A Time To Every Purpose, in the New Year


watch handsFor everything there is a season, so it’s said.

This season we are in, these winter holidays, is the time for indulgence and extravagance and living large, for being social and busy, and for lighting the darkness of the longest nights with family and friends and laughter. Enjoy!

But, in the new year, the season and its purposes change. And I look forward to this season, too, very much.

A time for quiet.

A time for introverts to recharge their social batteries and a time for even extroverts to turn to introspection.

A time for more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and, yes, less chocolate. A time for moderation.

A time for budgeting and cutting back and assessing. A time for making do and feeling virtuous about it.

A time for resolutions and the best of good intentions.

A time for building homely nests of blankets, and crawling in.

A time for creative play, choose your medium. I’ll choose sewing and stitching and weaving and thread and yarn, and punctuate it all with hot chocolate and naps.

A time when everything seems possible, when we can make big plans but not feel the pressure! There’s time to do it all—we have a whole year!

A time where the year to come stretches out, unsullied, like a new fall of snow, waiting for us to walk in it and slog around and fling ourselves down for snow angels. A time to make our mark.

And, as always, in the words of Pete Seeger, one can hope this new, precious year is “a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late . . .”

2015: A Toast to Our New Starts

IMG_3298Anticipation builds. We’re on the brink of something.

It’s exciting and new.

It’s starting well.

IMG_3302Everything is tidy and ordered and smooth. All things seem possible.


Difficulties may occur, problems to solve, tangles to unsnarl.

The best-laid plans could be flawed. The pattern may not develop as planned.

But it might turn out even better than hoped . . .


And so it begins.

Fresh year. Fresh projects. Fresh start.


So far, so good. Here’s to the makers and the things we make this year!


Starting 2014 By Finishing . . .

IMG_4454When we were kids, my sister and I lived by rules. My mother had her own version of the 10 Commandments and the greatest among them was this:

churchsignWe were not to boast, show off, or draw undue attention to ourselves. And Mom had a look that could stop us, not to mention rogue elephants, in our tracks if we showed even a hint of an intention of show-off behavior.

Well, Mom, I’m a big girl now and, while I try to live a circumspect, modest life, I am so happy to have finished a specific project, that I’m going to start the New Year by tooting my on horn, ringing my own bell, and just generally acting goofy.

It’s done. It’s done! IT’S DONE!!

What’s the big deal, you ask? People finish quilts every day.

Yes, well, so they may, but this quilt was started when my niece was an infant and she is now 17. This quilt took longer to finish than my doctoral dissertation and that is truly saying something.

I don’t know why it took so long. I’ve finished other quilts in a more reasonable amount of time. To my defense, almost every stitch in this quilt was done by hand—hand piecing and hand quilting. But that has been true of the other quilts I’ve made—I just really hate sewing machines.

I worked on it in fits and starts and got distracted along the way by work and other hobby obsessions. I took courses in jewelry making and then started with the candy making I’ve told you about. I stopped being a college prof and became an associate dean, which took a lot of attention. Then I retired and we moved and I started doing other things and, and, and  . . .

But this quilt called to me—all it has needed, really, for about the last 5 years, was to have the edges trimmed and the binding sewed on, maybe 4 days of work.

So, I finally did it. On one of the last warm days of fall, I dragged it out to our seawall and trimmed the edges. Then candy season hit and I stalled again but last week I took the time and finally finished the quilt.

And (here comes the really immodest part!), I love it! It’s a variation on an Ocean Waves pattern and I think I invented the setting. To my eye, it’s downright gorgeous and I’m going to hang it on the wall, in a place of honor, so I can be impressed with myself every single time I see it!

I might even start another quilt. I have dozens of little patches left over from piecing the top of this one and I have ideas. And working on a quilt is another great way to stay warm in the winter.

But, first, I have to do penance. Forgive me, Mother, for I have sinned—I showed off.