Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yay, something artistic to post about!

My daughters scheduled us for a painting session at Sips and Strokes in Tuscaloosa this past Monday evening. This was our last chance at a Mother/Daughter get together before Holly left out Tuesday morning to fly back to Waco. We had a good time. Emily took a few shots of the occasion with her phone camera. First shot is us with our aprons during the class, then below some of me with each daughter, works in progress, one of both Emily and Holly together, and lastly our finished paintings. I tried to make a link to the painting we were supposed to be doing, but couldn't get that to work, so here is one the the calendar they have where the cross we did is shown toward the bottom for classes later on somewhere else.

The premise of the workshop is for the instructor to show the step by step instructions to the group for you to complete a simple painting during the 2 hour class, with wine available for purchase and sipping, thus the name of the business. There were over 70 women in attendance, many came in groups or families as we did, and fun was had by all. Maybe this will inspire me to get out those paint sets that I have bought and never opened! Emily reminds me though, that first, I must finish up the collage/paintings that I have started and promised for Thomas. I have only completed one of three, although the others have been started. Hopefully the New Year will see me more settled as far as my job situation goes and find me more organized as to my time utilization.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

One of Santa's little helper's wanted me to remember to post and wish all of you a wonderful Christmas season. Hope all of you are getting to enjoy time with those you love. We have already had our get together with the kids(minus Holly's husband, Chris, who was unable to come home due to work). Also had the one with Kerry's family, so it kind of feels like Christmas is already over here. We still have a lunch at my Mom's to look forward to tomorrow, but Emily, Craig, and Thomas won't be there for that one so they can spend time with Craig's family also.

This weather we are having is some of the nastiest and strange that I ever remember on Christmas. We are having hurricane-like winds that have been blowing all day. Hoping the power stays on as the lights were flickering earlier.

I've been fortunate enough to have been keeping Thomas since Sunday evening. We went to get him and he has stayed with us until today, so that Holly could spend some time with him while she is home visiting us. She will leave to go back to Texas on Tuesday. It has been wonderful seeing her, too. They moved to Waco this past May and the only time we've seen her is when she came home for Thomas' birth.

We exchanged gifts last evening and it is really touching to see how my daughters are so thoughtful in their giving. I will have to take pics of some of the gifts so you can see. Kerry also came up with a thoughtful gift which was a pendant that is to commemorate Thomas's birth as it has the birthstones of Kerry, Thomas, and Emily.

Again, I wish each of you a blessed Christmas filled with love, hope, and peace.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New record for no posting!

Can not believe it has been a month! Life just seems so busy right now. The new job has been pretty stressful. Learning a new set of job skills after 28 plus years of doing the same type job has taken a lot out of me. I'm still not used to only having 2 days a week off. I know that is what most of the working world is used to, but for over a year I've worked 7 on/7 off and then for some years before that worked 4 ten hour shifts. So I've become accustomed to having extra off days to take care of things. Having only 1 real off day is throwing me. I'm off on Sundays and Mondays, but Sunday's are usually pretty busy, leaving only Monday. I am going to have to learn to manage my time better, especially my evening hours after I get home. Two hours of travel time add to time away from home every work day, but I know I can do better than I do with time management. I also believe that once the stress of learning and implementing the new job skills eases that things will be easier to handle. I'm going to post this update without a pic for now since it's been so long without a word from me here. Not much going on artistically, but I do have cute baby pics that I could show.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Wow, life has been so busy lately that I didn't realize it had been over 2 weeks since I posted. Thought this would be the perfect time to share the Halloween atcs I did for the Halloween atc swap. The top scan was one I stole from my friend Beth's post at the atc yahoo group. Her scan was better than the pic I had of the "2 Witches" atc. The other pics are mine. I didn't have time to do scans before I had to get the atcs in the mail, so these shots I took with my digital camera are not the best. I received 3 really great Halloween atcs myself but they are at work so I can enjoy them, since I seem to be there more than home right now, and also so I could show them off to the people at work.

Work is going pretty well, but that is why I've not posted for the most part. Had to stay late a lot of evenings. This week I have been preparing for and taking my competency, which is really an evaluation of your training and readiness to perform the job. I still have a little bit more to do for the competency then I will be able to start doing patient testing. Was really worried and stressed out about that and so glad it is almost over. Once I get past this totally, I know I will feel better and will be able to settle into a routine and enjoy the job and workplace so much more. Still even with this stress, it is so much better than where I was before and I am SO thankful to have this opportunity to try something new, especially considering the economy and job market. I know how lucky I am.

I did tell a friend at work, one that I also worked with at Woodland, that I will be glad when I no longer feel displaced. My brain just has not been able to process all the changes yet, so I am still not feeling totally "at home" with where I am. It is like if you moved into a new home. Even if it is where you will be living and you love it, it still takes a little while before you feel like it is "home" and you no longer feel a sense of newness, if that makes sense.

Oh yes, have also been having some computer issues, that are still not totally resolved. For about a week, was not able to use either my desktop or my laptop because of very slow or no browsing capabilities on the internet. With my work schedule, I didn't have time to try to get if going again. Still it is slow, but at least it is working.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween table-quick post

Taking a break from housework and taxes. Did a quickie table decoration for Halloween this weekend because the previous decorations were very summery-looking. I do have some more cutsie child-friendly decorations, which might be a better idea next year when Thomas is more aware. These are just some various flea market and thrift store finds that I thought looked kind of spooky when put together. The pics are a little dark. They were too bright with the flash and too dark without it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New month, new beginnings

Wow, life gets away with me and blogging doesn't figure into the picture. I've now finished up my last days in a hospital setting, I hope. Will start my new job next Tuesday. God really underscored and put exclamations points by the reasons I hated the job, especially my last night to work. I believe I will remember for a while why I wanted to leave.

During my last couple of nights to work, my little grandson, Thomas, was hospitalized with viral pneumonia, but it was not very bad, thankfully, or they caught it early, so he only stayed a night and a day. I went down Wednesday after I got off work to keep him Thursday and Friday so Emily and Craig could get back to work. Not that I had to have my arm twisted to do so. It was good to get to see and hold him after the worry of him being sick. He is better except for suffering a bit with colic, possible from having acid reflux, and being a little anemic. He'll have to start taking some iron supplements and they will also begin with a little cereal in his formula.

I was participating in a Halloween atc swap for my friend, Beth. Did manage to get those done and in the mail this week. I always try to do extra cards for the hostess and/or make a hostess gift. This time I didn't get those made yet, but will be doing that and getting in the mail to Beth soon. I took pics instead of scans and won't post them until Beth gets the atcs which I hope will be today.

Way behind on housework and need to get my tax stuff together. Yes, I know it is not traditional tax time, but we had to file extensions this year since the partnership return for the farm was not ready before now due to Kerry's Dad's surgeries and all. Shouldn't be on here piddling away my time on the internet, but here I am, lol.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drawings and new life journeys

Don't think I've ever blogged about drawing. Mostly because I rarely do it anymore. Many, many moons ago, when I was a young lass, I loved to draw. That is how my interest in art began. On my own, I experimented some with painting, but mostly I drew. When I was in college obtaining my 2 associate degrees, I took several drawing and painting courses, all they offered at the time actually at WSCC except for the pottery classes. The painting was with oils, so I've never had any teachings in watercolor or acrylics.

The drawing above is one I did while about junior high age, I think, from looking at a picture in a National Geographic magazine. I entered it in the local county fair art competition. Won a first place ribbon. Unfortunately I just drew it on some stationery paper since I had no real art papers and mounted it to a burlap-wrapped piece of cardboard with regular cellophane tape instead of a frame. It looked nice at the time and suited the subject matter, but over the years the paper has yellowed and the 6 spots where the tape touched the paper had turned brown. I scanned it yesterday for this post and retouched the brown spots and posterized it some with the photo editing software to minimized the damage time has inflicted on the paper.

I married while in college, got a lab job immediately upon graduation, and then we had our 2 babies not long after. Life got very busy and as is the case with a lot of working Moms, I put the artistic side of myself on hold. Locked it away somewhere for safekeeping actually. I did do some embroidery and cross stitch which was my way of creative expression at the time. Still have lots of patterns, threads, fabrics, etc. from these times put back that I keep meaning to go back to.

Several years ago, while on a frugal lifestyle forum, I ran across the mention of altered books which led to my exploring the internet for further information. This has led in turn to my widespread interest in all forms of altered arts and thus my return to art. I had never been exposed to mixed media art and find it so fascinating with all it's infinite possibilities. So mostly I've been going from this to that just having fun learning and trying new things. Still, I have wanted to return to the basics to see if I can still draw or paint, maybe finding a way to bring all these things together. I started a sketchbook journal, but so far only have a couple of drawings in it. The drawing below is not even in there. It is one I did at work one night(it was a slow night, what can I say) at Woodland on a piece of printer paper from a Time magazine cover picture of Kate Winslett(see link here). Yes, I realize it doesn't really look like her. My intent when I started the drawing was just to get one that I could use as a base for a mixed media painting in the style of Kellie Rae Roberts or D.J. Pettit. Of course, I have a lot of good intentions, too many and too scattered, I suppose. But sometimes blogging about some of this helps me to remember it later and to actually follow through with the intention.

In general, non-art, life news, I am about to embark upon a new phase of my working career. I have accepted job offer that just came up with Diatherix Laboratories in Huntsville. You can click on the link to see what the lab does. So, for the first time since becoming a lab tech, I will be working in a non-hospital setting. I can't even get my head around how different it will be yet. I do know that I feel like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders, so I would hope that is a sign that I've made the right decision. My present job at Hartselle involves me working by myself almost the entire 12 hour shift, putting me in some very difficult and stressful situations at times. I just turned 49 and I feel like it was taking years off of my life working like that. I had been praying that God would help me find where I needed to be and if possible a job where I could be off on Sundays. This job presented itself, with the schedule being dayshift, Tuesday through Saturdays and all holidays off. I can't really even comprehend being off every Sunday and on all holidays. I will have to drive to Huntsville, but was already driving 30 minutes one way to Hartselle. Two of my former coworkers at Woodland are working at Diatherix and were the ones that told me about the job opening. We will be able to car pool sometimes, if we want to,so that will help some.

Referring back to my earlier post about "light through the trees", I do believe the light is growing and that I feel like my feet are actually resting completely on the bottom so that I am going to be able to start walking toward that shallow water and maybe even up on dry ground.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More fabric work and pics of my sweet grandson

I have done a little something artsy. I finished another fabric cuff, just practicing with some scraps I have. I am going to do a one-to-one cuff swap with my friend, Beth, but the one I finished is not the one for her, so I won't mind sharing it here. I also will be participating in a Halloween atc swap that Beth is hostessing, so will be working on those this week while I'm off.

Not been a great week around this house. My hubby has the swine flu and has been sick over a week. He started feeling bad last Monday and is still not up to par, although he did go back to work today. With him, it ended affecting his breathing the most. The doctor gave him an inhaler and the Tamiflu. He doesn't smoke and never has, but he is kind of allergy-prone, so maybe that is why the lung symptoms were worse for him? Thankfully I've not come down with it so far(knock on wood).

Of course, I'm always going to have baby pics to share these days. Those of you friends with me on Facebook will have already seen these, but here they are anyway. Some I took last weekend. The bath pic is one Emily sent me this weekend. Emily had to go back to work yesterday and I've not gotten to talk to her with me work schedule and her's conflicting to find out how that went. I know it was hard for them.

In news of my other daughter, one of my most faithful readers, Holly found a job in the school system in Texas although not as a teacher yet. With their move during the summer, it didn't leave her much time to get papers transferred and certifications for that state, also. She got an aide position with the special education program(not sure if that is still what they call it, probably not in this day of political correctness)at the fifth grade level. At least it got her foot in the door and in place with the state school systems.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Light through the trees

I know that may seem a strange title, but hopefully it will make sense. I thought I would take a moment for reflection today on my 49th birthday. (Edited to add: I realized after I posted that I started this post on the 11th, but am just now finishing it on the 14th.) As I approach half a century of life, reflection seems most appropriate. There have been so many changes in my life especially in the last year. I lost my father, became a grandmother, had a daughter move halfway across the country again, lost a job by the hospital closing, found a new job, had 2 pets die, left one church and began attending at a new one, struggled with hardships on our farm so that we have considered selling the farm and moving if we could even find a buyer, and other struggles, emotional, and otherwise that I won't go into. I don't say all this in a bid for sympathy. In fact, I have pondered not even saying it, but decided to attempt the post.

For the last several months, these circumstances have put me in a frame of mind where I feel like I am just keeping my head above water. That there is no moment of freedom or rest from the struggles of life. In actuality, I guess, life is just like this sometimes. Life comes with no guarantee. Indeed there have been moments of great happiness mingled in with the sad. Right after my Dad died is when Emily found out she was expecting Thomas who was born the month after Woodland closed. Of course, I have given myself the "keep your chin up" speech and then the ones about having much for which to be grateful and there being a reason that things happen the way they do. I do know that there is a Master Plan but it is just being human, I guess, to have times that you feel overwhelmed.

Have you ever been swimming out in water over your head? You can stop and tread water, but still you get tired. Then you find that you have reached a depth that if you find the right spots with your feet you can rest a bit and get the strength to move on toward more shallow water. That's where I feel I am now. Seeing the light through the trees. Feeling the hope for better days. Getting ready for the rest of the journey that is my life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Roll Tide!

Evidently I'm only going to get a post in about once/week right now. I actually have something artistic to post about this time. In between work here and there this week, I finished this fabric cuff for myself. I gave away the one I did before in the OWOH giveaway, so I made one kind of similarly. I'm trying to make time ,even if it's just a little bit at one time or another to work on art. Seeing an actual project completed in just bits of stolen time, will hopefully be an inspiration to keep doing this. Of course there were a pair of these cuffs as they were cut off a Ralph Lauren shirt I was no longer wearing, but couldn't get rid of due to the lovely fabric. This one got embellished with a bit of lace trim, buttons, felt heart, linen scrap from an old dress, vintage trim sewn across the bottom to hide the cut edge, and some embroidery. May add some pearls or beads. Not sure yet.

And of course, had to show the family's youngest Bama fan! Emily took these shots of Thomas this past weekend. He is laying on an Alabama quilt by one of Kerry's aunts. Isn't he the cutest Alabama fan you've ever seen?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Has it been a week since I posted?

Doesn't seem like it! My 7 day work weeks seem a blur. There are 12-13 hours at the job, add an hour of commute time, and then about 5-6 hours of sleep(sometimes 7) and then the time leftover is spent doing the miscellaneous things you have to get done, like shopping, errands, fixing food for meals, etc, etc. Then my off week flies by! I've had to spend some of it working in the chicken house to help Kerry in the place of his Dad who's not been right since his knee and back surgeries several months ago. Of course housework gets behind when I'm working and then I help Mom some at least one day a week. So here I am whining, but only to explain why blog posts aren't too frequent presently.

On a pleasant note, we did take time to visit Thomas on Saturday(well, Emily and Craig, too, lol) and then Emily and Thomas followed us back home from Tuscaloosa to spend the night and Sunday visiting. They attended our church with us so we could show the baby off and then visited with great-grandparents. My Mom,who will be called Great Nana since Craig's Mom wants to be called Nana and my girls already called my Mother "Nana", was especially thrilled to get to see little Thomas since she's not been able to make the trip to Tusacaloosa.

I hope to get into the art room tomorrow to at least work on the other 2 pictures I have to get done for Thomas' nursery. I've been mulling over moving my art room out to the garage, but not sure yet if I will. We have a 2 car garage which is presently being used as a storage shed. It is a big mess of boxes and stuff! Each time the girls moved, which has been probably 10 moves since they left home, all totalled, something came to live in Mom and Dad's garage. Then Kerry and I have a booth at a flea market. We actively went to auctions for a couple of years, though not last year or this due to time constraints. So items that have not made it out to the booth are also stored out there. The booth has been really slow for a while due to the economy, so not much turnover. We did have 2 booths, but cut back to one, so back home to storage for some of what had been for sale. Then there is your usual garage junk, like paint, tools, Christmas decorations, etc.

My thinking is to maybe use one side for the art studio because my husband's truck won't fit in there anymore. When we built the garage, we built it just a little bigger than the vehicles we had at the time, but didn't really allow enough room length, I guess, because we were trying to save money. Now Kerry can't park in there anyway, but at the very least I could my car if we got it organized or even just moved the junk to one side.

I've been going back and forth in my mind over the pros and cons. The worst cons I can think of besides all the work it will take are the dampness and then the lack of heating or cooling. Would have to get a window air conditioner and/or heater and possibly a dehumidifier. If I did this, then it would free up a room to fix up as another guest room and then put all my hubby's Nascar crap, I mean valuable collectibles, and other sports memorabilia. Maybe, we could even find room for the exercise equipment we own in one of the guest rooms if I got MY crap, AKA art supplies, out into the garage. Finding the time to do all this is also a con, though if I would just manage my time better, maybe cutting back on my internet and blog-browsing, and do just a little at a time, it would eventually get done.

Will go ahead and post this without pics, but am going to be adding some when I get on the laptop which has them uploaded on it. Oh, yes, that brings me to another point which I'm excited about. I found a wireless device from Verizon which is working pretty well and so have gotten rid of my dialup! It works great on my desktop, but the laptop is a little picky about getting connected sometimes. Otherwise, I am thrilled to be able to visit blogs and websites and actually see the photos! Before, on most blogs, especially those with a lot of pics, it was pretty much impossible to ever see all the pages.

Ok, pics have been added. Right below is my Mom, Thomas' Great Nana. The other's are probably self-explanatory.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time for another baby picture

Ok, there may be more pics of Thomas than art related posts for a while. Some due to lack of time for art and also just have to show you how cute he is! I've not seen him now in over a week. Today's photo is one that Emily took of him as they had him dressed up to go see his other grandparents(insert frowny face here). I'm glad THEY got to see him, but sad that I didn't get to. This is my work week and Kerry was out of town for a couple of days this weekend while attending the race in Bristol, TN. We had 2 tickets, but I couldn't go since it fell when I was working and I hated ask off again this soon after being off for Thomas' birth. Kerry took a friend in my place and since we were both away from home, Craig's parents were the first ones to be honored with a visit in their home from the new grandson. Oh, well, guess someone had to be first. They will be coming to see us next Sunday, but I may just drive down before then since I will work off Wednesday morning. It will depend on what I need to do to help Mom and also to help Kerry here on the farm since his Dad is not totally recovered.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tutorial for effortless unmounting of wooden rubber stamps

I thought for a change from baby photos, I would offer up a tutorial today. Some of the key requirements might be a little hard to find, but I might be able to help you out. These days those unmounted clear stamps seem to be all the rage and I've seen others offering advice on how to unmount your old wooden block rubber stamps so that they can be stored more efficiently. I accidentally happened upon a method I thought you all might be interested in. Here is my step-by-step tutorial.

Step 1. Have your rubber stamps stored and displayed very neatly in an over-the-door wire shelf organizing system, especially one whose bottom shelves are only a foot from the floor.

Step 2. Accidentally leave the afore-mentioned door open when you leave the room.

Step 3. Walk to another part of the house to take care of household chores.

Step 4. Own a small hyperactive dog like this one.

Step 5. Realize that you don't see the sweet little creature you have taken in off the streets, provided with a comfortable home along with plenty of food, water, and legal doggie chew toys.

Step 6. Start searching through the house only to startle this doggie in your bedroom with a piece of wood hanging out of one side of her mouth and an innocent look on her face that says, "What?!? I haven't done ANYTHING! Why are you looking at me like that?"

Step 7. Remove the wooden block from your pet's mouth, wipe the slobber and splinters off it, and locate the piece of rubber that has become detached from the wooden block with totally no effort on your part. See how easy-peasy that was!

Advantages to this method: Very little to no work involved for you. You can take care of other things while your artistic helper unmounts the stamps.

Disadvantages: You do run the risk of varying degrees of damage to the wooden block or rubber stamp depending upon how long it takes you to get back to your dog, how sharp her teeth are, etc.(See photo below). Also, you may find that it is very tedious picking the now-embedded pet hair from the part of the mount with the still-sticky adhesive. This might not be as bad for you, depending upon how well you keep your carpets vacuumed and/or how much your pets shed. If you find your doggie is not as adept as Maggie as the stamp removal, that is where I might be able to help you. Call me. Depending upon the day and how much damage has been done, she might be for rent!

No irony at all in the word on the particular stamp my lab assistant chose to alter for me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ok, another baby pic

Emily took this one and sent it to Aunty HaHa who is then forwarding them to me. Thomas is already picking up his head and putting it on his arms. He also is already trying to turn over from his back. Of course, these days they aren't supposed to lay babies on their stomach to sleep due to SIDS risk, so they put him down on his back with one of those things with the wedges on either side of him(don't know what they are called). Emily says he still tries to roll over to his stomach over the support thingy. He had a visit to the doctor yesterday and is doing well. Is now 22 inches long and almost 9 lbs. They are changing formula to see if he'll spit up less with the new one. He's got his nights and days mixed up as they say. Sleeping more during the day and staying awake a lot more at night, but he is not really a fussy baby, so that is good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thrift store shopping today!

Took some time to hit a couple of thrift stores, meeting up with a friend, Becky, a former coworker from Woodland who is an avid yard-saler, thrift store shopper, and couponer. We would shop bargain stories at work, so now we have to do it by phone, Facebook, or meeting up to talk or shop. So far there have been several opportunities made by the Woodland Lab gang to get together. I hope we are able to continue doing so as it is nice to keep up with these friends. Becky and I went to the Salvation Army in Cullman where we had pretty good luck and also to a new thrift shop, The Loft, being run by one of the local churches. This new store was very clean, had reasonable prices, just not as much merchandise but we still found a few deals.

Top photo shows most of my finds from the S.A. As usual, much there was over-priced, but if you keep digging there are bargains to be had. Got 2 Tupperware bowls, like new, for $1 each. A new Hallmark card organizer was $5, a tad high for my thrifting taste, but it included 3 new cards, too. I hope this will inspire me to organize my cards. Other deals include a bamboo tile placemat at $1 to be disassembled for the tiles, 2 pretty fabric wall-hangings of roses for $2, pretty photo album also $1(for baby pics you know), and this crazy fabric patchwork curtain that was $3. The curtain is a bizarre combination of odd-sized fabric pieces of various time periods, but it reminds me of some of the fabric artwork being done presently by Pam Garrison and Rebecca Sower. I'm thinking it could be embellished in the fashion of their work to be a cute table runner or even still used as a curtain. At the least, for that price, I can cut it up to get the various vintage fabric scraps to use in smaller pieces some other way.

In the bottom photo are the clothing finds of the day. The light purple blouse was from the Salvation Army and was cute, I thought for $3. Not showing up at all underneath everything is a navy pair of blue cropped pants, Caribbean Joe brand, that were $5, but in very nice shape from the church's shop. The shoes were all from the Loft and include: brown suede slipons for fall/winter $2, gold comfortable sandals $2, and the rhinestone flipflops were just 50 cents. Needed some dressier-looking flips as my black ones were mistaken for a chew toy by Miss Maggie!

It was nice to get some "me" time in the midst of the busyness that has been my off days this time. After being down in Tuscaloosa, then we were busy with a couple of church events. Monday I worked all day in the chicken house to help out Kerry and my inlaws. I got to sleep late today and then spend some time thrifting. All in all a great day for me. Of course, in the mean time, the housework still looms as does laundry and other household chores. But, what the hey, those never seem to get caught up anyway! As my friend, Kim, says, "these are highly over-rated!".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Latest art and baby stuff

Sorry to not have blogged anymore, but I've been gone. Shown above is one of the reasons for my absence. After working off Wednesday morning, I drove down to Tuscaloosa with no sleep. Needed to see that grandbaby again, you know! Also wanted to help Emily out with a few things and see Holly a little bit more before she headed back to Texas. Wish I had gotten to see her more while she was visiting. It just didn't work out so well for that. As it was, though, she was able to help Emily on the days that I had to work. I had to take Holly to the airport on Thursday afternoon. Sad to see her go. This is Holly making a sad face right before we had to leave to go to the airport.

After seeing me blog about my experiments with combining photos with a painting technique on canvas board, Holly requested the 2 fall-looking ones. I really wanted to do a little bit more on making a hanger for them, like maybe with a twig and fibers, but since Holly said she liked them like they were and I didn't have a lot of extra time, they just ended up with a simple ribbon hanger.

I also got one of the 3 collages done for Thomas. I hesitate about showing it here, as I was totally inspired, shall we say, by someone's work on Etsy. I did make it my own by adding the sun and the letters, but the turtle is done much like hers. Decided to go ahead and show you, but link to her work and give her the credit for the inspiration. Her shop name is Kate Endle Collage. Clicking on the link will take you to her etsy pages. Her work is so wonderful. Being on a limited budget means you have to make your own sometimes. Emily had asked me to make some pictures for the nursery. She had seen something similar to these, wanting some art to bring more color into the room to bring together the bedding and other furniture pieces and toys. Went ahead and took this one on down, but still have 2 more to finish of an elephant and an alligator.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thomas Jeffery Nolen

Arrived in the world, Tuesday, August 4th, at 10:22 am. He weighed 8 lb., 11 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long. Emily had a c-section due to him measuring by ultrasound to be over 9 lb the week before he was born. The doctor was afraid to let him get too big and Em was having no changes at all as far as dilation, etc. As it turned out, it was a blessing. They found the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice, so they may have had to do an emergency c-section if there had been a normal labor.

Of course, just sharing a fraction of the photos on this post. There will be more. Trying to get a post in before getting ready for work. I was able to take a couple of nights off at the beginning of my week to be down there to see Thomas and help Emily some. Holly flew in from Texas Thursday and will be staying with them a week. I got to see her, too, which was wonderful! Just sad that I had to come back home Friday afternoon to go back into work Friday evening. Would have loved to stayed longer, of course. I was so wishing that it would work out that he was born during my off week, but then there were reasons that it happened the way it did. It can't be all about me, lol! They got to come home on Friday and are doing pretty well. Emily is very sore and Thomas is jaundiced. His bilirubin was 9 something the morning they left, so not too bad. Will have to go back tomorrow for bloodwork.

Craig is working 3rd shift now, too. Bless his heart, he had to go into work Friday night, as well. He's only been at his job a short time so he didn't have any leave built up. So it was Emily, Holly, and Thomas last night. Talked to them once about 1 am and Thomas had been awake since 9pm. Didn't hear anymore, so not sure how it went from there. He slept most of the day yesterday after being up all night Thursday while they did tests and worked with him in the hospital nursery to get hime ready to come home.

The new Mom with Thomas the day he was born.

The shot above was him in the nursery bed the day he was born.

This is my hubby, Kerry, also known as "Grampy" now.

Thomas at home on Friday. Sorry got my pics out of order when uploading. He had been asleep and the sound of the camera made him wake up just a little. Just enough to peek at the goofball that kept taking pictures.

The goofball and Thomas at the hospital.

Aunt Holly just in the door from Texas. She flew in Thursday. Her first time to fly and all by herself at that. Kerry picked her up at Birmingham airport. Emily came up with the name Aunty HaHa for Holly. Very appropriate!

From the left above is Uncle Blake(Craig's brother), Craig(the proud new Dad), and their Mom, Glenda, who wants to be known as Nana. We may have to say Nana Glenda since my daughters call my Mom, Nana. Craig's Dad, Jeffery, had to leave to go back to work, so I missed taking his photo with the baby.

Well, there will be more pics to follow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thomas will be here tomorrow!

Emily just got out of her doctor's appointment. No changes, so she is going in tomorrow morning, Tuesday, August 4th, for a C-section. The doctor doesn't want to wait any longer since Thomas is measuring so big. So, tomorrow we'll be holding our new grandson! Can't wait to see him. Just pray that everything goes ok for both Mom and baby.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lovely surprise

Was received in the mail yesterday from a dear friend, Beth. It was so sweet of her to take the time to make and send this beautiful card! I love the artwork and then the sentiment is so appropriate: "Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars"-Henry Van Dyke. Thanks so much, Beth. I needed that reminder. The colors are so pretty and of course I love birds and flowers. It is now on my bulletin board by my computer to brighten my days.

I did get some grapes picked yesterday afternoon, late, after spending the day with Mom. Before I could finish, a storm blew in. It had been cloudy but not raining so I was going to work until I was done picking the ripe grapes or it started raining, whichever came first. Well, all of a sudden the wind started blowing so hard and in such a fashion that the trees were just whipping around, so I high-tailed it into the house. Not a minute later, a fairly large limb broke off one of the black walnut trees in the back yard and landed about where I had been. It stayed stormy like that for about 30 minutes or so.

Still need to get those grapes processed and finish picking the other ripe ones if I get time or the rain allows when I do. Will be going down this evening to help Emily with some things and coming back tomorrow morning. I've been on the phone or the computer taking care of business and talking to some friends and family on and off this morning, so I've not gotten anything done(except sleeping late, which was on my list of things to do).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July is flying by

I'm cheating by using a photo I took last year of the butterfly bushes because I've not taken any good pics lately or completed anything artsy. When I'm working these 12 hour night shifts, it just seems to kill the creativity. I did work some more today on the pictures for Thomas' nursery. Not sure I'll get them done before he gets here, but I'm trying. I'm doing a set of 3 collage paintings, very simple ones of animals, that frankly I'm "being inspired", shall we say, by someone's work I saw on Etsy. I would have loved to purchase her art, but the budget just isn't there, so I'm making my own. There will be a turtle(the one almost done), an elephant, and an alligator.

Time just seems to fly by. I need to get so much done this week while I'm off. The grapes are ripening and I really want to put up some preserves this year. Last year we gave the grapes to a neighbor to make wine, as I was helping take care of Mom a lot more. I do need to take Mom to take care of some business tomorrow and go down to help Emily with last minute preparations since Craig is now working. May do that Friday evening and Saturday morning. The former Woodland laboratory employees are getting together Saturday evening at our most recent supervisor's home for a party. Sunday will be church. So, not sure when those preserves are going to get done. The grapes may not wait until next week, so I may try to get them picked, cut up, seeded, perhaps Friday, and then freeze them for making the preserves later on. I've read online that you can do that. Basically, none of this is really interesting, is it? I think I'm trying to plan my week as I'm typing, so please just bear with me. We'll call that a "time out", lol.

Good bit of news to share since I've not been posting that often. Emily is about to "pop", very miserable, and ready for that baby to be out of there! So she says! The due date is August 9th, but little "Thomas" is turning out to be not so little, weighing already an estimated 9 lb, 6 oz. by today's sonogram. There have been no changes yet so if no baby by her appointment on Monday they may then schedule a C-section. I was selfishly hoping he would be born this week while I am off so I would have more time to spend with them. If it is next week after I start back to work, then it will be hard to ask off at a new job, working a solo shift, for more than a couple of days. But, of course, whatever is best for the baby and Emily is what I want most of all. You will notice that all of the "stuff" I mentioned above would be no longer so important to get done if the grandson decides to make an appearance, lol!

The new job is going fairly well. The second week was better than the first, somewhat from me being more familiar and getting a routine, but mainly because it was not as terribly busy as it was at first. My first nights alone there were pretty awful, almost more than I could do. I was very worn out at the end of that week.

Seems like there was more than I was going to report on, but I can't remember it now. If it comes back to me, I'll edit the post and add it on.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nursery pics for Holly

This post is especially for Holly as she is not getting to attend the baby showers or see any of the preparations for little Thomas firsthand. Snapped a few shots in the nursery on Saturday while visiting Emily and Craig. They still have a few more things to hang on the wall and are refinishing a shelf/cabinet for future toys and books, so some items are in there awaiting a home.

Above, of course, the crib and the changing table. The crib was given to them by my former SIL and the bedding they chose is from Target. Em found the changing table at a yard sale and she and Craig painted the letters hanging above it.

The chest of drawers was Craig's growing up as was the toy chest you can see in the center of the room. We moved it to the corner after I took the shot. They repainted both pieces and are having to strip the shelf cabinet I mentioned earlier. Well, Craig is since Emily can't use the stripper. They have done a great job, I think, picking the colors. I'm working on some animal collage pictures this week to hang over the crib.

This little Rock-a-Bye lamb was a thrift store find early on in the pregnancy. I found it at a Salvation Army store very near Emily's house. It was $10, I think, which is pushing my limit on a thrift store purchase, but since it was like new I went ahead. Felt better when we looked them up online and found out they sell for about $125 when new.

The last picture is the Pack-n-Play. That is something new to me since mine were babies. Very nice! There have been a lot of changes since mine were little!

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