When I was a little girl, one of my favorite places to visit was the stationery store. The stationer’s was a precursor of today’s big-box office supply store, but with a much narrower — and more charming! — set of offerings.
One of the best parts was the near-complete lack of plastic packaging for all the delightful gadgets in the store. That meant if I were careful, I could handle them. Bliss.
I hovered over the pencils, pens, notepads, and the stationery. Those papers enchanted me. Printed or embossed, elegant or sweet, they looked fresh and expectant, ready to be filled with a message and mailed to a lucky someone.
I still love the physicality of this. Email is immediate and convenient. But a handwritten letter, packaged up in a sealed envelope, brings so much more of the sender along with it. Discovering it in the mailbox is like being caught off-guard by a surprise party. Opening it is like opening a gift. Is this old-fashioned now?
Natalie (for whom this blanket was made) is a member of my extended family. And in my family there are several people who maintain this gratifying habit of writing letters — I can count them across three generations. Natalie is wonderful in many ways. Yet when this blanket was ordered, what did I think of first? Her gentle notes and letters, so representative of her.
The order was for a throw of pinks and pale oranges, so that’s where I started. And, as usually happens when I make these blankets, an unforeseen opportunity presented itself — this time, the possibility of a postage stamp :).
What could be more fitting?
With much love for you, Natalie, and with gratefulness for the way that you are ♥ — here is “Sealed with a Kiss.”
Patty, you hit it right on the head. And the rest of you, I freely admit these happy flowers could look like a whole variety of things that are orange :). Thank you, all, for throwing in your ideas (both here and on Facebook) — it was fun to see! Keep reading to see where the idea for this blanket came from…
Where I live, it’s about time to start some seeds indoors.
Now, I’ve started lots of seed by direct sowing (and I’ve got my dependable favorites), but only a handful of times have I gone to all the effort of starting seeds indoors to be ready for planting out in May. The first time was when we moved to Michigan from California; I was an eager new gardener. And I was well-rewarded because, with beginner’s luck, I had chosen…marigolds! Not the dinky annuals you get at your big-box nursery, but luscious 3′ tall plants, full of gorgeous, golden pom-pons of yellow and orange. They earned a very warm place in my heart for treating me so well.
This large throw is just right for napping under while dreaming of the summer garden. It’s also great for cuddling under to watch Oscar-winning movies as they come out on DVD. And it’ll wear right into summer as a picnic blanket. (Popcorn grease or sub-sandwich mayo will wash out in the gentle cycle of your washing machine. Felted wool is pretty hearty!)
It’s just about March. March means spring (at least to those of us here in the northern hemisphere–sorry, Peter!). It means a few more days with lighter jackets and, here in Illinois, a few more days of rain instead of only snow. And, for a lot of us who haven’t seen much grass through the past months, it means dreaming about gardens. So I figure it’s time to give you a peek at my latest project, a spring blanket. It’s not finished, but it’s close.
Anyone care to have a guess at what kind of flower it is?
Bright colors never fail to catch my eye. In fact, when I look at something bright and lovely, I imagine I feel the pop-pop of excited neurons firing in my head. Years ago, I would buy bright fabrics and sew clothes for myself, but that never worked out all that well — hot colors are just not my season. They’re doing much better in this blanket, I think. Blanket edge is hand-finished with a blanket stitch.