Saturday, July 12, 2014

now it's the elderflowers

These elderflower banks are killing me.  Large flat plates of creamy umbrels, and a honey scent that
envelopes me as I ride my bike through an invisible cloud of it.  I manage to keep my balance, but try not to fall for all of this. And, then I do.  The old Avalanche chapel continues to attract me, with its empty rooms, and faded, kitchen curtain folds behind old glass windows.  It's crazy out there, even in the practical daylight. After dark, the full moon's glow, mingles with, yes, clouds of lightning bugs twinkling across the hay field and a gauzy layer of ground mist.  Too Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

more (useless) beauty

It had been a sultry day, thick air, and then storms.  Suddenly the house filled with  an amazing light. We went out into the yard and saw this show above us.

Friday, June 20, 2014

arctic dreaming

Midsummer.  I ride my bike after supper up County Hwy S. The peonies are past their bloom, now,
and shatter petals on the top of the woodstove when I try to take them out to the compost heap.  I'm still sucked in to the picture archive of N. Sweden. The archive is from 1929, not that many years ago, but it looks like something from a completely different era.  I can't explain, even to myself, why this is so rich and affecting.

I can't read a word of it, and yet there is the stark reality, not sad, not joyous.  It just seems true,
and full of mystery. Black kettles hang over smoky fires in tents with warp weighted loom woven Sami grene weaves on the walls in the background. A reindeer pelt moults against the head of the woman milking it; a midwife sits complacently beside the bed of the new mother. On the pillow next to her is the small, dark head of the newborn. It does and doesn't seem like a miracle.

Storehouses, draped with garlands of drying animal pelts, vast forest covered hills, cut by wide, fast Arctic rivers, landscape that dwarfs the lives of humans and animals. No fences. Boats and sleds, few roads.  I don't want to be there, but I'm hovering there in my imagination.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stuff (in which I finally find a way to use the word ineffable)

Noticed this week. The cat in action, trying to connect with my head as I carry the laundry basket out to the line, some rusty gates still hanging on the back of the shed, the poppy show at the empty farmhouse along my bike ride. I've finally started a new square scarf on the loom, an idea that has persisted for at least a year now, especially after staring into these wonderful pictures far too long. I love my iPad. And last, my tape to measure the real stuff of life, the ineffable, the hard stuff to measure. Good Day!

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Mina followed me to the workshop this morning, on the path between violets and dandelions.
Daniel mowed in the beeyard.  A minor miracle, the tractor battery, which we think is 7 years old,  lived through the winter!

The beeman was here this week, working on the hives.  I usually know he's here by a faint whiff of
cedar and sumac buds smudging in his smoker. He broke off a tiny chunk of honey comb  so I could taste it. He said it was pure dandelion honey.  It's too bad we don't get to eat that, he said, but it's the first honey, and they feed it all to the babies.

The dandelion shadows are on cyanotype paper, developing in the creek, in the last picture.  I have been stuck weaving tape measures, or tapes without measure, on the small loom with some leftover warp that I was just about to ball up and throw away.  The tapes will not be very useful for measuring the usual kinds of things. They're more conceptual. Though,  I have put marks on them for measurable things; my own waist, the cat's long tail, and just now a dandelion head.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

warping day

Yes, it's me in my warping outfit. Without the face mask, it is also my bike riding outfit, and then my go out to eat at Chaseburg Hideaway outfit.  

The warp I'm putting on today is Chinese hemp, on 15 spools.  Followed by 15 of perle cotton in a color called "Silver Clouds", 260 yards wound on each spool, to make a 12 yard warp on 18 sections. 

When finished it will be about 32 inches wide.  The tail end of the last warp is being woven into
what I am calling a new measuring tape. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

This same old place

Design needs to have a connection to where it's made.
Eleanor Pritchard, designer-weaver

Oh, Canada! Off the top of my head, you don't worship guns, and let every simpleton buy them.You have wonderful, humane, efficient health care for all of your citizens. You nourish your artists:  Joni Mitchell,  Leonard Cohen, and Alice Munro all sprang from your soil. You seem to be doing something right that your neighbors to the South, just don't get.

Which brings me to Dorothy Caldwell, Canadian artist, whose steady-state work is having a profound effect on me, these days. I get from her that the place where we make our own art becomes the art that we make there.  Place permeates art,  art defines the place.  Someday I hope to cross paths with her.  I hope you'll like to read Judy Martin's good piece on the artist, Dorothy Caldwell