Monday, February 28, 2011

Blue Journey

Photo by Anushka at Journey Blog

Visit Anushka at Journey for a beautiful feast of blue today!  Anushka and her family live in St. Maarten.  Where I live right now, the black limbs of the trees are dripping cold rain onto the dirty, frozen snow.  The sky is dull gray.  Where Anushka lives, there are deep blue skies with white castles of clouds, sparkling azure seas, sunlight shining through blue patterned curtains and onto a little hand going into a blue dress pocket.  Blue, blue, cool, summery blue, you make me want to sing! Thank you for bringing us the joy of blue today, Anushka!  love, Beth

Click on the title of this post to go to Journey!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Letter Writing

I have been cleaning out the attic and the closets and drawers recently, and have come upon many, many letters written to me by my wonderful friend, Marianne.  I met her when I was seventeen, and we have kept up for all these years, (admittedly more and more intermittently,) through our school years, our weddings, our new babies, and our children's growing and growing-up years.  When we first became friends, we had to maintain contact through writing letters.  Except for the rare quick phone call overseas, it was the only way to stay in touch.  Now we have the internet, and I tend to fire off letters to her by email, because it is quick and easy and that seems to be the only way to make time for letter-writing in my life right now.  I love email, but it doesn't compare to a real letter, like the kind she sends.  She is a beautiful writer, with beautiful hand-writing.  She sits down at a desk and takes her time, and I can feel the thought and time and love which go into her letters.

My heart leaps whenever I see a personal letter in my little brass mailbox.  I toss aside all the bills and circulars looking for this "good" mail, the only kind I really want to see.  Then I slide my finger under the gummed flap, and pull out the letter with a little crackle.  I unfold it, and I settle down someplace comfortable to read through those loops and dots and flourishes which say so much about her.  She makes time for me and for maintaining our friendship, and that's what a handwritten letter is all about.

My daughter, who is from the email generation, also has some friends she exchanges hand-written letters with.  She even spends time making special postcards using watercolor and collage.  Do you have a correspondence like this with anyone?  When was the last time you took the time to write a real letter?

Maureen at Twig and Toadstool is pairing children of her readers with penpals right now.  If you want to participate, visit her at or click on the title of this post.  Yesterday she posted about making her daughter a special letter writing kit!  Go see!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Red Redux

I like red.  I like it so much, and am having so much fun celebrating color this winter, that I am publishing this rerun from two falls ago!

In the summer,

and in the winter.

In my coats,

and in my shoes.

I like red.

Red crayons.

Red paint.

Red walls.

and red toys.

Red to sip and

red to crunch.

Red to sew.

red to weave,

red for spinning,

red I've spun.

I like to knit red,

and grow red.

I like red boxes,

I like red cans.

I take it back. I love red!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blue and White

 Do you find yourself craving color this time of year?  I do, which is why I have been posting about color so much recently.  This is a celebration of blue and white!

 Blue and white is contemporary.

This vase was handblown by my daughter.

Blue and white is traditional.

This needlepoint is by Sara Nelson.

 Blue and white is natural.  It is the color of the water, the foam, and the shore.

It is the color of the sky and the clouds.  It makes us think of days outdoors, the open sea, and fresh air.  No wonder we find blue and white so calming and blissful.  Do you like blue and white?  How do you use blue and white at your house?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quilt Top

I recently got rid of all the colors I don't like in my fabric stash.

It's hard to give away art or craft materials, but I feel lighter.  I kept what I love, and to me, it looks glorious. Just looking at the stash gives me ideas.
 My studio looks messy now, in the aftermath of assembling the crazy log cabin quilt. 

I don't mind this kind of mess.  It's messy the way a flower garden is messy.

 I think this quilt is about the balance of order and disorder.  The colors in the squares are having a party together.  The red grid holds all the lively mess together, and allows each square to do its individual dance.  In this picture you see the strips we decided to add to the edges, to make the quilt bigger.

Here is the finished crazy quilt top.  Yesterday I sewed a layer of luscious red minky to the back.  It is as soft as kitten fur.

Next week I will baste the layers together and start to quilt it using a combination of hand quilting and machine quilting.