Entries categorized "community"

community + tramp roaches.....

Our winter farmer’s market slows down quite a bit. The gift of this slower pace - and being in closer quarters indoors - is the chance to shoot the breeze with other vendors. There is a lot of sharing and a lot of joking. Once, a lone brussels sprout was tossed from one side of the building to the other during the slower moments. We joked we should sell tickets at the door for crowd control. Someone would always offer a midday coffee run to get us all through. Our regulars would come visit in any weather though, happy to chat and support their much loved little market.

After our very last market of the season, we gathered at the taproom next door to celebrate with food, local beer, and kombucha. I sat looking at the faces of these hard-hard working folks and laughed at their stories with a humbled heart. After a few months of slinging my wares, I had found community. I was sitting at the ultimate cool kid table.

Among these faces, there was a fleeting one. Cooper. A community farm in Vermont has a whole crew of young fresh-faced interns, just kids really. They show up ten minutes before the market starts and in a flurry unload several crates of beautiful bread and the best hummus you’ve ever had. Over the summer, I rarely saw the same face twice…. but without fail, one usually wandered over to my herbal concoctions and I would offer a trade. Bread and hummus for tinctures and soap.

For the second half of our eight-week winter market session, we had Cooper every week. He was just one table away and we had the chance to get to know him. He’s 21 years young, the same age as our oldest daughter. We talked about farming and traveling and finding your way in the world. My kids have taught me two important things about young people. One, shut up and listen. Two, ask questions, but don’t offer advice. I found out Cooper is the youngest of two boys. He’s traveled quite a bit. There was some crazy story about sleeping with only a tarp for shelter in the desert which involved waking up in a pile of sand after a windstorm. He grew up in Maine. He’s attended some really cool folk schools. He has the most lovely spirit that is half old soul and half something else I can’t quite put my finger on - beginner’s mind, adventurer, I can’t quite find the words. He bought some Christmas gifts for his mom at my table while I joked with him about always being the baby, even when he’s 30 someday. He gave the same half-smile, half-laugh I get from my own kids when I say the same thing to them.

On our last day, at the potluck, he talked about his plans for a quick trip home to see his family for the holidays and then hitting the road. Hitchhiking around the country with a group of friends, some instruments, working at farms along the way to make some money.

I told him to look up John Craigie.

Joe asked him if he had a tramp roach.

No one at our table had ever heard of a tramp roach or Utah Phillips. So, of course, the following story ensued. If you’ve never heard Mess With People, by Utah Phillips, it’s truly worth listening to. I’ll share an excerpt, but it’s worth the time to listen to Utah tell it, it is his story after all……

"I carry things around with me to kind of rag people, um, well let's see. God, well, I wouldn't leave home without my cockroach. I always have my roach with me. There's a rubber cockroach; it's a tramp roach, Frying Pan Jack calls that a tramp roach. He gave that to me. He says, "You know, if you're poor, and you haven't got any money, you're out on the street and you're hungry, you, you go into a restaurant with this, and you put it in the bottom of a bowl of soup, and then you eat down to it and say: 'Eccch! What's that?' and you storm out, and you say, 'I'm not gonna pay for that!' and you leave.”

Save you a lot of money! That little jewel'll save you a lot of money! Little feelers sticking out the side of a sandwich, god, you say, eat half of it, say, "Look at that!" Leave it!

The whole table was laughing at this point, Cooper was loving this story and I was thinking to myself, I think we’re giving this kid advice, and I’m not sure if it’s good!

“You can only use a tramp roach in a real emergency, like if you’re starving!” I say.

“Of course, of course,” he says laughing.

Oh my.

And then it’s time to pack up and part ways. Most of these folks we will see here and there throughout the winter, and regularly once market starts up late next spring. Cooper though? Who knows.

“Can I give you guys a hug?” He asks us.

“Yes,” I say, hugging him, “don’t forget to text your mom.”

“Happy travels man, be safe, have fun,” Joe says hugging him.

Later on that week I listen to Utah’s song/story. In it, he talks about being near Greenwich and Cambridge. He references Connecticut in the song, but when we shared the story with Cooper, we were sitting in a taproom in Cambridge, NY - just a few minutes from Greenwich, NY. I couldn’t help but wonder if it hadn’t really been us giving advice after all, but instead the spirit of another traveler reaching out to the next generation. That might sound a little woo to some of you, but I do believe stories have somewhat of a soul of their own and find their way to the ears that need them.

To Cooper’s mama, you raised a lovely human. We sure enjoyed his company.

To Cooper, happy travels kid. May the road treat you well.

 

More Soon.
 
~s

 


squam : part 2, the making......

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I love walking through the woods to get to class and meals...... Squammies leave small treasures here and there. Yarn bits, pompoms, stones, feathers to leave love notes & wishes on.

I took a class with two of the kindest and most talented artists on Thursday and Friday.

First was a day of stamp carving with Penelope Dullaghan. We learned the basics of cutting stamps, using tools, and how to create patterns with and without repeats. I had this idea of making a Goddess or Sacred Woman stamp inspired by a coffee mug I saw at an art fair this summer. It ended up looking like a sacred woman in more ways than one - which made the class giggle - it's the stamped notebook above. I'll let you decide what it looks like. I am especially smitten with my feather stamps!!! I see lots of stamped feather goods in my future.... and just ordered some fabric paint to test it out on. Penny was a fabulous teacher and really fun to hang out with all day.

Day two was spoon carving with Barry Buck of Linen and Spoon! I had the chance to meet Barry and his family last spring when we visited Squam as vendors - I think we live in some parallel universe because I have so much in common with his wife that I swear we are long lost, sisters. (She thinks so too - it's not just me!) I learned how to carve a spoon, and didn't injure myself! Holy sharp tools - it really is like meditation, you have to pay such close attention. I have just two layers of sanding left and I'll share it here with you..... I also purchased some carving tools and a few spoon blanks to carve a few more. I loved it!

Lastly, on Saturday I attended the Squam Art Fair  - our table is the triangle shelf display.... the spoon picture is from Linen & Spoon's table and lastly a picture of my treasures! (linen & wooden goods by Linen & Spoon - shirts by untold - necklace by AG Ambroult.)

So much making and handmade goodness to be shared and enjoyed.

Happy weekending friends.

xo~
s

 


squam : part 1, the magic.........

*Just to warn you, I am SO going to overuse the word "magic" in this post. It can't be helped.* 

I'm still reveling in the in-between space, "between Squam and real-life". I'm sure it sounds sentimental, but being at Squam this last time my dear friend Elizabeth hosted felt especially magical. For a decade she has worked her magic and poured her heart and soul into a gathering that draws the best of people. Truly. Elizabeth herself is one of the most caring, authentic, and generous souls I have ever met - and this manifests itself in people of the same caliber from all over the world who come to gather in the woods. We celebrate being creative - full of life - full of love. This September seemed to hold even more wonderful people than usual - no doubt there to support and send off their dearest fairy godmother and welcome in the new fairy goddaughter. It was emotional, beautiful, magical. Just the sort of thing endings and beginnings always are. I cannot even find the words to tell you how grateful I felt to be a part of it. So, so much.

Spending these days taking great care of myself - soaking in the woo - nurturing my spirit and connecting with new and old friends - oh, let me tell you - they are worth their weight in gold. Especially for those of us who rarely take the time to place ourselves in the center. This was my second time attending Squam - the first was here - but we have been lucky enough to attend as vendors a few times in between. I wanted to paint a picture for you - share with you what it feels like to return to a place you know is magic, pictures seem to do the best job of this..... so here you have the arrival and settling in..... 

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more tomorrow -

xoxo,

s

 


swap :: a very belated incoming & outgoing

I'm sheepishly popping in about a MONTH late to share my swap goodies from Amanda's summer blog swap. I was late sending my swap partner her package, but certainly with good reason after the longest summer ever. The good thing about sending the package out late was being able to include some of our honey! You can see the little collection of goodies I sent her below. Treats from my garden, favorite fiber shop, and personal fabric stash. Plus some shop goodies for her kiddos too.

swap - a very belated incoming & outgoing

swap - a very belated incoming & outgoing

 

I received my box of goodies from the lovely Marcela of Naturally Fun Days. It was actually waiting for me when I got home from Alaska after being with my mom. It was such perfect timing to have a box full of lovingly crafted goodies. Marcela & I are soul sisters for sure because I loved everything she sent.....


swap - a very belated incoming & outgoing

swap - a very belated incoming & outgoing

I really, really love participating in these swaps that Amanda pulls together. It's such a treat to send someone a box of handcrafted goodies, and of course to receive one as well. I've gotten to know a few more kindred spirits in the blog world, which is a nice reminder of why I do love this space so much.

Happy weekending to you.

xo,

s

 

PS!! I've been pooling friends on their favorite way to keep up with blogs. we just updated our computer and I can no longer subscribe to blogs via rss feed in my email without buying an app of some sort. Apple users, what are you using as an rss reader? Everyone, is there a good blog reader out there? I would love to know!

 


mind.body.love

mind.body.love

mind.body.love

mind.body.love

mind.body.love

I had the honor of collaborating with a few wonderful women on this project : Mind Body Love. The above photos are a peek of the three simple projects I contributed for the book :: Silk & lavender eye pillow, oatmeal tub sachets, & aromatherapy bath salts. Together they make a luxurious gift basket for a mama friend (or yourself!)

 

In the words of our editors:

Mind Body Love is an e-book for mothers by mothers. This book was created to inspire you the mama, to take care of yourself. Not your kids, not your family, YOU. It is filled to with recipes, crafty projects, exercise advice and lots of inspirational words to lift you up when days are tough. It is a collaborative effort of mindful mama bloggers who inspire us daily with their craftiness, yummy recipes, words of wisdom and wit.

Our contributors are:

Stephinie Miner
Lisa Coffee
Renee Last
Kim Corrigan-Oliver
Kathy Stowell
Lisa Hassan Scott
Meryl Carver-Allmond
KC Pagano

mind.body.love

This book was the born one day in the middle of winter when KC happened to be reading Meryl’s blog. That particular post inspired her, up lifted her and suddenly the idea for the book popped into her head. A book that would inspire mothers to take time for themselves. She then contacted Meryl to see if she would join forces with her in creating an inspiring resource for mothers.

All the proceeds for this book will go to the charity Rescue Gifts an organization who donates supplies to laboring mothers in third world countries.

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There is a lot of good among these pages, and your purchase will help mamas in need, so it's a pretty sweet deal all around. I hope you enjoy it!

xo,

s

 


pitch perfect......

pitch perfect.....

It's taken me a lot of years to be able to look someone in the eye and say, "I'm a writer." There is this idea that one should be published and be making an income off of writing to call themselves one. This, of course, is silly. Being a writer means you write. You show up to that pen and paper (or screen and keyboard) and you fumble through words to make a thought. Again, and again. Maybe you put it out there for the world to see, or maybe you tuck it into your notebook. Either way, that showing up part makes you a writer. Truly.

Of course, at some point, it would be nice to see your work in print. To share it in ways that can reach many and perhaps even buy you a coffee, or more. Wading the waters of becoming a professional writer are a bit murky for me. I don't even know where to begin. The only thing I do know, is that most of my ideas stay in my notebook. I don't know where to start to get them out there.....

Then Elizabeth emailed me. (Okay, she emailed everyone who is subscribed to the Squam Art Workshops email list..... but those of you who have met Elizabeth know that anything she sends feels like it's written just to you.) Elizabeth announced the newest Squam Online Workshop, Pitch Perfect, taught by Christine Chitnis. I've swooned over Christine's work for a few years now, both in Taproot and her book New England Markets. Christine created Pitch Perfect as a Squam Art Workshop class in 2011 and is now offering it to you (and me) online. Hello talent and Squam magic right in your own home! If you've been looking for the how of getting your ideas out into the world, this could be your answer. It's a four week online workshop to guide you as you create a perfect pitch letter. Learning how to write a strong query letter can be valuable in so many aspects of life, so this class isn't only for people wanting to publish their written work. Writing, photography, job interviews, networking, grant proposals..... we use words to share ourselves in so many ways.

I'm really looking forward to taking this class and I wanted to share it with you, because I know that a few of you (like me) will read through the class description and say "this is it, this is what I've been looking for." Registration is open now & class begins in May. You can read more about the class here. I hope to bump into a few of you there!

xo,

s

{ps ~ yesterday's post was a-ma-zing. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. I came home after bee school and read your comments..... so *SO* funny. you ladies are awesome. I love you!}

 


vote for me (pretty please)

vote for me (pretty please)

Well shucks. I'm late getting into the game as voting ends tomorrow..... but I thought I'd let you know just the same. C'mon over to Apartment Therapy and vote for me will you? It's the last day..... it will take just a few minutes.... and I thank you so very much for taking the time. I'm kind of giddy when my blog is shared in other spaces. I always look forward to meeting new friends in this little sapce here. 

I think you might have to sign in? But it's super quick and then you just hit the +1 button next to my name. Of course, you should scroll the list and vote for your other favorites too. You can vote for as many as you want.... so share the love and be inspired by some great blogs. (click on the house above to visit!) I think I only need about 50 people to vote for me to make it to the finals (laughing at that thought, but what the heck, a girl can dream!)

Thank you, thank you!!

I'll be here tomorrow with the last part of the homeschool q&a for you.

xo~

s

 


::For Avery::

Ask a kid: “Who are your heroes?” Chances are they’ll give you the names of made-up people. Huh? He-Man. Barbie. I don’t understand it about heroes, it really bothers – what happened to the time when heroes were flesh-and-blood people? You know, people like Emma Goldman or Elizabeth Gurley Flynn or Mother Jones or Big Bill Heywood or Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, great boxers, you know, Joe Lewis. Grandparents! What’s wrong with your grandparents being heroes? ~ Utah Phillips, Heroes

This is one of my favorite Utah quotes. The importance of real heroes. It's huge when you think about it, and it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort on the part of the adults raising up kids to find good heroes. Real heroes. One of the things I try hard to do is collect stories of everyday heroes. I think it's good to share a combination of incredible people and the amazing average Joe. Because really, when you think about it, every incredible hero started out average. 

 

for avery

An oldie, but one of my favorites. Their dramatic (pretend) fear of an alligator. Avery is on the far right.


A story I've recently collected, and will tell and retell to my children is about our friend Avery. Avery was born with a congenital heart defect and endured 3 heart surgeries by the age of four. Each time Avery grows, the artificial pieces that make his heart work need to be replaced. Before we left Louisiana his parents were watching with a wary eye, knowing his body was not getting the oxygen it needed and that another surgery was on the horizon. They visited Avery's surgeon in Boston this summer and confirmed that indeed, surgery was necessary, and they scheduled it for September 30th.

On September 16th I got a text message from Andrea, my dear friend and Avery's mama. Please, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. The insurance company denied Avery's surgery.

My heart sank. The Boston Children's Hospital has taken care of Avery from infancy. These people know his heart like no other and Avery's parent's are confident in their ability to best care for their son. Plane tickets had already been bought. They had arranged care for Avery's two younger brothers for their three week stay in Boston. My friends, who are very much your average one income household people, have no doubt stretched their budget to the limit with personal expenses traveling to Boston to continue Avery's care. Denied.

Over the next few days, I would carry them in my heart. Thinking of them constantly. Wishing. Hoping. Praying. I got little updates here and there from friends. I watched as my usual soft spoken friend Andrea became one hell of a mama bear. Standing her ground with cardiologists and surgeons, repealing the insurance company's denial.

And then, after being away from the computer all weekend I would come home to find that their appeal had been denied, but they still did not give up. With the backing of family and friends they contacted everyone they knew asking them to support a grassroots effort to repeal the insurance company (again) and get Avery's upcoming surgery approved. People wrote emails and made phone calls to legislators, senators, & congressman.

And it worked.

Last night I got the best text message ever. Avery's surgery is approved!

Three days before their scheduled departure. Approved.

The whole thing is amazing to me. The tenacity and great love with which these people acted. They persevered, truly. And they won. They became a story I will tell to my own children again, and again. These average everyday people became heroes

All for Avery.

 

xo,

s

 


squam........

squam........

 

squam........

 

squam........

 

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squam........

 

squam.......

 

squam........

 

squam........

 

The magic of this place never ceases to amaze me.

The beauty. The people. All of it.

I was able to attend a few informal workshops Saturday afternoon before the Art Fair. Mingling with Amanda and Ashley to talk about chickens and bees, watching an indigo dyeing tutorial, & learning a bit about wild-crafting and tincture making. We then had a delicious dinner, which is always so nice when you are the mama and you didn't have to cook it. Such luxury.... 

After that I headed to set up my table at the fair, neighbors with the very talented Phoebe. I spent the evening talking with so many wonderful people. Even a few blog readers! (hello, hello!) Sharing my work in person is so amazing.... really. Connection. And speaking of connecting, I also met Meg, who is seriously one of the cutest pregnant mamas right now, and one of the sweetest most genuine kind of people you could ever hope to meet. Putting a real person behind work you admire is really something special.

I guess that's it for now. I know I'll spend the day swooning over my little adventure, unpacking the car, cozying up on this rainy day with new books I got for my littlest ones.....

Wishing you all a fabulous start to your week.

xo,

s

 


Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

I'm joining a sweet and talented group of folks today as part of the Backyard Art Camp I shared with you awhile back......

The idea behind the series is to share a project based on, or inspired by, a favorite artist. I completely *adore* Ms. Geninne Zlatkis and our rock art is inspired by her incredible talent. If you've not visited her blog, prepare to be awed and lost for pages and pages. Geninne is so prolific in her work and best of all, inspired by the natural word she lives in. Her art is truly stunning and I swoon over it on a regular basis. I just purchased her recent book a few months ago on printing and it is as wonderful as expected. The kids & I sat with it and discussed the lines and inspiration of her work before we decorated our rocks. Sophie was especially in awe of her bird & butterfly drawings.....

Our river rocks were collected in New York on visits with family and they are very precious to us. The kids each chose a rock to decorate and then we got busy sketching ideas and rough drafts onto paper with the sharpie markers I bought for the project. Geninne creates her art with ink (amazing) but I though the controlled application of sharpies would be a less frustrating medium for little hands.

 

::River Rock Art::

fine & regular tipped sharpie markers (metallic ones are really fun)

some precious collected smooth stones

blank paper for pre-rock decorating sketches

 

process.....

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

Backyard Art Camp : Geninne Zlatkis

 

The end result was a trio of really beautifully decorated rocks. The kids were both really happy with the outcome of their art, which is the best kind of thing you can hope for when you do a project together. Art is usually more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants event around here. Sitting down and talking about ideas, design, and sketching rough drafts was certainly out of the ordinary us..... I'm really grateful things turned out happy at the end. Sometimes young artists get frustrated while in process, especially when comparing their work to a super talented artist. (This was definitely the case with the younger of my two students.) I kept reminding him that everyone has a beginning, even the most amazing artist had to learn how and try, and try, and try again.....

Here's a list of the great Backyard Art art projects shared so far:

found object art-inspired canvases decorated with nature walk treasures with me 

   * picture and art books to get the creativity flowing

   * pointillism inspired paintings with something other than a paint brush with buzzmills.

   * christo-inspired backyard decorations with fabric scraps with crafting connections

   * kiddie kandinsky art with my life at playtime

   * henri rousseau-inspired mixed media installation from  the crafty kitty 

   * Graphite and Collage Figure Art inspired by Lisa Congdon and Jaime Zollars with  Miranda Makes

   * exploration & art from simple things notebook

 

And here are the contributors sharing in the coming days:

   * courtney from mon petit lyons

   * carla from small + friendly

   * sanae from sanae ishdia

   * jennet from feathered nest studio

   * tara from girl like the sea

 

Enjoy & Happy Creating!

xo,

s