June 2, 2016

Just in Case You Wondered.....Easter and Christmas Home Altar, Round Crochet Dishcloth and Thrifted Lace Infinity Scarf

Greetings lovely readers!

How time has flown..... I can't believe I haven't posted in months.

The Queen Cat helped me put away the Christmas home altar back in January after the Feast of the Wise Men. The husband likes me to wait until February, but not this year! I started a part time almost full time job in January.

A bit blurry for some reason, but you can see the Easter home altar. We hid the alleluia in the papier mache egg, which has made its appearance each year since it was created in a Very Cold Place Up North by the eldest child. The eldest child has grown so. I'm continually amazed by these magnificent creatures who have come from me and the husband. I look into the faces of my children and know there is a God. How could someone so wonderful come from me otherwise?

Thrifty craftiness has continued. I'm obsessed with lace infinity scarves. I've swooned over Etsy scarves, debated whether or not to make one myself...then found myself at a thrift store staring at lace shirts. They are everywhere, these shirts.

Just a little snip here and there and the lace shirt is turned into an infinity scarf!

The Queen Cat approves this thrifty infinity lace scarf craft.

I custom made my Mom a dishcloth, accidentally. I think this was done several years ago. She wants me to make more, but I had to delete photos off my phone in order to take more, so I thought this was a good place to share before deletion. My one-time babies, now practically grown ups, have all sorts of concerts and shows, so I must have free space for pictures and videos!

No pattern, but a round dishcloth is not uncommon. Now if I can only recreate the pattern from the picture!

Work has been. It has been work. I think I spent the first month with an almost daily brain meltdown. Then my lovely body decided to give out on me and I contracted a bug for a week. I'm back on full power now, but it does take a while after grad school to find a new normal for life. Dealing with work drama is always entertaining. I swear one of my co-workers is the human incarnation of the Queen Cat. It's a good thing I like cats, otherwise the estrogen to testosterone balance would be a bit too much for me to handle.

Tata for now...

March 7, 2016

Window Star

Hello! I hope you have been having a wonderful two weeks. We've transitioned into a springish feel from the wintery feel and how happy I am to see the daffodils and irises and one lone tulip tree on the way to and from work!

Life has been cozy. It doesn't always feel this way. Mostly it has seemed like one endless fight to survive from one hour to the next or even one year to the next.

This Lent has been a time of waiting. Waiting for what is next. I'm looking forward to an upcoming retreat at Mt. Carmel. Father will be giving us lectures on the poetry of a Carmelite Nun. I bought her collected works and I am already smitten.

Here's a taste of the the nun-poet Jessica Powers:

My heart ran forth on little feet of music
to keep the new commandment.
(O feast and frolic of awakening spring!)
It would beguile the world to be a garden
with seeds of one refrain: My little children,
love one another; so my heart would sing

But wisdom halted it, out far afield,
asked: did you sow this seed
around your house, or in the neighbor's garden
or any nearby acreage of need?
No? Then it will not grow in outer places.
Love has its proper soil, its native land;
its first roots fasten on the near-at-hand.

Back toward the house from which I deftly fled,
down neighbors' lanes, across my father's barley
my heart brought home its charity. It said:
love is a simple plant like a Creeping Charlie;
once it takes root its talent is to spread.
(1948; 1984)

pg 45 The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers

Creeping Charlie is a lovely little plant from the mint family.

Have you seen window stars yet? These were made over Christmas. They are indeed massive, taking up the entire window, but they are perfect. I hope the rainbows bring some joy to the outside world.

I put them up after taking down the delightfully old fashioned giant rainbow Christmas lights. I didn't want to take them down. They were so joyful. I remember when we were little Dad would put them up on our house all along the trim.

From the inside the Queen has claimed yet another throne. The giant granny square green fields afghan is complete! Unfortunately I neglected to take a picture of its finished glory before it went off to its new home.

Since I gave it to my parents in honor of a Very Important wedding anniversary date, I will probably be able to snap another photo at some point. I also meant to write a meaningful card to go with it, but sometimes the best of intentions go awry.

A look out the window shows the erstwhile garden. I have since revamped and redistributed the plants. And grown some more.

Til next time,

February 12, 2016

Log Cabins and Pearls with the King

Hello, how are you? Don't you just love Adele's silky smooth voice?

I've been sick, which in some ways has been great. I didn't take a real break of any sort between finishing up grad school and going back to work, so this allowed my brain some time for detox. Of course having to be taken to the ER by coworkers is generally excessively embarrassing.

"Thank you for heating my throne. Why do you keep trying to share it with me?" The King Cat

I've slowly been recovering from a nice little bug I picked up from the youngest household member and severe dehydration. After two days of doing nothing, on day three I was able to read. By day four I could crochet a little and watch a bit of television. I am now crocheting up a storm, binging on Season 5 of Downton Abbey and pondering whether or not to move by blog. I've had this one for almost 10 year now, so I'm rather attached. I feel the winds of change, however!

Don't worry, I'd love to take you with me. :-)

Clearly, I'm almost completely ready for work on Monday.

I was able to finally finish up the Granny Square Green Meadows afghan which is intended for Very Special People and start back (hip hip hooray!) on the Attic 24 Sunny Granny Square log cabin blanket!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finished square 1 and hopefully will be able to finish square 2 tomorrow. I'm feeling so good right now that I am tempted to go shopping tomorrow as usual, but I know better. I will force myself to sit and finish recovering by crocheting and finishing up Season 5.

They had to draw my blood twice this week. Yick. I always feel bad for a couple days after the bloodletting. Thankfully the tests were all clear.

It is so beautiful outside too. It makes me feel like running and dancing and singing. But I will restrain myself to crocheting in color and visiting Downton.

Then there's this beautiful little photo I just have to share with you as well. Rainbows. Dancing on my walls! At my home altar there is a candle holder with three crystals we use as a holy water font. Every spring the sunlight comes into the window at just the right angle to throw mad dancing bits of rainbow across the altar and walls.

I love how the window and sunlight stand out, and the font is perfectly rendered in shadow.

I found this little beauty of a succulent last weekend while dreamily wandering the isles of a local nursery. The nursery has the most delightful ambiance with the flowers and piped in music.

I was informed by the salesgirl that this String of Pearls succulent is as difficult to grow as Christmas Cactus. I did initially make my Christmas Cactus very unhappy, but it has since recovered, so I feel psychologically ready for the String of Pearls. I left it on the counter to enjoy for a week, but have since divided it into two hanging window pots I made out of 1 liter Dr Pepper bottles and white wire clothes hangers. I made two different types of hanging pots, and I definitely prefer the first I created to the second. I like the idea of recycling the pop bottles, but I don't like what is made to actually look like a pop bottle.

This beautiful succulent is actually toxic, but the one website I checked while at the nursery told me it was not. Fortunately the boys aren't adventurous when it comes to popping pieces of strange plants and eating them. Neither are The Cats, but that is only because they are now repotted and out of reach. These are also great for sharing: once they are happy, they multiply like crazy. So I look forward to having another little plant to divide and share as eventual gifts along with the Christmas Cactus.

I have dreams of a Marian rock garden succulent bed with the Pearls and Hens n' Chicks. It will look like a tangle of green rosary beads mixed in with greenish grey roses. Since I don't have a house, and the balcony would fry these to a crisp, I shall master growing them indoors and dream away...............