Archive for the ‘Beau’ Category

Having gotten out of the habit of frequent blogging, I’m finding it hard to get back into it. I’ve shown you the work-in-progress on Beau’s bag.  It’s finished and I’ve mailed it off to Vashon Island–the bag with the Kate Greenaway book inside. It just fits. Here you can see the front and the back. I stitched the CQ blocks to a ready-made canvas bag. The front has alphabet letters and critters on the patches. The back has numerals and flora motifs. On both sides I included shisha, thinking Beau would get a kick out of the tiny mirrors.

Front Back


Now I’m working on a sampler–just something to keep me stitching, as I’m still finding it hard to do so every day. Here’s Guilloche stitch for the border. It’s funny how putting a border on it makes the sampler feel more important–worth trying to do it well.


Counting threads is not my favorite stitching technique, but I like the even stitches it produces. This sampler is on Aida evenweave fabric.

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My other grandchildren and great-grandchildren have something I have made for them. Beau does not. She was born in 2010, when I was stricken with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Try as I could, I was not able to think about what to make or to create it, but I’ve always had in mind the desire to make something for her. A couple of months ago Kate Greenaway’s illustrations came into my mind. I decided that I would try to design something that incorporated one or more of her images. At Amazon.com I found a book of iron-on transfers of her illustrations of children.Greenaway_0001

Greenaway_0002Subsequently, I searched for her books and found this compilation of selections from her most popular books, first published in the late 19th century and reprinted in 1979.

Still I did not know what I would make. Dear friend Maureen in Australia suggested a small tote bag with a book in it. Yes! Great idea. When she’s not using the bag, Beau can have it as a wall-hanging. I think I will make the bag a crazy quilt design with a Greenaway illustration on a central patch of the front of the bag.

For practice, both with ironing on the transfer and with stitching it, I made this trial cloth. It’s a good thing I did as I managed to smear part of the pattern. I’ll know better when I’m ready to do the patch for the bag.

IMG_4574_edited-2    Now to design the crazy patchwork.

I’m still forcing myself to make things. It’s too hard sometimes, but stitching this practice piece was pure pleasure–the first time I’ve felt that way about stitching in many months. It is stitched in split stitch and some satin stitch with a single strand of DMC cotton floss. You know how slow that is! Yet I was able to spend several hours yesterday absorbed in this project, contentedly. Progress!

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If I decide to continue blogging, it will be at this site.

The header image is a detail from my recovery crazy patchwork improvisation. It fairly well represents the upheaval, bewilderment, and patchiness–lack of organization, in my life following my 2009 abrupt and unexpected recovery from being house-bound.

The title comes from a book with that title by Allan B. Chinen. The book is about “fairy tales for the second half of life.” It was given to me in 1993 by a dear friend a few months after I had gone into seclusion. The tagline comes from another book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. The author argues that we should be using the additional years of life people in our society can expect, not in decline, not trying to stay younger, but in growing wiser.

Now in my 75th year–an elder, a crone, I am trying to figure out how I should be using the active years remaining to me. My intention is to be helpful to my family here on Vashon and to keep growing spiritually.

My son pointed out to me that over time I will likely be needing help myself, and that that may be  “hard for me, or at least, a challenge.” I don’t think so. I’ve already experienced the losses that come with disability. With ME/CFS I lost much of my life and learned to be dependent. I think I know how to do that. We’ll see.

I myself am waiting to find out whether I will post about living my elder years.

Yesterday I spent some time with great-granddaughter Beau.

I’ll end with that for now.

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