Thursday, January 12, 2017

Family Tree in Cross Stitch . . .

My older daughter was married in July, 2016.  I wanted to make her and her husband something special for Christmas. I knew she was very interested in researching her family tree, as well as her new family's genealogy.  I've written a couple of blogs about each of our experiences.  This blog will be a continuation of sorts.

I like to make unique things. When I thought about it making a family tree I got excited because I knew my daughter and son in-law would appreciate it and it could even become a family heirloom. I started looking for cross stitch patterns, but much to my dismay, most family trees begin with one person and record their maternal and paternal sides. I wanted a tree that would be a record of both sides of their families and have room for their children.  I came upon a picture online of a large tree with the silhouette of couple under it.

I thought about how I might be able to turn this into what I wanted to make. First I would need to make it larger and turn it into a graph pattern.  Thank goodness for online sites that will take any picture and turn it into a graph for cross stitch or crochet. Here's what I got:

The next thing I wanted to do is take my daughter's favorite engagement picture and try to substitute it for the couple in the picture. I edited the picture down to the couple, changed the color to black and white, changed the size to match the size of the couple in the picture and use that as my new silhouette. I outlined both my daughter and her husband so I could use two different colors, a light and dark gray, to distinguish between the two bodies. Here is the graph and the cross stitch equivalent.

With the silhouette of the couple in place, I went ahead and finished the tree and all it's branches.  It was easy enough to place the couple's names and wedding date in the center of the heart made by the branches.  It was a little more difficult trying to add the names of their parents and grandparents and not disturb the flow of the branches. Using a light and dark green floss for the names, I counted and slightly eliminated a few stitches to allow the names to fit in.  The dark green floss was used to highlight the "family" surname on both sides. Once it was done and framed I couldn't wait to give it to them for Christmas.  I can add a title to it "Our Family Tree," and children's names if they want down the road.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Pussy Cat Hat . . .

In September 2015 I went back to crocheting. I thought I'd make a couple of blankets for Christmas and call it a day. Instead I have been crocheting almost non-stop ever since.  I've used many, many pounds of yarn and made dozens of things. After not crocheting for about 25 years or so, I found that, like Stella, I got my groove back. I started thinking that while I can crochet, maybe I should plan for the future, in addition to making gifts for the present. I've made quite a few little baby things even though there are no babies in the near future. And I asked my newly married daughter if she would like me to make her anything. She kept telling me she didn't need anything right now. I was thinking maybe some heirloom quality items she could save for the future like a table runner, but her mindset is in the present.

And that brings me to her one request . . . a pussy cat hat in pink. She plans to attend a women's march in a couple of weeks and wants to wear the hat.  She is making a statement for women's rights. I am doing my part by getting the yarn and crocheting. The hat only took a couple of hours or so to make. What baby wants, baby gets.  Here I am modeling it. I hope you get a good look because I have a feeling I will remove the picture shortly . . . and I was right, not a great look on me.

P.S. My daughter liked the hat so my mission was accomplished!

And here is the crochet pattern for anyone who is interested in making one of their own: Pussy Cat Hat Pattern in Crochet

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

People Come, People Go . . .

I haven't blogged much lately. Last year I only posted seven blogs. It was a busy year and there are only so many wedding blogs one can write. Then there was the election. Politics is a touchy subject. People will read something and agree with it or not. The number of stories on a daily basis was, and still is, overwhelming. I read and heard enough about all of it not to want to write anything. And who cares about my opinion anyway? And this is a small, personal blog. I can't always blog things I would like to blog because the people I would be referencing have the link and could read it. The last thing I would want to do is offend or hurt anyone's feelings, so I censor myself. But I find that even when you don't intend to hurt or offend anyone, it still happens.

Today I have an experience I would like to write about, but I won't. Instead I will say relationships can be complicated, even when they don't seem so. I thought I understood people, especially those I know personally, but I don't. I have had people close to me who are willing to discuss issues that come up between us for the sake the relationship and others who will just cut me off without a word of warning, without any regard for the numbers of years we have known each other and all that has transpired in that time. It leaves me to wonder if they ever valued me or the relationship in the first place?

I'm sure many, if not most, people have gone through similar experiences one way or another. You can't make sense of it, you just have to deal with it. If it happens enough times, with different people, you can think about it, maybe grieve the loss and eventually move on. You can't control what the other person chooses to do or how they react. They have to do what they feel is best for them. And I get that, even though it's not what I would do. I wish them well in their lives and in all they do. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."

Depending on the depth of feelings and the involvement in each other's lives, some people can and do leave a void in your life that needs to be filled. How each one of us handles that varies. I have found that keeping busy and distracted allows for time to help the healing process. And, the way I look at it is that it gives me the opportunity and time to spend with family and others who are close to me. Life goes on.