Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Santa and His Friends

I took an extra long Thanksgiving weekend to take a painting class offered by a lady who is a wonderful artist. She paints using oils. There was a really cute painting of hers that I saw at an art show and I loved it so much, but I couldn't afford to pay $200 for it, even if it was in a frame. On a whim, I wrote down her phone number and called her just to see if she might teach painting classes, hoping in the back of my mind that she taught that particular painting or would at least be willing to teach it.

I called her and I couldn't believe my luck. She does indeed teach painting classes and she told me that she had taught that painting before. The sad part is that she only teaches during the day when I'm at work, and she wasn't interested in teaching on the weekends. I was so sad until I remembered that I had asked to take a couple days after Thanksgiving and realized I could go and learn how to paint it then. That's exactly what I did yesterday and Monday. I had the best fun, and I learned some new painting techniques that I hope will open up a whole new world of painting for me. To think I've been doing it the hard way for so long, and found this new easier, much more fun way of painting.

The above picture is actually a photo of the painting that she did. I have not finished mine yet. I'm about half finished with it. I'm definitely learning new things as I go along. I'm excited about it and and hope I can work on it some this week or this weekend.

I went by A.C. Moore yesterday and they have 16 x 20 canvases on sale for $3.00. I bought two in hopes of doing a couple more paintings. I hope to learn much more. I have to learn and you only learn by doing, so I'm really looking forward to it and having fun.

I told her that if I didn't have to work full time I would be there every Monday and Tuesday because that is just right down my alley. It would be so much fun to be able to go two days a week and paint for 4 hours each day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Needlework Memories

This morning on the way to work I started thinking about how I first became interested in needlework. It wasn't from my mother because she never did needlework except when she was much younger. Something must have changed for her after she grew up and got married. She was never interested in any kind of needlework after that. What I would give to have all those pieces she embroidered as a young girl. I really grieve over that sometimes. I really love heirloom pieces and especially something that my mother might have embroidered or made. It makes me sick to think that somewhere down the line someone who was going through some things after a death, just carelessly threw them away or gave them away.

I first became interested in needlework when I was in junior high school in Home Ec class. They called it Home Economics back then. I don't know what they call it now, or if they even have such a thing. One day I went into class and I saw a good friend of mine making an afghan. It was white daisies and she was crocheting them together. I was immediately intrigued and knew this looked like something I might be interest in, so I told her how beautiful I though it was and asked her if she would show me how to make it. She did, and I went on to make one and I even showed my grandmother how to make one. She ended up making a bedspread size.

Back then in the mid to late 60's everything was daisies and granny squares. To make this afghan you had a small round daisy loom that had little spokes sticking up all around it. You wound your yarn around and made a daisy flower and then you made a center for it. So what you would have is a white flower and a red center. You would make lots and lots of these daisies and, the best I can remember, you would crochet them together using a chain stitch. You could also have a yellow daisy with a dark green center and crochet them together with a darker contrasting color. They were very pretty. I've seen a few daisy looms recently, but not quite in the same shape. The ones I saw had a more square shape. I think I've seen them in some catalogs like maybe Herrschners or something like that. I did a Google search this morning and what do you know, I guess they still make them. The only difference is that this one is blue and mine was yellow, which was a popular color back then.

The sad part is that over the years I lost the daisy loom and I also can't find the afghans that I made or the one my grandmother made. It was given to me when she died and I can't find either one of them. I think they are probably packed away somewhere, but I've moved so many times over the years, I fear they may have accidentally been given away. I guess that doesn't say a whole lot for someone who is supposed to value heirlooms, does it?

Maybe I'll buy a daisy loom and make a small afghan using today's colors, just for old times sake.