 1

I wish I had kept a record of how many hours I spent creating the pattern, measuring & binding the fabric, counting stitches & marking the pages on the fabric, and preparing the floss kit.  It felt like it took forever!!

Page 1:  116.75 stitching hours

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If you didn’t feel like sitting through the slide show, here is the beginning and (near the) end of page 1.  You can click on the images to see a larger version.   :)

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

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Day 018

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My Monumental Monet Project

I had surgery on my elbow in June, and took two months off to give my muscles and ulnar nerve a chance to heal.  No crafting for two months!!!  I almost didn’t survive!  By the last week of August, I felt I was up to stitching again, and I decided to tackle a new project.  A major challenge.  For real.  This is the biggest cross stitching project I have ever worked on.

I decided to create a pattern for my favorite painting.  (I apologize for the underwhelming photo; I took it myself when I was visiting a friend in NYC a few years ago.  Seeing this painting in person left me rather verklempt.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I could do little more than sit and stare at it with tears in my eyes.  It was a bit embarrassing.  I swear, ya can’t take me anywhere!)

The Manneporte (Étretat) by Claude Monet, 1883

The Manneporte (Étretat) by Claude Monet, 1883

Anyhow, I did manage to create a pattern I was satisfied with.  I’m using fabric that is 25 stitches per inch and the finished stitched image will measure 18 inches wide by 14.5 inches high.  I will use 169 different colors to complete 162,000 stitches.  Just for a comparison, Stitchin’ Richard had 89 colors and 26,100 stitches.

Floss Kit

My floss kit for The Manneporte (Étretat) 1883

My working pattern covers 24 pages.  This past weekend, I finished a 4th page.  That gives me nearly 32,000 stitches done.  (That is more work done in the past 3 months than it took me over 3 years to do on Stitchin’ Richard!!!)

I’ve been taking pictures of my progress at the end of each stitching day.  I’m hoping to post a slideshow each time I finish a page.  I’ll post the first one in a few days – after I relearn how to do the slideshow!   :D

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Hair today….

Donate tomorrow!

This weekend, I took my boys to get haircuts, and decided it was time.

Braid2

Yup!  I told the stylist to whack it off!!  I’ve got a 13.5 inch long braid ready to ship off to Locks of Love.

Before n After3

It sure feels good.   :D

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Please please oh please!

Wandering aimlessly around Barnes & Noble the other day, I came across a Funko Pop! figure display.  (I always get a kick out of those dolls – doesn’t matter what show / movie they’re from.  Yeah, I’m just a big kid at heart!)  One figure caught my eye….not because of the figure itself, but the possibility it might represent!

Funko Pop! TV Hannibal “Will Graham” 149. Apologies for my poor photo. lol

Oh, I was never so happy see a doll in a straight jacket!  Lmao! That sounds terrible, doesn’t it?  When I got home, I looked to see how many Pop! TV Hannibal figures were available.

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Hannibal collection image tweeted by @BigBadToyStore

I got to thinking….hmmm…what if…???  Nah….he’s just a minor character….

Then yesterday, Zan sent me a link (thanks, Z!!) to an interview with Bryan Fuller dishing spoilers about Hannibal Season 3.  And I saw this:  “Richard Armitage’s Dolarhyde will be treated more like a third lead character than a supporting player in the season’s second chapter.”

Oooh!  I got to thinking again (a dangerous past time, I know)!!  If he’s like a lead character, do you think they might just make a Francis Dolarhyde Funko Pop! figure??

Please, please oh please, Sir/Madam Funko Pop decision maker person!!  Please let this be a thing!  I would even be happy with a doll with gnarly teeth (I’d prefer the tattoo, but I’d settle for teeth)!

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