Crafting A Legacy

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Snuggled in our respective nests, my family drifts into maker-mode. Daughter is throwing pots on her pottery wheel. Son is woodworking. Husband‘s shooting up a storm with his camera. And of course, my needles are clicking.

Although we’re merrily crafting a blizzard of goodies, curiously, we never seem to remember it all takes an enormous amount of time to complete these energetic handmade gifts. I predict there may be more than a few IOU’s.

As an experienced knitter, I look for a challenge this time of year to add to my crafting legacy. I do not crochet. Not because I can’t (mom taught me). It’s because of a long-standing attitude that knitting is more beautiful than crochet.

Don’t start throwing hooks at me yet.

When I started knitting, granny square afghans lit up the craft world. Granny…Afghan…SO not cool. Gorgeous Crochet Snowflakes…SO cool.

I’ve changed my tune and want to share with non-knitters — who have no idea what I’m talking about — the difference between knitting and crocheting:

Knit and crochet are distinctly different crafts with different tools that work up various stitches. Knitting is done on needles — straight, double pointed or circular. Crochet uses hooks of varying sizes. Straight knitting looks like a bunch of interlocking “v”stitches. Crochet stitches are “chains” — crochet hook gets inserted into a stitch and yarn is looped. Knitting tends to be tight. Crochet is looser, more open weave. I’m told crocheting is quick (not so much for me), while knitted garments take many, many hours to complete.

Wrapping, twisting, cabling, chaining, braiding…who cares? Inspired by these gorgeous snowflakes, momentarily, I put down my needles and pick up a hook.

In the maker spirit, here’s a round-up of my 3 favorite crocheted snowflakes:

Frosty Filigree Snowflake from Martha Stewart

Rustic Twine Snowflake from Aesthetic Nest

Beaded Snowflake from AgaKnickKnack

What’s your craft legacy?

Photo via flickr

Memory Of The Heart

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Nothing — to answer the question above.

I am lucky. 

“Wonderful things happen when your brain is empty,” says artist Maira Kalman.

Today I spent the day emptying. Pausing at work’s door to let in the arrival of my children.

In a quiet moment, I read that the French call gratitude, “the memory of the heart.

Makes perfect sense.

My heart skips a beat with abundant reminders — memories of the heart.

With sincere gratitude,

I am lucky.

Drawing: Maira Kalman via Brain Pickings

Adapt, Meddle, Adjust

When Dorothy clicked her ruby red slippers and said, “There’s no place like home,” she longed for the place that held all her favorite things, favorite people – her world.

So how do you create a home?

This New York Times house tour of the home of interior designer, assemblage artist (!), Faye Toogood answers:

“I like to combine the precious and the raw,” Organic tinkering comes out her need to “adapt, meddle or adjust” the objects in her home.

All that attentive rearranging is well composed – neither minimalist nor overdone. “I love things that are really old but look modern.” Home.

Soft Light

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I have a soft spot for handmade lighting, especially those sculpted from eco-friendly materials. Austrian designer, Rainer Mutsch created a series of pendants from recycled fiber cement for Molto Luce using water and cellulose fibers. Natural cellulose fibers are minimally processed. Recycled fiber cement is highly durable and non-flammable.

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Each individual luminaire shade is molded by hand. The shades get stability from their slightly rippled geometry .

Beautiful, wouldn’t you agree?

Photos: via: Contemporist

Going Somewhere

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After a few stunning fall weekends by the ocean gazing at skiddish water fowl preparing to flee to their warmer homes, I’ve come to love ducks. My new favorite ducks are called, Buffleheads. These snappy looking guys with the colorful name, bob their big heads and tiny bodies around the Massachusetts shores where I’ve been lucky enough to visit. I’m told by New Englanders that they arrived weeks earlier than usual and are hanging around longer.

I watched the ducks manage their changing positions while they bobbed — diving into the water for bugs and tiny fish. Their brilliance seemed to be adapting to each and every ripple and wind shift. At one point during all their bobbling, the flock of ducks stopped, spun their heads around and switched into carefully negotiated new positions — ducks in front moved to the middle or back, ducks in back paddled up to the front. Then they bobbed along floating to a new location. They were going somewhere.

Not often, but every now and then, a rogue duck would drift away. The pack would slow down to watch, and one or two ducks would glance back — then they’d all circle round and fold the wandering character back into the fray. They were going somewhere.

In this time of rising seas, diminishing shorelines and stranger than strange weather, skilled ducks adapt. Do they have a choice? They are going somewhere.

Photo: An adult bufflehead drake swimming, Shutterstock