Posts Tagged 'Collaboration'

Stirrings-Mantel Display

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I have really enjoyed my Stirrings Collaboration with new friend Jen from Painted Fish Studio, in which we’ve been looking for signs of spring. We’ve both known all along that spring comes sooner to Salt Lake City than to the midwest. So just as I’m thinking of wrapping up my contributions to the project, I’m looking forward to seeing more photos from her warming  climate.

In a time of year when I might have been discouraged or gloomy about the grayness of late winter, or the dampness of very early spring, instead I was encouraged to notice, to observe a quickening, to hope for small signs, and to share the sweet burgeoning of spring.  To me it has felt like a long, delicious season, when some around me are still complaining about the crispness at mid-morning.

Salt Lake’s spring is in full force, now. In bloom, in leaf, in music. From here, summer is so close at hand, a rapid ascent into often triple-digit clay oven conditions. Life is rampant and the birdsong is worth waking up for.

I want to thank Jen for co-publishing with me, and I hope to show you more of her thoughts and photos as winter withdraws from her neighborhood. I hope she feels spring as luxuriously as I have this year!

P.S. The flowers above sit on our new mantel, now installed in the great room, atop oiled floors and freshly painted buttery yellow walls.

We turned on the gas flame to test it and immediately turned it off: the season for that has passed. Something to look forward to in 6 months!

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Stirrings–Chubby Robin

Jen,

I’m sorry I’ve been out of the loop on our spring collaboration.

I hurt my back (it didn’t actually impair my ability to look for spring OR lift a camera);

I got a vicious head-cold (almost went to the doctor after coughing up brown goo–I feel better now);

My baby got a lighter version of the cold (a slight fever and a lot of clinginess);

My dog and I went to stay with friends while Zach painted the great room, living room, entryway, upstairs landing, and stairs (the dog went on two walks a day–something he hasn’t gotten to do since the baby came);

then my battery died in my camera.

But finally the stars aligned and I happened to have the camera with me, fully charged, when I spotted the chubbiest robin I’ve ever seen. I wish I had a telephoto lens but, even blurry, I’m sure you can tell that this robin is well fed this year. Despite prolonged storms and bluster, spring is HERE.

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Stirrings-First Post from Jen

From Jen at Painted Fish Studio:

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dear sara,

as i write this, it is snowing, and the wind is whipping through the streets of saint paul, rattling my windows, and the temperature dropped 10 degrees in under an hour. major interstates north of the twin cities are closed, due to blizzard conditions. so we, sadly, are very far from spring. but that doesn¹t stop me from hoping! last weekend, i went to payless and picked up some yellow, strappy, heeled sandals. for 23 bucks! and if dancing around inside my house, wrapped in blankets, but wearing my new sandals is the only way i¹ll feel springy, well, then i’ll just keep dancing around!

xo, me

****

Jen’s letter makes me happy to live in Sunny, Warm, Salt Lake City!

(31 degrees with skiffy pink clouds as I write this morning)

Stirrings-Violet bouquet

No. 5 in my collaboration with Jen at Painted Fish Studio, looking for signs of spring.

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When I was about 10, my mom, dad, and I lived with an elderly lady named Marilla. My mother was her caretaker and my dad kept up her property. She had such a tranquil home. I still remember the way the light filtered in through the sheer curtains and lingered on the velvety drapes. In my memory, everything is a shade of gray mossy green or slatey light blue. When we moved in, I was thrilled that my bedroom came with a little alcove and a built in vanity mirror and dresser, just like in old movies! And two pianos, which inspired me to beg and beg for lessons.

Marilla had had a daughter who had died young, I think perhaps she was a hemophiliac and had died in her teens. It was very sad, and she never had other children. Her dear nephew cared for her property and hired my family to live in and care for her.

She adored our dog Missy, a black cocker spaniel, and the feeling was mutual. Missy would rest her soft head on Marilla’s knee, and the gentle lady would stroke those long ears and croon “Poor Mitzy, she has lost her bone. Has Mitzy lost her bone? Yes she has. I shall find your bone you pretty girl.” Marilla was always kind to me, even though I was so impatient and half the time couldn’t restrain myself and had to correct how she said the dog’s name, as if Missy cared!

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Along a long, narrow cement pathway that ran between our house and the one next door, where my sister lived with her little children, grew patches of several different varieties of violets in the cool shade. Marilla produced tiny embossed green glass bottles for me to fill with violet bouquets. Violets are one of my favorite flowers and will always remind me of a very happy time of my childhood.

Those houses are no longer standing: they were long since torn down to make way for a strip mall, but the smell is in my nose, and the height of the trees, and the biggest icicle in the world that grew from the second story roof to the ground and was bigger around than my arm.

Tacky Fridge Magnet Swap!

A few years ago, my friend Alexis in San Francisco visited Europe. She asked what I’d like her to bring me. I said “Bring me the tackiest fridge magnet in the EU!”. She brought me this from Amsterdam:

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It’s still the tackiest thing on my fridge.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about swaps, and had so much fun participating in  KnitSonya’s Handmade Mushroom Swap, that I’ve decided to host my first swap.

Rules of the Tacky Handmade Fridge Magnet Swap:

1. Each participant must make 5 fridge magnets, roughly identical. Each magneteer will receive 5 random magnets!

2. Magnets should be TACKY. Not merely lame like this one on my fridge:

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Nor merely dorky like this one of me on the Santa Monica roller coaster in 2004 (back row):

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2. BUT, Magnets shouldn’t be obscene. My piggy might push some people’s limits of acceptable fridge decor, but she’s ok by me. Please just use your best judgment on the line between tacky and inappropriate.

3. Magnets must be handmade.  The medium and size is up to you as long as they fit criterion 4:

4. Magnets must be functional (i.e., must hold up at least one photo or child’s drawing and must not be so heavy as to slide down the fridge)

5. Magnets must be mailed to me, postmarked by April 15 (tax day!) and you must enclose a priority mail stamp or appropriate postage to have your surprise magnets sent to you.

Email me if you’re interested! And, pass it on…We need at least 6 participants!

Stirrings–Love is in the air

No. 4 in my collaboration with Jen of Painted Fish Studio, looking for signs of spring.

Seen on the sidewalk yesterday. I saw lots of mating pairs like this. I’ve always called them Box Elder Bugs. They didn’t seem to be arguing about which direction to walk, they were steadily heading across the sidewalk.

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Stirrings-Fresh Eggs

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No. 3 in my collaboration “Stirrings” with Jen at Painted Fish Studio, wherein we search for signs of spring.

My chickens had very low egg production over the winter. But Spring is in the coop, and they’re all laying now! Perhaps the longer days are responsible for their new fecundity.Despite having had chickens for several years now, I still feel like they’re mostly Zach’s hobby and I don’t know much about their biology and laying habits.

They’re cute, though, when I step out the back door and holler CHEEK-INS! Cheek-ins! Bock bock bock bock! and they run their funny wobbly run to see what treats I brought. Banana is the favorite snack.

I didn’t know chickens could act insulted until I offered them brussels sprout leaves and carrot peals.

Stirrings-Lavender blossoms

No. 2 in my collaboration with Jen at Painted Fish Studio.

I was walking home on Wednesday and was thrilled to see a small patch of lavender flowers blooming in the shade of some green grass amidst a lawn of dead-looking groundcover.

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I got in close to take a macro shot and realized they were actually melted nerds or something. Woe!

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I’ll be looking back at this lawn in the next few months, because I could swear this plant produces little lavender flowers!

Stirrings and Shrooms

I’m am beginning my first blog-collaboration! I will be working with the talented Jen at Painted Fish Studio on a photo project for Spring we’ve titled “Stirrings”. We’ll each be looking for evidence of spring in our neighborhoods. Since she lives in the midwest, her photos may have to be REALLY abstract for a while longer. In the meantime, things are warming up just a tad here and I am offering this photo as evidence of my feelings of spring:

Anticipation

That’s me, waiting at the bus stop. Knitting. OUTDOORS. Glorious day! After a few weeks of sludgy air. And yes, you’ll see the finished project after February 21, when a little somebody gets it for his birthday!

****

Also new for me, I have signed up to participate in a Handmade Mushroom Swap with the marvelous KnitSonya (nope, you can’t join…entries are closed!)

I’m making my mushrooms by needle-felting, the first thing I’ve really done using this technique. Here is where I sheepishly admit that Sonya gave me a great xmas present (in 2007) consisting of felting needles, a foam pad, and lots of different colored roving for me to take up this hobby. I’ve done mostly nothing with her present but fondle the wool for more than a year. Thinking positively…What better time for me to take the leap than for a project she is hostessing?


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