doorway

24 September, 2009 at 5:46 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, family, life, Uncategorized, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

doorway

For this I used the image of my mother’s doorway – sitting here I can smell the stone and plaster walls (unless my sister is cooking ratatouille, bread pudding with ginger toffee, or some other deliciousness). The house dates back to at least 1595, the records before that were lost when the town was sacked in 1576, and when she moved in the only plumbing was a sink underneath the window to the right of the door, all cooking had been done in the fire.

I love row houses because I love town noise, and my mom’s house is so accessible when someone drops by for a visit, but my dream house would be a ‘portland’, a row house with a long strip of garden behind.  I recently stayed in a beautiful example of that in a medieval town outside London while visiting relatives (including my most adored aunt and uncle who are fixing up a barge in the gorgeous port of Sandwich), the garden was 40+ feet wide and 630 feet long, on a south-facing slope with orchard, pond and nuttery.  Perfection.  An upscale version, built 70 years after the one I stayed in, is Rothe House in Kilkenny, which has been restored and opened as a museum.  It would be great to be part of a project like that, they did such a good job on the gardens and orchard, and next time I’ll definitely spend more time in their library.

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15 kilos

3 September, 2009 at 8:28 pm (life, local, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

planetreespigeonnier

No art today because I am travelling, all packed to Ryan Air’s precise requirements.  These are photographs I took during a drive with my sister the other day, all things we won’t see for a while.  The farmer who sold us honey that day insisted that we come down to pick the tomatoes with him so that we could appreciate the layout of his farm.  The tomatoes were amazing with some herbs we picked and chevre on bread.

pickingtomatoestomate

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cashio

11 June, 2009 at 9:27 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, family, friends, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

cashiocrop2a

I’m excited because I’m getting ready for three months of travel, but I’m also mourning because I haven’t been able to work on assemblages lately, and I won’t be able to bring those materials on the road.  I will be restricted to working on pieces like this one (which I do love creating), plus a few fiber projects which pack easily.  It’s frustrating to want to be making things and not be able to get my hands on the bits and pieces, but at least I will be finding more in the four countries I’ll be travelling through to visit my family.

There are a few things I’m sharing from the garden before I leave – raspberries, boysenberries, figs, pads for nopales (with lentils, yum!), and this lone avocado, very buttery.  When I get back there may be a few strawberry and pineapple guavas left, then there will be pomegranates.  I’ll miss the peaches – heavenly when they’re ripe and the skin slides off in your fingers, also the ripening of the manzana bananas and thimbleberries.  My stubborn pineapples think they are just for show, all the other bromeliads bloom while they just sit there, but I am very happy because an ancient cycad that was damaged and seemed to die three years ago just produced a beautiful crown of leaves.

I love traveling, although I will miss a lot of close friends – three months is a long time between visits, but I will be staying with family and friends, some of whom I only see every few years, and there will be a new bébé when I get back.

avocado1a

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not snow!

27 February, 2009 at 12:20 am (life) (, , , , )

dsc_0315aaa1

Since I last wrote in January I’ve been 1,000 miles north and back.  Like many migrating creatures I do this yearly, usually in late spring and early fall, but ended up going for a midwinter break also.  I imagined I would spend my time listening to the cold wind whistling outside while I curled up with a pile of books in front of the woodstove, with occasional trips to a comfy chair in front of the library’s fireplace, or to meet up with friends in a café for a chat, my hands warmed by a mug of caffeine.

Not so much.

Instead, there was relentless sunshine (outside two brief snowfalls) provoking me out into the garden.  So, I planted these lovely hellebores, a peach tree, an Italian prune, and one of those fancy cherry trees with four varieties grafted onto the trunk.  I’m not normally in favour of multi-grafted trees, I did it for efficiency since I also had serial disasters keeping me from my books, including a truck falling through my bridge.

The return drive found the fiendish hounds crammed into the little bit of space not occupied by the new (used) Eglu.  The family selling it needed a bigger coop, and before I left the daughter played a few beautiful tunes on the harp then demonstrated how she could balance a (live) mauve chicken upside-down on her head.  Such talent!

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