LIFE STAGES . TRUST THE JOURNEY .


TRUST THE JOURNEY

“She wakes up each morning feeling like she has nothing to do. No routine. No purpose.”

Lisa Genova:   ‘Love Anthony’

I read these words this morning and thought, that is exactly ME. That is me when I wake without that feeling of excitement about hurrying to a sewing, writing or art project, or without an appointment, or wanting to return to a novel that is drawing me with the power of the tide.

I do enjoy sitting, apparently doing nothing, but my mind has to be engaged in creative thought for me to relax.

I keep a pile of six to eight library books on hand to alleviate the desolate feeling of nothing-to-do. Mind you, there is always housework or organizing a closet or room, but at this stage of my life – been there, done that.

Our journey thro this life is tumultuous with its constant ups and downs, its real or imagined slights. We all barter, in one way or another, to maintain a relatively consistent feeling of well being.

I thrive on passion – for opportunity, creativity, my family.

The alternative to feeling purposeful is, for me, depression. So, in order to ward off that monster, I always have a multitude of projects on the go.

Early in my marriage, it was one project only – needlework. Then I needed a new interest and, for a few decades, it was researching and publishing our genealogy. With that completed, I felt lost, until my creative juices latched onto sketching with pen and painting in watercolour. Florals are my thing.

Gradually, after several years, I began to feel I had said all I could in that media. My search was on for new artistic horizons.

I don’t know if it is because I am now in my early 70’s, but I now seem to flit from one project to another. Whatever it is, I am artistically all over the place – a true jack of all trades, master of none.

But there is nothing as satisfying and addictive as waking to a passionate urge to create.

That is what keeps my juices flowing and keeps me loving my life.

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Creative Juices . quilting . sewing . knitting .


So, I have been sewing a little, and quilting, and knitting (a very little) and most recently have been hooked on practising lettering – modern calligraphy. My creative juices are all over the place at the moment. But I love the excitement of waking with design ideas rolling around in my head. That is what I have been missing for a year or more.

I love waking, making a coffee, and hurrying to create. It is exhilarating.Sweetie loves her toy sleeping bag

Sweetie loves her ‘toy sleeping bag’

This is all a huge change from watercolour painting, which I will return to eventually, but fresh creative motivation is what I seem to crave now. I tackled quilting and sewing projects for each of our five children and their families …

Andrew's Hudson Bay patterned table runner

above ~ Andrew’s Hudson Bay patterned table runner

Carrie's quilted Boho table runner Carrie's table runner

above ~ Carrie’s quilted BoHo table runner

Greg's Cycling table runner in greys
Greg’s Cycling table runner in greys

Jo's table runner

above ~ Jo’s quilted table runner

Some of my quilting is a little wonky as I am a novice, but loving it!

Steph's decorative linen pillow cases

Steph’s decorative linen pillow cases

Hahaha - my knitting group friends untangling my wool yarn for my afghan (lower right).
Hahaha – my knitting group friends untangling my wool yarn for my afghan (lower right).

Sew, that is what I have been up to the past months. I am finding that, for me, choosing colour and pattern is the most difficult part of these projects. More about that next time.

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SO, SEW ! .


Hello and thank you to followers of Inknpetals.wordpress.com who have stuck by me during a long blogging drought.

The past few months, I have been reinventing myself (again), thinking a lot, and planning. That takes a lot out of you 😉 . I haven’t painted in about a year. Instead, my creative juices and reveries are leaning toward sewing and quilting. This is a big leap. I haven’t sewn in 40 years. As a result, the challenge has been a kaleidoscope of a learning curve – becoming familiar then comfortable, with a new machine, re-learning to work those oh-so-tricky bobbins, choosing fabric (such gorgeous, juicy colours and patterns to choose from). Everything is new.

Fabric Stash
Fabric Stash

I buy fabrics that I absolutely love, and find projects simple enough for a beginner, ones I hope my five kids will like as well. You see, I don’t want to put a lot of money and work into an item that ends up in a drawer. I realize that, even if you know them pretty well, guessing someone else’s taste is a crap shoot. As a result, my fabric stash is growing so I think have something for everyone.

The biggest dilemma I have faced is deciding on fabric colour and pattern combinations. It is more difficult that one might think to achieve a pleasing, balanced and artistic combo of colours, values and patterns. Following are some of my first attempts at combining fabrics …

Trial Colour and Pattern Combos Combo2 Combo3 Combo4 Combo5 Combo6

More learning curve frustration occurred while working on early projects – gobs of tangled and knotted threads on the underside of the fabric and my machine jammed constantly. The result of this was hair-pulling frustration. Ultimately, after putting out SOS signals, I discovered I was filling and inserting the bobbin incorrectly.  😬 😂

Eventually, through determination and two refresher courses at the store where I bought my machine, I finished my first sewing projects in about forty years … a baby quilt, two hobo bags and a little black bag:

Label for Evie's Quilt My first Quilt ... for Everly, Oct.2015

Little Black Bag, Oct.2015

Sew-Gerda wearing my Tote

Reversible canvas tote
Reversible canvas tote

Then, I tackled Christmas presents. That will be my next post.

This is fun and addictive!

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FRIENDSHIP . Organization Fun Inspiration .


Back on May 11, 2015, I posted “STITCHES . Adapting Evolving “ in which I wrote of yet one more new phase in my life. It began with the flutter of self doubt about my art and writing, and frustration with the clutter in my allocated Art Room.

The room – a luxury in our small home – contained a multitude of art supplies –  easels, paints – both watercolours and acrylics, canvases, journals, framed and unframed paintings, framed and unframed prints, my art note cards, and on and on. In addition, the room contained drafts of writing projects, old photo albums; a large box of too-precious-to-dump papers and cards from my mothers funeral; my husband’s out-of-season clothing; office supplies; more photo albums … well, you get the picture. It was so disorganized I could barely move in there and finding anything was a constant battle of perseverance.

So friends Kay and Janis came to help organize me! Now I must say, both ladies are organized and have beautiful Craft Rooms (photos of which I showed in my May 11th post “Stitches …”). But Janis is in a league of her own. She is a whirlwind of organized thought and activity. Not only did she find a place for everything, but put everything in its own place.

First she eliminated a wing back chair and Greg’s out-of-season clothing. Then she removed stuff to outside the room to be sorted later. She moved the remaining furniture around. I gave her free reign, after all I sure had no idea of where to begin. Janis even went to my bedroom where I had knitting supplies and a stash of wool, and to my dining room where I had journals, pens, markers, washi tapes. She unearthed boxes from the laundry room and under a bed that contained original art, prints, celophane bags, matts. My new sewing maching was tucked away in my front closet. She found room for all of it in my small, newly organized, Sewing/ Art/ Craft Room. Unbelievable.

Janis was amazing. Kay and I, the worker bees, obediently and cheerfully fetched, lifted, moved. Janis delved into each bag, box and pile of stuff and left it to me to determine if each item was a keeper or garbage. Nothing escaped her notice.

Janis, 'Organizer Supreme', on right. 'Worker Bees', Kay center, and myself.
On completion of my new room – On right, Janis, ‘Organizer Supreme’. ‘Worker Bees’, Kay center, and myself.

It took two full days from 10:30 AM to 8 PM. We stopped midway each day for lunch, wine, laughter. At the end of it all, here are the results …

My newly organized sewing/art/craft room (1)
My newly organized sewing/art/craft room (1), with some of my art and needlework on the wall – hopefully minimizing the presence of large photos of moi. Janis hung them. She said: “They should be here. This is Linda’s room!”  My wool stash is underneath. And my sewing machine, waiting for its own table, tells me to “get busy”. 
My newly organized sewing/art/craft room (2).
My newly organized sewing/art/craft room (2).

The third wall housed 3 cabinets – one organized for writing, my story drafts and my published work. One cabinet holds photo albums, art books, etc. The third contains my fabric stash, sewing patterns and supplies. This cabinet is smaller than the other two, pefect for standing most of my orininal art work.

The fourth wall has a T-V and a closet with shelves along the top and on each end … yup, you guessed it – all organized with areas for office supplies, art supplies, art in progress, large canvases, old journals, and two boxes which are a ‘Family Millenium Time Capsule’ which will be opened in 2025.

Fun. Satisfying. Energizing. Inspiring.

Thank you Kay and Janis for removing some of the clutter from my home and my mind.

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. LIFE STAGES * Adapting & Evolving .


I am evolving yet again – another new phase is beginning in my life. And I love the excitement, the adrenaline pumping that comes with embarking on new experiences.

I have bought a new sewing machine as well as quilting fabric enough for a couple of small quilts or tablecloths. No traditional quilts for me. I will do each freestyle, contemporary. I don’t ‘do’ patterns – not in my knitting, not in my quilting. I plan to let my artistic muse guide me (wish me good luck with that) and eventually attempt to create Stitch Art.

Ideas are buzzing around in my head. I feel so pumped. I can hardly wait to begin.

“Life is funny, always rearranging itself.

No yardstick, or quilt ruler, by which to denote the alterations ….”

Anna Scott Graham

Did I mention … this will be the very first sewing I have done in 35-40 years?!

My Quilted Card Table Cloth ca 1975
My Quilted Card-Table Cloth, ca 1975

Each fabric in this table-cloth brings back precious memories ….

. the pastel pink paisley & the tiny pale green polka dot were from beautiful cotton dresses my mother sewed for my first two wee daughters, Caroline and Stephanie. My third daughter Joanna wore the adorable hand-me-downs.

. the deep green I used to make a halter top that tied at the back of neck and waist, leaving my back open. I made matching palazzo pants (remember those?) in a green/cream houndstooth check. I remember feeling very elegant and on trend wearing that ensemble!

. the gorgeous pink floral I remember loving to bits, but I cannot for the life of me recall what I bought that fabric for.

But, back to the present … before I can begin to play with my new Pfaff, I have to finish organizing my art/writing/journaling/knitting room to become my sewing/art/ ….. room. And what a chore – sooooo much stuff.

 

organizational plan - just the tip of the iceberg
organizational plan – just the ‘tip of the iceberg’

Step 1 – declutter & re-arrange furniture

Step 2 – buy, prime, paint and install peg board. My husband Greg did the installation, with me placing and holding.

Peg Board Prep
My Peg Board Prep

Tomorrow is the big day when my life will take on some order. I have bribed friends Kay and Janis with lunch and wine, to spend the day advising me on organizing my mess. They are the experts – both have amazingly organized craft/sewing rooms – take a peek

Kay's Craft/Sewing Room
Kay’s gorgeous, functional Craft/Sewing Room
Janis & Kay in Janis' craft room where there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place
Janis & Kay in Janis’ craft room where there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place

Next post I will show you what we accomplish in my room.

Wish me luck tomorrow. Cheers!

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‘A Special Package’ . reBlog .


With snow storms everywhere, hostage-taking, shootings and explosions, plus a mirad of other horrific news items, I thought it was a perfect time for a wonderful story  …

A Special Package.

January 9, 2015 – by Holigram – “Down With Jax”

Earlier this week Jaxson received a VERY special package in the mail…..

SpecialPackage

In this box is a blanket filled with love. Literally, it is filled with love….

Let me explain. There is an angel out there who makes blankets filled with love for sick children and children with disabilities. Of course it’s only fitting that her name is actually Angel (serious)!

Angel had a vision to wrap sick kids up in warm hugs. Of course there was no way Angel could visit every sick kid in person (which I know she would LOVE to do!) and give them a warm hug, so she decided the best way to spread her love and warmth was to make them blankets. She then took her vision to another level, and with the help of her mom she started her own non-profit organization called Hugginz By Angel.

Each blanket is made with a specific child in mind. First, she carefully selects what fabric she would like to use in the blanket. She chooses a fabric that pertains to that child’s interests and likes. Angel then sews the blanket, and as a finishing touch she sews on an angel. Once the blanket is finished, Angel literally fills the blanket with love! She sits with the blanket with her arms tightly wrapped around it in a giant hug, she prays for the child it is going to, and puts all of her love directly into the blanket. Angels mom then packages up the blanket and ships them off to the child.

Angel’s list of children waiting for a blanket is LONG, and she sews for endless hours a day. If that isn’t enough, Angel also knits and paints! Not too sure how she finds enough time in the day to do all of this. On top of her busy work schedule Angel fights her very own health issues, she is one tough cookie.

As if this blanket isn’t special enough already I should mention here that like Jaxson, Angel has Down Syndrome….

DownSyndrome...

This is Angel filling Jax’s blanket with her love ❤
and here is Jaxson with his special, love filled blanket…

lovefilledBlanket

Angel chose this fabric because Jaxson has an owl/forrest themed room. Also, I don’t think she knew this but Jax’s momma LOVES dinosaurs, which is what is on the other side of the blanket! I’m thinking his momma will win the battle of the “child room decorating theme” now, because she has been saying his room will be dinosaur for quite some time.

I could go on forever and ever about Angel and the amazing work she does. Please follow them on FB under “Hugginz by Angel”. To make a monetary or fabric donation visit her website http://www.hugginzbyangel.com. If you know of a sick child or child with a disability in need of an Angel hug you can let that child’s parents know and they can visit her website to refer their kid.

Also, check out this awesome video Telus made about Huggniz by Angel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZtpQFnoSCuA

Thank you for everything you do miss Angel! Jaxson (and his moms) LOVE his blanket.”

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