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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Giving and Receiving

The front
 This is the front of the stocking you met in my last post.
This little baby got a snowman just like his parents.
And there are snippets of at least one fabric from both mom & dad's stockings.
He'll have to discover those when he's older!

Weaving
Cloth
 These two became a gift for my co-worker, for one of those Secret Santa things.
I chose to work with her 'favorite colors' & her love of Tinkerbell, while keeping in mind that she is always cold and hikes the local mountains with her family.  
A warm scarf and a medicine bag.
Shell on one side of the medicine bag
The other side of the medicine bag
 Like last year, I went with my sister to the Winter Solstice Meditation.
We were offered raw rose quartz, a candle was lit.

The word coming to me for 2015 was 'open'.
Some of you may remember last year's word was 'flow'.  It served me well throughout the year.  Now I will consider 'open'.

I left my word tag on the tree among many others 
and I will carry my word with me throughout 2015.

Here we go...

I'll leave you with a gift I was given.
Last Sunday, after returning home from a farewell open house for two 
long-time, dear friends on the eve of their move North...
The sunset sang a most glorious goodbye!



Airplane
Airplane headin' home

I hope this last week of the year is filled with creating and connecting 
and ending and beginning anew.

  Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Coming Soon

More soon, but for now...photos.

Morning, driving into work
My favorite thing...putting fabrics together 
Found this long ago purchased weave
Beads and such, found 'em packed up with the above fabrics
I had a plan for all of these things once
Faces Beads
Wooden figures
The moon and the beach rock

Chatting Magnolia Beasts
This is the back...


Time marches on...


Have a good week everyone, Nancy

 
  Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Gratitude, Minor Doings and Random Thoughts



     

Video: Grateful: A Love Song to the World
                                                                                                                                                                   The season of Thanksgiving prompted me to think of an old favorite video, which I posed way back here  In doing so, I discovered this one that I also like very much.
I sincerely hope all of you (those who celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday) had a lovely holiday filled with warmth, humor and lots of loving.  Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, per se, I wish you days of this goodness as well.  I am deeply grateful for each of you and the ways we connect.

Morning Birds
Around these parts recently, I've been up to...wait for it...yep, the exact same things I usually am up to, with a couple of Thanksgiving togetherness meals thrown in for good measure.

Driving, working, walking, reading, stitching and of course computing (probably too much of that!)  So, here are a few random thoughts and photographs to maybe go along with them, or not.

  • Walking on my lunch break: A fluttering shadow is noticed on the asphalt.  It looks kinda big.  My eyes search for what is creating such a shadow.  I am delighted to realize it is a small yellow butterfly.  This prompts the thought: "Something so small can still throw a mighty shadow".  This leads to the thought that this is a pretty good metaphor...for many things.  Young children can throw a pretty big shadow.  Many people doing small tasks together can too.  
  • For two weeks I did some apple tasting.  I eat an apple on my drive home everyday, usually a Gala or Fuji.  But during a burst of Autumn feeling a couple of weeks ago, I decided to get one or two of all many different varieties.  J. makes my lunch, so he put in a different kind each day, without telling me what kind it was.  Some I hadn't had in years like the good old Delicious apple (which really wasn't) and some I'd never tasted before.  
So Many Kinds of Apples!
  •      Then, when I arrived home I reported my findings and J. wrote that on the running chart he'd created.  It was kinda like we do in the classroom with preschoolers, a taste test.  Mine was a blind one though as he had removed the sticker in the morning.  I discovered the Red Delicious that I use to eat exclusively, really isn't tasty to me anymore, nor is the Rome.  I also discovered that I really like the HoneyCrisp (even if they are so juicy that they are hard to eat while driving!!).  I also like the Jazz & the Sweet Tango a lot!  I didn't really try any green apples, as I don't usually care for the sour taste.  It's pretty funny how much fun we had doing this, me getting a little surprise after a long day and him having full charge of the choice for the day and the results chart!  Silly, but good.
The First Week of Charting
  • At work we had the Thanksgiving Celebration last Friday.  It included a branches-tree with tags to write something/someone we are thankful for.  My favorite was the 2.5 year old who said, "I am thankful for bacon".  Evidently she really meant it as that was her very first response and she stuck with it for the rest of the discussions throughout the week!
Found Twig: Later Warped and Woven
  • I used a needle to help me 'weave' on the above twig.  Warp was some string, Weft was green, because its a little tree of course!  What did someone call that? Sewoven?
  •  A couple of days I have worked an earlier shift.  This means the sun is coming up in my eyes as I head out.  I put on sunglasses and enjoy the view!
Sunrise
Sunrise/Moon
  • I haven't had much time to sew on the Comfort Cloth in the past two weeks.  Additionally, I seemed to have misplaced all the tiny squares for the 9 Patch section and the Greens for the earthy section (near where the tan is stitched down).  I've looked in the car and the traveling sewing basket.  No luck just yet.                         Plus, I now have a Christmas Stocking order, which I have to work on!  It has a nice story with it though.  I made the Young Mother her own stocking back in 1996, when she was just 11 years old.  At the time I also made one for her younger sister, her parents and Grandma.  A couple of years ago, I made one for her new husband.  This year I am making their new baby boy a stocking.  It feels amazing to me to have known this family so long and the fact that the treasure their stockings so much, using them year after year, brings me warm fuzzy feelings.  You can read more about the stockings and see her husband's back here.  After this post, I will continue cross-stitching the baby's name.  In the meantime, I saw a 'fish' on the Comfort Cloth the other day!  Do you see it?  Glub Glub!
Fish Facing Left
  • Halloween and now Holiday shoppers have put many more people out on the roads and sidewalks.  The busy, excited feel is nice...but I am always glad to get back home to the quiet of my home.  In the mornings there have been beautiful contrails!
Sky Show in the Morning
Morning Sky Show
Bright Drive to Work

  •  I recently read Goodnight June.  If you have ever read the children's book, Goodnight Moon...you'll enjoy this charming novel.  Thanks go to my sister for loaning it to me.  I have now picked up two more books from the library: "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" and "The Angle of Repose".  I can't wait to get started on them!
  • Work Walk:  Talking to him on the phone, I head out on my lunch time walk.  I round the corner, pass a house or two...then I see it.  It is a small, Sparrow sized, bird.  It is black, gray and white.  I've never seen this kind of bird before.  It is sitting on the tip of a branch, which has fallen off of the tree and landed upside-down on the front grass.  There the branch sits, resting lightly on the two smaller groupings of twigs coming out.  It looks like an upside-down "Y".  I describe the bird to him.  I describe the branch to him.  I bemoan the fact that I do not have my camera with me.  When I get back to my car, it occurs to me that maybe I should try to draw it.  I've seen others do this.  I've seen Saskia do this recently.  I rummage around for paper and find the Fire Extinguisher pamphlet from a recent training and a pen (wished I had a pencil!!)...I try to visualize the little bird and the branch for a few moments.  Then, I give my hand at drawing a try. 
During this season of long shadows, holidays and shift...I hope you all are enjoying the little things in life.   ~Nancy
    Little Bird
     
     
      Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014

    Sunday, November 2, 2014

    Noticing

    The tan is stitched now.

    Thick running stitch
    All stitching on this cloth is being done with 6 strands.
    I have not sewn with all 6 strands since starting with Jude.
    But, for The Cloth Called Comfort, I want the texture and feel-ability
    of thick embroidery floss.

    This special project calls for that.

    I came across this on a work walk and for some reason, the red really jumped out at me.

    Magnolia seed pod
    A red thread, seed pod version!

    A couple of days later...
    sitting in the yard at work, I glanced up
    to see this:

    OK, look again...
    yep, a 9 patch!

    The light coming through the fence was just right, in that exact moment.
    Perfect!

    For some reason, I felt a deep comfort in noticing that and
    for thinking that many of you would have seen it too.

    It's nice to have a tribe out there!

    I am forever grateful to Jude for creating her special place, that has grown to become our special place.

    Off to bed, more another day...
    ~Nancy

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Now and Then and Back Again

    Where have I been?  Here, but in my mind - floating between now and then.
    This is probably not the best night to write and share.
    I'm tired and fairly grumpy.
    People.  Finances. Lack of time.  A big question.

    If I haven't stopped by your place lately.  I do want to, I just don't seem to get there.
    I spend time trying to sell stuff, without a lot of luck.  I look at pretty or funny, but not things I have to really focus on.  I've been chatting online with an old friend and some family.  That's nice.  I drive and I work.
    Then I start again.

    I've been listening to John Denver in the car.  It takes me away to a time when I was young and had my whole life in front of me and it was sure to be filled with promise and dreams come true (right).
    When this song came on the other day, I had to laugh when he sings, "it turns me on to think of growing old".  How 'old' could he have been?  Twelve?  But, what is funny, is that when I first heard that line as a teen, I knew it in my bones...I felt the same way.
    Why did I want to be a grown up so much?

    Sigh

    So, this attempt in putting it all down here, may read like a possessed pendulum!  Some times are like that.

    Oh and for some reason, I can't access my Picasa account, for days and days now.  So let's see how successful I am with photos here.

    And if you're here, thanks.  I will be by your place soon!
        

    If you are like me, and some folks I know...if you have ever had the run-away-from-it-all dream...come Wander With Me ~ these two are doing just that, with gorgeous photographs and no bugs!!

    2 geodes

    The geode on the left has been mine since my teens.  The snow and lake of it symbolizes my John Denver years, my youth...my wishes and dreams.  Rocky Mountain High, I Guess He'd Rather be in Colorado  or something like that.  The one on the right was a gift to us from the boy and the girl.  Isn't it beautiful?  What does it look like to you?  I see space.  I see light.  I see a sense of freedom, of letting go.  I joke that there will be room in the tiny house for these!

    sign
    As I was going through those old magazines that I mentioned a while back, I saw an ad that held this symbol.  So the quiet circle on the comfort cloth morphed into this.  It's still quiet, but it is a little bit more too.  And yes, I did inadvertently use two different colored threads here.  It is a very subtle difference, one which I could not see in the light of my car while stitching.  I decided it was fine as is and I left it.  Something very nice about doing (or not undoing) that.

    X on the cloth

    X on the weave
     I decided to add a couple of red threads when I found this one while doing the laundry.  As the bathroom towels become smaller, I discover a new use for those loose threads!

    Towel Thread
    I may add more.  We'll see.

    I passed this book along to a young family recently.  Mom is part Choctaw.  So is my guy.
    This book sat here long enough to be too young for the grandsons!
    While reading through it one last time, my eyes rest for a long time on this woven ball.  Isn't it beautiful?


     Every morning, before heading out, I stop for a hug and a long look at my trees.  You've met them many times before.  These are the trees on the other side of my neighbor's property line.  I love them.  They are tall, old, stately, beautiful, rugged...

    Hawk vs Crows
    They provide me with deep solace and great wonder.  When birds perch at the very top, they for some reason look larger than they truly are.  It is some odd optical illusion.
    We are forever exclaiming in delight that there is some Giant Bird in the tree and running in to grab the binoculars and the camera!  Usually it is a hawk or a crow or something we've concluded is a large partridge type bird.
    On this day it was a hawk with two crows harassing him (why do I associate hawks as males?).  It is amazing to watch them, doing what they do.

    'My Waterfall'
    So, to make this a round trip, I will close with a recent picture of my waterfall.  I know it is not a natural waterfall, but part of the man made LA Aquaduct.  I may have mentioned this story in the past, as a child at camp, we would hike to this 'waterfall'.  I thought it was amazing to be hiking so far from camp out in the wilderness.  Little did I know.  I still look at that waterfall with a forever fondness.  This day I am perplexed by the amount of water coming down during this huge drought we're having.  I wonder what landscape we are robbing.  What does it look like there?
    Sigh

    That's all I've got for tonight folks.  Tomorrow morning I will again, be on the road...sewing basket on the front seat and dreaming and composing on my mind.
    May you all have a week filled with goodness....
    ~Nancy

    Monday, September 29, 2014

    9-Patch and The Comfort Cloth






    Today I start with this.  It's the back of the book I read on my lunch break today.
    I thought the 9-patch on the right was timely and I considered that by adding a triangle
    to the center ...you could have a triangle/diamond 9-patch there too!

    This is the front of the book, which I got at last year's pow wow.


    It has many beautiful colorful and pencil drawn illustrations.
    I just started looking through it, so I haven't discovered much else yet.

     


    So, I've been working on the cloth, "Comfort". 
    It's pretty slow going right now.  I keep placing things there and 
    then not feeling sure about them, so I wait.


    I slid the two green pieces on the right under the velvet first.
    Then I added the tan and last, the two green on the left.

    But, it didn't sit right with me.  It looked so...so, stripey.
    Mmmm...

    Some days later, I moved them around, gathering the greens together 
    and resting the tans to the edges.


    I like this much better, but still I am looking a bit longer before stitching.

    Then after listening to Jude's words about 9-patch, 
    in particular the 'disappearing 9-patch'...
    I thought to add this little bitty 9-patch.
    I had thought of having the cloth itself be one of the patches, 
    but then I tried having the tiny weave stand in for a patch.


    This is not stitched either, I'm still looking.

    I am enjoying this cloth.
    I am enjoying the stitching and the looking.

    Thanks for looking with me.

    Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014