This is the time of year, between the rush of the holiday season and the flowing of the maple sap that always seems to lower my resistance to laziness.
I tell myself that I deserve a rest . I worked hard in the months leading up to Christmas, and it is time to relax. Sit before the cozy wood stove and listen to an audio book.
Actually, this is the best time of year for me to get work done. It is easy to see into the woods and the brush piles. There is a lot of fire wood around, with bark for tree houses. I can throw my scraps and mistakes into the wood stove. Insects and small creatures are in hibernation. I just need to get started.
True, the -1degrees outside my house yesterday morning did nothing to inspire me, and 6 degrees this morning is not much better. My shop is cold and I don't want to go out there and turn on the heat. But it will be 50 degrees on Saturday and then I will have no excuse. I think I will be lazy for one more day.
Yesterday, the swirling polar vortex caused a staggering temperature difference of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius) across the country, from North Dakota to Florida. The polar vortex is expected to move northward back over Canada near the end of the week, NASA officials said in a statement.
I say good riddance to you polar vortex!
According to news sources, it is a Polar Vortex that is causing the record low temperatures across the Midwest. What would an artistic interpretation of a polar vortex look like?
Artists out there... can you create a polar vortex in whatever medium you work with? Great subject for a winter call for art! I am just thankful that it is not 30
or 40 below zero where I live. I have too much to do and I would not function
at those temperatures.
Can I stay in bed until the spring thaw? Or maybe just camp out in front of the wood stove...
A new year and with it comes wild weather and new projects. Welcome 2014!
It is snowing and very cold outside. I am inside by the wood-stove keeping warm. I have been making potholders from my wool sweater scraps. I thought about what it would look like to place the colorful wool against a snowy background. So I went out on the deck to try it with a couple of potholders, and they looked good. Then I left them for a few minutes and they were quickly covered with tiny snowflakes, which melted right away. When the kids were small we would put a piece of black paper in the freezer for a while, then go outside and catch some snowflakes to look at. Against the black background the snowflakes were beautiful to look at. I always found leftover paper in the freezer many months later.
I am relieved that I found a way to use some of the wool scraps that have been piling up around me from my mitten making frenzy. I was beginning to feel like I would never be able to use all of the scraps. Now they have a new life.
I made this scarf tonight with cashmere and lambswool scraps. It is very soft and the colors are somewhat muted. I have been thinking about making this for a while but was wondering how to put it all together. In the end I used a zig-zag stitch and just butted each piece to the next. I think it will hold pretty well as long as it doesn't go in the washing machine. Time will tell. Now I think I will make one in pinks and purples.
I have been working on some new mittens for this coming Saturday at Groton Dunstable. Watch for photos later in the week! These lambswool mittens from felted sweaters are just the thing if you need to be outside walking in this cold weather. I will also have owl, tree and bird ornaments made from the sweater scraps. If you have any worn out cashmere or lambswool sweaters that you want to get rid of let me know or bring them on Saturday.
I have a number of tree houses started in the workshop. I still need to carve some tiny door knobs. They are tricky because they are so small and I will often drop one and then I can't find it. The same with the tiny leather hinges, I keep losing them, and they blend in with the wood shavings and sawdust.
I have been noticing a lot of branches and logs on the roadside that have fallen down or been cut. I would love to find some new maple bark for tree houses.
If you have any half round bark pieces that have come off your firewood.....
Below is a link to the GDHS Art and Craft Fair:
Looks like there is snow in the forecast! Hopefully that will trigger mass inquiries into mitten purchases for warm hands and also for gifts. I am looking forward to being in Somerville tomorrow at The Burren. That will be fun and festive with people out in the city doing their holiday shopping. Come visit between 12 and 4, they will have $5.00 lunch specials during the Saturday Local Artist Market (SLAM). I will have lots of warm mittens for sale, hope to see you there. Now to find my shovels and snow scrapers, boots and winter coat.
The weather is looking good for Thursday and I hope a lot of people come to downtown Lowell for the Women's Works Art and Craft show/sale. A great opportunity to do some Christmas Shopping while supporting the Center for Women and Work! I have made some new mittens and owl ornaments that will be for sale.
Umass Lowell's Center for Women and Work
5th Annual Women's Works Event
Date: Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Time: 2 - 7pm
UMass Lowell’s Inn and Conference Center in downtown Lowell
Women’s Works will be part craft fair, part art show, part performance art, and large part fundraiser
for the Center for Women and Work.
Today is Cyber Monday according to my inbox, and there are many retailers ready to take my money. I will do my best not to look at my email until midnight!
The gray-white sky offers a premonition of the coming winter, and Christmas is only 3 weeks away. I am busy getting ready for 2 shows this week, the first one on Thursday in Lowell, and then on Saturday in Somerville. I hope they are well attended.
Sunny but cold when I went out looking for branches. Found some maple bark in my firewood pile. I will build some tiny tree houses tonight.
Nancy A French
Recycled Art, Wood, Felted Wool, Tree Bark, Branches, Woodcarving,' Re-purposing, Wool Sweaters, Nature, Fairy Houses, Tiny Tree Houses, Firewood, Twigs, Creativity.