Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Experimenting in Needle Felting!

I have been experimenting with needle felting lately ... and am trying my hand at a very basic nativity set.

I made a cone-shaped wire armature and wrapped it in core wool ... this will be the basic form for Mary, Joseph, the three wise men and the shepherd!! The little baby Jesus has a wire head/arm frame, then it's just wool needle felted tightly into a little swaddling blanket. The sheep has a wire armature and then lots and lots of wool over top. This first sheep has stocky legs and no feet at all! Hopefully I'll get better with practice. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

In Loving Memory ...

My Dear Dad
John Frederick Mumm
November 21, 1923
March 17, 2014

It's been six months since my father died and I still have a really hard time writing this little tribute. In June, I quit my job to take on the task of giving away all of his medical equipment, cleaning out the closet, and sorting through over 20 boxes of files, papers and books that we moved to our house when my Dad moved here in August of 2010.

Going through the boxes, I uncovered incredible family photographs, newspaper clippings, decades of canceled checks and receipts ... as well as his notebooks from years of work as a mechanical/nuclear engineer. It really gave me perspective on just what a fabulous man ... a man of faith, courage and integrity ... a loving husband and a wonderful father he was. He was so intelligent ... and yet humble and kind. He was always patient and thoughtful. It's interesting to look at all his accomplishments ... from being a decorated veteran of World War II ... to working on the first nuclear-powered submarine (the Nautilus) ... to designing power plants ... and all the while, he found the time to take my Mom and all five of us children on picnics to the Peaks of Otter in the fall, to Isaac Walton Lake in the summer ... to museum tours and walks around Monticello and Appomattox (he loved history and was especially fascinated by the Civil War period). He was never too busy for us.

At first, it was so completely devastating to throw all of this -- a lifetime of work -- away, but lack of space made it a necessity. Just this week, three months after I started this major clean-out project, I realized, my father's life is not defined by papers and tangible "stuff." None of that defines any of us. The richness of who we are is what we do with our lives and how we affect others. I am so blessed to have had my Mom and my Dad.

Eating his favorite: A banana split!

Christmas morning 2013

Receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross

I found this "creed," attributed to Edgar A. Guest, in one of my father's notebooks. He certainly lived by it.
My Dad on his 90th birthday with my husband, brother and sister.
My Mom and Dad on their wedding day: February 7, 1948. They're now together forever.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I'm Still Here! Really, I Am!

It's a chilly spring morning and I'm sitting here, sipping my cup of coffee ... and wanting so desperately to let you all know that I'm still here!
I've been through a lot these few months ... culminating in my dear Dad's death in the early morning hours of St. Patrick's Day. I've not had a proper post about him because I've just not been able to bring myself to do it yet ... just like I can't seem to pull myself together to give his clothing away and sort through all of his stuff. Maybe, in the back of my mind, I have a strange feeling that if I leave everything just as it was, maybe he's not really gone forever to this world, but maybe he's just visiting someone and will return. I know, I know, it's ridiculous, but there it is.
I have lots of ideas for new patterns and  projects, but probably my most time-consuming project is the fact that I went back to work (full time, no less!) as a copywriter ... after 26 years of being a stay-at-home mom! I'm not the only one, it seems, who has gone back to work ... after children have gone on to college ... and elderly parents have, sadly, passed away.
So there are many stories I have yet to share ... and a new rescue dog added to the pack, as well (a little Shiba Inu who gets along famously with Sophie, our doodle-mix rescue) ...
But for now, I just wanted to assure anyone with questions about my patterns, or anyone new to my blog or my website The Pattern Box, that I'm still here! And still loving knitting and crafts and being creative and still wanting to share what I can with you!
Thanks for listening and stay posted!