Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here we go. . .

I gentle on this old sensitive soul! It took awhile for me to finish my Bead Journal pages, but I'm caught up and back on board. I jumped in and started this journey on a great note and then other commitments I had previously made, the holidays, working on other projects and life...slowed me down. I'm trying to change my ways and find a better I can keep growing creatively with a happy heart. 

Since there are six journal pages in one post, I will keep my journaling simple for your sake and mine too. The theme for my journal pages is fragments of my life and what lies within my heart each month and every year that passes.

November Bead Journal Page...My Oldest Love

This is Blake, my oldest (now 27 years old) pride and joy. Every November, I am reminded of my first most precious gift of all and how truly blessed I am. I am so proud of the man he has become. Nothing I've ever done in my life has given me more joy than being his mom and I don't think he knows all the gifts of love and happiness he has given to me. I chose this sweet picture of him because he was dressed in sweat pants and a sweatshirt that had Oregon State University on it. Little did we know then that it would be the college he would graduate from. He loved college and being in a fraternity. He graduated with a B.S. in Business with a minor in fine arts. Blake is a big teddy-bear, very outgoing, loves life and his friends. I love him so much and I'm so proud of him!
December Bead Journal Page...Forever Sissy

This is my beautiful sister, Leslie, affectionately known as Sissy. She is my only sibling and is three and a half years younger than I. Every December, I think of her because she was born two days after Christmas. I chose this picture of her because it was the last weekend trip we took together to the coast (October) and had a fun time sharing, eating, shopping and laughing. We are very close and have shared all the happiest and saddest times of our lives together...everything...growing up, marriages, births and deaths. Although we are both different, we are very much alike. We both have the same heart and the same smile. I love her dearly and am so grateful she is my sister.  Forever sisters...forever friends...forever in my heart.
January Bead Journal Page...My Youngest Love

This is Spencer, my youngest (now 21 years old) pride and joy. Every January, I am reminded of my second most precious gift of all and how truly blessed I am. I am so proud of the man he has become. Nothing I have ever done in my life has given me more joy than being his mom and I don't think he knows all the gifts of love and happiness he has given to me. I chose this sweet picture of him because it reminds me what a happy little boy he was...always smiling and loving life. He is sliding down a tube at Pietro's (a local pizza joint) where we all shared many family get-togethers and many of our kids birthday parties. Spence is our free spirit. He reminds me so much of his dad...longer hair...loves his motorcycle, scuba dives, etc. He is very brilliant minded.  Unfortunately, he got burnt out (bored) with school. However, this fall he surprised us and took the one last class he needed to receive his Associate's Degree.  My fingers are crossed that maybe one day he will want to go back and finish.  He works full-time and lives with a good friend of his.  Spence is tall and thin like his mom, a big sweetheart, loves life and his friends. I love him so much and I'm so proud of him!
February Bead Journal Page...My Girls

Oh, my dear sweet's silly goose' love bugs! Last year in January/February we had to say good-bye to my sweetest and best little friends...six weeks apart and it was so difficult. I miss them so much and still get a lump in my throat when I think about them. In working on this page, I remembered so many happy and fun times. They were mom's girls and followed me everywhere, loved being outside in the sunshine, having baths, their little kiddie swimming pool, treats, chasing squirrels in the yard, patrolling the blueberry bushes and barking at the birds to get out of the berries, and all you had to do was open the window and yell *dinner* and they would run from the through their doggie door...up the stairs and race into the kitchen! ~wink~ I've missed them every day and never will forget the joy and endless love they gave to us all. Rauchski and Ruby Jean remain forever in my heart.
March Bead Journal Page...Back In The Saddle Again

March always reminds me of my Uncle Fred and having to fly to San Francisco to say good-bye in 1987. He died when he was 54 years old. This is one of my most favorite pictures of him and my mom. Uncle Fred lost his life to AIDS and pneumonia. He was so intelligent, talented, artistic, funny and fun to be around. I just adored and loved him. He also went back to school in Maryland, when he was 41 years old, and graduated with a Master of Science in Addiction Studies at John Hopkins University. He lived in San Francisco and worked as a counselor for a large corporation. He didn't come home too often. He adored and loved Nana (because she loved him unconditionally) and my mom, but he always had issues with Papa.  His dad could never accept that he was gay and always insisted there had to be a cure for his problem and that he would be happy to pay for it to be fixed! Right there tells you how 'old school' my grandpa was. While in the hospital and a few weeks before he died...he took his IV out...put his clothes and raincoat on and used his raincoat belt to keep his jeans up because he had lost so much weight...checked out of the hospital for awhile...called a cab...and went shopping at Tiffany & Company.  He bought himself a new watch with larger numbers and a white face because he was having trouble seeing his other watch and bought my mom, sissy, and I a crystal heart paperweight and had them wrapped for us. He attached a card and wrote...keep this away from Blake's little hands...I Love You...Uncle Fred XO. That heart is still with me and sits on a tray in my bathroom and mom gave me the watch he bought that day and I still wear it. These two pieces are very treasured and cherished. He was a wonderful uncle to me and I have many fond memories of him.

April Bead Journal Page...Remember My Heart

April is the only month that I didn't have a specific person or memory to relate to. When my pages are complete, I will have included all my immediate family members. Mark and I decided that I should include a photo of me since these will be framed together when complete. Since my birthday is in May and we were married on my birthday, my May page will be about us. Because of some recent issues and another birthday around the corner...I've been thinking about my life.  The things that are important to me many precious days I really have blessed I've been in my life...and how I want to be remembered one day. I want to be remembered as being a loving, giving and caring soul that loved my family more than anything in the world, loved life and smiled a lot.  I hope they'll always remember my heart and forget-me-not.

*Question* - I noticed in my photos that my pages look kind of irregular but they really aren't. They truly are 5" x 7" and the sides are nice and straight.  They lay almost perfectly flat, however, the Pellon backing was slightly curved due to being rolled when I bought it. I am wondering before I stitch some Ultrasuede onto the back, if I shouldn't slip a piece of acid-free poster board or 'something' in-between to help it lay perfectly flat and make it more solid or stable? Just like I do with a beaded brooch. Any thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome.

I've had the hardest time writing this post...almost like a mental block. I think it may have to do with the gorgeous 75 and 83 degree weather we had Sunday and Monday. It has been wonderful to see blue skies and feel the sunshine again! Now that I am caught up and can breathe again...I'll be by to catch up with you!
I wanted to share a few pictures I took of a male Rufous hummingbird (first of the season) that migrate from Mexico where they winter.  They are gorgeous and it's so fun to see them return!  To say they are feisty is an understatement.  The chasing  and arguing over the feeders is on. Click on the picture and see him up close.

This is one of our Anna's who is trying to figure out...who *that* dude is and what he thinks he's doing at *my* feeder!!!

I hope you are well and I'll visit with you soon! ~Lisa