Monday, February 22, 2010

The Crochet Hook and Nana’s Hands

Some of my fondest memories are of my grandma Celestina, crocheting her beautiful treasures. Many of which I own today and cherish. I called her Nana and I know I will never have another treasure created by her again. She designed the most wonderful home accent doilies, warm cuddly throws, slippers that everyone wanted and loved and even kitchen hand towels we soon learned we could not function without. You know the old styles with crocheted tops that accented the trendy terrycloth bottoms. Most of these pretties have long worn away with loving use over the years. I did keep the last pair of slippers she made for me and have never worn. I just don’t want them to wear out, for I will never have another.

Her crochet hooks and knitting needles have long been silent, but the vision of her, working her magic with yarn, lives on. Her hands moved with such grace and ease. Hands that suffered with a trace of gout and an index finger that adorned a slight bump. It never slowed her down. Her actions were to keep going. She said it was “good therapy” to work hard and stay creative. I was always so impressed with her abilities. Everything she did was amazing. From cooking to her garden, she did it all. When she was crocheting, she could look up, talk and keep working like we sometimes do on the computer. I think if she had learned the computer in her time, she would have been remarkable with the things she could do. Nana was a very quick study with everything she attempted to learn.

I was always interested in her latest creations. She taught me to do some simple knitting when I was about 7 and I remember knitting for days till I had a very long piece. Too big for a scarf, but just right to throw on one’s lap. She thought I did so well, she kept it for a lap throw. I was so thrilled she wanted it for her own. After all, she was the expert. Could I even come close to her wisdom and ways? She instilled in me confidence and passion for the arts that later in years would serve me well in school. She passed on her cheerfulness, giving spirit, helpfulness and love of life!

As the years went by, she would show me how to crochet and I enjoyed our time together as she taught. She was a wonderful teacher.
I remember a time when she was staying with our family to recoup from a gall bladder surgery. This procedure was more complicated many years ago and recuperation time was about 6 weeks. I was so excited for Nana to come stay with us while grandpa worked. This meant we could pal up and create. Well, at first she had to rest, but once she was feeling better she taught me to embroider. Oh how I loved our time together. We would talk, pray and she would tell me stories from the “old country“ as she referred to her home land of Naples, Italy. I will treasure those days forever.

Now I own those crochet hooks and although they will never move like she made them do, I love to gaze upon them on my sewing table and remember. Those shining needles sit in a cup along with other sewing tools handed down from her and my mother. Thin silver needles that she used to make gorgeous lace doilies and edging. Larger colorful hooks that were used to create those warm cozy throws. And knitting needles that she used to design the best pair of slippers you could ever slip on your tootsies. Oh how I miss her, but thank God for memories in one’s mind. They give comfort when you need it and warm security when in doubt.

The crochet hook will always be a useful tool and for me a lovely reminder of her life well spent, the closeness of her spirit to our Lord, hours in prayers for others and the happy heart when she worked with her loving hands.
I see her smile always in my mind and so thankful for the “Crochet Hook and Nana’s Hands.”

Blessings and Blue Skies
Celestina Marie
The remodel is nearly finished, just waiting for the shower glass to be installed and then I'll have more pictures to share in that story. Hugs!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

As The Remodel Proceeds~~~~

Here we are starting week 2. Yes, the remodel continues of the master bathroom. I find myself very anxious to get everything finished, but I know from many a remodel in my career and lifetime, that it does take time. Every little detail takes lots of measuring, planning and patience. Then, you wait for inspectors to approve before you can move to the next step. But through it all, the process is rewarding. I have mentioned many times here, when I do a redesign, I see it finished before I begin. That's just how I work out the plan for change. Then I draw from my design board and my vision to the end. It is my formula to reach the final look. And, final look I am ready for. LOL! We lost 2 days last week because of our snow storm but full steam ahead this week to completion. We are trying for the end of the week with the walls and all the tiled surfaces. Then the plumber will finish his details before the glass man comes with the shower doors.

Here are a few pics of the progress so far. The top and first picture is the design board I made for the redesign. Sometimes changes have to be made here and some details addressed, but I am fairly close to this one. I did however change the tile to travertine from rialto.
Today was a huge accomplishment as the shower walls were installed in the shower area and also around the jacuzzi tub. Our tile guy also got lots of tiles cut and measured. He is a perfectionist and everything has to line up perfect before he proceeds. I am so glad he works this way, as any mistakes in positioning will show. Tiles have to be perfect as they run up the tub skirt to look right. This is when you find out how straight your walls are. Then, more adjustments have to be made so those crooked walls don't show. LOL
It takes a talented tile guy to do it right. I am thankful for this, because I tell ya, I have never seen a perfectly square room.

Special drywall for showers is used to be water tight and mildew resistant. The floor of the shower is called the "shower pan" Here is a special type that will never leak, crack, or mildew. Over this base goes the tile. This step has to be thoroughly inspected by the city before you can continue with tile.

The tile is a travertine in neutrals shades. It is slightly lighter then the pics show. The grout will be a type that is permanetly sealed to never discolor or need to be sealed again. Got to love that. No scrubbing grout~~ yeah!!!

I know these are not very pretty pics at the moment, but I hope you are enjoying the progress along the way and the steps it is taking to completion. Remember it always looks bad before it looks good. My old saying about everything I paint!!
So till next time, I will leave you with some prettier pics of my Valentine roses.

As a side note, during our big event of a snow storm last week, we had 12.5 inches of snow in Dallas and the surrounding areas. Never that much snow in 32 years. We may not see it again for that long too. Today it is gone, all melted away with the sunshine~~ although still cold temps linger. Spring, hurry up, we miss you!!
Here is Miss Beazy pooped after her run in the snow.

Till next time, have a wonderful week.
Blessings always, Celestina Marie

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

~~Waking to Winter White~~

The beauty of white falling snow this morning was a gorgeous sight. With temps hanging near freezing and predicted to fall, the scene from any window is so pretty.

Even Miss Beazy was intrigued, as she has never really seen much snow in her 5 years of life! Yes, we don't receive the white stuff very often, so basically our area shuts down. Schools closed, work delayed and traffic moving at a snails pace. I must admit, I love it. The calm cozy secure feeling of being indoors, putting up a yummy pot of soup and settling in the studio to paint away is my idea of perfect. Looking up from my paint table, looking out the window, is an inspiring sight. It won't be here long, gone like it came, so why not enjoy it till the next cold blast delivers the pretty white snowflakes again in the future. So I captured a few pics to share with you today. I know that many parts of our country are buried in snow and this is nothing in comparison. So we share a bit with those that are really struggling with deep snow, power outages and freezing temps. We pray all our safe and warm.

The bathroom remodel continues and a lot being accomplished, but today things will be on hold due to the weather and not being able to cut tile outdoors. I will have more pics to share the progress of this redesign next week. The steps so far are below in past posts. Till then, have a great snow day or sunny day, wherever you are.
Blessings, Celestina Marie

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Bathroom Demo Begins~~

As the redesign continues, today was the day to demo the master bath. Only the shower, doors, floor and tub surround are the focus this day. All went well, as out with the old took place. It looks awful right now, but like any painting I create, "it always looks bad, before it looks good!!"

So as the demo took place, I took my cozy position in the studio and painted away. Yes, it is so great to be back in the studio and creating to my hearts content. I have many new items on the way to my etsy shoppe. While the bathroom design takes place, before I can do my finishing touch, I will swing my paint brush in many directions.

Tomorrow starts the tile work and I am excited to watch the transformation, but first, I took a few pics of the weekend preparations and today's demo.

This picture shows the carpet pulled out!

Removing the shower walls and doors. What a mess!

My BG's talents serve him well as he put in the Roman Tub fixtures to coordinate with the sinks that he installed last week.

It has been a long day, but a lot was accomplished. The workman arrive early tomorrow to continue. Each day we get closer to the final design. Then the fun begins when I can pull the room together with the touches that make a house a home.

Thank you for stopping by to share in this design journey with me. To see the master bedroom finished, you can view the post below when my break was over.

More pics on the way as the work progresses. And, I invite you to stop by my Etsy shoppe to view more hand painted treasures on the way!
See you again soon!
Hugs, Celestina Marie

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Hello~~ Hello~~ I am so glad to be back and my break over. I have missed being here very much. I look forward to visiting you soon along with sharing what I have been up to this past month.

It seems I have started a pattern of redos and redesigns each year after Christmas. Once the holiday decor is put away, I get the design bug to freshen and decorate with a new look. This year is no different. I was going to rest my painting arm. Was going to catch up on all the unfinished projects waiting for completion. Was going to just be still for awhile! Not going to happen with me.

My Best Guy and I had plans to paint and redesign the master bedroom and bath. So with design board ready to go and inspiration upon us, we began.

While BG worked on the high places, I did the cut in work on the walls below. It is a large room and the ceiling took a lot of time and paint. I used a soft creme for the ceiling color but kept the sky in the center that I added a few years ago. The walls are a Tuscan Italian Sage and is the color I use for my leaves when I paint roses. It is soft, calm and goes gorgeous with what else, but PINK!
Yes I incorporated very pale pink with this redo. So much of the accents are iron in an oil rubbed bronze and the pink is very pretty with it. Vintage copper and pink is lovely together with the black furniture along with the cottage accents of linen lace for the windows.

The quilt has a square of the palest pink that is very soft, but yet there. Bringing in pink roses really works in a vintage old world way.

Here are a few more accents from around the room.

The gorgeous iron and crystal chandelier is very cozy over the sitting area, and another just like it, hangs over the jacuzzi tub. I used crystal accents throughout along with the vintage copper.
One discovery with paints I found, was to use black diamond metallic mixed on the palette with vintage bronze. The result is perfect to reflect the oil rubbed bronze. I used this technique on drawer pulls and took them from the dated brass to the new look of Tuscan style.

Now the master bath was also painted and I will share those pics along the way as the workman start to replace the shower walls and floor. All this begins next week.

Here are a few more pics from around the new room.

This embroidery rose is all along the quilt frame. I love the handmade vintage style.
On the bed is a pillow that was an inspiration from the beginning. Handmade by the talented Tammy of A Stitch in Thyme. I love it!

Now it is back to work and creating. I have lots in the studio to complete and bring to my etsy shoppe along with finishing a few customs from way before the holidays. But in the meantime, I want to add how the start of the new year has been a blessing to so many, even though, there has also been so much heartache in the world through disaster. As we keep our hands busy and our hearts full. Let's remember those that are struggling whatever it be. Our prayers, thoughts and help remain with the people of Haiti. And here at home, let's remember those that are sick, loss of jobs, and those that have passed on to a better place with our Lord. Thoughts mean a lot, but thoughts are nothing without prayers.

So happy to be back and excited to be creating full steam!! Blessings and Blue Skies to you all.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

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