Friday, February 28, 2014

sunlit path

there is a nice network of trails behind my mother's residence. 

last weekend we had a couple of amazing spring-like days and so we met her for a stroll. things were a little swampy in spots with the recent snow melt, and the little creek was full.

at the end of it all tristan had fun with yia yia's new magnetic screen door. 
hopefully it will keep the stink bugs out.

speaking of yia yia, here is her latest knitting creation. she designed this sweater herself. isn't it lovely? i took some buttons off of an old sweater of mine and attached them. 
tashi wasn't happy that i had her stand outside in the cold to take a picture, 
but she does love the sweater.

we have been meeting up with our pals and enjoying the border
between winter and spring. days have been breezy, bright, exceptionally cold 
AND exceptionally warm! there really is no knowing what is next. 

it is time to start thinking about seeds: literal and symbolic. 
what will you plant in the coming season?

wishing you a happy weekend!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

moon bright snow light

steel grey mantle. sharp clean air. a stunning shroud of moon lit sequins.
 the mandarin orange sunlight spilling across a snowy bower. 
the smell of wet wool and hard wood. whisper of flurries, exclamation of trees. 
bundles spilling from branches, sliding from peaked roof, 
sticking to gloves and boots and hats.

i love a  big snowstorm.

i dream of it really, every winter.

sometimes it's challenging to reconcile a mediterranean and arctic lineage. 
i prefer a temperate open-window-day for the bulk of the year. 
but please do bring me a couple of great servings of snow. . .  
just a couple, thank you very much!

the south has really taught me how to welcome a snow storm. the stocking up, yes, of bread and cheese and granola and a few great beverages. the preparation for possible long term power outages. some sort of stew recipe doubled. and at least a few baked delights. 

filling the tub and the pitchers, doing a few quick loads of laundry, grinding the coffee beans, charging the devices, making sure batteries and candles are in supply. choosing to alter or commit to schedules based on what if. checking radars and school closures incessantly.

dan is a heroic wood gatherer and uses the resources that surround us with just an axe and hand saw. we don't depend on our wood stove to heat us through winter, but when a storm comes, we prepare to rely on it. we assume that we will lose power.

he is also shovel master. our driveway is a beast to clear. this time he made two great tracks for our tires to roll through and left it at that.

to our astonishment, the power didn't flicker once with this storm, a huge change from what we experienced four years ago in the big snows, and even last year with the wet, heavy, end-of-march four inches. so we built fires for the love it. we continued to cook, to bathe, to run water from the tap. and we played some. not enough, nearly, but some.

we watched the snowfall ebb and flow and return. we lounged a lot and worked a lot too. we had impromptu family time and flirted briefly with an alternate schedule. our olympic viewing went uninterrupted, despite some difficult reception at times.

and it is still out there, mounds of snow, melting, and freezing, 
capturing everything that stains its stark white field. 

we continue to play in it, to wonder at the way the light plays on it

in the deep heavy there is memory. trudging up and down a long snow packed driveway. sledding alone when school was canceled. gathering with friends on friday nights regardless of road conditions. invigorating ski runs in subzero temperatures. wet hair freezing stiff while walking home from swim practice. damp boots and gloves and garments peeled off at every entrance. 

accumulation a daily norm.  
the built in pause at the window while assessing the frosted backdrop of your every outing. 

flexibility, balance, endurance: a winter pose.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

handmade holidays, at last

i realize that we are now far past the holidays and looking toward spring, but i thought i'd share a quick run down of the very few things i made as gifts this past yule season. i usually try to make at least one thing for each member of my immediate family. the projects were pretty small this year. there simply was no time with a busy work-life schedule, so much sewing for the holiday market, and christmas sneaking up on us as it did! 

for tashi i made a fabric garland. she moved into the downstairs room this past fall and many of her gifts were geared toward updating her teen space and finding some decor for the walls. her room is still in flux so the garland hasn't quite found its permanent home yet, but for now she has it draped across a corner.

for dan i made a didgeridoo case. this was pretty exciting. i found directions here

my fabric wasn't quite long enough, so i added on fabric pieces to both ends, to give it a symmetry. i sewed the pieces on so that the selvage fringe would show. i like the way it turned out.

and i think dan is pleased to be able to sling his didgeridoo over his shoulder.

for tristan i made an apron. i made several for the holiday market and each time i made one, he would ask where his was. and so it was thus. the body of the apron is from a vintage fabric scrap my sister-in-law mailed me.

right now he prefers to wear it as a cape!

i offered to make my mom a curtain to cover the open space under her kitchen sink. 
it's cheerful!

i handed out lots of mug mandalas to family as well. i didn't sell a single set of them at the holiday market, but no matter, i think they made nifty little gifts and it was fun to see them used here and there. my mom's match some place mats i made her one year, and they look nice as part of the table setting.

simple, minimal, handmade.