January 18, 2020 · 4:48 pm
All I think I want to say about 2019 is that I learned a lot about myself as well as Other People.
I am like a perennial in E(xperimental) garden. That means, I might’ve looked dormant for a time with no apparent growth, especially since I went through 2019 without posting anything on this page.
Look for me just to one side of where I was planted in the garden before, because sometimes, we Perennials shift ever so slightly and become more than what we were. I’m not in the same place I was this time last year either, creatively speaking.
I learned and I grew.
Let’s get busy making stuff, shall we?
December 13, 2018 · 10:00 am
The countdown for Christmas has begun. With less than two weeks to go, if you’re(I’m) not diligent, you(I) might find yourself(myself) Way Over Spending.
Money can mean different things to many different people and it IS important, I know, but it has taken me a long time to figure out how to spend the money and balance that with what I think a loved one wants or needs with what they actually DO want or need. Therein is my dilemma. What DO they want for Christmas?
I have no sure remedy for how to answer that for others and while my answers have come to work for me, they might not work for anyone else.
Here are two of our Christmas Stockings (crocheted by me) and hanging by our fireplace this year. While they will be functional and I hope decorative, they represent memories of time spent with Grandmothers who instilled in me the love of craftsmanship and appreciation of things handmade as a young child.
And here is a photo of a decoration I placed in EGarden for the birds. Egarden may look like it is resting for the winter, but the memories of enjoying time spent there remains and I know the garden waits for me to return.
Making and sharing memories or experiences with people you love so that when they do those things they think of you and are happy? That’s it! That’s what I want.
And I hope you find whatever it might be that you want for this holiday season, too.
March 8, 2018 · 9:38 am
You could call me on the House Phone and you’d have a slim chance that I’d actually pick up. Oh, it would be me on the answering machine all right, but I’d say something like, “Please call me on the cell or leave a message. Thanks.”
I’m not trying to be a smarty-pants.
I’m @ Work.
Even though my work space is out in the barn, or at the kitchen table, or on a trail, or in what will someday-be-the-garden-again, I try to set aside uninterrupted time to get creative work accomplished.
And I know how easily I can be distracted, and I know I like to do so many things. I still haven’t completed writing that resume, but made a postcard instead, because I’m attending a writing/illustrating conference soon. I need to have a promotional material. My bio and contact information are on the back.
And here are a few photos that didn’t make it to the final “cut” to be on the card. But I wanted to include them here, as part of an online portfolio.
Leave a message if you’d like. And I’ll get back to you.
For now though, I’m @ Work.
January 10, 2018 · 4:53 pm
My family tells me that I’m a hard person to buy gifts for, because: 1) I like to do so many things, and 2) I end up ordering the book or getting supplies as needed when I need them, or 3) by the time a gift giving occasion has come along, I’ve moved along to a new idea or project.
I don’t MEAN to make things difficult. Really.
It’s just that one idea will give momentum to try this or that, and that leads here, and then I’m off to do something over there. Right after that. Oh wait, look over…yonder. That looks like fun, too.
Since it’s now the beginning of a New Year, a lot of people are making resolutions. My main problem with making a list of Things I Plan to Accomplish is that I know in my Heart Of Hearts that I’m gonna lose that list somewhere in my stash of art supplies or loose leaf notebook paper. Then I’ll feel bad about that and it makes my creative impulses slow down.
Not this time.
Because I’ve decided to focus on doing Creative Things EVERY DAY and leave myself a reminder of what I’ve done. Starting with these few books I bought for myself after receiving lovely gift cards from family members.
AND you can call it Research. Or you can call it Recreation.
But I’m getting a lot of new ideas for writing AND making art.
December 5, 2017 · 4:26 pm
We have alpaca. Alpaca give fiber. LOTS AND LOTS of fiber.
Our animals get their haircuts, or are sheared, in the spring. Each animal provides almost four pounds of fleece and yes, I know what to do with it. Ill spin it into yarns and then make a variety of items.
Here are a couple of shawlettes that were handwoven on a triangular loom. The natural colors of alpaca are neutral colors–white, beige, light brown, dark brown, gray, black–these are how alpaca appear in nature. Anything else is the result of my playing around with dyes and blending other fibers in with the alpaca fiber. I love to play with colors! OR I might take a commercially spun yarn and ply it in with the natural alpaca yarn to achieve a unique yarn in that way. Sounds like work, but it’s the FUN kind of work!
Hats are fun to knit or crochet (these are knit) and here are a few samples. All of the colors are neutral/natural colors and the hats are VERY warm. Some of these are sold at market, given as gifts by me, or given by friends to friends.
Not to worry, though. The animals have plenty of hair left and they will stay warm in cold weather.
And now we will, too.
I’m happy creating!
October 28, 2017 · 2:40 pm
The summer has come and gone. You know I look for ways in which to find more hours in every day and really, I didn’t mean to stay away from the blogging posts for THIS long. It’s been a while hasn’t it? I trust you’ve been creatively productive, too.
With Farmers’ Markets, farm chores, family happenings and a growing sense of ZEN I find myself trying to be in the here and now more often. It’s easy to think about putting something on a TO DO list, but lately, I’ve been misplacing the list. And when that happens, I re-evaluate what it was that I wanted to accomplish in the first place.
I’ve taken to turning off the television too, and hanging out with one of my Best Friends. Here is a photo:
Because when I spend time doing something I enjoy doing and I work at it Every. Single. Day. then the chances that I’ll get better at something increase greatly. Sometimes I think I sound pretty good, playing in the still, quiet time of the evening or early morning. I play what I want and at my own speed. I learn songs by ear, pick out tunes from You Tube and adapt them to my D A A tuning. The cat joins me on the couch and yes, I put her to sleep. Neither one of us sing.
November is the month for a Na-No-Wri-Mo challenge, and if you think you are up to creating that novel you’ve always wanted to write, it can be a great way to jump start yourself.
And as for me, I’ll take time every day to play a little song, read or write a little “story”, and if I’m lucky, speak (aloud) a few reasonable words.*
(*Attributed to influences of von Goethe)
June 19, 2017 · 12:08 pm
The wandering creative gypsy in my soul needed a bit of inspiration. One place I found it was at Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden, and if you don’t know his work, please take time to do a bit of research. You won’t be disappointed.
This is the Folk Art Church at dusk. It was beautiful and we spent time walking through the garden and seeing a lot of interesting objects created from recycled “stuff” as well as paintings and words of wisdom.
And here is a photo of the barn at the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale PA. Again, please search for the information and attend a workshop or three. 🙂
These are two places where I feel I’ll be able to get in touch with my creative muse within, and when I needed a bit of a pick-me-up, they certainly did.
Creatively busy. I’ll call later……
March 2, 2017 · 2:53 pm
I’ve been seeing articles in magazines, blog posts, newspapers or on television shows that refer to what is known as “sustainable living” or slanting toward a movement becoming known as “vintage revivalism.” Many of these sources cite some of the following as belonging:
Sewing, quilting, handspinning, hand weaving, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, needle craft skills, making pottery, basket weaving, gardening, growing food and herbals, making soap or candles, making jelly or wine or beer making.
I’ve always enjoyed doing those things. Now it seems more people are enjoying them, too.
Here is a photograph of a scarf I’ve woven on something called a rigid heddle loom.
And when I agreed to help make decorations for a wedding, I practiced cursive handwriting. I was asked to create signage. It’s been a lot of fun and although it’s been a long time since I put that much effort into cursive writing, it was very satisfying, in a most unusual way.
Time to take a class or learn something new….er, old?….or Vintage!
Happy creating to you, too!
February 20, 2017 · 11:56 am
I am a student of the Creative Arts, as well as a practing crafts person. In order to learn more about the use and preparation of lye and the making of soap, well of course, I have to read about it.
“Lye–a strong alkaline solution or solid of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, made by allowing water to wash through wood ashes. It is used to make soap and drain and oven cleaners. The chemical formula is KOH or NaOH.”
It makes me wish I’d paid more attention during high school Chemistry classes.
But I read on, and research how to use fireplace ashes and filter rain water through a barrel, and how soap was made hundreds of years ago. And then I research how craftspeople of today make handmade soaps. I practice their techniques and borrow a recipe or two.
I can make soap. Out in the barn. Which makes the surroundings smell so nice you’d never guess that there are animals around.
The recipe I’ve found most success with includes coconut oil, olive oil, lard, lye, rainwater and fragrance oils. Lemongrass is at the top of my list. When the rosemary grows a little more out in the garden, I’ll pick and dry some of that. It will go in a special soap–to relax with after a long, but creative day.