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Monday, April 28, 2008

Bugs-a-plenty

May 7, 2008 - Here it is!
While I was figuring out how to put together my design for a small bugs postcard exchange, black ants began showing up in different rooms of the house. It was rather unpleasant to see something scuttling about and to have to move quickly to squash it. They seem most enamoured with honey and maple syrup, "real" sugars. So they must be "sweet ants." My friends in England will be glad to know that I have completed their cards this Monday evening and readied them for mailing. I will plan to display a picture here after they receive their postcards.

During one bicycle ride my mind began calling up "ant" words, which I've listed below. I find wordplay to be fun and mentally stimulating. If I had used a dictionary there would be many, many more listings.

antsy, antlers, anteater, antenna, anterior, antipasto, antelope, antiques, antiquity, ante bellum, antioxidant
banter
canter, canteen, canticle, cantaloupe, cantankerous
deviant, defiant, discordant, distant
exuberant, expectant, expectorant, elegant, elephant, eggplant
flagrant, fragrant
grant, gallivant, gallant
irritant
mantle, manta ray
observant
pant, plant, protestant
rant, relevant, redundant, recalcitrant, reactant, reliant
significant, servant, suppliant, supplant, surfactant, subordinant
triumphant, transplant
vagrant, variant, verdant

Sunday, April 27, 2008

River View















One autumn morning before sunrise I took this picture, then used the picture as the basis for my class project while studying landscape quilts with Susan Brittingham online at QuiltUniversity. com. Someone viewing my quilt on display during a quilt show at the historical society commented that he felt he could walk right into my quilt. What a compliment!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Refreshing Rains

Hot sunny days have coaxed reluctant tulips, hyacinths and daffodils from their sheaths. Apple blossoms petticoat ornamental trees. But today's rain (after my laundry was almost dry on the line) set many others free to burst into leaf. May I never take Spring's verdant show for granted. After visiting an elderly house-bound relative, freedom to walk and travel about seems even more precious. She loves anything blueberry, so I quickly made a batch of jam before going to see her. She was pleased. This evening a strong breeze rushed in through the front door screen and out the back window. I wish I could have been on a swing or a hilltop, feeling the wind in my hair. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I will be able to sew in my lovely room...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Leaf Popping

Patiently wait the wintering trees,
then buds burst open, leaves unfurl:
joyful extensions of delicate green,
hope-filled reminders of spring's new life.
(c) 2008


Each year I intend to carefully note the exact day the leaves appear on the trees, but finally I have realized why that is so difficult:
1. Some trees' leaves open at night.
2. Some trees' leaves open before others.


Yesterday I picked some budding dark purple lilac branches to "force" indoors. Today I saw new aspen and birch leaves, also catkins, wearing that fresh, vivid green like no other color. A tinted mist or fine fizz like champagne bubbles has touched the tops of other trees in the woods. Interesting how both spring and fall present with a beauty that can take my breath away.

Why The Name?

(This message was supposed to post on 4/16/08 but it got stuck in Draft. I just found it.) Praise Patch Productions is the name of my publishing company. Originally it was to be a business selling quilted products, but that didn't pan out. But thinking of gardening, I wonder- if I plant the seeds of praise here and there, maybe I will reap a harvest of gratefulness and thanksgiving. Life certainly is more uplifting when I look at the blessings instead of focusing on the difficulties. More on this later perhaps. Blessings to my friends, from KR

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adventure by Inches



A month or so ago, I was wondering what the BIG deal was about those itsy-bitsy, squinchy-ginchey "Inchies." The term was buzzing around the postcard exchange groups, but I didn't know how to make them. My first attempt sewing some individual 1" squares proved challenging. Then I read about the strip method where you make multiples in strips, edge-stitch both sides, then cut into 1" squares; add embellishments if desired, and finish the raw edges. Here are some of my little pieces. My favorites are the black ones embellished with metallic thread and overlaid with sparkly netting, and those I layered with organza, printed on my computer printer. Now THAT was fun!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Taking Time Out

Sunshine warmed my shoulders as I explored the nearby river cliffs for fossils. Sitting on a rock ledge, I watched the roiling water, always moving, squinted my eyes to filter out some of the reflections, and wondered what color fabric I would need to represent the rippled surface black like oil with a golden sheen. The wind refreshed me, and I could actually feel tension easing, slipping away. Musing aloud I said, "The neat thing about time spent outdoors, relaxing in nature, is that it is like thumbing one's nose to the clock. No place to be at any certain time- wonderful!" I need this more often, yet forget to take these little breaks from the everyday press of activity. I am grateful for the beauty around me. It was a good Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quilt Studio Pictures


Finally, I am able to post pictures of the newly renovated Quilt Studio. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to arrange them on this post. You should have seen the huge wasps' nest between three wall studs, and the equally huge robin's nest in another wall. No wonder I heard tweeting birds. After 1+1/2 years of construction and repair I have a new roof, ceiling, walls, new insulation, new wiring, overhead lights, two telephone jacks, an enlarged closet, a wall of cubbies, a corner niche, and there's room for a rocking chair. With lemon creme walls and yellow gingham curtains, a cheery border print and lead crystal prisms that bring rainbows into the room- it is a delight. I wish you could sew with me here. Thanks for taking a look. I am blessed indeed! Now, to make all those fabric postcards for exchanges I ambitiously signed up for...














Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fabric Postcard Exchange Groups




Over the past few months I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in several fabric postcard exchange groups. The two cards shown are recent experiments with Tintzl, a wonderful product similar to Angelina Fibers. Two postcard friends in England are waiting for me to send them my long-overdue interpretation of a "What's Bugging You?" exchange (alright, we didn't actually name it that). They will be happy to know I have imported some prize specimens which just arrived from across the country. The postcards will be forthcoming, as soon as I figure out to put them together! But first, a bicycle ride on this sunny day is in order. I must go purchase spray starch to plump up the new curtains in the renovated sewing room before posting pictures. Cheerio!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

River Mist




The wisps of mist rising from the river look so mysterious, what a lovely morning sight! Just think, every droplet of water since the first day of creation has been recycled, rising from the surface into the atmosphere, then returning again to water the earth. All in God's economy!

New Beginnings

Hello and Welcome! This is my first entry, my first Blog attempt, prompted by the encouragement of some fabric postcard friends and made possible by the coaching of one special person named Noel. Thank you! It remains to be seen how often I will be updating notes and adding comments. Today on this brisk spring day, I have taken a new step and it is rather exciting! KR