I don't know what happened. One day I needed to write a new blog post, and I just could not do it. Nothing came to mind that I felt I could write about. I thought, "Something will inspire me, and then I'll write." Nothing did. For 4+months! Rather embarrassing for someone committed to writing a blog and maintaining at least some degree of interest for my readers! Readers, if you are still there, I do apologize!
In my own defense, I have been overwhelmed with the amount of canvas orders I've had to paint, plus writing stitch guides, teaching classes, doing some finishing for shops, and dealing with family and life on top of that. But, an interesting thing happened today to break my cycle of 'overwhelmedness.'
A long time friend that I became re-united with on FaceBook sent me a photograph. So, herein begins my blog post.
Once upon a time, many, many years ago, circa 1983 or 1984, when I lived another life, when I had 4 growing children in my home, when I was living in the beautiful state of Oklahoma, when I was active with Extension Homemakers, church activities and service, and all sorts of things like sewing clothes, and baking homemade bread from scratch, canning vegetables and fruits, etc....I made and gave a gift to my dear friend whose name was also Barbara Elmore!
Barbara Elmore was one of the first people to reach out to me when I arrived in the small college town 70 miles due East of Oklahoma City. I'll never forget: she called me up one day, and introduced herself to me because we had something in common; our names! Turns out we also had daughters the same age. In no time, we became good friends, and so did our daughters!
Barbara Elmore, (this was her maiden name, BTW. She was married to a fine man, a college professor..a microbiologist, also talented home builder and carpenter!) was also a very talented piano teacher in the area, with the best, most infectious laugh I've ever heard! Soon my eldest daughter and son were taking lessons from Barbara. They loved her and to this day, they speak fondly of her and the lessons they took.
I was always captivated by a scene that I witnessed every time I went to her home when our girls sat down at the piano to play together. Thus, the gift I gave to Barbara Elmore was created.
At that time, I had not even heard of painted needlepoint canvases. That would come in 1985 when I moved back to Tucson. But in those days, I did some simple needlepoint on plastic with the kids, and did a few odd strange things using thick yarn and penelope brown canvas. I found it boring and not compelling. But, I did love to sew on my sewing machine, and did love to create appliqued decorative pieces.
Is this not the dearest scene ever? Snowball, the family's big fluffy cat, was always seated between the two girls, always part of every performance! I think Snowball preferred classical music, if you were to ask me, but she seemed to enjoy all genres! Barbara tells me Snowball was part of every child's piano lesson that she ever taught, during that beloved pet's lifetime!
Seeing this fluffy white cat again made me smile at the juxtaposition of my latest cat creation. This cat is not sweet...is not white, probably hates beautiful music, but it is soft and fluffy to the touch. (If you dared venture close enough to touch it! Yikes!) The fur is needle felted from pure wool roving. This cat is dark as midnight. This cat is called Ghost Cat, and hovers in the night sky as witches fly across the moon, reflected in her/his golden eyes!
I enjoyed teaching Ghost Cat, part 1 at BeStitched in Scottsdale. I'm so looking forward to teaching part 2..the painted mat border, also at BeStitched. That class is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10th, 2013. It is not too late to join the fun. Each part can be stitched separately and 'long distance' classes are available if you can't attend in person.
Snowball and the Midnight Ghost Cat.....I wonder if they are best friends in Cat Heaven? Or if they have at least, discussed their common heritage? LOL~~~ I can hear Barbara Elmore's laughter pealing in the background!