So, sadly, the long weekend went by without any sewing. :( Bryan and I are hosting his mom and uncle for Thanksgiving, so we spent the long weekend focusing on getting the house in order. Little things like replacing the powder room toilet, which turned out to be much more difficult than our first toilet replacement in Bryan's bathroom. We'd grown so confident after our first try was so successful, but apparently we need toilet shims or something, since the toilet is at least 1/2 inch off the floor and shifts when weight is applied. Wish us luck - we'll need it!
Our big focus was consolidating/organizing/hanging artwork. Bryan's dad, Claude, is a very talented painter, and we had a number of unframed canvases that we wanted to hang, as well as a huge stack of art his mom no longer wanted but that Bryan kept for the frames. So the process began of trying to find appropriate frames for our favorites. We had some success! A few of the combos worked so well that we decided we couldn't have found a better match if we'd had them custom framed. Check these out!
The sailboat with the yellow mat is incredibly special to me. I am not a painter, but on our last visit to Greenville, I got my long-standing wish of a painting lesson. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Claude paint, hearing him explain how he goes about it, and just having that quiet time with him. Here's my version...and let's just say it will not be framed for viewing, but I'm keeping it with his painting. Someday, I'll be able to show Claude's grandchild the paintings that he and I worked on together, hopefully alongside many canvases painted by Bryan.
Bryan is also a very talented painter, though I didn't know that until that visit. After my painting lesson, Bryan sat down and painted a picture from a photo that he took on our vacation to Croatia last year. It's the image I put in my mind when I need to relax, and I was pretty blown away that Bryan could paint that well after not doing it for so many years. He gave the painting to his dad - a long overdue promised gift, and I'm hoping he'll paint another version for me someday. Amazing how special art made by someone you know and love can be! Whether it is a quilt or a painting, family heirlooms can be created if the intention to share a special gift or talent is there, and that process of creating together can strengthen bonds in a really unique way, I think. I still think fondly of sewing time with my grandmother and playing in the wood shop with my grandfather, and I miss them more because of that time spent together in a tangible activity that allowed me to get to know them in a different way.
And speaking of sharing experiences, I missed my mom this weekend when Bryan and I ran up to a French pastry shop in Baltimore for one of these! My mom and I love to travel to Paris together. Our last trip was 5 years and 1 month ago, right before I started my current job. It was a celebration of passing the Georgia Bar exam and becoming a "real lawyer", and we celebrated with our favorite - a choux chantilly from our favorite shop - Tout au Beurre. This picture is of the deluxe version of a cream puff - a Saint Honore - from Patisserie Poupon. It was delightful!