River Island Needleworker

I am an avid needleworker and quilter from Plainwell, Michigan. Plainwell is located about 10 miles north of Kalamazoo, Michigan and is situated on an island in the Kalamzoo River. The Kalamazoo River is an EPA area of concern due to PCB contamination from the numerous paper mills along the river. For more information see Kalamazoo River Superfund Site and wikiPedia

Friday, June 08, 2007

Moving to Word Press

Thursday, May 03, 2007

In the Pink

I keep missing the deadline on the Christmas SAL. I keep thinking the weekend stitch along is the weekend after it happens. This isn't Xmasy, but it is an ornament and I stitched last weekend.

Here is the Bee Pinkeep - finished. 36 count flax linen, Crescent Colours: Cloud, Tufted Yellow, Black Coffee, Dandelion Stem, Secondhand Rose, Bella Rosa, and a darker green color I can't remember.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Humblebee's Buzz

-- Bumble bee: from the old verb bumble to boom or buzz. Also known as humblebees.

Classified in the Genus Bomus, the bumblebee's buzz is truely a rite of spring. The buzz is especially pronounced in bumblebees, as they must warm up their bodies considerably to get airborne at low ambient temperatures.

As you walk in the woods watch and listen. In the spring the queen bees emerge and begin foraging for nectar. Queen bees have longer tongues than worker bees of the same species and can take advantage of the nectar in long tubed flowers like Dutchman Breeches and Squirrel Corn. Look carefully however, you'll often see holes in the tops of both these flowers. These are made by "robber bees" with shorter tongues. They have learned to take a short cut to the nectar! Darwin even noticed this in his journals.

Above is a pinkeep I stitched for a family member under the weather. It is from the Jan '07 issue of The Gift of Stitching from Little House/Country Cottage Needleworks. I replaced the DMC threads with Crescent Colours Overdyed. You know I could never keep Little House and Country Cottage Needleworks apart. Now I know why. The designers are mother and daughter.

I also thought I'd post some progress on Chatelaine's Mystery X. I have 1/4 of Part 5 done.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Love

I haven't had much time in the last few weeks to post much as I was away from the Internet for almost three weeks. I was on vacation for a while (spent some time in Shipshewana at a quilt retreat) and then had a week that unexpectedly needed to be devoted to family. Life happens.

Spring is my favorite season. In late February the signs are there as male redwing blackbirds return and begin defending territory. In March, egged on by increasing daylight, the cardinal's song begins to swell.

I have a pair of phoebes (FEE-BEES) that nest every year in the eaves of my A-frame. I know spring has truely arrived with I wake in the morning to hear them singing their name. Soon after, I hear the song sparrows. Over the past weekend, I heard some migrating white throated sparrows. I always love to hear their song as they move north, it is so beautiful. I wish they would stay. And according to the hummingbird map, it's time to start hanging the feeder.

During my 'hiatus' I rec'd two exchanges from Britt and Mylene and have sent both of mine off. I hope they like them. Both ladies sent me robins! Above is Britt's pillow to me. This is so perfect as my yard is full of spring blooming bulbs and robins . . . .and cardinals.

Speaking of cardinals, spring love is all around, including one cardinal who should now be brain dead. He spends the day dive bombing his reflection in my windows, and I mean from dawn to dusk. When I'm home I sometimes start whistling at him and that starts him singing. His females seems to stick close by, encouraging all his antics.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Ides of March

Three years ago, on the Sunday before the Ides of March, I totalled my 1997 Confetii Blue Toyota Rav 4 . Given it was March 13, I guess I was lucky it wasn't on a Friday. I hit a patch of ice, skidded to the other lane, and flipped 360 degrees. When my car finished rolling, I was pointing east instead of west (i.e. pointing in the correct direction considering what side of the road I was now on). My engine was still running, the radio still playing, and I was about 20 feet into a neighbor's yard.

My first thought: "Sh**!! I just totalled my car! "
My second thought: "Seat belts work!"
The rest of my thoughts that day: "Sh**!! I totalled my car!"

I loved that car. It was my middle-aged crisis car, even though I wasn't in one. It was seven years old. It was paid for. I wanted to keep it forever and ever (or at least another 7 years). I have another Rav now. It's isn't quite the same, though.

I drive by that same spot a few times a week as it is just down the road from where I live (most car accidents occur within 25 miles of your house). Every day that I go by this house and see the big oak tree that I missed by mere inches, I mourn my Confetti Blue Toyota Rav 4.

Today, I celebrate that I have passed the second Sunday after the Ides of March where I haven't totalled my car.

Above something I've started as a gift a Friends Sampler from Hillside Samplings. On 32 count Flax linen.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Whistle Pig's Shadow

Yesterday's weather report (5o degress! coming soon) has gotten me contemplating the arrival of spring. The Vernal Equiqnox will soon be on the horizon, followed by the first Sunday after the first full moon.

That got me to thinking about Whistle Pigs and Shadows. Where I live, he ALWAYS sees his shadow and we ALWAYS get AT LEAST six more weeks of winter. It suddently occured to me how convenient it was that about six weeks from Groundhog Day was the Spring Equinox! Could this be a coinsidence? No!

Way back when, around the fifth century, the European Celts believed that animals had certain supernatural powers on special days that were half-way between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

Add to this, folklore from Germany and France that said when marmots and bears came out of their winter dens too early, they were frightened by their shadow and retreated back inside for four to six weeks.

End result: Groundhog's day (but I prefer to call them Whistle Pigs). Don't you just love it? You can find other interesting facts about the origin of GHD is at Wikipeida.

Above is my tribute to spring, something I'm stitching for an Prairie Schooler exchange. The stitching is done, but not the finishing.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

In Like a Lion - Brr (or should I say Grr)

Brr - it's windy and cold!

Here are my March stitching goals. I could have made the list longer, but even on planet Venus I wouldn't have enough time to stitch on all my UFO's and WIP's.

  1. French Alphabet Sampler - complete one full page
  2. Stitch and finish PS Spring 2007 exchanges
  3. Chatelaine Mystery 10 - finish part three (sans beads)
  4. Tabletoppers: finish Floral TT
  5. Start a gift
  6. Woodland Warbler Bell Pull: complete backstitch on one bird
  7. Stitch on Ornament SAL
  8. Stitch on PS Sampler SAL
Here is my Progress on the PS Sampler SAL.

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