Saturday, December 23, 2006

Back to the light

Happy Solstice! I discovered today that we have exactly 55 more minutes of daylight here in the South which could explain why this "winter" has been that much more bearable for me. That and the fact that I am not freezing my butt off even with cuddleduds, my bulky alpaca knits, a hat on my head and fingerless gloves on while in my own home! Not to rub it in, friends in northern climes, but a girl could get used to these milder winters and the LIGHT. Happy that we are all moving into more of it.

Much love and happy whatever it is you observe...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Maybe I'm not such a grinch...

Christmases when I was a child were magical. Every year Santa Claus not only delivered our gifts, but set up the tree and decorated it on Christmas Eve after we went to bed. So when we woke up in the morning the whole living room was transformed. My mom told me recently that they often just made it to bed only to have us wake them up an hour later in a frenzy of anticipation to see what was under the tree. We weren't allowed to step foot in the living room until my parents came with us, and my dad had his camera in hand. I don't blame them; the look on our faces was their reward for making the magic happen.

The year I was twelve my mother developed a sudden allergy to Christmas trees (and we had a very scary visit to the ER when she had trouble breathing) and from then on out we had a fake tree. This year for the first time since I went and bought a real tree, setting out this morning in the rain to our local grocery store. Prior to this we had a fake miniature tree bought about a decade ago when our abode and our budget were similarly smaller. The few ornaments we had were cobbled together with my mom one year when she was visiting and I just stuck them back on year after year. While I have plenty of magical memories of Christmas in my childhood I have never been much of a fan as an adult. I think it is, in part, due to my anti-consumerism leanings and I think also because my life as an adult has been spent in more locations than I might have liked and we often traveled somewhere else for X-mas making the time taken to decorate the house seem not worthwhile.

Our bigger tree required more ornaments. A felted sweater, a box of fabric scraps, a jar of buttons and two kids did the trick:

Through the window you can see our neighbor's house. Two days ago you wouldn't have been able to as the back was overgrown with volunteer trees and a thicket which I spent many hours yesterday cutting down. I wish now I'd taken a before and after. I much preferred the before, but I have plans to plant a Meyer lemon, fig and pear tree and there wasn't enough room. It is the between stage that hurts. I also discovered that I can grow a luffa plant here, and that it does well with a tree to climb. There is a perfect tree in the back corner of the yard. I'll never have to buy another loofah again!

I've been busy on other fronts too:

Lots of Superwash Merino

Indeterminate wool in Tapestry Colorway

Child's beret in 2ply handspun koolaid dyed merino/tussah silk

Two children's hats both handpainted and handspun

I've knit a few other things in my blog break, but they flew off my needles and on to their new homes when I was sans camera. On my wheel: my first laceweight. On my needles: a cabled vest for myself. I do not knit lace so who knows where that will end up, I just know it takes forever to spin laceweight. I don't exactly know where any of these things will end up. I have considered opening an etsy shop, but I'd rather trade or gift these things I just don't know enough people with little kids!
I promise not to be so image heavy next time. I just got my new camera and I'm having fun playing with it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Dzibilchaltun, Temple of the Seven Dolls
I'm back, from here
This was the highlight of a rather lackluster trip. The temple above was/is a Mayan observatory of moon and sun cycles. During the equinox the sun rises and passes right through the doorway. We also saw pictures of planets and the moon lining up with the stones. As always in ancient places there is a feeling of the lives that were lived thousands of years ago in that place. A place that was once a vibrant city full of people who understood their lives to be contemporary and immediate and all that is now left are ruins and the jungle which still claims much of what archeologists are even now trying to recover. It made me feel small and very aware that the time I have been given is short. It also points to the hubris of believing that our great acts here on the earth as individuals will gain us some sort of immortality. Nothing lasts forever.
In a more superficial vein the mode of transportation to this amazing site was a cruise ship. I never imagined I would go on a cruise, but it was an opportunity to spend 5 days with my mom and the kids and I took it. I now know why I had a preemptive aversion to this particular craft; I felt like I was trapped in a hotel. To add insult to injury you are taken to fabulous places and given exactly 6 hours to explore them and then must get back on the floating hotel/casino/contest palace. It made me crazy to get out there and travel again, but on my own time, in my own way and definitely not with several hundred other people many of whom mistakenly took this experience; where you never changed money or had to speak in anything but English, for an exotic foreign adventure. Don't get me wrong I acknowledge that if I go somewhere to experience another culture I am a tourist, no matter how much some people try to differentiate between tourist and "traveler" in their attempts to feel more sophisticated than thou. That said, the way I prefer to visit places is more solitary and more interested in what the people who live there are doing and less on what there is to buy, drink or compare with what I do or don't have at home.
And in news on the home front we finally replaced our broken digital camera. It arrived today and I have plans to put up some pictures of stuff I've been working on.
Last but not least I was excited to see this book in print
I have fond memories of this artist's work in Flipside, sadly yes now some 20 years past!