Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Elixir of Praise

Time flies by so fast on these glorious spring days, when there are more chores than daylight!  The garden is calling, our boat needs attention before it splashes into the Chesapeake for another sailing season, and like the maple trees, my sap is rising so that I’m drawn to work longer during the longer hours of light!

I finished the loose-fitting, comfy sweater in time to wear it on several occasions before it gets too unseasonal.  Soon I will put it away until fall….or perhaps bring it along to Maine for the chilly nights when I want to sit on deck looking at the stars. (Turns out is it a Martin Storey design from Classic Knits for Real Women)

Here is the medieval spinner.  I’m really on the home stretch now.  Various. 3.24.2010 005 A little praise goes a long way, doesn’t it? Yesterday I got some wonderful praise from Archie.  I wonder if teachers ever truly realize how much their comments mean to us students.  His comments thrilled me so much that hours later, at midnight, I found I could not get to sleep due to the warm glow I still felt.  There’s a famous quote I used to know about how our words to others carry far more weight than we realize.  Archie can’t possibly know how much I will cherish his input from yesterday!

I’m also carrying wonderful images in my head from yesterday’s gathering of the Wednesday Group.  We were quite a large group, crowded in spite of Susan’s generous studio space.  The diversity of the work was incredible!  Everything from a young beginner’s strikingly good re-interpretation of some Coptic designs, to a moving piece of autumn leaves floating behind the Robert Frost quote, “Nothing gold can stay.”  There was a vibrantly happy scene of frogs on lily pads, a very graphic interpretation of a bridge deck from an engineer’s drawing, a delicate (although large!) interpretation of a pencil drawing of a loved one’s head. 

There was such a wide range of emotional content, creative vision, and wealth of weaving techniques to convey these images, that I left feeling powerfully stimulated!  That’s the real strength of weaving in community.  Most of us weave in solitude, and I relish these moments with others!

Unfortunately I have no photos to share of these amazing works in progress.  So, instead, a shot of new growth in the greenhouse and the endless parade of amaryllii!

Various. 3.24.2010 001 Albutilon (flowering maple) in the greenhouse. This is our most prolific amaryllis with four flower stalks! Various. 3.24.2010 003 To springify the house I’ve brought in cut branches of forsythia, quince and pussy willow.  Outside the first daffodils have opened, surrounded by their earlier pals, the crocus and winter aconite.  Hoping for new growth and full blossoms myself this spring!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Energy of Our Best Days

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have the energy of our best days everyday!  I can’t seem to manage that.

I’ve made good progress on my current sweater, a design that I cannot give proper credit since I’m working from a photo-copy given to me by a friend.  It’s a cute design that has been fairly boring to knit.  Lots of stockinette that luckily I churn out quickly, but also lots of fiddly small items that had to be knitted separately and sewn to the sweater.  I’m almost there!

Willa exhibit 3.10 002

The button bands are knitted separately and sewn to the body (a task I detest). After I sewed on the first band, I sewed on the buttons. Then I made button holes in the 2nd band by

buttoning on to the first band as I knit in order to get the spacing just right.

Also, I’m up into the headdress of my medieval spinner.  I’ve been looking forward to weaving the intricate shapes of her headdress!

tapestry.medieval spinner. 3.10

My friend Willa had an art opening this week, and her energy inspired me!  She is part of a group of women exploring their cultural heritage through their line of female relatives, all of whom immigrated here from other parts of the world.  The exhibit is called “Ah, Motherland!” 

Willa exhibit 3.10 008

Willa’s heritage is Japanese, and she found inspiration from the many noren (entrance curtains) on display at the Serizawa exhibition that we visited together back in early February.  She made her own set of noren and painted images significant to her grandmother in her unique, painterly style. 

My own head is full of ideas I’d like to pursue that were generated by seeing the Serizawa exhibit.  I wish I could work as quickly as Willa does!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


The second amaryllis to bloom this year is ‘Apple Blossom.’  It’s almost my favorite!  I cannot remember the name of the one that opened first this year.  It was a variety that I had to search out at the Philly Flower Show a couple of years ago, and now I’ve forgotten it’s name (no label in the pot either!)…

Greenhouse 3.04.10 001

A few signs of spring in the greenhouse! 

Greenhouse 3.04.10 002



More amaryllis in bud



Greenhouse 3.04.10 003Color in the greenhouse:
peach dragon wing begonia in foreground with peach blooming albutilon (flowering maple) just behind it. A few magenta geranium flowers in background, and a purple flowering bromeliad in the upper left. 

Monday, March 1, 2010


It’s St. David’s Day, soon to be followed by St. Patrick’s Day! My English friend sent me photos of yellow aconite blooming in a church yard near her village in Cambridgeshire.

winter aconite_as

Lesley winter aconite

We are currently buried in snow with damaged trees all over our yard, but the house is unscathed.  Right now I’d relish the chore of cleaning up all our broken trees just to get outside, but that chore will have to wait until the snow melts. Our new view of the neighbors:

2. 26. 2010 snow 028

I saw my first robin this morning, in spite of the fact there is no ground showing for him to find food! He was hopping about on the snow!

St. Patrick's clip art

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine upon your window pane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near to you and
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.