Thursday, January 7, 2010

Taking the plunge, I guess

I have thought of doing this before and then I asked myself "who wants to read your mental meanderings???" Well, I suppose I'll find out now if anyone reads them, right?
A note about the title of my blog: I attended college briefly and about the only thing I kept from the experience was a wonderful nickname. During orientation I introduced myself to another girl, who misunderstood and thought I had said my name was Mertha. Only later when we were introducing ourselves to other new friends, did she realize her mistake. She burst out laughing and explained what she'd thought earlier- and admitted she wasn't sure she wanted to be friends with a girl named Mertha. We all had a good laugh over it, and the name stuck, only they shortened it to Merth. Since the word "mirth" connotes happiness and merriment, I decided I liked it and have used it to sign my craft works ever since.

I suppose this blog will be mostly about quilting, which is sort of the focus of my life now. I wasn't always a quilter, but I have always done things to keep my hands busy. This, I suppose, is a result of having spent so much time in the company of my grandmother who sewed and knitted (wonderful irish knits, in fact!) and was a fabulous cook. She taught ,me to sew when I was 11 and I loved it from the very beginning. I made a lot of my own clothes in high school, which set me apart as you may guess. The teachers who admired my ability gave me the self confidence to keep wearing my clothes when the "cool kids" sneered. I found a great group of friends, who also allowed me to be me. We called ourselves the misfits- like Rodolph and Hermy. These are only a few of the people who I owe huge debts for the gifts they gave me during my "formative years".
Anyway, I have done some painting, woodworking, embroidery and cross stitch. I've crocheted sweaters and toys and doilies, lots of doilies. I knitted for quite a while, but back then, there weren't many yarn shops around and I wasn't happy with the "home made" (rather than hand made- there's a huge difference) look of sweaters made with the yarns that were readily available to me. During my years as a stay-at-home mom to my two boys, I made friends with a woman who was a quilter. I had always thought I might try that sometime. My great grandmother was a quilter, so the seed had been planted, I guess. Anyway, I finally gave it a try and was instantly hooked. It is the only creative endeavor I have not gotten tired of after a time.
I did start knitting again several years ago. It was an accident actually. My son's girlfriend wanted to learn. He asked if I would show her. I took her to a yarn shop I had seen but never entered before. the array of fabulous yarns was amazing. (where were they 20 years earlier??) So after buying simple yarn to make hats, I went back again and again for yarn to make scarves and sweaters and socks and.....
In the summer you'll see pictures of my gardens. They aren't great gardens, but working them allows me to be outside during the warmer months. I love to listen to the birds and watch the chipmunks and occasionally I find spots of beauty in my weedy flower beds, so I'll share them.
I guess that'll do it for the first post. If I ramble on too long, who will ever come here more than once?

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