Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Monday, November 30, 2009

seed saving

we had a bumper crop of wax beans this summer.

at the end of the season, batman pulled up a few plants 
that had gone wild and hung them in the woodshed to dry out.
this past weekend he harvested the seeds and we will
put them away until the spring when we'll plant them...

do any of you save seeds?

everyone is safely back to their regular lives, 
after fun times at "a bit of earth".
laundry, errands and chores for me tomorrow...

and gretta and i will dig into our season of 
holiday artsy craftsy extravaganza.
we will try not to argue over the sewing machine :-)
(it's really fun to have her back home for a bit!).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

the first tree of the season...

...our "bit of earth" came with six acres of balsams.
old friends came over yesterday to cut theirs.

their daughter, anne, a best friend of our lindsey's
is in kabul, building peace.
(please keep her in your thoughts.)

this is a good time of year to remember that
 the important things in life are not things....

and that there are many wonderful and different ways
 to celebrate the season of light...

explore them!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

finally! fantastic mr fox in theatres!

last night, we went up to montpelier 
to see the movie we've all been waiting for....
here is a dose of unabashed family pride...
my very clever youngest brother
was the production designer for fantastic mr. fox.

we saw his creative fingerprints all over the film.
congratulations, nelson!
fantastic work!

(go see it!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

today's the day!

batman, lindsey, hannah and gretta
gathered here at "a bit of earth",

anne in afganistan,
erin in la grange,
my family at the edge of the cranberry bogs,
my brother in london,
franny and company on m.d.i.
liz, paul, jimmy and buddy,
robin and dolo in california,
stew and dawn in oregon,
m. and her brother,
and so, so, many more folks that this list
 could go on to the edges of cyber space.

i am so amazingly blessed to know so many dear people, 
who shed light out into the world.


it's what today is all about.

thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

steeped... gratitude.

may you be as well.

Monday, November 23, 2009

annual winter flower magic

batman has brought some of the bulbs up from the garage.
and my christmas cactus has started blooming already! 

 check back here on december 2 for a fun giveaway...
a stack of holiday fabrics, trims and notions.
sewmamasew is organizing a day of giveaways, with details here.
you'll also find great free tutorials for handmade gifts.
check it out!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

a remarkable public space

grand central station
new york city
last night, 10 PM
constellations on the ceiling

can you imagine the rich and splendid variety of people
 who have passed through this place over the years?
the greetings, the goodbyes...
the stories...

as we head into the season of ingathering and gratitude,
i wish everyone safe travels, open hearts and an 
abundance of spirit.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

switching gears

Over the last few years, our family has done "handmade holidays". Here are the guidelines:
  • make the gift yourself (could be a cd of your singing voice, a photograph you took, something you knit, sewed, baked etc).
  • buy the gift from a local artisan...perhaps a friend, or at a street fair, (having a conversation with the artisan is part of the deal) or maybe at a farmer's market.
  • give a book or supplies that the recipient could use in crafty endeavors.
We also try to do minimal or clever gift wrapping that doesn't waste paper. Holiday movies that we watch year after year? Beware, it's a smaltzy bunch...
  • Robin Hood, the animated version.
  • The Holiday
  • Love Actually
  • Little Women, this version It's where I got my "Marmie" name from. :-)
And in a few weeks, I'll pull out Rosamund Pilcher's Winter Solstice.

We have yet to celebrate Thanksgiving, the very best holiday of all...but I've been busy in my sewing room/studio and it's FUN! And Sarah, over at greenclogs had a very nice post this morning that got me thinking...

Today, I'm making a big batch of granola and bread with pumpkins from the gardens at "a bit of earth". Hannah is still sound asleep in her cozy bed, after arriving safely home late last night. 

What are you up to on this Saturday morning?

P.S. Due to a change of heart, I am finishing up my AEDM project about a week early.  I appreciate Leah's hard work with this project, and want to thank her for her efforts.

Friday, November 20, 2009

scroll down for AEDM...this post is about homecomings...

henry and i have been making sure that everything is
just right.
making "their very own beds"...
doing a little dusting...
as you can see, henry has not been puling his own weight 
on this project.
now all we need are two college girls,
one back from her very first trimester, 
the other from the rigors of fall of her senior year, double major.
no doubt, there will be some sleeping late at our house.

(can hardly wait till all four, plus one, will be with us in december!)

AEDM:day twenty

"awaiting persephone's return"
fallen leaves, rayon thread, lovely papers, seed pods, acrylic paint
(last in a series of five)
My energy with this "art every day month" project has ebbed and flowed. I've had some interesting internal conversations, tried new things, and done a lot of blog wandering to see what other folks have been up to.

I've always been fascinated by Andy Goldsworthy's work, the transience of it. So, I tried a bit of that with this series. I started on Monday with one piece that I changed and built on each day. Rather than ending up with five pieces, I have only the last one. My inspiration, as usual, was the natural world... her rhythms, colors, cycles....from autumn leaves to snow and the hope of spring. If you don't know her story, read about the Greek myth of Persephone here.

And check out this fun and clever leaf art, e-mailed to me by my friend Stacy. Thanks, Stacy!

Our two college girls, Hannah and Gretta, return this weekend, from different spots in the midwest. Next week we'll gather at a "bit of earth" with Lindsey, from Boston, (and Stewart and Dawn and other loved ones via telephone).  We usually have a bigger crowd, but this gathering will be nice, too. 

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday of the year. I'm not sure what projects will come out of the next week and a half, but I am open to the inspirations that come with GRATITUDE!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

AEDM:day nineteen

"spiraling hopes"
fallen leaves, rayon thread, lovely papers, seed pods
(fourth in a series of five)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AEDM:day eighteen

"fallowed ground"
fallen leaves, rayon thread, lovely papers, watercolor pencils
(third, in a series of five)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

AEDM:day sixteen

"at this very moment"
fallen leaves, rayon thread, lovely paper
(first, in a series of five)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AEDM:day fifteen

"art is transcendant"

with thanks today to the great mother goddess...

Wonder is the basis of worship.
-Thomas Carlyle

Saturday, November 14, 2009

AEDM:day fourteen

"snug and content"
the home comfort, a comfy chair and knitting.
i've turned the heel on a pair of socks for the first time ever, 
and what a simple thrill it was.

Batman was in Brazil on business last week, and after a "choppy landing" at JFK (thanks to the left over winds from tropical storm Ida), we decided to head to our "bit of earth" in Vermont.

This morning we were awakened by is the first day of deer hunting season. This is a part of rural life I still struggle with.  Lots of pick up trucks parked along the road, and so I pulled out our stack of fluorescent orange fleece scarves and set it by the front door. Never leave home without one at this time of year, even if you're just walking to the garage! 
The neighborhood is damp, chilly and grey...but oh, so beautiful...rust, bracken, golden...the foliage is gone, but the beauty of "stick season" has bloomed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

AEDM:day thirteen

pencil and paper

inspired by vivien and natalya
two friends who are taking a life drawing class together,
i sat down this morning,
 crossed my legs with a pad of paper on my lap, 
and (at 53!) tried to channel my high school art teacher.

"let go of judgements and outcomes 
and just sketch what you see."

it took courage to post this really quick sketch here,
but i'm glad i did.

art every day month
is helping me take risks and grow as a creative person.
thanks, leah

other things besides AEDM...

due to a fondness for all things cranberry
and the fact that my very favorite holiday is coming up
i washed my cranberry glass and set it out yesterday.
three pieces from grammielowry, one from gramuriel
and one from the shop at the ocean spray welcome center.

i woke up to my daily dose of the writer's almanac
and loved  this poem.

and here are two very wonderful blog posts
 about doing more with less...

and remember that friday the thirteenth just comes in between 
thursday the twelfth and saturday the fourteen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

AEDM:day twelve

blue jay feather, birch bark, rayon thread, handmade paper.

i've been working on my solstice wall hanging this morning
and am still struggling a bit with this whole project.
so, i took a break and went back to my "found objects"
and put this together is about 10 minutes.
not much thinking, just going with the spirit.
i was in northampton, massachusetts yesterday.
found this lovely paper (reminds me of birches) and made another
also found just what i was looking for.
organically grown cotton yarn.
for homemade holiday gifties (shhhh).
and, ahem, something gorgeous, that was NOT on the shopping list.

if you've been blog touring, can't you just feel the creative energy out there?


also, please check out the charter for compassion.

it is amazing.

i had heard about it before, but stumbled upon it at amanda's blog today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AEDM:day eleven

paper, watercolor pencils, marker

imagine all the people
living life in peace...
-john lennon

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AEDM:day ten

words from Clarissa Pinkola Estes
"(Creativity is) the river beneath the river,
which flows and flows into our lives...
The creative force that flows over the terrain
of our psyches looking for the natural
hollows, the arroyos, the channels that 
exist in us.
thank you all, for your thoughtful responses 
to the art/craft question i posed on yesterday's post.
what fun it was to read each person's ideas! 

for me, it's far easier to say i am creative than to say i am artistic.
the word "artist" is so full of  expectations/judgements/blah,blah,blah.

emily over at shining egg has a great post about this. check it out.

this art every day month has really got me thinking and doing, too.
how about you?

(one of my earliest posts, way back in january