Tuesday, March 10, 2015

On My Heart

Hi Everyone!

It's Heart Strings Tuesday where I share something close to my heart, mainly the little ones that tug on it.  You know what I'm talking about if you have children or grands...they tug on your apron strings and then your heart strings, they are never too old to tug on your heart.  


My little grands are growing fast and changing right before my very eyes. We are blessed to have our two little girls, Sunshine and Lollipop living close by and we see each other every week.  My darling grandson, whom we affectionately nicknamed Calvin Houdini lives in Michigan. We Skype each week and keep up with his antics on FB.  Little Calvin H. will turn two in a few weeks! I can't hardly believe he will be two, and the girls will be 4 and 6 this summer and CH mommy is expecting a baby in August. These are my HEARTSTRINGS! 

The page above from my art journal is to commemorate the fun Sunshine, Lollipops and I had when we made Valentines last month.  The project was a valentine heart made from paper strips and cut out and pasted to a card for their parents.  We also punched hearts from scrapbook paper and added stickers to decorate the cards.  These are left over scraps from that craft project I've glued into my journal and then added a little border and some paint to gussy up the page.  Each time I look at this page I remember the special time we spent together laughing and having fun.  A priceless memory. 

My Granny used to tell me when our children were young that " they might be tugging on your apron strings now, but soon  they will be tugging on your heartstrings".  Enjoy your little ones while they are small, be kind, be patient, be loving....they are only small for a short period of time.  
And it is true....they never grow too old to be on your heart.

Love and Hugs,
Suzy

Friday, March 6, 2015

SPRING IS IN THE AIR

Hello Everyone!

Each day I watch the Weather Channel and check out the local forecast before heading out to work.  The weather in the North is still in deep freeze mode and it looks like Spring might be another six weeks or so for these folk.  We're starting to warm up here, with the weather in the high seventies and low eighties, everything is green but then it is always so in So. FL.  Always green, something we take for granted here, the flowers are always blooming and everything is green year-round.  Quite the contrast to our Northern friends.

Looking back to last Spring when my daughter and grandson were visiting....we had such warm weather



                                     for walks along the river




                                     for picnics in the park,



for walking on the River Walk under the bridge,



                           for a stop at a cute cafe on the river and


                            for a lunch downtown at an outdoor cafe.

Here's a foretaste of warmer weather in our neighborhood: 

A few weeks ago, walking through the neighborhood this is what I saw in bloom....

                                    my neighbor's climbing roses

                            orange trees in bloom (heavenly smell)

                                      the ever blooming hibiscus

                                                lemon trees

                                                 orchids 

It seems that Spring is in the air here in So. Florida.  We'll enjoy the Spring-like weather and in another month, about the time everyone else will be thawing out it will be time for air conditioning here.  I know, it's crazy isn't it?


I wish for our Northern friends a quick thaw and warmer weather!!! It's coming...just hang in there!  

Suzy




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sketching On The Porch


Hello Everyone!  

Here in Florida where I live, we generally think of January and February as the winter months, and March is Spring weather.  The way the weather patterns are going this year, I'm not quite sure what to expect.  The folks up north are REALLY ready for SPRING!  I hope it comes soon for you. 

Here are a few sketches made on my friend's back porch, it was a good day painting. I love the way a sketch and some watercolor can bring back memories, sights and sounds.  My dear friend had just lost her mother to Alzheimer's, we sat on her porch while we reminisced and tried to capture the essence of red roses from the memorial service.



 It was a quiet, sunny morning, we sat drawing and painting and looking at family photos. I love old photos and she had plenty of stories to tell about her mother and father.  It was great to see the styles of the day and see places I recognized from my childhood too! 


       A mother bird with her babies. 


The Coral Cactus was extremely hard to capture with its twists and turns and funky colors! But even so, this is one of my favorite sketches, wonky pot included. 

Last month  I shared with you two of my sketchbooks, one new sketchbook and a revamped sketchbook. Wish I could tell you that I've been sketching everyday in them but alas, it is sporadic sketching at best. Still it is my goal to get into the habit of sketching daily....

Working on that.  How about you?  Get out your sketchbooks and get busy!! I will..... if you will. Check back with you soon. 

Happy Sketching!
Suzy








Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blowing into March

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe it is the end of February already?  Or it will be soon enough, where exactly does that time go and why is is going so fast???  It's time for another Calendar page as we blow into March.

 I hope the weather is getting better for our friends in the northern states!  It's been cooler than normal here in south Florida but we can't complain about it considering what others are dealing with.

Looking forward to the Month of March which brings celebrations:

  • Little Calvin Houdini (Jackson) turns two this month AND  his Mommy is expecting another baby in August! Whoo hoo! We are delighted to have another grandchild!!!
  • Lenten Season has begun. 
  • St. Patrick's Day means its corned beef and cabbage time.
  • Palm Sunday will be celebrated in the park again this year. 
  • Easter is one its way! 

That means there is extra TO DO on Mimi's list:
I've just begun to knit a maternity top for my daughter and can't wait until she gets to wear it.  I'll be posting progress on the knitting in a few weeks and maybe have enough done for a photo.

Meanwhile there are lots of NOTES being made around here with up coming events:
I'll be filling in those blank spaces before you know it.  How's your calendar coming?  Keeping up?

Bee Creative!

Suzy


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

KEEP TRYING, AGAIN AND AGAIN

Hello Everyone!

Last month while working on a collage background for a Hawaiian style paper cutout of Palm Trees, it wasn't turning out the way I had envisioned it in my mind.   Does that ever happen to you?  You have a picture perfect idea in your head and it doesn't come out the way you planned.  That happens to me frequently enough that now I'm no longer surprised, and that's okay.  There was a time when something didn't turn out the way I planned and it would frustrate me to no end, but I've learned to keeping trying.  "If at first you don't succeed, then try, try, try again".  Who said that?!  W.C. Fields, that's who.  He also added another colorful line to that but I'll leave that up to you to Google <wink>.  


After the initial TRY I began to rework the background adding a bit of yellow ocher paint and it was soon clear that wasn't working, it was overpowering the palm tree design.  So I quit at that point, disappointed but knowing I'd come back to it sooner or later to TRY AGAIN. 

Trying again at this point is what some would call salvaging ....stripping off some of the background papers and using sandpaper on the rough edges of the remaining paper on the canvas I was able to add a layer of light back into the background, with just a touch of ocher. 



 Blending in the lighter colors with ocher seemed to give the right effect and no additional paper was needed to complete the background.   Gluing down the palm tree design was the final step and letting the whole canvas dry for several days before declaring it DONE. 

Don't give up on your collage or painting when things aren't working out as planned, just walk away and let it go.  Then come back later and try it again. There is always an "ugly" stage when I want to trash my work but I've learned to work through this by pushing through the ugly to the final stage of beauty. Sometimes the best laid plans don't work out the first time and that's when you must TRY, TRY, and TRY AGAIN.

Keep ON Trying and Happy Painting! 

Suzy

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Block Out The Cold

Hello Everyone,

It goes without saying that it has been a colder winter this year for everyone, even here in South Florida we've experienced our share of cooler than normal weather.  Burr, the cooler weather makes me want to nap, eat and repeat...but there's plenty to do in the studio and then there is also knitting. 





 I LOVE to knit and I love to look at patterns for knitting on Ravelry and I've signed up for two knitting classes on Craftsy this year.  

My best friend, Bonnie and I were talking the other day and she mentioned that she was starting a knitting group at her church.  Lots of people like to knit  smaller items like hats or baby blankets or shawls, but few like to knit large blankets. One thing is for sure, if you knit or crochet there is always LEFT OVER YARN from a project. 





 Bonnie came up with an idea to put that Left Over Yarn to good use and to get more people involved in making blankets.  Here's how: Knit or crochet one or two blocks, any size, any pattern from left over yarn and when enough blocks have been collected, we turn those into blankets for those in need.  A GREAT useful way to use up extra yarn, right? A great way to practice a new pattern and perfect your stitch gauge too! And a wonderful way to provide comfort and show Christ's love to others in a practical way.  


We got so excited talking about this that we came up with a name for the project: Block Out The Cold.  We think it would be a perfect project for churches and knitting/crocheting groups to participate in. What do you think? We have some great ideas but we need to spread the word....in church circles, in knitting groups, to crocheters and to quilters!  Everyone can jump in and help, and as the old saying goes: Many Hands make light work.  Would YOU be willing to spread the word to others about this Block Out The Cold project??  If so, please drop me a note in the comments or email.  

The Mission group returned from Guatemala and let me know that the hats were a BIG hit with the children!  

We are so pleased that the little bit we did brought such joy to the hearts of these children. 


Bonnie and I do hope that you will choose to join with us in helping to BLOCK OUT THE COLD by making a block or a hat to donate to the cause and by spreading the word to your friends.

Stay warm and Knit On!
Suzy



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Knitting On A Mission

Hello Everyone!

Late last summer in our church newsletter The Messenger, was plea for items of warmth for a village in Guatemala where our mission team was planning to visit in October/November.  The article was asking for donations of school supplies, blankets, hats, and other items that were needed for the families that live in less than ideal conditions.  As I read the article about the families I knew in my heart the need to use my God-given talent of knitting for this purpose. 

 I belong to Heart and Hands Knitters which is a group of ladies that knit prayer shawls for our hospitals, nursing homes, cancer centers, etc.  They also knit hats and baby blankets and other items for the needy.  While I've knitted prayer shawls and blankets, my forte is knitting newborn baby hats for the local hospital. 

But this one day reading that newsletter article I was convinced the need was not just a local one but a global one....to reach out beyond our neighborhoods and local communities to help others in need.

That afternoon as my BFF and I were chatting (via text) I mentioned the mission team was going to Guatemala and what was needed, immediately she was On Board and we determined that we would each knit x number of hats per week and make a donation to the mission! 


That's one of the things I love about my very best friend, she is generous and always willing to jump on board to help with any project.  She is a prolific knitter and has a huge stash of yarn, so she's my go-to gal when it comes to knitting projects, PLUS she's really into knitting HATS!  Our goal was to use leftover yarn and therefore reducing our stash while creating a variety of hat sizes that fit newborn to adult. 

It was a wonderful project that kept us busy, from late summer until October we knitted hats of all sizes and colors, it was a great way to use up leftover yarn.  



Yes,<wink> I did purchase yarn (after I used up a considerable amount of leftovers) and was tickled to discover a wonderful variegated yarn that makes its own pattern.   

The mission trip was postponed until the end of January 2015 and we were able to send off three dozen knitted hats to our brothers and sisters in Guatemala. What a blessing to us to be able to use our hands and hearts to the Glory of God!


If you love to knit or crochet, we'd LOVE it if you would consider joining us by knitting a hat or two for our cause! Just let me know if you are willing to knit/crochet a hat (or two or more! There's no limit here!) and I will send you a pattern or you can use your own.  Sizes most needed are adult and child sizes, any style, pattern or color.  My heartfelt thanks for your consideration of this project.

Happily Knitting,
Suzy