We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Nov 29, 2007

Before the Opening Part Two (sewing)

Here are a few of the project that I have been making for the shop for Saturday, there are plenty more but they are all ready down there.

My first pillow sham I got to play with lots of stitches with Erroll for this.

These little bags have two doll clothespins, scrap fabric and yarn, and a little blank book. I'm calling them Two on an Adventure, you get to make the dolls and then write or draw about the adventure they take.

This is the Button Up Clutch, I'm still a little intimidated by button holes so the vintage button and ribbon is my solution.

And this, this is my baby. Here are my blue elephants finally realized. This is also my first completed quilt (unless you count the one I did in sixth grade). I'm still working out how to get everything to line up.

Before the Opening Part One

Here are some before pictures of the shop. I can't actually believe that it is going to resemble a store on Saturday.

Nov 26, 2007

A Smile Needed a Smile Given

Sweet Milk Creek rd
Originally uploaded by Ink Spots
Saturday felt truly like a Sunday, for those of you who don't experience this Sundays are difficult days. I think it comes from a childhood of spending weekends in the Berkshires and having to return to the city on Sundays. I felt as though I was being ripped from my soul (this may have something to do with the fact that I now live forty miles from that house).

Anyway I woke up Saturday and it felt decidedly Sunday-ish. I couldn't shake the feeling and even ended up crying over something small and silly. Basically I was useless, which with the shop opening in a week was not a good thing. Kevin being the sweetheart that he is didn't complain when I told him that I needed to get out of there (or maybe he was happy to be rid of me in my mood). So I drove all the way to Albany, there was some fabric I needed to finish the quilts. On the way to Albany from our house we pass this sign and it always makes me smile. I would love to live on a road called Sweetmilk Creek. As soon as I saw it I started to feel better.

On the way home from the fabric store (yes I go forty minutes for fabric) I stopped at Spillin' the Beans in Troy for coffee and chocolate mousse and a luxurious hour of reading my book. I drifted into Market Block Books I love book stores where when you ask for book advice they take you on a full tour of the shop. I walked out with a copy of The Lace Reader, I can't wait to start it.

By the time I was heading home in that winter afternoon light I felt healed and ready for what is coming.

Nov 25, 2007

New Article Published

There is furniture to paint, stuff to price, a cash register to program. It's 9 in the morning and I already feel like I'm waisting time.

I do have a new article "The American Flea Market"

Hope everyone had a great National Buy Nothing Day.

Nov 23, 2007

Busy busy busy

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was all I could have asked for family good food and great conversation. Of course I feel sort of guilty of exhausting my aunt for the few days prior with Alder (I forgot just how much energy he has).

The holiday started with the send off parade for the US Capital Christmas tree and ended with breakfast at the Creamery with my parents. There was snow, fog, rain, sunshine, and some amazing wind.

This week is busy we open the store next Saturday so I'm not sure how much writing I'll get in. However Travels in Paradise is up and running again with a new article and photo format, we stopped doing the gear reviews (none of us really cared about the stuff). Anyway, I have two articles up (Experiencing the Natural World with Kids & Camping on Hermit Island)and another one tomorrow. I'm going to try to post pictures on the store progress this week, sort of before pictures and after ones as well.

Papa and Alder at the Parade

The Capital Tree

Alder's First Snow of the Year

The Offical List
Cooking Ahead of Time

Alder Dancing in the Kitchen
And Rocking By the Fireplace
And Finally Playing With Aunt Amanda

Nov 19, 2007

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving

While most people are already gearing up for the Christmas season my family Thanksgiving is the holiday of the year. Alder and I are off to spend time at the family house to help with the cooking, kindling collecting, and sharing in all the joy. What more could I want out of a holiday; food, family, a little wine and a lot of talk. I'll be back with pictures and stories.

Be well and enjoy the best day of the year.

love Stacey

Nov 16, 2007

Meet Erroll

So the other day I posted this picture of my sewing machine. Little did I know that the old horse was about to go into a quick decline. First I noticed the fabric wasn't moving smoothly, then the bobbin winder stopped working, then the feed dogs began to move unevenly and finally the electric began to cut out at random moments. After it's last seizure we bowed our heads and said good bye.

With so much to get done for the shop we needed a new machine, and quickly. So I headed up to Rutland, yes I had to go fifty miles for a machine. And this what I came home with:

I've named him Erroll, he's a Viking 775 that was 'previously loved' by a woman who upgraded for one of those really high tech models. I'm already in love. Who knew you could actually listen to the radio while you sewed. He's strong and does so much more than our old machine.

Nov 14, 2007

What I Did with my Morning

That's where I spent my morning. My other job, Travels in Paradise, is relaunching the website tomorrow and they wanted another article. So I ducked out to a coffee shop a few towns away to write. It's exciting, this new site is focused on the articles and we've removed the gear reviews. I think we're planning on have new articles up on th 15th and 30 every month.

I think it's amazing how things are coming together like they are. Right now working consists of writing, making things, and interacting with some amazing women who are making the products that we are going to sell. Amanda, Julie, Zoe, Eva, Kwan, Natalie, Julia, Cheryl, Erin, Cheryl, Lori, Carol, Marissa, Bettina, and Valerie. So far we have actually used etsy to find most of our producers.


Erin reminded me that Fall is quickly coming to an end yesterday. So Alder and I took an amble on a near by Rails to Trails savoring an unusually warm afternoon.

Alder loves to give my gifts as we walk along, he carefully chooses the right pile of coal remnants.

Autumn is a time for cozy clothes, cardigans and clogs .

The sun was getting low as we headed back (I am still getting used to being in the north again I forgot just how early the sun sets, I love it)

Nov 13, 2007

I Feel So Official

Answering a Couple Questions

The machine is a Wards Signature, from the 50's or 60's I think since it does have some plastic on the plug but it's the older very hard sort, back when they looked at plastic as a fancy alternative not a throw-away, like now.

Kevin and I have shared space in a few past places but one of us ends up moving out after a while (usually him) and camping out in the dinning room. The worst was one place where there was only the dinning room for projects. Now we're in a house that has a lot of small spaces. While we say we have divided the space by use the reality is each of us has our own space. The studio is for all sewing and art making projects, but Kevin doesn't do as many as I do (although he used to do all the sewing). Alder has a place space, a sort of room/ alcove between the kitchen and dinning room that houses his clothes and toys (there is a little floor bed for relaxing on but we all sleep together). There is a library, that used to be Kevin's office until he moved his space to the shop. It isn't a library for any lofty reason only that we were sick of reshelving books that Alder constantly pulled off the shelves when they were in the dinning room. That's where Kevin does his creative stuff, although he practices his Tai Chi in Alder's room.

My father jokes that when we finally do have our own home it won't be a spacious as this place. The thing is we only have 1700 feet (plus a dirt floor basement) it is just split up really well. They really knew how to use space well a hundred years ago.

The real test of the space will be this winter when we aren't going outside as much... although we'll be in the shop a lot... it's warmer there.

Nov 11, 2007

The Joy Wilson Band

Back in Durango Joy was one of the local bands. She moved to Portland OR and this is what she's been doing, musically.

My Studio

There has been some talk about how simple living and having a space of your own do not fit together. I have to disagree, simple living, when it comes to homes has to do with useful space. I have my own space because if I used shared space to work on projects the house would be a sea of fabric and paint. Instead I have a room where I work on my projects where they don't have to be put away for meals, and Alder isn't running off with spools of thread in the middle of my using them.

I try to spend some time in my studio every night, it's my personal sanctuary. Sometimes I'm working on stuff but other times I'm just sifting through old pictures or reading my book. I end up staying up late when I get going on projects but somehow losing a few hours of sleep to be creative balances out.

The room itself is a work in progress, it gets to new levels of organization and chaos depending on the day. Today we are having guests who haven't seen the place since it was still in boxes so they will want a tour, so I spent last night cleaning. I took this opportunity to take pictures and I thought I'd put them here to remind me what is under the piles when I get frustrated.

Nov 8, 2007

Have I Mentioned the Crows?

The summer I turned ten I went away to a very special summer camp, there are thousands of stories that I could tell about how that place has had an affect on my life but right now I want to tell you about the crows.

The crows there seemed to like me and scare me. They would follow me to and from the barn early in the morning when I, always late, would walk alone to barn-chores. They would settle near me at what ever activity I was doing during the day. If I ever stopped to pick peas or rhubarb in the garden (yes this was a farm camp, among other things) they would come close to inspect me. All this attention from the crows made me very nervous. I would try my hardest to walk to the barn with other kids, often doing it with my boots untied or in my arms.

As the summer progressed I learned to ignore the crows. Well sort of, I had just became better at getting ready in the morning and I always had someone to walk with after evening barn-chores.

As I grew old the crows just stayed around.

After college I moved to Colorado and the whole way across the country there was always a small murder waiting for me. At the time I was sure they were following, now I rather think they just warned each other of my arrival. After settling in Durango they became much more bold. I would sometimes find them on top of my car after a days work at the ski resort. These were bold crows who frightened me, they would caw as I came down to the parking lot only fly off when I took my keys out.

It was during that first year that the crows began to soften. They would follow me, but occasionally it would be them leading. On my rare days off I would go for hikes, following them, I saw many beautiful places this way. Of course I was still scared of them, but I respected them too. With one boy friend they would crowd the tree by his window waking us up early, he swore they were only ever there when I was.

Finally I met Kevin, someone who I could tell my strange crow story to and rather than laughing he took me seriously. We talked about what the crows could mean or what it was about me that attracted them. During that time I had a frightening dream about a crow that came into my bed and was flapping all over me. I woke in dread but Kevin showed up soon for an early morning breakfast and calmed me. That's when I told him about the crows.

Since then I've used crows like some people use tarot cards or the I Ching. When I'm trying to make a decision I look for them and see what they are doing. I interpret their movements to help me choose. It isn't as though they tell me what to do, that would be nutty, instead they are a way for me make concrete thoughts that were floating in my mind. They still follow me around but it just makes me smirk now.

Nov 5, 2007

What Today Was plus Thrifted, Made and Cut

This was one of those days, that just started right (as apposed to yesterday that just started wrong).

7:30 am We all wake up and have a hard time leaving the bed too much silliness to be had. Dreams to be shared and of course sunshine to bask in.

8:15 am Pile down to the local cafe for yummy mochas and what passes for breakfast.

9 am Kevin and Alder are off in search of the Bald Mountain Trail. I'm left at the shop, there are shelves to build, walls to repaint, floors to vacuum.

11 am Primer is drying so I'm off to the hardware store for, well a long list and they have everything!

Noon- 4:30 Pause at home to find a package of goodness all the way from Farmer City IL (I'll post pictures tomorrow) Back to painting, the guy who's going to design our sign stops by to talk (last guy made an appointment and never showed up). Finish repainting the front of the store, clean up.

5pm Walk up the hill home to be met by happy son and husband and delicious dinner cooking.

7 pm Put Alder to bed, fall asleep with him until 10.

10 pm I'm up might as well blog.

And now for the Thrift
An apron with blue birds! My blue bird collection is growing.

Ribbons, the flat one was hiding under a ton of crappy stuff, only a little corner was peaking out to be seen.

I made this!Old sweater+hot water+old buttons+scrap fabric= lovely jacket
Yes there was a plethora of sweaters thrifted with the ribbons just waiting to be felted.

And now for the cut. I still can hardly believe the difference (ignore the banana residue).

Nov 1, 2007

For Your Ears

Jump Little Children Close Your Eyes