Friday, February 27, 2015

(This moment)

Joining in with this Friday. 

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stitching for Yuletide

Every year I tell myself (and sometimes others) that I'm going to give handmade gifts.  Sometimes this is for the beauty and the love and the care and the ethic of handmade.  Sometimes it is because the bank account is looking real thin.  Both were true this year.  The difference was that I actually managed to give one meaningful handmade gift -and it was completed in time for the actual day of gift giving!  Happy Yuletide Mom!

This is a stitched copy of a medieval print from the first published midwifery manual.  Its an image I'm familiar with from a childhood raised by a childbirth educator, doula and midwife!  

This is probably my best "I saw it on Pinterest!" project to-date.  It wasn't precisely this image that I saw, but another medieval print done in black (and red!) line embroidery in this style.  I'm really pleased with how it came out.  And the stitching itself was both fun and therapeutically soothing.  I was working on it during a time when the dark was getting to me, when I felt frustrated, trapped into spending far too much time in town and not enough at home and overwhelmed with large projects; the stitching was something that I could control.  I could watch it grow.  It lulled my over-active mind, eased my way slipping into a meditative state.  It could be worked in small bits in companionable company with my husband on the couch in the late evening or in the coffeeshop or at the studio between appointments.  It was wonderful.  I would probably really benefit from and enjoy getting another stitching project started.  They're manageable, portable and addictive in the best sort of ways.

This one, I gave to my mother for Yule.  But the internet is full of out-of-copyright medieval prints.  I've got my eye on one of two witches summoning a rainstorm!

First I traced the image onto the cloth (I used special tracing paper and pencils from JoAnn's but I don't believe that is strictly necessary.  Also if you have easy access to a computer and printer, you can print onto wax paper and iron-on).  And then I stitched every line. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter Prayer

I ask for the strength I will need to endure until spring
and the wisdom I require to learn from the dark 
and cold the lessons they will teach.
May I receive them without flinching

Jenna over at Cold Antler Farm shared this last winter, or possibly the year before.  I copied it down and made a note to myself to use it as the basis for a winter time blog post.  Its a good prayer for me right now.  We are having issues with all of the 'modern' infrastructures of the house: a leaking generator, a broken inverter, failing batteries, and now more plumbing issues on top of the ones that have had us hauling water in blue jugs the last year and more.  Its almost enough to make me want to rip out the plumbing (itself probably as arduous a job as fixing it), set up a grey water system, install the compost toilet, sell the hot water heater and water softener and the whole generator set up and invest the sales monies in a wood cookstove and a bajillion Alladin lamps.  I want to curl up in a ball of tears and ask why.  Instead, I count our blessings.  I'm grateful for woodheat and candlelight.  I'm grateful that the leaky generator still runs, and that the mountain man has its manual on order.  I'm grateful the batteries have not yet given up the ghost.  I'm grateful that I get to learn about plumbing.  I'm grateful that the prospect of a housejack makes me sigh, but does not scare me.  I practice gratitude because that's the only way to hold my determinism.  We will have running hot and cold water and a working electrical system before snow flies next fall.

I ask for the strength I will need to endure until spring
and the wisdom I require to learn from the dark 
and cold the lessons they will teach.
May I receive them without flinching

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hi again

Hello. I miss writing here. So I'm back. I think. We'll see. It seems sometimes (a lot of the times) (nearly always) that I have better intentions and more projects than I can live up to or finish. And sometimes this space feels like another one of them. But at the same time, this is a useful space for me to catalog and share those intentions I do live up to and those projects I do complete.  Not to mention thought tangles about life and beauty which seem to want more than just a journal entry no one else will ever see. Why do thoughts seem more valid when shared?  
Which I realize really gives this space a lop sided perspective on my life; it elides the rough patches, ignores the sink of dirty dishes or the fact that the summer garden is overgrown and that just outside the perfectly composed frame is the mess of life. But there you have it. We all curate ourselves on the internet, do we not? 
So, here goes. An experiment perhaps? That takes the pressure of a resolution away. A return to this space and an experiment in using it however best suits me. Even if that means entries that are nothing but pictures of pies. Like this one. 

Blueberry rhubarb. My new favorite combo. And with rhubarb hopefully surviving it's first winter in the garden and blueberry lowlands just down the road, one that's sure to return for many years to come.