Sunday, October 27, 2013

Children take the lead with elastic bracelets

      Bracelets are big time with the youngsters these days: colored rubber bands woven on a Rainbow Loom keep a wide range of children occupied. At beading, every grandmother but one had grandchildren quite engaged with elastic bracelets...and Chrissy's Charlie made $25 selling them on the New Jersey boardwalk! The basic kit comes with a bag of assorted colors, a loom, some instructions and a tool. Although I found a book of several patterns at Michael's, I find most children follow designs on You Tube.

 Click on the photos to enlarge..

       As a baby Hannah would put on all my crocheted bracelets up her arms...and even try to pull them over her head as in a necklace. Tonight I thought I would get a photo of the girls, now older, with their creations on their arms! David is trying to catch up so he goes to their room for help. Joe and David show bracelets they were gifted...Joe's for his birthday, from Hannah. The guy's are darker colors, sport team colors often.

        When Hannah finished making a duct tape bag and wallet, I asked her to write down some of the names of bracelets to look up on-line: Sailor's, Fishtail, Triple, Mohawk, Double X, Starburst, Butterfly, Blossom. She says likes them all and learned to work so fast with her hands by folding origami birds when she was younger. Erika left for a Halloween party and David sang Happy Birthday to Joe in Hebrew. I spent the day making Ina Garten's carrot cake to take to Beth's spectacular dinner for Joe. Grandmothers probably should think twice about adding walnuts and raisins. Strike two!


Monday, October 14, 2013

My Weekend Quilting Binge

     Unfortunately, I missed my trip with the Beadsprouts to NH, so Joe drove me there a few days later to a quilt store I wanted to visit. We hoped to observe colorful leaf activity, but the lakes are what got to me! And the batiks at Keepsake Quilting.

      In the car, I stitched on a world map quilt I just sewed together for the grandchildren. I had put this aside because the world cities blocks side was longer or wider than the panel world continents map side or vice versa. I had to figure out the wild math and cut a mix of blue borders so that I could stitch the sides together to make a quilt. Now I will hand-sew along the printed stitch lines in the design (to the batting on both sides) and let the grandchildren decide what they want to do with it. The piece is colorful and educational.They can do the hand-sewing or I can finish it at a bee.

Click to enlarge photos.

     Keepsake Quilting is only a couple of hours away and there are some neat stops on the way. In the store I found Tonga Treats Table Runner batik squares that make up to a finished size of 16" x 52." That would be the biggest quilt and the most old fashioned quilting I have ever done. I usually make journal quilts and a 12" x 12" is big for me! It would have helped to have had lessons. But I had experience making quickie nine-patch blocks for Katie's Project Hope quilts. I tore into the first blue runner. It has some problems, but daughter in law loves it and feels it is perfect for her new dining room table.

     Artists never give up. I made another runner the next day. Although it was not groomed for its photo, with a little ironing the green one is perfect for my dining room (but only color-wise). I will gift it as well. The fun was in the ease and speed of the craft. According to the directions, you make 4 nine-patch blocks from thirty six 5" batik squares. Next, you cut each of those squares into four equal pieces, cutting horizontally and vertically. You then arrange the blocks into two rows of eight blocks and sew together. You add the 2 1/2" border and sandwich the backing, batting and top. Next, stitch the edges around, turn and hand sew the opening. You can quilt, but they are super without. This project kept me out of Joe's hair while he was grading law papers.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

PINK Day at the MFA

        Recently, 75 pianos appeared on the streets of Boston in Luke Jerram's public art project, Play Me, I'm Yours!  Citizens donated the Boston pianos to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Celebrity Series of Boston. Artists or community groups embellished the pianos, inviting all to sit down to play them. The grand piano below, decorated by Hilary Zelson, is near the Huntington entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts through October 14.

Click on photos to enlarge
       Many young relatives of museum staff dressed in pink on Tuesday to visit the museum for photos. The group enjoyed "tea" in Bravo after a preview of the Think Pink show which coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After treats, Erika and I went outside where the children gathered on the steps at the Huntington entrance for more photos and balloons. Off to the side, Erika and I happened on a young man's playing Gershwin at the wonderful easel piano above. Erika took her turn.

        Erika and I had arrived very early for this PINK event and parked on the Fenway side. (At my age, what is the difference in the designated Huntington Entrance and the Fenway Entrance? A parking place on the street by the front door.) Before our 3:45 PINK date, the two of us visited the shop and the contemporary art areas. I found she was quite taken by the sculpture at the different spots in the museum, especially statues of people and Tara Donovan's undulating styrofoam cup cloud.

         By the end of the day, outside with others on the steps of the Huntington entrance, Erika still did not want to leave the museum. I noticed the MFA doors were starting to close, but the guards let us in. We moved extremely swiftly to the other side of the seemingly empty museum, to the doors where we had entered on the Fenway side. Thankfully, that entrance was still open.  I told Erika we must read the book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I understand it is about two children who run away and hide in the Met Museum. Once outside on the Fenway side, Erika and I examined the new installation of Paul Manship sculpture: a Native American hunter and his prey, an antelope. What a day! Huffa Puffa.