This year I plan to tackle 3 storage issues.
I’m tired of being tired! So this year, my 50th (!!!), I’m doing a reset. I’m gonna use what I have or get rid of it.
These aren’t really resolutions, just the result of getting fed up with myself and all the clutter I (and my family) deal with everyday, which happens to coincide with my birthday last month.
Any advice from readers who have tamed the clutter monster and have kept it caged? (Not you, MIL – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was enough! 🙂 )
I recently found a newsletter from a conservative political organization in my email inbox. After considering for a moment from what possible source the organization had collected my email address, I read through the opening article. It was a joyous shout out to the President-Elect, giving him the credit for doing away with political correctness and making it possible for Christians to once again say “Merry Christmas.”
Um, what? I must have missed the notice banning that phrase. I use it with confidence, among people who celebrate Christmas, especially on Christmas Day, itself. I also use “season’s greetings” and “happy holidays.” If I know what holiday, other than Christmas, an acquaintance celebrates, I offer my good wishes for that holiday. I do not consider this “political correctness,” and here’s why.
In the church calendar, Christmas is one day. One very important day, of course, but just one. The season leading up to it is Advent – four weeks of waiting and preparing our hearts. We light a candle each Sunday of Advent; the candles represent hope, joy, peace and love. These are the gifts Christ brings with Him, and they are bundled together in my mind when I say or write “season’s greetings.”
If we are supposed to show the love of Christ, why do we get bogged down in arguing about these words? All the holiday greetings, at their heart, are expressions of good will and joy. Yes, there are other holidays included in “happy holidays.” So what? When someone who celebrates a different winter holiday, or who celebrates Christmas secularly, wishes me happiness, I’m grateful. Their thoughtfulness does not diminish the importance of Christ to me, or in the world. When I wish non-Christians well, I am loving my neighbor; again, including whatever holiday they celebrate, by using a generic “happy holidays,” or even by specifically wishing them “happy solstice” (for example), does nothing do diminish Christ and the importance of His birth. In fact, by sharing these seasonal greetings, we increase the love, hope, peace and joy in the world. Politically correct or not, isn’t that a good thing?
Just playing in my art journal. This little birdie is painted in gouache on a background of acrylic paints with some collage, stamping, stenciling…your basic mixed-media mishmash. I don’t think the berries are quite done, but I just love how the bird came out. I used a photo from the Oct/Nov 2016 issue of Birds&Blooms magazine as my model.
What do you think? Any advice for finishing the berries?
My Girl’s delight with her English Country Dance class, and her desire to watch the dancing scenes in the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, awakened in me a wish to reread that novel. And then I had to watch the production from beginning to end, admiring and sighing over all the beautiful scenery, Colin Firth, the lovely dresses, Colin Firth, the magnificent estates, Colin Firth, the gorgeous sets and, of course, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.
I am not a Jane Austen scholar, but I know enough to understand that she offered, through her novels, criticism of a society focused too sharply on manners, appearances and status. I wonder if part of her continued appeal is that we have moved so far away from that excess of civility. What an oddity Mr. Darcy would be in today’s world, especially if he suddenly appeared in the U.S., during this particular autumn. What would we make of a fabulously wealthy man whose employees and tenants sing his praises rather than write tell-all books about him, who conceals both his own good deeds and the wrongdoings of others, and recognizes that people of different social strata can be worthy of respect? How would we handle the facts that his only “private server” is his valet, he is careful both in his actions and his speech (usually), and he admits when he has made a mistake? Good manners wouldn’t give Saturday Night Live and the late night talk show hosts much material, and wouldn’t that be refreshing! If Darcy ran for president, his slogan could be “Honesty with Discretion; Courtesy with Morality.” People would probably say he waffled on his opinion of the Bennett sisters, and the birther crowd would actually have a point. But you know, if he looked like Colin Firth, I might just vote for him anyway. 🙂
I proposed a class on hand embroidery to the Fairbanks Folk School, and it was accepted! Yea! I get to teach grown-up people! Who are not my children! (Well, the class is open to people 12-years old and up, so I might be teaching somebody else’s kids, but that’s ok.) Here’s the class description, as well as a few pictures:
Hand embroidery is an easy and enjoyable way to decorate your life. You can embellish clothing, make art pieces for your walls, and produce lovely gifts for friends and family. You can spend hours or minutes, pennies or big bucks on your projects – no matter what your commitment level or budget is, once you know the basic stitches, you can create beautiful items easily.
In the first session of Easy Embroidery, you will learn basic hand embroidery stitches, including running, back, chain, and blanket stitches (and some variations), and the French knot. In the second session, we’ll add some simple filling stitches to your sampler and begin work on a small embroidered picture that you can frame, or mount on a pillow or greeting card. You will learn how to choose the correct fabric and thread to create the look you want for future projects. In addition, you will learn several ways to transfer a design to fabric: tracing with a lightbox or window, using an iron-on transfer pen, and using dressmaker’s carbon paper.
Yea! Go me! (It has been awhile since I did anything creative, so I’m pretty psyched about this class.) The Folk School is interested in a class on making rag dolls, as well as possibly something with polymer clay, so I’m working on putting together a couple more classes for them. The embroidery class is 2 2-hour sessions, 6-8 pm on October 14 and 21, 2016. Click here to sign up!
I managed one other little creative thing last week, too. My sister needed a pair of earrings for a friend’s birthday. The birthday was on September 8, which was the date of the debut of the original Star Trek series in 1966. The friend is a fan, so here’s what I came up with:
They are a little wonky, but I love them. I’m gonna make me a pair! If there’s enough interest, I’ll make a bunch and list them on my ArtFire shop.