“The Twain Shall Meet”

Marriage.  It doesn’t just bring two PEOPLE together. It brings two families together. Two histories. Two sets of memories. Two world views.

035a

It brings together two ways of being, which in their new consolidated form sit on a continuum somewhere between Extremely Similar and  Extremely Dissimilar. (Amen??)

005b

Today I introduce you to Lori and Steve, a Norwegian girl and an Irish boy who have 11 years of marriage and a son and a life together.

032a

Where do these two weigh in on the Similarity Scale? They love to be outdoors and to exercise. They share their faith in Christ and have similar values. They enjoy being busy. They are gracious, hospitable and gentle. And how are they dissimilar? From Lori: she is always cold and he is always hot. Steve likes spicy food and Lori, not so much. He likes gadgets, she could care less. She keeps things clean, he likes his piles.

033a

After considering having a blanket and a story of their own, Lori presented me with some sweaters — sweaters that hold memories for them but that they simply never wear. (This is the perfect project for The Green Sheep. I love solving this “problem”!)

014a

In the days when Lori and Steve were dating, Steve had an opportunity to travel to Ireland with his parents. In retrospect it turned out to be a specially momentous trip because Steve’s father passed away later that same year.

030b

While in Ireland, Steve and his dad golfed on a beautiful course at Ballybunion. (You must click on that link if you are craving green and nature right about now!) Steve brought home a wool golf vest. The logo from that important day became a cornerstone of the blanket.

007a

He also brought home a thick, heavy, beautiful brown Irish wool sweater. But I mentioned he gets hot? So Steve’s brown sweater, too warm to wear but perfect for a blanket, builds the crossroads where these two have met. The leaf shapes scattered throughout are directly from the Irish crest for this couple’s family name.

015a

Lori also had a sweater from her pre-marriage days that she had been saving.  Hers was from Minnesota — but the black-with-red-and-white trim unfortunately kept throwing off the balance in the blanket.  So, as per Lori’s initial request, I stuck to coordinating with the couple’s bedroom colors instead, with the cream and the grey. If I couldn’t use her sweater, though, what could reflect Lori in the blanket?

003a

For her, there is the iconic Scandinavian metal button,

018a

a little extra bling, and, most importantly…

023a

…some proud Viking representation :). These horns make the blanket’s second cornerstone.

006a

It was a pleasure to create this for you two, Steve and Lori. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come. And, quite appropriately, Happy Valentine’s Day to you and to all!

028a

“The Twain Shall Meet” (74L x 60W)

This blanket was a custom order.

“A Pair for Notre Dame”

I have some trouble getting excited about football. Why is that? I’m guessing it’s my languishing competitive spirit. Or maybe the transient population I grew up with in Southern California (weak loyalties) or the fact that Los Angeles had NO football team in my entire young life. Or maybe my dad’s soft spot for baseball?

024a

I know. It’s a weakness of mine, especially here where I’m surrounded by Bears fans and Packers owners. BUT. I DO have a ton of enthusiasm about staying WARM in wind-whipped stands during those chilly football months.

016a

Judi, who knows a couple of die-hard Notre Dame football fans, came to me with an armful of sweaters and a question:  Would I make lap blankets for this Fighting Irish married pair? Ohmygoodness, what a great idea.

020a

So I came up with a his and a hers, not identical but certainly mates.

003a

His has the bold letters, gold edging, and inset striped blue/gray pieces (above).

004a

Hers has the shamrocks, green edging, and the blue/green basket-weave pieces.

008a

(I had a terrible time with the exposure, trying to photograph these in our early December snow. It did not do justice to the sumptuousness of these colors together!)

018a

Finally, I love this tidbit of sentimentality: the blankets contain a sweater from Judi’s brother’s own days at Notre Dame years ago (left side of the photo below, under the shamrock). Come fall, it’ll be taking its place in the stands once again, to cheer on the team and keep fans warm. Go, Notre Dame!

081a

A Pair for Notre Dame” (each lap blanket is 36″ by 48″)

This is a custom-made set of blankets.

“G is for Griffin” — and gondola too

In September, I received an email from Sandi out of the blue:

“I have had the luxury of napping with our grandson under one of your wonderful blankets.”  I’d be fibbing if I said that didn’t make my day.

058e

Sandi did some exploring about The Green Sheep and then she wrote me. She said she had a brand new grand nephew and was hoping for a similar blanket for him. And she surprised me by attaching a photo in that very first email of little Griffin’s bedroom.

062f

Okay. Now this little guy’s bedroom has some wonderful creativity behind it. Rising on the wall by the crib is a hand-painted mural of stunning tall, gray, snow-capped mountains. Fluffy white clouds hover above them. And strung between two peaks is a red gondola, ferrying people through this majestic scene. That gondola is irresistible.

015x

Then I heard the story of Griffin’s parents and how the great outdoors brought them together.

003t

His father is from California and his mother is from Wisconsin, and she moved out west after college. But the event that caused their paths to cross was a little random. She was on a rafting trip at Lake Tahoe with girlfriends. The women got stuck — but were happened upon by some young men who helped free them. Among that group of guys was … well, the rest is history for this particular couple.

018t

The gray and the blue in this little baby blanket were an easy match to Griffin’s bedroom. And as I pondered what style of monogram to add for his name, the red of that gondola stayed with me. The “g” of the typefont “Open-Dyslexic” by Abelardo Gonzalez adds a good-natured grin.

008t

Welcome to this beautiful, amazing world, Griffin. Welcome to an incredible place to explore, with parents who will probably teach you how. I can imagine that tantalizing gondola on your wall carrying your imagination to far-away places.

013t

“G is for Griffin” (38″ x 35″)

This is a custom-order blanket.

Tuesday Treat

In January 2013, I accepted a challenge from a friend on Facebook. In the “Creative Pay-It-Forward Challenge,” the first 5 people to comment on my friend’s status would receive from her, sometime during the year, a GIFT! Those commenters agreed to re-post the status and thus pass a gift on to others. The idea tickled my fancy and I signed up.

014a

I had a few people indicate interest, but only one who carried through: my high school girlfriend, Cindy. Here we are on our flag team in high school — the mid-1970s in Southern California. Put a flag in my hand today and I’m SURE I can still work it. (Cindy’s on the front right; I’m on the far left.)

flags snipped 1b

Not only was Cindy a fellow flag twirler, she happened to have the distinction of being the first among my friends with a driver’s license. I was a frequent passenger in her sky-blue Pinto. 

001a

Since I haven’t seen Cindy in person for many years, I asked her what her interests are these days. What do you know: she likes to sew. I knew right then what I wanted to give her.

004a

Whenever I do handwork with needle and thread, I grab my old sewing pouch to bring my supplies to the sofa, where I can sew under a good light and in front of TV. But I curse that little pouch — it’s black (it’s hard to see and I always prick my fingers on the needles) and it’s got a zipper (which is forever eating thread ends and getting stuck).

009a

So for Cindy’s gift, I did some free-style sewing, piecing together the kind of little kit I’d love to have: places for a cutter, seam-ripper, ruler, thread, pins and needles, all out where I can find them easily.

003a

Of course you figured it out: the sky blue in this sewing book harks back to Cindy’s much-revered Pinto. I bet I still owe her gas money. Cindy, for you: I had fun making something new while thinking back on some great, great times!