Friday, October 5, 2012

Mom's Teacup

 The last time I posted, we were in Kingman AZ, and Kerry's mom had just passed away.  The very next day, I got a note that mom was failing and Kerry and I drove back to Colorado.  We got to see mom several times on Wednesday and talk with her.  On Thursday morning, we went to say goodbye and Kerry flew back to Kingman.  She knew who we were, but that was the last time.  Kerry's mom's funeral was on Friday (9/21) and mom passed away that day.

And while I have no doubt that she is in heaven, relieved of all of her pain and suffering and I should be so is hard.  I am so grateful for so much.  Grateful that we moved here and I had the summer with her.  Grateful that we found a little house just 2 blocks from where she was living.  Grateful that I was able to tell her how much I loved her, and that I knew she loved me. So grateful that she believed in Jehovah Jesus Messiah and was such an amazing role model.   Grateful beyond everything else that God picked her as my mom.

The next day was a weekend crop here at the Abbey.  I decided to go.  What better way to remember mom than to make something so beautiful.  It's a teacup!

Well, really, it is.  It's a sizzix bigz xl diecut.  Cut it in pretty thick chipboard, then covered each side with Graphic 45 "Ladies Journal" paper.

And then I took my hot glue gun and went to town.  I don't remember what I was thinking - there were plenty of others around, and my dear friend, Kathy, was sitting right next to me.  I'm sure we talked.  But mostly the world went silent and I just kept thinking, "oh!  mom would think this was so cute....what can I put here?  there's a space there, what do I have to put in there?"  and one must take some serious time to find it all.  See the clear acrylic dressform?

Many of these are chipboard cutouts from Bo Bunny - "Little Miss" - but you won't find them in the store like this.  Loads of stickles, added the flower and heart to the teddy bear....see the dressform shaped paper clip in the center?  Little words cut out and inked.....

Phrases cut out and inked...."Life is about creating yourself".  I felt like mom would enjoy that as a theme for her teacup.  Most of the flowers were white - inked and stickled.  So pretty!

Even the little girl was inked, stickled, flowered....I love the chipwood laser cut dressform behind her.  

I did all that in about 4 hours as I was in and out all day long.  I'm so glad Kathy was staying with me.  I'm not sure I could have managed being alone at night.  Timing.  Who could have ever imagined my mom passing on the day of Kerry's mom's funeral?

To the ladies who were at the crop, I really am sorry.  Normally, I'm chatting with everyone.  But on this day, I was lost in my own little world.  Thank you for giving me the space that I needed.

I went back on Sunday.  And decided to start a journal to go with the teacup.  I think it's going to be glamorous!

I made my own templates, cut out acrylic cover and back and about 4 inner pages.  Each page has a different sheet.  You can click on any image to make it larger.  The fun thing about acrylic is that you have to cover the back of everything on the front and then put things on the back of the acrylic to cover up the front.  Makes decision making a little more complex.

 And what fun detail.  The lady is in the paper, but the stickled diecut above her hat was the perfect embellishment.  And note all the ink on the paper - you won't find it nearly this colorful in the store!

I put stickled diecuts on top of another laser dressform that was inked.  I think I could have played all day long.

Now everyone grieves their losses in different ways.  In November 2010, I wrote several blogs in an 8 or 9 part series titled "Does Art Heal?"  You can access it from the home page of my blog, down the right hand side.  Knowing what I do about grief and the healing process.....creating is probably the most perfect way for me to grieve.

Inside the journal, each page will have a journaling spot.....embellished....and I will write my thoughts about mom in this journal.

I have a long way to go!

The teacup and journal are over to the right on top of some glass cases.  On the left is a collection of things that remind me of mom....surrounded by her paintings.    A jar of her paint brushes, one of her coffee cups.  An artist doll I bought her once, red glass cats she had.  She did love cats!

And while I will miss her always, I will not grieve her passing.  My joy is in knowing her destination.  In having a home filled with her paintings, and the ability to create art in her honor.  Colleen and I made 30 more teacups (ok, nothing this fancy!) and stuffed one of her hankies and some candy in each one and took them over and passed them out at the retirement village where mom lived.  We will continue to sing on Mondays as mom really liked that.  I will continue to blog as she loved reading about what I was doing.  She always said I should write more on my if-isms blog...maybe in time I will add to that.

Kerry is staying in Kingman with his dad and I am here getting the house ready for winter.  We laugh and say we have a "skype" marriage.  Yesterday I skyped him the valve box for the sprinkler system and he was able to walk me through the steps of draining the sprinklers for the winter.  Pretty amazing.  It's really not much different than when he traveled all the time with IBM.

Life will never be the same, but we will slowly evolve what we knew into a new routine.  I know many of you heard about mom through the grapevine, but I wanted to write this blog for those who didn't and to share my celebration art.  Thank you for all of your kind emails and cards.  It's wonderful to have so many friends around the globe.  This has been a difficult post to write, but I'm sure I'll be back soon!


CraftyJo said...

Thanks for sharing this Jen, when my own mum died I really did grieve for her...or maybe for myself! I wish I could have looked at it the way you do, so much more positively. 17 years on it's too late to change I guess :)

Margie Higuchi said...

Wanted to jump in and comment...I am so sorry to hear about your mom's (& Kerry's mom) passing. Loved your post and how positive you are! Celebrating one's life is definitely the way to go! Thank you for sharing her art and yours - it's wonderful thing to have when healing! Love to you, Jen! MargieH in Chicago xo

Judi Hodgkin said...


I am so sorry. I'm glad that you are celebrating her life in such a creative way, but her loss will be felt. Give my love to your sisters - you are fortunate to have such a strong bond with them. Hugs as well to Kerry (Skype hugs are difficult, but I'm sure you manage) while he helps his dad.

Lots of love,

MaggiG said...

Thanks for sharing - so sorry about your mom. Glad I could brighten some of her last days.

Anonymous said...

One day at a time will sooth the pain. I'm proud of you for your strength. I learn to much from you. I miss your mom too but see so much of her in you and your siblings. Please keep expressing your feelings in your art.

Jennifer Moore Lowe said...

Thank you for your kind comments. Margie, so good to hear from you! Judi - skype hugs work great! I would love to see you if you get over for CHA. Kathy, thanks from the bottom of my heart for being here. Jo, I do think we grieve for ourself.

I've been busy this week making the house more of a home. Putting up lights, covering cords. Little things to make it more convenient for us. Closet lights, shop lights, under the sink lights. Keeping myself plenty busy!

Anonymous said...

Jen, so sorry to hear about your mom. I still treasure the painting she sent me as CRAK from the old "Campground" forum. My thoughts are with you!