Curious creatures and apple picking

It’s not unusual to walk out my door and run into an insect I’ve never seen before (sounds like a nightmare, right?). Although I was tempted to pick this guy off the ground and let him shimmy up my arm, I’m glad I abstained–avoiding a potential rash.

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

So we spent the afternoon picking apples in Alexandria and enjoying a view of Mt. Cardigan–something we’d normally do on the standard long-autumn-weekend escape to either Maine or Vermont.

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Then we drove home and had to remind ourselves that “oh, yeah, we live here now.”

weekly dose of fiber porn

And I could joke about blue movies with this one, heh.

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This bit of luscious is from Sundara Yarn. On the right is their Fingering Merino in “Spanish Tile” (shamelessly admitting the name is what did me in). It seems this is only sold as part of one of their yarn subscriptions–I happened to score this skein on ebay. It’s going to be a shawlette, I think, or at 492 yds, another one-skein wonder. On the left is Merino Sport in one of their Lakes and Rivers limited batches. Oh so soft and springy and turning into a pair of mitts right now.

Their email communication and shipping are top notch (if a little spendy with USPS priority being your only option). Because it’s such a tiny company it seems that there’s frequent turnover of colorways and I’m assuming I should enjoy this yarn I have because once it’s gone, it’s toast. On the other hand, I’d venture to guess I could find a new love within a few clicks.

In the Round

Needless to say, it has been a rough year of moving and packing and unpacking and waiting patiently while our furniture floated in limbo a few states away.

To make an agonizingly long, squirmy story short–I’ve left the Nutmeg for the White Mountains. I’ve had to call my local police because there were three horses in my yard the day I moved in. I have a rooster neighbor who (by the grace of a higher power) likes to get up late. I have photographic proof, because I’m disgusting, that a bear does not shit in the woods, but in my front yard. And I can tell you, he eats better than I do.

How fitting is it, then, that my need to make something manifested back into knitting in the round? For the past two years I’ve wished I could master double pointed needles and knit myself some small tube-like things. Like fingerless gloves, since my hands are always cold but I can’t stand doing things, like write or drive, while wearing mittens or fingered gloves. Interestingly enough, one can’t knit in a perfect circle. What looks like a tube is really a tightly-twisted corkscrew. A great metaphor for post-May 2013, which has been a constant incline with an equally constant turn, spin, monkey-wrench. So today, one month after completing my first glove on a set of DPNs, I’ve finished one half of my first self-designed pair. This reminds me that when it comes to art, I can be overly tenacious in building up my own skills (while being underwhelmingly tenacious when it comes to things as simple as vacuuming or putting on deodorant).

It is also nice to see my sewing machine again, and I’m reminded of how much I loved having my own tiny business and how much I loved being told by a few people that they got pleasure from looking at something I made, and can I make more? The business might be revived–with a new name of course. I cannot be Patterson Crow if I no longer live on Patterson Road, can I? We shall see. For now, I’m happy taking what is essentially a big ball of string and making it into something useful. No idle hands in this place.

not my design, but I like them

not my design, but I like them

Big Poetry Giveaway 2014–Winners

Phew, April is over! So much reading and writing and house staging these past few weeks. It was a treat to have my husband come down to visit for the weekend, so for a few days I forgot it was May. Making good on my giveaway now.

Originally I was planning to give two random winners either a copy of Sharon Old’s Blood, Tin, Straw or my chapbook If Tigers Do Not Come. Since I’m sure most of y’all were gunning for S.O. I’m going to give each winner both a copy of my chapbook and a famous-poet book.

The random number genie chose posts 6 and 12, so congrats to:

Allyson, who gets Sharon Olds and my little bookeroo

and Karen who will also receive said bookeroo as well as Fire Is Favorable to the Dreamer by Susan Terris

 

Thank you to all who visited my blog this month. It’s nice to have people find me through poetry-related searches and not just “my Birkenstocks stink real bad.” :)

The Big Poetry Giveaway 2014!

April is National Poetry month and that means we poets are going to disappear into a dark room until May and emerge with a stack of voraciously-consumed poetry books and/or a stack of our own new poems.

Wooo! More books!

Wooo! More books!

It also means a bunch of us are giving away 2 books in a random drawing taken from the comments section of this giveaway post.

I’ll be giving away a copy of my chapbook, If Tigers Do Not Come

And, since it’s kind of Sharon Old’s fault that I became a poet, I will also give away a copy of Blood, Tin, Straw

So if you’d like to throw your hat in the ring just leave a comment below (including your name and email) before April 30, 2014. I will select two winners randomly and set these two books free to new homes!

This giveaway is curated by poet and editor Kelli Russell Agodon over at her blog, Book of Kells. If you have any questions, she’s posted an FAQ and an in-depth guide to how this whole thing works.

Thanks for participating!

 

M

 

Sneak peek at latest chapbook

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Here’s the cover of my second chapbook, “If Tigers Do Not Come” which won the Palettes and Quills biennial contest back in 2012.  My good friend and fellow MFA-er Joy Mlozanowski created the cover design for me and two excellent poets, Dana Sonnenschein and J.P. Dancing Bear (who chose my manuscript) wrote blurbs that may well be prettier than the poems themselves :S

I’m excited to see this book getting closer to physical form, and its revived my determination to finalize the full-length manuscript order, make some more edits and get that baby out to some good presses!

White Walls=Big Canvas

No, not in the “paint a Care Bears mural on the wall” sense (do little kids even know about the Care Bears?), but in an “accessorize the heck out of the space” sense. Remember the early 2000’s when Trading Spaces was one of the “it” shows?  Did we watch, if we watched, for decorating ideas or to see which designer could best destroy a perfectly normal interior space.  Off the top of my head I can remember a black wall with bare light bulbs sticking out of it and a bedroom with a metal bar motif on the wall suggesting it was a “prison of love.”

Prickish designers aside, even the more thoughtful ones would never think of slapping white paint on the walls–and at this point in history, neither would many homeowners.  We seem to have gone through a “dark and warm” phase when it comes to paint.  I can’t exclude myself from this because I, too, fell victim to a Ralph Lauren “faux leather” finish that required bright pink paint, dark purple glaze, an expensive brush and at least two people who work quickly.  In the end my walls did indeed resemble the cordovan leather of a chaise lounge straight out of a psychiatrist’s office, but it made an already small room look like a small dungeon, especially at night.  The first time we tried to sell our house, the agent took one look and said “buy some paint.”

Ten years after the leather experiment, I’ve come to love white walls.  No other color reflects natural light quite so well.  And if you’re from the north, you probably try to stretch your daylight for as long as possible.  But that’s not the main reason I’m promoting plain-Jane white walls.

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If you’re not a matchy-matchy person and have a rough time deciding between design styles (industrial, rustic, southwest, mid-century….? gah!) you CAN have it all if you pull the bulk of your crazy colors and prints from textiles and accent pieces.

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And here….the rug and quilt remind me of Mexican Talavera tiles.  Probably would be overkill if the walls were a rich jewel tone, no?

But you love turquoise, I know!!!  So do I.  You want to paint the walls Robin’s egg blue.  Don’t do it, man.  You’ll regret it in a few months.

One more!!

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Gorgeous Uzbek Suzani as a tablecloth :)  I love the rustic, mismatched chairs and their funky cushions.  Looks like a Turkish carpet in front of the industrial bookshelves.  The colors pop against the glowing white–yes, I’m sure Photoshop helped–and draw the eye to multiple focal points rather than blur together.

And, of course, if you change your decorating taste often, well, rhetorical question: swap out a rug or quilt?  or get out the drop cloths and blue tape and re-paint the walls to match your new style?

Hmmm?  Yeah, me too.