Oh-To-Moh-Bil

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He fumbled with the door, touched the wheel with trembling fingers. He had built it using images from one of the few leafies left. A mechanic’s manual, if he’d known the words. His sisters chanted the precious beads for luck. His brother attached the miraculously pristine foh-toh-grafs of smiling girls – the mind boggled at the idea that women used to look like that.

His long hands with their seven tactile fingers briefly caressed the flaky runes, the – was it a head covering? – and turned the key. The engine fired. He exulted. No more days spent running, gathering life-sustaining fluids… It was going to save the lives of their last.

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Just another day in the life of a RWF Fictioneer. That’s Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the uninitiated: our leader who instructs us to write a one hundred word story inspired by a different image each week. We are moving towards a fictioneering movement, with 105 amazingly individual stories last week. More, perhaps, this week?

You can find Rochelle’s blog and the link to this week’s contributions here.

This week’s foh-toh-graf courtesy of Beth Carter. Thanks, Beth!

My story is 111 words this week including title. A symbolic number, perhaps?

Now, must go, must run. To test my new oh-to-moh-bil and perhaps save the world…

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FO: Saroyan shawl

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Just a quick note to show you my Saroyan shawl, which I cast off last week. Although I do know that wool garments need to be dried flat, I never really thought about it until I learned about blocking. Saroyan was my first official ‘finished object blocked’ (FOB, not a bad acronym actually) and I am utterly pleased at how the blocked shape remains… well… in shape as I wear it. Wool is truly the most amazing thing.

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I did not block aggressively (partly because I only had a small box of needles inherited from my grandmother) so I concentrated on the leaf pattern. That turned out really nicely although I wish Saroyan had been a bit wider. I loved knitting this pattern and I might cast on again, but I would increase more intensively and use more repeats to create a wider shawl.

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I am very pleased with how it turned out nevertheless and in love with the Madeline Tosh… um… I’m afraid I have to admit I do not remember which MadTosh yarn and colourway I used. The photos are fairly true to colour and there is a lovely glaze to the yarn that makes it look truly luxurious. Definitely a yarn I will use again!

I find that I am drawn to patterns that reflect the natural world. You are doing a beautiful thing when you create such luscious, useful, intricately worked objects with yarn from nature, inspired by nature.

Coco said: Who do you write for?

spring bean

Who do you write for?

Coco J. Ginger got it in one. This is part of what writing is to me. All creative effort, in fact. Wait… effort? No… creativity is nothing like an effort. It may be a challenge and it may be difficult at times, particularly when it does not work the way I want it to, but never an effort.

To me, experiencing life is all your senses conspiring to act like a huge recording studio. And it flows through me. Creativity is part of the output. Being allowed to see-hear-feel-experience other people’s spirits is a privilege.

Coincidentally (serendipitously?) my youngest daughter’s name is Colette – Coco for short.

Click the link to read Coco’s take on writing.

(Also, I must mention that this is not my photo. I got it from the net and was unable to find a source so I cannot credit it to its owner, unfortunately. But thank you, Mr, Miss or Mrs Photographer, this is a lovely picture!)

Vacant

2013-02-22 Friday Fictioneers

‘I have nothing,’ she complained. ‘I’m sitting here, staring at this screen…‘

‘Screen…?’

Disegno, Leo, sorry. Of an old, abandoned house… And I can’t think of anything.’ She sighed. It was Friday Fictioneers week three and she’d been happy with her first efforts. But now…  

‘I don’t know why you keep calling me Leo,’ he said peevishly. She turned towards the ancient mirror and said, ‘Sorry, Leonardo. I wasn’t thinking.’

The old inventor turned away. ‘Well, can’t help you. Must finish that Giocondo portrait. Her smile gives me nightmares, you know… Buona notte.’

‘So you said, Leonardo. Sogni d’oro…’

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And once again, it was time for the Friday Fictioneers. To be honest, the image did nothing for me. I wrote a story. Discarded it. Could not think of a thing. So that’s where I started…

I am already quite looking forward to Wednesdays, when the excellent Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts her chosen image for the week and challenges our nimble minds to write a one hundred-word story. (Yes, mine is 100 words exactly. Including title. And yes, I’m gloating. I’ll probably be punished for that next week.)

We have an excellent imagination between us.  No, I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to refer to myself, so go see for yourself! Click the code below to see the posts of other contributors. The link ain’t pretty (I am unable to reproduce that nifty little Inlinkz button, apparently) but it works when you click it. Sorry about that. I hope I will have it figured out next week. Help, someone?

This week’s picture was made by Janet Webb. No offence, Janet, it is not your picture’s fault I couldn’t come up with anything!

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Art(isan): Eat your vegetables, darling!

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I will never look at my veggies the same way again. Aren’t they beautiful?

Now look closer. No, even closer!

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Are you starting to see?

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These exquisite vegetables were knitted and crocheted by the Japanese textile artist Itoamika Jung Jung. She creates jewellery with them. The level of detail is astonishing and I cannot imagine the amount of miniature fussing that must be involved.

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The more I explore the world of textile crafts, the more I am in awe of the artists that create so many extraordinary works. And this, to me, is what makes crafting so attractive. Whether you are a novice or an expert, there is always something new to discover and try, a new skill to master.

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Itoami published a book on crocheted plants that I am going to try and get my hands on: Ito Ami Plants. Although I am closer to a novice than to an expert at knitting and a total, absolute initiate (‘Is “idiot” the word you were looking for, darling?’ ‘Yes I think it might be. Thank you, dear’) in crocheting, this is something I want to try…

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Find the artist’s site here.

Woolly thoughts

Manos Sagittarius

Just now I was thinking. I think I have mentioned that I think a lot and some people think I think too much. Okay. With that out of the way, I can move on to what I was thinking about. [Yes, this is a hanging preposition and you are not supposed to use them but… Let me try to move on here, for God’s sake!].

So I was thinking about a number of knitting projects I have started, and plan to start, and wish I could start… and might start at any time in the near or distant future. So many beautiful things to knit. So much wonderful yarn to knit them with. [Yes, I know. Let’s leave it be this time. Please.]

There is a little leaved decorative scarf for D’s grandmother I want to finish and block before the weekend, when we are going up North to celebrate what might be her last birthday. [D being the (more or less) adult guy around the house, the father of my two youngest children and my love interest of nearly 7 years.]

There is Madeline Tosh’s Honey Cowl that I just cast on in a lovely Manos del Uruguay silk blend. Don’t you just love that name: the Hands of Uruguay? These hands create some of the lushest yarns around. Some hand-spun, all hand-dyed in extraordinarily beautiful colours. I posted some pictures of other knits in Manos yarn here and here.

I have been eyeing that cowl for a while now. I just did not know what yarn I would use but suddenly I remembered this wonderful Manos yarn in the colourway Sagittarius (D and my biological father’s birth sign, coincidentally) that has been languishing in my stash. It will go beautifully with an ochre vintage Balenciaga bag of mine (I’ll post photos later, promise). I just cast on and I already know that making this cowl is going to be knitting heaven.

The little Koigu KPPM bias scarf I cast on a couple of weeks ago is back to a little ball of yarn. See what it was going to look like here. I had one of the yarnovers all wrong and I knew that if I let it be, those stitches would ruin the whole thing for me. I can be a bit neurotic like that but I suspect many crafters will agree with me here. Some imperfections you can live with, some you cannot. I am not sure that I will cast it on again, at least not in the same yarn. To be honest it has already been supplanted by a myriad of other projects.

I have a couple of other projects in the pipeline but as I have to work now, you will probably hear more about those in the future (unless they are supplanted in the mean time, as well). I became a little (or a lot) distracted from what I was going to write about, which is the associative mind, but that will have to wait, too.

I leave you with another photo from planet Manos… Have a lovely day!

Manos Sagittarius

Oppositions merging

Ram Dass we are moving toward a light that embraces the darkness

Today I just wanted to share this image and thought with you. I feel it is particularly appropriate at this stage in my life, where I am learning to accept me the way I am.

I am finding that my strengths are also my weaknesses and my weaknesses are also my strengths.  It is equilibrium that counts.

And so embracing my darkness is the only way for me to move into the light.

Mushrooms and hats

DSC07788This Malabrigo Rios knits up so nice, tight and shiny… It made me think of a mushroom before it turned into a hat. This is the colourway Purpurea and the colours are beautiful and glowing, perfect for my mother.

I was actually knitting a hat for my father in grey Rowan cotton. Simple and subdued because hip just would not become him. Cotton because it definitely won’t itch, and a hat because he has just started chemo and I wanted him to have something elegant to cover his head… Just in case. While knitting, I was thinking about my parents and how my mother has to live with the Big C as much as he does.

My stepfather came into my life when I was about five years old. They married when I was six (my sister and I wearing matching little dresses in different colours) and, with a five-year hiatus that I may or may not tell you about some day, have always been in my life. While I can remember living in my grandmother’s house with my mother and sister, I cannot remember a single moment from the time before that when my biological father still lived with us.

And if I was knitting a hat for my father, shouldn’t I be knitting one for my mother as well? So when the grey (and rather boring, I’ll admit) hat was done, I cast on another Slouchy Tuque for my mother. Okay, it looks like a toxic purple mushroom but it turned out rather nice, I promise. And purple is her favourite colour. I used to think it was utterly boring until one summer a couple of years ago, when I was working in my garden and suddenly realised that nearly every flower I had picked that spring was purple. Beautiful, glorious, glowing, multi-hued purple.

One of the craziest things about life is how things you used to think were ugly or dumb or boring can suddenly become beautiful, wonderful and amazing to you. And so, a purple hat…

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Friday Fictioneers 15 February 2013

2013-02-15

Screwed

He reached desperately. Almost… finger just an inch from the button. The floor continuing to liquefy beneath his feet. Jason hanging on to his ankle, uttering terrified moans. Where he had stood, the floor had turned to sludge and Jason splashed in the slurry of dislocated molecules. ‘If only I had listened,’ thought Brian. ‘They told me not to mess with the universe’s structure and they were right. Of course they were.’ His leg sinking deeper, Jason spluttering now. The distance between finger and button grew. Idly, he wondered whether the ripple effect would stop at the door or…

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It was time for the Friday Fictioneers already and I did not even manage to post any of the many ideas that ran through my head this week. I still get that, every so often, a couple of days where just getting out of bed and through the day seems almost too hard. But perhaps that is simply part of la condition humaine? I have stopped fighting it or blaming myself. I know it gets better again after a couple of days…

So, as for the Friday Fictioneers: The eminent researcher Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts an image every week (see her site here) and a great big (and growing) bunch of little lab rats scurry to write a ‘one hundred word story with a beginning, middle and end’. With often excellent results because I am just in my second week and have already read many stories that made me want more, much, much more. I wonder what kind of results Rochelle is getting in her ongoing research on fiction addiction…

This week’s fascinating photograph was made by David Stewart. Go here for this week’s submissions from my fellow lab rats. Click ‘Links in collection’ below the photograph to see the links to their sites and read their stories.

Oh and Rich, including the title my contribution this week is exactly 100 words.

Friday Flash Fiction

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First Light

They were the last to board.

As she ushered her children up the steps, she looked back at the limousine that had brought them here from the Mountains and waved. JK had been a good friend through this first gathering.

‘For Love and Light and the Good of the World’, the extraordinary invitation had said. She had wondered why her. ‘Ah… but you understand what the Good of the World really means. We have scientists and designers and politicians, but we were still missing Love and Light,’ said JK when asked. She supposed they knew what they were doing.

Of course, she never saw the bright golden light that surrounded her and her children. But they knew.

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117 words

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This is my first submission for the Friday Fictioneers. Every week the inimitable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts an image on her blog and challenges people from around the world to write a one hundred word word story ‘with a beginning, middle and end’ and post the link to her blog.

Admittedly my first submission is 117 words but I felt that taking away more words would have taken away from the story. I am notoriously verbose so I actually think I did quite well.

I first read about the challenge on J.K. Bradley’s blog (discover it here) after he liked one of my earlier blog posts. He wrote a creepy contribution that made me curious about the Friday Fictioneers and well… The rest is recent history. So yes, J.K., the guy in my story is named after you. I hope you are suitably flattered!

The inspiring photo for this week’s challenge came courtesy of Rich Voza. Visit Rochelle’s blog here to read some other amazing submissions. And I would welcome your comments, of course.

For the curious: ‘Gold is the color of enlightenment and divine protection. When seen within the aura, it says that the person is being guided by their highest good. It is divine guidance. Protection, wisdom, inner knowledge, spiritual mind, intuitive thinker.’

It might surprise you that I did not know this when I wrote my story. I’ll make an even crazier confession: When I was pregnant with my eldest daughter Isabeau, I/we breathed golden light. Which is whence my inspiration for this little story came.