Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's Hogmanay Again!

Robert Callander, Gordon Blair (my dad) and (?), April  3, 1968, Cleveland, Ohio
Last year, I wrote a post about Hogmanay, the Scottish traditional New Year's Eve celebration.  If you don't remember, or if you are new to my blog, you can read it here.  But briefly, let me just say that Hogmanay is the big blow-out party night in Scotland, and it is much more boisterous than Christmas or indeed any other holiday party held during the year.  A big, messy, happy, loud, raucous, noisy party indeed.

My father, who was Scottish, was always up for a big Hogmanay party.  We always hosted it at our house, and as the evening progressed, the party became increasingly noisy.  When we were children, Andrew and I would be sent to bed that night to the sounds of a great deal of hilarity. It certainly sounded like they were having fun.

I wish you all, Happy Hogmanay!  May 2017 be a great year for us all!

Friday, December 30, 2016

I'm late posting today because...

I found out this afternoon that my Aunt Sally died.  She was my mother's youngest sister and my favorite aunt, and I will miss her terribly.

Sally and I

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 -- The Year in 27 Pictures

Cheers on New Year's Eve, 12/31/15!
First Item of Business for the New Year -- Finishing the Salt Marsh Near First Encounter Beach.
The Finished Quilt.
At Kyra's new house in Round Rock in February.  For some reason, I only took pictures of food....
The Pitons on St. Lucia in March.  We spent a wonderful week in a wonderful place with some wonderful friends!
Our house on St. Lucia was AMAZING!
The SAQA conference in Philadelphia in April.  The Texas Contingent.
And with Maria Shell, the dear friend who convinced me to give a Pecha Kucha talk at the conference.
I'm glad she did -- it was a BLAST!
At the Crow Barn in Baltimore, Ohio, in June for a Master Class
And while at the Barn, I got to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law
In June, I attended Susie Monday's Art Camp in New Mexico
This little fellow was NOT one of the campers. 
I spent the week working with metal.  It was fabulous! 
I had a solo show in Fort Worth
And I went to Muskegon in August for the opening of Circular Abstractions at the Muskegon Museum of Art 
My piece, Orbital Plane, is on the right side of the back wall
We went to the Keewenah Peninsula in Michigan in September to see copper mines.
And we even got to tour one.
After the mines, we visited friends in the northern part of Wisconsin.  And had some lovely cruises. 
And spent quality time on their deck looking out over the lake.
We spent a week on Cape Cod with Pop in September.
VIDA started producing scarves and tote bags based on some of my quilts. 
I visited Janet and her family in Arkansas in October
In November, I attended International Quilt Festival in Houston, where I won a first place for the Salt Marsh Near First Encounter Beach.  
We spent Thanksgiving in Evergreen, Colorado, with dear friends.
And we had our family here in Fort Worth for Christmas.
All in all, a wonderful year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cowgirl Christmas

circa 1960...
I no longer have the hat or boots, but I still have the teddy bear!

Monday, December 26, 2016

I Got a Bug for Christmas!

No, not that kind of bug!  Brian gave me a new trilobite for my collection.  It is an Asaphus acuminatus, and this little fellow was collected in Russia.  The genus Asaphus is from the Lower and Middle Ordovician, and is found in northwestern Europe (Sweden, Estonia and the St. Petersburg area).  He's about 3 1/2 inches from nose to tail.

I started collecting trilobites in college.  My school, Wittenberg University, is in Ohio and there are wonderful locations for fossil collecting in the Devonian and Silurian limestones and dolomites around the state.  As a geology major, I had lots of opportunities to visit great collecting sites.

I've taken a few pictures of my collection (pre-Asaphus) and am planning a future blog post.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day In The Morning

We hung our stockings last night by the chimney with care, and Santa Claus indeed stopped by.  We are grateful.  But more than that, we are fortunate to have our families, our health and good friends.  What more could we ask for on this Christmas day?  Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Happy Holidays one and all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

No, wait, it's not Santa, it's Pop and Bruce arriving in Fort Worth!  The holidays have officially begun!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Most houseguests are arriving today, so I'll just send out a quick "Happy Holidays" before I start the last minute preparations.  May your Holidays be merry and may we all have a creative 2017!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

So far, it's mostly been cooking, cleaning, laundry and BAKING!  I love to bake Christmas cookies.  Yesterday I made my favorite cookie, the cookie that I remember making every Christmas as a small child, spritz cookies decorated with colorful sugars.

Yes, that is our traditional pumpkin-shaped spritz cookie in the tin.  They are B's favorites.  Kind of a strangely shaped Christmas cookie, but I also make many shaped like trees, ornaments and poinsettias.  I always have to include a few pumpkins.  They make me smile.  Especially the blue ones.

Today I'm making B's favorite Christmas cookies, almond horns.  Time to get to work!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I Love studioQ!

studioQ, my fiber group, met yesterday for a lovely Christmas lunch.  I'm sure you've heard me go on about studioQ before.  But let me say once again, I love this group!  They are talented and supportive, and they spur me on to do my best work every month.  I don't know what I'd do without them.

Before lunch, we had show and tell.  Wendy showed her newest piece based on ancient forms of writing.
Technically, the Albers challenge piece isn't due until the January meeting.  But I knew that there are several members of this group who wouldn't be able to wait until then.  So I threw mine in my bag, just in case.  And I was right!

Here is the inspiration piece for January, by Josef Albers:
And here are a few interpretations.  Several of them are mine, but Jay and Rhonda also showed pieces.
Lunch was the main object of our meeting.  And we all enjoyed it thoroughly!
Kay, Wendy and Diana
Jay and Tina

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Did I say it was cold last week?

Um, actually, last week it was practically tropical.  Now, THIS is cold:
The weather in North Texas can be changeable.  For example, 24 hours ago it was 65 degrees and sunny.  A beautiful morning!  We headed to our local nursery to buy pansies and hellebores, and then spent the rest of the day cleaning out flower beds and planting our new purchases.  We even managed to wash some windows.  All of which needed to be done before the Christmas guests arrive this week.

At 2:00 the wind shifted from the south (balmy) to the northwest (frigid).  It was amazing how fast the cold front came in.  And this morning, the world is frosty, windy and cold.

Don't worry, we'll be back up to 65 degrees by Tuesday.  That's winter in North Texas.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Andrew!

The best baby brother a girl could ever have!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Silliness

Boomer dressed as a jolly Christmas elf.  He was not amused.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

It may be looking a lot like Christmas, but it's fall in North Texas

The house is decorated inside and out, the presents are under the tree and I've started my holiday baking.  The weather has even turned a little chilly.  But.....the leaves are turning.  Welcome to December in North Texas!

Our Shantung maple, which we planted 4 years ago, is putting on a show this year!

Sign up for my studio newsletter