Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Proud Grandparents!

Grandpa loves holding his little granddaughter!
She is so precious!
Just wanted to give you a chance to see some happy grandparents! One of these days I will show you some pictures with her eyes open!  She's already grown 1/2" (from Friday to Monday), and she's a good eater!  Almost back to birth weight!

Monday, November 28, 2011

She's finally here!

I am so thrilled that Adelyn Gayle Fulmore has arrived!  What a little cutie!  Today I got to just sit and hold her with no one else waiting their turn!  Sometimes its so hard to share!

I'm so enjoying seeing Addie wrapped one of the blankets I made and wearing a hat that I made!  (These pictures don't show those items) But she is so cute!  Feels so good to have made so many beautiful things for my grandbaby!  Actually, I went a bit overboard but I don't regret it at all!  Its actually kind of hard to stop making things for my grandchildren!  

The Lord has given us four beautiful granddaughters-- my little women!  So precious!

They are the brightest and the best!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How do I commemorate so many things in so little a space!

I've been doing a lot but you wouldn't know it from my blog!  I think there might be some spider webs in the corners if you check real good!

Its November 22, 2011 or 11/22/11 as Joanie told me.  Today our fourth granddaughter just might be born!  What a year this has been!  I've been embracing new things, trying to get use to the idea that I'm 60!  The fit is pretty good, I'd say.  But all of a sudden, I had a shock last week....I'm almost 61!  Jim turned 61 on November 4th.  Interesting side note: Joanie was born when her grandfather was 61 and actually on his birthday!  Now Joanie is due, actually overdue, and her dad is now 61.  Little Addie (Adelyn Gayle) will have a grandpa that is 61 just like she did!

I'd like to state some events that have taken place this past year that I don't want to forget.
In January, I went to see Picasso! Took a train into Seattle with my daughter -- I love our times together!  Got to see work by Picasso, had some lunch and came home.  Lots of quotes, fun quotes, and what a variety of works in various media.  He wasn't afraid to try anything it seems.  What a great example!

In March, my big 60, and at my birthday party Joanie and Josh announced the coming of their baby!  What a surprise!  So happy for them! Tim and Abby gave me tickets to see Mary Poppins at the Paramount!  That is going to be so much fun!  Jim and I went away to Long Beach for a vacation and ended up being evacuated  because of tsunami!  What an eventful birthday!  At 4 a.m., the phone rang and the desk clerk said, "don't wait".  I don't ever think I'll forget those words!

In April, I started working, and pretty much ended up working most of six months!  That was really good for the checkbook!

In May, Jim and I went to see Mary Poppins at the Paramount.  We had dinner at the Palamino, and then went to get our tickets.  We parked in the lot across the street and were amazed that we didn't have to pay event parking prices!  Perhaps it was because we got there early on a Saturday afternoon.  We went to get our tickets and the door was locked.  People were lined up but they weren't letting us in.  ....   We were there on the wrong day.  In talking we realized that our tickets were for a week later and we were actually to be in Tacoma for Hello Dolly!  Would we make it?  Let's give it a try!  Traveling down I-5 about Des Moines exit, Jim look and we were traveling with an empty tank and the light was on!  Got off and filled up with gas (only had 1/2 gal in the tank), and we arrived with plenty of time to catch the 8 pm show in Tacoma.

In July, I got to have a "girls night" with Margy Hesse at the Clarion in Seattle.  We were at the Paramount once again, and we saw the opening night for Aladdin!  We weren't able to get seats together, but so what! We went to Palamino again because Chris Ruth Steakhouse (just across the street) was $40.00 a plate!  Well our meal was fabulous! but Margy spent $50.00 and I spent $75!  We laughed about that alot!  But what a fabulous meal and what a memory!

In August we went to Leavenworth to visit friends and see the Leavenworth Summer Theater!  Normally our friends were involved, but for one play they were able to join us in the audience!  That was fun and what a wonderful show.  We saw My Fair Lady and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. We had planned to be on vacation the last week of August but plans were interrupted, and we said our temporary goodbyes to Jim's dad.  The Pacific Northwest Quilt Show was in Tacoma this year, and I LOVED seeing that!  Another bus ride down, and a time of just being by myself and enjoying my surroundings!  Met a new group of people from Hamilton, Montana that give opportunities for people to learn new techniques in mixed media art quilts.  The group is called "In Good Company" and people that join their group are called "TARTS", Textile Artist.  Why is it that all these fun things have weird names, like TARTS and MEOW (Machine Embroiders of Oregon and Washington!).

September brought the end of six months of work and a chance to catch up on making baby items for Joanie. She is due November 16th.  Renewed a friendship and perhaps a new quilt art group in Tacoma.  I would love that!  Isabella and Hadley came to visit for three days and two nights!  What a fun time!

In October Bible study started and we also we took a week's vacation to go to Colorado to see Tim's new home and celebrate Avery's first birthday.  Abby is such a wonderful mother!  Her mother is such a dear woman.  We are friends, and how I wish we could have more time together!  Had to have a few nights in a hotel at first just to slow down and get some rest.  We stayed in their home on a blow up mattress!  Our first night there a gas leak was discovered in T & A's apt so they spent time in our hotel room.  We visited Denver Art Museum, ate at Jelly's, and got food from Pho (which sounds like fuh), Botanical Gardens, walked around town, went to for a "moderate difficulty" hike to Bierstadt Lake at 8800 feet!  The walk was 1.2 miles -- lots of switch backs...so good for us!  Went to another place but can't remember it.

And so these highlights make up our year so far.  But the best is yet to come.  Adelyn Gayle is on her way I believe....and I'm so excited.  Granddaughter #4!  My name sake -- which means the world to me!

This sounds so much like a Christmas letter, but I'm actually just trying to document some important things in my life.

That's all for now!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Embracing my sketchbook

While shopping at one day at a fabric store, I stumbled upon the quilt book section.  I had looked for a special drawing book by Carla Sonheim entitled Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists.  She also teaches "The Art of Silliness" on the web, and has a studio in Seattle.  I was a part of the Art of Silliness #3 and enjoyed it very much, in fact some of my drawings are on earlier posts.  Hence the search for her book.  I do want to continue to draw and hone this skill. 

Anyway, being weary I was leaving the store, and I sensed a prompting to look at the book section in this particular store, and so I headed to that section.  Perusing through the books, I actually found one copy of this book.  "Oh rats, I forgot my coupon!"  Then I noticed a sign on the book area, "40% Off".  "Could this be?" I checked the back of the book...there was a red dot. I grabbed the book and headed for the checkout counter.  The clerk didn't think it was on sale, but I told her what I had seen.  And so the book became mine!
  I love the craziness of Carla's drawings.  I don't know that I want to draw everything in her style, but I love to draw, and drawing silly really helps take the pressure off "being perfect".  So I've been drawing cats!  I don't care for cats.  Actually I don't LIKE CATS AT ALL!  As Isabella, my first granddaughter says, "Them's kindof whiny."  I really don't, and yet if you look at my sketchbook, its full of cats.  Its all Carla's fault!  

Them's kind of whiny!
But, in looking at these again, maybe I do want to do everything in her style!  What fun!  Creative and fun seem to pour out of her drawings!  I love her light-hearted spirit.  I think I'm going to see if I can attend one of her classes!  In person!  Wouldn't that be fun! 

 And a few fish crept onto my pages as well.....

Its April!

Since my last post, my big event has come and gone.  I believe this will be a memorable birthday, not because of the age but because of all the unusual things that happened.  I said goodbye to a friend who is suffering from dementia, visited Canon Beach with a deluge of rain amidst winds gusting up to 60 miles an hour ...hmmmm....is there a theme here?  Have a wonderful dinner, enjoyed one very sunny day walking through town, walked to Haystack Rock one time.  Got to Long Beach enjoying a World Mark room to be awakened at 4.30 in the morning to a tsunami warning.  We were to pack our things and go to the bowling alley or the high school.  Her last words were "don't wait".  We ended up in Aberdeen, looking for a room.  We tried a cheap motel.  Stepped one foot into the door and it was musty and stale cigarette smoke.  Checked into a nice place, paid for two nights (as we were in the middle of one night already), ate a breakfast and went back to bed.  Very nice place.  We were able to return to Long Beach the next morning.  Blakelys came to share one night with us and we walked our legs off.  Though it was still very rainy, and warnings to stay off the beach due to aftershocks and high winds, we went to explore the two lighthouses in the area.  Sheila was having such a fun time.  I was dying for breath and my body was wondering what was going on.  Being with the Blakelys is one of my favorite things.  Such good times with such good friends.  Was it a good birthday?  Yes, very memorable.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What;s Your Handle?

Back in the 70's and 80's, before cell phones became a necessity, people were buying CB radios for their vehicles. It was THE way to communicate while "on the road". You'd hear things like: "Why hello there Big Mama, what are you truckin' today?" or "Breaker, breaker one niner". People were (truckers or travelers) communicating as they traveled across the country or from town to town. Real names weren't used; perhaps it was to protect oneself while warning others that a speed trap was just beyond the next curve.  Names like "Forklift Bob", "Green Bean", "Quad Runner" and "Big Mama" are just a few.  (There's actually a website to show you a variety of "handles" used.) Such a variety, but I wonder, how did they decide on their "handle"?

Now I'm not planning to have a CB installed in my little car, but I recently have been selling a few items, and have been encouraged to create a "label" for myself. Not just a "handle", but an actual label to sew on the articles I sell. Seems easy enough, and yet I'm struggling.

Should I just use my name? Martha Stewart just uses her name, and she has several arenas in which her name is its trademark. My items are not all made by hand, some are sewn on my sewing machine.  Are those items still "handmade"? My goal is to create articles with an artist touch. I tend to create a wide variety of articles, and so to limit myself to a category is hard to choose. My friend, Alison, does alterations.  So her business is "Ali's Alterations". My items are varied and eclectic. If anyone was looking on the web for my type of item, "Artistic Touch" would not be something they would look for as they would for look for alterations.

So what is my handle? What would you say? Since I needed a label immediately, I chose the following "Made by Susan Isaacson, susang.isaacson@gmail.com".  Its straightforward, informative, and rather dull. Stores sell labels that say "Especially made for you", and "Handmade by ... ".  Its rather blah. But for now this will work. But I'm temporarily satisfied....I guess I'm on my way to forming a business handle for myself. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31!?!

First assignment
Seems hard to believe that the end of January is here.  Normally thats a "no big deal". It is now a big deal!  This has been a month of remembering, and inputting more art into my life.  Drawing has been a pleasure this month.  Its relaxing, restful, and there is a joy in just doodling.  There's no project to finish, no goal in mind.  Just creating and no expectation for what the page should look like when I'm done.  I like that.

I joined the "Art of Silliness" drawing class by Carla Sonheim, and that means I'm almost at the end of the class.  Sadness.   Each day we've had a drawing assignment, a silly joke, and silly words or haiku assignments.  Its been great.  I plan to go through the exercises again.  She has a book out as well which I am trying to find.  Its been fun to add silliness to my daily life!  I even recorded the first glimpse of silliness.  I was trying to figure out what it meant to do a thumb nail sketch, a simple art term, and I was stumped.  Something flashed in my mind. I quickly drew this picture.  I later found out that I had just drawn a "thumb nail sketch".  (And no, it wasn't what I had thought.)  I felt a sense of accomplishment as I  was starting to get catch on and have some silliness at the same time.  Yeah!

First glimpse of silliness
This month there was a Picasso exhibit shown at the Seattle Art Museum.  Joanie and I hopped the "Sounder" and rode to work with Josh one morning.  How I love riding a train, and seeing what I can see!  This has been something I've wanted to do for a L O N G time.  Today was my special day!  I brought along pencil and paper as I wanted to do was to try sketching what caught my eye.  I saw fun patterns, saw rivers ready to overflow their banks, I saw a black cat right by the train tracks, as if waiting for the train to pass.  At one point, a memory flashed in my mind.  As a second grader, my class took a field trip on a train.  We rode all the way from Renton to Kent.  Or maybe it was Auburn to Kent.  I just remember that as we stopped at the Kent train station, I remember RIDING the bus home from our field trip.  Nothing else about the trip except that a little boy I liked, Vern, wore a train hat that day.  Isn't it funny what we remember? 

Picasso was great.  I didn't realize that he did sculptures as well as sketching, painting.  Some of his quotes were painted on the walls of the exhibit.  I'm not sure how many paintings he's done, but he was prolific!  I was surprised that I didn't see many of his well known paintings.  As we finished the six or seven rooms of pictures, I came away encouraged.  Some of his drawings/paintings were somehow "normal".  Though I could not reproduce what he's done, I felt encouraged to keep at what I'm doing.  Not everything will be spectacular or extraordinary.  Just enjoy art and do what I am compelled to draw, sew, paint, etc.  I guess I will paint more than barns this time.

January 31 also means the first deadline for the Sketchbook Challenge.  Our theme for the month of January is to draw things that are highly prized.  There are much I highly prize like the Lord, my family, MY GRANDCHILDREN!!!!, time, salt, hot water, oatmeal. I so value what my pocket full of keys represent.  But the picture I'm posting today is something for which there is no picture.  I highly prize the creativity that was placed within me.  I love to draw.  This month as I have included more art into my life.  Its been so good.  Sometimes as I draw, I've had flashbacks of drawing as a child; the creativity that longed to come out and I just didn't know how to do it.  This month I've realized that there is a desire for artistic creativity in the quilts I make, the hats I knit, and to instill some artistic beauty in whatever I'm trying to make.  My original goal for drawing this year was to excel in my machine quilting.  I'm revising my goal; I've broadened it to just simply recognize and highly prize my artistic creativity.  I have artistic creativity.  It seems weird to say out loud, but it is true.

January 31 is also the first deadline for posting pictures for this challenge.  How does a person post "artistic creativity"?  I don't really know but this sketch is the idea of fern fiddleheads and the texture of Indian snakepipes.

So now I have documented some of the drawings I've done this month.  Its a base line for my drawing, and what better place than here!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas is flying in!

Our family Christmas gathering was postponed until Januray 8th this year.  Today is the first installment of our Christmas.  Our third granddaughter is coming along with her parents.  Can't wait to hold her.

Wanted to post some pictures before the flurry of activity. Created some goals and then a one word summary to remind me.  Conquer, Lifestyle, Input and Create. 

I've been enjoying my "playing".  I saw a pattern on a pair of shoes four ladies bought at the Houston show.  As I played with this design, it reminded me of "fiddleheads" (ferns) and also of a vegetation called "snake pipes".  So I combined the two.  Fun to see how curved lines can create dimension.  I've got a lot to learn.  Am enjoying my play very much!

One of the ways I will be able to create art is to put some of the utilitarian projects away.  I've cleared my design wall basically to show the pieces I want to finish.  But I must admit there is a filing system of sorts on the leftside of this wall.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Waiting Is Over!

It was still dark.  What time is it?  We had greeted the New Year with dear friends, and now we were snuggled into their guest room bed.  Its dark as I said, no illuminating clock numerals announcing this dark hour.  I was just awake.  It is so good to get away...  so good to be with friends.  Pondering this new day, I smiled.  Today is January 1, 2011.  Today the Sketchbook Challenge begins.  I smiled again....I'm looking forward to this!  Silly me....

The January challenge is "Highly Prized".  So I began making a list of things I prize.  Lots of typical things, but as I thought about challenges that face my friends and acquaintances, I find increased value in things I've taken for granted.  Eyesight, health, the ability to have children, the delight of grandchildren.  The economic challenges have caused many people to prize their dwelling place, the ability to have electricity and water, the prize of health insurance.  Along with these thoughts, it would be easy to say all the right Christian things but I don't want to do that.  For now, I'm just making a list, and being thankful for what I have.  I'm sure the inspiration will come.  Its good to give thanks at the beginning of the new year, actually its always good to give thanks each day.  Puts so many things into the right perspective.

These pictures are just some of my doodlings from this past week that brought pleasure to both Jim and Joanie.  I'm so thankful for them.