It’s cold today. The coldest day in MONTHS. 46 degrees.
I had to scrounge around for something warm to put on, something wool, because almost everything is upstairs having been packed away for summer. Now it’s time to get everything out. I wasn’t ready for that.
The auracania wool poncho I was looking for wasn’t in my closet as I thought it was, so I grabbed an acrylic one, one that’s for in between weather, like now, but not quite warm enough…because I was going outside barefoot. I needed something WARM. So, I remembered my favorite, baby soft, llama twisted cowl, which stayed below hanging in my bedroom because I love it so and wanted to see it all summer, even though I couldn’t wear it. So, this is what I looked like when I went outside today to check the plants.
This purple over an old, favorite, pinkish llbean top, an old jcpenny blue-flowered knit dress…and bare feet.
Going outside with bare feet, I have realized of late, has been the best part of my summer. Feeling that contact with the grass and the earth, oh I love it. Maybe that partially explains my relaxed features these days. That and, thankfully, not having to go to a job. What a luxury. This has been a good year. And, my relaxed face, I haven’t taken a photo of my face in a long time…I hardly recognize myself, and I also find I like my face more even though it’s older and fatter than maybe I would like. But, I am learning to like my face and who I am now more than ever.
Many faces of ME. I know I look like the crazy cat lady to the neighbors. But, don’t get me started on the neighbors.
I have many many photos of things to show, things I’ve done yesterday and today and am still doing. When I went out to check the garden, gardens, as things are very spread out, I wasn’t surprised to see there wasn’t any veg to pick. We have had low sun days with rain and cold, so no okra. A few tomatoes are turning, but not ready yet. Many are still green. Things got started late because of all the spring rain. This area has so much rain, I love it. Except for the mosquitoes. We are well over the normal rates for rain here. When I look at Windthread’s photos of the New Mexico desert, I know it would be VERY hard for me to live in a place like that. We are only a state away, but such a different climate. I would miss rain and green.
Anyway, I have continued to dye and stitch. Yesterday I made progress on the Perfect, Unperfect 9 patch. It is no longer Unperfect, it is just lovely as I watch it transform and Become.
So, this is the SUN, inspired by Jude Hill’s SUNMOONSTARS stitchalong. And here is the kantha, or running stitch, as I began it yesterday morning. Kantha is a bit more than running stitch in that it involves stitching through more than one layer of cloth. Here is the kantha finished.
I found the kantha gave the piece a more celestial look. And there is the moon, and the stars, above. Sun. Moon. Stars. It’s all there.
This piece is about Holding Onto Summer. I wrote that to an old friend on FB. She was talking about winter produce, squash, etc…seasonal changes, etc… I told her “I am still holding onto summer.” It helped that it was a week full of 90 degree days, in September. But the more I enjoy gardening and grounding, the more I dread the death of summer and the coming cold. Even in October, I am still holding onto summer. I have enjoyed this summer so much. This is what I’m trying to show here, in my own way, both limited and skilled.
One of the many joys of my summer was the flowers I grew: zinnias, morning glories, mammoth sunflowers, marigolds, Japanese sweet pea, cosmos…they were all so, so glorious. So, I put some on the 9 patch. I didn’t know if I could represent them well, but I am very, very happy with the results.
I like these so much.
I’ve been learning new names for old stitches used in new ways:
wrap stitch=satin stitch
invisible stitch=hem stitch
The first time I saw hem stitch I was about 8 years old, around the time I learned to embroider. My very religious aunt was sitting on the old hard couch in her father, my grandfather’s house, and sewing up the hem of a skirt. Christianity had made her rigid and close-minded. I never felt warmth from her, ever. But, I sat transfixed as I watched her make the tiniest nicks in the cloth and long stitches on the back. When she turned the right side over to show me I couldn’t see any thread at all, just the tiniest of dimples in the cloth. She didn’t offer to teach me how to do it, but I never forgot. I learned by observing.
Jude uses the hem, or invisible, stitch to glue down fabric onto fabric, and it works amazingly well.
Since there were no vegetables to pick, I harvested these instead.
A big bowl of beauty. This is my 3rd marigold harvest which I will use for yellow dye. Each time I pick these I am aware of the gift of them and make a point of thanking the Spirit of the Marigolds for their bounty. These are the only type of marigolds I really like, with these dark gold, yellow and red-orange blossoms. I had no idea they would turn into huge bushes. There is a house close to downtown whose front yard is covered in them. The neighbor who gave me the four tiny starts he ripped up from the ground pulled his a couple months ago. I found them discarded in the trash on a walk up the alley to pilfer a few grape leaves from a neighbor’s fence. He’s a gardner, and I love that about him because he shares the same point of view about gardening as I do and loves growing things, but his editing of these beauties from his own growing space surprised and shocked me. I won’t rip mine out until it frosts and they are dead.
Every time I pluck the blossoms from my marigold bushes and see the piles of flowers begin to collect in the bowl it reminds me of the flowers used in India for their festivals. So much beautiful bounty.
Last night as I pondered the day’s work on my denim 9 patch I looked again at the blank square at the top and thought of many things to put there. Flowers? A praying mantis? Crows? Whatever goes there has to belong with the stars and the sun. Then, I realized, it is the Wind. The Wind belongs there. Maybe today I will stitch it.