Friday, December 2, 2016

Light

This month has been very hard. I am feeling responsible for every ugly thing my children do. I am feeling the ugliness inside myself as well and it seems unrelenting.

I was feeling especially discouraged when I thought about the goal of keeping the Light alive through the winter. We were at forest school and my 3yo was screaming and wailing because she was too cold. No wonder, since she refused to wear anything more than her pajamas and sandles. It was 45 degrees out and I decided to let her experience it her way. I brought along her hat, socks, vest, sweatshirt, woollen pants, mittens and boots, but no way was she going to wear them!

So we ended up leaving, and I was frustrated and disappointed. And I was trying to imagine the life of those who live in those temperatures. I was chastising myself for having our house an artificial, cushy 64 degrees, and giving her a false sense of the season. But I have our temperature set that 'high' because I still find myself wearing a sweatshirt all day and a hat in the evening. I wondered about myself: perhaps without that climate control I would just be one of those people who is grouchy and uncomfortable all winter long. Then I imagined that opening feeling of moving into the Light and warmth of the summer.

And I thought: why should it be easy? Isn't the reason we have winter festivals: light upon light from Michaelmas, to Martinmas, to Advent, to Christmas, to Epiphany, to St. Brigid's day, because it is hard to keep our inner Light alive?

This is my work as an adult to keep my flame alight through the coldness and darkness and ugliness. I love, love love all the pretty of lanterns, and spices, and evergreens, and presents, and candles and feasts, but those are all analogies. My Work is within me.

So I came home and turned down the thermostat.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Surprise!

What would six months of no posts be without a baby at the end of them?
Welcome Baby M2.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

B's first peg person.

I got out of the shower today and B came to show me what he had been working on. He had made "a sun hat with a plume". I helped him find a peg person and tie the hat on, but I am so pleased he came up with the idea on his own!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Michaelmas


I spent the entire summer making bee skeps. One might think from that that I had made many of them, but really I just took it very slowly. I think I pushed myself really hard this past spring and I just needed a project with no deadline. Although bees are associated with the feast of St. John on June 24th, I missed that "deadline" by a mile and decided not to rush.

Bee Careful! There are bees in that skep!


So, they showed up in our Michaelmas scene instead.


Our red cross knight makes his way through the village to check out the dragon.


St. Michael(s) and St. George watch over the dining room.


The battle is underway!


And our iron dyed banners show that St. Michael is the victor. Although our attempts at a simplified batik didn't work I was pleased and amazed at how they turned out. We will have an opportunity to continue the iron dyeing research with friends during our Michaelmas festival in the next few days.


Happy Feast Day!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fashion Chemistry

I have recently undertaken to revamp my entire wardrobe from scratch. As part of my process I have been playing around with dyes. I started with a box of Rit dye left over from a previous project, but in general I like to use more natural products when possible. While I have done quite a bit of plant dyeing with silks and wool, I know that dyeing cotton is a more complex process (plant fiber vs. protein/animal fiber) with more steps to make it colorfast. However, I decided to dive right in and experiment.

I experimented on some cotton t-shirts. I used turmeric because I wanted a deep golden color, it was easily accessible, and I was under the impression it didn't need any mordents or fixers.

I was pretty happy with the results. I liked the buttery yellow, but I wish it had stayed as saturated after one wash as it was immediately after dyeing.

Then I decided to take it for a test run and just wear it one day. I am so glad I did! It happened to be a hot, humid day, and we went on a nice long walk. About half way through our walk I noticed that I had BRIGHT PINK pit stains! I could only laugh. At first I thought the turmeric had interacted with sweat, but then it dawned on me that it was more probable that it was the baking soda I use as deoderant.

While I will probably not be wearing that perticular shirt as is again, I am looking forward to more fashion experiments!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

White Sunday

Whitsun Day.
Pentecost.
The birthday of the Christian Church.

I had never really celebrated Whitsun before, so way back in April I signed up to participate in a festival swap. There were 20 of us involved, from all around the country, and we each made a few Whitsun themed decorative items. The themes were mostly fire (reminiscent of the tongues of flame which came to rest upon the apostles heads in Acts 2:3), and doves (reminiscent of the descent of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4). The items then went to the "hostess'" house where they were sorted. Then we each eagerly awaited a package of surprise items for our own Whitsun celebration. Totally fun!

I decided to make a wall hanging depicting the tongues of flame.


I tried many versions in many mediums before I settled on colored pencils and a mono-chromatic scheme.




The final version:




Our package was almost entirely fire themed as well. Here are our beautiful gifts on the seasonal table!



Happy Feast of Pentecost!