Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bits & Pieces of My Father

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative: Raising Awareness & Funding Research

My father has had Alzheimer's for such a long time. He hasn't know who I am for at least 7 years. I first noticed the symptoms after he suffered a head injury in a car accident. He participated in a number of drug studies at The Ohio State University. He continues on medications which help mask the symptoms - it's hard to imagine how completely UN-functional he would be without the meds.

My Mom moved him to an Alzheimer Care Facility a couple of years ago when she could no longer take care of him at home. She still feels guilty about doing this. She shouldn't.

When served a meal, he would ask "What is this?" and "Do I like it?". Mom always identified the food and assured him that he liked it, and he ate. While visiting my two younger sisters,he asked about his plate of pancakes. Mom told him they were pancakes and that he liked pancakes. He ate his pancakes. Later that day, he asked about the mashed potatoes on his plate. One sister told him they were pancakes and that he liked pancakes, so he ate his mashed potatoes. Must to my mother's chagrin, my sisters continued to identify all his food as pancakes for the remainder of his visit. Dad didn't care - he has always had a good appetite. He no longer asks about his food, but he continues to eat everything put in front of him.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Life With Hair

Last weekend, I spent 3 days in Susan Shie's Outsider Art Diary Quilts Workshop. Wow! What fun it was! I loved using the air pen. (I'd run out and buy one, but I'm not sure I'd use it enough to justify the $130 price tag.) I went in with the attitude that I wasn't making Great Art, which allowed me to try different things without stress.

I enjoyed Susan's Library Time, when we wrote and sketched. I treated it like Morning Pages and just got rid of a lot of crap that was floating around in my mind. My sketchbook has twice as much writing as sketches!

The first day's theme was "hair" - my quilt shows me at different hair stages.

I didn't like how the paint bled when I painted on wet fabric. (i.e. my dark hair bled into the background.) I also didn't like the straight paint look. Blending paint with extender &/or water worked the best for me. I purposely didn't mix enough paint to do the entire background. I like the variation in colors that I got as I painted across the quilt.

The writing on a face is about me when I had that hair style.
In the space around the faces, I wrote hair stories and memories. I used a Rub-A-Dub laundry marker and several ultra-fine tip Sharpies. I don't like the thick line of the Rub-A-Dub and I wish my Sharpie markings were stronger.

I used Susan's binding method, but am going to do some free-motion quilting instead of using her free-form grid. I painted one quilt each day of class (themes were 2008 and whine/wine). They are still works in progress.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Chile Red Mini Cooper!

We decided on a car & bought a Mini Cooper S. It's really DH's car (I still need the behemoth Tahoe), but with Al out of town, I got to drive it today. Before I got off our street, before I shifted into 3rd gear, I wanted one of my own!

I've forgotten how much FUN it is to drive a little sports car! I love that the tach sits right in the middle of the steering wheel, while the speedometer is over in the middle of the dash. I love the way the engine sounds when I downshift. I love the responsiveness of the steering. I love how quickly the car responds to a slight pressure on the gas pedal.

In the Tahoe, I am invisible in an ocean of SUV's. Everyone looks at the bright red little car zipping by - teen-aged boys AND girls, teachers on outside school duty, other drivers, neighbors. Pretty please, can I have one too?