Monday, 29 June 2009

Music in the park


Hello again!  I have a picture-heavy post today - I couldn't decide between them, so you get the lot!  Before you accuse me of false advertising, I promise you there was music in the park - but as it's impossible to photograph music, I haven't any pictures of it :)

These photographs were all taken in the Kensington Metro Park, where my family and I went for a picnic and to enjoy the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's "concert in the park" this past Friday.  The weather was perfect - warm, but not stifling, just the tiniest whiffle of a breeze - and I could not resist taking photos of the lovely parklands!
The lakes were so still - everything reflected in them!  Trees, clouds, road signs... 
And the lighting was incredible.  Every new vista looked like it could be part of the setting for a rural, romantic film!
Here is my dog, enjoying the attention of my father after our picnic but before the concert started.  There are advantages to a dog who is going blind and deaf - she doesn't get worked up about the other canines in the area!  I am not sure she even noticed them, and she was perfectly well-behaved the whole night.  Not a yip out of her.
And the crowd!  This is not even a third of the people who were there - packed in on picnic blankets and with their folding chairs.  It was wonderful to see such a good turn-out for a classical music event!  And I loved to watch the children - it's so informal, and they could just enjoy themselves.  Every time the music was upbeat and lively, all the little ones I could see would get up and dance!  I loved to see them enjoying the music.  (One little fellow was even conducting - very seriously, with huge dramatic cutoffs at the end of phrases!)
This is beauty.  This is bliss.  I could sit and look at this view all day and never grow tired of it.  Natural beauty, combined with excellent music - what more could one want?

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Apron Giveaway

These are TOO cute!  I don't link to too many things but I love these :)   If you want a chance to win it yourself, follow the link to Grosgrain's blog and link to it yourself :)

Boojiboo Flirty Apron GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Most Peculiar...

I didn't think our lake was infested by piranhas - but perhaps I'm mistaken?

Let me explain.  My sister and I went swimming today, out to the raft/diving tower in the middle of the lake.  We like to hang out under the raft -- it's supported by air barrels around the edges, but the middle is clear, and is a good cool place out of the sun.  Well, we were there today, and all of a sudden something touched my shoulder.  I turned around, and there was a fish.  A little lake fish -- I couldn't tell you what kind -- no longer than my hand.  He showed no signs of fear, swimming around me once or twice.

And then he bit my leg.

I was - um - astonished.  It didn't hurt - his teeth aren't made for puncturing human flesh, apparently.  But that a little fish like that would try to bite me!  And not only once, either.  He followed me around for a while -- every so often our splashing would scare him off, but he was always back for another nibble -- my knuckle, my arm, even once my cheek.  It was the most peculiar thing!

(Interestingly, he only nibbled my sister once, and apparently he didn't like her.  I wonder if it was my sunscreen that was attracting him?  I can't think why he would find it appealing, but why else should he go for me and not Kate?)

Anyway, we couldn't get over this fish!  After the first startled silence, Kat and I would've fallen over laughing, had we not been floating in water.  And the laughter continued as the fish followed me around.  I joked it was stalking me, but it really did seem to be!  Certainly not our usual swimming experience.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Utter Exhaustion...

I am so tired.  My legs, arms, and lower back ache.  I might have a sunburn.  I could just sleep for hours.

But it's all in a good cause!  I have a job!!!!  I'm working in the garden of an old lady about a mile down the road, digging, weeding, doing all the heavy lifting.  Her garden is wonderful - occupying the whole of her back yard and a good portion of the front as well, she has orderly rows of irises - rows and rows and rows! - lines of day lilies, and a wonderful confusion of flowers, both annuals and perennials, in the middle.  She's been working on this garden for 30 years, she says; used to be she did all the work herself, but now she's getting older and can't handle bending and stooping, carrying heavy buckets and managing overflowing wheelbarrows.  So I have a job :)

I enjoy it.  It's not easy work - it involves a lot of bending, and quite a bit of hot sun.  My hands are almost-but-not-quite blistered from the clippers I used for nearly an hour.  I think I will permanently have dirt under my fingernails.  But it's satisfying to look along the garden and see straight paths, newly coated in grass clippings, and edged by tidy rows of lilies that one has trimmed back oneself; to cast an eye over the iris bed and see a notable absence of weed and dead leaves.  I think I'm going to enjoy this.

And, of course - apart from the sunburn, which I'm doing my best to combat with heavy coats of sunscreen - it's very healthy work!  Outdoors, fresh air, and lots of exercise!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Prayer for my family

I'd appreciate if you'd pray for my grandmother (my dad's mother). A couple months ago she fell and needed hip surgery - she's been in hospital and rehab ever since. Mum told me tonight she's not doing well at all - she's not comfortable or happy in the rehab place, and so she's just not getting better.  Apparently my uncle called my dad to tell him this tonight.

If you would, pray for several things: that Grandma would be able to be comfortable, and would recover physically. And that she would through this come to know Christ - neither she nor my grandfather are believers. I am so frightened that they will die without salvation.... my grandfather is not in good health either. My dad would also appreciate prayers for peace and wisdom; his parents are a good 11 hours from us, and he is trying to decide whether he needs to take leave of work to be with them.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

New Blouse

This is the beginning of what I hope will be a long line of completed projects this summer!  I've made it my goal to work through both my stash and my (very large) collection of UFOs this summer.  Here is the first!

I cut out this blouse last summer but never got around to making it.  The fabric is a mystery blend - probably cotton/poly? - from the remnants rack at JoAnn Fabrics.  I think there was just over a yard, maybe 1.5 yards.  I used Simplicity 4077, altering the sleeves to be longer, fuller, and have a sleeve band.


I decided to flat-fell the side and shoulder seams, as my fabric is quick to fray; this gave the seams some nice definition, and achieved my goal of avoiding fraying.


I also added white rick-rack, which I found in my stash, to the collar and cuff edges -- I think it really pulls the blouse together!  The buttons - little white flowers - were also from the stash.  They were originally bought for a dress my mum made me for my cousin's wedding, back when I was six, but I found exactly the right number (scattered in three different button boxes... but they were there!)

I'm very pleased with the way this came out, and the pattern was quite easy to work with - nothing complicated, and the fit is good.  Altogether, a good pattern, which I will most likely use again.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Oh look! a camera cord!

Since I've now found a camera cable (although not mine) which is compatible with my camera, I thought I'd share some photos!

Here was my progress (a week ago) on the 1830s corded stays I'm working on.  Someone needs to explain to me why I decided to do these entirely by hand, because I certainly don't know!  I've made a lot more progress since then - the upper half of the left front/side is completed now.

Irises decorating the "teacup shelf" in the dining room.  We've had a bumper crop of them this year - I filled the house with them for two weeks.




This is just silly - David drew a face in the dry ingredients of corn bread, and I was amused so I took a photo.

This is my first time trying to do photos on blogger, and while it's quite easy to upload them, I need to work out re-positioning!  Maybe it would be easier to upload all the photos first and put text in afterwards, instead of trying to juggle photos around existing text?

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

This is just to say...

... that I have not in fact dropped off the face of the planet!  

I would have photographs to share with you - of my little garden, of my corded stays progress, of my dear family - only I cannot find my camera cable and therefore cannot transfer them to my computer.  Perhaps one of these days.

(Incidentally, can anyone answer for me WHY I thought it was a good idea to make a corded petticoat, even by machine?  Or 1830s corded stays, entirely by hand?  Didn't think so - I can't either.)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Beauty

Sometimes there is nothing for it but a good quote from Shakespeare.  I can't help it -- this particular scene gets me every time.  Someday, someday, someone will say to me, as Benedick says:

Benedick:  I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?

Beatrice:  As strange as the thing I know not.  It were as possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you: but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing...

Benedick:  By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.

Beatrice:  Do not swear, and eat it.

Benedick: I will swear by it that you love me; and I will make him eat it that says I love not you.

Beatrice:  Will you not eat your word?

Benedick:  With no sauce that can be devised to it.  I protest I love thee.

Beatrice:  Why, then, God forgive me!

Benedick:  What offence, sweet Beatrice?

Beatrice:  You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I loved you.

Benedick:  And do it with all thy heart.

Beatrice:  I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

(Much Ado About Nothing, Act IV, scene I. Wm. Shakespeare)


*Sigh*  Something about that last line resonates with me.  "I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest...."  What deep and thorough love this is.  What joy, to have such a love for another human.  Yet at the same time -- what a good picture of how we ought to love our God -- with so much of our heart that none is left for the speaking of it.  I pray that I may grow towards that love.

And I pray, also, that someday the one will find me who can and will say "I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?"  And I will find nothing strange about it.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Prettiness :)

You know how it's hard to find ready-made dresses that are actually modest, comfortable, and not too short?  Shabby Apple fits the bill.  Their dresses are utterly adorable, completely stylish, and - hey! - long enough and modest. 

Grosgrain is doing a giveaway of one of their dresses, and it's just too cute.  Check out the giveaway at the link below, and be sure to check out Shabby Apple's website too.  It's worth it!

Marseilles Dress SHABBY APPLE GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

News-ish

Reposted from my old blog - this is the only one I'll do that with, promise!

Much has happened since last I posted, but little of it is material for the public eye - sorry. Suffice it to say, this past semester has had both some of the best and worst moments of my entire life; times of great joy and peace, times of incredible pain and suffering. Through it all though God has been faithful, and it is evident to me that he's been using it all - the joy and the sorrow - to grow me in faith and trust. I can say with complete confidence that without prayer and without God's steadfastness I would not have made it through these times with any sort of emotional and mental wholeness. He is good.

I'm home now for the summer, and have spent this week sleeping in (noon every day? yikes!), settling back into home life, reading YA fluff just because I can, and doing some gardening and sewing. I varnished the picnic table and made myself a blouse -- and filled out more job applications than I ever wanted to look at. Unfortunately, that task is not done yet - Monday morning I'll be out bright and early, canvassing the neighbourhood - or rather downtown - for anyone, anywhere, who might be looking to hire an eager, capable 20-year-old willing to learn to do practically anything!

The other thing I'm doing this summer is consciously and deliberately weeding out and disposing of things I no longer need; organising those I do keep; and in general clearing out. As an aid to that general endeavour, I've made myself a promise: I'm not to buy any new fabric or yarn *at least* until I have completed every single UFO I possess. (UFO in craft-speak = UnFinished Object.) I'm photographing the results as a way of encouraging myself, and many of them will probably make appearances on this blog, so keep an eye out for photos!

I might, if I feel led, also do book reviews. More on that if I have time and inclination!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A new blog!

Well!  I have for the past several years been blogging on livejournal - modestly and rather privately, as I believe I *may* have 3 readers!  In any case, from convenience, for more visibility, and simply because I know more people using blogger, I've decided to switch over.  I'll probably repost my latest blog from the old one, but from then on it'll be new, fresh material.  

What do I blog, you ask?  Well, it varies!  Sometimes just a brief news update; sometimes a longer reflection on some issue or question that I've been wrestling with.  My favourites are probably the photo posts though: either a brand-new creation I can't resist sharing, or photos of my garden, or places I've been that were too gorgeous to keep to myself.  There should be a good variety, and I hope it is interesting!

I'm excited for this new blog.  It's easier to navigate (and to remember to go to!) so I hope blogging will become more frequent and less boring for my readers ;)