Thursday, April 3, 2014

crocheting again

I crocheted a quick project for bringing spring indoors.  I took an empty spice jar, crocheted a tube to fit and added a small loop for hanging, and then hung it up. It would have been more effective to crochet three more and have a proper display, but that takes more time than I have right now. Yarn from Adrienne, dyed by me. I think some daffodils are in order.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

summer camps

I am happy to be teaching two camps this summer. I'm searching for inspiration for projects right now and here is a taste of what is inspiring me in planning for these camps:

Summer camps: “ART OF THE HORSE” CAMP:
It is the Chinese Year of the Horse. Campers, ages 5-12, will celebrate all things “horse”! We will learn all about these magnificent animals and venerate them through sculpture, painting, drawing, and drama. Camp will conclude with a visit with real horses. Taught by Angela Davis. Held July 21-25.
8.00 am - 3.00 pm; $245 per week
Waldorf School of Louisville’s infamous handwork teacher, Angela Davis, will be teaching campers ages
7-14 to knit (or hone their knitting skills), felt, weave, dye and crochet. Projects may include tapestries,
wall-hangings, a knitted treehouse, small animals, and silk scarves. Some building with wood will be
incorporated as we will build an Earth Loom together. June 23-27.
8.00 am - 3.00 pm; $245 per week

I did not credit all the photos....arrrgggghhh. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

broken windows

The broken windows theory has intrigued me for some time now, especially when I read somewhere (I'm sorry I cannot give proper credit) how it was applied to human relationships. Basically, the broken windows theory says that the appearance of an environment affects the way people treat it. For instance, if a neighborhood is littered and run down in appearance, people will feel free to toss their litter on the ground or leave a door broken. This attitude, in turn, invites other forms of misbehavior and increases crime rates.
When I read about this theory as applied to relationships, the author was saying there is a relationship between how you treat your inner house and how others treat it. In other words, if you allow your windows to be broken, others might feel free to smash your windows or bust a door frame. You might even invite them to trash your inner space with you. In talking about this with a friend, he said, "but not everyone will break the windows. Some will help fix it."
That was profound for me. It didn't occur to me that people make choices about how they treat their environment and also in how they treat other people. I've always blamed myself. Perhaps something being in a broken state makes it more vulnerable because it is attractive to the type of character who would cause even more destruction, both in environment and relationship.
It made me appreciate the people who have empathy and compassion, and made me want to seek those people out. The truth is, we all have some windows that are broken, some doors that are jammed shut, some furniture missing and in disrepair. What if we all purposed to be the safe kind of person who can hang out in someone's inner space and say, "hey, I know that hurts. Let's get a hammer and nails and we can make that better."
It seems I have a pattern of inviting people who harshly judge my inner space, or who I allow a mutual wrecking, and give the wrong messages. My friend's message was impactful for me because it showed me a way out of my shame for having "broken windows" and gave me hope. Not everyone breaks your windows, my dear.
I think this applies to women who get in situations where they feel like they give too much in their relationships, and get little in return. It's true that men and women differ in their approaches to their emotions, but things like kindness, empathy, attentiveness, acceptance, tolerance, and presence are gender-neutral. Either you show up in each other's broken houses and make things right, or you don't. Give all your gifts and furniture away, and give it away to a person who will give you something better in return. It all sounds so idealistic, doesn't it? But I think on a basic level give and take and improve and heal is how it operates.

What about the houses that are beautiful on the outside, but cold and sparse on the inside? They do not welcome with warmth. There is not much happening, but their windows don't appear to be broken. Theirs is an illusion...the illusion of caring yet the caring is superficial and there is not much of real value offered. 
Interesting, isn't it? And I'm sure the metaphor could be carried on and helps me pay attention to how I treat others and myself. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Back Yard Plans

My back yard is a blank slate. I'm getting resourceful about putting it together. Collecting pallets and finding sources of free mulch are slow but sure ways to get the elements I want. My neighbor offered his truck to help me haul mulch and dirt. The first major obstacle is the honeysuckle vine. Another neighbor, an established and even more serious homesteader than me, recommended a propane torch. I can see myself in the back yard, taking a torch to honeysuckle vines this summer...ha! A shed is sorely needed. Then the list of fun stuff begins.
In addition to having a back yard that sustains animals and lots of plants and flowers, I want a back yard that is just plain FUN. I've been searching for ideas on how to construct circus equipment , tree houses, and a zipline with minimal investment. My half acre is on an incline and has plentiful trees, making it well suited for a zipline. Eventually we will have bees, chickens and rabbit runs, but that is far away.
Spring is the energy of making plans, putting dreams into action, and preparing for future growth. This is true on so many levels here, and for now, we humbly and simply prepare, and honor the joy of fertile spring.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring has sprung!

I couldn't be happier that Spring has arrived. The first sign was that I lost interest in my phone. This winter seemed to relentlessly drive me inward, bringing me to a mindless huddle around my phone as a means of escape. Turning outward now gives me great pleasure. The kids and I cleaned out the van today. We then went to one of those places where you can vacuum and hose down your vehicle. I let the kids go wild with the foam brush and spray wand. Now our old van is somewhat clean, and in the meantime we "strung pearls". We opted to plan a camping trip next weekend at our favorite haunt and save some of the fancier, more expensive stuff for the summer.
Other welcome sights of spring: clothes on the line, flowers, Easter egg hunts, and spring cleaning.
Two things have taken over my life: college and circus. This weekend ends our circus stint, and we will be sad but relieved.
Last night felt a bit surreal at the circus. It's odd and disorienting when seemingly disparate aspects of your life show up in the same room. We were surrounded by circus pirates, for that is the theme of this year's show, and someone said there were sheep here. Sheep? At the circus? So we went around to where two baby lambs were. BABY LAMBS. I just about died, and even asked, "how much are they?" Yes, and "I'll just go find a cash machine." I have seriously considered setting up my land for a miniature breed, but now is not the time for that, and what am I thinking??? That is how strong baby lambs are.
Pictures below of all of the above.

Inside the circus: Pirates abound!!!

Outside the circus: Heart-melting livestock


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Two Days

In the course of two days, much happened. Two friends came home with us on Friday and the house was full of children. Said children played with (mostly) peace in the house. We got out the soft pastels and all the children were mesmerized. Many dirty hands and handwashings later, a stack of artwork had piled. Of course, I had to get messy too with the pastels. And I got to make art with a dear friend near by.
We declared Saturday to be art day. More smudging of soft pastels followed by sledding followed by pumpkin muffins and chamomile tea. And then more making art, and much playing, and talking. Saturday night saw a few games of War, Sunday morning more War and then circus practice; a quick violin practice.
Sunday morning breakfast in bed:
Serena insisted that I take a picture of her eating full-on. Well, ok!

When there is art in the house, there is peace in the house and our souls feel happy, blessed, and connected. When there are friends in the house, we feel loved, loving, grateful.
A couple of random thoughts: Garden planning has been foremost on my mind. I'm wondering if I will have time for digging therapy once school starts? I do not own a dishwasher and I have lived nearly a year without a dryer. That's pretty counterculture, I'd say. Dryer will be fixed hopefully soon!