Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Secrets: May 30, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

It's curious to me how some weeks I can relate to very few of the secrets; other weeks many reverberate with me. Today, I'm sharing my top four:

Whenever I'm alone in a supermarket aisle,
I sing out loud.
It's fun!
Plus, if someone comes around the corner,

they feel more embarrassed than I do.

OMG. This fits my husband to a T.
He may not care about their pet,
but he does care about the person's feelings.

This happened more often than I like to recall
when I was a young adult.
The last time, I got pregnant. :(

I need to make this my life motto
and tattoo it on my forearm!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gratitude: Down by the Riverside

The Spokane River at Kiwanis Park
Post Falls, Idaho

I'm grateful I live in this beautiful part of the world. The neighborhood I live in is in the woods. A short walk down the sidewalk and around a couple corners, I get to this park. It's so peaceful. I walk among the trees and wildflowers. I know most of the trails now. I think of those I love. I wander down to the river ... and pause ... and focus my camera.

When I can spend this time alone with my thoughts, my hopes, my fears, it soothes my soul. To watch the ducks and geese, to drink in the fragrances of spring, to sit on a pointy rock and appreciate how uncomfortable it is while at the same time being totally comfortable in these surroundings helps me move out of the troubles and fears, and into the present moment.

That is my moment of gratitude.

* * * * *

Weekly Gratitude
For 52 weeks, count your blessings and document them once each week

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Secrets: May 23, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment. This one secret caught my attention today:

There are times we don't intend to lie to others,
we just haven't figured out we were lying to ourselves
so the words we uttered wouldn't come out right.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Come Play with Me

Word Play is
My Favorite Sport

It was words that drew me to my husband.
Words, and a bear suit.
It's true.

I'm a sucker for words and they way they dance and skip around one another.

I'm a sucker for words that hide in the belly of a bear suit, too.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Tuesday Morning

One of my best friends sent this poem to me a decade ago. I unearthed it in an e-mail. Even though it's a bit dark, I liked it all over again. Thought I'd share.

It's quite the contrast to my Tuesday Morning

* * * * *

Tuesday Morning

Sitting at the table drinking coffee
with three other women.

Their conversation splashes, sparkles,
and tinkles as they discuss

a new tooth, basting an oven roast,
Bible study class...

It's my turn. I have to say something.

My words are a black slithery thing
which oozes into a dank, unmoving pool.

My friends' faces change as they
mentally step back from the dark water
at their feet.

Who's the imposter here?
Am I so wrong?
Am I a little crazy?

Fifty Years Later

I am a woman reared to rear children in a world which doesn't need any more children.
Nagged by fear.
Just another harness-maker thinking about the automobile.

~ Anonymous

Monday, May 17, 2010

Macro Monday - Tulip

Macro Monday is easy to play,
snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.

In Tulip Deep

The tulip season is gone for another year.
Glad I got up close and personal with this one
before they all faded away.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Secrets: May 16, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

I think they were part of their own time and space.

Twice in my life, someone fell in love with my music
AND me when I was singing. That was cool.

* * * * *

The following are "one line commencement speeches" made by college students:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lady Jet

Here's the third Lady of the Evening I bought last month from my favorite local Op-Sh0p, My Favorite Things here in Post Falls, Idaho. I call her "Lady Jet" because she has sparkling jet black beads on a black sateen ground fabric.

All the beading is on the front of this bag. Her back side has a soft black sateen sheen.

As you can see, the basketweave design is made of alternating rows of seed beads and faceted short bugle beads. Interestingly, one set of diagonal lines has rows of seed-bugle-seed-seed-bugle-seed beads. The opposite set of diagonal lines has rows of seed-bugle-bugle-bugle-bugle-seed beads. The way light catches the varied surfaces is what enhances the sparkle factor.

This bag has a nice long rope handle on an eyelet hinge. When you don't want to carry it over your shoulder, you can tuck the handle inside and this evening bag transforms into a clutch.

It's the ideal Lady of the Evening to carry when wearing a simple little black dress. Now, to find the ideal little black dress and an excuse to wear it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flower Power

This next Lady of the Evening reminds me of a fresh-faced young girl. It's sweet and small and light and lithe. It's the first evening bag I have with a slender profile. And it's the only one I have (so far!) with colored beads that form a sprig of flowers.

The ground fabric is a tan satin, which shows the blue, pink, coppery brown and crystal beads in wonderful contrast. The flowers are formed in simple one-color strands of pink and blue seed beads. The sprigs are made in a combination of coppery brown seed and bugle beads.

This leaf set has accents of crystal clear seed beads and larger (about 8mm, I'm guessing) round beads plus some pony beads. It's a lovely mixture of size, shape and color that allows the simplicity of the design to shine through.

The back of this bag is has no beading at all. The perimeter of the bag is encircled with a double row of the coppery brown seed beads. Hanging from the bottom is this fringe of seed, pony and teardrop beads.

The teardrop fringe is echoed at the bag's opening where the handle meets the top of the bag. The handle is nice and long, made of a braid of three strands of the coppery brown seed beads.

I like the fresh young feeling this bag projects. It's so sweet -- just about the right size for a cell phone, a credit card and a driver's license. What else do you need for a night out on the town?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Chocolate Lady

(Did I get your attention, Vicki?)

So I went to my favorite "Op Shop" last month with my daughter Jodie. We were looking for a piece of furniture for her room. What we found instead were three more Ladies of the Evening. The first I laid my fingers on was this lovely lass with chocolate brown skin, smooth as satin.

I've never picked up a lady with this particular shape. Lift her flap, and she reveals a dandy zipper closure. But the intrigue is in her thin covering of net and beads, the net formed in two variations. The flap has a tight, horizontal weave. Her body, both front and back, is intricate as a honeycomb. I love the way the chocolate crystal beads are mixed with the gold seed beads. She is full of sparkle and shine.

She sports a long, sinuous beaded handle made of two sizes of chocolate brown jewel beads, alternating in a row.

I love modeling my lovely Ladies of the Evening here. My collection seems to be growing by leaps and bounds this year. I found a 4th velvety gal in a thrift store and received a 5th white satin confection for Mother's Day. I plan to display my wares over the next few days. These are the Ladies that began my collection.

But no, they are not for hire!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

April / May Newborn King Update

It's been almost two months since I posted my progress on The Newborn King. It seems I don't get around to this craft these days as I have in the past. Instead of stitching a little bit every day, I tend to take a couple weekend days each month and stitch for several hours at a stretch.

The image above shows the progress I made in March. In the last two months I concentrated on completing the portion of the chart that is done in half-cross stitch, which is primarily the angel and the background within the circle.

I'm now back to stitching the Madonna and Child. As you can see below, the child is almost done.

What I had hoped to finish next was the green circle with its leaves. That would give me the perimeter of the piece, plus it makes for fast stitching. Unfortunately, as I approached the top of the circle, I found I have a problem.

The ground fabric has a couple broken threads. These will not be covered by stitching, so the quick method of fixing the problem is not an option (putting a piece of interfacing on the back and stitching through both layers).

Instead, I'll need to remove the broken threads. The pull a couple threads from the side of my fabric and re-weave the spot where the holes are.

The goofy thing is, I know how this happened. I have a clip-on magnifier which I usually clip to the wood frame of my floor stand. But the goose neck didn't stretch far enough for me to see the portion of the fabric I was working on. So I removed the magnifier from the floor stand and clipped it onto my stretcher bar on top of my fabric. The clip wore the holes into my fabric.

:: sigh ::
Live and learn.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Secrets: May 09, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

I really enjoyed today's secrets all about mothers. So many facets of being mothered and mothering were explored. I could relate to six of them today, but I picked these four to comment on.

I learned much more than this from my mom,
but with the rack I inherited,
this was a very important lesson!
(I've passed the lesson on to my daughters.)

When I'm having trouble with my siblings,
I call out to my mom, too.
Now and again, I do get to meet up with her
in my dreams.

It's insidious, the way it creeps in.
Makes me glow inside.

That's the message I heard
from my three lovelies today.

:: Hugs and Kisses ::

Friday, May 7, 2010

This Mother's Day Weekend

Thinking of my parents

I'm a good mom because I learned from the best. She's been gone over a decade. There are still times when I miss her. I miss them both.

Today I would have called them up and told them the good news about my kids:
  • Jodie took her AP History test this morning. She's been studying for it like crazy with her friends. This morning she ate an excellent breakfast while scanning her notes one last time. When she got home from school, she look relieved and pleased. She feels like she did well on the test. Then in the mail she found her ACT results. Her scores soar. What a kid.

  • Julie received her grades for her first term in grad school. She was expecting a B in each class. Instead, she received an A in two classes, and A- in the other two (from the professor that rarely gives an A!)

  • Jeanne wrote a happy e-mail outlining the way she made s'mores in her microwave using Vanilla Wafers and bits of marshmallow and chocolate. The fun was in her discovering how much marshmallow was the "just right" amount. It's so good to hear her happy and experimenting again. My little scientist lives on.
Julie goes to school in Pittsburgh, PA. That's just a few miles from where my mom and dad are buried in the family plot. She stopped there to visit this week.

Wish I'd been there, too, to whisper to them my pride in their granddaughters.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gratitude: Poetry

But often, in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us--to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
From "The Buried Life" by Matthew Arnold

Today, I'm grateful for poetry.

I'm grateful for the melding of word upon word, image upon image.

I'm grateful for writers who pause long, and place into words the deep questions of life.

Usually, they have no answer to these questions.
But I'm grateful the questions are asked.
They make me think.

The cadence of the words causes me to slow down.
To ponder.
To wonder and dream.

I'm grateful for the music that is poetry.
The lyrical line.
Or the line of rhyme.

I'm grateful I'm given a chance to look
through this auditory lens
To settle in, close up
And tap into the magic of the poetic arc.

* * * * *

Weekly Gratitude
For 52 weeks, count your blessings and document them once each week

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Row Upon Row

The grape hyacinth in my backyard
caught the early morning light,
then began to glow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Trees in Bloom

Macro Monday is easy to play,
snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.

Ornamental White Cherry

Another bit of spring wonder
spotted while walking through my neighborhood.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Secrets: May 02, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

These three secrets reminded me of incidents in my own life.

My first husband had a motorcycle.
We didn't last long as a couple,
but I did enjoy wrapping myself around him
when we rode around on his bike.

A group of redneck teenage boys driving around the neighborhood in a pickup once barked at me while I was out on my afternoon walk. I hate to admit how much that shook me up. I stopped walking for a few days. When I started up again, I took a different route and picked a different time of day.

I AM going to take those trips.
I AM going to survive dense traffic,
crossing bridges over water and steep hills.

I AM going to meet up with old friends.
I AM going to fight my anxiety and lack of confidence!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Men Wield Needles, Too

It's the first of May, so it's a Kiva Loan Day!

One of the things I enjoy about Kiva is that it improves my geography!

Today I'm lending $25 to a tailor in Togo. I honestly needed to check the map and read up a bit on Wikipedia. Togo is a small country on the western side of Africa.

Though I usually try to lend to women, today I chose to give a loan to a male tailor. Biova Komi ZIKPI is a married father of three. He requested a $1,200 loan to buy new sewing machines and work supplies in order to expand his business.

In Togo, $1,200 is nearly a full year's income! The $25 I'm loaning is barely enough to buy dinner for two in north Idaho (US). Just think how far that money will go in a developing country. Won't you consider making a loan, too?

Kiva. Loans that change lives.