Tags: agriculture, art, culture, Cyber Monday, faith, family, friends, friendship, gardening, home, inspiration, photography, women
I have been away … at home. Enjoying life, working out of doors on flowers and vegetables; working in doors on many new things including books (writing, as well as making actual physical books), making pendant necklaces using prints from my photography and paintings, clearing out and rearranging various rooms in our home in search of a new studio space to create for my creative endeavors, cooking, baking, organizing and participating in our annual Art Trail Festival, resting, reading, studying, … living.
I received an email a while back from Martha Stewart with this as the subject line, “Are you a Maker?”
You know, there is a huge explosion of creativity going on across the globe and Makers of Things are finding themselves, finding each other, and finding a vast assortment of materials, techniques, and inspiration in their quests to make, create, design, build, and grow.
Sometimes I struggle with my intense desire to create because I can tend to over collect materials for so many different types of creativity that I become too over burdened with materials things that are difficult to keep organized. Over the past year I have been going through a process of choosing which avenues of creativity I will hold onto and build on and which I will let go of.
I am at heart, at the root of all things, a writer … a teller of tales and a creator of universes.
I am a painter of fine things, using oils, watercolors, colored pencils and oil pastels.
I am a photographer of life and experiences.
I am a fiber artist, with knitting being at the top of my list of fiber arts I am passionate about but needle felting is also included in there along with a bit of sewing and some crochet.
My fiber love extends also to the fibers used in making paper and books, and making paper and books ties back in with that which is at my core … writing.
This is my circle of creativity.
Simplifying down to this point has been an adventure all in itself but it has made it possible for me to simplify my materials and my studio space needs so that I can define and establish a new creative space to work in without our home that doesn't fill up too many spaces that I really need to share with others.
Well Martha … yes, I am a Maker.
And, speaking of making things … for the Art Festival I made some fine art photography print resin pendants/charms featuring tiny photographic prints of some of my fine art paintings as well as my fine art photography. They were quite popular, so I decided to add them to my Etsy shop. This one uses a portion of the photograph I shot back in 2006 when I was knitting on the Lavender Hat & Scarf, back when I was fairly new to blogging. It is the photograph I use as the header here (see top of page), and I think it makes a lovely pendant for a knitter.
I hope you had a beautiful summer, and that you have been having fun making many things of your own. With fall beginning and the holidays not so very far away we all move into that happiest, busiest time of creativity in the making of holiday gifts, decorations, and foods.
Tags: art, faith, family, friendship, home, inspiration, knitting, Life, love, personal, spirituality, thoughts, women
I look outside my studio window as I write, viewing a great bounty of lush green growth.
Trees, green grasses, flowers, an abundance of life that is breathtaking in its simplicity and rustic charm. Several Amish families in open, black buggies pulled by elegant dark chestnut colored horses have passed by on the road, their children wearing straw hats in the bright morning sun.
I am blessed.
I look over at the watercolor painting I am working on with two swans I photographed on our river last year on a perfectly gorgeous June day. It is amazing to me, that I have access to a river, to swans, to green fields, the canopy of trees, toads, our grand willow … too much to catalog even if I had a lifetime to do so. The visual stimulation to me the artist is sometimes overwhelming in scope. And yet, somehow I push through the abundance of subject matter and find something simple to create.
Yes, I am blessed.
Our hostas are amazing, yet again. I don’t think I will ever cease to be amazed at the overflowing abundant green beauty of the hosta plant and the ease with which it is grown, managing itself with perfect timing and expanding affluence year after year. My husband and I planted the hostas all around the house four or five years ago and by now they come back each spring huge and just so lovely I can hardly stand to contemplate it. I am eternally grateful for the the hosta.
Our antique tree peony had a bit of a misfire this year. March was unusually warm, then winter temperatures came again and many plants became confused as to what they were supposed to do. The tree peony sprouted three buds very early on, but then the very cold weather in April gave her reason to take some more time off. By the time things warmed up all she had to show for the year was the three buds. They opened a few days ago, some two weeks early … very noticeable for a plant the opens her blossoms exactly like clockwork year after year on Memorial Day weekend.
I am not complaining about the three blossoms — they are as extraordinary as any tree peony blossoms ever are. Last year we had, I believe, something like two dozen blossoms so I am merely noting a rather drastic difference.
For quite some time my freedom to create, whether it be knitting, needle felting, writing, or painting, was restricted by happenings in family and in life. Life changes much as a river ebbs and flows and I am finding much time these days to do all of the creative things I love so much to do. I am an artist, and when I cannot carve out the time and peace to create it takes a toll on me spiritually.
However, I am also an eternal and almost annoying optimist so even when I get down about now being able to create I know things will change I will be able to create again, so I remained hopeful even if a bit sad. And now, here I am with plenty of time and peace for my creativity. My studio is like a chapel or temple, my place of religious retreat where I find comfort, meditation, spiritual room to fly, peace to contemplate and pray.
So many blessings brush my cheek as their misty truths cross through my mind: 50 acres; four seasons, Canada geese enjoying remnants of last year’s corn in the field, this year’s Sincere Pumpkin patch, the most wonderful and dear husband, two children to love dearly, a precious granddaughter, three crazy happy dogs, wind, rain, snow, sunshine, water, autumn, rivers and streams, a home, a cottage, more friends than I can count, you my reader, biscuits, laughter, the promise of fresh fruits and vegetables affordable and within easy reach at farm markets all over the place in our area, swans, ducks, song birds, wild flowers, paint, fiber, memories … you get the idea.
I am blessed.
My title today is bittersweet, because with all that I have to be thankful for (and I have only mentioned the tip of the iceberg in terms of the many blessings in our lives) is all so very bittersweet because my father, my dear sweet friend, has prostate cancer. He was diagnosed with it many years ago and has done a great job with help from my mother in keeping it at bay.
Together they have done a great job with that.
But today, my father needs your prayers. And my mother too.
They are truly two of the dearest, most loving people you can imagine and they have done much in their lives in service and kindness to others. They have earned the universe opening up today and enveloping them in a great big, comforting and loving embrace.
Your prayers will help.
Love you Dad and Mom.
Tags: art, children, culture, faith, family, friendship, inspiration, knitting, Life, love, spirituality, thoughts, women
This is a brief post to share a couple more knitting photos … it is great to be able to knit more once again. Little Sweet Pea is being so good about not ripping out my needles any longer. She actually sat in my lap and watched me work on her little eyelash yarn skirt last night. I’m going to call this one “Sassafras Tea Skirt”, because I intend to have a tea party with her once it is finished. I’m using Size U.S. 9 circular needles for the skirt, so it is a very quick project.
Here is another photo of the Slouchies Socks, to show the contrasting colors in the heels and toes. She sure does love her little socks — and when pulled all the way up they come above her knees, but then slouch back down just enough to be cute but not bothersome.
It looks like we are going to have sunshine today; that will be great after a week of temperatures in the 60′s with gray skies and rain off and on. We would enjoy having a little bit more NY summer, pretty please. I’m looking outside at our barn as I write. There is array of tall wild flowers, cat tails, and milk weed arranged artistically by nature on the south side, where the wood block painted with a quilt square hangs on the barn, the sun is illuminating the scene. To the right of the barn, and back further I see the field of corn topped with golden tassels. Blue sky above, puffy clouds floating gracefully past and way back behind the corn field, our stand of woods.
Quite a healthy, beautiful scene. Wish my son were here to enjoy this with me, over a cup of coffee and some homemade biscuits. It is his birthday tomorrow, oh how I wish he were here.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and a I’ll “see” you next week.