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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

this morning's project

this much needed rain in the northeast has slowed down 
the drying time on the painted cupboards.
so here's a sneak peek at the next thing on my "to do" list.
(the studio walls are "calm"*, the cupboards, "stone harbor").

it's fun... 
+ to have a vision
+ to gather supplies
+ to MAKE the time to just do it!

off to the hardware store to buy tension curtain rods!

*don't you just love that? "calm"...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

improvised supper

  • 5 lonely brussels sprouts
  • 1 "mature" golden beet and one red
  • half of a sweet potato
  • a handful of aging baby carrots
  • half a glug of apple cider
chop veggies into pieces of similar size. put into bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil. release a pinch of dried rosemary oils by grinding briefly with a mortar and pestle and add to bowl. add cider and a grind of fresh pepper, a pinch of salt. toss lightly. put mixture into covered baking dish. steam/roast in the oven set at 425 degrees for @ 40-45 minutes, or until tender.

serve with sauteed, chopped onion, garlic and chard, and some scrambled, farm fresh eggs.
i could just feel the vitamins and minerals climbing into my body!

 -----------------------------                 -------------------------------               

and sometimes i'm sure life has a thread...

8:52 am text from my dear buddy potts "On way to work stopped by train. Just heard cinnamon girl& thought of YOU! xoxoxoxooxoxoox"

10:49 am text from gretta "There's a new neil young cd!!!!"

1:30 pm i make a run to the store to buy Le Noise, by neil young.

1:40 pm i'm driving in the rain with the cd blasting. he makes me grin, he makes me tear up, he makes me bop in the driver's seat. and he always sings the truth. two thumbs up.

did he write this especially for batman?
When we go for a little walk out on the land, when we're just walking and holding hands, you can take it as a sign of love when the winds of fate keep blowing and we both understand. It's a sign of love.

Monday, September 27, 2010

an apron for "J"

a few days ago, i posted a collection of materials 
and posed the question of "what to do" with them.
"J" was the first person to comment with an idea, 
and now i am doing a sneaky giveaway today!
here's a close up of the bib, complete with a pretty pocket.
i just love this floral trim.
so, "J" send me your snail mail address, and the apron is yours!
(good thing, too, "cause sometimes there's a lot of cookin' going on over at her place.)
(you can find my email address in the sidebar to the right).

sorry the photos are not so good. it's very grey here today.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


batman and i have had a blast working hard all weekend long,
like the old days when the kids were little and we were
rehabbing our old victorian in chicagoland until midnight many a night...

but this time, we are working hard at creating a magical, new 
creative space for me, and we are making big progress.
(fun before and after pictures coming later this week).

i am now officially exhausted, and am enjoying a
"private reserve" pumpkin woodchuck hard cider.
um, it's wicked good.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

one can never take home security too seriously.
(thanks, dave!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

fending off the grey skies outside

yesterday i found these pretty handmade paper leaves in
an envelope from my mumsie who lives in massachusetts.
she is one clever girl, and she still believes 
in the pleasure of snail mail!
and the beeswax candles were a gift from my buddy, terry.
(thanks, ladies!)
as my sewing room/studio rehab continues on, 
i have found myself *distracted* by some of the things i've discovered.
this wild skirt (left) was in my repurposing bin,
the solid pink and old calico
were in the cottons section of the stash,
and the beautiful trim, well, it's still waiting for a project.
don't you think they were all meant to be together?
maybe a pillow?
do YOU have any ideas for what to make?
let me know, and i'll see what i can do about it!

later today, i am meeting batman at IKEA.
i am wanting something like this,
but we will have to price it out.

last night i went to the opening reception
 of my friend jane's one woman show
and i was blown away by seeing so much of her work in one place.
she is such an inspiration to me.

hey friends, happy friday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

in the fullness of the season

harvest moon
october, 2007
a collaborative project,
including photos taken by two of our daughters.
top and bottom, gretta.
middle picture, hannah.
(photo transfers, sunflower seeds, fiber paint,
hand and machine quilting).
is it not wonderful to have the autumnal equinox
and the harvest moon all together in one lovely sky?

oh, yes, the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

wednesday ramblings

walking past the hum of this butterfly bush, 
i was delighted to see it covered with fat, happy bumblebees.

have you seen this fabulous YouTube video?

i am reading this, and it's pretty amazing.

my sewing room-to-studio transformation is in full swing
(read that, total disaster area!).
here's a sneak peek at one of the tidier areas:
i was a little surprised by what began to accumulate on these shelves,
yet when i stepped back,
i realized so many dear people are with me in spirit right here.
a box made by my brother, nelson.
my maternal grandmother's sewing basket.
a bunch of baskets made by my dear friend, franny.
metal boxes, gifted by a friend,
filled with vintage buttons from her aunt.
even boxes saved from organic teas long since savored.

with regret, i am taking out all the stitches on my finished cowl.
thinking, "who needs to size a cowl?",
i cast on without doing a gauge piece first.
well, it's way too big.
and my dad's mantra
"measure twice, cut once"
is ringing in my ear still!

loving all the fall veggies!
tonight we'll have brussels sprouts with m. heart's recipe.
(it's great with or without the tofu).

and i seem to have a lot of friends who need
extra care and love right now.
i am visiting and bringing picnic lunches to folks close by
and sending notes and love to those far away.
helpless/hopeless has no place in my life.
we do what we can, eh?
every little bit helps.

september is childhood cancer awareness month.
let's chase those demons away, ok?
please pop over here to do a little something.
(it's wicked easy).
thank you. xoxoxoxox

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We do not remember days,
we remember moments.
-Cesare Pavese

Monday, September 20, 2010

a memory piece

inspired by erin, i made this for my friend potts.
read about our story here.
i included a photo transfer
 (i took the photo in february while i was visiting them)
of their sweet pooch, keenan.
and the "love...e"?
that's all about our love (and our tattoos).
i polyurethaned some sunflowers seeds and stitched them on,
in celebration of these beauties.
 (folks who participated in the blood drive received
 packets of sunflower seeds to plant in memory of erin.)
lime green was erin's favorite color.
whenever i see sunflowers now, in fields, in bouquets, 
in paintings and in photos,
i remember erin's sturdy stem and the deep roots
she grew amidst her family and friends.
erin's volleyball number was "8",
her dad has it tattooed on his wrist.
turned sideways, it's the symbol for infinity.
erin loved the snow.
i stitched this tree on snowflake fabric,
embellished with french knots, beads and buttons.
erin's grave rests under a beautiful pine tree,
where one sparkling snowflake ornament dangles from a branch.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

work gloves, aches and dreams.

batman and i fortified for the day with oatmeal.
we worked up and down the rows of balsams,
weed whacking and yanking bindweed out of the trees.
then batman washed some windows (the ones with the views).
we trimmed branches from the roof line 
and cleared some away from the electric lines
and hauled the branches to the brush pile.
we harvested more lettuce, chard, mache, carrots and basil.

living between two places can get kind of crazy,
turning this dream into reality is good work.
we have so many ideas... 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

high ho, come to the fair

last year we had such fun at the tunbridge worlds fair,
we went back again this year!
the floral hall and the veggie tables are full of the season's bounty.
local honey for sale.

the cavalcade!

the rides!

spinning demos in the sheep barn.

can't think of a better way to spend a sunny day in vermont.
appreciating the hard work of the summer months,
getting ready to do the hard work of the autumn season,
but taking a break in between to celebrate rural life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

i would like a few of these jersey girls...

have a wonderful weekend, friends.

p.s. the "queen of everything" is happy to be resting at home. thanks again for your good thoughts.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

autumn transitions

yesterday i gave all the houseplants a rinse with the hose,
and brought them in from the screened porch.
the big plant still needs to find its way to the sunny dining room.

the garlic braids from the gardens in vermont 
are now hanging in our garage here in CT.
cookbooks are open to curried squash soup
and rustic apple tart. 
(thanks for sharing your favorite veggies the other day,
it was fun to see what you love.)

i've been working on my fall calendar.
setting goals, brainstorming projects,
considering new volunteer opportunities,
and a deadline for my new studio.

is there something you are committed to accomplishing this fall?

p.s. "the queen of everything" is still in the hospital, comforted, i know, by all our good thoughts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

heart hope

yesterday i took a friend to the emergency room.
after 6 hours in the ER she was admitted to the hospital.

her favorite color is red and
she's a quilter,
her favorite holiday is christmas. 
her heart is very big.

this post is for her.

would you please join me and send some good energy her way?
(she would be shy about me sharing her name,
we call her "the queen of everything", and i'm sure that will work!) 
 i know it helps.

Monday, September 13, 2010

chopping and thinking and sewing

it is one of my very favorites.
i often think of it when i'm chopping veggies for a stir fry.
 i've been busy sewing up a storm...
more napkins (for a birthday gift)
and finishing up another project
that goes in the mail tomorrow.
(i'll post pictures once it has reached its destination.)

hey, what's your favorite vegetable?
(gretta, i know, i know...BEETS!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

stitching today

sometimes, things come together just as i had envisioned them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 2010

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 live as one.
-John Lennon

have you signed the charter for compassion?
today might be the perfect day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

sewing therapy

i bought this gorgeous fabric at liberty of london
a few years ago, when i was actually lucky enough to be in london.
i tucked it away in my "special fabric cupboard".
my friend margie and her partner, linda
were *married* this summer.
when i saw pictures of their wedding, 
i noticed their peacock feather motif.
i knew just what to do for a wee wedding gift...
i made napkins, so that whenever they use them, they will
feel our love and blessings sitting at the dinner table with them.
and i made these for hannah's table out in ohio.

cutting the fabric, pressing the edges carefully, stitching the edges...
folding, and packaging them up for the mail.
in a weird way i found myself creating order 
in a totally nutso, crazy-making news cycle.

and then i moved onto another project that had stalled,
and now it's almost done.

i've recovered my center.
breathing again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

an orange kind of day

sometimes when the world feels heavy,
it helps to lighten up
and notice small, lovely, everyday moments.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

happy birthday #23, hannah!

hannah, december 1992,
and here she is now.


And love is the fulcrum, the absolute center point.
-Katy Clarke

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

waning summertime

a lovely juxtaposition.
an early autumn maple leaf/late summer lettuces.

i harvested chard, purple carrots, lettuces, mache and tomatoes
at the gardens at our "bit of earth" this morning
and along with the last of the wax beans and some frozen blueberries
the cooler was full of deliciousness.
now unpacked and stowed in our fridge here in connecticut.
this weekend, we flexed our middle aged muscles
and stacked firewood...
some in the woodshed to fuel our home comfort,
and some in our nifty new sugar shack.

now we're back in the "real" world.

what's next, september?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

decapitalization circus

bread and puppet! vermont's political theatre.
(to see last year's circus, click here).
we drove over to rochester through sprinkles,
but when the show began, the skies cleared.
here's the u.s. economy,
trying to lift the weight of corporate welfare and military spending,
with the medical profession trying to revive it.
the skit about immigration was 
not so funny.
 the elephant in the room...
 "immigration and customs enforcement".
the wonderful barnyard animal puppets.

one of the performers in a skit quoted wendell berry...

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium.
Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into mold.
Call that profit. 

-from Mad Farmer Liberation Front