Pleased to announce ... India Flint returns to Lopez Island


Workshop plans have been afoot for some time now
with a pre-assembled cast of characters awaiting the sewing tables and cauldrons ...
but as life does, it got in the way for two
and now there are spaces in this September's gathering,
 perhaps for you?


'the wayfinder's wander jacket'
with India Flint
September 23 ~ 25, 2015
Lopez Island, WA, USA

~ Patsy's Garden Shed Studio, Lopez Island & sweet Isla, having a wander ~

**** UPDATE 2/24 **** CLASS FULL, thank you to all who enquired!

Enjoy three days with India on lovely Lopez Island, sharing stories and stitching
a beautiful bundle-dyed hand-sewn multi-pocketed and hooded jacket
using fabrics gleaned from pre-used garments
and embellished with silk and wool scraps.
The magic of the Salish Sea, the use of scrap metals
along with a wide array of bio-regional dye sources
~ windfallen leaves, weeds, & bounty from local gardens ~
will influence the dye outcomes.

Nourishing gluten-free vegetarian lunches will be provided each day
including delicious soups made by India ...
who is a deft & creative hand around a kitchen cauldron as well ! 

For all the particulars, or to answer any questions,
please send a private message via this email link:
Christi's  EMAIL 
[please, serious enquiries only]

Note:  This is a  rural   location involving multiple
[sometimes complicated]
means of transport.
~  think slow  ~

❖ to read about India's workshop on Lopez in 2013 click here  ❖
website  ❖  indiaflint.com


Back from the hairdresser


A few weeks ago I wrote  this post  about yearning for a fresh *new* look for this blog,
but never did I imagine ending up with a complete and total makeover ...
haircut, styling, manicure, facial, makeup ... the whole kit & caboodle.

Early on, after trying to tweak and twist and colorize a new template into 
anything that might resemble the word appealing, I realized 
I was just no good at blog design at all and there was no handbook available to help me - 
at least, not one I could decipher.

Sometimes it can be very good to speak up online ...

After apologizing for the mess I was making and confessing my angst
in the Comments section of  this post,  in came an incredibly kind and generous response:
"Extending my hand ... should you wish to take it. xo"

Enter miz Jen
~ photographer unknown, 1940s beauty school lesson ~

who, as it turns out, is a very skilled & excellent teacher in all things web-based.
We "met" years ago in an online photography course but I have only known her
 as an artist and had no idea the extent of her  other skills
as a former Web Design and Marketing maestro.

Well, I grabbed onto that hand and held on tight through this entire wild ride !

~ photographer unknown, hairdryer from the 1920s ~

It's really her fault that I became totally  undone  re-done for she encouraged me
to take a peek at the freebie templates available for Blogger these days ...
just to get design ideas ... and oh my, what a slippery slope was that.
She did warn me that it was gonna make my head spin ...

~ photo by JUCO for Fashion Rogue ~

I saw lots of styles that just weren't me.
And I had lots of separation anxiety about leaving my old, comfy blog space.
My new spot needed to feel welcoming, kinda relaxed ...

~ photographer unknown, open-air beauty salon, Cannes, France 1958 ~

but not too far out there.

~ outdoor hairdressing, Finchley Road, London 1961, photographer unknown ~

Most of all, I wanted it to remain welcoming for all my special friends.

~ boy & dachshund 1920, photographer unknown ~

Never in a million years would I have imagined a day coming when html 
no longer felt like an insurmountable foreign language.
It has been worth the headaches.

I sure hope all of you will feel it was worth the wait.
Heartfelt thanks for your patience and all the feedback you left earlier
as a guide.

Please explore a bit.  Old stuff is in new places.  There are pages up top 
containing a whole bunch of links & swell places to visit ...
my blogroll has moved up there, along with a direct link to my Instagram gallery.

As always, I'd love to hear from you in Comments.

~ Ladies at the Hairdressers, photo by Philip Townsend, London 1960s ~

To my awesomely patient, clear, concise, helpful & fabulous hand-holding teacher ...
Jen,  CHEERS to you, gal.
Couldn't have done it without ya.



Tweaking ones perception


The possibilities are endless.

Whenever I begin the editing process, I just fly ...
rarely do I venture through with a preconceived notion of how an image should look
but rather
an aim towards a feeling or some sort of emotional response to the moments
of being there.

This quote by Ansel Adams remains one of my favorites:

You don't make a photograph just with a camera.
You bring to the act of photography
all the pictures you have seen,
the books you have read,
the music you have heard,
the people you have loved.

Here's another fine one, from the great street photographer, Elliott Erwitt:

To me, photography is an art of observation.
It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place ...
I've found it has little to do with the things you see
and everything to do with the way you see them.

When I stood next to this wall in my friend's garden, I literally had a gut reaction
to the armature of this vine.  I'd only ever seen it during the leafy months
when it's so covered with greenery the exquisite structure is hidden.
I immediately loved how it showed its age, how carefully tended & tied to the wall it was,
how gnarled, twisted, interwoven and even fragile it looked [ but wasn't ] ...
and later, working through the edit, I realized my response was also sparked by
a longing for other gardens I've known, or tended, elsewhere in the world
that I probably won't ever see again.

The bottom photo was the first edit & was yesterday's post on Instagram.  I thought
I was done.  But for some unknown reason I just kept playing ...

With the addition of a 4th app, my perception jumped into another realm entirely
and suddenly two symmetrical versions have added to the story
in quite unexpected ways.  Which, as it turns out, is
precisely in tune and apropos to my feelings about
that vine
on that wall
in that moment.

Memories can be fierce
even if they're buried and one hasn't thought of them in a long time.

: : :

I wasn't going to write a new post until I finalized a fresh blog layout.
HA!  so much for that idea.




Thought it might be fitting to wind down this year of posts
with some thought-provoking verse from Maya Stein.  I've borrowed one of her words
for the title of this one.   "a dream" appeared in this morning's mail with perfect timing,
as her poetry so often does, and not only includes a reference to potholes, but arrived
exactly when I am ripe for the reading.
yes, this will be a fine word to hold onto for the new year ... a heady reminder
that most blockades I feel are actually the ones I've put up myself.

First though, I owe you kind folks a debt of gratitude for your extremely helpful comments
on my last post about a Sweetpea Path makeover.  You've given me much to consider
and I'm so glad I asked!  It's been very  very  enlightening
and heartwarming
to receive your feedback, both on the blog and via private emails.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do that.
My 'idea hat' is now filled to the brim.

~ Mt. Baker view, while riding the ferry across the Salish sea ~

... so without further ado

a dream

For a moment, it all disappeared: the potholes tripping up your stride,
the broken love story, the difficult decision, the rigor of worry about things
you know you can't possibly fix.  Suddenly, some vacuum sucked it all inside
and you leaned back, unimpeded, innocent, casual with your gaze, the stings
of your life returned to their nascent nettles.  For a moment, you were able
to neutralize your place in the world, find fresh buoyancy in the waves.
For a moment, you saw, even, the geometry of loss, each cradle
that holds our grief so steady, each heartbeat threading through the maze.
But this was no sunny island reverie, some implausible and pointless dream.
It was you, remembering where you've always been.

~ Maya Stein

: : :

from "10-Line Tuesday" poetry series
... a backlog can be viewed   here


Changes gonna come


My little blog is in need of some new finery.

~ deer trail across the front field ~

Just like the deer trail above,
Sweetpea Path has barely wavered  in style, direction or sideline accoutrements
since hopping onto the internet five years ago.
Oh my, has it really been  that  long?
Why, some blog authors I know have changed their look half a dozen times
within that span.

Our time has come.
And I'm so excited !

~ picnic table, weathering ~

Dunno exactly when, sometime early in the new year I expect,
I'll be shaking it up around here.  Gonna stay with Blogger [am comfy here]
but I've been feeling the need for pages/tabs up top [more elbow room to add information],
a little less clutter in the sidebar [maybe no sidebar at all],
and well, just the opportunity to enjoy more template options such as fonts & picture placement;
perhaps even a header with photos in it - imagine that.

My current template is so old, no one joining Blogger in the last few years has had
the option of using it.  It's terribly limiting and I do believe
I've plum outgrown it.

So this is to let you know there may be a bit of chaos
while I sort out my new  *look* 
I was wondering, ahem, if I could ask you something ...

~ sun flares at winter solstice ~

You see, nowadays there are SO MANY options for page design/layout
I'm spoiled for choice.  And I'm a bit confused if truth be told.
A few details I'm certain about and the rest are up in the air.
What better way to get a temperature reading than to ask those of you who stop by,
what do you most like to see on someone's blog?
What welcomes you?  What makes you want to come back?
If you can spare a few moments, would you kindly leave a comment
[or write a quick note via the email link on the right if you prefer]
and let me know what blog attributes you like best ...
Meaning, as a visitor & reader, when you arrive on someones blog to peruse a post
what is it you really like to see there and what are the blog functions which make that easy?

Although this blog has served as my online journal - tailored & tuned in a personal way - 
there's no denying how very important you folks are.

I thank you in advance for leaving your thoughts.


Thievery ... a reflection


Don't worry.  This post is not about what you might think.

But it is about theft.  Of a kind.

It all started when I headed out to the driveway for some pothole repairs.  Minutes before,
while finishing a strong cup of sweet milky tea, I'd been re-reading some inspirational quotes. 
Collected over the years I revisit them periodically - a kind of mental balm.
As I shoveled gravel, loaded buckets into the cart, hauled them down the drive,
one quote in particular
kept going round & round in my head.

Manual labor does this to me.  Always has.  And I suppose if I really examine the subject
I'd have to say that one of the aspects of hard physical work I enjoy the most
is that there's precious little room for mental distraction - it taxes my body 
while something akin to stream-of-consciousness thinking always sets in.
Perhaps it's to do with endorphins, I don't know. 

My 10" X 10" cast iron tamper weighs about 16 pounds and aside from a shovel
- and my own muscle power, such as it is -
it's the only tool necessary for the tedious job of compacting as much gravel as possible
into every size imaginable sodden pothole.
Old-timers would advise me to do this patch job in the dry season
but I've found that after baling a bit of the standing water, those mushy spots are perfect for
accepting a new [repaired] stoney base.
And when they do dry, they're tough as cement.

So I'm out there, working away .... tamping, tamping, tamping,
emptying one gravel bucket, two gravel buckets, leveling, tamping, tamping, tamping,
and my mind wanders off with the quote
and it wanders over to recent thoughts I've had in relation to artist friends who
somehow feel like their creative work isn't good enough; then over to my pal, a fellow dog owner,
whose goal to compete in Agility is being stymied by not feeling good enough; then
to a very sweet gal I know who wouldn't come join in on volunteer wreath-making this season
because she was certain she couldn't make them as pretty as the rest.
Even though she was sorely desirous of camaraderie, she wouldn't come.

My neighbor is embarrassed about her beat up car.
One of my dear ones is so sure she won't measure up she's decided she won't even risk
applying for the job she so desperately wants - no words of encouragement can budge her.
One friend is so jealous of another she's stopped speaking to her altogether,
such is her perception of the other's success & good fortune in life. 

The list went on
and eventually the wondering came around to myself
so I asked self a few tough questions about how I hold my own self back.

Why  DO   so many of us rob ourselves of joy?
Because that's what we're doing when we constantly compare ourselves to others.

I lock my doors when I'm away from home for any amount of time.  I lock my car when I'm
in town and take precautions with online banking.
My doggy is secured in a safe enclosure where harm can't come to her and I
watch my back when I'm in a strange place, walking.
All these are safeguards against theft of one kind or another.
But what of the intangibles ... 
is joy of any less value?

The lowly pothole can be a splendid mirror.