Summer Beauty

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Last winter I spent hours pouring over a catalog from David Austin Roses. It seemed the variables were endless…color, climbing or bush, longer stemmed or no. And I was limiting myself to two. I finally managed to squish all those variables into two rose bushes. I had to remind myself that my roses wouldn’t necessarily look like the catalog. But oh, boy! This is even better!

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Ruminations of an Opinionated Woman

This post has been weeks in the making. We’ll see if an 8 PM written rendition has the same punch as its 11 PM sleepy, disorganized counterpart always seems to have.

This blog has been sleeping for the past six months. No, we have not gone into hibernation or fallen off the edge of the earth or stopped creating. We’ve both been too busy living to post our creative endeavors. Actually, I’m not sure that I’m really busier as a teacher than I was as a student. I do, however, get my creative fix very differently now. Maybe its the change from receiving to giving. Instead of blowing people away with my creations (exaggerated for effect), I work to pull creativity out of my students. Much of it is unintentional. It comes out of who I am rather than out of a drive to force my unimaginative students (or so they think) to think outside of their logical little northern Indiana boxes.

But back to the soap box that I’ve been building when I can’t sleep… I’m not sure how much of this soap box is made up of conclusions leading to convictions that I’ve been forming and what is actually just a very wordy excuse for not posting for six months. As the lull on this blog grew longer, I frequently felt guilty twinges. And just as often I stomped those twinges out because I think guilt for not blogging is irrational. What is it about a blog that gives me the freedom or even compulsion to pour out my heart to whoever stumbles across this bit of a website? Why do I work so hard to take beautiful pictures of the flawless part of my kitchen when in reality the rest of it is mediocre and far from what I consider blog-worthy? Why do I strive for perfection in the part of my life that I pour out to others? Especially when I get frustrated at the fact that some people think that everything Keturah and I make is a gigantic success.

I don’t know if my students catch on to this, but they can really get me going whenever I can lead the discussion to living counter-culturally. That means living according to and out of my Anabaptist heritage. It means not living the American dream. It means thinking hard about how my actions line up to Christ’s teachings in the Bible. I fail miserably. As I write this, I feel like a fraud. Just like I can preach lovely sermonettes to my students about the importance of loving our very near neighbors, I can sound okay on cyberspace. Only a fraction of the blog’s followers really know me. Do the opinions I type for the world to see match up to my life? I really hope so.

Do I blog counter-culturally? Or is this one place where I give in to the need to look and sound perfect? Is this a place where I meticulously follow current trends? You know blog speak…it’s the proper number of ellipses…the right amount of pouring out heart…the way fragments and run-ons are allowed.

What if I blog because I like the affirmation? Affirmation from some stranger who probably tosses likes onto anything he or she reads. But, oh, it’s so nice to see someone liked what I did.

Maybe counter-cultural blogging is absurd. Maybe it’s just Hannah not wanting to be cliché. Maybe it’s that very popular thing in our culture to be different, to be myself.

I’d love to hear opinions from friends and strangers. I’ll give you the answer I think I’ve formulated so far. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to start posting ugly pictures. I believe God created beauty and I get a rush out of creating beauty and perfection when I can. I also hope to post again soon. With less ramble and more picture next time. 🙂

The Poppy Dress

A few months ago in the post Excuses, I showed a picture of a dress I made over Easter break. I’ve been meaning to post more pictures, so finally…here you go.

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The poppy dress was another of those mental evolutions. I had enough linen left over from one of my dresses to make a dress for this little miss. After an internet search for ideas and free patterns, I discovered a poppy dress with 3-D flowers. That inspired this one.

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In an image search I found clip art that had poppies in a row very much like I did the dress. I cut out the petals using that as a pattern. That was probably the trickiest part. Next I burned the edges of the red fabric, then I was ready to sew the flowers to the dress. I used a double needle for the stems and finished it off with tiny beads for the seeds. And that’s that. Of course it took a bit longer than it took you to read this. 🙂

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I miss this little girlie since I can’t spoil her weekly.

 

Mapped Out

A few months ago I saw a wedding map drawn by Lindsey from The Postman’s Knock. Across the wall, in another study room was a friend of mine who had just passed out her wedding invitations. My friend (Virginia) likes vintage and art and maps. And, of course, spending time at interesting places with her fiancee, now husband, Kenneth. I sent her a link because I knew I couldn’t make this gift a surprise. She also thought it was a wonderful idea, and agreed to send me a list of locations.

The original idea was supposed to be for the insert in the invitations, listing the places the wedding would involve. Instead, the couple chose places special to them while they were dating. Thanks to Virginia’s directions and a few extra emails, we got pictures of all the places which I put together into one map using my calligraphy pen, India ink, and watercolors.

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The finished piece ended up involving most of my family. My little brother kindly made this frame for me out of weathered cedar. I was going to skip the glass because I didn’t know where I could get glass that would fit. Then my mom wondered about glass and said ACE Hardware would cut glass to any size I wanted. Yay! Then my dad decided I needed to rout out a space to hold the glass, which he proceeded to do for me. My mom picked up the glass that night and I had it all ready. I tacked on some cardboard we had for the back of frames and the whole thing was a nice, neat package. (It’s great to live with a crafty family! 🙂 )

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My Favorite Light

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The last few months I’ve been infatuated with warm evening sun. The light is no longer bright enough to create silhouettes of everything. Instead, everything is bathed in golden light.

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I’ve made people pose for me simply because I couldn’t let the light go to waste.

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Last night I was on my way home from town. The last of the day’s light was shining into my window. I was pretty sure these wild lilies would pair beautifully with that golden light. These lilies growing along our road did not disappoint!

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