Book Tag ~ you’re it!

Hi again. (never rains but it pours, right? So here I am again after the long drought of no posts).

I found this wonderful idea here on Marcia Meara’s blog and just couldn’t resist taking part. I love books and reading more than anyone I know and for years read more than a book a day, so this is right down my alley . . . As she suggests, I have copied the questions; the answers are mine.

Do you have a specific place for reading? 

I can read anywhere. For years I carried a bag of handwork and a book or two everywhere I went. I could be found reading in a lineup at the bank, the grocery store, a bus shelter and more. Like Sam in ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ might have said: I can read it in a box, I can read it with a fox, I can read it here or there; I can read it anywhere! You get the idea, I’m sure.

Bookmarks or random pieces of paper? 

Both; Tissues if necessary. Whatever i can lay my hand on in the moment. I love bookmarks, but often they are packed away. I have even bought myself a couple of lovely ones with curved metal bits and danglers of beads, fibre and crystals. Too nice (or, honestly, awkward) to use, although I love the idea of using them and really enjoy looking at them and handling them. I was brought up to know that desecrating books simply was not done, EVER!, and dog-earing the pages definitely came under the heading of desecration.

Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter? 

IIn theory, anywhere; in practise, sometimes at the end of the chapter. more often, unless fate intervenes, at the end of the book. ONce I’m caught up in the story, I simply HAVE to know what comes next. Even as I dread coming to the end and SO wish to leave something for later or even tomorrow . . .  It isn’t easy being me . . .

Do you eat or drink while reading? 

Yes, sadly, I do, more often than I like to admit. Reaching the end of a meal with little recall as to what, exactly, it was composed of. I think this began once I was living alone and mealtimes were no longer times of conversation and shared communication. I know it’s bad to do this, but I hate sitting at a table alone and looking at my food. Besides, I get more read that way. I do have to say that I’ve learned not to do one thing, though. I used to use finishing a chapter / book as an excuse to eat more, as I could hardly be expected to do anything else while eating, right? But that had consequences I didn’t like much. Now I limit the food intake to meals or tea / coffee and my daily treat and that’s it. I give myself permission to read because I love it so, not just to fill in time while eating. That’s working much better for me. I may need new jeans soon . . . smaller ones 🙂

Music or TV with e reading? 

Yes, most of the time. I grew up in a busy home with eight younger siblings plus assorted friends, and if I hadn’t learned to tune out the excess noise, I’d never have read anything, ever. I can tune out pretty much any distraction, even now. Sometimes music will distract me, but that’s ok. I only play what I love, anyway. Celtic folk and folk-rock, mostly. I can tune out people talking, even when they are talking to me, and have been known to make those acknowledgement noises (mmhmmm, sure, yep, etc.) even while engrossed in a fascinating turn of plot. My family and friends know to be sure they have my full attention and am no longer looking at the book before continuing.

One book at a time or several? 

Several, always. I prefer to keep piles by everyplace I may sit, lie or otherwise pause for a moment or several hours. I never know what I will feel like reading: fiction; non-fiction, various genres of fiction and so on . . . I may be in the mood for something thought-provoking, or a distraction, or a book that is complex and subtle, or not . . . I am currently living with cousins, so do my best to keep the piles in my bedroom, although cousin M is as much of a reader as I am and he would certainly understand. Still, one likes to fit in and not complicate matters too much.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Both. Everywhere, to be honest. I sleep better if I read first, although if the book is interesting enough, I push on to the end and sleep less . . . You’d think I would have learned by now, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

Read out loud or silently? 

i read to my sons nearly every night and often during the day as well. I’m self-conscious about reading to adults, though, so then I sound stilted and awkward, especially when it comes to giving the characters individual voices and expressing moods. For myself, I read silently, as that’s much faster. At my peak I read more than a page a minute, but my eyesight is not what it used to be and now I am much slower. Poetry is a different thing, though. I like to hear the sound of my favourite poems out loud, especially Gerard Manly Hopkins, with his unusual accenting patterns.

 Do you read ahead or skip pages? 

I can’t believe anyone would even ASK that!! NEVER, EVER, do I read ahead! And I would NEVER skip pages either!! The very idea!!! Until recently, I also read anything I started to the (sometimes) bitter end. But now, if it’s too awful, I do put it down without continuing. With a such an extensive feast for the savouring (and with fewer years ahead than behind me, even if I live to 130 haha), I can no longer justify to myself finishing what I’ve begun when it bores me or makes me angry / disgusted.

 Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? 

Another question I find hard to comprehend. Sometimes a spine is so stiff that it breaks on its own, but I would never do it intentionally. When I purchase a book new for myself, I prefer to keep my it as much like new as possible, but most of what I own is older and well-loved and often-read, so not in pristine condition. I admit I rather like the marks left by previous owners; I may never know who they were, but I know there is a story there and I like knowing that. Still, if I were to mark a book, the word ‘desecration’ would once again rear its ugly head . . .

Do you write in your books?

Well, what I’ve said above about ‘desecration’ holds here, too. I have never written in a book, but I have written on a post-it and left that in a book for another time. I don’t know if this question includes turning old books into ‘works of art’. I get the concept, but seeing a lovely antique rendered unreadable strikes a chill to my heart. If they want to do that to modern romances or maybe (maybe, I said!) to old Readers’ Digests, I could (barely) understand that. Better yet, print out your own book and mark THAT up, won’t you? Leave the leather-bound tomes with gold edges for those of us who treasure them beyond measure.

Well, that’s it for me. Sorry about the ranting, but I’d do it again (especially about ‘desecrating’ practises), so I guess that doesn’t count as an apology, does it? 

I hope some of you will follow suit and copy these questions, adding your own responses. If you do, link back to Marcia (link above), whose blog is worth reading, and / or to the originator of this game of Tag, Sarah Brentyn, whose blog, Lemon Shark, is worth checking out, too.

If you leave a comment here for me, I’ll check out your responses as time permits. I may have strong opinions (you think??), but I enjoy other people’s opinions, too, even when vastly different from mine. So rant away, if you like.

Stay warm, those of you south of the equator. And cool, those of you on the up side. Hugs to everyone.  ~ Linne

Advertisements

3 quotes in 3(?) days/periods of time/weeks/???

. . . but hopefully not 3 aeons . . .

I have been nominated by my loving friend, Pauline, The Contented Crafter, which is a good thing, as now I will post ‘something’ at least. I’ve been rather busy with one thing and another lately and most lax about posting and responding to comments. Again, my apologies. And to quote a poster my Mum had up for some time: “if it’s not one thing, it’s your Mother!” Anyway . . .

I don’t know how regular these will be; we have the Celebration of Life for my Aunty this coming Saturday and family members are coming from all over, which is nice, but means I likely won’t see the computer much for a wee bit. When the dust settles . . .

My first quote is from a woman who has inspired me for many years. In the spirit of Gandhi, she owned only  the clothes on her back, a notebook and pencil. No money. She walked across the USA  at least eight times and if you added the partial trips, some say up to thirty times or more. She was flown to Hawai’i and Alaska so she could walk there, too. In 1952 she changed her name to ‘Peace Pilgrim’ and began walking for Peace. She did this until she died nearly thirty years later. She vowed to walk until offered shelter and to fast until offered food and she kept those vows. Her words and writings are available free, thanks to a group of her friends/followers who keep them published. Donations are not necessary, but are accepted with thanks if anyone is moved to help with that mission.

You can read about her here: Peace Pilgrim and her writings are online here: Peace Pilgrim book in seven languages.

One of my favourite quotes from her work is:

aa peacepilgrim 01

Many of you, no doubt all of you, have your daily life challenges. In the midst of all that, I wish you Peace as it is defined here.

More to come and thank you, Pauline (I think 🙂  No, seriously, thank you!).  ~ Linne

And my favourite Peace song: Let There Be Peace On Earth, and Let It Begin With Me

March, April, May . . . part Two (and a bit of June)

 

Hard to believe this was what we saw on 06 May this year, isn’t it? In 2014 the last snow was on the sixth of May.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below is the bus stop when I went out for groceries.

IMG_9229

And here are some pictures of my CAL (Crochet-A-Long) blanket. This is the second of three that I started back in early January. It’s finished now. I did try adding a single row of red along the border, and then I tried adding it just down from the edge, but in the end I decided it really was ‘gilding the lily’ and took it out again. You may notice that there is a band of light mossy green, white and a darker, more bluish green near each end. I thought the light moss colour would work, but then wasn’t happy with it. Rather than undo it, I simply turned the blanket around and began working from the beginning,, creating matching odd bands. I rather like it now, as the odd bit doesn’t stand out so much and looks as though it may have been planned. Oh, well, it will be warm anyway.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When my CAL group were learning ripple stitch, I was still working on the CAL blankets, so instead of beginning a new blanket, I made a pillow cover for a pillow I already had. I rather like it! I made a fancy edge for the closing (it’s folded and stitched to form an envelope), then realized the dark burgundy wouldn’t stand out at all, so I added the white section. There’s always a solution, isn’t there?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I love this tree so much! It stands just outside the patio doors and this is what I see from where I sit on the couch. I have now seen it bare of leaf, covered in snow, then covered in blossoms. I have no idea what this tree is, but it’s wonderful to look at. Below are photos of the flowers. They have a nice scent, not too strong and not really perfumed.

IMG_9339 IMG_9338 IMG_9369I chanced upon this photo while looking for something else (and isn’t that always the way?) Turns out these are called ‘lenticular’ clouds. I was particularly interested because I only ever saw them once in my life. It  was the day that we buried my Aunt A and Uncle P’s ashes (in the grave of my uncle’s father. He was my dad’s father, too. My dad and his brother married sisters, so their son is my closest cousin). Later that day, my cousin and his wife, one of my brothers, one of my sisters and her daughter plus myself went for supper at a local restaurant. When we came out, it was just sunset and the sky was full of these. None of us had seen them before and, of course, none of us had a camera along. (That was before smartphones and the like). I hurried to the pharmacy, but they were closed already; the usual thing in small towns. So we simply stood on the street corner and looked for as long as the light allowed. There were seven large ones and a bunch of smaller ones and to me it felt like a message from beyond the veil. One of the most beautiful moments of my life and one I will never forget. I was so pleased to find out there was a name for these clouds, after years of asking people and trying to look them up.

IMG_9438

IMG_9433

Does anyone have any idea why a good friend would post this on her Facebook page?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lately I have felt that I was receiving messages from the Universe . . . I was so startled when these began appearing on our pancakes once I turned them over. Then, sadly, I figured it out . . . the pattern is caused by the way I pour the batter into the hot pan. They are lovely, though, aren’t they? I just had to share these with you . . .

The smiley one had an actual slit forming the mouth and a day later it looked like this:

IMG_9460

. . . and then I ate it! Mmmmm   these are a variation of the Norske egg pancakes that my sister in New Mexico sent me; we have them a couple of times most weeks. Of course, being me, I had to mess around with the (perfectly good and delicious) original recipe . . . but they are still yummy . . .

IMG_9459 IMG_9458Another sister, the one who lives on BC’s Wet Coast, recommended a book called “You are not your Brain” and I ordered it, and a few more in that vein, from our library. She gets an email called the Brain Bulletin and sent me one of them that had fascinating information about our brains; how if we hold negative thoughts we damage our brains physically and how the scientists think it’s related to some forms of dementia, memory loss, etc. I really needed to hear all that. These books had a cursory glance from me and look quite promising, but I showed them to a friend and now they are at her home for a while. I’ll let you know if I learn anything helpful from them. And if any of you are interested in the Brain Bulletin, let me know in your comment and I can give you a link to sign up for them. Another book that came in is for children with OCD. It’s called “What to do When Your Brain Gets Stuck”. I thought it might have some useful information in it.

IMG_9463I don’t know where this originated, but a good friend sent it to me. I’m working on the lists now because I thought this was good advice, especially for me, as I tend to put off doing the things that make me happy, then feel a bit ‘down’ or discouraged. Crazy, eh?

IMG_9471 IMG_9469I have now cooked up two pots of beans (one pound each of black and pinto) and they are in one-cup bags in the freezer waiting for inspiration to strike me . . . I did eat some cold, right out of the pot . . . It’s so nice to have an second refrigerator; I keep extra veggies in it, as well as extra bread.

IMG_9482

I am still working on the third CAL afghan that I began back in January, but two are finished now. While I’ve been working, I’ve been thinking about possible uses for the leftover yarn; there’s quite a bit of it (this is the yarn I bought so I could use up two balls that I already had; this was back last summer, when I first became excited about the Bavarian afghans). Nothing like downsizing, is there? So I decided to make myself a granny square afghan. Of course I began with what might have been a traditional square, but, as you can see, that didn’t last too long . . . This is what I have done so far. Turns out I’m going to have to make two afghans to use up that yarn; one with these colours and some grey that I think will go well with them, and another with the more vibrant reds and blues, purples and white. When I’m done I will have memory afghans from the times I sat working and chatting with my Aunty, whom I still miss every day.

I made three traditional squares so far from the reds and blues, but don’t have a picture handy to share. Next time , , , one of the squares was begun before my Aunty died and finished the following week, so it will be in the centre, along with one for my Mum and one for me. It may take a while, though.

On a completely different note: I’ve taken on some computer work, formatting pages for a huge contract that my sister here is working on. Her company does a lot of that sort of work and it’s good for me, as I can work from home and fit the time in around my Mum’s schedule. It’s a bit of a learning curve, as I’m using a new laptop and the latest Windows program, where my familiar icons and buttons, etc., are gone and I now have to hunt for much of what I used to use on automatic pilot. A glutton for punishment, I have taken two books out of the library that deal with writing apps for iPhones and iPads, but have only glanced at them so far. I have to say, in my defence, that I ordered them before I knew I’d be working again. Not sure if I’ll do anything in this line, but I was curious.

IMG_9509

Some days I feel like a child again; the sun comes in through our north-facing windows around five am every morning. Child-like, I was holding my hand in front of the light to keep it out of my eyes and I noticed how it made my fingers nearly translucent. Just had to get a photo , , ,IMG_7364[1]

My friends the Crafties have begun bringing me some of the projects I had stored in their attic, as well as a box of yarn from the container on their property north of the city. Yes, more yarn . . . Once I have all the Décor yarn here, I plan to catalogue it by colour and amount of each, then I’m thinking I may be making some of those Cosy blankets that Lucy from Attic 24 makes. She started this whole CAL craze, at least in my world.  Above is my not-quite-finished Bavarian afghan that I call “Violets in the Snow”. It’s here in the condo now and I’ll be back to working on it soon, I hope. The hot pink Barn Cardi will be coming soon, too. Now I just need to plant me a lot of thyme . . .

Have a wonderful week, everyone. the laptop is set up for internet now, so I should be able to catch up on comments soon. (I’m using Mum’s computer for this post, though; it’s easier to type on and I’d already done half this post over the last few days, so thought I’d just finish here). I’ll be dropping in on you in the Virtual Village again, too. I’ve been sort of ‘ghosting’ through, reading as much as I could, clicking ‘like’ to let you know I’d been by, but often not able to leave comments easily. one finger typing on a phone isn’t my favourite thing, really. I’ve been thinking of all of you; those in the midst of winter and those out working in your gardens; and especially everyone who’s been affected by the droughts, storms and flooding. I was speaking with my cousin this week (the one I mentioned above) and where he lives (and where I spent my last few years at home) the temperatures have been up to +35C . . . it wasn’t like that when I lived there, back in the early ’60s. Global warming, indeed . . . Big hugs to all of you.

IMG_5076[1]

My sweet Aunty, patiently modelling the Barn Cardi for me.

And, like Columbo, just ‘one more thing’ . . .

I was lucky to catch this on TV recently, in time to record it: I’d never heard of Brit Floyd,, but they were great! I haven’t listened to much Pink Floyd for many years; what a blast from the past:

Brit Floyd Live at Red Rocks

. . . and that’s all, folks . . .

 

 

 

Living in the Moebius Loop . . .

. . . I wonder if that’s possible . . . some times in life sure feel like it. Maybe that’s what happens when you knit a Moebius scarf? I did, once, and loved it! No photo for you, sorry; it’s in a box ‘somewhere’ . . .

Aunty and I returned from the hospital on the 11th of February. On the 12th I developed a mild but persistent bronchitis, my old response to being stressed and overextended. I’m happy to say it’s only an occasional cough now. The yo-yo weather hasn’t helped, either. Yesterday, we were up to +15C; today, when I had to go out, it was +1C. No such thing as climate change, luckily . . .

20150315-111354.jpg Keira (whom I named); one of the Crafties’ two Teacup Pomeranians.

My next oldest sister came for a short visit, which was very nice, even though we didn’t have much time to visit. She’s an RN, so I was glad to have her here for advice on supporting my Aunty and Mum more effectively. I wish she could have stayed longer, partly because the following week our Mum turned 92 and four days later Aunty turned 95. Their longevity secrets? So far as I can tell, those consist of living a plain life, eating moderate simple meals and being fairly active well into their 80s.

20150315-111817.jpg With Mum’s birthday dinner my youngest sister and I shared these (on my part mostly in honour of my friends from Tassie, Narfie7 and Stevie-boy. The bottlecap collection is small, but growing . . . and I now have collected all but one component for my contribution to their Sanctuary. Quite different from all the lovely buntings that have already arrived, but I hope mine will find a place somewhere, too. Mr. Crafty has volunteered to help me with one bit or it would be a two-year project, for sure . . . remember, my friends, Anticipation 101 😉 😉 😉 . . .

We are still not moved into the condo, due to a combination of Unfortunate Events (I was wondering the other day if my life story was written by Mr. Lemony Snicket; that would explain a lot . . . but in the end things turn out all right.

20150315-114228.jpg Since Mum doesn’t want more ‘stuff’, I usually give her a couple of lotto tickets. This year I was lucky to find a cute card to go with them. Inside, it said:

20150315-114450.jpg Cute, eh?

Anyway, I’ve been going between my Aunty’s and my friends the Crafties. Since I plan ahead and take on small, simple projects (my nose is now longer than Pinocchio’s), I have been working on the CAL (Crochet-A-Long) project with Selma (Eclectic Home & Life) and her group. But, optimist that I am (on alternate Thursdays) I am making THREE blankets! That group is done (but my blankets are not) and now we are on to making a ripple stitch project; mine will be a pillow. But I digress . . . the blankets are the main reason for most of this pile:

20150315-160908.jpg What I take with me: 3 bags of yarn + projects, clothes and laundry (I don’t have a card for the machines here anymore), any food my Aunty won’t eat while I’m gone. The crafting stuff is the biggest deal, though.

20150315-161541.jpg A book belonging to Mr. Crafty that is now on my Want List; very well written.

20150315-161856.jpg Guess who?

20150315-162009.jpg Meet Herbert, snuggling in Mrs. Crafty’s hands. You can’t tell yet, but he’s a Ringnecked Dove. There are two cages of doves in the basement; I loved waking to their soft cooing as they were fed early each morning. Good memories; my sons’ Dad raises a variety of pigeons and doves which end up all over the world.
So . . . about that crafting stuff . . .

20150315-163635.jpg here are the three blankets side by side on the couch, which is over six feet long.
I haven’t begun the ripple pillow yet, but . . .

20150315-163844.jpg Ms. Selma can be most seductive. The pattern is here (scroll down; it’s below one of the bunny photos) and excellent instructions for the Magic Ring are here. These bunnies take only a few minutes to make and are SO cute! This one will adorn the most recent project of all . . . (I can hear you, you know!)

20150315-165009.jpg When my RN sister was here, she brought some yarn for our Aunty to use to knit a tuque for my sister’s first grandson. Unfortunately, Aunty hasn’t been able to knit for the past couple of years, partly due to diminished eyesight, so I volunteered . . . since my pattern books are ‘somewhere’, I am inventing my own pattern. Surprised? Thought you would be . . . 😉
I am going to use the bunny because, to misquote Ol’ Blue Eyes, “you’re no bunny ’til some bunny loves you”.
BTW, if you have too much time on your hands (Narfie!), Selma’s got links to patterns for a variety of Easter bunnies, also knitted Easter baubles, and ALSO the recipes for the treats she makes each week for the CAL class. Sadly, no treats for me and no convivial times with fellow crafters/learners . . . but I’m still having fun!

You may hear from me again before Easter, but in case not, know that you are each in my thoughts and prayers and that I wish you and your families the loveliest of holidays.

Always remember, ‘some bunny’ loves you all and you are each ‘some bunny’ to me ❤

Thanks for all the comments and support. I'm still planning to reply.

Silent on Sunday . . .

Well, nearly silent . . . you know me . . .   🙂

First, I apologize for replying to so few comments. I began with 15 December, but am still not caught up. Partly because you all post such intriguing posts and I am trying to catch up on reading them, too. It won’t likely get better before February. Still, I value each of you so much and appreciate that you take time to read and comment. That said, here’s the (ha!) ‘silent’ Sunday post . . .

IMG_8421

All day yesterday . . . white stuff falling . . .

IMG_8400

. . . last week, when the local news weathergirl said she wanted people to tweet their snow photos and tell her how deep it was at their place, I tweeted the above to her, mentioning that at my Aunty’s place, we had four feet . . . she favourite it, which was generous, I think. Gave me a chuckle, so that was good . . .

IMG_8419

One last pair of slippers underway and then I will felt!

IMG_8430

This is a rather interesting mystery I’ve been reading. I’ve never read so little in my life. Less than a book in two weeks is what I’m averaging now. Used to be more than a book a day, but things change, eh?

IMG_8431

I especially like the cover illustration. But then, ravens and their associated relatives are my symbols or whatever you want to call them. I’m definitely somewhere between raven and magpie, don’t you think? In the book, though, it’s a thrush that is the symbolic ‘murder bird’. I suppose most readers wouldn’t recognize a thrush . . .

 IMG_8438

Been busy today packing (also sorting and letting go). I’ve had a cough for over a week (just stress, nothing contagious, but it means lost sleep) and somehow pulled my inner left knee muscle again, so back to wearing the knee support and resting when possible. I bought this lovely arrangement when I worked at the wee antique shop. I’m giving it to the Crafties if they want it. They are coming tomorrow to take all my plants, too, and a few other things, like my dyeing kettles. The new place faces north and has odd long windows in a corner of each bedroom, but the only place for plants is in a corner of the living room where they will need a grow light. So, I’ve decided to give that space to Mum for her plants. She’ll be quite happy to have them accessible again, I’m sure.

 IMG_8439[1]

Started this yesterday. It will be for one of the three remaining wee relatives that I want to make something for and will use up at least some of the yarn I bought for the Bavarians. I’ve been in love with My Eclectic Home & Life’s blog for a while, as you may have noticed, and especially her Scandinavian CAL (crochet-a-long) blanket.

Selma got her idea from Lucy at Attic24, and if you are interested, the pattern is here. If you aren’t a blanket addict yet, you will be soon! I promise!! And if blankets seem too daunting, try out some of the smaller projects on both these blogs. Your life will change!

 IMG_8440[1]

Here’s a close-up of my fifth row being created. This will not be exactly like the Scandinavian blanket (i.e., a four-row repeat), but was inspired by this new blanket that Selma is using at a teaching class, where she has at least six people taking part.

Update: I just found out I’m to be included in the class!!! even though I will be somewhat delayed by packing and moving . . . no worries, though. I’m only using a 120 stitch chain, so it will be quicker than a single bed size would be.

Have a wonderful week, everyone. (I wasn’t really silent at all, was I? . . . sigh . . .)

Voyage Through the Virtual Village (AKA “Blog Hop Around the World”) :-)


OK, friends, here it is! So fill up those buckets of tea, gather some food and prepare yourselves for a somewhat lengthy stay . . . and big hugs to anyone who makes it through to the end . . . I’ve not written for a while and this is what happens when all that energy is kept pent up . . . some of you may need to come back and read this in sections . . . consider yourselves duly warned . . .

I’m sure you all know by now that everyone in this Village holds their own special place in my heart, each for their own unique self, and it’s been a great privilege to share vicariously in the lives of so many diverse people: gardeners, crafters, artists, writers, parents, travellers, designers, and so on and on . . . we may never meet in person, but in some ways we meet so authentically here in the Village that it makes no never mind to me, as some would say. You are each a treasured part of my HeartFamily and no matter what the future might hold for any of us, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers, in my heart, my mind, my memories . . .  but put that aside for now . . .

Today I want to take you on a trip, a Voyage . . . here we go, off to meet a few of the others in my Village. I hope some  of them come to dwell in your Villages, too . . .

I’ve been following posts by several friends as they participated in this Blog Hop Around the World and now I’ve been invited to join in . . .by Jess, the Rabid Little Hippy. In the beginning of my blogging days, I saw a comment by Jess somewhere and was enchanted by her blogname, being a Rabid Larger (and Older) Hippie myself. Since then, she has become a great friend, supportive and encouraging, not to mention inspiring. In many ways she is the daughter of my heart, just the sort of daughter I might have wished for . . . and maybe more like me than a daughter of the blood would have been . . .

I love everything Jess and her family get up to, although some days I feel I need to lie down and rest after reading about all she accomplishes in a day or a week . . .  😉

. . . and then there all my other new friends that she has led me to . . . this Virtual Village is just what any extreme introvert needs . . .

a new waterlily bloom about to flower more water primrose and I still have my water hawthorn flowering too. I definitely need more plats in there to prevent evaporation and to cover the water surface more though.  Orik's personal race track. He loves doing laps around the garden bed! The area where the bench now sits has had its tyres ripped out, the soil moved into the garden bed and tiles are down now. Todays work with Jas and Eggra as assistants.

 The removed bed is now in the corner here. Once the chooks have done their work the wire will be removed and reo mesh upcycled into trellis for the grapes I'm planting here. They will in turn shade the rest of the bed from the early afternoon sun onwards, providing a micro-climate. Well, that's the plan.  Above are three photos of the Rabid Little Hippy’s backyard garden, where chooks, goats and other lifeforms also reside. Also out there you will often find Martin, her husband, as well as three of the cutest Pint Sized Permies, whose activities are occasionally posted in their own blog. Jess introduced me to hugelkultur and rocket stoves, not to mention a wagonload of information about various ecological issues and more. The Rabid Little Hippy and her entourage dwell in Ballan, Victoria, Australia.

And me attempting to do the same

Here is Jess sporting her Katniss braid . . .

creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, doesn’t it?

From comments on Rabid’s posts, I found myself often on The Road to Serendipity with Narfie and Stevie-boy and the two pups . . . and that led me to so many others that I can’t name them all.

DSCF7091DSCF7107

DSCF7039Above are two photos of the Sanctuary, a HUGE veggie garden completely encased and roofed with fishnetting to keep out various predators. The netting was completely installed  by Narf7 and Steve last year. The bottom photo was taken on a walk with the two ‘pups’, looking across part of the river Tamar to The Road to Serendipity (somewhere in the middle of all that lovely green). Serendipity Farm is in Tasmania, south of Australia. Go visit the Farm and you will learn, love and laugh ’til you fall off your chair . . .

DSCF6942DSCF6564

Creativity takes many forms at Serendipity Farm; music, cooking, renovating, etc. Still, I feel the most creative thing of all  is found in Narf7 and Stevie-boy’s approach to life, love, learning and all that good stuff . . .

My blog-following is most eclectic, like me, and so I decided to invite an eclectic batch of friends and see what happened. I can now tell you that I’m quite over the Super-Moon (which was happening as I typed the draft for this post):

But first . . . My answers to the questions:

  • Why do I create what I do? Wish I knew! I just can’t help it; it’s like reading . . . if I were locked up with only a cereal carton, I’d read every word on it (several times), then I’d write on it (in blood if necessary), then I’d see what I could fashion from it . . .  Honestly, I think creativity is a vital part of each of us, although in some people it’s farther down the list of strengths than it is for others. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t create and the very act of creating has healed me, entertained me, amused me, given me hope and strength, distracted me when I most needed it, oh, and so much more . . . kept people warm and fed, made a home of wherever I happened to be living at the time, filled a gap when the budget didn’t stretch to something I wanted or needed. I learned to be creative with sewing because I am tall, with long arms and legs, and women’s clothing rarely fits me. Many tops have sleeves a couple of inches too short; pants stop above my socks, and so on. In my slightly younger days, I hand-stitched long skirts and dresses and even a couple of pairs of pants. I still have most of them, but they are not available for a photo session. I fell in love with Folkwear Patterns and hand-stitched the Kinsale Cloak from a heathery green fabric of unknown components. I never finished the hood, but I loved that cloak a lot. Fully lined, with topstitching and it was so cosy! Somewhere along the way, it seems to have disappeared, but I still have the pattern and would like to make it again one day; this time from a woollen fabric. More recently I discovered the Sense & Sensibility patterns for days gone by . . . I own most of the Edwardian patterns and some of the crochet and Romantic Era patterns as well. And that’s only the sewing of clothes bit of my creative endeavours . . .

20140301-233543.jpg

Some dyeing I did for the Etsy store (closed for a while now)

  IMG_2683[1]

My favourite drawing, which is the cartoon for a couple of watercolour paintings.

IMG_2677[1] IMG_2676[1]

A casual drawing of a ‘hobbit home’, done while drawing with children.

IMG_3559[1]  IMG_3404[1]

A ‘plain’ shawl that I somehow managed to complexify and bits for two of several knitted bears, something I love to work on when possible.

20130624-155806.jpg

A round shawl I made up as I went along . . .

 20130421-130659.jpg 20130421-121401.jpg

My favourite shawl; mossy green and also invented as I worked. It has a macramé fringe and a pattern of ‘holes’ worked in just for interest.

20130413-102830.jpg 20130417-195852.jpg

Two of the double-sided crochet bits I’ve made. This is from an easy pattern shared by a bus driving friend and posted here a while back.

20130405-035103.jpg

The most creative time of all . . . loving someone small . . .

 20130328-040705.jpg

A crochet doily with white and ecru-leaved violets; I made this several years ago, when I was still living on the west coast of BC.

20130205-195212.jpg

Hexagon flowers for an eventual ‘Bestemor’s Flower Garden’ piece. Bestemor means Grandmother in Norwegian and it is what my grandkidlets call me, in homage to my Mum’s mother, who died years before I was born. I wish I had known her . . .

3dollsProgressOct2012 20121211-220641.jpg Green Hair!  20121211-220649.jpg

Three of the hand-sewn dolls for my grandkidlets . . . from a rough pattern.

20130525-230744.jpg  20140312-031836.jpg

Above, one of my Dad’s stained glass lampshades and on the back of the couch, a quilt made by my Mum, with her quilted pillow in the centre front. They both did so much more . . . I love that creativity has been passed down in my family for many generations.

My parents, with me and the first two of my brothers, back when we lived in a small one-room shack with no power, no indoor plumbing and a wood cookstove that also kept us warm. My creativity began even before that, though . . .

  • How does my creative process work? Well it’s different when you’re not so skilled and also very eclectic. (Do you think there’s a relationship between those two?) If I stuck to one or two creative endeavours, I might have mastered them by now and life would no doubt be quite different. But no such luck. I am inspired by an idea, a photo, a pattern, whatever; I gather materials and I start a project . . . then, “oh, look, a blade of grass!” (that phrase is a family joke among my sisters, often used when we are talking about something and then digress and then digress again [but we always come back to the original topic] ) and I am off learning about something else. Or maybe I had to move and my projects are in storage and I can’t stand the emptiness that comes when I have nothing on the go . . . so I read a bit (if you think I’m being honest with ‘a bit’, think again! LOL) but it’s never enough; I have to make something . . . so off I go on another project and then, there it is, that ‘blade of grass’ and away I go again . . .  In a perfect life, I like to have several things on the go at once, set up and waiting for me. Then I can ‘feel’ what I want to do for the day and pick up where I left off. In reality, I do have several things on the go at once, but practical considerations often determine what I work on at any given time. So, when at my Aunty’s, I need a project that doesn’t require me to read a pattern so that I can pay attention to our chats. One of the major reasons I fell in love with Dani’s Bavarian crochet afghan. I have finished two, have a large one well under way and am in the middle of one I haven’t really mentioned yet. Photos at the bottom of this post, but no peeking!

IMG_6629 IMG_6616

The large Bavarian afghan above; two for the grandkids below.

IMG_6609 20140604-230247.jpg

  • And I have enough yarn now . . . sigh . . . the first Bavarian was meant to use up two oversized balls of acrylic; then I had to buy more so there would be enough afghans for each of the soon-to-be-six grandkidlets to have one of their own and the parents to have one large enough to cuddle under . . . and then there is my other son and his former girlfriend. Like Scarlett, I’ll think about that tomorrow . . . A major part of my creative process is that simple projects somehow become complex and, like objects in the mirror, much larger and nearer than they seem) One reason they become complex is that I am creative with practically everything, and in a rather slap-dash, ‘what-the-hey’ manner. “oh, well” is a mantra heard often in the inner regions . . . but I LOVE it so much!! Why? I ask you . . . I makes me happy and frustrated, often in equal parts, to be creative; to learn and do; to master; to design (a life-long love of mine, designing); to teach . . .

When I can, I love to make things that are more challenging; last year I started my first Fair Isle style ‘barn cardi’; some of you will remember it; not perfect, but it will be warm and cosy, and the lovely hot magenta background is very cheerful. Only the sleeves and buttonbands to go now (and maybe a hood), but it’s on hold at my friends’ place at present. I used traditional Fair Isle motifs, but the cardi itself and the arrangement of the motifs are all my own doing; the shape of the cardi evolved during the knitting . . .. as did the collar . . .

If not on the edge 01

A favourite quote . . . from Stephen Hunt.

IMG_5076[1]  20140203-230107.jpg

My Fair Isle style ‘barn cardi’ . . . and that’s my lovely, 94.5 year old, under-five foot Aunty helping out as my photographer’s model . . .

20131029-222851.jpg 20130916-232925.jpg

A Fair Isle style bag I invented, also with traditional motifs.

  • How does my work differ from others of its genre? Well, my friends, if I had a genre, maybe I’d have an answer for you . . . The best I can say is that I am wildly eclectic, with a wide range of creative loves that encompasses language and languages, music, folk art, fine art, design, almost all the arts known to woman including fibre arts of all sorts, traditional skills and current ways, and more. Perhaps what is different at times is that I am a philosophical thinker by nature (my top strength), so things I make often have meaning for me that they don’t have for others. I like to make things by hand. I’ve done a little spinning, some weaving, some dyeing, and so on. I’d hoped to do stamping and free-hand painting on some of the silk scarves, but those plans are on the shelf for now. I designed a Cowichan sweater for my husband a few decades ago, with symbols that are meaningful to him and knitted from unspun yarn in cream with light and dark brown motifs. So far as I know, he still has it. I have a couple of photos of it and will post them here if and when I locate them . . .

I like to combine media, too. I’ve done a little printmaking and the idea of combining that with watercolour and then collaging on top of it all is very exciting to me. I have created a few masks and art dolls. One piece I especially like is a four-foot circle of thin plywood covered in canvas. I fastened three masks of my own face on the front, then painted the entire thing white; it looks like faces emerging from the background.

  • What am I presently working on? Well, the Bavarian crochet afghans, of course, and here is a series of photos of pieces of the latest one, which is my way of being creative with a lovely pattern:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Does that seem confusing? The large piece is the centre; there will be twelve smaller pieces (below is the photo showing the centre and three of the smaller bits) surrounding it, then there will be several rows all around and all in white. I may throw a row of purple in there somewhere, too; that depends on having enough left to complete the work. I have only one ball of the purple, but have three balls of the white and a good chance of getting more if needed. No chance of more purple; the yarn is different from the same brand now; softer and finer spun. But I do want a purple edge, as it will show wear a bit less.

IMG_7069

Here you can see the centre piece. Each side of it will have two of the purple hearted squares and the four corners will be the white hearted squares. Hope that’s more clear.

Here are the latest photos of this piece, which is turning out even better than I dreamed:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

IMG_7279[1]  IMG_7280

As you can see, this new piece is now wider than a single bed . . . and still growing . . .  I call it “Violets in the Snow” and it’s my favourite of the Bavarians I’ve made so far.        I think I’ll be keeping this one . . ..

IMG_7281

A detail of the corner as it is today . . .

OK, that’s enough about me . . . 🙂 Four people have been kind enough to allow me to twist their arms ever so gently and have agreed to take part in this Blog Hop Around the World, or, as I like to think of it, this Voyage through the Virtual Village:

(Please note: all photos from participant bloggers are used with permission)

First up is Sarah from the Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm
(pronounced: fruu-lings-cab-ee-na)

20121110-221855.jpg

Sarah and her lovely family live in an old California gold rush town. 20130228-195603.jpg

Backyard chickens and so much more . . . but I’ll let Sarah tell you about that . . .

Her creativity is evident not only in her approach to sustainable living, but also in her artwork:

2 Nordic Animal Prints of Hand Drawn Illustration Designs with Rune Poems - Goat, Chicken, Horse, Sheep, Duck

One of Sarah’s Celtic mandala drawings, perfect for using as is or for colouring in.

On the blog are a page for Printables, with excellent resources for small-holding farmers, as well as another page with a variety of DIY projects. Check them out!

Sarah has an Etsy store, the Little Farm Shop, and it was there that I purchased my lovely raven amulet necklace:

IMG_6157

. . . as well as her beautiful ‘Backyard Farm Coloring Book’ for my grandkidlets and for a friend’s children, too. These are a perfect gift, as you can email them to whomever and they can print out as many copies as they like. Children can colour the pictures, then send them to Grandma or . . . all while learning a bit about backyard farming.


23 Thorns tea-towel

The Official Tea Towel of the 23 Thorns household . . .

Next up is . . . Mr. 23 Thorns! I first discovered him via The Road to Serendipity, and he makes me laugh and sometimes cry, often at the same time . . . Writing is one of my favourite forms of creativity, or I should say, reading other people’s writings.

Mr. 23 Thorns  Mrs. 23 Thorns

Mr. and Mrs. 23 Thorns (she has her own blogs: Tracy  Loves History and The Rubbish Collection Day Collection. This woman has the most inspired approach to taking out the trash that I’ve ever heard of; she, too, makes me laugh and sometimes cry. They deserve each other (and I mean that in the nicest of all possible ways)!

Master 23 Thorns  Miss Carmen Miranda

Mrs and Miss 23 Thorns

As you can see, the 23 Thorns children are as creative as their parents . . .

Here are links to a couple of my favourite 23 Thorns posts . . .

  • Jesus died. But now he lives. In Detroit, sort of. This post introduced me to the work of Jesus Rodriguez, a man whose music and approach to life continues to inspire me. If you are intrigued, check it out . . .
  • Parenting for Dummies.  As my parents, and later myself, had quite ‘relaxed’ approaches to parenting, at least when it came to letting kids roam free, climb trees, take risks, etc., I found this post both refreshing and amusing. Don’t let the first line fool you; Mr. 23 Thorns loves his kids as much as any of us; he just doesn’t subscribe to the “wrap ’em in cotton wool ’til they grow up” philosophy.

23 Thorns kids n elephant  23 Thorns kids road trip

As you may have guessed from the photo on the left above, the 23 Thorns do not live in Canada . . . nope, they live in South Africa . . . I hope, if I ever get there, to camp somewhere nearby . . . I dream of hearing the birds, maybe even elephants, at night.

23 Thorns Protector of All

Fierce Protector of the 23 Thorns household . . .

Mr. 23 Thorns also writes Why Books. That is a link to a wonderful post about WWI.


Getting Stitched on the Farm

Third brave participant is Kristin Nicholas, of Getting Stitched on the Farm. Kristin has her own shop, where you can browse for patterns (I’ve bought a couple), books, kits and more, even wallpaper!

  

Kristin has books of knitting and embroidery patterns in her shop.

One of the wallpaper patterns she painted by hand and which can be purchased.

Color by Kristin is her own brand of yarn. Half wool, a quarter each alpaca and mohair.

You can find these in the Embroidery Supplies section.

Kristin began sewing at age nine and, like me, learned to knit, crochet and much more soon after that. She was lucky to have a German Gran who taught her embroidery.

She sells her own notecards and postcards, too, in sets of assorted or single image.

  

Kristin has written several books, too, including these. I bought the centre one and love it! I will take it along the next time I visit my grandkidlets. My eldest granddaughter taught herself to stitch by age 5 and is still interested at 15.

Kristin lives a couple  of hours from Boston, Massachusetts. If you are going to be in the neighbourhood, you may be able to take in a class or two. This one interests me . . .

See her post on Fabric Printing if it interests you, too . . .

As you can see, Kristin’s creativity has many outlets. I have found her blog more than inspiring. Now if I only had more time . . . note to self, plant thyme next spring . . .


City House Studio

Fourth and final participant will be Michelle of the City House Studio blog. I found her through a couple of sewing and quilting blogs that I follow and was instantly smitten with her work and with her fresh approach to quilt design.

One of Michelle’s gorgeous quilts.

. . . and this is her Farmer’s Wife Quilt, completed in 2011. 90 blocks, to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday! More than impressive, isn’t it? There is a great story behind this quilt; you can read it here. It covers from the 1890s to the 1930s. I love the tradition that is carried on through the stories and by people still making this quilt.

here she is with her Gran and the quilt.

And here’s the back of it . . . equally lovely.

I love her Scrappy Asterisk Block tutorial and it’s on my ever-lengthening list . . . this is the first of Michelle’s quilts that I read about and it caught both my eye and my imagination. I simply adore anything not ‘in-the-box’ when it comes to design.

Michelle has an Etsy store and it should be open again soon. I happen to know she’s extremely busy getting some quilts ready for several fall fairs. Which explains why Michelle’s Blog Hop post will see the light of day in September – watch for it!

You can buy patterns from Michelle’s Craftsy store, too.

See her “Read” Library Tote pattern here or her Bionic Gear Bag Notions tote here.

Now, if you’re into free motion quilting, be sure to visit Michelle’s FMQ Challenge blog. That’s one example in the photo above. And then there is this:

Don’t know if I’ll ever have time for trapunto quilting, but I hope so. At least one piece, maybe a pillow . . . Project lists certainly give us reasons to live, don’t they?

 

Two of Michelle’s ‘Sticks’ quilts. I. Want. More. Time. !!!  🙂

I’m not sure where this Blog Hop began, but I have traced it back a ways for you, in case you, too, are afflicted with terminal curiosity . . .

Rabid Little Hippy

The Road to Serendipity

The Contented Crafter

Boomdeeadda 

One Spoiled Cat

These Days of Mine

A New Day Dawns

Simply Trece

I’m assuming the Hop goes back much further, but have run out of time; if you are interested, I’m sure you can do what I’ve done so far; go to the last blog listed and go back through posts to around June (or earlier, as you go on), then look for the specific post. It’s been lots of fun, just seeing all the different types of blogs that are linked through this Hop. If you read the posts, you will see that there are branches to this hop; as many bloggers have twisted the arms of found three others to ‘volunteer’ to join in.

It wouldn’t be a “post accompli” without a bit of music, would it? Much of it is folky, so if that’s not your thing, no worries. None of us have enough thyme for everything, do we?

Heiland Harry by The Corries, in honour of all the young men who never returned from the various wars they were sent to fight.

Like Janis by Jesus Rodriguez (Sixto Diaz)

Asimbonanga by Johnny Clegg (with Nelson Mandela!)

Hobo’s Lullaby by Arlo Guthrie (written by Woody Guthrie), in honour of all those out of work and homeless . . .

Two songs that link to my childhood now:

The Log Driver’s Waltz by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. My Dad used a peavey like these when managing logs in a boom im a holding pond. I don’t think he ever rode a log through whitewater, though.

The Frozen Logger by The Weavers. My Dad used to sing this all the time. I learned it as a young child and I still love it.

A half hour of Stompin’ Tom Connors, a Canadian icon. I don’t listen to a lot of country, but I still love Stompin’ Tom, who passed away not that long ago. A true, true Canadian!

His The Hockey Song will always be one of my favourites.

and, of course, Runrig, singing The Water is Wide and Steppin’ Down the Glory Road.

. . . performing An Sabhal Aig Neill, followed by the Drums . . . should make you dance!

Last, my favourite rendition of “We Will Rock You!” This one’s for the more rockin’ of my followers.If you want a lot more more rock and a lot less folk, here’s one of my favourites from Woodstock . . . Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this voyage . . . I sure did. Hope it was worth the wait.

Here we are, home again . . . someone has the kettle on and there are treats ready for our tea . . . too busy now? Come by another time; the door is always on the latch . . .

BTW, the Happy Hibiscus says ‘hello’ to all of you; this is the most recent of an amazing summer of flowering. I think it’s thirteen or fourteen so far and there are another two or three buds coming along. The most I ever had in one year, ever, was three and that was once. Most years there has only been one and occasionally there were none.

IMG_7290[1]

Happy Mail! and Progress

IMG_6906 IMG_6913 IMG_6934

I’ve been working pretty steadily on the multi-coloured Bavarian Afghan, which is going to be pretty big. Thanks to not being able to get more of this yarn in white, I’ve done nothing more on the afghans for the grandkidlets. While I’ve been crocheting, I’ve been thinking about what I will do with my ‘stuff’. A bit of progress there, too. more on that another day . . .

It’s been a rather challenging time, so I will draw a kind curtain over the last few days . . . as the old novels used to say.

Today, I was watching the supper news with my Aunty and crocheting, when there came a knock at the door . . . and there was my Mum, who had just gone down to see if there was any mail. And there was! for me, no less!! I was SO puzzled! And then I saw the return address . . .

IMG_6936

Yes, it was from the Contented Crafter, the lovely Pauline! Still puzzled (forgive me, Pauline, my memory isn’t the best when I’ve been stressed), I tried to open the envelope. Too tough. My Aunty dug out her all-purpose scissors and that was that!

Inside:

IMG_6937

IMG_6941

A card with my favourite image . . . I LOVE that chair! In fact, it was that chair that brought me into Pauline’s orbit way back. sigh . . .

But that wasn’t all . . . now I remembered! My organizer!! Just what I need!!

 IMG_6939 IMG_6940

For some reason, wordpress is acting up and my screen keeps going blank, so please forgive the upside down photos; I’ve been struggling to get this put together and am running out of time. I’m SO glad I chose the “Choose Joy!” cover; I need to be reminded a wee bit just now and this will help every day. Serendipity, always perfect!

  IMG_6942 IMG_6943 IMG_6944

Beautiful inside, too . . . with lovely handy pockets . . .

IMG_6946

Don’t know if these will be very clear, but on the left is a Pegasus, one of my favourite images (I think Pauline has a magical way to her; either that or she’s been inside my head of late . . .)  On the right is a lovely raven that looks just as I imagine Odin’s ravens to look. And if it’s not a raven, don’t bother to enlighten me 🙂  Also a sweet wee heart that is stamped ‘made with love’.

Pauline, thank you so, So much! I adore my organizer and I promise to use it well!

Big hugs (on the warm side; we nearly got to +30 over the past couple of days. And along with the hugs, much love and many blessings; you deserve lots and lots and lots!

The same to each of my readers, too . . . you are in my thoughts every day.

An old folk song for you who like them: Runrig, of course!

And my current favourite – I nearly have the chorus memorized: “‘Ic Iain ‘Ic Sheumais