inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Thursday, February 27, 2020

hand me down quilt

 I stitched this "quilt as you go" quilt for our daughter Lindsey 
in 1984, the year she was born. 
 Now Lindsey and her husband Scott are expecting a baby
in May and it's a girl.
So I headed to the boxes of vintage family treasures,
and pulled this out, washed and dried it and sent it off to Detroit.

Holding it in my hands reminded me of evenings in La Grange IL,
sewing into the night after we had read stories and tucked Lindsey 
and her big brother Stewart into bed. 

 So much energy we had back then!
We would often scrape wallpaper or paint whole rooms after 
we put the kids to bed!
It was our first house and we were determined to make it our own,
with two little kids (and two more to come), we felt so 
lucky to have the shelter of that old Victorian.

And now we are looking forward to the safe
arrival of our second grandbaby.

Time sure does fly when you're living a life!


Sunday, February 16, 2020

capes and wolves and scary stories

 I made Maggie a Little Red Riding Hood cape for Valentine's Day.

 I lined it with this adorable woodland print, complete with badgers 
and hedgehogs and ferns and mushrooms.
 I'm pretty sure we had every book illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
 in our kids' childhood library.
Her illustrations are magical and Caldecott medal worthy.

We sent a copy to Maggie.
I wondered if the story was too spooky for a two and a half year old.
But then I remembered that we read scary stories to our kids as long
as there was a happy ending.
And we made sure there was time to talk about what had happened
and how it might relate to the world we live in.
(There are all sorts of "big, bad wolves" in this world).
 I wrapped the gifts up with a birch heart and cedar clipping.
The pattern came from this little book.
I had to trace the patterns onto tissue paper, which was a bit of a bother,
but the cape went together beautifully.

What fun it is to imagine Maggie down in Brooklyn,
wearing a forest inspired cape.

Some day Maggie will be back in Vermont,
and we can go walking in the woods, 
for real.


(also, thank you so much for your sweet comments on my last post,
they were much appreciated)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

not my usual post

Just wanted to pop in and share a bit with you here. 
If you live in this world and you have any sort of moral compass, I'm guessing you might be struggling.

I am struggling mightily, friends. 
I'm not sleeping well.
I feel like I am close to tears a lot.

I've tried all sorts of things to feel better.
Working out.
Avoiding the news.
Listening to good music and podcasts.
Hanging with the kitties.
Chatting with friends and family.
Reading poetry.
Howling at the moon.

I am usually resilient.
I often feel fairly centered.

I know I will recover from this mess in time.

But right now, things are HARD.

And because so much is at stake, I am just telling you my truth, so that if you are struggling too, we can hold hands (virtually) across the miles, and maybe not feel so overwhelmed.

Sending you love, dearest ones, and comfort.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

mending with the girls

I bought this LLBean barn jacket for Batman in 1997 (I think). He wears it A LOT. I have mended it several times. See here. Earlier this week, I machine stitched patches along both frayed cuffs, using scraps of  brown canvas. I also hand stitched some patches on the worn and frayed inseams of the sleeves. I sewed two reinforced patches and reattached two buttons on the front placket.
I am not necessarily endorsing an LLBean product, but I am advocating for buying things of quality if you are able to. This jacket is about 23 years old, and it is still Batman's favorite. It's got a plaid woolen button-in liner for days when the canvas alone does not provide enough warmth. And this gem of a jacket shows no signs of letting us down.

My longtime blogging friend Paula has also been mending an LLBean barn jacket, which tickled me. I'm wondering if some of us are mending metaphorically too...given what has been happening to our democracy this week. If only a needle and thread could solve those problems. *sigh*
Paula is a big fan of kitties, and she asked about Corazón and Wilma, so I am adding a few photos of "the girls" here. I think they were watching Batman in the kitchen (above, on the back of the sofa).
They often catch a patch of sunshine together, sharing the ottoman. And of course, they are always ready to "help" me in my sewing studio.
We are in the midst of quite the winter storm, and this morning Wilma and Cora were keeping a close eye on the feeders, which have been swarming with birds all day.

I have been searching for words of comfort this week, dear readers. I'm not sure I have ever felt so challenged as I do right now. Our Gretta sent this quote to our family chat this week, "To kids who are confused about what's going on, let me help you understand: Death Eaters are completely in control of the Ministry" -Brain Joseph McElhaney

We need Dumbledore's Army now more than ever.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

triptych #47, blue and yellow version

Sometimes things come into our lives just when we need them most.

Check out the newest member of the On Being family, Poetry Unbound.  From the website..."Your new ritual: Immerse yourself in a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama*. Short and unhurried; contemplative and energizing. Anchor your week by listening to the everyday poetry of your life, with new episodes on Monday and Friday during the season."

And from Krista's newsletter..."Full confession: I don’t read poetry all the time. For me at least, words that tell the raw truth, however unadorned or beautifully rendered, hurt a bit going in. I’ve noticed that I can inhale poetry like a lifeline when I am completely wrecked — or when I am whole and strong. Right now, and as I look inward at my life and out at our world, I feel equal parts both."

Poetry is my scripture, sacred text that grounds me. As the very foundations of democracy are mocked and ignored by the current administration in Washington D.C. I have reached for Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry and many of their friends on my poetry bookshelf. More than once this past week, I have had a sharp intake of breath, a teary eye and a good chuckle, all thanks to the thoughtful words of poets. I look forward to adding a new ritual to my days, listening to Poetry Unbound.

I loved baker's little acre's comment about silence on my last post, indeed this winter has been wreathed in quiet, if we but seek it. And now, as we step into February, with winter digging in her heels, there will be lots of simple projects around here. Check back often if you'd like to follow along.

*Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and conflict mediator. He was the former leader of Corrymeela, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization.