Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time for some GIRL POWER!

Sometimes my favorite poem pops into my head when I or a friend of mine needs a little incentive to stay strong, stay the course,  or keep the faith.  Other times, it’s just comical.

This is the poem:

The Female of the Species

WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man's timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn't his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other's tale—
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Now tell me, who is the deadlier of the species here? My brother or me? Frankly, my brother thinks I could be mean enough to come out ahead… lol
(Still haven't gotten that fall turkey, though!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

2 quick quilt tops

Dear Reader,

How have you been? The Sarcastic household is doing well. Work is busy as usual. The hubs is one week away from being home for good. For those familiar with the military, this means ACAP-ing will be complete and official retirement date will be Feb. 1. So, that’s several weeks to do nothing but hunt our property (which we just decided we will extend the lease for a total of 12 months now, with additional time still to be determined) and to sort through his years of collected stuff. (Military uniforms, old police uniforms, etc. Again, those familiar with military men probably understand the mentality, “I may need it for a deployment,” or just “someday”.) I’ve gone through 4 household moves, essentially by myself, unpacking and packing. Whether we stay or move again, the next one will have FAR LESS BOXES. Yes, I mean it. It’s always been such a stress point for me and one I could hide (even though it really bugged me) in our other homes but here, the place is just too small. It may sound crazy, but it is what it is. Mostly, I don’t care if he wants to keep it all, I just want it all to have a home. That’s my wish. :)

Anyway, I am also excited because I finally got my sewing mo jo back. It’s been on hiatus but yesterday, I decided enough was enough. I made this top for a co-worker of mine. She’s a sweet lady who truly deserves to be reminded to enjoy her downtime. The Moda Make Life line was perfect. I just wanted something simple so I took fat quarters and made this top. I will back it with that wonderfully soft minkee! A butter yellow one, I think. Just perfect to cuddle under and read, I hope. Or, keep at her desk if she wants a little comfort at the office.
This second quilt is a quilt for a one year old for Christmas. Or rather, it might be. I think it’s better suited for a toddler given the chenille. Regardless, from the time I designed it to sewing it, I have not been a fan. My kids say it looks good (and please note, it’s not laying too flat in the photo since I just threw it down) but I am not convinced. My thought for the quilting was wavy lines in the sashing. Up ad down on the brown, side to side on the green and blue. Then stipple and shadow outline in the wonky blocks. I doubt I’ll give it to the original recipient but then, maybe by the time I quilt it I’ll like it again. If not, I have to figure something else out. Ugh…
Either way, two more tops done and waiting to be quilted.

So I ask again, how have you been, my dear reader?

Warm Regards,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2010

Oh, I am SO late joining this. There is one day left but you know what? That's okay.  I've been browsing and will continue browsing all the wonderful quilts and blog notes about each until I get to them all. Such inspiration!

Amy, of AmysCreativeSide, is once again hosting the festival extravaganza. Thank you, Amy! Your quilt 'shows' are iconic, as far as I am concerned.  A special thanks to all the great sponsors also, your support is generous!

If you, readers, have been hiding under a box or in a hunting blind like I have been the last week or so, click on over with this link and enjoy the show.

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

For my entry, I am enering my Pink Trip Around the World quilt. There are a couple posts on this in my blog history and I am linking those here for you.
Post 1
Post 2

However, the short version of this is I started this as a mystery quilt with an online group of quilters.  I chose to challenge myself by making 2 sizes in 2 different colors palettes using only stash fabrics. I chose colors I don't normally care for, pink and peach.  Both turned out beautifully.

This pink one, though, it took on a life of its own and touched my heart in the process.
As I started working the mystery, I learned of a friend from highschool who was walking in the AVON walk in honor of her deceased mother (whom I also knew by association as I was growing up). It was October, pink was everywhere and as I sewed, I couldn't help but remember her mom, and this friend, this friend's sister, brother and now, this friend's daughter.  It was only as I sewed. I set aside the quilt top for other projects, it didn't really cross my mind until I walked past it and saw it and then I'd think of my friend again. I started to think I'd finish it up and send it out to her but questioned that decision.

About 6 months after completing the top, I felt the need to dig it out and finish it. I just knew it had to go to my friend. I contacted her husband to confirm he thought it was a good idea and put it on the frame to quilt.  I had no notion of the quilting pattern but decided to just start. I ended up with meandering daisies.
The finished product is beautiful and I just felt warm and fuzzy making it.  I had a purpose, I didn't have any conscious choice or thought in putting this together almost from the beginning. It just came together.  I know, I know, I know, in my heart, my friend's mom was adding her skill and love to this quilt. 

The note I received after I sent it (Post 2) just confirmed it for me.

Lessons learned on this one?
1) If your instinct is to "go with the flow", let go and just go.  There's a reason and you won't know why until later.
2) Step out of your comfort zone in using colors and fabrics. I never would have thought the calicos and pastels would be so pretty, but they were and I loved them.
3) Reach out and give of yourself, if you feel its the right thing to do. Knowing the recipient or not knowing them well, it doesn't matter. If your gut is saying do it, do.  I feel honored to have had the privelge of sending a gift form her mom and frankly, I don't think there is any other way to describe how that came together.
4) Angels exist. :)

Thank you for stopping by! 

Cheers! Beck