against the grey

The juxtaposition of even the smallest bit of color against the ever persistent grey of the season, is part of what makes November so beautiful to me. I know the short grey days can be depressing. I like to think of these more neutral tones as huge backdrop. The structure of the woodlands is visible again. Color, what little there is, appears especially vibrant. Throw in a drizzly day to shine everything up a bit and I can't wait to get outside and poke around.

The other day I mentioned that I've been working on a couple series.   This is from 'small worlds / fairy gardens.



Friday's Photo

For years I have been frustrated with the digital darkroom. Working with a mouse, menus, and commands never felt creative in a satisfying way for me. Real darkroom work is tactile, physical. It is painting with light, a dance performed with your hands in semi-darkness. Then along came cell phones with pretty good cameras and it all began to change. The popularity of iphoneography has developers writing wonderful, creative apps for photo editing. Touch screens, tablets make it hands on again. But different. I'm totally intrigued.

stepping back


Long before I became a dyer, I was a photographer and printer.  I worked exclusively in black and white, monochromatic.  Learning to see the world in monochrome is to rewire the way you look at things.  Texture, form, light, dark, contrast, the positive and the negative spaces paint the way you perceive what you see.  Like a light switch that you learn to turn on and off, color steps back and away.  Try it.  Playing with the way you see things is fun.  It is one more of things I enjoy about winter.  Ice and reflection are less about color, and more the abstract, my comfort zone.  

lines and knitting

There's nothing like a little snow to highlight the shape of the landscape, be it a hillside against the sky, the curve of the highway or the shape of a tree branch.  This particular tree catches my eye frequently.




I was looking at it and saw the lines echoed those in my knitting.  I love when things like this click.  



This is a fun little cowl by Susan Ashcroft called Podcaster.  I'm using the stitch pattern to make one to fit the way I wanted it.  It will be smaller in diameter than shown in the pattern and longer so that it gathers up to and under my chin.  The yarn is Ball and Skein's Lyra.  Very soft.  

feelin' like Halloween

Have you ever noticed that just knowing it's Halloween changes things?  The way the woods look?  feel?  how about the night?  The usual becomes, well.. unusual.  I can tell you things looked a little strange around here today.



How many of these are there?? 


Are they a 'who' or a 'what'?


                  huh?  (Maybe there are daleks, disguised.)



Walk with me.. Willy

For almost as long as I can remember, I've walked in the woods with my cats.  There was a time when we'd go exploring for hours; cover real distance.  But as the years passed, I became more and more familiar with the creatures that shared the woods around us and I began to encourage the cats to stay closer to home.  Too many fishers, fox, coyotes and dogs were ranging close by.  




You can learn a lot following an animal.  I can't hear what they hear, nor see what they see.  I try.  These days, I walk with Willy. He shows me holes where chipmonks live, mouse runs, snake trails, and various scat.  We stop where others have traveled, rested, fed and left scent behind ..  



and treasures.  




they are coming!!

Whew!  The days have been racing by.  Between the longer daylight hours, and the incredibly unusual weather (and flooding) that New England has experienced the past couple weeks, I've let this post slip. 



I checked this against last year's map and it looks like they are about 10 days early.  If you are interested, compare them yourself for your area.  I generally figure that they get to me around the first week in May.  Last year I spotted one a week earlier.

Just in case you've forgotten the recipe for hummingbird nectar or are new to this and thinking that you'd like to set up a feeder, here goes:

Bring to a boil: (I do this in a glass measuring cup in the microwave)

1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

NO fake coloring. 

That's all there is to it.  Easy, huh? 

Speaking of birds.. Last Sunday, Chris and I headed to the beach with our dinner.  Afterward, while C snoozed and read the paper, I took a second walk.  A bit down the beach, I spotted a couple kids throwing rocks at a seagull and yelling for it to drop the starfish.  I ran for my camera.  




the way we think

This is not the post I had planned for today.  BUT.. when I saw this little video this morning, everything changed.  It says so much to me about the way we think and our creative process. 

Years ago, there was a show at MOMA in NYC called "Primitivism" in 20th Century Art.  The video reminded me of it.  The show compared primitive art with contemporary and in particular, displayed primitive art objects that were collected by contemporary masters.  Interesting for most, mind blowing for me.  If ever I had needed an affirmation of my belief in the collective consciousness, this was it.