Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Last of April

The last hours of April are moving slowly, which is nice for a change as time seems to move so quickly once you reach a certain age.

There have been some major changes in house hunting, we are no longer looking in the Orlando area, after much thought and conversation we have decided to look for a house in Ocala, the main reason is we can get much more house for our dollars here than we could get in Orlando and since we need more space for our business it just made more sense.  A few days after we decided we started to look at houses in the area, on Good Friday we made an offer on a house that was just listed the day before, if all things run smoothly we have our closing on the 31st of May.

The house is one block from the house we currently live in which will make moving stuff from one house to the other much easier than driving 90 minutes to Orlando. This week my days are filled with making to do list so I can organize a smooth move.  I have begun sorting stuff I will not be taking with me  especially the stuff I haven't used in the 8 years since I moved in here most of it is still in the garage and will be donated to local charity shops.

I have made some time for myself and just finished reading Sally Goldenbaum's newest mystery
And this week in the book study for The Gentle Art of Domesticity we finished up the Patterns section.
You can read more about it and even join in, you don't have to have the book to take part. I'm linking my post today here:
This week we touched on repetition in daily life, at one time in my life I loved repetition, probably due to my Type A personality but when I gave birth to my son I loved having a schedule and structure to my day, though having a type A personality that had its drawbacks when someone interrupted my schedule/day. 

I still have a bit of repetition in my life, I start each day with a walk in the park, sit at my PC and print shipping labels, pack items and head to the post office then the remainder of the day is mine.  I fit in household chores through the week and am flexible enough to change my day and not have a melt down.
This past weekend I spent some time working on a new hand embroidery piece for my drum and dance series. I like the repetition of slow stitching, passing the needle through the fabric, getting lost my thoughts and finding that peaceful calm place within.
the drum
I was feeling a bit under the weather over the weekend and yesterday I had a headache which made my eyes ache so much they felt like they were going to pop out of my head. Just touching my face around my eyes made my vision blur for a bit, I was having bouts of dizziness throughout the day so I mixed up a bit of comfort food, one of my favorite childhood dishes, mashed potatoes and eggs.  It's a very simple dish though I changed it for one serving, simply make one or two soft boiled eggs. I used

two and cooked them for 4 minutes so they weren't too runny, mashed them until they are mostly small bits of egg.
Then mix the eggs into a serving of mashed potatoes and serve.  I cheated this time and used packaged heat and serve mashed potatoes.
On my goodness the first spoonful takes me back to childhood,  my mother would make this up for us when we were sick, usually for me it was with a nasty sore throat, I guess it was a good way to get something nutritious in our stomachs, I loved it back then and I still enjoy it today.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Earth Day

Once again Earth Day is upon us and once again we all need a reminder that the Earth needs our care and support it keeping her clean and healthy
after all she has supported us, fed us and given us shelter and we have given her pollution and trash in return.
What matters in the end is Simple:

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter and Slow Sunday Stitching

Happy Easter to everyone I hope you have a wonderful day however you spend your day.  Today the weather is supposed to be sunny and warm which will be a pleasant welcome after the past few days of thunderous rain storms and tornado watches and warnings.

I plan to get a bit of stitching done today while soaking in the sun at the beach.  I have another drum piece I began last evening which I'll be taking along with me.
Progress on the greenman piece is slow going but is progressing so I'm okay with the snails pace it's taking.  When I prepare a pattern to print via my printer I usually lighten and thin the lines of the design which makes seeing the stitches easier, some how the lines didn't lighten as much as I thought so these 63 year old eyes struggle a bit seeing the stitch with some floss shades which every now and then I have to snip out where I have gone astray. I think too the texture of the stitch and wash product makes those pesky black lines look a little like stitches.  Yeah okay that was a stretch its the aging eyesight, lighting and perhaps the alignment of the stars.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Don't we all just love to suffer for our Art?!  This post will be linked up to Kathy's Quilts today for some slow Sunday Stitching. I love sipping coffee while I read the post of other bloggers Slow Stitching on Sunday, they always have to most beautiful and creative projects going on.

Speaking of projects I have a few I need to pull fabric for and one that needs to be put onto the fabric before it starts to curl on the edges.
I posted the photo above a few weeks ago and as is typical with me when I was ready to begin the stitching I changed my mind about the fabric choice.

Between daily chores and the online business, running errands and house hunting I didn't have time to dye eggs so once again I did the next best thing and purchased dyed eggs from my local Publix supermarket.
No fuss and no muss colorful eggs with the yolk as lemony yellow as I could hope for but rarely ever achieve. Life is Good.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Påskkärringar aka Easter Witches

Did you know that witches and trick or treating are part of Scandinavian Easter traditions, which are still celebrated in parts of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries? On the Saturday or Thursday before Easter, young children dress up as witches or Påskkärringar (the kindly, apple-cheeked, headscarf wearing kind, similar to Italy's La Befana, the Christmas Witch and go door-to-door asking for candy or other treats. How neat is it to have Halloween-like traditions in springtime?!
La Bafana
 This tradition stems from the old belief that witches were a their most powerful during Easter week and that they would travel to Blåkulla (Blue Mountain) via broom  to cavort with the devil on Maundy Thursday through Saturday.

To honor this old belief, Scandinavian children dress up as witches and go trick-or-treating, like Halloween! In some parts of Scandinavia children leave Easter cards or a small token of thanks to the houses they visit. Many of these cards feature images of påskkärringar, or Easter witches.
I love how you can find traditions similar to Halloween throughout the year for many different holidays. I love the Scandinavian tradition of Easter witches and it is fun to learn about different holiday traditions from around the world that relate to Halloween.
These witches don't look quite like our Halloween witches -- no peaked hats or black capes. Instead, these little witches are often depicted with a coffee pot, broom and a cat like the Easter witch ornament below.
This Easter witch ornament resembles Baba Yaga (photo below) straight out of a Russian fairy tale, with headscarves, kerchiefs, aprons, and rosy cheeks.
I love this image by one of my favorite illustrators, Inge Look, and her version of Easter Witches.

  Glad påsk (Happy Easter)!


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spices and Simple Stitches

I'm taking a much needed break from house hunting today, I didn't think looking for a house could be so exhausting, irritating and exciting all at the same time, it's an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

On the one hand the thought of moving into a new home with more space sounds great because I know the business has out grown the space I currently live in. But then there is the thought of packing everything into boxes and unpacking. Not to mention clean a bigger space and heating and cooling it as well.  Then there is learning all the new sounds like creaky floors or squeaky hinges, the sound the A/C unit makes, the list goes on.

I looked at 4 houses yesterday, one had the space I needed but oh my it needs all new floor covering because I am sure the carpets are the original from when the house was built in 1980, and the hookup for the washer and dryer was located on the lanai, I can't imagine having my laundry room outside with the humidity here it would be rusted in a year.

The much needed break allowed me time to bake some pumpkin muffins this morning, I love the aroma of cooking pumpkin and spices filling the air.
While the muffins were baking I had time to reread the pages of this weeks The Gentle Art of Domesticity book study One of the topics was simple stitches and Jane Brocket talked about recovering from surgery and working on cross stitch while in the hospital and once she was at home she stuffed in away in a drawer never to be finished.  I know we all have one of those projects somewhere tucked away safe.  I myself have a quilt I began in October of 1989 it is a log cabin all hand cut with templates and scissors, hand pieced with the hand quilting just started when I slipped and fell on the ice in my driveway and broke my left humerus bone in 3 places.  

So the quilt was put aside, once the cast was removed other things came to the forefront for a while. Over the years I pull out the quilt and put in some quilt stitches then tuck it back away, this past winter I finished one of the blocks.  This is not the finished block

The quilt is not entirely abandoned but it will be 30 years old this October so I may just have to finish it this year. After all its just simple stitches.  
The next topic was poems and while my taste is poetry is wild and wide I do like what Jane has to say about domestic poetry and having a place in your apron pocket for a favorite poem, "Domesticity, ordinary life and simple pleasures are perfectly at home in poetry and I think all domestic artists should have a little pocket in their aprons where they can keep their favourite poems."(page 98) 

At the end of Jenny's post she asks us if we are readers of poetry or do we have a favorite poem on domestic life.  I have been a lover of poetry since the age of 8 when I came across a book of the poems in my elementary school library.  My all time favorite poem is Trees by Joyce Kilmer which was one of those poems in that first book of poetry I read as a child.  At the age of 9 my passion for writing came about and writing poetry followed in my early teens and continues till this day.  Some of my favorite poets are Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, May Sarton, Mary Oliver and oh yes Rod McKuen who made those late 60's a little brighter.  May Sarton is perhaps one of my favorite writer/poets when it comes to poetry about gardening and flowers my idea of domestic poetry.  Her book Journal of a Solitude which moves me beyond words is one that I have read over and over again.  

Another question this week was is there something new perhaps a craft we tried but wasn't a good fit for us.  For me it's not so much as not a good fit as it's a big challenge to me, cross stitch I do well on the stamped kits but I struggle with starting a counted cross stitch piece.  I have several patterns and kits I would love to make but I hesitate and really I should just give it a try before these old eyes are too old to see those stitches.
I will be linking my post here   click on the link to enjoy the wonders of The Gentle Art of Domesticity.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Out of the ashes

The sad and devastating news of fire burning Notre Dame I think of words I wrote a long time ago when face with loss from fire. "Out of the ashes the Phoenix rises ever to be reborn"

The phoenix is a mythical bird with fiery plumage near the end of its life, it settles in to its nest of twigs which then burns ferociously, reducing bird and nest to ashes. from those ashes, a fledgling phoenix rises – renewed and reborn. So too perhaps with rebuilding of this beautiful structure.
I like to believe that after 850 years of standing she can only come back more beautiful in structure giving France and the rest of the world renewed sense of faith.  I'm don't usually post religious content but these words from Isiah 40:8 are always with me though I have changed a few words The grass withers and the flowers fade,but the symbols of God stands forever.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching and Gentle Reminders

It's been a crazy week with everyday chores and visits to doctors, a run to the library to pick up waiting items and house hunting.  The weather was up and down all week with rain, humidity and yesterday sunshine and 92 degrees a little too warm for Spring but this is Florida and some years spring last for a week.  

Spring also brings out the allergies which triggers sneezing, sniffles, itchy eyes and headaches that make me want to just close my eyes till winter.  The older I get since living in Florida each year I seem to have a new allergy trigger. 

Despite all the errand running and sneezing I managed to get some crocheting done, I put in a few rows on my shell stitch afghan which is coming along slowly.
I also put a few stitches in the greenman piece this week, last night before I stopped stitching for the night I embroidered the stitches beneath the eye and started the leaves beside the eye, he is also being slowly stitched, which is one of the reasons I love hand embroidery.
I will be linking my post to Kathy quilts today a wonderful site where bloggers from all over post about what they are slow stitching. Check it out you won't be disappointed, here's the link

Speaking of Slow Sunday Stitching today while reading one of this Sunday's blog post I came across a wonderful post that not only reminded me I am a member of Jenny of Elefantz's The Gentle Art of Domesticity book study group.
but I (glady) suffer from a condition many of us have multiple stitching personality disorder.

Not only that but I also remembered I had joined a SAL for the Grow with Grace project that you can read about here

I realized not only do I suffer multiple stitching disorder, I tend to forget I join SAL, CAL, QAL usually I remember half way through, or the last block was put together.  When there are stitchery pieces involved I tend to do all the hand stitching first.  On occasion I forget I have even signed up for a project.  I even join the Facebook group if available so that posting will show up in my timeline, but one has to check their page to see those, well never mind, I have to send alerts to my calendar or something because the calendar on the wall right here next to my head with all the events and such written there isn't reminder enough. LOL

By the way the book for the The Gentle Art of Domesticity book study group is The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket, believe me it is not an typical how to book. 

This week we are reading pages 96-100 and it's not too late to join, as I mentioned I had forgotten I was a member so I am in catch up mode you can find past weeks post at the link above.  One of the questions this week was in regard to patterns, not the needlework pattern you might think but more the patterns in life your routines, rituals and the like.  

I have several set routines but I am not a rigid as I was when I was raising my son, where a simple knock on the door in the morning would send my day off kilter.  Many of you that have been reading my blog for years know I start each day with a walk in nature, I love the peaceful quiet of early morning when the sun is just rising above the trees, birds are singing and squirrels are scampering about to and fro.  There is a pattern there among the trees, birdsong and rising sun often its where I get much of my creative inspiration, whether for needlework or writing something usually reveals itself to me.
Well my needles are loaded and waiting for me to get in some slow stitching this bright and sunny Sunday.  
When my fingers get to sore to hold the needle I have Sally Goldenbaums newest mystery to pass some time.
along with the newest issue of American Quilter the American Quilters Society publication.  
Have a wonderful day!