long week

Wednesday I fell off the red mare, and landed hard on my butt.

Thursday the Dr. who'd pronounced me sound was over-ruled by someone with a different interpretation of the x-ray, and I was warned I'd probably broken my ankle. From falling on my butt. I think it has something to do with the stirrup, but I dunno. Plus, I can stand and walk on it?

Friday I got an air cast, got an earfull for walking around and got ready for the first of two set building Saturdays at the high school, except –

Saturday both Al and I had either a very fast virus or food poisoning. I won't go into details, but we basically slept or prowled around the house all day. Mostly slept. I handed off the plans, lists and lists of lists to somebody else, and was grateful there was someone around to pick up some slack.

Today I realized the month had changed while I was …out of it, and I need a new idea for February.

So for February I intend to make a new rubber stamp every day. I like carving stamps, and I have all the tools I'll need for it, including a couple dozen erasers. This should be fun, putting little pieces of design into practice. And then in March, I can try to make larger patterns with them, as part of the process I'm thinking about for teaching myself fabric design.

I'll post all the pictures tomorrow, from the end of January to the first couple of stamps of February.

moving in the snow


This piece is a mirror image of the view across the street and past Mac's barn to the big trees in the conservation area. I printed it onto the light-colored-fabric transfer sheet, and since I wanted it to show up, I ironed it onto white fabric and stitched it into the book.

It is still wicked cold out, moderated some from last night.

We helped Red Kate move into her apartment (here! in our town!!! Yay!!) at the top of 14 stairs. We know that number well. Arein and I went earlier and helped her dad get the trailer emptied and off the road. Then Al came and helped schlepp the things still in her van. We made the bed. We found her pajamas and toothbrush. Al and Aerin fed her supper. She is at her own place now.

Which is why I missed Timna's opening over ath the Jones Library in Amherst. I was delighted the opening was not on Thursday while everyone was freaking out over the snow, but I forgot we'd be helping at the new time. I will still go see it, and write in the visitors book (how is that pluraled and possessived, anyhow?) but I'm sorry to miss the cookies and the crowd.



copper beech tree

march 18

Beech trees always look like elephant legs to me; thick and gray and sturdy and wrinkly.Tree bark, I've noticed, is very seldom brown. It is shades of gray, and wildly variegated textures, and thus perfect for the March circles. So I am reassured that even with the snow gone, I can sitll find monochrome things to depict.

Kaboose and I went out for a long trail ride today with a younger, more worried horse and his older, more worried rider. She did very well stomping along being reassuring. It didn't warm up until we got back, and then Red Kate dragged me out for a walk which was lovely. It feels like summer. It feels (says a gloomy New Englander) like we're getting away with something.

two circles and a rosette

feb 27

For todays circle I was thinking about the beautiful curl inside your ears where you actually hear things. Where secrets go. Where music goes. All the other noises go too, like jackhammers and farting buses, but I was trying to be poetical. 

I was at an awards dinner last night, which was raucous fun. It was the end-of-year awards for Xenophon Farm, and as well as the high point scorers for various levels of dressage, there were also essays on why the author should get an award even though they didn't ride in three shows and/or get decent scores.

To my astonishment, I won the high point award for Training level Seniors. That was fun. But cheering for the people who were talking about having to halt because the screws in their broken leg were coming unscrewed was better. Or the bold kid who is getting used to a new pony and their scores are dreadful, but they keep on working. 

So I did finish this circle yesterday, but then I had to bolt to get to dinner on time. I was thinking about red blood cells, carrying oxygen around so we can move and think, but more of them look like roses than blood cells.  I don't know why all these ideas about cells in my body turn into roses. There must be a metaphor in there somewhere. Or a joke. 

feb 26

twenty-two (degrees and circles)

twenty two

It was absurdly cold this morning –  about 5F when I got up, and 17F when I left the house for the barn. Kaboose and I were invited out on a trail ride, before the next round of dreadful weather shows up and renders the world a skating rink. We went out into the bright cold and fresh snow, and it was so lovely. The snow creaked under the horses' feet in the cold, and Scout snorted at monsters all the way. My toes froze. I might actually need winter boots. 

Yesterday I declared I was Done With Foil. Today I have stars of gold mylar thread (Sulky Sliver) which is somehow less annoying to me than the whole ironing/fusing/gluing process. Thread I can deal with. Thread follows the needle, until it breaks, and I have pretty good control over the needle. 

better ruby

better ruby
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

It is harder than you might think to get nice pictures of these horses, in part because they are so cheerful and friendly they keep following you to see if you might have treats, and all you can get are pictures of enormous noses and rolling eyes.

So I am pleased with this one of Ruby, and a couple others of Penny and Kaboose over on Flickr.

These are after Rachel and I were out for a trail ride, trying to find the Northwest Passage – a mythical connection between two trails. There are a stunning number of trails that start out looking perfectly reasonable, and then vanish between two trees, leaving you and the horses flailing around getting sticks stuck in your helmet and bridle and all that. And then walking around in misshapen circles trying to find the trail, when it was a trail, so you can go back and try a different direction. It was a nice afternoon for it, despite the sticks.

ow ow ow

On Wednesday I had a riding lesson on Kaboose. I fell off her into a fence post, and spent a peaceful afternoon in the emergency room on morphine and waiting to see what happened next. X-rays showed nothing broken, although there is the possibility of some cracks in the ribs. My upper left arm is one giant bruise, and doesn't move so well.

Al points out that riding accidents are like car accidents, ranging from fender-benders to catastrophic. This one was body shop work and the airbag deployed, but everyone was wearing their seatbelts and is fine if rattled. My helmet has a ding, and I get a new one because of it, but I staggered away from the scene, and I'm doing measurably better today. 

I would like to state for the record that X-ray techs are much nicer now than they were in my youth. They didn't tape me to the table, or shift my arm in painful ways and then shout "don't move" at me. That was the biggest surprise of the afternoon.

More ancient horses as I can move my arms to sew.

um, yeah

Alice has been kind of wrapped up


working on her science fair project. She has taken on Molecules as a topic, and it goes on FOREVER.

Aerin has been going batty
with studying for (and passing with flying colors thank you) midterms. She has also been at the receiving end of a series of talks about what to expect in high school. And started signing up for classes.


I’ve been hanging out

trying to remain calm, and mostly failing. I have been knitting a lot, the happy socks are almost done, but the rest of the creative endeavors have taken a back seat.

I continue to collect and wear objects of a very specific set of colors. I am continuing to roll with it, because it is still kind of fun and exciting, and it doesn’t feel dangerous yet. Out of character definitely. Unexpected, yeah, that too.

Which is why I went into the store full of brightly colored sparkly stuff from India and exited with these chinking on my arm.

Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I figure if I can make myself laugh, it is a fine place to be. Plus I gave away one of my rhino shirts. Just peeled it off and handed it to Janet, which made her crack up, especially when she saw the new rhino on the shirt underneath…

The thing of the week is late again. These are the beginnings of it

mixed silks
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

by now, you know I’m good for it.

Week 5 velvet leaf

Week 5 velvet leaf
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I found a pile of ripped strips of black white a gray cottons leftover from December’s postcards, and I realized I missed making them.  I don’t like polyester much, except for exercise clothes (I have a separate rant for that). The transfer paint is getting boring, but I swore I’d use it up. I have a lot to go to use it up….

But I realized I could still use old fabrics, and old techniques, as well as the current obsession focus. So I have one of my beloved patchy backgrounds, with a satin and velvet leaf heavily embroidered into it. Hah.

In other news, I am beat. I did the Y thing this morning, then went to the barn and cleaned stalls, carried water buckets and pushed around (enormous) loads of sawdust across treacherous ice. Then the kids had climbing class, and I belayed children to keep them from falling out of the sky. At the end, I got a chance to try climbing again. I addressed myself to a more difficult wall, and fell off once (What a RUSH – in a Really Bad Way) and beat a little higher. I didn’t make the top, but I did respectably. And then I made this postcard when I got home.

Told you I was good for it.

good night Gracie.