Checkerboard Bracelet

This was so much fun to weave. It can be done in a variety of colors, but the idea is that you balance glossy and matt finishes and shade new square colors progressively. I used cylinder beads. The kit is now available and includes everything you need to make two of these bracelets. Keep one and give one away.


The Day After Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving . . . cold and overcast and feeling like snow is on its way. . . ah, it is here, light dusting on the pasture and making the woods around it look kind of white. I imagine there are people trying to act like this is just another day after Thanksgiving Day, but I find that hard to believe. To me it feels totally different, not necessarily a bad thing. It feels like people are really going to have to think carefully about how and why they spend their money. Since Americans have been on a spending splurg for way too long, buying stuff that I am not sure they needed, and buying lots of stuff wrapped in plastic, and two of everything, it seems time for us to settle down into a different way of being. As we carefully evaluate what we buy and why we buy it, I hope we evolve into a culture that remembers how to conserve, reuse and fix. To that end, I hope we never stop creating, never stop making things. Seems those two concepts are very similiar: making and fixing, creating and preserving.
Those of us who are “makers of things” have a whole lot in common with one another. We see the object in a pile of beads or a ball of yarn or a chunk of stone. We see past and through our materials to the spirit that dwells within. It’s a lovely way of being.
Those of you who know me, know that I live a second life as a politician. I am serving my third term as State Representative. Have no fear though, I always leave home armed with not just my Blackberry, but also my pouch full of beading, knitting and crocheting supplies. The contents of my briefcase are no less than fascinating: a file folder full of legislation, a State House calendar so I know what the heck is going on for the week at the State House, a couple of pouches full of beads and yarn and yes, sometimes even the smallest Mirrix Loom. Sure, I throw in a pen or two, sometimes my laptop, a lipstick!, a notebook, the absolutely required Blackberry, and some tissues. It’s a pretty packed briefcase (actually, it’s not a briefcase at all . . . it’s a lovely big tote bag.) My laptop lives in a handwoven tapestry that I made into a laptop house. It used to hang on the wall, but I needed something pretty a different to carry her in.
While “in Session” I make things. It’s the only way I can listen. Other folks take notes (which they probably never read but the act of taking notes enables them to listen), secretly read newspapers or books or check their email, text message folks, play games on their phones (I am not kidding you!), anything to not fall asleep or start screaming at the person at the podium who could have wrapped up his or her speech in a tenth of the time but loves the sound of her/his own voice. So I make jewelry and I knit and I crochet and I even make baskets. It allows me to listen, to be patient (even though people always say: how do you have the patience to do that? . . . when in reality I don’t have the patience to not do that!).
So on this day of our first snow, on this day after Thanksgiving, on this day when it seems the world is changing even in ways that scare us, in ways that change us (for the better, I hope), in ways that will make us think a little more and maybe consume a little less, let us be thankful that we are given this chance to grow.
One last note: this week the first of our two geothermal heat pumps was hooked up. The other one will be hooked up next week. We will never buy oil again. Our heat now comes right from the ground. I am hoping others will take the plunge and replace their oil driven machines with machines that take their power from the sun or the ground or the wind or the water. It doesn’t just make sense. It is absolutely necessary because even if oil is suddenly cheap today it is destroying our planet both environmentally and politically. We should have done this in the 70s but we all fell asleep suddenly. We cannot do that again.
Now for a walk on my mountain on this day, the day after Thanksgiving.