Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Potholder Art

Miss Lilly on the 4th of July

Miss Lilly on the July 4th

To most people, fireworks, barbeques, beaches, backyards, family, and friends, that’s what July 4th represents. Sometimes we forget while watching the rockets red glare and the sparkling white shooting stars that the reason for the red, white, and blue is our freedom.

With talk of so many illegal aliens in our country, those who come here legally are sometimes forgotten. My friend, Miss Lilly became a United States citizen on the 4th of July at City Center in Seattle with five hundred and fifty-one other immigrants from eighty-two nations.

Lilly’s husband Vern was out of state caring for his father so Rita, Angie, Cis, Mike, and I went to support our friend. Lilly was born in China and is an accomplished businesswoman and teaches Chinese at Western Washington University. She is sweet and caring with a flair for cooking and sharing her elaborate meals with friends.

I felt privileged to be invited to watch Lilly become an American citizen. The girls left Bellingham at 7:00 AM laughing and sharing stories all the way to Seattle. We arrived before our arrange time of 10:00 AM to get Lilly registered and in place before the ceremony began at 11:00 AM and Mike arrived to join us. The Army band played an array of military themes and John Philip Souza marches amongst the red, white, and blue balloons dancing on strings tied to railings and all the well wishers waving tiny American flags. Cis made a run to the store the night before to pick up flags so we would all have one and Angie snapped photos to commemorate the event. Dignitaries made speeches and then immigration and naturalization made their presentation and a judge made it official. Lilly had to sign her final papers after the ceremony and then it was official, she was an American. Lilly made a choice and a commitment to become an American and something to be proud of the rest of her life.

Salmon Art Project #2

This is my second year participating in the Annual Salmon at the Bay Art Show. We are given a three foot blank wood cutout of a salmon and may use any art medium we want to decorate the salmon.

My salmon is #53 and consist of thirty-nine two sided fused fabric flowers in hot pink, lime green and electric blue. The center of each flower is painted with glow in the dark paint to add that unexpected surprise to whoever buys the fish and turns out the lights for the first time. The back of the fish is collaged with paper in coordinating colors. I used three wires in the same colors to make a hanger for the fish and finished off the ends of the wire with glass beads.

Because this little fishy looks more like a 60’s Haight Ashbury flower child I went with that theme and wrote a poem about him.

You’ve heard of the types of salmon
Atlantic, Chum, King, Lake, Pink,
Silver, Sockeye, Kokanee,
Copper River, Coho, and Steelhead,
But I bet you’ve never heard of me
I’m sure you never seen my picture
When thumbing through a book
I’m a fish of a different color
A flower child with beads
The one that always gets away
And lives to swim another day
I swim to a different rhythm
Upside down and backwards
I live among the water lilies
My motto is peace, love, and flowers
Live and let live, power to the salmon
I have evolved to survive
While my brothers and sisters
Wind up on a serving platter
I’m still swimming free
To be me

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy 90th Mom

My mother, Clella Jewell turned ninety years old on Sunday June 10th. On the following Saturday our family and a few close friends celebrated her birthday with a luncheon. She didn’t really feel like celebrating since it has only been five months since my father died but agreed to a small gathering.

My sister Mary wanted to do something to commemorate my mom’s birthday. Mary thought a quilt square from each family member and friends would be something special she could always treasure. We decided that the squares could be turned into potholders and hung in the kitchen to enjoy the memories. I bought muslin and cut it into nine inch squares and mailed them out. Now everyone is saying what I am going to put on this. I’m not artistic. What do I do?

The square for my husband Larry and I took several turns. I settled on “The American Gothic” painting and imposed our heads onto the painting with a garden background. Did you ever go to find a picture of yourself and realize you hate them all? The hair isn’t the right style or color, you’re not smiling, and your eyes are closed. Since this is such a somber painting, I finally had a use for several of those pictures I don’t show anyone. Larry laughed and said I gave him a neck so he was happy with his part of the square.

My sister called in a panic so I did a square for her, printing a background of a gerbera daisy on the muslin, then I sewed a fabric gerbera daisy onto the top of that and in the center I put a picture of her when she was about eighteen years old.

Not done yet, I had to come up with an idea for my brother Jerry and his wife Laura. Something elegant and simple so I suggested they have their monogram embroidered on a square.

Wait…my daughter Kelly called and said her square would be a little late coming but she was going to use pictures from her childhood memories with my parents. Okay work quickly I told her. My son Michael made his square after a quilt block called Michael’s heart that he designed and my mother made into a quilt for him. My oldest son Jim did his square with a little help from Heather showing the state of California on it, the quarter horse logo, and a police shield. Heather still needs to get her square done.

My mom had a wonderful afternoon with a few dear friends, family, my cousins, and she loved her quilt squares. She said they would make a nice winter project to work on.
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