Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rhinebeck 2016: New York Sheep and Wool Festival

hand-dyes drying at the fairground

Thanks to my work with Windy Valley Muskox, I had the opportunity to visit rural New York in October.  Famed and celebrated fiber gathering, New York Sheep and Wool, aka Rhinebeck almost defies description, there are just so many facets.  What I can tell you is that if you go, you'll definitely see fiber and yarn and sweaters, knitters, fantastic local food, yarn-related celebrities, and absolutely people knitting.  





And animals; you will definitely find animals!  

You can see more of my pictures from Rhinebeck here.
I would also recommend Glenna C's account here, and this fun video about Rhinebeck Sweaters.

Friday, November 11, 2016

artist: Susan, painter

Third in my artists and craftsmen series.
Some weeks ago, my friend, artist Susan Schmitt, allowed me to spend a morning with her, observing and photographing her as she painted, her inspirations, methods, tools and techniques.





With a fresh bouquet of flowers from the garden as inspiration, she transformed a piece of white paper into a lovely expression of summer beauty.  She explained to me that different projects require levels of time and emotion investment.  Some are "show dogs," and some are like a family dog - sometimes a person admires piece but it is not the right investment for them, but everyone should be able to live with art.  Susan draws, carves, stamps, paints, subtracts, redraws, and works til her vision comes together.  She creates everything from printed cards and journals to one-of-a-kind dolls, too.   




She journals with watercolors - sometimes, while her husband is driving!  


Also, Susan is in my knitting group, and has the most adorable grandbaby, so she's a well-rounded lover-of-beautiful-things.  One of the aspects I like most about her work is choice of subjects.  She has a series of cards / illustrations called Women I Might Have Known.  Whenever she publishes a new one, she posts a story on her blog about them.  


And she gives good life advice, but you can't buy that on her site, I'm just lucky to know that.  

Susan is also on Instagram:  susanschmittart.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

musings about the passing of time

A bush full of marigolds: 

When you're young, "old" people will tell you how fast time goes by.  And when you're a new parent, people will go on and on about how this stage "won't last forever" and you should cherish it all, even the annoying parts.  It's just amazing, though, how many things will not fit into the time I have.  

It strikes me how much more I get done in a span of time if I turn off all social media and email.  

I have been accused, more than once, of being completely out of touch with what's "in," and of being old-fashioned.  Tone of voice aside, it's not the insult it was meant to be.  The more life experience I have, the more I begin to see the value of quality over quantity.  Frankly, there are so many more valuable uses of my time than racking up a high number of Friends, which, let's face it, are actually Acquaintances.  

If you wonder, here are some of the recent experiences causing my musings: finding out why someone hasn't been speaking to me for two years; a classmate being diagnosed with breast cancer; being taken for granted; being cherished; a seemingly minor decision with lasting consequences. 

But I'm still here, and life goes on; there's still Truth and time for forgiveness.  So here's to paper books, candles that have time to burn, homegrown tomatoes, handwritten letters, handmade gifts.  Yes, Anna, it's time for Christmas crafting :)

And yes, it all goes together.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hmmm... Really.

My husband was flipping through a magazine and absentmindedly stated, "I already know what my 'spirit animal' is."  To which my youngest asked, "What is a spirit animal?"
Dad:  "Oh, it's an animal you identify with."
Youngest:  "OoOOooh.  Mine's a sloth."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 - Fifteen Years

The buzz around schools these days is that the new kids coming up through high schools are the first class learning about 9/11 from a historical point of view, as opposed to a personal point of view.  I don't know, it's still personal to me, and I don't see how that would mean nothing to my kids.  I guess we're not talking about it much anymore.  Time for some remembering.  



Thursday, September 8, 2016

artist: Marilyn, knitwear designer

Continuing my photo project on artists and craftsmen, allow me to introduce you to Marilyn, of Black Water Abbey Yarns

Marilyn and I were introduced by mutual friends (who knit) and since then, I have had the opportunity to photograph some of her beautiful pattern collections.  Marilyn distributes high quality wool directly from Ireland, so it is no surprise that many of her patterns feature elegant cable work.  




Through the process of photographing her work, I have had the opportunity to get to know Marilyn as a person and an artist.  As she travels to yarn and fiber shows around the country, Marilyn sells not only her own beautiful yarn and patterns, but also a selection of items such as cards, soap, and pins, from small-business artists.  In other words, she is helping the creative women around her, too.  Whenever we meet up to transfer projects, I walk away from our conversations feeling newly inspired.  

I am pleased that Marilyn agreed to let me shoot a bit of her creative process, including swatching, designing, knitting.  She had some wonderful colorwork projects on needles while I was there; I look forward to seeing her next round of finished pieces.


  



Find more of Marilyn's patterns on Ravelry here.  See my ongoing project of artists and craftsmen here or here.  What sort of artist shall I seek out next; have any suggestions?  

Friday, August 12, 2016

quick garden update


Quick.  The tomatoes are terrific.  If you use tomatoes for anything, they are so much better fresh.  I keep picking the peppers before they have a chance to change color.  The tomatillos are taking over, I don't know what to do with them!  We've done green chili and tomatillo sauce.  I planted them for salsa, but that only uses one.  Suggestions?