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

Monday, December 29, 2014

beautiful enough



You see, I have never felt the need to invent a world beyond this world,
for this world has seemed large and beautiful enough for me.
-Alma Whittaker in
The Signature of All Things
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Sunday, December 28, 2014

another version of miss maggie bunny



My Mumsie has a little gathering of sweet rabbits sitting on the back of her couch in her living room. They are special rabbits, gifts from folks over the years. 

Remember Miss Maggie? I decided to make a version of her for my Mumsie for Christmas. I tweaked her ears and stitched her in a woodland grey flannel. Her dress is made of turquoise cotton, my Mumsie's favorite color. I could not resist adding a wee apron, sewn in one of my all time favorite prints from my fabric stash. 

The house is quiet, I need to do some grocery shopping, laundry and sweeping. The wind outside is howling, the Home Comfort is taking the chill off the morning. Sometimes the rest after a busy time is nearly as nice as the preparation and fun of the holidays. I think I will just be right here today. In the space between what was and what comes next. 

What are you up to today, friends?

Monday, December 22, 2014

pausing




We had all three daughters (and a beau) in the house for our Solstice dinner last night. Some are "here today, gone tomorrow", because now that they are grown, we share them with others. We missed Stewart and Dawn...they live very far away and are having their own adventures. On the dinner menu? Three sisters casserole, of course (via Kripalu). The table, the conversation, the mood...it all just sparkled. Maybe you celebrated last night, too?

The winter season is filled with festivals and holidays that embrace light in the darkest of days. The Solstice is my very favorite.  I invite you to pop on over to Junkaholique's blog post and read something quite thoughtful. Artemis' words may not match your own feelings about the holiday season, but they resonate a lot with me. There are so many ways to see and navigate life and in a more gracious world, there could be room for all of us.

With thanks to my friend Stacy, I invite you to read this too, Why We Need the Winter Solstice. It's an eye opener.

I found this patch of wet out in the balsam orchard. Under nearly a foot of snow, one of the many little springs has bubbled up. There may be weeks and weeks of winter left, but now we have turned the corner, renewal is right under our feet.

To honor the season, I'm signing off for a bit. I'll follow my mammal instincts and hunker in to this quiet time. We'll be gathered in with those we love and food to sustain us. Candles, wood fire and starlight will keep us safe against the dark.

May peace, hope, light and celebration inspire your days, dear readers. xo  

Friday, December 19, 2014

silliness

Our Gretta, who lives in Brooklyn these days, scampered off to 
Lotta Jansdotter's Open Studio in early November.

I admit, I was wistful and maybe a little bit envious when she told me
all about her visit to Lotta's Brooklyn space.

Maybe I even expressed some longing about possible holiday gifts.

A few days later this delightful bundle of goodies arrived in our
mailbox at the end of our rural driveway.
An early Christmas gift from Gretta.

There was an enclosed note that was just a wee bit bossy.
Something about "strings attached" and "a deadline" and "That's
right missy,  you've got homework"!

Well, I just got a bit spontaneous and a little silly.
Since we are fast approaching the festive season I decided 
to go with a snowy theme and included our animals of choice. 
I found the shadow box on sale, the snowflake buttons and
moon charm are from my stash, and I know where to find little goats
around here. I machine quilted very simple snow drifts
on the Lotta fabric and maybe now I am off the hook with Gretta, eh?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Remembering

Remembering the life of Erin Elizabeth Potts.
(May 14, 1991-December 18, 2009) 
Her light shines on in our hearts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

these snowy days

It snowed for days. Our power went out for about 40 hours, with no running water, heat or internet. Hooray for our ancient Home Comfort stove! She kept us warm and fed (we even melted snow atop her and used it to flush the toilet!). The neighborhood feels like Narnia...
We had it lucky compared with many others in the state who were out for days and days. There were more crews out working to restore power than when Irene hit a few years back and ripped the state apart.
The other day we went up and over the gap at Breadloaf and down in to Middlebury to do a wee bit of holiday shopping. Vermont is looking so fine in her winter coat of frosted snow.
Sturdy Vermonters do not let much get in their way of their hard work. We stopped by the Green Mountain Girls Farm to catch the tail end of a day of post and beam barn raising. The trickiest part was making sure the road crew and the crane crew co-ordinated the sanding of the road in preparation for the work. The snow laden trees did not help either.
The festive season is upon us and the snow has just made it all the more special. Being here full time, we are able to soak in the beauty and peace of this place. There really is no where else I'd rather be. 

Sending you light and hope and cheer from our "bit of earth". I wish you could stomp some snow off your boots, toss your coat by the door and settle in for some hot cider and a bit of gingerbread...xo

Thursday, December 11, 2014

more handmade balsam beauty

Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.
-John Lennon

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

grey inside and out

We are in the midst of a snowy spell.
This morning as we shoveled snow all we could hear
was the rhythmic "crunch-shush" of our work.
When we paused, we heard the birches in the wind,
tinkling softly as their ice covered branches swayed.
The train whistle down in the valley was muffled
as were the dogs barking down the road.
In my studio there have been grey stitches,
as I work on my handmade holiday gifts.
 The softness of the greys calms my soul as the outside world
keeps up its determined unravelling.

There's so much grey to every story - nothing is so black and white.
-Lisa Ling

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

balsam and cedar and ribbon



We have been to Toledo, Ohio and back since I last posted, visiting Batman's dad and his wife. We did some museum touring, enjoyed some fine meals and conversations by the fire. So good to catch up with those sweet folks. We managed to tuck the road trip in between two rounds of wintery weather, with a N'oreaster blowing in right now!

What do you do with acres and acres of balsam trees? Make presents! A few of these swags went off to the UPS store up in Barre this morning. I took the pics with my phone camera, so they are not too great. Balsam, cedar, red jingle bells and gingham ribbon, some wire and a few other supplies...and bingo! Festive greenery! 

We're all about handmade holidays around here. How about you? Are you working on some special projects this time of year?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

the paper white narcissus  have been potted up
and set upon the table with white candle sticks.

the snow comes and then melts away and snows again.

the moon rises, and the stars, too.

it is a white and quiet pause.
there is stillness in these days,
if we but look for it. 

breathing, in and out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

As December draws us into the shadows...

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
-Desmond Tutu