Sunday, January 23, 2011

Catching Up

Just an update on what life has been like the past couple weeks.  A few photos will help to tell the tales.

A bunch of the girls and I celebrated Jana's birthday last Friday. She's another one who has recently hit the 40 mark. I must say, many of us are 40, and older, but we party like we're 30!

Birthday girl, Jana, on the far left in the pink and the tiara. That's me, looking gorgeous with my mouth hanging wide open!

In honor of the birthday girl, I made myself a special skirt. I know it may seem a bit weird to honor someone by making something for ME. But somehow it just makes special occasions even more special. Besides, Jana's the one who turned me onto the sewing machine in the first place! And yes, I did get her a birthday gift! Remember, I'm doing better about the whole gift giving thing!

Anyway, here's the skirt!

It's made (or is supposed to made) using two pieces of a deep, dark gray wool that I found at Marden's (2.99/yard!). The top band is a soft taupe color, and it's stretchy. I found a stretchy shirt at the thrift shop, and thought it would make a great waistband. Check out that rickrack! It is the biggest rickrack I've ever seen! It's olive green. And there's my red birdie on the pocket. Not bad for a patternless project. I was actually inspired by this blog post: Have you ever checked out Amanda Soule's blog? I'm a pretty obsessive follower. She's a fellow mainer, mama, writer, crafter, knitter and so much more. At any rate, I decided that this would be the skirt for Jana's party. I managed to start, and finish, this project on the day of the party. There were a couple of blunders. First off, I cut the skirt too small and had to make some nifty side panels, which actually didn't turn out that badly. Necessity is the mother of invention, and I managed to figure it out. It needs some fine tuning, but I think I'll probably be making more of these. I have some gorgeous corduroy in a sort of salmon color that is begging to be made into a skirt! I'll keep you posted!

I've been pretty crafty and have added (and sold) a few items in my shop. Here's a sample:

Handknit and Felted Wool Bag with Crow

The Essential Crow Handbag
The Essential Red Bird Handbag
Two Red Birds and a Heart Wool Purse
I've made some other things, but these are my faves of the moment. I would really like to have each of these bags, but how many bags can a girl have? All the bags, with the exception of the orange felted one, were made without patterns. Certain fabric just calls out to be a certain shape, or I get a picture in my mind of what I want something to look like. Being able to make what I see in my head is pretty great, I must say!

We've been spending a fair amount of time outside, be it sliding, shoveling, or making igloos! Well, one igloo, anyway!

Crazy Lindy and her beautiful sidekick, Kieran!
Let me leave you with a pic of a recent thrift find. Check out these boots! They're some kind of dark fuschia color. Look at the bow! They were my size and for fifty cents, how could I pass these up?! I could do some major damage on a dance floor with these things! Well, probably major damage to my ankles. But I'll find an excuse to wear them sometime!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Breaking the Ice

I have taken on a babysitting job. Sort of. Three days a week, Kieran and I cross the street and walk down the gravel (and sometimes icy, sometimes snowy) driveway of our wonderful neighbors, Anna and Reggie. Those two crazy kids have allowed their daughter, Jordan, to have a puppy. And it is this puppy, Maya, who I am looking out for while her family is at work. Initially, I was not too keen when Reggie called to gauge my interest in puppysitting. I agreed to take care of her for the day. Well, that my friends, was all it took. I was hooked!

For taking such great care of Maya, Kieran and  I sometimes reward ourselves by venturing just a bit further down the hill to the beach. Yesterday was one of those afternoons. Chilly, yes, but the wind wasn't blowing too badly. It didn't take much cajoling on Kieran's part to lure me down the path.

Kieran quickly got to work, breaking up ice in a small stream that meanders down into the ocean. Soon enough, he had me in on the act. With a tall stick, all four of our arms pumping up and down, breaking the ice, "making more water for the fish. We're helping the animals, Mom." Eventually, we each found our own ice-breaking tools (ie sticks). Kieran's enthusiasm for the task at hand was completely infectious. I've gotta say, I was really getting into it.

As I was whacking at the ice with my stick, and watching Kieran do the same, it got me thinking about children and the pleasure they take in their work. I love watching Kieran completely immerse himself in the task at hand. He so obviously adores making things and inventing new processes. Solving (sometimes bizarre) problems that he himself has devised. So much pleasure is involved. And as we were  pounding away on that ice, I was thinking about my own relationship with work, and some of the work I used to do as a kid. The ant hospitals (don't ask) the yard sales, the news broadcasts (again, don't ask!). I traced my own work history, the kind that involves money, starting with blueberry raking, on up to adulthood. I thought about all the different kinds of work there are and how complicated our relationships with work can be. Kieran's own relationship with his work is extremely intense and important to him. He identifies himself as a "worker". I continue to respect and honor (at least most of the time) his relationship with his work as I can see it sparks his imagination and makes him feel important and proud. (Jeepers, that ice breaking really allows a person's mind to wander, doesn't it?!)

Kieran and I  spent the better part of an hour chipping away, maneuvering ice chunks down the stream. It was a job well done.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finding Orion

Even though the sky was darkening, I decided I would go for a run. Running at night has never bothered me, and in fact, I quite enjoy it. It offers complete anonymity and solitude and is very meditative. I pretty much stay on my end of the island, and I rarely meet any cars. So on with my warm gear and my bright orange reflective vest and off I went.

Running at night is a great time to check out the stars. I am sad to say that I can only identify a couple of constellations. Not even two. One and a half. Okay, I've got the big dipper down. And I can identify Orion's belt. That's it. Just the belt. So, as I was making my way home and looking at the beautifully clear winter sky (I have found the stars to be particularly brilliat this winter) I determined that as soon as I got home, I would google Orion. I wanted to see all of Orion, not just his belt.

Kieran and Heron were game. We found an adequate picture on the computer. I even made a little sketch of the star shapes to aid me in my search. We bundled up and headed down to the breakwater since we couldn't quite see Orion from our place. The breakwater proved to be too bright. We cruised down Water Street past the Waco and down Sea Street where it was nice and dark. And lo and behold. For the very first time, I saw Orion. Not just his belt. His sword, shield, the whole shebang! Wow. As a shooting star shot across the sky, I decided that I need to study these stars a little bit more. They are magical.

Since a blog post feels a bit incomplete (to me) without a photo, let me include one of some great ric rac I found at Marden's the other day. Big, fat, juicy ric rac in gray and olive green. I also grabbed a yard of bright orange ric rac. I mean, how could I resist?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Me and Him

On January 1, Heron and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.

We spent the better portion of the day with our friends Jana and David, and their two kids, Jackson and Lila. Heron, David and the kiddos spent some time skating at the rink in St. Stephen. Jana (my crafty sidekick), Kieran and I spent that time in the fabric section at Marden's. I scored some very sweet rick rack. (I actually took photos of the stuff to share with you another day, that's how fabulous this stuff is!)

We all met up back at the Markows, where they treated us to an absolutely yummy lunch. Hamburgers on the grill, homemade french fries, and chocolate shakes! I was in absolute heaven! This was followed by a delicious apple pie with a crumb topping (Heron's contribution) and cappuccinos. The lunch, along with plenty of crafty chat, made for a relaxing and fun afternoon, and we didn't head home until dark. A lovely day.

Me and him. This must have been taken the summer of 1995.

*Warning: Prepare yourselves for a bit of a sapfest. I mean, come on, doesn't 16 years of togetherness and 11 years of marriage constitute a bit of sappiness? Sheesh!

I truly feel that Heron's love, endless patience, and unwavering support has allowed me not only to grow and change, but to absolutely thrive. For this, I am so incredibly thankful. Sixteen years is a long time, and we've been through countless changes. We've built a home, a community, and a life for ourselves. We've experienced incredible love and happiness in the lives of our two sons. We've endured the loss of our dear son, Evan. But somehow, some way, we continue to look forward and to see the best in each other and what our life together has to offer. Not only have we changed, and continue to change as individuals, but the love and acceptance (and yes, even tolerance, sometimes!) we have for each other continues to deepen and grow. I am truly grateful for us.

Me and him, Halloween 2010.
Because I am trying to step it up in the present-buying department, I actually got Heron an anniversary gift which I felt represented us in some weird way.

Do You Ever Think We're Starting to Look Alike by Ashley G
This is a print by a wonderful artist, Ashley G, who  I discovered on Etsy. Please check out her shop: I adore her art, and I especially adore this print. Luckily, Heron liked it, too!