recession, depression: what's the difference

when i find myself in the dumps i think of this piece of common advice "it could be worse". it makes me look at other peoples lives (at the things i don't want and am thankful i don't have), and i dig up some gratefulness at how my life is. i eventually get over my depression and move on. 90% of the time i am blissfully happy with living, even if i do take a pessimistic view of things.

but, lately, when i start looking at other people i've begun to also look at those whose lives seem better. it's not that i want their lives any more than i wanted the others. but it makes me look into that greeting card advice and confront it. is it so wrong to want a little more than your lot in life? not to change that which you have and are, but just a little something that can make it better?

all i want is a job i enjoy, one that pays the bills and gives me time to do my artwork, and one that lets me do a bit of traveling each year. i don't want to own a home, drive an expensive car, have a room full of clothes, eat out every night, or change much about my life. i just want to be able to go to the doctor when i need to and it not to cost me a two week paycheck to do so, i want to be able to put money aside for retirement, i don't want to have to worry about a drive to work representing 20% of that days pay going for the gas to get there.

right now, i don't understand how i got to this point in my life. i'm not whining, i'm not jealous of other people, i'm not saying life is unfair, it's just that i've begun to worry if it's going to get any better.


a visiting

quite spur of the moment, we stopped at the home of carl sandburg, while driving back from asheville. something about chocolate and cheese. i was put in mind of my great aunts home; perhaps it was the sense of age, or a smell in the air.

upon first entering, there was a sense of neutrality in the interior decoration, but soon a minty blue green began to permeate the space. i love that color.

i think, perhaps, i would like to have a small farm one day. nubian goats, angora goats, caramel and cream ponies, alpaca, a baby elephant...


enthusiastic collecting

since coming back from japan, i've found much delight in having a cup of green tea for breakfast. lately, my taste runs to the earthy genmaicha tea. i also love the taste of matcha (i still haven't purchased a bamboo chasen yet) and sencha.

the utensils for serving japanese tea are interesting; the ones i've garnered have focused my attention on exotic woods and unique pottery glazes. i already had a small green and brown tea cup for the winter months, and recently bought a handthrown tea bowl for the summer (the width and size allowing the tea to cool faster) on my trip to asheville. the kyusu tea pot's squat shape and long handle are perfect for brewing enough loose tea for one, as well as being visually cute (it's glaze reminiscent of birch trees).

i was browsing ebay for kiri wood (paulownia) boxes and happened upon this tea chest which i believe is used for storing the teaware. kiri wood is velvety smooth and lightly burned to bring up the grain, as well as being resistant to rot (a wonderful thing when living in an area of high humidity); i am most attracted to the silvery color though.

i am still hoping to come upon a shifuku wrapped chaire, and a kiri wood box tied with kumihimo. one day.

fiber mayhem

most people enjoy seeing what others collect during their travels, and me being no different, i will post that which i came home with. i didn't get much of a chance to see asheville, as my stay was so short and the weather was dire at times. but, i still managed to acquire a nice hoard.

one shop in particular stood out, this being a fabric admirers delight, waechters fine fabric, where i found some lovely double faced wool coating which i had been thinking of for a warm and lovely wrap, a woven silk which felt like paper, and some cream dupioni to dye. i will shop here again i think, as it is hard to find such lovely and drapey material to make into clothing.

for the most part i bought fiber, yarn, fabric, a button, and a very unusual tool from the bygone weaving industry. asheville is so much a place for folk art, that i went with a small list of things to look for; fiber, a summer tea cup, and paper to spin. luckily, these things were found and i will be going back for saff in the fall i am sure.


a series of entertaining events

having never been to asheville, north carolina, last friday i found myself on the road driving with it as my destination. months ago, i had a desire to see a lavender festival being held in those parts this past father's day weekend, and decided i would go. i invited along my friend for the journey.

up steep inclines, between softly slumbering mountains, along narrow river passes, through mud and crashing raindrops, i drove deep into the appalachians. i enjoy this wilderness, it reminds me of my childhood and teens growing up in the foothills of the adirondacks. there is something so sacred and soul satisfying about this area, secluded though you may be. at times i yearn for city life and the experiences it brings, but trees and mountains calm me and bring a renewal of energies which these bustling places never can.

the lavender was delightful, especially for the buzzing bees which were so much a part of the buds. though we had to cut the visit short for the rain which soaked the earth, i was glad of the journey to such a magnificent place.

the way of shifu

i think, perhaps, i am finally understanding how to spin paper. so far, my efforts with a drop spindle have gone awry; there's nothing like spending time carefully cutting paper into 2mm strips only to see it break apart every three inches when you start to spin it.

then, after putting it aside for a bit, i came across a comment about using a bobbin winder. so, having armed myself with some medium weight handmade paper, i set about winding it on a bobbin winder and was successful. here are the results of the first success, wound onto a kiwaku.



my friend meagan has been after me to create two pinups since forever ago. she's going to use them to grace her ribcage as tattoos. once i get started i go into full swing and stay with it until complete. so, after sweating it out for three days, dusting off my painting skills, and thanking god for the creation of tracing paper, here are the two lovely vixens!



spinning cotton is really quite a joy on the kuchulu, the light weight of the spindle enables me to spin quite thin. the only times it broke was when i overestimated the distance between my fingers and the short fibers came free from my grasp. so far i've spun alpaca, cotton, and wool; tommorrow silk and then the world!!!!! (pinky and the brain moment there, sorry.)

i took some fresh photos today for my etsy shop, and created a new banner and profile icon. change is good, i think it's a matter of renewing how you see yourself, and pushing long held likes and preferences to the side a bit. here's hoping.