Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallows Eve

This history is written in Wikipedia for Halloween - I thought it was very interesting...

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in).The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced Kálan Gái av).

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

I hope yours is filled with light, joy and good times.  I'm going to run by the Quilt Show for a short bit, get a fabulous massage here and then work on some crafting... I am exhausted from working yesterday at the Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods booth at Quilt Market but I hope to post some photos later today...

The vintage image is from Flickr Group - Collage Images and thanks to Suzee Que.  Here's a secret - it is a TREASURE-TROVE of free images of fine quality...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Draw Along Side

I was walking out of work this week with a colleague and talking about what we were going to do for the evening.  I was going to finish a banner for a Silver Bella banner swap and she said, oh, I'm not creative at all.  I have to laugh when people say that to me.  Because I'm not either.  I always wanted to be but didn't have a grandma to show me sewing or embroidery (I know, poor pitiful me).  The other comment that cracks me up is - oh, I don't have time for that... and I just realize, I'm gonna make time to do this because I love it.  I am so happy when I'm crafting and I'm happiest when I'm crafting with friends.  On Saturday, a friend stopped by and collaborate on my banner - well, that's damn near Bliss.  I made 12 of these.  I hope they meet expectations... I'm trying to improve my sewing skills, they are very rudamentary, as you can tell.  I realized afterwards that we weren't suppose to sew up the sides... but oh well.  I like it.  We will get 11 other designs and they will be hung together on a ribbon.  I had fun with it.  I have one more swap - a 3" embroidery square I believe.  Better get on it - SB is in less than a month!
Guess we should do some catch up.  I had a wonderful time in Rotterdam.  I feel like a princess there - my colleagues treat me very well.  We have great dinners and lots of laughs.  I learn some things and share some things and I'm always glad I go.  I spent Saturday in Amsterdam and it was a bit frustrating.  There was a small outdoor market and I picked up some great vintage cards but not much else.  I found a bookstore with vintage books but it seems that 1/2 my order didn't make it into the bag or she overcharged me.  Really bummed me out because there was so much cool stuff there.  

The following weekend I went to my favorite place in the word, Las Brisas Farms which is out in the country about an hour and a half west of Houston.  This couple has built nirvana there and with 18 other scrappers, we played with paper and stuff all weekend.  And I sold some stuff!  I made journals out of hardback books and Halloween blocks.  I though... oh wait, I did take photos, wanna see?   It felt so great that weekend because I accomplished alot... all these projects that I couldn't seem to get started at home... I finished!  The Fairmont Whistler book is from Debby Schuh's Anthropologie bag class.  The Halloween blocks Julia showed me how to make.  The books are from Janet Hopkins CE class from a couple of years ago.  I figured out a great way to finish them on the inside.  I'll take pics this weekend and show you.  I added a piece of foam, fabric and ribbon (on each side) under the binder mechanism.  Looks cute.   The envelope journals have lace on the front.  I think I can actually take credit for them... Wow - that's a first. 
I'm getting excited about the Quilt show in two weeks.  A friend, Sue Gower has a booth with the most incredible trims ever.  Her store is in Rhode Island, called Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods.  I fell in love with it last show.  I'm going to work on Oct 30th and bonus, I get to go to the sampler spree next week.  Manufacturers sell small packs of new fabric for super fantastic prices!  Oh, good times!  Susan has a new fabric line, called Vintage Art store.  I can't wait to see it in person... 

There's alot to look forward to in November.  It is also the anniversary of my sister's death and I can feel the grief already.  She died 3 years ago from colon cancer, very quickly (within three weeks).  She suffered from schizophrenia since adolescence and I do mean suffered.  I have acute hearing because of my sister.  We were always listening to make sure she didn't walk out the door.  One time she did and ended up in Omaha.  No joke.  At work they think I'm crazy because I hear every little sound around me.  I can't help it.  It started a long time ago.  But how can I explain that? 
When I think of her I try to remember the gorgeous 17 year old girl who went to prom with a boy name Joe back on Ingrid Lane in Metairie.  She wore a powder blue dress and her hair was up and her smile was brilliant.  She was beautiful.  I don't want to paint some rosey picture - it wasn't.  She was a great big sis back then.  After that there were lots of unpleasant memories.  Oh well, what can you do?  Live and learn.  What did I learn from her?  I don't know, I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Title = catch up