Monday, December 1, 2014

Patterns and advice.

I love my Christmas cactus. It is the only plant that ever blooms for me and it isn't garish. Plus it  blooms just as everything else has collapsed for winter.
The two weeks with Karen Ruane's 'Doodle, gather, create' course is over and I loved it. Lots of fiddling around with paper and thread.

I'm not crazy about the white background paper. I painted the bottom most sheet a pale green, but left all the others white. The contrast doesn't show up here though. Sorry.

Bottom page to the left, middle page in development.

Bottom page finished.
Detail from middle page. French knots, Detached chain stitch and needle pokes from the back.

A detail from the topmost page. The middle page peaks through the cut out.

Topmost page with peak a boo to the other pages below.
And now I am on to other stitching projects. Stay tuned.

The Out of the Cold Shelter opens tonight. I'll be volunteering again this winter. In case you don't know, the shelter has 15 beds for the homeless and is what is called a 'low barriers shelter', meaning the folks coming in just have to be able to stand up on their own and get to the bathroom on their own. If it's cold, and there is room, they get a bed. So far, no snow in the city, and that means no frozen toes or fingers to start the winter off.

I'm also thinking about December and all it means. Usually it means Christmas and spending and avoiding cooking. Many years of suppressed anxiety that all will go according to plan and then trying to not explode when it didn't. Over the last 10 years the whole family has been working towards a Christmas in which no one has thoughts of exploding, except with eating too much.

My gift to you all this year is to let go of something. Talk to the people who you think have expectations of how those several days should all go. Find out what is essential to everyone's feeling of the 'Season' and have that person help in contributing to that element. These days, our son helps cook the turkey (bit of jostling between the two men for the baster now), both kids help with the shopping list for special food and our daughter helps out with cooking a favourite dish and participates in getting and decorating the tree as well as getting the turkey. In fact, one year we bought the tree without her and was that ever a mistake.

Yes, they are adults, but this conversation took place when they were teens and each year we have reviewed expectations until they are SANE ones. Steve and I now do the Christmas cards with wine and cheese on the go. We lick the envelopes the next day so as to not ruin the taste of our treats.

My advice is to start with those Christmas cards. Just what exactly is sane and what is from years of tit for tat responding? Buy cheap cards and a good bottle of wine.

I just trolled through the images of Turkey and they go on and on. Today's offering will be of patterns. Just look and enjoy.

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