Archive for the 'Outdoors' Category
“Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers – and never succeeding.”
—Marc Chagall (1990-1985)
Maybe you are like me, waiting for spring. It seems every year winter feels harder.
I did get a break this year when I drove south a few weeks ago. However, I nearly cried when Brian brought in this beautiful little bloom two days ago. He found it in our side yard. It had snowed that day, but the flower was there, along with the first robin we have seen this year.
Tuesday, the birds were all happy. There was no snow, and the side yard had many little violets blooming.
In Lansing, Michigan, where we live… well, there is always at least a light flurry of snow sometime in April. However, if we are lucky it won’t stick again this year.
I think we made it!
We had a devastating ice storm 3 days before Christmas, and 40% of the Capital city was without power. Some friends outside city limits were 8 days without.
A friend slept on our couch one night, and I cooked Christmas dinner for me and 2 friends. Brian worked a 15-hour day on Dec. 25 getting the store computers (where he is webmaster) up and running so they could be back up and open on December 26… after being closed for 3 days before the holiday.
Juicy Spring Day
It rained big, fat drops this Monday, off and on most of the day. In other years, we might have complained. This year we agree that it ‘s better than snow.
Almost everything is green now. A week and a half ago, we had very few buds. Now look at it!
Â©1966 by Adrian Keith Smith
From the Book:
Miracles, Poems by children of the English-speaking world
Collected by Richard Lewis
Simon and Schuster, 1966
The rain screws up its face
and falls to bits.
Then it makes itself again.
Only the rain can make itself again.
It feels like eternal snow here in Lansing…
Allowing the snow to be a blanket (warm, snug, fluffy), because it persists in tugging on my awareness like a toddler pleading, “Mom, Mom, Mom…”
Choosing to change all word meanings toward the concepts of “warm” and “knit.”
My JoyBug looked tucked into a soft white blanket, before I woke her to create a day together.
Sitting in a cafe, near the corner of two fully-windowed walls… Six inches from the sidewalk snow blanket.
Giving thanks I’m in a place where we are warm and safe indoors most of the winter. And where we can buy wool sweaters instead of raising sheep, shearing them, washing, carding, spinning and knitting the wool.
And where I can enjoy tea leaves from halfway across this globe, prepared for me for a few dollars.
Abundance, warmth and knitting are the words of the day. Even if I never pick up my knitting needles & wool.
So, how are YOU?
It’s been too long since I’ve had a long walk. Between being out of town and midday heat, I’ve missed the chance.
Last night after 1 am I went out and got 25 minutes in. I LOVE the tree frogs and crickets this time of year. Evening is so peaceful in my usually busy neighborhood… I saw 2 vehicles go by the whole time.
No, I’m not afraid of a bogy man. I’m in a lot more danger when there are more cars driving 2 feet from me. I know which houses are awake at this hour, and have greeted folks in most of those homes over the years I’ve been walking (both daytime and evenings).
I refuse to stay home and be afraid. I went to Africa for 38 days and came home safe. I have traveled over 200,000 miles in my previous car, solo, to large cities, and came home safe. My father died in our kitchen.
Nothing is certain, but staying home afraid is no way to live. You can die at home, trying to be safe (or not). Case closed.
And yes, it was a wonderful, refreshing walk. Thanks for asking.
I have SO many photos of the Yarn bOMb at Michigan State University Horticultural Gardens! It’s quite a lot of visual input to sort through. I’ve had several folks request more… so here you go.
The parking lot, before you enter the main space. Some of the pennants were sewn from a sort of lining fabric by one very enthusiastic contributor, Maggie. They originally had large magnificent blue and sparkly silver bells hanging from their tips, but since these are easily reached the bells have since been “harvested” by passers by.
These pennants were carefully sewn on to the line by Brenda W. Many of the knitted and crocheted pennants in this space were made by my sis-in-love Diana /Otterwise and members of the Rae’s Yarn Boutique Thursday Night knit in group, as well as participants of the October Yarn Shop Hop who stopped by at Rae’s shop. Some of those names include Elizabeth, Rita B., Mari, Rae, Joanne and more. I definitely have not included them all.
Here is another longer view of the line in the parking area:
Here are a few close up images. Notice some of the flags got caught on the line. There had been some wild winds blowing, and the bells and trinkets hung from the tips of the triangles occasionally got caught on the line. I freed them up after I took these photos (almost 2 weeks ago, 2 weeks after the initial installation).
The trinket reminds me of a Boston subway token, but actually says “Thoughts.” The pennants with these word-tokens were crocheted by Diana.
Above: “Artful.” Below: “Genuine.”
Here is tree #1 inside the gardens:
If you click the photo above, you can see a larger version of it. Those lovely ladies looking at the tree are Cynthia B. and Becky, who both were contributors to the project.
Below is a detail from the same tree. After we sewed together all the pieces, there were yarn ends all over the place being a bit messy. Marlene C. got inspired to braid them together and then sew them on to the tree scarves, rather than cutting them off. Lovely, yes?
There are more photos… but it’s 4am and I give up. I’ll be back, I promise.
It was fun. I’ll get up a bunch of photos tomorrow, but for now here is an overview:
If you are within the Lansing, Michigan driving area, I hope I can see you today.
Art Installation Opening Party in the ColorJoyful Yarn bOMbed MSU Horticultural Gardens today, 2-4pm. I’d love to have you stop by.
If you are a musician, bring fingerless gloves and an instrument. Anybody, if you want to dress in a Halloween costume, go for it!
Bring kids… there will be activities thanks to an enthusiastic MSU student organization. I’ll bring donuts and some sort of juice. Please come on out and say hi!
Here is where you can get directions (the RR tracks are wicked, don’t let them eat your vehicle):
No parking fee/token needed this weekend in the garden lot.
Google Map and GPS fans, there is a new street address for the garden:
1066 Bogue Street, East Lansing MI 48824
Please consider a visit!
PS, Brian and I sing as The Fabulous Heftones at Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine tonight from 6:30 – 8:20 or so. Great food. Come there if you can’t make the garden?
This is Marlene Cameron putting finishing touches on tree #1. Children’s garden in the background. I sure had a lot of helpers yesterday, some for many hours. I’m very grateful.
Hi, friends. Happy autumn! The trees are gorgeous here, I hope they are in your neck of the woods, as well. (Unless you have spring, assuming you are in Australia or some other lovely place.)
Tomorrow night (Thursday) is the final Make-A-Long for our ColorJoyful Yarn bOMbing. (It’s 6-8pm at Rae’s Yarn Boutique in Lansing, Michigan.) I’m astounded at how many folks are participating. I’ve received wonderfully varied pieces thus far.
It seems that the pennants/triangles are a bit like potato chips. They are fast and easy and a lot of fun to crank out. Some knitters are making a dozen of them, which will make the trees very happy and festive during winter.
Tree Trunk Scarves Lagging Behind
However, the tree trunk scarves are lagging behind quite a bit. Perhaps you can help?
Yes, it’s not necessarily our favorite kind of handwork (acrylic yarn in long strips is not my favorite, either). But just think how wonderful it is to be part of a community project, adding color and joy to a cold winter garden.
Imagine being a student walking across campus and hearing the bells jingle in the wind, and then seeing all the color bursting forth from the garden. Don’t you want to be part of bringing a smile to that student?
Scarves should be made of acrylic, any color from yellow through green, blue and purple. About 4-5 inches wide, as long as you can stand to knit it. Even a square is helpful.
(Pennants can be any fiber, in the same colors, about 4-5 inches at the top and about 2-3 times longer than they are wide. This is a guideline… no pattern or standard is required. All triangles are good. Even quilting, feltmaking, and sewing are welcome for pennants.)
I will be picking up items from all the shops on Tuesday, October 23, during the daytime. If you have items after that, do let me know and I’ll do what I can to gather yours as well. The items actually go up that Friday.
I’ll post about the assembly process soon. I’ll need helpers next Monday morning, Tuesday night, and Friday daytime. Then the party/celebration will be on Saturday. Click the image below to read details. It will take you to a printable PDF, if you wish to print.
HUGS to everyone involved. Fiberarts are all about community. This project makes that element visible to outsiders. I appreciate every single stitch!
Friends, may I squeal in excitement? Squeeeee!!!!!!! I get to do something really fun. Not only that, we get to have fun with it, together.
I’ve been commissioned by the Michigan State University Horticultural Gardens to conceive and execute a large yarn bombing. The opening reception will be October 27. We install the day before, if all goes as planned.
This means I got 6 weeks from concept to execution. I need help. Luckily, this is the best fun kind of help I can imagine. Would you like to participate?
Bomb – (Bx2) = OM
My friend Art Cameron is a songwriter. He says that if you drop the B’s from the word bomb, you get OM. I love that.
I’ve never liked the violent words which have been used for this particular creative form. Yarn Bomb, Guerilla Knitting, Knit Graffiti. So I’m calling this one a Yarn (b)OM(b)ing. It makes me happy. Maybe I can get some yoginis to center the space the morning of the opening. It’s possible.
I’ve got three large trees to embellish and “happify.” The first we encounter as we walk into the garden is a large, beautiful oak tree. Behind it is another tree which will drop leaves (maybe another oak, I don’t remember). At the far side, near two beehives, is a white pine. They all need to be clothed for winter.
The installation needs two different types of “garment.” One will be scarves to spiral up the tree trunks. The other is what I’m calling “pennants,” long triangles on the order of icycles, to be hung from the branches and to remain blowing in the wind even after leaves fall.
NOT Just Knitting!
Any fiberart is welcome for the pennants which will be hung on the branches of the trees. Knit, crochet, quilt, felt, weave, sew… even shrink a sweater densely and cut it into long triangles. I’m encouraging yarn ends to hang from the points, so that they will blow in the wind.
Want to Join in the Fun?
Color limits… cool tones. Blue, blue-green / teal/ turquoise, greens of all sorts, yellow-greens. (No red/ pink/ orange, that’s how I envision this piece. Yes, the other colors are wonderful. Yes, I wear them all the time. That’s not how this space speaks to me.)
Colors to use:
Colors NOT to use:
PENNANT TRIANGLES (for BRANCHES):
- Any Fiber, in colors designated above.
- Any fiber technique: knit, crochet, weaving, wet felt, needle felt, nuno, quilting. Hand-created in some way.
- Top of pennant should be in a range between 4 and 5 inches (10-12.5 cm) wide. Decrease slowly as you work, ending with a piece about 2 to 3 times longer than it is wide.
- If possible, leave a yarn tail of at least 4-12 inches (10-30cm) hanging from the point of your pennant.
- If you find you run out of yarn part way through the pennant, just join a new piece (not necessarily the same yarn or color) and keep going.
- Forgive yourself for imperfection. Don’t rip back, don’t worry if it’s not as you expected. Finish one triangle and go on to another. The flowers in a garden don’t match, either!
TRUNK WRAP SCARVES:
- ONLY standard worsted-weight acrylic “afghan yarn” such as Red Heart or equivalent. (It will stand up to the vertical gravity pull and weather.)
- Knitted or crocheted only, for the stretch factor.
- No less than 4″ and no more than 5″ wide.
- Pieces as long or as short as you like. Change yarn colors as you desire, within color specifications above.
- Any stitch pattern is welcome. I expect a lot of garter knitting and double crochet. Surprise me, if you like. Or crank out whatever is easiest for you to do while chatting with friends.
- If possible, leave a tail a little bit longer than your piece, attached to it. This will really help us sew things together on site.
If you can not make a piece but want to contribute yarn, it will be accepted until about October 15. Please read my specifications on which yarns we will be using. I don’t have much storage space for anything beyond the needs of this project.
If you want to make something but need a specified yarn, pop me a note. I’ll see if I can get something to you.
Where do I turn in my piece(s)?
Out of town? SEND TO:
ColorJoy by LynnH
4800 Collins Rd. Unit 26261
Lansing, MI 48909 USA
In the Lansing Area, drop finished pieces at:
- Rae’s Yarn Boutique
- Sticks & Strings
- Woven Art
- Yarn Garden, Charlotte
It’s All About Community – Make-A-Longs
There will be Make-A-Long events at all of the shops listed above. There may be other Make events not in yarn shops as well.
Do you want to host a gathering? I’m all for it. If I’m available, I’ll attend.
I Love this Community!
I can’t do this alone. I need you, love you and appreciate you. THANK YOU for your interest and enthusiasm.
Gentlemen, start your engines…
Um, I mean…
Makers, unfurl your fibers!!! It’s time to create!
The fine print:
Understand that this is a temporary installation. Your piece(s) will not be returned to you. There is no guarantee how your piece will be installed.
This is a group project which requires flexibility during installation. I will honor your contribution(s) as I and volunteers install what makes most sense for the whole.
Oh, I love Montreal! It’s summer and people get outside (unlike home, where so many hole up inside with air conditioning).
The windows are open in the houses around here (including where I’m staying) and people use their balconies regularly. One man across from our back balcony has his meals outside.
I have been sitting out there to write and to knit. There is a squirrel with a red/brown nose but his tail has a grayish halo to it, I’ve never seen this coloring before on a squirrel. I’m sure it’s normal here, but I’m a Michigan grrl.
There are a lot of parks nearby. When I walk to the grocery store (which is one end of a smallish enclosed mall) I can walk through a park most of the way. Today I tried the “dollar” store and found 3 grocery items, including oatmeal which I was craving.
I wanted to buy the rice noodles… but when I read the label, the ingredients were “Rice flour, corn starch.” Bah! Corn in everything, even safe Asian noodles. Sigh.
This city could distract me night and day. There are ethnic restaurants on every business street, it seems. There is a Thai and a Vietnamese and an Indian place near here, (plus a 24-hour Tim Horton’s with WIFI, a McDonald’s and Burger King.
Ironically, it’s really a quiet neighborhood and from where I stay you can’t see any businesses at all. This is a work trip, not a vacation, so I’m cooking at “home” most of the time to save on funds.
Wednesday night will be exciting. Many of the Montreal museums have free admission on Wednesdays after 5. In addition, the metro (subway) has a pass which is good for unlimited uses from 6pm to 5am, for only $4. I’m going to take myself out on the town this Wednesday, for sure!
It’s so wonderful to hear from you. Getting those comments makes it feel as though we’re on retreat here together! Thanks for taking the time to write.
Now… more knitting and typing… while making plans for which restaurant to try on my Museum-date night!!!
After a Scorched Season
Mama-bird rain… fat drops
Falling heavy, straight, with intent,
Not a breeze to confuse its path
Into the open mouth
Of the parched, hungry soil.
— Lynn DT Hershberger Hefferan
— July 18, 2012
One of my favorite “folk” art forms is gardening. Humans have a tendency to decorate or embellish our surroundings. Gardening is a really joyful way to do just that!
Wednesday was a perfect sunny summer day here in Lansing, MI. I walked in places I’ve not walked before, past many humble but well-loved homes. The gardens are striking this time of year.
Sometimes a change of pace is enough to open our eyes. I put my car in the shop, took a bus, and walked part of the way home. What a delight!
Some of my favorite garden spaces appear to be in spots where once a house stood. Fire? Maybe, but if so the devastation has been replaced with deep beauty. I’m guessing this was one of those spaces.
No matter how fancy (or not) a home is, one can make a special space outdoors without much in the way of resources. Tiny homes, the size of a standard garage or smaller, often have inspiring yardwork visible.
These last few photos are from my own yard. We have mostly plants which came with the house. They are of types which were popular in the 1920s.Â We have hydrangea, lily of the valley, day lilies, peonies, violets, climbing roses and pink “bridal wreath.”
The red climbing roses are irritating weeds for 11 months of the year. They grab my handmade shawls and clothing, ripping and ruining them.I can clip them back, and 2 weeks later they have grown nearly another yard/meter. I can’t keep them tame.
In June, we forgive them.Â Here is the view out our 2nd floor bedroom window. The view is of the garage. Those roses are taller than the side of the building. Breathtaking.
We have these roses on two full sides of the yard plus the garage. I’m talking the entire length of the house, plus more. It’s a lot of trouble maintaining them, but they are truly gorgeous right now. All is forgiven.
If you are content with what you have, you are wealthy.
The violets are even more amazing after a week of summer-like weather. Actually today it rained but this I took the day before. Wowie.
Brian took a long bicycle ride one day this week. He said that although the back roads in the country were beautiful, it was pretty hard to beat what we have right here.
Yes, we are rich.
I am glad I set a theme for tossing on Tuesdays when the weather was nasty outside. In Lansing we’re working on a week of gorgeous. It’s hard to want to do anything routine here right now.
I guess I started a littleMonday, too. When I decide to let go of something, it doesn’t always go in the trash or the recycling bin. Those things sit next to the back door until I take them out to their proper new homes. I had quite a pile back there not long ago.
Last week I took a shoe and a bike bag to the shoe repair to get them fixed. They are now repaired and no longer by the back door. We had a huge box which was so stiff it was hard to fold and fit into the recycle bin, so I put it in my car. Monday when I was near MSU’s recycling center I put the box in the large recycling trailer there. Monday I also took our expired compact fluorescent bulbs to the food Co-Op where they will get them to the proper place.
The pile by my back door is much better than it was last week Tuesday. I still need to sit in that office and toss more papers.
If you’d like to join the Facebook group for Toss-it Tuesdays, you can click here. You need to be logged into Facebook to see it. (That’s life in the “free services” realm.) You can also share in the comments below, if FaceBook isn’t your thing.
It’s still gorgeous outside… summer-hot sunny weather. I’m in heaven.
The flower above? My father planted dozens of bulbs at least 40 years ago. He died in June of 1973.
The fragile bulbs he planted are long expired. The big, red tulips faded many years later. The standard, heavy-duty, determined all-yellow daffodils? Still going strong in more than one spot. I took this photo in the dark, with my car’s running lights for illumination.
The first daffodils are always a big deal for me. This year they are early. I hope you enjoy it, too.