Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tolo Tie

A week or two ago, I ran across this stunning peacock feather bowtie online.  Go ahead, take a look.  Look at the price, too.  Yikes!  I showed it to Dandelionslayer and the Caterpillar, who were suitably impressed.  But not with the price.  "Feathers are a renewable resource," Dandelionslayer pointed out.  And it's true.  The elegant birds molt every year, just like other fowls, and their keepers can just pick up the feathers and sell them to pricey designers or ordinary craft stores.

I took it as a challenge.
I found feathers at JoAnn's, two for about $4.  I used some black peachskin fabric and bowtie hardware I keep handy and made a pretied bowtie.  I trimmed the feathers and glued them in before affixing the knot piece.
Ta-da!  Peacock feather bowtie, 98% off.  In hindsight, and for your benefit, I see that Gorilla Glue was probably not as good a choice as a high quality fabric or craft glue would have been.  And maybe there's a better way to attach feathers.
But the Caterpillar was happy with it, and it was ready for him to wear to Tolo.  What is Tolo?  Tolo is a Chinook Jargon word, "from the Calipooia language (of western Oregon,) meaning to earn, control, convince, overcome, or triumph. Now used . . . as a term for a ladies'-choice school dance." (From the White River Valley Museum)  This usage came from a fund-raising (and eyebrow-raising, in 1910) dance put on by the Tolo Club, a ladies' honor society at the University of Washington.
When the Caterpillar's friend, S, invited him to the dance, she also invited him to go dress-shopping with her.  It was an arduous process, as she tried to find something pretty, well-fitting, and modest.  I guess the Caterpillar has told her enough about our standards that she wanted to fit them, too.  Good boy, nice girl.  And they found a lovely dress. 
It seemed appropriate to put a little effort into the Caterpillar's outfit.  He already has the tuxedo for band (S has one, too, actually), so I was happy to add a feathery touch.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ponderizing Psalm 1:1

Blessed is the man that walketh not 
in the counsel of the ungodly, 
nor standeth in the way of sinners, 
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Rollo chose this verse for us.  It's a great list of what not to do.  God is a loving Father who wants what is best for us.  "The ungodly" must be opposite.  Whose advice would you rather follow?  Isaiah describes the Lord as a "Wonderful Counsellor"(Isaiah 9:6).  I'd rather walk in His paths.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)
"Standing in the way of sinners" sounds doubly dangerous.  Joining with sinners and doing what they do is obviously not the way to be blessed.  "Getting in their way," available to be a victim, doesn't appeal, either.  I'd rather "stand . . . in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come" (Doctrine and Covenants 87:8). 

"Sitting in the seat of the scornful," though.  That could be more of a trap.  When we're avoiding sinners and the ungodly, are we tempted to label them, to scorn their foolishness and unrighteous behavior?  It's easy to find others' faults, and to gloss over our own.  Even in our loving home, sometimes we doubt each other's intentions, criticize, make fun.  But it doesn't help.  We need to persuade, to lead others to righteousness with example and love.  And with repentance for our own sins, because we do have them, even when we're trying to be good. 

Let's watch how we sit, stand, and walk, so the Lord may bless us with wisdom, righteousness, and joy!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Crafty Gifts

Tiny gifts are the most fun to make.  My homemade Christmas gifts to my parents and our sisters were in jars this time--plum products I'd bottled in July.  It would have felt like cheating if the actual wrapping hadn't been such a challenge.  But a new member of the family needed some little crocheted things that I was happy to whip up.

For this tiny sweater, I used The Bailey Easy Top Down Sweater pattern.  It is a fun pattern, and very quick in the newborn size.  As I went along, I found that I preferred the zigzag look of the "wrong" side of the Herringbone Double Crochet stitch.  So I made it the right side of this little sweater, and put the buttons on the left shoulder instead of the right.
Here's LaBeq, trying it on for size, as baby TL was still on the way.  Her husband was enchanted with the little sweater.  It's so cute when guys get excited about baby clothes.  
TL has since made his debut.  He's a tiny little one, so maybe he'll fit the sweater for more than a day.
I also made him this Baby Owl Blanket, with a Polka Dot Border.  This is the first time I've used the Corner-to-Corner (C2C) method, and I enjoyed it.  I was able to use yarn I already had for everything but the background.  Some of the yarn was left over from this afghan I crocheted for the proud parents' wedding:
Oh, my goodness!  I never shared it here.  It's the Blue Lagoon Throw, and I had a great time crocheting it a few years ago.  
I also sewed some musical pajamas for Rollo,
embroidered a blue raven on a white shirt for the Caterpillar,
and appliquéd a kitten in a teacup for D2.  Kittens in teacups and other vessels appear surprisingly frequently in D2's and Rollo's drawings.  When I ran across this pattern in Grandma O's collection, I knew he'd love it.  And he does!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ponderizing Doctrine and Covenants 64:33

Wherefore, be not weary
in well-doing,
for ye are
laying the foundation
of a great work.
And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

Being good and doing the right thing takes effort.  The Lord's work is work, and can be tiring.  But it shouldn't make us "weary."  This counsel echoes Paul's words in Galatians 6:9.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
To "faint" here means to give up, I think.  It makes sense--if we work hard, then give up, we won't see the fruits of our labors.  It doesn't mean there won't be any.  We just won't see them. 

Speaking of fruits, what is a smaller thing than a seed?  Delicious fruits don't appear spontaneously.  A seed must be planted, and tended.  If all goes well, one seed may produce many fruits containing many more seeds.  Plants are amazing that way.  So is spiritual effort.  The Lord could accomplish His work all by Himself.  But He lets us join in, adding our little bit, so that we may also enjoy the great blessings He has to give.

Little bits of obedience, kindness, determination, repentance, faith, they all lay the foundation of a stalwart character in ourselves.  Little bits of service and gospel-sharing can lay the foundation of transformation in others. 
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.  Doctrine and Covenants 123:17

Monday, January 18, 2016

Bad Apples

 My parents gave me a fun book for my birthday last year, Crochet Ever After.  It is full of projects inspired by fairy tales.  I hoped to finish these Bad Apple Fingerless Mitts in time for the launch of Winter, the final book in my favorite sci-fi fairy tale series.  The crochet pattern was fun to work, with its linked double crochet stitches.  They solve everything I don't like about double crochet.  But with Halloween interfering, I didn't finish the apples in time. 

They are ready now, and I can wear them to the party for Stars Above, the book of related short stories, next month! 

Do you choose projects that coordinate with your other hobbies?

Monday, January 11, 2016

To Winter for Christmas

We headed south for Christmas, to where there is actually snow.  The white weather was somewhat frightful on the road there, and worse going back.  But while we stayed, the snow was beautiful.
It has been a long time since we've spent Christmas with our extended family.  I don't think there have ever been so many stockings hanging together in my parents' house.
Here are Dandelionslayer and the boys, with my sister Vae, in front of the tree on Christmas morning.
LaBeq came to pose with us in the afternoon. It was a lovely, relaxing day.
We also spent a couple of days with Dandelionslayer's family.  The boys had a great time sledding with their cousins.
The Caterpillar got his groove on, and won every dance.
We hit the slopes again, a little harder, in some cases, but the boys all survived their first time skiing.  D2, in the center of the picture, was the least afraid, and did really well.
We visited some dinosaurs, too,
and walked through the beautiful lights at Temple Square.
It was frigid, but our hearts were warm.
The Square is full of beautiful reminders of the Reason for the season.  Look at the leopard and the zebra lying down together, waiting for the Child to lead them.
We had a great time in snowy Utah.  I hope you enjoyed the holidays, too!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Musical Monday

Ah, sublime music from Plácido Domingo, the Piano Guys, and a choir of children who look like they are wearing cupcake wrappers.

Merry Christmas, everyone!