The best time to plant a tree

"The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago", said the girl.
“The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago”, said the girl.
"The second best time is today!" said the hare.
“The second best time is today!” said the hare.

Back in January, did you have a word for 2019?

I actually chose a word but I didn’t ever blog about it. That was partly because we had lots of relations visiting and I didn’t get around to it but it was also because I kept coming upon the idea that that public goal setting can be counter productive. The theory is that you announce, on social media for example, “This year I am going to do X.” Then everyone congratulates you and you end up getting sufficient positive affirmation that you feel like you’ve actually accomplished X when, in fact, you’ve done nothing except express a wish or a vague intention. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. I can say, however, that I have, so far, remembered my word throughout the year.

My word for the year was ‘Illustration’ and my aim was not to make lots of illustrations but to not avoid making illustrations on occasions when I felt inclined to do that. That doesn’t sound much of a challenge but I actually started this blog in 2011 with the intention of making fabric pictures and the great majority of my making has been much more general sewing and knitting!

As it turned out this has been a year of very little making for me but most of my making has ended up being fairly illustrative and I’ve been able to enjoy creating pictorial quilts for the Endeavourers Challenges without thinking I really should be doing something something more arty and abstract!

Today’s pictures are an assemblage of quilted linen, simple embroidery and three dimensional, posable figures and are inspired by a very interesting conversation between Shane Parrish and Hugh Howey, which I listened to on the Knowledge Project – a series of podcasts comprising all sorts of fascinating discussions hosted by Shane Parrish with a very wide variety of guests. You can find the podcasts and lots of interesting articles on Farnam Street. Part of the discussion is about the things we could have, and feel we should have done years ago but have continually been putting off and the way that “paralyses us and make us feel like all the moments in my life where I could have seized the opportunities ahead of me are all gone”. Hugh Howey says:

A lot of our calcification, the inability to break our stasis and launch our lives in a different direction, is that feeling that we should have done it 10 years ago and we’ve lost the opportunity and now we can’t do it. But 10 years from now, we’re going to think the same thing about this very moment today.

The Knowledge Project Ep. #63

Shane Parrish replies that reminds him of a proverb (which he believes to be French): “The best time to have planted a tree was ten years ago but the second best time is today”.

Today is also, of course, a very good time plant real trees.

Whether your trees are actual or metaphorical, I wish you good luck. I hope all your ‘trees’ will thrive and grow and that in ten years time you will look back and be glad about something you did today :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

New Furtlings and Some Spring Photos

I seem to have given up blogging of late and almost a month has gone by, during which time Spring has been springing.

But I’m glad to say I have completed my monthly goal of adding all the TAST stitches to date into my fanTASTichia picture.

Lots of these stitches are new to me and I plan to keep going with this, at least for the first twenty stitches or so although I still don’t know what it will end up looking like!

Apart from that, I have been knitting…

And, after much trial and error, I have unvented a new improved way to attach heads to cloth dolls and a hair technique to avoid the stumpy, thick plaits/braids that rag dolls tend to have. When I get time, I’ll put up a tute in case anyone wants to try it.

I have also been outside a lot, mainly bramble clearing and weeding, but I haven’t taken photos of that! I did manage to get some pictures of a pair of geese who visited us one morning though and some on a walk with Poppy..

My most exciting news is that we are on the verge of having ‘real’ internet. After literally years of being promised more than a very inconsistent -1mb (owing apparently to long copper lengths, which has made providing us with the infrastructure for a reliable service ‘uneconomical for the public purse’) we have a green cabinet installed along the road which, if what they say is true, will deliver fibre broadband. I can hardly imagine what it will like – not watching a spinning disk and waiting for things to time out and resetting the router…

If you are a mother in the UK, I wish you a Happy Mothers day! If not I wish you a happy day anyway :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

I am linking this post with:

Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches for ‘New to Me’

Soma at Whims and Fancies for ‘Wandering Camera’

Helen at Archie the Wonder Dog for ‘Furtle Around the Blogosphere’

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal – March Finish Link-up

fanTASTitchia

fanTASTtitchia

Although I’ve been following along with the TAST stitches in my practice/doodle squares, I thought it would be nice to make something combining the stitches so I have started a new project. I don’t have a plan beyond including the weekly stitches so we will have to wait to see what this ends up looking like!

I began with a chain stitch tree.

And then I started making a very small man and modified my ‘rules’ to include applique because I tried to stitch him and didn’t like the result! I made his head by stuffing a scrap of flesh coloured fabric and I will embellish him in time.

Then I made a buttonhole wheel because I’ve seen some amazing ones on other people’s blogs and it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. You’d think drawing the guidelines would have resulted in a neater effect but for that, it seems, I just need more practice…

A LADY WITH A FELT DRESS

And, after that, I decided to put a lady in the tree and that’s as far as I’ve got.

During the next month, my goal is to add to this piece in some way that includes the first ten TAST stitches and, in the meantime, I’m going to link this post with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal March Link-up.

What are your goals for March?

Janine @ Rainbow Hare