Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Creative and Joyful Life

Hello there, I'm glad you stopped by to visit.  o<[]:-{D  I finally finished my Elise Shawl!  I added a scalloped shell border instead of the bobble border in the pattern and I'm quite happy with it.  I could have added a few more rows of the lace edge, but to be honest, I was "done".  AND.. I wanted to wear it during the holidays.. AND.. to the Daughters of the American Revolution meeting yesterday.  :-)  This isn't the best "ta-dah" post as it's a dreary day and I had to take it outside to get some light.. but here it is, hung on the back door!  

I loved wearing it yesterday.  One of the ladies at the DAR meeting asked for the pattern.  I didn't even need my coat going into swimming after I left the meeting.  Thanks, Meredith, for suggesting I crochet this shawl.

The edging.. I know I should have blocked it.. but I've never really ever blocked a shawl or scarf.  I guess I still could.. but I'll be busy wearing it.  :-)  I used the Elise pattern, I think it's available on Ravelry.  I used Blue Sky Alpacas yarn - 50% Alpaca, 50% Tussah silk in the color "Ruby".  I get it online from the Webs - Yarn.com.  Next I will be working on a matching tam/beret of my own design.

It's kind of fuzzy and tickles my neck and face a bit, I hope I get used to that.  lol!

This past Sunday Dayle and I went to downtown Portland to Pioneer Place to find a shop called Paradise Pens so I could get a new calligraphy pen.  I am kicking myself for not taking some photos in the shop as it was a pen, ink and paper fanatics dream.  But I was too busy looking and drooling.  After we got my pen, we emerged from the shopping mecca and lo and behold!  The new APPLE store was across the street.  I drug poor Dayle in just to look at the new Apple iPhone 6+.  I don't think it's too big and hope to get one next time I have an upgrade available next October.

I am an unapologetic Apple fan.  Our first computer was an Apple SE, the cute little box one.  I've attended several MacWorld Expos in San Francisco, quite the wonderful experience.  I also visited the Apple store in Cupertino at their campus.  I got a neat leather computer bag and coin purse which I still use.

For some reason Dayle refused to go inside this store with me.. :-)

We then left the cosmopolitan city center and wound our way out into the countryside to find a bazaar recommended to me by Kathy from the Running with Rocket blog.  It was a very nicely put together sale, we got a small box of salted caramels and... 

... and this adorable tote made out of a recycled chicken food bag!  I've used this already taking things to the meeting and bringing things home.  :-) 

I have enjoyed practicing my calligraphy with my new pen.  I also got a wonderful book with all kinds of information and photos. 

I saw this brand of ink when I was shopping on Amazon for calligraphy pens.  I got the color called "tsutsuji" the color is magenta and is called Azalea by the company who made this in Japan.  I promptly filled my fountain pen with it and am thrilled at the fluidity and color of it.  

I want to do some illustrated calligraphy.. I started doodling and came up with this first one.  I envision many more illustrated things in the future.

I just adore using fountain pens.. the way the color of the ink pools at the end of a serif.. how it kind of spreads on porous paper and pools on shiny ones.  It has a personality of it's own.

I must say I was amazed at how hard it was to find a nice calligraphy pen!  And believe me, I thoroughly researched on Google and Amazon, etc.  I finally ordered one on Amazon and when it arrived it did NOT have the calligraphy nib, but a fountain pen nib.. so I had to go through all the hassle of packaging it to send back.  I then settled on a German made pen by the Online Co.  This one has a neat rosewood handle and comes with three calligraphy nibs, fine, medium and broad.  It works great!

The flat nib is how you get the calligraphy letters.. you hold it at a 45 degree angle while writing.  

I was practicing my calligraphy last night and writing with my fountain pen and new FABULOUS ink.. and my little grandsons wanted to try using my pens.  With some trepidation, I told them how to hold them and how if you press too hard and bend the nib tip it would ruin it.. and let them try it out.  Here is Caleb concentrating on drawing "daddy" and a sunshine.  Hayden wrote his name and I gave him some instruction on where to put the "Y" on the line.  He practiced his name and got it right!  Sweet memories for the 3 of us, I hope.  I told them that someday they will inherit my pens.

I wanted to explain the title of this post.  I believe that being creative brings so much joy to your life.. you should try doing something as often as possible that enriches you and those around you.  And the Joyful part -- I know there are some that struggle through this season.  You can make your life what you want.. if you are lonely.. call a friend and make a date to go do something fun.  If you are having trouble finding the Christmas spirit.. it's there.. please look for it.. make it happen.  

OK, Dayle and I are heading out to find some Christmas presents for our grandsons.  Thanks to Amazon, my 2 granddaughters in Ohio have already received theirs and are wrapped by my daughter for them.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

 *H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*


  1. Oh, wow! Your shawl was worth waiting for! It turned out so pretty. I always like red more than I think I will when I start something in that color. It never lets me down. Love your ruffly edging. You do beautiful calligraphy!

  2. The shawl is beautiful, no wonder you couldn't wait to wear it!

    I studied calligraphy at Art College whilst studying graphic design, and loved it (still do).


  3. Such fun for you - out and about in PDX. I have wonderful memories of Lloyd Center at Christmas when I was a child. It was an open air mall back then and they had a live nativity scene. I can still smell the perfume as we entered Meier and Frank through the air curtain. Oh, the days of our youth...

  4. What gorgeous calligraphy. It's something I'd love to try one day, I really like the look of your pens and ink and the work you've done. I'd have been in heaven in that pen shop. Shame on Dayle for not whisking you into Tiffany's and buying you a little something sparkly. But it's not too late... I love the shawl, it's wonderful, beautifully done. Makes me wish I could crochet better. I agree with what you say about life being what you make it. You're a shining example I think, you always seem to be having fun and living life to the max. Well done you! I hope you had a lovely time with your sisters. CJ xx

  5. Hello Teresa. The shawl is gorgeous. Love your pens and calligraphy. Hugs Anne x

  6. Your shawl turned out beautifully and the calligraphy looks like it would be a fun artistic outlet. Sounds like your grandsons enjoyed it too. It's fun to go in Tiffany's and look around. I used to work in downtown Cincinnati and would go in our occasionally. Sounds like you are enjoying the season. Heather

  7. Your shawl is beautiful, Teresa. Wear it well. I love the new ink. We just got some Higgins inks the other day, they had them marked down online to pennies a bottle, but the red one we ordered broke inside the box and it was dried up and the bottle empty by the time we got it. Disappointing, but they agreed to send a new one for the same cheap price. I'm sure my husband would love to try your new kind, I'll tell him about it later. I agree with you about making your own life happy - it's a lesson I live every single day and I do my best to reflect it back to the world wherever I go.

  8. Lovely post Teresa, I enjoyed your knowledge of the fountain pen and all the different nibs. I do love a fountain pen also but don't use one very often. The shawl is gorgeous and really don't think it needs blocking....wear and enjoy, I'm sure you look fabulous in it!!! Also adore the shade of color! Wish you could have gotten something in Tiffany's.....love that store, just because. xoRobin

  9. The Elise shawl turned out perfectly and the border is amazing, do no block the border as it has just the perfect amount of ruffle in it. I bet you are going to look fantastic with it draped across your shoulders. Your calligraphy is so beautiful Teresa, Like I said before it has been years and years since I even tried it.
    Hugs to you and happy shopping.

  10. Your shawl turned out so well. I love that red color. You are making me want a fountain pen :)

  11. The last photo is especially precious, Teresa...good memories indeed! Your shawl and calligraphy are each beautiful expressions of your creativity and joy in life. Now I want to ask Dayle: " Is Tiffany & CO more dangerous than the Apple Store?" :) Love you both! xx

  12. Your shawl looks wonderful! I don't think you need to block it either.
    Glad you found time to come almost to Canby for the bazaar.
    I have a calligraphy marker pen that I cheat with.

    I'm much more joyful when I make time to create.

  13. Ooh pretty, pretty shawl. I can't wait to see and touch it in person next week. :-) You do such beautiful calligraphy. It's just one more thing that I've always wanted to learn. I just saw your comment on my blog. We always go upcountry when we're here on Maui. We love a little Mexican restaurant in Makawao and the winery at Ulupuakua. Paia is where one of Dennis' friends lives so we stop in there too. See you soon,

  14. Your shawl is pretty and glad you finished it. I enjoy writing with colored pens, gel pens are a favorite of mine. I write out cards in nice hand writing which is fun and creative. I've been known to draw birthday cakes and cupcakes and flowers (daisies) on cards. Glad your grandsons enjoyed writing with your pens and the pens are still intact! See you soon!

  15. Your shawl is absolutely gorgeous - that edging really makes it so pretty and the colour is perfect. I used to do some calligraphy but haven't done any for a long time. I have a not-very-good pen somewhere but finding it might be a problem. I really should get back to doing some calligraphy though. Years ago someone I didn't even know (he was given my name by a family member) paid me to write a card for his girlfriend asking her to marry him! I never found out if she said yes.

  16. The shawl is lovely. You should model it for us!

    Another American blogger I follow is practising calligraphy too, see her blog or IG feed - Not Your average Crochet. You are both inspiring me to maybe try.

  17. What a lovely creative post, Teresa! Your shawl is just beautiful and perfect to wear now, so pretty and cosy, and I love the colour. Your new pen is producing beautiful results......love your calligraphy! And wise words at the end of your post too.....
    Wishing you a wonderful week in the countdown to Christmas!
    Helen xox

  18. Your shawl's come out looking so nice, Teresa. You don't need to block it - a quick steam with the iron should do :)

  19. The shawl is beautiful and so is your calligraphy! Awesome that you could spend time showing your grandsons how you do it.

  20. The shawl is a real delight I loved the colour. What a wonderful thing to do calligraphy, must be so satisfying to create something beautiful in ink, its something I have never tried but keep saying one day I will.

  21. Love the shawl and the pens are awesome, too! :) I can't imagine a day without doing something creative...it's like breathing, it sustains me. :) ((hugs)) to you sweet friend. OK, next time, you have to hit the cross stitch shop out your way....take lots of photos for me. :)

  22. Teresa, I always enjoy your posts, and this one did not disappoint. First off, I love your beautiful shawl! The edging is perfect. Personally, I wouldn't block it..I love it as is. I also love that you enjoy calligraphy! I've never had a nice pen like yours, but years ago I bought some calligraphy markers...I think that's what they'd be called. I had fun with them. :) You are such a good grandma letting your grandsons use your nice pen. I know I'd do the same...even if I was doing it while holding my breath. lol I've let my grandkids use my DSLR camera, and my daughter is usually in disbelief when I do! As I tell her, this Gramma thingis a lot different than being a plain ol' parent. :D lol

  23. Love your shawl. Love your Christmas spirit. I agree if you are having ordinary troubles, reach out. If it is serious, see a good psychiatrist. We deserve happiness and joy!
    I love your pen love.

  24. Teresa, the shawl is so, so pretty! What a festive wrap for the holidays!!!! I loved hearing about your calligraphy finds. My good frirnd, Thea is getting into calligraphy. You are both so very talented!!
    Happy shopping! I'm afraid I've not done much!!
    XO Kris

  25. Hi Teresa, thanks been a lot of work again and kept me from blogging but hoping it will be worth it. lol
    Love the shawl and yiur home is looking very festive and cosy.
    Your christmas cards will look very special with your caligraphy and new pen
    Hugs x

  26. Your shawl turned out beautifully and such a luscious colour too. I'm still loving my iPhone 5s and at this stage am not thinking of upgrading however I'll be interested to hear what you think of the 6 when you get yours. I think you'll love calligraphy - it's so elegant isn't it? It will,probably be a dying art as kids these days don't even do cursive writing. Such a shame. Have a good weekend. xox

  27. I have always admired anyone who could do calligraphy. That ink is gorgeous and so is you shawl. I might have to try that pattern one of these....years. Christmas will be tough this year without Mom but our family will all be together and that would have made her happy. We are celebrating her memory with a tree using all her ornaments. Have a great week. Hugs, Sharon


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