No knitting or crocheting today, although I did go to a LYS with a friend. My sole purchase--out of necessity--is below.

I want to get back to the world map ghan that I started last Fall for J. The picture is elsewhere in this blog. To do so, I needed more giant bobbins for carrying colors. Each package has two bobbins, so I should be well supplied along with the ones I had already.

I'm watching buds. Bud-watching! How exciting is that?! hee-hee The mock orange blossomed today.

Can't see the delicate yellow centers, darn! My favorite flower is blooming all over town, but my peony bush is teasingly loaded with closed buds! The great awakening should happen soon, though.

I bought this little double heart bird house for Mother when she first moved to assisted living after her initial strokes. It now graces our deck bringing memories of Mother's last two years.

Several journaled bits from my reading of Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland:

p. 150: The mother simply states, "Work is love made plain." as she remains at home to care for the family's needs.

Conflict: Love for art vs. love for family.

Vermeer's use of a white wash over the blue paint for his daughter's dress color.

Daughter's deep desire to paint was denied because females were not permitted to do so.

Feeling exceedingly foolish opens the mind to the spikes of insight. ~~~Abdus Salaam, Nobel physicist


Little Green Purse

A size K crochet hook and two kinds of ribbon yielded a small purse. The pattern is based on one for a passport carrier. The body of the purse is solid mint green with a variegated ribbon for the triangular flap that is secured with a gold heart button. It's difficult to see the raised floral design on the button in this picture. This is a very fast one day project. I hope the recipient of this gift will find it useful.

A carry-in-my-purse book, Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman, is a delightful fictionalized account of the relationship between painter Mary Cassatt and her ailing sister, Lydia, who frequently posed for Mary. The illustrations are details of Cassatt's paintings that add to the pleasure of reading this delicate book.

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. ~~~ Colin Powell


Max Goes Camping

Max loves to go camping. Must be the slower pace. The lounging, eating, sleeping. The joie de vivre. Sounds a lot like home!

It's amazing what escaping for a few days can do for one's spirit. Particularly when the destination is Carter Lake at Big Thompson Canyon.

The simplicity of life and closeness to nature is invigorating.

Two geese nesting in the vicinity of our camp site swam elegantly from their nest to search for food. They'll be there through the Fall when they teach the goslings to migrate, then return the next spring to raise another brood. Cycles of nature.

Watching a woodpecker scampering up a tree and pecking distracted me from my book as I was entertained by the bird quickly working through a small grove of cottonwood trees.

The rocks made red by the abundance of iron oxide in the area punctuated the shades of green trees and grasses.

While camping, I finished quite an interesting book, The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford. This book was a departure from my usual reading choices. A magical story of intrigue evolves and is set in 1863 when a portraitist accepts a commission to paint the portrait of a woman whom he is not permitted to see. The fantastical events which follow makes this one of those difficult-to-put-down novels. Give it a try!

Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party! ---Robin Williams



Mother is with God.
Mother is at rest.
Mother is with Dad.

Mother was ready to go.
Mother has paid her dues.
Mother is still with us.

Mother loved life.
Mother lived a full life.

Time heals all wounds.
You will mourn Mother
the rest of your life.

(Author Unknown)

7 weeks since her death
Sunday is Mothers Day


Row Your Boat!

Here are some crocheted baby hats for Rivers of the World Mission . They are going to a lady in HMB because her husband volunteered her to make 100 hats! for his Rotary Club to donate to Rivers of the World. Doncha just love their acronym ROW? Anyway, I hope my measly two hats will help her a bit!

A truly enjoyable book, The Memoir Club, by Laura Kalpakian examines fictional characters as they take a class on writing memoirs. The chief characters--Jill, Rusty, Francine, Sarah Jane, and Nell--come to terms with their individual past experiences as they learn to reach into their writing and pull out the details, the interest. Through the class and the Memoir Club which follows it, these women share deep, bonding experiences and rebirth of sorts. My one criticism lies with the contrived resolution concerning the instructor, Penny. A favorite bit of writing is on page 203 of the novel "...Sarah Jane's backyard has flowers growing out of men's top hats and out of old working boots and battered saucepans and broken cups. A clementine vine weaves in and out of a rusting iron bedstead, climbs up through the wire springs and covers them....At the very back gate...body of an old pickup truck, from the 20's perhaps, covered in ivy and with a bed of daisies in the back and hollyhocks and foxglove where the engine used to be." Such an engaging image!

Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.
~Samuel Butler, writer


Secret Pal 8 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I enjoy using different types of fibers and yarns. Would prefer not to have the "fun fur" type of yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Needles—in a hand-thrown pottery pitcher/Hooks—in a case that I received in a swap.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Since 1962/Advanced

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Fresh scents, nothing too sweet like vanilla or florals

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Milk chocolate!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Crochet/I do not spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Contemporary Christian music/MP3--no

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Prefer pastels and brights -- would rather not have dark shades like burgundy, navy, black

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Family=dearest husband, adult children, seven grandchildren/ My sweet dog, Max, a Boxer

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves and hats.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like to make a variety of items and don't have a single favorite.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A tote to be felted, an intarsia afghan, two short sleeve sweaters, probably a couple other items, too!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular bamboo

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, swift and winder.

17. How did you learn to knit?
Self taught from books and help from a lady at a yarn shop—mostly on assembling a sweater.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
Ohmygosh!! 4 years!

19. What is your favorite holiday?
4th of July

20. Is there anything that you collect?
Dolls, hand-thrown pottery, owls

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Modular, entrelac

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I have made socks, but do not typically knit them./ 10 inches long, 3 ¾ inches wide

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 02/26

A Prayer in Every Stitch

This comfortghan was made through Heartmade Blessings and mailed to the parents of a 20-year-old Marine who died as a result of enemy action in Iraq. The members of HMB offer this ghan to his parents as a token of our prayers, love, and comfort.

One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.
---E. M. Forster