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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Step Families and Elder Parents

Don't let the above image fool you, life within a step family is not all fun, games or smiles. In my case the step family occurred in early adulthood, and has been a grin and bear it experience :( Recently there has been a health scare for my elder pater. The efficient step-sister (since they aren't actually married is she actually my "step-sister"?) sprang into action. While I very much appreciate her attentiveness and support to the pater, I am having some difficulty with her attitude.  When I asked her to share information she used the age old put-off tactic "If you don't like what I'm doing you can do it yourself".  She also became "deeply offended" when I asked for a meeting on neutral ground.  Really? I sense control issues and a different perspective on sharing. Her assertiveness is quickly poisoning our minimal relationship and further alienating me from my pater ;(
It reminds me of a conversation with colleagues in the Library about a recent new book; Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. The author, Susan Cain, talks about how the  "Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century" has come to dominate and deeply "permeate our culture". Can you guess I'm an introvert and my step sister is an extrovert ;)
At the same time the mater has announced she is also considering a move into assisted living, so here we go with both parents, complicated by the step family. Yikes! Please bear with me as I have not had much time to stitch and may not blog as frequently as usual for the next wee while.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Plagarism and Memory

A couple of years ago I was asked if I would be willing to write up a little story about copyright for our guild newsletter. Because I work in an academic Library and deal with copyright questions on a regular basis the person asking felt I knew a bit on the topic. I did a fair amount of online research, reading lots of rather repetitive articles, after all, just how much can you say about copyright and quilts. I wrote up a quick story and fired it off to the newsletter editor of the day.  This woman promptly fired back an accusation of plagiarism. WHAT! Are you kidding me? I was in total disbelieve, how could this be - I know enough about copyright, I've written lots of essays in my time, how could it have possibly happen to me ? Did it happen to me? I was totally stunned, incensed and of course feeling completely innocent denied all, but promptly rewrote the entire article.
It has bothered me ever since, and I have been unable to look at or speak to the woman since. Well, approximately a year later this very same woman published an "original" pattern in a national quilting mag. Funny thing though, only a few short months later I saw the exact same pattern  in an international quilting catalogue attributed to someone else. Hmmmmmm, so who was the original?
 Recently, at our local quilt stores I ran across a kit for what Clover calls clam shells. I call them Thimble Holders and did an online  tutorial for it a couple of years ago. I was taught the technique from a lady in the guild, who learned it from a friend in Florida, who learned it at her trailer park, etc etc etc. I honestly thought it was in the public domain, but maybe not?

So what's my point? Well, last week while reading my favourite website Arts & Letters I ran across a very interesting article about  Oliver Sacks most recent book.  For those unfamiliar, Oliver is a world famous, best-selling author, and professor of Neurology at the NYU School of Medicine. The movie "Awakenings" is the true story about his work with encephalitis victims. Robin Williams played the role of Oliver Sacks. One of his books, a favourite of mine, is The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. But I digress.  In this  New York Times Review of Books article about the book  Speak, Memory, we are informed that Oliver discusses the interesting phenomena of false memories and "appropriation from someone else’s experience" . He goes on to talk about cryptomnesia which he defines as "unconscious plagiarism". Hmmmmmm. After reading Oliver's theory I feel vindicated and my conscience is relieved. Thank You Oliver!. Has this ever happened to you? 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Family Day :)

Here's how much snow we currently have, just enough to know it's winter :) The sun is shining right now so it's a perfect Sunday morning :) :)
Slowly I have been appliqueing leaves and vines and flowers on the "Cats". I started with this block just doing the vines and leaves.  Doesn't look like much without the flowers, which will be Roses.  I then moved down to the Mother and Kitten block which will have Tulips. I got a bit tired of just doing leaves and vines, so for the next block I started to add the flowers, purple Irises. I rather like them! In the pic below you can still see the freezer paper which I iron to the top of the applique, then needle turn under the paper edge. This Iris is still in progress .... Once all the applique is over I then get to do some more embroidery - more hand stitching, YEAH! I rather like how the flowers, leaves and vines are crossing over the lattice strips. Helps make the blocks flow into each other.
 Now that I've started this appliqueing, my first love, I have to admit this is what this quilt top really needed. It may take a long time to complete as the Pater's health issues have turned into a family crisis. What was supposed to be an overnight hospital stay after surgery has lasted a week, and it looks like major life changes ahead for Father and his partner. TG I have some stitching to come home to, it really helps with the de-stressing. Family Day for me will be up at the hospital again. Take care everyone,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Storm? What storm !

Storm? what storm ? I don't know about you, but after hours and hours and days and days of commentary from the 24/7 news channels whipping up the listening public into a perfect storm frenzy, what did we get?
NOT .... we didn't even get 1/2 this or even a 1/4 of this! Maybe about a foot of snow - no big deal, really, after all this is Canada! Ok, before you start screaming "This woman is nuts!", I know other areas of the country, especially in the New England states, it was a real snow storm with damage and hardship, and I feel sorry for them, but we lucked out.
The pic above was 2010, now that was snow!! I even got a snow day out of that one :).  Of course all the schools were closed this Friday because of the news' pre-storm coverage, but not the University where I work ..... :(. So no snow day for me .... Some of my quilty friends lucked out and spent the snow day sewing - lucky ladies. This weekend was pre-op plans for me (the pater is having surgery on Monday and I'm on deck as driver, official waiter/visitor/family member). Wish us luck, maybe next week I'll  have some progress to show on the Cats quilt.
P.S. Downton Abbey tonight :) :)

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Downton Abbey tonight - YEAH

I admit it, I'm addicted, totally addicted. I watch Downton Abbey 3 times per week!! Watching season 1 and season 3 simultaneously :) :). It's almost as good as the old Upstairs Downstairs!

How can you not love Mathew and Mary. Will they, won't they, why, why not. And now that they're married what will happen next?
Who's your favourite? Currently I'm rooting for Edith, the middle child, although personally I was the baby of the family, but I don't identify with Sybil. Poor Edith, left at the alter only to face a "Spinster" life. I can identify with that as I usually identify with the underdog. The fashions, the house, the intrigues are just what I need on a dark dreary wintery night. Grab a cup of hot tea and snuggle in :) I'm  also totally in love with Maggie Smith, I mean who wouldn't? She's the kind of old lady I want to be !! 
I have discovered that Quilter's Newsletter is doing a Downton Abbey sew-in, tooooo funny. Personally I'm too engrossed in the show to actually do any stitching while watching.
Altough I do support the free Mr Bates movement !! Poor Mr Bates and Anna , will he ever be free again? Good story line, but where's the justice. Speaking of injustice there's Mrs Crawley, she's the crusader and I definitely like her spunk!
So, I bet you can guess where I'll be tonight, not getting a whole lot of stitching done, but enjoying my Sunday nights. How about you?