Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chairs and Desks and I Don't Know What Else to Post About....

What I've Been Doing - besides other stuff.

You see below a very very old chair.  
Mother and Daddy had this one and the other one you're about to see.
Originally they were part of an outdoor set - with a matching glider.
They each were covered in a metal back and seat and it had a typical 50's look.

Eventually the metal rusted and Daddy replaced it with strips of board.
His invention to recycle these chairs.

I have kept them and left them outside in the elements - where they've always been.
Pieces of the wood have come off - the screws are rusty.
The wood is yukky - and 2 weeks ago when I was sitting in one of them while Ada and John played,
it occurred to me - "I CAN REPLACE THESE BOARDS!!!"

And so I did.  I don't know why that hasn't occurred to me before.  

See the curved pieces?  I know Daddy must have learned how to "bend wood"
to make these pieces fit over the arms of the chair.
I googled that to see if I could.

I just can't.  
We'll just have arms without wood pieces.
I love these chairs and the way they sit.
I look on ebay from time to time and in flea markets - 
wondering if I'll ever find the original chair - 2 like these used to be.

Below is the old wood from the first chair.
Very distressed.  
I'll do some piece of something with these.
Maybe art.  Maybe an old frame.
I don't know.

And below is a row of orange desks which came from my old high school.
I've taken the desktops off in order to paint these.

These are the desk tops.
All I need is a jig saw and some pine boards joined so I can make a true wooden top for the chairs.
I think I've seen a tutorial that shows me how.
I was going to get someone to do it for me, but I want to do it.

I just need to buy a jigsaw.
Oops!  I'll wait a couple of weeks.
I've already spent too much at Home Depot.
They don't give spray paint away.
They don't give anything away.
Customers have to pay.  

Here is one chair painted yellow.
Yesterday I painted the metal part a brownish nickel color.
Looks good - but the masking off is tedious.
I've figured out how to save time.

The other 3 I'll first paint the yellow part without masking.
When it's solid dry - then I'll mask the yellow part to paint the legs their new metal color.
Masking the body of the chair was easier than masking the legs.

I have two other desks which I'm also going to revamp/spoof up.
They are different and have a more traditional desk look.
They came from my old high school, also.

I have so many projects waiting to be done.
I love doing this stuff.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Art Projects

I'm working on art projects for Ellie and Luke.  I agreed to teach them art, mainly Ellie, since she began "FIRST GRADE" yesterday.  At Home.  I'll be teaching Luke and Andrew also.  The Barber children come in threes these days.  Abigail is still attached to Ann and is only interested in being fed/rocked/ and held - and if she falls asleep, well, that's a great thing.  Andrew doesn't like being left out of anything - nothing - he is on board for whatever Ellie and Luke are doing.  He repeats everything they say and do.  He's their echo - but he also has his own things to say and talk about.  He talks constantly.

So - I've been researching art projects for children.  I already had two books which are all about children and art and doing art with them.  I don't want to teach them crafts - but - I want them to enjoy expressing themselves creatively.

So I found a recipe for Pudding paint.  It can't be eaten - but it does involve flour/water/salt/sugar - to be cooked together like pudding and then it cools and tempera paint is added to create these different colors of paint.  The brush is a craft stick.  I'll probably use wide and thin for different lines and marks.

It's to be applied to any stiff board, like card board, mat board, something stiff.  I recently ordered gesso and will probably gesso some cardboard to create a painting surface for them. (I'm assuming the pudding paint eventually dries like regular paint - otherwise why create a wet painting that we can't keep - I hope it dries!)  (I'll give the recipe below if anyone is interested)

ANOTHER PAINTING PROJECT I FOUND involves making my own watercolors.  Homemade watercolors!

Here is THE LINK TO GO TO  but there are so many on the internet for making these paints.  Just google Homemade Water Colors and all kinds of places have it.  Suggested containers for the paints are empty ice cube trays - small, saved containers - I used tiny muffin tins.  I never use mine because I am beyond the stage where I'm interested in making tiny bitesize things.  Too tedious - so I gave my tins up for the water colors - besides - they'll eventually be empty again)

Another project I'm looking forward to - Making a Book out of a Paper Bag!!  And then creating the book.  HERE'S THE LINK which tells how to make the book.  So simple.  I've done it using small brown lunch bags which is a more manageable size - also - I just don't have any large grocery bags - paper ones.  I plan to start requesting them.

I have no pictures today.  This post is begging for pictures - but I have no time for that right now.  I don't even have time to be posting this.

It's just something to move past my last post.  I hate for the same one to just keep staying up there.

Here are the instructions for the pudding painting taken directly from my book.


Mix 5 cups water, 2 cups white flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons salt.  Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until thick and bubbling (about 7 minutes).  Cool well.  This can be stored in the refrigerator in covered containers for several weeks.  (right now mine is cooling in a pyrex bowl and I put saran wrap directly over the surface, as in touching the pudding, so a film wouldn't form as it does in edible pudding)

1.  Spoon cooled "pudding" into 5 containers and mix with 1/8 to 1/4 cup powdered or liquid tempera paint to make 5 main colors. (I ordered my tempera paint from DICK BLICK ART SUPPLIES ONLINE  I ordered the already mixed kind.)
2.  Place spoonfuls of the main colors on one paper plate; use another plate to mix colors.  Use craft sticks to paint on cardboard. (I want a white surface so I plan to gesso cardboard.  I also ordered my gesso from Dick Blick.  It's expensive so I had to order a small container.  My daughter Sarah instructs me on gesso.  I haven't used it much but I do like it a lot.  It just prepares a surface for paint.  She mixes 2/3 water with 1/3 gesso.  She has to apply several layers.  It dries pretty fast or you can use a hair dryer, I suppose.  Since the cardboard will absord the water I might use a thicker application - less water)
3. Pull up to get pointy peaks, or scrape a design into the paint.  Make an abstract design, or paint a realistic picture.

WOW!  Wish I still had access to all that scrap matboard and scrap foam core board from when I worked at the frame shop.
Those would be great for this.

I think that's all.  I need to get off the computer.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Started This Blog Post on Sunday Morning, Early....

But didn't get to finish it.  
I'm taking Ada and John home today.
It's been quite a week.  
Ann and I couldn't get over the energy generated when these four got together.
Admittedly, they exhausted us and we had to take breaks from that combo all along.
Ada would wake up asking if she was going to see Ellie and Luke that day.
And there was no leaving Andrew out of the action.

and all week John worked on
maneuvering my back steps, alone.

Fat Toes.  I love baby feet!

Ann took them to the park and to the splash park
on two different days.  
While I kept John and Abigail.

Here is where I was interrupted.

Today is a new post.
After the interruption, yesterday, I greeted Ada and John who were waking up.

From there we did "breakfast", completed packing and dressing and preparing for the road trip home.

I drove them home to McDonough.

From McDonough I drove to Tallassee, AL, by way of I-85, getting off at the Auburn exit and
driving through town, College St, to get to Co Rd. 14 which takes me to Tallassee.

Beth and Jamie Baldwin have created their home there on the land
where Beth grew up.  She loves South Alabama the way I do.
It's home.

Her oldest daughter, Hope, lives here across the country road from Beth.

It's all a very well planned, country, South Alabama, pastoral paradise.
They all enjoy hard work very much and do most everything by themselves.

They budget, they deal in bargains, they give, give, give and work, work, work,
and those are some images of  the results.

I've returned to Scottsboro today.
I have a cold, which Ada gave to me.
That's okay.  I never have colds.
I'm having to shift gears, having been the caregiver to Ada and John for 7 days.
Go back to Grandmother with no Grandchildren living in the house.
It's a major shift in gears - a welcomed one - yet...... 
there's the missing them and the knowing they're where they belong.

When I drove up to Laura Beth's and Scott's house yesterday, 
I almost couldn't stop the car fast enough.
They were rushing out to the car to retrieve their girl and boy.  

The reunion was very endearing.
I loved it.

Images from the week.

My sweet Georgia grandchildren.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Help and What I've Been Doing Since My Last Post 9 Days Ago

Charlie and I did go see The Help - I really, really liked it.  I had read the book already because I knew it would be so much better than the movie and I definitely wanted to see the movie - but didn't want the movie to ruin the book for me.  I have read lots of articles about the author - who is from Jackson, MS.

I am 60 - so I lived through all of that.  I have my own stories from my very white perspective and wish so much we hadn't all been so blind.  Anyone of us in my age bracket lived through the reality of that - It was and continues to be shocking to me.  I was born in 1951 and so of course in 1961 I was only 10.

The book is good and trumps the movie.  Still, the movie is so good, too.  I watched it with Mike and Mary Bratton, and Charlie and none of them had read the book.  I was curious to get their reaction.  They liked it a lot.

There's a lady in south Alabama whom I know.  I knew her as a child when she would help Mother with Mary Ann and me.  I LOVED her.  She was just a very young teenager when she would baby sit us.  I thought she was beautiful and had a magical energy.  I never forgot her.  I never knew her last name until our paths crossed again when I was 50.  Mary Ann knew she'd moved back to Evergreen and she and her sister were willing to help us care for Mom after Mother's near fatal stomach event which had put her in intensive care.  I remember my strong emotional reaction when I saw her again.  I was maybe 4 or 5 the last time I'd seen her.  I cried and was trembling.  She had no idea that she'd meant that much to me.  She still had that same energy and was still beautiful and smart and bright and laughed so much.  Here we were adults and able to share stories - mostly hers with Mary Ann and me listening.  Amazing to get her perspective, with no bitterness, on life in Evergreen, AL during all the days of segregation and then life during the time of the civil rights movement.  We had lived in the deepest of the deep south, she on the black side, Mary Ann and I on the white side.  She had loved Mother.  Even before this movie and this book, I've wanted to make some questions for an interview with her - and share it on this blog.

I'm going to do it one of these days.  She's a great story teller.  She has amazing stories!!  She and her sister together have amazing stories.

What I've been doing since the last post - Last week - getting my house and yard in order to prepare for Ada and John being with me, here at my house, for a week - while Laura Beth and Scott prepare to move into their cute rental house.

So - pictures from yesterday.  (I met LB and Scott in Adairsville.  Mary Bratton rode with me - the drive over was certainly different than the drive home.  On the way back to Scottsboro we had tired John and chatty, excited Ada in the back seat.  Mary saw my grandparenting world in full swing.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

2nd Post Today, August 8th.

Daddy - to Mary Ann and me -  Frank or Mr. Wilkerson - to all others - 
died on this day in 1993.
August 8.
I still miss him.  I know Mary Ann does, too.
We miss Mother and Daddy, both.

But not in a morbid or unhealthy way.  A happy way, actually.

I've always wish we'd (Mom, Mary Ann and I) handled his disease better.
We gave it our best shot.

Our goal was to make him feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
Always our goal, but then one looks back and second guesses things.

He had Alzheimer's Disease.

We were on unknown territory, for us, and for most of the world.

But he's been in eternity for 18 years now.

He would be 98.  People live to be 98 and more.  The rest of Daddy's body was very healthy.
Good genes.  Good heart.  Good mind,  until the Alzheimer's ravaged it.

Earliest memories of daddy.

He and  I sitting on the floor with the soles of our feet touching, spread legs, and rolling a red, white, and blue rubber ball back and forth.  I LOVED that game.  I remember I could tell he was doing it for me and that he didn't love that game as much as I did.  He didn't intend for me to know that but I could tell.  He always had a smile on his face, still I knew.  I guess his duration wasn't as long as mine.  I had to have been so young.  3 maybe? 

Other memory.  Daddy coming home from work and Mary Ann and I rushing into his arms as he came in the side/back door - His arms opened wide and he's kneeling down to take us both in.  Our excitement and squeals.  I remember that.  I know he loved that.  Who doesn't love that?  

Daddy throwing Mary Ann and me on the bed and saying a phrase as he did it.  It's such a nonsense phrase and I have no idea how it got started, but we loved it and giggled so much over it.  He would say, "Whole Tatum!" and he'd stretch out the "o" really long in the word, whole.  He'd say that as he threw each of us on the bed.  Of course he could only do us one at a time, so the one waiting would be shouting, "Do me! Do me!" and he'd laugh and say, "Okay, come on, Do Me."  He'd call us "do me".  

Oh gosh.  I remember those endless glasses of water we asked for at night or in the middle of the night.  I can see Daddy sleepily coming in the room with that tiny glass and I'd take a small sip and be done.  Of course every parent knows it's a tactic - that the child probably isn't very thirsty - just needing some contact.  Daddy knew it - but he came anyway with that small glass of water.  He always looked so sleepy.

I can still feel the way Daddy held me when I was very small - on his side the way a man holds a child, usually, with one strong arm, and just grasping the legs with the other hand.  My arm around his neck.  One particular night I ran to get in his arms when he was going outside to check and listen to see if he could tell the direction of a fire engine we heard.  I thought I would be safer if I was in his arms.  He stood and held me and we listened - and I said I hoped it wasn't coming to our house.  (I've told this on here before) That's when he gave me the wonderful information - that fire trucks don't set houses on fire, they put them out.  Boy had I been mixed up about that!  So glad to know.

Of course there's the fun way to be carried - on the shoulders.  We definitely did that .

And the driving - he'd let me sit in his lap when we got on our "slow" street - and I thought I was steering.  His hands were on the lower part of the steering wheel.

And there were our older child years and our teen years.

And college.  And being single.  And married with children.

He was always there.  

I'm so glad for all the people I will see again.
I'm so glad for redemption and eternity,
for grace and mercy,
for sanctification,
for Christ in me,
the hope of glory.
Grateful and glad and so much hope.
I wish God would use me to tell everyone.
I don't seem to communicate it very well with words.
I'm glad it's His Spirit telling and communicating and doing and using His redeemed ones the way He wants to and chooses to.

Monday After a Week of Traveling

We returned from North Carolina on Tuesday of last week
Traveled to McDonough, Georgia 
on Friday
with two grandchildren in the backseat - Ellie and Luke.

We were going there to celebrate Ada's 4th birthday,
staying at "a hotel" near Laura Beth and Scott's house.
The kids were excited and Ada was going to stay with us at the hotel.
We did, she did, and we celebrated and now we're home

What can I say?  Charlie and I are grandparents.  
And we had the look as we supervised 3 grandchildren ages 6,5,& 4
overnight in a basic hotel, complete with indoor pool and continental breakfast.

Ada and Ellie in bed after swimming and bathing.

Next day we woke ready to party.
 Luke, Ada, and Ellie greet the first guests.
They look like a panel of judges on a reality show.
American Idol? Dancing With the Stars?
Children are funny the way they do the "stand-off thing" until they warm up.
No social pretense here. Just checking it out.

Here's the way a girl (Ada, who loves art projects) approaches her craft project
 set in front of her.
"Build Your Own Princess Crown"

Here is non artist boy, Luke, already having completed his boy hat.
Four letters in L-u-k-e, 3 athletic ball stickers and presto, there's a visor.
and he sits back to visit with whomever.

This photo:  Well, it's from a perspective of my watching Ellie watch Ada.
One of Ellie's "thorns in the flesh" is her struggle with not being the birthday girl
when she's not the birthday girl and someone else is.

She understands her struggle and that it is just that.
She even understands about having to trust Christ to "sanctify" her.
Not using such big words in her mind -
but she is taught always that it is only Christ in her who can change that part of her.

Prayers were answered and all enjoyed
the celebration of Ada turning four.

Indeed it is an awesome thing being the birthday girl
and having a beautiful princess cake

In this next picture Charlie and Luke having some "guy conversation"
during the Princess Party.  And speaking of guys, 
John napped through the entire party.
He is in none of the pictures.  
Ada's little brother. 

See the sword?  Those were favors for a few little boys who were invited.
Luke has loved this sword.  Laura Beth got these at Hobby Lobby for nothing.
She told me the cost but I've forgotten.
Well under $1.00 for each sword.
We took one to Andrew.  You'll see later.

Art Supplies were the dominant gifts.
The girls loved all of this.

Again, Luke thinking through how to approach this whole situation.

And .... ta daaahhhhhh.

Back home.  Andrew enjoying the party favors we brought him.
His visor which I made for him, but he wears it upside down.
And his sword.
He, too, has loved the sword, just like "wukie's". Lukie or Luke

The End.

And now it's Monday.

I'm cleaning off my back porch and hope to get grass cut and some inside cleaning done.
That's a tall order for me.

Don't know if I can get it all done.

It would help if I'd get off the computer.