Till then ...


      You Have to Be Careful

  You have to be careful telling things.
  Some ears are tunnels.
  Your words will go in and get lost in the dark.
  Some ears are flat pans like the miners used
  looking for gold.
  What you say will be washed out with the stones.
  You look for a long time till you find the right ears.
  Till then, there are birds and lamps to be spoken to,
  a patient cloth rubbing shine in circles,
  and the slow, gradually growing possibility
  that when you find such ears
  they already know.

      ~ Naomi Shihab Nye

my very last
for 2012 ...

warmest wishes for a wonderful new year.


Not just another toe walker ...


... hanging eight,
he's speedier than the dickens.


Mission accomplished.
This might also be called, chickadee-as-Ferrari.

Fooling around with mirror images ~
must be all the gray days making me positively loopy,
playing tricks with my imagination.
I used to live in San Francisco. Several days a week
I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge for work.
Can I help it if I see
commuter chickadees zooming through the bridge girders?

Life in the fast lane
when you weigh two ounces. 

Gee, aren't you glad you stopped by here today  ;>]]

: : :

For a fascinating look at some other digitigrades (toe walkers), sole movers, and toenail travelers
click HERE.


Serendipity with a single keystroke


My thought was to compose a lovely, ethereal tree photo for a Christmas post ...

The roast was cooking, the dogs were fed, a bottle of red
opened, poured and  emptying  being enjoyed.  And then came some spare minutes to play with photos.
This always works best when I have no preconceived notions of an outcome ... 
it's so much better that way (giving up control)
but I have to say, this happy accident 
takes the cake.

With one mistaken keystroke  this  popped up ...

my mind FLEW!
What had I done???
Here was a quilt of my tree,
a  mosaic,  tree-ness broken into thousands of pieces;
I saw a  graphic map  for intricate stitching,
maybe a pattern  sketch  for weaving cloth,
some  boro pieces  on a faded ground.

It was all of these things
and I had no idea how I got here.

This was the tree I was working on.
Tentatively, I began to hit the "undo" button
and traced backwards to see where I'd come from.

Then I began to wonder ... what if I try to make this happen again  on purpose?

Just some used twine from dyeing bundles this summer,
wrapped now around a new idea.

May serendipity lead us all astray.





Baby, it's cold outside


Can't let a little bit of weather stop the training, so we
move inside for the winter ...
gotta keep your paws warm when you're workin' on the fancy turns.
Never know when you might need some of 'em ...
like in February,
when we might be competing in our first agility trial.

yup.  I really just said that.

Warm thanks to Bev Korse for her original photo:
altered with FX Photo Studio and Snapseed.




Night self ...


It is cold.
Dark early.

Searching for light becomes exceedingly important, but it can also lead
to looking hard ... 
intently ...
at things I might not otherwise make time for.

Slowing down.
Opening my eyes.

Time again for December views ... and the opportunity to join a  q.u.i.e.t.  get-together
with others who love to make images,
especially appealing considering the time of year ...
a photo challenge of the very best kind.

Many thanks to hippy urban girl for being a gracious hostess.
She writes, "The idea is to take away the stress of having just one more thing to do during
the holiday season and to sink in and be with what is in front of you, the beauty you see,
the lush imagery that seems to explode in the darkness of this time of year.  That said,
there are no rules and though the idea is to blog images every day, that is not the intention ~
rather the intention is to allow yourself to enjoy the quiet, to allow a month of no stress creativity
and to share a bit of your world with others in a completely different way than you usually do."

Although these days it's not unusual
to find a phone[camera] in my pocket,
nothing could be more unusual than for me to post a self-portrait.

All are welcome & you can join in anytime in December ...

See ya 'round?


Tongs for dyehards


When our merry band of natural dyers decided (wholeheartedly) to gather one last time
before winter sets in and puts the big kabosch on outdoor *cooking,*
it seemed only fitting that this enthusiastic group of 
should celebrate their past ~ and future! ~ successes
with a brand new pair of tongs ...

I think they liked them.

The November day was kind to us.  Plenty of sun, not a whisper of (normally biting) wind
and although we each worried a bit about the slimmer pickins of autumnal plant material,
we pulled it together with great exuberance
and generous sharing from each other's stash ...
including a bit of pilfering from S's hedgerow.

Somehow it  ALWAYS  works out.

We've been lucky that way.

Our brews:
1.  Carrot tops, peach leaves & wild blackberry leaves, with copper pipes in a stainless pot.
2.  Scraps of rusty metal in plain water (no vegetation) in a stainless pot.
3.  Red cabbage with sea salt & alum in an aluminum pot.

Wrapped inside my bundles:
cedar bark, onion skins, rusty washers, frozen blackberries, "ice flower" red scabiosas, 
purple elderberry leaves, madrone bark
and eucalyptus leaves ...
which flew in all the way from California.
(Mercy, THANK YOU!)

Just when I'd begun to think that I was finally achieving a small grasp on this whole dye thing
the eucalyptus has to come along and throw me a curve ball.
What? I thought eucalyptus was supposed to be fairly easy to "manage."
I was dead set certain these babies would leave gorgeous ORANGE-RED marks.
The onion skins did not fail me ... but pale  spring green  from these eucs???


Oh well.  Maybe it's the water.

In any case, I am ever so grateful to my dye pals for their fortitude, unbounded enthusiasm, 
rip roaring senses of humor and most importantly, their kindness & camaraderie.  It truly has been,
"the more, the merrier,"
and I can't wait to see where we'll be heading next spring ...