Friday, March 30, 2012

A Spring Campaign of Color

Here in the Panhandle we are experiencing a short spring.  We hit the 90's and it's just the end of March!  This warm/hot weather has brought out the flowers in wonderful color and made the lawn an emerald carpet.  This is a favorite time of year, before the heat browns the yard and the sun burns up the foliage. 

Here is a small sample of the color that spring has sprung:


All this color is around the tree in the backyard.
These beautiful colors are next to the house.
The rose garden will burst out next. 
Last Thursday was spent raking, weeding and trimming.
It is not unusual to experience a hard freeze in April, after the budding,
diminishing the bushe's full glory.
The temps this week make me eager to embrace summer.  
What does your yard look like? 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Who's in Charge?

Feelings are fickle things.  They can settle in and haunt us or change with a heartbeat.  There is a mantra I share with my son, and all who will listen, "Don't let your feelings make your decisions."  How you feel today will not be how you feel tomorrow or next week or next year.  Especially strong feelings will wane, often more quickly then you expect.

Knowing this, strongly advising this, you may anticipate that when a strong feeling takes hold of me the struggle is minimal.  On the contrary, it seems twice as difficult to control my behavior because I know better.

I've shared that the empty nest syndrome has plagued me since last August.  I've poured much of that energy into quilting (working on #5 currently) but there are days when I have missed L. something terrible.  We've gone through two campus visits, the holiday breaks and most recently a wonderful week of spring break.  As I wave good-by my heart grows heavy.

In my mind there is no saddness.  L. is doing so well adapting to college life.  He is managing his own changes with maturity and good decisions.  He stays in touch with us, sharing his struggles, concerns and new experiences. 

My heart, on the other hand, is desperately seeking a change.  The feeling is strong to change my environment (what I have control over) and change it now.  My mind knows this is not the thing to do, don't let your feelings make decisions, but oh, the struggle is tough.  I'm thankful D. is so patient and understanding of my mercurial feelings but more so his steadfastness in thwarting any rash actions.

The empty nest experience is one of those personal, common experiences, with none being the same.  There are those who can empathize or sympathize or just love me through this. I appreciate you all.  I am assured by those who have gone before that these moments of strong emotion will eventually subside.  In the meantime I hold true to the statement; don't let your feelings make your decisions. 

Pictures from:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Your Dynamic Style, Right On Target

Fashionista is not a word I would use to describe myself but I do like to look nice and dress to my best advantage.  In a continual quest towards life-long learning I've made efforts to educate myself on fashion and it's many facets. 
Advertisers are not good fashion advisers as their intent is to sell merchandise, whether it looks good on you or not.  With this in mind a "good job" shout out goes to Target for their latest 'color changes everything' campaign.  This quick advertising spot does a great job of showing the dynamic difference color can make on anything. 

Another good example, specifically for clothes, is in the opening credits of "What Not To Wear" (those seeking an education in fashion, you need to make this a favorite) provides a great demonstration of going from drab to dynamic, with color. 

This opening sequence took me to the store for my son.  Warm, summer tones are 'his' color.  I learned that the right scarf would help his leather jacket go from a good look to a better look.  Notice, along with the scarf, his shirt is also a warm color.  Color makes a dynamic difference.

I applaud Target for their entertaining, educational commercial and I encourage those who find themselves fashion challenged to pay attention. 

When choosing your outfit pick a piece that you like, combine with a piece that you love, then add two choices of bling (purse, shoes, jewelry, scarf). In the words of What Not To Wear 'bling squared', will finish an outfit.

A good eye isn't something you buy it's something you learn.  Educate yourself to your color, correct size and fit.  You'll be pleasantly surprised at how it takes your look from drab to dynamite. 
What is your favorite piece of bling?

pictures from:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Re-Cycle, Re-Craft: A Blanket Story

In the midst of my current quilting project, a Quilt-As-You-Go, I placed an order for a nifty tool that I'll wait on to continue, so, I'm digging in my remnant bag to see what treasures are waiting to be made.  In the depths I pull out a nice, large piece of camouflage material backed with soft flannel. 

The story behind this remnant goes back almost ten years when my sewing projects were annual Christmas pajamas for my son.  We were at my sister-in-law's for the holidays and her son, an avid outdoors man, had this piece of fabric.  During our discussion of the pajamas he asked me to make him a pair of shorts.

The shorts never got made but here was this nice, large remnant, a perfect size for a child's blanket.  This same nephew now has two adorable children.  The only kicker was a 1/4 of a yard chunk cut out of the corner.

Off to the wonderful world of fabrics; Hancock's and Joann's in my town, to see what kid friendly border could be found plus a suitable replacement for the corner. 

Hancock's was the winner with the fun frogs on camo print as well as a brown fleece for the replacement piece.

The finished blanket has a 4 inch border and a brown square with  frogs cut out of the fabric and ironed in place.

 I really like the whimsy of the frogs on camo which give the original piece a kid friendly feel.  I hope my nephew is happy with the final product, instead of his shorts, and the kids enjoy the warmth of their camouflage blanket.

This makes complete 'quilt' number 4 since September.  Number 5 is well underway.  I have to credit the empty nest energy, it keeps me productive.


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Review of sorts

A friend loaned me the book,  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  She and I were talking about stories with an intresting point of view.  The narrarator of the book is a dog named Enzo. 

Enzo shares the life of his owner Denny.  He narrates Denny's life from marriage to parenthood, through the death of his wife from cancer, into a fight for custody of his daughter with his in-laws.  Scattered throughout this journey is Denny's efforts to drive race cars.  If you are a racing enthuasist you will enjoy all the inside information about racing.  If you are a dog lover you'll enjoy the insight of Enzo on the human condition.

It's difficult not to like Enzo and his devotion to Denny and his family.  His point of view allows for insight and information not available to the humans.  There are  questions left unanswered, such as why Eve is afraid of doctors, but Enzo explains he never heard her talk about it.  He reflects on the legal proceedings putting together what he has overheard, combined with what he has seen on TV and what he thinks must have happened. 

The epilogue is anticipated because of what Enzo is eager to have happen, and speaks of frequently throughout the tale, but it was still poignant.  I enjoyed the story with it's unexpected point of view and because it is just a good story.  If you have an open weekend it's a good way to spend your time.

I could use a good read.  What would you recommend?