inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Sunday, September 13, 2020

tansy and hope


I whispered to the tiny blossoms
as I clipped them into the dye pot, 
"Thank you, blossoms, for bringing the magic of the soil 
up through your roots and stems, 
for shining your light these past few weeks, 
and for helping me bring your color into my stitching."

There are so many ways in this world to hope friends.
Don't give up.

Oh me, oh my, what a bit of crazy all of us are going through! We have beloved ones in both California and Oregon, who have air purifiers running in their homes, who have ash falling in their yards, who cannot go outside because the air around them is poisonous, who have bags packed by the door just in case. Global climate change is not a hoax, it's a reality that is knocking at our front doors. And the news from the White House continues to outrage many of us. The pandemic continues its death grip on the nation and yet many ignore basic public health advice. Teaching about the inequities around white supremacy and institutional racism has become taboo, according to someone who is in the position to pull our country together (if only he could see his role in it all). The economy is booming for corporate America, while mom and pop businesses are dropping like flies. 

Maybe like me, it's hard for you to get out of bed in the morning...

But there are so many ways to carry on and to be courageous in these challenging times.

For me, looking out for great stories and at the same time setting limits on how much time I spend listening to current events feels like a good way to cope.

Here's a few links you might enjoy...

  • The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery, a fabulous read, info here.
  • Living on the Edge, a Moth Radio Hour story about a man waiting for a liver transplant, here.
  • Renaming a dress pattern in light of current events. Are you not sure what "cultural appropriation" means? This is a very articulate and thoughtful article. From "washi dress" to "trillium dress", via made-by-rae.
  • Willow Crossley's flower arranging videos are a delightful distraction! I found her via Tiny Happy, one of my long time favorite blogs.
AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT MUSIC! It can take you back in time (The Moody Blues, for me, yesterday, over the dye pots), it can help you meditate, you can dance away your tensions, you can sing along, and you can clean up your garden beds to tunes.

GET OUTSIDE (if it is safe for you). Take a walk, a hike, a bike ride, a paddle, do some gardening, hang your laundry on the line, pull some weeds, sit on your porch or stoop, look up at the stars, play hopscotch, walk to your neighbor's for a socially distanced visit.

AND REMEMBER, there is still hope and happiness, even in these dark times. Some folks even stare these times down, with determination in their eyes, like our Hannah and her Loren, who decided to get hitched. Don't know where or when, but they are going to do it.

It takes so much energy just to get through a day in 2020.

I see you, friends. Wherever you are, however you are managing, I honor you.

And I send you love.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

what a difference a year makes...


Above, after a day in Assisi, 2019.
Below, here at our bit of earth, 2020.

Some things remain the same, like gorgeous sunsets

on two different sides of the world and a year apart.

Other things, not so much.

Hang in there friends.

Hang in there.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

maggie's mail

Snail mail is near and dear to our hearts. Our family still sends (and sometimes makes) Valentine's cards. We send birthday cards. We send inspirational quotes. We send confetti and stickers and decals to one another. Post cards, special scraps of fabric, old photos, newspaper clippings...we'll slap a stamp on nearly anything! And some of us practice what we call "snail mail ministry", sending notes to folks who may need a virtual hug.

Some of us have even visited the National Postal Museum in Washington D. C.

We are deeply concerned about what is happening to the United States Postal Service. I hope you know what I am talking about. 

Make no mistake. We are training them young. The next generation of snail mailers is just as passionate as us older folks.

Lindsey found this sweet paper airplane fabric and embroidered "Maggie's Mail" on it. She put it in an envelope and mailed it to me. 

I appliquéd it onto a mail carrier's bag that I whipped up for Maggie. Then I put it in the mail.

Maggie hangs it on the doorknob of her apartment in Brooklyn, and stashes her snail mail in it. The next time she and her mama and/or papa go out into the world, she slings that bag over her shoulder, puts on her face mask and makes a bee line for the nearest postal box. She still needs help opening the box, but we know it won't be long until she's tall enough to pull that handle down herself!

This past spring, I made Maggie a pouch and filled it with notecards, envelopes and stickers. She has pen pals from Massachusetts to Michigan and is delighted to find replies in her mailbox down in the lobby of her apartment building.

All of this is especially poignant these days. If I think about how much I miss her and her mama and papa and her cousin Flora and her aunties and uncles, I can feel the tears starting to come. Snail mail is such a simple way to spread the love and feel more connected in these discombobulated times.

I will never take for granted the power of a sticky scrap of paper in the upper right hand corner of an envelope.


Monday, August 31, 2020

bookends for the day

 this wee fawn and her mama wandered near the deck 
as i was stretching early this morning. 
 we harvested the carrots and beets today.
 due to our hot and dry summer, our root cellar
is not yet cool enough to store our veggies.
 we set the carrots out to dry a bit on the porch, 
then tucked them into our mini fridge that 
we use when we have a houseful of guests.
(which clearly isn't happening right now...).
we'll hold the veggies here until the root cellar cools down.
 as we tidied up after our gardening, the sunset caught my eye...
...and created a pretty reflection in the window of the workshop.

check back tomorrow to see some  sewing projects for miss magpie.

hope you are hanging in there, friends.
unprecedented times.

Friday, August 28, 2020

morning sky

Oh, friends, what a week it has been. 
I thought you might like to see the morning view out our bedroom window.

A clean slate.
A fresh start.
New possibilities.

Each morning asks of us...
What have I done to ease the pain in the world?
What can I do today?


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

"bit of earth" quilt book

snapfish had a special going last week, 65% off photo books.
even with the discount, this little book was pricey,
but it's such fun to have this project documented!
their turn around time was amazing!
one week from placing the order til i had it in hand.

Two links for today

Saturday, August 22, 2020

meadow weaving

 my second try at weaving bits of the gardens and meadows.
 the thinner string broke when i tried to pull it tight
as i set up the warp.
so i went with a softer version of the highly twisted string i 
used on thursday's version.
(nice to have three different types of string on hand!)
 birchbark, feathers, bits of lichen, a birch twig, 
grass stems and some aromatic sage.
 a stem of indigo, more birchbark 
and some rosemary.
tansy blooms and more rosemary.

It really was such fun, walking the gardens and meadow, clippers in hand, gathering bits to weave into some sort of homage to late summer. I have yet to figure out how to get the weaving safely off the loom and arranged to hang it. I hope it may hang somewhere in the house so that in midwinter it may remind us of the abundance of these August days. This weaving echos the quilted wallhanging I stitched some years ago at just about this same time of year..."meadow's ebb"

I have tried a few times to get into Robin Wall Kimmerer's book, Braiding Sweetgrass, and I am trying again! It's funny how some books sort of wait for you to find them, while others just jump into your hands.

A few of the things on the "to do"list this weekend

  • tidy up the root cellar, remove cobwebs, air the sand from storage buckets, spread out on a tarp in the sunshine.
  • prep the garlic, which has been curing in the woodshed, for storage.
  • sort the potatoes by size and let them air out for another day or two.
  • try winging a recipe for a crustless quiche topped with Black Krim tomato slices.
  • process the rest of the chard for the freezer (sautée with onions and garlic).
  • double check on dye supplies. what needs mordanting? what is ready to go?
I'm thinking of the week ahead. What would you like to see here, friends?