Thursday, May 24, 2012

The recent spring cleaning activity has uncovered various and sundry toys.
Also I have enough art supplies, clothes, shoes, books, yarn, and sewing supplies. 
for the moment. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I tried to kill this sweater by felting it. It is wool and nylon and apparently will not felt. It may warrant another try. I do not hate the sweater but it seemed destined to make a great owl. since it has proven wash worthy, I may have to keep it. Well played, LLBean, well played. 

 This shirt was a gift from my brother in 1978. I do not actually wear it anymore, but it is not something I can part with. Every so often I come across it during a room purge and fondle it, remembering my younger brother. Then I fold it and put it into a new place until the next time. It is the only thing I have from him. I think I will keep it for a while.  
The upcoming weekend is Memorial Day weekend here in the states. A day we put aside to remember our fallen soldiers. For those of us who have lost loved ones who were service members, everyday is Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I finished the Sky Ladder baby blanket tonight. It still needs to be washed but the knitting is done. Love the soft merino and pattern from Knitspot. This was the first pattern of the club. hmmm which one shall I do next? 
Sometimes I feel like I am swamped with projects and I will never finish anything. I keep the list in the side bar to remind me of the things I do finish. If nothing else, I feel a twinge of pride as I add each item. In truth, the list is skimpy if compared with my projects that are in progress. But who is comparing? 
Also. I would like to buy another spinning wheel. I cannot even begin to justify it but is it not adorable???? (my thanks to Franklin Habit leading me down this path.)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

what's poppin'

Its nice when the garden just grows and all of the work you have done in the past years comes to flower. Then you get to enjoy it and bask in the color. We have a lot of weeds and some veggies in the raised beds but my favorites are the flowers that bloom year after year. Roses, Allium, Columbine, Dalia, Chives and an unidentified yellow bulb that spreads everywhere. The peonies are close to bursting and the Clematis is next but for now this is what's in the garden.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Buttons have a distinctly utilitarian connotation. They are used to close unseemly openings and for closure. not the kind of closure that one needs when moving on from a 'what was I thinking' affair of the heart, or an ill conceived get rich quick plan. But closure that ensures our modesty will not be in question: an unsung, ordinary place in apparel. It might even be said that they are an afterthought.
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.
Mark Twain

There are those who understand the importance of the humble button.I refer to several  members of my fashionable family, nay, not only fashionable, but arbiters of fashion, artisans who could glance at a ready to wear catalog and recreate the dresses on the page. in a snap. and then add the buttons. You have to be born with it, the ability to know the right button. It is a lost art.

Of course there are many ways we can reuse something. We can dye it. We can cut it. We can change the buttons. 
Issey Miyake

I can hear my mother, my aunts, my grandmother and great grandmother say,
"You can always change the buttons."
That was the way of saying that a garment was redeemable, had some nascent value. the addition of the correct button could reinstate said garment to wearable, and possibly even proud status.

Knitters know the importance of buttons. The resurgence of knitting as a cool pastime for celebs and  fashionistas alike, buttons are reclaiming their rightful place in the planning and construction of beautiful knitted objects. They are discussed and displayed on blogs. Artists are shown creating them in their studios, Etsy has dozens, if not hundreds of sites devoted to buttons.
I say, if you believe what you read in the comic strips, then you believe that mice run around with little gold buttons on their red pants and drive cars.
Mort Walker

And then there are the vintage buttons and their collectors and recreaters. It is these that you see here. I will add them as an artistic stroke to the neck warmers I have made for gifts, (maybe even keep one for myself.) They are not afterthoughts, but punctuation. And closure, not simply to close the gap, but to announce the completion of a project and the invitation to go on to the next thing.

America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
Ringo Starr

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catching my breath. A summation.

It has been a long and devastating winter.
Beginning in September, when Suzy died. My beloved aunt who embodied all that was good about my mother's family. When she died we lost our collective center. She was our girlish charm, our incisive wit and our always gracious and pretty, charming  Suzy.
In September I also began a new job. Well the same job but in a new location and with new people. And horrendous commute. The commute has turned nine hour work days into twelve fourteen hour endurance tests and it has worn me out.
In November I got sick and I was not well again until January. I was prescribed inhalers and four different kinds of asthma meds, antibiotics and steroids and had two chest xrays to rule out pneumonia. The PA said that even tho the X-rays were negative for pneumonia, she was treating it like pneumonia and that X-rays were not always the best indicator. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, does the X-ray always say it is a duck?
In January I grew awful hemorrhoids, caused by the constant coughing. I took a few days off to treat them. I got written up at work for absenteeism My silly pride prevented me from telling anyone. I did not go to the doctor because I was afraid. Have you ever experienced hemorrhoid excision? I had. Not something that you want to repeat. Did you know that  50% of the population experience hemorrhoids? Mine were thrombosed, which is a kind of exploded version. and it meant constant pain. A week ago I had another excision which thus far has failed to resolve the problem and I fear I may need more surgery or at least continue to be in pain. Unhappy does not begin to describe the feeling. I fear more pain, I dread more surgery. I will learn more when I visit the doctor later today.  I observe that I have given a big part of this diatribe to the problems in my heini. Well? in truth it has been a constant underlying issue for months. So in the interest of truth and explanation, I expound upon the misfortune of my southernmost port.

In February we learned that my dad had a terminal esophageal cancer and in April we lost him. He declined treatment and chose to die at home and in as much comfort as we could provide. I will be forever grateful to the Hospice organization at Bon Secour. They gave us the ability to help my father die in the midst of his loved ones and there is no better way to be escorted from this existence. 
A  month has passed and it still does not seem real that my north star has been extinguished. I am awash in sadness that pervades  my very core. I am adrift on a becalmed sea. As new life indeed unfolds in the form of my still in-utero grandson, I mourn the loss of my dad. For all of our imperfect and constantly human and inadequate articulation, we did love each other. Of that I am certain and always will be.

And now it is spring. Green shouts from every crevasse and every crack and cranny. Green drips and flies and spurts and dances and sneaks and dangles. I am grabbing onto it and hanging on for dear life. I am at a crossroads. I do not know how or why but I know it  as sure as I live and inhale green-and I am going to err on the side of optimism. wish me luck.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

show time

 It is the day of Jen's baby shower. We are having 45+ people in my back yard. Mike and Eugene erected a  tent, to protect from either the suns rays or the clouds drops, and I have asked a talented friend to cater **and we rented chairs. I had not even thought about chairs. I wonder what else I have forgotten.
 Conveniently I am recovering from surgery in a location which makes it painful to either sit or stand and I have been ordered by my ferocious surgeon not . to. lift. a . thing. and to have six 'sitz baths' a day. really. six. 
 so I have quite literally been directing things from a throne of sorts.
 Mike has been an absolute saint and not even cursed me out once. well not loud enough for me to hear anyway. 
 In a few short hours the guests will arrive and libations will be offered and festivities will commence and endure and be recorded and as the world twirls her way around the sun (which is presently unobscured by clouds), we will feast and fĂȘte our way through the day. 
Subsequently, gifts gifted, silly games gamed, toasts offered and accepted and food and wine administered, we will, one by one, with fond memories and wishes, and pictures on our camera phones, disperse, each to her own sphere. One gala accomplished. 
And then and only then will I return to my throne, with a book and my omnipresent iPhone and rest.