Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back from The Balsams!

RoseAnn and I just returned from almost a week away. The bulk of that time was spent as artists in residence at The Balsams Resort in NH. Never having experienced anything quite like this I am thinking now of how I could be better prepared if the chance comes around again. So much about it was over the top. Just to sit out on the porch with that "Edenistic "view and watch the parade of hummingbirds is magic. It took me a few days to figure out how to control myself in the dining room. With the possible exception of a wedding or other special event, I have never encountered food of that calibre.
As artists in residence we were available during the day to demonstrate. We also chose to teach and found that several of the children were quick learners. Sorry to say that I missed photographing Conner's red wool rose complete with leaves that he made as a pin for his mother.
I split my time between making ornaments in bronze and copper and a crochet project with the yarn I had won at the CGOA Professional Day.
My next post will focus on the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild meeting where we taught.
Blog On!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm Moving!

And to this house although it does not look like this anymore!

For more than half my life I have lived in my small studio in Folly Cove. I put out an open sign, made jewelry and waited. I forgot about the days of open ended time where I could experiment and not feel the pressure to have something "saleable" by the end of the day. All that changed at SPA in Portland Maine about four years ago. Now held in Freeport, the event continues to be a high point for New England fiber enthusiasts. Motivated by my time there I have expanded my line of shawl pins and added my Cable Needle Necklaces, Flame eyed yarn sewing needles with much more to come as soon as I redo my site. RoseAnn Hunter and continue to expand our traveling for teaching. The above left photo shows examples of our "Wire and Wool Jewelry Class" that combines simple techniques from both our disciplines.
With all this in mind, I realized I needed a bigger place so I could host workshops. Ideally it would be walking distance from the Rockport train station and from the shopping area of Rockport itself. As I finish redoing the house I can focus on making all this happen. Not being open except by appointment frees up energy for new directions.
Redoing a house is a new experience for me which involves many decisions some of which I may have to live with for the rest of my life. I knew there would be some I might regret but never the choice of this house which fulfills all my criteria. I will let nothing undermine the joy I feel in this new beginning.
Blog On!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MA Sheep and Wool Here I Come

I love this show! I love the fairgrounds setting that has a Brigadoon feeling to me. I love that I get to visit with Judy from Ball and Skein and spend two days in the company of her gorgeous yarn.
The above photo shows my new shawl closures. The Button and the Trillium designs need either a YO or picot to button through. The other two designs are made to slip through a knitted or crocheted garment as long as the needle size is around a 6 or larger. These closures represent my trend toward designs that do not require a separate stick.
Blog On!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My First Yarn Crawl

This past Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I basically lived at Coveted Yarn in Gloucester MA, a mere 15 minutes from my house! Needless to say the view was outstanding. I am referring to the shop's plethora of amazing yarn but also the the parade of fashions I witnessed made by the "crawlers". My favorite item was a scarf in progress that was double knitted in two different variegated yarns using a simple graphic design. Carol, the genius knitter, sat on the couch as we clustered around to watch her knit down a row complete with commentary.
The only downside was my table was less than three feet from the overflowing candy bowl. I took on the job of refilling it throughout the four days. I did my level best to make sure I was needed for the task.
Many thanks to Rob, Laurel, Astrid, Magda and the rest of the crew for a woolly warm time during the raw, rainy crawl. A special thanks to Courtney at the Seed Stitch in Salem, MA for putting this all together.
Blog On!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Odessa ? - Feb. 25, 2010

The minute you let a pet into you life you know this day will come but you don't know when. I had scooped her up from a colony of feral cats living nearby in a state park. I picked the calico because she was pregnant and Odessa because I strongly suspected she was her mother or a least her aunt. The year was 2001 and my own mother has just died. That brought the count up to three cats, a nice normal number.
Today I had to put her down. It is a surreal process. Having done this before made it easier. Having had both parents and a brother die reframed the perspective. Knowing that I had brought her in to live an easier albeit more confined life helped.
How we deal with loss says a lot about us. I think I lived avoiding loss for a long time. I now see that cheated me out of things and people I truly would have enjoyed had the fear of loss not overshadowed the potential of joy. So in this moment I am surprisingly OK. In this moment....
I have jokingly said that the reason God did not make dogs and cats to live as long as parrots is that no one would get married. Each pet comes into our lives to help us through the time we have together. How lonely a journey it would be without them.
Miss you my Dessabella.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Love Collaboration!

This project started with a call from Mary Lou Nye concerning a necklace to be made by Judith Wright, a fellow member of the Cape Ann Artisans. It was to be a gift from her book group for Elizabeth who had just graduated form Acupuncture school. My part was to make a charm of a book that would hang from the back. Mary Lou explained the reason behind the idea. Having used Kanji symbols in the past I suggested the symbol for healing on the cover. Judy just sent me the image this morning of the finished piece.
A collaboration feels like passing the football to the quarterback. You have to have faith the the player makes it to the goal post and you all get to share in the victory.
Blog On!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Mother, The Car*

Please believe me when I tell you the following account is completely true.
I have been driving my mother's Toyota Camry since her death in 2001. Not too long after that I was offered a part in a Community Theater production of Nunsense 2. Since my New Year's resolution was to say "yes" to all good things offered me I accepted the part even though
I knew it would be "another growth experience". Two months and a few performances go by. Nan Webber, the director of Theater in the Pines, has cut out the roller skating portion of my part upon seeing me at dress rehearsal wearing a habit and clinging to every piece of scenery I could reach. The first night I did have that dreaded freeze moment where you can't remember your lines and it feels like an hour has passed but it is really only a few moments. Take away the fear of killing myself. Take away my fear of not being able to recover from a mistake onstage.
Now I am loving this! And I am amazed at that.
Heading out to one of the last performances, I decide to try a self help technique I had recently read in a book entitled something like "What To Say when You Talk To Yourself". The book maintains that speaking out loud processes thoughts differently than just running them in your head. In my amazement of how much I am loving this I also realize how much I have missed by letting fear and insecurity rein me in. So from my house to the theater I let it rip in the car to my Mother how angry I am at her critical and destructive style of parenting. I mean, I really let it out! At the parking lot I turn off the car and remove the keys. The car responds with lights flashing, horn blaring and locks flipping from "open" to "lock" furiously. Nothing short of starting the car again stops the cacophony. Turning off the engine results in the same response. Sitting in the car with the engine running I think through my options. I have to be inside the theater pronto. And then I realize what is behind this: my tirade. Out loud I say, "Alright, I'm sorry">
I take out the keys. In silence I walk to the building . It never happened again.
Yesterday I am heading home from errands and notice the odometer as I pull into my driveway. Seeing that literal milestone got me thinking back and realizing how far I had come in many senses of those words.
Blog On!
* Please visit My Mother The Car to read about this weird one season TV wonder. It was like Mr Ed with a car instead of a horse.