Friday, July 24, 2020

Seventh Grade Macramé

Just a few days ago I wrote about the annoying carpet of walnut detritus that, with the help of hungry squirrels, accumulates under our walnut tree every morning. No sooner had I pressed publish on that post than the walnut bombing stopped, all of a sudden. I think they've stripped the tree of every edible nut.

Our nasturtiums apparently dropped seeds a couple of years ago in and around a hydrangea in the front flower bed. In early spring, Dave moved the hydrangea to a big pot, and rooting around in the soil activated the nasturtium seeds, which sprouted. We moved them to their own pot in a sunny location, and now we have our first flower!

The plants have a little aphid problem, but yesterday morning a ladybird (ladybug) larva was on duty, cleaning them up.

We also finally have some flowers coming on our sweet peas. It's been months since I planted the seeds. I was about to give up on them but they're coming through.

Olga, formerly stained with walnut juice, is now stained with blackberry juice, which she picks up on her fur while charging through the underbrush after her Kong. (Or squirrels.) She's an even more colorful dog than usual!

Yes, that's me, in seventh grade -- the one school year that probably most of us would love to forget. I'm posting this picture because blogger Miss Edna recently mentioned crocheting necklaces, and that reminded me of this macramé necklace I made in the late 1970's. My stepmother, a macramé practitioner who made elaborate creations including plant hangers and a wine rack, got my stepbrother into it, and I learned it from him. Soon both of us were making our own knotted chokers with little beads. I think my younger brother and stepsister made some too. I can't remember where those beads came from -- probably some place in the mall. The middle bead was supposed to be shaped like a very abstract dove.

This photo is one of the ones my stepmother mailed me several weeks ago. It obviously spent many years in a frame and it's very faded, but it's the only copy I have of this particular portrait, which I never liked. (What is up with my hair? It looks like I hadn't washed it in a week. Which is possible.) I'm sure my mom has better copies stuck in a drawer somewhere.

Wasn't I just quite the little hipster?


  1. I like the way that colours are often drained from old photographs - threatening to turn them to black and white. It's like a metaphor for the passing of time. We won't get that with digital pictures.

  2. Are your nut gathering visitors of the red or grey variety? Your hair looks plastered down with something. Was it curly? The necklace doesn't make you look the least bit gay!

  3. Good to have natural garden assistance!

  4. It’s a testament to your emotional security to post a photo from seventh grade. And you look to be very proud of your macrame necklace.
    I’m like to obliterate any remaining photos of me at that age.

  5. Nasturtiums are hardy and provide colour and greenery. Sweet peas are sometimes contrary but they have such a distinct perfume. Like Daphne, which I hardly ever see or smell in these days of tiny box hedgerows and white roses.

  6. Seventh grade pictures are meant to stay in a drawer. Don't even think I have one of me at that age (thankfully). At least you look happy...and snazzy.

    Olga is merely adding some blush to her cheeks--albeit a bit haphazardly. That or she is going for a technicolor coat.

  7. I think it's mandatory that everyone in the seventh grade is full-on awkward. That is, unless you were my best friend, Anne, who never had an awkward day in her life. I would say that my awkward stage lasted from 4th to 12th grade. I think you look wonderful and I would have loved a beaded macrame necklace like that.

  8. You were a good lookin kid. I remember when kids wore these to school. I didn't realize that they made them.

  9. Wow, that ladybug larva looks scary, like a relative of the bug Khan puts in Chekov's ear in Wrath of Khan!
    Funny they grow into such cute, round bugs.

    You look adorable, for a 7th grader. :)
    I always say, however awful my life is, at least I'm not in middle or high school.

    Funny, Sarah of Circles of Rain just posted macrame.
    Must be a knotty season...

  10. Oh wow, I had completely forgotten all the crazy macrame stuff I used to make. Wall hangings with beads and maybe even bells. I think you're seventh-grade self is absolutely adorable.

  11. I thought at first that Olga had gotten scratched - glad it's just blackberry stains instead :)

    I think your younger self was very hip - the fashions in older photos are what date us so much. Put back into the context of when they were taken, we were all probably a lot better looking. lol For me, the decade of terribleness was when I was a young mom - it was the 80s and I had those large glasses, a perm, and stirrup pants in all my pictures. Cringey!!

  12. Yes, you look very hip in that photo. I remember those macrame necklaces and bracelets but, I honestly can't remember if I had any. I did however make macrame plant hangers one year. I love all the colors on Olga. She looks like a true lover of the outdoors.

  13. I think you're adorable! I would probably have had a crush on you in 7th grade (but don't worry - you would never have known it. Ha!). I should crochet myself a necklace!

  14. nasturtiums do host many aphids, I love nasturtiums, planted a whole bunch of them along the rock wall and they looked splendid from afar, but up close they were aphid central. Lady bug larvae are really cool, Erik filmed one taking its old suit off and becoming all gorgeous red and white polka dotted. You were cuter than i was in seventh grade, that is for sure!
    I have never noticed Olga's "our Gang" eye before! Cute!

  15. I do remember 7th grade, I believe it was the 2nd circle of hell.

  16. I really do like your macrame necklace. Next time, I'll have to show a photo of the stuff that I did not like. What a handsome photo of you. I don't have any seventh grade photos of myself, but if I did, they wouldn't be very pretty. That's an awkward age for so many of us. I love nasturtiums, and that's a great close up of Olga. Who cares how many colors she has, she's still beautiful. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  17. Re that 7th grade picture: at least you HAD some hair then! :D

  18. You have removed me about the simple nastushum
    I've not seen any for an age

  19. You were the hipster! 7th grade is the grade I teach. A most interesting time in one's life.

  20. Actually that's a fantastic photo of you. A very cool seventh grader I'd say. A hipster before your time.

  21. YP: Yeah, there is a sort of beauty in the imperfection, no question.

    Andrew: They are gray, sadly. I WISH we had red squirrels. I didn't plaster my hair down with anything, at least not intentionally!

    GZ: I agree! We strive for it!

    Marty: I think I was quite proud of it. It might be the first thing I made for myself to wear.

    Alphie: Yeah, I never see Daphne out and about, which is a shame.

    Mary: Ha! Dog rouge!

    Susan: It's definitely a transitional stage. I wish at the time we realized that ALL of us felt awkward, instead of thinking it was such a personal, isolating feeling.

    Red: Well, maybe not all kids did, but I did!

    Fresca: Yeah, I would never want to relive middle school. High school I wouldn't mind so much.

    Robin: Yeah, bells were a thing too! It was definitely THE craft of the '70s. (Along with latch-hook rugs.)

    Jenny-O: We thought it was blood too, at first, but then realized it's the wrong color. Fashions of the day could definitely be cringey!

    Sharon: I tried to make some plant hangers but I designed them myself and thus they didn't work very well.

    Bug: Re. the crush, surely not! If you crochet a necklace definitely share it with us. It's hard for me to envision how a crocheted necklace could be a good thing.

    Linda Sue: I think it's kind of cool how they house such vibrant aphid colonies. And yet the plants seem more or less healthy.

    Allison: Ha! In Dante's middle school!

    Edna: Yeah, I'm curious about the necklaces you didn't like! I'll watch to see if you post a picture of them.

    Catalyst: True! I eventually came to really like my hair, until it all fell out when I was about 20.

    John: Get some seeds! As you probably know, they're very easy to grow.

    Michael: Yeah, definitely. I think now there's more awareness of the awkwardness of that age, and hopefully teachers and others are a little more sympathetic and accommodating.

    37P: Ha! A hipster before there was such a word! In my J.C. Penney shirt. LOL

  22. I fooled around with macrame in 1970, made a few wall hangings.

    both nasturtiums and sweet peas have to be planted here in November.