- I am encouraged to edit and amend…with all of the new faces around the table, I need to remind those who cannot hop a plane in time for dinner that I do not forget and am also thinking of my friends and family in France, Spain, Finland, Japan, Korea, Ireland, Italy , Hong Kong, South Africa, England, Morocco, Egypt, and yes, Germany – (and welcoming Scotland as well…) Feel free to guess which one was worried…and it wasn’t those from the far land of New Jersey…
Today I am introducing a varied group of international students to some secular Easter traditions – welcoming spring with the promise of fecundity as symbolized by too many sweets and too much to eat. So much to lay on the shape of an egg toted around by a rabbit. Mostly, though, this is a chance to make a big meal for young people who are varied and interesting and I get to clear my house of a lot of chocolate as after dinner I watch baskets disappear down the driveway back to the college where it is hoped their contents will spur creativity into the coming exam season. I find, with college students from around the world, that chocolate is a common denominator to the point that I think the world pretty much runs on it. So today we dine with Venezuela, Argentina, Morocco, Germany, China, and a few Americans … it’s all good.
A few years ago, I got a pile of coins from a friend who had been sommelier at the 21 Club in New York City. I came across those the other day – and it turns out that they were the perfect scale to cover a little warm up guitar painting. I was charmed. It makes me think of my absent friend. Cheers, John!
The 21 Guitar
Thanks, yesterday, to the breathless friend who said “You are still doing that?” While it was meant kindly, it is a reminder of how inconceivable it was only a couple of months ago to think that I could do anything at all repetitively. When I was crafting one of a kind jewelry, I was the one that often enough groused that it was a pity that people have two ears, or couldn’t be satisfied with wearing one earring…
Proper dressing for the arctic – warmth layer, dry layer – seemed a bit extreme to add socks and thermals…Wintergreen Lodge Dogsledding www.dogsledding.com
Today, the setting moon is just past full and is reflecting in the stillness of the pond water as though that is the actual source of light, and the one in the sky is the reflection. The sun is rising in splendor and the signs of spring are everywhere. Flowers blooming, birds singing. Story book stuff. Serene. Beautiful. So the time has come to put away the snow clothes of Monday – back to the cedar closet where they can await the next winter expedition out the front door. But not before…
And a lagniappe for today – this from my friend Rosemarie who is a part of that whole ‘nuther world that is miniatures…I could live here…
As winter gives over to spring, certain codes go haywire in my system and I get an urge to throw things away – to sort through piles of debris and move them out of the house. It is short lived, usually dying right around the time I find the very first thing that I set aside because I will be able to use it somewhere, or as in this case, when I stumble upon something I forgot I had. I was emptying a notebook. Not an especially space saving activity, perhaps, but one that needs to be done as time changes and the notebook is still much more viable than the contents. I found this drawing that I did in oh, maybe 2006 – probably an assignment for school that was either of things that please me, or of an interior. Regardless of the assignment, it is a close documentation of the things that make me balanced and happy – books, guitar, beasts, and a comfortable corner with a view. A good end of winter drawing as the spring begins to draw me out of the house, and certainly away from those crazy housecleaning notions…
The solace of small places
I forgot! I forgot. Thank goodness I can still edit – a few days ago, Robin sent me this… enough to get me outside, surely!
The good pearls…throw me something Mister!
Of course I was looking for something else. But there they were, remnants of local parties with a Mardi Gras theme, and even better, souvenirs of trips to New Orleans. Coming across throws has an immediate effect – I want to get in the car and drive to New Orleans this morning, and barring that, I will get out into the kitchen and whip up a jambalaya (I keep tasso and andouille in the freezer) and wish I were in New Orleans. I love that town. Music, food, and art all coming together in one steamy vortex…hmmm. Yes.
I really thought that this was something that would have to wait – the 25th of March is usually well beyond the threat of snow, but there you have it. I was out yesterday as soon as it was light, with snow swirling and blowing and threatening to turn to rain at any second. But in that instant, the snow was perfect, rolling into fairly substantial snow balls very quickly, It has been a long time since I got myself out the door to play in the snow like this, so it was good that I just had enough native sense to roll things down hill – the snow was that late season dangerous kind…there are broken limbs from the pine trees sort of all over the place this morning. But in the moment, there was no thought of danger – it was wonderful to live in that moment for just what it was.
Honest to goodness romping
Not an easy construction in the midst of the thundering herd
Anyway, one of the side effects of my dog sledding trip a few years back is that I can dress to spend a week out in that weather – if you are looking at camping on frozen lakes for a week, it behooves you to kit out properly. But having done that, you have the clothes for an arctic expedition forever…and it comes in handy from time to time – like when you need to spend an hour or so building a snow guitar. What was unanticipated was that with two puppies less than a year old, who, this curious winter, were experiencing their very first big snow – such a wonderful first life experience! With mom playing outside too! Joy and happiness, and leaping, and chasing, and jumping and rolling, and body slamming, and laughing, and building something! It must be for playing! It was hilarious. Exactly the way playing in the snow should be.
I bought myself a new tool the other day – a toy, some would say, but then, those people have no idea how easily I easily I amass useless plastic cards, and how easily I lose guitar picks. This “Pick Punch” takes care of both of those problems all at once. I am typically a more linear problem solver, so this ability to solve two seemingly divergent issues with one item is a novelty that instantly morphed into a guitar – and what better than guitar picks made from spent gift cards, useless membership cards to defunct businesses and the rest of the plastic surrounding the new cards I am issued?
“Get out in that kitchen and rattle them pots and pans…”
I do not know how I can stand in any part of my house and actually ponder from whence the next guitar might spring. The better part of valor for me is actually just to close my eyes and reach out – making something from the first things that come to hand. Such is the case this morning…guitar happens.
A few days ago I spent some time developing a pattern that I thought might be used to knit a guitar, or to bead one. Jury is still out on the beading thing, but as a knitting pattern, unless I had intended to knit a blanket, it was totally useless. I know this because I thought it would be good to also figure out what gauge needles and yarn I might need, so I planned a knitted sample.
A more realistic approach
Obviously, there is another skill set involved – and it includes a certain amount of math which is, admittedly, not my strong suit. The upshot is that I knitted my sample from a very heavily revised pattern. I now know that it is do-able on a human scale, and at some moment I will start that Christmas stocking with a plan in hand.
A good start
Making it useful
I’m involved in a project that is a little bigger than one post, though I will keep it to a minimum, and must, perforce, space it out. I had the mad notion that a guitar shaped planter would be nice. Not quite on the scale of a guitar forest, granted, but it could be colorful, and another small patch of lawn that will not need mowed. Although I think I will probably put it sort of at the base of the beech tree where nothing grows anyway, so one possible benefit is replaced immediately with another. Anyway, turns out, rat wire is a whole lot more my thing than some other forms of fabrication…I’m nearly done sewing an 8″ wall on the guitar shaped base – with potting soil and a variety of seed ready when I can get it finally done. Aside from small knicks and punctures, it is going well…into the garden by tomorrow. Now all I have to do is to wait for the weather to really begin warming and for seeds to germinate. I love that kind of waiting. It is so hopeful.