even so, no regrets.

i was a girl, and he was a boy, and we both lived in small towns in new hampshire, and in a way, in worlds as different as it gets. and we grew up, paths crossing more than once, it turned out later. we needed each other, we had things to teach and learn, but we didn’t know it yet. and then came a cold, rainy night, and a front porch in portland, oregon. there it was: an immediate recognition of the other, of the self, of something old and true and necessary. earth and air and fire and water. we knew it was a big love, bigger than our hearts had found. we took it, and we gave. and then we gave some more. we gave it a good, long run. we did. we gave it all we could.

this letting go is the right thing, friends. even when the love’s still here, the cracking shell. but goddamn, it aches, this rip of untangling. the work ahead, the echoes in this house. everything mixed up together… the things, the hearts, our animal family, our stories, ourselves.

Sonnet No. 6: Dearest,
I never knew such loving

Dearest, I never knew such loving. There
in that glass tower in the alien city, alone,
we found what somewhere I had always known
exists and must exist, this fervent care,
this lust of tenderness. Two were aware
how in hot seizure, bone pressed to bone
and liquid flesh to flesh, each separate moan
was pleasure, yes, but most in each other’s share.
Companions and discoverers, equal and free,
so deep in love we adventured and so far
that we became perhaps more than we are,
and now being home is hardship. Therefore are we
diminished? No. We are of the world again
but still augmented, more than we’ve ever been.

-hayden carruth

there’s tending and mending to be done. a whole lot of it. i thought i’d let you know.

xo

in january, there are tangelos. (& whiskey.)

in my family, you know you are a grown-up when you start getting honeybell tangelos from uncle chris at christmas. i have been a grown-up for about eight years, according to the tangelo timeline. that’s eight years of sweet, fresh, floridian juiciness in january, right when it’s called for.

when it’s tangelo time, a huge box of them land on my doorstep. then i call my friend sara and tell her i need to borrow the juicer again.

this old dame is one of the most beautiful and effective tools ever to grace my hands, and that’s saying something. every year i think, maybe i’ll buy my own juicer. but then i feel like i want sara’s to come for a visit so we can spend some time together, so i don’t. the juicer and i, we’ve got a tradition going. we have a good working relationship. we like to stand there in the kitchen and squeeze the heck out of some tangelos.

and i’ll tell you, i’m not much of a cocktail girl, but this one? you should try it:

* one good pour of bourbon whiskey

* orange or tangelo juice

* a squeeze of lemon

* a bit of simple syrup, made with honey instead of sugar

stir it up and sit back and sip it slow. take that, january!

xo

a symbol for the year.

while it might be the year of the dragon, i’ve got a feeling my power symbol of the year is going to be the egg. they’re showing up everywhere this week, and since i tend to attribute a certain weight to small coincidences, i’m paying attention. whatever it means, i think it’s good news. i got a surprise package in the mail, from a sweet reader of this blog. super-stellar-surprise awesomeness… she sent me garlic from her garden so i can plant it in mine (!) and… a felted egg, made of wool from a local farm in vermont. i just love it

this darning egg turned up at an estate sale the other day. (along with that great wire basket!) i’ve been looking for a wooden darning egg for awhile and am happy to have found one which has seen good use and is infused with a good dose of grandma ju-ju. long live my favorite socks!

i’ve been reading this book, too, about my own eggs, because thirty-five is looming and these realities must be pondered… what i have hatched, am hatching, will hatch in this life. also, the things i just might not. lately, i’ve been feeling like going inside of my own shell, and being still and incubating, gathering up some rest and strength, so that i can hatch a bigger me. we all have times like these, i think. around here, i call it winter. how do you like to incubate your ownself? how do you know when it’s time to push on out?

xo

grumbling & adorableness.

hi people, i do realize that on friday, i said i’d be back on monday. but i wasn’t. does that mean i lied? i didn’t mean to. but the weekend was busy and strange and then someone sideswiped my truck, hit and run style, on monday. that’s only the third time it’s happened in six months and no i am not exaggerating and yes my truck must be some sort of jerky drunk driver magnet and i mean that literally. so. i didn’t blog on monday because i was too mad about it to write nice things. but, i’m over it! hi! i’m here and i’m trying to be nice. which is sort of easy since you guys are nice, too. so i’m not mad anymore, just annoyed. those are small beans in the big picture, anyway.

i promised you adorable, didn’t i? well, i wouldn’t lie about that. adorable is bigger beans, right? and so, a skull & crossbones baby dress! yes. for some hip, irreverent friends and their soon-to-be baby girl. i can’t wait to see that girl rock this jumper.

i found the pattern— the skull jumper by malia mather– through ravelry. bonus: it’s free! the pattern is super well-written and pretty easy. i did make some minor changes, adding adjustable buttons at the back so the jumper will fit for a couple of years, first as a dress and then a shirt. some notes: if you try this pattern out and are new to colorwork, please do yourselves a favor and check out a tutorial on youtube or something before going for it. if you can knit and purl, you can make this dress, really. also, don’t forget to block it. i rarely block my knitting projects, but the skulls & crossbones will look wonky if you don’t. yarn is jil eaton’s minnow merino. it’s 100% wool, cushy & supersoft & dreamy, and it’s washable! because as adorable as babies are, they do things to their clothes which require washing. ahem.

so there it is. some adorable for your tuesday. hope you’re all doing just swell. xo

wishes and winnings.

hi, lovely people! i wish i could buy all of you a painting.

but, i can’t…. so i drew only one name. it’s kara! (kara is a good old friend of mine who lives here in portland, actually, so that’s cool. i swear, though, the drawing wasn’t rigged. i had a helper, and he closed his eyes, so it was totally legit.) please excuse the bad lighting in these pictures. it’s 5 am.

they say it might snow here in portland this weekend. when it snows here, the city just sort of shuts down and everybody hangs out in their neighborhoods walking around in the streets. we’ll see… if that happens, i’ll be happy about it. i’d like to take a walk in the snow and then park myself beside a fireplace with tea and knitting needles. but either way, with or without snow, i’ll be knitting.  january and knitting: i am into you both.

happy weekend, loves. be safe and good! i’ll be back on monday to show you something adorable, if i do say so myself. not as adorable as that dog of mine, but pretty close.

xo

pins & needles

hi folks!

while you all wait on pins & needles for me to draw a winner for a lovely kristina moller painting (i’ll be doing that on friday, there’s still time to enter! you should!)… i’m whiling away my hours with pins and needles, too, of the literal sort. i’m mending. i’m knitting. and i’m learning to darn socks. making & mending makes me feel richer than i am. it’s nice. i’ve been thinking so much about that old saying: use up, wear out, make due, go without.

how do you embody those ideals? just curious.

back soon, with some words and stuff. xo.

super sweet interview: greasy chicken face. also… a giveaway!

this is kristina moller, the lovely face behind greasy chicken face artworks! this is the face of a person who wants to make you happy, in color. she does, she will, she’s awesome. after becoming rather obsessed with her little custom pet portraits, i asked her if she’d be willing to answer a few questions for you, sweet readers. she was into it. we’re so lucky!

♥ what and who inspires you in art and life?

i am inspired by everyone i see and meet in some way or another. whether it’s a person walking down the street or a dog or cat i meet on my daily walks. but mostly my two kids aidan( 6 years old) and sigrún (3 years old) and my psychic heart boyfriend mark. my family keeps me balanced and happy. they make my heart smile. and when you have a smiling heart you have smiling art.
♥ when you’re painting, what are the sounds you’re listening to?

i only really listen to a few bands at a time, and tend to listen to them over and over. i like the comfort of something familiar and repetitive. right now i listen to a lot of sonic youth (dirty, goo, washing machine & daydream nation), liars (i love all their music so so much), guilty simpson, eminem, la düsseldorf and trio. but my favorite sounds are the background murmurs of talk tv (anything like maury, jerry springer, judge alex, judge joe brown etc…) it’s not distracting and gives the impression of someone being in the room talking even when i’m painting alone. i can put the volume on low and still concentrate on my work. me and my man are avid coronation street fans and i paint during those episodes every week-day.
♥ if you could have lunch with anyone, who would you choose?

i’d like to have lunch with spongebob and beavis and butthead. good times.

♥ why don’t you charge more for your work? (thank you thank you)

i like knowing that fine art can be affordable to anyone (with any budget). art belongs on walls in living spaces where it can be appreciated everyday, not museums. i like my art to be accessible to anyone who appreciates it. i love what i do. happy happy joy joy. and how can you really put a price on something you love? my dream is to paint every pet cat and every pet dog in the world. dream life.
♥ what are you afraid of? what are you looking forward to?

i’m not really afraid of anything (except spiders and elevators). i am looking forward to everything. life is exciting. i love the unknown and the possibility of all the future holds. watching my kids grow and nuturing them to follow their dreams is the best feeling.

thanks, kristina! kristina has a blog, and an etsy shop. check it. and if you love her work as much as i do, feel free to support her super sweet personhood, and her dream of painting all the pets in the whole wide world. i can personally vouch that her customer service is top-notch, her turnaround time is fast, and in both of the orders i placed (both of which were for multiple paintings), she included extra special little pictures as a bonus gift. surprise! pretty much out of the park, if you ask me. she deserves wild success, that kristina!

and now… ♥♥ time for a fun giveaway! ♥♥

leave a comment on this post, and i’ll treat one lucky reader to a custom pet portrait of your very own! keep it for yourself or surprise a loved one with a fab present. everyone needs one, they just do. i’ll draw a name sometime next week. yay!

xoxo

(all images courtesy of kristina moller.)

portraits of awesome.

for real, people, for real. i am not messing around here. here’s the thing: portraits of the pets… (!!!!!)

i ordered them from a lovely artist on etsy, and i ♥ them, sosososo much!

i gave several of these away at christmas, too! and someone lucky from that white elephant party is getting one. i’m telling you, on christmas morning, out of all the gifts under the tree, this portrait of my mom’s dog ivy was the biggest winner.

everyone loves them. i mean, how could you not? i think you need a painting of each of your pets, & that you should all tell your friends about this. especially since…

custom portraits of your pets for $20…. what?! yes, it’s true. one of life’s small miracles, if you ask me. almost like stealing, but legal. and welcomed, even!

i found kristina moller, aka greasychickenface, on a blog i happened upon once. [i’ve lost the link, but if that was your blog, major thank-you!] kristina is a magical pixie who lives in toronto and has kids and pets and a serious gift with a paintbrush. she looks at two flat photographs of your dog or cat and then she does some sort of mystical animal telepathic communication and gets to know the soul of your animal, and then she paints it. i think that’s how it goes… i imagine it that way, but i don’t really know.

what i do know is that these paintings make me happy every time i see them. kristina has been kind enough to agree to an interview about her work, so you can meet her tomorrow, right here. and also, i’ll be doing a little giveaway so you can have the chance at one of these amazing portraits for your very ownself. because i like you, yay!

so, see you back here tomorrow, ok? you’ll read the words of ms. greasy chicken face… words like these: when you have a smiling heart, you have smiling art.

indeed. xo

things to tend to in 2012

♥ become a better photographer. learn how to use my camera. i will take a class this year.

♥ learn how to sharpen knives.

♥ this blog, keep it up.

♥ knit this blanket. finish this sweater.

♥ the garden! (plant garlic.)

♥ write more letters.

♥ say what i mean & mean what i say. (but don’t say it mean.)

♥ win fifty grand on wheel of fortune. hey, it’s possible.

what are your plans for the coming year? intentions? resolutions? changes and growth? if you say it, it might come.

xo