Wednesday, March 20, 2013

With Apologies to Robert Frost!

This bush of "knock out" pink roses was covered with blooms!
Our bushes of red knock outs aren't blooming yet.

Today is the first day of spring!  As I walked this morning, camera in my pocket, I snapped the few signs of spring that showed themselves.  Also as I walked, I thought of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."  As I recited it to myself, I thought:  I could parody this poem!  Well, yes, but wow, is his rhyme scheme hard to pull off!

Despite the challenge,  I began the parody in my head while finishing my walk, but completed and tweaked it on the computer.  Here it is, and the snapshots that inspired it are above and below:

Whose yards these are I think I know.
Their owners are at work, although
They wouldn’t mind me stopping here
To snap these photos, even though

It’s early yet, so rather queer
To capture spring when it’s just here.
Most grass is brown and still looks dead,
But as I walk I see some dear,

Sweet blooms of yellow, pink, and red,
And even blue.  I need to spread
The news, to all make clear
Spring’s come!  This yellow, blue, and red

This pink—show that spring’s not near
But rather on this day, it’s here!
I go inside to sew and cheer:
Hurrah!   Truly spring is here!

When I passed by this tree yesterday, the scent of its blossoms
was heavenly!  Notice the blue, blue, cloudless, Texas

Petunias do well in Texas in the spring, but once summer
gets here--they usually don't survive.

This yellow "knock out" rose is the first to bloom on its bush.

From my computer desk, I can see this lovely
tree across the street.

Look closely!  These are the first blue bonnets I've seen so far.  Soon this field and
others will be covered!

My neighbor told me yesterday that these dianthus came up from
seed from last year's plants.  Though supposedly annuals,
dianthus survive here, after being cut back in the fall, to
bloom again the next spring.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

This is my latest quilt for the Material Mavens art quilting group that I am in.  Today was our reveal day, and our theme for this time was Communications.  I chose to focus on letters written from my parents to my Aunt Sallie and my paternal grandmother.  They were written during the 1930s, when Daddy was looking for a job on a newspaper and then from Mother, after they married.  I also included a picture from that era.

For the crazy quilt background for the snippets of letters and envelopes, I fused some of Mother's handkerchiefs to pink and blue fabrics, as well as some old lace of hers.  Then I cut them into crazy quilt shapes and sewed them together.  I embellished the background with machine embroidery stitches on some of the seam lines.  Then I fused down and appliqued the letter snippets and a few envelopes, as well as the photo.

These wonderful letters were given to me by my cousin David, who sorted through his mother's letters after she died and put them into categories according to which sibling the letters were from.  He then put them into a notebook and gave the notebook to the various families.  Thanks to David!

The back of the quilt is also pictured above.  The fabrics that are under the hankies can better be seen on the backing.  I used the pink fabric that reminds me of Mother's Pink Tower china (which she willed to my niece Laura!), and the blue fabric with blue bonnets and other flowers makes me think of Daddy, who loved gardening and flowers so much.  I also used some 1930s era, genuine, feed sack fabrics, again in the signature colors of pink and blue.  

The close-up allows one to read some of the choicer quotations from my parents.  Daddy is often depressed over the financial situation in the country and for him personally, unable at first to find a newspaper job.  He relates to his sister Sallie how a new job soon ended, and he tells her, "Don't tell Mom!"  (Some things never change!)  And Mother, a new bride, lists for her sister-in-law many of the delights of marriage, including trying new recipes.  She projects into the future and imagines herself as a granny whose grandchildren speak in "dulcet tones" about the hours spend in Grandmother's kitchen!

This latter statement is poignant for me.  Her first granddaughter, our beloved daughter Mary Katherine, who is no longer with us, DID indeed spend hours in her kitchen.  She loved especially to make cookies and candy with her grandmother, and I have recipes in her hand-writing, copied down from some of my mother's.