Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Visit with my Sister

Some of my readers may know that I have an older sister who resides in a nursing home. She is unfortunate enough to have contracted Fronto Temporal Dementia, which affects her cognitive ability and moods. For many years we have struggled with this and it has been a difficult road for her and  for our whole family.

When I visit my sister, I always try to bring something entertaining to share with her - music, books, flowers, etc. Yesterday I brought her hydrangeas from my garden and photos of other flowers that are blooming now as well as pictures of our house. She seemed to enjoy looking at them.

After that, she seemed to be deep in thought and I asked her what she was thinking. Without a bit of rancor or jealousy she said, "When you get home, I want you to kneel on your front stairs and kiss them, and thank God for your home." 
It was a rare lucid moment for my sister and a moment that touched me deeply. 

Having a home and being able to live in it is a blessing.
I'm truly grateful for that privilege.

Thanks for the reminder, Carol.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Recent Work

Since the beginning of the year, I've found a lot of comfort in creativity. In March, the arts collaborative I'm part of had an exhibit called Arts and Edibles, which included art representing anything food related. One of my pieces, done mostly in felt appliqué, was called "We Gather".
I tried to incorporate all sorts of people, races, left handed and right handed, meat eaters and vegetarians, and even a dog! Fun to do, but a lot of little carrots to cut out!

I also did this piece called "Fruit From the Tree" (I'm terrible at naming artwork), for which I painted  pieces of lace to create this lady's hairdo. The face was done with painted and stitched fabric.

Since then I've been involved with the 100 Day Project on Instagram, and I've chosen to do 100 days of stitching. I had recently become aware of something called "stitched meditation", or stitching just as a repetitive, soothing practice. I've done a few pieces with this method and enjoy it. I usually try to incorporate a couple of different fabrics and some basic embroidery stitches. Here are a few of these pieces.

And then, of course, I've done some other things. Must do more cats!!

I like doing the 100 day project (I've tried it two other times) - I never get 100 pieces done, but I do produce much more work than usual. It's helpful to have a backlog of work when Autumn shows and fairs come along!

Thanks so much for visiting and reading.
Have a great day!

Back again!

It has been such a long time since I blogged. All of a sudden, it seems, Instagram has captured my attention and that's where I have been posting, but I definitely don't want my little blog to be abandoned.

Sadly, the beginning of the year revolved around the terrible sickness and subsequent death of my dear friend of more than 50 years, Ann. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last June and spent the last ten months of her life in unrelenting pain. We talked or emailed nearly every day of that time, and I felt privileged to witness her upbeat attitude and real courage in the face of certain death.

Now that a bit of time has passed and going forward, I will remember my friend Ann as she was before her illness - full of fun, sassy and irreverent, while being one of the most compassionate and caring people I've ever known. For the past decade, she served as a hospital chaplain and touched the lives of many families going through very difficult challenges, but she always brought hope and humor to everyone she encountered.

My favorite memory with Ann was the trip we took together to Tuscany in 2010. It was a cooking school trip, and we learned to make pasta in the farmhouses of Tuscan families, drank wine produced from their vineyards, saw cheese being made from their sheep's milk and visited quaint villages in the Italian countryside. Lots of fun and we ended the trip with a memorable few days spent in Rome, where we stayed in a lovely hotel very close to the Vatican. 

I'll always be grateful to have had such a wonderful friend. We counted on each other for support and advice, laughed together over the absurdities of life, knew everything about each other's families, shared goals and dreams and really cared about each other. I will miss her every day, while being grateful for the gift of such a lovely friend.

May you rest in peace, my dear friend.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Fresh New Year

I'm always glad to welcome a new year, and 2019 is no exception.

2018 was a tough year for me and many others. The political mess in our country has hung like a black cloud over everything and I have spent too much time dwelling upon it. My dearest friend and her husband came to visit in May, then went home to California where she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She is not doing well. Other things have been on my mind and I tend to let them get to me. I need an attitude adjustment!
On the other hand, my daughter and my husband threw me a wonderful 70th birthday party with many friends to help us celebrate. We've had lovely times with our dear relatives from Maine, had a restful summer vacation on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and several fabulous visits with our amazing daughter Kate. I'm so lucky to be part of "Team Hartman"!!

I also feel so fortunate to have the time and inclination to be creative. I have a vey amazing network of artist friends and see them frequently, as well as the opportunity to take classes from fiber artist Amy Ropple, who is also a good friend. 
For the coming year, I have plans for some new projects, first of which will be new artwork for an upcoming exhibit by the Arts Collaborative I belong to. The theme is Arts and Edibles - artwork relating to food and eating, as well as a special exhibit centering around food labels! Time to start working on those!

My wish for everyone who reads this:

Happy Winter!

And don't forget:

Happy 2019!!
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Back again!

I have to say, I'm an expert at avoiding doing things that are close to my heart. I have a mess of art ideas percolating in my brain that I haven't even begun to realize and, much as I love my blog, I keep it tucked away in a corner of my brain and keep saying, "I'll get to it!"

Well, here I am again and it's Autumn, my favorite season. I've been doing some embroidery, applique artwork and a bit of playing with cut paper, and here are a few of my recent projects

I finally finished and framed the fabric applique portrait of my parents which I had begun a few years ago. The figures were done but I wasn't happy with the original background, so I built a new one around them! The stone wall was made from many different pieces of fabric and stitched in place with a zig zag machine stitch. The picture was inspired by a 1940s photo of my parents and I added a yellow rose in my dad's hand. He grew yellow "peace" roses and often cut one for my mom and left it in a bud vase on the kitchen table for her. It feels good to have finished this.

Here's a little embroidery I did

and a page for the fabric cat book I'm working on.

And this month I've been working on some cut paper people,
little portraits made for fun!

Last month, my husband Bill, daughter Kate and her 
boyfriend Jason gave me a beautiful 70th birthday party!
Our house was filled with wonderful, creative friends 
and neighbors and it was so much fun!

I can't believe it!

Anyway, here's my take on getting older:

...among other things!

Hope everyone who reads this is doing well.

Thanks for visiting!!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Things to Come

Hello Friends!
I'm writing this as though someone is reading it, although it seems that I've lost most of my readers by leaving this poor blog neglected. Too many irons in the fire is my excuse, with Instagram and another blog about my stitching group (hop over there if you want to see some beautiful handwork) as well as Facebook distracting me.
But then yesterday I went over to visit my friend Simone's blog and some of her links and remembered how enjoyable blogging can be. Thanks, Simone!

This morning was very dark and rainy - the kind of day when you need to turn the lights on,
which can be cozy, but it is also extremely hot and humid.
 I'm grateful that our air conditioning is back in service now after some mice built a nest in the electrical box in the outside compressor and gnawed through one of the wires! All fixed now, thank goodness.
This is our dining room which looks out on the porch. Over the table is my mom's chandelier, a bit outdated, but which I love as it reminds me of her. On the table is a stack of fabrics which I recently washed and pressed and will soon cut up for a lap quilt. Things to come!!

Also, here are some fabrics I'm looking at for a new blog header design. I want to reconfigure my blog, but I'm pretty inept. I always struggle with Blogger, but I'll see what I can come up with.

I love this:

We'll see what happens!

Love to all who read this!

Judy xo

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hello Spring!

This seems like the perfect time to come back to my blog. It's May and springtime is finally kicking in after some very un-springlike weather in April! The little spring-green leaves are heady in their sweetness and flowering trees are popping up everywhere. Our kinetic sculpture, Ollie the Owl, is flapping his wings in the breeze and the daffodils are in full bloom.

The last few months have been filled with lots of stitching and making. I impulsively agreed to participate in a couple of local exhibits, which gave me the incentive to create some new pieces. The first exhibit, which took place in early March, was called Art and Edibles, with a theme of food and drink.
I decided to focus on one of my favorite beverages, coffee, and to add a bit of humor to it. And so, that first cup in the morning, a cat waiting to be fed...."7:10 AM".

The next exhibit, which took place in March, had a 60's theme and was called "Flower Power".  My subject matter was pretty obvious, but I really enjoyed making my flower child. A large piece for me, she measures 16x20 inches and I stretched it over a canvas with no frame. I used a combination of appliqué, machine and hand embroidery, and it now is hanging in my studio.

I also did this smaller picture of a loosely textured flower with raw edged appliquéd leaves on a textured fabric background, also stretched over a canvas.

Finally, I was part of our local Arts Collaborative's Spring Show, where I showed the previous pictures as well as a few older ones. All of the shows were fun and well attended, and it's nice now to have a break from exhibits until the Fall comes around.

I've also been doing some small embroideries and fabric and cut paper pictures, which  you've probably seen if you follow me on Instagram (@judyhartman_artandstitch), so I apologize for that. But here are a few...

Finally, I'll share these beautiful irises, sent by my daughter Kate
for Mother's Day...

Until next time,
take care!

Thanks for visiting!!