Thursday, September 27, 2012

Barn Sale!

entrance to the shabby love barn sale at 130 E. church street in orange!  8 a.m. - 5 p.m. this saturday and sunday!
All done setting up my booth at the barn sale!  I was up late into the night tagging, organizing, etc. and then hauling things around this morning... up and down lots of steps... but I managed to get everything there in one car load and one extra trip on my bike.  The 'barn' is one of the oldest buildings in town and it's a beautiful, rustic space.  I did stir up quite a bit of dirt in sweeping my spot before I set up, and another girl knocked away a wasp nest with the broom handle.  I smell like sweat and extra-old dust with a hint of cobweb... but it feels great that everything is in place.  I think it's going to be a wonderful event.  Now I have just enough time to take a shower and sit down for a few minutes to enjoy a celebratory glass of sparkling apple juice before my waitressing shift begins!

little owl heat therapy pillows for kids, made out of a bunch of fabric scraps I'd accumulated  over the years.   filled with u.s.a.-grown rice infused with pure lavender oil, and French lavender buds.  something warm for kids to take to bed on cold wintery nights!

note cards 

I've loved The Sound of Music since I was little.  Made this tiny pillow in honor of the excellent advice of Mother Superior!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

harvesting honey

One of my long-standing dreams came true this afternoon!  In my own (rented) yard, there is a bee hive.  I noticed it on my first visit to this house, and it was one of the features that made me extra-determined to live here.  From the moment I spotted the hive nestled in the bushes on the perimeter of the lawn, I started formulating a secret fantasy, that not only would I HAVE to live here, but that I would get some training in beekeeping.  Today was the day.  Hunter (one of the three siblings who own this house, which had belonged to their grandparents) is the beekeeper, and he knocked on my door around lunchtime to see if I wanted to be a witness to the cracking open of the hive.  Of course I said yes, and I felt the wonderful kind of excitement I used to feel when my dad would ask me when I was little if I wanted to go with him to help a calf being born.  I loved every minute of it... donning the veil and gloves, smelling the burlap burning in the smoker, the vibrant, humming cloud of bees.  It was all a fascinating process, especially for the senses.  Just being near the energy of so many bees electrifies you somehow... I'd say it was better than a spa treatment... and I'd wager that it definitely has a beneficial impact on your well-being.  I made lots of observations and mental notes that will be helpful when I have my own hive (a little bit later in life).  Now I'm just hoping Hunter will invite me to help get the honey out of the combs early next week!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

rainy day

my little pelican salt and pepper shakers ... maybe they're daydreaming about flying over the ocean together in the rain!
 I love rainy days... and I'm having an especially good one here in my new house.  From my workshop window, high up on the second floor, I can see the trains passing - passenger ones are the best because you can see people's profiles trundling by, illuminated by the cabin lights that look all yellowy and warm and cozy against the rain.  I can hear the rain drops splattering down on the tin roof, and since the leaves are still plentiful, and it's not too cold outside so my windows are open, the sound of the wind swishing through the trees fills up my whole room, where I'm hunkered down getting things ready for the booths I'll have at the Shabby Love Barn Sale and the Dolley Madison Quilter's Guild annual quilt show.  I'm hoping to sell most of my existing inventory to make way for my new ideas.  It's inspiring in the midst of this steady rain, fresh wet air sweeping over the wood floors, slippers, a puddle of lamplight on the work table, a cup of hot tea... mmm!!

If anyone is interested, the Barn Sale is September 28 - 29 at 130 East Church Street in Orange 8a - 5p

And the Quilt Show is October 6 -7 (10a - 5p on Sat; 11a - 4p on Sun) at Prospect Heights Middle School in Orange

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

in Lazio

open air flower shop on the side of a church in Orvieto
My camera is recently broken, so I searched through my picture archives to see if anything old would do for a blog post.  Rediscovered pictures bring such funny sensations...there's an upsetting feeling of loss coupled with a kind of disbelieving joy when you see visual proof of things you had entirely forgotten you'd seen and done.  And the sight of it brings it all flying right back out of the picture, vivid and alive, to perch and sing in your heart for a little bit.  But you don't even need pictures for that to happen.  When the seasons change, like they are now, our senses wake up a little bit in response to the change, and there are memory ambushes galore!  ... darker, cooler nights with the crickets in full chorus, the way the air lays on your skin and the sun starts to slant just a little differently, and the way the change in temperature and air quality carry smells can sweep you right out of the here and now and back, back to all sorts of surprise memories snaking their way through all the funny twists and turns in your brain.  Which is refreshing, but also overwhelming.  How can life be SO rich?!

Well anyway, while looking through the old pictures, I was reminded that I was in Italy this time three years ago.  It was on this trip, volunteering on a little farm/bed and breakfast, that I really started getting serious about building a portfolio of watercolors specifically to use to make fabric patterns.  There was plenty of beauty, and a lot of it was edible.  
walnuts and plums i picked

a ripening persimmon

one of the cats - not edible

feather and porcupine quill i found in the woods

a pinecone and its seeds, coming from the tree in the picture below - a maritime pine i think

the picture does nothing to convey the enormous size of this tree... and swinging on that tire was exhilarating... especially because the house is situated on a hill, so in full swing it felt like you might fly right out over the valley

the english walnuts were so good.  I collected and shelled hundreds of them

these weren't grown on the farm where I stayed, but aren't they beautiful?  

not very rotund, but very juicy and flavorful

a pomegranate I picked right off the tree and ate