Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Blue (For Gene), Part 1

My Grandpa Gene was my favorite. Just as parents aren’t supposed to have favorite children, I suppose children shouldn’t have favorite grandparents. But I did.

I loved all my grandparents. I still do, very much, but Grandpa Gene is the one who I remember with the most clarity, the memories vibrant and vivid and bright.

Gene was a big man, with large hands and feet, and a gruff demeanor; a gentle giant with his tiny wife and daughter, and his two tinier grandchildren. He made large pots of chili, loved to fish and hunt and watch football. He smoked Parliaments and read dirty joke books in the bathroom off the kitchen. He managed a cold storage in our town, he served as a fireman and an alderman. He gave me a Jolly Green Giant doll he received from the Green Giant people.

I wish I still had that doll. It smelled like him.

This big man would allow my brother and I to climb in his lap. We would lay across the arms of the armchair in the den, and he would rub our backs with one large hand. No masseuse can compete with those back rubs.

When I was ten, he died. He had just turned seventy.

Grandpa Gene was one of six relatives we lost over the course of a year and a half. My Grandma Clark was another (see her quilt here). His was the first funeral I attended. The monsignor told funny stories in the eulogy.  I sat with my parents and my Nonie in the front pew on the right side of the aisle in St. Patrick’s Church, awash in tears, baffled and offended that anyone could find anything funny about the loss of Grandpa Gene.

It has been almost forty years since Grandpa Gene left us and there is still nothing funny about this loss. I wept then. I weep today.

His color was blue. That seems fitting. My tears are blue too.

Any Color - Gene - Fabric
Fabric choices
Any Color - Gene - Canvas
The canvas
Any Color - Gene - Canvas 3
A vast sea of blue
Any Color - Gene - Fishes
Fishes swimming in the vast sea


Is there someone you’ve lost for whom you still grieve, even though it’s been decades?

Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Purple (for Neska), Part 2 (Finished!)

June was a crazy month.  I had to travel for work three out of the four weeks, two days each week, which should have thrown off my whole schedule.  And, to a degree, it did.  But it also motivated me to work harder and longer in the available time I did have at home in my studio.  As a result, I not only started Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Purple (for Neska) in June, I FINISHED it in the same month!  It’s the small things, people.  Those little accomplishments that make all the difference between continuing and giving up.  Celebrate all the tiny victories.

I love the colors in this art quilt.  Of course, my love of purple comes naturally.  I dug through my jewelry box for the embellishments.  Grandma Neska loved brooches; I was surprised to find I had a few that would have suited her.  Please let me know what you think.


Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Purple (for Neska) ~ link to poem

Any Color - Neska - Finished
Look at all that purple!! A royal art quilt. 🙂
Any Color - Neska - Detail 01
Lots of hearts for lots of love
Any Color - Neska - Detail 02
And lots of kisses
Any Color - Neska - Detail 03
Found this sparkly heart in the bottom draw of my jewelry box. Art deserves to glitter.
Any Color - Neska - Photo
My paternal grandma, Neska.  Note the brooch on her dress.
Any Color - Neska - Poem
Poetry label
The next in the series: Blue (for Gene) is in the early stages.  This one may be tough — he was my favorite.  Stay tuned.
How do you motivate yourself when you feel overwhelmed?