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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Catch up time

It's been a full week of summer reading, art, games, sewing and nature. Wow is all I can say. My little soul-mate cousin F has been visiting - she of the tiny knitted baby dresses from last summer. A year older now, she was even more help at the library, this first week of summer reading club; registering children for the club and paying out book buck$ to the those who came back a second time. She was even a magician's helper at our SRC kick-off magic show.

Every day there was something interesting to do, but the most fun we had was painting. Every librarian secretly believes that if it's in a book, on a DVD, a part of the collection, anybody can learn it. If you're interested in something, the tools for learning it are right here, in the library!! And in our library there are how-to-paint DVDs. At least, most of them are in the library. Two of them are at my house and every morning, around 6 a.m. we would paint along with Frank Clarke. I had been feeling the pull of my water colors, languishing in the den for more than a year, but it took having having a buddy to prime my artistic pump. It was good to follow someone's directions to get back into the swing again.

Painting with a young one is such a thrilling thing, because, of course, painting is first of all, an exercise in looking. After we had painted a bunch of Frank's pictures, we took some time to look around outside - to decide how we would use his techniques to paint something around us. We chose two sentinel cedar trees that frame the lane as it curves away from my house. As we were examining the scene, finding the horizon, the foreground and middle ground, who should dash across that lane but Mrs. Grey Fox, taking home a rabbit to her babies! Yes. We put the fox in our paintings. And painting en plein air is so much fun! And different! For one thing, the paints dry much faster than when painting indoors - especially if there's a breeze. I'm not going to post F's paintings because she wants to surprise her family with them - but everybody else who's seen them has been amazed! Instead, you can see one of mine.

We also pulled out my ancient Sears sewing machine. I've got the decorating bug right now - a rare occurrence, something like a double eclipse in a month with a blue moon. I bought a lovely blue and white bedspread to make my bedroom at least look cooler this summer and I want Other Things to go with it. Pillowcases mostly but also a reading pillow cover and maybe a tablecloth or two. And then - the little love-seat in the living room desperately needs a new slipcover (ugh! I hate making them but do I know how). Last fall BD took my old machine to the most wonderful repair man who adjusted the bobbin tension that the sears repair man said couldn't be fixed. I hadn't tried the machine yet, but it worked yesterday as if it were a new machine. And that familiar smell of oil on metal brought back a flood of cozy memories.

With spare fabric, Cousin F made her first pillow case - and now she knows how - she can make more anytime. I know her mother has a sewing machine. We have had a wonderful week of creativity and girl stuff. It's always fun to come to Bess' Girls' Camp because I have such good toys and I share.

And in the evenings we played Scattergories. And BD read Longfellow out loud to us all. (I am going to get him to finish reading Hiawatha to me next week) LD was visiting too - so we had a full house. He was here for a visit and some meetings and is off now on a fishing trip with a college friend - but he'll be back in a few weeks.

In Other Family News, Daddy has been taken to hospital with a serious infection. I'll be with him this afternoon and sister & I will consult because this is only one in a long string of downward steps he's taken this year. We are trying to be strong and good and wise. We understand that these are goals to strive for, not pointing fingers to beat ourselves up with.

Knitting? Of course I am knitting. A little. There will be progress photos - maybe after today since I'll be in a car for some of it. Just catching you all up with things.


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