First blooms

Found these little beauties about an hour south of us in a church yard. Spring blooms are not far behind in our neck of the woods. There are only tiny piles of snow left. Welcome April!!!

The Crocuses
by Frances E. W. Harper

They heard the South wind sighing
A murmur of the rain;
And they knew that Earth was longing
To see them all again.

While the snow-drops still were sleeping
Beneath the silent sod;
They felt their new life pulsing
Within the dark, cold clod.

Not a daffodil nor daisy
Had dared to raise its head;
Not a fairhaired dandelion
Peeped timid from its bed;

Though a tremor of the winter
Did shivering through them run;
Yet they lifted up their foreheads
To greet the vernal sun.

And the sunbeams gave them welcome.
As did the morning air
And scattered o'er their simple robes
Rich tints of beauty rare.

Soon a host of lovely flowers
From vales and woodland burst;
But in all that fair procession
The crocuses were first.

First to weave for Earth a chaplet
To crown her dear old head;
And to beautify the pathway
Where winter still did tread.

And their loved and white haired mother
Smiled sweetly 'neath the touch,
When she knew her faithful children
Were loving her so much.

The Crocus
by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Beneath the sunny autumn sky,
With gold leaves dropping round,
We sought, my little friend and I,
The consecrated ground,
Where, calm beneath the holy cross,
O'ershadowed by sweet skies,
Sleeps tranquilly that youthful form,
Those blue unclouded eyes.

Around the soft, green swelling mound
We scooped the earth away,
And buried deep the crocus-bulbs
Against a coming day.
"These roots are dry, and brown, and sere;
Why plant them here?" he said,
"To leave them, all the winter long,
So desolate and dead."

"Dear child, within each sere dead form
There sleeps a living flower,
And angel-like it shall arise
In spring's returning hour."
Ah, deeper down cold, dark, and chill
We buried our heart's flower,
But angel-like shall he arise
In spring's immortal hour.

In blue and yellow from its grave
Springs up the crocus fair,
And God shall raise those bright blue eyes,
Those sunny waves of hair.
Not for a fading summer's morn,
Not for a fleeting hour,
But for an endless age of bliss,
Shall rise our heart's dear flower.

First Crocus
by Christine Klocek-Lim

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

The crocus don’t see this as they chatter
beneath a cheerful petal of spring sky.
They ignore the air’s brisk arm
as they peer at their fresh stems, step
on the leftover fragments
of old leaves.

When the night wind twists them to pieces,
they will die like this: laughing,
tossing their brilliant heads
in the bitter air.


Beauty in the creepiness

This morning it was a bit eerie
looking out into the fogginess.
I knew just where I wanted
to go with my camera though.

Doesn't she look like she's telling him
to move his curly little tail a bit faster?

The rest of the photos I took are on Flickr.


Etsy book preview

We finally had a sunny day so I was able to photograph some new books for my Etsy shop. Here is a preview:


Getting attention

• Delia from Market[Store(Shoppe)] writes a bi-weekly style column, Chic Geek, for the blogozine Fierce and Nerdy and included table linens from my Etsy shop in her column today. Get some great ideas to make party hosting effortless, stress-free and inexpensive. Nice cross-promotion idea she has going there. Let's hope it brings more traffic to everyone involved. Go check out her tips and links!!!

• Craig and Charlene Love, walnut farmers in Red Bluff, CA, write the Neighbor to Neighbor blog for Red Bluff Daily News. Their entry a few weeks ago about Wardrobe Refashion included a link to my post here about scarves made from mens' neckties .

• My necktie scarves will also be included in a quarterly grief newsletter, Grief Notes, from Gaston Hospice in North Carolina. I was especially happy to contribute as hospice was a great help when my father-in-law went home from the hospital for the last time back in December.


Sunny Saturday

Ah, spring has sprung here in upstate New York.

Went for a walk yesterday and saw signs of it close up.
There was even some green coming out of the ground
where the snow piles are finally melting away.

First, took the dog (who needed exercise)
and one boy (who needed to vent)
to the nearby ice cream parlor/beer brewer
for a growler full of root beer.

Then almost immediately two others wanted
to go for a quick bike ride around the block.

I know this one should have his helmet on
but I couldn't uncover it in the mess that is our garage.

I have a thing for shadow pictures lately...


Spring bridal gift

I actually get girl time this morning.
I'm going to a bridal shower for a very good friend.
Shucks, I have to miss the school fun fair though.
Dh will have fun taking all the boys instead, lol.

Needed to think of a gift, with a handmade component
of course, for the couple who already have a house
with a really great yard -- gardening supplies!!!

I made the simple apron
with just rectangles of fabric and bias tape trim.
Filled it up with seeds, hand tools and
coordinating gardening gloves and
will present it all in a gorgeous ceramic pot.

Now we just need to wait for the real spring
to arrive here in upstate New York.
We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground.


My 4 boys immortalized

This image is my latest purchase off of Etsy from a lovely stationary shop called Nella Designs.

I saw the drummer first and wanted to know if she could combine it with another graphic of 3 boys. She suggested this one instead.

How perfect!! My oldest is a drummer and the second is playing the chanter, a precursor to learning the bagpipes.

It turned out better than I expected. I'm off to look for a frame so I can put it up in my bedroom.


A rose is a rose

This is what I came up with after playing
with my scanned rose images for the last few days.
(Click on each image to see a super close-up view.)

I was inspired by this calendar I have hanging in my studio.

These are just my favorites. To see the rest head to Flickr.
Let me know which ones you like the best, please.

Any suggestions on what I can do with them?
I was thinking of putting them on crisp white notecards
with some rose or love poetry. Suggestions welcome.