Samstag, 31. Oktober 2015

Gelee and More

Hello Ladies.

After that Halloween-ish picture of the mushed fruit yesterday, the jelly did turn out to be good and golden red after all.. It took quite a while making three batches, but the taste was worth the effort. And all the caps sealed. Cheers. Then, after I finished the fourteen jars, I saw that there was another bag of fruit waiting to be done. Oh, well. Next week.
Seeing the finished jars, I thought of the gorgeous array of canning jars Ruth shared this summer, and how it didn't show the long hours of her labors standing over a hot stove in a Texas summer. But I praised her in the gates anyway. Making food is a good thing - and not toxic for our families, unlike other things we could mention.

As  to this site, I have found that some form of the name is much used, maybe over used, and that maybe it will be complicated to explain to everyone how to use this site to show your works. But, BUT, I am the most not-computer-literate person in the world, so if I can  learn it, anyone can. So I will see if we can make this work. If not, no great loss. What I hope to do soon is put up a practice pattern and ask you to see if it works to download and print it. Stefan says there is a way. If so, that is a major step in the right direction. Not tonight though. I still have to finish a birthday card, and Stefan gave me a new chapter of his manuscript to edit, and Church is early  tomorrow.

To conclude with autumn cheer, here are a couple of dangles I  made for the season, one for our Welcome sign at the front door, and others for a little metal tree I have on which to hang whatever bits I happen to make. These little faces are made with polymer clay in silicon molds, baked, then painted and wired with beads. Fairly simple, but a nice effect.

Blessed Reformation Day to all.

Freitag, 30. Oktober 2015

Quinces and Felting

Many of you to whom I wrote yesterday responded favorably to this site idea - thank you. In this busy day I have not yet gotten the help I need to give you the rest of the information, but maybe that will work this weekend. On Sunday though, after an early worship service, we are going to Sigmund's sister's birthday party on the Bürgenstock, a mountain across from the Rigi. So I have been  thinking about a birthday card to make.

But first I had piles of quinces to attend. Our neighbors up the road set out two baskets of them: Quitten zum mitnehmen. Quitten are quinces. They have a tree, actually many kinds of fruit trees, and don't do anything with the harvest.   So I helped them by taking sacks-ful. Then I had to look up what one does with them to make Quittengelee. I have steps one though three done: rub off fuzz, cut up, and cook in water. Now they are to sit over night to increase in color. Then one retrieves the juice and makes jelly. That's for tomorrow.
It doesn't look so good yet, but maybe we'll have a clear golden-red jelly  tomorrow.

So eventually I pulled out some steel wire, felts and roving, floss, beads, and tools to work on a card.
I started bending and hammering and needle felting and sewing and beading for something for the birthday. This is what I have so far.

What will become of it tomorrow I don't know yet, but today is done.

Blessings on your day.

Donnerstag, 29. Oktober 2015

Art for Advent

Hello Busy Moms, Sisters, and Friends,

Last year some of us worked on various creative projects in the holiday season, and shared our works with each other via e-mail. This was cumbersome. Some of us want to share projects this year, too, so when I asked my tech-y children a better way to do this, they said what you see here would be more efficient.
Let's try it.

When I get all the instructions, I will send them on to you here. In the mean time, here is some back matter:


This past summer saw the last of my children graduate from my teaching hands to the world of adults. That concluded decades of intense labors. So I decided to take some time for creative rejuvenation for myself. I signed up for various on-line craft classes in things I had long wanted to try, but never had time for. I made artsy books, worked with jewelry wire, learned how to make a jointed teddy bear, practiced various doll making techniques (I love dolls . the creative human form, you know), learned how to solder, learned how to etch metal, and had lots of fun around all my normal work at home.

Jointed Teddy bear
                                         Theodora Lavendula

Soldered bits of this and that.

Polymer clay and felt whimsy doll.
Now with Advent coming, and remembering the good times creating with friends last year, I would like not to lose the momentum of having art in my days. I hope you too see the value of creative endeavors in your life. Any thing worth doing is worth doing beautifully. We have many duties, but each can be enhanced with lovely touches to show our love to our loved ones. We probably could plop a plate of gray meat with beige-ish gravy and a vegetable mush of indeterminate hue on the table, but we don't. We have golden sauces and creamy fluffs and green garnishes and glorious arrays of colorful vegetables. Yes, there is a table cloth and a centerpiece and matching tableware. And flowers greet us at the front  door. And pictures adorn our walls. And cabinet knobs have little dangles of the season..... wait... not? No problem, we can do that.

Maybe in your house you have people of the female persuasion who notice and say, "Mom, it's nice you put up some fall decorations." (Thank you, Maria, for noticing.) Or maybe your house is all menfolk or young folk who don't notice, but if you like decorating, then you do it anyway. At least I do. Textures and colors and forms enrich life, I believe. Maybe, perhaps, possibly, it would be more important to attack cobwebs first, but one must set priorities, and cobwebs are not that. In my world anyway.....

So I make things. Artsy things.Some are lasting, some not. Sometimes the making is the point. Sometimes the product is the point.

So to conclude for today, let's  make ourselves a Muse, a little reminder to keep a space for creativity in our lives. You don't need a batch of STUFF. Just look around your space and pick up this and that.

This is what I found in the desk drawer here, and a quick grab of fibers as I went to get my  camera:

Then I put this and that together. Yes, I did go get some quick glue, but if I had not had that, the desk did contain some wire closures and rubber bands and paper clips that would have worked too as fasteners. Also, the head could have been the small light bulb I found in the drawer and almost used, which would be appropriate for a muse. I probably would not have used the stray peanut for a head, but the other popsicle stick would have made good arms, if I hadn't found the twig. Meaning, lots of stuff work for fun little creations.
Glue queen coin to popsicle stick  for a head and wrap neck with yarn.
Wrap a ribbon around twig to hold to body.
Add any pretty scraps of ribbon, lace, or strips of Stefan's discarded music papers, nicely crumpled.
Tie a bow or find a bit of something for wings and attach.
Some music paper makes a nice head dress.

Then you can give your Muse a message for yourself. It could say:

But some of these could have subtle negative implications, of stealing time and attention from ones duties, and, of course, we do put duties before our amusement, so let's use:


This has the double meaning of using some of ones time specifically to be creating lovely things and beauty in life, and finding ways to play with color and form and texture, or maybe sound and light and type, instead of merely being utilitarian with our time. It also says that it is important to incorporate  the time one has in life to include creative endeavors, even if it is not more than making utilitarian things also beautiful. I very well know that many busy women have no spare minutes for extras, so we sometimes can only add a little art to the necessities we have to do anyway. But every little bit can inspire the soul, whether it is a craft with children, a family meal, a garden, a song or dance or story, or a hug for the hurting. ART isn't always visual, and creativity can be found or put into every thing we do. I happen to like visual arts, so that is what you see from me. You can share your kind .

                                                          Blessings  on your day.