The Lizard Ridge Afghan is back on the needles. After a long while of ignoring this project I've decided to take it back up again and get it finished. I'm still fighting with those wrap and turns!
I'm making another pair of Bella Mittens.
Painting with Sarah
Drew the Four of Wands card today.
One of the ultimate mysteries of Creation is the life force contained within a seed. When planting a garden, we prepare the soil much like we would create a cozy bed for a child. We cover the seed with rich soil in order to allow it a period of gestation. Soon, it blossoms into a triumphant plant, bursting forth above the ground and reaching upward toward the sky. The metaphor of the seed is applicable to every aspect of our lives; the seed of knowledge, the seed of truth, the germination of consciousness, and so on.
This card depicts the planting of new wisdom and the reconstruction of an intuitive foundation. The garden has four corners, representing the four seasons and the four directions. In ancient Greece, the symbols of the seasons were four women: Summer was adorned with a crown of grain; Autumn wore a basket of fruit; Spring wore a wreath of flowers; Winter was bareheaded. The fairies pictured in this card represent springtime, when new planting takes place and a new season of Sun and sprouting awaits.
In your life, new ideas are seeding themselves. Prepare your life for the fruits that you will bear. Plant your creativity and watch it grow.
I finally finished the Bella Mittens. This was an easy pattern as long as you don't get sidetracked by folks speaking and you don't want to join in the conversation. I like how these came out. I used Iro yarn which is a nice colorful yarn. I am thinking I might make more of these...
A new Sweep made with a sassafras handle. It has a great weight and feel to it. Finding a beautiful broom is exciting to those of us that don't like to use vacuum cleaners.
Along with my new interest in watercolor painting comes an interest in learning to draw as well. This isn't a new interest of mine. I am thinking if I practice every day I might be able to turn out something somewhat recognizable. I would like to keep Nature Journals and being able to illustrate them with some simple drawings would be a nice record to have of my wanderings. Part of what I love about herbalism...the seeing, the looking, the wandering. Herbalism gives a gift of creativity and beauty and healing and community all at once.
I finished the Mission Falls Bob Blanket finally. This is an easy knit that can be done in any color or pattern you like. The ends are braided so you need to cut each row knitted. If you braid it as you go you don't have to face a monstrous braiding task. This looks suspiciously like the Ruana I knitted a few years ago out of Noro.
Sarah I had our painting day on Monday. This is as far as we got...mine is the one on the right. It's sort of looks like a ramshackle farmhouse.
So, I'm trying to just post my creative efforts...focusing on the process instead of the product. It's not easy sharing this because it's not "perfect". But, over time I look at it and I see nuances that were not there before. I also see the experience for what it was. I feel pretty tender about it. I think it's curious that I choose watercolor to try to experiment with. I like the fluidity of watercolor, the tones and shades that I can get with water. It's the Pisces in me I suppose...water, water everywhere! I also notice that using watercolor is a little like diving in and holding your breath and then letting go...because I cannot really control where the color goes...at least not yet. It doesn't turn out how I expect or hope...but, I am learning to be satisfied. Instead of seeing what I see with my mind I am learning to see what it is in my heart in the painting. Here...I see the deeper tones of coming winter.
Thinking about gardens & Spring
diggin food has a great tutorial on fashioning a seed starting shelf out of an Ikea Ivar shelf. Of course you can use your own lumber but, in case you aren't motivated to do that you can get one of these easy shelves for pretty cheap. It's not a big operation for seed starting but, it's always fun to just start a few seeds yourself...especially from special varieties that you want to try new this year.
The next few days are supposed to be beautiful weatherwise...they are saying nearly 70degrees! It just doesn't feel normal to have this kind of warmth showing up this time of year. But, we are going to go with it and enjoy it nonetheless! We need to get some seeds in the ground....Rhythm of the Home is a nice site celerating the rhythm of the year in a beautiful way.There is a nice little post about Natural Egg Dyeing in this months edition. I have the old book The Dye Pot that I used when I was a weaver way back when that they showcase. There's some good information in it regarding natural dyeing. It's worth it to dig up an old copy. We have over the years found it easiest to just use food stuff for egg dyeing naturally. We have found it simple to just use onion skins, beets, blueberries, turmeric, cayenne, different greens. You can dye the eggs in the pot while the food bath is simmering. We've also wrapped eggs in kale and spinach leaves and onion skins for a very nice soft effect. You can use rubber bands or twine to wrap the eggs up in. Also, depending on when you put the eggs in the dye bath it will give you differing coloring effects.
Rhythm of the Home also has a lovely blog for gathering in the off season to share, learn, craft and grow in the Waldorf and Montessori Traditons. Look at the beautiful result of the natural dyes...
Creativity Seed Since many of us will be seeing friends and family perhaps these thoughts might help in some way. I find them important reminders for me... From Choosing Happiness: Life & Soul Essentials by Stephanie Dowrick Your Effect on Other People
a favorite woodcut card for Springtime
some of my favorite celebration books
Family & Friend Gathering over the Holiday
Gaining self-knowledge, you find that other people are never out of the picture. From the moment of your birth, you have been discovering who you are in relation to other people.
Chances are good that you are fairly preoccupied with how other people treat you, what they thik about you, how they behave toward you.
Seeking self-knowledge, you need to look with at least that same amount of interest in the opposite direction.
Observe how you affect other people.
*Watch and learn what "works" and what doesn't.
*Listen closely to yuor tone of voice as well as to what you say.
*Stay aware of your body language: it speaks volumes.
*Value your capacity for restraint as much as for action.
*Recognize the power you have to influence other people positively: to lift their spirits, encourage them,
listen to them, show your care and concern even for a few moments.
*Excercise positive choice.
This will profoundly benefit you as well as everyone around you.
Since many of us will be seeing friends and family perhaps these thoughts might help in some way. I find them important reminders for me...
From Choosing Happiness: Life & Soul Essentials by Stephanie Dowrick
Your Effect on Other People
I started working on a shawl today. It's a simple pattern with a few yarn overs and 3 sections involving knitting and purling on opposite sides so there will be a variety. I have been eyeing this pink Silky Wool yarn for awhile now. I was given a gift certificate at my local knitting shop and this is what I decided to purchase with it. It's going to have a really nice drape to it. I picture wearing it on a spring evening after we walk about in the garden surveying what we've accomplished that day.
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?
~The Mad Hatter"
Behind the curtain they whispered. Do you remember when we walked across the prairie together? You held my hand. I wanted to bust out running. Now, you sit quietly...looking back.
New hat for a snowy day. This is a seedstitch hat that I finished up as Rand was walking out the door. I double stranded Brown Sheep yarn...brown of course...digging in the garden, working in the woods, building a house, sitting by the woodstove...dirt.
Even though it's snowing outside I have these pretty flowers to look at that my friend Deb gave me last night. My yarn shop friends took me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday...their treat! Thanks so much to everyone for thinking of me in such a generous way.
March...it's officially here right? Yesterday it was a balmy 50 degrees out...no coat necessary. This morning...the snow is falling steadily. Yesterday...soft spongy green grass, brown dirt meeting my eye. Today, it's soft white snow...frosting a layer of snow over yesterday's garden eyes. I want to drag out the shovels and broadfork and get to digging. I hear a squirrel up in the rafters retreating to his spot, after he thought winter had left, causing alot of racket up over my head. What the hell is he so mad at? The only work he has to do around here is gather up his food, raise a couple of young...and then bust out into the open field and play! Me...we...have to pull up fences, dig up ground. Decisions and choices have to be made. What is there time enough for? A roof needs mending, windows need rebuilding, barns need cleaning. A marriage needs time...
I'm thinking I'd like a puppet show for my birthday.
These beautiful knitted dolls are from ithaca handwork. The Sunbridge College Handwork Program is something I'd love to participate in.