Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saying Goodbye ( Continued)

“Wake up, Angel,” whispered Mother. Mother had always called her Angel. “We are here at the new house.”

Angelica sleepily raised her head and peered out the window. There was a beautiful two-story white house with a very large front porch. There is a swing on the porch! “Oh, Jasmine, come on. Let’s go see the swing!” Angelica jumped anxiously out of the car with Jasmine following close behind. Angelica was running up the stairs to the porch when she glanced back to see Jasmine stretching her legs as she slowly began to amble up the stairs. “Hurry, Jasmine! Jump on the swing!” Jasmine jumped onto the swing next to Angelica and they began to swing.

“Look at the fireflies! Why, there are millions of them! They light up the entire meadow. Do you suppose they are welcoming us?” Jasmine only yawned and lay down in the swing paying no attention to the fireflies. Angelica was completely mesmerized by the flickering of their small lights. “I wonder if they are talking to each other”, she thought as she continued to rock the swing back and forth.

“Angelica.” She heard Father’s voice.

“Jasmine, wake up, Father is here.” Jasmine jumped up, ears perked as she scampered toward the door. Her tail wagged faster and faster as Angelica began to open the door. Then, before Angelica could take a step Jasmine hurried past her and ran to Father. Father reached down and patted Jasmine’s head gently. Angelica cried, “Oh Father, it is beautiful here!” He gave her a big hug and said, “ I am happy you like it. Now why don’t you go upstairs and checkout your room? It is the one to the right as you get to the top of the stairs.”

Angelica ran up the stairs so quickly as if she had wings. She didn’t stop until she was at the door. Very slowly she began to open the door, leaned her head inside and peeked. She never made a sound. She just stood there - frozen. In the room were all her favorite toys, her books on the shelves, Jasmine’s bed and the soft coverlet that grandma had made. Why it looked just like her room at the old house! It looked like she had never left. With a big smile she yelled, “Mother, Father come see! My room-it looks just like my room at the old house.”

Her mother and father smiled at her joy. “We wanted you to feel at home, Angel. We know it is difficult to move to a new place. We hope you will love it here. Tomorrow you will be able to see the outdoors. There is a beautiful willow tree down by the brook. And the meadow is full of wildflowers.”

“I have prepared dinner for you and Mother so lets go eat before it gets too late.” They all went to the dinning room to eat the meal Father had prepared. He even had Jasmine’s food ready. They all sat down to eat.

After they finished Angelica carried her dishes to the kitchen then went to her room. She wanted to check everything to be sure nothing had been lost. She looked in the closet and each drawer. Everything seemed to be in its place. Even Jasmine’s toys were in her bed. Angelica brushed her teeth and slipped into her pajama’s then climbed onto the window seat and looked out the window to watch the fireflies. “Come, Jasmine, and watch the fireflies with me.” Jasmine sat beside her on the window seat.

As it grew darker the sparkles of the fireflies’ lights grew brighter. Angelica watched intently as they flew randomly about. Then as she grew sleepy the sparkles of light seemed to form the word “Welcome”. Angelica rubbed her eyes in disbelieve - there was her name written in the tiny sparkles- “Angelica.” The fireflies were welcoming her to the new home. Angelica smiled as she climbed into her bed and pulled the soft coverlet over her. Jasmine snuggled beside her. Angelica drifted off to a peaceful asleep as she thought about tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wheggie Story - Saying Goodbye

A couple of weeks ago I introduced my Wheggies and promised to begin posting some of my writings about them and their adventures. Today I wanted to introduce all of you to Angelica Raveu and her dog, Jasmine. Angelica's father has taken a new job and the family must move. This means saying goodbye to her friends and leaving the only home she has ever known. What Angelica doesn't know yet is that she is about to meet some of the most loving and caring creatures she could ever imagine. And Jasmine will accompany her on this magical adventure.

I wanted to begin this series today and will try, as I promised to continue these writings at least every two weeks. I hope you enjoy them. Please always feel free to leave comments to let me know your thoughts. I appreciate your input.

This a picture of a journal I made where I pictured Angelica and Jasmine. Angelica is speaking to Jasmine, her friend.

Saying Goodbye

The skies were cloudy, but Angelica did not notice on this the last day of school. All she could think of was saying goodbye to all her friends. This year in her third grade class she had made many new and wonderful friends. Now with the school year coming to a close she realized that she may never see her friends again. She was moving away to a new home. She fought to hold back the tears as she waved goodbye. Mother was waiting in the car and she must be going.

"Why do things have to change?", thought Angelica. "Why can't we stay here? Why do we have to move?" So many thoughts were going through her mind as the car moved further away from what was familiar to her. She watched out the car window looking at each building that quickly passed. She had lived in this neighborhood as long as she could remember and knew everyone on her block. She and Jasmine, her dog, would take walks and she would stop to say hello to all the neighbors. "Mrs. Wringle will miss me. Who will get her mail when she is sick?", she wondered. Soon all the houses and people began to fade in the distance until they were no longer in view.

Jasmine licked her hand as if to say, “ I understand, I feel the same way.” Jasmine always understood Angelica in ways no human could. She and Angelica spent a lot of time together - having fun and exploring. Jasmine’s large brown eyes seemed to also be filled with tears as she, too, watched out the window. She laid her head on Angelica’s lap and rubbed her nose against her arm. Her gesture was one of love and understanding. Soon Angelica folded her body softly over Jasmine as she placed her head on Jasmine's back. They both fell asleep as Mother drove down the highway toward their new home.

(to be continued)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dried Flowers

Nature's beauty abounds on the hillsides and along the roadways. This is a picture of the sage in bloom among the other herbs in the garden. Its soft floral petals are a lovely shade of pink.

The Queen Anne's lace floats gently in the wind. I can see where it gets its name because the tiny floral botanicals look like bits of lace. As I touched the blossoms they felt like velvet in my hands. What beautiful gifts nature provides!

Tracie Lyn gave me this fantastic botanical press. It is a very large size ( 12"x 24") which allows me to dry many florals all at one time. I thought I would share a few tips on drying flowers in case any of you have thought you would like to dry some florals from your garden. You do not need a special press. A very heavy book will do. In fact, that is what Tracie Lyn and I used for many years. Purchase a tablet of NewsPrint paper at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. I would tell you to use a newspaper but the ink may rub off on your florals. Rather than cut the NewsPrint paper - fold it to a size that will fit in the book. That way you can reuse.

Then grab a sack and a pair of old scissors and go to your garden of favorite flowers. As you cut your florals leave a stem on them. You can always cut it off later once the floral has dried. With the stem left on you can use it that way if you want the look of the stem. Depending on the floral you may not be able to leave a stem. That is fine. Once I have the sack full of florals I start placing the blossoms between the NewPrint folds.

Gently lay each floral separately and press it flat with your hand so you can see it will show the petals once it is pressed. Once the paper is full place it inside the book. Then repeat this until the book is very full. It is okay if the stems stick out a little. After the book is as full as you can get it, close it and press the book covers together very tightly. You can then place it on the bottom of a stack of heavy books or you can have someone hold it together tightly and wrap a couple of times with masking tape to secure it. Set the book on the shelf for a few weeks

This is Queen Anne's lace that is waiting to be pressed. Notice the large lacy floral. I will lay these on the NewsPrint paper then take my hand and press the floral flat to the paper, cover the floral with paper, press all as flat as possible then slip into the book.

These are lovely florals and sage blossoms that I pressed about 3 weeks ago.

Here are some helpful hints:

1. Pick the florals in the afternoon or evening. If you pick them in the morning they will have dew and can be more difficult to dry or the excess moisture may form mold then you will need to discard them.

2. Use a used gift bag with handles so that it will hang it on your arm then both hands are free for cutting.

3. Use white paper plates or napkins to dump the freshly picked botanicals. This is a hint from Tracie Lyn. This enables you to see the small insects that came in with the botanicals.

3. Be sure to have a very heavy weight on the book that you are using for the pressing or tape very tightly. You want to ensure the botanicals are flat as possible.

4. Handle extremely carefully once they are dried as they crumble easily.

5. Store the dry botanicals in a box with a layer of paper between each layer of botanicals. I use printer papers.

6. Keep an open mind when collecting the florals. Sometimes very small blooms on bushes make the prettiest pressed flowers. Also, some flowers have very small individual blossoms that form the larger flower. I cut each blossom then I have some very small florals for projects.

7. If you want to make a press: Take corrigated cardboard and use between each of the NewsPrint. This allows for air flow. Here is how to layer: Corrigated cardboard, NewsPrint (with florals), Corrigated cardboard, NewsPrint, etc. Then weight down with something heavy. If you want to make a wooden top and bottom; cut 2 each 1/2 inch thick pieces of plywood (one for the top and one for the bottom.) The layers of corrigated cardboard and NewsPrint are sandwiched in between and wrapped tightly.

Tracie Lyn and I will be bringing many Missouri and Kansas botanicals for incorporating into your projects.

Art Unraveled is only 5 weeks away and we are very excited to meet all of you!