Blushing Peonies II – Finally Finished

Finally finished, binding and label. I’m much happier with the quilt now that it’s finished. The quilting using a darkish bendable thread tied the Kona cotton elements to the rest of the quilt quite well and I have to admit I did one other thing – I toned them down using a fabric pastel crayon which darkened them a bit and hints at texture in much the same way some of the other fabrics do. Once pressed with a steam iron, the pastel dyes the fabric and will withstand washing.

It has the impact of a modern quilt.

Blushing Peonies II – A Modern Quilt – Top

I used flying geese to make a strip to widen the back – they don’t look like flying geese because there isn’t a consistent “background” to highlight the “geese” – however, the pattern created by the large and small triangles showcases the fabrics. The sashing elements I decided to make asymmetrical and I like how they offset the strip and tone down the red backing.

Blushing Peonies II – quilt Back With Flying Geese

After the showing in Parrsboro, my sister Donna expressed interest in the Bordered Diamonds quilt. I gave it to her. She has it hanging in in this bright green room. I love how the green makes the batik fabrics pop and how the colour flow in the quilt ties in with the navy sofa.

Bordered Diamonds – 2012

The other day I was at the physiotherapist – I was at one end of the room and this photo at the other end caught my eye – at the distance a face popped out – two eyes, the left cheekbone, mouth, the suggestion of a blue hat. It’s actually a photo of a waterfall but for me – it’s a face!

The Receipt

A couple of months ago my youngest great-nephew (age 6) decided to start a business – he loves sparkly paper, saw a business opportunity, and decided he should sell some. His father and grandfather are businessmen, so with dad’s help he built a website with images of different kinds of sparkly paper, information about the “founder” himself, statements about “100% satisfaction guaranteed”, “Committed To Quality” – but the bit of information that makes me chuckle every time I see it are the hours of operation:

Open after school Monday – Friday (except closed on Wednesday – he has dinner with his maternal grandmother), after swimming class on Saturday and all day Sunday! He provides a phone number and email address as well as a contact form so you can place an order. The website has been dynamic – becoming more and more focused (I noticed two small typos when I looked today) as he figures out how a business website needs to function.

I think I was his first (maybe his only) customer. I began an email conversation about types of sparkly paper, cost of each sheet, how to send payment… I got succinct answers to my questions. I finally placed an order and received in the mail two pieces of letter-size sparkly paper. I sent a cheque to the house with a thank you note. This all happened about a month ago.

Today I get a receipt in the mail:

Receipt for $12

My academic career focused on literacy learning in children and adults, helping teachers understand the ways children figure out how reading and writing work and what instructional situations support rather than hinder their literacy development. The receipt is a wonderful artifact of a six year old negotiating an adult literacy form – confirmation of a transaction.

He’s got the company name and the quantity of paper I purchased, and the amount I paid him. What leaps off the page for me are his attempts at writing the numeral “2” – his sense of direction is still ambiguous and we see in both instances where he wants to write a “2”, he starts from the right instead of the left, crosses it out and changes direction. He’s got all the letters in “received” and his guess at the “ee” vowel is a common writing error (remember the “rule” – “i” before “e” except after “c”? However, there are quite a few English words that actually use an “ie” spelling after a “c” (science, conscience, sufficient…) and vice versa that use “ei” after other letters (protein, forfeit…)). He’ll sort that confusing spelling situation out in the same way the rest of us have – through reading and writing, trial and error, along with a bit of memorization.

It continues to amaze me just how much we can discern about a child’s literacy strategies from such a succinct sample of writing.

Ironing A Shirt

I’ve posted this before but it’s worth posting again. The topic came up yesterday with a sewing friend visiting from Toronto. I had to do some looking around to find the video. Once found, I mailed myself the URL so I could find it once again. Click here to watch this guy iron a shirt in three minutes flat!

Ironing A Shirt (in 3 minutes)

Not kidding – he makes the whole process understandable and very easy to do. Pay particular attention to how he does the collar/collar stand. The way he does it eliminates the ends of the collar sticking out.

Seriously, check out the video then try it out. I have lots of shirts I’ve made for myself. I’m about to make another couple using some wonderful Liberty cotton I bought at Britex in San Francisco a couple of years ago. I no longer avoid wearing and washing my shirts because I know how to iron them easily.

Testing The Lounge Chair

I have an amusing story to share. Last week I happened to visit the new Structube furniture store that opened not far from where I live. I bought some furniture from the Dartmouth Crossing shop when I moved into the apartment and I’ve been happy with it.

I wasn’t looking for anything, just schmoozing, really, when I spotted this lounge chair. I hate the lazy boy chair in my bedroom – my legs aren’t comfortable, the seat is just a wee bit too high, my neck wakes me if I choose to snooze, my head is in the wrong position to see out of the distance portion of my multifocal glasses when looking over my knitting to watch TV….

So I sat in the lounger, and thought “This might work!” But no point in buying without REALLY testing it out. I need a comfortable chair for knitting, reading, watching TV, and snoozing. I have to be comfortable doing all four before it’s worth thinking about buying.

Lounge Chair For My Bedroom

I went back two days ago ready to give this chair a serious workout – I brought my knitting, my book was on my phone, there was a TV on a wall at an appropriate height near the chair, and I had a pillow for under my neck. I settled in for a couple of hours of try-out. The store manager thought it was a good idea when I explained what I was doing, “We’re open until 9” she told me; so no rush to cut this testing session short.

I knit for an hour finishing the heel turn on a sock and beginning the gusset, glancing from time to time at the TV nearby – that worked fine. My arms were comfortable, my head position good. I tried reading – that was comfortable, too, with my pillow in the small of my back. Snoozing I found was best done without any support behind my head and neck; the shape of the lounger was just right.

As I was knitting away, eyes on the TV, didn’t a friend of mine come by with a huge grin on her face. She said she’d come into the store and thought – what a good idea to have a mannequin to display the furniture – when she looked more closely and saw me knitting. We had a good laugh about what I was doing. But no point, I told her, in investing in the lounger without knowing it was better than the lazy boy I owned.

After another twenty minutes I packed up and headed to chat with the store manager about buying the chair. I’m expecting it to arrive in town in about a week. Looking forward to knitting and reading and watching TV and snoozing in comfort, finally!

Couldn’t Resist These Faces

A friend just sent me this photo. She also finds faces (pareidolia) everywhere as I do! I loved this one!

Suspicious Pants

This one is pretty good, too. I bet if I look at the banana sitting on my kitchen counter I will find an unhappy face (it’s been sitting out too long – gotta eat it today or else).

Unhappy Face

Find out if you’re prone to seeing faces.

“Women seem to be more prone to seeing faces where there are none. This may be linked to the fact that they have a better ability to recognise emotions through deciphering facial expressions.”

“Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, you can experience pareidolia. Don’t let it shock you, it’s just your ancient survival instincts kicking in.”

Once faces are drawn to your attention you may find yourself starting to see them, too. So keep your eyes open.

Do You See It?

The Honda Accord “Bear” Face

I was watching TV last evening while knitting socks – I caught this image of the interior of a Honda Accord as it flashed by. The “face” of a “bear” (or some other animal) was so strong I actually paused the program, rewound it until I was able to see the image clearly. I captured it with my phone.

Think about it – how many people were involved in the interior design of this vehicle – a lot, I’d say. I can’t believe nobody picked up on this “face”. It’s so strong – I’d never be able to sit behind this steering wheel without feeling uncomfortable.

What about you? Do you see it? The phenomenon is called pareidolia. I have a strong propensity to see faces in inanimate objects – I’ve mentioned it before. But I have to say, this is one of the strongest “faces” I’ve come across and I find it uncomfortable.

A friend of mine also sees “faces” – here’s a photo she sent me last week:

Bathroom “Face”

Here’s what she had to say about it: “A little unnerving having this guy staring up next to me in the hotel bathroom in Montreal today!
A bidet with a personality!”

I bet she was aware of that face every time she used that bathroom.

 

Cayce Zavaglia – Artist

My sister Donna has returned from a two week visit to NYC and she just sent me photos of some astounding embroidered portraits done by the artist Cayce Zavaglia.

Embroidered Portrait

Step back and you see the portrait. In the gallery, step close and you see the craft – a gazillion stitches using silk, cotton, yarn threads to create tone, depth, texture. I can’t imagine how long it takes to complete one of these portraits – perhaps months?

In any case, if you’re interested in learning more take a few moments to watch her at work:

Spectacular.