Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Jul 29, 2008

Grief, Love and Solidarity

I don't have many words about the shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday, just feelings....deep sorrow mostly.

Here is what UUA President William Sinkford wrote on July 27, 2008:

"I am shocked and sorrowed by the terrible shootings in the sanctuary of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. My heart is heavy and my prayers are with our injured sisters and brothers in Knoxville. While many details of this tragedy remain unclear, our Association will do all we can to support Unitarian Universalists in Knoxville in the hard days to come.

A tragedy such as this makes us acutely conscious of the beauty and fragility of our lives and those of our loved ones. I am especially saddened by this intrusion of violence into a worship service involving children and youth. I know that many people, both in Knoxville and around the country, are struggling with shock and grief right now. I pray those so affected will find strength and comfort.

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry are on their way to Knoxville to offer additional ministry to the congregation as it grieves. And Unitarian Universalists around the world are sending love and prayers to the Tennessee Valley congregation to tell them they are not alone on this dark day."

We now know that another congregation from the area, Westside UU, was also directly involved in this tragedy. The service Sunday was an intergenerational service, with two dozen children performing what they had worked on in a summer music camp and members of the Westside UU church were visiting. One of them was killed.

Last night our church, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Terre Haute, held a service as did UU churches around the country. There were readings, time for those who wished to express their thoughts, candle-lighting, an opportunity to write down messages to TVUU and Westside, and a procession to our sign where we tied purple ribbons.

Our hearts hurt for our sister congregations.

Jul 27, 2008


Easy peasy crochet to make a crop of these crenellated pseudospheres...chain 5 or so, join and then just single crochet twice in every stitch - around and around and around and around until it's as big as you like. The one at the bottom right was made of Malabrigo and wet-felted.

If you want an explanation of the math of it all plus other cool looking constructions (hyperbolic planes and discs, double spirals), get on over to the Institute for Figuring and order
A Field Guide to Hyperbolic Space by Margaret Wertheim.
Check out the gallery, too.

And what can you do with a pseudosphere? I'm using mine to hold stuff.
This is an ATC by my friend Linda. It's called "The Last We Saw of Her."
And here's what a corner of my desk looks like, where I am using another pseudosphere to hold some Post-It notes.

Next post - what I did with these:


Jul 25, 2008

Isis shawls, felting, gnome pots

More catching is the 14th Isis shawl I've made. This one is going to my niece Channing, partly because I needed to make her a new shawl (she's allergic to the wool one I made for her last year ) and partly because this came out very small, just her size!

The yarn is Blue Heron Rayon Metallic, and oh, this picture does not do it justice. The metallic just scintillates as you move in it. It's gorgeous. There was plenty of yarn left over that I could have done an extra band, but alas for me, I didn't realize how small this would turn out. So I'm thinking the Universe meant this for Channing all along.
Meanwhile, I started another Isis:
This one is almost finished. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Ariel, a cotton/rayon seed yarn that looks exactly like Blue Heron's (I'm thinking it is indeed the same base yarn.) This time I put in the extra band of 20 rows. But I'm getting nervous now, feeling that I'm going to run out of yarn!

More about the Isis shawl. That's my pet name for this shawl and I have a very personal connection to this pattern. I've written all this here before, but to make a long story short(er), it was my grief knitting right after Patrick died. I gave away the first to his roommate, another to my Secret Pal Peacock, another to Linda - (both of them dear online friends who gave me their love and support and care packages full of lovely comforts. Peacock is not blogging these days, but there are oodles of archives with her knitty talents displayed. And Linda's blog is just begun - her felting is AMAZING!)

Sadly, four of these shawls have gone to women who have also lost a child (three of them in my congregation -- all in the 18 months after Patrick's stunning...) One was made for Cindy Sheehan, the activist whose son died in Iraq. After I made the first one, and spread it out, I began to call it the Isis shawl. It reminded me of all the depictions of the goddess Isis, with outspread wings. A few months later, I was reading "And a Sword Shall Pierce Your Heart", a book written by a Jungian psychologist on the loss of a child. The book opens with the myth of Isis, presented as an archetypal myth of grief....

The shawl is actually Jane Campbell's As You Like It Wrap. Thanks, Jane - for all the knitting peace your pattern brings me! (Martha at RiverWools showed me Jane's new shawl patterns and I can't wait until she gets them in.)

In trying to find a link for the As You Like It Wrap, I discovered this fabulous page with a list of triangle shawl patterns by yardage - with links to sources for the patterns. What a nice gift to shawl-lovers! Thanks, Vicki of northern Indiana! (Jane Campbell's from Indiana as well...)

Oops, once again, I've gone over my bloggging allotment time (I'm trying to blog more quickly so I'll do it more often...). So I'm going to be less chatty.

Here's the lovely vintage cotton tablecloth I picked up recently at Nancy's Downtown Mall, one of those wonderful indoor flea market/antique/collectible places - the kind you need hours to properly survey. It's got faint stains and some tiny holes, but it's perfect in its imperfection. (And it was also inexpensive! Generally, these cloths with cherries and colors like this are pretty pricey) I love it on the table on my screened-in back porch, but I'm going to have to watch the sun fading it.

Though I'm busying myself mostly with regaining health and fitness (walking 3 miles several times a week, eating right, yay) and clearing up clutter and reorganizing my life....I have found some time for craftiness.

Here's where I needlefelt little shapes that I'm hoping to put together into fabulous neckpiece creations along with beads. I found this tray for a dollar at a yard sale and it is a perfect portable workstation for me. I got the little red pots at Goodwill for .49 each.

I've been making some beads, which I needlefelt first to hold the wool together. A large ball like this:
becomes a small bead like this when wet-felted:

Finally, some gnome pots. The tallest here is about 6".

I've been making the pot tops out of Harrisville, but when I tried to make the pot itself from Harrisville, it was just too thin. So I started using Cascade and that makes a much more substantial little pot. Not sure if these are finished yet. I keep thinking I'd like to add a felted ball to the top, maybe a little beady dangle...too much? I should at least do it for one and see, right?

Be well. Namaste,

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Jul 21, 2008

Catching Up...

Playing blog catch-up today. I've got a bunch of pictures that want to be shared. So, in no particular order of importance or chronology:

My granddaughter Raven came to stay for four days while she had chicken pox. She was over the worst of it by that time and so we had a pretty good time of it. She became very interested in needlefelting, and wanted to learn how to do what I was doing.

Wow. In true Raven fashion, she picked up on the technique and ran with it, creating a tableful of goodies she planned to give to friends. She did NOT want me to take her picture (not because of the pox, but because she didn't have any make-up on....sigh)

So I just waited until she re-appeared and then clicked (wicked grandma....):
Here's a close-up of her creations (I may be a wicked grandma, but I'm a grandma with plastic frogs for lilypad creations...)
It was wonderful to see her enthusiasm and her artistic sensibilities at play....note the extra wisps of color she added to her flowers:
She also started to make a star which turned into a neat, firm little flower. Then she was showing me how to make it!

Pastors for Peace stopped by a few weeks ago. This is a group which comes in small caravans from all points in the country and meets up in a Texas/Mexico border town. In this annual action, called Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba, they cross the border to take humanitarian aid to Cubans, in protest and defiance of the inhumane embargo.


My iBook started losing the letters on the keys almost from the moment I got it in summer of 2005. I tried writing the letters with Sharpies twice (don't know why I thought it would work the second time...) then sort of got used to it. A, S and E were the first to go, but then others began to disappear. Then, when I was organizing (I've been doing a LOT of organizing lately) a few weeks ago, I found some press-on vinyl letters and decided to see if they would work.

Now, I thought it would be fun and whimsical to mix them up a bit, lower case and upper, and also not put them on straight.

But a couple of people (Paul, Shaun....I'm talking about you!) seem to be a tad disturbed by the letters cavorting on the keys like this.

oh, poo - I've got plenty more pictures, but my blogging time has run out.

Namaste and love,