Martinez Sisters

In a previous post, I mentioned that my mom had seven sisters.
All of the Martinez Sisters were very talented and crafty.
Their skills and talents included one or all of the following: knitting, beading, crocheting, quilting, sewing, painting, drawing, cross-stitching, and embroidery.
My twelve female cousins and I were fortunate to grow up watching these women produce such beautiful products.
Many of us are trying to carry on the tradition.
There is one cousin, Judi, the daughter of my Tia Pilar. We keep in touch and share projects. Judi is also so supportive of my efforts.
When we were younger, Judi came to live with my family while she attended college.
I thought she was the coolest person around!
We called our aunt, Tia Pi.
Tia Pi could do just about anything.
She was also a great joker and prankster.
She loved Elvis.
She taught me how to move and dance like Elvis.
Tia could even cut hair.
On one of her visits, she gave me the “duck cut” which was all the rage in the 1950’s.
Of course, that must have been popular in her hometown of Key West, Florida.
It did not go over too well in San Antonio. 

Tia Pi’s paintings graced the walls of my mom’s house.
I am lucky to have the one she painted of a Cardinal.


I once watched Tia hand-quilt a baby quilt and I was so impressed.
She also taught me some special crochet stitching.
Well, back to Judi.
Judi does excellent work in beading, crocheting, and cross-stitching.
She is now doing some sketching also.
Judi shared some of her work with me today and I asked if I could post them.
She said that I could if I noted that she is “a jack of all trades and master of none”.
There. I said it. But it is NOT true!


I don’t know if you can see the beading on the red and purple flowers.
Just lovely!

Embroidery and Beading…My favorite!

Beading
Mom would have loved this.


Crocheted Dish Towel (These are so handy!)

Cross-Stitch
So precise and neat!


Charcoal Sketch
I think it is time to pull out my charcoal pencils and have fun.

You can see that Judi and I share the “working-on-multiple-projects-at-one-time syndrome”!
Judi, like her mom, is one talented and creative person.

I’d also like to share an art doodle my sister drew the other day.
Emma is the author and illustrator of What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig series.
Emma was thinking of our childhood and sent me this art doodle concerning the eight Martinez Sisters.
Any person of Hispanic  descent understands and can tell the story of “La Chancla.”
A chancla is a slipper.
When any of us ever even thought of getting out of line, the threat of  “La Chancla” was enough to straighten us out. I never saw or experienced “la chancla” being used. The stories about La Chancla were enough to keep me in line.
This is my sister’s art doodle…TheChancla Constellation.

Now, I can look to the sky and think of the Martinez Sisters.

 

 

Happy Book Day!

Hurray!
Today is the launch date for What This Story Needs is a Vroom and a Zoom,
by  author and illustrator Emma Virjan.
You can order the books at Barnes and Noble, Harper Collins, BookPeople, and Amazon.
If you are in the Austin area on July 11th, stop by BookPeople at 10:30 am.
Emma will be having a storytime.
It will be fun for everyone.

Vroom and Zoom

The mailman delivered a great surprise today.
My sister, Emma Virjan, sent me a copy of her fifth book in the Pig in a Wig series,
What This Story Needs is a Vroom and a Zoom.
This delightful book , published by Harper Collins, will be available on July 4, 2017.

The characters are adorable!
What an adventure!
Pig in a Wig has a great pit crew of friends!

I highly recommend that you zoom over to your nearest book store and get a copy.


My goody package came in this adorable envelope.
Emma sent me one of the color sheets that is on her website, in case I was
“looking for something to do.”
Of course, I immediately took out my crayons to start coloring.

Way to go, Emma!
Pig in a Wig Power!

Summer Celebration


It is hard to believe that June is almost over.
July has always been a special month in our house.
All three of my sons were born in July.
My granddaughter also has a July birthday.
My sister Emma Virjan has her fifth book being released on July 4th.
Yay for Pig in a Wig!

This weekend, my sister will be having a family pool party to celebrate July.
In preparation for the month-long celebration, I decided to make my granddaughter a
July purse.

Pig in a Wig Power!


This is the first in the series of books written and illustrated by my sister,
Emma Virjan.
Be sure and check out the other book titles on her website.

I finished the cape for my sister to use on her school visits.
She always captivates and engages her young audience.
This cape will add to the fun.
  

Now, I am planning my next project.
I ordered some material from Spoonflower to make something special for Emma.
The fabric is entitled, “feeling pensive”.

As soon as the material arrives, I will post more information about this project.

Super Writer Cape

This evening I was able to applique the letter M and the lightening bolt on my sister’s writing cape.
For Christmas, I pieced three black and white fabrics to make the front panel of a messenger bag for my Emma. I remembered that I had a pieced section left over in my stash. I used it to make the initial.
The pig snout is poofed up with batting.
The white and black polka dot lining is also cut, so I pinned it to the red fabric.
It will be ready to sew tomorrow.

June

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. 
Al Bernstein

June has always been a favorite month for me.
I was born on my mother’s birthday, and to this day, I still brag about it to my siblings. 🙂
I have a cousin, a brother-in-law, and a daughter-in-law who have June birthdays.

As a child, the month of June meant SUMMER FUN was here.
We began the summer with a pool and pinata party; and the fun continued until
it was Back-to-School time.

This June has been another great start to summer.
I have spent time with my sons, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, and friends.
This is the first week I have nothing scheduled on my calendar.

After going to the gym this morning, I started writing project based lesson plans for my friend.
For 42 years, I would spend time in my summers preparing for the next school year, and I can not let go of this habit. I love writing curriculum.

Next, I began working on the super hero cape for my sister, Emma, to use at her school presentations.
I purchased the fabric and made a pattern.

The outer cape will be red satin.
The inner cape will be white with black polka dots satin.

This was my first design for the logo.
My sister’s books are about a Pig in a Wig, and I need to put a snout somewhere on the cape.

I think I will simplify the logo and add the snout to the front of the cape.
I still have to put some more thought into this design.

Not having anything on the calendar for this week is rather nice.
Tomorrow will start with a morning cup of coffee.
I’ll rock in my porch chair and thank God for creating June.
Then I’ll decide what to do next.
I think I am finally getting the hang of being retired!

My son sent me this photo from Port A.
He had taken his son for the weekend.
I think I hear Port A calling me!

Power Capes

During my years as an educator, I used every prop available to inspire and empower my students. We wore thinking caps, used plastic hand clappers, blew duck whistles, and wore star shaped glasses to read poetry through the “eyes of a poet”. A favorite motivator was wearing  capes. I made myself a cape, and the parents provided home made or store bought capes for their child. These were our writing capes. They looked so cute as they whirled and twirled and wrote great stories.

My sister, Emma, is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Emma visits schools and she is great with the children. A few days ago, Emma mentioned that she wanted a writing cape. I want to try and make one for her. I decided to try making a smaller one first. I have never made anything with shiny, slippery material, so I needed to practice.

Today, I made one for my grandson. I used one of his t-shirts to form the top of the pattern. I had some difficulty with the slippery fabric, but it worked out.

Pepe

A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another.
Buddha

It is my good fortune to have the best siblings ever.
This morning, I met my sister, Emma, for breakfast.
We met at mom’s favorite restaurant, Jim’s.

Emma is a talented, creative author and illustrator.
Her fourth book in the Pig in a Wig series will be out soon.
She was invited to attend the TLA Conference in San Antonio,
and it was so nice spending time with her.

Emma is the youngest of the siblings, and I do believe the wisest.
It was a morning of great conversation and much inspiration.
After such a great morning, I returned home and started making the quilt in memory of my dad.
His full name was Jose Leon Virjan, but everyone called him Pepe.

Last night, I designed a lap quilt.
When I opened the bag where I had stored my dad’s shirts, I couldn’t help but smile.
The bag had a faint smell of my parent’s home, and it was so comforting.
The shirts are a bit more frail than I thought, and I was thinking of not making the quilt.
Then I thought that the quality of the fabric isn’t what matters.
The quilt is for me.
The memories, the process of making this quilt, is what matters.
I spent the afternoon cutting the shirts and thinking of my dad.
Today was definitely a family day, where minds contacted with one another.


Dad and his plaids! I can just see him…
wearing these shirts and his bermuda shorts !

This is the center block for the quilt.

Super Siblings

We knew this first December without mom would be tough, but oh my…
Thankfully, I have three super siblings.

My youngest sister was in town this week.
We went to eat breakfast at Jim’s, my mom’s favorite place for breakfast.
It was great being together.
We miss having our brother near.
He lives in Seattle, but we do keep close contact.
It has been a great week.

Emma, the author and illustrator for The Pig in a Wig series, was scheduled in schools and  at Barnes and Noble for author visits and book signing.
It was a thrill to see her with the children.
She connects with her audience and inspires them.
Today, one little boy said he was going to go home and write his own story.
The teacher in me just wanted to dance with joy when I heard him say this!
20161210_175524863_ios
I took this photo as she was setting up at Barnes and Noble.
The wig and pig nose are big hits with the kids!
I am so proud of her!

Oh, at Barnes and Noble, I found a great book by Lucinda Ganderton.
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I haven’t had a chance to study it, but, I like what I have seen so far.

Upon returning home, I got right back to work on a Christmas stocking.
My youngest son said he was looking for a stocking for his son, and I, of course, volunteered to make one.
I made my own pattern for the stocking, but I did find a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company.
When my sons were little, I made stockings out of felt.
I followed the tradition of placing a felt, beaded tree and train.
This time, I wanted to quilt a stocking.
This is what I have so far.
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I made my own tree applique, but cheated and used already made Christmas and bird appliques.
I hope to finish this tomorrow morning.
My friends and I will be volunteering at a school on Thursday.
I let my friend talk me into her bird brain idea of making 97 bird seed ornaments to give the students.
I will be teaching an art/writing lesson on Thursday, and I need to prepare for that.
Busy!