Friday, February 03, 2023

Existential Examen -- Onward!

 For those who've been following, you'll have noticed I didn't post yesterday.  That's because when I got up, I hit the ground running.  There was lots to do:

  • I finished preparing all the income tax receipts for my little parish church -- created, printed, folded, enveloped, sealed, and some stamped for mailing.
  • I finished the second baby sock of a pair and re-did the first one because I'd muffed the heel flap. (After 50+ years of knitting baby socks, you'd think...but !! 😆
  • I did up my dishes.
  • I shovelled the walks -- front, back, public -- again!
  • I went to the Post Office and came home with goodies:
    • Back-ordered hand-dyed flosses -- gifts from friends to go with the sampler they gave me for my birthday last fall; and
    • GADGETS!

I rarely buy anything from Amazon (goodness knows, Jeff Bezos doesn't need my money!) but when you live In the Middle of Nowhere, just hafta.  Take a look at the photo above (click on it to see it in a larger size).  First, see those funky blue and pink things on the left?  Yeah, those!  Apparently their normal job is to keep wires -- especially iPod and other skinny ones -- from becoming a tangled mess...but the stitching world has discovered they're wonderful for holding excess fabric out of the way when using a hoop or frame. 

I thought I'd try them out, because the clips I used for the Growth Chart project last fall were heavy, and generally got in the way.  (Sorry; I don't have a photo of it with those clips attached.)  These little wire-holder thingies have magnetized ends, so they attach top and back -- and they're light as a feather.  They don't interfere with the work.  (Yes, they're a perfect world that would be more environmentally friendly but...sigh...)

Next, see the needles, threaded, just to the right of those thingies?  Those needles are sitting on a teensy-weensy magnet; there's another one just like it underneath.  I got a pack of 'em -- each magnet is just 5 mm (about 1/4 inch) in diameter.  Perfect as needle-minders without the weight of larger ones.  

Now, I'm not averse to fancy needle-minders -- the kind I've been given as gifts or that you might receive as a souvenir from a retreat or with a limited-edition project -- but I find they're too heavy on my light-weight linens...and I had a problem with the magnets on a couple of the ones that came out early in the game (i.e., over 15 years ago).  Those ones weren't coated.  They were the 'ferrous' kind, and one of 'em left a black mark on some linen a while back.  Blessedly, I got it out (!) but decided those needle-minders were best left clinging to the metal base of my stitching station set-up!

I was a happy camper as I headed into my evening stitching.  💗

On today's agenda: quilting up "Sunset", the Thimbleberries comfort quilt I made for a neighbour who's poorly.  He's been in hospital -- again -- and I'm not sure he's home yet, but now that my Art in the Park pieces are finished, I can get to work on quilting this up, binding it and taking it to his care-giver for him.

Pin-basted and ready to quilt!

Today I'm grateful for many things:
  • The snow's stopped and milder weather is moving in so a daily walk will be more pleasant -- and no shovelling (for now!);
  • I've lots to do to fill my days:
    • I've a homily to write for Sunday;
    • I've got that quilt to quilt up;
    • I've got an Artist's Statement to write -- specifically about my Art in the Park Residency experience;
    • I've got another pair of baby socks to knit (twins, remember!);
    • SAQA Seminar is ON, and there's a Zoom chat -- with small groups -- this morning.  This year's topic: "Material Matters" -- about the materials used in the textile world, and how we can use them wisely, to protect the environment;
    • I'm having dinner with a friend Sunday evening;
    • I'm seeing my daughter for a brief visit next weekend; and
    • There are new floss-tubes to watch while I stitch...
And so...this is the last of my daily 'Examen' posts.  That doesn't mean I won't do another here or there, but the habit's been formed in my mind and heart -- finding "what sparks joy" (as Ms. Kondo would say) every day, and expressing gratitude, whether in public or in my journal...or simply in my prayers.

I leave you with a link to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday (she's quilting a top this weekend too!) and these thoughts:

  • I'm grateful for the work of my hands; I'm grateful to have had this space in which to express myself for the last twenty years
  • I'm grateful for the knitting/stitching/quilting/art/faith communities to which I belong and for the friends I've made there; 
  • I'm grateful for my art and life adventures; 
  • I'm grateful for the technology that connects us best when we use it for sharing thoughts, kindness, ideas and creativity; 
  • I'm grateful for the 'gadgets' that help us in life and work -- 

and most of all, Gentle Readers -- I'm grateful for YOU!

No comments: