Monday, July 29, 2013

The Joy Challenge

I'm a happy person!  There I said it! 
"I Love Lucy"

I think that it is not very popular to be joyful these days. We are bombarded with bad news - catastrophes, governmental shenanigans, bad behavior on the front page of the newspaper, everyday frustrations.  What has happened to us?  When did life become such a 'survivor' sport?

"Laverne and Shirley"

Our motion pictures, magazine racks and television series are filled with violence, disaster, drugs, alcohol and sex.  Even those that are purported to be comedies have a theme of trying to combine all  'seven deadly sins' into one 90 minute program.

"Laurel and Hardy"

 As I've gotten older I'm quite aware of how insignificant each day is, in the scheme of things.  Of how small my little presence is in this great and wonderful universe.  And so, why not celebrate each day, instead of thinking of it as something to be 'gotten' through? 

So here's to fun! Here's to laughter and joy and happiness.  Here's to greeting the rising sun each day with gratitude and peace in my heart.

"Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.  We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy." - Joseph Campbell

Friday, July 26, 2013

Singing in the Rain

In between rain showers I rushed outside to capture some of the intrepid flowers that are blooming.  These little Balloon plants are such a lovely, deep purple color and so abundant.

My Lavender is trying very hard to bloom -- but I suspect its wondering how it ended up here, instead of a dryer, Mediterranean climate.

The Echincea and Black Eyed Susans are working nicely together with their bright colors.

Oh and don't I love the Butterfly Weed (now how could anyone call this a weed) with its bright orange blooms.

Lastly, but certainly not least, come my Hydrangeas which are still standing tall, blooming beautifully and saying to the rain 'bring it on'!

"I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a beautiful feeling
I'm happy again..." 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


How many doorways - both literally and figuratively - have I passed through?  Each event, adventure, trail, has started by opening the door.

Some doorways seem quite heavy - like those old, wooden doors that actually creak if you try to push them open and then have to be held open which can be a burden.

Some doorways are like the old wooden screen doors that 'slapped' shut behind me - letting me know I had just taken a step over the threshold.

And some doorways are just bits of thread looped over a bit of fabric leading who knows where...

"You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves.  Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life." - Daisaku Ikeda

Saturday, July 20, 2013

An Ode to Whimsy

As I recently started back into punchneedle I realized that something was missing from my work.  So I started to explore a little whimsy -- fanciful designs -- fun, bright, light colors.  This little bird design popped up ready to be colored with tiny loops and thread.

What colors would I use?  What combinations?  Out came my stash of Wildflower threads from Caron.  The color combinations in these thread skeins are always a wonder to me.  I can stand and look at them, hung up in the store, forever - except that the store has certain hours and eventually I would be thrown out.

With the choice of "Painted Desert" in hand I began to add some DMC floss in colors to match. Bright colors, fun colors, whimsical colors.

I leave you with the quote below - because I believe it will become my daily motto over the next few months. 

"Today was good
Today was fun
Tomorrow is another one."

Dr. Seuss

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Messy Me!

Remember my great 'organization' of a few postings ago?  Looking at what is before me right now 'organization' seems to have fallen by the way!

I have to have 'every' possible/probable color of floss out on my table.  Mixing and matching and making a mess.

I have to have the exact threads I'm working with in my work space - along with the used up pieces of thread sitting in a small pottery bowl.

Time for clean up will come one day soon.  In the meantime I wonder 'how can one person be having so much fun'?

"I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun." - Katherine Hepburn

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Freedom is a State of Mind"

As you know, I've been preparing my submission for the "Freedom" challenge due today. Over the past six months I've thought much about this word and its meanings.  My dictionary has no fewer than seventeen definitions for 'freedom'.  No wonder it took me awhile to study this word and put it into stitchery.

After much thought I decided that there is no true freedom.  At the beginning of my life I was destined, through genes to be a girl, to be small, to have poor eyesight, among other things.  I could not choose before birth who or what I would be. 

As my life went on I became most pleasantly 'encumbered' by family, school, a husband, a child, friends, jobs.  I never, ever thought I was not free -- because I didn't think in those terms.

Sometimes we don't have the ability to change our circumstances.  At those times I believe the saving graces are acceptance and thankfulness for what 'freedoms' we do have. When all is said and done we are only free if we believe we are.

I believe 'freedom' comes from my state of mind and those things that might seem to limit my freedom are actually blessings in disguise. 

"There are many ways to be free.  One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do". - Anais Nin

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Water Lily

Rain has come down and come down and come down.  We've received 9" in the past 75 days - and most of that, I'm sure, was within the past two weeks when it has rained nonstop.

This water lily always seem such a patient plant.  All I see, for months on end, are the green leaves resting on top of the water.  And then one day I look up to see this beautiful yellow bloom.  Coming between rain showers it is a very welcome sight.

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir


Monday, July 8, 2013

Punchneedle Project

After meeting the 'challenge' I'm ready to explore a new punchneedle project.  I can't even begin to tell you how many 'ideas' are both in my head and cluttering up my studio.  Its a 'clutter' that I like but if I don't get busy and give life to some of these I'll end up totally frustrated.

So a drawing has been rendered -- floss has been chosen (and of course more will have to be added because that's just the way it is).

I think a few embellishments will make their way onto this piece.

I'm looking forward to hearing the tick-tick of the needle moving through the fabric and watching an idea become reality.
"You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation." - Roger Maris

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Summer is here and the hydrangeas in our yard are celebrating.

I love their passion for life.  Are they not the Mae West of flowers?  Blowsy, outgoing, colorful -- you cannot pass them by without stopping.

As the morning sun hits them I can see the new ones, just coming on, with their very delicate flowers, and the full blown flowers with drops of last night's rain on their petals.

I celebrate along with them -- with a full heart of thankfulness.

"Flowers...are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Challenge

Every year our InspiredArts group sets up a challenge. 

This year the challenge - determined at our January meeting - is the word "Freedom" and will be shown and discussed at our July meeting.  We may do whatever we wish with the word which gives each of us the 'freedom' to explore this challenge.

I read definitions of the word.  I pondered the word and its meaning to me.  I pondered the word and its meaning to others.  Basically I just 'pondered' for 5 months!

At last an idea formed - at first quite vaguely and finally with enough substance that I could move forward.  I can't show you what my idea is or even what form it will take but I show here a few bits and pieces that might/will make their way into my view of freedom.

This story is to be continued...


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