Just try and get a stick away from her and you will be making a visit to the chiropractor. Trust me, I know.
Now, all you kind readers are saying to yourselves (especially the aficionados of the blahblah...I apologize profusely to you especially), "Where ya' been? What ya' been up to, huh? Some explanation is needed Sonji...you can't just dive into blahblah without an explanation of absence...and no simple I-was-busy, we need a story. Something worthy of the blahblah."
Here it goes...
I woke up one morning in November 2009 (yes, I know, it seems so very long ago but please bare with me)..As I was saying, I woke up one morning, a chilly late November morning, as it were, in 2009. It was snow less, so those of you who are familiar with my cold weather, snow and fleece obsession, realize this weighed heavy on my emotions. It was my first day of training (actually it would be my first late afternoon/evening/early morning at some points because I have a really funky schedule, which is cool but hard to acclimate the system to...excuse me I ramble, let us continue...) for my new job and I needed some inspiration...the kind containing caffeine. Oh woe is me...not happening. So, as is my habit when I am in this situation, I simply chewed a couple of the coffee beans and went about my business. Some find this a bit odd, but I tell you if Godiva can cover it in chocolate (which I am not so crazy about), then why can't I just munch on one plain? Well, I can. So, I did. And, I do. Well, actually I don't have anymore coffee beans left so I don't now, but I am getting ahead of myself. Excuse the ramble run-on. On second thought, maybe I had better finish this thought, then I won't have to figure out a way to get back to it. Anyway...Because I ran out of coffee that day back in November, I haven't had any since. At least not in my house. I have purchased a cup here and there from Alterra, but mainly me-of-the-caffeine is not so hooked as before. I have no opinion on it good or bad...just occasional longing, which is when I go and buy a cup. Surely this horrifying new habit of mine will change...not the chewing-of-the-coffee-bean part, rather the not-buying-coffee-beans-and-having-it-in-the-house-at-my-beckon-call-and/or-chew/brew part. I have had these coffee lapses before. I think a year is my longest. But the bean, it always lures me back. OK. Done with that thought strand. Next...
As you may have guessed, many many days/nights like the aforementioned caffeine-less situation played out...chew a bean, get a little energy spike and get on with the training (and that training was hard for me. My brain just isn't as orderly as most, but now it is and I am a acculturated). In the meantime, once rolled out of bed, I would dutifully dedicate myself to at least a half hour of tedious sewing of little ovals and leaves, not to mention embroidery and hand sewing because, as we all know, sometimes my stuff just can't fit under that machine arm. And, I must add, when "hand sewing" entails using an awl and a pliers...it just isn't as much fun as it could be. Then, Julie and I would go for a nice walk. I mean, I didn't make her wait to relieve herself ...I did let her out to do her business when I rolled out of bed to do mine. We just went for a leisurely and bonding walk after the art part of the regime was complete due to a new restrictive schedule involving regular-outside-of-the-home-employment.
I have been working on a seasonal landscape and cityscape series and I am sure, much to the chagrin of all, I am not going to show the finished pieces until I get them all done. YIKES! Don't worry, dear readers and loyal aficionados...there will be work other than those particularly fantastic pieces (probably the best work I will ever make in my entire life) and just think how wonderful the reveal will be for that. Nothing like anticipation. And besides, I may change my mind. Most likely I will change my mind. Gosh, I wouldn't be showing anything for a few years at the rate I'm going. Anyway...
So, because there is some down-time at work periodically, we are allowed to do whatever we want at our stations (within reason of course, you can't paint or play the guitar or make sushi or anything), as long as it is easily pushed aside. I thought I would get a lot of reading done, but the down time isn't bunched together enough to allow my mind to focus on what I am reading so...I thought I would be able to work on this quilt I have been trying to make for my goddaughter since she was about 3 (she just turned 6 and told me that she doesn't think we are going to get this done until she is 12 and I think she might be right about that ). We picked the fabrics out together, which took until she was about 4. Then, we cut up the pieces together, which took until she was about 4 1/2 and then we had to buy some more fabric because there was no way I was going to try sewing those unfortunately shredded pieces together. I am not that patient. But, hey, learning lesson for everybody there!
At 5, she helped me sew the pieces together...and by "help" I mean she sewed a couple of stitches and then said "I don't want to do this anymore" and proceeded to practice any number of fantastic song and dance routines she arranged herself. So, this is as far as we are now. It is laid out on a black design wall...we have all manner of fanciful fabric to add.
I love to hand sew, so...as much as she wants to assist, there will always be lots to do. My Mom taught me to hand sew by making doll clothes and toys, but I don't think Kam will ever be that interested in sewing, she just likes to see the result, which is fine. My fingers need to stay busy. I have always been that way. Even if I have to simply shred paper into fine bits. Hence...I learned recycled paper making. That's another story.
In such a tiny space at work, it is hard to visualize what to do next on our impromptu design, plus I was in serious need of an iron and that was not happening, so I resorted to my next favorite busy-fingers activity...crocheting. Finally, I would be able to use that yarn I had been stashing. I don't stash fabric (which is why we had to purchase fabric for Kam's quilt), since I paint my own for my art work, but I do stash yarn...for color, for texture, for price (a low one) and sometimes for snobbery (although not too much because I can't afford to be a snob too often, but I have and do indulge...trust me...can you say Etsy handspun yarn?). This is one that I made for myself and I have been wearing it nonstop. I tend to do double crochet a lot, I don't know why, and that is the stitch on this scarf. However, I think that a simple single crochet stitch is the most beautiful. A while ago I used a wonderful Berroco merino yarn (that has of course been discontinued, so I can't make one for myself, ugh) with a gradation of cream-being-poured-into-coffee color. Townsend, who in ten years has never commented on any crochet thing I have made, thought it was beautiful and I said "do you want it ?" knowing he wouldn't and he said "yes" . Of course I gave it to him. I have made a few simple scarves for people at work just using up the plain colors that I have. This scarf of mine is inexpensive yarn, but very soft and warm and I love the silvery gray color. I remember when I bought it and I wanted to dress in all gray (I still do). My gray fetish might be inspired by, you may have noticed, the gray coming into my hair at the speed of light (at least it seems to me). I like it, though. I have always wanted a head full of silvery gray hair and it looks like my wish is coming true. Anyway, that Berroco yarn of Townsend's scarf...I dream about it often. Maybe because it has the color consistency of coffee. I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it...yarn or coffee, I don't know which.
Next, I wanted to make a gift for a friend, and made this necklace and earrings for her. Now I want to make one for myself but I am too obsessed with crocheting at the moment. I even found a class to take in February so that I can learn how to crochet socks! I am not much of a pattern reader, if you hadn't guessed already, so even though I have a book I will learn much better this way.Finally, I got around to being able to purchase a skein winder and wind this beautiful hand dyed yarn given to me by Margaret and Debbie when I was down teaching at Tougaloo Art Colony a few summers ago. Margaret gave me instructions on how to build my own skein winder and even though I am a handy person, I didn't have it in me once I looked at the instructions. I just didn't want it enough. This is not a great picture of the yarn colorway but is is another nice shot of the studio assistant at work. I will get some better pics up when I do a stimulating post about my yarns at some point. Her yarns are just stunning.
Well...I think I even rambled myself out. I have no idea if I achieved a cohesive story...and honestly does it really matter? The long and short of it is that I have been adjusting to this new full time job and trying to keep on keeping on, as we say. Accomplished a bit of reading, a bit of quilt repair and a few other projects that, when they come to fruition, will be eagerly blogged about.
Here's to a fresh start to us all! Good and positive thoughts and actions to everyone out there.