Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rest in Peace

W. Woodrow Tyler, the eldest son of Luther Edward Tyler and Nellie Jane Henderson Tyler died on March 2, 2008 at the age of 91 years old. I'll miss you, Uncle Woodrow. You body lies in rest in a beautiful country cemetery beside your wife, Dorothy James Haas Tyler and near your young daughter Veda Marie. Your brother, Wade, plans to join you soon.

Douglas Kemp, aged 70 years, passed from this world on March 13, 2008. He is survived by Fred, his 'faintly red' cat and a few friends who knew very little about him. There are no known relatives. The first time I met Doug, I said to myself, "There's a big book there, and someday I will write it." Now it is too late to interview Doug and Fred isn't talking. May your soul rest in eternal peace - something that seemed to evade you on this earth. (Just want you to know that Miss Minnie and I are feeding Fred.)

Thanks for the garlic and the flowers and for crawling under the house to check for water leaks.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dancing with Al

For the past eight years, my family has been involved in a very intricate dance. This dance consists of steps and moves that we have never practiced for and never thought we would need to know. It's a group dance with multiple members participating at different times, but the main dancers are always on the floor spinning and reeling, dipping and swaying, jumping and sliding, pulling and lifting....

The supporting dancers, of which I am one, step in at appropriate times to assist the main dancers during difficult moves or to just maintain a presence on the dance floor as a compliment to the lead dancers. They supply assistance or props for the main dancers, then leave the floor to watch from the sidelines until time to take the floor again.

If Al, the correographer, has it all down on paper, he certainly doesn't share the steps until the very last moment, so the dancers have to be on their toes at all times.

This is a marathon dance, but no winner will be declared.

This is a dance with Alzheimer's Disease. We are weary, but we will not stop dancing yet.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Eternal Wreath

The wreath has been a symbol since ancient times of immortality. Wreaths were worn on the head by victorious warriors, noblemen, poets, and brides, among others. These wreaths were called diadems and were sometimes decorated with jewels. Sometimes these diadems were made from braided cloth and other times with branches. Poets wore wreaths made of ivy, while noblemen wore laurel wreaths. Commoners did not wear wreaths.

At some point, the wreath moved from being a head decoration to being a wall, table or door decoration. Fast forward to these modern days and wreaths of many different types are available. Without the restrictions of social class, everyone can display (or wear for that matter) their own wreath.

Though Christmas is the most popular time of the year for door wreaths, a wreath can be found for every holiday and every season. Indoor wreaths are increasing in popularity as wall, table or door decor. With that in mind and with an ample supply of recyclable materials at hand, I decided to make some indoor wreaths. I was not prepared for the fascinating outcome and the different effects achieved with different recyclables.

Here is a picture of one of the first wreaths I made for the Christmas season. It is made entirely out of cut pages from Memphis magazine. I did not count the pages, but the approximately 8.5"x11" pages are cut in half (making them 4.25"x11"). Each piece is gathered in the middle lengthwise to resemble a bow and pinned into a straw wreath form with wreath pins.

The 'bows' are pinned into the wreath form in an opposing pattern (horizontal and verticle) in order to make the 'bows' stand out.

At this point, the project is complete except for the bow and the hanger.

The cost of this project was:

$2.99 for the 14" wreath form
$0.99 for the pins
$1.00 for the ribbons
$4.98 + your crafting time.

Additional notes: Variations in shading can be achieved by creatively using the colors in the magazine.

Send me a link to your picture of your completed wreath. I will be happy to share.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Am I sure about this?

My children 'turned me on to blogging' and by that turn of phrase, I am dating myself. There is only so much that a proponent of handwritten journals can write without a severe case of writer's cramp.

To pretend that I have valuable knowledge to share with the world in any area books me on an ego trip that I haven't packed for. I fear I will arrive at my destination in inappropriate attire or none at all. I do have a lot of knowledge-only because I have lived a lot of life. But it is my life - not yours, so take comfort in the fact that I will not be trying to change your life. While I am on the subject, I will describe my life...

I am a grandmother who learned to type on a manual typewriter (rat-a-tat-a-tat-tat DING! sshhooop) where typing errors were counted against your wpm. My first introduction to computers was HAL on 2001 - A Space Odyssey.

I married a man who worked for I.B.M. We had the very first 'home computer' (to the best of my knowledge)there's that word again. It was a Timex Sinclair - a small board with touch keys that hooked up to the television. The programs were loaded by cassette tapes that sounded like a lovesick Fax machine (though it was before the Fax was invented). After much study and hard work, I learned to program a clock - not a pretty clock or even a useful clock, but just a clock. I raised two kids with the comforting knowledge that, if ever I had to, I could program a clock on my Timex Sinclair. I have saved that little baby with 16k RAM - never know when I will need a clock.

After raising two kids, I am enjoying the fruits of my labor - grandchildren. No words can describe how wonderful that is. I live in a multi-generational home. I work in a fascinating industry where I never get bored. I have a weekend place (not as impressive as it sounds) with a studio to putter around in.

And now, I have a blog.

In this venue, I hope to pull together some of the pieces of my existence that are scattered in the four winds of the Internet. Along the way, I am quite sure, I will need some instruction.