Thursday, June 28, 2007

Podcasts...they are so great~!

First of all, look at this picture. Look at these great people celebrating a 50-year-old man's birthday on a Sunday morning in June.
Downtown Portland.
It looked like so much fun that I almost inserted myself in to the party and had a bite, but there was a quilt show to attend.
Hard choice

Short note:
"This American Life" has perhaps the funniest David Sedaris story this week. You must go and listen, it is an oldie, but a goodie...story about American tourists in Paris....I am still smiling....Mr. Froggy Stinkpot.
It is Episode#173: Three Kinds of Deception 59:36 6/24/2007 A story of self-deception, a story about deceiving others, and a story about accidental deception. And how one type of deception can easily turn into another.
Also there are some craft ones that I have started subscribing far Craftsanity seems good.
Listen to some, they are fun.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A challenge for those who really want to love where they live...or Embracing "the Golden Rule"

This idea of mine is really still forming, but it is how I have been thinking about life for a while now. I don't want to get all political. I vote, I encourage people to vote and I sometimes am idealistic enough to believe that it makes a difference. (See, the cynicism is always there, trying to find a way to get me down.) BUT, I want to issue a challenge to each of the 3-5 people that read this little blog:

Stop waiting for someone else to start it, WE need to MAKE our home/community/state/country/world someplace that WE would like to LIVE.

OK, so it sounds a bit vague, but let me flesh it out for you. I am really tired of being fearful about the world that my kids (and myself) are living in. There is only so much that I can control, and the things that I can control are these:

1)The way that I treat people. (They can be rude or whatever, but if I respond in kind it ends up making me feel even worse.)

2)The way that I see people. (I am a mom, I love my kids...other people are parents too, hey, I bet they love their kids too. That there is some common ground that I think WE can build upon.)

3)Speaking up when I see things that are great and speaking up when I see things that are not right. (It may seem cliche, but a smile and a genuine "thank you" at the grocery store/coffee shop/drive-up/where ever is only going to make someone feel better.)

I want my kids to grow up in a community/country/world where if we get separated and they are scared that some nice mom or dad is going to help them find you know what I am going to do....if I see a crying child, I am going to help them get safe. I am going to encourage my kids to be polite to people and say "please" and "thank-you" because I like it when people are civil to each other. Also, when I am at the park with my kids, I talk to other kids like they are real people not "just kids", because I think that my kids deserve that as well. I think that we all do.
So, this is not some totally "designed" manifesto, it is raw, but there are so many little things that we can do every day to make our surroundings better, not only for ourselves but for our neighbors and our children.
**Note to you cynics who want to write me off as some "Pollyanna-type"**
I know that there are Bad Bad things and Bad Bad people out there....I read the paper and watch the news...but there is more good, it just doesn't get publicized. Let's not take it for granted, let's not perpetuate apathy in future generations. I am challenging you and all of your friends and friend's friends to get out, enjoy your community, treat people like you would like to be treated.


Monday, June 25, 2007

How does your garden grow??

Every year I go on the symphony garden walk with my dear Mother-in-law. We enjoy the well kept gardens and marvel at the pergolas and other fancy-ness that that people have put in their yards. This year I was not feeling well and it was steadily raining outside, we did not go. I was feeling sad about this, until I looked around my own yard the other morning and decided that it deserved a little garden walk itself...
I don't quest for perfection, only to fill the brown spaces with things that are either beautiful, or edible....or both. We have been in our house and garden for 7 years now and I have settled in to the idea that there are always going to be weeds.... don't like to spray things I am eating or playing in...or really living in. Also I like a jumble of growing, mixed plantings. I don't want my dahlias to get lonely or snooty so this year I tucked some chard in and I LOVE IT!
It feels so utilitarian and it just looks good to me. My husband and I were talking the other day about how the garden is shining this year because with our youngest getting over the "first year" parental brain and body drain, we all have been getting out and spending our family time in the dirt and in the grass and in the berries.
Our experiment this year is the hanging tomato garden. I think that I love it. The buckets are kind of blindingly white, but it is so fun to look out and see the fruits and the crazy ways that the vines try and grow.
I want to introduce you to my new best garden friend. I waited too long to meet her...everyone told me that she was just the coolest, but I thought that she was out of my league....oh no....she is WONDERFUL....
This fork is my friend....where she is resting was/is infested with bind weed and she gently helps me dig up their insidious roots and works even when the soil is dry and clumpy. Just marvelous! I waited too long.
My two favorite flowers, growing closer together everyday! My best work to date.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My flock o' chickens...

I started this quilt with the hope that I would learn to hand applique. I kept thinking that the "experts" must know some trick, something easier than what I had been doing. Previously, I had just traced my image on to a piece of freezer paper, cut it out and ironed it on. Then painstakingly sewed an "invisible" seam...somehow getting the fabric to look like I wanted and even sometimes remembering to take out the freezer paper before I sewed it totally shut.

WELL....even after a dear friend showed me her own method... There just wasn't an "easy" way to hand applique. So, I adhered to my original method and just hammered through these biddies.
Oh...I like them. I think that I need to name them...maybe quilt it in to the block subtly or embroider it in. I am also too chicken (hee-hee) to applique tiny pieces yet so the beaks and combs are all 3-D....and I decided that I like that better too.
I am hoping to put this together soon. I have also developed a new method to quilting. My motto is now "just power through". I realized that I had stopped during projects when I had reached a part that I thought was boring or too now I have been powering through...taking the "hard" parts in 20 minute intervals. Now I am actually completing projects!! Hooray! It feels really good.
I hope you like my little friends, I am thinking that I may do a series of small quilts, because I like them and the hand work seems like a more "do-able" thing...because it is something that I can do just for my own enjoyment, but still be out with the boys and the family and not chained to my machine. (which I like, but is just not where I can be with two young boys and a sweet husband who love my attention.)
**Side note** I met these WONDERFUL women at a great independent quilt shop in Portland. The shop is called "cool cottons"...they have a wonderful selection of fabrics and I loved how they mixed their Batiks in with their Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler. Well they did show me a new technique to hand applique, and as soon as I make something that way...I will post on it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Just don't look in to their eyes...

We went to a wildlife park today, as it was Father's day---Daddy's choice. It was a quick change of mind on his part...after we got on the highway he goes,

"Hey, you want to go to the wildlife park instead of the fish hatchery?"
I am like "WOw, you crazy dude (now, THIS is the man I married) let's go!"

The funniest/scariest part was when these Rhea birds (I think that they are prehistoric or something...I will Wiki-it) surrounded our car.
Instead of money they only wanted our eternal souls...

One look in to it's eyes and I was mesmerized. I thought that they were going to spirit me right out of the driver's seat, then and there. I couldn't move, I was very frightened....
Then, the "sweet" Daddy shouted from the back seat,
"Just roll up the WINDOW!"
Now, look at those soul-stealing eyes...I could only scream back,
Luckily, the window somehow got halfway rolled up and the spell was broken. I started to breathe again and that bird went straight back to Hades where it rightfully belonged.
But then it's lady friends came to check us out...
I can't talk about it anymore.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Strawberries abound...even if you don't like them.

We went strawberry picking the other day....I had been dreading it. I really like the berries and all, but all I remember from the picking days of my the heat....the hours upon hours of mom driving us on and on to just pick a little bit more...

Here are the great things about now being the mom:
1)I get to be the boss.
2)We got to stop after picking one bucket.
3)We got to go have a picnic, before the meltdown (mine or the boy's)
4)There was a gentle breeze and cool little leaf-jumper bugs that would land on your hand and then spring back in to the sky.
Now that I am thinking about it a bit more intently...maybe we didn't have to pick for hours, maybe it just seemed like it. Maybe getting to be the boss made it so much fun this time...
**Note about my sweet, sweet eldest son:
He just doesn't like strawberries. I think that it is the weirdest thing. He was totally game to go and pick them but would not eat a bite. We had a great time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

To change or not to change....

I have been going round and round the last few weeks about how "MY" new craft blog would look. The hours spent on minutia such as: TEMPLATE?? COLOR?? FONT??

Nothing that I could come up with was going to be cool enough, or some thing that I wasn't overly critical about. Then, last night as I sat down to dinner I had an epiphany of the obvious... why make another one, when I can just improve upon the old one? I wasn't that attached to what it looked like, but I was attached to the entries, my history with it.

Here we are now, as a belated blog birthday present to myself.... a new look, a year older, wiser, ready for more fun!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Where have I been, or better yet....Where am I now?

How many blog ideas have come and gone in the last month? A thousand? More?

I don't know, I have been busy just wishing that my thoughts could be instantly translated in to type (I almost wrote trype.... misspelled, but appropriate? YES) but in the same moment I have decided to never write again.....
The inner critic has been too vocal, squashing nascent ideas before they have even had a chance. This demon has been silencing my voice with cynicism before I have even had a chance to explain, better.... express myself.

Today I am writing just a bit to get over the long span of silence and self doubt. No, more that it is the critical eye that is again stuck waiting for perfection....when simple effort and follow through is called for. This is not a commercial forum, a product. When I started this I wanted this to be a conduit for creative journey and expression and even whim.....