in which there is a small announcement and a little music

The last few days have been a bit hectic; things have been falling into place in the best sort of way, comfortable and tidy, but there’s been a lot of adjusting to do and that’s all a little exhausting. I don’t expect things to let up- in fact, I expect them to get tighter, busier as the next few months progress- but it’s all moving in a positive direction, so I’m not complaining, just scheduling the hell out of my life and relying heavily on my planner. Bullet journaling is a thing I’m into now: I didn’t see that coming, but here we are. Anybody else doing this? I don’t go to great lengths to beautify my pages, and I don’t have my friend Christina’s gift at calligraphy (although I’ve been practicing, for shigs) but I’ve found that tracking everything by hand helps me keep on top of things.

Anyway, it’s been busy: KE11 is coming together for a May release, Sam is getting ready for a work transition, and I’ve just begun the process of putting together a new Craftsy class, which is taking up a lot of my headspace lately. (You can pretty much guess the subject matter.) I’ve been ordering materials like mad, and I’m writing my fool head off, as well, but it’s still a lot, and I’m working on trying to remember to take the time to just breathe while I’m at it, too- that’s actually written into my schedule and goals. Hey, go me: that’s a thing I’ve learned to do. Valuing yourself is great. This new class should come out in late summer/ early fall and will contain more advanced techniques than my first Craftsy class, which was directed more toward beginners. (The two are meant to work together, so if you’re new to dyeing, it’s a bit of a series.) I’m working on pulling in the amazing Hallie again as an assistant- she worked with me on the first class and was an AMAZING help. I’m really hopeful that it’ll work out again, and not just because any chance I have to see her is a gift.

I’ve been making a metaphorical ton of playlists to get me through my days because music is food (all art is food) and I need something while I’m working. I thought, when I sat down to make my dyeing playlist, that it would be upbeat and athletic, but what I found suited me best this spring was a lot more folksy, occasionally vaguely- Appalachian, sometimes acoustic stuff. You can see- and hear!- my working April playlist on Spotify here.


Sam’s work transition falls squarely on MDSW week, which means we’ll be skipping out for the first time in- well, ages, really. I think the last time I passed on MDSW I was experiencing some gnarly MS business- it’s just not something we miss- but there’s still Rhinebeck, and this period of focus is important. I’m planning to head down once I’m clear of this madness just to get myself a taste of good clean heat, my people, real barbecue, a decent sweet tea, and folks who won’t do the simple-dog-head-tilt when I say “y’all”. Oh, and banjo strings, because I’ll be arsed if I have any idea where the hell to get those here in New England other than online. (We have a rural music tradition here, too, I just haven’t found it yet.)

I should be photographing the pile of paintings accumulating downstairs, but I’m just adding to the pile instead. Sam gestures futilely, hopelessly, at the heap occasionally, and I get it: people have asked after them, I keep making them, we don’t like to have loads of things, it’s a simple equation. Putting my art online would kick off an entire chain of responsibilities I don’t want to deal with right now (or for the next few months), most of which also involve deadlines and other people’s money, so I just keep painting and piling. If you’ve written me asking after a painting, I promise nobody else has gotten your piece. It’s still in a portfolio in my living room, a bulging one. I’m just pretty well loaded up for work right now and perfectly happy making stuff and sharing little bits of online. (Chrissy, you’re the exception to this rule. I’m sending your piece out as soon as I grab a shipping tube. Sorry, world, nobody else is Chrissy.)

Sam is just coming home now, though, and it’s time to get ready for Friday pizza night; I’ve got to cut this short. Hoping your weekends are productive and fun- I’ll be working for a little of mine, but we’ve got a hike planned, too. By the way— I’ve mentioned our silly Friday pizza nights several times now. It’s one of our family traditions- ever since Sam worked night shifts, actually. Kiddo and I would take Friday evenings to go to the bookstore or a movie by ourselves, then grab a takeaway dinner to eat with Sam at his work. Now that she’s a grown-ass person, and Sam has real- people hours, it’s devolved into pizza, maybe some wings, snuggles with Hugo, and a movie- no big deal, but it’s something silly we look forward to every week, a simple ritual that involves zero work on our parts. What rituals do you have, in your homes, families, relationships and daily lives? I love hearing about how other people live and do this thing- what do you look forward to, after a long day, week, or month?

  One thought on “in which there is a small announcement and a little music

  1. Mechele Herres
    April 28, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Sorry you won’t be at MDSW – I look forward to saying hi to you. Your beautiful smile will be missed. I enjoy reading your blog a great deal. Thank you for being such a great author. My ritual on a Friday night is being joyful that the weekend is here and trying to get some zen time in knitting! HA!

  2. Karin Ramsden
    April 28, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I so enjoyed your playlist. Thank you. And, of course, the place it took in the midst of an evermore busy life.
    It made me think about the way some creative endeavours do their job, apply their balm and then recede to allow another means of expression to emerge.
    All the very best with the next stages in your working life.
    The Knitting Man Recommends.

  3. Gail
    April 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    I walk. There is never anything that a walk doesn’t help. I’m 68 so what I actually do is stroll. I no longer have anything to prove to anyone. That is such a load off I just wish I’d gotten there sooner but hey! I have today it’s the day that counts.

    And Feeya comes with me. She is made of – XX parent Doxie/beagle/chihuahua and Xy parent 100% swaggering chihuahua… hah! Their person didn’t think they could get it done. Cause mama is approximately 4x bigger than that little guy.

    So, my Feeya; I was going to rescue but then there was this surprise and I am so glad she’s mine. She cuddles with me, is always glad to see me, is actually very well behaved (chihuahuas and doxies both make the untrainable list and beagles are obsessive) also and not least, she takes me walking. She has a whole vocabulary of approaches to get me to gear up and go from cutie to guilty. She even watches the PNW weather … if the sun breaks out she tells me.

    That’s where the ritual comes in. Socks, weather appropriate pants, shirt, outerwear shoes and accouterments, then!!!! Treats in the pocket and the long lead and harness… “Give me your face” (to put the anti pull harness on, doggie coat if needed (she has zero insulation fur) clip on the lead; “Step back!” she scoots to behind me (I told you she is a good girl) I open the door and step out say “OK” and we’re off!!!

  4. April 29, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Oh! Another Craftsy class? I cannot wait to see what’s in store.

  5. May 2, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    My favorite ritual is yoga class on Monday afternoons. My body and head get all out of whack if I have to miss a week. Yes, I could (and do) do yoga at home, but it’s just not the same. I always leave class feeling two inches taller and with about 50lbs less weight on my shoulders.

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