Thursday, February 28, 2008

sketches from Florida

I took a little 20 minute nap. Dave and Malcolm are still napping. The sun is warming my bare feet near the pool where I can enjoy both fresh air and internet connection. "It is February!" I keep reminding myself. February in Key West, that is. Flowers are blooming, roosters are strutting, and I am thoroughly enjoying. Here's a peek into the travel journal.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Malcolm helped me stamp Valentines yesterday. I don't know if you can tell, but they say "heart".

Thanks for the flowers Dave. I put them in a vase made by my sister Megan and aunt Paula. They call themselves "Three Hands Pottery". They make an "amazing team".

I don't think it can get much more romantic (food wise) than chocolate dipped strawberries. (I used the chocolate you sent home with me, Mom, thanks!)

AND, Happy Birthday Megan. Here is your present that is on it's way to you. It's an apron you can wear when you go to pottery with Paula. It has three pockets for your clay tools and stamps. I used red, your "favorite", for the ties and flower.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

a basket full of hearts

Rubbing my eyes from the journey back home yesterday, I realize, "tomorrow is Valentine's Day!" There is nothing like traveling to put you in a time warp. So among loads of wash and wiping down sawdust (Dave and friends mostly finished sanding down our floors while Malcolm and I were in Utah), I'll be cutting out a few hearts.

Tomorrow is also special because it is my sister Megan's birthday! She is going to be 31! Last week during my visit we got to make these valentines together for her special needs activity night. She cranked out the hearts with the diecut and then wrote out her name 30 times. I was the gluer.

I found this basket in the basement to hold the valentines. It brought back memories of when my mom and aunt Paula had gotten themselves into weaving these baskets - the dying, soaking in wading pools, and all.

Friday, February 8, 2008


There I was eating lunch, the day before Malcolm and I would be boarding the airplane to Utah, yet to pack, and I suddenly was struck with the inspiration to make something that would push the task of packing late into the night. A backpack for Malcolm. I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out, or the delight in his face when I gave it to him.

I'm watching my baby turn into a boy before my eyes. With his own carryon strapped to his back, he was such a little man walking around the airport.

I think it gives him a good sense of self and security to have a place for some of his special things. Living far away from BestaMamma, GrandpaDad, and all the aunts and uncles, I imagine that for Malcolm, greeting them again can feel a little intimidating at first. The backpack was wonderful. When we got to the house I asked if Malcolm wanted to show GrandpaDad his backpack. He sat on the floor and took out all his treasures, his way of being able to share a little of himself. I think it was worth losing a little sleep in the making. Besides, I don't think I've ever not packed for a trip last minute, I'm always doing laundry. Thanks Dave, for picking up the wood bead and cord from JoAnn's. We miss you.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Joseph Alleman "following his heart"

Art of the West magazine has featured the work of my brother in the JAN/FEB issue. If you are looking for a way to treat yourself this month, go by yourself to your B&N or Borders bookstore, order something warm to drink (you better throw in a cookie too), and pick up Art of the West to read this article. It is well written and looking at the paintings will make you feel a lot better about the bleak coldness of February, I promise. After reading the article I was thinking about how Joe has been true to his work: "following his heart". As a younger sister I would want to watch him paint over his shoulder. He never was mean or told me to leave, but I did sense that my being there was interrupting something, so I would leave on my own. As his artistic talents continued to manifest themselves there were a lot of opinions and suggestions from family and friends about what direction he should take is art, subjects, and pallets. He wouldn't say much to this. He would politely listen, but then he would pick up his tools and create what was in him. So go, you don't even have to buy the magazine. Read it, let me know what you think.