Dear Sweet Virgo Sister MamaStar-to-Be Boho, Thank you for making me feel beautiful and goddess-like in trousers that were clearly never worn again after Squam.
Photo, Denise Andrade.
I'm thinking of taking a no plastics for a week pledge to raise my own awareness of how much plastic our household consumes (then tosses into the recycling bin....or not, in some cases of saran and other baddies). If you haven't seen pictures of the Great Pacific Garbage Dump, it may alarm you into swearing off of polymers, too. Olga Naidenko's article at Enviroblog came across my inbox and led me on a scavenger hunt, which led me to this funny gal from Oakland, who is doing all sorts of neat comparisons to decide which commonly used grocery and household items we can replace in order to avoid adding to the plastic grossness. Anyone know of a great plastic-wrapping-free cheese from CA?
Every once in a frequent while, I need to reassess consumption around here. Miles birthday was an example of a lot of excess wrapping paper, plastic toys, giant gift bags, and things that I will be trying to find a home for when Spring cleaning and the nesting season kicks in. I can tell you that this Christmas there will be major moratoriums. If I thought I could do it, I would commit to handmaking all of our gifts, but I just don't know what I'll have time for. I don't think it will be that challenging to select or make thoughtful, minimumally-packaged gifts, but I will forego Tyvek (which I don't use that much of anyhow) in favor of small boxes and no stuffin for the peeps far away .
Is it that time of year already!? I'm going to try to put a list of my favorite gifts together again this year and also just throw out there that not giving gifts is totally ok with me, too. What about you? Would it ruin the holidays to adore someone in such a way that doesn't involve the purchase or exchange of items? Of course, it is a little harder with the wee ones.
Totally changing the subject...
Design Studio, 5:20 am this morning:
Knitting Schmitting, are you tired of hearing about it yet?
Ten things I love about knitting:
1. Totally portable, follows me from room to room, to work or dr.'s office in the bottom of my purse and can be stopped and started at any time.
2. Kiddie-friendly, can be dropped immediately to wipe someone's bum or kiss a boo boo, with no handwashing or de-chemicalling required to do so.
3. When natural materials are used, they can all go straight back to the earth (or compost pile) without harming groundwater or future generations.
4. My workshop is in bed. Or anywhere I want it to be in the moment!
5. Doesn't cut into my social life. With a headphone on, I can talk on the phone and do it. (nice social life)
6. Near instant gratification
7. Yarn that stretches even just a little forgives the advanced beginner
8. The colors the colors the COLORS!!!!
9. Cackling women that discuss the male anatomy in art while knitting in the yarn shop crack me up and help me fix my mistakes
10. Silence and sitting still have never been so fun
The Master likes to break his fast at the counter these days, preferring to move right from stirring his oatmeal to eating it seamlessly.
In other news, I taught myself to knit in the round this weekend, and not on those cheating circular needles, either. I'm rather proud of my wristwarmers in the making. And, of course round is the predominant theme here in babyland.
It all happens on four needles at a time, which just about put me off of knitting forever with much cursing and finger cramping at first. But once I got past the first few rows it is really easy and I definitely recommend it over circular needles. What a headache those tangled things can be! I bought three pairs thinking they would make it so easy. Perhaps for hats later.
I'm really happy with how the legwarmers turned out last week, but I got bored about half way through, knowing I needed to increase the width a bit (because who needs patterns, right?) so I stopped short and made boot toppers out of them. I see cute youngsters wearing ballerina flats with legwarmers over skinny jeans, but I'm more of a boot girl, weather permitting. I may make some more and see what you think. These were stitched up the back because I hadn't yet learned to knit the fancy above pictured tubes.
Whoops, I suppose I could have dusted off those boots...
We had our "anatomical survey" on Friday and the results regarding gender were somewhat inconclusive. I'll keep you in suspense until I know for certain.
I started a new knitting project last night that I'm kind of excited about. It's a pair of legwarmers to stick out the top of my boots-likely for after the holidays at this rate, with it being so warm out! I always loved legwarmers, but we don't have a strong motivation to wear them in CA. I run a bit cold, so perhaps I'll get some use out of them... I'm using some cheap ass yarn from Jo-Ann, leftover from Hurricane Holli's visit this summer, when we set out to knit a storm and ended up with a sprinkle. It will be good enough to figure out my pattern and learn how many stitches it will take to wrap around my chickeny legs, though I may have to reknit it 3 times. Because who needs patterns, right?? And I plan to stitch them up the back since I'm using straight needles, but once I sort it all out I'll have to make them on circulars like a sane person.
I am declaring No More Cheap Ass Yarn, which means no more shopping at Jo-Ann and that hideous Michael's, which I am loathe to even set foot in. Their yarn lacks personality, and all comes from suspicious sources. We have a wonderful yarn store here and of course there are Purl Soho and The Yarn Tree to buy from online, but closer would even be better. Anyone know of a great west coast yarn supplier online?
I am going to have to move my family to a colder climate if wool is my new medium of choice! I have to turn on the air conditioning just to test out my scarves!! I love wool because, when grown and harvested consciously, no one gets hurt, it is completely non-toxic, and working with it is a tradtional living art that is so functional yet can be very ornamental, personal and artistic. I suppose the sheep eventually become mutton pie, though. Yikes. Check out these gourmet babes.
I love this ranch because they are working so hard with native animals, seeking truly creative solutions to keeping their flocks safe. I admire the effort that they are putting into conservation. Wolves just think sheep are yummy. Can you blame them?
Happy day, you.
Ahhh, it's Monday. Our weekend was spent visiting friends from Northern California.
Did I ever post about attending two births in April and May? I was so short on sleep then and can't be bothered to look back now, but it was a whirlwind of a Spring in which I was on call for two dear women and their expecting babes. One birth went as well as could be for a hospital birth (as you know I have a thing about hospitals and birth) and labor went quickly and smoothly.
The second baby girl got off to a rough start with labor beginning at 6 pm one evening (an aggressive exam by my client's OB Gyn resulted in early broken water) and labor did not progress quickly enough. Mom received an emergency C-section about 24 hours after labor began and baby Mari stayed in NICU for 5 days (one of them being Mother's Day) on antibiotics. Thank goodness she was a robust 8 lbs because she lost a bit of weight in there. Here is Mari two days ago, well bonded and well nourished, despite her introduction to our world!:
Chris and Mariko June
My own pregnancy seems to be progressing well enough, and we expect to know boy or girl this Friday! I've had three boy dreams total and so I have my ideas about who's blooming in there. There is a lot of movement now and that makes this experience so much more real.
Creatively speaking, I can't do a thing but knit these days. Upon returning from Squam, I hit the ground running taking on 3-4 clients a day to get caught up on everyone I'd missed. I overdid it and now am having Braxton-Hicks contractions (more of a tightening sensation) which means I sit when I can for lengths of time that are most uncomfortable for a buzzy moveabout like me.
I found some beautiful chunky yarns at a local shop and set out to 2x2 rib a scarf, a newish pattern for me. I'm still loitering in scarfland, though I taught myself to Stitch n Bitch 4 years ago. When I was pregnant with Miles! Knitting and pregnancy just go together. So mundane and meditative, yet tactile and yummy (don't forget productive), too.
The yarns are: a fat wool in a grassy green doubled up with a sportier weighted Patagonia Nature Cotton yarn, kettle dyed in Chile by a mother and daughter team dedicated to introducing their tradition of hand painted yarn to the world. Environmentally speaking, the yarn travelled a long way to get to me, but my stubborn idealism limbered a little when I considered the artistic value. I'm such a sucker for women and community.
To my beloved Wendy on your birthday! I hope your day is full of the righteous worship you deserve just for being you-creative, sincere, fearless, bold, a woman with big, voluptuous Loong-GiLand BAWLZ!
So much love to you...so much that I had B snap a special photo in honor of our mutual love.
Cheers, sister. To the Edies and to you on this auspicious day- the anniversary of the day you came to life...
Miles third birthday party was almost rained out, thankfully not- though we were standing by with plans to move everyone inside of the bouncy house, cupcakes and all.
Here are some of my favorite moments:
Stoic Knight with PawPaw
Dig the crouch, man.
Still life skillfully designed by Tim
Doo being a dirtybird for the camera in my snowboarding hat-loving the basketball court lights antennae, a black sheepskin could not have been more fitting. Do not invite him to your child's birthday party.
Loving you out there. Hope your weekend was as thrilling!
My sweet thing turned three today and we hearted many birthday moments starting early yesterday. We even went to dollar scoop last night at Baskin Robbins and ate chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream, the very kind I devoured too much of the night before M came knocking on my cellar door at four a.m.
We looked at pictures of his birth, in which he pointed to his head poking out of aforementioned cellar door and said, "What's that thing?!" He knows what "that thing" is, it was his moppish conehead he was curious about. I'm kind of dumbfounded when I speak about motherhood. I don't want to say it's the best, most important thing in the world-but it is to me. Read this post because she says it so, so much better than I do.
B and I have been up late recent nights creating a banging wall as our gift to Miles and we finished it up tonite, just in time to let him have some whacks before the sun went down. Whether the idea was the pure genius of Amanda Soule or not, I credit her for the inspiration-page 197 of The Creative Family. What magic comes from clanging away uncontrollably on 8 feet of pots, pans, and a copper fish mold! (I'll snap some better photos when there is light and share some of the kitschy items, such as the brass cat that I'm betting was at the Salvation Army for years). I'd been longing to try out one of Amanda's more complex projects and M's bday was the perfect opportunity with a deadline.
After we snugged him into bed, far past his bedtime and hopped up on peanut butter cake (as pictured above and compliments of M and Nana), I sat down to assemble a mixed cd party favor for his friends. I stumbled onto Ben Harper's version of Beautiful Boy and even though I nearly go through a whole $1.79 box of kleenex, I had to listen to it a few times. Stinkin' John Lennon keeping us in tears long after his departure...
I have tucked a letter to M, about all that he's doing now and how he amazes us with his curiosity, kindness and gentle ways, into the metal box I keep such things in. The container spills over with sweetness from friends and family and it fills my heart to know that there is so much love in this life to share with all those who really need it, if we can take the time. A kind gesture goes a long, long way deep into one's heart and stays there like a talisman for when a time comes that we need to remember we are worthwhile and sacred. I, and my family, are so blessed to be so full-and to have extra to share with others.
Hugs into cyberspace,