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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wedding bird progress

Magnolia, lilac and viburnum are blooming all around my deck and the fragrance is Heavenly!

It is an absolutely stunning day here in Middle Tennessee. Warm, sunny, and breezy with lovely white puffy clouds in the sky.  I decided to bring my studio outside where I can hear the birds singing, and maybe even catch a little sun on my shoulders. It will be the best of both worlds!  I looked at this as 'going to work'.  I changed my clothes, washed my hair and even brushed my teeth!  I was kind of laughing at myself the whole time I was getting ready. I do, truly enjoy these moments of my own silliness.  

The Groom, so far.
I sat outside enjoying it all.  

The "groom" will have a tiny little black knitted vest with pearl buttons.  The beginning of the vest is to his right on those tiny, little size 1 needles.  They look similar to long toothpicks...and they're about as easy with which to work!  He also has a little top hat that didn't make the photo! 

I slowly began to realize how very warm it had become but was determined to ignore it. However, my cheeks began to pulsate and my clothes adhered themselves to my skin in the noontime sun. I shifted uncomfortably and then gave up and came back in the house.  The thermometer read 91.4 F.  Yikes! I think I'll wait for a cooler day before I bring my studio outside again!

Weather aside, I'll be working on my little birds and posting their progress from time to time.  

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My words feel hollow.

The Boston terrorism tragedy is forefront in my mind today.

Perhaps I need to turn off the news .  There is so much information, unintentional misinformation, photos and videos.   My heart aches for the people injured by these bombings and the families and loved ones of the people who perished in them. 

We probably all know someone who runs and participates in marathons and 5 k walk/runs, etc.  I have many friends who are runners.  Even my 11 year old son enjoys an occasional run/walk event.  He came home from school yesterday and announced that he doesn't think he wants to do these events anymore.  I attempted to discourage him from a complete boycott.  But at the same time I was thinking of all the people we heard about and saw on the news yesterday and discouraging him wouldn't have been hard

No, we don't live in a huge city like Boston.  But what precludes our small town from experiencing a similar event?  Nothing.  That is why it's called terrorism...It can make you live in fear-if you let it.   My husband and I have stood at the finish line the few times he has raced, waiting excitedly for our son to cross.  The photo below was the beginning of the race.  I remember feeling so proud and excited for him.  Surely, it was the same feeling for all the families of the runners of the Boston Marathon yesterday.  What a tragic end for so many spectators.

My son's latest 5 K race

So, where does it end?  Do we stay cocooned in our safe little corners of the world and in our homes?  No. We will pray away the fear for others and ourselves.  Our sons, daughters, husbands and wives will run in 5 k races and we will wait excitedly at the finish line. 

 We will not waste a moment to rush to help someone in need.

 I will encourage our son to participate without fear in the things he loves because "Darkness cannot drive out darkness.  Only light can do that. "
 We need to be a beacon to others in that darkness!

Run like the wind my friend!

These are some quotes I read this morning that resonate with me-

"Went on a run.  And ran my hardest. Perfect time to think. I am so grateful for my legs and thankful I live in America."

"We are Boston"

 “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” - Mr. Rogers

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sheeply Musings

Today, for reasons unnecessary to explain, it is incumbent upon me to defend the much maligned intelligence of sheep. 

Having raised them for nearly 20 years, I have the benefit of some experience on my side. 

Sheep are not stupid.   

Just like humans, some sheep appear flighty and skittish. For the most part, they are gentle, intelligent and caring creatures.  My opinion is, the negative sheep-ly behaviors are motivated by fear and not stupidity.  A sheep only has a few means of self defense.  Both rams and ewes will; butt, face the threat head on, stomp a foot and even snort when afraid and sadly, that is where it ends.   Most of these defenses will not protect them from a predator.  

A good shepherd will provide a means of protection.  Most importantly, they’ll need a sturdy fence to keep sheep in and predators out!   A livestock guardian dog, even llamas and donkeys provide the rest of the necessary protection.  When the guardian animal is doing his job properly, he will place himself between the impending threat and his sheep.  Then he will defend accordingly.  The sheep will learn to stay behind their protector and keep a close watch on the situation.  Depending on the severity of the threat or attack, a flock might scatter while being chased.  Once the situation deteriorates to a chase, all they can do is run.  A frightened sheep most likely will not make good decisions about where it runs.  Most predators can outrun or tire a sheep very easily.  Then the attack is imminent. 

Watching and observing my flock over the years brought me great joy.  I have seen their behavior in so many different situations.  While a birth is occurring, they all seem to be aware of what is happening and maintain a respectful distance.  To a degree, they care for each others lambs by allowing them to remain close by-sometimes even resting on the ewes back while she’s laying down in the warm Spring sunshine. But when it comes to nursing, ewes are quick to send other ewe’s lambs back to their own mom.  Young lambs will play and romp with each other with wild abandon and this was undoubtedly, the most joyful thing to watch-ever.  

Sheep miss each other when one is removed from the flock for shearing, veterinary care or when a death occurs.  They will call and look for the missing sheep, to the point of exhaustion.  In the case of a death, they call and look again, exhaustively.  Once the realization settles in, they mourn.  I’ve seen this more than once.   While I can’t humanize this animal, they do certainly possess many human qualities. 

So, when I hear people speak of these animals in less than flattering tones, I don’t fight back the compulsion to correct their point of view…I kindly inform them that sheep are so much more than they might have ever realized.  

"Ruthie and Lulabelle", were my last two ewes.  They lived very long and happy lives on our farm. Both passed on some time ago. They were my beautiful wooly friends. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Springtime is for weddings!

Today, I began the process of making a pair of wool felted wedding birds.  I made the pair in the above photo for my niece.  She and her husband were married in 2008.  It's been quite a while since my first pair of birds.  I'm going to enjoy creating these again.  Eventually, they will be listed in my Etsy.com shop.  My niece's wedding was featured in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Chicago Brides Magazine.  It was a spectacular event!   I loved that her little feathered bride and groom cake topper made it into the article.

Great close up
The happy couple cutting the cake!
Chicago Brides Magazine article Spring/Summer 2009

I was encouraged to make these birds again and again actually.  I'm not sure why I've waited so long,  but here we go!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Left Handed Knitting

Oh so true!

I've been teaching a "Beginner Knitting" class on Tuesday nights.  Tonight will be the last official class.  One of my students is left handed.  When I developed this class, I never considered I might encounter a left handed student. 

Despite me, she is doing well!  When I am instructing, I feel so disconnected reversing the directions...  Sometimes, I knit directly facing her so she can see what needs to be done.  I hadn't considered asking her to knit in front of a mirror-or maybe it's me who needs to use the mirror!
When I watch her knit, it just doesn't compute in my own head!  But when I see what she has knitted, it's perfect.

Mirror Knitting

I'm wondering if you have any sage advice for my student or myself...  Have you ever instructed a left handed person? Are there any tips or tricks?  I'd like to make certain my student gets all she can from the class and not walk away feeling cheated.  

Happy Knitting!

Monday, April 8, 2013


Let's go fly a kite!

The next time someone tells you to go fly a kite, I highly recommend doing so.  

It's been many years since I've done this. Most of my memories of kites consist of shredded Barbie and Sponge Bob kites tangled in the trees.  My upset, children would be standing underneath, plotting their rescue.

Over the weekend, my husband picked up this sweet little kite for our 11 year old son. He needed a little help getting it going...  After working with it for a few minutes, he came back in the house and announced the kite must be defective..."It won't fly." We both noticed the tail was still wound up and held together with a rubber band at the base of the kite.  He told us unfurling the tail wouldn't help... 

I put on my shoes and went out with him.  We have a big, open field right next to us.  It's a perfect place to fly a kite.  The breeze was blowing just right.  The sky and clouds were awesome.  Within minutes, his kite was up in the sky in all it's glory.  After giving Gabriel some pointers, he piloted his kite like a professional. He wanted everyone to come out and see how well he was doing.  That was as much fun for me as it was for him! 

When Gabriel was finished with Kite Flying 101, he handed it over to me and moved on to another sport.  I think it was whacking rocks with an aluminum bat... At any rate, I was left alone in this field. The wind was gently blowing, the sun was shining down on me and the birds were singing their April songs.  Our kite-colorful and animated, waggled and waved in the sky making me wonder what it would be like-to be like that kite-semi free, flying high above the ground, soaking in the glorious sunshine and without a care in the world.  Nice...

We can get so caught up in the everyday life around us. Writing this, I am amused with myself how a simple and childlike activity of flying a kite could allow me to make such a departure from things that would otherwise and unworthily occupy my mind.  I feel refreshed. 

So remember, if you ever want to tell me to "Go fly a kite..."  I'll go.  I might even skip.  ;)