Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Where was I and what I was doing.

Time has really gotten away from me and its been a few months since my last significant post here. Since my last post most of the time I was home, I have battled two more bouts of the flu which left me lacking energy and hoping I had seen the last of the flu season, so far I have.

The deep freezes throughout late January and February left my garden lost despite my best efforts to protect the plants by covering them, its gardening and its always a risk but as January moved on the rhododendron bloomed
and is still blooming but the rain today has stripped most of the flowers from its branches, the Canna Lily I thought was lost to the freeze has shown she is made of hardy stuff and is producing some lovely green leaves I don't expect flowers till July.
Today despite heavy rains, hail and tornado warnings I noticed my Jasmine has bloomed, what a perfect symbol for the 1st day of Spring.

I have completed a few hand embroidered pieces two in time for Ostara and the Spring Equinox
This Goddess with March hares is a simply prayer flag for the garden area and this March Hares with Full Moon I haven't decided how to finish it yet, though an altar cloth or wall hanging is high on my list of ideas.
The March Hares with Moon was stitched on a piece of old dress linen that a friend sent me, as soon as I saw the fabric I knew I wanted to embroider on it so I cut off a piece after printing my design onto stitch and wash away product, chose my colors of DMC cotton floss and started to stitch.

The piece I made for Brigid's day turned out lovely and was inspired by a beautiful drawing by Mia Anthonia Fries Orsted
my hand embroidery
original drawing by Mia Anthonia Fries Orsted
I made a sweet heart for Valentine's Day as part of the EGA stitch along for February which was to do redwork.
I also have a few hand pieces I made
crossed fingers
Bruja and moon
holding the moon
I have a few more hand pieces I will eventually stitch and then put them together and see what comes out, all the hands are done on scraps of fabric.
I am still working on the Urban Threads Greenman though he is taking longer than I expected for a
few reasons, #1 I printed the pattern out onto the stitch and wash away product I love and I enlarged the pattern which would be fine but before I stuck the pattern onto the fabric to begin stitching I added a backing fabric so pulling the needle through is a bit hard causing my fingers to cramp and get sore rather quickly.
 #2 reason is when I started to stitch him I was in no real hurry to complete it but now it seems like it will take till next Beltane to be done.  I had thought to take out the stitches and remove the backing fabric or to cut away the backing fabric that wasn't stitched, I did neither, continued on stitching and made some progress.
I read a few magazines, and a few books in between stitching and other things which will be a post for another day.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A little Sunshine

I recently completed two small hand embroidery projects, a sweet little sunshine, much needed on these gray rainy winter days.
I used vintage Coats & Clark variegated embroidery floss number 184 (bottom) that I purchased for 5 cents back in the 1970's the closest colors I found that matched are these DMC 90 and Anchor 1219. The sun is work on a heavy piece of cotton fabric.
I have a rather large stash of vintage embroidery floss I use from time to time.  The other project is the little love birds Valentine piece.
I used Anchor variegated floss number 1201 on cotton muslin I like the way it turned out.  I am just finishing up the last stitches in a new piece for Imbolc and will post it later in the week.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

First book of 2018 read

I finished reading The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman today, this is the first book I have read in 2018 and the first book for the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge I signed up for this year.

The Rules of Magic focuses on Franny, Jet, and their brother Vincent. All coming of age and discovering their ancestry as the descendants of Maria Owens.

As the siblings grow older they struggle with the curse. Some try to push love away while others accept it wholeheartedly no matter what tragedy it may bring. Is it easier for them to fight who they are or deny it completely. Will it save them from the curse of their family. Ultimately, they learn that love can be more powerful than they could ever imagine, especially when it comes to their bond.

The magic, of course, is a founding part of the story, though it doesn’t overshadow the characters at all. I liked how it never seemed exploited or became too witchy. There was a real sense of realism here, these were just people struggling to find their place in life like anyone else, they just happened to have some extraordinary powers to help.

This novel was, dare I say it, spell-binding. It’s a wonderful story about family, magic, loss, and most importantly love.
Side note the Autumn 2017 issue of Faerie Magazine was the Practical Magic issue and if you didn't want to read the new book or reread Practical Magic you certainly did after paging through the Autumn issue. 

I had pre-ordered the book weeks before it's release with plans to begin reading it right after Samhain unfortunately I was feeling under the weather and hit with the flu a few days later that would last 3 long weeks so I put the books aside until I felt better, by then we were in the holiday season and my Ebay and Amazon stores kept me busy till the new year.  The Rules of Magic dare I say it, is spell-binding and sets the perfect stage for the events of Practical Magic.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Uncovering: With the Cloak of Many Colors

It's been quite cold here in north central Florida with gray skies and cold winds blowing through, temps fell into the low twenties all week which of course meant it was time to tuck in the plants.
We weren't fortunate enough to get any of the snow that fell on Tallahassee or Pensacola but I know when I left the house earlier this week I was hit in the face with sleet or maybe a few flurries. I feel a little disappointed each time the temps drop so cold, the skies break gray  and in your heart you just know it is snowing north of where you stand and I long to walk in the beauty where everything covered in white snow surrounded by the silence that usually follows.

I know I could drive north to enjoy the snow, I also know my old bones feel the cold now more than a year ago and those old bones ache deep inside, the arthritis and old bone breaks let me know I'm not missing as much as I think, so perhaps just longing for the snow and reading about it on friends and family blogs is enough for me this year.

A few days ago I was browsing the internet as I do from time to time, reading blogs, looking at posts on Pinterest, reserving a few books for the library reading challenge when somewhere along my web travels I came across this colorful Ruana:
Ruana "Echo"from Paradox Moon

Oh the riot of color, I was enchanted from the moment my eyes fell on the photo, yes that photo above, from Paradox Moon. I saved the photo and posted it on my Facebook along with this one also from Paradox Moon and asked for opinions.
Helena Ruana from Paradox Moon

 I think I knew I was going to buy it the moment I saw it but I waited a few days I don't like to make impulse buys.  For days I couldn't get it out of my mind, I just loved the colors, the embroidery the way it made me feel when I thought about it, something was happening to me I couldn't explain it but I felt that feeling before a long, long time ago.  Four days after I first laid eyes on it I bought it.  I purchased it on the evening of the first full moon of the year perhaps shedding my old ways to lay a path to start a whole new cycle.
the back of 'Echo' Ruana from Paradox Moon
It arrived Thursday afternoon when I wrapped the ruana around me I unwrapped a part of myself  I felt more alive, free and easy. This baffled me to no end could a mere garment cause such a feeling of transformation, I felt awake for the first time in a very long time, not the awake you feel after a long night of sound sleep, but awake to my life the part I seem to have tucked away a while back and somehow I forgot all about.

My friend K left this comment on my FB page It's gorgeous. You are going to feel so wonderful walking around in it.  She was right, though I felt so much more, I could feel layers of dust fall from me the old stirrings of creativity rumbling from deep down inside me, the potter, the painter, the writer, all long tucked away deep within like my garden plants waiting to be uncovered to the sunlight once again.  I need to hold on to this rediscovery of me , it looks like 2018 is going to be an interesting year.

The link to Paradox Moon:  https://www.facebook.com/ParadoxMoonClothing

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

I looked back on my January 1 journal entry for 2017 and I'm happy to say most of the goals I set for myself were met. The most important one however still eludes me and that is getting better control of my health, so again that becomes my main goal. Other goals I made were to be more creative and I did do that in aces.  I also wanted to read 5 new to me authors which I did so this year I will try for 7, which isn't always easy because I read several series.

Anyway we have a fresh new year to plan and play with, some of the things I would like to do in 2018 is hike more in the Florida State Parks, travel more throughout Florida's small towns and take a class or two in an activity that interest me that I haven't done yet or in a long time.

I have finally joined the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2018 after missing it last year.  My first block is ready to be embellished.
As you can see I am using fabrics from my scrap stash and not piecing the blocks from the more tradition settings.  I like the blocks in this book which I have used as a guidebook and I may use a few of the block settings.
I finished stitching this little hand embroidery piece for Imbolc a few days ago, it's nice to be ahead for a change.
One more thing I signed up for the 2018 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge again (I took part in 2015) 
I will try for Crone level which is 16-20 Witchy books as per the rules:
  • Any full length book that includes a witch as a main character or includes major witchcraft elements counts. They may be fiction or non-fiction. However, they should not be reference books which are not read cover to cover-I will leave this to your discretion.
The link to sign up is below the the Challenge Button come join us for some good reads.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year.