Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Now is the time before we get way too hot out on the deck during the summer time. So I come outside and read my book for a while and get a little sun.
Next to the chaise is my new favorite plant, which is a Kaffir Lime, the leaf of which is an essential ingredient in a lot of Thai dishes, including my fave soup, Tom Yum. That and a new lemongrass plant and I'm getting ready to learn how to cook Thai-style.
For Poetry Thursday, I found this wonderful old poem about the moon and May, (yes, yes, I know it is now June.)
Phases of the Moon
ONCE upon a time I heard
That the flying moon was a Phoenix bird;
Thus she sails through windy skies,
Thus in the willow's arms she lies;
Turn to the East or turn to the West
In many trees she makes her nest.
When she's but a pearly thread
Look among birch leaves overhead;
When she dies in yellow smoke
Look in a thunder-smitten oak;
But in May when the moon is full,
Bright as water and white as wool,
Look for her where she loves to be,
Asleep in a high magnolia tree.
(1885 - 1928) American Poet, Lyricist, Author
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
For the final Introduce Yourself for the newly re-introduced Self Portrait Challenge, here is a picture of me on Halloween several years ago. Back when I had short hair, which I ought to reconsider..hmmm. I love Halloween, celebrating it secularly and religiously as Samhain. I dig the costuming, dressing up and pretending. The demanding of candy from strangers and consuming it in one go. And then the private celebrating of the turning of the Wheel of the Year towards the dark once more.
spc button, cool colors!
Monday, May 29, 2006
Don't you love serendipity or perhaps just plain ol' coincidence? I was recently going through one of my two t-shirt drawers which are over-full. Having just purchased several new shirts, I was finding I couldn't fit them in. Going through the layers of shirts I never wear, but still keep around. I made a pile of ones that I could over-dye, or paint or embellish in some way to camoflauge the mysterious spots that have appeared on many of them. Having a built-in crumb-catcher shelf-chest I tend to collect a lot of food drips right smack dab in the middle of a shirt. Thus rendering it not suitable for wearing outside the house! grrrr. Anyways, I had quite a stack of these and I ended up ....where else?!...googling for ideas on saving these perfectly good shirts and repurposing or refashioning them. And stumbled upon this great idea for a challenge.
So I hereby take
Pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing,
for the period of 6 months.
I Pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recylcle pre-loved items
for myself for the term of my contract.
I Pledge that I shall create and craft items of clothing for myself
with my own hands in
fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract.
I Pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my
refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing
on the Wardrobe Refashion blog,so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings!
The serendipitous part of this is that Debra at A Stitch in Time is also talking about this challenge today. The more the merrier I guess!
I'm thinking my Grandma S. would have been into this idea, she was a great repurposer, taking buttons, lace, and trim off of clothing being discard to use in another setting. Following in her footsteps I shall go then.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Can't win for trying around here!
I tried making paper out of these purple irises one year. Succeeded in getting a lovely, sickly shade of yuck brown/beige. It just seemed with all that intense purple colour that drips as the blossoms degrade you could make something at least lavender shaded. Nope. Unless there is a secret trick I don't know about. It is fun to put a piece of paper under the vase these are in, and as the color drips it makes cool spatters on the paper.
The lengths I go to, in order to keep myself entertained, mind-boggling ain't it?!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I chose one poem out of that book for this week because it summed up how I've been feeling with finally finally finally getting my hands back into the soil of my garden while at the same time thinking about how much longer I have to be able to garden.
So without further ado,
Kneeling here, I feel good
Sand: crystalline children
of dead mountains.
Little quartz worlds
rubbed by the wind.
Compost: rich as memory,
sediment of our pleasures,
orange rinds and roses and beef bones,
coffee and cork and dead lettuce,
trimmings of hair and lawn.
I marry you, I marry you.
In your mingling under my grubby nails
I touch the seeds of what will be.
Revolution and germination
are mysteries of birth
are born to starve.
I am kneeling and planting.
I am making fertile.
I am putting
some of myself
back in the soil.
sweet black mother of our food
you will have the rest.
- Marge Piercy, originally published in "Living in the Open"
Trying my hand a quick riff on this idea after working in the garden for two solid hours (go me!)
................in the dirt
..............in the hand
For now the hand plants and harvests
the hand will return to the dirt from which it was formed
-Julie Z. Stiller
Want to join in a book discussion about The View from The Studio Door by Ted Orland? See Melanie's every-single-day for more info. The author lives near me, so I've ordered directly from him, it will come signed (I love getting stuff signed!). Hopefully in time to add something coherent to the discussion, which begins on 6/1.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Sigh. A piece of fabric I made that I truly wish I hadn't sold. I know it was a long time ago, back in 2001 at QSDS, but still, I wish I hadn't sold it. At least I have a picture of it!
I didn't know how hard it would be to come by black fabric that discharges to white. Oh well. Lesson learned!
I do wonder if the person who bought it has ever used it???
The Mom Triangle. I was thinking of the triangulation calculations that we moms make every day, between self, child, work, oh and other child and oh maybe husband, oh and family, oh and the house and the pets and friends...etc.... So not exactly triangulation, but you get the idea. Where do we put our energies, can we ever do it right, or do enough? I get so frustrated with not being able to get anything done with 100% of my energy and attention.
Can you guess where this comes from? Yes, that's right, straight from the top o' the scrap heap from making the "House of Mom" just recently. See, my m.o. (modus operandi or way of working) is, if you never put anything away, it is easy to just make more stuff. (GRIN!)
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I've decided to jump back in to the newly reformatted Self Portrait Tuesday which is now Self Portrait Challenge. So I shall now be inflicting photos of myself on you once more after a short hiatus.
For the first Self Portrait Challenge, we are to introduce ourselves.
This picture shows me in many of my roles:
playful mother (I love playing with my kids, they are so much fun)
happy dog owner (This picture was soon after we'd rescued Zelda from the pound)
incompetent or shall we say very relaxed housekeeper (I've got other priorities!)
family historian (note all the family pics on the wall)
art teacher/creativity encourager to my kids (Behind me is the "Making Cabinet" full of supplies)
Quilt Artist (note the quilt to the left)
Gardener indoor and out (note the plant hanging down from the second story ledge above)
home decorator (note the elegant mirror to the left of my head and interesting angle of the couch)
smiling wife (it is hard not to smile at my husband when he takes my picture since I love him so much).
Pictured is Zelda the Wonder Dog and my youngest son, A.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Partial picture of a partially completed quilt. Titled for now as: "Two Halves" Click for detail on the quilting so far. This is seta-color painted, with some rope and other things making shadow resists. The body image is from a tracing made of me. There is a half on each side of the quilt.
These two buttons are for CodePink for Peace. They made a great aerial visual spell-out with their pink-clad bodies at the Mother's Day protest in Washington DC in the park right by the White House.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
As part of the Wordplay project, I'm onto letter E today. I couldn't pick which E picture I liked better, so I put up both, why not?! Don't you love photoshop?
E, oh E why E?
It is a vowel! I love vowels. Pat I'd like to buy a vowel, E of course! Because it is so very popular.
Earth - Home Sweet Home (at least for now...)
Extra-Terrestrial- As in E.T. phone home. Do they Exist, odds are yes. Have they ever been here to Earth? Maybe. Do I love reading about "them", absolutely!
Eye-One of my favorite symbols, there are so many. Third Eye, All Seeing Eye, Eye of Horus, Winged Eye, Eye in Hand or Foot, Buddha Eye with Figli....etc.
Egg-Another of my favorite symbols. And edibles. Especially eggs benedict. I collect eggs, especially carved stones. One of my first quilts sums up my spiritual beliefs "All From One Egg"
Ear-I love ears, looking at the inner shape of each persons' swirls and curves, the lobes, hanging, pendulous or compact and attached. I love using my ears too to listen to music, my children and the world.
Earrings- Oh and if I love ears, of course I love earrings. I think more than shoes. Yes, definitely. I certainly have enough earrings, and I always tell the family, just buy me earrings, how hard could that be?! Some of my favorites are by Holly Yashi.
Egypt- One of the places I'd like to visit and love reading about. A cruise on the Nile and a visit to the pyramids would be great.
echidna-one of those spiny mammals that lay eggs. One of the reasons I really need to go to Australia.
ebullient- The word that brought my husband and I together. He used it to describe me, but he said ellubient, and of course I corrected him, nicely. But he had to go look it up.
Eeyore-My favorite character in Winnie the Pooh. What a good alternative to Tigger who was so bouncy and annoying. Eeyore was so phlegmatic and never gave up trying to build his house. Ooh I'll have to put that word in letter P!
Eiger- The mountain in Switzerland that has such a great mythic story, is so hard to climb, and hard to see clearly from below. Oh and a movie starring Clint Eastwood (The Eiger Sanction), who is another E I suppose.
Elementary- Some of my favorite and least favorite memories happened in elementary school. And I always loved the phrase "elementary my dear Watson", yes only from the Sherlock Holmes movies, NOT the books.
Excellent- Dude! Favorite Keanu Reeves expression, from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Energy-I've always had a lot, so has my husband, both gogogo Sagittarians. When we had these two very energetic kids and we were soooo tired I realized that our household had the same amount of energy as before but it was now spread over 4 people instead of 2. This is the way it goes I think.
Elucidate- Make it clear or to clarify. Something I always try to do, but don't always accomplish.
EEEEE- one of the childbirth breathing sounds. It still works. Glad I learned it.
Everclear-one of the most alcoholic drinks on Earth, distilled grain alcohol, tried it once, once was more than enough.
Eel - I love seeing them in the water. When I was snorkeling in Hawaii, we actually saw several hiding in the coral just like this one.
Enough-Basta, Done, Fini, Exit stage right!
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I only caught the end, but there was this performance by William Seymour, in a Get Mortified performance. He read his letters to his ailing grandma when he was a kid, and hers to him. So funny! And so touching too.
What a great show T.A.L. is. They have archived episodes to listen to on their site.
I know, I know, I wasn't in the first 5 responders, but I'm still doing the 5 Things Meme from DebR , so there!
5 items in my fridge: (I had to go look)
1. Tube of Wasabi paste husband brought back from Japan.
2. Jar of Italian Mushrooms that someone opened and ate one of, shoot I didn't realize they were even in here!
3. Bottle of Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead Otherworld Hot Sauce
4. Jar of Nopalitos, half used. See #5. DearSon A and I were discussing things we would consider weird that people around the world eat, and I mentioned cactus, he didn't believe me, so we found these in the Mexican food aisle. I'd had them in restaurants before and enjoyed them. Pretty good stuff!
5. Jar of MoleSauce, half used. #4 goes with #5 in theory anyways! Our local Mexican restaurant has a great Mole dish that my MIL really enjoys, I've asked for the recipe, but they won't part with it.
5 items in my closet:
1. Box of old cameras, cell phones and computer cords, why oh why are we keeping these?
2. Hatbox (a lovely big round box, really! Thanks to Nordstrom's) with an expensive straw hat I like to wear to outdoor weddings. It would have been squashed long ago,were it not for the hatbox.
3. The stack of jeans I keep in all the sizes I've been in the last thirty years. Pretty big stack at this point!
4. My old fireproof racing suit. No it no longer fits, and I no longer have the car for racing either, traded it in for my first good sewing machine.
5. A for-real 1940's Japanese Kimono in lucious silk, in PINK, thanks to Aunt Suzi for that .
5 items in my car:
1. A tire iron, (I love saying this with a horribly affected Southern accent that no one from the South would recognize.)
2. A bag of Newman's Own dog treats, for Zelda the Wonder Dog. These always end up under the front seat, but she manages to retrieve them everytime she gets to ride up front.
3. My car sketchbook and pens for when I'm waiting for someone to be ready to go to the next place, life of a mom, I just need a taxi driver's license...
4. A big bottle of Tum's, mint. Just in case, they work as breath fresheners (or let's be honest, breath changers).
5. My Mother's Wisdom Deck cards (art by Sulamith Wulfing, words by Lunaea Weatherstone)
DearSon Z says this is the WEIRDEST thing in the car, because they are so random (see he gets it, although he doesn't know he gets it!)
5 items in my Desk (though, I think I have more ON my desk than IN my desk):
1. Package of Bookplates from Antioch Publishing with the L illustration(Lazy Lions Lounging in the Local Library) from the fabulous alliterative animal alphabet book by Aussie author/illustrator Graeme Base, Animalia.
2. Klutz Press's "World's Tackiest Postcards" (just when you thought it was safe to go back to your mailbox they reared their ugly heads!). Found this funny site of bad postcards while looking this up, get ready to waste some time and laugh a lot. And yes, I have indeed sent some of these to people especially deserving...
3. A box of stationery with letters I've written and never sent, oooh mysterious...
4. My hoarded office supplies, this is a BIG source of amusement for the family. But are they laughing when mom can always produce the needed paper clip,clamp,punch,staple or tape that they need? No of course they are not, they are contrite and thankful, til they start teasing me again for my penchant for office supplies....
5. Small package of Cover glass for microscope slides. We keep the microscope under the desk. Where else right? It isn't like we have a laboratory or something, so the desk suffices, for the moment, bwahahaha...
Well that was FUN!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
For my occasional participation in Poetry Thursday, I thought that today I'd share a new poem from my college poetry professor. One of the best, yet hardest classes I ever took, (thanks for talking me into it J).
First Things to Hand
by Robert Pinsky
In the skull kept on the desk.
In the spider-pod in the dust.
Or nowhere. In milkmaids, in loaves,
Or nowhere. And if Socrates leaves
His house in the morning,
When he returns in the evening
He will find Socrates waiting
On the doorstep. Buddha the stick
You use to clear the path,
And Buddha the dog-doo you flick
Away with it, nowhere or in each
Several thing you touch:
The dollar bill, the button
That works the television.
Even in the joke, the three
Words American men say
After making love. Where’s
The remote? In the tears
In things, proximate, intimate.
In the wired stem with root
And leaf nowhere of this lamp:
Brass base, aura of illumination,
Enlightenment, shade of grief.
Odor of the lamp, brazen.
The mind waiting in the mind
As in the first thing to hand.
"First Things to Hand" first appeared in First Things to Hand, published by Sarabande Books, 2006 © Robert Pinsky.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
My Mother's Day Bouquet. Here is the e-bouquet I gave my mom, didn't want to give her pneumonia too, so we didn't get to visit in person today :(
All these flowers are from my garden, including the wisteria which has come into flower finally, it was late this year due to the rain. My Mom has had gorgeous wisteria for forever and she shared some starts with me that have finally matured enough to have reliable flowers every year.
The lovely vase the flowers are in was a gift my son Alex picked out at the Camp Joy plant sale today. We got three cherry tomatoes, Camp Joy Cherry, Brown Berry, and Lemon Drop. As well as two peppers, Thai Demon (or Dragon) and Thai Pago . One six pack of unusual flowers also, Gomphera, which I'll hopefully be able to show you a picture of, once it flowers!
I got to spend the day weeding out the vegie garden so hopefully I can plant out this week. 100 Degrees F today! Yowza.
Mystery flower passed down from my grandma to my mom to me. Anyone know what it is? I've never ever seen it in a plant catalog, nursery or gardening book. The leaves are stiff, slender and grasslike. It grows in clumps and flowers in May. The flowers hang down as green to pink pods, then open into the blue edged yellow green you see here.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Going on three weeks now. The House of Sick (Down the street from the House of Blues)....
First youngest son, home a full week, coughing, doctor misdiagnosed as asthmatic bronchitis. Put on steroids and an inhaler, seems to help coughing a bit, back to school for him.
Then dear husband, home a full week from work (I've known him 20 years and he has NEVER EVER missed a full week of work). Doctor misdiagnoses as sinusitis. Luckily we mentioned he'd recently traveled to Asia, so her consult with the infectious diseases specialist insisted she make him get a chest x-ray just in case. Oh, gee, he has PNEUMONIA. D'oh!
Back to doctor with son, oh maybe we oughta get him an x-ray too....Sure enough PNEUMONIA. D'oh!
Oldest son and I are keeping our fingers and toes crossed that we don't get it!
I had it a few years ago and my lungs have never felt the same.
I'm going seriously stir crazy though with all the goddamned COUGHING all freaking day. Arrrrgggghhhh!
And the kleenexes everywhere, and the glasses with the germs crawling all over them and pills and medicine bottles with sticky medicine dripping on the counter.
In Sickness and In Health though, I promised!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Here are 3 painted and collaged tags from the 19 I had due for a Carousel of Colour Tag swap. Each swapee chose a color scheme and we were to do a tag for them in those colours. It was fun and challenging and time consuming. My colours were purple and yellow, so we shall see what everyone comes up with for me. These are my versions of from the left 1)red,black and a splash of white 2)Browns,sepia 3)Greens and blues .
If you'd like to see the rest, go to my Daily Devotions Blog and check them out.
When I'm painting I have to stop all quilting since I use the same workspace. Some of my quilts do indeed have paint on them, but usually it is put on in an intentional manner (grin).
Now that the tags are done and sent off, I've cleaned up the painting,glueing, collaging, read: MESSY stuff. I do so love making a mess!
And I'm back to quilting, making a house shaped quilt for the Alliance for American Quilts" Put a Roof Over Our Heads" exhibit. This little quilt has turned out to be an homage to Moms. And now I'm thinking I really oughta make one for MY mom. Or maybe I'll make her a card with the quilt as the image, that would be good. I'll show you a picture when it is done being quilted. Why don't you make one? They are a very small size 19" tall by 15"wide.
Friday, May 05, 2006
What's in the box? All of my tumbler sewn together strips as well as newly cut stacks of the charms from various boxes of fabric. The purple note to myself tells me which boxes I've gone through (so that I don't repeat myself). It is fun to go through box after box and get to unfold, cut and refold each and every piece of fabric that I own. Really, it is. Fabric Fondling at it's Finest.
Tumbler Strips project is getting longer and wider! I love seeing this grow and grow. The eye keeps moving. This is going to be a king-sized quilt eventually. Hopefully without a border, and just a triangle at the end of each strip to make it an even rectangular edge.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Remember how we were showing the pictures of our messy quilt studios? Well, I thought I'd fess up and show some of the messy outdoors since I'm spending more time outside this time of year. This is my project garden. It has been fenced in for a while now, and I haven't done much with it. As you can see!! It isn't completely deer-proof which is part of the reason I haven't gotten it together. There are BIG plans for this area, and while our house is getting worked on this summer, we will be out here toiling away in the garden making it into something I can hopefully show you a beautiful "After" picture of soon.
Here's the top down view of my vegetable garden, see any vegies? Nope, me either. Some mighty big patches of weeds though. The thistles, forget-me-nots and other weeds are going this week. This garden is deer-proof as long as no one leaves the gate open, which is good. Watch this space for the "After" pictures.
I was Delighted to receive my Grab Bag for the second QuiltArt GrabBag quilt project. Luckily the contents inside were packaged in a ziploc plastic bag and weren't harmed. I wonder what in the world happened to this package!!?! DS Alex told me it looked like a big slobbery dog had chewed it open. So I was picturing a big mutt stowing away in a cross country mail truck chewing up all the packages until he finds something good to eat.
Can't show you the quilty goodies, because it might give away the identity of who I'm making a quilt for. They're all lovely, and in colors I like using, so it won't be too tough to come up with a design (I hope!). We have to use at least 1/3 of the contents and it has to be 20 x 20" or something like that. Hope the person who got my bag likes all the weird stuff I put in there.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I'm behind on my WordPlay letters, so without further ado...today is being brought to you by the letter D.
D is for:
Dah-link- A fun phrase to use on people in email.
D'oh- Homer Simpson's catch phrase, used a lot around here in conversation.
Drive- I love to drive. Anytime. Anywhere. Go Go Go.
Dinner - My favorite meal of the day. Breakfast I'm not awake enough to enjoy, lunch I'm in a hurry and don't want to take a lot of time to eat, but dinner is great.
Dime- Lot's of colloquialisms involve dimes. One thin dime, nickel and dimed, dime a dozen.
Dress- I used to wear a lot of dresses. I wear some during the summer now, usually ones that I've dyed. I did love wearing GunneSax by Jessica McClintock when I was a teen. They were so lacy and romantic and frilly, but expensive. So my mom took me up to San Francisco to the outlet store, where we had to wait in line til it opened. I remember it was across the street from the Red Vines factory and there were wrappers and licorice in the street. The outlet was packed with mom and daughter couples scrapping it up over prom dresses. But we scored and I was outfitted with the perfect dress and several skirts. Loved them to death, they finally fell apart.
Dues- Have I paid mine yet? I don't think so, not quite.
Dread-My favorite feeling when I watch a scary movie. I'm fascinated by how movie makers can make me really feel Dread with a capital D. It doesn't need gore, or shock, but there are some elements that always work on me: music, foreshadowing, good acting, close views of actors.
Dyeing-Something I love to do. I'd do it every day if I could keep my dyeing workspace cleaned up and ready to use. It is always a surprise and always worth the time it takes. I can never find those colors or those combinations or patterns in a store. I love the satisfaction and fulfillment it gives me to create the whole thing from start to end.
Dying-Not something I'm worried about anymore. No, really. I only worry about those who would be left behind and how they would react. It helps, learning and believing in reincarnation. I can honestly say I'm looking forward to another turn around the wheel.
Dharma- Dharma Trading where I buy my dyes, supplies,tools and clothing blanks. What a fun store to visit in person too.
Also, Dharma as in religious teachings or religious duty .
Dercum's Disease- That's what I've got unfortunately.
Dirt- I have to get my hands in the dirt on a regular basis. Even if it is just weeding for a couple of minutes. During this long illness I'm going through periods where that is a challenge. Very frustrating. I have big plans for the garden and all of them involve LOTS of getting dirty.
Dahlias- One of those flowers I keep trying to grow without much luck, either disease or neglect to water frequently enough. I'll keep trying because I like 'em so much.
That's it for D!
I've gone and done it and bought a New Purse! I was just dying for something spring-y and this was the best I could find. It is a SagHarbor. The little leather fruits were what sold me on it. That and there wasn't ANY FRINGE. Yikes, what the hell is with all the fringe on all the teenage purses. Yuck. I guess I would have dug it way back when. As it was my teenager informed me that this was definitely NOT a mom purse. Good, I said!
And on the inside the new purse, the fruity fabric. The straps are comfy to hold and big enough to put over my shoulder if I need to. Plus my green apple gum matches now.