Friday, September 23, 2016

Lampshade Love

Finally, the lampshade is finished and tucked back into its little corner.  I feel like I've been covered in loose threads and bits of hardened hot glue for a month although it's only been a week.  It turned out exactly as I'd envisioned it, which is always so gratifying.  
I couldn't find the lavender plaid fabric I thought I'd saved, but the touch of pink floral suits me better anyway and its crocheted trim at the top complements the ball trim along the bottom.  
I like the way the shade looks in every light--
--and I love all its many colors and patterns.  Love, love, love. 
This makes me so happy.  :)
And it makes reading in bed that much more of a favorite thing. 
Bliss! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Lampshade Yesterday and Today

The lamp should be finished sometime tomorrow, I'm thinking.  'Two more tiers of ruffles at the top, and then back into place on the lamp-base it goes.  I have a piece of lavender/white plaid left from an old dress that I'm planning for the next ring, and at the very top, a Kelly green gingham.  

I realized the other day that I wanted a jolt of yellow on the shade and decided just to Sharpie-marker a section of green floral fabric. 
It worked and turned out almost chartreuse, a definite jolt of color on an already-colorful shade.  I have long loved pink roses against yellow backgrounds, so this has turned out to be my favorite tier so far. 
To tie that pop of yellow in with the rest of the lampshade, I dyed my white pom pom/ball trim gold by soaking it in Turmeric water for a minute.   
A minute in the spice-bath was long enough to do the trick, and I let the trim dry while I attached more ruffles.
Ah, ball trim!  It makes me happy.  
'So dear. 
'Two tiers left to go, then, which is grand since all the fabric-pleating and hot-gluing have reached the stage of feeling quite tedious.  Once it's done, it's done, though, and this has already become one of my favorite re-dos and favorite items in the apartment.   
Tomorrow!  A finished reading lamp! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday's Project

What I thought was going to be a fast-moving task yesterday turned into an all-evening project I'm now aiming to finish this Sunday.  The button-covered lampshade I'd loved for so long--
 --has annoyed me lately every time I've looked at it, and before I'd even realized that yesterday was Lampshade Re-Do Day, I found myself pulling it up from its base and peeling off the first of what soon seemed like five hundred buttons. 
All but the top ring of buttons is gone.  The bottom four tiers of ruffled fabric pieces are almost all in place now.  Pink roses fabric, green gingham fabric, and I-don't-know-yet-what-other fabric will make the top few ruffles.  And maybe ball-trim around the bottom.  Ideally, by Sunday night, a finished lampshade will again be atop the base of my reading lamp, the layers of fabric softening the light more than buttons-on-white-canvas ever could and the rainbow of colors and patterns cozy-ing-up its corner of my bedroom. 
Ah!  Anything patchwork-ish! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

~I implore you to see the universe as a warm and supportive one because you'll look for evidence to support this view. When you anticipate that the universe is friendly, you see friendly people.~ Wayne Dyer

In no particular order, here are a few of the many hearts that have graced my path this past year that hadn't made it onto the blog before.  
And now feeling like Cliff Clavin showing the "Cheers" crew his potato that looked like Richard Nixon, I sign off.  :)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Another Puff-Quilt Sky, and a Sandwich Shop Kindness

Tonight's sunset was another glorious puff-quilt of a sky, and I watched it for awhile, blissed-out and grateful.  Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, headache-be-gone-and-let's-focus-on-the-good-things. 
An item from today's page in the Book of Good Things, then:  Thursday afternoon, I stopped at a sandwich shop to treat myself to lunch, and when I attempted to pay, the counter-clerk told me the computer system was down and he couldn't process my debit card payment.  I simultaneously thought something charming and articulate along the lines of "GAHHHHHHHHHHHH!  THIS STUPID! WEEK!" and apologetically told him that I didn't have any cash on me at the moment, and he immediately told me not to worry and just to stop back in to pay him whenever I could.  I protested--He could hold the sandwich until I came back with the cash, I offered--but no, he meant it, and with a smile, he handed me my sandwich and kindly wished me a good day.  So trusting!  And in a city!  Here's hoping he didn't lose too much in profits before he could process card-payments again.  When I returned with the money yesterday morning, he smiled again as he thanked me and didn't seem at all surprised to see me.  Here is someone who has some good karma on the way, I'm thinking, and someone who still has an incredible amount of faith in the goodness of people.  I so needed that kindness this wearying week--He has no idea.  :)  I will choose to remember his act of kindness, tonight's sunset, yesterday's bouquet of pink roses, and all Stuffed's time at my side this week.  And with that, I'll turn the page. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

September Begins

A bundle of roses to brighten my own day today 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Late Summer 2016

Thank you for the good wishes.  My headache has been coming-and-going-but-mostly-present for the past two weeks.  'Not enough sleep, too much heat and humidity, two three-hour bus trips home-and-back in eleven days. . . .I'm just all sorts of out-of-whack lately.  We're supposed to hit 88° again today, and the ten-day forecast is more of the same, so this is just Life This Summer.  I hate to wish any of my days away, but if there were more flowers in bloom in the spring or if it stayed light out longer in the evenings in the fall, I think I could happily skip this season entirely anymore.  In a sign of autumn's approach, Mom proudly served us all a cobbler made with apples from her and Dad's yard last week, and I took each spoonful of it as sacrament that more-soothing days are on the way. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

With Stuffed

He has stuck by my side all this headache-filled day.  Here's to a better night, and here's to a cat called Stuffed. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Garden Party with Mom and Aunt Laurie

And this photo is just how I will always remember Mom and Aunt Laurie.  Can you feel their sweetness right through this picture, or does it seem this way to me because I know them?  Well, they are that sweet, and this image from yesterday afternoon captures them perfectly.  And o' the fun we had!    Just to see Aunt Laurie again, period, after her health scare earlier this summer. . . And to get to share with her and Mom one of this summer's rare afternoons with a nice breeze. . . . I could still cry thinking about it.  And LAUGH thinking about it too, since right after Mom and Aunt Laurie had arranged the pretty tables and chairs and dainty tea party supplies out in the yard, one of my parents' neighbors decided the time was right to pull off his shirt and take care of the field behind their house on his riding mower.  'Not quite the ambience they been going for, so while the neighbor zoomed back and forth on the mower across the lawn behind them, they began moving the festivities father away into Mom's actual garden.  I was finishing decorating my frog cookies--I had to include frogs for Aunt Laurie, of course--when Mom came into my room to recount the Tale of the Topless Interloper.  Then Mom couldn't get my bedroom door to reopen.  Aunt Laurie was on the other side, and we all began howling as we imagined our sliding a cookie under the door for Aunt Laurie and of her somehow trying to jimmy a window open to rescue us.  As we laughed, the door popped free, and we set off--finally!--to enjoy our party.  And found, of course, that the neighbor had since finished his lawn-mowing and Mom and Aunt Laurie had moved everything for nothing.  :)
We hadn't coordinated our tea party plans with each other pre-visit, so each of us literally just brought something to the table and we made it work.  It ended up being a yellow, red, and pink affair with mismatched florals and ginghams.  I had kept it simple by buying a package of gluten-free sandwich cookies and decorating a few as frogs for my (long-suffering) aunt.  I combined lemon and lime-flavored mini marshmallows with a handful of sweetened coconut flakes, a can of fruit cocktail, a can of pineapple chunks, a little whipped cream, and a few spoonfuls of pistachio-flavored pudding mix for a quick take on ambrosia, one of Aunt Laurie's favorites. 
Mom had a similar idea and simply mixed together sliced strawberries, whipped cream, and a little strawberry-flavored gelatin powder for an easy strawberry salad.  (You can make these salads with any flavor of pudding or gelatin mix, of course, adding whatever fruit complements the mix-flavor. 'No waiting for gelatins to set or puddings to cook or chill.) 
Aunt Laurie gifted me with these cute little paper plates, but I just had to use the first three during our party, of course.  She gave Mom this new tea pot, brought Hershey Kisses candies in pink wrappers, and baked gluten-free blueberry and cranberry muffins in red gingham liners. 
 Aunt Laurie loved her little scrapbook I'd made her--  :)
--and she looked at it and a couple other little gifts I'd found her while we ate.  Dear Aunt Laurie. 
The afternoon would grow hot, but we were outside early enough to enjoy warm-but-not-too-warm weather and even a good breeze.  The rain held off another day, only falling this morning as Dad and I made the trip back to the bus station. 
And while the table and chairs would have looked sweet beside the bunny shed and field too, Mom's garden ended up being the perfect spot for our little party, with Mom's flowers in bloom all around us, a bit of shade from the Sumac tree that stands nearby, and a bit of privacy from Dad's grape arbors off to one side. 
Aunt Laurie showed me sketches she had made of dreams and experiences she had had while in the hospital during her sepsis care this June. . . .She was visited by her and Mom's dearly-missed grandmother and by their beloved aunt Ann.  Aunt Laurie said that even at her sickest, she was never afraid because she could feel like a protective force around her all the prayers and good energy we were all sending her way. 
Hearing that from her was itself an answered prayer for me, as was this entire get-together, of course. 
'One of our favorite times together, and that it could have so easily not happened at all--due to illness and weather and lawn-mowers and locked doors--made it, ultimately, all the sweeter. 
I captured eighty seconds of it on video too, but I will remember the gentle breeze, pretty flowers and goodies, and these sweet hearts even without it. 

Ah, love!    Blessed, blessed, blessed.