Monday, May 18, 2009

Lovely Iris

I took the plunge and am doing a needlepoint project. A real one, not just a sampler.

Now, I am still a novice, but the subject matter of the ANG CyberPointer project "Diamond Iris" is, well, an Iris. Iris's are one of my favorite flowers, so I just had to try.

First, we had to trace the design onto the canvas. Judy, author of both the Freebies, etc! and the Possibilities, etc! blogs, was kind and generous enough to walk me through the tracing of the design, and offered a plethora of advice and unstinting help. Any mistakes are entirely my own, of course!

Here is the beginning:

And then with the floss and other threads:

And the first petal, with my first attempt at the Burden Stitch:

On the the other petals!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memory and Scents

This Mother's day marks the 14th one I have spent without my mother. She died in 1995, when I was 28. I still dream about her and she still has advice and admonitions for me, odd as that sounds.

It is not only Mother's Day that brings back memories. Scents are strongly correlated to memory. Pine always makes me think of my mom, as does the smell of books. Any stray wafting of her perfume, which I don't remember the name of, instantly triggers her memory.

Scent triggers a different sort of memory than that of the visual one we all have for remembering test answers--scent triggers an emotional memory, positive or negative. Any one of my mom's scents can trigger a smile or tears. It is a memory of the heart.

Scent also aids in being able to remember and recall what you have learned. A recent German study indicates that smelling certain scents while studying, and then again when sleeping, helps to 'cement' the memories in. While this study looked at only rose scent, it would not be too difficult to see if a different scent would be just as effective in our own private experiment.

This brings me to my newest favorite way to get the scents that enhance my mental balance, health, and possible more. I love, love, love scented candles. However, with 7 (yes 7) cats, lit candles are not a terribly safe thing to have around.

Enter my great find: Scentsy.

Scentsy is a plug in candle warmer in two types, wall plug-ins and corded. But what really makes Scentsy stand out above all the other candle sellers out there are two wonderful things: the actual scent bars and my consultant Janice.

The scents are to die for. The first set I got was a wall plug model for my bathroom and the sweet pea and vanilla scent. It kept my bathroom--where I have 3 cat pans--- smelling fresh and sweet--as did the daily scooping of course!-- but not overwhelmingly so.

I then purchased the larger corded model and three scents: Exotic Vanilla, Orange Dreamsicle and Mysterious.

Within the hour my husband wanted to know if I was craving orange ice cream bars, because he sure was!

Janice is the best! She is quick to answer emails, and her customer service is outstanding. Ohh, and if you want your order fast--she is your woman!

Vanilla has always been one of my favorite scents. The other is Sandalwood. I am no longer in school, but still take online classes and I do teach. This is where and how I am going to try the experiment. Vanilla for me. My twins and oldest daughter are coming up on finals-- I am going to give is a go there too. Seems like I will be giving Janice yet another email here soon. It can't hurt, and if it helps my kids (son) pass, then it will be money well spent.

Oh, I almost forgot!!

Janice has some very cool room sprays as well. Good for freshening any room, especially those smaller, enclosed rooms that can hold not-so-wonderful scents. Think bathroom or any boy's room!

So in the long neglected paw prints awards--Scentsy and Janice get a 5 out of 5 paw prints!!

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