Friday, August 26, 2011

FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS...

Falling through the cracks:  to be lost or forgotten; to not be noticed or dealt with; to pass unnoticed, to be neglected or unchecked
Wow, that is a pretty accurate and unflattering definition of my life at the moment.  It feels like so many things in my life are falling through the cracks.  I am feeling very disjointed and disorganized.  I would love to lay the blame on situation or circumstance, although sometimes these out of my hands occurrences do contribute, I have to face the cold harsh facts that I am responsible for my mismanagement of time, for neglecting certain duties, refusing to deal with certain realities, or blindly letting things pile up or pass unnoticed, in an essence, I have left myself unchecked.  I have lost my vision and forgotten the path I was on.  This is a slippery slope indeed.
I woke up this morning with the pressure of an elephant on my chest, an elephant that I invited to sit there, nice!  I had the clarity and realization that I had to take action and get back on target.  That means I have to cut out anything that is not absolutely necessary to carry out my goal.  One of those things that is time consuming to me is this very near and dear blog.  One simple post can take me as much as three hours from start to finish, times that by three (the amount of posts I prefer to do per week), and you get nine hours, that my friends is an entire work day! 

So, my dear friends, for just the teeniest bit of time I am going to step away from my computer, go cold turkey, and turn my hand to the task of setting a few things back in order and then I can blissfully return to blogging without the nagging guilt.  My plan is pluck away at all those ripe old things that have been hanging around on my "to do" vine, working my way to the newest little green sprouts that have cropped up in recent days...
Until the vine is picked clean, well, maybe there will still be a ripe idea or two left to savor in the future...
I know that if I have a week or two or maybe even a few that I can get focused on what I need to accomplish and send that elephant back to the zoo where he belongs.  Although, I am thinking he likes living here since this place seems sort of like a zoo at the moment but I will soon resolve that.  Thank you for bearing with me with your readership, friendship, love, and support.  I know I have not been around in the quality, content, and consistency that we have shared in the past and for that I apologize.  This has been a really big transitional year here at the Quill with my daughter getting married (no, I have not forgotten that I have promised to share the wedding!) and my mothers health slipping.  My time and attention have been needed on the home front.

I know there are those of you who can just blog your way right through whatever situation you are in but right now I am not at a place where I can't do that.  Reality struck hard this week when I came so close to losing a beloved aunt that has been like a mother to me.  I need to get some priorities straight to make life easier, richer, and fuller here at the Quill.  I am not saying goodbye, just see you later.  How much later I cannot say but I am hoping I will reconnect with you sometime in September.

Monday, August 22, 2011

CLOUDY MEMORIES...

O it is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge-

 I was sitting quietly on the farmhouse porch when I saw him making his approach just beyond and between the Silver Leaf Maple and the old Sweet Gum trees.  He looked quite jolly with his puffed up cheeks, upturned nose, and mouth drawn up into and "O" as if he were whistling a merry tune.  I watched his silhouette become more distinct as he drifted forward, my mind drifting backward...
On sunny summer days just such as this one Granny would shoo us out of the house and onto the front lawn.  The cousins and I wriggled in anticipation as she approached the old Silver Leaf Maple, quilt tucked under her arm...
There is almost always a strong breeze from the East and it never failed to catch the colorful quilt and puff it out like a parachute.  We made a game of trying to catch the flapping corners and getting it to settle on the ground.  The cousins and I tumbled onto it pouching out the air underneath settling ourselves on our backs while Granny lowered herself onto her favorite old chippy yellow metal lawn chair with just the right amount of bounce to it to act as a rocker.

We waited for Granny's signal of "Now children, what do you see?" and the game of making cloud pictures began.  Still little bodies with eyes focused heavenward as the old as time East Wind blew the billowy cloud formations into shapes.  Little arms shot upwards with fingers pointing and shouting out ensued as each one in turn and sometimes on top of one another pointed to their cloud picture.  
The game was at first played with great exuberance but as our wise Granny knew this would not last for long and a quietness would soon take over and still our wriggly bodies, active minds, and shouting voices.  Nature would do its soothing work of settling and calming us.  The soft feel of the old rainbow colored flour sack quilt acted as a downy cushion against the prickle of the grass.  Its smell of sunshine wafted on the breeze.  As arms grew tired and bodies grew quiet with only the occasional outburst of giggles when a grasshopper decided to use a belly, arm, or leg as a trampoline, the inevitable request and chorus of "Granny tell us story." was always made.

I always requested to hear about Epaminondus and "The Poppy Seed Cakes", one cousin always wanted "The Seven Little Sneezes", and the other "Silly Jack".  As the sun warmed us and the breeze tickled across our skin we listened to the rise and fall of Granny's voice.  Once those tales were told we wanted real stories of when she was a little girl.  Our eyes were still fixed on the sky with the occasional call of a particularly note worthy cloud formation when song requests were made.  "Froggie Went A-Courtin'", "The Old Grey Goose", and my favorite, the haunting old folk tune of "It Rained a Mist".  Granny's voice would fade to a low hum with an accompanying pulsing background song from the cicadas.  The lowing of cattle...
Or smell of a flower...
 
Would drift by our ears and noses as eyes grew droopy, breathing evened, all body motion ceased.  We would each one by one slipped into slumber while Granny sang of "Wynkin, Blinkin, and Nod" sailing off in their wooden shoe.

Returning to the present I still watched him up there in the sky as he drew in a breath, puffed out his cheeks and blew cloudy memories on the breeze.  I pictured him there, Old Man Wind, his profile in the cloud formation just beyond and between the old Sweet Gum and the very Silver Leaf Maple...
Where summer stories, songs, and naps took place.  I thought I could still see us there, Granny, the cousins and I, playing the cloud game under the shivering silver gray leaves.  

The game still had its desired effect, the sun still warmed me and the breeze still tickled my skin.  The cattle gently called to one another in the pasture...
And flower scents still wafted on the breeze....
 My eyes grew droopy, breathing evened, all body motion ceased, as I watched the clouds smooth themselves out and the memory become cloudy,  while the cicadas song rose and fell in the background, it was time for a nap... 
Did you too make cloud pictures as a child?

I hope you each enjoy a special happy memory today!
P.S.  We have been at the farm for several days so I have not been able to read or respond to comments on my last few posts, I will be doing so in the next couple of days.  I did not want anyone to think I was ignoring them.  We can't get internet at the farm.

Friday, August 19, 2011

TRINKETS...

Trinket - A small trivial thing, a trifle, usually an inexpensive object
 I am intrigued by trinkets, small little finds of unrelated objects that are of little use or value except that they hold droplets of inspiration and bubbles of joy for me.  I found a little trinket bag last week while I was out searching for chairs for the farm house.  Still no chairs but this was a fun find...
 I keep an old crazed platter in my studio where I drop these little treasures.  It is fun to root around and find just the perfect little piece that is often a finishing touch for an art piece...
 I love how random this little bag of objects were, a wonderful old laminated oval photo...
 Are they friends?  Sisters?  Cousins?  The back side is a little hand mirror...
 A sweet little silver box...
 Very masculine, I think it might have been a cuff link box...
 A quirky pair of mini, 1/4 inch, dice...
 A silver key...
 An old cork fishing bobber...
 A tiny plastic bullet...
 I think you could hide a secret message in here...
 A wee little watch parts tin...

This is only one inch long...
 A cool old wooden red lead pencil case...

It is the size of a fire cracker...


 Its red, white, and blue label would make it a fun addition to a 4th of July display..
 And last, but not least, the thing that truly captured my heart and sealed the deal on this purchase, a flat as a pancake pair of tiny black baby shoes...
 One little jet button remains, the other has been replaced by a safety pin...
 I can't decide if I want to try and recondition the leather and make them stand up or leave them flat and use them in an art book project...
 These trivial pieces of history had some meaning to someone at some place in time or they would not have been save.  They were new once, actually used objects, and perhaps they were treasured by their owners.  They may have changed hands many times.  For now, they are mine, I will enjoy them, use some of them, or pass them along to someone else.  Each one has a hidden story of the life it lived and that is what draws me to these trifles.  Each object does have its appeal to me but it is the hidden story that fires my imagination or inspires my creative soul.

I am indeed enamored by trinkets.  
What inspires you?

This week I am linking with Debra's (Common Ground) Vintage Inspiration Friday.  
 Run on over and see her fantastic GIVE AWAY SIGN UP!  
You won't want to miss out on a chance to win these wonderful prizes... 
 May your weekend be filled with bubbles of inspiration and droplets of joy!




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SEW FAR...

May your bobbin always be full!

-Author Unknown-
Since my last post I have finally been able to alight on something...sewing.  Settling myself in to the sewing center of my studio I wiled away the hours popping out pillows...
 First I made a set for my daughter to match her new sofa.  I forgot to take pics before I delivered them to her, sorry.  Then I began the sewing for the farmhouse living room starting with the sofa pillows.  Sew far this is where I have gotten to...
 I am still stuffing these three and need to button tuft the six paneled one.  I love the Dupioni silk backing on these...
 After looking at them I am not sure how they are going to blend with the airy other fabrics, these might get to live here at the Quill.  I will have to wait and see how they all look together.  Today I am moving on to the lighter brighter shades and hopefully to prep the ottoman for upholstering.  Sew far so sew good!

I came across a cute find a few weeks ago and had no idea what I would do with it, a little crackled cupboard with wire insert doors...
 I also came across a couple of those old metal receipt holders and they were interesting enough to bring home to even though I did not know what I would do with them.  I stuck them inside the cupboard to carry them home and there they sat.
While I was sitting and mindlessly stuffing pillows I was looking at the thread spools on my candle holders and that gave me an idea for my bobbins...
 I abandoned my stuffing rummaging around a bit I found a couple of extra thimbles and a couple of corks.  I stuffed the corks into the thimbles cutting off the excess, layered my wound bobbins onto the receipt holders and topped them off with the new thimble topper...
 The rest of the bobbins I placed in the little drawer on the front of the cupboard...
 Now not only are some of my thread spools handy but so are my bobbins!  
Now you see why I am fluttering!  I start one task and another idea bumps right into it.  I am off to discipline myself into cutting strips of fabric to make some welting, yuck, but I can't find ready-made in the colors I need, oh well.  

I hope you all have a beauty filled day and find deep satisfaction in whatever ever it is that you set your hands to. 

Many Blessings,
Sandy
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