From Vegan Planet.
From Vegan Planet.
Here's my workstation, carved out in a space in my breakfast area. The picture window looks out over a view of Puget Sound, with Vashon Island to the left and far in the distance are the Cascade Mountains. I have a table in front of that window, so it's a restful view to look upon as I am doing the close-up hand embroidery on my Rose Challenge quilt.
On the rose petal I made a running stitch in a thick Artfabrik thread and then went back with a whipping stitch to make a more textured outline. I used a finer multi-colored thread to make a hand blanket stitch outline on the leaves and stem.
Psalm 139:16 16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
I did not write this with the intent of blogging it. I just feel the need to share:
There are moments, when time seems uninhibited. Where I feel so connected, and yet utterly disconnected from the worries of fate. In those moments, my soul flies away, far beyond the limits of the cosmos, pushing the boundaries, opening my eyes to the unknown. Those times, on the boat, with the wind in my hair, as I can taste the saltwater on my lips, spraying mildly against my cold cheek, when I feel that everything can be right and that in essence, outside of time, it is right.
And yet there are times where my very being is torn apart, ripped from the inside out, jolted from its home, and my sobs do not do them justice. I will find my destiny beyond that feeling, but those moments, where all I can feel is the now, the presence of eternal fear and hopelessness, where the world comes crashing in on me, surrounding me on all sides like the fiercest storm in the midst of the Atlantic.
It is in those times that I feel like a lost island—adrift, almost—amid the towering waves and maniacally laughing sea around me. Every ounce of hurt and trial that my young soul has weathered comes back to haunt me, and the now is integrated with each moment of my life. All the misunderstanding, all the heartache, all the loneliness, all the frustration, and grief, and sadness, every moment lost or wasted, every unanswered question, coating my soul like cream cheese icing, spread thick and clumpy. I feel surrounded; unconsciously surrendered to hopelessness.
And yet I know I can and must rise up. I will soar. I will fly. I will mend. I will heal. Once again, I will feel the breath of heaven beneath my wings and the glint of sunlight upon my face. I will not be lost forever. I am loved. I am cherished. I know love. Each morning I will rise, I will sing, I will make music, and I will not be afraid to laugh and cry. There will be a time when I can take my stand, raise my voice, and change the world. I will have my chance.
But I don’t want to wait. I don’t want to cry. I don’t want to listen.
But I will hear. I will learn. I will find my way. My way has been found for me. My way is not my way. I am me. I am who I am. I can change everything else but that. I will not give up. I will persevere.
I have hope.
A bead with potential. Based on Indian beads made of threads held together with stitch. And I was inspired to have a go at this by http://travelfibreandthread.blogspot.com/ Guzzisue... and her spun items. Mine aren't spun it is only stitch that holds everything in place... I am working on a hairier one now and they go bigger and bolder! (This one is 3" long) Think jewellery.
It is interesting that these images could also provide a further image for printing and stitching in themselves.
Some of the most exciting areas (from experiments on nearly 20 surfaces) are shown below. Click on the image to enlarge.
I have some problems with the climate in Calgary... my skin is suffering... one big issue is the way this effects my finger ends... such that I get splits developing.. A textile artist whose seams are coming apart.
I normally gravitate to stitching difficult fabrics that have been altered by heating, often plastics that have hardened in the process. This is extremely painful with spltting finger! But..
I find that the most appealing and original surfaces I have produced using the digital grounds are lovely silk, satin and thin papers so now I am excited to try to work in these materials and lesson the pain.
Next week I will work with metals and plastics and further the resource library.
Daddy and I, on the other hand, feel like we've been run over by a truck. I picked up a vapourizer yesterday doing groceries and that really seemed to help me sleep. I think I'll be having a nap this afternoon after Ella goes to sleep. One of us parents need to snap out of this and start functioning normally. Hard to keep up with a little one when you feel so blah.
I need to call my MIL and see if she has a vapourizer/humidifier. Hopefully that will help Ella breathe at night. That and she's on an antibiotic now. Poor thing has an ear infection too. If I don't feel better soon, I'll have to stop by the doctor's too. I have signs that this might be bacterial rather than viral. I have to keep on top of "little colds" because I can go from fine to needing the ER to breathe really quick. I just hope Ella hasn't inherited the "Johnson lungs". Mom's family has really bad lungs. Two of my cousins spent a lot of their childhood in oxygen tents for croup. The rest of us just get sick a lot. There's even been a couple times that my uncle, who works at the hospital, has been concerned that I had whooping cough -I sound that terrible. For now, knock on wood, I seem to be fighting it off. At least that's how I feel now that I had a good morning nap :)
Sheila: "...but I am a proponent of attachment parenting*..."
Nice lady: *giant pause and blank stare* "What do you mean by 'attachment parenting'?"
Sheila: "Well, for instance, if I had a two-year old, I probably wouldn't leave them in the care of someone I've never met."
Nice lady: *confused look* "Oh."
*Attachment Parenting on Wikipedia.
Topped with agave, from Vegan Planet.
[Happy Pancake Tuesday!]
The visit with dad went well. Ella's so adorable how could anyone not love her? :) I think dad might have actually decided to grow up this time. We'll have to see. It's up to him now. I told him they would have to come up here next time because I don't know when I'll be back down.
Featuring a from-scratch Vegan Bechamel sauce with NO pseudo-dairy!
From Vegan Planet.
You saw what a mess my threads were in. So yesterday I spent some time organizing them a bit. I bought two boxes of binder rings from Office Depot. Each box had three sizes of rings inside. Following a nifty method that Judith Baker Montano demos on her DVD, I set to work to organize them all. If you do venture to Jude's website you'll see her standing in front of her wall of threads. Yes, a whole wall of threads in her gorgeous studio in La Veta, CO, all similarly stashed on various sizes and types of rings. She promises that you can just get one strand of thread out from the knot you make through the ring, and be ready to either split the thread, or just start embroidering. She's been collecting threads for ages, so I don't feel too bad to have such a comparatively small stash of embroidery threads ... so far! I need to watch more of the DVD to see how she makes some of the cool stitches she demos -- and there's a bunch of them, if you are curious. I love her books on stitches, but it's fun to see and hear her demo and talk you through each one!
Above is a piece collaged from 3 photo images taken in New Zealand... I think the final piece gives a flavour of what we got up to there along the coast. Next week I will be printing onto surfaces and will try these new images - should be fun to get something going with stitch at last...
Maybe I can even get started today but I have a shocker headache which could be something to do with a weather system a Chinook over Calgary... on the other hand one of Aliya's fellow students posed the question "Does a Chinook cause migraine?" at the science fair and the scientific conclusion was "No" in which case I just have a headache end of story.
Below are windows taken from this one and the previous study after working more into it. There is a lot of texture that doesn't show on the small image (click to enlarge) I am interested in doing these as a series or triptych +1 (what is that called). So I think I will go and prepare a surface for this.
Hello out there! I've just noticed recently that I am doing what I've always done, and that is coming off too strong, too emotional, etc. What you may not know, is that it's just who I am. :-) I do my best to stifle the bad parts, and only highlight the good, but you may have noticed that expressing deep emotion (tone of voice, facial expression, etc.) is really hard in writing. :-)
So let me explain a bit about me and my blog posts. Hopefully you'll be able to understand them better afterward. :-)
I wear my heart on my sleeve. Believe it or not, I am a very emotionally sensitive person, and I cry at the drop of a hat. In fact, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably today, with no one in the house, simply because I was a little frustrated and stressed about a certain musical thing. Everything I say is from my heart, and the thing with that is that my heart is exposed and very tender. Please don't break it!
I get angry. Anger, actually, isn't necessarily a bad thing! When I get angry, I end up wanting to change things, and I usually do, or at least begin to. That's when my most vehement, seemingly one-sided posts get written. Usually I actually do have evidence, but I feel so frustrated and/or excited about a certain topic, that I don't show much of the other side. Feel free to ask me to give more info if I seem one-sided!
I am wild and free. I go dancing through fields, sit on rocks at the beach for hours, dance around my room, and go for walks in the forest. So does my soul. It is at times like these when my most vibrant, beautifully-coloured posts get written. I feel peaceful and blissful. The thing is, it's also really easy for me to come down off these 'highs'. A negative word, an untoward thought, anything, will send me in a downward spiral.
I am excited about learning and controversial topics. Bet that doesn't surprise you! I love to research all sorts of controversial stuff, from homebirth to vegetarianism, to natural building, unschooling, and intentional communities. Go figure! I may post about these things, and I know that many of you will disagree, and that's fine. A lot of people do. Just remember that I spiral downwards easily. :-)
I love to laugh and be silly. As much as I love to cry on rocks at sunset, while dreaming up my life's plan to live self-sufficiently, I also love to just be goofy! I tickle my Mum, I laugh out loud at awkward moments, I giggle uncontrollably. The dog makes me chuckle, just by looking at her, and dressing up silly and doing jumping-jacks is definitely not out of the question. This is the girl who dressed up the cats and pushed them in strollers, and dressed up incessantly as a little girl.
So that's me in a nutshell. I hope this helps you to understand me and my sometimes rather crazy posts. You'll have to just take me as I am. :-)
What about you? What makes you you?
It slices really easily when tipped over on its side, and I got really wafer thin slices this morning -- very English of me. Ancient memories of my late mother spreading butter on an uncut loaf before cutting thin slices of bread. All I needed was cucumber to whip up some cucumber sandwiches. But cucumber and me don't get along any more. I love it but it doesn't love me. Digestive issues!
I'm going to be doing my bit for the economy this weekend. Speaking of the economy, I sometimes feel like the media is deliberately trying to turn this downturn into a recession/depression and won't be happy until they do. I know there are people out there that have lost their jobs and are really in a bad place -no irate emails please. But I'm talking in a more general sense. Check out this website. It's called Living on a Dime and is full of great information on living well , frugally. Tawra often makes very eye-opening observations (especially Feb 17), especially when people/media start comparing today with the Great Depression.
That said, I do agree it's time to reign in society's out of control spending. But more importantly, we have to stop supporting China, India, Vietnam, etc's economies and support our own. We need to "just say no" to imported junk and get North American manufacturing going again. I know this won't be popular, but I really think unions have outgrown their usefulness. They expect unrealistic wages and benefits, while protecting worker jobs whether they actually do their work or not. It's not the early 1900's when workers were abused/misused and even endangered. We have labour laws that can protect workers. There are still dangerous jobs still, but most of those aren't unionized anyway. I also think all governement employees, the big people (mayors, MPs, councillors, etc) should take a giant paycut -like in half. The money they get paid and the perks they get are absolutley ridiculous.
Guess I'll get off my soapbox now :) It's just frustrating to see what auto guys get paid for doing jobs that allow the to read/play cards for most of the day -I know what I'm talking about I have friends and family in that industry. I'm not saying I want everyone to be poor, but it's hard to hear about all the raises/bonuses, etc paid when farmers dream of making minimum wage!
I'm treating myself (it will please Colin too). I'm getting my hair permed. I love my hair when I have a spiral perm, it makes it look so much thicker and healthier -right now it's so straight and fine (luckily I have lots so it's not thin too). But I only trust my hairdresser at home to touch my hair with chemicals. She's very reasonable, especially with the amount she has to use for my length of hair. Mom's paying half as an early b-day present and my GST cheque is covering the rest. Ella wants a "hair cut" too, so I'll get Jane just to give the ends a little trim so Ella doesn't feel left out.
It will be great to see my sister and other family, we're even going to get to go to my church in Toronto. That will be wonderful! It's the stop we are going to make on the way home that I'm aprehensive about. We're stopping in to visit with my dad and step-mother. I won't go into too many details, let's just say I didn't have the happiest of childhoods. Dad was a closet alcoholic and verbally/emotionally abusive. We were lucky with the drinking though. Mom nearly left him when I was 5 (oh, if only she had-but nice families didn't get divorced in the 70's) and told him after that, that she wouldn't tolerate drinking at home. So all of his drinking happened at friends/families/parties. A great embarrassment, but at least we didn't have to deal with drunken rages and such as you see on tv. Though how he never killed us driving home I'll never know. But on the other hand, his not drinking at home certainly made his emotional abuse harder to "explain or excuse". No one knew what was going on, not even the family. There were times I used to wish I could make him mad enough to hit me. Since I bruise really easy, it would make a good mark and then I would have proof of what was happening and could get us some help. The really bad times would make me wish he would plow the car into one of the cement bridges on the way home. It's a good thing I have been a Christian for all my life and that I have such a wonderful family because there were also times that only the fear of never seeing them again was all that kept me here. Mom finally had enough back in 90 (their 20th wedding anniversary). I've tried over the years to give him a "second chance" only to end up in tears. I really get tired of hearing how it's because of the way "I treated him" that he treated me the way he did. I mean, what terrible thing did I do when I was 3,4,5 to be treated that way??? It was so bad that my sister really has no memories of growing up (pre-16). That was how she handled it, she blocked everything out -that and I sheilded her from all I could, like a good big sister should. That makes me so sad, because we lost so many relatives in those years who loved her so much and she doesn't remember them.
I haven't seen/talked with dad for nearly 6 years. The last time we saw him was the day after we got engaged. It was one of the brief good periods we were having so I took Colin up to Peterborough to meet him and my step-mother (who I like a lot) and to tell him our good news. Well, you should have seen his face when we told him (I wasn't looking). Colin said he's never seen anyone lose all emotion and feeling from a face. He barely said two words for the rest of the visit, if not for my step-mother's interest, it would have been horrible. It was as if he couldn't believe anyone would want to bother with the likes of me! Even after all that I was going to offer the olive branch and invite them to the wedding (my godfather was already giving me away). But then he starts shouting off his mouth and saying things he shouldn't, like always, so we ended up scratching him off the list. Well when he heard that, he said that since "the church was a public building he could come and there was nothing we could do about it." He seemed to forget he wasn't just dealing with me anymore, Colin was furious. Mom and I were so afraid he would show up drunk and ruin everything, Colin was afraid he would slug him (even though he's not a violent person) His mom and mine went to the ministers involved (wedding and reception at two churches) and they wrote letters saying it was a private event and he wasn't welcome and would be arrested. The mothers went further and talked to the OPP of the various locations and they offered to send an officer by the wedding and reception if it were a quiet Saturday. I ended up getting dressed at the MIL's just so dad couldn't find us. It was kind of funny at the reception to hear family talking about the police cruiser going by "looking for speeders" :)
We haven't heard directly from dad since. I've heard things from this person and that. Mostly comments that show he's his same old self. Just recently he phoned my sister to say he had some stuff that belong to my great Aunt Ella, for whom Ella is named. And he wondered if I would want it or would "throw it out" -which proves how little he knows me. He also wondered if I would give him another chance. I think he's finally come to the conclusion that my sister and her husband aren't having any children and Ella is going to be the only one. He sent a nice letter a while ago, saying he realized the mess he made out of everything and would like to see us. Since we were going to Bowmanville anyway, I decided we might as well stop by. It's on the way home and if he get's stupid, we can just leave. So it will prove for an interesting Monday. This is his last "last chance". If he hasn't changed then I'm not exposing Ella to his poison. I just wish Colin was coming with us. But at least Mom will be there as a buffer/witness. Though he will likely have his good father/grandfather act going, that's how he usually works -until you get to know him.
So please keep us in your prayers for Monday, we'll need them :) I'm keeping an open mind and hoping for the best. After all, a child can't have too many grandparents. But to be honest, I'm not holding my breath.
Sorry for the watermark - I am just experimenting with copyright protection
I know many people out there are designing using the computer but I don't think I have ever given myself total permission to do this, feeling that it is somehow a travesty not to use paper and inks/crayons/paint... but I guess I have been heading this way for years and it is time I admitted it.
I remember the day a photographer friend of mine moved over to the digital dark side, and I guess the transition was as big a one for her as this is for me...
So I post here a couple of images I have worked on during the past week as I move along the road to printing on diverse materials (see previous posts)... It is going to be very exciting trying these images along with the shibori methods that I have been working on.
flour is all-purpose, unbleached white, unless otherwise noted
chocolate chips are semi-sweet
t means teaspoon
T means tablespoon
c means cup
liquids are measured in glass measuring cups and dry in metal measuring cups
If I think of anything else or if a recipe puzzles you, please let me know and I'll explain it here.
Back to my Valentine's day. We had fun at the potluck, it's good to talk with the other OVF people, we really don't know them. Most of the food was good. I made a marinated shoulder roast. Then the meeting started. It went on and on and on! It was 6 before we got home, Colin still had to chore. So much for my romantic supper and dessert I was going to make. We ended up with leftover pork and 5 minute rice when Colin finally got in for supper at 7:30. By then we were tired and I had a headache, so we just watched a dvd (Grapes of Wrath) and went to bed early. Not exactly what I had planned.
We've both been made board members for the OVF. They have a regular meeting/potluck coming up in March (if they can ever agree on a date) I sure hope it's shorter than the AGM.
Here's the marinated pork recipe, mix all this in a zipper bag and put in the pork roast the night before for best results. Though it's yummy done this way just before cooking too.
6 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp ground pepper 2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika 1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp thyme 3lb pork shoulder roast
Take from bag and put in roasting pan, do not cover. Roast 350F for 30 minutes a pound, or until meat thermometer reads 165F.
Had I been home in time, I would have made my Grandma's chicken cacciatore for supper. It's the first meal I made for Colin when we were dating. It needs to simmer most of the afternoon.
3lb chicken pieces, we use thighs 1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced salt & pepper, to taste
28oz stewed tomatoes 28 oz tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine 1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Brown the chicken in a little oil. Add everything into a dutch oven. Cover and simmer all afternoon until the house smells wonderful :) Don't use a crock pot, the sauce doesn't reduce and is too runny. If you really want to do this "old school" serve with Italian/French bread, green beans and roast potatoes -yummmmmmm!
A Valentine's Day surprise from the husband.
Life. Big word, isn't it? Or is it? The circle seems so endless, and yet, like just a breath, a moment, a mist. It is just slipping through my fingers.
You know, I've been reading in Ina May Gaskin's book, 'Guide to Childbirth', and reading many, many beautiful birth stories, feeling renewed and empowered, so blessed to be a woman, and one day, if God wills it, a mother, to harbour a new life and bring it into this beautiful world. Then I went to a choral workshop yesterday, with the Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, director of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, an Afrocentric professional chamber choir from Ontario, he was talking about these amazing black sermons that R. Nathaniel Dett had put to music for choir, and he spontaneously began preaching to this workshop of 100+ people, the creation sermon from this series, and he spoke with such amazing fervency, of this incredible God, bringing the entire world into existence, and then at the concert last evening, they performed the sermon about death. It spoke of a death, and God telling the brother, sister, and husband left behind not to weep, for 'sister Caroline' has been taken home, and is resting in the bosom of Jesus. The whole first half of the concert put death in such a beautiful, positive, refreshing light, that suddenly, I didn't mind if I died right then and there at the theatre.
Birth and death. Such extremes, or so it seems. Perhaps we should question that, though. I have been recently reading all these little surveys and quizzes that come up on facebook, and seeing Mariah's Mum and older sister talking about their children, and watching the responses from other Mums, how it seems like the lives of their children just slip through their fingers, and no matter how hard they try to capture every minute, they keep growing, slipping through their fingers all the time.* "What was the best feeling in your life?" The question, loosely quoted, asked, and the response from both Mums was "right after birth". What is this thing, this life, that causes such joy, and such heartache?
I dream, and think, and find myself staring at the stars, thinking of the billions of others who stare up at those stars and have all through history, and all of a sudden, I feel so incredibly small, and yet somehow, so full, like a rush of amazing worthiness. I've been given this worth somehow, and I don't know why, but I feel so amazing. When I study someone for history, I write their name, and the first thing I write is the year they were born, and they year they passed on. It's just a moment, just a breath, and yet...then I fill the page with their life, and how full and rich it was, no matter the hardships. So I continue to dream, and every bit of work I do now I know somehow contributes to realising those dreams one day. When I look out across the ocean or up at the stars, I see my life flooding before me, in an incredible river of creativity. I'll be 17 in a few months. 16 years and counting, and I haven't yet breathed once.
And when there is no air left?
Slippin' through my fingers all the time, I try to capture every minute of life.
It will not end. It will continue...for a long, long time yet.
* "Slipping Through My Fingers" --ABBA
From Vegetarian Times
(Happy Valentine's Day)
Here's my latest bread boule rising in a 10 inch frying pan. Parchment paper sprayed with Pam is on the bottom. The loaf top is sprayed with a bit more Pam and then covered with a piece of Saranwrap. I used an old rotary cutter to slash the top just before I baked it my nice blue pot. The recipe calls for lifting the raised boule, parchment paper and all, to put into the pot to bake. Nifty idea. I probably baked it for 5 minutes too long this time, but it still tasted very delicious.