Thursday, May 31, 2007

Breakthrough at the MA Sheep and Woolcraft Fair

It has been a life long pattern for me to worry and conjure before an event, especially something I have never done before. My mind races with things, none of them happy, that only seem ridiculous afterwards. I am definitely better with each occasion that passes uneventfully, but the pattern still asserts itself. So I left for the show Friday nervous as this was my first show entirely solo and camping in my Camry sedan. I will spare us both any description of what I had projected. Let me just describe to you my key moment of peace.
Back from a hot shower in the very nearby bathroom I use magnets to affix screening to an open window for breezes without bugs. The air mattress and sleeping bag are rolled out thanks to the handy feature that allows the seat backs to fold down allowing access to the trunk from the back seat. I am nestled in with my cell phones' flashlight balanced on my chest allowing me one of my favorite rites of night, reading in bed (or bag). An orchestra of sheep bleat a lullaby. Through the skylight (rear view window) is the Berkshire's summer sprinkle of twinkle. In comparison to sleeping with a multitude of cats, this feels roomy. I had just completed day one of the show and I had good response to my work. Day two would start with a breakfast at a coffee shop in nearby Goshen that opens super early. I am at peace.
Needless to say I signed up for the same booth next year which I will be sharing with my friend, Judy Jacobs ( and her beautiful hand dyed yarns allowing me freedom to roam a bit.
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Friday, May 25, 2007

The Striped Beauty

Maureen again.

Leslie left me alone with the camera. My latest challenge is to get pictures of the cats without them moving.

This is Nefertiti, just under 2 years old, looking at the sun going down over Folly Cove. One cat down, four to go.

If you're at the Mass Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, say "Hi!" to Leslie.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I am in awe

I just wanted to say that I have had that camera for years and I never got a photo that good.
'nuff said
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Spring is Sprung

Maureen reporting. Cape Ann is a riot of blooming flowers, aka, pollen producers. A lot of the trees have their grown-up dark green leaves and some still have yellow-green frills. They make a great backdrop for all the blossoms. There's a photo op around every corner, as all the tourists have discovered.

Saw beautiful flowers and herbs today when I was at Goose Cove Gardens in Gloucester to pick up some tomato plants for Leslie. A class from the nearby elementary school was there; the kids looked about 5th grade age. Each student was buying one plant, and one of the boys said, "Hee, hee, I got catnip" just as though he'd scored something illegal.

So how do you like the picture? I am finally learning how to use Leslie's digital camera and Photoshop Elements. This is Basket of Gold, or Goldentuft, or Aurinia saxatilis. I took the photo around 6:45 pm so that the sunlight would be slanting. I remember from my long-ago photo class that the best times for outdoor photos are very early morning (ha! not bloody likely for me) and late afternoon. My next challenge is to get pictures of the cats without them moving. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Serious Motivation to Learn to Spin

The New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival was over the top for me this year for many reasons that I will go in to at another time. Now I just want to show this shawl that was on display in the building where the pot luck was hosted on Saturday night. I am seated, eating and zoning out after wonderful but long day. My mind is compiling multiple lists of things I need to do for future shows. I am talking stuff like things I should have taken along, designs should have made more of and the ever present list of reasons for not eating more of the cookies in the booth around the corner despite the fact that they are the best I have ever eaten. Next year, I dare you to try the ginger cookies and tell me that better ones exist at ( a location you can name and from where you can supply a sample.) In that spacey state I see the above shawl hanging on the wall across the room. Like Tony in the dance scene from West Side Story I walk to the shawl and stand transfixed. A handwritten note next to it expains that it was the result of misreading a pattern and is signed by the maker, Ingrid Bird. Back at the table I wonder aloud about the maker only to find that she is seated at the table. In that off-handed way that the truly gifted have she explains what she did to make it. I am now determined to try/do this myself.
Thanks, Ingrid!
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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Report from a Curmudgeon

Yeah, I'm the one that reported in March that spring was coming, tra la, tra la. Now I remember why I hate spring:

  1. The flowers. I'll have sinus headaches from pollen until July, then a couple of weeks off and the goldenrod starts. One of Leslie's friends brought in a bouquet of forsythia the other day, and everyone else said, "How lovely." I thought, "Oh, great. A snot producer." One of the cats ate the blossoms like they were Pringles and then puked under my bed, ruining a beloved Lord Peter Whimsey paperback that had been bedtime reading. I hate the *&^ flowers.
  2. Ticks. My poor old Joon was diagnosed with Lyme disease three weeks ago and is on a course of antibiotics. She feels much better and wants to go for walks every day; when a bull terrier wants to go for a walk, you darned well better go. And every day when I bring her home, I'm picking more ticks off her. Not only are they gross, I fear for her health. Yeah, I hate the *&^ ticks.
  3. Rising gas prices. $3.00 a gallon on Cape Ann and rising every 15 minutes. So now those urban legend emails are recycling about boycotting one or more specific gas brands. See for why this doesn't work. The only way to spend less on gas is to buy less. So get off your butts and walk more, America.
  4. Tourists. Yeah, I know the local economy depends on them, and yes, it was a bad winter here. But for pity's sake, could they learn how to drive? One day recently, I was stuck behind a car with (who would have guessed?) Florida plates, doing FIVE miles an hour in a 30 mph zone. I could barely keep my car from stalling and of course, it being Rockport, it was a winding road with no passing and no alternative route. Then last night, as I was doing 30 in a 30 on another winding road with no passing, I was passed by a Jeep with out-of-state plates doing at least 40 and then accelerating once they were past me. Oh, and the library parking lot in Rockport? The one that's posted for residents using the library only? Wonder why one Sunday recently I saw cars there from Utah and New Hampshire? Wow, our little library must be nationally famous. *&^*^ tourists.

Maureen who is honking like Felix Unger with another sinus headache

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Day With A Yarn Over Marblehead

Knitting shops, more than any other business, tend to have the feeling of being in a friend's living room, and Jean Tierney's yarn shop, A Yarn Over Marblehead is a perfect example of that experience. It takes more than the usual comfy couch and ready tea pot to set that mood. What is immediately obvious is Jean's love of knitting; the doing of it, sharing of it and teaching of it.
Upon my (late) arrival I was warmly greeted by Jean and several friends/customers. There is an easy flow to the conversation as the afternoon progresses. One woman is working on a sweater in two colors with "I" cording. The pattern is complicated and she has opted to shape via darts that are so perfectly charted that I could see no interruption in the design. Another woman leaves and returns with her teen aged daughters who make themselves comfortable around the table as they use the wire I brought and the tools to easily fashion earrings.
Twice I hear Jean answer the phone and give lengthy advice about projects. That she truly cares about resolving their problems is evident. With that kind of support could knit those projects I wistfully look at now.
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