Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Making stuff and doing things.

Handspun, all balled up
Various skeins of drop-spindled yarn, all ready to start a project.

If Winter was a house guest, it would be on day 7 of a 3-day stay. I live in a high, semi-arid climate. Allegedly. I think we may have had approximately 1 week of sunshine out of the last 6-8 weeks. I've never seen a winter so gray. Yeah, it's snowy and cold, but that's to be expected, isn't it? The snow is great for those of us who rely on irrigation water that is collected in reservoirs in the high mountains, which allows that collected water to trickle down to us via irrigation ditches during the typically dry months of summer. So, yay! Moisture! But, boo, weeks of cloudy days. I don't live in the Pacific Northwest, or England, or anywhere else where cloudy days are the norm. This has been a long, long stretch. Everyone I speak to feels the same. We're all biding our time until glorious, glorious SPRINGTIME. Amen.

The sun is shining today. It's wonderful.

Drum carder, odds and ends of wool.

The only way for me to combat the ennui that accompanies these long, gray days is by staying busy. Mentally and physically. I had an unfortunate stretch of time a few weeks ago where I had an injury to my wrist that kept me from doing anything with my hands that I normally do. No knitting, no spinning, no dyeing, no typing, no writing, no drawing, no painting, no shit. Let me tell you what, folks. That was a hard damn time for me. I can only stand to go for so long without making something, and making stuff and doing things is intrinsically tied into my happiness/sanity. A day without some sort of physically creative process is a long and cranky day, and I can only read or watch television for so long without feeling twitchy.

Fortunately for me, my friend Christina did her magic on my arm, shoulder and wrist, and I've been pain-free ever since. I still have this weird knot of tendon at the base of my wrist, which is kind of yucky, but it doesn't hurt. My mother-in-law told me she had the same thing once, when she had a huge garden that she had to hoe, so it's apparently an over-use injury. She had cortisone injections to make it go away, but I'm taking anti-inflammatory enzymes and hoping to avoid that route. So far, so good.

Finished soap
Hand-made herbal soap.

Taylor and I have been experimenting with bath products recently. We're planning a market garden this year, and we want to supplement any produce with things like soap, bath salts, lip balms and bath bombs, jams, jellies and baked goods. Tay is so psyched about selling her baked goods. We're planning on selling our wares at the farmer's market in Ignacio, which was such a huge success last year. Making plans for the garden and our stall has been something else to focus on during these long days. It's kind of hard to visualize when there's still 2 feet of snow in the garden plot, but we'll get there. We get a little closer every day.

finished bath bombs
Bath bombs.

And so we're waiting and biding our time, and I can't help but think about budding trees and the life that is waiting inside of seeds. There has been a very real feeling around here of being curled up and waiting for the opportunity to expand. It's all very cyclic and earthy, where right now we're waiting for life to bloom and expand, and in the fall we enjoy the feeling of the slowing down of things and the end of that period of hurried growth and long days packed with activity. I'm not a mystical person, nor am I particularly spiritual person, but I do admire the cycle and the way it makes me feel like a part of something larger than myself.

I think I'm going to go bundle up and sit in the sunshine a while.


  1. I hate too many gray days. Hilo, where I live gets both more sun and more rain than the Pacific Northwest. That's because usually it's at least partly sunny unless it's seriously raining. {Smile}

    I'm sorry to hear about your wrist. I hope it gets better and stays that way! {Warm Smile}

    Those look like interesting soaps. {pause} Exactly what is a bath bomb? I'm woefully unfamiliar with trendy bath things. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. I'm in the same frame of mind...work with color and stay busy. Your soaps look lovely too. What kind of drum carder is that? I am looking to get a new one and am struggling with what to get.

  3. Hey, Anne.

    A bath bomb is a nifty fizzy ball of goodness you drop in the bathtub and watch it fizz. We make ours with all-natural ingredients and scents, because I'm a delicate flower and can't handle artificial stuff.


  4. Hey, WWG.

    I bought my carder from this store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/fancykitty

    I bought the fine-toothed version, because I am mostly working to blend various combed tops.

    To be honest, if I were to buy again, I would probably choose a carder made by another company. This carder is intriguing: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18182940&ref=sr_gallery_2&&ga_search_query=drum+carder&ga_search_type=all&ga_page=2&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title


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