Monday, April 15, 2019

Mail, Craft, Books/Reading

Incoming Last Week

from Wanda
Love the Weather Report!
 and inside
from Jacque
along with cool postage stamps!
 from Dave & Patty

This was on the back
 and the card :)


to Penne (she would want to take all of her dogs)

Mila's was returned to me on Saturday, and I've added a "please deliver"
and an arrow to her name.  Also added another stamp just in case.
Max received his, but for some reason Mila's came back.

I've made some of these tiny little paper clip thingies before, 
but I saw a tutorial by Tracie Fox on Youtube and decided to make some more.
I liked that she added cheesecloth to hers.
They can clip additions to a letter, serve as a book mark, or 
separate sections in a journal or commonplace book.

A great way to use tiny scraps or stamps.  
These little collages are very small, about 1 1/2" wide.
cheesecloth adds texture to these

I'm not certain why these are so much fun,
but I find them addictive.
I've made 10-15 already. 

I finished Zora & Langston.  Both were interesting characters, and I didn't know that Zora Neale Hurston was an anthropologist who studied under Franz Boas.  The primary sources of the letters was especially interesting.

Eliot Pattison's series set in Tibet is excellent.  All of the books have great characterization and mysteries, but all are also a little bittersweet considering the brutal Chinese invasion in 1950 that has led to the deliberate destruction of culture and religion in Tibet.  Inspector Shan does what he can throughout the 10 books in the series to protect the people he has come to respect and care for.

Bones of the Earth  is the last installment of the series, and Pattison leaves Shan and the people he loves in a more hopeful situation.   I hate that the series has ended, but it is nice to see Shan in a better situation.


Saturday, April 06, 2019

National Letter Writing Month, Books/Reading,

National Card and Letter Writing Month

Hints and tips for writing cards and letters can be found at Think.Make.Share.  
There is also a link to a calendar of ideas.

How to Write a Letter to a Friend offers more tips.

April Outgoing

 postcards to the grands

to Suzie,
and yes, listening to a lot of Paul Simon lately
to Carla
 to Ricky & Teresa

Witty, but informative take on usage, syntax, and grammar.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Benjamin Dryer is a copy editor who stands by the Oxford comma, but takes a less restrictive stand on many rules.  He works to keep the author's voice and style evident while keeping the narrative clear and easy to follow.

A funny and entertaining book on a subject that rarely inspires humor!

I've already reviewed this one at A Garden Carried in the Pocket.

I'm a late comer to Linda Castillo's crime/mystery series featuring Kate Burkholder, but I have enjoyed the two that I've read.  The setting in Amish country makes the mysteries more interesting.  Shamed is an ARC due out in July.  My review is scheduled, but not yet posted on my book blog.

Although I swallow fiction whole, I read nonfiction slowly.  A couple of chapters at a time, then a break for an entire novel.  Or two.  Zora and Langston is full of interesting details about Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, their friendship, the Harlem Renaissance, and their eventual falling outAnd Charlotte Osgood Mason, their creepy (at least I find her so) benefactor.

Got allergies?
(you aren't wrong, it is getting worse each year)

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Last of March Mail; April Is National Card and Letter Writing Month

I think this is the last of the outgoing mail for March.

Last of March Incoming

And from Bryce Eleanor, a decorated back of an envelope and
a card about her trip to New Orleans to see Hamilton!

I like these videos for making envelopes!


Monday, March 18, 2019

Stiching, Mail Art, and Reading

I haven't made much more progress on the white piece, but I am stitching daily.  Sometimes for a short time, setting the timer for 15 or 20 minutes, but frequently going on much longer.
The stitch meditations I've started are using  scraps 
from discharged fabric that I used for a small art quilt years ago.  

The idea of the stitch meditation is to spend 15 minutes total, from pulling the fabrics and threads to the actual stitching, but I usually find myself enjoying the stitching and continuing for up to 30 minutes if I feel like it.  These are all on 3 x 3" squares, but I've cut a 2 1/2 inch square backing for the next one.

I have two more, but haven't taken pics of them.  I skipped doing a stitch meditation yesterday, because I was busy making envelopes and postcards, but I did stitch on a small piece that will take a long time because I plan to cover almost the entire thing with stitching.  Still a meditation, though.

Snail Mail

Outgoing last week

Yesterday, I made two envelopes and 8 postcards after playing most of the day with tiny collages and ideas for April's National Letter Writing Month and Write-on.  I'll use poetry again as a recurrent theme, but yesterday, I made some with song lyrics.  Well, I consider Paul Simon a poet. :)


Currently reading The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan and Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer.

Finished The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson yesterday.  A bittersweet coming-of-age story that was a surprise in many ways.  By bittersweet, I mean that no childhood is perfect or free from stress and not all children are going to fit flawlessly into their worlds.  


Some lazy and intermittent weeding when I sat outside.  The Japanese maples are leafing out, and I'm so impressed each day with what they accomplish. Two are ahead of the game, but the other three are trying hard.  Spring always seems so sudden, a bud one day, a leaf the next, then more and more.  

:) Smile

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hand Stitching, Slow Stitching, Moodling, Meditative Stitching

Every so often, the benefits of hand stitching come to the fore again.  All of us who do hand stitching are aware of the peaceful effects of sitting quietly, making stitch after stitch, but it is good to be reminded of the benefits and to help others become aware of the satisfaction and comfort that hand stitching can provide. 

Years ago, I found this quote,  "imagination needs moodling--long inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."  The quote was originally from a book written in the 1930's by Brenda Ueland:  If You Want to Write:  A Book about Art, Independence & Spirit, but I found the quote in 2007 at Me & My Quilts where Julie used it for the kind of hand stitching she enjoys.  I've used the term many times since then to describe my use of stitching.
 example of my moodling with text on muslin
I've done a lot of playing with text  

Hand stitching doesn't have to be "happy idling"--quilters who hand quilt have a useful purpose for all of those tiny stitches and embroiders are often as concerned about the beauty of their finished pieces as they are about the process involved.  Whether for "happy idling" or for a purposeful piece of work, hand stitching does have a relaxing effect.

The benefits of this kind of activity (which, I think, includes knitting, crocheting, tatting, etc.) involve a slowing down, an opportunity for pondering, a time away from the business of our lives. 

Recently, I've come across two more advocates of hand stitching/sewing:  

The Calming Effects of Sewing Can Help People Express and Heal Themselves  

 "Sewing is increasingly becoming recognised as an effective way to combat depression, the absorption demanded by needlework – its flow – calming the mind and reducing stress. The sense of accomplishment can boost mental health and improve our immune system, as relief from the pressure of multitasking is replaced by focussing on one thing. " (via the above linked article from The Guardian)

Hand Stitching Monday--Stitch Meditations over at Lyn Krawczyk's blog, which discusses Liz Kettle's process of Stitch Meditations and includes an interesting video of how Liz Kettle uses her hand stitching as a daily meditation.  

Liz Kettle also has a Facebook group--Stitched Meditations.

-----------Happy Things--------------
*We took a little road trip to see Erin and the grands this past weekend. 
 I adore Erin's sewing nook which is so much better organized than mine!  
We ate delicious food and enjoyed visiting with Erin, Max, and Mila.  

*A visit from friends from Colorado--who brought these!  
 I smile each time I glance at them  :)

*The cedar waxwings have arrived 
and are covering the holly tree in our neighbors yard!   
I wait for them each year; they fascinate me.