Monday, January 31, 2011

albemarle day

dan's sister barb paid us a brief visit this weekend and we went on a wondrous drive yesterday. after enjoying a favorite back road drive through free union, past buck mountain, boonesville, and around to whitehall, we stopped off at the whitehall community center, where there was a surprising one day exhibit of tapestries created by inuit women. the little community hall, which i've entered only once before when dan's band played for a school fundraiser, was wonderfully transformed. we were lucky to have caught wind of the exhibit on the evening news the night before.

the tapestries of boiled wool were simple, bright, stunning and complex all at once. they were charming, but also hinted at difficult living on the tundra. i feel so lucky that we got to peek at this world, and hope that more surprises find their way into the little community center. you can learn more about the exhibit, and its wonderfully engaging curator, judith varney burch at the arctic inuit art website.

we were ready for a nutritional boost afterwards, so made the requisite stop at mudhouse crozet.

and then we just wandered, up to the blue ridge parkway, down the switchbacks of afton mountain, through batesville, and back home. we made a quick stop to the barn swallow on our way home, a lovely gallery where i was employed when we first moved to charlottesville.

it was a refreshing day of beauty and vistas, after several days homebound with an ill tristan, followed by my own sinus infection. and now it's a new week, the world rocks, the midwest faces a blizzard, and the signs of spring are beginning to reveal themselves in our own little blue ridge oasis.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the weather inside is frightful

it's been a tough week around here. tristan came down with a nasty virus that included gallons of snot, pain we never successfully identified, on and off fever, absolutely no appetite and huge temper tantrums. he has emerged from it now, more and more himself by the moment. except for the temper tantrums. he is still having those. though fewer.

i am now the one with all sorts of symptoms and a weighty fatigue. but i too will emerge. hopefully without any temper tantrums.

in the mean time we all thought we were in for a whoozy of a snow storm yesterday, but it just ended up being this rainy, sleety, slushy, icy, wet bit of less than two inches of snow. it definitely messed up the roads for a while, and we all got to enjoy an alternate schedule of early dismissal and two hour delay, but i can't seem to help but want several inches of gorgeous fluff to shut us down for a few days!

time now to take advantage of tristan's nap by taking one myself. happy end-o-the-week to all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

hanging around

i picked up a couple of sweet prints by christina flowers for tristan and tashi at the great gifts holiday market in december. i hung tristan's at toddler level, so he could admire his robots, and hopefully quit begging to walk around with the entire frame in his hands.

tashi's is tucked sweetly in a corner of her room, which is too messy right now to show in its entirety.

ok, well, maybe a little peek.

adorable prints, yes? i wouldn't mind this one, either.

i also finally framed this nice little chinese papercut and hung it. i've had it for over a year. i do love horses so.

i had to remove a bunch of photos from our india albums recently, due to a moisture issue. i stuck these prayer flags in a frame and hung them, along with this photo of tristan's curls, in an awkward foyer space around a crooked heat control box.

we have lived in this house for a little over two years now, and i still feel like, bit by bit, i am filling the spaces with love. i vacillate between a preference for stark white walls with minimal decor and lively clutter in colorful assortment. looks like the latter is winning.

i should probably take our mistletoe down, but for now, i like its shadow on the wall.

yes, a bit of brightness summoning these january days.

Monday, January 17, 2011

wee post

not much to report, i am afraid, dear blog. just a couple of pictures from my bathroom.

tristan prefers the big tub over the sink these days, and i tend to get a few things done on the computer, for work or otherwise, while he is splashing around. i occasionally have to grab the laptop and run for cover!

i can't believe we are midway through january already. i often find these dreary days difficult and am trying my best to find time for bright things.

there is a spring craftfair in my small hamlet coming up in a few months and i am considering giving it a try.

otherwise, i am being urged by my family to read the last two harry potter books before watching the final films. with so many interesting books to read, i'm not sure i can commit to it, but i'll give it a try.

wishing you a peaceful and reflective MLK Day.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


i'm pleased to say i've already fulfilled one of my new years resolutions.

a few years ago i scored this lovely antique sewing machine on freecycle. i am slightly embarrassed to admit that for almost three years it sat on the corner of my sewing table, mysterious and unthreaded. figuring out how to use the machine seemed daunting and i just kept putting it off. so this new year i promised myself that i would figure out how to thread the machine, and then i would actually use it!

the internet is a wonder to behold. within moments i had the manual for the machine on my desktop. and within a few more minutes, the machine was threaded. i tested it out a bit and it seemed a little sluggish. the tension was off. and every once in a while the belt would just spin while the needle did nothing. so i read through the manual. i oiled it. i adjust the tension. i learned that one is to lower the needle into the fabric before stepping on the presser foot. and this morning i made a test bib. just like that, it works. the stitches are so neat and tight. and it is fast! faster than my cheap modern ailing singer that always seems to have tension issues.

it hums so nicely. and the few scratches on its body speak to me of another time, when someone else sat at the machine, most likely making many things for her loved ones, her home and herself.

and so in these early days of 2011, when there is sadness ringing across our nation, i am able to garner a wee bit of satisfaction through a small domestic accomplishment. amidst news of senseless violence, when uncertainty shakes us to the core, may we all turn inward a bit and find what brings us peace.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

into the new year

wishing you a new year of light, warmth and magic, at home and in the world.