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Book Review (plus) The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

13 Mar


Love this!  “One sewing machine, two families, three secrets, four generations and millions of stitches”.

This book was funded by readers through a new website:…a modern version of Samuel Johnson’s idea funding publishing of his dictionary in 1755 in today’s jargon…crowd sourcing.

  1. Elfcroft loves sewing and posts about charity projects about a dozen times a year.
  2. The owners of this very special sewing machine kept notebooks/journals/log of every task.  This created a marvelous record (including thread and fabric samples) of the needs and wants of life during the 20th century Scotland.
  3. I loved the inside story of Singer’s major manufacturing operation circa 1911.  Sewing machines empowered their owners to unleash talent and progress.
  4. Natalie brings the family legacy to the present with two paths…one using the machine as is, the second-recycling machine parts into art projects.
  5. The personal stories are as poignant as sewing is important.


“I have a dream” engraved in stone

15 Jan
"I have a dream" from the location the words were spoken.

“I have a dream” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where the speech inspired our country and the world.

Seven Global Concepts

10 Jan

Seven Global Concepts…inspiration for the New Year?

By Starre Vartan Dec 30, 2014

Very thoughtful blog post, beautifully illustrated concepts

Friluftsliv              Norwegian being outside is good for mind and spirit

Shinrin-yoku       Japanese forest bathing

Hygge                      Denmark togetherness, coziness

Wabi-sabi              Japanese embracing imperfections

Kaizen                     Japanese continuous improvement

Gemutlichkeit     German means more than cozy (peak in winter)

Jugaad                   Hindi innovative fix (frugal)

I read about “forest bathing” in the American Way magazine (Dec 2016). claim 25 percent of the Japanese population walk in wooded areas. The author forecasts doctors writing a prescription to get outdoors…instead of blood pressure medication!

Being outdoors:  good for the mind and spirit…I think of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, understatement-walking the Appalachian Trail. This same article refers to wabi-sabi which finds beauty imperfections. (Growing up, we called it “character”.)

The Kaizen concept is familiar to me thru my career in manufacturing. I like the “jugaad” notion. Many times that comes up when you least expect it trying to extend the life of clothing, furnishings, appliances, etc.

Explore the links included.  Great information.  Happy New Year!


Covered Bridge (Parke Co IN)

8 Nov

Turkey Run State Park hiking trail (foot traffic only) AKA Narrows Covered Bridge

Modern concrete bridge directly behind the original covered one (notice the arches).

Downstream view


Built in 1882. The purpose of covering the bridge was to extend the life of the wooden supporting beams (safety).

From Houzz: Beautiful dining rooms from around the world

2 Nov


Perfect souvenir? circa 1985

11 Oct

Needlepoint canvas purchased in France

“Margot, Creations de Paris.  LE CASTEL d’apres Laura”

Yes, this canvas was well within my budget for a souvenir from France in 1985.  The merits also included being light weight, easily packed and a remembrance of travels while needlepointing.  The problem is… it is still unfinished in 2017…over 30 years later!

I’m back to work on it with great lighting, a support frame and good seating.

Friday Photos: IChing No.44 Coming to Meet

23 Jun

Airport, ball park, Hawaii, London, restaurant, convention…

Friday Photos: IChing No. 59 Dispersion

26 May

The most beautiful examples of “dispersion” (I can think of) are the stunning Chihuly glass sculptures displayed through out public gardens.  These photos were taken in Dallas in 2012.

For more examples of “dispersion” of art in the garden:

From Houzz: Incredible home design from Japan

10 May

Amazing solutions to constraints!


Friday Photos: IChing No.4 Youthful Folly

5 May

“Youthful Folly” is Wilhelm’s translation, which also includes “hopeless entanglement” in the text.  I appreciate David Hinton’s translation of “thicket” as a concise visual.  I found this thicket on my walk in the woods.

Thicket, Cumberland Gap National Park