Art Matters {Spin Cycle}

I remember when my mom and dad brought my little sister home from the hospital. I thought she was the most precious baby ever! I was eight years old and couldn’t wait to hold my new baby sister. But I had the sniffles, and I was afraid I would make her sick. If I remember correctly, I washed my hands really well, and my mom placed Heather in my arms anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my sister Meredith and her music compositions for Spin Cycle. When I asked Gretchen, our Spin Cycle hostess, to provide “art” as a prompt so I could tell you about my other little sister, she kindly obliged! (Thanks, Gretchen!)

For almost as long as I can remember, Heather has been creative. Whether it was choosing her own clothes and fixing her hair in wild arrangements, sewing little blankets and clothes for her dolls, or drawing pictures, Heather had creativity in her blood. When mothers came to my classroom door and apologized for their daughters’ strange clothes or hair, I told them that my sister used to do the exact same thing and she turned out alright. Now my own daughters come to school with crazy hair and clothes, and I’m the mother shaking my head. Just like my mom did with Heather, I let my daughters express themselves in fashion, with weird and sometimes wonderful results.

When I was a horse crazy tween (although nobody used the word “tween” back then), Heather drew a picture of a horse just for me. I still treasure it. Not everyone gets a green and pink horse from their little sister!

My pink and green horse

Now a professional artist, Heather’s paintings are a little more abstract.

One of my favorites!

Heather is a professor at Bradley University. She has had several gallery exhibitions, and this August we are going to Peoria, IL for two openings. If you are in the area, stop by! Be sure to say “hi!”

See more of Heather’s artwork on her website: Heather Brammeier

Intuitive Geometry, at Pearce Gallery, Dunlap, IL
Opening Reception August 17, 2012, 6-8 p.m.

Via Alternate Descriptions, at The Peoria Art Guild, IL
Opening Reception August 18, 2012, 6-8 p.m.

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Written as part of Gretchen’s Spin Cycle prompt, “Art”.

Thank you for indulging me as I brag about my sisters! 😉


Introducing My Friend Tricia

When I told my girls that we were going to bring along a tea set, they were excited but also a little doubtful.

“The boys aren’t going to want to play tea,” they said.

“I know, but we’ll bring it anyway.” I replied.

And so we headed off to the country, to visit my friend Tricia. It was a beautiful spring day, with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

Tricia and I met when we were both teaching in a small town. She had just moved up north after a break-up with her fiance, and I had just left a two-year relationship. I was assigned to be her “mentor,” but she mentored me just as much as I mentored her, and a frendship grew.

I would drag her out of her apartment when she was going through her agoraphobia phase. She came with me to the doctor when I was afraid I had cancer again. (I didn’t.) We helped each other with just about everything, including moving from one apartment to another. Once, we put my full-sized mattress in back seat of her convertible and drove across town. The mattress was sticking straight up in the air, and I sat in back holding the door closed since the mattress was too wide for the car!

But then it happened. We met our respective husbands and went our separate ways. Well, I went my separate way. Tricia stayed in the same town, but I moved 60 miles away to live with my husband.

Tricia has always been much better than I am at staying in touch. She never fails to call me on my birthday. We’ve met at the county fair and apple orchards. After she started her photography business, she had a great idea. We should do a blog swap! She wanted to take pictures of my girls, and so one day in May we drove out to see Tricia and her boys.

She greeted us at the door wearing her lucky green tank top, and in their excitement her two sons pushed past her to greet us. They had grown so much since the last time I saw them! They led us to a grove of poplar trees where Tricia had a frame set up. Not only had I brought a tea set, but I also brought a little piece of my mom with me. We draped the quilts my mom made over the frame, making a tipi.

There was a gentle breeze which kept the air from getting too warm, and I sat on the grass to watch Tricia work her magic with the camera. She knew just how to the put the girls at ease; they thought getting their picture taken was fun!

About that tea set; the girls did indeed have a tea party with the boys. But you will have to visit Wigglebug Photography to see those photos. They are so cute!

And to read more about friendships, visit Gretchen at:
Spin Cycle at Second Blooming