Sunday, July 31, 2011

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2011 - July

After a few months of very little crafting output and much in the way of social butterfly-ness, I decided to buckle down and concentrate on working my way through the yarn stash. This dedication to craftiness also coincided nicely with some disgusting July heatwaves, where the thought of leaving the house was absolutely untenable. (I'm sorry, when the thermometer says 106 and the index with the humidity pushes it up past 110-115, I am NOT going outside!)

While working on the five (5) large projects below, I also:

~ celebrated the four-day July Fourth holiday at home - minus the crowds and aggravation;
~ had DVD/movie marathons:
- including whole seasons of Drop Dead Diva,
- the first six Harry Potter movies in preparation for maybe finally watching the first half of the final movie and then going to the final, final Harry Potter movie,
- and Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea (*sigh* Gilbert *sigh*);
~ had very nice catch-up lunch at Bar Boulud and dinner at Alouette with visiting college friends;
~ wrote letters to my aunts, some of my great-aunts, and my honorary aunts in celebration of Auntie's Day;
~ and generally was a homebody dealing with paperwork, inventory, correspondence, and cleaning.

I also think I gave myself carpal tunnel. I know I definitely wore the color off of one of my aluminum hooks.

I made five large Diamond Crib Covers this month, working through 15 skeins of Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn. Their approximate dimensions are 45x34, they'll vary slightly in length:

ANA 2011-28: Baby Pink Diamond Crib Cover
(as of Oct. 2011, no longer available)
ANA 2011-29: Blue Bon Bon Diamond Crib Cover
(as of 08/11, no longer available)
ANA 2011-30: Lemon Custard Diamond Crib Cover
ANA 2011-31: Iced Mint Diamond Crib Cover
(best seen below)
(as of 04/2012, no longer available)

ANA 2011-32: Natural Diamond Crib Cover
(as of 05/2012, no longer available)

Five! Ouch. Time to move on to smaller objects.
And maybe to finish up some of the works "in-the-works," perhaps?

Still in progress:
2010: Multi-fiber chevron blanket2011: Potential Mobile of Hearst (created as part of ANA 2011-08 group)
Fancy Blue Scarf
Casual Rimmed Cap

As ever, if you see anything you'd like, just contact me for sizes, availability, and costs.

Coming SOON: You'll be able to purchase these via Auntie Nettie's Attic on
Click here for a preview.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Photos of the Day: Summer's Bounty

Who doesn't love a Farmer's Market? We stumbled across this one last August in Logan Utah, in the park just meters away from my Utah childhood home.

Talk about grown locally. Some of the produce was from backyard gardens. Doesn't that "beet" all?

Of course, this being Utah, the land of industry and of Molly Mormon crafters, there were booths galore with quilted and stitched delights of all kinds. Many many an shop were there in physical form.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Photos of the Day: Horse with No Name

Sadly, we just lost the singer, Dan Peek, who co-founded the band America in 1970. As a child of the 1970s, the refrain to A Horse With No Name was well known and I often break out singing it for no reason.

I especially end up singing it when I am reviewing this series of photos I took of a site-specific sculpture installation entitled
The Mustangs, outside Snow Canyon in Ivins, Utah done by the artist Ed Hlavka, at his studio at the Kayenta Art Village.

For more about Ed Hlavka, click here. An article about the installation can be found here.

If you can't view the YouTube clip, go here:

Bet you can't get the song out of your head either. I miss songs where there is a) a narrative with an actual point, b) you can actually understand the lyrics, c) the lyrics are clean, and can d) harmonize - and the harmonies are excellently tight as can be.

Once a child of the 1970s, always a tiny bit of a flower child.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Tenth Anniversary

It doesn't seem possible that it's been ten whole years since my baby brother got married. It just doesn't. Ten years. A couple of degrees. A few apartments. A house or two. Couple of cars. Three babies. And lots more grey hairs for J - but none for Christina. (How does she do it?!)

Technology has changed so much in ten years. I had to go back to photo albums - BOOKS! On.a. shelf! - to find print outs of pictures, taken with film and developed with chemicals, even. Pay no attention to a) the bad photos, or the b) snarky comments from a loving older sister.

Congrats you two crazy kids!
Here's to ten more years! Only infinity left to go.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grandma Ollie's Quilts

I've done so many entries about quilts this year that Grumpa Max went through his computer files to send me pictures of Grandma Ollie's quilts to share.

These are just a few of the quilts that Grandmary inherited. Some are still with the parental units, in storage (you don't need quilts on beds in the desert),while some have been distributed to other extended family members. None of these pictures truly do them justice. You can see the piece work, but the details that show up once you get up close are incredible. Though they may look plain from a distance, it is the patterns that are in the solid blocks of color that really show off what a technician she was.

My mother did her share of quilting when I was younger. I have fond memories of playing "fort" under the quilting frame. Once we moved East, into a smaller house, and a different cultural situation, the types and size of the quilts, and the kind of quilting she does is vastly different. What with all our youth activities, school, and piano, I just didn't have time to cultivate any quilting techniques. That being said, I do have poignant memories of a multi-generational, extended family quilting bee in which I contributed my clumsy stitches to one of Grandma's quilts -- one finished off by sisters, aunts, cousins, nieces, and me, all while we were paying vigil, waiting to see if Ollie would survive after that major car accident. Now days, however, my sewing skills are ... just not there.

My medium, somehow, seems to be yarn. I just interpret patterns, blocks, and color schemes differently. (Can you tell? I like blue.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Auntie’s Day: Today this Auntie begins to speak her truth

Note: This entry is going to be “a very special” blog post. For once, and probably only once, I am going to break my own rule about subjects that usually are not posted on this blog (see the footer below for details), and will not try to not consider how this might or might go over with the few people that read this, but to break through my own “artificial wall” and document my truth. This is one of those posts that really for me, and ultimately for generations of my nieces and nephews. (see Blog mission statement.)

This is not a mommy blog. I would hope that that would be fairly obvious from the title of this blog, but I just want to make that clear - especially today: Auntie’s Day.

Long before I had an on-line presence and before I became an official aunt, I started a little crafting business. My sisters in spirit, my high school/college/and other friends, had begun to pair off, marry, and to have children of their own. As my mother’s college friends had been to me, I decided to become their honorary aunt and make them little presents. The tags on the baby blankets needed a label telling them who the gifts were from and voila Auntie Nettie’s Attic was born. (Auntie Nettie’s Basement just didn’t have the same zing, you know?)

Over time, my own siblings began to pair off and marry. Eventually, I became an aunt to four more precious little kids – the oft mentioned Drew, Amber, Elle, and Nathan, my little loves.

I am an auntie. I always will be. I am an auntie by choice and by blood. I love my all of my little nieces and nephews probably more than they, or their parents, will ever know, or more than I can probably ever express to them. I am proud of them. I share their photos and artwork. I brag about them constantly. I love them and rejoice in them. But at the same time … I wonder what I am to them and what my influence is on their lives.

There are days dedicated to celebrating the contributions, and rightly so, of our mothers, our fathers, lately, even grandparents. The changing dynamics of what is considered an official family is morphing, with different combinations of units being more and more accepted (depending on where you live) and the caregivers, daddies, mommies, stepparents all being celebrated.

But what about those of us who love and care, but don’t quite fit any of those categories?

What if you are the odd person out: In society? In your culture? In your religion? Even in your own family?

For a long time, I thought it was just me.

I felt like I couldn’t complain; like I didn’t have a voice—that my feelings needed be suppressed because of a variety of circumstances.

I have seen, first-hand, the long, difficult struggles of friends and extended family members trying to deal with financially, physically, and psychologically draining bouts of biological infertility. I have added my prayers to theirs for outcomes which bear fruit, or for resolutions that would, perhaps, in time, bring them peace. After experiencing those emotional roller-coasters, I felt I had no right, no right at all, to grieve, even a tiny bit … for the windows and doors that were closing in my own life.

Over the last few years, I have been going through the stages of a grieving process about my own waning fertility; a frustration and sadness, a debilitating depression that lasted a whole season and often threatens to return in dark moments. Only now, very slowly, am I coming to a sort of acceptance of how things will be. On the one hand I still feel (somewhat) like I shouldn’t talk about it at all -- because my “infertility” is more a result of circumstances than anything else: timing, personality issues, an ambivalence about whether I’d even be a good mother if I actually ever did find the right husband/father, etc. I’ve been pondering how to express myself about this particular issue for more than two years, but haven’t had the courage to write the post.

Thankfully, for me, someone else finally did, giving me the impetus to articulate some of the above.

Melanie Notkin, the founder of, an on-line community for aunts, recently published an article in The Huffington Post, entitled “The Truth About Childless Women.”

The entire article is excellent, but my favorite quotes are these (emphasis my own):

“Nearly 46 percent of American women through age 44 are childless. That’s up from 35 percent in 1976. ... some, like me, are what I call ‘circumstantially infertile.’

I’m 42 and still single and I have come to acknowledge the truth: it’s very possible I won’t have children of my own. I’ve grieved and have found my happiness on the other side. There are days that are still hard for me (Mother’s Day, the day a friend announces her pregnancy, when I hear a guy won’t date me because I’m too old to have kids, my birthdays, my monthly reminder...) but most days I’m happy. Very happy. I’m not in the wrong life being the wrong wife and trying to get out. I have no regrets.

My circumstances have left me infertile but they have not left me non-maternal. I love the children in my life with boundless adoration. If I was not meant to be a mother to 2.1 kids, then perhaps I was meant to be motherly to many more. From a girl in Tanzania I’ve adopted as a niece and email with many times a week, to the little ones down the hall in my apartment building, and of course to my amazing nephew and nieces by relation, I am an aunt. I’m not childless, I’m childfull. I’m not a mother but I am maternal.

My infertility is circumstantial but my life is not barren. And to the women who are on the other side of hope, know that you are more powerful than your womb. You are maternal whether or not maternity ever comes. You are a woman and your love and how you choose to offer and receive it, is a gift.

And you’re not alone.”

Bless Melanie for her courage. Thanks to her efforts, the contributions of aunts are beginning to be recognized and we are gaining a voice.

It’s hard to ask for a show of appreciation for love freely given, but she makes the case about why we should get our own holiday in another recent article, one for Psychology, entitled “Why Aunts Deserve a Day.” [Click here for the entire article.]

“…There are all types of aunts:

Aunties by Relation; Aunties by Choice; Great-Aunties; Godmothers; Cousin Aunties; Long-Distance Aunties; StepAunties; Single Aunties; Married Aunties; ... Fairy GodAunties; and Aunties to the World - the BenevolAunts who give so much to children they’ve never met. And there are also the Bon VivAunts, the GourmAunts, the BohemiAunts, the ConfidAunts, the Aunt-Rageous Rocker Aunties, the Crafty Aunties, and the eco-loving Auntie Earth among others. What a diverse group of positive influences for America’s children!

Unfortunately, our contributions to the American Family Village often go unnoticed and under-appreciated. …

Aunts by relation or choice give of their discretionary income and time to children-not-their-own in their immediate lives, in their communities and around the world every single day. Every boo boo they kiss, every little hand they hold, every hug they give is a gift. And as far as the other kinds of gifts - the kind tied up with a bow - are concerned, an Auntie will often stretch her budget to put a smile on the face of a niece or nephew on birthdays or the holidays. She’s also more likely to jump on a plane for Thanksgiving than expect a family of four to travel to her. [Amen Melanie! Christmas/Hanukkah too.]

Aunts not only give directly. When a co-worker mom leaves work early to tend to a sick child, or when that big assignment is due and working late or over the weekend is necessary, a childless woman is (often expected to be) the one to pick up the extra work so moms can have family time. While indirect, aunts deserve to be appreciated for their contributions to the American Family Village in this way too.

These are just some of the ways aunts give of themselves selflessly.

Sunday, July 24th, 2011 marks the third annual Auntie’s DayTM. …It’s a day to honor and celebrate the women in the American Family Village who love and give to children not-their-own. On Sunday, give the Auntie in your child’s life a call, send her a card, or acknowledge her in whatever way you can to say thank you.

Aunthood is a gift. This day is theirs. And they deserve it.”

Thanks to Melanie for permission to post the excerpts.

I am an auntie by blood and an auntie by choice. Whether or not I ever do have my own children, you, my many scattered nieces and nephews, will be my own “little loves.” This is my truth and my gift to you.

much love,

Auntie Nettie

Friday, July 22, 2011

Photo of the Day: I'm Melting, Meeelting

Elle and Amber's Snowmen, Christmas 2010

It is a scorcher of a summer week in New York City. The normal temps today are up PAST 100, and with the humidity, the index is approaching 110-115. This is not normal, even for southwestern Utah/Nevada/Arizona. To keep cool, I'm not leaving the house, keeping on the air conditioner, turning off extraneous appliances to conserve electricity, keeping the blinds closed, and thinking cool thoughts - like snow, blizzards, and snowmen.

Stay cool ya'll.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Amazing Adventures of the Shushing Librarian - Fun Fourth Fiesta!

Well hello there. It's me again, The Shushing Librarian. Let me just put my book down, so I can catch you up on things. The library has kept me so busy, I realized I haven't had a chance to tell you what I did for the Fourth of July weekend.

Let me back up a bit, though. You will remember that Christine and Auntie Nettie went to Oheka in the spring? Well, I tagged along on the bus as a way to scope out some real estate.

That door right there? Leads to my three-story suite. (I wish.)

There's Christine, getting away from me. But she did give me a hand later, by inviting me to an upcoming holiday paaaartaaaay!

Vamos ala Fourth of July Fiesta!
When we arrived at the party, preparations were in full gear. How can you celebrate the Fourth of July without an apple pie? I do have to admit that some of the fruit ended up in a sangria mix that hit the spot!

New York is actually an honorary part of New England (well parts of it), so you can't have a party without a clambake. If you'll notice the cooler, you'll see that there was also going to be a bunch of surf and turf at this fiesta, courtesy of Omaha Steaks.

Advice to those with social phobia: Don't clam up!
(I'm looking at you, you know who you are!)

What would a holiday party be without hot dogs, brats, MEAT, and then the obligatory fruit salad for the ladies?

My eyes were bigger than my stomach. I had to quit eating for a bit, and then was tucked in for una pocita siesta en la fiesta.

Don't drink and slide.

Just don't. Trust me. (*shudder*)

Also, don't play on the swing without proper supervision. You'll be out of the frying pan, and into the fire. Speaking of which...

After all that meat and my little nap, I had a craving for something sweet that wasn't fruit. I went begging for a cookie. Rover wouldn't share. However ... SHHHHH Don't tell anyone. I snuck a marshmallow that was meant for the s'mores.

How else can you end an all-American holiday party without some fire-works?

Thanks, as ever, to Christine and her family for including me in their holiday gathering.

Hope you and yours had a happy Fourth of July too.

Stay tuned for more Amazing Adventures of The Shushing Librarian.