Thursday, September 01, 2011

Reading, Writing & Arithmetic

perfect.packing

I only recently reacquainted myself with the feeling of what its like to have only my work before me. No interruptions. No distractions. Just work. Enjoyable as most of my work is, I have always been one to work best under pressure or to be most prolific when incredibly (unreasonably) busy- not as though I've had the chance at anything else, really. This week has been strange. New. A little uncomfortable. Today's brightest light was the sunlight twinkling in Roman's eyes as he giggled out a proud smile after successfully yanking his shoe over his bulbous little heel. Over his new school socks (because no other pairs are actually pairs at all, just two socks). Today's deepest, darkest, tiniest, and perhaps irrational fear is that maybe for some years now I have forgotten how to just be single, whole, complete and only me. Or worse, that maybe, that's not as interesting as it use to be. It was a surprising amount of comfort when I stacked some things up for a ticket-for-one weekend trip. It was. Having to remember how I would like to occupy just myself. I wasn't sure I remembered...
~Jeff told me after reading Half Broke Horses that he knew I would relate to the toughness of the heroine. And Glass Castle might be the best book I've ever read. So.
~One of the children has snatched the bookmark out of The Rhythm of Home, but I realized that I am fine with the prospect of reading dear Amanda's (or Steve's!) words more than once- such practical and specific direction to nurturing your family with more than simple affection.
~And COLOR ~ a book that actually offers a history of color, really a novel about color "and reveals how paints came to be invented, discovered, traded and used". It is so unbelievably fascinating, I will never think of that gianormous topic the same way.
~And topping my stack is a handful of cross stitch works in progress on every shade of my new Aida cloths. I have been designing and writing new patterns for lots of handwork....which will appear in several forms....all requiring simple, correct arithmetic of design. Which is a completely different way of composing arrangements of color and form altogether. No harder. No easier. Just not the same. I adore it.
My stack of me.
have a good long weekend, see you on the other side of it xo, AM
Oh, and Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Such a favorite.

40 comments:

  1. i loved the book "color." part travel diary, part natural history, part art history. it was wonderful. i want to read her other book about gems, but right now i am working on "the anthropology of turquoise." it is a similar style to color, and i really like it so far.

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  2. I'd forgotten about the Sundays, I used to love them!

    My youngest is about to start school, leaving me with free time on my own in the day for the first time in 7 years. I'm both heartbroken and excited.

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  3. we're going through the same thing over here. i've been at home for 5 years and i'm realizing my time of being needed desperately is coming to an end. and i think "now what?" go back to school? take a class? get some sleep? hahaha...it's hard being a mommy. i find myself missing my little guy, the feeling distracting me from other tasks.

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  4. BOOKS!
    Reading grown-up books... these are the dear luxuries I would not mind getting reacquainted with.

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  5. As someone who has been a mom since she was young and still has preschoolers at home at 40...I really appreciate your words about forgetting how to just be you. I've been trying to articulate what I've been feeling for quite along time and never quite gotten it right. You did it! Thanks for the great post :)

    –Cassandra

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  6. Love those Aida cloths! Gorgeous. And since I'm overly obsessed with your needleworks cotton since seeing it used on the AST and dreaming of stitching on it before assembling the bag, I was just wondering, how much will these new and exciting needleworks fabrics be retailing for? Thanks, AM!

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  7. Jeanette Walls is a fabulous author! Have read both books and really enjoyed them. "Color" sounds fascinating--- I will look for a copy of it.

    Remembering you does take practice... keep practicing... it is you that produces such lovely fabrics for us to enjoy!

    -Kat

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  8. whilst you are designing cross stitch projects, would you please add some 28ct and 32ct linen to the mix ... i'm sure your weekend get-a-way will do much to inspire you ... darlene

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  9. It's always a treat to come here! Haven't been in a while, so I'm glad I took a moment to stop in.

    Your book titles sound intriguing...

    Wishing you BEAUTIFUL days ahead!

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  10. I told my husband just the other day, I feel sometimes like I've lost who I am. Yes, I love very much being my children's Momma and my husband's wife, but who am I when they're not around? Glad to know I'm not alone. Can't wait to see your new handwork patterns!

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  11. I think you've hit on something that a LOT of us feel. It's hard to play all the different roles AND still maintain an identity. I'm not sure how to fix it, but it's great to know I'm not alone.

    On another note, maybe we should start a Read-Along. :)

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  12. My third child is beginning her school journey from next week and my youngest (well not much younger than my third) is to take his sister's place at playgroup in february...and so it will be just me...not quite sure how that makes me feel....a whole big jumble of excitement and nerves and a little trepidation (and maybe just a teensy dash of broodiness) :)

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  13. Some new books I must read, thank you for sharing!!
    My baby starts high school Tuesday... I definitely have mixed feelings! But I also have a 24 year old daughter and take comfort in the fact that our kids will always need us and though the changes in that relationship can be scary, they are full of rewards!
    Hope your weekend is WONDERFUL!
    ~Michele

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  14. Glass Castle broke my heart wide open but I loved it. Just put a hold on Half Broke Horses at the library! Thanks for the idea, enjoy your weekend :)

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  15. What beautiful words in your post. It's awesome how you show the beauty of those every day little moments. And I love that photo so much! Glass Castle is my most favorite book!!

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  16. Thanks for the recomendation of Half Broke Horses. I loved The Glass Castle. I read it in one day which never happens for me. She just has a way of telling a story that sucks you in, so I am really looking forward to this new read. Thanks again!

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  17. I have both Half Broke Horses and Glass Castle on my reading table waiting for me to dive in...can't wait. The Aida cloth is beautiful and the project started on the gray is just gorgeous! Those colors on the gray cloth...fabulous! Enjoy your you time.

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  18. Oh I love that 'Color' book! So interesting. A few months ago some friends and I had our car broken in to. A bag of mine was taken and one of the things in it was that book (which had been a gift so I was doubly annoyed!) I still wonder whether the thieves read it or not. I hope so. :)

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  19. Half Broken Horses is just about as good as the first. You won't be disappointed. Both are on my all time list.

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  20. On the flip side, it's good to remember that we're never "just us," though. Our families, our friends - they make us who we are. If we're living a good life with good relationships, that becomes part of our identity. The feeling, though, is certainly real - trying to remember your identity when you're not surrounded by your loved ones. Enjoy the change of pace - as I'm sure you know, it will keep changing and changing again. :)

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  21. What a lovely group of ladies you have visiting your page!
    As a mother and now grandmother, share all your feelings! Only this morning I actually thought to myself that I am enjoying my chosen carreer of being a Mother :)
    When younger, I thought this wasn't enough to be judged by. Now at 50 plus, I still enjoy working in a primary school library. Bliss! I can truely say life is wonderful and I, as a individual, evolved by the dynamics of relationships around me. I know I am so, so lucky

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  22. Annie C10:06 PM

    I love what you have going on that ivory piece of aida in the background! Hope that is pattern that you'll have available. What our breakneck-paced world needs is a little handwork! Thank you!

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  23. Glass Castle is a riveting story. Loved it. Of course you've read The Help, right? Just requested Color - thanks!

    You know, I think it's fairly certain that I'll be a little let down when the kiddos aren't home someday. But that's just not surprising. Of course they make me more interesting! They make life LIVE.

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  24. Have to say, Anna, that the indentation of the embroidery hoop showing in the cloth...something about that resonates and makes me think "I can do that, too!"

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  25. Our Rhythm of Home has been moved all throughout the house! My girls love the bookmark and the photos. Reading this book is like curling up on the couch your your absolutely favorite worn blanket and a warm mug of tea. I find myself breathing deeper and looking beyond the piggy piles on the floor and dreaming of adventures yet to come. If you haven't made the muffins yet the recipe is fabulous.

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  26. LOVE that Color book. I have recommended it to so many people. It really is fascinating. I hope you have a good recharge-type weekend. I think you'll rediscover the goodness of momentary alone.

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  27. Oooo, I am reading Victoria Finlay's book right now (although I have the UK edition...not much different except the title, I think). It was recommended to me in a Natural Dyeing workshop I took last month. Next on my list is _The Root of Wild Madder_ by Brian Murphy.

    The alone time comes as quite a shock, I know: I went through it with my two older kids (now 17 and 14), and just went through it again last Fall with my little one (now 2 1/2). But I found that I got my independent groove back pretty quickly -- and it's nice to rediscover yourself in that way :) Enjoy your weekend away!

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  28. I actually just started The Glass Castle. Glad to hear you liked it. :)

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  29. I bought 'Color' while on a trip to the Clark Museum in Massachusetts. Love it too!

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  30. i like reading and writting a lot.i think it will improve our spirit and give me a good feeling to enjoy the life,

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  31. I absolutely loved Glass Castle, it resonated with me a great deal.

    Also, I just wanted to let you know how much I'm loving Loulouthi, it's sewing up gorgeously together, I'm making a big floor length quilt for my daughter with it. The dark grey with the flowers and butterflies is our favourite!

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  32. Half Broke Horses really disappointed me after Glass Castle because once you've read the first chapter, you've read the entire book.. See the strong heroine rise above the hard times and the idiots around her, then push repeat for every chapter. There is no character development at all, no hint at a complex interior life, just "I'm a tough no-nonsense ranch woman" right through.

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  33. Glass Castle is up there on my list of all-time-favorites, too.

    Thank you for your blog and the inspiration you never cease to give xo

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  34. Lois, I am about halfway through and I can understand that criticism.... I am thinking of the book more like a portrait than a novel...and am still sucked in by each little vignette....
    :) Anna

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  35. Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses are incredibly crazy good books! I've just discovered your blog and love it. I made a pin cushion and now want to make the one with the hole and I just received your Seams To Me book. Can't wait to make the purse. Thanks for your inspirations!

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  36. I have all of Amanda Soule's books. She is a wonderful author and you are right, such words of truth in her books.

    I wish more people would treat family this way.

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