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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

my best buddy... the foot of the bed.

snuggled in for the night.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


There is a way of beholding which
is a form of prayer.
-Diane Ackerman

Friday, January 28, 2011

kitchen as sanctuary

violence in egypt and uganda and heaven knows where else.
stupid mistakes in my studio.
remembering the challenger tragedy.

deep breath.
impulse buy...february issue of REAL SIMPLE magazine.
presto! dinner inspiration.
(best to eat healthy when under a funk).

deep breath.
 sauteed chopped chard with sliced garlic,
tossed with whole-grain pasta and raisins.
steamed, cut-up sweet potatoes and apples,
pureed with maple syrup and crushed red pepper.
a green salad with sliced avocado.

deep breath.
i feel better just thinking about it!

what are you up to in your kitchen?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

to close the day's busyness

Do not squander your life.
-Zen Evening Reminder

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


developing a brand
  1. according to vermont public radio, this is "the year of making things".
  2. i have a fabulous new studio.
  3. i've been working hard with what i learned in jane davila's online class last spring.
  4. i'm lucky that our four kids and my husband are my biggest fans, and they just don't let up.
can you tell that i am on an adventure?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011


they are not local,
the stickers on the plastic pots read
"oberlin, ohio".
they have travelled on a truck,
over many miles.
but i found them utterly irresistible
on a frigid monday morning.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

it's been a cold sunday

m. heart's beautiful post  reminded me that
one of our amaryllis is looking really gorgeous too.
(m. heart's blog is wonderful).
inspired by pete, and our daughter, gretta, too, we've been
thinking a lot about the politics of food.
i have been reading this book,
and we've been doing some online research about 
growing hops (they are exquisite plants).
henry has been snuggled by the fire most of the weekend.
(last evening, it felt like he was giving us the cold shoulder.)
batman and i have spent some exasperating time with a variety of
technologies this afternoon and we are fed up.
so...i went into the kitchen...
did you know that today is national pie day?
i baked a granny smith apple pie this afternoon.

and there's more snow in the forecast this week!
what's it like in your neighborhood?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pete's Greens

our garden beds at " a bit of earth" in Vermont
summer 2010 .

Like much of the US, Connecticut is in the grip of a cold snap. The sun is shining, but the snow is piled high, and the thermometer is hovering in the single digits.  Batman and I have hunkered in by the fireplace and we've been "thinking spring". We put together our first bulk order with NOFA-VT, and we placed an order with High Mowing Seeds. It's fun to envision filling our new beds with good things to eat! And we continue to work on our rural dreams, scheming our transition, bit by bit.  

I thought I might tell you a bit about one of our heroes who's in the midst of some tough times, and about how the good karma he has put out into the world is coming right back to him. We first learned about Pete Johnson at a NOFA-VT conference, then heard him speak at a Vermont Land Trust Annual Celebration. We read about him in Vermont Life magazine, twice, and The Town That Food Saved, by Ben Hewitt.

Pete is a really nice guy, doing what he loves in a very unassuming way. He and his band of buddies have inspired a renaissance in the agricultural life of Vermont. He runs the Good Eats CSA out of Craftsbury Common, VT and he also sells his products in Vermont grocery stores as "Pete's Greens". Ten days ago the farm was devastated by a huge barn fire.

Our youngest daughter, Gretta, in college out in Illinois, called yesterday in distress. She had just heard about the fire via the Greenhorns blog. And today, she gave me a "heads up" about an online auction to benefit the farm at Pete's Greens. Check out Bid For the Barn!

Last weekend, when we were in Vermont, I was able to make a donation to help rebuild the barn right at the cash registers at Hunger Mt. Coop. There are other fundraising efforts in the planning stages, and I look foreward to hearing more about them. Pete's tragedy is real and huge and disheartening...but the outpouring of help and goodwill says a lot about Pete the man, and the community of kindred spirits that has grown up around sustainability, food security, co-operation and HOPE.

Friday, January 21, 2011

denim bag with vintage buttons

yesterday's embroidered stems turned into a bag.
lined and pocketed, with a hair "scunci" for closure.
new and vintage buttons and an old pair of jeans.

now, what's for lunch?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the calm before the storm(s)

there's so much snow that the squirrel baffle is not working
(much to the delight of our clever neighbors).
henry is spending a lot of time hunting his toy mouse.
 i've been working with upcycled jeans and embroidered stems.
and my sewing studio is filled with the scent of 
paper white narcissus.

another snowstorm is due tomorrow morning and 
a big one may be on the way on tuesday.

(love it!)

and i appreciated all the good wishes on yesterday's post. you all are so sweet. xo

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

sew and sow life is two today

i wrote my first post two years ago today.
this is post #773.
i'm looking back and looking forward,
fueled by my trusty yogurt, granola and tea.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the year of making things

can you guess what i'm up to in my studio today?

i often listen to vermont public radio's audio stream online.
 vermont edition, hosted by jane lindholm is one of my favorites.
today's broadcast, "2011-the year of making things" caught my attention.
you can listen to it here.

jane had a great conversation with two vermont women
who are in the thick of all things handmade...

last summer, i wrote about my visit to
the bobbin sew bar and craft lounge.

and i have just visited emily blistein's lovely blog

it may be sleeting and icy outside,
but i am feeling snug and content and inspired
by kindred spirits.

what projects have you been working on this january?

Monday, January 17, 2011

"from every mountainside, let freedom ring"

the temperature hovered around 0 degrees F.
six of us snowshoed in on a groomed trail,
took off our snowshoes, and climbed the fire tower. 
we could see the presidential range in the white mountains
("the prodigious hill tops of New Hampshire") to the west, 
ascutney to the south,
killington and okemo to the west,
stowe to the north.

happy birthday # 82 to
Martin Luther King, Jr.
your light still shines in this world.

i listened to this on the drive back to CT.
you might like it too.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

no place i'd rather be

kindred spirits, inspiring conversation, fabulous food, shared wines,
belly aching laughter, fresh air.
down to the bone gratitude.
wish there was some way i could offer all of you a subscription...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

turquoise, green and "snowshine"

the sunshine after the storm is clear and fresh,
and reflecting off the snow in a most exquisite way.
the baby quilt is finished.
we're just waiting for the announcement from sweden!
this morning, i used up bits from this project 
to make a small table runner.
no scrap is too small...

it was such fun to read all your comments yesterday.

and how about this?

"All of us, we should do everything we can do to make
sure this country lives up to our children's expectations".


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


it's only 8:45 am and the winter storm warning is in effect until 6 pm.
there's a fire in the fireplace,
blueberry muffins in the oven, 
and batman is working from home today.
the birds are flocking, 
so henry has his entertainment for the day.

"snow days" have always made me giddy.
thanks, mother nature, for reminding us of who's
really in charge.

what's going on in your neighborhood?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


pointing fingers is evidence of our fear.
it creates "the other".

wendell berry has reminded me again,
of what is true.

We have come to the place where we
must decide either to live as one people,
or perish as fragments.

Monday, January 10, 2011

a moment of silence at 11 EST

as we remember those who died,
what are we called to do?
in what ways can we turn away from fear 
and embrace the power of love?
i am in the midst of these questions.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

mother daughter adventures, with a splash of gramelaine

an installation by Josiah McElheny
(glass and mirrors)
at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

snippets of the weekend...

exploring the brand new and amazing 
Art of the Americas Wing
at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

IKEA, then tea at my Mumsie's house.

Cirque du Soleil's

... in the very good company of
eldest daughter Lindsey
and some of her fabulous posse of friends.

and it's only Sunday morning...

Friday, January 7, 2011

happy days

The giveaway origami bag goes to Debbie in Jerusalem! Debbie, please send me your snail mail address and I will get the bag in the mail next week.
My new studio has become the center of our home and time spent there has become the priority of my days. How many years have I longed for this? How good does it feel? Very authentic and grounding and energizing. 

2011? Bring it on!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


on some days, i go back to basics.
peanut butter and jam on anadama toast.
clementine on the side.
i feel better already.

there's still time to try for the giveaway.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

january landscape...

...basting pins, patchwork and batting on the table in my studio.

(you still have time to try for a giveaway.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

HOLIDAY last "handmade" gift, and giveaway #5

Batman and I had such fun putting together this "handmade" gift.
This photo was taken the weekend we moved our
odds and ends of furniture into our funky little house
at our "bit of earth", four and a half years ago.
(The title was inspired by a black and white photo 
we bought in the early '80's entitled "Dining Out in Vermont", 
by Jill Noss, showing a group of farm animals
some dressed in bonnets and and straw hats,
eating grain from an old wooden table.
That beloved picture has hung in our dining rooms ever since).
We downloaded recipes and photos to a template provided by Apple,
and so it was "made on a Mac".
Here's a peek at a few pages...
Here's Stewart in his "slippy jammies" helping Papa make pancakes.
(So called slippy jammies allowed the kids 
to slide down the carpeted stairs...)
Here are our four having a tea party almost twenty years ago!
Some of you may recognize Gretta's paper vegetables...
This cookbook was a big hit, and we may need to produce another volume sometime...

And here's one last giveaway, 
to finish up my HOLIDAY MAGIC posts.
I've really enjoyed collecting my thoughts here,
in the midst of what can often be a joyful yet unbalancing 
time of year.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing the season with me.

My friend Ellen made one of these for Hannah and one for Gretta.
She found the tutorial here.
I made a few yesterday and here's one for a lucky reader...
This little bag measures about 7"x4 1/2".
It could hold chargers for cell phones, i-pods, cameras.
Or a wee first aid kit.
Or an emergency sewing kit.
Or whatever you might choose.
Please leave a comment or send me an e-mail 
if you'd like a chance to find this in your mailbox.
I'll post the winner's name on Friday morning.