Moving forward in her memory

My grandmother passed on April 21st, she was 103 years old. Her funeral was this past Friday. It was a long couple of weeks to wait for closure but we are all well.

Logan picked out the perfect little wooden box for me to decorate for my grandmother. I think it was good for him to be able to help in some way. He loved my grandmother very much and has been watching over all of us. The sentence below the clasp reads: made in loving embrace of our fondest remembrances never to be forgotten.

I painted the wood with a pale leaf green acrylic I know she would have loved. Added line work in black Sharpie marker and gold edging around the top of the lid in metallic gold acrylic to give it definition. The centers of the flowers were punched out of vintage poetry and I painted out some of the words. You can read the flowers from left to right.

Flower Poem

“…the hush there made, that should her bliss lay ere it was still, behold her from afar, the world live free, all earthly matters before its flowers, silence now…”

The whole family and some close family friends tucked things inside for her; Mother’s Day cards, letters, photos. I put in all of Ysa’s drawings that she had taped up on grandma’s wall as well as a deck of cards and three poker chips. My grandmother loved to play cards and could still clean you out at 102. The last year it became a little more difficult but she still wore the lime green poker hat we gave her. My mother gave the hat to Logan and he wears it when we play cards to honor her.

The poker chips I put in were from a set that was originally my grandparents’ when I was growing up. They are very old and very cherished; I put in one of each color/point value. They played every Thursday night for years, as long as I could remember, and she taught me how to play. At first, when I was very little, I would sit at her feet and play with extra chips and another deck of cards. As I grew, I went from floor to lap, throwing chips in for her. She was very patience with me and I loved being included. Most children my age would have been in front of the TV in the other room but I have always preferred the company of older people. I love them. I remember my grandfather’s giggle when I would do well. I miss him too, very much.

After the service I asked everyone to write my grandmother a message on a balloon so that we could send them up to her. I wanted to end things on a positive note, to get everyone’s head out of the grave with my grandmother. Ysa had been crying so I got her to help me (partly to distract her) and asked her if she would release them up to grandma. She wanted to do it and the perfect breeze came as if on cue to help her.

All in all it was a good day. It feels weird to say that when you just lost someone, but the sun was shining and most of the family was together. She would have wanted that.

We all went to Antonio’s afterwards for lunch. Outstanding (read unbelievable) food, lots of conversation of our fondest memories and of the future. Mom and I set a place for my grandmother at the head of the table, a bouquet of gorgeous pale pink roses for her.

She was with us, in some small way, I know she was.

Moving forward in her memory

My grandmother passed on April 21st, she was 103 years old. Her funeral was this past Friday. It was a long couple of weeks to wait for closure but we are all well.

Logan picked out the perfect little wooden box for me to decorate for my grandmother. I think it was good for him to be able to help in some way. He loved my grandmother very much and has been watching over all of us. The sentence below the clasp reads: made in loving embrace of our fondest remembrances never to be forgotten.

I painted the wood with a pale leaf green acrylic I know she would have loved. Added line work in black Sharpie marker and gold edging around the top of the lid in metallic gold acrylic to give it definition. The centers of the flowers were punched out of vintage poetry and I painted out some of the words. You can read the flowers from left to right.

Flower Poem

“…the hush there made, that should her bliss lay ere it was still, behold her from afar, the world live free, all earthly matters before its flowers, silence now…”

The whole family and some close family friends tucked things inside for her; Mother’s Day cards, letters, photos. I put in all of Ysa’s drawings that she had taped up on grandma’s wall as well as a deck of cards and three poker chips. My grandmother loved to play cards and could still clean you out at 102. The last year it became a little more difficult but she still wore the lime green poker hat we gave her. My mother gave the hat to Logan and he wears it when we play cards to honor her.

The poker chips I put in were from a set that was originally my grandparents’ when I was growing up. They are very old and very cherished; I put in one of each color/point value. They played every Thursday night for years, as long as I could remember, and she taught me how to play. At first, when I was very little, I would sit at her feet and play with extra chips and another deck of cards. As I grew, I went from floor to lap, throwing chips in for her. She was very patience with me and I loved being included. Most children my age would have been in front of the TV in the other room but I have always preferred the company of older people. I love them. I remember my grandfather’s giggle when I would do well. I miss him too, very much.

After the service I asked everyone to write my grandmother a message on a balloon so that we could send them up to her. I wanted to end things on a positive note, to get everyone’s head out of the grave with my grandmother. Ysa had been crying so I got her to help me (partly to distract her) and asked her if she would release them up to grandma. She wanted to do it and the perfect breeze came as if on cue to help her.

All in all it was a good day. It feels weird to say that when you just lost someone, but the sun was shining and most of the family was together. She would have wanted that.

We all went to Antonio’s afterwards for lunch. Outstanding (read unbelievable) food, lots of conversation of our fondest memories and of the future. Mom and I set a place for my grandmother at the head of the table, a bouquet of gorgeous pale pink roses for her.

She was with us, in some small way, I know she was.

The rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated…

…I fell off the planet actually. Really, I did.

Family matters and client work took over my life, unfortunately but necessarily, for the last few weeks. I have stacks of things to be mailed out and projects to catch up on. Both of my art lists, Non_Cents and Art for Cures, probably think I’ve died but I cannot help it. Sadly, work has to come before the obligations that don’t support the day-to-day reality of bills. I have been living off fumes as far as sleep goes the last week in order to complete a deadline and I’ve, thankfully, met it so I am reclaiming little bits of my life daily. Tomorrow is my last day at the museum as well, until I am able to get another contract, so I have my weekends back for now.

I have made the decision to back off on web design for a while other than the projects I already have going. I am hopeful that Gumtree Graphic Rubber will be well received when it launches and have been compiling a list of designs in preparation. I am excited, nervous, confident and anxious. Having my own rubber stamp line has been a dream of mine for several years now.

It’s interesting how fast laundry piles up. I have been trying to squeeze in the occasional bout of doodling and make notes on story ideas. I have a million little thumbnails for card designs but will not have any serious illustration time for a little while yet. I have sites that need updating as well. Right now I am trying to get things ready for the first Art for Cures auctions, make sure everything is mailed out and that their packages are well worth the wait. I am thankful for their patience and support in more ways than I could even tell them.

Zombies have been living in my studio, taking the occasional snack break while I am coding. They have finally left though. They threw my brain back, there wasn’t anything left to nibble on…

A fairy woke me.

A fairy woke me this morning, seriously. She had curly light brown almost reddish hair, mussed as though she had been sleeping in a nearby flower. Her wings were lime green with pink iridescent glittery patterns and they flapped, though not very well, from their perch on her back. She wore a long shirt with butterfly filigree on it, whispy designs trailing all over the front, and grey pants with socks. It was cold in the house despite the heater so a fairy has to keep warm somehow.

“Mommy…?”

“Yes baby girl?” Cat-like stretching ensues.

“Can I watch Tinkerbell while you make me breakfast?”

“Yes baby, come here.”

The fairy climbs up in bed and uses mommy like a giant body pillow. It is customary in my house to tackle me awake I think; they must have all discussed it in a meeting I missed somehow, normally I call the meetings. The fairy scaled my bed, careful not to take my eye out with a stray wing, and climbed up to lay along my side like a cat on a windowsill. Big body hugs are her specialty at this size and I always rock her back and forth, gently loving on her hair and cheek, before dumping her off on the other side to listen to her giggle. That’s 63 pounds of wriggly fairy, not including the wings.

Thus starts my day.

Any thought of lounging in bed for a few more moments is quickly dashed, even the most vivid dreams swept away by daily to do lists, schedules, and the world outside. For now though, I make a fairy breakfast of strawberry waffles with peanut butter and a yogurt, while thoughts of coffee quickly redirected to decaf chai swirl around in my still fogged head. Breakfast made, fairy happily watching Return to Neverland, I sit down at my computer, web coding before me, thoughts of the chai I still haven’t made tapping at my brain…

Guess I’ll get up and go make it.