Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good News All Around!

Mom's wall at The Paper Sparrow gallery opening
Well, i know i promised to take LOTS of pictures last night, but this is pretty much all i got...I have a few more but last night i just didn't have the photographer's gift...
My wall at the Paper Sparrow show
I took these shots of our walls just before the night got started, but once people started coming in, i didn't touch my camera...or even think of it, for the rest of the night. We were so busy meeting new people and talking about the paintings and seeing friends and family come thru the door. And last night we had an unexpected snow fall and it got quite slippery out there for a while, but still folks kept coming in.

It was so much fun to watch people as they looked at our work. Some people came in and were very quiet while they looked, and nodded at us as they passed by. Others smiled and pointed and commented quite a bit. I loved watching people's faces as they studied the paintings.

Mom and her best friend Pat always work the gallery room and help out with the refreshments, so they had front row seats.

Some of Mom's paintings

I'm usually stationed behind the jewelry counters near the gallery and doll area, and am there to get things for customers, identify gems and jewels, whatever they may need....

So this time i stood at the edge of the counter and the gallery door . It was so nice when someone went out of their way to ask to talk to the "artists" and tell us how much they enjoyed our work or had questions about it.

AND, so far, Mom and i have sold 2 paintings each, and i have 3 "on hold" WOOHOO!!! At the end of the night i was so tired. I felt like i was turned on like a light bulb for days and finally my light blew out! But when i got home i checked my email before bed and saw that the CPSIA law had been put on hold for at least a year until they worked the kinks out and i was SO happy! My daughter had been so sad about not being able to sell baby things any more. Mom was sad not to be able to make baby blankets and hats, and i was real sad about not being able to continue with the baby clothes and dolls i love to make... So it was a great night for all! Thanks for all the good wishes my friends. It was a wonderful experience! And believe it or not, i am thinking of asking to book another show next year. Maybe in a year we will forget how much work this was! hahaha

Friday, January 30, 2009

Reminder! Mother Daughter Show Opening is Tonight!

Well, Mom's paintings are up on the wall, and mine will go up this morning. Putting together a show like this is a lot of work for everyone involved, but for me it is a labor of love. To have this show with my Mother, is a dream come true. To stand back and see her paintings on those walls makes me feel so happy and proud. And to have our paintings hang on walls my own daughter has worked so hard for, well....i cannot tell you how proud i am and the gratitude i feel. So, i will bring my camera with me this morning when we hang the rest of the show, and will have it with me tonight for the opening, and will be sure to share some photos with you! Wish us luck !

Toybox Outlaws ~ Metroland article

One of our local weekly magazines did an excellent article on this ridiculous CPSIA law. You can read it here... It is a well written, in depth article on just how devastating and far reaching this law could be if something isn't done, and soon.... The author, Kathryn Geurin, is writing from the heart here, as she is also one of our local artists that will be effected by this law. My daughter, Kate Eggleston, from The Paper Sparrow, is quoted in the article... Check it out...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mother/Daughter Art Show at The Paper Sparrow, Troy, NY

My Mother and i are the featured artists at The Paper Sparrow for the month of February! The opening for our show will be during Troy Night Out, Friday, January 30th, 2009 from 5:00-9:00pm. Mom and i will be displaying our paintings in the gallery! We'd love to have you stop by and say hi, look at our work (It will be all dressed up with mats and frames) and see all of the wonderful things available at The Paper Sparrow. I am so thrilled and honored to share this gallery space with my Mother (Helen "Honey" Stopera) She is by far my most favorite artist of all! Here are a few of the paintings that may be displayed and available at the show..."Little Sparrow" by me
"Bluebird Family" by Mom
"Orchard Blooms" by me

"Little bird" by Mom

"Marsh" by me

"Woodland" by Mom

"Cardinal Family" by Mom

"Nest" by me

"Ladyslipper" by me
All of Mom's paintings are done in watercolor, and mine are mixed, mostly watercolor, pen, pencil, acrylic. I even throw in some salt, straw-blown paint, you name it! This is our second show, but our first just the two of us together. We have been busy making decisions as to what paintings will go up, and then there is the matting and framing! It's a lot of work! I'll take pictures once the show is up on the gallery walls! If you are in the neighborhood, come on by! For more information on Troy Night Out, click here (Scroll down the page to The Paper Sparrow and see Mom and i listed as an event! We're so excited!) Thank you Kate, for inviting us to show our work. It means so much to us...

Rising from the Shadows...

I was looking for a clip to post of Bruce's new music (not available until tomorrow...) when i found this. His song "The Rising" written after 9/11, still makes me cry. I never thought of it as a symbol for what we have been going thru these last years with the old administration. Interesting...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baking up a storm!

My first loaf baked in a bread pan...

Mom Loves cinnamon raisin bread, so i took the basic recipe... rolled it out, sprinkled it generously with sugar, fresh ground cinnamon and sweet raisins...Then i rolled it up, tucked the ends in and let it set to rise...
It smelled like Heaven! And Mom and Dad said it was delicious...

This little loaf of boule looked like a little valentine to me! How can something be so pretty, smell so good and taste so delicious! Remember, these bread recipes came from this book... Have you checked it out yet?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"a little help" needed

I have been sending small donations to an organization i first found mentioned on the nightly news. It is called "a little help". It is run almost single-handed by an American woman named Rosemary Stasek. Click on this link to hear a little bit about her story. It is fascinating.... Even more fascinating, when i send her my little donations via Paypal, she actually takes the time to write me back, personally thanking me for my small donation. Right now it is Winter in Afghanistan and it is very difficult to get supplies to her various locations. So, money is the best way to donate. But Rosemary has special programs she runs, like the school for the blind for women and girls, where they teach the women how to knit. (This gave me the incentive to learn to knit. I figured if THEY can lean how to knit without sight, then i certainly can at least give it a try!) When the weather clears Rosemary will again be collecting donations of yarn and knitting needles for her program. She accepts clothes, blankets, toys, etc for her children's programs and schools. She also offers a school for young women artists and accepts donations of art supplies too, weather permitting....Rosemary travels around the country speaking on behalf of her organization. She will be visiting California in January and February, and is scheduled to be in New York at Cornell University in March. I would love to try to see her there. She is a remarkable woman who is making a huge difference in the world, all by herself. The photo at the top of this post is of one of the blind students, learning how to knit on donated materials. Click on the photo to see Rosemary and her photos from 2008.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bonsai Bliss...Jasmine in the House...

This is one of my favorite inside trees...A bit too big to be an official bonsai, but in my mind, any tree that is dwarfed and kept in a pot indoors is a bonsai. I do not know what variety of jasmine this is, but it is very hardy and very prolific in it's gorgeous blooms!

Just one little cluster of these flowers can scent a whole room....
And a few clusters scent my whole house. It may only be 19 degrees outside,(actually a bit of a heat wave compared to recent temps) but in here, it SPRING!!!


Transcript of the Rev. Joseph Lowery's benediction
January 21, 2009

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee.

Shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand, true to thee, oh God, and true to our native land.We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day.

We pray now, oh Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration.

He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national, and indeed the global, fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hands, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations.

Our faith does not shrink though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you are able and you're willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these, and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union.

And while we have sown the seeds of greed -- the wind of greed and corruption -- and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little angelics Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone.

With your hands of power and your heart of love, help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nations shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid, when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back . . . when brown can stick around . . . when yellow will be mellow . . . when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen. Say amen. And amen.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's New?

Well, there is a whole lot of new things goin' on around here. First of all, i finally brought the van down to The Paper Sparrow to pick up my most special birthday present from my daughter Kate. Last Summer we had the good fortune to meet a local artist, Lorraine Bowen. She sells many of her delightful paintings at my daughter's shop. Anyway, i happened to go to her website, and saw a painting called "Ox" and fell in love...(I love anything bovine, but have a special soft spot for soft brown cows with those big sweet cow eyes...) When i told Lorraine that i especially loved that painting she told me it was big...but i had no idea HOW big. (Here it is, sitting on my couch, waiting for me to make a final decision on what wall it will be hung) Well, months went by and my daughter told me she had a special surprise for my birthday. When she dragged this big square package wrapped in brown paper out of the gallery space in her shop i had no idea it was the Ox painted by Lorraine. This truly was a big surprise! Katie told me Lorraine and her Mother were both a little sad to part with this painting. But i hope seeing it in my home will make them feel a little better. It is a well loved addition to my growing art collection! Not real sure where it will go yet, but i am down to either a nice sunny yellow wall in the sun room, OR center stage on my warm, cocoa colored walls in my kitchen. (Somehow i can't help but feel this little Ox will be happier in the kitchen...but we'll see...) When we do decide where it is going, i'll take another picture of it in it's official home space. Thank you Katie! Thank you Lorraine! I LOVE it!
Another new member of my doll and teddy collection is Ned, from Teddy Bear's Wednesday ~ Jess McCoughey. This little guy is a little more "portable" and will also be a much loved addition to my home. Thanks Jess! So happy you have an Etsy shop now! Keep makin' those teddies!
These are two of my Mother Earth paper dolls. I take copies of photos of women i support thru and make little paper sculptures of them, to raise awareness of the fantastic job Kiva does. I am making these to display at The Paper Sparrow at the next Troy Night Out, where my Mother and I will be the featured artists! It will be the first Mother~Daughter art show at the shop. We will be showing our matted and framed paintings ~ mostly watercolor, and a few acrylics and collages... You are all officially invited to attend the show opening on January 30th, 5:00 till???
And i'm still baking that bread! Here are two loaves of french boule cooling on the rack... yum!

On the needlework front, i finally made a slightly more complicated sweater. This one and the little hat to match will be given as a gift for a newborn baby girl who has just become a part of our extended family!
And this little sweater/jacket is a basic beginner's sweater. The colors don't show up very well in this photo(i truly need a new camera) but it is a nubby yarn with shades of pink, rose, raspberry, grey and white. I used a vintage mother of pearl button to close it at the neck. I still need to wash and block this little sweater before it is ready to go.
And last but not least, i am ALMOST done with my first mitten! WOOHOO! It is actually my umpteenth try at mittens.... The first few tries i tore out the cuff twice because of mistakes in the ribbing. Then when i was finally half way thru the first mitten, my puppy Pollyanna got a hold of it and decided to play tug of war with her sister Zinnia with it...That was discouraging... Anyway, all i need to do is finish the thumb and i have one mitten down, 1 more to go!
I am very proud of my stitches in this project. When i first started knitting, my stitches were all over the place, but i am finally pulling it together. Again, the color is washed out of this shot but it does show my neat little stitches...(again, i really need a new camera ...) So, that's it for now...Time to start a few new projects(and get that second mitten done!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Movie Night ~ Bill's Pick

It's been so darn cold out! As part of our New Year's Resolutions, Bill and i have decided to try to go to the movies more, or visit more museums, but with this terrible cold weather that has set in, it is not the greatest weather for strolling with a wheelchair. So if we can't get out as much as we would like, we'll make our fun indoors! I went thru the stack of our favorite DVD's and pulled out at least 2 dozen movies to enjoy again. And i thought i'd let you know what we think of them too! Last night it was Bill's turn to pick and he chose "Chocolat" It is a charming, beautiful adult fairy tale about a woman who comes to a very dreary town and shakes things up! We give this movie 5 ***** Stars! Have you seen it yet? Check out the trailer below and enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Guess Who came to breakfast!???

Little Miss Lola!
Grama made her scrambled eggs, and we cut up some mild cheese squares, homemade bread and butter and small pieces of fresh ripe pear. The eggs are in a bowl her Mommy used to eat out of! (Rainbow Bright! Remember her?)
Lola is used to me getting the camera out when she comes by and is very tollerant... I know looking at baby pictures is not the greatest thing unless it is YOUR baby we're lookin' at.
But please folks, be patient with me...I am in love....

While Lola's Aunt Nancy was home she brought some Sesame Street pop up books for her. Here her Mommy Carly is helping her turn the pages gently... (we haven't quite graduated to big girl paper books yet, but have lots of sturdy board books to love)

I know Aunt Nancy reads this blog, so..Aunt Nance ~ Thank you! She loves the books! And somehow they are all still intact!
While Lola was still here the mail arrived and in came a special package from Australia. Lo was very interested to see what was in that box! It was Ned! A crocheted teddy bear lovingly made by my blog friend and very talented teddy bear artist Jess McCoughey! Jess just opened her new Etsy shop and when i saw Ned, well.... i lost my will power.

Jess, if you are reading this, you can be sure Ned will be well loved!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Gift from Sri Lanka (CCF)

This beautiful card arrived today from Nisansala in Sri Lanka

Nisansala is one of my sponsored children thru Christian Children's Fund. I recently posted about her here. At the very young age of seven years, seven months, she is quite an artist! I am very impressed with her drawings.... and her lovely messages of love that she sends so often to me. I may never actually meet these children, but they are very much a part of my own family, and my heart...I started sponsoring thru CCF over 25 years ago, to help children and to try to make a difference. In return, i am so surprised at how much their love has changed and enriched my life...

Monday, January 12, 2009

The First Step...Homemade Bread

Homemade Artisan bread....This is the basic "Master" recipe, a boule...

from this fantastic book..... I used to make my own bread when i was a vegetarian, some 25 years ago...It was a whole grain, "protein" bread that had exacting instructions and was time consuming and very very heavy...Good, but h-e-a-v-y.....

This is...magnificent! A crispy, beautiful crust, and soft moist bread inside.....

Oh and i wish this was a scratch and sniff blog, because if you could only smell what it smells like in this house after baking this..... It is super easy to make too. You just dump all the ingredients into a bowl, let it rise, refrigerate and cut off a piece when you are ready to bake. For me, this is step #1 in becoming more self sufficient in feeding our family, with less reliance on store bought bread. I highly recommend this book!

Check out this video's that easy!