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The New Willowgreen

 The meaning of life is to see.
[Hui Neng]

New Willowgreen Web site

 

Ten years ago, I designed and produced a Web site for one of my clients, Jim Miller at Willowgreen, Inc.; a publishing company that produces “meaningful resources for hope, healing and inspiration.” Since then, I have not only maintained his site, but I have also designed and produced print and electronic media for his company.

Having Jim as a client has been a graphic designer’s dream. He is a writer and an excellent photographer. His portfolio of breathtaking photographs assures me that I can hardly produce an ugly design. Also, I have been able to contribute hand-rendered illustrations to some of his publications, and spread my wings into electronic publishing.

Last spring, we embarked upon a complete redesign of the Willowgreen Web site. I produced a site plan and visual design which we turned over to a programming team who setup the store in Shopify. The redesigned site was recently launched.

What do I like best about the new site? In addition to Jim’s photography and insightful writing, I like that there is a balance between the commercial aspects (selling products in the new store) and free offerings. The homepage alone with its inspiring slide show and video is a place to go just to meditate. There are free eCards, inspiring blogs, and helpful writings for caregivers and those who are grieving.

One of the many things that I am thankful for this holiday is that I have had the honor of serving the kind and gentle folks at Willowgreen.

Dreambird Completed

Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.
A rustling in the leaves drives him away.
[Walter Benjamin]

DREAMBIRD-2-sm

This is Dreambird, designed by Nadita and sold as a downloadable PDF on Revelry.com at this LINK. I used sock weight yarn—marino for the black and silk for the variegated. I used only one page of the 22-page pattern—the chart for the short row turns. If you knit this, place markers where they make sense to you to keep track of your place in the pattern. Also, use the wrap-and-turn that you like best for short rows. Now, I’m trying one using shetland jumper weight yarn.

DREAMBIRD-1-sm

Apple Experiences

You can focus on things that are barriers
or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem.
[Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc.]

yosemite

So here’s the deal. I’ve had one personal computer or another since 1982. Apple soon became my choice as my major tool in my graphic design business (after I gave up using a triangle, T-square and drafting table). I’ve used every operating system since the Apple II so I do not shy away from upgrading. Here is a cautionary tale in case you are anxious to upgrade soon: do wait for the patches and tweaks to come out before you forge ahead, unless you have a high tolerance for fiddling with technology.

  • iOS 8.0 and 8.1 for the iPad: I upgraded and immediately had problems with connecting with my bluetooth devices, especially my speaker. I even bought a new speaker and it exhibited the same problem. It would play for short awhile and then turn off. I searched the internet and the closest I could come to an answer is to wait until the next iOS upgrade. Meanwhile, I am using my earplugs for my audio books.
  • OS X Yosemite: This upgrade is reputed to have a number of cool features but I haven’t found them yet since I immediately encountered a fundamental problem—I couldn’t get email to send. I’ve spent three days researching the internet and finally resolved the problem. My advice, search apple support until you find Mail Settings Lookup. Then look for the instructions for using that information in your Mac Mail preferences.

The delicious Apple news is that Fort Wayne has a new Apple store (simply • mac) at Jefferson Point shopping mall.

New Harmony Slippers

Don’t you stay at home of evenings?
Don’t you love a cushioned seat in a corner, by the fireside,
with your slippers on your feet?
[Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.]

New Harmony Slippers

Last weekend was the annual knitting retreat at the Barn Abby in historic New Harmony, Indiana. I love that little town, its shops, cafes, historic sites, botanical displays…

The New Harmony Slippers is the project I developed for part of this year’s program. The knitters who attend have been to countless classes so I had trouble thinking of something that wouldn’t be a repeat. I finally designed these slippers merely for their interesting construction. They have no sewn seams, but are not knit in the round in a way that socks are customarily knit. They are also a fairly brief project so those who were interested could finish at least one in the time we had together.

These slippers can also be worn in shoes like commercial footies or socks. The size is easily adjustable and the slipper toe can be knit in a decorative pattern. Plasti Dip or another synthetic laytex can be used to treat the soles if you intend these to be used as slippers instead of footies.

Pattern Features

  • Knit back and forth on two needles
  • No sewn seams—3-needle bindoff at heel
  • k2tog and ssk decreases
  • lifted stitch increase
  • slipped edge stitch
  • k2tog join at toe
  • 3-stitch attached icord

Yarn

Sock-weight yarn

Tools

Two US #2 (2.75 mm) needles (or size that gives gauge), yarn needle with eye, scissors

Gauge & Measurement

19 rows/2″ (5 cm) and 14 sts/2″ (5 cm)

The pattern is offered for $2.50 on ravelry.com at this link

New Harmony: Barn Abby

New Harmony: Barn Abby

Puppy Love

There is no psychiatrist in the world
like a puppy licking your face.
[Bernard Williams]

Teddy and Jake

 

Teddy and Jake are eight-week old brothers, who have moved into my home to keep me company and give me puppy kisses. Right now I can pick them up with one hand when I take them outside every two hours. I am figuring out how to take care of them and train them. So far, they are doing well with a wire crate and periods of freedom. They will be big enough to leash train about the time the snow flies, but I need the challenge. Since they are peakapoos, they will be small dogs as adults.

Pinteresting

Mama, you should try Pinterest.
It is like receiving a new magazine every day.
[Rachel Smith]

Pinterest

I’ve had a long line of personal computers since 1982. Computers fascinate me and are now my main tool in my work. I spend hours standing in front of my Mac fiddling in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I don’t use a cell phone. Frankly, I like being out of touch. I’ve never felt pressed to answer a ringing telephone. I maintain 5 wordpress blogs and I am working on revising my website, but I am not a member of Facebook or Twitter. In other words, I try to be a gatekeeper to filter that which bombards me from the outside world. Then came Pinterest.

Of course it has been around since 2010, but didn’t reach out and grab me until now. Oddly enough, a tip for cleaning the buildup off of my gas stove grates pushed me over the edge. In addition to shiny grates, I now have an unclogged shower head and plenty of advice for training my two new puppies. The industrial design section convinces me once again that humans can create instead of destroy. The gardening section almost makes me want to pull weeds. Pinterest reminds me of the 10-inch thick dictionary on the stand in my third-grade classroom—whenever I look something up, I am in constant danger of getting completely sidetracked.

 

Art enables us to find ourselves and
lose ourselves at the same time.
[Thomas Merton]

ArtWorks

Last Friday was girls night out for my niece, Katherine, and me. After supper, we shopped at Jefferson Point (Fort Wayne) and then went to the opening reception for the art show, “City Blox,” at ArtWorks. I was delighted from the start since Joel Fremion’s landscapes were displayed just inside the door. His craftsmanship, his technique and his vision have fascinated me for several years. He creates fabric collages in great detail and with amazing effect (above left). Among the paintings and objets d’art of other artists were paintings by watercolorist Diana Miller-Pierce. Her crisp technique, sense of geometric balance, and eye for detail drew me into her work (above right). Eighteen artists were represented in the show making it well worth one’s time to stop in and browse this lovely gallery.

 

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