Theme ~ Photo Albums / Image Storage and Access

This week’s theme is Photo Albums / Image Storage and Access. il_570xN.742909206_7a1z

When conjuring up my weekly theme schedule I often list things that I would like to find time for in my week. Sometimes the suggestion works and sometimes it is just not possible for me to add another thing to my list.

Not sure how this week will pan out but even if I don’t get to organizing my printed images into the albums accumulated, the topic is pertinent this week.

This last week the United States experienced two back-to-back seemingly unwarranted police killings. As if these killings were not thoroughly jolting, a sniper murdered 5 Dallas cops and injured 7 others at a memorial gathering for the two killed earlier in the week.

It is difficult to decipher the news in an unbiased way which has lead me to research and ponder these events in the fleeting glimpses.

The data is mindblowing!

Here we are in an age of data and image capture like never before. Lavish Reynolds captured the immediate aftermath of a Minnesota cop shooting her boyfriend, Philando Castile, at letting him bleed out in front of her and her 4-year-old daughter from her passenger seat. The video she delivered was live streamed on Facebook, allowing her to call for help in real time. (Here is a GoFundMe set up to help her.)

Two videos have come to the forefront of the police murder of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge too.

Talk about Photo Albums and Image Access!

Thanks to technology for allowing widespread photo/video capture making it easy to see that the behavior displayed in these interactions is clearly inhuman. The United States has arrived at a place where we need to assess our human behavior and change it. We have to stop promoting hate, judgment, comparison and fear replacing them with calm, educated eloquence and persistent love, understanding, and patience. The path into this light will be beneficial for the planet. Without this nearly 180-degree change in our people’s view, human demise seems inherent.

Jane Goodall said

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, And you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

I want to spread love and compassion – introduce the dark-side of culture to beauty in the light and welcome them in.

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Oh, and as for the Photo Albums / Image Storage and Access theme, I plan to stick printed photographs, from days gone by, into books with pages using those little sticky old-school photo corners over the next couple weeks. I like the idea of keeping some images private and accessible, the hand turning of pages and sitting close on a couch reminiscing with close friends and family members.

Theme - Water Sports

header for monthly calendar You want to read something funny?  Here is a post I wrote last night - great aspirations of doing more:

I’ve been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding for the last couple of years and am going to reserve a board rental before this post goes live.

This week’s theme is Water Sports.

A favorite childhood memory is visiting family friends on a lake in New Hampshire or Maine one summer. Their kids were older than us.  They were super cool and friendly. The daughter had long blonde hair and I was envious. They had a motorboat and water skis. I didn’t have the courage to try skiing but it was fun riding in the boat and watching from there.

Violet is a swimmer. She joined a summer swim team and looks forward to practice all week. She doesn’t want to go to meets, just practice and learn different strokes and build her comfort level in the water.

Before my daughters were born I was a daily runner. Ever since, I've suffered from self-inflicted guilt of not running or replacing that demanding form of exercise with another that feels as good and clears my head as well. Violet has inspired me to get a one-piece suit, some flippers and goggles and try for some serious swim exercise with her at the lake.

This week will mark the beginning of a new solitary exercise and of me overcoming my fear of deep water swimming by initiating a family exercise and researching a running replacement. These themes are designed to egg me in a desired direction. Stay tuned.

End of Silly Post!

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This morning I got up early, after going to bed late and was super frustrated.  Initially my frustration was directed at my husband, then my kids, and finally, as I was heading out the door without the food I need to be healthy or the work needed to move me toward my highest priority I realized that I simply cannot add another thing to my list of tasks.    Here's to simplifying and staying focused on getting over the hurdles right in front of me.    IMG_8952So, I will not be stand-up paddleboarding this summer.  I will focus my attention of the uncountable loose ends that need tying before we head across the pond in December for an extended stay in Ireland.

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As far as Water Sports go, I'll be sticking to what I know, swimming at the town beach with my kids before work and relaxing on an ocean beach on Cape Cod in a few weeks.  Can't wait!IMG_5820

Freaks, Sideshows, and Halloween Inspiration

10.06.15 Carri's painting-1

 

Every week we gather a group of products we love around a theme from Etsy - an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items and supplies for making.  This week's theme is Freaks/Sideshows.  Weekly 'Treasuries' are normally posted on Mondays.  Click on the images below and be taken to a place on Etsy where you can purchase, and find more information about (and usually a bunch more pictures of) that item.  Both of Crispina's online shops are located at Etsy.com along with a whole host of other handmakers, vintage resellers, and material retailers.  If you have a minute, leave a comment at the bottom of this post, it is always nice to hear your thoughts and build a little community right here in cyberspace.  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living.  Enjoy!

This month we are gearing up for Halloween and conjuring up creative original costumes.  Join us at Shire City Sanctuary on October 24 we are holding an Introduction to Sewing class from 2-4pm.  This class is designed for adults or adult/kid pairs.

With that said, take a gander around this week's treasury.  October is in full bloom! Let us inspire your Halloween festivities with enough time to pull some sort of wonderful costume together as we celebrate all saints ~ of any creed.

Victorian Sideshow Circus Fr...

$10
Old Style - Crustacea Mini S...

$20
Sideshow Alley - Carnival Ga...

$9
Detroit River Mermaid Art P...

$16
Print 8x10" - The Tatt...

$12
Circus Clowns Carnival Sides...

$4.4
Huge Famous Vintage Travelin...

$35000
Circus Freaks Snake Charmer ...

$6
Boris Shrunken Head Dangler

$18
Melancholy Kids at the Circu...

$55
Needle felted wool sculpture...

$70
Father's Day Tattooed St...

$14.9
The Sideshow at Coney Island...

$12
Custom Carnival Freak Show S...

$46
ON SALE Circus freaks Siames...

$20.25
Tattooed Lady doll

$120

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Blog Theme - Gentle Leaders

79f0a4c63d5fca8c6fcdb3694e088ac2 As Martin Luther King Jr Day approaches, here in the USA, we are reminded of the eloquence, clarity, and peaceable nature of this fallen leader. This week’s theme, Gentle Leaders, brings to mind many internationally recognized political Gentle Leaders, Mahatma Ghandi, Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, There are others, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield changed the way the world does business in 1978 with the founding of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Sharon Charde changed the way I see the world with gentle guidance in her counselor’s office. Who/What are your gentle leaders? Do you have a mentor or guru who deserves a shout out? Each Friday, a column here called One Thousand Words features a collection of images submitted by readers based on that week’s theme. Send an image with 1000 Words in the subject line by Wednesday night to Crispina ffrench@gmail.com for inclusion this week!

May the world find a way to be Gently Led to global harmony.

Blog Theme - Handsewing, Tatting, Embroidery, Cross Stitch

Sweater Chop Shop at Shire City Sanctuary Last Friday and Saturday Shire City Sanctuary hosted my workshop entitled The Sweater/ Sweatshirt Chop Shop. As with all my workshops, a whole bunch of overwhelmingly amazing students turned up from far flung places from West Stockbridge, Ma to Northern Ontario! We spent two solid days delving into creative high-jinx cutting and hand sewing garments from the thrift shop into personalized wearable art.  Finished pieces were as noteworthy as makers, ranging in age from 13-60 this time around.

Witnessing the empowerment that free-range creativity has on a roomful of willing workers makes me know this teaching path is the right one for me. Hand sewing is magic in my summation. The simple act of pushing thread through fabric with nothing more than ones hands can transform a flat piece to anything imaginable. Inexpensive, Simple, Transformative, and Ancient.  Magic Certainly.

Maybe you are a hand sewer? What is your favorite kind of hand sewing? Each Friday, a column here called One Thousand Words features a collection of images submitted by readers based on that week’s theme. Send an image with 1000 Words in the subject line by Wednesday night to Crispina ffrench@gmail.com for inclusion this week!01.06.15 Handsewing 2

Blog Theme - Diaries, Journals, Journaling

There was a time when I ‘journaled’ every day. It was a long time too. Learned a lot about myself and enjoyed the download of information, thoughts, and ideas swirling inside my head. Over time my journal turned into a notebook where meeting notes are jotted, Where I sketch, and dash fleeting ideas that seem worth revisiting. While writing this its occurring to me that these notebooks are in fact journals, just my style has changed. They contain all sorts of information that marks a place in time or reminds me of the day, or experience. This week our theme is Dairies, Journals, Journaling.  Do you keep a journal or diary?  What is you favorite type of book to spill into? Send a picture of something that pertains to this week's theme of Diaries, Journals and Journaling to Crispinaffrench@gmail.com to be included in our Friday column called 1000 words.  No captions, just images.

12.01.14 Journals

Blog Theme ~ Dressing in Layers

Layering-Like-a-Pro-Sweaters It is daylight savings day when an extra hour of delicious time swirls around the day making everything a little less rushed. It is also BRISK, windy and COLD in our neck of the woods. This weather that I love still never fails to surprise me each year with its initial unwelcome slap of chill, that dissipates as my wardrobe completes the transition to Layers.

We have lots of things that need buttoning up outdoors before the snow flies. As I sit in our cozy house, my hubby is outside wrapping our primitive foundation with its annual leaf blanket blocking out the cold for the long winter. Early this morning my walk with the dogs was well lit and cozy as I tripped along down our quiet dirt road in five layers of clothing. Wool is a must, as is the correct fit – keeping the updrafts out and allowing building heat to work itself out on the hearty climb home.

Dressing in layers is key and something that not everyone has in the know. It is important to have a close fitting first layer. I usually go with a t-shirt and in very cold weather wear cashmere as a base layer. Second layer today is a light long sleeved pullover, followed by a close fitting wool vest, then a big wool zipper cardigan, long enough to cover my butt. Today, this was topped off with an old oversized NorthFace fleece someone left at my house more than 10 years ago - great for keeping the wind out and cleaning our coop.

This week we are focusing on dressing in layers. It is comfortable, allows for quick temperature adjustments throughout the day, and will help keep your heat set a degree or two lower reducing the need for quite so much fossil fuel.e8539ba676e5d1dea99153cb13fcd6c5

Are you interested in playing along?  Leave a comment below about how how you wear your cold weather wardrobe.  We encourage participation in this blog and ask readers to email in a weekly image that speaks to the theme of the week.  Just send your images off to: Crispinaffrench@gmail.com by Wednesday evening for inclusion in One Thousand Words, our Friday column - a gallery of pictures submitted by our readership.  Captions include the photographers name and business name (if applicable).

Blog Theme - Halloween/Day of the Dead

Bat spider Sifting seems to be a lot of how I spend my parenting time. Trying my best to filter out exposure to the world’s atrocities while maintaining a gentle touch with current events and youth culture. When we stop and assess there are a lot of really great things happening in the world. This week we are featuring a ceremonial perspective of Halloween and The Day of the Dead. It is especially pertinent for my family this year, as it seems that FINALLY after nearly FIVE years, the artist creating my parents’ headstone will have the work complete. We will certainly participate in the obligatory mischief and candy hording of trick or treating. We will also spend an evening lauding Primm and John who we all miss.

I took my 7 and 8 year old daughters to the fabric store the other day to get fabric for making Halloween costumes. Violet, 7 wants to be Spider Girl and Lucy, 8, chose Bat Girl. I am pretty out of the super-hero-loop so went to Google to get some images. Holy CRAP! Female super heros are just so slutty! Seriously today’s cartoon world’s depiction of women is abysmal. After sifting through literally hundreds of images I was able to find one for each of my sweet littles that seemed safe to me.

If everything goes as planned, Spider Girl, Bat Girl, a Sugar Skullled Momma and various other ghouls will have high-jinx in the cemetery as October passes into November for mischief, candy, and oh so much more~

 

Are you interested in playing along?  Leave a comment below about how how you plan to celebrate Halloween or The Day of the Dead.  We welcome your participation in this blog by sending in an image that speaks to the theme of the week.  Just email it to Crispinaffrench@gmail.com by Wednesday evening for inclusion in One Thousand Words, our Friday column - a gallery of pictures submitted by our readership.  Captions include the photographers name and business name (if applicable).

 

Blog Theme - Spring Bulbs

field-of-daffodils-david-freuthalThis week I am planting spring bulbs in my yard. We have lived in my husband’s family’s home for two years now and have been putting it off as my hubby threatens to dig a new foundation here and grade out a slope there. My father was house proud. He was an avid gardener with lovely blooming plantings from one corner of his small lot to the other. He indulged in perennials of all forms from trees to the sweetest early snowdrops. I share his affinity for nature and gardening. I am married to an earth mover. My husband loves trucks and large equipment. He drags whole trees from the woods with his giant tractor.

We have agreed to keep part of our large swath of Berkshire forest free from heavy tires. This is where my bulbs will be planted. Snowdrops – for my dad, lots of Daffodils to welcome the new life of Spring after our long Massachusetts winter, and checkerboard lilies because I just love them. It feels like home when there is a garden. This is my start, the vegetable garden fence will be installed this fall too so planting can begin in early spring. The thought of this brings calm and wholeness to mind.120069189_snowdrop_375279c

 

Blog Theme - DIY (Do It Yourself)

Sewing Thread Each week there is a blog theme that usually has something to do with what is going on in my world.  This week we are focusing on DIY and The Maker Movement.  (DIY means Do It Yourself.)  This movement has been compared to The Industrial Revolution by The Christian Science Monitor in a cover article published last summer.

This theme connection to my life is deep but most notably is the weekend of workshops I'm teaching in my studio on October 4th and 5th.  You can join in the learning and making and go home with a sweater +/or rug you have made yourself, along with a head full of confidence and knowledge to continue your making process.

More detailed posts about my upcoming workshops will post Thursday and Friday but let me just whet your whistle with a few details.  Class size is limited to 12 in my light-filled former Roman Catholic Church studio at Shire City Sanctuary.  The day is filled with uplifting creativity full of possibilities.  Amazing people gather bringing with them a range of experience and ability.  No prior experience is necessary and each student finishes the day or weekend with a huge sense of empowerment, accomplishment, and a finished product (or two) to take home.  Workshop tuition is $195/day.  (I do offer tuition assistance for one person in need at each class I teach.)

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to walk the DIY path my whole life through.  Whatever you choose to accomplish, all you really need is confidence to try, and chances are, that you will be successful.  If you are looking for a little confidence boost, come to my workshop/s and leave with just what you need to take the plunge into something magical.

Oh, and if you are interested in playing in a different way, leave a comment below about how DIY Makers Movement has come into your life.   You can also participate in this, here, blog by sending me an image that speaks to the theme of the week.  Just email it to Crispinaffrench@gmail.com by Wednesday evening for inclusion in One Thousand Words my Friday column - a gallery of pictures submitted by our readership.  Captions include the photographers name and business name (if applicable).

Sweater in Process