Monday, November 26, 2012

A Toddler for Grammie

Thanksgiving week I became a "Grammie" or grandmother.  Not an official grandmother.  The U.S. government has to approve of my daughter and son-in-law as adoptive parents first.

Although these new parents had sent me a few video clips and pictures, of a rambunctious 23 month old they had parented for a week, I wasn't sure what he would be like.

This is my daughter's rabbit "Stew".
Kids are like fingerprints.  Each one is different from another.  I had 4 toddlers of my own. They came about two years apart.  My baby girl was quiet, sweet, and cautious.  Think baby bunny.

Baby boy #1 was more active than a kernel in a sizzling pan .  I nicknamed him sponge because he guzzled water like an elephant.  He was loud, daring, and independent.  Think grizzly bear.

Baby boy #2  liked to say yes when he really meant no.   Singing, daydreaming, and making art with just about anything was one way to describe him.  A free spirit, I think.

Baby boy #3 was thoughtful, soft spoken, and gentle.  A girl magnet, even as a toddler.  I called him "little man".

Now they're adults, and here was my first Thanksgiving with my first grand baby.     

My grand baby is a little boy.  He's cautious with strangers, but after he gets to know them, he's ready to give the biggest  bear cub hug and smoochie kiss East of Texas.

My first grand baby.

He loves to growl "no" at the strangest times.  He's a runner, jumper, and shouter.  His smiles give so much they are incredible to describe.  Oh, he's as active as a cup of kernels in a sizzling pot.  His eating?  Well, he eats and drinks more than three hungry toddlers at a late lunch.  He's love warmed by sunshine.

I'm back home now, and I miss him.  Grandpa does, too.  My grand baby is 1,040 miles away.  He gives his new mommie and pappi blissful happiness, wet sloppy diapers, and much to think about. 

I can't wait to see him again; being a patient "Grammie" is tough.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Via Colori Houston 2012 Participating Artist

Tomorrow I will be participating in Via Colori's 7th Annual Houston Street Painting Festival.  The artists and sponsors of this festival help raise awareness for those who are hearing and speech impaired.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised to help support the work that the staff of the Center for Hearing and Speech (CHS) do.  One of the most important things they do is help kids prepare to enter Kindergarten. CHS has its own school for children 18 months to pre-K age. 

I've been preparing for this event for weeks.  Practicing my art on my rough canvas (the driveway) with pastel sticks that wash off easily with water. 

I began with a digital image I had made months ago.  I liked the color and pattern of the worms and thought I would enjoy blending my new pastels to make the varied colors of the waves.

These characters are the Texas Eight Pointed Forester. 
They are vacationing in the Texas Gulf.

The last time I worked on murals, I was in high school.  So, I wanted to practice, practice, practice.  I'm glad I did.  As I worked, I discovered I needed a list of things I would have never thought of unless, I was actually working on the mural.

I discovered:
-  Making a grid drawing was too time consuming.  I was worn out before I began to fill in the    design.  I needed tracing paper and a document projector for magnification.
-  The sun zapped my strength.  I should work before 1:00 PM and after 4:00PM, if possible.
-  I must wear clothing that won't drag and smear my work as I lean over.  Must get a hat.
-  Rubbing the pastels into rough cement hurt my fingers.  I bought stencil sponges on wooden sticks.  These I used to blend and spread the pastels.
-  I need a chair for resting breaks.
-  A damp washcloth helps keep me, and my materials, clean.  
-  I should start at the top and finish each section before starting on the waves.
-  My water drops need a template to be perfectly round.  The hardware store has washers in varied sizes.

Finished Pastel Mural 4'x4'
Original Artwork

Ready? Well...
I received a beautiful T-shirt advertising the festival.  I washed it and tried it on for comfort.  The neck was too snug so, I snipped.  The shirt was too long so, I snip-snipped.  The sleeves were too long; I folded them under.  Then, I took out my sewing needle and thread.  I sewed.  I took out my crochet stick and yarn and added trim.
Gosh, I guess I'm ready.