Friday, August 18, 2017

DIRTY SHIRLEYS, WARBIRDS AND PORK CRISPINS


On our final afternoon in Ohio we met back up with the kids and grandkid in Cincinnati, to do a bit of time-traveling.  It was 1940s Day at Lunken Airport, and that meant warbirds and vintage cars on display, big bands and swing dancing, performances by groups like The Sugar Pills and The Dirty Shirleys, a plane show, and even a costume contest! How could we resist?









What a "swell" time!

Nephew Geoff and Cal-L
We followed that up with dinner at Eli's BBQ, which was even sweller!


I just ordered a hot dog, since I wasn't all that hungry. What I got was this...


two smoked all-beef franks, flash fried and bunned with sauce, cole slaw and pork crispins. I took one bite, let out a big ol' moan, then passed the spare down the table so everyone else could see what I was moaning about.  A minute later I was kinda sorry I did. Who knows when I'll get another one?

P.S. Dear Eli, have you thought about opening a branch here in Texas? I think you'd do really well here!

Sincerely,
 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A SMALL, SMALL WORLD

Several years ago a young woman named Shelley Massey wandered into Java Johnny's, where my S-I-L meets with her knitting group each week. And, since Priscilla can never resist striking up conversations with total strangers, the two ended up becoming good buddies. The younger woman happened to be an artist, blogger and art journalist, who occasionally invited groups of friends over for artsy play-dates in her home studio.  A while later, when Pris heard that I was doing some art journaling myself, she sent me a link to Shelley's blog, a wee bit warped. And over time, as it so often happens on the internet, we began to discover we had several mutual friends amongst our various art tribes. I finally got to meet her in person a couple of years ago, on our last visit to Ohio, when Pris invited her over to lunch and she brought us both beautiful handmade-by-her art journals and her favorite Sharpie paint pens. It never ceases to amaze me, just how generous and sharing the women in my art tribes can be!

Just recently, Shelley moved out of her home-studio and into an outstanding space here in the Front Street buildings in Dayton, and we were lucky enough to get the grand tour last week!


I can't even imagine having a space like this in which to create. Plus there are two smaller rooms on either end -- one for storage and one for her office. GAH!!


Speaking of small worlds, turns out Shelley is also buddies with my new friend/instructor Glenda Miles, from the Ancestor Art workshop. In fact, Shelley made this gorgeous apron in another of her workshops.


When we had finished drooling over her studio, she took us around to meet all the other artists in her building, so we could drool over theirs. Then we had a delicious lunch at a place called Wheat Penny. If you are ever in Dayton, I highly recommend it!

On Saturday we had another art-tastic day. Unbeknownst to me, something called Stampaway was being held at nearby Sharonville Convention Center. You can come early and take workshops with various well-known instructors, but we just went for the morning to see famous people like Tim Holtz, Dyan Reaveley, and Mary Beth Shaw demonstrating all their latest artsy products!

Dylusions' own Dyan Reaveley
When we got to the Stencil Girl booth, guess who was there helping out while Mary Beth did her demos?


My new friend Glenda Miles, of course. I dropped a pretty penny in that booth! I discovered Stencil Girl my very first year at Lucky Star Art Camp -- their inaugural year -- when Mary Beth generously donated a star stencil to everyone who attended. I'm guessing she and Lucky Star founder Lisa must be friends as well.

But wait, there's more. You'll never guess who else was there attending Stampaway, in OHIO, but totally unbeknownst to me until she posted a picture of herself taking a class with Tim Holtz!  My friend LaNell, from Wimberley! Whom I met in one of my online classes years ago, when she lived in another state, and who then started following my blog because she and her hubby were about to retire to Wimberley, and who I later introduced to Lucky Star and who is going to be Lexi's and my roomie there this fall. What are the odds?

It really is a small, small world!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

GLENDA'S ANCESTOR ART

On day two of our visit to Ohio, Priscilla and I spent the whole morning at Java Johnny's, where she has her weekly meet-up with her own Muse-like tribe/knitting gang/support group. From there we then dashed back downtown to the Pendleton Art Center, where we grabbed a quick bite to eat in their lovely cafe before joining her friend Glenda Miles in studio #103 for one of her "Ancestor Art" workshops.

A Couple of Glenda's Projects
Our job was to find an "evocative" photograph of one of our ancestors -- something that would inspire us to "tell its story." I chose this one of my mother-in-law Theda, who was a genuine character, if ever there was one, and something of a role model to me. We could use the original photograph itself, a copy of it, or we could send a jpeg to Glenda and she would make a sheer tissue transfer of it for us. That's what I chose.


First thing on the agenda? Digging through two vintage suitcases filled with vintage papers, maps, dictionaries, etc., and pulling out anything related to Theda's "story", then playing around with their arrangement on our wooden panels. The digging was fun, but the arranging can be a tad stressful as you battle your inner perfectionist!


Once that was all glued down we added our sheer tissue overlays and any flat trinkets we wanted to include. Then we topped it all off with a layer of encaustic wax, et voila!



We had barely arrived back at the house to drop our artsy stuff off before we were headed back downtown for Middletown's Broad Street Bash, which I think is held on a regular basis throughout the temperate months. One of the first times Mike and Priscilla attended, they noticed a bunch of guys walking around in plaid skirts. It wasn't until a cover band called The Menus came on stage that they realized those were all their groupies in the audience. The lead singer changed outfits at least five times during the performance.




Turns out that night was officially "Tutu Night", which explains why Priscilla tried so hard to get my hubby to borrow Nate's tutu and bring it with him.

And, because Pris still hadn't managed to use up all her energy for the day, we went to a lovely wine bar after that. What a day!

Monday, August 14, 2017

COLOR-MADNESS EN FRANÇAIS

We flew up to Ohio last week to visit Hubby's brother and sister-in-law. Since Pris had just finished up her chemo treatments six weeks before, I figured it would be a very low key, sit around the house and visit kind of week. Ha! I should have known Miss Priscilla would never let something as silly as cancer keep her from being out and about amongst her peeps!

On the first day alone we met one of her friends for lunch at Triple Moon Cafe in downtown Middletown, explored some of the shops and The Pendleton Art Center, dropped that friend off, then headed off to meet up with her line-dancing class (which she kept up with throughout her chemo treatments, having scheduled them to fall on her "good days"). By the time we were done with that, the guys were waiting outside to whisk us off to Cincinnati.


First stop was this place. I knew I'd love it before I even stepped through the door!


And I did!



Unlike his little brother, Mr. Mike is not much of a shopper.


John noticed me eyeballing some serving trays and had one up at the counter and paid for before I had a chance to change my mind! I'm pretty glad he did.

It fit in quite nicely here at home, don't you think?

Best of all? At the back of the shop is a little cafe, where they serve freshly-baked croissants! You can step outside that door above and enjoy them in the garden if you wish.


We took a few home for breakfast the next day.

Once we were done there we headed off to meet up with the kids and grandkid. They live in a wonderful section of town where you can walk to all sorts of shops and restaurants and parks -- perfect for young families. We ate at a great little place called Dutch's, which specializes in artisanal wine, beer and food. Then we moseyed across the street to let Cal-L play in this lovely little park. (Yes, we both have grandsons named Calvin, so we have to call them Cal-L. and Cal-S. I'm thinkin' they may not be the only ones, thanks to all the young daddies who grew up loving Calvin and Hobbes!)

Brother Michael and Little John
Priscilla, daughter Megan, and Sweetie Dave
Nephew Geoff, wife Jessica, and Calvin-the-First
Then it was back to Middletown.

And, this wasn't even one of our more exhausting days!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

JUST FOUR THINGS


We saw Little Goober for our weekly visit on Thursday, but then the kids came over to give us extra time with him yesterday, knowing we were about to head off to visit Hubby's family in Ohio for a whole week. Soon as I heard they were coming, I did my usual thing. First I scurried about, making sure all the safety locks and plugs were in place. Then came my favorite part -- setting up play stations. Squee! We were fortunate enough to have had at least three-years-worth of toys passed down to us from our BFF's grandson, but I would never put all of them out at once. It would be way too overwhelming for Goobs. Instead I choose just four things, and rotate them out each time he comes.


Usually there is a book-related toy such as the truck above, or this...


or this.


Second would be a push or pull toy, such as this vacuum cleaner, or the old fashioned Fisher Price telephone, which he adores dragging around, even though he has no clue what it is.


Third would be a riding toy, such as this...


or this...


Last but not least would be something for imaginative play, such as this awesome little kitchen set that fits perfectly on the little pop-up shelf in my kitchen.



Regardless of what play stations I set up, however, I can guarantee these four things will happen, each time he comes over:

First, as soon as they set him down on the floor, he will run right past all of these wonderful toys, and head straight to that bottom shelf in the kitchen, where he will grab that old water bottle that I put a handful of lentils in, and that little orange Weeble person, who also makes a little rattling sound. And he will lug them around with him the entire visit, occasionally setting them down for just a few minutes to play with something else, but then picking them right back up again. Go figure.


Second, despite my only setting out those four little things, within ten or fifteen minutes of his arrival, the house will look as if a tornado has swept through it!

Third, ten or fifteen minutes after his departure, I will have collapsed on the sofa, totally wiped out.

Fourth? Well, ten or fifteen minutes after that, I will already be missing him, and counting the days until I see him next.

Why yes, that is a diaper on his head.