welcome july …

~sunrise today 7:03 am~

Welcome July! You arrived complete with sunshine and delightful temperatures. It’s been a real treat to greet you with the deck doors wide open!

This morning not only started a new month with a new calendar entry but also, a new Scribbles journal. It felt so good to “open it and begin journaling, again, for the first time.” I have big staycation plans for the summer months, ending with the arrival of the autumnal equinox. But more on that down the road. First, a look at this past monthJune:

You will note quite a few photos of flowers: Spring – and now Summer – was especially gorgeous, a result of all the rain we had. Trees and shrubbery are fuller and a lusher green; les fleurs, more abundant and vibrant. I’m even convinced the sky is bluer – when it is blue!

  • #1 and #14: two excursions to Zeke’s, my neighborhood coffee roaster/shop ~ warm enough to sit out!
  • #2 and #4 from Kayla’s and my trip to the new Apple Carnegie library…
  • Swans – # 7 and #25 – are this summer’s Journal Club animal spirit guide; seems that everywhere I look these days I see the swan image. My subconscious brain at work‽
  • # 8 – flowers in  are an example of thread painting with a sewing machine; I saw them on a pillow at Target. The picture reminds me that I plan to try the technique this summer, just for fun…
  •  # 9 – friends, Margaret and Ed, have a sweet new rescue dog: Hannah; I got to meet her for the first time…
  •  #11 captures sunlight streaming through a wooded area…
  • # 15 and #16  – are from Chris’ 5th birthday party  at the Climbing Zone. He decided not to climb, tho’ he gave it a try; niece Kayla did make it to the top!
  • #17 – June’s full Strawberry moon – a stock photo coupled with a web article I read; unfortunately, the sky was cloudy so I didn’t get to see the moon in real life…
  • #19 – I thought the tree was interesting; not sure how it lost all its leaves but it made for a different photo of #blueskyblooms – or not!
  • #20 – a delicious Caprese mini pizza, without onion, made by friend Hilary for me! Onions and I don’t get along. I discovered that the blurry photo was the result of my camera lens needing to be cleaned!
  • #23 – Norman all dressed up for Men’s Recognition Day at church…
  •  # 26 and #27 – sunset and a sunrise shadow…
  • #30 – #blueskyblooms  of a Crepe Myrtle; they are quite luscious this year, tho’ the photo doesn’t give justice.

And that’s a wrap for June 2019 and this post. Hoping your July is off to a fantastic start, as is mine. Looking forward to spending July with you!

Cheers~

PS. Oops! #1 was taken outside the Clarice Performing Arts Center; I was waiting for friends to arrive and sitting outside with a glass of wine before the concert!

TGIF | 6.7.19 …

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Thinking: where has the morning gone? It seems to have disappeared, poof! As tho’ someone waved a magic wand or uttered a few magic words. This morning, I’m trying on ideas and spending the time leisurely, in tune with all sorts of sensory stimulation…soon, 1 PM, EST, t’will be time for Journal Club…and then, a trip to Whole Foods. The larder is bare …

Gratitude:*

  • the ceiling fan as the breeze cools my skin;
  • the sound of frozen berries as they fall into the bowl;
  • the sight of the gentle movement of this tree’s leaves, caressed by a breeze;
  • the sweet peach flavor of my tea and its
  • aroma

Inspired: the June issue of O – the Oprah Magazine. Bright. Colorful. Summery. And filled with all sorts of images for collage…in addition to the monthly book reviews and Oprah’s signature “What I Know for Sure” closing column. This month’s article begins “OH, WHAT A TIME to be a woman.” The piece goes on to focus on the advances women are making in the world with specific focus on New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden during the Christchurch Muslim community massacres.

Fun: I shared this story with Dee about teenage hair – mine! – in response to a blog comment made earlier this week:

“Love It! My hair @ 16-17 was graced with pink sponge rollers most of the time except when I was in school! I tho’t I was hiding the fact that I’d cut my long tresses – as my father so aptly described when he asked one evening at dinner: “Whatever happened to Honoré ‘s long tresses?” Durn! Caught in the act!

Needless to say, other than being embarrassed, the world didn’t end! But that was pretty much the end of my long tresses. I’ve kept my hair mostly short ever since…

Have a great weekend!

Cheers~

* I’m joining Michelle GD for her free summer series here .

sometimes mondays| 5.13.19 …

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are for catching up…

The 2019 quilt show, May 2 -4: Our work actually began May 1 when we set everything up. The show featured a display of more than 200 member-made quilts;  the infamous peddlers’ table; the raffle quilt and two raffle baskets – each filled with all sorts of quilting supplies and Sew Unique – a colorful array of quilted gifts and novelty items for sale, ranging from fabric postcards to tea wallets, matching hot pad/mitts, etc. New this year, in a room all alone: Quilts for Sale – over 30 such, ranging from early ’40s to 2018! We sold about 95% of inventory!  The quilt show was a little later than usual due to Easter. Also happening that weekend: the International Sheep & Wool Festival and as we expected, some of the Festival goers also came to our event… especially since there was rain Saturday morning (the S & W Festival is an outside event). All in all, I’d say quilters, knitters, spinners, weavers had a nirvana weekend.  I was plumb worn out come Saturday at 4 pm.  I arrived home in time to watch the Kentucky Derby with barely enough energy to cheer the horses on! Not that I really cared. But. the Excitement. You. Know! I spent all day Sunday in a semi-vegetative state …

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Monday, back to Columbia for the quilt show wrap up and awarding of Viewers’ Choice ribbons. My friend Betsy won two first place ribbons; one for this bargello quilt. It’s quite dynamic … and large!

 

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Last week, I also documented the Week in My Life and began a long deferred project: purging excess stuff in my creative spaces. I’m really pleased with efforts thus far. And, I’ve been smitten by a new quilting technique and I’m eager to explore it plus I’ve a list of 13 -15 quilting/stitching projects I plan to finish by summer’s end …

May  is also another LOAD – Layout A Day – month; each day, we have a prompt that is designed to stir our creative juices and help us get our personal memories documented. So far, I’ve been on track…so far. As I type this, I’ve not a clue about what memory I’m going to document for today; the prompt is superstition, such as throwing salt over your shoulder, crossing your index and 2nd finger, etc…If the prompt doesn’t produce a memory, not a problem – we can tell any story we choose! Works for me …

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Kayla’s high school life will soon be over : Prom, May 24 and Graduation, May 29. How can that be? Seems it was just yesterday she was three years old, sitting on the arm of my chair, listening to me read “Wide Mouthed Frog …

It’s good to be back! And guess I’d best get a moveon with today’s layout!

Cheers~

 

collecting march 2019…

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March was filled still with lotsa cold temps…not much outside time and when those days did arrive, I  – along with the rest of the world – certainly made it my mission to get outside. Every budding flower or tree was just one more affirmation that Spring, indeed, was going to arrive. Oh, we of little faith

I kicked off the month with an email from the host of Sunday Baroque: I’d written because I wanted to listen to the program as it was being broadcast and I wasn’t having any luck finding the right channel!  Listening has been wondrous every Sunday since. To that end, on Sat, 30 March, I attended the 5 hours’ long live presentation of Wagner’s Die Walküre, boradcast in High Definition and shown in local movie theaters – in over 70 countries. T’was magic!

Quilting was the main focus of the month as we get ready for the soon-to-be-here quilt show, May 3-5. Photos 4, 11, & 18 show works by others; #12 is asnapshot of my sewing studio…

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Loved the #blueskyblooms: photos15, 17, 19 & 24 … especially 15. If you look closely between the pink blossoms, you will see there’s actually a person sitting on the bench, pen and journal in hand…and no, it “ain’t me!”

The merry-go-round – # 22 – is a just.because.  #27, my friend Kathy. Our newest family member, Hazel the labradoodle – niece Chris’s pup: #s 8, 9 & 29. Chris informed me that Hazel has her own Instagram account.  She, Hazel, that is, has been approached  for modeling gigs ~ she’s very photogenic, according to Chris!

Looking forward to all that April will unfold. Have a great weekend!

Cheers~

collecting february 2019 …

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Every year in February, since 2010, I’ve participated in the  month long scrapbook challenge – LOAD, Layout A Day. Each day we received a prompt and a challenge based on a theme. This year’s theme was inspired by the 80th Anniversary of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” and great fun!

Tho’ we’re not required to keep to the theme or the prompts – for the object is to make a layout a day of favorite memories – I found that the prompts certainly recalled memories and inspired my layouts. Most of mine featured Kayla, the little boys, the weather, events, etc…in short: snippets of me, family members, my life and memories!

Days 1, 6 and 21 feature Kayla, circa ages 2-4; she is now 18. The little boys are in 4, 8 & 18.; they are ages 4 and 14 months. I – or a facsimile of me – am in 7,9,11, 20 & 21. The photo of me in # 20 was taken when I was about 42…a while ago!

Sadly, my god doggie ( # 27) Watson’s life on this earth ended  this month but we take solace in knowing that his last seven years on this planet earth were spent in a home filled with love. (Watson was a rescue dog, found abandoned on a PA roadside).

Strangely enough, looking through my stash, I found a cutout from a birthday gift card – #28 – that my friend Margaret gave me at some point in time…and it was perfect for the last day’s creation: my Ode to LOAD. 

And that’s a wrap for February…

Cheers!

PS. A click on the photo (or use command /+ key on a Mac) should make the image larger.

sweet poignant memories …

 

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Thinking about Mama: On this date, fifteen years ago, she died. Loss of a loved one, especially a parent, is always with one… but with each passing day, grief and pain yield to comfort, remembering  the little things, that over the years, become treasured memories…

Giving thanks for our lives and the guidance she and my dad gave to both my sister and me, the grands and their children – some who only know her through photos, our stories, our memories…

Inspired and comforted  being in my sewing studio, which was once her bedroom, especially with the sunlight streaming in. Remembering that my first blog – on blogger – was started as a way to remember and honor Mama and to document my stories …

Feeling warm, buoyed, honored and strengthened. Mama ( and Daddy) always treated us with respect, encouraging us to appreciate and be the very best version of ourselves – to learn … Ancora Imparo. I am still learning ~ Michelangelo

About the picture:

  • The grapevine angel holds dried flowers sent to me by my dear friend Kathy when my mother died. I set them on the angel, never expecting the wreath to live this long. I treasure seeing it every day, many times a day…
  • The statue of a weaver was made by my friend Pat’s mother and given to me by Pat – who knew my mother and that she also wove. The postcard photo of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico overlooks the area where my mother’s cremains are buried…
  • The quilted fleur de lis I made in honor of my mother two years ago; I shibori dyed  the fabric and hand stitched the iris.

n is for nutcracker …

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My childhood memories are filled with Christmas at Chicago’s Marshall Field department store. My recollection is the center court of the store housed the tallest  (I thought) Christmas tree in the world, reaching from the first to the 5th or 6th floors:

  • One could spend her entire lifetime just looking at that tree and hoping, wishing, barely-able-to-wait for Christmas.
  • One could go to each floor and look out from the balcony, getting a closer view of the tree’s decorations.

The 14th letter of the alphabet is N and Daniel Saboda’s Christmas Alphabet Book‘s popup is the nutcracker. Both of the only two I own have interesting stories:

The first – on the left –  I bought around my 50th birthday from a major Washington DC department store – Woodward & Lothrop.  Woodie’s (as it was fondly known ) was a real department store with 4+ levels and everything one needed, from clothes to furniture to toys, What I liked best about the store is that it was a smaller version of Chicago’s famed Marshall Field’s.  I don’t know why but nutcrackers were a big part of my Marshall Field’s memory and when I saw this one, I bought it. All for a mere $19.99, then… I still have the box.  Sadly, shortly after the holiday season, Woodies closed its doors forever.

The other nutcracker is a more recent purchase; I think maybe in the past 10 years. It – a “quilter” – usually resided in my sewing studio. Several years ago it disappeared;  I couldn’t find it anywhere. This year when I looked in a storage bin, there it was! No doubt, time thieves at work again: building time, picking up something by mistake, realizing their mistake, and putting the missing object back where it belonged so it could, would be “found!” Eureka!

A lot of Christmas holiday magic is remembering and reliving childhood memories, don’t you agree?

Cheers~

 

 

simply a moment: I remembered…

 

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9:03 am – The sun is bright and warm this morning, in direct contrast to yesterday’s pre-winter preview and surprise! What a difference a day makes! Sunny today and not a trace of snow or ice – except on the back deck.

I stood at the window, in front of the radiator, feeling the warmth rising up from it as well as that from the sunlight streaming in…and I remembered

I remembered the many, many times over the 32 and counting years I’ve lived in this house – from the beginning to now. When I first moved in, the walls were chartreuse -ooooh, not! And the carpet: orange. Yuck! Quick, paint the walls beige …at least that toned the carpet down a bit. Needless to say, the carpet’s life was short-lived…

I remembered that my mom would sit in the chair – not the one pictured – ’cause it’ was warmer in the winter… and in the same chair, I sat, very early in the morning: reading and writing. It was in that spot that morning solitude and quiet time (MSQT) began for me, twenty plus years ago.

I remembered the ice box: one of my first purchases when I moved to MD/DC in 1974. I don’t know why but there was something about it that I just liked …

I remembered the little angel sitting on top of the icebox; my mom bought it for me for my 27th (I think) birthday…

I remembered the several years it took me to stitch the wall hanging, finished about 5 years ago. I leave it up year round despite the Christmas holiday/winter theme …

I remembered the ceramic elephant, sitting next to the chair, from Vietnam right before the war ended…

I remembered the small pillow on the chair – my first foray into needlepoint…

I remembered the Japanese Maple, planted the second or third year I moved here…

I remembered all the thirty-two Christmases in this house, starting with Dolly who spent her first one, age 9 months, and then Christian and then Kayla and then…

I thought:

Oh what fun Christmas will be with two little boys! Let the fun begin!

I am so grateful for these memories…and the ones yet to be made.