An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Safely Home

I'm home.
When I arrived home at 11pm after driving for 11 hours, I stepped out of the car and inhaled; the night air was sooo spicy-fresh fragrant, smelling of growth and fertile flowers. ahhhhhh
I had a fantastic trip. Here's a couple of photos of my packed-to-the-brim car. Crazy, eh?
Yes, driving to California and back is a lot of driving. One of the things that amazed me, was that in a total of 34 hours of driving (all of the driving for the whole trip), just about all of it was through stunningly gorgeous scenery. Really. Southern Oregon mountain passes, redwoods, N. California coast, San Fransisco Bay; I'm so blessed to be living in such a beautiful part of the world. The N. California Women's Herbal Symposium was excellent, as always. This was my first year going for both of the spring weekends. I eagerly soaked it all in; connecting with some fine folks, adding to my knowledge of herbal & health ways; camping near a burbling creek, breathing wafts of bay-scented breeze. The Herbal Symposium is truly an amazing event. Fully organized, funded, and consisting of all women. Many women. Sad that something of this nature is considered amazing or even revolutionary, in our current society, but that's the way the world is, right now. Being in that space, with all those women and kids, feels so sacred, and safe. It's a huge safety zone, for four days, where there is no harassment, no judgment. It's so affirming to see how every woman blooms into a beautiful goddess in an environment like that. Teri and Karen are doing some amazing work, keeping it all going. It has such a positive impact on so many women's lives. Here are a couple of snapshots of my vending set-up at Sunday's Marketplace.
The new display case worked fantastically, drawing kids and adults in continuously to fondle all the colorful goods. The cute bunnies & creatures I made sold right away. Everyone was sooo happy with their new cuddly bunnies! Selling in person is so much more fun than selling on-line.
Here is some of the loot that I came home with. Most of it I got in trades, but I did buy a few things.Seeds from the seed swap; fancy homebrew I won in the raffle; some of Jen's special healing homebrews, Swedish bitters, tooth soap, home-cured olives (!!!); fresh, raw almonds from a local family orchard, herbal sachet, salve, lavender bath salts, one of Joan's lovely blue-moon mugs, Wild Women coffee, a gorgeous hand-made basket, 3 kinds of seaweed, needlefelted doll, hand-dyed roving for spinning, beeswax candles, and kid-designed notecards. Kinda like Christmas!In-between weekends, I visited some good, old friends in the Bay Area. It was sweet to connect with them. I really enjoyed that I came to the city to visit my urban friends, and both of them took me for walks on the beach! I drove back up the coast from San Fransisco on Hwy. 1. The most lovely scenery you could imagine, but oh my is that a twisty, windy road! Most of it is a wriggling snake. I'm glad I wasn't in a hurry. I made a bakery stop in Pt. Reyes, buying possibly the most decadent item they had. Something about long road trips compels me to eat extreme food. While strolling the street and noshing my chocolate-peanut butter-bar, I ducked into an interesting-looking fibery shop. Feeling flush with the fine day, and wanting to reward myself for being such an alert driver, I bought this hand-dyed roving from BeesyBee Fibers I do so enjoy dyeing my own fiber, but occasionally I'll treat myself to someone else's work. I love these colors.
As you can see, I didn't wait long to start spinning it up! I'm separating out the different bands of color and spinning it up into long runs of color to make a self-striping yarn. It's my first time spinning merino, and as long as I inch-worm the drafting, it spins great. I'll show you the yarn when it's all finished.
Meanwhile, much goings on at the farm while I was away. So much growth. Including this eucalyptus sprouting from the root! We thought it was dead, from the extreme freezing of our past winter. And now, we are having temperatures that are hovering around 15 deg. F warmer than what is "normal" for this time of year. While the summer weather is nice, it's putting a damper (or should I say "heater"?) on the gardening activities. We have flats of starts all ready to go in the ground, but planting those babies out now really stresses the plants. The hot weather is continuing on, though, so we're doing the best we can, working during the cooler hours of the day. We'll just have to see who makes it and who doesn't. Here's a photo of yesterday's lunch & dinner. You can see that the Napa cabbage is beginning to flower. During a good year, the Napas form large, succulent heads lasting in the garden for several weeks. Delicious raw or in a stir-fry, and perfect for making home-grown kim-chee. Doesn't look like this year is a good Napa year, as the heat is causing them to bolt before they've formed heads. The other stalky things are the young flower stalks of the Burdock plant. I peeled them, chunked 'em up, par-boiled, then added to last night's curry. Not too bad!
I'm happy to be back, dear blog reader; thanks for stopping by. Now I must get out to the garden before the sun bakes too hot. See you again soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Off to California

I'm off to the Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium. The car's all loaded up, the cooler full of freshly made rice-balls;ready for the 10-hr. drive south. Don't worry, gentle blog reader; I'm not abandoning you for good! I'll be back towards the end of May. Stay tuned for more bloggy goodness coming up; the adventure never ends.

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Display Case! & Cutness

I have to show off my new display case. Rick's such a sweetheart to have made if for me. Isn't it the best? It turned out so nice, especially considering he used a handsaw to cut all the pieces! I want to paint the outside up real swanky-like. I'll be using it for vending at shows and doing trunk shows. I can't wait to put it into action.
Come on in!PincushionsHot-Water-Bottle-Cozies I've had a serious attack of the "cutes", lately. I can't stop making them! This one is crochet from some funky hand-spun, felted, and stuffed. I've several more of these in progress; I'm really enjoying exploring this technique. Traveling chopstick cases. Yup. I've been busy.
I also wanted to show you these fancy hot-water-bottle-cozies I just made. They are a custom order through Etsy. All cashmere. Super-luxury. I'd better send them off, quick, before I decide to keep them for myself! Now it's back to the sweat shop. I'm keeping my nose to the grind-stone for three more days, then I'll get everything organized, labeled, and packed, ready to head south for the Herbal Symposium.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Placemats, Sheet-mulching, Knitting

There has been a flurry of creative activity and gardening going on around here, but I haven't been pausing often enough to take photos. I want to keep in touch with all you faithful visitors, though, so I'll share some moments from the recent past. I'm in love with this "sewing-tiny-wool-scraps-onto-a-backing" technique, and have been playing around with different ways to use it. We've been testing these placemats out. They are luxurious, lovely placemats; they make me want to just rest my head down on them while I'm eating! When I washed them, the triangle edging became frayed and warbly; not sure if these wool placemats would hold up to repeated washings. So I probably won't go into production making them to sell, even though they are fine, wonderful objects. Here's a photo of Rick with his sheet-mulching demonstration. He set it up in the permaculture booth at the recent Yard, Garden, and Patio Show in Portland. We're sheet-mulching enthusiasts, with all of our veggie-garden beds being sheet-mulched, and more, besides. And here's some knitting. I blasted through this cabled vest; it's my first time doing cables. I revised the pattern to knit it all in one piece, so no sewing up at the end. The only thing I didn't like about that method is that when I'd notice a mistake in the cable pattern a row or two back, to fix it would require ripping out the rows across the entire vest! Being the lazy sort, I mostly left in the mistakes. After all, it's my first cable project, and when I wear it, the general public won't even notice those lumpy spots. Next time I'll be a better cable-knitter! Now I'm at the finishing up part, which involves knitting I-cord around the entire vest. For some reason I haven't been able to get myself motivated to get going on that part, so it's been languishing in the ufo pile. I guess I'm a little worried that after all this knitting, I won't the way it looks on me, so I'm postponing that moment. Look for upcoming posts of the latest creations & garden growings! Happy spring weekend to you all.