Tuesday, May 31, 2011


oh, there you are...

We made a short and sweet visit to Virginia, to visit our dear ones there, joining them for a camping weekend on the Rappahannock River.  It was a weekend of excesses - beauty, sun, water, good food, stars, drink - and just the thing to ring in this new season.  Early, of course, as it's only just turning June tomorrow, but how can you not sing Summer! in the face of fireflies? Swallows building nests?  Sweat that forms the minute you, well, breathe?? 
Marshlands along the Rappahannock River
Willa running for the water
Eliza, the fierce water nymph
Finder of stones
Chris, the personal water taxi
The Parents, by Ani
Dan aglow
The not-so-little Littles: Willa, Anwen and Ani
Rescuing a cicada from the water
It was an intense weekend, perhaps most eloquently represented by the male mockingbird who sang his spring song nearly the entire time we were gathered, perched in the tree just over our tent.  We heard blue jay, warbler, robin, cardinal, hawk, seagull, and possibly car alarm sometime in the wee hours of the night, coming from his talented throat.  Miraculous and a bit crazy-making - kind of like having the opportunity to be with people we love in a beautiful place plus the reality of over-tired sun-drenched children not quite making it to their sleeping bags before the crashing begins....all made better by the presence of good friends and a glass of wine! Lovely start of summer.

Friday, May 27, 2011

this and that

I keep thinking I will catch up completely and be able to begin afresh with journaling on a more regular basis, but then there is Life and when you blink, more has gone by than you thought possible and before you know it, you're selling your kids' potty chairs at a yard sale. (Yes, I was sad.)  

So, in the interest of not losing a few of the moments from this past month...(and a half...these first photos are from mid-April, when we had dandelions! before the snowy trip to Wisconsin.)
Making Dandelion cake
Toad eggs!!!!
Squaw root - a parasitic flower that grows on Oak tree roots
Making mazes for little robot bug
Potato Head wedding
The groom
The bits. They're important too. And now we're off to visit friends and camp for the weekend.  Have a safe relaxing few days!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Five for Four!

Now that all of the packages have been sent out, I thought I'd post a few photos of what I made for the 5 for 5 challenge from last February. I signed up to receive a handmade something, with the understanding that I would offer something to five people who responded here on Plot 55. I have made and sent to four people, as the fifth has never responded...(Sarah Paige, if you're by some chance reading this, email me or leave a comment!!)

I was really excited to do this - it spoke to the momentum of creativity that had built during the winter season, but then of course it became spring and then summer and then I had gifts for people in my family to work on, and lo, it was suddenly February again and nothing had been done. Embarrassing. Oh well, I figure no one really cares when they get some unexpected goodie in the mail, do they? So, here is what I ended up making...

The first recipient was actually my cousin, and she got it in person when we visited at Thanksgiving.  It's a crocheted rug...
 A very small crocheted rug!!! Sigh. I dream of making a huge one some day, but as my friend pointed out, it would be nearly impossible to wash it would be so heavy. Right.  So really, it's for her dog. I hope he loves it.
 The next gift I was very excited to make, though I wished I'd gotten to it much sooner.  Kelly, from We Are Here, had asked how I made these pins, and had mentioned wanting to make one of a tawny owl, the totem animal of the brownie troop of which she was a leader.  This was my best shot at a tawny owl, and I was really pleased with the way it turned out.  I am still so new to embroidery (can one be "new to" for a very long time???), and I learn something about it every time I delve into a new piece.
This spring lady and some other bits and pieces are photographed beautifully at The Loving Path (which is fortunate, because my photos did not turn out quite so well, and there are pieces missing! thank you Debbie!).  I am so loving needle felting (yes, I know I sound like a dork here).  It goes quickly for me, which keeps me engaged and the juices flowing, and I work on it in the evenings while Dan is reading to us.  I was pretty taken with this particular creation and was happy to send her off to her new home in Canada...
When we first started needle-felting, we learned how to create flat pieces, like this little pouch.  The girls have become quite adept at them, while I've moved into more 3-dimensional pieces, but I was pleased with how this one turned out, for my sister-in-law at Tree Shadow Farm.   The girls picked out the colors for her, thinking she'd love purple and brown, and I experimented with making a hair clip as well.
 Most of these creations were experimental, but that was the fun part of this project for me, trying something new.
 This little lady and her acorns went along with the pouch...I kind of can't stop making these little be-scarfed sweeties.  They feel really nice to hold, and I like to imagine them sitting in some corner of Rebecca's beautiful home.
So, I made a few more and sent them to the same cousin who got the rug. So really, it is five for four.
 hello, snailie...
There you have it, some outward proof of creative flow!  It was really fun to share that underused side of myself, fun to wrap up some packages for no occasion other than to make someone smile...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last Day of Farm School

 Our last day of "Farm School" was this past friday, and we packed it all in to a lovely almost-summer day...
"mother may I?"
I was able to go along on the nature walk in the morning, which was a treat for me! We visited some baby bunnies and then headed to the beloved haybales for some romping.

Finding tadpoles in the vernal pond
Hay bales!
sun and puddles

While half of the children prepared our delicious lunch of lettuce wraps, the others carded wool, using a drum carder, and more traditional hand-held carders.
drum carder
partners carding
After lunch the kids had a short rap session with one of our guest facilitators.  It was a time for them to reflect and give feedback about their time at farm school this spring.  Then we divided into two groups: one group learned how to make paper, while the other played cooperative games.
Then we switched...
Passing the hula hoop around the circle
It was a perfect day to end on, with plenty to do, good energy and flow throughout the day, and the sun shining on us through it all...I have a lot to reflect on about what worked this year, and what didn't and why, but this day was a bright spot that reminds me of what it looks like when it works! I'm feeling thankful for that.