Sunday, March 29, 2009

Creating a Sampler For Life

Most people who know me or have listened to me expound on my love for CQ know that I consider CQs a form of sampler. If they have listened closely they will realize I also have a passion for counted thread samplers. CQs provide me a canvas on which to explore a variety of various techniques not always possible to put on a traditional evenweave linen sampler. As a matter of fact, counted thread samplers were my stitching passion long before I began seriously CQing. I enjoy counted thread techniques such as Hardanger, pulled and drawn thread, Blackwork, Assissi, counted cross stitch, and many ethnic embroidery techniques. I am a member of The Sampler Life yahoo needlework group. They are having a challenge this month to create your own sampler. I have not had enough time to create a NEW sampler for this challenge so I have decided to share with my new friends some samplers I have designed in the past.

The sampler pictured below is the first one that I created on my own. It uses a variety of motifs meaningful to me. Many were supplied by a wonderful lady named Pam Darney, whom I met through EGA. Others I found on my own. She gave our chapter a workshop and lecture on how to create your own samplers. She also educated us on the meaning of certain motifs that have been used by sampler makers throughout history.

I call this HER WORK and it is stitched on 32 ct. natural linen. It is, for the most part, stitched over 2 threads. It has some simple dividing bands of cross stitch, longarm cross, Montenegrin stitch, and arrowhead satin. The alphabet and numbers are done in cross stitch with a couple of small cross motifs that include unpulled Algerian eyelet stitches done over 4 threads. The pineapple (a symbol of welcome)is a mix of over 2 cross stitch and over 2 Algerian eyelets. The EGA and the COS are stitched in eyelets done in the Dutch manner, as is the heart. The little blue and gold motif is done in rice stitch. The COS stands for Colorado Springs, where I attend EGA. The next little motif has an over 2 satin stitch cross and all the other motifs are done in cross stitch. The strawberry petit point band is done over 1. The other symbols I chose were a deer to symbolize the hunt, a beagle because we raise them, a robin for the birds I see first each spring, a bowl of fruit for wealth/plenty, a tall flower stem to symbolize the hollyhocks in my garden, and a Scandinavian star by the house because we are Danish. The heart over the house represents the love therein, the pine tree is for our native pines in the yard, a woman (who could she be?) and a traditional verse of rememberance that says to me that we are all walking the same learning curve of life. The tall flower is typical for European samplers and I am part Czech - it was as close as I could find and that I liked. The Her Work is done in 2 colored rice stitch and cross stitch. I had to add the playful squirrel and acorn because we have them in the yard all year around. The peacock is also a symbol of welcome. His tail has Algerian eyelets and he has a FK eye. The final strawberry border is a favorite of my grandmother's so it had to be included in her honor. This sampler measures 18 1/2" x 8 1/2". It was stitched in Danish Flower Threads by Dansk Blomstergarn. I love the matte look they give to the work.

This next sampler is one I designed to honor my husband's tour of duty in the Desert Storm conflict. I used a technique that Pam Darney talked about in her lecture - hidden meanings and codes in the stitching. This was an effort to give the sampler my personal spin on the history of the time the sampler represents. I began stitching on it the day he left for DS and ended it when he came home. It would have been much longer if he had stayed there longer! It is stitched on 27 ct. Glenshee linen in DMC cotton floss.

I chose to use cross stitch over 2 theads for most of the stitching. There are some exceptions. The border is an arrrowhead satin stitch, the green border under the last line of alphabet is rice stitch, the center of the for-get-me-not is an Algerian eyelet, the tail feathers of the peacock are double Algerian eyelets, the verse (which gave me confidence he would return home)is petit point over 1 thread, there are some French knots and some backstitching. The Indidan symbol is eyelet, straight and ray stitches.

Here are some of the hidden codes: The yellow ribbon border should be self explanatory, we all wore them if we had someone over there we wanted to come home. My flower barrels on the front of our house were wrapped in them as well. In the first alphabet all the light blue letters are the letters in VICTORY, which we prayed for. The light blue numbers 191 are the month and year he left to go to DS. The green dividing band between alphabets is to signify the Saudi flag. In the second alphabet all the dark clue letters spell Louie, his name. The dividing band after that is red, white, and blue for the American Flag. In the third alphabet the medium blue letters spell SAUDI, those that we were fighting with.

There is a for-gt-me-not, a red cross for the medical unit he flew with (the 1022 out of Wyoming National Guard), the American flags, the palm trees, mosques, peacocks, chestnuts, camels and amaranths that he saw while he was over there. The star symbolizes the night flying he did the majority of the time he was there. The USA map has the states of Wyoming and Colorado stitched in separate colors to signify where we lived and where his unit flew from. The phone was how we communicated (no computer then), the $ shows what we talked about because I had to take over the bill paying in his absence, the Yorkie was our little Bailey who also missed him. The mail box has the flag up because I wrote him everyday. The glasses are there to remind me that he wore them, he got them just 2 days before he left! There is also a Native American symbol for hope, a bowl of apples, which he missed, another yellow ribbon, our house with love over it. The eagle is in fighting mode with an olive branch and arrows for peace and war. I wanted it over (peace) but I wanted it to be worth the sacrifice if I lost him (fight to the end).

I hope you found this a little interesting. I have written the story of this sampler on the back of the board it is mounted on. If it should outlive me perhaps someone in another era will look at it and learn a bit.

Friday, March 27, 2009

RR Block For Margareet

I put the last few stitches into Margareet's CQ RR block this afternoon. I tried hard to keep the colors "soft" as she had requested. I hope she likes what I have done. Here is the seam treatment I did using chain stitches to form half circles. I used Needle Necessities Spring II which is 50% cotton/50% rayon. It is about the size of a perle cotton #8. The gold rays are Kreinik Fine Braid #4 in 002J. The mother-of-pearl button beads and the peachy glass beads are both from different necklaces I have had in my stash drawer for a long time. I bought them at thrift stores and took them apart to use on CQ's and other projects. I used pearlized seed beads to hold them on and golden glass beads on the gold rays.

This next picture shows the opposite corner of the block, where I used a small section of a beautiful ribbon I won from Cathy K. when she had her 100th blog give-away drawing. I think it makes a nice seam treatment and it brings together some of the metallic elements from the other side of the block. I also added the bullion rose, buds and beads. I used Needle Necessities Overdyed French Wool #21 for the flower and #37 for the leaves/stems. The seed beads were added to help balance the mulberry ribbon of Diane's work in the center of the block. As always you can click on any picture to enlarge it if you wish.

This next picture is of my favorite. I think it turned out pretty well. I believe this patch began life as a section of a fancy napkin or something similar. I started with stem stitching the vine/stem pattern. Then I added the leaves, using a fly stitch. The thread I used was an overdyed cotton floss from Weeks Dye Works. It is color #1189 - Butter Bean. Don't you just love that name? It rolls off the tongue, LOL. The flowers are done in a buttonhole stitch out of another Needle Necessities overdye. This one is cotton floss #622. The napkin edge is in buttonhole stitch and done with Needle Necessities overdyed cotton floss # 652. I finished the small flowers off with seed pearls and used a slightly larger pearl on the scallops.

Here is the overall view of Margareet's block now that Diane and I have completed our work. It still has to go to Rose Anne and Ritva before it gets back to Margareet. I will drop it in the mail tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Good Neighbors

I am lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where many of us on this block have known each other since our kids were in kindergarten. Now these kids are grown and have children of their own going to that same school. We still keep track of each other's family happenings. We watch each other's homes while the residents are vacationing. We gossip while collecting the mail, washing our cars, and watering the lawns. We watch the fireworks together on the Fourth of July while sitting on the driveway. We drop our excess zuchinni off on each other's porches in the summer and then run home to hide!

DD Moon is the unofficial house sitter for the neighborhood. She started out by being the dog watcher when neighbors went out of town. As she got older and didn't move out, the neighbors began to ask her to take on the responsibility of watching whole houses, watering plants, picking up mail, newspapers, etc. while they were away. We have a duplicate set of keys to over half of the houses on this block hanging on a hook in our kitchen. Now that she is an adult these neighbors are beginning to treat her more like a member of their extended family, often bringing her gifts from their travels, in addition to paying her for her services. She has taken in quite a little sum of money over the past few years being 'neighborly'. It has certainly helped her out since she has been out of work.

Recently one couple, whose son Larry is the same age as our son, went to Japan to visit Larry, his Japanese wife and their two darling children. Larry has been living in Japan for about 10 years now. He is teaching English in a small village there and loves it. Before they left for Japan, my neighbor Arlene and I were talking about CQing. I mentioned, in passing, how I had been able, while living in Korea, to get some scrap Kimono fabrics at the dressmaker's shops for free.

Today, when Arlene came to pay Moon for watching their house while they were gone, she brought with her a large cellophane bag full of goodies she had picked up for me in Japan. The materials are mostly small pieces of kimono cottons, some are even scraps of pre-quilted cotton in children's prints which will make darling children's bags. There are some lovely floral prints (I don't buy a lot of actual prints so I can use these!), a couple of really nice, large yardage pieces in flannel and damask, 1 package of gold edged ribbon, and some little packages of mostly plastic beads/trims. I am sure I will be able to put it all to good use.

What a wonderful, unexpected surprise! I believe Arlene is probably even more challenged at sewing than I am, if that is at all possible,LOL. So, for her to go out and even attempt to find these fabrics for me was probably a huge undertaking. She mentioned riding on the high speed train (see the fabric with the 55 on it and the one that says Shinkansen - train advertising on fabric, lol) for a long period of time for a sight seeing day trip. Then, at the end of the day, finding this little fabric shop and carrying the bag of fabrics back on the train. That was probably a bit awkward or even intimidating for her and Richard (her DH). She told me that the little fellow who owned the shop was as glad to get rid of these bits and pieces as she was to find them, VBG. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them taking the time on this most personal of vacations to think of me and my CQing.

I offered to pay her something because I could see price tags on a lot of what she brought. She declined saying she was just grateful that we let Moon live at home so she was here to watch the house and it was a way of saying thanks for being good neighbors. Aw Shucks! Fact is Moon just can't find a 'real' job so she can get enough money together to get out! I am real glad she is living here too! I don't know how I could get everything done without her here to help with the children, the house cleaning and especially the dishes! Most importantly, as those who follow my blog will know, I count on her to be my computer tutor!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Birthday and Rebirthing A UFO

It was 44 years ago today that I gave birth to my first child, Kimberly. She has turned out to be a very special woman: warm hearted, honest, loyal, beautiful inside and out (although she would argue that point). She is also a dedicated and hard working member of the police force. We are proud of her and wish her a happy birthday - even though she has asked that we forget it this year. She doesn't like getting older now that she is "all grown up" and turning gray like her momma.

Earlier this week I sent my CQ Christmas stocking out on its way around the world in a RR. This is a private RR between friends. We will be stitching on each other's Christmas projects "of size". My stocking measures about 37" long by 27" wide at the widest point. I pieced it out of jewel toned fabrics from cotton to velvet and silk. When Moon (my youngest daughter) took a trip to France she brought me back some beautiful ribbons, gimps and braids. I used them on this stocking, along with some tatting done by my grandmother and a piece of lace that was off something of hers. I won't tell you how many years it has been sitting in my UFO box because I was still "collecting" items of interest to go on it! Baloney! I have been procrastinating because I was overwhelmed at the idea of completing it myself. I think this happens to many of us on occasion, we have great ambitions, little or no time and we bite off more than we can chew. I even had plans at one time to complete a deep Hardanger cuff for it, dye laces, etc., etc. Life got in the way, the family got me a different stocking to use "in the meantime" and I lost my drive.

Recently, on that lace shopping trip to Denver, I was inspired to give rebirth to the idea of completing this project. Through the yahoo group CQI, in a short span of time, I obtained some gorgeous free silkies representing my grandchildren and an offer I couldn't have some of CQ's BEST help me do the rest! I got out the duffle bag that held my stocking and its proposed embellishments. I started to whittle down the contents to a reasonable weight for shipping around the world with an eye towards keeping the shipping costs down for the others. I also realized my tastes then and now had changed as to what was acceptable or vital to put on it. Although I love Hardanger I scuttled the idea of the cuff because I have the silkies now and they need room to be displayed. And, truthfully, I don't have time to design a special cuff right now. So I am going with a slightly curved seam line topped stocking.

Next, I took my proposed stash for mailing and showed it to a friend. She helped me whittle it down even more. The object was to allow the ladies who are doing the embellishing of the stocking to use their own creativity (and they are loaded with it!), not to make them feel stifled by my requesting certain items on there that had lost their attraction or could possibly be put on something else later. I got it down to some Japanese button hole twist, the 3 silkies of the kids, 2 special ribbons off of some chocolate boxes DH gave me at a very special time in our lives, and some lace pieces I love. The bonus: I have access to all of those wonderful embellishments again for using on their RR pieces and/or future projects!

Here is a picture of the stocking that is sooooooo big I couldn't lay it down on a flat surface and get the whole thing in a recognizable picture. I had to pin it to the dining room drapes! I don't imagine I will ever be able to hang it up like that again once the weight of embellishments, lining and backing are added! And that's not to say how heavy it will be once Santa fills it! OH BOY!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tatting Giveaway

I seem to be finding an awful lot of these giveaways this month. I think everyone is fed up with winter and wants Spring to burst forth. Is having a giveaway just another method of spring cleaning, clearing the cobwebs from our brains? Out with the old ideas, old products, old stuff done last year? Make room for the new concepts, new patterns/designs and give ourselves room for new things that tickle our creative muse?

Whatever it is that is driving everyone to do giveaways right now, I am happy to enter and take my chances at winning some beautiful works of needleart. Any winnings will be new additions to my stash or treasure chest! If you feel lucky and if you admire tatting as much as I do then you will want to check out the Super Awesome Anniversary & Sale that Mel is having on her blog Needle Tatting and Other Nonsense. She makes tatted jewelry, masks, etc. Very different from the edgings and doilies I make. I loved her Victorian Wedding Set and the Quadra in Burgundy Bracelet. She also has a very special sale price offer on her Etsy items which will be good only for those who visit her blog first. She is giving away between 1 and 4 prizes, dependent on how many hits she has on the drawing. You have until 3/17 to enter. The winner will be announced on 3/20 - my oldest daughter's birthday. This seems like it might be kismet for me! Here is a picture of her first prize- Full Bloom:

Here is a picture of my personal favorite of her tatted pieces - Victorian Wedding Set:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Edgy Words and Selvages

I love to put words on my crazy quilts. Sometimes I backstitch them onto an evenweave material such as linen or Aida cloth and then use that piece of cloth as a patch in my CQ. In the pictures below you can see that I used DMC 3371 to backstitch the names of all types of teas on one side of the basket top. On the other I used the same color to backstitch some of the things having a connection with tea.

This particular set of small basket top covers was a study in natural dyes. I have used mostly coffees, teas and brown onion skins to color the fabrics I chose for this CQ - cotton, linen, silk and rayon blends. I also took a skein each of DMC cotton floss in white, ecru, pale blue, yellow, green and pink and dipped them in the different brews I had concocted to subdue their natural colors. I then spattered the flosses with other natural dyes of red, blue and green. I am sorry I don't remember right now what gave me those colors. All the silk ribbon was also dipped in coffee or tea to take the sheen off.

Because I wanted to emphasize the dyeing of the fabric on these tops I used only a single strand of floss for each seam treatment. This really made the seams recede into the background. I also chose to put SRE bees on a honeycomb pattern rather than use the traditional spider and web. The look is simple and the process was educational.

Other ways I have put words onto my CQ's include using labels from clothing - some of those designer clothes have really cool words as names for the company (All That Jazz, Mosaic, Piano, etc.) I have also painted initials on fabric and I am sure someone with better handwriting than mine could write whole sentences! One of my favorite ways to get words and thoughts onto my projects is by printing poems, vintage calling cards, etc. onto fabrics using the computer. It is fun to experiment with different fonts and colors. Even ribbons can be created with words on them. I also save ribbons, like the ones on boxes of fine chocolates, that have words on them and use them.

Over the years I have begged many a cut off selvage from my friends who do sane quilting and sewing. Those selvages have nice words, numbers and even patterns that can be sewn in with other patches, across other patches or even sewn together to make their own patch. In fact, today the trend is to save the selvages just for their own projects, like needle case covers, cell phone holders, etc. They even have books about how to do use selvages for different projects. Ask yourself, how many selvages have you thrown in the trash can over the past decade?

I was recently blog hopping and found the Moda Lissa blog site. Wonderful fabrics for quilting and sewing. They are having a giveaway on Saturday, March 14. The prize is a large ball of selvages (think twine ball)! Check it out! Also, there is going to be information posted on March 18 about a Selvage Pillow Giveaway on the Selvageblog blog site. There are pictures there of one pillow that is so darling. I want in on this, do you? Check it out, too!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Remembering Gram and a Memorphilia Giveaway

If you like vintage paper and memorphilia, you will love this opportunituy! Marie, of Spun By Me, is celebrating her 200th blog with a wonderful giveaway. To enter the drawing just go to her blog between now and noon Thursday, March 12 and leave her a comment. Good Luck!

I spent the day today with my mother at the nursing home. I worked on my crazy quilting embroidery while she worked on her jig saw puzzle. We get together on Sundays almost every week in this fashion. Although she does not share my interest in pushing needle through fabric she does seem to appreciate the work and beauty of it all. Mom is also good with color selections. Alzheimer's has not yet robbed her of the ability to remember when her own mother knit and crocheted for the family. But, she does not remember my grandmother teaching me to do embroidery. This saddens me because my mother had some beautiful linens in her home that my grandmother had embroidered. I would want to remember them and the love in every stitch.

I remember the time my grandmother taught me how to do chicken scratch on gingham checks so I could make an apron and a pillow for the 7th grade home economics display. Boy, did I ever enjoy that, just saying the name was funny to me! That was when she decided to teach me several of what she termed the "farmer's stitches" - turkey stitch, feather stitch (because of the chicken jokes I told) and fly stitch. She never missed an opportunity to expand my repetoire by telling me that certain stitches were connected to certain happenings in our lives. Blanket stitch was taught to me when my aunt was having a new baby and needed a receiving blanket. I learned satin stitch and padded satin stitch making the eyes and nose on a small stuffed animal for that same baby. Yes, I remember sitting on the foot stool, pulled up to the side of her rocker. I would be concentrating on the work in my hand, she would look over my shoulder and watch me struggle with the stitches. Then she would take the cloth from my hands, softly repeat what I SHOULD BE DOING, show me again, and hand it back to me. I did a lot of frog stitching (Rip IT - Rip It) but she never said it was awful, just that she knew I had it in me to do better next time. I hope she is watching me today and approves of the work I am doing.

I remember how she let the girls in my girl scout troop come over to her house and set up a room sized quilting frame in her living room. She then taught us to secure the multicolored quilt, made from alternating light and dark 3" squares of dress cottons, to the frame. Then she allowed us to crawl over and under the quilt while learning to tie the quilt in every 4th corner of the blocks. Afterwards we had sugar cookies decorated like thimbles and thread spools with large glasses of milk.

Grandma never made fancy quilts, hers were made to be used daily. She would spend the spring evenings cutting up old dresses, shirts, and linens given to her by my 6 aunts and friends. Then, in the late summer she would set the two bags of 3" squares of fabric (one dark and one light colored)by the side of her rocker and begin to hand piece them together. She would grab a light piece out of one bag, a dark piece out of the other and stitch them together, and so on. She told me once she timed it this way so that the quilts would warm her own lap in the late fall, when it was colder, while she pieced them. I remember her asking each aunt how many quilts were needed that winter. Somehow they each got just what they needed at Christmas. She didn't use quilt batting, just soft flannel sheets. Most of the times just 1 flannel sheet, but for my aunt and uncle in Nebraska she always put in 2 flannel sheets. Then she backed them with a soft but sturdy cotton that she had pieced from 2 long pieces of fabric. They were always tied, never quilted with a fancy feather or diamond pattern. She didn't have time for that. In between all this she crocheted or knit a baby quilt for each of her 27 greatgrandchildren, crocheted and/or tatted pillow case and doiley edgings for pieces she had embroidered. She taught me and any of my other 19 cousins who were interested how to sew, crochet, tat and embroider. It was during these lessons that she passed on her little "Gramomilies". One of my favorites is Do Your Best, Leave The Rest, Angels Do No More.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Connie's Gift & Julia's Inspiring Creation

I belong to Pikes Peak Chapter of EGA. I frequently take friends to meetings with me and sometimes they join EGA as a result. Thus was the case with my dear friend Connie K. I met Connie online not too long ago. We soon found out we were nearly neighbors. She attended the January EGA meeting as my guest and came back as a new member in February. At that meeting she gifted me with a 5 1/2" square candle holder base that was made out of some type of pottery material and painted silver. She got it, and several others, at a craft store on sale. She gave it to me and said she didn't know what we could do with them but they were priced right and too good to pass up. Here is a picture of the side of the base. Versatile pattern, huh? The top is just a smooth silver square, lol.

Recently I was browsing through Julia R's blog. She shows pictures of 3 lovely velvet pincushions that she made a bit larger than usual for holding hatpins and brooches. I LOVE THIS IDEA! I think I will apply a little creative license and take some inspiration from her creations. I want to make myself something like them using the base Connie gave me. Imagine being able to have a place to display all the brooches that I have picked up thinking I would use them in CQing. If they were displayed in such a manner I might even be tempted to grab one and wear it! Isn't it great how fate puts things right in your face sometimes and dares you to pay attention?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Playing Catch Up & Winning

February was a lucky month for me because I won a couple of stash building contests! However, I also had severe dental problems that required extractions, lots of pain meds, and bed rest. Because of this I never got around to acknowledging the ladies who were so generous to me. So, without further ado, I would like to remedy that situation right now!

Lyn Gaskill has a Blog Teaser Contest each month having to do with old time Broadway stars. It is always a challenge and yet well worth the research effort because she puts together some wonderful stash bags, silkies and pin keeps for prizes. You may remember the dramatic red and black pin keep I won in January from her for being the first to get the bonus question correct. In February I was actually the first to answer all the Teaser questions correctly. For that I was the very happy recipient of a silkie of Mary Ryan (the starlet featured in her quiz) AND a squishie bag crammed with additional silkies and other fabulous stash enhancements!

I was also the first to answer the bonus question about Edward G. Robinson correctly. For that I won another of her wonderful pin keeps! This one she describes as being "glitzy". Boy! Is it ever! I love the colors and the sparkle! I can't believe that I am now the owner of two - count them - TWO Gaskill pin keeps!

Thank you, Lyn, for offering us all this opportunity each month and for the work you do putting together the questions and the lovely prizes.

Lyn has a wonderful display of sane art quilts on her blog right now. They are from a show she went to called "The Best Little Quilt Show In Texas". Check it out.

The next package to arrive in the mail last month was from Sue Biles, a friend from CQ For Newbies. She was the hostess of a 6" CQ Heart Swap. I sent the heart I posted on 2-1-09. She actually drew my name for the swap. She kept my heart and sent this beauty to me:

Isn't it great? I love the bleeding heart fabric and the tiny silk ribbon roses. To tell the truth, the whole heart is just great and I am so glad to have some of Sue's work in my CQ basket. Not sure what I will use it for right now but I am going to put it with the one I got from Vera Ellen of CQI until I decide. In the meantime I am developing quite a collection, huh? And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the 3 darling heart charms that she included in the package as "extras" for getting the heart mailed out to me a bit late. Not that I complained or minded, considering my own condition at the time. Thank you, Sue, for hostessing this swap and for the work you did on this heart. Also, hugs for including the charms!

Yesterday I received a box full of goodies from Cathy Kizerian, a friend from CQI. It seems her DH drew my name from all those who had entered her 100th Blog Posting Give-Away. OH BOY, what a treat the box was to open! My daughter and I wondered if it would ever empty out! I have to admit, there are some trims in there that just made us giggle. We were having so much fun saying what we could do with this, that and the other thing with each item that came out of the box - then we came upon these large fluffy, fringy, wide trims. My daughter got a little bawdy with her descriptions of where she could best put them to use. ROFLOL all over again! I am sure not going to follow her sireeeee!

Here are some pictures of the wonderful contents of that box. The fabrics are lush, the silkies, lace, hankies, and ribbons are to die for. Can't wait to use them.

Thank you Cathy for being so generous! Tell your hubby that I appreciate him drawing my name out of that bowl so so so much, VBG. Congratulations again on your 100th blog post. At the rate I am going I may never get there, but if I do I will remember your generosity and try to pay it forward.

I think this is enough for today. I will try hard not to have to do this much all at once again. Enjoy your stitching and please leave a comment - let me know what you think of this post.