Tag Archives: sister

Love One Another

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This angel painting was created for my sister, Kathleen. She asked if maybe I had a painting sitting around she could put up in the office at her new job. Since I give the pieces away, I didn’t have one on a back shelf, but I offered to make one for her.

Her next question: could I do an angel painting of her dog, Stella? Hmm. I suggested I could try including Stella, but wanted to incorporate a guide as well.

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I used this picture of Stella after a rainy hike for inspiration.

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The simplest, most basic mantra “Love One Another,” is a good reminder to everyone these days.

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As usual, it is a mixed media piece with collage, paint, rubber stamping and oil pastels.

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I love all the layers and texture.

I’m also really pleased how the angel wings create the look of a wing on Stella.

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I think I would be comforted if a guide or angel made herself known to me and she was carrying a puppy.

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Coming soon: a blue haired angel. Or maybe she’s a mermaid…

Thanks for the visit!

Here’s a bonus Stella picture, from her puppyhood.

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Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food

green-stripes

Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food.

Suresa Dundes had that on a bumper sticker on her car and it was the basic concept for an open house celebrating her life. Suresa, my sister-in-law, died in August after an 11 year battle with cancer.

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wedding

Suresa and Michael on their wedding day. Michael is the oldest of my five siblings.

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Suresa with her girls; Leah and Miriam (the one with the spoon). Clearly loving people and feeding them tasty food has been a life long practice.

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family-boyfriends

Suresa, Michael, Leah, and her boyfriend Robert, Miriam, and her boyfriend Nick.

family-wedding

Miriam and Nick’s wedding celebration, moved up so Suresa could be there.

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Rest in peace, Suresa.

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Weekly Walk

Rodeo Beach

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my sister Kathleen and I take a walk together every Saturday.  I bring my mom’s dog Molly along and Kathleen has her dog, Ruby.  Since Ruby is almost 15 years old we have been going more slowly and Kathleen has a “pup pack” to carry Ruby when she tires out.

The weather was clear and fairly warm, and Kathleen suggested a beach walk.  This is actually a hike that starts by Rodeo Beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and loops up into the hills overlooking the beach.

Overlooking Rodeo Beach

With our brother so ill, the last month has been very stressful.  I’m spending a lot of time at the hospital and this was a lovely respite.

Poppies

I’ve always found salt air to be very restorative.  The views and the wildflowers were beautiful.

Poppies and sour grass

California Golden Poppies and what I always knew as sour grass, but I think is more properly called Yellow Woodsorrel, cover the hillside.

As we walked up the trail, we saw a group of people taking part in a Search and Rescue exercise.

Search and Rescue Exercise

The woman in the blue hard hat on the lower left was rapeling down a cliff.  We learned she was to playing the part of the victim who would be “rescued.”

This is the view looking down from the rocks she was climbing.

little cove

I don’t think I would be a very good volunteer for this exercise!  This team was going to climb down after her and carry her back up in the basket.

Search and Resuce training

We continued up the trail towards Battery Townsley, a World War II concrete gun emplacement, overlooking the San Francisco Bay.  You can see the edge of the battery just above this rocky hillside.

Rocky hillside and Battery

I thought of Beau because he is a real WWII geek.  He would say he is a “military historian” but it’s all the same to me.  In fact, I wrote part of this post while at the hospital and asked Beau about Battery Townsley.  He started rattling off facts and figures about the size of the guns, the fact that they were only shot in practice, that it was a casemate (I had to look it up: a fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired), that volunteers were working to restore the battery to it’s 1940’s condition, etc.

Here’s the view looking towards the beach.  The hills in the background are in San Francisco.

View down towards beach

You can see the Search and Rescue exercise was still going on.

View of Search and Rescue truck

We saw Morning Glories, Blue Eyed Grass and Silver Bush Lupine.

Morning Glory

Blue Eyed Grass

Silver Bush Lupine

Ruby got slower and slower as we went up the hill, so Kathleen let her ride until we headed back downhill.  Molly was full of energy and enjoyed every minute of the walk.

Ruby and Molly

As we followed the loop around, we caught a glimpse of one of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

GG Bridge Tower

Lacy white Cow Parsnip was surrounded by Horsetail Ferns.

Cow Parsnip and Horsetail Fern

The combination of exercise, conversation, salt air, beautiful views and wildflowers all worked together to nourish me and help me feel in better shape to face the days and weeks ahead.  I know I need to take care of myself and this was one way to do that.

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Thank you for your visit.

 

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Day 17: Niche with Wings

Niche with Wings

Day 17: Niche with Wings.  Here is another feather from my collection.  It is set in a little niche or shallow recess that I cut into about 8 pages all glued together.

I started this page on Saturday, worked on it a bit yesterday and finished it today.

Feather in Niche

After work I took another challenging hike with my sister Sarah and a few other hiking buddies. I’m tuckered out, so I’m just going to share some more pictures and call it a day!  We combined the last two hikes, going up one hill and coming down the other side instead of looping back down the same way we’d come.  It took a little logistics with cars, but it really felt like an achievement.

Here is our view coming back down.  It isn’t the best quality photo, but it shows the view.  The Richmond San Rafael Bridge is in the foreground, Larkspur Ferry is a little dot in the middle and the Bay Bridge is in the background.

Bridges & Ferry

Now back to my page.

Bird and Leaves

Leaf Detail

Feather Close Up

More views from the hike: Bay Bridge and SF Skyline.

SF Skyline

Richmond San Rafael Bridge with Oakland in the background.

Richmond SRafael Bridge

And one last look at the Niche with Wings.

Niche at an angle

Day 17 in 2012 was my big Chocolate Bowl Fail – what a mess!  I found splatters of chocolate on the ceiling.

In 2011, Rem and I went into the city on Day 17 and so I did Friday Photos in San Francisco.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 10: Collaged Coffee Cup Sleeve

Beautiful Java Jacket

Day 10: Collaged Coffee Cup Sleeve.  You know those little cardboard sleeves you can pick up to protect your hand from the hot cup of coffee or tea? They’re so disposable.

Plain Sleeve

I picked up a few the other day.  I don’t even drink coffee but I saw the stack of them and remembered seeing some that had been collaged.  I love collage and this was a small scale project.

A hike after work meant I did some crafting during breaks at work today and finished it up after the hike, dinner and a shower.

Java Jacket Collage

I used  Golden Fluid Matte Medium, but I think Mod Podge would also work.

Matte Medium & Collage

Thin paper, magazine pages, printed napkins, origami paper are all good choices for this project.  I included some used postage stamps and security envelope linings.  I even used some card stock scraps.  By running it over a bone folder or the dull side of a scissor blade repeatedly, the card stock can be distressed and the paper peeled into two, thinner layers.  Thinner paper worked better for this small project.

After the little sleeve is covered, let it dry. Glue any corners that may need a little extra help adhering.  Then trim down the paper around the edge.  I was going to fold it over the edge and glue to the inside, but realized it might not slide onto the cup.

Plain Cup

You want it to go on the cup!  The cup is too hot.

Caution

I’m going to give my decorative Java Jackets to friends.  I think they might keep them and reuse them.

A little water-soluble oil crayon finished the edge.  I added a few little sparkly stickers.

Two Sleeves

Perhaps they would work as big cuff bracelets.  I didn’t want to put my big hand all the way through – I thought I might break one.

Red Sleeve

Views from the hike:

SR Hike View

Richmond SR Bridge

Tam

And that tower at the top of the hill.

Tower

In 2012 for Day 10 I made this: Vegetable Potato Salad.

The year before I took a picture of a Toaster with Neon Flames.

Thank you for your visit and support with this 30 day challenge!

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ConGRADulations!

Graduation Podium

A big congratulations to my sister, Kathleen, on her graduation on Saturday, from Dominican University of California.  She has earned a BA from their School of Business and Leadership and graduated with honors, earning both Cum Laude status and a Departmental honor.  I’m so proud of her accomplishment!

I made a card a card for Kathleen using an Itty Bitty Banner (like these) and a drawing of a graduation cap, tossed in the air.  I used to have a rubber stamp with a similar design but  I couldn’t find it (I probably gave it away when I did my Big Craft Clean Up).

ConGRADulations

I should have started the Itty Bitty Banner earlier because I used Diamond Glaze dimensional adhesive to give it a  hard, glossy coating.  It doesn’t show in the photo, but it has a thick, shiny finish.  I tried to hurry it along with a heat tool but that made it start to bubble up.  Oops.  I finally put it in the freezer when it was almost set but still a little tacky and that did the trick.

The graduation was held in a huge tent at Forest Meadows Field.  Ariel,  Kathleen’s little sister (Kathleen has been an active Big Sister volunteer for many years), came early to save seats. My mom, sister Sarah, and I got there almost an hour before the ceremony started.

This is Ariel with my sister and mom reading their commencement programs.

Hi, Ariel!

It was a little chilly in the tent but I’m really glad we didn’t have to sit out in the sun for three and a half hours!

Here is the tent with Mt. Tam in the background.

Tent & Tam

Since we had plenty of time, I took a walk around.

This is the Class of 2013 Shield: Wisdom in Community.

Class Shield

Lots of diplomas for the 500 or so graduates.

Diplomas

Empty chairs ready for the graduating students.

Chairs for Grads

They would be processing from across the campus, led by a bagpiper and entering the tent down this aisle lined with banners.

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People were saving seats for friends and relatives.

Reserved Seats

Many had made signs or brought balloons or flowers for their graduate.

Grad Picture Doggie Balloon "13" or is it "31"?

At last we heard the bagpipe.  We couldn’t see much but excitement was mounting!

We could see the flag and see a few caps through the crowd.

Entry of the Grads

After the bagpiper entered  and completed his piece, we finally heard the familiar notes of Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance”… and I lost it. I looked over and saw my mom had lost it too.  We were thinking about my dad and wishing he were there with us.

Sarah and Ariel had gone out to watch the graduates process in and Sarah came back teary-eyed.  There is something about music that just goes right to your core.

After the typical speeches, awards and long list of names as each student received her diploma, the ceremony finally came to an end and we were able to congratulate the new graduate

Kathleen & Ariel

Sisters & Mom

Kathleen was wearing a beautiful silver and turquoise bracelet borrowed from my mom as a way to honor my dad.  My parents grew up in New Mexico and Papa almost always wore a piece of turquoise jewelry.

All of my siblings and I, without any planning or discussion, wore silver and turquoise jewelry to my dad’s memorial service.  I was pleased that Kathleen thought of this way to have Papa at her ceremony.

Turquoise Bracelet

We enjoyed the reception with cold lemonade, brownies, strawberries and other treats.

Strawberries

Congrats to everyone who is graduating and to their families and friends who offered support and encouragement while they worked towards this goal.

Eena the Graduate

Coming soon: The GRADUATION PARTY!

Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 26: Fused-Plastic-Bag Pouches and Tote Bag

OK, I read about this technique early on in my 30Days of Creativity project research, and I knew I wanted to do it!  You take flimsy plastic shopping bags and fuse them together with an iron to create a thicker, more sturdy plastic.  Once you’ve got your fused-plastic material you can make any number of things but I loved the idea of these small, zippered pouches and tote bags.

There was only one problem.  I don’t sew.  But lucky for me I have my pick of people who DO sew right in my family and when I asked my sister Kathleen, she agreed to help me out.  Which is why these turned out so well!

First I needed to create the fused-plastic material we would be working with.  I scavenged some great plastic bags (a variety of sized and weights, from the flimsiest produce bag to a really sturdy, heavier plastic, large sized shopping tote bag).

Here is a great tutorial by Anda Lewis.  She has more experience doing this.  Check it out.

Fused Plastic Bags:

Open a window or door so your work space is well-ventilated.

Cut off the handles and bottom seams of the bags.

Cover your ironing board with parchment paper.

If your bags have any design on them, turn them inside out so the ink is on the inside.  When it is heated, the ink tends to run and make a mess.

Layer between 6 and 8 single layers of plastic with your prize pieces of plastic on the top.

Cover the plastic with parchment paper

With iron set at medium high, start pressing,  moving it constantly.  Be sure and go to all the edges.  Flip it over, and iron again.  Now, careful, because it is hot, check and see if your plastic is all fused or needs a little more heat.  If it is bubbled or has places that seem to still be in layers, iron it some more.  The bags have different thicknesses, so you may need to do a couple of trail runs.  My first try was too thick but I got the hang of it.

I can’t give you the specifics on the sewing.  But Kathleen assured me that if you DO sew and have a sewing machine that can handle heavy-duty sewing tasks, this is an easy sewing project.  She put both the zippers in and let me do a few straight seams (well, they were supposed to be straight) but after I sewed one whole pouch the wrong way out, I handed over the sewing side of things with relief.

But I really DID some of the sewing.  See photographic proof:

While she was sewing, I kept her dog, Ruby, company.

Kathleen suggests putting in the zipper first to make it easier.  Like this:

I love how these turned out!

The outside layer of the pencil pouch was a bag from Flax and if you take a close look at the photo you can see the bags are “80% recycled material”!  So we’re re-recycling them!  The zippers and thread are new so these pouches are probably 80% or more recycled.

I scavenged the plastic bags, fused the plastic and trimmed the pieces, but Kathleen did all the sewing on this great little tote bag.  Thank you, Kathleen and Ruby for helping me see this project come to fruition.

When I went to see my folks and show off the project for Day 26, I also got to see their dog, Molly, and I couldn’t resist a picture.

Thanks for stopping by.

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