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new kayak in the works

May. 23rd, 2007 | 04:19 pm

mark's greenland kayak

Mark is building a boat.
Because he only has 10. and I guess he needs 11.
I'm terribly proud of him, of course.

kayak mosaic

(click to see these photos more closely)

Link | tell me what {17} |

mosaic monday

May. 21st, 2007 | 09:10 am

containers, mostly, and then some
1. 99 Bottles of Caustic Solutions on the Wall..., 2. Tea At Trafalgar, 3. inside, 4. Dead Trilobites, 5. Pastel Tracks, 6. Fabulous Flame Fetish Cape, 7. DSC09665.JPG, 8. Barrels, 9. cases and basket, 10. Sewing, 11. Jar of Rocks...... errrrr, buttons., 12. afternoon light, 13. t.i.l.t.: fairy blossom tea, 14. clearcut in progress, 15. Japan Yellow - 25, 16. Casks, Ardbeg

inspired by the new flickr group, www.flickr.com/groups/containers/

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kim chee, knitting news, and the like

May. 20th, 2007 | 12:12 pm

Nothing like the smell of fermenting cabbage to let you know it's a good day.
nothing so beautiful as a bowl of wilted greens
Our local farmer's market has started up and I bought everything for making kim chee, baby bok choy, daikon radish (I use the greens in the ferment, too), garlic, green onions. The ginger, salt, and chiles needed had to come from offsite, but it's going on now. I could make up a gallon a week and then have some for a few months! Oh heaven.
Speaking of local, last night's dinner was comprised of food that was almost all grown or at least processed in this region. flour, olive oil, and vinegar were the only imported items. Wild caught salmon, salad greens, potatoes, blackberry vinagrette, locally baked bread. I'm no foodie, but, damn that was good.

Alice knocked me out with her combinations of knitted textures today.
knitted textures
I made the shawl but not the sweater.

I love wool! I love wool! I love wool!
There, I've said it.

Speaking of wool, I have been knitting knitting socks. The end is in sight on this pair of socks for a swap, and it needs to be. I got my partner's socks in the mail Friday, so now I feel abashed. I can't show a picture of my knitting til I get them sent, I suppose, although I said right out what I making several posts back. let it suffice to say that I am extremely happy with the progress, late-ish though it may be.

Thursday I wrote a bunch of notes for a blog entry and then scrapped them as being too self-deprecating. Worth keeping is the clarification of the aesthetic that inspires me/I am striving for. It went something like "organic outcroppings from structured technique."
Look at kjoo's shop for example.
My work seems flat, but I think it because I have looked at it way too much. Plus, it is a bit flat.
I am praying to break through my aversion to trading my work for money. What's up with that? I am sure I subvert my success by being unable to imagine myself succeeding.
Wow, that's profound.
It's okay if people pay people to make what they do not! Or more specifically, if I am one of the people that gets paid!
Anyhoo, my problem is really that I imagine myself successful in an entirely different economic paradigm, and I need to get out of my hobbit hole and rewild the world I live in.
Which is, incidentally, what I am already doing. :)

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May. 12th, 2007 | 08:03 pm

and some thrift scores.

new cup

new dishes

new plate

How I love my eclectic assortment of dishes.
I have the most casual collection of restaurant china. There are certain patterns that are recurring in my life, but none that I specifically seek out. Of course, if you were to run across any of this:
palm leaf
I wouldn't mind if you sent it me!

Here is a thought provoking post from Cosy. It gave me pause, and during the pause, I remembered a wee manifesto I had written a couple years ago.

Did I not mention dirt? well, here it is:

When I moved to this house I had dreams of gardening, but I quickly realized that there was no soil to speak of in the backyard, the place where my garden must be. The people who put this trailer in 30 years ago had scraped off all the topsoil to make a space, and the only dirt that wasn't strange sandy clay was all contained in the thin layer of sod. I set about to make dirt where there was none, a task that requires patience and taxes loving but more orderly partners.
Cardboard, manure, straw, rags, sand, layers and layers of these elements put down when I had them, no science involved.
This is the first year I am really feeling like my garden is worthy of that name.
A chaotic approach pays off!

One more thing to play catch up over the last few days.
I snuck in a project for myself; I was attempting to make the most unique head scarf with a pieced border (as my hair is getting long and I have to accept it) but the darn thing was too thick at the corners and wouldn't tie.
small tablecloth
So now it is called a small tablecloth and for sale. What else am I going to with it? It is pretty enough though.

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May. 8th, 2007 | 03:28 pm

perfect day

Beautiful beautiful day. This is where Opal gets to spend her horse time. It's quite a menagerie over at Joan and Vicki's.


These beasts have very very good lives.

Some links that have been moving me:
I want this wooden bento box. And this book on making old fashion root beer and ginger ales.
Recently added to the links list is Kiliii Dreaming. Nature photography for the most part. Here is a great picture of turkey vultures. They are among my favorite birds. Kiliii's site came to my attention after he built a driftwood kayak with Mark's friend Brian of Cape Falcon Kayak.

The recent disappearance of the honeybees has been really hard on me. I will need to make a post just about my thoughts about this. There are many.

You know I like to keep you abreast of Opal's musical preferences. They are so varied! In current hot hot rotation are Kraftwerk's Trans-Europe Express, an Old school hip hop mix tape that I have been dragging around for 18 years (Siberian Nights!), and Nightmares on Wax's DJ Kicks. Gotta love it, especially as it is playing all day. Poor Alice. She likes the dulcimer.

Opal says, "Records are like big, lo-tech cds. They got the grooves and stuff. They got the grooooooves."

Link | tell me what {2} |

May. 8th, 2007 | 03:27 pm

i trade
hee hee. I have been needing a little sign along these lines for my craft table so I thought I would make today's random stitch exercise have a purpose.

so hey! I was tagged by helle the other day to do the 7 things meme. Random facts or habits? okay!
1. My car is usually at least half full of other people's recycling.
2. I have spiral tattoos on the top of both feet.
3. I lived for several years without electricity. We always kept a car stereo available, powered by batteries, and usually one light, but little else.
4. I have dandruff.
5. I am passionately interested in insects.
6. For about a decade (when I was a kid), I thought I was going to be a professional actress (not a star). I was really into theater. However, I haven't been in a play in over 20 years now.
7. I have a growing desire to be completely nomadic, on foot.

I tag 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

It was hard to pick people to tag. why? cause I don't read a lot of blogs (it's so hard to find the time!), and I have not commented on some of the blogs I do read, given the need for a google/blogger account which I haven't gotten yet. also, I haven't been blogging long outside of lj and I don't think my blog is widely read...yet.

So, I had a breakneck weekend with tons of fun and very few stitches (outside of my mandatory daily rows on the Irish Diamond shawl). Saturday was Mark's and my 16th wedding anniversary. Sally and Roger treated the whole family to dinner at Astoria, Oregon's new Fort George brewpub. It was great food and drink (wasabi ginger ale!) and after dinner we wandered the Saturday night streets in sunglasses (well, I was) looking for deesert and checking out the action.
I could go on about the wonders of being married for so long, but it will have to wait. It is amazing, though. Over these long years, I have learned things I never imagined existed.

Sunday had Kate and I driving up to Seattle for a glitter meetup, glitter being an online forum. It is an odd thing, being willing to drive hours to hang out with people you have never really met. But Kate and I are fast real life friends and we met through the internet so whatever. It was a blast.
Here's a funny photo of all of us. I'm in front, go check it out, I've got on this totally fab capelet somone gave me. Plus you can see the new sunglasses...

To add to the fun, a couple of us were stopped on the street by a young guy with a camera who said he was doing a street fashion piece for the Seattle PI. There goes one minute of my alloted 15 of fame...except I haven't been able to find the photo online...

well I have a bit of stiching to do before bed, so I'm off. G'night!

Link | tell me what {1} |

May. 8th, 2007 | 03:26 pm

In a recent post, Helle talked a bit about training one's self to see light. Timely, as I very recently realized my desire in creating art is to capture lights and shadows in threads. It is true that I have no gift for figuring, so that forces me into the abstract, landscapes at best, but that is what moves me anyway! Daily I am brought into my wings by some play of light, be it delicate or dramatic, on the land or water.
Also, I have a growing sense of how to articulate the rich symbolic language that is always whispering in my ears or pounding in my heart.
Now I need to practice relentlessly techniques that will enable me to translate my dual visions of light and symbol, symbol and light, into stitched scraps of cloth.
I have been inspired by jude's textile studies, very much. These are right up my alley, and exercises like these would fit into my schedule. Also inspiring in the same vein are Lee's daily postcards. I don't have any of my own work to show you right now. I feel brand new and blinking in the light.
Nevertheless, I feel like I am in the process of discovering my peers through the blogosphere.

Link | tell me what |

May. 4th, 2007 | 08:41 am

so you see dear people, I am not a daily blogger. It comes and goes with me, my desire to sit in front of this box. I have been so busy lately that I have two letters received over the past two days that I have not read yet! If that is any indication.

I have been diligently working on my socks for a certain swap. They look really good.
One of the best things about this current round of knitting, (which has been very educational, lots of lace) is that I now know how much I enjoy working on small needles. I got 3 sets of needles in the mail on Saturday and the 00s seemed so big in my hands after holding the 0000s. The above swatch was done on 0s, I think.

I should make mention of that background which is in so many pictures. It is my ironing board, some funky ol thrifted number padded with a couple blankets and a piece of cheap but lovely cotton. My main workspace for non-knit projects, and sometimes a cat bed, sadly. I love my ironing board.

I have been getting tons of materials from the library. My turn finally came around for Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle, and while I already have all these other projects going on, I couldn't resist and had to cast on for the irish diamond shawl (linking here to an example found on flickr...)
I am decidedly all about shawls and stoles these days. Long have I been of the mind that it is perfectly acceptable to wear blankets in public (I think I have mentioned this) and shawls are an extension of that. Finally I am free of couture delusions! HAH! Just give me a rectangle or triangle of fabric and I will be clothed!
In that Folk Shawls book, there is a pattern for a Victorian Wool Peddler's shawl, and the story she tells has it that red shawls were traditionally worn at market by women selling wool goods. I am so making myself one of these. I have an itch to get to market. I have a general all-around travelling itch, actually. I am ready to quit the cleaning job and get out on the road for a spell. It's not going to happen though, not for a couple months anyway.
Anyhow, I haven't enough inventory to go anywhere, and with all the errands I have to run today I won't be making anything new. I am buying Opal a horse riding helmet this afternoon as she is going to an equine expo with Sharin on Saturday. I am thankful that she is getting so much horse time, that kid, and I am holding my breath waiting for this good thing to end. (Remember, Bramble: live in the moment, make the most out of what is available right now. Enjoy it while it lasts.)

There are some whomping huge developments in the family life I should mention. I withdrew Opal from public school yesterday. For a number of reasons. The school scene here is so chokingly provincial, I am sick of living as a minority in a Dominant Culture. Opal has some overwhelming behavior issues to boot, and all the things weren't meshing so well. So it's back to homeschooling (well, unschooling, you know) two daughters, at least until next fall.

Okay, right. I am off to the next thing now. Tomorrow!

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Use What You Have

Apr. 28th, 2007 | 04:14 pm

It's my sabbath, and I have been in the moment all day. On my sabbath, I take a break from Time, not from work...
I thought I would offer up this up for today's entry.

This is one of my favorite passages in any book. (Let it be known, I really don't read fiction. I pretty much read my same old reference books over and over.) In this case, the book is Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living.
This bit is about food and growing it, but one could be creative and apply these thoughts to other areas of life perhaps.

"The wonderful magic at the heart of a food-growing household is the magic that turns your home-produced turnips and cream, apples and meat into your meals. The moment of triumph is when you say to the family, "Here's what we worked so hard to grow, and isn't it good!" I think you cook most happily, freely, and independently when you make good things out of what Providence is giving you!
Lane Morgan, author of the Winter Harvest Cookbook (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1990), says, 'I agree entirely that cooks are spending too much money at the supermarket and at the gourmet supply store. But I think we would profit by spending more time looking at cuisines of other cultures, to help us better use what our particular gardens can grow. Country people around here will eat canned green beans and carrots all winter, which are considerable work to put up, because that's good Amereican garden food. Meanwhile they could be eating fresh kale and leeks and Japanese mustards from that same garden, which would be tastier, more nutritious, and easier all around, but they don't because that's foreign stuff and they don't know the Greek or Indian or Japanese techniques to make them wonderful. They'll make clam dip from a package, but they wouldn't consider an Indian chutney made of garden mint and chutney, served with garden spinach and potatoes. Too strange.'
Making menus out of what you can grow is the way that Great-Grandmother did it. Each week she looked in the larder and the cellar and took a walk through the garden to see what she had to work with. Then she made menus. When she had eggs and milk aplenty, a little honey and some stale bread, the family had a bread pudding. In May she served rhubarb in it, in June strawberries over it, and in September peaches --- because that's the way they grew.
To have 365 days of independent eating, you've got to learn to eat what you can grow, and you've got to learn to grow what you want to eat. At first it will be hard, but stick to it. If you don't like what you have, eat it anyway and use the energy of your distaste to figure how to get what you'll like better. If your only meat is elk, eat elk until you can raise something else. If you miss bacon, get four little pigs. In six months, they'll be 200-pounders. and you'll have a year's supply of bacon plus a sow to breed and keep the bacon coming. If you're still living in the city and you don't have anything but dreams, try for fun buying only what you imagine you could grow -- in a natural, unprocessed state -- like whole grains, and see if you can learn to live off it.
When lettuce is in season, have a salad every day -- you can't preserve it. If you miss it in the off-season, contrive a way to raise winter lettuce in the house. If you miss sweets, learn beekeeping. If you have barley and corn, make your bread, pancakes, and pie crust out of barley floour, cornmeal crust, and a bear-meat filling. If you have some tough old hens past their laying time, 3 extra male goats, and 100 rabbits, then learn good ways to cook tough old hens, goat meat, and rabbit."

for the record, I don't like turnips, I have eaten bear meat (and it is good), and I am so not there yet.

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today's experiences and some thoughts...

Apr. 26th, 2007 | 09:40 am

and also some knitting.

I had a rich day, spent lots of time with nature. Things I did: saw a harrier hunting not 10 feet from me; lay in Mark's little boat just to let the current rock me; spyed the moon through maple leaves; stretched out on the warm rocks in the driveway next to a snake, each of us checking out the other; sat for half an hour under a larch tree, blending with it, and willing the seeds I gathered and planted from that tree to hatch and grow; and shucked oysters brought to me by Sharin, and sucked the salty water and slippery beasts out of the shells.
Now at the end of the day I feel so good!

As promised, here is a page from The Night Life of Trees. This is a book "of art and folklore from the Gond tribe in central India. In Gond belief, trees stand in the middle of life, and the spirit of many things lie in them. They are busy all day, giving shade and support and shelter and food to all. Only when night falls can they find rest for themselves, and then, under quiet dark skies, that spirits that live in them are revealed."

the creation of trees
The Creation of Trees.

more to come.

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