I really love what Allie wrote about the importance of gratitude in her life... If you didn't already read it, check it out here. Ever since then I've been thinking about the concept ~ Attitude of Gratitude. If you google it, you'll find many thought-provoking and inspirational writings.
This one gives you five tools for cultivating appreciation or gratitude. The suggestions make sense and seem worth the few minutes they would take to do each day. You can read a whole book on this subject here or buy it on Amazon here. Previous to searching google, I had no idea this was a popular concept... It's even discussed in Wikipedia here!
My earliest experiences with Attitude of Gratitude go back about 15 years when I first worked with The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Creativity by Julia Cameron. Writing daily morning pages, I fell into the practice of writing a list of 10 Things for which I'm Grateful. I still do it, not on a daily basis any more, but when I'm feeling down or angry, I find it really helps regain a sense of balance, optimism and warmth.
To mark this day and this post, I decided to write a 10 Things list right now ~ I am grateful for:
- Allie, and artists/kind souls like her, who share their love, inspiration and talents so generously. The pictures you will see further down in this post are details from a crazy quilt piece I started in Allie's class.
- Robert's sense of humor, eternal optimism and love
- That my Mom is still alive and recognizing us
- My family and our closeness
- Blogging and all the wonderful, creative bloggers I meet
- All birds and all flowers
- Walking every day with my neighbor
- Being able to hear the birds sing with my new hearing aids
- Spending time stitching with my dear quilting friends Christy, Lunnette and Trish
- Spending time stitching (starting June 20!) with my brother, Thom
Once I get started on a list, it's hard to stop at 10... but I'll spare you any more of my thoughts about gratitude except to pass along this award to two people for whom I am VERY grateful in my life. It's not so much their blogs, although their attitude of gratitude is evident in their blogs, but more just who they are that makes me so grateful to know them.
The first award goes to my sister-in-law, Julie Cook... my middle brother, Jon's wife and the primary caregiver for my Mom. Julie is a two-year member of the Bead Journal Project and one who is relatively new to blogging. Her blog, Jules Beads, is always uplifting to read. Even more, she's great about leaving positive comments on all the blogs she reads. Julie, you deserve this award! Thank you!
The second award goes to BJP member (2 years) and angel (helper), Pam Troug, who has shown me that even in the worst of times an attitude of gratitude and a spunky sense of humor can prevail. Pam's blog, Of Beads and Other Things, is an amazing inspiration to me and one of the best examples I've seen of art as a way of healing. Pam, you deserve this award! Thank you!
Now... my crazy quilt! Here it is... completed (click to enlarge)!
The title is Fossies. From my earliest memories to the present, I love flowers... almost all flowers and especially wild flowers. Family stories include several about me and my beloved fossies, as I called them. If ever I slipped away, out of sight, they had only to look for the nearest flowers to find me. Once I picked every geranium blossom by the side of our house, filling all my pockets with them first and then taking the remainder as a bouquet to my grandmother.
Making this was SOOOOOOOOOOOO much FUN!!! It's my first, but probably not my last crazy quilt. I started it in Allison Aller's workshop for the Needle Arts Guild in Baltimore. Yup, I went all the way to the east coast to take the class... That's because I had taught for this group previously and wanted to see them all again. Allie is a wonderful teacher... If you're a member of a needle arts guild or quilting guild, I recommend her totally! She first taught a 1/2-day class in curved piecing (notice the seams are curved, not straight as they are more typically in crazy quilting). Then she taught a 2-day class in making the flowers in the center of the quilt. OMG, that was so much fun!
We used angelina, silk flowers, silk ribbon, rick-rack, felted velvet and various flosses/fibers/fabrics to make the flowers, leaves and stems. The seam embellishments were not covered as part of the class. Fortunately I had a wonderful book, Elegant Stitches by Judith Montano as a guide. They were great fun to learn and practice.
While the main idea was to work with fibers, thread embroidery and quilting techniques, I still managed to work a few beads into the piece. The hand quilting around the inside edge of the border is a tiny running stitch with a size 15 seed bead on each stitch. I also used beads for some of the flower centers.
With gratitude for stitching and for my hands that are still able to stitch for hours, I wish you all a lovely good evening! Robin
PS Have to include this too:
Rules of Accepting and Sharing the Attitude of Gratitude Award
- Put the logo on your blog or post
- Nominate a few bloggers that show an attitude of gratitude
- Link to your nominees within your post
- Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
- Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award
- Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude