Monthly Archives: May 2012

Goodbye, Papa

Paul David Faw

Born December 24, 1934

Died May 24, 2012

Rest in Peace

My dad was a real character.  In everyday conversation he might use a funny accent, a sound effect, or a silly face.  In fact, he would probably do all three in quick succession, which made him a great story teller.  Reading stories to us when we were little, he would do all the different voices.  He had a repertoire of children’s songs and stories performed with imagination and gusto: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly is a classic and so is The Three Billy Goats’ Gruff.  And who could forget Little Rabbit Frou Frou?

My sister reminded me of his “not quite straight up variations on nursery school songs”.  Two that come to mind are Put Your Finger Up Your Nose and My Bonnie Has Tuberculosis.

He felt called to the ministry as a young man but ended up deciding it wasn’t the right path for him.  Later when he got into community theater we said that his urge to be a pastor had really just been an opportunity that gave him an audience every Sunday.

He had such a wonderful experience doing Fiddler on the Roof, the first show he was in, playing, what else, one of the papas, that he was hooked.  He had a beard and my brother encouraged him to audition,  saying he would be  perfect for the part. He kept it ever since, except for the times when a part in a show called for the character to be clean-shaven.  When he played Santa later he didn’t need a fake beard.  He lost some of his hair and beard during chemo but it was growing back in.

Lines from dialogue, show tunes and jokes have woven their way into our family language.  He was happy to introduce his kids or grandkids with a line from Fiddler saying “This is mine.  And this is mine.  And this is mine.  And …this is not mine”.  If anyone makes a negative comment about someone’s cooking, the response is likely to be “But good!”  I think all my siblings could probably quote at least the opening line of his big monologue from Inherit the Wind: “I come to you on the wings of the Word!”

In addition to his acting he had other gifts.  He was very creative; from the little snippets of country songs he crafted, to his distinctive handwriting.  He wrote such funny notes when one of us was late to school or had a doctor’s appointment that the school secretary looked forward to them.  He was an artist and enjoyed sculpting wood and rock – pieces that are a pleasure to touch.   He sang in many different choirs throughout his life.  I remember hearing how he would carefully arrange his dress pants between the mattress and box springs of beds every night to press out any wrinkles while on a choir tour as a teenager.

Papa was a great cook who loved feeding crowds and with a big family he had that opportunity often.  From preparing hot breakfasts that we would find in the oven or on the stove before school to packing dinners into foil pie pans to drop off for a family member at rehearsal, my parents gave us the message that home-cooked meals were important.  He made breakfast things like waffles or pancakes for Sunday suppers when we were kids and he enjoyed making different ethnic dishes from won ton and stir-fried rice to tacos and posole for special family dinners.  Gradually he took over all the everyday cooking which continued until his treatment started.

Dad loved people.  He was an extrovert who was energized by his interactions with those around him.  He would start a conversation with anyone especially pretty women and even while he was battling cancer he would flirt and joke with nurses and technicians.  He had a great sense of humor and loved telling and hearing jokes.  Though I sing with the Threshold Choir he made it clear that he didn’t really care to have me sing for him.  He did ask for it a few times, but what he really wanted was for me to make him laugh.  I visited often and it was my goal to get a laugh out of him.  I’m happy to say that I managed to most of the time.  I think every laugh that is generated today is a tribute to him.

All of this is not to say he was always easy to get along with.  He could be pretty sarcastic at times, his feelings were sometimes easily hurt and he could pout for days.  He was extremely stubborn in some situations and I butted heads with him fairly often when I was younger, standing up for siblings that didn’t always appreciate it.  I’m sure the fact that I’m so much like him played a part in this. In his last 24 hours he kept insisting he had to get up to use the bathroom but he wasn’t strong enough to do that.  I had the feeling that he would rather die than pee in a diaper, and in the end that is exactly what he did.

Most importantly, Dad loved all of us, his family.  As if six kids weren’t enough, we started naming some friends “Temporary Honorary Faws”.  He was proud of his kids and grandkids and our accomplishments. We grew up knowing that family was all-important and we had parents who modeled a beautiful, loving relationship with each other for 57 years.  He adored my mom and said so loudly and often.  He would ask us “do you know I love this woman very much?”  There was no question about this on any of our parts.  It is heartbreaking to see a relationship like that be disrupted by death but I have no doubt that the love has not ended.  I know Papa lives on in all our hearts.

As I’ve mentioned, 30 days of Creativity starts on June 1.  The idea is to create something every day for 30 days.  I am planning on participating because it is good therapy for me and I think it is a better way to honor my father than it would be if I canceled my plans.  I am dedicating my efforts to my dad, David, a huge, creative influence on my life.

Thank you for your visit.

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Eclipse

Tiny image of a crescent is to the right of the arrow.

We saw the eclipse tonight – well, as none of us had welding glasses or other appropriate eclipse-viewing gear, what we saw was the projected image of the sun partially blocked by the moon.

Witnessing the alignment of three celestial bodies (Sun,Moon & Earth) was pretty cool.

It was a busy day of running errands and I hadn’t really made any plans but as the time got close, Rem found some information on pinhole viewing on the Exploratorium’s website.  We went for the quick and easy directions: one piece of card stock with a square cut out of it.  A piece of foil taped over the square and a pinhole poked in the foil.  That was our projector.  A piece of white card stock was our screen.

Easy peasy.

It was windy out and we learned it was easier to use card stock with the pinhole and project the image onto a wall.

Can you see the crescent?

Even easier was the suggestion to align your fingers in a crosshatch pattern and look at the light coming through the resulting pinholes.

You can see blurry little crescents formed as the semi-blocked sunlight shines through my fingers onto a wall.

Our little science moment!  It was fun, it was interesting and we were talking with our neighbors, a nice benefit.

The site also mentioned looking at light coming through tree leaves.  We first noticed this on the sidewalk but then our attention was caught by the play of light and shadow on a wall across the street.

Not a dramatic “ring of fire” photo, but as the moon and sun got into alignment and the sky darkened, it was pretty cool to view this natural phenomena.

What was your eclipse experience?

Thanks for stopping by.

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30 Days of Creativity 2012…Coming Soon

30 Days of Creativity is coming and I’ve decided to participate again.  It was a wonderful experience last year.  It was also a challenge.  Could I get something made?  Every day?   The idea is simple: create stuff, anything, everyday, for 30 days.  Of course you also want to post what you create so you can share it and it does take time.

So I’ve decided the best way to approach it this year is with more planning.  I’ve started a list of projects that I hope to tackle.  I’m making sure I have supplies on hand. And if a project is something that I can’t finish in one day (or fraction of a day because, after all, I will still be doing everything else that I normally do, like going to work), I will count the partial project as one day and the finished project as another.

You can do it too.  Here is their site: http://30daysofcreativity.com/

Wish me luck!  Thanks for the visit.

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Mother’s Day Roundup

A great picture of my mom with my sister and I taken over 50 years ago. I’m in the middle.

Mom, Mother, Mommy, Mama, Ma, Anne, Mutter, Maji, Mai, Emak, Mamma.

Whatever you call your mother,  here are a few ideas for ways to express your love and gratitude this Mother’s Day. (Click the links to get directions.)  Scroll back to my most recent posts to see the Mother’s Day Butterfly Card and Jewel Box Envelope and Card.

Here is a very pretty Mother’s Day Hat card  with swirled paper roses from last year.

Heart Strings – sweet strings of hearts cut from old books and sheet music.

Muffin Cup Quiche would be nice for brunch or breakfast in bed.

How about a nice picture  of you in this Rolled Page Picture Frame?

This sweetheart was born last year on Mother’s Day. Happy Birthday, Manek!

A favorite poem or song can be enhanced with this Doodle Heart Background.  If you can doodle, you can do this project!

A jar of this delicious, dark, buttery Caramel Sauce to put over ice cream (or pound cake or crepes or in a spoon) would be a sweet gift.

Finally, how about making the Russian Nesting Dolls (Matryoshka) card set?  With a mama doll card holding a pocket of smaller dolls, this set is made for Mother’s Day!

Whatever you make, I hope you make it a good one for your mother.

Now eat your vegetables …and thanks for stopping by.

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Mother’s Day Butterfly Card

Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May, which this year will be May 13.  I think flowers are always wonderful for Mom and this pretty card has flowers and a pop-up butterfly.  The butterfly is made of vellum. Only one wing is glued down to the paper so the other wing is free.  It looks beautiful, and though it does take some cutting of small pieces it really isn’t hard.

Flowers are either cut from flower-patterned paper or stamped and cut out.  Colored card stock is the base of the card with a piece of white so your colorful flowers and butterfly will stand out. Blossoms are arranged in one corner of the card with a few on pop-up dots for depth. The vellum butterfly is stamped or traced, colored and cut out then put into place fluttering over the flowers.  Accent the card with a ribbon and perhaps some glitter or gems.

Mother’s Day Butterfly Card

Supplies:

Vellum Paper I use 17 lb. letter weight  (Stampin’ Up)

Butterfly Rubber Stamp

or

Butterfly Image that can be traced onto the vellum

Ink I use both ink pads and colored markers

Card Stock white and colors

Printed Paper with Flower Design

or

Flower Rubber Stamp

Scissors

Double-Sided Adhesive (My favorite is Tombo permanent)

Ribbon

Pop-Up Dots (optional)

Optional Embellishments:

Glitter and Glue Pen

Self-Adhesive Gems or Pearls

Small Hole Punch for Dianne Dots

Directions:

Stamp butterfly on vellum.  If stamp design is mainly an outline I stamp in black or other dark ink.  If the stamp has a more filled-in design I use colored markers to color directly on to stamp.  If you do this, be sure to breathe a huff of breath onto the stamp to moisten the ink before stamping. (I tried to get a picture of this for you but it just looked like I was going to eat the rubber stamp!)

If you don’t have a butterfly stamp, you can print a butterfly image and trace it.  Put the vellum over the image and trace the main lines.

Color the butterfly image.  I think it looks best if you color both sides of the vellum.  I like using some lighter colored markers for  at least part of the wing so that light will still show through.

Carefully cut out the butterfly.  Some of these pictures show both antennae with the vellum cut out around them.  I decided it looked better to draw the antenna onto the card on the side that is glued down.  Figure out which way the butterfly will be placed on the finished card. Cut around the other antenna leaving a small margin of vellum.

A little glitter is a nice embellishment and with a glue pen is easy to add.  Put glitter on the sides of the wings that will face out – in other words, on the wing that will be adhered to the card, put glitter on the top or inside of the wing and on the free wing put glitter on the bottom or outside of the wing.

Once your butterfly is complete, you can create your garden.  If using flower-printed paper, cut out flowers.

If you are using flower rubber stamps you can stamp and cut out the images or stamp some directly on the white card stock and then stamp a few more flowers and leaves on a piece of scrap paper, cut them out and layer them with the others using pop-up adhesive dots.  Add pearls or other gems as desired.

Assemble your flowers in the lower right corner of the piece of white card stock, putting some blossoms on with pop-up dots for dimension.  Add a piece of ribbon (or washi tape) across the bottom, a little ways up from the edge, gluing the ends of the ribbon to the back. Layer the white card stock onto a mat of colored card stock and layer that onto the card.

Fold the vellum butterfly in half. Using double-sided adhesive, coat one wing of the butterfly and stick it in place.  Open the wings and draw the missing antenna onto the white card stock. Fold it back up so it is partially open, ready to alight on a flower.

Finish your card with a greeting inside and your signature on the back.

I’m not sure if the following is really an Irish blessing but it is a sweet sentiment:

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.

And find your shoulder to light on.

To bring you luck, happiness and riches.

Today, tomorrow and beyond.

A small version of this card is simply a butterfly accented with Dianne Dots (a trio of paper dots made using a small hole punch, glued on with a glue pen).

It made a nice gift card for my sister’s birthday.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and to all mom’s.

Thanks for fluttering by.


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Room With A View

Sometimes you go out to eat and you know you’ll be paying a little extra for the view.

Sometimes it’s worth it.

Rem and I enjoyed our dinner at The Caprice in Tiburon, CA the other evening.  We especially loved the view.

The weather was beautiful.  Boats went by right outside the window.

Angel Island was just over my shoulder.

There was a little regatta.

Dinner was good too.  Not great, but very nice.

But the view…

It was worth it.

We drove around Belevedere before heading home, stopping to take another look at Angel Island.

You can just see the restaurant in this picture, right there at the tip of the land.

We returned home relaxed and well-fed not only from our meal.

Thank you for checking out my post.

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