Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Second Anniversary

Here I am again, celebrating an anniversary! 
I can hardly believe it's been two years since the birth of pomegranate trail.

There have been lots of twists and turns.

desert bark

It's interesting, when I look back over some of the old posts, to see where I've been.
There have been cycles of posts shifting in their frequency or subject matter.
Trends...or moods that have come and gone.

desert highs and lows

All of the layers have added up to a wonderful experience.
I've enjoyed the...
But most of all...meeting new friends!
desert layers
I again would like to say THANK YOU to all of my readers (read that as friends) who have shared this journey with me.  I am so blessed to have stumbled my way into this amazing community of talented, thoughtful women (and Joe too of course!)

As I did for last year's anniversary, I will again be doing a giveaway here on the trail.
Something cloth of course.
But, something more too (of course!)
Maybe even a fulfilled request of the recipient!

I'm entertaining the idea of desert colors this time as a reflection of my recent trip.
Or maybe even the Desert Sunset cloth!

I've yet to begin work on it as I really enjoy making with someone special in mind.
If you'd like to be considered in the give away, please let me know in the comments.

Last year when I drew names...
Michelle of Ms. Unsertainty Principles was the lucky gal.
This is what I sent her!

Here are more photos to dream with!
Warmly, Nancy


Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

10 Minute Drill #22 ~ White Weaving

While exploring the desert and surrounding San Diego county...I treated myself to a beautiful weaving by Beryl E.M. Warnes. I debated...left and then walked back in to purchase!  That's how art should be...something that moves you.  Something that for sure you will think about later, and for a long time.  I didn't want that regret.  So, now I'm enjoying this one at my home.

I couldn't help but think of Jude, who loves the woven and speaks in White and Deanna, who manipulates cheesecloth, works in white and embraces lace...and Saskia & Grace who hang cloth in windows to see the light shine through.  And all of the other fellow What Iffers? who have been exploring White along with me!
If you'd like to check out more about Ms. Warnes...you can do so here:

She is busy preparing for the local "Fiber Dance" and making saddle blankets and woven clothing!
Here is a link for anyone interested: fiber dance festival
This is the weaving in her shop...really caught my eye!

close up...holes

In the breeze on the apricot tree

No shadows this time

A river runs through it
A light touch of bling adds so much!

On the Mama Rose Bush

 I, of course, realize that I've just shown you several photos of the One Same Weaving...

but each photo holds the light, shadows and fibers in such an interesting way, 
that I couldn't resist!
Thanks for humoring me!
I plan to hang this in a window so I can always see the light dance through it.
Beryl did tell me that she made it as a window piece and I think she got it just right!

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013


Friday, April 26, 2013

'What Ifing?' with Found White

Folding laundry at work 
I come across a cleaning rag, warm from the dryer.
Worn and White
Thin and Light
And faded colors


I have to say that I just love the little oval of sky at the top!

A perfect backing for the Desert Sunset cloth

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Before & After #4

Before & After #4: Story in Words

My commute each day, one hour each way, covers a few neighborhood streets by my house and 5 main roads.  Each of the main roads is a major thoroughfare through distinct areas.  Each right or Left turn places me in a totally different type of neighbor hood.

I have written dozens of essays (posts) in my head as I cruise along.  The words are deep and pondering, witty and strung together like poetry.  But, by the time I arrive back home at night they've escaped my sieve of a brain, until I'm back in the car once again.

I am planning on writing some of these stories down, eventually.  I have an idea list.

The story I'm starting with today is an image that has stayed with me for almost two weeks now.  I take a lot of pictures, but this particular corner does not lend itself to a Safe - click without really looking through the camera shot.

So, I will attempt to paint the picture with my words.

After I leave my little semi-rural-residential neighborhood, I merge onto the first main road, traveling south(ish).  Then it is a right onto a fairly busy main street, which runs the length of my valley.  I turn right onto the road that faintly twists through a mountain pass, major freeway, running parallel to my left.  This road is usually empty, except for maybe one or two cars.  I only zip along for a few minutes before I land at the intersection near the overpass for another major freeway (remember this is SoCal...the land of freeways! Ha!)  I make a left onto the next main road.  This is the one that wraps around the mountain and ejects me into the next valley.  This is 'The Valley', if you're from around here.  It's been depicted in movies, television shows, popular songs and even birthed it's own language/accent!  I'm sure you heard of Valley Girls before!  I briefly continue along this road until I get to my next turn...a right, which points me down the length of the Valley.  I remain on this street the longest and it gives me the most to ponder.  11 miles or so later, a right turn onto the last main road of the route.  This street marks a big difference in the look of my drive and inspires completely different ponderings.

This last turn is where the Before & After took place.
Each morning I turn right and my eyes, after checking for traffic, fall to the road ahead of me.  But each evening as I sit in the left turn lane (why do I always miss this light!?)...waiting to turn, I'm able to glance to all sides.  The corner just to my right holds a single family home.  In this spot, the homes are fading from tri-plexes or 4-plexes into single family homes and this one on the corner is pretty and nicely kept.  There are big trees.  Really big.  Taller than the ones I had out back.  Maybe 40 feet high.  I don't know...I'm not too good at guessing this.  But, suffice it to say, they are big...and old.  Nice and straight with full trunks.  Two trees sit on the parkway (that belt of grass between the street and the sidewalk/lawn of the home).  One sits on the front lawn of this home.
That's the one I notice, for it is that one that the man and boy stand under to throw a football or hit a pitched baseball.   That's the tree that they tie a rope around so the boy can practice jump-roping.  These warm spring nights, strung together like pearls on the strand of childhood's memories...these are the nights I notice the tree and the family.  And for these three nights, sitting closely together, I reflect on the magic of twilight when it's warm and you're young, or you are with someone young...playing.  I feel blessed to watch their evening fun while remembering my own play at dusk.  There was tag and tree climbing and hide & seek and well, just hanging out.  All of it was perfection because I was young and did not have to go in until it was dark and the street lights came on.  And I was trusted to do just that.  No one called to me or my sister.  We were respected to be mature enough to follow the rule...and we did (at least until we were a bit older!)  So I watch these individuals feeling a happiness for their moment in the night air and fondness for the memories of my own.
The night they jump rope was the night this really hit me, the specialness of it all.

The very next morning, as I hung that right turn, the jump rope memory came to me as my eyes fell on space.  Big...Open...Space.
And in the split second it takes to make a right hand turn, it registers that there is Space because the jump rope - baseball - football tree is gone!
I mean gone-gone.  There is not a branch or some leaf scraps...there is not even a stump.  Gone.  The only thing to show for that childhood magic twilight is a misshapen circle of brown earth in the middle of the green lawn.  A flat brown space where once a limitless empire stood.
In that split second of turning right, a world changed and I am forever marked by the witnessing and the noticing of it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Before & After #3

Before & After #3: Story in cloth


Fabric is true White-White, bad lighting gives the yellowed tint.

This is the white fabric I mentioned.  
I found it neatly put away in a Zip-lock bag, the remnants of an earlier project with young children.  I have no recall of what that project was, nor do I recall what medium was used to paint the smaller squares.  Therefore, I have no idea what will happen to it when I wash it.
However, I could care less!

So, this white and lightly colored fabric (cotton) became an experience in just doing.  Maybe not as much What Ifing as just going!
There were 4 white blocks and a stack of small white with color applied squares.

Work with what you have Nancy.
Don't over-think it...just stitch.


First sewn block.  Small colored one centered on larger White one.
Glue stitch, a square and an X.

Second white block sewn.  A 9 patch.

I merely cut up the smaller squares to create the 9 patch.  
I did not look at placement according to color.  I just randomly pinned them down.
No over-thinking = no stress!

Third block visits the desert!  I finished this one on our road trip.
One little square, 5 smaller squares.  Again, cut & randomly placed.
No worries about the coloration and how one square fades into another.
Just sewn.

Doesn't it blend nicely with the desert sunset?!

While waiting for the night sky, I had some fun with these three blocks.  Pinned together, they hung against the twilight sky.  They shone in the dark.  They waved in the breeze.

The next day, while visiting the Santa Ysabel General Store, I spied an amazing spool (10.5 yards) of velvet trim.  I had to have it!

There were several color choices, which were all appealing, but I chose the dusty green.  It looks more grayish in the pictures, but it's green.  It came on a beautiful wooden spool that smells like cedar!!

I was not sure what I'd do with it, but I kept the spirit of no plan-going in mind.

By the next day, block number 4 was complete.
4 smaller squares, spaced out and stitched.

Again, no color planning.
I didn't even look too carefully at the spacing.
Just pinned and sewed.

Can you see the California Yucca plant to the left of the cloth, right under my arm?
They were blooming and expired like crazy...all over the place!


I cut and placed 4 snippets of the velvet trim in the middle of each smaller square.
No big meaning, just wanted to use it.
4 little dusty green rectangles.

I had wanted the stitches to hold it on to hide, by using a matching color of floss, but I didn't have one with me.  Then I thought of using an earthy color.
But...when I picked up a needle to use, it had a bit of magenta-pink on it.
It looked so nice against the green.  So spring-like.

As I stitched with it on the drive home, we passed a wildflower that was the perfect match for this pink!!  How's that for confirmation of choice?!  Ha!

I wasn't too sure if I liked the look of the trim once sewn.
It is so much darker and heavier.
But in the spirit of random doing, I'm leaving it.
I'm even adding some to the other 3 blocks.

That's the all the plans I have so far: Sew on trim.
I don't know what I will do with the 4 blocks past that.

No over-thinking allowed.
Place, pin & stitch!

That's enough.

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Before & After #2 ~ UPDATE

My traveling companion went to the desert with us...
where he came a bit unraveled and abruptly split in two!

Funny how what was once his head, now looks like a whole body...arms and tall ears become arms and legs.

Awww...little, well, littler man!
Hello fella!

Now what life lesson is held in this?
Less is more?
I'm not really sure either, but it's fun to ponder!

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Before & After #2


Saw this little gem on my work walk.
I always notice bits of branches like this.
Funny how a sidewalk filled with the remains of high winds spotlights one to be noticed.

Anyway, I felt compelled to take it with me.
So, I did.

Then I did this...


I took it home.
Showed it the route along the way.

Daylight led to twilight.

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Before and After #1

This is one of the ideas I had to possibly do for Everyday April.
But I really don't know if I could think of a Before & After for Every day of the month.
That's a lot!
Instead I decided to do Everyday Me!  It's sort of a continuation of my birthday post.  Little nothings about me.  Most not blog worthy (boring or personal), but instead little notes to my children.  I do a lot of that.

Then I thought I'd make a 'page' of the Before & Afters.  But do readers really go to the pages up there?
I don't look at my own pages very often and have taken some of them down.
So, no, I think I will just post them right on the main blog and number them.  
That will work.

This is the first one.


I picked these two petals up as I went out the door on my way to work.
They lay just outside my front door, dappled in the morning sunlight.
I love the smooth feel and sweet scent of rose petals.
I caressed them as I drove.
I remember now, as I type this, a friend who had over 100 rose bushes surrounding her home.
Holding it in Perfumed Beauty.
When I parked at work I held them up for a photo shoot.
Trying to see if the sun would make them transparent as it does cloth.
Thinking of light & dark...line & shadow...
as we've been doing in the What If? class.
Enjoying a moment.
Finding beauty as has been recently discussed at Grace's and elsewhere.
I lay them, side by side, gently on the passenger seat.  Then I went into work.
I wondered what will they look like when I return on breaks or my lunch?
I wonder if I will open my car door to a flower shop smell of roses?

This is what I returned to 9 hours later.
Inside my hot car...
Dry, wrinkled...yet color so intense.  So vibrant.

So, it seems that this has been a lesson in embracing the beauty where you find it, 
where it lay.

I particularly like how the wrinkles in my hand flow with the wrinkles in the petals.
These are the details that make up a life.
Make up my life.

As my usual style, I'm not sure where I'm going with this Before & After idea.
Related ideas so far are pretty typical.
Raw food ingredients...cooked/prepared meal
raw cloth...sewn something.

Oh yes and I thought I could have done dirty bookcase...clean bookcase!! Ha!

None of those ideas feel as poetic and message filled as my two little rose petals!
But we'll see.
No hurry.  No rules.
Just exploring.

Thanks for stopping by and having a look.

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

The Third Block

This is the third block.  The last one for this moment.  I may do more...or not.  I have no idea what I will do with them next, so I'm going to set them aside and work with other White etc.
If you have a suggestion, please share in the comments, as I love reading all of the creative ideas everyone has!

This one is called: What if the clouds were made of rainbow colors?

And here are all 3 together...

These What Ifs remind me of the great children's book If.
A game of the imagination.  A wondering game.

My kids and I used to creatively answer the questions from this book.  One of the questions was "If you came downstairs to find a unicorn in the kitchen one morning, what would you do?"  We pulled that question out of the jar so many times it became a running joke between the three of us!  These open-ended questions (which I had written on small slips of paper to be pulled for discussion during family dinner) are a wonderful way for children to learn to think creatively about problem solving, among other things.

In the end, isn't this a skill needed in today's world?
Don't we need to look at things in an open-ended manner to solve problems, issues, concerns we couldn't have dreamed up years ago?
This is the way teachers work with young children.
This is the way we work with our art/cloth/whatever.

This What Ifing we're doing with Jude seems to be more than just a way to work with cloth.  More than particular techniques and skill sets.
Instead, it is a way to look at life.

*Note: Check out some of the other titles suggested, linked on these pages.  These children's books can be an inspiration to our own creative outlets.

The Important Book has always been a favorite of mine.  And I noticed: Imagine a Night (Day, Place), which were not familiar to me.
Every time I go to Amazon, I get sucked in for a long time looking at all of the wonderful books out there!

I have the pedestal fabrics to consider and I found some plain white blocks from an old 'with children' quilt project.  There was also some that looked like it had been watercolored.

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Light & Dark & Lines

Morning Sky

Over at Jude's, a lot of Whispering White has been going on.
I listen to #7 - Light & Dark before heading off to work.
Low and behold, the sky is filled with lines...and light and dark.
And all of it is whispering above me!

That's it for me today.
I'm stitching on the third 6X6ish white block.  It will complete the current idea for What Iffing ~ White.  I actually have a few more ideas, but I will let them sit for a while.
I'll post #3 when done.

Note to Jude:
You have no idea how your teachings stick in my head as I travel back and forth, as I work with young children...as I go about my days.  I thought I'd share this image as a sample.
There could be hundreds of them!
Thank you for sharing yourself with myself and all of the others.
Much appreciated.

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me! 2013

I'm celebrating in White this year...in honor of the 
Whispering White of Jude's What If? class!

The top photo is Little Nancy, in white (or what is only remembered as white due to black & white photography of days gone by).  Photos are resting on an old napkin, presumably crocheted by a family member, maybe my grandmother.  I have 12 of them - all now naturally dyed, except this one.

As I mentioned around blogland, I wear very little white these days.  But, in my teen years, I loved it!  It helps that I was very tan in those days, so white looked great!  Once I had children and began working with young children, I decided white wasn't my color any more.  I wish I had the white shirt in the middle pic...it was so sheer with embroidered flowers at the top.  It would be great to cut up for stitching projects!  Haha
Wait!  Now that I think about it...I DO have the tank top on the left!

So, if you were here last year, you may remember the 5 Things game I played to celebrate me...and all of my dear readers!  If you were not here, you can find that birthday post, which includes my birth story, right here.
It's been a full year since Mo asked me to share the photo in the Beach Boys pamphlet.  Gee whiz...what does that say about me?!  All year I've meant to post them.  I finally took pictures months ago and now, finally here they are!

Beach Boys circa 1975
Left-hand page, middle picture on the right...the band member's children come on stage to sing.
We, of course, thought this was the coolest thing ever!
Can you guess which gal is me?  Hint: I'm sitting on a young man's shoulders.
Yep!  There I am!  Boy was I ever surprised to see myself!
I think it's quite timely that I was wearing my favorite off-white overalls!  Nancy in White!

So, now for the game...
5 Things I Bet You Never Knew About Me!

  1. As a preteen, I wore moccasins almost exclusively, almost daily!  They always ended up with holes, as did my socks, which drove my mom crazy!  I would wear them again in a heartbeat if I had a pair.  But, the authentic kind or as close to authentic as you can get...NOT those new trendy ones sold in the department stores.
  2. In high school I wrote horrible poetry that I thought was great...or at least very good!  I knew the truth when I was finally brave enough to share it with a very good friend...an older and wiser friend.  Her 'I don't know what to say' facial response and lack of verbal praise said a lot!!!  Partial sample: "...What would you do if you really weren't you? If you were a figment of somebody's dream..."  Maybe one of my first What If's?!!  I still remember that feeling of thinking what if the world wasn't what we thought it was?  Sort of a Twilight Zone kind of thing!
  3. I don't do mornings.  I dearly wish I did.  I am envious of those who greet the dawn.  Now that I am aging, I don't do late nights so well either! (((sigh)))
  4. I love the sound of a wood screen door banging shut.  I don't know why, as it is not a sound I grew up with (as you can see above in my first day of Kindergarten picture, we had metal screen doors, or none at all).  To me it rings of children happily running in and out during summertime play...of home.
  5. I like almost any kind of music except opera and rap!  I have to be able to hear the words so I can sing along.  I love to sing along in the car...when I'm alone :)
The gang hanging out on the stadium grass.
What great memories of a fun day listening to the music of Pure Prairie League, Jessie Collin Young and The Beach Boys!

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2013

Beautiful old birthday card from my mom, that I found a few days ago, while cleaning in March.  Hi Mom!