Monday, March 21, 2011

Garden Plotting

This is our garden: logs my husband salvaged from neighborhood trees being cut down, filled with leaves, and dug up and mixed with extra soil, compost, and bunny droppings. We have two such plots, and another space for tomatoes, and yet another space for herbs. We've already planted spinach and kale and now are worried that this Kentucky spring will be too warm for those cold-loving plants. In the front yard's flower space, I will plant my zinnias and marigolds, and this is where my indigo plants bloom as well, for dyeing, of course!  Such a routine post....but the garden is truly an exciting place. The kids love to dig, I love to dig, we love to watch things grow, we love to plan and change it up a little from year to year, and even my husband likes to garden, and who can resist being outside on such beautiful spring days?
What are your garden plans?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Favorite Things

A couple of years ago, I was on a kick of felting over "jewels" (those small glass stones they sell  in hobby and floral shops) and rocks and making necklaces of them. Some people liked them and took notice. I got disproportionately excited about them because, at the time, most people could've cared less.  Lately, I've been wearing my favorite necklace from that "era" of creating and NOW people are taking notice of it and liking it. Even people who've seen it before are just now noticing it, and saying "that is a good idea, you should sell those, I love that," etc. etc. That is just so funny to me. You go along in the flow of the universe and your own striving for creativity, unnoticed, keeping to yourself, and then someone NOTICES. The good thing about that is that your art becomes a striving for pleasure and expression outside of what others think. That feels vulnerable sometimes, because we cannot escape what others think, so here I will be vulnerable once again and show you that necklace:
I bring all this up because last night, I got to do something I rarely do: 'clean up'. When you have a 2-year-old and work as a Waldorf teacher, things like makeup and hairdos and necklaces are saved for other days that rarely come. And I wore my favorite linen skirt...something I made, sans pattern; a comfortable wrap skirt.

Maybe in a spring sewing flurry I can make more. I love "throw on and go" clothes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fresh Starts

This morning, my blogging crew stopped by to help put on today's production. And today's big story: The Bag. THE bag. Every knitter has at least 4, I hope...otherwise you all are making me look bad if you have less. And you have jaw-dropping awe and admiration if you have more.
Here is one of my bags:
My Blog Team insists on modeling this themselves.
The first start: a Tea Leaves cardigan, knitted in my own indigo-dyed yarn.

 It's progressing, I'd say. Next up, the Blog Team shows you just how cute and fun they are, although it has nothing to do with what is in the knitting bag, and everything to do with how fast said knitting progresses:

Who can resist those two?
There is actually more. I started Veyla, in my own plant-dyed alpaca yarn.

 And a Greenfield Cardigan, in Malabrigo. I had never knitted with Malabrigo before, and all I can do is swoon. It's truly luxurious.
The Blog Team Leader is clearly more beautiful than the knitting, and her eyes are always smiling.

Here is the Milo alone. It was supposed to fit Davis, but it will fit Serena. I'm glad it is BIGGER rather than's a bonus of this mistake that this piece of knitting will be worn by two children.

Well, that is one bag. Those are the projects I haven't lost interest in. Sometimes I wonder if I have something diagnosable, because this is not everything, and I haven't even talked about the felting or spinning or singing or neglected projects on the backburner. Maybe I am just coping-mechanism challenged and need a lot of self-imposed art therapy.
Therapy: it's in The Bag.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Music making

All this morning, I tuned 17 dulcimers. I replaced strings and spruced them up. These student dulcimers have been at our school for several years now, and are showing signs of wear. I tuned my own humble dulcimer, the same model as the one the students use. The dulcimers waited in the appear until music class, and they were received by a very enthusiastic group of third and fourth graders. We journeyed through strumming, strumming together (very hard when you just want to play your dulcimer the whole time and pay no mind to that teacher) and played Go Tell Aunt Rhody and Old Joe Clark. What a beautiful, gentle instrument.
Blame it on spring, but music has, with exuberant joy, been reminding me of her beauty and necessity. First of all, the children in my classes have been finding the "sweet spot" in any music class: that point of being lost in the song, of making music together; harmony deeply felt. Second, the arrival of an eurythmist at our school is helping deepen my relationship to music, my body, and so many other things. And third of all, I get to sing at our school auction. I will get to sing all those corny, torch-y, jazz-y songs I love to sing.
In music classes, the children, according to their age, often push and struggle and strive and reach for the goal I have set for them. Whether playing an instrument or singing in parts, there is a time of introduction, a time of deepening and practice, and a time of mastery. Students in the struggle of learning sometimes do not see that at the end of all this trying, there is a sweet spot of real knowing. I think this is how life is too.
Old Joe Clark and Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. Stringing dulcimers and stringing yarn. Singing needles and colored tones. Hand working and music playing.

Monday, March 14, 2011


"Perfection is overrated, a wise friend once told me, and aiming for it is a recipe not only for frustration but for narcissism, since it keeps you focused on yourself and your own efforts at control rather than turning you outward in generous service to others and the planet. So even as I work to master the art of home economics, I hope not just to become a novice but a true amateur, a lover of what I do, even as I do it imperfectly and unprofessionally. A gentler, less anxious, more hopeful way of living rests not simply on knowledge and skill, however hard-won, but finally upon love. To be an amateur in the deepest, richer, and most life-giving sense of the word is to realize that One's home economy always unfolds with the Great Economy: a world created by God-who-is-Love, a world made to belong and be at home in as both lover and beloved."
From "A Time to Plant:Life Lessons in Work, Prayer, and Dirt" by Kyle T. Kramer
I did not actually read this book, but found this quote at the last page of the current issue of Spirituality and Health. I thought it was timely since one of my Living Crafts articles was about cleaning and is quote really spoke to me. Time to clean, time to cleanse!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring in the Kitchen

I'm going to start blogging again, and I'm starting by telling what is going to happen in my kitchen.
Fermentation. Of all kinds! I am terribly excited and can't choose what to make first.
I have local milk and cream on hand....Greek yogurt? Cultured buttermilk? What wonderful choices.
In the meantime, just plain old potato-leek soup is going to be made.
Here's to Spring in the kitchen!

Those are from Cultures For Health. (

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Testing 123

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Ok, so it's been a long while. I've got some catching up to do for certain. Life has been thick and full and hard to grab hold of. We are finding ourselves in the throes of an early spring here in Kentucky. The crocuses had popped in mid-February, and on the last day of February, one of the bulging daffodils had sprung her yellow head. I couldn't believe it...a daffodil on the last day of February! And since then it's just been rainy and wet.
I've been running as much as I can to get ready for a 10K and a 10 mile run. Around here, there are three runs: a 5K, 10K, and 10 miler and these three races comprise the Louisville Triple Crown of Running. Although I've been doing pretty well and my legs are responding, my jeans have not been informed that I'm in pretty good physical shape now. After that 4th child, y'know, things just aren't the same....even two years later. Patience, patience. As a side note, don't be too impressed. I run slow. I run anyway because have an aching itch to avenge myself of all those days spent on a bench in the middle school gym, waiting until everyone else got picked for a team, and then the awkward pause when it was down to me and one other person. Then the choice: me, last again.
At any rate, I just wanted to pop in and say hello. I finally set up an area to do some daily art and here it is:
I set this up in my bedroom. The light is not very good but I will have to do most of my creative exploring by night or early morning. My goal is to simply explore color. I have some Prismacolor markers, Stabilo aquarellable pencils, and regular colored pencils. Nearby are tins of watercolors and bigger paper. My daughter got me some blank art cards for Christmas a couple of years ago and I figure those are perfect for small explorations of color. No judgments, no expectations, just getting into a joyful, habitual flow.
I have a couple of blog awards to catch up with, and my big news is that I will be in the Spring issue of Living Crafts. Now, please don't laugh if you've ever been to my house, but some of the projects and article I submitted are themed around cleaning. But it will be good, I promise!
In the meantime, I dream of time spent spinning yarn, dyeing outside, and making felt outside. Warm days are coming!