Tuesday, June 28, 2011

we have just returned from a magnificent few days on the lake. the weather wasn't sunny the whole time, but it was wonderful nevertheless. edgar waded into the lake up to his chest whenever he wanted a drink. we swam. we went out in the boat. we had our friends come for sunday afternoon. we read for as long as we liked and woke with the loons. and we learned once more how fortunate we are to live in our lovely village with our wonderful neighbors.
i've spoken of my garden before. it's a wild little shrine of herbs that fills my front yard deliciously. and when i'm terribly busy in the studio as i've been this spring, it grows into a flurry of lemon and lime balm and queen anne's lace and hollyhock and sweet peas and hydrangea with all the blank spots filled in with grasses and what some might call weeds....tall and full and rather like a meadow. and there is also the woman who lives across the street (i won't grace her with the title of 'neighbor'). she is of the very awkward suburban persuasion, that believes one clipped and trimmed aesthetic should govern all. she has made several unsuccessful attempts to bring the city into my garden. however, this weekend, after we had left for our mini holiday, a bylaw infraction was slapped on both our house and the studio property, stating that the grass was too long and the trimming and weeding had to be completed by monday or a fine and fees would be applied. our neighbors not only took the notices off our doors and let us know what was happening, but went to work trimming and cutting and weeding and completely eliminating any legal issues that the city could possibly cite us with, while maintaining the free and fresh and meadow-like garden that i love so much. so that we could enjoy the vacation we'd planned at the lake. my eyes well up when i think of how they stood up for us, working together so we could have our vacation uninterrupted. they came to the cottage on sunday and we had a perfect afternoon together. and we were reminded yet again how fortunate we are to live in our little village with our amazing neighbors that we love so much. and we're happy to be home. i even got a few hours in the studio this evening. and as i was coming home through the back yard, the entire yard was alive with lightning bugs. there must have been 25 of them. they flew all around me, lighting up right by my cheek. i just sat on the porch and watched. and breathed and smiled.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

above our harbour, the skies have been darkening and rumbling and building a drama, a heavy and a humid drama. we were racing around town doing errands, watching the storm form over wolfe island. as we drove the sky would glow and shake and growl.
and then we were home. the boats seemed so calm and settled, even when the lightning started. we could see the rain falling in cloud form, across the lake. and now it's moved across the water to us. our windows are open and the lullaby of rain is filling the rooms. i'm drinking lavender soda. and watching 10 hours of dvr-ed wimbledon tennis. with the gentle pitch and quiver of summer rain as my background music.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

i'm feeling the momentum build as i work steadily in the studio. my workroom is busy and chaotic. and the days of sewing are full and productive. towers of freshly cut squares. tea towels. little lavender pillows from fabric scraps. and piles of quilts. quilts of all sizes. it makes me happy watching each quilt emerge with it's own combination of color and pattern. almost as soon as they are made, they are sold. there is a satisfaction knowing they are loved in their new homes. and i am tired even while exhilerated.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

my grandmother was almost 98 when she died. and there is a flowering bush that grows at the back of our yard, that always makes me think of the last summer that she was alive. and one particular day is strong with memories of my last real day with my grandmother. just the two of us having the sort of breezy and ephemeral moments we did best. i lived with her all my life practically. i was 7 when she moved to canada to live with us. there was no mystery between us. she was always tiny, but in the last few years of her life, she was practically fetal. she weighed between 50 and 60 pounds and osteoporosis had bent her in half. my parents brought her to spend the afternoon with me that day. she sat in her wheelchair on the porch. i wheeled her out in the garden under the trees with flowers and birds surrounding her. i covered her hat with peonies and she laughed and just enjoyed the perfection of a summer day. she spent hours going through the bunches of flowers i brought her, picking out all the blossoms that were past their prime. we watched the cats play in the sun. gala romped around the yard and delighted her. we just spend the afternoon together. and after a lifetime with her, this is one of my strongest and sweetest and dearest memories of us alone together. just an afternoon enjoying each other.

Monday, June 20, 2011

it's been a lovely weekend. a little bit of lazyness on the porch. a lovely dinner with my parents for father's day. gorgeous weather. and now it's back to work, which, fortunately, is just as lovely for me. i love getting back to work.

the school year is winding down. you can feel the anticipation in the air. if you're looking for the perfect year-end teacher gift, you may want to visit the studio. lots of breezy and fresh cotton napkin sets. one of a kind moleskine journals. pendants. and everything is packaged ready to give. i'm not always there....i have another job....but email me or phone me to make sure i'm there and come by.

and enjoy summer!!! off i go to walk edgar and get to the studio.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

tom is on the porch playing guitar and singing ryan adams songs. i'm wandering barefoot through the yard taking photos. it's a beautiful morning. this afternoon we'll have dinner with my sweet daddy. and bring some wood home for projects i've been planning. but right now in this moment, the morning is supremely still and lovely.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

edgar got me up at 2.30 this morning. barking at the sounds of night in the backyard through the open window. i didn't fall asleep again until 4.30, and then he was up again at 5.15. he was just restless and wanted to go outside. so i came out with him and slept for 4 delightful hours swaying under quilts on the porch swing. it was wonderful. he woke me up a few times barking, but the birds and the squirrels and the twitter of the leaves with the scent of peonies and climbing roses and honey locust trees all lulled me right back to sleep. and when i was finally awake for the day i lay on the swing watching wave after wave of mist float into the garden. at first i was worried the studio was on fire. and then maybe our very own house, because it was as dense as smoke. but it was a soft pale mist blowing past in waves. what a lovely way to wake up. and although i imagine it will be a groggy day, i loved the way it started.
oh yes, writing this made me forget that 1/2 an hour ago, stella and floyd brought a snake into the living room that is now in our cold air return vent. the drama of the day has begun!!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

as i was leaving for work yesterday afternoon, the curtains and the sun and little window were all so lovely that i ran for my camera and tried to get some quick shots. i was rushing, but it made me happy all evening thinking about the window and the light and the vintage curtains and the photos. and when i came home after a great evening at work, the moon was round and huge, sitting low above the lake, and striped gray with clouds. i wanted to grab my big lens and wander with the moon for a few minutes. but the extra energy that would take just wasn't there. the moon kept glimpsing in at me and calling me out to play, but i couldn't do it. yesterday i had two of the spontaneous photography moments that keep my eyes fresh and twirl me around a little inside. and i only used one of them. that moon is haunting me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

there is a delightful calm this morning. my little world is already busy and glowing with sunshine. but it's calm. i'll head to the studio in a few minutes. after i take edgar on a little tour along the lake. laundry is washing that will go on the line. i have napkins to make and quilts to build. i hear our oriole sing above the other birds that fill the morning air. the day doesn't wait for me, but smiles when i join it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the studio kept me busy today. it was delightfully full of activity and visitors. sheila came by with jee to brighten up my day with his almost 3 year old charm. my parents arrived with a bag of vintage linens. and the lovely laura arrived with flowers and left with my favorite kick-ass biker jacket that i'm lending her for the weekend. all my visitors were a nice hit of energy to give my work a little extra punch.
i finished a baby quilt and made little lavender pillows. and my beautiful new typewriter broke my heart a little when the spacebar stopped working. the sun broke through late in the day and warmed the rooms with golden shadows on the blue/gray walls. i love working in those rooms. i made a lovely little tower of moleskine notebooks to end the day. wonderful and productive studio time always makes me happy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

i love crackly and worn paint. i can't think of a time when i haven't. i love the texture. i love the faded color of old paint. i love the sense that it's been there forever. we have to paint our house this summer. we should have painted it last summer. but i am afraid for it to feel too crisp and fresh and new. i doubt it could ever look or feel too new. but i hate losing it's authentic time worn feel. the crooked front door we bought at an architectural salvage place has never been painted by us. i love it's patina so we left it the pale butter yellow that i would never have chosen for a door but i love it more than i can say.
i am happily very busy in the studio this week.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

it felt like a morning to tour around neighborhoods with coffee in hand looking for tables and lawns laden with stuff people no longer wanted. i left the house around 8.30.....tom and edgar both sleeping soundly. i emptied tom's wallet before leaving. exhilaration and expectation taking over. i love the feeling of the streets on weekend mornings. weekends and holidays have a distinctly different openended and timeless feeling to them. so i drove to different neighborhoods. i gave a donation to a sale that was raising money for an animal charity (there was nothing i wanted to buy). i may have found our next house...a private estate sale in a nice neighborhood. i bought a first edition hardcover of 'ahab's wife' for 75 cents (it saddens me that there is no longer a sign for 'cent', just the $ one). and that leads me to the great finds of the day. a fabulous 50 year old underwood typewriter, complete with plastic dustcover and several boxes of replacement ribbons for $10. (there will be a 'cent' sign on that) and at the same sale of the grandparents belongings this perfect pair of purple suede maryjane's in the original box. they were too tiny and delicate for me, but perfect for krista's dainty little feet. a lovely morning!

Friday, June 10, 2011

an amazing evening of spontaneity. our beloved neighbors gathered on the porch, with a fire and hockey playoffs. loveliness doesn't come any more wonderful than this night. tom brought a tv out to the porch and streamed the hockey game. we cuddled under quilts on the porchswing. the fire was smoky enough to keep the mosquitoes away. the boys sat in chairs on the grass, intent on the hockey and tending the fire. and i felt so very canadian. naomi fell asleep with the swaying of the swing. and we had the stars on. we made plans and talked about our hopes and fears, like we always do. and ultimately we felt the happiness of sitting under the gray night sky together.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

after finishing clearing out the house yesterday, we went for a drive and got caught in a crazy tornado-esque storm. thankfully it was just a storm, but the winds were mighty and the sky was a raging purple-y black with branches and dirt being whipped across the roads. but before the storm we saw this house sitting meekly above the road. i had to go back to get the photo. so simple and peaceful and unassuming in it's loveliness.
and this morning the porch swing is damp from the stormy night. but the light is fresh and the air is clean. there are 5 or 6 squirrels chasing and playing in the crabapple tree. one of them is our golden squirrel. years ago there was a family of blond squirrels in one section of the park not far from our house. but we hadn't seen them for several years. and now we have our own in our yard. she watches me while i sew from the tree that stands by the porch. yesterday she sat in the dining room window while i talked to my parents on the phone. our own golden squirrel. krista tells me they are good luck!

and just as i'd posted this she decided to play out in the open, so i grabbed my camera, and here she is. i think i want to name her greta.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

it appears that summer has found us. the heat of the sun and the happy relief of shade. and scattered around our yard are cats. edgar oversees from the porch, but it's the lounging of the cats that gives laziness to the day. i sewed on the studio porch all afternoon watching their slow sleepy summer ways. and then we ended the day playing horseshoes and welcoming my parents home from their two month sojourn south.

Monday, June 6, 2011

it was one of those perfect days. the sun was dappled through the trees. the air was warm but not hot. and the studio was drenched in light. but i set up my little workshop on the porch. i spent the afternoon sewing baby quilt tops. the big maple shading the work table. the scent of spirea and peonies blowing past every little while. i took photos of my outdoor sewing room from the back window. and my indoor sewing room looking in the same window from the porch. and then photos of quilts hanging on my rope clothesline to list on etsy. i had lots of little thoughts that would have been the basis of a much better entry tonight. but i can only think of how much i loved working today. and how fortunate i am to love my work so hard.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

mountains of spirea, spilling into the yard. the tiny white confetti petals that have haunted me my entire adult life. the first house i lived in away from my parents. not a dorm room or an apartment. but a house. a beautiful 1920s wood frame house in michigan. we called it the 'white house'. i lived on the main floor and lisa lived upstairs with the sloped ceilings. with our dogs and the boys we loved. the house had a rotting front porch that tilted forward, and sheltering it from the road were huge spirea bushes. in june when they flowered it was like the house was floating on a cloud of white flowers. the white flowers and the sickly sweet scent became my early summer drug. i lived there almost 4 years. when i moved back to canada, i planted a bush at my parents. but before that plant would grow into a bush, i'd moved on again. and then 12 years ago, we moved into our little house by the lake, and as it should be, we have a yard full of spirea.

Friday, June 3, 2011

the endless days of june are sweet this week. this morning i was awake at 4.30 when the sky was becoming silver with the very earliest start of dawn. stress has been tickling me awake too early the last couple of nights. i stare at the computer looking for houses and making plans until the black at the windows turns gray. and by 6.oo the sun is strong, the day is in full swing. i'm slow. my eyes sting for a good part of the morning. but i walk edgar around the harbor and feel so fortunate to feel summer on my skin. i love the early hours of sunlight with a cool morning dampness still close to the ground. the stress i rarely feel has been real this week, but the long hours of light finds a way to loosen it some. i cut fabric and sew with windows opened fully on to the street, with strong light and loud music and rediscover what i do and why i do it.