Mother’s Day?

 

With world Poetry Day in mind I thought I would share some poems which I have recently come across.  World Poetry Day is 20 years old.  One its aims is to celebrate linguistic diversity.

A tongue can accuse and carry bad news
The seeds of distrust and hate, it can sow,
So unless you know that it is the truth,
Be careful of stones that you throw.
( Larry ”Dutch” Woller )

During my school days we had to learn poetry by rote.  It was something I could never do.  Each and everytime although having spent at least an hour memorising the various poems by the next day I had totally forgotten every word.  I dreaded being asked to recite the homework.

Choosing Shoes

by Frida Wolfe

New shoes, new shoes,
Red and pink and blue shoes.
Tell me, what would you choose,
If they’d let us buy?

Buckle shoes, bow shoes,
Pretty pointy-toe shoes,
Strappy, cappy low shoes;
Let’s have some to try.

Bright shoes, white shoes,
Dandy-dance-by-night shoes,
Perhaps-a-little-tight shoes,
Like some? So would I.

BUT
Flat shoes, fat shoes,
Stump-along-like-that shoes,
Wipe-them-on-the-mat shoes,
That’s the sort they’ll buy.

This poem on shoes I came across on https://suth2.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/new-shoes-new-shoes-red-and-pink-and-blue-shoes/

 

However, not being able to remember poems has not hindered my love of poetry.  I really enjoy finding a new poem.  Reading it a few times to listen to the rhythm of the poem.  For me it does not matter that I might not know what the poet intended by the poem.  I do not need to delve into every line and stanza to enjoy a poem.

 

the sun
and her flowers

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

Rupi Kaur

I have enjoyed the poetry of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill for years. This is one of my favourite of her poetry.

An Crann

le Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

 

Do tháinig bean an leasa
le Black & Decker
do ghearr sí anuas mo chrann.
D’fhanas im óinseach ag féachaint uirthi
faid a bhearraigh sí na brainsí
ceann ar cheann.

 

The following is a poem which I came across in an anthology of poems. I often wonder how it would sound in it’s own language. Is there a difference between today’s language and when it was written in 619?

 

Flowers and Moonlight on the Spring River

Yang-Ti, Emperor of Sui Dynasty

Translated by Arthur Waley

 

The evening river is level and motionless —

The spring colours just open to their full.

Suddenly a wave carries the moon away

And the tidal water comes with its freight of stars.

 

Have you come across a poem which has stirred something in you. Perhaps you might like to share?

 

 

A Quilting Day?

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My favourite type of quilt top….totally random

A friend just emailed me and asked me what I had made on International Quilt Day? International Quilt Day… Never heard of it.   Her email went on that, “traditionally the third Saturday in March is International Quilt Day when quilters make a point of working on a quilt on this particular day.”

This year she was notified that the third Saturday would be the start of International Quilt Week.

Now I like this idea a lot. It is only in the last few years that I have become interested in making quilts.  I have always loved the tactile nature of fabrics but paper and card have always been my first love.

However, through classes and the generosity of spirit of so many quilters I am beginning to enjoy this art genre.

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Mustn’t have been wearing my glasses when I was making this!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My very first quilt..used old shirts, table cloth and fabric which I had collected over the years.
Now I don’t think I will ever make a quilt for a king size bed nor will I make a quilt built on  blocks made of triangles and little squares.  I tried a 12 inch block and to say I was frustrated  is a total understatement.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for those patch workers and quilters who do make the most intricate quilt blocks. I can admire their work knowing how difficult it is.

I have sat in front of quilts at quilting exhibitions and been totally in awe.  There was one quilt of a night sky which i vividly remember because initially I thought it had been done with oils but in fact it had used fabric.

There are so many artists in the quilting world and then there are people like me, very late to it but enjoying the journey it is taking me on.

So if you are a quilter or ever have been enjoy Quilters Week.

 

 

Where does it lead you?

What does the word “book” conjure up for you today as we celebrate World Book Day?  

I don’t know about you but I certainly would find it extremely difficult to survive without a book.  What am I saying?  Just one book?  Oh no, that just isn’t me.

I have been taking stock of my craft room having had to remove all my paper/card stock together with the numerous items needed to make a greeting card.  All this stock will find good homes but I can no longer work with the card stock.  However, as a result shelf space is gradually emerging.

I think that at long last I may just, find space for a library of sorts.  I am afraid to actually say the word library just in case it doesn’t happen.  However, space seems to be appearing for those books over the years I have not been able to donate, give away or sell.

These are the books which I have read so many times that they have become part of my life. They are many and varied. Some would have been used on a daily basis at certain times of my life.Some are what I call dippers.  Those books I dip in and out of.

Then there are my poetry books which have meandered into my life.  Craft books which have helped me through those endless sleepless nights.  Cookery books which in turn have led me to travel books.  Sports books where I have been led to take part but from a distance.  Computer books in the hope of my mastering my laptop ( which has never happened!!)  Novels which have allowed me to escape: which have allowed me space to imagine.

Authors have invited me into their make-believe worlds and I have gladly accepted those invitations.

I love this piece of art by  Rae Andrews entitled “Comfy Chair”.  It was the book which caught my eye as I wondered what the title was.  Perhaps a comfy chair is what i need in my “library”…..

 

Books: tactile, warming, questioning, inviting….

                                  A Book

by Adelaide Love

A book, I think, is very like
A little golden door
That takes me into places
Where I’ve never been before.

It leads me into fairyland
Or countries strange and far
And, best of all, the golden door
Always stands ajar.

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day!

Did you know that some countries celebrate Fairy Tales today. No? Me neither. I am probably one of the minority who really don’t like fairy tales.

I always found them sinister and really frightening.  I could never get away from the evil images. Nightmares usually ensued after reading a fairy tale. My son was deprived of many fairy tales as it was his father who read them to him and not me.

Give me Winnie the Pooh any day or Peter Rabbit but there is no room for fairy tales on my shelf.  I do have one exception…..Tinkerbelle.

Creative Art.

 

Creative arts for me is when an artist uses their hands to create a piece of art.  It is not merely seeing art as painting, music,drama, literature.  For me, it is looking at crafts which are in fact works of art.

I am saddened when I hear a person saying “it is only a bit of sewing” or “it was just something I put together when I had a moment” or perhaps ” it is only a ….”

Take for example a quilt measuring 244 cm by 205 cm or 81 inches by 96 inches.  This quilt could have been made using 2.5 inch squares or 5 inch squares to make a 10 inch or 12 inch block.  Those blocks are then joined together to make a top.  When the top is completed it is then quilted by placing it on top of batting and a backing fabric.  Finally it is bound. This whole process requires mathematics to work out the pattern and how much fabric is required.  It involves choosing colours and patterns on fabric which will meld.  Then there is the sewing.  It is a piece of art not merely “a bit of sewing”.  However, how many people would be willing to spend €400 – €800 for such a work of art?

How would you describe a picture made entirely of felt?  This is made using the fleece or tops from various animals.  This fleece is either dry or wet felted to make a design.  I have two friends whom I describe as felt artists.  One produces pieces of art showing landscapes and nature. while the other uses nature as her inspiration for felted jewellery.  Each of them are artists in their own right. But would you consider them as artists?

How about those who work with paper creating greeting cards each of which could take 3-4 hours to make. Not withstanding those who make the paper and then manipulate it into greeting cards or bags or designs depicting nature.  Are they artists?

Theses are but a few of the many various pieces of art being created daily and which to a great extent is seen as being “merely a craft”.  Who has decided what is art? How do we broaden people’s concepts of art?

 

 

Encouragement

A few years ago, I was introduced to machine quilting.  Let me say from the outset it wasn’t something I would have chosen for myself and I will always be indebted to my husband for purchasing the machine for me.

Quilting will always go hand in hand with the concept of encouragement. In fact, it is not the concept but the reality of encouragement.  Firstly, my husband, getting the proper advice for the sewing machine; secondly the encouragement from two friends to book quilting rather than sewing classes; and finally finding the right location for those classes.

Four, two-hour classes and I had a lap quilt, having learnt how to cut with a rotary cutter, to thread, sew, change bobbins and importantly not to be afraid to make mistakes.  Since then the most important tool I have is a Jemima.  Jemima is a ripper so as this ripper has a name it just shows how often I use it!!!

I have begun to understand how friends have been so absorbed in occupations and hobbies fabric related.  It is so tactile.  From choosing the fabric, treads batting to the actual making of the quilt top each step is tactile.

However, I have digressed here from writing about quilting and encouragement.  Every step along the way I have been encouraged. Roisin telling me get a piece of old fabric and sew.  “Put the foot to the pedal and sew”.

Then there was the utter magic of those four quilting classes with three ladies whom I am telling you have the patience of Job.  Honestly it amazes me when looking back how they survived me and kept their cool.

So, who were these angels?  They inhabit Appletree Crafts in Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow.  Their names? Marie, Sinead and Trina.  Now neither their halos nor wings are visible but believe me they are quilting angels who constantly encourage.  Their shop is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of fabric.  So, if you are visiting the garden of Ireland drop in, even if quilting is not your thing. Or, on the web http://www.appletreecrafts.ie

I have continued to try new adventures in this my 60th year.  I am writing this overlooking the Aughrim river on a sos beag (small break) from a Quilting Retreat.  Yes, I am attending my first Quilting Retreat.  It is an absolute blast.  A retreat led by Trina, Sinead and Marie from Appletree Crafts and attended by ladies who have offered nothing but support to each other .  The tips and generosity of spirit has been so special and uplifting.

Possibilities

Have you ever received a birthday card/ greeting card and just read the inside of the card without registering what was on the outside? I certainly have.

During the last 12 months I celebrated a significant birthday and the other morning I was struck by one card I received.   The greeting said “Happy birthday! Wishing you a year of endless possibilities.”

I started to look back over the months since receiving this card to see what I had done but stopped myself.   This card was all about possibilities from now not for looking back.   Now that is so positive.   Possibilities are endless.   It gives permission to try things.   To have more and more possibilities in one’s life.

So, it was back to my trusty journal, fountain pen and list.   Lists help me to focus but this list was slightly different as I put the word “possibility” into the centre of a clean new page and from there using different coloured pens let my mind have free rein.   Then closed my journal.

Today I looked at the word list and I was amazed.   What I was looking at was a totally positive list which was bright cheerful deep and different to any list I had made before.   The difference this time was that I hadn’t allowed myself to edit.   I hadn’t allowed myself to think what could prevent… I hadn’t shared it with anyone.   Sometimes I have found that sharing my ideas has led me to scrapping those ideas.   Yes, and I have so regretted giving away those opportunities.

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But this is not a time for lingering on “what might have” been.   This is definitely, a time for possibilities.  This list now requires further lists.  Oh yes.  I took one possibility and again using a fresh page and coloured pens and worked how it could be achieved or in one case how I could get information in order, to start the process.

My journal is now expanding into pages of possibilities.  Brightly coloured pen pictures with some very dubious art work.  Artwork! I never use art work but yes, my style of artwork is decorating many a page wow.  I never knew.  No that is not quite right I never allowed myself which is totally different.

I am so glad that I decided to hang up each birthday card I received in my room and to keep them there for the year.  One never knows just when or where inspiration will find one.

 

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Thanks Nonie for reminding me to open up new possibilities.