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stitch! stitch! stitch!

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"With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags
Plying her needle and thread,—
Stitch! stitch! stitch!"  --  Thomas Hood

I have moved my studio from the basement to a basket in my living room.  The basement is still very damp, but the flood specialists promised to return today.  It's going to cost $1100.  Sigh.  Knowing that it could have been far worse is the only thing that keeps me from freaking out over the clean up expense.

I'm nearing the completion of a large bedspread.  I woke up this morning with my wrists throbbing.  I had taken the day off on Wednesday in order to get some cleaning done, so I was feeling rather nimble yesterday and completed another 7 inches with French class and a few errands in between rows.  I should only do 4 to 5 rows a day, but with a deadline nearing and a desire to jump to other projects, I am pushing to finish this one by the weekend's end.

Next up, linen place mats.   And maybe a little weeding in the garden.  The dandelions are taller than the Endless Summer hydrangea I planted Mother's Day weekend.


graduation

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"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life." -- Plato

This entry is to you Baby Girl!  You are incredible!

It's been two weeks since Baby Girl walked up to receive her high school diploma.  I couldn't have been any prouder of her than I was at that moment.  School didn't come easy for her.  Every test was a struggle.   Math was a nightmare and reading to be avoided as much as possible.   But she did it, she worked until she succeeded.   Okay, so I gave her a few motivational kicks in the butt, but this diploma was earned and deserved. 

In just  11 days she steps forward into her future as a student at The French Pastry School.  Sure, there will be reading and mathematics, but it will be directly applied.  The education is hands on, literally up to the elbows in dough.    I understand the faith of others in the No Child Left Behind Act, but it doesn't help many achieve their goals, my daughter included.  If I or her teachers had agreed with her test results or the educational path determined by the government, Baby Girl more than likely would have given up.  Instead we found ways to help her learn at her own speed and in her own way and soon she will be attending college.  My daughter is an infinite times more intelligent than any test can measure.  She has learned more than expected plus numerous life lessons that many adults struggle to comprehend.

I have to admit that I am thrilled she chose to live at home while attending college.  Imagine the homework she will be doing!  No more tears while attempting to memorize the parts of a cicada, just pastries, ice creams, chocolates, jams, cakes, breads, and tarts.  Oh, yeah!   


flood

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"Don't make the mistake of treating your dogs like humans, or they'll treat you like     dogs."
    --Martha Scott

As far as Josie is concerned, I am still a human in training.  My job is to feed, walk and otherwise amuse her, anything else is for the dogs.  Like the crochet ball dangling from her mouth,  it was to be a felted bead, but was nabbed by her from my studio table.  She is so tiny that I forget she can get onto tables in just one leap.  She has a cat-like agility and a very persistent, mischievous personality.  The former bead is her favorite toy.  She carries it with her around the house, dropping it ever-so-casually at my feet with a look of hopefulness followed by disgust if don't pick up the hint to play.   

Fortunately she allowed me to sleep a full seven hours last night.   I was worn out after battling traffic for 3 hours followed by several hours of cleaning a very damp basement.  I'm lucky, a colleague had to abandon her car when it lost traction in the rain and started to float.  Can you imagine???  My art is okay, as is the work I am doing for Lark.  I can deal with a soggy rug.  The cleaners are scheduled to come tomorrow, so the problem will soon be solved.  I can't complain.  Okay, maybe just wee bit....

While taking a wet vac break, I surfed the Internet and came across a review of Big Blue by a fellow blogger.  Mr. Etherknitter's review wasn't the most favorable.  He was right.  My decreases were slightly wonky looking, but knitting upside down and twisted, they were bound to be.  I had to respond.  I couldn't resist!  But the great thing is that Mrs. Etherknitter responded in turn!  I love the blogging world.  It's like the knitting world, sometimes itchy, but always interesting, and a great way to meet others of like interests.   And by the way, you have to check out the photo of Mrs. Etherknitter surrounded by boxes of gorgeous roving.  I'm still drooling.  You would think after owning a yarn store for 6 years that such lusts would have been saturated, but, uh, no. 


crochet crazy

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I know a little garden-close
Set thick with lily and red rose,
Where I would wander if I might
From dewy dawn to dewy night
--  William Morris


The sun is tucked behind the clouds allowing my house to cool off and bringing much needed rain to the garden.  I haven't had any time in the past week to clip, weed or water, but fortunately the 2" of mulch covering my flower beds is keeping things green and lovely.

I am back to crazy crochet deadlines.  Lark Books is coming out with a new book on crocheted items for the home.  I am making 5 items for it and all are big, like rug size big.  I had wanted a long, slow, day dreamy summer, but I couldn't resist the editorial challenge.   

My hands are really aching because every spare moment is spent crocheting without much break.  I need to keep up the pace to make the deadline.  Does anyone have suggestions for easing the tension in elbows and wrists? 


thank you!

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"Blue, darkly, deeply, beautifully blue."  -- Robert Southey

Today has truly been remarkable.  First, Rachel from Sweet Figs sent a photo of Big Blue as seen on her tellie a few weeks back.  Doesn't Big Blue look good!  She stands proudly in the background behind Cool Globe's founder Wendy Abrams.  Despite her initial slump in the beginning, my repair and reconfiguration of the lower tension is holding true.  I couldn't be more pleased.  She has such presence. 

Later this afternoon I spoke with Penelope Dullaghan of Illustration Friday fame.  I've been following her work and blog for over a year and just felt a kindred spirit in her.  So nothing ventured, nothing gained, I asked if she would consider creating illustrations for The Red Thread Project.  Oh my goodness! I can't wait to share with you what she's designed!  She sent a link with all these incredible images -  a logo, stationary, business card, postcard and even the base for a website.   I was floored with the utter beautiful simplicity of her work.  Absolutely every detail has been considered.  She really captured the essence of the both the proverb and the project.  I felt like a complete dunce thanking her again and again.  I couldn't stop.  I was overwhelmed with her generosity.  I mean, really, how do you thank someone who spilled out their creative heart and asks for nothing in return? 


1 year anniversary

Kveus4077s
"Friends have all things in common." -- Plato

Oh my goodness, the one year anniversary of this blog slipped right by without a peep from me.  June 11, 2006 I started this blog without much forethought.  I simply wanted to initiate a discussion on art, but over the year it has grown to include recipes, knitting patterns, rantings on the mischievous behavior of 5 lb dogs and just about everything else that crosses my brainwaves.  If anything, it has been both an adventure and process for learning more about myself as well as of the world.  Don't you just love the Internet (...except when your server crashes midway through a particularly fab posting, then it is nothing but a source of annoying frustration)!

When contemplating an anniversary entry, I googled the word serendipity and came across a few choice links.  Enjoy!

Serendipitysundaescover Oh wow!  A store where a sundae is considered serious food.

Serendipitycollage Seriously cool knitting needles.  I need a pair (or two or three or....).  Next paycheck!

Serendipity1 A gorgeous orchid!

Serendipity_font And even a font!  I wonder how I can use it on my blog?

The photo of fireworks over Chicago is courtesy of www.aviewoncities.com.


how do they do it?

Lbo15
"Art is making of something out of nothing and selling it."  -- Frank Zappa

I've become a blog addict.  I have a few favorite links listed on my side bar, but I always end up reading more and more on a regular basis.  I spent a decade selling jewelry at outdoor markets in London and in department stores in the United States, but I never made enough to stop teaching.   I love teaching, but one day I would really like my source of income to be derived purely from my creative production.   How does everyone else do it? 

Juggling separate lines of creative inquiry is a bit much.  In business terms, my portfolio is too diversified.  I don't make things strictly for functional use.  Performance art isn't a commodity to hang on the wall or adorn the body.  I enjoy working on commissions as they force me to think in new ways.  Such as with the above image.  I can't sew a garment to save my life, but I can use my sewing machine to draw and sculpt.  This sketch was for a commission I completed two years ago for a church group in Geneva, Switzerland.  I enjoy the design work I do for Lark Books and writing for Fiberarts.  Building a collection for exhibition can take years.  I occasionally work with studio assistants, but their help only speeds up production by a few percentage points.

I know I am complaining as life is really rather swell.  A curator I spoke with recently said she has been seeing my name everywhere.  Friends and colleagues keep me up to date with Cool Globes publicity, Lindsay Sightings as they like to joke.  But again, I'm still teaching to earn my living.  You know, it must be that I enjoy teaching.  I do enjoy it, but it must be a deeper subconscious satisfaction if I allow it to take me away from the studio. 

Yeah, that must be it. 


school bus

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"Education is the best provision for old age."  --  Aristotle

My daughter's last trip on the school bus.  I remember the first trip.  I was prepared for the mixed emotions.  But not today. 

Baby girl has grown up.  She fears the future as it is an unknown, but she is equally excited, anticipating all that it has to offer.  In a way I am a bit envious.  I've become so jaded in my oh-so-wise years of 40.  The new car smell of the future has worn off. 

But one thing is a certainty, I still have the ability to thoroughly embarrass my daughter.  Check out her smile.  It's that "Oh gawd, not again...." smile which is usually followed by at least one eye roll.  Baby Girl may be all grown up, but she is still my baby girl.


Flash Gordan

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Don't let this picture fool you.  That puppy, that creature is pure devil.  Just a moment ago I was taking out the trash and left the gate slightly ajar, and I mean slightly, just a sliver of a crack.  Zoooooooooooooooom! She's off!  It took two blocks to catch up with her.  Did I happen to mention that I am not a runner, let alone a sprinter?  It is a good thing she is so cute, her only saving grace.  Well, okay, she is also a great snuggler and quite amusing when not running away or digging up my hostas.   

Back to baking.  I burned a batch of muffins while chasing the git. 


Lady Chaos

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"A dog in desperation will leap over a wall."  -- Chinese proverb

Isn't she just the cutest little thing?  All fuzzy innocence ready to curl up in your lap.  HA!  If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you.  She is actually the original Devil Dog.  Lady Chaos on Four Paws.  How a 5 lb dog can do so much destruction is beyond me. 

Last summer, when she was just a wee wot of 4 lbs, she managed to find every teeny weeny tiny escape hole in the backyard.  In the blink of an eye there she would be in the neighbor's yard acting like a teenager whose parents are out of town.  With the assistance of my neighbors we found and blocked every escape hatch.  But does that deter the Lady Chaos?  Oh heck no!

Now she is digging tunnels UNDER the fence.  No more hostas.  They are in shreds.  What few remain intact I have to transplant to safer terrain.  What is worse is she now has a cohort in crime!
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This is Jack, my Pomeranian.  He has never been one to dig, but with Josie's encouragement he is downright mischievous.  They are like characters from those old black and white crime shows.  Josie is the master mind and Jack is the muscles.  The scamp came in the other day covered in mud.  I had left them alone for only a nanosecond to catch the phone, but that was all the time he needed.  Yep, another tunnel partially dug.

I have checked the dog manuals and they say digging is a healthy activity.  They casually mention that a sandbox would give a dog who enjoys digging "endless hours of exercise and amusement."  Oh, please.