My life is intensely social, now I am in town. Still, my creative side has been pouring into relatively slow-moving projects (read: socks). I sometimes find myself hankering after a more dynamic element, collaborative undertakings. For inspiration, I can visit such sites as that of the Yard Dogs Road Show, a group of performers whom I met 8 or so years ago when they were still putting on shows under a different name…
Their aesthetic is pretty exciting to me, given a certain story I like to tell about myself, although I do have issues with the burlesque (and that’s another story, dear reader), and I strongly suspect that my next phase of life is going to contain its fair share of stage moments.
Collaboration is occurring, sneaking up on me, perhaps, or rather, flowing unplanned out of my new found friendships, and also out of the theatrical/performance-oriented swirl of activities that surround me here. Some of these collaborations are not mine, but those of the kids. Last night was another Acoustic Junction at the Blue Scorcher Bakery, and a raucous scene it was, with one song in which almost all the performers sat in, Opal included, not to mention the three year olds winding their ways around the space in impromptu dances, and spilling out onto the sidewalk after whooping adults… I even sang a song, which was a bit of a leap for me. (And subsequently I received a beautiful compliment on my voice, thanks Paul Hoskin.)
I know, too, that there are going to be as many costuming opportunities as I am willing to let into my life. I am opening the door slowly, it is creaking ajar, somewhat reluctant, needing oil perhaps, but I imagine that once I get a taste of the party that is going on in the room behind that door, my enthusiasm will provide the needed lubricant for those rusty hinges.
In the meantime, today, I will work on socks, but also spent a couple of the hours before work setting up the sewing machine and making a little something for myself, not telling what, yet, not ’til I’ve done it…

Off to costume!

camera's back!

Opal’s camera arrived today. It’s pretty messed up; I can’t change settings and it doesn’t work half the time, but hey, I can show some of my life now anyway. And start saving for a new camera, I guess.

So, projects old and new:

embossed leaves

This is a pattern I would make again and again, the embossed leaves socks from an older IK. Obviously I didn’t make these to be socks, but rather cuffs, and it turns out they fit the ankles better than the wrists. Na ja. The yarn is dreamy, Elsbeth Lavold’s Silky Wool. Needle size 0 or 00, can’t remember (I made these a full season ago…) I want more of this yarn! At first the color didn’t sing to me, but oh! now I want knee socks with clocks in this.

cable/chevron sock

This here sock has a bit of a story behind it. I made a pair of these and sent them to Norway, after losing my needles to the airlines, and then the socks themselves got lost in the post! First ever lost package, I think…
So, that put me needing to knit up a second pair smack dab in the middle of my move, which of course I didn’t do. Here I am finishing up my old commitments, however belated. I am halfway through the second sock of this pair, and should finish soon if I don’t wander off, which I have no right to do.
The pattern is my own, really made up based on a sock I saw in an IK, I think. I needed to accomodate a thicker yarn, and it really is a snap to figure these out. Chevrons in front and back, little cables up either side. Auracania yarn that I swapped BPAL for. Don’t like the shade much, but it is pleasant in this context. Poor swap partner. :( I think I will take a long break from swapping after this debacle. Not that I will have a reputation left…

And one last thing for this fine day. I purchased this rug last week from a representative of the Vida Nueva cooperative in Chiapas Mexico. All the work from spinning to dying to weaving is done by the women of this coop. They even raise their own cochineal! All natural dyes on this. I had to stretch a bit to buy this, but I will not regret it! There is an amazing anomaly in the pattern that made this my first choice of all the rugs I saw.

new rug

that is all for today. Damn it’s good to be back.

mosaic monday

I spent a few minutes skimming through flickr… took the whole first favorites page. Welcome back to blogland Shannon, and get your camera soon!

5 minutes skimming flickr + a few old faves

1. Hasselblad 500 EL/M Carl Zeiss Sonnar 4/150mm Fujichrome Velvia RVP 50 f8 1/500s, 2. Ağlıyor şehir…, 3. Rain, 4. apartment under the rain, 5. _, 6. paz y prisas, 7. Déjà vu, 8. Playa Farallón, Panamá, 9. Tibetans Play Pool, 10. Untitled, 11. green shades, 12. Untitled, 13. Polish golden autumn, 14. Untitled, 15. MAISON TYPIQUE MONTFERRANDAISE – Auvergne, 16. the Bez (not nate bez), 17. Dinner de la Slime, 18. Get up!, 19. Hotel window, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 20. Toronto sunset (through the ferry window), 21. Florida, 22. screened view, 23. Pulley on blue, 24. fluer, 25. Flaming O, 26. come quando gli uccelli se ne migrano, 27. My neighbors house, 28. … a so unlucky toilet, 29. yellow tower, 30. more shadows, 31. zombie bob, 32. DSC00123.JPG, 33. DSC00241.JPG, 34. bowl of mirrors, 35. pendants, 36. Hand & Kaffe

improvisation, past and future

A couple highlights, on this grey fall day. The chill is setting in, and I can feel October in the air, especially in this town of my childhood. I live in the same neighborhood as I did when I was 12, 13, and a rough time it was, too, but nevertheless, there are deep memories, and I relish them.

So, the goings-on. Today I am attending a workshop “based on the physical improvisation training developed by Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski.” I was so excited to come across the flyer! This is right up my alley for this time in my life that contains so much improvisation. Dance as well! I am signed up for two dance classes, although I missed them last week. :( Beginning ballet, and hip-hop/jazz. Walking, too, is almost a daily activity. If it weren’t for all the beer I drink at work, I would be a bit thinner.

And the second item of note relates to improv as well. There is a once-a-week open mike, except without the mike, at the local bread collective/bakery (every town should have one!) I try to attend regularly, although I don’t ever sing. At the very least, I get to listen to my good friend Paul Hoskin play his contra-bass clarinet. This last week, at Paul’s suggestion, Opal brought her bells, which are the same as a glockenspiel(?), and she did an improvisational performance. It had some fine moments. At the end of the evening, all the musicians played together, including O. She says as we drove away, “We could start a band!” Needless to say, we will return to the Blue Scorcher bakery next Thursday.

I am headed out to the country tonight; I should be bringing back photo-enabling technological devices. I have new memory rings, courtesy of Courtney. Finally I can remember things again.

new life/style

So, imagine this, me blogging. A strange, forgotten urge to check in with this world that has served me so well in the past, and one that I have so little time (need) for these days.

Have you wondered what has been going on in my life? I am here to tell you, a bit of it anyway.

I live in town now, in Astoria, Oregon, a beautiful, painted, tawdry creature that perches on the edge of the water, the Mighty Big river, the Columbia. I live in a house that was built before the turn of the last century, a house that tilts towards the water, as do all things here, eventually.
I had a house-warming last Saturday, and used my oven for the first time. My kitchen has been christened!
I work in a brew-pub, mostly cooking, 5 shifts a week. This takes up immense amounts of my time, and I have had to adjust, but it has not been difficult. One thing that I have not had much time for, well, any time for really, is fiber arts etc. To fulfill my creative yearnings there has been costuming for the street! My first foray into textile love…and here I am back at it. Second up on the creative sheet has been altering the interior of my home to suit. I moved in here on August 23, and it was almost exactly one month later that I had swept away the last in-your-face traces of the previous occupant, my beloved Margaret (aforementioned as mentor, dyer, and source of too much yarn to list). Now the house is mine, a working definition of possession anyway.

Today is a day off, and I woke just after 6 to see kids off to school, and scrub the porch steps. Flyspeck is not my preferred aesthetic, despite the inescapable Chaos factor!

Sadly I have no camera at my disposal currently. One reason I have been hesitant to blog as of late. Another reason is that I am a bit afraid to show my face in the Internet sphere is that I have flaked on a few obligations made before the move. I did try to drop all swaps that would come due during this time, but I was unable to get out of them. I am afraid I have indeed tarnished my reputation as a reliable swapper, but still, I have been working through them as time allows. You can hate me if you want, but I promise you, it isn’t worth the energy! :)

So, for anyone who drops in here to see whatever happened to me, thanks! I can’t say that I will blog actively, and I must say I haven’t read anyone else’s blog entries since my last post (june!), Hell, I haven’t even checked my email in a month, as my computer isn’t hooked up to th’Internet and I am posting today from Alice’s notebook.

Speaking of Alice, I should say that she is adjusting remarkable well to High School. Her homeroom as it were is the stage, literally; she loves her science, English, and Drama classes, tolerates the rest; she has a small group of friends already, and is otherwise refusing to get involved in the Popularity Game. And I don’t believe that, several weeks into the school year, she has repeated an outfit yet! All she is wanting now is some employment so that she can finance various upcoming trips to the theater: one to see The Importance of Being Earnest, and a spring trip to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival.
Opal is also doing well, in her Opally way. Her room is exactly as messy as it ever was; through her roamings, she knows the new neighborhood better than any of us; and she is taking percussion in her music class. For those who know Opal, you will see how fitting that is.
And I walk almost every day, down on the tracks, dancing on the rails, meeting all the weeds growing there. Falling, and getting back up. In my short time in town, I have sustained two minor-to-moderate injuries on the tracks, the most recent a serious stone bruise that healed miraculously thanks to arnica and reiki.
If you walk on the edge, baby, you gonna fall sometimes.

Most recent book acquisition is European Textile Design from the 1920’s. Here’s another moment when I wish I had the camera.

Okay, that’s all for now!


There seems to be no end to the fear. In my sweetest moments, when all is as it should be, I am somehow able to absorb and transmute that fear into a planar element, into part of the whole, but if I am not consciously in focus or blindsided by some Natural High, the Shadow is there, a razor’s edge. I can only hope to maintain awareness of its presence, and will the blood to flow clear and bright.

wasps nest in my living space

wasp’s nest in my living space

recent gifts

I got a killer package in the mail from vlada who is fucking brilliant and whom I have long had a craft crush on.

There were many things in the box, among them clothes to thrill my daughters, but for me these are the stand-outs:



what more can I say? (except maybe check out my victorian paisley shawl!)

actually I do have few more words. I was contemplating silk yesterday, as per this post by jude. What do I know of silk? not much… I have little call to the silk road, being of a woolen bent, but as I was driving along the big river, looking at the myriad greys caught in the water’s surface, I realized that perhaps silk is the only fiber that can hold light like water. Worth further meditation, and perhaps experimentation.

I solemnly swear….

I finally signed up for Wardrobe Refashion in time, so here goes:
I, Shannon, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 4 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed XXX

4 month pledge