Friday, July 29, 2011

Unpalatable Palette?

This is my palette for my soon-to-be grandchild's quilt.
Are these not the most vibrant colors you have ever seen together in one place?

Generations had come to places such as this.  As a little girl I had wandered the aisles along with my grandmother and aunt.  I'd hid amid the draped hidden passages, under rainbow laden tables.  As a teen I had ventured in alone, clasping the scrap of paper bearing the numbers I would need.

Today I was alone; my favorite.  No rushing, no talking, just looking, thinking and considering all the possibilities.

Marching to the door, determined not to get distracted from my duty, I could already see those bolts of lighning creating patterns on the walls inside.  I could feel the electricity pulling me in.  I took a deep breath and entered into the realm of neverending possibilities.   I was in.  I was in the land of lollipops, dark forests, exotic flowers, flowing rivers of silks and satins, and gadgets galore.  Exotic washes of color vied for my attention and I was soon pulled in, hopelessly lost to the world. . . for about 2 hours.

I had the most glorious time as my eyes drank in the marvelous colors and patterns, and my hands slid over silky smoothness, or sank into cozy plushness.   The potential was overwhelming.  Like a sculptor eyes a piece of marble and sees the future figure within, so I eyed the fabric around me.  What was calling to me?  What could be waiting, lurking inside this color, texture and pattern?

Making myself focus, I set off to get my own cart of creativity and promise.  I loaded it up with bolts of bold, bright colors.  I was going to make a baby quilt for my first grandchild, and I wanted the colors to be eyecatching and vibrant.  No sleepy baby colors for me. . . or anyone.

I rolled my cart with 10 bolts of fabric up to the cutting table.  Only one person was there before me and only one item to cut. . .good.  I won't have to wait long.  As I was waiting though, I silently pitied any person behind me.  I was only one person, yes, but with 10 cuts of fabric.

As the woman at the cutting table took my bolts of fabric and started cutting and folding my stash, she asked about my project.  She raised her eyebrows and looked a bit skeptical about a baby quilt in these colors.  She didn't say, "Oooh, how pretty". . . or "Aw, isn't that sweet. . ."
"They're going to love it" never came up either.

Another customer soon came up and stood in back of me, just as my striped fabric was being cut.  "Wow, that'll make you dizzy!"  They both chuckled at that, and talked about not being able to sleep in a room with a quilt of these colors.  I got the general idea that they weren't supporting my baby quilt idea.

I, however, know my daughter.  She WILL love it.  Her hair is purple now.  The first thing she noticed today when were "Hanging out" in Google+ today, was that my shirt matched her hair.  I held the yellow fabric on the left up to the camera so she could see it, just to see if I was on the right track.  "Oooooh, I love it!"  Those were her exact words.  I'm not lying.  Yeah.  I knew it.

The fabric I showed her is the flannel backing.  It doesn't look like flannel, does it?  It is so, so soft.  And it didn't pill or ball up when I washed it.  I love its bright yellow and all the light green, orange, pink and blue wavy lines meandering through it.

I'm excited to get started.  I've washed, dried and ironed each piece.  I wonder what the fabric is saying to me today.  I wonder which pieces want to be next to each other.  I can hardly wait to look at it again and see what design it wants to be!

Humph, dizzy.  What do they know?

They haven't seen dizzy till they've seen this quilt finished.
I'll show them dizzy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm Watching You, Turkeys!

 


O        I
shall
patiently
wait
for just the
right moment.
Thanksgiving
 will be early
this year for me
 y
   u
       m
     m
   y
e
  o
        w !


I knew there had to be something on our front lawn this morning.  
Oh, to be on the other side of the glass!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Does It Stop?



I wrote this after reading Ann's Twists and Turns post yesterday It is coming....  I'd been having a nagging "ticking" in my brain lately, and wondered what it was! 


“Bood-guy. . .”
“Goob-die. . .”
I am not going back
Don’t turn around
Eyes straight ahead
But
I'm hearing it still
“Tick, tock”
Faintly
Nagging
“Good-bye!”
There, I said it.
When does
The ticking
Stop?

I am so used to hearing it, that I imagine that I'm hearing it now. This is my first year of retirement, and still the tick, tock is a faint sound in my mind. I wonder when it stops?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Learning for Dummies


This past week I have been messing about with a Google program called SketchUp.  I tried my usual technique of starting out not reading any directions to see how intuitive it was to learn.  It wasn’t.

I drew some lines and rectangles of HUGE proportions, and some tiny.  Who would know?  The one that looked right had a measurement of over 1000 feet long, too big for for a house.  I went to the Help menu in the program, but it didn’t seem to do the trick for me. I needed more help than that.

Then I downloaded the book SketchUp for Dummies.  I have never. . . I repeat. . . n-e-v-e-r  e-v-e-r wanted to buy a-n-y book that said it was for dummies.  But at this particular point in time I was feeling like I might be one, so I bought it.  I read a couple of chapters, and it got me started, but I still felt dumber than I thought I was.

Next I went to YouTube to watch some demonstrations, and that is where I finally started to understand what the author of the book was trying to say.  It really isn’t that difficult a program, just not as many familiar functions as other “new to me” programs have going for them. 

As I watched the demonstrations, I tried to replicate what they’d done.  Sometimes I’d go back to the book after the demonstration just to reread parts of it.  Then I’d try it again on my own.  Slowly I’ve found it easier to work with.  Yes, chairs will still have one leg that seems to shoot out or shorten suddenly, a bit like Alice in Wonderland when she was changing sizes unexpectedly.  But more and more as I watch, read and try I am improving, and not so many weird and unwonderful things happen as I create a building or table.

What I like about learning things like this is that I can identify so much more with anyone I’m trying to instruct.  Even though this program isn’t one that I’d be teaching in my classes, there is definitely a benefit to students when I learn new skills outside of the education territory. I am reminded when I teach something that there is more than one way to learn, that hands-on is very necessary, that after learning in one way you can introduce the other methods which might now make sense, and that small chunks of learning are good, but don’t leave the new learning for long before picking it up again.

For most learning, the problems come from the way it is presented and the student’s perception of themselves as learners.  I tried three times before finding the way that worked for me.  I’m no dummy.  I know I’m not.  Kids don’t always know that about themselves; they’re waiting to find out from us whether they are smart or dumb.   Unfortunately, when they don’t get something, they assume the worst. . . they’re dummies.
Lack of time, knowledge or materials may mean that we don’t try another method. . . well, we may speak more loudly, but that is not technically another method and is rarely effective with students of normal hearing.

I am continuing to learn SketchUp on my own, another lesson to pass on to our children: they can find the resources and learn things on their own forever.  They are not dummies.  They are not dummies unless we tell them they are.


My mother once said to me
when I was
getting upset with myself
and getting tired
but refusing to quit
“Are you afraid that someday
someone will find out that
you really
aren’t smart?”
“Yes,” I said,
“I feel that way, too,” she whispered,
and gave me a hug.
“You have nothing to be
afraid of.”
*************************
Happy birthday, Mom.
I miss your wisdom.
I hope I have enough stored up
to use when I need it.
I miss your outlook on life.
I hope I can always remember
to see the world through your eyes.
 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Picnic for Two

News Flash!
Yesterday hit 100 degrees in Maine AND I hit 100 posts for the year on that same warm day...two milestones involving lots of sweat for Me!

On this somewhat cooler day in the 80's, we went for our usual drive in the country. On Wednesday I had purchased a cooked chicken, but it had been too hot to eat at home this week, so it was still in the refrigerator awaiting it's fate. Since it's dump date day, we almost threw out the chicken. We wouldn't be back until late, so eating it then was probably not going to happen. And if we did, we'd have chicken bones in the trash all week.

Then we had a great idea. Why not take it with us and make a picnic lunch out of it? We haven't done that for years. We grabbed some ice packs for sprains and bruises out of the freezer and threw them in with the chicken, then some leftover bags of chips and a couple of packs of peanut butter crackers. We grabbed the trash and our computers and the lunch and headed for the door. We stashed the trash in the way back, lunch and computers in the back seat.

We headed for the hills to a bit of land we'd seen online that was for sale, but on the way we wanted to stop for our picnic lunch. We picked up a couple of drinks at gas station near the land. Before we looked at the parcel though, we plugged in "rest areas" in "Around Me" on the iPhone and found that just a short piece up the road there was somewhere we could sit and have our picnic.


It was quiet, breezy and shady. AND it had a few picnic tables. We were the only ones there. We unpacked the miscellaneous collection we'd gathered for our meal and thanked God for all the blessings in our lives. We ate all the chicken we could hold, and enjoyed the view and cool shade.
The piece of land we later found was not so great, but we had a wonderful picnic!

My Haiku at the pond:

Dragonflies deftly
Darting, skimming still waters
Mosquito hunting.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Is It Morning Yet?

As I heard my husband get up this morning, the first words out of my mouth were “Is it over yet?”

There are not many nights that you can’t sleep in Maine.  Last night was one of them.  We don’t have air conditioning, because most of the time fans are all you really need.  But last night despite open windows, an overhead fan and tossed blankets, there was no escape from the heat.  It had only cooled down to the 80’s overnight.  And it was muggy.  The day had been miserable, the night was miserabler.

Last evening, we drove down to the ocean.  A few others had parked their cars and joined us at Bailey Island to get some relief from the heat.  You can usually count on it being 5 to 10 degrees cooler right on the ocean with a salty, seaweed breeze.  We sat and listened to the gulls and waves.  We watched people dipping their feet into the water and combing the beach for rocks and bits of glass.  The boats faced into the incoming tide, and the gulls, like stringless kites, hovered overhead.  I did not want to abandon all this for what I knew awaited us on our return home.


On the drive home we were excited to see that the leaves were turning inside out.  That usually means rain.  A nice rain usually cools everything down.  It’s kind of like a reset.  It may get hot the next day, but it won’t have the humidity.  But the expected storm didn’t happen.

It stayed humid and hot all night long. I know because I was awake for most of it.  I got up once to splash cold water on my face, neck and arms.  Crawling back into bed, the fan helped cool my skin enough to get to sleep for a bit.  However, I spent most of the night flipping from one side to the other, flopping arms and legs over the side of the bed and hoping for the miracle of a cooler spot.

And now it is getting hotter as we get through the morning.  It was 84 when I got up.  Our helpful thermometer that shows us how to dress each day says today is the day to wear your bikini.  Fortunately, I don't remember where I put mine.


It is 98 now and it isn't noon yet...hm.  How long will I stay here without AC?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No time

This thought started when my soon-to-be-a-mom daughter sent me this article to read.  I think you'll enjoy it if you go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/22/AR2007052201554.html.  It's a Stay At Home Moms site, but it applies to teaching too.  I feel this way during the school year.  And when summer comes around and I can get so many things done and have some extra time, I think, "Hey, what's so hard about this?  There's plenty of time to get to the bank right after school.  Why don't I feel like I have enough time during the school year?  I'll be better at it this year.  I'll come home, put in a wash, change the sheets, make supper, watch a tv show...there should be time."  But there never is.

 










There's
No time
Like the present
There is no other time
As those two hands
Push us forward
Never mind
That our heels
Are dug
Into the ground
Trying to
Slow us down
The only time
We have is now
And when we fill it up
It cannot overflow
Into the future
Nor spill back
Into the past
It can only
Get bottled up
And make us bulge
And perhaps explode
When we try
To put in more
Than it will hold
And so with
Jobs and chores
And kids and sleep
The time is filled
Up to its brim
Unless we keep
A bit of room
Before the rim
The bit of foam
At the top
Time to spend
On ourselves
But in the end
It fizzles out
And we go about
Getting a fresh cup
To start a new day
Maybe the cup
Will be bigger
Maybe it will
Hold more
Maybe it will
Fill more 
S-l-o-w-l-y
But I think
The cups
Are getting
     Smaller 
And the 
Fill is
Getting
   Faster

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reflections on the Hood

We have had incredible sunsets this year in the neighborhood.   Last night I tried to capture the setting sun again as we drove home.  It was a fiery red sun, but the sky was peachy.  The sun peeked through clouds and haze on this muggy evening. 

It was hard to capture, because every time I could see it, things would be in the way...my husband's head, cars passing, telephone poles, trees, guard rails and sun visors.  Then we'd be too low, and I couldn't see the sun at all.  

The best I could do ended up being through the windshield when we finally came around a corner.  It was at last in front of us instead of on the driver's side.  I tried to hold the camera at an angle that would miss our car, so it would give the impression that we weren't driving along....  

I thought I'd captured it sans car, but when I imported it from my iPhone, the Miata's black hood was reflecting the silhouettes and sunset.  Isn't that fun?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Friendship and a Lobster Roll

First, let me say that my husband and I are best friends.  Our friendship has lasted 40 years now.  In 2012, we will have been married 40 years, and we knew each other exactly one year when we got married.

One of his favorite things to do, and mine too as of the day we met, is to drive around the countryside.  Today was our usual for the summer:  ride around until we find good views, good people and a good lobster roll!  Today we found it all in a little village called Friendship.  But don't tell anyone about it.
This gas station, deli, grocery, takeout, eat in, check your tire pressure place had a great lobster roll.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but it was naked...meaning nothing but lobster meat, and lots of it, on a toasted deli roll.  Heavenly.  Truly.  Heavenly.  
We sat outside at the round table with the red umbrella, as you can see in the picture.  It is just in back of the gas pumps. There is a green astro-turf carpet covering the area between the door and the gas pumps.  If you want gas, you only use the street side of the pumps.  The pumps were the old type, no credit card swiping here. Pay inside, please.

While we were there, someone drove up to the pumps, left their car running and filled up.  Then with the car still running, they walked inside to pay.  The first part is illegal, but no one is here to fine you.  And the second part just wouldn't work out for anyone living in Boston.  You'd find yourself walking home after filing the stolen car report.
While we were eating,  a dog came strolling out of the store, dragging his leash and lay down on the ground beside us.  The young lady attendant who owned him came out to make sure he was okay, then went back inside to work again.
Shortly after the car had left, a big Coastal Fuel truck pulled up to fill the station's tank.  The truck driver got out and rolled aside the astro-turf to get to the metal cap in the ground.  I don't think he has to do that in too many places.  I asked him if that was part of his job, and he grinned and shook his head, talked to the dog to reassure him he didn't have to get up, and proceeded to fill the nearly empty tank. 
As we got back into the car, I noticed on the side of the building, the hose for putting air in tires.  The sign above it addressed a conversation my husband and I had had not too long ago, since one of my tires seems to be using quarters to get refilled a lot lately.  The air is free here!

Who'd have thought that we'd be paying for air and water someday!  I'll bet there'll be a charge for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ soon...

Does that mean we'll be paying for friendship, too?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pink Sky at Night

This summer we have had some spectacular sunsets.  Here's one from a couple of nights ago over Wiscasset.  We pulled off into the grocery store parking lot (there is only one grocery store) to watch.  It only lasts a few minutes, so you have to park fast.  Unfortunately we were on the side of the road that included wires. I could Shop them out of it, but that will be for a later date.

I thought about writing something descriptive and non-rhymy to go with the picture...something about how the colors floated across the sky...how it looked like an oil painting...how the oranges, pinks and blues charged the ensuing night sky...how the sky was on fire...how you could see the dragon's breath...

However the simple well-known rhyme kept nudging at me.  "Red sky at night, Sailors' delight, Red sky in the morning, Sailors take warning."  I've heard it with farmers the same way, and sometimes using pink as the sky color.  And I was reminded of how really important knowing the weather is to the people here who farm and fish for a living.  It is a beautiful sky, but quite utilitarian in its beauty, as the fishermen and farmers plan their lives.



Pink sky in the morn
Fishermen forlorn;
Farmers will cry
The day won't be dry.

Rainy 'twill be
No men out to sea
Keep out of the field
No sickle to wield.

In the eve if it's red
There's a good day ahead.
Men fish in the bay
And farmers mow hay.

Get out while there's sun
There's work to be done
Don't dawdle abed,
Field and sea keep us fed.

With plenty for table
And hay in the stable,
Tho' backs will be sore,
This night men will snore.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quit Squawking


I was sitting quietly at the kitchen table with the fan on me trying not to drip on anything.  It was a hot muggy late afternoon. I had the sliding glass door open to catch any small unsuspecting breeze.
The woods in back of the house were getting deeply shadowed, and the robin was trilling to let us know he was delighted that the evening was arriving.  By the way, he is equally thrilled at morning’s dawning! 
As I sat there drinking in the beautiful sounds of the robin, a loud squawk pierced the calm.  I tiptoed to the screen and peeked out.  The only animal I could see was the robin on the ground poking around for some stray worms, seemingly oblivious to the insistent squawking that was now emanating from the trees above.
I went to sit back down again.  The squawking was unrelenting and very loud.  I figured it must be some teenage bird awaiting the parent's return with "Take-Out".  As the constant complaining went on, the sun finally set.  Faintly, I heard the low, ominous hoot of an owl.  I turned off the fan so I could hear better.
“You’d better be quiet, baby bird, or you will be the Take-Out,” I whispered.
The bird squawked twice, but a bit softer now.  Again the owl hooted, closer and louder this time.  
One last very low squawk came from the bird in the treetop… not so much a complaint this time, but more of a disgruntled grumbling to itself. Like “I guess I’ll just take a nap and wait”…
Perhaps this young bird was not so stupid.
 
It reminded me of this little poem I wrote during a writers' workshop we had:

An owl says “Who?”
But I don’t know just why
As he swoops so silently
Down from the sky.

He knows who it is
That he spies on the ground.
Is he trying to scare
A poor mouse with that sound?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hats Off

Tim's Favorite Hat

Just last week my husband and I were talking about the problem of men wearing hats when they ate in restaurants.  We were trying to figure out what had changed.  It used to be when people sat down to eat, the hat got taken off, but now...hats are on all the time.  It's a pet peeve of mine, I guess.
But looking around we realized that restaurants used to have coat racks and poles at all the booths with hooks so you could remove your hat AND coat (which is another thing we do now...eat fully clothed for the outdoors in winter).  Now if you set your hat down it has to be on the table or on a seat.  And on a seat, you are very likely to forget it.

This Saturday, we went to an old, well-known and loved diner in these parts that tourists frequent for the experience and locals frequent because they always have.  Moody's Diner was very crowded, but we got a seat quite quickly and sat down in our booth.  As we sat there, I suddenly realized that they had poles with coat hooks between each booth!  Just like the "olden days" we'd been talking about just a couple of days ago!
"Hey, look, Tim!  A hat rack!"
Tim put his hat on it saying, "Yeah, now I'll probably forget it."
"Yeah, probably!" I said, thinking that saying this was the best way NOT to forget it. 
We ordered our meals: blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup for me, and the meatlovers' omelette for Tim.  Then we brought out an iPhone and an iPad - anachronistically waiting for our food.
When the waitress came we quickly stashed the technology.  And after a quick blessing, we made short work of the food.  That's what I like about restaurants...no cooking.  Cooking takes so long and eating takes so short.  It hardly ever seems worth the time.  I guess it's one of those "enjoy the journey" things, but I don't particularly like the trip.  And then there's the clean up besides...no fun on that trip either.  But that's a blog for another day!
So we ate and left.
Ate and left....
ate and left...
hmmm.  
What could we be forgetting?

We got down the road apiece and Tim groaned.  "Guess what we forgot."
"Oh, no!  The hat!" I joined his groaning.  "I can't believe we did that! Should we go back?"
"No, it's okay.  It wasn't a hat I liked anyway."
"Okay, if you're sure you don't want to..."
"Nah, I have plenty of hats.  The only one I really like is my Whitefish anyway."

Sunday morning dawned, and it was time for church.  We decided to take the Miata; it was going to be a lovely day and on the way home we could put the top down and enjoy the freedom of sun and wind and pretend we were 25...or even 55!
As Tim reached up into the closet to grab his favorite hat it was not waiting...  No!  Not the Whitefish!
Yup, the Whitefish!  It was gone.  He had worn it to the diner after all.

On Monday morning I placed a call to Moody's Diner.  "Yes, we have it."
I didn't tell Tim.  He was headed out of town for business late that afternoon for a couple of days.
As soon as he left, I drove the 45 minutes north to the diner to pick up his hat.  While I was there, I had a bowl of lobster stew...my reward for being a good wife.  This time I kept the hat on the outside edge of the seat, so I would have to pass it to get out of the booth.
I considered wearing it while I ate.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Too Hot

                           I'm too hot...

I don't want to vacuum.
I don't want to sort mail.
I don't want to do the laundry.
I don't want to clean the closet.
I don't want to make the bed.
I don't want to cook lunch.
I don't want to do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.




                       I'm too hot, but...
I guess I will leisurely do
    almost e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
It will just take longer
    with all the lemonade breaks.
The dog and the cat
    don't want me to vacuum though.
They are too hot.
    I will respect their wishes today.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Still Living to Learn


Maine Lupines on the Roadside
I remember my mother once saying that she was going to plant some Lupines. I did not know what those were.  She knew lots of wildflowers' names, and birds' names, too.  I was so intrigued as a little child to find out that things had specific names, not just  "tree", "flower" and "bird".  As I got older, I began to realize how really impressive it was that my mother knew them. She was a city girl who didn't have anyone to teach her the names of plants and animals.  But she was an original life-long learner and self-starter.  If there was plumbing to do, she was there by Dad’s side book in hand to "make suggestions" as to angles and materials.  Raise chickens?  No problem.  Make chokecherry jelly?  Done!

Mom and Dad always provided support and encouragement when it came to learning anything. We had pretty much free rein when it came to inventing, creating and investigating.  Knowing my love of science, my parents purchased for me a chemistry kit one Christmas and a real microscope on another. Learning was something my parents never stopped doing, and they kept all the doors open for us to follow after.

My parents moved to a fairly rural area when they were newly married, and my mother, as a young married woman with three small children and another on the way, became friends with another young mother who lived next door.  I remember playing with the neighbor’s daughter while our two mothers watched birds in the backyard and thumbed through bird books. They collected wild plants and pressed them between pages. I was 4 years old at that time, just old enough to realize my mom was learning things.

When I was 5 we moved out to the real country on ten acres of fields and woods. Mom taught me the names of birds and plants that shared our new habitat.  When I asked her a butterfly name once, she didn't know it.  So I took it upon myself to learn about butterflies and other insects. After all, she had done it!  Why couldn't I? 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
She bought me a couple of the little books called Insects of North America and Butterflies of North America.  I looked at those books for hours on end learning names and facts.  Often I'd carry my books with me, as I sat in the fields watching for new creatures.

At some point I saw a display of insects and butterflies mounted in frames, and so I determined that I could and would make a display board of butterflies of my own.  I had to research how to kill a butterfly without damaging the specimen.   I cannot believe that I was prepared to do that, but I thought of myself as a scientist.

So I set out to find the perfect specimen.  I found a beautiful Mourning Cloak as my first butterfly to mount. I put it in a jar that I'd put something in to kill it. I don't remember what the something was; I’d researched it, and with my chemistry kit, I’m sure I had something that would work.  It may have been simply some fingernail polish remover.  At any rate, the butterfly stopped moving, and I got my card stock and a pin. I lifted the lifeless butterfly out of the jar and carefully pushed the pin through the thorax and into card stock.  My first specimen was complete! I was a collector of butterflies and a real scientist!  What kind of butterfly would be next?  I raced outside to see what I could find.

It wasn’t until after lunch that I returned to my bedroom laboratory.  I went over to my bureau where I’d laid the butterfly specimen, but it wasn’t there.  I looked down on the floor thinking perhaps the wind had blown it off.   I found the card, but there was nothing on it.  The butterfly and pin were both gone.  My heart sank, I realized I had hurt a living creature. The small room with it's open window was no longer a laboratory, but a room of torture from which my impaled butterfly had escaped.

My mom said it was sad, but it was how we learned sometimes.
Thus ended my career of collecting specimens, but my fascination with learning has remained.  I have many things yet to try.  Thanks, Dad.  Thanks, Mom.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fancy Feet


A woman at church who has 6 boys, just had her last child, a little girl.  I simply had to make her some fancy little shoes.  They were so much fun to do.  I used the sewing machine for parts but did the tiny soles and all the finish work by hand.  There is something so rewarding about working with your hands.
Sewing is much like writing to me.  I generally start with a basic idea, look at some patterns and then strike out on my own, editing along the way until I come out with a final product.  These shoes were no different.  I looked at about 7 different patterns, used a part of two different patterns and added a third pattern's tweak.  Then I adapted another pattern's technique for hiding the lining's seams.  Of course, there were some major erasures, as I ripped out seams that were just wrong, and lots of pinning the draft together before I did my polished finish seams.
When the basic shoe was completed I made ruffles from the same fabric.  Those ruffles were, in the end, edited out.  As with my writing, I had to look at the piece a while, place it in different spots, try shortening it, lengthening it, and finally just tossing it out.  Don't keep a favorite part when it just doesn't work for the piece.  I saved it though, and maybe it will look right on some other piece I sew.
That meant another trip to the fabric store to find something different that would work for the finishing touches.  Lace and embroidered flowers caught my eye...perfect.  Like finding the perfect wording.
I am pretty pleased with the results... such tiny shoes for those precious tiny toes.  They are fancy, but not too fancy.  Just the right dancy fancy for the first girl in their neighborhood.
I do hope they fit...