Friday, February 10, 2017

What Do You Listen For?

I can't remember how long ago it has been but in the recent past the minister at my church told a story that really stuck with me. The story goes along the lines of:

Two people are walking down a busy street in the city.
One says, "Oh! Do you hear the birds singing? What a lovely song!"
The second person says, "I only hear the traffic and talking. How do you hear the birds?"
The first person says, "Observe..." and takes a handful of change out and throws it into the air.
Suddenly all the people walking around stop and start searching the sidewalk for the change that just pinged.
The first person then says, "We hear what we listen for..."

I've started trying really hard to keep this in mind when I'm taking my walks with Leo in the afternoon. I focus on hearing the birds in the trees or the kids playing in the school yard a block over. I try really, REALLY hard to block out the sounds of traffic from the busy streets around my house. In doing this, I've started noticing more birds and think I might have to take up ornithology just to know what I've seeing.

It is great fun to watch the progress of the birds as they pass through the area as Spring approaches. Last week there was a slew of robins around, but they have moved on through to their next destination and in conjunction with the robins I was blessed to see a couple of cardinals. Currently, I'm seeing a lot of finches and sparrows, but they are always around; I don't care though because they are still fun to watch and listen for. Yesterday, I saw a Mississippi Kite, I think.

The only downside, is that it disturbs Leo when we are going along at a good clip and I stop to stare up at the trees or roofs, because HE is the one that is supposed to cause us to stop regularly while he sniffs at ground stuff...I guess we need to just coordinate our stops.

So, what are you listening for?

And, because I want to show off some of my work, here is a close up of a small quilt I recently completed:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

AQATW - I Believe

I know it has been a LONG time since I've blogged anything, but I finally got around to completing another challenge quilt for the group Art Quilts Around the World. This time the challenge was to represent "I Believe".

This came at an interesting time because I've been doing a lot of contemplating on what I do believe lately. I recently saw an interview with Oprah Winfrey and Rainn Wilson where he stated that 'creativity is a form of prayer' and that really hit home with me because this is something that I do. Whenever I'm working on something (a scarf, a quilt, whatever), I have a tendency to think about the person that I am making things for and try and embed good thoughts into whatever I'm doing. If I'm making something for a specific person (like a baby quilt) I try to envision this child and parents happy and healthy and laughing and loving one another. If I'm working on something with no specific person in mind, I try really hard to not let my mind go down into a negative space, even if I just have to say "light and love" over and over again while I'm working because I don't want negativity to become attached to the work....and yeah, I know it sounds hokey and new age-y but I don't care.

The quilt that I made for this challenge is actually called "HOPE" because I want to believe that there is hope even in these dark times (and yeah, I'm talking politically here)...that the light and colors will continue to shine through the darkness:

To make this, I used the remains from the following quilt:

I then attached it all to fusible web:
 Then free drew the design onto another fusible web that was attached to solid black fabric that was then affixed to the colored fabric that I made.

This was a great opportunity to get back in the creative swing for me.