Making Gifts

Dear Liza,

A goofy doll from many Christmases ago…

I have always loved making gifts. You great grandma Billie taught me to sew, and I have made baby quilts and wedding quilts for friends and family. I have sewn goofy dolls, Covid-19 masks, and helped with Auntie Katie’s wedding huppa.

A “big boy” quilt, now long outgrown….

I have baked tons of celebratory cookies and rum balls, peanut butter balls, and Bundt cakes for Kosher luncheons. I have even knitted scarves and hats, for those who wouldn’t be upset about a few dropped stitches.

Nifty bug cookies

And now I have something new I can make and give to friends: Art Journals!

Art Journal for a friend

I just sent my dear friend Pat a journal, a book built from scratch via lessons from Ruth Inman. It is filled with silly poems, by me and other people. It has thoughts and thanks and bits of art to make her smile.


There isn’t another one like it in the whole world. It was made by the ME I am right now for the Pat that she is right now. It has politics, pets, wine, art, and memories of travel.

I love having a new way to show my special people how much I love them!

Love,

Grandma Judy

The Art Journal So Far

Dear Liza,

A few weeks ago I made a Garden-themed Art Journal, using a saltine cracker box, needle and thread, glue, and papers from Auntie Bridgett’s cupboard. Here is what it looks like so far.

The cover is pretty with flowers, with a recycled tote bag handle for a tie.

Since I am using the journal to keep track of our allotment plot in the community garden, I put in what we want to plant. Acrylic paints applied with a credit card make for interesting swooshes.

Then I got really artsy, and designed a fold-out page of what I hoped the garden would look like. This is optimistic, but I am really happy with how it looks.

And of course, a shopping list.

I can’t wait to be able to add pictures of actual plants! I will keep you posted of how things progress.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Art Journal and Pictures for Tim

Dear Liza,

I am still making a new piece of art each day for the Art-Ober mixed media challenge. Subjects like “cactus” and “stripes” tickle my brain! And as I gain confidence, I am willing to paint scenes I never would have tried a few months ago.

While this is all happening, I got a note from the wonderful woman who is caring for my big brother Tim. “I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I’ve got about ten small frames from the Dollar Store…” she said. Ah ha! A project!

So I went through the pictures I’ve done so far, picked my favorites, and made smaller copies to fit into her frames.

Tim has always been an outdoorsy type, fishing and hiking and such, so I chose scenes of flowers and forests.

This picture of a pair of jack rabbits nibbling on a sage brush reminds me so much of our old campsite at Vallecito, it makes me homesick. Great Grandpa Lowell took us there for about a dozen Easter vacations, enjoying the desert before it got too hot.

I made sure to write my name clearly in the pictures, so Tim could remember where they came from and know I am thinking of him.

I hope he enjoys them! I will make more and send them off. You can make me pictures, if you like. I’ll bet I could get some frames from the Dollar Store, too.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Mixed Media Journal

Dear Liza,

I have started an art challenge: To make a piece of art everyday for the whole month of October. My friend Ruth Inman posted a list of things to give us ideas, like ‘bread’, ‘sea creatures’, ‘salt water taffy’, and all sorts of things.

Auntie Bridgett, who is very sweet, gave me a big hardback, spiral bound notebook to use. It has nice heavy paper so I can draw, paint, or even glue things down to make a collage!

The cover of my Fall “Art Journal”

I started with decorating the cover in Fall colors. All our magazines are full of oranges and browns, so it was easy to put together. I even found a nice picture of Multnomah Falls to be right in the middle.

First page…

The first page came from my own need to make something seasonal and orange. Crayons, then watercolors, then some words, and taaa daaah!

The first of the challenges was ‘bread’. When I think of bread I go straight to a French baguette, eaten on the banks of the Seine at sunset. This piece is watercolor, colored pencils, and waterproof ink.

Bread…..

Ruth’s second challenge is “alcohol”, so I thought of wine enjoyed while looking out the window of a classic California winery… yummy.

Wine….

The one I did this morning was my favorite so far, because it was about YOU. The actual topic was sea creatures, but I painted them at the Aquarium, with you.

Liza at the Kelp Forest…

I am going to take a break for the evening and not look at the challenge for tomorrow…. until tomorrow.

Keep making art!

Love,

Grandma Judy