Archive for February, 2008

Just the Right Age

February 24, 2008

Old enough to be truly helpful, too young for a real job away from home–it’s good to have an apprentice!

 And he’s actually looking forward to helping me lay the hardwood flooring and ceramic tile on the main level this summer!  What a lucky mom I am.  


Za Za Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

February 20, 2008

I’ve spent more than 20 years collecting quilting fabrics.  (Did I just admit that?!)  A little [cough–a lot–cough] here and a little [cough–a lot–cough] there add to my palette, and most of my quilts contain a ginormous variety of fabrics.  But after spending the past four years with no studio or decent storage space and very little free time to dig through my stash, I’ve learned to appreciate jelly rolls, charm packs and other convenient ways of purchasing entire collections of new quilting fabric.  With all that help from the fabric companies and retailers, I actually stand a real chance of completing something every now and then.

Za Za blocks 

I got up at 4:30 this morning to help hubby get off to the airport.  I hope the neighbors didn’t mind the melodious scraping of the snow shovel before 5 am.  No point going back to sleep, so Betty and I started sewing a quilt for Monk’s “new” room using Moda’s  Za Za by Erin Michael, which goes wonderfully with Sherwin Williams “Spunky Green.”  The prints aren’t too flowery for a 13-year-old guy.   Imagine my surprise when the blocks were finished before 9 am.  And that’s even after taking a break to shovel the new inch of snow that fell, drive the Bigs to school and stand in line at Starbucks!  I need to get my butt out of bed early more often.


I’m still working on Monk’s room, but it’s moving along.  My drywalling repair isn’t over yet, as I discovered the contractors cut the outlet holes too large to properly hide with a standard cover.  Grrrrrrrrr!  They’re fixable, but will require a few hours that I did not plan to spend on that particular task.  Then again, that’s nothing new to renovations. 


 The flooring is taunting me from its boxes.  I’m just about ready to start laying it down.  It’s a really nice spurl maple floating laminate.  The sooner I get it done, the sooner I can move Monk out of my sewing space, where he has been patiently camped out for the past six weeks.  It’s going to be worth it for both of us!

Dorotha Louise

February 11, 2008

My mother gave me many gifts.  She taught me that hard work is a virtue.  She told me that just as I could claim my victories in life, I had to accept responsibility for my failures–for that was the only way to learn from them and not repeat them.  She gave me my love of books and libraries.   She taught me to cook and bake and knit and sew.  She showed me that a husband can still be a boyfriend even after 50 years of marriage.


Alzheimer’s Disease stripped away her memories and her ability to do everything that she loved to do.  It stole away her dignity.  It finally tore her away from us far too soon.

 Some years back, when she struggling with my father’s terminal illness, we participated in a dollmaking workshop with elinor peace bailey.  I just wanted to get her out to try something new.  I had no idea that it would be so therapeutic for her.  epb encouraged my initially reluctant mother to make a doll which brought out her secret inner self.  I watched with quiet fascination as the doll she was creating became an aging Parisian Dance Hall Girl.  She cried and had a long private conversation with elinor as epb herself painted my mother’s face on her doll.

elinor peace bailey dorotha gensic doll 

I don’t think I would have had that little glimpse into my mom’s secret dream life if we hadn’t taken that class together.  The rose “tattoo” really makes me smile.   After the class, she made quite a few of epb’s dolls.  It wasn’t long, however, before the disease forced her to abandon the pursuit.

Thanks for having just one last kid, mom.  I’m sorry you had to leave us so soon, but I’m glad that your suffering is finally over.   

Please Don’t Tickle the Daisies

February 2, 2008

It’s finished!  It’s here!  It’s wonderful! Last fall, I commissioned an ink and watercolor work by artist/illustrator/poet/future author Mark Pinto.  He won’t name it for me, but he said I could  give you a peek.  It’s a painting in two frames.  One represents what’s going on above ground, and the other is what is happening underground.  Above ground, the daisies have just been watered and are laughing hysterically because . . . . 

Mark Pinto Untitled 2007 children\'s book illustrator 

 Underground, the moles are licking the water off of their roots, tickling them!

Mark Pinto Untitled 2007 children\'s book illustrator 

 The detail is amazing.  He must have spent weeks on the dirt alone.  I’m just sorry the photo doesn’t do it justice.  Check out the one flower trying to pull itself out of the ground.  And the baby mole presenting the daisy to his mom–what is she freaking out about?  Hmmmmmm . . . .

 Any ideas for a name?  

Mark’s poetry is equally amazing, and although I don’t want to slow down the progress on his book, I have already commissioned another work from him.