Saturday, October 13, 2018

Patches...

My word for this post is "patches." Finally, I found sometime to write. I know I've been holding up my writing partner, but I got a rush of orders for Infiknit and well the orders come first!! Anyway, the delay has given me time to think about the word. It is actually my word, in the sense that it was my time to set the writing topic.

Well, what can I say, I live my life in patches. For some their life is a linear progression, you know - birth to death, Monday to Friday, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. Certainly the progression of time is linear, in my life, but how I fill that time is erratic, much like a Crazy Quilt design is erratic. A small piece here to play the piano - A larger piece there for domestic "stuff" like cooking and cleaning - A very unusual polygon for the creative escapes, that happen, when there is time. Repetitive blue patches for my morning writing. Weird and wonderful prints in Chagall-ian placements for my dreams at night - the pieces go on...



In crazy quilting all of these patches would be joined with the fairy-like feather stitch. I can see myself in this stitch too, jumping from one activity to another in shades of pink and orange. Other patches would hold appliqu├ęs, or more embroidery - those rich moments that add depth to a few colourless hours - meeting a friend for coffee or reading a good book. Ribbons, beads, buttons and other oddments will find a home somewhere on the quilt, like gems of thoughts that brighten our days.



I wonder if this is the cosmos speaking to me. I have been reading a lot lately about the slow clothing movement, about up cycling, or mending, or repurposing the garments we might other wise throw out. There was a time when no one threw away anything. Fabric was expensive. Every scrap was re-used again and again until it ended up in a patchwork quilt. Slow clothing is a movement to bring back this way of thinking. There is also a part of this movement that asks you to leave something of yourself behind. Something you have created to make the world a better place.



My mother, towards the end, crocheted everyone an afghan. She used yarn from resale stores and created some lovely throws. I do, however, miss her smocking, which might have been captured in a quilt. When I did work with fabric, I selected scraps from the garments I remember members of my family wearing. It was a way to hold onto them a little longer.



Quilts are photo albums in fabric. Certainly we can touch a photo, but when we touch a piece of fabric, that was actually worn by someone, we come very close to touching them.

I quilt, but I knit more than I work with fabric, so my patches for the moment are knit. However, when I hauled out my old Crazy Quilt wall hanging, I though hmmmm, maybe I need to start doing some fabric stitching too.

Have a crazy day!!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Poise..

Our next word is "poise" - grace, especially grace under pressure. It's a word for our times. For women coming forward to address the issue of sexual harassment, the worst being rape. Certainly Christine Blasey Ford showed poise - grace under extreme pressure, in her testimony against Brett Kavanaugh, which was televised.

It takes a very strong woman to come forward to accuse an even stronger man, with even stronger connections of rape - we should all be as strong and poised. Poise also means balance, equilibrium. We have to know what is right and act accordingly. We have to expose what is not right!!

Truth and equilibrium hang in the balance. Will the US seek truth and elect a balanced government in November? Will a nation that holds the balance of power for the world be realigned? Or will a few who seek power and privilege sway the "balance" in their favour and destroy the equality, the equilibrium for everyone?

Stand tall, stand true. Carry your weight - vote for what is right for everyone. Restore equality. We are poised - balanced on the brink of keeping what shreds of justice we still have or losing everything. We need strong poised people to vote and help others to vote and speak the truth, however difficult that may be!!

No pictures today. Some things can't be captured in a photo or at least in the quick pics that I take. It's difficult to take a picture of hope!!

Have a balanced day!!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Mozart.....

Our word for today is "music." Well, it's been our word for a few days now and I just haven't set aside the time to write a post. Nor have I set aside time to do a number of tasks related to The Artists' Way, the 12-week course I'm working on. So I decided to do as much as I could to-day!!



My Artist's "date" was to listen to some music outdoors, so I put on my odometer, found some Mozart on YouTube and set out to walk through the cemetery listening to "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - a little night music at 8:30AM- The story of my life!!

I walked for 6.70kms live streaming these incredible symphonies until my phone died. Although, I had set out with 72% charged, all those violins must have taken a lot of energy and the French Horns - well, what can I say, they were a blast!!



I did have some creative thoughts though. Just before I left, Brainpickings reminded me that it is Leonard Cohen's birthday today, so I could think of his thoughts on creativity, my favourite being - "There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." I actually belong to a group on Ravelry, dedicated to those knitters, who also love Leonard Cohen - we're a small select group.



I do like walking through Mt. Pleasant cemetery. It's also an arboretum, with gorgeous old trees. William Lyon MacKenzie King is buried there, as are a number of other dignitaries. I, invariably pass headstones I've seen before, they're like old friends. It's hard to find a quiet place in the city. Even the places that were once quiet are getting noisier, busier. I think I have to do my walk on a weekday, rather than a Saturday and I think I'll try another composer. Mozart is actually quite raucous!!

The pictures? Light, music and cemeteries.

Have a thoughtful day!!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Perfectionism...

Perfectionism is our word for today. I am not a perfectionist, although I am getting better. I marvel at people who spend time on "things" to get everything just right. I'm more of the "just do it." Not so much to dash it off - a league or so away from perfection, but just to get the project done. I have a habit of not finishing "things."



Now there is a person in my knitting group who is a perfectionist. She is always perfectly "turned out" - make-up applied, finger nails done, clothing immaculate and co-ordinated. Her knitting is also precise - beautiful shawls, intricate details, perfect colour combinations. I am always in awe. Last week she taught us how to knit a beaded bracelet. There are 8 of us in the group. Well, she prestrung beads for us in amazing combinations. We were working with over 100 beads per bracelet and everyone of those beads was hand selected and placed in the queue in such a way that every bead complimented each other. I need to acquire some of that perfectionism.



I see perfection in nature. Not all the time - the garden is looking a little ratty this September, but there are a few flowers, especially the roses, that are opening to the perfect multi-foliate rose. I remember the word, multi-foliate, from a poem by T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men. I know it means something else in the poem, but to me, it means rose windows in ancient cathedrals, precious flowers in perfect gardens and complex people (friends) with many layered personalities.


The pictures? beads and roses.

Have a picture perfect day!!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Go-Fund Me

My friend has started a "Go-Fund Me" campaign to help bring the minimum wage project, which was started by the Liberal government and cancelled by the new government, to completion. It has one more year after this one, to run its course and be accurately evaluated. People on the program - 4,000 in all, have enrolled in courses, put deposits on apartments, started new projects, because of the government support. We can't destroy their dreams. Here is what my friend is doing.

   I started a GoFundMe campaign to support photographer Jessie Golem’s - Humans of Basic Income project.
   Jessie was a Basic Income participant who was, prior to the program, working 4 jobs to earn enough to care for herself. Basic Income allowed her to grow her photography business and get a better paying job so she could leave Basic Income behind. She worked her way, with a leg up, to self-sufficiency.
   Basic Income is a 3 year pilot program started by the Wynne Government to test “whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers, improve health and education outcomes for people on low incomes, and help ensure that everyone shares in Ontario’s economic growth.” The Ford Government passed down a decision to cancel the program next March, after 2 years, despite a campaign promise to not do so. The effectiveness of the pilot can only be known when the 3 year pilot is complete and evaluated.
    4000 participants made commitments to housing, college and university, based on the government’s promise. They are now struck in worse positions.
    Please take a look at the the GoFundMe campaign for all the details and donate if you are able. In any case, please forward the campaign to friends you think might be interested.

https://www.gofundme.com/humans-of-basic-income

   Jessie and I will be grateful.



I clicked on the linked and made a donation. I have had good fortune most of my life. I felt that Gayle's Go-Fund Me campaign was a great way of spreading this good fortune to others, in fact 4,000 other people with just a click. How often do these opportunities present themselves in the daily to-ing and fro-ing of our lives. WOW a $4.00, $40.00, $400.00 donation from anyone (or all) of us will directly impact the lives of 4,000 people. Don't miss it!!

The picture? A family whose dreams will be shattered.

Have an awesome day


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Crowds...

Our word for today is "crowds." It's from an article I was reading about the crowds of tourists practically destroying the treasures they have come to see. I have said before, there are too many people in this world. That being said, I still find it eerie to be alone in a deserted area.



We had an encounter in Barcelona a few years ago. It was just off Las Ramblas, which was crowded with tourists, however the side streets were empty. We were approached by two man, who fortunately didn't take our money, although they did ask for our passports, which we had decided to leave at home. It was unnerving.



In Malaga, if you go up to the castle along the south walk, there are streams of people. If you go up on the North side, there are very few people, and some of them are a little strange. We tend to stay on the more travelled paths. However, even on a busy walk once, we suddenly found ourselves alone, facing a weird woman who was trying to take my wallet, while selling me Rosemary.



Both of these incidents happened in winter. I have seen the crowds in early June and I'd never go anywhere "famous" in July or August. Even September is iffy. There was a time, in the late '60s, when I travelled in Europe and no one was there. One or two people were at the Trevi Fountain and 15 or 20 were in the Sistine Chapel. Fewer, at Notre Dame. There were no line ups. It was a different world. A normal world - not the frenzied hysteria, I see now. Venice might very well become another Atlantis, buried in the sea, if something doesn't happen soon.

The pictures? The busy-ness of people. Sigh

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Cookie...

Our word for today is "cookie." I love the baked kind. I can't remember my mother or my grandmother actually baking cookies. However, my grandmother, always had cookies in her cookie jar, which was shaped like a rather rotund woman - go figure (or not as the case maybe :) I will eat peanut butter cookies, even though I don't really like them, probably because I don't like peanut butter. I prefer shortbread, raisin oatmeal or gingerbread. I'm not one to look a cookie horse in the mouth, though, so even if it's peanut butter, it's still a cookie and it's a treat!!



On the other hand, cookies become a little less appetizing when they get lodged in your computer and track your where abouts. Maybe Big Brother didn't bake cookies. He just created some coded ones to control us. Another less appealing cookie is the one used to describe an orthopaedic arch support. We talk of fallen arches being supported by cookies. Can a fallen soul be redeemed with a cookie and if so, what kind?



Finally, I like Cookie as a person's name. The first time I heard it used was on a CD cover describing The Rankins, a singing family from Cape Breton. One of the sisters is Cookie Rankin. I coveted her name. I have said before that I have always wanted a nickname. My father was Corky. I might have been a Corkie - just one letter different from Cookie. Clearly another statement on my life - always just one letter off - just an inch away - an hour too early - an hour too late....the list goes on.


The pictures? Cookies with attitude.

Have a sweet day!!