Thursday, December 31, 2009

we had a great 2oo9 and i hope for happiness and wonder for all in 2o1o. happiest of new years to you all.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

i'm spending this week cleaning out drawers, reorganizing closets, throwing away things that we've been keeping out of habit for a decade. all the things that are keeping our house from functioning smoothly. i draw no inspiration from tv shows that make heros out of nazi organizers, or that take rooms and strip them into vacuous lifeless boxes full of color coordinated department store crap. i draw inspiration from my own home. i love my home. i just need to get rid of the stuff i don't use, need or love. my wall of books in the dining room is perfection for me. if i ever try to over-organize this, something has gone terribly wrong in my brain. this is the top half of my wall of books. the bottom section is 2 feet deep to hold all my large art books. books are the foundation of my life and our house is built around finding homes for them. one of my favorite book features is the built in bookshelf on one wall of our staircase. when we were restoring our 150 year old limestone house, i felt such excitement when i saw the inside of the walls, the lathe and plaster, the beams....i didn't want it all covered up again forever. so, on the staircase, we removed the top layer of plaster, exposing the joists and lathe & plaster of the other wall. in the several inches between we created shelves. i love glancing over my books every time i run up the stairs, and seeing 150 year old plaster oozing between the thin strips of wood holding it all in place.i have learned to shelve my books two layers deep, where i can. i have a fabulous old corner cupboard that i absconded from my parents garage. my father had kept his tools and gardening equipment in it for 30 years. but i thought it was much better suited to books. it's about 7 feet tall and full of books, 2 layers deep.i'm also firm in my belief that my books need to be surrounded with all the other curiousities that i find interesting. so they are at times haplessly thrown together. but it works for me. i need/want to see all the things around me that i love. in fact, several years ago, i decided to take the dors off our kitchen cupboards so i could see things better. i find if i don't see the things around me, i forget they are there. this is so much more manageable for me. but back to the books. there are so many. and i love each of them. this summer when i was moving studios i moved books with the wheelbarrow, loaded on a blanket to keep the remnants of dirt out of their pages. i still have the garage stacked high with the books i haven't moved. that will be a project for next summer. but the book room at chasing lightning bugs studio has enough beautiful piles that it is a perfect winter hideaway.and now back to organizing. and cleaning and preparing our house and our books for a new year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas is a wonderful reminder of the solidity of home and family. and christmas means a beautiful winter day in the home my parents have lived in for 35 years. my childhood home that is as much a part of me as my skin. my father has been stripping the layers of paint from the 140 year old front door. and i love what he's found. and the contrast against the pristine white 10 foot walls and mellow pine floors that came from the property. there is no season when this house doesn't embrace us as one of it's own. but at christmas, with the fires burning and the fields covered with snow, there is a warmth and safety that isn't matched at any other time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

here's another collage corkboard. i call it a perfect marriage of form and function. i have a couple large ones to make today. this is my last day in the studio before christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

yesterday this was one of the collage corkboards that piles of paper and glue produced. it was a magnificent day with beautiful light, the sun bouncing off the lake and into my little room. the paper is wild now, very little of the floor is showing, so many choices. i made two others. i'll try to get photos. and i'm making a large one today. i'm still planning to put some 1 inch twill across it in a few places......but i need to pick some up this afternoon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

i am happily transitioning upstairs to my paper room tucked under sloped ceilings. piles of books and old dusty pages that have long been forgotten hold my attention for hours as i sift through to find the exactly right old illustration. some printed pages are deeply grooved with each letter pressed into the paper leaving dents. it feels like braille to me. sitting on the wide plank floors beneath the window looking out to the lake, and our side yard beneath with snowed over horseshoe pits and tomato plants that weren't pulled up in the fall, is my idea of happiness. this is my work today. i'll sew a few hours a week to keep enough quilts in the studio. but the next 6 weeks, i'll be knee deep in paper. making stationary sets and individual cards. envelopes that are folded from exceptional old papers. calligraphy on printed pages. corkboards that are like little pieces of art. and sometime in early february {i haven't looked at a calender yet} the paper open house will happen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i love when our village gathers. we are a community within a larger whole. the city happens around us, but we are a little lakeside village. 33 years ago we hosted the sailing olympics when the summer olympics were in montreal. and because of that we have a sculpture structure in our harbor that housed the olympic flame during the events. this morning, before dawn, we were roused by a string of trucks blaring music and announcing the flame was on it's way. edgar was barking. we were asleep. once we figured out what was happening, we got ourselves half dressed and down the stairs. our neighbors were on their doorsteps. tom grabbed the camera off the dining room table. people broke into little groups to watch and wonder. the flame jogged past. people chatted. we took edgar up to the corner to get a coffee. i love when the village gathers.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

this morning our walk was a little magical. the weeds were covered in snow. the lake was still. the air was gentle and sunny and full of the scent of firewood. not smoky, just pungent. i can't settle into a house without a fireplace. when i was younger, renting houses at college, i had cedarwood incense that filled my dingy little rooms with the heady aroma of firewood. i loved that incense. it was a little tiny block of compressed wood chips. what a great idea.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

i walk across my backyard to get to my studio. every morning. and i make the same delightful trip home at night. last week i stepped out of the back door of the studio, heading toward the warm glow of the kitchen lights, and i found this first. the moon smiling through the trees at me. i'm glad i had my camera hanging on my neck (and my arms full). there are so many little things throughout my day that make it full and happy. that give me smiles and pause. i had a woman burst through my door this week to say she hated the color of my sign. that if i wanted business i'd have to change my sign. that made me giggle all day. i love my sign. i had tea with friends. i snuggled a sleeping 3 week old baby isaac. i made 4 quilts that i love. and all 4 of them sold. i watched the soprano's while i worked. my husband brought me coffee. i found a new use for a fabric i love. my week in the studio was full and beautiful. and in the end the moon smiled on me. i'm pretty sure this coming week will be just as wonderful.