The road ends, but the journey continues...

Category: 7 year itch (Page 1 of 7)

I Am A Slow…

…Stitcher.

Not as in the current trend of the Slow Stitching Movement but literally.

I Am A Slow Stitcher.

Skillful, yes. Speedy, not so much.

I am a turtle when it comes to making a quilt and/or creating fiber art of any sort. Quickening my pace often results in frustrating mishaps that require more effort and time to fix and undo than when I simply embrace my slow, steady tempo.

Mindful and contemplative sewing is a basic premise of the Slow Stitching Movement. One could say I come by that approach naturally, but truth to tell, nah. I do become completely absorbed with and extremely engaged in all steps within the process. And yes, I do breathe prayers, thoughts and love into the gifted pieces I create.

However – I Am A Slow Stitcher. Period.

In most areas of life, I am nothing if not steadfastly persistent and enthusiastic in the doing of anything – no matter how long it takes – but not necessarily slow or fast about it. Most who know me believe me to be quick witted, a fast learner and an efficient doer. Maybe.

This I do know: I am swift to laugh out loud in a huge guffaw just for the sheer joy in laughing!

Seriously, because I do ‘know thyself (myself)’, I take that time handicap into account whenever I decide to make something soft and comfy and/or display-worthy as a gift.

Which is why when the call for Comfort Quilts for Uvalde, Texas came within days of the senseless slaughter of innocent lives at Robb Elementary School, I knew I couldn’t participate. Even though I really, really wanted to and the desire and pull to participate only grew stronger as the days passed.

These types of reach outs usually have a short window of opportunity to contribute requested items/services to those intended recipients. Which I 100% get and respect.

In this case, my (he)art won out over my head. I decided to begin one small quilt regardless. Just in case.

At that time, I was just beginning to sort through some orphan blocks and excess fabric and realized they would make up into a rather nice 60 x 60 comfort quilt. As I worked on it and got closer to completing it, I reached out to a quilter blogging bud who was acquainted with the contact person and asked: Has the time come and gone for me to actually send this on to Uvalde?

She graciously went to bat for me (and others who had later quilts to donate) and found out my small contribution would be accepted long after the call went out for them. Her diligence enabled me to be a part of this effort. (You know who you are and I am forever grateful!)


Packed 1
August 2, 2022 – packed and ready to go!

Quite selfishly, this was a blessing for me to make on so many levels. I just wish the call to create a “Comfort Quilt” for such a reason wasn’t needed.


MondayMonday Music: #1 Remembering my first…

purchased downloads from Amazon digital music a long, long time ago.

I ‘own’ these three pieces, but can’t offer them in total to you the listener as a share on my blog…interesting. This embed of Amazon’s ‘share’ include only excerpts. Click here for my ‘First Purchased Download’ List but then – you have to sign in/up to listen.

However, as another vehicle for sharing, I offer up the three pieces in their respective youtube embeds for your enjoyment!


All that to say I do miss ‘relevant’ music radio – underground FM anyone? (KBCO FM history, KLZ FM history)


note: I suppose you, my regular followers, noticed I’m not exactly rushing to finish up my ‘part 3’ of the Catching Up blog postings…it’ll come, just not now! 🙂 Please forgive my indolence in this matter! Blame it on the Unending Summer Heat Wave of 2022.
Stay safe & cool, all.

Blooms of another sort (Poem)

Blooms of another sort

©2022 Laura Bruno Lilly

I bite into my Sourdough Breakfast toast
                                                                         topped with butter steeped in honey

and sprinkled with sharp
                                              Vietnamese cinnamon.

Its crunchy loudness crashes through the early morning Silence.

Its earthy sweetness
                                     blooms hope
                                                              for the coming day.

Note: for my sourdough recipes, click here; for differences between Vietnamese cinnamon and other types click here.

Peace Post: Silence – E. Kagge

excerpt from: ‘Silence In the Age of Noise’ by Erling Kagge
translated by Becky L. Cook

6.

“Silence can be boring. Everyone has experienced the ways in which silence can come across as exclusive, uncomfortable and at times even scary. At other times, it is a sign of loneliness. Or sorrow. The silence that follows is heavy.

However, silence can also be a friend. A comfort and a source of deeper riches.

Shutting out the world is not about turning your back on your surroundings, but rather the opposite: it is seeing the world a bit more clearly, staying a course and trying to love your life.

Silence in itself is rich. It is exclusive and luxurious. A key to unlock new ways of thinking. I don’t regard it as a renunciation or something spiritual, but rather a practical resource for living a richer life. Or, to put it in more ordinary terms, as a deeper form of experiencing life than just turning on the TV to watch the news, again. “

Catching Up part two

As per Banjo Guy’s suggestion in part one, I spent some time with my Hammered Dulcimer (HD).

Once hauled out from it’s resting spot under the skinny folding work table in my music ‘studio’, and set up in the living room, it was ready & waiting for me to play at my pleasure.

Our house is on the small side at ~1200 square feet. As you can tell, the HD does take up a lot of room. Once set up, there’s a certain feeling of commitment to sit down and really dig into the instrument. This musical outlet worked well for me as the strain to my wrists was almost nil while I worked through scales, hammering techniques and reading/playing HD tunes from HD playbooks and by ear.

Yep, I had fun!

My music ‘studio’ is nestled within a modestly sized bedroom, sharing space with a writing/computer area and a sewing/quilting area. If I have an unusually large project in the works or just need to spread out and ‘claim my space’ while creating (especially musically on several instruments at a time), my ‘studio’ overflows into the living room.

Luckily, Hubby understands the call & needs of the (he)artist. He actually encourages me to spread out  and encroach on our living room whenever I need more space to create.

Meanwhile, enjoy this more traditional HD cover of Here Comes the Sun to get a feel for this dreamy, jangly instrument. If nothing else, that classic Beatles Tune is sure to bring a smile to your face and lighten your mood.

Perhaps you noticed the wall hanging on the brick wall over the fireplace. It serves as a subject clue as to what ‘creative activity’ I’ll be discussing in part three! (I’m) stay(ing) tuned…and yes, I do mean that literally. 🙂

Floating 'L' wall hanging on brick wall above fireplace
‘floating L’ – LBL – MMXX

Catching Up part one

Interspersed amongst my wrist issues, I managed to type out & post a few blog articles and maintain a certain level of creative lifestyle activity over the past 2+ months.

Wrist issues? you may ask, curious as to what that has to do with anything.

As an (he)artist, one needs to be vigilant in maintaining and caring for one’s tools of the trade. A good example of this would be my changing out Gracie’s & the Prisloe’s strings a while back. In the human realm, as a working musician, this care includes parts of my body. Specifically, my arms, wrists, hands and fingers.

Without getting too bogged down with procedural details, I’ll say that my search for a hand therapist quickly came up short since the ones I called, and I called quite a few, offer their services only to patients on referral from hand surgeons (at least here where I live). So, I made an appointment with the one out of only two local hand surgeons most of those hand therapists worked with, hoping for a diagnosis and then referral to a hand therapist for stretches, exercises and tips on how to baby and strengthen my hands/wrists.

Turns out, it’s a catch 22.

The surgeon, I learned after said appointment, only refers his patients to a therapist after he performs surgery on their hands. There is no middle ground (at least where I live). No intermediary non-invasive steps from the ‘problem’ to what may or may not be a needed surgery as an ‘only solution’. (FYI: I am not giving up on finding some medical professional to guide me in ways other than immediate surgery to aid in my long term hand/wrist issues).

During those 6 weeks waiting for the appointment, I did what I could to cope with the pain, hoping what I did intuitively (and also with a little help from Dr. Google) would do no harm. This included, but was not limited to, gentle stretches, use of craft gloves (yay for being a quilter!), soft arm socks as a form of gentle support and greatly reducing time at the keyboard.

In addition, I cancelled all upcoming rehearsals until after the doctor’s appointment. Say what? Rehearsals? Yep. I’d just begun a regular weekly rehearsal routine with a new musician friend (Banjo Guy).


The Canola Field by Guy Bergeron, composer & guitarist (banjo player & slide guitarist unknown)

Here is a piece I found by Guy Bergeron that beguiled us both – bringing this classically trained guitarist (me) and that bluegrass banjo player (him) together on common ground. It has become our mutually approved ‘set piece’ where we are meeting each other half-way stylistically and eager to explore a myriad of other collaborative musical possibilities. In three short sessions, we got the piece 75% down, with other music in the queue at various levels of development. Just sayin’… 😎


Banjo Guy and I met three times until the day of the fourth scheduled rehearsal. At that point, I reluctantly canceled due to fears of doing damage to my still painful wrists if I’d plowed ahead regardless of my body’s rebellious attitude. 😒

When we talked that day, he suggested two things to enrich my time off the practice stool:

  1. Go to Art Fields
  2. Haul out the Hammered Dulcimer, set it up and play

I did the first, that very day!

Please click here for an outstanding interview with Jamale W. Wright, an amazing regular-guy artist of exceptional talent – who uses fiber as a main element in his pieces.

And the second I did a few days later.

On the plus side, during those 6 weeks waiting for the appointment, I didn’t do a lick of heavy cleaning around the house. You know, scrubbing bathrooms, kitchen sinks and such. Not that I’m complaining on that front! (FYI: Hubby does his share of the housework, and lovingly took on my share in the interim).

So what exactly did I do to maintain & enable a “certain level of creative lifestyle activity” (besides the two items mentioned above)?

Stayed tuned for part two, where I’ll elaborate on my Hammered Dulcimer set up and related et all.

May 24th, 2022

…I have been silent here on my website blog…fielding the events of our society’s everyday harsh realities while trying to sort through the maze of staying current without sinking too deep into the pit of despair*...knowing that so many are suffering, hurting…again…

Just 2 days after my last post – Remembering the Children (of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing in the UK)– there was yet another mass shooting here in the USA focused on children. In school. Defenseless, easy targets here in the land of the free, home of the brave.

I thought about re-posting the photo-quote I’d made, but really – recycled sentiments? For such tender times?

Instead, here is my mini-commentary. While my feelings and thoughts run deep, they aren’t put out there for ‘show’ or ‘grandstanding’. I’m more of a one-on-one communicator when it comes to deeper complex issues. However, I realized I could not move forward without saying something here.

Following the ‘logic’ offered in defense of easy access to firearms/weapons of all sorts as ‘doing things literally as the founding fathers intended’ I posit: where in the world does it say in the second amendment that Assault Weapons/Weapons of War are the ‘arms’ meant for an American’s right to bear?

Possession of an AR-15 is a far cry from Daniel Boone’s hunting for squirrels or raccoons with his trusty shotgun.

Where has the intent to protect ourselves from threatening outsiders become a right to attack, traumatize and kill school children busy learning, socializing, working and playing within their classrooms?

What right does any American have to take away a child’s childhood and future?

Mass shooting attacks outside the context of war or third world regimes are considered uniquely American.

Part of our national character.

A far cry from the founding fathers’ intent, indeed.

* reference: from a scene in The Princess Bride, a lighthearted movie beloved across all generations.

One breezy afternoon in April

One breezy afternoon in April – in the days before it gets too hot and humid…

…hubby and I trekked to the new soccer fields/trails on the outskirts of town to play in the great spacey outdoors

we each took turns taking sneaky photos of each other

…then packed it all up and called it a day!

Wishing us all times like these to refresh our souls and replenish our spirits.

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