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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

the river loop trail 
i'm still absorbing the experience of the last few days.
i'll be back tomorrow with photos and reflections
about the magical gathering that happened on sunday afternoon.

Friday, January 27, 2017

these guys

the fun has begun...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

triptych 38

  • amaryllis on a snowy windowsill.
  • "be the light".
  • wilma's new hiding spot. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

the blues

yesterday i took another workshop via nido in burlington,
this time an indigo and shibori workshop with ali of salt and still.

images and stories of the marches all over the world
on saturday and then messing about in indigo vats
with lovely women on sunday...

there is much courage, conviction and beauty
in the world.

we will find our way through this insanity.  


Thursday, January 19, 2017

a tool kit for january 20, 2017 and beyond

#1. This is important. Reacquaint yourself with the Constitution of the United States. Review the Bill of Rights. You can read it all here.

the Vermont State Capitol Building in Montpelier
(please notice that the building abuts a wooded hill...)

#2. Have the addresses and phone numbers of your political leaders handy. Have a few postage stamps around, too. Raise your voice. Let your leaders know where you stand on issues and ask them to be accountable to their constituents.

#3. Be an ally for those who are feeling marginalized and threatened. Be an upstander rather than a bystander. 

#4. Identify what really matters to you and donate money and/or time to organizations that work on these issues. Find charities you can trust by clicking here.

#5. Consider organizing or participating in direct action.  Write letters to the editor. Network. Collaborate.

#6. Learn about non-violent communication. You can read about it here. If this intrigues you, practice it with friends and colleagues. Especially those who may have different opinions than yours.

#7. Continue your education...take a class, hang out at the library, read things that challenge your own status quo.

#8. Practice self care. Eat well. Get good sleep. Move. Meditate. Create. Ignore the media once in a while.

#9. Open your home to friends. Host a potluck. Invite friends to a poetry reading. Have a dance party. Gather for a craft night. Do jigsaw puzzles together.

#10. Stay in touch with loved ones. Text. Email. Phone calls. Snail mail. 

#10. Get outdoors. Visit Mother Nature's Cathedral. Just sit in the quiet and breathe.

What would you add, dearest readers? What is in your tool kit for these most remarkable times?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

working in the snowlight today...

it's snowing again.
i lost track of time in my studio
and forgot to eat lunch
and now i am sipping tea,
appreciating the 
of needle, thread, memory and love
that guided my hand today.

in one of the many e-mails from my bother
doug, who is organizing our show
he asked us to write a few sentences about
"how we have come to appreciate art 
through nature/nature through art"

i have a one word answer...


Saturday, January 14, 2017

getting ready...

my great grandfather
my mumsie and my late dad
my two brothers
my cousin

our work,
gathered in one space
to celebrate nature.

i'm so very chuffed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

a birch coat tree

One of our beloved birches had to be cut down during renovations. Batman executed my whimsical idea with great enthusiasm. (And friends, we need all the whimsical we can find these days, eh?) The trunk was made upright and sturdy by repurposing a Christmas tree stand. Batman drilled four holes at an angle near the top of trunk and glued some dowels firmly in place. Tomorrow we'll attach the base to a slab of plywood that he cut into a circle and treated with a few coats of tung oil. Voila! Additional hanging space, just in time for our annual snowshoeing weekend, with a houseful of very special people arriving in layers of vests and jackets...

Monday, January 9, 2017

a teaser and some fun links

The teaser::
There's something very sentimental coming up at the end of January. I'm doing some experimenting and planning and stitching. I'll share details at the end of this week. :-)

The links::
From the Moth Radio Hour, a story about jury duty that cracked my heart wide open.

A few weeks ago Batman and I went to see a live performance by Darlingside, a band we had never heard of before. Now I listen to them all*the*time. Four college buddies who are getting a name for themselves, they are based in Massachusetts and currently on tour in Europe. Click here and select the video titled "go back".

This is a lovely story about farming with horses, via npr. Listening to this story reminded me of our neighbors over the ridge at Anchor Light Farm, our local CSA. 

On Being recently rebroadcast an interview with Maria Popova of Brain Pickings fame. It is worth another listen, especially these days. 

My Instagram feed is filling up with so much activism, hope, resistance and creativity that I am encouraged. There are kindred spirits in this world and I imagine holding hands with all of you in a strong circle of solidarity where the circle widens to welcome new folks whenever they wander by.

“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !
-Edwin Markham

Thursday, January 5, 2017

indigo devotion

September's project of harvesting indigo from our gardens and then dyeing with the indigo seems so very far away from today's snowy, windy and cold weather. Today I'm finishing up a piece I started last month...just a study of sorts, in texture, color and placement, using birch bark bits, acorn caps and poppy seed heads. 

I'm reading Upstream,  Selected Essays by Mary Oliver. I think of her work as sacred text. Her words sometimes make me tear. Or inhale sharply with their raw truths and crystalline insights. 

"Attention is the beginning of devotion."

Oh, yes. Paying attention. With thread and needle and cloth today.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

happy spot?

hello 2017!
(photo taken at the basement door)
there is so much to do this year!
i look forward to sharing so much with you, dear readers,
and to seeing what all of you will be up to!
it's a sleety afternoon up here on the ridge.
everything is icy.
it's hard to imagine blueberries right now, isn't it?
and the wind was very busy these last few days,
sculpting drifts around every corner,
and sweeping things bare in other spots.

since some of us are feeling a bit, shall we say...
about how this year may play out,
i thought it might be fun to share one thing 
each of us is really looking forward to in 2017.

batman and i are super excited to be 
hosting another wedding reception 
here at our "bit of earth"
in june.

lindsey and her scott are gettin' hitched!

what about you, dear readers...
is there something you are really looking forward to in 2017?

please do share it here in the comments...

maybe we can create a happy spot here
at sewandsowlife...

(and take a peek at my inspiration for 2017 in the sidebar)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Taking advice for 2017 from a Trappist monk...

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
-Thomas Merton

I'm not really sure how else to step into this most uncertain year...

...may it bring out the best in all of us,
dear readers.