I really can’t tell you when I first learned of Nicola’s ethereal images, but they captured my imagination from the first time I saw them. I had decided to go to the fall Squam Art Workshop partly for scheduling and partly because the workshop offerings were not really fiber-based (the June Squam offerings skew much more toward the fiber arts in general) but collage, and mixed media and jewelry making and photography. Things that were not in my comfort zone. At. All. Time to experience something new.
I was soooo excited to see that she was coming all the way over from North Yorkshire in England to teach at Squam and I was fortunate enough to take a workshop with her. “Finding your Inner Muse”. Que the hand clapping and jumping up and down. If that wasn’t enough, there were two of us in the Thursday class so we got to spend loads of time on our projects.
First up… Finding our muse. We had brought/collected items that had some meaning for us, that we were drawn to….of course we had each brought many things, so we had to whittle them down to 6 (ok, 7 snuck one in ) write about each of them, create kind of a collage and then form a statement to guide our work. (It was really much more in-depth and thoughtful, trust me this is the cliff-notes version)
After lunch it was time to take the photos that evoked our muse. Let me just say at the outset that I love to take pictures but I am in no way a professional photographer. I couldn’t get my (just purchased and taken out of the package) remote shutter release to work, my camera was a little wonky on the tripod (which I had used several times before ) and my long lens decided to stop working… oh and did I mention that it started to rain…and Nicola had to tutor me on the proper way to fling fabric to make it look effortless
…in the rain, when you’re on the dock in your bare feet and a nightgown and a prom dress rolled up underneath for a petticoat…It was fun anyway and Nicola and our helper and my classmate were lovely and encouraging and so so patient with everything…and I’m very happy with my images… just a little bit of magic and a whole lot of learning.
When we were done with my photos, we worked on several photos of my classmate who was expecting her first baby and wasn’t sure she would ever have a photo of herself expecting. We made the most beautiful photos for her and then we all had a good little weep.
Sublime. Divine. Nicola’s magic on the moors transferred to a lake in northern New Hampshire. Thank you Nicola for your grace and generosity in sharing your work and yourself, it was a day I won’t soon forget xo
The girls are back to school, the outdoor pool at the Y is closed for the season, I spied turning leaves way up in the trees this week so you know what that means…it’s closing on fall and that means time to start up the projects. It’s not that we don’t have projects in the summer too…there has been brewing and woodworking for Charlie and sewing for me and the girls had the pain of assigned summer reading (seriously… The Scarlet Letter and The Red Badge of Courage…in the same summer??) . During the summer, there is more hang out time and lots of nothing, which is the way it should be…it’s also hot and even though we are lucky enough to have central a/c for the super hot days, I’d much rather spend summer days outside or hanging out than taking on a project.
Well project season has officially begun at our house. Last weekend, Charlie re-placed the doors to our little shed where we keep the trash can and the snowblower/lawnmower in their off seasons…a creature I don’t want to run into in the dark had chewed through the bottom of the rotten door to chew through the trash can to get to the trash. Yay Charlie for tackling that project! I have also started the big project that I’ve been putting off for 4 months…painting the railing on the back deck…but that is another post for another day.
Today I wanted to share the project that was planned, executed and completed last week with a minimum of fuss and craziness (how often does that happen?) My pal Sara and I canned and froze 40 lbs of peaches. Yes, 40 lbs.
The inspiration for this canning craziness was the 5 cases of canning jars that we were gifted by my mother-in-laws neighbor (at least a dozen turned out to be empty mayo jars but this is what we have left after the sorting)… I ordered up two boxes of large organic peaches from my farm coop, picked them up and two days later we were canning and freezing. Yes, 40 lbs. Sara came over last Thursday and we got to work boiling jars, skinning peaches, slicing and canning. I think we used every bowl in the house.
The actual “canning” part of the process involves filling the jars with the cut up fruit, then adding the sugar syrup then processing the jars in a water bath for 30+ minutes …. Thank Goodness for the “Ball Blue Book of Canning” Grand Tally? 13 quart jars canned and 8 quart bags frozen peaches… ready to eat during those long cold days of winter!
If you’ve never “canned” before, it’s really very easy. Sara and I laughed when we thought what our Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers would think of us taking most of the day to to 13 quarts of peaches…they probably did that before breakfast!
Hope you’re all having a great week and starting and finishing some of your own projects on your list!
…or how do I get myself into these predicaments ?
See these?? These are the piles that have taken up residence on my work table…no, now these piles have nothing to do with my 4 boxes and 2 bins of fabric that are already in residence in the studio (that were supposed to be cleverly sewn/stashed/gifted down to two bins by *sigh* the end of last year) no, these piles are the result of my children conning me into pj pants, my girlfriend finding a steal on fabric pieces and a “can’t resist” sale at the fabric store…
exhibit A: a stack of too fabulous and super duper cheap to resist fabric pieces from our last foray into Zimman’s Fabrics… next to last on the pile is 3/4 yard of beautiful blue print cotton which is slated to be a cushion for the comb-back windsor chair in the front hall…
evidence: super-cute snowman fabric for red-bench pillow, orange cotton fleece on clearance for pants for gwen, two pieces of cotton knit on sale to experiment and make tops for myself
exhibit B: Lily’s stack of fabrics from last week’s raid on Jo-Ann fabrics. Her pj pants are halfway up her legs so it’s definitely time for new cozy ones…but somehow “pick 2 pieces of flannel” turned into 3 pieces of flannel and one piece of fleece.
look here: Gwen’s stack of fabrics, same particulars as exhibit B above.
Obviously, this week…it’s a sewing week… otherwise I won’t see the top of my table until spring. (arrow stamps are from Splendid Fiins Evidence Arrow Stamp and Brush set #2)
What projects are stacked up on your table this week?
Now that my computer has recovered it’s 120Gb of “other” (crash plan backing up huge log files to my hard drive in addition to backing up on-line…needless to say, deleted crash plan and the files and hellooooo hard drive space!) I’m finally getting back to some digital scrapbooking!
My dear friend Janet is running a free class at Your Stories Go Digital called “This is me Exposed” It’s a super class with FREE digi-templates and kits to use in the project. I thought it would be a fun class and Janet’s designs are GORGEOUS!! See her shop HERE . The class runs for four weeks (and it’s kind of self-paced so although it’s on week 3, you can jump in now!) and I’ve finally gotten to making up the title page for my collection. I’m not sure what form it’s ultimately going to take but it will be fun going through the pages and answering all the questions….just might be getting my family in on the act as well!
What projects are you working on this month? I’m working out the best way to organize all the files and information for classes like this and will be sharing my methodology soon!
Happy Monday everyone!
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”
Here is to making a beginning…Hello 2013!