Friday, July 31, 2009

Risk Of Shock!

I realize that me posting a couple of stitching updates within the same week could cause some of you to go into shock, but I think that you are all strong enough to handle it! As for myself, I'm willing to take the chance.

The stars must be aligned just right, because for the first time, ever, now that I think about it, I was able to get in some stitching time on my HAED project, on HAED Stitching Thursday! For some reason, it didn't feel quite right, like I had forgotten something else that absolutely needed doing. But it didn't overwhelm me so much, that I quit stitching to try and figure it out!

So, here is my brief updated version of the QS Iris:

And, since I took the time to photograph and post this update, I should show you the update of my mystery stitch too, to give you another visual clue.

I wanted to clarify, that I am going to keep track of who tries to figure it out, and how many times. If at the completion of this project, if no one has correctly named the pattern, then I am going to put your name into the magic hat, however many times you entered a guess, and I'll draw out a name for the 123 Stitch gift certificate!

So even if you're wrong, as long as everyone else is too, you will still have a chance to win!

Here is the next visual clue on my Mystery Stitch:

Hmmmm, I'm thinking that there is too much of clue there, but I can't really keep stitching without revealing more, can I?

Wishing everyone a very restful weekend!!

Fast Trip Down Memory Lane

I was just SO overcome by a fragrance triggered memory, I'm having to share, just to release my emotions a bit, and let the experience mellow.

I recently found out what a decades old problem was with my legs, and from now on, have to wear compression stockings. I actually found some that look like cotton knee socks, and am already trying to figure out a way of dying some. .if I've got to wear these things, which admittedly do make my legs feel great, then I want some artsy ones. .the black ones, yeah, I can live with those just find and dandy, but the white ones? I look at them as a blank canvas! But I digress. . .

It is recommended that you wash these socks in a delicate laundry soap, so I bought some Dreft. I haven't bought that brand since I first used it 40 years ago, when I washed my babies' clothes in it. Granted, it is liquid now, and it was powder back then, but to my great surprise, they haven't changed the fragrance.

When I poured that soap into that warm water, and the fragrance rose to tickle my nose, I was immediately zapped back in time, washing loads of tiny sleepers, and double loads of diapers (this was pre-disposable diapers, and I had twins, then another daughter, 2 years later). And it brought tears to my eyes. I loved washing their clothes, and then folding them into stacks of fluffy, soft, fabrics, ready to wrap around those sweet bodies.

I cherished those times, knowing that it would all pass to quickly, but having that Dreft explode into such an immediate response, brought back just how precious those times were to me, far beyond what time has tempered in my memories.

Fragrance triggered memories are amazing! We've all experienced the spells that the fragrances from midway at the county fairs put on us, and I swear that the enticing smells are more tangible than actually indulging in the treats. Or the smokey scents of burning leaves, now forbidden in a lot of communities, makes us think of crisp nights, cool, clear days, the vibrancy, yet mellowness of autumn.

What fragrance triggers have you experienced? I'd love to hear about them!

May you experience some new pleasurable scents today! Who knows what good memories they will bring back to you, years from now!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Looking At The World Through Rose Colored Glasses

I just couldn't resist. My currant jelly turned out SO beautiful this year, I just HAD to take a photo of some of the jars. Looking at that gorgeous depth of color and light, made me want to just be absorbed right into the middle of each jewel.

This photo just doesn't do them justice. It is a kind of illusive, perfect color in nature, that can't quite be captured.

May your days be filled with such beautiful rosy, cheerful color!

TUSAL & Other Goings On

Yes, my July TUSAL is again way overdue. This seems to be an emerging pattern, and not a good one. Yes, I did take my photo on the 22nd, but haven't taken the time to sit down and load it onto my computer, and then post it.

Part of the blame is all of you! (Isn't it convenient that I don't have to lay the blame in my own lap!)

When I sit down, I have very good intentions of updating my blog. .and then I get to reading what everyone else is doing, not only use up my computer time in reading all sorts of inspiring and humorous thoughts, and viewing gorgeous photos, but what I've been doing seems very dull by comparison, and I'm tired of thinking about it, let alone to write it all out!

So before I start having second thoughts once again, here is my July Ort Jar. There are additional threads from Agneatha, some more from QS Iris, and some from a mystery stitch. .

Anyone who wants to join in the Totally Useless Stitch A Long, can still do so by clicking on YoYo's TUSAL.

As for my stitching updates, after finishing The Giving Sisters, stitching has been reduced to a bare minimum. A half hour or so in the evening, if I am lucky. So here are the quick updates:

Agneatha & The Apple. I had hoped to get this one done in time for the holiday season, but I'm not holding my breath, nor holding myself to any sort of schedule. I love stitching this one, and want to continue having fun.

Next in line is the HAED's QS Iris, which isn't so quick stitch. I've been in a slump over this project, and don't quite know why. As strange as it sounds it may have to do with the fabric colors, and the threads. Every time I start to work on it, my eyes feel very drowsy. All of those soft tones of greens and blues are too soothing!

And in hoping to alleviate that glare from the white fabric, which can also tire my eyes, I picked a soft gray, with a blueish cast, which does eliminate the glare, but I think contributes to the hypnotic affect.

I actually had decided to set this one aside for a while, without too much guilt.

So, without questioning my sanity, I decided to buy another HAED pattern that had caught my eye. It is a complete different style than anything that I've stitched before, but I love the fancifulness of it. Now the pattern has arrived, and I've got to find my fabric, and figure out what threads I need.

And, then a strange thing happened. .I got out my Iris to post a photo on the HAED SAL, and afterward, started studying it. For some reason, I felt compelled to sit down and stitch a bit, so I did, filling in the gaps that you're going to see in this photo. Maybe my new Luna kitty is already spreading her magic charms!

I knew for sure that the heat and humidity had gotten to me, when I added yet another project into my basket. This one, I've actually started, and am having a lot of fun stitching. .no, this isn't one that I've shown, or even mentioned. .in fact, I'm keeping it a mystery for a while.

And, if the first one of my friends who follow my blog, can tell me what the name of the pattern is, I will make arrangements for a gift certificate at 123 stitch for you, just for putting up with my sleepy blog!

Did I word that right? You have to be the first one to correctly name it. I will be posting updates regularly. .this is to keep me posting, as much as it is to reward you! And as time goes on, be giving little hints. I don't mean to be obtuse. I know that there are a gazillion patterns out there, but don't want to make it too easy either. And just think of all of the patterns that you may discover, while looking for this one!

I wish everyone who needs rain, including my poor plants, gets some, and those who have too much, some dry days. Everyone stay out of the heat if you can, and have a beautiful week!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Personal Celebration!

Getting back into stitching mode has been a challenge lately. Not only to find the time, but when it gets hot, I seem to lose my energy and motivation to do much of anything.

For a long time now, I've thought that the Stork dropped me much too soon. He probably saw an attractive lady Stork flying in the opposite direction, and gave no further thought to what he was supposed to be doing, nor to correct his mistake. Hence, I've been stuck in a climate that has temps that creep up into the 70's, the torrid 80's, and the totally exhaustible 90's, every so often. I'm not equipped to handle such extremes!

Spring is nice, but after about a week of Summer, I'm ready to head into a nice long, excitingly brisk Autumn, full of Fall color. I love Autumn so much I've been tempted for weeks now to switch the look of my blog to Fall & Halloween. To try and temper my yearnings, I even loaded a lot of Summer music that I used to listen to during my teen years, at the beach, while cruising, or hanging out with my friends. While fun to trip back down memory lane, it hasn't helped.

THEN, I got a reprieve! This whole past week, the temps stayed in the 60's, even tiptoeing into the upper 50's a time or two! Yippee!! I was back in the groove again! And I must not have been the only one, because quite a few new Halloween pieces have shown up on the Spooky Stitchers SAL that I belong to, which further fueled my inner fire. And last night, I did it!! I finished the stitching on The Giving Sisters!! Now I've got to get some fabrics that I think appropriate, to make a throw pillow, with this stitching being the main panel. I'm SO excited to have it complete!

My Ott light completely washed out the color of the fabric, which is an earthier wheat color, and the threads are Weeks Dye Works, and Sampler Threads. Even with having to restart it, it was a fun pattern to stitch.

AND, before I forget, or procrastinate any longer, I need to post my photo of my Ort Jar from June for the TUSAL. I actually did take this photo on June 21st, but obviously hadn't posted a photo of it yet. I thought it best to get in on here, before the next New Moon rolls around on the 21st of July!

It mainly has threads from The Giving Sisters added, with a few from my HAED Iris, which is so slow going.

The temps are supposed to rise again this week, along with my busy schedule, but hopefully, I'll reserve some energies to keep stitching, at least a little each week!

I hope that everyone has had a glorious, and safe 4th of July celebration!

Cause For Celebration!

No, no photos this time. .just a rant.

This is, of course, the 4th of July, Independence Day celebrated with too much sun, food and noise. If I sound disgruntled, maybe it is because I live in an area where the economy depends mainly upon the tourist industry, and if I were to try to navigate the local beaches or even our downtown shoppes today, I would be hard pressed to think that people are cutting back on travel. I'm having to miss our weekly local Farmer's Market today, because I know that it will be impossible to find a parking space, and it will be bumper to bumper, stand still traffic, even getting to our downtown park.

And it will be the same next weekend, when the annual Art Festival is held, and the following weekend, the Venetian Festival overtakes our little town once again. I'm not alone in my disdain of avoiding our own local events, which admittedly by our city mothers and fathers, have outgrown our community's capabilities. And merchants know it, trying to figure out how to entice their neighbors to shop locally. But there are no easy answers.

Living in this area is a double edged sword. I was lucky enough to be born and raised here. The very reasons that I love the area, are the very same ones that draw out-of-towners in droves, which partially ruins the reasons why I love it here, at least in the Summer. It didn't used to be as bad, but with the advent of the interstate highways, making the getaway weekend quite easy from some major metropolitan areas, and the real estate market in the recent past years, complexes of condos and more marinas have sprung up like toadstools in a pine woods during a wet Spring. And with them, come the big city attitudes and put-downs.

While the economy is dependent upon their dollar, it is also our home. We don't like to be treated like servants, or people without brains, always ready to be taken in by fast talking, big city folk, who always think that they know more than we do. We are not here to be trashed, either verbally, or physically. We are not their dumping ground. And we tire of the complaints and comparisons to what they have at home, vs what is available here. If it is that horrible, then why come here in the first place?

This situation along our stretch of shoreline is no different than any of the other strings of little villages and towns along either coast of L. Michigan, and I imagine that it is the same along L. Huron, and the other Great Lakes too.

I feel rather melancholy, when I think of how, as a child, the 4th of July meant starting the day with a full cooked breakfast at the beach with all of my relatives, and how it would always be a day long event. (Nothing smells so good as food cooking in that fresh breeze off of the lake!) Then going home and getting cleaned up in time to go to the band concert at the band shell in the park, followed by fireworks. Then back home to light sparklers! How fortunate I am to have those memories to look back on!

Today, I wouldn't be able to get anywhere near the beaches because of the crowds. And we will watch the aerial fireworks from the comfort of our patio. And our concert will be on PBS. Not quite the same as live music, accompanied by a glorious sunset, but not as stressful, and certainly not a crowded!

We have been fortunate here, because so far, we haven't had any riots break out between the locals and the seasonal residents like some other towns just a few miles away. But each season, and each special event, such as holidays and festivals, I find myself mentally holding my breath, and then relaxing once it is over, that nothing so horrible as occurred.

Right now, I'm sitting here thinking about the 4th, and how, like so many of our other holidays, it has become an excuse for excessive behavior, far beyond what was the original intent. Personally, I love England as it is today, and since some of my ancestors came from England, along with the ones from Ireland and Wales, I have always had a great interest in the history of the British Isles. I also have my own personal thoughts about the wrongs that were inflicted upon the Native People of this country, and how today, their succeeding generations probably don't have too many reasons to celebrate the 4th of July, but I don't want to get into that now. The original reasons that this country was founded seem rather frivolous now, compared with current world problems, and when you consider the countries involved, but at the time, it was very important to this country's leaders and citizens. Since none of us were around then, we have to accept their wisdom and foresight, for the lives that we have inherited.

We should reflect on the foundation of this country, and how it has given us so many freedoms that other citizens, in other countries do not enjoy. With the exception of our soldiers who know first hand, the horrors of war, we all more or less take for granted our lives here.

A week ago, there was a weekend long, WWII re-enactment held on one of our beaches, complete with air power and heavy artillery. I didn't go and watch. It is beyond my understanding of how someone would want to re-live something so horrible. I can think of a lot of other ways to honor our veterans. But I experienced something else that never occurred to me. We live within range that I could hear all of the rounds of gunfire, the larger guns booming, and of course, the low flying planes right over our home. .this went on for hours. When it first started, I was alarmed, forgetting what was going on for a minute or two. As time passed, it became more unnerving. I told my hubs that I now knew what the people of England, France, and other European countries felt during WWII, hearing gunfire, and then the bombings. They earned new respect from me.

So, today will pass quietly, without the hoopla and celebrations of my youth. We won't battle the congestion and the crowds. I'll make some black raspberry jam, and then maybe more red raspberry, and then go out and enjoy working in my garden for a while, savoring the colors, the fragrances, and the songs of the birds. Then we'll enjoy a nice dinner, maybe outside if the mosquitoes aren't out yet, and I'll savor the day, being thankful of where I live, and able to enjoy the peace. There is more than one way to celebrate!

I hope that whatever you do today, and however you celebrate, that you have the best day ever, and are left with a warm feeling in your heart and glorious memories to relive!