Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chairs & Good Earth Farm

Wow, two posts in one...I know, it's a lot, but this time they are linked, so it seemed all right and allows me a little catching up...

My Town Shoot-Out is a community of people who share photographs of their towns - this week's theme is Chairs.  The photos I will share come from the farm where we spend our Fridays here in Athens, Ohio.

Good Earth Farm is a gathering place for people, so it would make sense that it also be a gathering place for chairs.  It always strikes me as funny, though, to see chairs that live permanently outside. These have seen better days, but are still appealing in their weathered, worn colors...
These are the "chairs" we use most often; versatile as chairs or tables, fort walls, ship's masts, footstools...
And then there is the shy old lady who graces the front porch of the house.
She is made of tough stuff - thick cord, heavy wood, tight knots...
...but she is old.  Her bottom hangs dangerously low, trailing frayed bits of her story that have come undone.
Her curves are still graceful and echo the lines of the plants that surround her.
But I've never seen anyone sit and keep her company.  I think she prefers it that way, keeping instead the company of some strapping young boots.
:: :: :: ::

Friday, October 8
 It's getting colder here, can you tell?  The mornings begin crisp and misty...feels more like fall.
 brilliant Porcelain berries (sadly, a common invasive plant here)
 Our morning started off with a circle around the fire, and a guest - 
Wendell the goat.
 Our morning's activity was making felt from wool roving, so we learned a bit about this little angora goat who will one day lend his lovely wool...
 I had never done flat wet felting before, and I couldn't believe it was so easy!! I am looking forward to trying it here at home.  In a nutshell...we used placemat-sized pieces of bubble wrap.  We tore off two pieces of our background wool - the brown - and stacked them perpendicular to each other.
 Then we took little bits of colorful fluff and placed them in some kind of a design on our background, taking care to preserve a border around the entire piece.
 Many of the designs were abstract; Ani chose to make a face.  Next, bubble wrap and piece were placed in a shallow tub, and warm, soapy water was gently sprinkled over the wool (she poured it through her fingers, trying not to move any of the pieces of wool).  Then another piece of bubble wrap was laid across the piece, and being careful not to use a "spreading" motion, we pressed down upon the piece, over and over.  Once done, we rolled the whole bubble-wrap sandwich up and secured it with rubber bands.
 Now comes the friction - rolling the piece under our hands for a good long while. Then bunching it into a ball and rolling it some more...
 We let the pieces dry on a clothes rack in the sun, and by the afternoon they were ready to take home!

 After a delicious lunch of rice and beans cooked over the fire (and topped with cheese, onions, tomatoes, and some CRAZY good salsas and homemade sour creamish yogurt), we had a visit from another guest, the Friar from the church that sponsors Good Earth's mission.  Because it was the week of St. Francis' name day, the afternoon walk was also a casual blessing of the animals, along with some stories about St. Francis.  I went along for a little bit, curious to hear what Friar Bill would say.  He was great with the kids and kept things light and accessible for them:  Bless you little chicks.  Thank you for your softness, for your small sounds that are so cheerful and light.  May you grow strong and healthy and live a happy life on the farm.  Bless you Lamb Lucy.  We are grateful that your sickness is over and that you are feeling better and better.  It was very sweet.
The day grew warmer, ending in full fall glory, with a game of knights and fort building under the pines.

17 comments:

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

Quite an interesting post here. Always good to get all you can in.That's the way I feel. Do sometimes my self.
QMM

Jama said...

Looks like a fun-filled day for everyone!

Pauline said...

I love your photos of your shy old lady. So elegant and lovely, worn out but still serving a purpose, even is that purpose is purely decorative.

~JarieLyn~ said...

I like your weathered old red chairs and I like how you threw in the old pair of boots to keep the old lady company.

what an intersting post about making felt. Very colorful and artsy too.

Ann said...

I like that photo of the girl walking away. I have a few of my sons and there are really good.

NanU said...

Sounds like a glorious day!

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

I really enjoyed the variety of this post with the Chair photos and the Good Earth Farm gathering. Loved the old lawn chairs...lots of character and signs of use. So enjoyed seeing the felting process with the bubble wrap...fun idea...you'll have to try making wool roving and spinning next.

Kim, USA said...

Oh wow your post is very interesting. Happy Friday!
Chairs

Kerry said...

Those weathered red chairs look as though they have a camou-design on them: neat. And I love the details on the old chair with low bottom:)

debbiedas said...

I want to come to farm fridays with you. You always have SO much fun. xo - Debbie

Bagman and Butler said...

Two posts in one! I enjoyed both. I particularly loved the photos of the old lady chair...you gave her such a perfect personality-- or maybe you just drew out the personality that was already there, keeping the boots company. Very touching and poetic.

Rebecca said...

Love the craftsmanship in your post.

Sarah-Paige Copeland said...

I loved your pictures of the 'Shy Old Lady'. Great post :o)

Cheers
Sarah-Paige
Nitty Gritty Chairs

In the eye of the beholder said...

I really like your shy old lady chair with the boots for company and the farm sounds fun I like arts and crafts too.

Tokarz said...

This was a lovely post, everyone thinks so! I must agree,the personality of the chairs is so beautiful. Beautiful writing, and I'm sure the pics are beautiful too, but dial-up needs more time for the pics. Letting them load while I get some water heating for a bath!

Doreen said...

the old lady chair is a winner with everyone and me! the commentary along with the shots made the chair come alive. fantastic post!

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

oh, my, the friar blessing the animals is so unbelievably sweet!