Crochet Art, made just for me!

Sarah Meyers is an artist (and young mother of 3) who makes all sorts of things, including crocheted mandalas. She made one for Lorna and I loved it so much that I commissioned one for myself! FYI: she is willing to more commissions—if you are interested you can email me (becky.pieceocake@gmail.com) and I will give her your email address.

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I chose acrylic yarn because I expect to wash and dry it in the dryer. I chose a color palette and OK’d the yarn choices and it’s a kick to see how well it turned out! It’s colorful in a way that is so different from the quilts I make. It is going to be wonderful to cuddle with when the weather turns cooler.

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It’s really tactile, and 3-dimensional…

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Again, if you are interested in commissioning a crochet mandala, email me (becky.pieceocake@gmail.com) and I will give Sarah your email address.

Round and round…

I was going back through photos on my phone, weeding and sorting — a never-ending task. Anyway, I found these… again!

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These are Amy’s mirrored disco balls. I love them!!!!

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Honestly, how can you not love them?

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I don’t have a good place for disco balls in my back yard. I don’t look out front as often, but I may put some there anyway. (FYI: you can buy mirrored disco balls online — just google it.)

And, because I like round things, I also have a photo of this lovely antique hubcap. It was on a spectacular car in the De Young Museum in San Francisco. That’s Amy and me in the reflection.

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And this!

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I really want to paint my own ‘you are here’ circle somewhere. Maybe in the garage… If you paint one, send me a picture!

Last stop: Sydney!

Catherine and I spent 2 days in Sydney. We had had a great view from our room:

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We walked and shopped (of course)…

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I was tempted to buy Han Solo in carbonite for my son, Chris, but thankfully he was not for sale. (Lorna, aren’t you glad this isn’t coming home to your house?!)

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We walked in the gardens… that’s a fig tree!

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We went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales where we got to view the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. There are 6 of them, each similar to each other, but different.

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The 2018 Archibald paintings were also on exhibit but we chose not to pay to go, mostly because I had a sinus headache that was trying to kill me. Not really ‘kill’ me, but it definitely slowed me down. Darn, right?!

Vivid Sydney is happening now. Once it gets dark, the city around the harbor is filled with light and music. It was lovely! We saw it from the water one night. Last night we walked the streets. So, this is the Opera House by day:

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And the same Opera House, lit during Vivid. The projected images changed, morphing from one thing to another…

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There were random displays…

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Catherine loved this one, that was all about microbes…

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And now it’s time to go home. I’m going to miss Catherine! We had such a good time together. It’s going to feel lonely for a while. I’m glad that we can FaceTime until the next time we can get together in the real world.

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Now that we’re home from the Grand Hotel…

Elanor spent the day catching up and shipping orders. Three big bags of packages will go to the post office first thing tomorrow morning.

There’s one order from class with no name or contact info for side-threading needles. If you think that’s you, please email me at becky.pieceocake@gmail.com.

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I spent part of my day going to doctors. This morning I saw my foot doctor. I have a toe that curls under its neighbor and it has begun to hurt. For now, I can wear a tiny little silicone sleeve on it. In late July, he’s going to do a ‘1-stitch’ procedure to fix it. I think that means he’s going to lop off the offending underside of that toe. If it works, the other foot will be having the same thing.

My mother told me that when I was a baby she did her best to straighten up those two toes, wrapping them to make them grow straight. It didn’t work but, Moms, they know so much.

I went to the dermatologist this afternoon. I have a line under my thumbnail that a physician/student suggested it would be good to have it looked at. My doctor looked at it and my other fingernails. Turns out, I have a similar thing going on under other nails, just not so pronounced.

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After much deliberation we both decided that it was probably not melanoma, but that it was prudent to watch it. I’ll be going back in 3 months. He measured but didn’t have to do a biopsy today. That’s all good news. The bad news is that I need to forego polish for 3 months. Dang!

Donna, who takes very good care of my nails so that they always look good on camera, will make even unpolished nails work for me. I’m sure of that. However, the transition from one to the other might not be so lovely so it’s good that I’m not on the road teaching again until August.

FYI: If the line under my nail gets wider and irregular, that’s bad. If you have that, go to the doctor NOW!

Side note: I wore a dress in case he needed to look me all over. Turns out, he did. Nothing of note, thankfully.

And, lastly, I should show you this room at the Grand Hotel. I took the photo as we walked by and the door was open, between guests. All of the rooms are decorated differently and I didn’t see that many, but I really like this one!

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The predominant colors at the Grand Hotel are green, red, and aqua. This guest room also has a touch of periwinkle which is very nice. Many, if not most, of the ceilings are pale aqua… just like my very own bedroom at home. Sweet!

So much pattern! Big prints! Strong colors! I don’t want to bring it to my house now but it is loads of fun to visit :-). You should definitely visit the Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island. It’s an amazing place.

 

My favorite white pencil is famous!

I have used a white charcoal pencil made by the General Pencil Company for as long as I can remember. They are the perfect pencil for marking medium to dark fabric AND they are very affordable! You can find them here and here on my website.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a feature story about General Pencil today in the New York Times! It is a great story, with amazing photos by Christopher Payne, that tells us how pencils are still being made in the US.

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I’m even more impressed now at both the quality of every pencil and the low prices!

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Click here to read the article in the New York Times.

If you want to take better photos…

Ricky Tims is taking sign-ups now for the 2018 Photo Challenge class. I took this class 3 years ago and learned so much! I’m not only a better photographer now, I have learned to see the world around me better.

If you want to take better photos, learn how to use Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop, and get better acquainted with your camera, this is the best way I know to do it. The class is broken up into two 26-week sessions. Ricky is offering a very good discount right now.

  • November 9 – 30 Registration is 75% off, at $149
  • December 1 – 18, Registration is 50% off at $299.
  • After December 18, Full price, $599

I’ve been part of the follow-up Critique group since finishing the first year of classes. This week’s challenge was ‘self portrait’. It happens every year and this time I finally got a photo that looks like me!

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Steve and I will be NYC visiting Celia and Jeff all this week. Watch for my photos of the big city here, on instagram, and on facebook.

Patience, the hardest virtue…

I had planned my first day back from vacation carefully. I was going to choose photos, write blog posts, and get all caught up before leaving at the crack-of-before-dawn on Wednesday to teach in West Houston. I even had dreams of sewing! Dang. None of that happened.

Instead, I answered some email and then took mom to two doctors. Her primary Dr.’s associate saw mom for a UTI, swollen leg, and an open (but not infected) wound. While not great, this is not unusual medical stuff for an 84-year-old diabetic.

Cue up a happy sky photo because so far, so good.

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I took mom home for a nap after doctor #1, where she could rest and put up her leg. That didn’t happen. Instead, she was playing bingo when I came back an hour and half later to pick her up to go the eye doctor.

My mom has seen every eye doctor in Sherman over the last 5 years and she still can’t see as well as she wants to (this is after cataract surgery, in case you are wondering). I admit it — I lost patience long ago. Every doctor said ‘use drops’ and they tweaked her prescription. I figured my mom’s age was the problem and that her eyes were never going to be as good as she thought they should be.

Well, not so much. Last month, she saw Dr. Long who, with his associates, figured out that mom was seeing double. Did you know that they make glasses for that? Yes, they do.

The new glasses came and we all thought the problem was fixed. Except that it wasn’t. Damn.

Mom’s 2nd doctor visit today was back to the eye doctor. I figured that her glasses needed to be tweaked. Again, I was wrong.

It was a long visit. I admit that I was less and less patient as we waited, but I didn’t lose it and remained nice throughout. My younger self would not have stayed as nice. Does that indicate growth that comes with age? I can only hope.

Long story short is that her eyes are changing, too much and too fast. The doctor wants an MRI of her midbrain. Mom was a nurse and I know enough physiology to know that he suspects something stroke-like. Damn, again.

Mom was not thrilled, but she was calm. Nothing had really changed. She has trouble seeing and she has been a stroke risk for a long, long time. Life goes on. And we will try to remain gracefully patient, no matter what comes. It’s time for another happy picture, right?

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To those of you who find yourselves taking care of parents, children, or grandchildren, I hope that you find graceful patience when you need it. And if you have any to spare, please do send it my way :-).