spring? more like summer

it always amazes me how a few days of hot weather and warm nights brings on a rush of growing things. my mulberry tree survived the winter, and is leafing out rapidly; the flower buds look like little eri caterpillars.

amongst the soil in the clematis pot, a colony of moss captured my interest; the little worlds are so alien. i only wish i could grow it inside, but my green thumb has yet to achieve such feats.

after my foray outside, i happened to glance at my leafless flowering orchid, and noticed a little wanderer. a teeny tiny grasshopper that wouldn't look out of place in my dollhouse.


my very own

the fiber guild has an offshoot branch dedicated to spinning. last week one of the ladies at the spinning meet mentioned an old spinning wheel that was being auctioned at a local event. i decided to try my luck and to see if it was a working wheel. luckily, from my untrained eye, i thought it was workable; it spun like a dervish, fast and smooth. i guess spinning wheels weren't in fashion that night, as i walked away with it for $50, and the only bid.

some wd40, silicone lubricant, elbow grease, cotton cord, leather, a day or two later, and it spins yarn! fine yarns anyways, no bulky art yarn on this grand old lady. it's a saxony wheel, probably for spinning flax, and it has a name on the side, p. cornyn. sadly though, i have only the one bobbin. anybody with ideas of finding other double drive bobbins for it? a step up from my drop spindle, but not yet the ashford traditional that my heart is set on.


cherry thoughts

i discovered recently, while perusing the sierra magazine, that macon georgia has some of the best cherry blossom viewing in the states. as it is about a 2.5 hr drive from where i live, we had to check it out.
yesterday was a good day to go; the trees were blooming ahead of schedule, and the festival doesn't begin until saturday, so the crowds would be low. the trees were spectacular, ethereal, uplifting, and overwhelmingly beautiful. the delicate flowers rained down with the slightest breeze, and covered the ground below in a soft pink veil.

there is a cherry blossom trail which you can drive down, mainly through residential areas, which we followed. the day was warm, and breezy, and the views were amazing.

we were inspired to buy two small yoshino cherry trees, which we have planted this morning. when they are bigger i would love to lay a quilt down beneath them and gaze through their branches, perhaps with a cup of green tea at hand. it surprises me how much nature calms my soul and quiets unhappy thoughts, i felt things similar to when i was in the kokedera moss temple. it is a feeling i wish i could capture for the moments i panic and become overwhelmed.



my heart goes out to all those in japan; i am horrified by what has happened, is still happening. the earthquakes, tsunamis and devastation to the countryside, the people, the threat of nuclear power plants, the ocean life, it's all incredibly scary, overwhelmingly sad, there's no words...


creativity in the face of the dismals

well, what have you been up to anastasia? hmm, maybe not as much as i thought. you'd think being jobless would free up a lot of time to just focus. but then you want to buy the materials with which you've envisioned a piece, and find that there is a downside to being without a job; a serious lack of funds. then you think, "what about that stock of stuff i've been building up for the last few years?", and you find that your tastes have changed somewhat.

or perhaps, i just like the thrill of ordering something, the suppressed excitement of knowing that something is in the mail, the joy of finding a package waiting for you on the doorstep, the exhilaration of opening a box, and admiration, which lasts ever so slightly in the passage of time, of your new acquisition before the urge to order something else takes hold of your senses. ugh. i think i have a problem. or, rather, an addiction. join the club.

then, there's other things which arrive in the mail which aren't so welcome; bills. with the lovely bit of financial reality i receive in the mail every month, i'm beginning to realize that i can't be as free with my heart's desires, that the old piggy bank ain't giving out one more dime. i could be over come with bleakness and dive into a deep pit of despair and depression, or, i could start looking closer to home for material to work with. you know, *cough* the cats, or something.

which brings me to my latest undertaking, spinning cat fiber yarn! i'm calling it turkish van fiber. sounds fancy, huh? well, they are decadently soft, these two kitties of mine. and they really love getting combed, plus they come in three colorways, auburn, black, and white, which mixes up to a greyish yarn color once carded. so, i've spun the cat hair onto a bobbin, and plied it with wool left over from my felting days (which weren't all that many now that i'm being honest with myself), and created a lovely mottled french grey yarn which is surprisingly soft.

i'll admit it though, i really enjoy spinning, and keep wistfully gazing at the pages of ox, alpaca, linen, peace silk, vicuna, qivuit, and guanaco fiber available these days on the internet. but, thankfully for my sagging wallet, i haven't pressed the purchase button yet. sigh. i want a job. a workroom assistant to a costume designer would be nice, or to work in a couture house sewing by hand for hours, or attaching sequins to a stage outfit, any of those would cause me to hyperventilate with happiness. oh, i don't know, one can dream i guess.


change is good

what's even better on french toast than butter and confectioner's sugar? nutella. i'm moving away from my childhood affection to a more refined pairing. or, you know, whatever tastes good. my recipe for individual frenchtoast:

in a shallow bowl, mix:
1 egg yolk
pinch of vietnamese cinnamon
a hearty smattering of nutmeg
a dribble of madagascar vanilla
one good squirt of agave
enough almond milk for 4 slices bread

cut four 1/2 inch slices of italian bread, drown each side in mixture for the count of 5. lay onto well oiled grill for 3 minutes each side (i use coconut oil). if necessary add more milk to mixture if it becomes too depleted before you've dunked the fourth slice, mix well. warm plate under grill if possible. plate up the slices as they become ready (softly browned on each side). using butter knife, generously slather nutella onto each hot slice. pick up fork, eat, enjoy, and say yes to breakfast for dinner.