Saturday, September 28, 2019

make do and mend

i've been looking since the beginning of the year for one of these, scouring antique stores and flea markets on two continents. it's a clever little darning tool and i saw them first on instagram, under the #visiblemending hashtag. it's like an itty bitty loom and enables you to weave a strong patch on your item of clothing that needs mending. i asked my friend who works at the local red cross charity shop to look out for one for me, but i finally managed to find this one myself. funnily enough, after searching high and low across denmark, and in arizona and south dakota, i found it in an esoteric little antique/junk shop about 12km from home. as i went up to pay, i showed the owner a picture of what i was looking for and he said, we have one and called his wife to help find it! and even better, they were having a sale, where if you spent more than 100kr, then your whole bill would be 50% off, so i got this little speedweve/stoppekonen for a mere 50kr (approx $7)! i've seen them on ebay for as high as 2000kr., so it was quite the steal! i was so delighted and excited, i hugged the woman who owned the shop.

they also had three beautiful darning mushrooms, which i snapped up as well for my collection. they were 5kr apiece, so i paid a mere 2.50kr after the discount. that's about 35 cents apiece!!  i'm building up a collection of all kinds of different darning eggs and mushrooms, in the hopes that i can start up a local group where we can do visible mending together on a saturday morning once a month. it's a small step, repairing the clothes you already own, but a step nonetheless.

my favorite one is on the left and i adore the one on the right as well. but the one in the middle - look how much it's been used! just imagine all of the things that have been darned and mended using it. i'm always wishing that i could tune in to hear the stories that vintage objects could tell. this well-loved, much-used darning mushroom, must be so full of stories. even though i can't access them, i feel happy that i can hold them here with my collection. maybe late one night, if i listen carefully, i'll hear all of the darning mushrooms whispering to one another in the tin and be able to hear their stories.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

bittersweet ending

i made a short journey yesterday in a truck. it's the last journey that "my" lego ship will ever make. after three long years, thousands of kilometers traveled on the wheels of the curtain-side trailer beneath her, she's going to be dismantled, her bricks going to a good cause. when she wasn't being pulled by a truck, she traveled by ferry and rail. she visited the far corners of europe, from istanbul and italy in the south, to estonia, latvia and lithuania in the east to norway in the north. she was seen by crowds of people on trafalgar square in london, in front of the european parliament in brussels and near the brandenburg gate in berlin. and i was with her pretty much the whole way. probably the crowd i remember best was on a glorious, sunny autumn day in klaipeda - there were balloons, music playing and children looking on in wonder. that was just over three years ago.

but even as i write this, she's being broken down. i don't have the heart to go down and witness it. the fans at the lego fan weekend in the little town of skærbæk will have the chance to buy her bricks that aren't glued, by the kilo, and some of the cars and one of the lifeboats will be auctioned for a good cause - fairy bricks - an organization that gives lego sets to children who are hospitalized. the bricks that are glued, which is about half of them, will be recycled by lego themselves, and turned back into lego bricks that will go into sets and have a new life with children all over the world. that makes me happy.

this is probably the project i'm most proud to have been part of in my working life. the seed of the idea was one i presented in my job interview and it became so much more in collaboration with the ideas of the amazing creative people i worked with. and it was such a privilege to see it come to fruition beyond my wildest dreams. so i feel sad that it's really truly over now, but so happy that the ending is such a worthy one that will bring joy to so many, who may not even know the source of the joy, but who will undoubtedly feel it. goodbye, jubilee, you were amazing.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

the view from sunday night

it was the kind of weekend that happens all too seldom. still, sunny days, not too warm, not too cold, just hours and hours of glorious sunshine. we spent as much time as we could outside. me, fighting with the lawnmower, which for some reason is puffing out billows of smoke. we briefly thought it was because we had accidentally put diesel in it, but it seems not. it's going to have to go to the lawnmower doctor if i can find one that can be trusted. when i couldn't mow, it meant i had more time to go for a long walk and to sit in the sunshine with a cold drink and a good book. i've just started salman rushdie's latest, quichotte. just a little ways in and i'm getting a humbert humbert vibe from the main character, though so far, he's exhibited no pedophile tendencies.

the elderberries have all been harvested and i got 8 bottles of dark, deep purple cordial. our blueberries are still producing and i'm not yet done picking them - they're all going into the freezer for smoothies, aside from the ones that i threw together with the last of the blackberries and made into a lovely, jammy dessert that i invented after reading this recipe and this one (sorry, you'll need a subscription to access those).

there was a harvest market at our local little historical museum and someone was selling the most beautiful baskets, so i had to have one - it's important to support local artists, and how could i resist with that hole-y stone attached on the side? paws mcgraw approved the purchase.

these autumn days feel slow and a bit lazy, i poke around in second hand stores,  finding treasures. i'm also gathering and preparing second hand textiles for the rug i'm going to weave for the kitchen. while i'm doing this, i'm still pondering what's next. i'm not sure what it is, but i'm starting to feel like i need to figure it out and i'm wondering a bit why i haven't. and feeling a little bit stuck that i don't even really know how to go about it in a more active way.

Friday, September 13, 2019

getting my flamingos in a row

i've been slow to get over my jetlag this time. i've been prolonging it by staying up late and sleeping in. days and days of dreary, ceaseless rain haven't helped. i've been curling up with elizabeth gilbert's city of girls, which i've now finished, so my excuses for inertia are running thin. the truth is, i don't really know what's next, so it's kind of hard to get started on it. but i really should be doing more to figure out what it is. but how to go about that? make lists? go for a walk? try to tune in to what my heart says? maybe just get on with actually doing something (perhaps tidying up that box room?) and letting it come to me. as always, i'm impatient, but i have to remember that you always just have to do the work. and sometimes doing the work means giving yourself a few days to do nothing at all. this summer has been a lot. and it's no wonder my flamingos aren't really in a line. well, they are in this picture, but less so in reality. and maybe that's ok for now.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

i made this :: a little viking inspired pot

i had this picture in my head - combining ceramics and the driftwood i like to collect - but i've had trouble finding the right bit of driftwood for the right ceramic bowl. this time, i took a small handful of sticks with me to my ceramics course and made the holes in my pot accordingly. i'm very pleased with how it turned out. tied on with a bit of black, waxed cord, it looks much as i imagined it would. of course, i couldn't resist decorating the pot with one of my favorite nordic petrogyphs (aka helleristninger). 

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the best analysis of the genesis of our reality television president that i've read.

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nigel poor's photography project at san quentin state prison
you may know her from the wonderful ear hustle podcast.

Friday, September 06, 2019

back at the computer again

appropriately out the front window of the car, since that's where i've spent so much time of late.
somewhere between payson and phoenix.

i didn't mean to disappear, but a fried battery on my laptop intervened. i'm home again, the laptop is on its way to the hospital and i'm back in front of my desktop computer. what a trip it was! i extended my stay by 10 days in order to get everything done. and it is all done. mom is buried, all the paperwork surrounding the estate is notarized and filed, a headstone is ordered, we drove about 2500 miles, found an apartment, bought everything for it and settled the child into her first home, got some new ink at black sails tattoo, ate a lot of great food, swam in a pool to cool off, enjoyed the arizona heat, and just generally made a whole lot of things happen. i'm pretty exhausted, but glad to be home with husband and the cats. it's been grey and rainy all day - about 12°C and 97% humidity, as opposed to 42°C  and 22% humidity in phoenix. it's all a bit of a shock to the system. i slept as if i were still in arizona, waking in the early afternoon our time. now it's headed towards 11 p.m. and i'm still not tired. i guess that's how it goes.

that said, my head is filled with plans - an exciting writing project, a job search, a local writing group starting up, plans for making part of the house airbnb-ready, including yet another new kitchen, tidying up in the box room (aka, having a major purge), a bit of sewing, some mending and a weaving project or two. in other words, it's a whole new season...of the year and of life.

what's on your agenda for the new season?

five things friday :: september 6

thing 1: landing at an airport (i’m looking at you, CPH) where the ground crew is on strike after 15 hours of traveling (two flights) is not to be recommended. it took ages to get a gate and even longer for the bags to come. if it weren’t for the #garrettspopcorn i bought in chicago, i might not have made it.

thing 2: it’s sobering when the find my friends app tells you that you are 8,658 km from your only child.

thing 3: you know she’s going to be fine because she’s amazing like that.

thing 4: the way that travel gives you time to ponder all sorts of ideas - writing projects, weaving projects, tidying projects, art projects, house projects.

thing 5: being ready for a new season - not only fall, but of life. 🎃