Monday, April 28, 2014

Beauty



I run around too often totally unobservant. I fail to notice life. The world spins around me, and I, encapsulated in my agenda, fail to participate in it. I miss the best stuff, too.
Nana's Lillies in a Cloud of Jasmine
It's a shame, too. God planted so much beauty all around me, but in my haste to check off the next to-do item, I fail to stop and smell the lilies, or jasmine, or whatever.
A New Bloom on My Orchid and Calla Lilies in the background
There is beauty in the mundane, the common, the routine.
The Blush of a Rose
Beautiful Girls, Beautiful Braids!
Dad
Your mission (and mine) today is to stop...
Ligustrum About to Bloom
notice...
My Latest Spindle-Spun Yarn
and enjoy...
The Neighborhood Fighter (and Lover)
the beauty all around you. Linger awhile. Savor the sights. Choose carefully how you view something (or someone). Right now, I have a small pile of dirty laundry I need to do staring me in the face. Right on top of that, however, is our cat. Completely at rest. Comfortable amid the chaos. Sacked out.

John Keats so elegantly wrote in his poetic Romance, Endymion,*

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

The Apostle Paul put it very aptly, I think...

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.
Philippians 4:8, NIV 1984

* If you're curious, here's a taste of the poem read out loud.

My NEW Bosworth Midi Spindle in Buckeye Burl and Bocote For a Shaft!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spindle Solutions

I have a smallish spindle collection that I am attempting to not grow (it's hard). I love my spindles, and have always wanted to find a way to store them attractively. I see each one as a unique piece of art, both in the fiber they process and the construction of the tool, but up until now I have been stymied as to how best to show them off yet keep them safe.

I have hit upon a solution!


Back when our family first moved into our home in Florida, I bought a room divider from World Market. We tried to use it, but it just didn't function like we wanted so it went into storage. I pulled it out awhile ago and dragged it into my tiny office. Essentially it's a metal frame with crossbars that has a neutral canvas screen stretched behind it. I created a little reading/prayer nook and have been enjoying it immensely.

It was when my daughter and I traveled to Tampa and went to Ikea recently that an idea struck me. Why not get a towel bar and suspend the spindles from that? I bought an inexpensive rack along with the necessary hooks and brought it back home. Today I had a few spare minutes, so I decided to hang the rack, but to my chagrin I found it didn't have any screws that came with it! It was then I had my "Aha!" moment! Why not use the hooks on the cross bars of my cozy space?
I think it looks very decorative yet useful!
I pulled out burlap twine and got to work tying loops from which to dangle them. Some of the spindles showing include a Bosworth Midi, a Spinsanity spindle, a Simple Market Farms spindle, and an Ashford Turkish spindle.

I then got more inspiration and grabbed a bucket and stuffed in some cotton I'm presently working on as well as a nostepinne turned years ago for me by a guy who goes by the name by-Scott on eBay. I love this tool, as he also installed a WPI gauge right on the tool that is done in a contrasting wood. It's gorgeous.

I'm not certain, but I think the nostepinne is constructed out of Rosewood and Walnut. It's been a long time.

I was on a roll. I decided to go all out! I found a favorite Spin-Off magazine and hung that on the magazine rack. Then I grabbed a few small spinning books and tucked them into a compartment.
An oldie but a goodie!
I still have a few more spindles to hang, and I have space to tuck in a few favorite books in a basket under the side table, but I like the overall result.
The weird wooden thing on the table is a plying paddle.
Last, but not least, I love having a piece of art my dear sister sent me years ago of a Swedish knitter. I think she captures the essence of my creative space, and I know I'll enjoy every second I get to linger here!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Flip and Tumble

My friends know I struggle to be organized. Life spins quickly in my home these days. Homeschooling is a full time occupation, and when I add in volunteering commitments, the occasional paid job, and the remainder of living life, it is challenging to remain poised and prepared. One area in which I have been attempting to become more organized is in my shopping habits.

At the beginning of this year, our family switched to doing the grocery shopping just once weekly, rather than an every-other-day type of event. In a family of five that eats at home most meals, that has translated into a lot of food in one trip! I have found that bringing my own grocery bags has cut down on the sheer amount of bags I use and has helped me to become better organized along the way as well. To that end, I discovered Flip and Tumble.



Flip and Tumble bags, all egged up!
I love how handy these bags are. They are easy to flip into their pocket to store and equally easy to open up. They manage to carry quite a load, are washable, and recyclable. Because they are light and easy to store, I find I actually remember to bring them into the store, so they actually get used!
Loaded up. The printed bags are from a different company, and work very well, but aren't quite as handy.
Did I mention that I get compliments on them every time I use them?

If you're thinking about switching to reusable bags or live in a part of the country that demands their use, I highly recommend them! And no, I don't receive a cent from Flip and Tumble for my endorsement.