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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

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our internet has died. my brain and spirit are filled with new adventures, both real and possible. i'm taking a few days off to get things fixed and to sort things out. in the meantime, here's a lovely asparagus tart to inspire your springtime cooking. the recipe is wicked easy and can be found in the forest feast. see you back here next week. xo

Friday, March 25, 2016

triptych 29



For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
-Wendell Berry

(my inspiration quote for 2016, in sidebar)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

seeds, mud, maple and robins

As you well know, dear readers, when the world feels especially rough around the edges, I often retreat to the little bits of life that are quiet and unassuming and comforting. If you are feeling frayed by the news, come along with me for a bit...

Batman, the Prince of Optimism, has been starting some of the vegetable seeds indoors. He's built a cold frame from a salvaged window from the demo, but it's not quite warm enough to set the seedlings out there yet. These wee pots are waiting on the table in his office space down in the basement. 

The roads are a mucky, muddy mess for we are in the midst of Vermont's fifth season, that of mud. A few mornings ago I heard this delightful piece on Vermont Public Radio by Willem Lange. It's two and half minutes long and a sweet listen, here

Hand in hand with mud season comes maple sugaring season, already in full swing here in Vermont. I love that as I navigate the frost heaves and rutted mire of the roads, I am often rewarded by seeing steam pouring from the vents in neighboring sugar shacks. One of our neighbors has been traversing our stretch of road daily,  going in one direction with huge empty sap tubs in the back of his pick up and returning home, truck bed heavy with full tubs of sap from his taps. I am sharing my reading time with two books...an amazing cookbook (look at that cover!) and a fun "year in the life of" maple sugaring. Batman came home from work last week with a warm-from-the-evaporator  jug of maple syrup that he bought from a customer at work. That's local.

A flock of about 40 robins landed in the corn stubble along the ridge road on Friday morning.  I saw them hopping about in their robin way, in the midst of a crazy snow squall. I wonder at their fearless hearts, so intent on finding their way back north, despite the mixed messages Mother Nature gives them. I saw them again this morning, so they are managing, it seems.

So friends, I will go get lost in the kitchen, or with a book in the comfy armchair, or along the muddy road and I will be sure to watch the birds. And I'll be looking for the full moon tonight...the "sap moon". Everything will be alright for a bit. Where would you like to wander?

xo

Thursday, March 17, 2016

improv-pieced table runner, finally!


(kind of a dark pic, but i couldn't resist the view)


Bound, laundered and in place. 
Improv-pieced table runner.
Favorite scraps*, funky quilting, just right.
xo

*some scraps from-
golly bard, left over from my persephone quilt.
liberty of london, william morris honeysuckle

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

unpacking more old friends...


"Art is being free from all the worlds heaviness" -author unknown

Friday, March 11, 2016

not enough time?


Yes friends, sometimes I don't keep up with my ambitions. The table runner is still under construction, even though I thought I might post pictures of it all finished and looking lovely earlier this week. Here is a peek at some of it, above. 

In the meantime, we (mostly Batman) have finished painting (most of) the downstairs. We have been unpacking boxes and discovering old friends. My "blue and whites" china collection is back in the hutch after nearly two years of sitting in boxes in the workshop out by the garage. Lots of artwork has been hauled out of storage too, and we are working out our gallery wall...photos to come sometime soon (did you notice that I did not say exactly when?). Our homesteading/gardening/nature books have found a home too, tucked under the front windows, along with the bust of Batman's great grandfather "Papa George", sculpted by Batman's Grandma Peggy.

Slowly, our new house is beginning to feel like home. 

After a walk around the outside with a paper and pencil, we now have a list of site clean up chores that is a bit intimidating. This spring we'll be working on planting lilacs, flowering trees, prepping an indigo bed (squeal!), picking up nails, nails and more nails and getting the veggies started. There's muddy run-off to wrangle, both top soil and gravel to spread, grass seed to plant and maybe a glass or two of wine to sip at the end of busy days.

Lest I exhaust you with the details, I have a few treats to offer you as we move into the weekend...

Listen to a lovely story about falling (literally) in love, read by Dakota Fanning, here.

And here is a heartwarming piece via Storycorps, a quick three minutes long, that may be the best part of your day.

Here's to springing forward dear readers! xo

Friday, March 4, 2016

thirty two degrees



(above, two pieces from the outdoor installations...ARTICtecture:The Ice Shanty Project.)

Today I went up to the Shelburne Museum to see their current special exhibit 32 degrees The Art of Winter.  I cannot convey in words the delight and enchantment I found in this show. Magical, really. 

My favorites, highlighted here, may allow you to visit a bit of winter from your computer screen... 

You may recall that I am a fan of Snowflake Bentley, and his work was near the front door of the gallery, setting the stage for what was ahead.

Scott Peterman's trio of  Shanties caught my attention due to his remarkable use of negative space in his photos of ice fishing shanties. 

Sonja Hinrichsen's video of snow drawings done by creating snowshoe tracks...ohhh...I watched it twice! Filmed from above by a drone, it captured Sonja working/playing with friends to create enormous patterns in the snow fields of Briancon, France.

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz created modern day snow globes and paintings filled with bizarre and fascinating snow scenes, inviting the viewer to make up their own stories.

Jacob Kirkegaard's soundtrack of snow melting and trickling, playing in an alcove with benches, created a meditative spot to pause and listen and absorb the sounds of nature.

The remarkable engravings of Asa Cheffetz, (another trio) were also hard to tear myself away from. Small and intricate, his work drew me into the rural landscapes created with fine and exacting lines.

Shelley Jackson's video  snow 2013 was shot in Brooklyn and it is absolutely delightful. An entire short story, where each word is carved in snow, frame by frame--one must relax into the moment to absorb the whole experience.

I wish you had been with me, dearest readers, so that we could have walked quietly around the gallery together and then spilled out into the lobby to compare notes on what we had just seen...
   

Thursday, March 3, 2016

in process

it's late afternoon and the sunshine is slanting it's 
western light just over the ridge of our green mountains.
my studio is soaking up the warmth.
i'm playing with improv blocks today.
not sure exactly what i'm doing, 
which is kind of fun.
hoping to come up with a quilted table runner that will
compliment the upholstery on our comfy chairs.
without being too "mitchy matchy".

maybe early next week i can show you how it turned out.

now i am off to my yoga mat to stretch and breathe into
 the lovely march sunbeams.
a bit of meditation too.

namaste friends.
xo