Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thistle Warriors and a Weedy Garden Quilt

Although the house is built and has electricity, there is no internet or cable hookup yet. We decided that we will wait on that and concentrate on getting other things done first.  Weeding the thistles for one.

Thistle and No Bee
I warned the Thistle Warrior (Herr) that he would have to fight the Bees.  They love the thistles.  In fact, we thought some were impaled and dead after a long time of no motion.  Then suddenly they would buzz off as if awaken from a drunken stupor!  I love thistle flowers, but they can get out of hand.  They were in the middle of my native plant meadow of Pacific Coast irises, rush, grasses, etc.

Drunken Bee in Our Thistle Field
The passive solar idea of this house has surprised us.  It remains around 66 degrees indoors.  Outside it can range from 37 to 80 degrees.  The wood stove is effective to getting the house up to 74 degrees.  Turning on the fans in the cupola pushes the warm air that rise back down.  And if that doesn't do it, we have wool sweaters, felted slippers and blankets.  A nice comfy quilt will work, too.

The last quilt I made was about 20 years ago.  At least, one that was all hand-quilted.  My life then was very hectic and my attention span very short. It took a while to finish. There is one thing about working in clay---it will teach you patience. Most days. Now I can think about a project, the timing and process with full knowledge I will not tire of it if not completed in a day.

When there is no distractions--no laptops, no phone, no television, no studio---there is time for details.  Time for thoughts to unwind and thread carefully. I also had hands with nothing to do.  The simplest thing I could do was hand sew.  It was then I decided to make another quilt---MoMo's Weedy Garden Quilt.  All I needed was paper, scissors, pins and a needle, thread and bits of fabric.

Texture, pattern and color. 
My mind's eye trinity.
And about 350 of these little hexies will do it.
Less than the number of weeds I pulled.
Be Brave, We are Thistle Warriors after all! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Berries and Berra

breakfast of wild blackberries

Phil Rizzuto – “Hey Yogi I think we’re lost.”
Yogi Berra – “Ya, but we’re making great time!”

salal berries with nibbled on leaves (deer)

“You can observe a lot just by watchin’.”
Yogi Berra
red huckleberries
It is wild berry picking time on the coast.  A little early this year.  Probably because we have had very little fog this summer.  Black huckleberries are just starting to ripen and are plentiful.  We thought we'd lose a lot of wild berry bushes with all the construction going on.  But we have beautiful berries this year.  Red and black huckleberries, salal, blackberries and a small bit of salmon berries earlier and big. plump mountain blueberries. 

“You got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
Yogi Berra

I am not sure if I will continue this blog now that the house is built.  We still have a few things to do in the interior.  So far, the passive solar and thick walls have help insulate us against the cool, summer nights.  And I thought the concrete floor would be cold and hard against my bare feet.  It isn't.  People are surprised that there is no heater, no gas.  We have a very efficient wood stove and one cold evening we built a fire.  The house warmed quickly.  We get instant hot water for our showers.  And the layout of the house suits us.  It is simple, warm and open.  I see the trees all around.  We have little furniture, no t.v. and no internet.  We don't feel lost.  We finally got here.