Saturday, October 31, 2009

Origins of Halloween 28/365

I know people from all walks of life. Pagans, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists... I like and respect them all. We are each endowed with free will to choose our path in life. In return for my tolerance, I ask for tolerance in return.

I choose not to celebrate Halloween. However, I don't care if you celebrate it, Samhain, or any other festival common to this time of the year. Go for it...I want ya to. But I'm not going to.

I pulled the following from

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.
The History of Halloween.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

The apostle Paul wrote: “I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:20-22, New International Version) He also asked: “What common interest can there be between goodness and evil? How can light and darkness share life together? How can there be harmony between Christ and the devil? What can a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Phillips)

My 365 picture represents what I probably looked like to my children when I wouldn't let them do the Halloween thing either.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise (Or Don't Believe Everything You Hear) 27/365

I don't know how many of you know the saga of my stepson, Dakota, but the kid has had a tough row to hoe most of his life. His mom lost custody of him when he was 9 for manufacturing meth, he has ADHD we can't afford to treat and up until yesterday we were led to believe he was borderline "Special ed" material besides being told to look for a military school for him.

We braved the weather to go to parent-teacher conferences at Wasson High School. After having received another dismal CSAP report (state assessment test) last week I was prepared for the worst. But starting with teacher #1 through teacher #6 we were told time after time how well he was doing, what a pleasure he was to have in class and how much potential he has. Teacher #1 named him his most favorite student. Teacher #2 made him Student of the Month. Teacher #3 thinks he could be skipped ahead one or two semesters in algebra. Teacher #4 praised his conduct, effort and leadership skills. Teacher #5 talked about his creativity and his help in keeping others in his group under control. Teacher #6, Drama class, told us he improves every day and she hopes he'll join her class again.

Quite frankly I was shedding small tears of joy through the whole experiance, as I am now. I am just so proud that he rose above what everybody thought or said last year. I am ashamed that I took their word for things without investigating further. Of course the math teacher did bring out a good point. When we told her about the Special ed thing she looked at Dakota and asked "Did you reach inside yourself and determine to do better?" he blushed and nodded yes. He told her he was tired of having his dad's foot up his ass too.

My 365 pic is me and Dakota at the Garden of the Gods back in 2005 right after Hurricane Katrina hit. I had come out to visit Jack who was working trying to get a decent place to live and to retrieve Dakota from his summer visit with Mommy Kim.

Side note: Mommy is "in jail" again. She's on work release though so she stopped by yesterday to see Dakota. That's real punishment huh? Tool around town and visit while you are being "reprimanded" for various repeated infractions...Don't get me started. Dakota went over to her house for the weekend to take his little brother Trick or Treating.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snow Frog 26/365

create animated gif

Made a snow frog for my friends in camfrog today then got the idea to do the little animated thingy for my 365 pic . OMG I slay myself:|

Anyways here's the snow frog/snow turkey.

ETA: I have been told that this is not in fact a snow frog or snow turkey but a mutant mass of cold white frozen water molecules that happens to have buggy eyes and a pink scarf.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snow Shawl 25/365

I live in Colorado. It snows early here. We love it coz we'll take moisture in any form we can get it in. I guess we'll just stay home and watch it fall.

Dakota humored me and took this picture. This is the shawl that lives on the back of my chair ready to warm me up when needed. I got the yarn at the Dollar Tree on 19th and Uintah. Can't beat paying $1 for a $6 ball of yarn!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WANTED: For Being Too Cool 24/365

Last year I went to a 3 day music fest with my internet friends right before I took on the challenge of caring for my dying mother. I made this poster in honor of my friend Mike aka guitar_strangler

Monday, October 26, 2009

StichMAP Mama and kiddos 23/365

I got to meet a new friend from the Yahoo StitchMAP (a mentor and apprentice program) group. Shari and her family were absolutely delightful and Shari is full of information that should benefit me in my crazy quilt business. I am blessed to live in this community! (Yeah like I didn't know that already!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Scenes From The Craft Show 22/365

I'm still in shock after selling at my first craft show in years. I just realized I didn't get a picture of the walking sticks either...dang it!!!!
WE went grocery shopping yesterday and today I am doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom and knitting. Oh I also played guitar for my friends in camfrog for about an hour. That felt good.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Spirit if not in Body 21/365

This picture is pushing the boundaries of what some may call self-portraiture but it suits me just fine thank-you-very-much. It's my name on an island beach on the South Pacific drawn there by my friend Meg....I bet you wish you had your name on a beach there don't ya?

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Grocery Money HAS BEEN MADE!!! 20/365

Woot! I sold enough stuff to buy groceries. It's funny how little things like that can make you happy. I saw a lot of people I knew and got to meet some new friends. That being said I need to go lay down coz I'M OLD!!!!!!!!!

This is me and my friend Cindy from knitting...she lent me the doily board that still hangs on my wall...whoops.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh to be At The Garden of the Gods Again 19/365

I'm frantically getting ready for the Craft Show tomorrow. A part of me wishes I was at The Garden of the Gods hanging out and taking pictures.

Jack and I went to Vera's for tables. After setting them up in the garage for a dry run I packed up what I could in the trunk of the car. I'll worry about pricing stuff tomorrow. Some of it is already priced the quilt kits and fabric.

I'll be diversified that's for sure. I'll have knitted hats, scarves, fingerless gloves. I'll have beaded lanyards and bracelets. I'll have the crazy quilt wall hangings, kits, blocks, fabrics. I'll have the walking sticks. I even have a few doilies. *Shows off proficiency in needle arts*

I hope to get a lot of promo pictures if nothing else!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Looking for Sticks 18/365

This story took place about a month ago. We went up Rampart Range Rd to look for sticks for our business. I didn't realize that there were no stands of aspen till about the 10 mile mark...past the now defunct shooting range. It was a glorious day to be in the timber! Guess who found the most sticks? Guess who isn't the picky one? Jack has a good eye but he's more "discerning" so I was the winner again with 4 useful pieces of wood.

Shown are some of the finished art (not from the ones we harvested that day) and a close up of the elk stick.

My 365 pic is my shadow....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Again with the cookies 17/365

Jack has me scared. He says Branden Borremans from KKTV says that a snow storm is coming. (This straight from must be true..."Meteorologist Branden Borremans says we're expecting a system that could bring rain and snow to the area. Expect it late Tues into Wed.") You know what that means don't ya? COOKIES!!! Must bake cookies. Must eat cookies! Ok I got that out of my system...move along...there's nothing to see here...

We have been busy little bees (besides baking and pigging out). See the display Jack built me? Ain't it sweet? (Special thanks to my sister, Judy, for suggesting the cardboard cutout thingy) He's working on one to hold the walking sticks too. I have to cut some felt strips to glue on the inside of the circles so the sticks won't get scratched. I'll get to that after I finish this cookie :P

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Milkweed Project 16/365

Oh I wish the dang blog was up and running for The Milkweed Project but nooooooo it's got a glitch or something...Anyways, Dakota and I both contributed our interpretation of milkweed fluff....he used fun fur and a large hook and I used a small hook and 30 weight crochet thread. If I find out the blog is back up I'll link to it in the future.

I had Dakota help in an effort to give him something to do for the few days it was just he and I here at the house this past summer. He's proud to be a part of something big. (The Milkweed Art installation will travel the country for several years to come)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Make New Friends but Keep the Old 15/365

I had such a good time over the past few days at the PPQG Quilt Show. I got to work with several guild members, pick their brains about business opportunities, explain quilts, and best of new friends!

That's Julie in front of the blue quilt. She didn't piece it but she quilted it. She got laid off and went ahead and bought a long arm machine to try to make some $$$ doing what she loves. The pinwheel quilt is one she pieced AND quilted.

Next we have My BFF, Leslie, in front of her Fiber Pirate Art Quilt I told the story on it about 50 times at LEAST! The Stonehenge/Hale Bopp comet quilt is hers too.

My 365 pic o' the day is me and my new friend, Connie. We met on the Yahoo CQE list. She crazy quilts and does some awesome work. I hope to see her at guild meeting Wednesday.

And last but not least...I found out there really IS a quilt police...I just hope he never catches me mixing my cottons and my polys and not squaring up my blocks before sewing them togetehr!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Becky and the Chocolate Box Quilt 14/365

Here's me with my Chocolate Box CQ. The quilt show was a blast. Maybe next year someone will figure out how to advertise it and more people will come. I'll do a longer post showing the awesomeness of a room full of spectacular quilts at a future time. Gotta cut this short so I can get ready for day two.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It wasn't MY FAULT! 13/365

It wasn't MY FAULT! Let me repeat...IT WASN'T MY FAULT! My stupid internet was out yesterday for the first time in over a year. I guess they didn't understand my need to post a picture of my self EVERY-DANG-DAY!!! I called them finally to make sure it was them and not me...yep "I'm sorry for the inconvenience but there is an outage in your area"

Anyways here's the picture I did have's one Dakota took that I use for the basis of my Google Avatar...the little one you see when I comment on or follow your blog>>>>>

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hey Look I'm on TV!!!!!! 12/365

I recently did a new youtube video whilst wearing one of my doofy hats. I put a call out to everyone I have made one for to try to get a picture of them wearing their hat while watching my video. OK that didn't work but Jaine did send me this cool shot. I give you...Day #12 of my 365...On TV....

I took my Challenge quilt to Ruth's passed all the criteria with flying colors (Ha I knew it would!) Evidently the embroidery thread counted as a COLOR CHIP...I fretted about that damn coral color for nothing lol! The ladies there were duly impressed with it. Yay me.

I also joined a new yahoo group called StitchMap...more on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Challenge Quilt Explained Day # 11/365

I finally finished the Challenge Quilt!! Can anyone say "Blood Sweat and Tears?"

Here is a run down of the rules and how I interpreted them

1. The 2009 Quilt Challenge is "Tropical Dreams" Your kit is $5 and includes a fat quarter of fabric, 3 paint chips and the rules.

Of course now I can't find the rest of the fat's gotta be here somewhere. Well maybe I can get a pic of it in a block I didn't use. Ok's the blue/green/wavy stuff next to the yellow in those blocks....

2. The design criteria for entry acceptance:

  • Technique(s) used in the construction of the quilt is your choice. Examples: hand or fusible applique, hand or machine pieced, foundation pieced,etc. The quilt must be hand or machine quilted by YOU> (Check...everything was done by me tyvm)
  • Visually present at least a 2"x2" piece of the fat quarter. You may use as much of this fabric as desired and additional fat quarters may be purchased ( it in several of the ocean blocks)
  • Contain at least one color from each paint chip. 1 fabric for each paint chip (Check...the coral/pinks was the hardest but Jack and I figured it out together)
  • Contain at least on traditional black of your choosing. Examples :Log Cabin, Nine Patch, Snails Trail (Check...they're wonky but I have four patches in the corners)
  • Contain at least one tropical plant: Example: Palm Tree, Orchid, Hibiscus (Check...I used scrapbook stickers as my basis for these and embroidered some for good measure)
  • Contain at least one tropical animal, fish or sea shell. Example : Toucans, Parrots, Tigers (Check...I have sea shells, fish a monkey and a lizard.)
  • Maker must apply at least three forms of embellishments. Examples: buttons, coins,beads, etc. (Check, check and double CHECK LOL!)
  • Quilt finished size: minimum 30" x30" and maximum 60" x 60" (Check.... mine is 39" x 39")
  • A quilt label must be stitched or securely attached to the back lower edge (Check...gotter done)
Then blah blah blah other stuff...check check check...I did it! I did a challenge quilt! I take it to Ruth's Stitchery tomorrow and it will hang in the quilt sshow this weekend...then we vote on the top 8 at the next guild meeting, Oct 21, 2009...Those may go to National to compete against a multitude of Tropical Dreams.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Go ILLINI! Day #10/365

In about a month the 2009-2010 Illinois men's basketball season kicks off...WOOOOOOOOOOO!! I can't wait. There's nothing like screaming at the TV over a good BB game lol!

I would like to take this opportunity to educate my BFF Leslie...Repeat after me..." ILL-EYE'-NIGH"
Say it again..."ILL-EYE'-NIGH" The crowd at the Assembly Hall in Champaign-Urbana take turns shouting I-L-L....answered ryhmes with that. Now the next time you say "Ill-eeen-knee" I will turn you over my knee and spank you (don't think I can? uh huh...keep on keeping on)

That's me in my mom's Illinois football XXX giant t-shirt she insisted on wearing right up to the end...I miss you mom...GO ILLINI!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It was an Ice Stormy Day #9/365

Wowsers...woke up to a mess...heard last night there were a ton of wrecks due to the weather then THIS?!? I think I'll stay my happy self home today again.

Good news is I did three new youtubes (Link over there>>>). Bad news is I am going STIR CRAZY!!!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forgotten Pictures Day # 8/365

I was looking for a certain picture I wanted to share with an internet friend in Africa who happens to know someone in Kankakee, IL and I found some pics of the baby quilt I made for Sadie Jane that I don't think I shared. So here they both are. I am using the train station pic as my 365. It might technically be cheating but's better than nothing!

I am getting really really close to finishing the challenge quilt. It would help if Jack would share the TV so I could sew and concentrate. *Storms off to wrestle the controller away*

PS if you click on the pics they will enlarge for details.