Whether you are a fellow fiber artist, enthusiast or just an admirer, walk along and talk with me on my journey.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Better Late than Never

An Irish Weaver’s Blessin’

-Denise A. Rostan-O’Haley

May your shuttles always be full 
when you need ‘em
empty when ya want to fill ‘em.

May your warp never tangle while you’re dressin’ your loom.

May the sun shine on your work and not in your eyes.

I pray ya have no floats 
perfect be your web.

May your drink be at hand, 
bare be your feet 
swift be your hands as you throw
for the next beat!

May God’s blessing shine upon your weavin’ 
to bring joy to all who it touches!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Spearmint Breath

I was encouraged to share some things I wrote in a Creative Writing workshop...

"I will go to the bank by the wood and become naked and undisguised." -Walt Whitman

Photo credit -Mark E. laRowe Photography 
Spearmint Breath
There is weirdness and oddness that is part of a creative's life.
I looked at the words I laid down without out noticing.
Follow the mountains.
Cherish your today.
Discover being "naked and undisguised" in your thoughts.
Dream of the sniff of hay in the barn,
the green of the pasture,
the radiant glow of a daffodil...
Be with your kindred spirits as their fluff speeds through your fingertips.
Reality lives in the spearmint breath of a sheep or maybe even, a yak.
The universe is offering that, which I will not be inhibited from accepting!
The words are hollow, but happy.  I think them as a melody playing in my head.
Be naked
Be undisguised
Share your melodic and happy thoughts
or not.
Reach for victory.  Celebrate the mountains climbed.
Just don't choke on enthusiasm.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Some Old Quilt

I'm working on my daughter's quilt this afternoon. It's an old quilt we found at a yard sale several years ago. We bought it for $20 just because we liked it. It's Pink, white and a very light green. She's away this weekend, so I decided to work on repairing it. I've not always worked with fabrics and quilts. But since I've been at The Fabric Shop, I've gained a much better understanding of it all. 

Each of these blocks were hand pieced. The sashing, binding and quilting were all done.by.hand. When I bought it, the woman told me it was just an old quilt...  

Ive always liked it. It's
soft and well worn. But after working on it for the last hour, I have a newfound admiration for this "old quilt" and the hands that made it. It's a piece of art and history of its maker. How many hours did it take the quilter to finish it. What did she do while she sewed? Was there music, tv, children at her feet?  Was dinner simmering away?  I hear very little about quilters hand-piecing their work. It's just not really done anymore. There's no time for it. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against sewing machines. Machine quilts are beautiful too! It's just some stuff to think about. ✂️

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sometimes, you just need to tell the story. September 11th.

I was asleep.  My six week old baby lay in his cradle next to me.  The phone rang, jolting me awake.  It was my husband.  He was calling to tell me about the first plane that flew into the World Trade Center.  I watched the news for only a few moments, and realized I was witnessing an act of terrorism and an historic event.  My other children were two and a half and four.  I watched the rest of the day in absolute horrific amazement.

At the time, we lived in Nashville, Tennessee, very near the airport and National Guard Armory.  Low flying planes and helicopters flying overhead were a regular occurrence.  That morning, the skies were empty and eerily silent as all flights nationwide had been grounded.  I never imagined the sounds of jets flying over my home would be a comfort.  Ordinarily, they were an annoyance and a reason to pause phone conversations.  I would have loved to hear the normal sounds of air traffic and erase the horrible events of the day.

So many thoughts crossed my mind.  How far reaching were these attacks?   Where were my family members?  After calling my Dad and my sister, some of these anxieties were calmed.  My brother-in-law had been flying into New York on business that morning.  His flight was diverted and put down elsewhere.  Finding transportation home was a nightmare for him.  According to the FAA, 4,000 flights were grounded that day.  All these unfortunate travelers then had to secure a way to either reach their original destination or go home.  Fortunately, my brother-in-law was able to rent a car and make a very long drive home.

Later in the week, I talked with my brother.  I asked him where he was on Tuesday.  He casually mentioned he was in the air on his way to New York as well.  He hadn't been traveling for work recently, so his news shocked me.  In retrospect, neither my brother or brother-in-law were in danger that morning. But the unpredictability of  terror attacks fueled everyone's anxiety.  It frightened me to know the people I love and care about were even close to this event.

While talking on the phone with my husband later that morning, I asked if he was going to come home-fearing for his safety.  He was somewhat incredulous I felt he needed to be home.  I wanted my little family together and as safe as we could possibly be.  I had even wondered that morning, if our water would be safe to drink.  When terrorists want to end the lives of as many people as possible, water seems like a natural choice to me.  At that time, no one knew the extent these attacks.   Thank God, I was wrong about it.  Looking back, I was a sleep deprived, saturated in postpartum hormones, mother of three-and in particular,  a six week old baby.  All we had built together could be wiped out so easily. 

I watched the news most of the days following September 11th.   My four year old, inadvertently absorbed as much as he was able.  He was angry, but in a sad very controlled manner.  Bin Laden's image was shown over and over and he had seen it many times.  My little son said he was angry with the "man in the dress" and wanted to "send planes to hurt him".  We all wanted to hurt him.  My son both amazed me and broke my heart with his comprehension of everything that happened.  As the weeks following September 11th unfolded, the rest of the country's sentiments matched my son's. And well, we all know how Bin Laden's story ended.

Today, as I watch the 14th Anniversary coverage of September 11th., the same tears fell for the same reasons as when this day first occurred.  So many lives were lost and changed forever.  Two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-seven innocent people.

Thankfully, we have risen from those ashes.  We stand together and sing God Bless America, hold our hands over our hearts and stand strong against the dark and evil forces that changed us forever.  My flag flies proudly every day.  I am a patriot.

While attending our kid's high school football game last fall, the soldier in the photo sat down in front of me.  We all stood as The Star Spangled Banner began to play. .  The sight of this man in his uniform saluting our beautiful flag brought me to tears.   It's not just this one man, but all the men and women he represents.  It's their loyalty, service and love of Country that pulls at my heart.  For, without these brave patriots, we would not exist as a nation and have the freedoms it affords us.

Blessings to all who serve to protect our great nation

I later showed this man the photo I had taken, and asked his permission to use it.  I thanked him for his service with a lump in my throat.  He was being deployed to Africa shortly after we talked.  I'm thankful to report he has returned safely to his family.

Moral Fiber!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Vegetable matter

As I was knitting along on a shawl today, I stopped to pick a bit of vegetable matter out of my yarn. I took a moment to look closer at the little bit of hay or fuzzy weed seed I had procured. 

Suddenly, I felt quite happy-warm and fuzzy in fact, to think of the living creature who had some dinner crumbs left in her fleece. It reminded me of my own sheep. They created a wreath affect around their necks from sticking their little faces too deep into the roll.  It was cute and funny until I needed to process and spin that wool! But today, it just took me back in time, watching my sheep be -sheep.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Memories and saltines

When I was very young, my sister and I woke up early on Saturday to watch cartoons.  It's a pretty foreign concept to little people these days.  They can find cartoons at virtually any given moment of the day.  But Saturdays were special to us for several reasons.  Obviously, the cartoons were highly rated.  What else would make children who didn't have to go to school, get up earlier than normal?  The snacks we prepared, were the second jewel of Saturday mornings! We had; (and this is the short list) potato chip and pickle sandwiches, milk shakes (there's a story here too), butter, dark Karo syrup blended together and spread on white bread!  Oh they were yummy!  But the one standing out in my memory today, is toasted saltine crackers with butter.

A very, very, long time ago, in a land far far away, saltines were made four to a square.  The box didn't come with four separate sleeves.  There was only one and the crackers were all connected.

They looked just like this!
We would toast this "sheet" of saltines and proceed to slather them with butter.  The butter would sizzle as you rubbed it across the cracker.  It tasted pretty good too. 

I still love saltines.  But finding this little sheet of four connected crackers is impossible to do these days.  This makes putting them in the traditional toaster a little tricky.  ;) 

What is my point? I'm not exactly sure. I miss those little sheets of saltines!  I miss cartoons on Saturday mornings.  I miss my sister-we live pretty far apart.  I miss the snacks.  Most of them I can recreate.  But I just can't bring back everything together.  I was having a saltine with some soup today and it all came back to me-like it was yesterday. 

Oh, and the story about the milk shake- it went like this... One Saturday morning, I apparently pestered my sister to make a milkshake for me.  She made them for us from time to time.  I was too young to actually do it myself.  So, in between cartoons, she took me to the kitchen, had me stand on a chair and gave me a glass of milk to drink.  Honestly, I thought she was really going to make a milkshake..  I drank the milk, then she put her hands on my waist and shook me from side to side...  She said "There's your milkshake." and left the room.  Today, when I think of this story I laugh and shake my head.  (That's not what I did back then!)  

Don't ever ask about a haircut I received from her my junior year in high school-wink wink.  

I think that's enough reminiscing for today.  

Thanks for the memorable snacks Dee.  xoxoxo

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"I'm Fine"

It's a beautiful summer morning.  But for me, time is slowing and a somber veil is slipping over the day.

Paul was my friend.  He wasn't my dad or uncle or brother.  But he played all these roles in my life.  Paul passed away this morning after a long and courageous battle with cancer. 

I have countless memories of being with Paul.  But today, I will share just one.

Quite some time ago, we were sitting in church alone together.  We were praying for another friend.  When we were both finished, I passed my little prayer book to him.  It was opened to a page with this poem...

I'm Fine

There's nothing whatever the matter with me.
I'm just as healthy as I can be.
I have arthritis in both my knees
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak and my blood is thin
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
I think my liver is out of whack
And a terrible pain is in my back.
My hearing is poor, my sight is dim,
Most everything seems to be out of trim.
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
I have arch supports for both my feet,
Or I wouldn't be able to go on the street.
Sleeplessness I have night after night,
And in the morning I'm just a sight.
My memory is failing, my head's in a spin.
I'm peacefully living on aspirin
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
The moral is, as this tale we unfold,
That for you and me who are growing old,
It's better to say "I'm fine" with a grin
Than to let them know the shape we're in.
--- Cardinal Cushing

He read it, looked at me and grinned his huge Paul grin, giggled softly and said "I'm fine"! 

I love you Paul.  
I'll miss you always.