Monday, March 31, 2014

Mail Art and knitting and SPRING!

 I've had this Gettysburg, PA battlefield postcard for awhile. It's got a message on the back and was originally mailed in 1941. How to alter a postcard of the bloodiest battlefield in the U.S.?
It felt good to put the little musician (or big by scale in this case) there to play a commemorative tune. One day, I'm planning to take a road trip to Gettysburg. Have you been there?
 In my knitting group, I'm challenging myself to learn new things. I wanted to learn to follow a color change pattern.

I made the small hat, or rather it turned out child sized, first. I made the color changes too tightly, but Zinn looks great in this hat and she liked it.

I plotted out a pattern on graph paper and using only two colors, made this slouch hat. It's worked on a round needle. I'm pleased with the results and, Voila! It fits an adult head!

My next challenge is to learn to use double pointed needles. I've found an easy fingerless glove pattern to work with.

Did I show you these cute little baby hats that my sister makes? I put them in my Etsy shop.

I sent my sister the slouch hat pattern and the circular needle. I'm excited to have her try something new, too. I hope she's excited about that.

Spring is here! These Star of Bethlehem plants always make me happy. I dug up some of the plants several years ago from a nearby alley way and planted them in our front garden. They spring up amongst the rocks and look so friendly.
 Okay, so I spoil him by not immediately chasing him away from the laptop. It's sort of my way of seeing how BIG he's getting. Still growing, oh my.

Yesterday was drizzly and chilly, so I decided it was Lentil Soup time again. This is a fabulous recipe, which I've posted before. it's from the cookbook Veganomicon. Even if you're not a vegan or even a vegetarian, you'll enjoy this recipe. It can be found on my recipe blog HERE.

    Let me know if you make the soup.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

THURSDAY Time for catching up

 My older sister sent me a couple packages of books and included some other goodies, including an old pattern. Since I'll never make myself a tee-shirt, I am going to use the pattern in collages.

 Random text always adds a bit of intrigue for me. An incomplete story, a bit of conversation overheard in passing, the start of a dialogue, all of that and more.

I received a lovely collaged Mail Art piece from someone but they forgot to put a return address on it. To make up for that, the artist sent me a color copy of the original collage with her address - how could I resist re-cycling the copy.

Anyone guess where this figure came from? It's a famous painting.

Here's another figure from that famous painting.  I found an old, 1956, National Geographic Magazine. That made me happy as I had new things to cut out for collages. I'm getting bored with my scraps and needed new material. Does that happen to you? 

A couple of days ago, after the snow had melted, I spotted this tiny plant in my front garden. 

The sun is out today, though chilly.
Tomorrow, spring is predicted. How nice.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Oh My, the time when by so quickly!

 I've been making Mail Art but at a different pace these days. Some days, not at all and other days, more than one.

Prints of my Tiny Town that were left from my exhibit last year, have water damage from the flood in my studio.

Not the images but the area at the bottom of the page. SO....
 I've been cutting out the images, and altering the alterations! What fun, Tiny Town redux, as it were.

Adding the little vintage musicians has been fun for me. It changes up the images so much, right?

 What do you think?  Now I have new stories about the residents of Tiny Town and the child musicians who visit them.

I'm doing some simple collages, too.

These simple town compositions are as appealing to me as altering the vintage cards.
 I'd forgotten how good it feels to tear paper!
 Mrs. Andrews, with whom I've exchanged mail since 10 years ago, at least, sent me a sweet small piece which the postal service thought deserved to be put into a larger envelope so it wouldn't get damaged. Fortunately, Mrs. Andrews didn't put her return address, ensuring that I'd receive her Mail Art.
 I changed up my REAL Wall again. It's so inspiring. 19 artists are displayed here from 10 countries.

I have so many more wonderful pieces of Mail Art to display but they'll have to wait until next month. I'm enjoying this grouping very much.

Is there anything from YOU up here?

Thursday, March 06, 2014


The Kitties always dress in costume when they visit famous sites.
 Mary England of Uncustomary has set this month's theme as Optimism.

Perfect! If you ask any one that knows me they'll tell you that I'm an optimist, though I went through a period where I wasn't but that was temporary and unusual. Why am I optimistic? I have no idea, I wish I could tell you why. If I could I'd write a book and cure the world of pessimism. oh well.

 My parents were optimists, maybe that helps, being around people like that growing up. Or maybe it's in the DNA? I'm sure there are already books on this subject, probably lots of them, I haven't checked.

There's plenty to get down about, just read the news, watch TV, listen to the radio, all bad stuff that most of us can't do a thing about.

 I'm lucky! I can make stuff and that takes me away from the bad news into the state of bliss that fills me up with optimism.

And I can hang out with children in a fun way, like yesterday spending time with my friends' 6 year old. Wow, what fun that was to just have a conversation with him. Or spending lots of time looking at a photo album of baby photos with my grand, who just loves doing that. Lucky me.
 And then there's the cat, who helps us laugh and forget the bad stuff in the world. Lucky us. A moment to laugh!

Why is this bag so intriguing? He loves getting into it.

I got Mail Art the other day from someone in South Africa. On the outside it said "full," on the inside was a card that said "empty."  I guess optimism is the one that puts the focus on "full."

And here's a quote from Wendell Berry that says "optimism" to me:
"Be joyful /
though you have considered all the facts."

My wish for you - have a full day, full of things that will give you joy and a sense of optimism.