June 30, 2012

Sunday Scripture - Courage...

Colorado Fires 2012 • Image Courtesy of The Australian.com
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.
In God I will praise His word, 
in God I have put my trust;
I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."
                                            - Psalm 56: 3-4

Please take a moment this weekend to pray for the people of Colorado.
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June 29, 2012

Studio Time Out...

I didn't spend any time on creative pursuits yesterday.
Instead, I played with this face.
We went for a walk and enjoyed a beautiful day.

Heading into a holiday weekend, I also wanted to get all those "domestic" things out of the way. You know. Laundry, shopping, cleaning. All done! Now, I'll be able to spend the weekend relaxing, enjoying time with Handsome and Tag and checking back in to say "hi" to all of you. I'll finish that pincushion over the weekend and share a photo or two when it's done.
 Have a great weekend from our home to yours!

June 28, 2012

One Wooly Strawberry Pincushion...

Yesterday afternoon I dipped into my hand-dyed wool stash and decided to make a Wooly Strawberry Pincushion.

I decided to use cotton floss (3 strands) for no particular reason. Then I cut out all the components for the centerpiece of my pincushion...the strawberry, top, leaves and blossom.

Once all of the parts were cut, I settled in to do the decorative stitching. I really like doing this part!

This is the creative portion of the project. I can move components around, change the shape of the design or even change the colors. It's total artistic freedom!

The last step was to add the "seeds" for God's perfect fruit - "with neither seed nor stone".  They add a textural quality to the strawberry and actually created a little dimension.

By the end of one leisurely afternoon, I had completed all the stitching for the top. Today, I'll assemble the lining, front and back and then fill it. It won't be long and I'll have a new pincushion...One Wooly Strawberry Pincushion!
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June 27, 2012

Diana's Scissor Keep...

I started (and finished) the scissor keep for my sister, Diana yesterday. She loves purple (and Marvin the Martian, but I'll save that for another time), so that's how I decided on her colors.

I made a queen-size quilt for her for Christmas 2010, so I used a few scraps from that project for this one. (In case you're interested, here is my post on her quilt.)
Instead of calling this a geranium, it could be a lilac blossom. Or perhaps a little hydrangea. Or a generic lavender bloom of some sort. I'll let her decide.

I'll put it in an envelope today and send it on its way to Minnesota. (Di, you'll have to use your own scissors. These happen to be one of my favorites!) I know. So much for the surprise. Oh, well.

Happy Summer, Sissyhead!
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June 26, 2012

Summer Gatherings Projects...

I have this new book and it's calling out to me. The title is Summer Gatherings and it was written by Lisa Bongean and Carole Charles. Lisa is the owner of Primitive Gatherings in Menasha, Wisconsin, and I bought the book when Kathy D. and I pillaged the place went shopping there.

There are so many gorgeous projects in this book that I can't even imagine where to begin. I want to make everything! Look at this wool pillow with the geranium-filled pots!!!

In case you didn't know, when I owned Stitches, we had a geranium decor. There were planters outside the doors that were filled to the brim with red ones during the summer, and I had dark green walls with a border of geraniums to cheer me up year-round. I love them!

But, you know how I feel about pincushions, too. See the little bunny pincushion? Kathy made that one as a gift for me last year and I treasure it. I'm thinking that the strawberry one might make a nice new one for the sewing room, though...and I can make a twin for Kathy! What do you think?

This floral mat bursting with flowers caught my eye, too. Look at all the wonderful colors. I had no idea that hand-dyed wools came in so many different shades until I was bowled over by them in Lisa's shop!

I think that if I started making penny's with floral centers, I might not know when to quit. Wouldn't they make a fabulous quilt top? (When I'm an old lady!!!)

While I was trying to decide what to make next, my little sister, Diana asked me about my latest completed project...the scissors keep that I showed you last week. She hinted that she might like to have one. I think I'll make another, just for her, and we'll see if I'm any better with the binding than I was on my first one. After I finish that, then I'll decide what to tackle in the "Summer Gatherings" book.

What are you working on?
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June 25, 2012

Tuesdays With Tag - My First PSA...

Hi. It's me, Tag!
Today I have a serious subject to write about.
Please consider this my first Public Service Announcement.

What?
You're wondering why I'm doing a PSA?
Well. See that metal thingy in front of me?

Here.
Take a closer look.
It's a doggy tie-out stake.
It's not usually sitting like this on the lawn.
Most of the time it's in the ground, and
Mom attaches my leash to it when she wants to do something in
the yard without me getting into some kind of trouble.
She never ties me to it if she's not outside with me.

I know you're going to find this hard to believe, 
but I got a case of happy feet last time I was tied to it.
I started running around and around in circles and 
just unscrewed that stake right out of the ground! 

As soon as I was "free", I started running around 
the yard dragging my leash and the stake. 
Mom was so worried I'd get hurt that she tried 
to step on my leash. She was wearing flip flops.

 You're seeing where this is going, aren't you?
Well, she missed my leash, the stake bounced off the 
top of her foot and came down hard!

I finally stopped running and as I was catching my breath, 
Mom removed the stake from the end of my leash.
It was then that we noticed that she was bleeding...a lot.

She's healing alright now, but her foot is sore and we both learned our lesson.
I'm not getting tied to the tie-out stake anytime soon, and
Mom won't try to intercept a moving sharp object with her mostly-bare feet again.

So, I hope that this has been a valuable lesson for all of us.

Please don't run with sharp things!  
 Take care of yourselves and be safe.
I'll be back next week. 'til then...

"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"

June 24, 2012

Memory Lane Monday - Four Sisters...

Four Sisters with Mum (1990s)
I'm the eldest of six children. I have two brothers (who I've written about before), but today I'm going to write about my sisters. I have three.
Big Sister (me) - Little Sister (Lyn)
By now, you know that I was born in Great Britain. Mum, my father and I came to the United States before I was two years old. Mum was expecting my little sister, Lyndell, as we traveled. Lyn was born in Wisconsin nineteen months after me in 1956.

We were joined by a little brother three years later. I have always been the "big sister", and growing up I took my responsibility to set a good example and care for my siblings seriously.
Little Sisters. (l-r: Jan, Diana)
In 1965, little sister, Diana came along and then a short fifteen months later, Janwyn joined our family in 1967. Last in line was one more boy born in 1972. He and I are seventeen years apart. I graduated from high school the summer after he was born and soon after moved into my own apartment.

It's fun to hear their memories of me as they were growing up. Jan remembers that I used to pick her up after school and we'd go to the "new" Taco Bell. (I never remembered doing this, but it made an impression on her!) Diana has shared her own memories with me, too, and it never ceases to amaze me what was considered "memorable" in their eyes. When I moved to a nearby city, I'd pick them up to come and stay with me for the weekend, or I'd travel back to where they were to be near them.
1980's. (l-r: Diana, me, Lyn and Jan)
Over the years there have been many, many photos of The Sisters like this. We're wearing different outfits, different hairdos, and sometimes we're in different order, but my albums abound with photos of me with my sisters.
1992 (l-r: Jan, Lyn, me and Diana) Taken at Jan's second marriage reception.
Pictures taken at family reunions, weddings, parties and just about any other time we were in the same room, yard or neighborhood together. We've shared puberty, pregnancy and weight challenges. The pictures have been serious, silly and sophisticated. They've been a chronicle of each of us through life and loss.

My sisters have each been married (at least) once, and two have been married - and divorced - three times. (My first brother and I are the only two who have only been married once and are still happily married to our spouses more than 25 years later.) We stood with each other, albeit tentatively at times, through thick and thin.
Grown up. (l-r: Lyn, me)
Lyn was my first friend. We shared bedrooms, Barbies, boyfriends, babies...and siblings. We shared our lives.
Grown up. (l-r: Jan, Diana)
I'm sure it was the same for Diana and Jan as they grew up with shared lives - simply because of their ages.
2006 (l-r: me, Lyn, Jan and Diana)
This is the last picture of the four of us together. It was taken in 2006, during a party to celebrate one of my nieces graduating from college. We don't seem to be in the same places at the same time anymore. When Diana's daughter graduated from college recently, my other two sisters had other commitments and couldn't attend the ceremony or party. I didn't see them when I was in Wisconsin.

Families, especially sisters, are fragile things. Only when someone knows you as well as a family member (sister) are they able to bring so much happiness or inflict as much pain. A heart held tenderly by a sister is like none other. Likewise, betrayals cut deep and can break a heart.

For many reasons, I now watch their lives from a distance. It's not just distance measured in miles, but also distance measured in moments. I will always celebrate their happiness and love and admire their beautiful children. I don't know that they do the same for me, but that's alright. I've come to understand that our relationships have evolved and become something different. I do know one thing that will never change. These three women will always be my sisters.
The Sisters  
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Look how the same possibilities
unfold in their opposite demeanors,
as though one saw different ages
passing through two identical rooms.

Each thinks that she props up the other,
while resting wearily on her support;
and they can't make use of one another,
for they cause blood to rest on blood,

when as in the former times they softly touch
and try, along the tree-lined walks,
to feel themselves conducted and to lead;
ah, the ways they go are not the same.

Thank you for joining me for another Memory Lane Monday. If you have a story you'd like to share, please write about it on your blog and then come back here to add the link. You have until Friday to link back. Nothing like a little stroll together down Memory Lane.
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June 23, 2012

Sunday Scripture...

 "But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in 
him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
                                                                                      - John 4:14
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June 21, 2012

Day Lilies...

There you are again
Painting the roadsides with an explosion of color.

 Pretty orange heads nodding to passers-by.
Catching every little breeze and marking Summer's sunny days.

 Multiplying your numbers as you march all too quickly toward Fall.
                                                                                                 - DCL 6/21/12
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June 20, 2012

Summer Reading Update...

I've continued to read this summer and am currently working on a book given to me by daughter-in-law #1. Its title is Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. (The title is a link to the book on Books-a-Million's website.)

It's a fascinating read, and I find myself learning more about events that unfolded when I was in high school in the early 70's. It's made me curious to learn more about the people and culture at that time, so I'll probably go in search of other books for more information.
I'm also going to admit that I finished the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James last week. It consists of three books, which you've certainly heard something about by now, titled Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Suffice it to say that they were an amusing and adventurous read, and are everything that the reviews have said they are.

I have always loved reading and find myself transported to the most interesting places. I've also found that the movies that follow any given book never measure up to what I've created in my own mind's eye. I wonder where I'll "travel" to next?

What have you been reading?
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June 19, 2012

Nature Always Finds A Way...

You never know what you'll see if you walk softly and keep your eyes open. Yesterday, I found a partially-built hummingbird's nest under one of the trees.
I've seen quite a few of these precious, little jewels over the past couple of weeks, so I wasn't surprised to see a nest on the ground.
It's been windy and this one was so light that the wind just carried it out of the tree. It was almost transparent because wasn't finished, so there was no worry that eggs had been lost. I would guess that a new nest is already being constructed. Nature always finds a way.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see baby hummingbirds? They must not be much bigger than a bumblebee. Maybe if I'm very lucky...
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