When I was a young newlywed back in 1988, I needed some employment. I was a recent college graduate with an associates degree in illustration and a BFA in painting. I had been working in the Mental Health field with Chronic Schizophrenics, I forget my title, but is was like a group home and I was staff. I had really enjoyed the work and had some strong affection for some of the clients, but had become burnt out....I wanted a job that used more of my creativity and talents. I tried to apprentice with a florist, but she was not a natural teacher, and I was finding her difficult to please and understand...that didn't last long. From a series of fortunate event, I became the employee of Carol Roeda! A very talented and kind woman, that really took me under her wing right off, and remains a good friend to this day! When I first started there she taught me to make these lovely stoneware clay angels. I remember it took me awhile to get the hang of it. At first I just rubbed the texture on with little pieces of burlap. Carol was very patient with me and I finally learned to make them almost as good as she did! Sometimes we put pockets in the dresses of the angels and I usually made the pockets too big.....No matter what-- pockets, ruffles, my details had a tendancy to get bigger and bigger. It was embarrassing! I would try not too, but before long my pockets were getting bigger and bigger again! Now it seems funny but back then it was a serious problem for me at work. I'd come home and discuss my day with Rick my husband..."Yeah, I'm making my pockets too big again....I just can't get that thing into my head!" "It's like my hands just want to exagerate all the details....." Rick would listen sympathetically, but to this day, If I am exagerating details, (usually to make everything seem more dismal) Rick will say yeah, you always did make those pockets too big....It's become a code for making a bigger deal out of a small thing.....Click on the photo for some other things I have done with Carol Roeda over the years.....Also here is a link to see what Carol Roeda is up to these days http://www.carolroedastudio.com
This is a different kind of shot of the coat! The button bubbles are starting to move around to the back of the coat, I thought this way you would be able to see them as the edge around the coat. Things are progressing here in Grand Rapids. We are deciding where to put things...it is amazing how much thinking and rethinking that takes! Although sometimes something gets plopped down and it remains there.... forever.....I tend to want to think too much and never decide and my husband says "let's just put it here we can change it later - we need to just do something - make a start." It is a wonderful complementary balance....It also shows how he get's much more done than I do! I think I have said it before, but it just blows my mind how 2 places - Grand Rapids, and Brooklyn - can exist on the same planet....I feel like I have entered a new world and it is hard to believe the world I left less than 2 weeks ago is still humming along....We are beginning to think about things like cooking beans from dry beans and stuff like that, things that seemed to take too long in Brooklyn, now we have time for(?) We are experimenting with "carlessness" we traded our car for a dining room table in Brooklyn...so far it is ok. Rose needed more socks for her Sock Monsters and I didn't know where to get them in Grand Rapids, so I was trying to think of stores in Grand Rapids with colorful socks and how to get to those stores...bus? borrow a car?.....and then! an epiphany! Order them ONLINE! the internet saves the day again! Thank you my online pals, for your comments and words of encouragement! ....love, Brenda
When I was a child, the first week (or two) of summer vacation always meant family camping at Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park was about 5 miles away from home and on Lake Michigan. We camped in a tent, but took advantage of the Parks electricity - which helped with cooking. My Mom used electric frying pans and an electric griddle. But the best camp cooking took place over the fire! I remember s'mores of course (roasted marshmallows stuck between Hersheys chocolate bar pieces and graham crackers) and the standard hot dog on a stick, but we also did Hobo pies. For a Hobo pie you had to have some "camping equipment. What you needed was some sort of cast metal "pie maker" which looked like a a hinged hot dog stick, anyway you would take two pieces of white bread, (the more like wonder bread the better) and butter the outside of each piece and fill it with canned pie filling like a sandwhich and fit it into the Hobo pie maker and roast it in the fire! They usually fell apart - but tasted good! Did anyone else make cinnamon rolls on a stick? We would take refrigerator biscuits and stretch them out and wrap them around a hot- dog stick thin and long and spiralled, if you put them on too thickly they stayed doughy. We would toast them like a marshmallow till they were nice and browned. Then we would slide them off and and roll them in butter and cinnamon sugar! We loved them! Actually everything tastes good when you are camping!
We are Here!!! We have made it back to the Midwest. We survived the trek with only minor exhaustion and a few small unsettling moments! Pretty good for a 15 hour drive with 2 vehicles, 6 kids, 2 cats and a pet rat! The first few days here in Grand Rapids, Michigan were jam packed with old friends and happy hellos! The older 3 kids have jumped feet first into hanging out with their pals, eager for fun and friendship---it's amazing how much things have changed so fast! We are very happy with our house --considering we never set foot in it before we moved in! Yesterday I actually embroidered about 3 or 4 more "button bubbles" on my coat. Gone is the Brooklyn grafitti and brick wall, replaced now with midwest wood siding on our circa 1900 house! Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers, It means very much to me......
We are loading up the truck tomorrow 6/7 and leaving Brooklyn on Thursday 6/8 very early in the morning. We will divide the trip into two days and be in Grand Rapids, Friday the 9th. Here's hoping all goes well...pray for us :)
The first Day of June! Happy June to you! This coat is becoming a blast of color....I love it. I like picking out the colors for the rings around the buttons. I've been doing 2 cools and a warm or 2 warms and a cool....makes sense to me anyway....Next week at this time we will be on the road...Lord willing(?!!?) on our way to Grand Rapids, Michigan! Back to the Midwest and all it's glory. Seriously we are excited and sad, it is hard to be both but it happens in life -think graduation - leaving home for college - ya know what I mean. So - I am trying to write this post in a noisy apartment...welcome to my life....hopefully it makes sense.