Removing excess

Hanging this quilt in the window makes uneven layering obvious. An excess of layers often results when you add already quilted sections to other cloth. From Jude at Spirit Cloth, I learned the (now seemingly obvious) technique of cutting some of the thickness away — what she calls ‘managing layers’. Some stitching was sacrificed in the process and I will have to fix that later, but for now, I like how it lets the light through.   

A tasty omelet at 11:00

 

Sometimes self-care is complicated. Confounding. How to get out of one’s own way can pose one conundrum after another. And now it’s construction and leaf blower season and I have to figure out how I will survive it — the windows not even open yet. 

Fortunately, at other times, self-care is stupidly  easy. Like cooking up one portabello and serving it with half an avocado and a tasty omelet … Himalayan pink salt elevating the meal to something nearly divine. 

And hunger returns. Again and again. Giving us one opportunity after another to feed ourselves. 

Week Ten of the Artist’s Way has one look at addictions. Bitching is a big one of mine (TV and sugar, the other two primaries). I will ponder, later, the skin-shivering response to four solid hours of leaf blowers to the pleasure of sitting down to a simple, home cooked meal, and see what I get.  

Or, to frame it more precisely — I need to ask: what does naming the irritation (i.e. bitching) do to the business of tolerating the irritation? I’m guessing the answer here is obvious but even so, I think it will be worth a “go” on the page. 

calming the nervous system

livingroom-deeDog obedience classes, they say for good reason, are really ‘human companion classes’. Most of what we learn is how WE should behave so that the dog understands us and feels safe. Often the instruction applies across the board. My recent favorite: “Be Follow-Worthy”.

How is one ‘follow-worthy’?  “Keep your chest open. Face forward. Pay attention.”

That sounds like life advice, pure and simple. But not so simple, right? All those Buddhist and New Age books on my shelf basically saying that: pay attention.
christmascactus-cafecurtainAlso this: guard dogs must not be allowed to patrol inside the house. When a huge barking episode happens, it can take the dog’s nervous system up to 24 hours to recover. Unfortunately for now, that means keeping the curtains closed. Today I don’t mind so much because (hold your hats!): it’s snowing!! But when the light is rich and warm, it IS a sacrifice.

Another one. More food for thought.

cabin-quilt-pattern-deemallonOn a complete other note, as you know, I am making a log cabin quilt for C, and piecing up small ‘refuse’ scraps as I go —  which are already adding up to another quilt. Meanwhile, in my head (and now on paper and computer), I design yet a third. It was good to enjoy Photoshop Elements 11 for a change!!

colored-one

Using the bucket feature, I was able to fill in the patchwork areas to define cabins, trees, and moons. Then for variations, I slid the color bar around and also, for a couple, used filters (sometimes more than one). I liked watching the shapes become more and more abstract.

cutoutfilterfrescofilter notepaper purples seafoamochreLook how the upper right moon turned into a star!

Doodling calms the nervous system, too.

And there were rays

 Happy Easter or Passover! We just had a delicious roast chicken up in Salem with my sister. The wind was cold and blustery earlier, when I took Finn to the Upper Field, but the snow drops have emerged on the south side of the house and most of the snow out back is gone. For the holiday, I treated myself to daffodils and some potted hyacinth. Now, to finish the celebration — a little chocolate!

Cheerful 

Cheerful is not a natural state for me.  I actually wonder if it is for anyone. But maybe because it’s almost Easter… Maybe because it got above 60 degrees for the first time in forever… Maybe because I can almost see the ground in the backyard again and I bought pansies today — I am going to add sun rays to the orb on this quilt. Exactly as if I were in second grade and coloring!

what will be recovered

rock-ice

A list of things released from the snow banks or recently dropped: a perfectly unbruised Granny Smith apple; two foil packets marked “HYPE”; dog shit; pine cones; pine branches; rhodie branches; nut hulls; more dog shit. Up and over the hill — a river of catalpa pods, as if Winter set out to weave a basket edge to the sidewalk and gave up in fatigue. On Wakefield:  a wicker Santa head; a blue puzzle piece (sky? ocean?); Corona beer caps. Back on Jackson: bags with squished remains of lunch; foil; shards of a paper plate; small branches; large branches. At the end of one driveway, a newspaper disgorged from plastic, wet and re-wet and driven over so many times it is tempting to the papermaker in me, but I know I could never bring myself to shovel it up (because it would require forethought? because I want to see how long it stays there? because the papermaking supplies are who-knows-where?).  Everywhere: dog shit. On some telephone poles: plastic covered appeals for neighbors to pick up their dog shit. An old water bottle filled with bird seed. Looking up for a moment: a hawk sails to the south, with specks of audacious passerines flapping behind. Down low: pine branches; oak branches; sycamore hulls; and dirt, dirt, dirt.

Here and there: brave spades of hosta shoving aside ice and dirty snow, making their proclamations of spring.

Rounding the corner to the house (here, I let the leash go and command “go home!”): mud, hemlock detritus, an entire row of hosta (mine) peeking up. It is snowing again. Did I mention that?

I am wondering if I shall find whatever pieces of myself fell off during this winter. There seems no guarantee.

boston winter pictorial recap (with captions)

icicles-deemallonI like blogging to be like food — seasonal. Current. But, something about the extremity of this past winter demands a little documentation. Here are a few windows into the winter of 2015 from this quarter acre suburban lot.

I was feted for my birthday all the way to the 28th!

because of weather cancellations, my birthday lasted til the 28th!

snowbank grew another foot after this pic

snowbank grew another foot after this pic; lattice guy wires broke

sewing? not so much. but collage and photo apps - yes!

sewing? not so much. but collage and photo apps – yes!

pet ER -- there were two brownie incidents

We waited for Finn to vomit at pet ER — after the FIRST brownie incident

I thought about my father's trip to the South Pole (I wonder why)

I thought about my father’s trip to the South Pole (I wonder why) (far RT)

I thought about selling some of our stuff online

I thought about selling some of our stuff online

I thought about how stories choose us and vice versa

I thought about how stories choose us and vice versa

Redoing 'Artist's Way' - shot this pic on an 'artist's date'

Redoing ‘Artist’s Way’ – shot this pic on an ‘artist’s date’

got busy on instagram - started hashtag fabricinfusedlandscapes

got busy on instagram – started #fabricinfusedlandscapes — still loving dianaphotoapp

finished SSDI five year review and resubmitted housing apps for my sister

finished SSDI five year review and resubmitted housing apps for my sister

thought more about story - specifically a white woman with black characters

thought more about story – specifically a white woman with black characters

I worried about power and the house

I worried about power and the house and filed first ever insurance claim for damage

I wondered where we would put the snow

I wondered where we would put the snow

I worried about K's back and my elbow

I worried about K’s back and my elbow

I really worried about Finn leaping (he did once)

I really worried about Finn leaping (he did once)

I learned sitting in that chair that I could clamp my legs around Finn's neck while playing tug-of-war

I learned that I could clamp my legs around Finn’s neck while playing tug-of-war (seated)

I worked on quilting these houses, but it was the photoapp grabbing me - not thread

I worked on quilting these houses, but it was the photoapp grabbing me – not thread

worried about far-off boys

worried about far-off boys

worried about Finn getting to the pin cushion (again!)

worried about Finn getting to the pin cushion (again!)

reveled in winter salads

reveled in winter salads

reveled in light - esp early, early

reveled in light – esp early, early

but also, late, late

but also, late, late

reveled in light passing through cloth

reveled in light passing through cloth

felt joy in unexpected places (Costco parking lot)

felt joy in unexpected places (Costco parking lot)

fell in love

fell in love

More recent event: I found a dead eagle yesterday. The wings are in my freezer. I know! I know! —  I have a call in to the authorities.
wings