Monday, April 30, 2012

Wonderland Woods

Walking in the woods is good for the soul.  Sometimes I walk for exercise, but usually I walk for therapy.  It helps me unravel the tangle of thoughts in my head.  These photos are from my favorite, well-worn trail that winds around the meadow and beside the big creek.  The trail begins in a sun-drenched golden meadow filled with wildflowers, and then it descends sharply down into cool, deep shadows.  It winds along the bank of a deep stream and then around the meadow and beside the big creek alternating between patches of dappled sunlight and deep shade.  I am continually amazed at the diversity of habitat and wildlife in this short expanse of trail that is only 1/3 mile in length.  It makes a complete circle, so I can just walk round and round without having to concentrate on where I'm going.  It frees my mind.  It is relaxing and meditative and soothing to my spirit.  Time slows. Problems unravel or reveal themselves to be merely worrisome thoughts - specters which never materialize.  I can breathe a little deeper.  I can feel an inner stillness growing.   
I was heartbroken when my sweet and humble companion Smokey caught a young squirrel.  He looks very proud of himself, doesn't he?  But then, Mama gave him a good scolding and he really does look remorseful.  So, I feel guilty because he's just doing what dogs do, and we walk on......

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wonderland of Wildflowers

We are awash in wildflowers right now.  So wonderful.  I remember my grandmother teaching me how to braid them into my hair or make crowns out of them when I was little.  I felt so beautiful wearing a crown of wildflowers.  I included a photo of my meadow that one of my favorite walking trails winds around.  I love the golden grasses - how they sway so gracefully and rustle so softly in the wind.  Soon Mr. White will cut the meadow and it will be green again.  I will miss its golden whispers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Little Seahorse

This is a little embroidery/applique' I did for my mother's birthday present.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I really didn't have a plan, I just sort of made it up as I went along.  Now, I want to do another one with some sea weed and coral and perhaps a shell or starfish.  This was my first time using the feather stitch, and I really went to town making coral with it.  I love stitching!  It's always so much fun to learn a new stitch and then be able to incorporate it into a piece.  The best part is when it turns out better than I expected. Yay!
My very great friend Meg has recently introduced me to stumpwork embroidery.  I had heard of it before, but I didn't really know what it was.  She sent me some photos of some toadstools made by Jan Kerton of Australia, and it set my brain on fire.  Now I am obsessed with learning stumpwork.  Of course, I will share my journey with you here.  Perhaps you might be interested in learning, too!  Emily Wilmarth at The Floss Box  has some gorgeous embroidery patterns that would be suitable for incorporating some stumpwork elements into and a couple of stumpwork tutorials on her lovely site, so I will probably start there.  I can't wait!