I spent a fair amount of time researching Halloween and decided that the historical aspects of Halloween are much more of interest to me than the modern day events....
and so I ended up with a representation of of Cailleach Bheura, the hag (or goddess depending on where you look) that wanders through the Scottish highlands bringing bad weather for the season, starting on Samhain-October 31st.
This image is a combination of two photos that I had applied filters to, a layer of text, and a leaf. I collaged a layer, added more detail with water color pencils and chalk, then scanned it in to the computer and applied a filter. Then I printed it again, and added a bit more detail with water color pencil. The second picture is one of the in process layers. I decided it needed more wrinkles. More Halloween inspired art at Inspire Me Thursday. And if anyone is interested, another photo that I took for a potential IMT project.
Tomorrow I am making quince paste with the other gift from my grandmother. The quince is from her garden.
I am also making yogurt, butter, and broccoli pesto. Eating local is one of the easiest goals for me...however I have to say I strayed on to my treat list. I bought a satsuma from California. Citrus are one of the five things that I decided I would buy that weren't local, but still had to be in season. It has been months since I've eaten an orange. The smell of the satusma as I peeled it was divine. And it made me think, that is the way should be, pure joy, not just fuel. Today I bought a basket of raspberries. Probably the last fresh ones for the year (I have quite a few in the freezer) and although they weren't the sweetest I've had this year, they were special and savored as something going out of season.
The other thing that I was reminded about today, was how much more I feel connected to the community by not driving a car. This might want to be where my family stops reading, they've heard this a lot! Walking downtown this morning I had a little conversation with a woman on a bike, a couple walking their dog, I ran in to people I knew (several in fact), I was confronted with the issue of homelessness, I heard sax music in the air. I got over an hour's worth of exercise in. I supported a local small business. I had the chance to enjoy my new mittens.... Alright, so it might have been a different experience if it had been raining...
What does a cold wet morning call for? Scones and tea! Scones made with my homemade butter from local cream, the buttermilk left over from making the butter (the first rinse of the butter is buttermilk that can be used in cooking), locally ground flour, and then topped with three-fruit jam. Local fruit too. But the best part, at least on a "Hooray this is local" level, was the tea. Yep, local tea. Local green or white tea grown in the Pacific Northwest.
The tea plants were put in as an experimental crop by a local farm several years ago. This is the first year it was available to purchase.
As soon as I can find some tea plants, I'm putting some in. I actually did plant a tea plant two years ago, but it didn't make it. I think I have a better spot for it now, out of the wind. Tea plants are in the camellia family so I really should be able to get them to grow well. It does take quite a few plants to have a decent crop, only the tips of the plant are harvested for tea.
I've been looking at my food choices and the environmental impact of them some more. I'm pretty happy with the amount of local, organic, bulk foods I eat at home in proportion to not local. The two goals I have are to remember to bring my own containers for bulk items when I go to the co-op and to stop buying nibbles when I am on the go during the week. The nibbles I get are usually from the co-op (healthier choice but wrapped in plastic) or from Starbucks (wrapped in paper, but certainly not healthy, and no I don't get coffee there). I am going to allow myself one nibble a week from the Farmer's market. I just can't give up those yummy baked goods from our local slow-food bakery/cafe completely. I will bake things at home for the week (which I love doing) and I will learn to not eat it all at once! I am going to portion baked good out and freeze them. That's the plan....
Blog Action Day is an invitation for Bloggers to write about the environment in whatever way is applicable to them. Here is my response....
This quilt square is called "Peace and Plenty." The soft blue is from one of my grandfather's shirts, the patterns from my scrap pile. I've made this as the first square for a quilt in memory of my maternal grandfather.
I spent a lot of time thinking about what quilt square I wanted to use for this quilt. When I stumbled upon "Peace and Plenty," I decided there wasn't anything that would represent my grandfather better. These two ideas represent him well, what I think he wanted for the world...a peaceful world to live in and plenty of food to go around.
My square is not perfect, my seams never match and never will. And this too seems appropriate. Perfection is often too high a goal, and I think often costs too much.
The concept of "The Great American Dream," has cost our environment too much.
I've been working on reducing my use of resources to 90% of what the average American uses. I'm making progress towards that goal, and write about my efforts here frequently. I still have a lot of work to do in some areas (electricity and water- I'm only half way there).
Today I read that some scientists believe that we need a 100% reduction to prevent global warming from becoming a really difficult problem. Even if this isn't true, I think peace and plenty for all will be a difficult thing to achieve in the future ahead...I think I'm going to need this quilt. And I think our hope lies in our ability to be creative, to adapt.
I wanted to share part of a poem that I discovered almost 20 years ago:
"Because we live in the hardedged season,
where plastic brittle and gleaming shines
and in this space that is cornered and angled,
we do not notice wet, moist, the significant
drops falling in perfect spheres
that are the certain measures of our minds;
almost invisible , those tears,
soft as dew, fragile, that cling to leaves,
petals, roots, gentle and sure,
From Kopis'Taya (A gathering of Spirts)
Paula Gunn Allen
Thinking about the "hats I wear" I decided the best was the juggler, and an overachieving juggler at that. I contemplated making a list of all the projects that I'm working on, but decided I really didn't want to see it all in one place!
My current goal: I will not start any new projects until I finish all works in progress. Except for, umm...those mittens I need asap!
Inspire Me Thursday's prompt this week was "Hats." As it happened, on Thursday night I had started knitting a pattern for a hood. Didn't like it and tore it out. Tried another pattern, it quickly became obvious that it would be too small....
And then I found this pattern and decided to give it a try.
The pattern is knitted in sections-I added an extra to make the hat a little bigger. I think the hat fits differently because of that, but on the other hand I don't think it would have fit at all if I hadn't added the extra section.
The yarn is local, sold at my farmer's market, and has almost all of my favorite colors.
Next up, mittens!
The first blog I fell in love with was Keri Smith's Wish Journal. I admire tremendously how she approaches life. This morning I found an interview with her that summarizes so much of what appeals to me.... She talks about being creative and about how being artistic connects to her concerns about the environment.
"There are many forms of creativity, many people have not given themselves the space to find other methods that might appeal to them." Keri Smith
By "other" she means the technical ability to draw is not what it takes to be an artist, to be creative.
She talks about the process of creating as being important. This is one of the things that I work with everyday. Part of my work with one year old children is often to explain to parents that children this age have no sense of product, that it is all about process...
I'm mulling over in my mind right now about how we are so product oriented in our culture now. About how often success in our culture means having things. Buy more, shop more, shopping as entertainment. I suppose this is driven by marketing. I'm guessing I'll be thinking more about these things. Next up on my reading list is Deep Economy by Bill McKibben.
It's not a big leap in my mind to go from creativity to economy and consumption. Because the answer for me about how to be less consumption driven is to be more creative. Being creative is not just about art, but about how I want to approach life. Because being involved in the process of what I need in my life is important to me. I think being sustainable and being creative go hand in hand.
Lot's more for me to think about here....