September 2010

Ann Arbor continues as a blogging theme this week because there was so much to see and do.  I can’t conclude this series without mentioning the delightful time we had at the Ann Arbor Sunday Artists Market in Kerrytown. 

On a leisurely Sunday morning, my husband and I strolled through the market looking at all the beautiful handmade items.  I was very fortunate to stumble upon this woman, making lovely baskets for sale.

Rose Clawson owns Baskets by Rose, a small company featuring her flat reed, handmade baskets.  I thought her prices were very reasonable too, so at the end of our visit, we walked back to our hotel with this lovely basket that now sits at the side of my loom holding supplies.

Shopping makes you hungry, so we walked into the covered food market and ordered from this crazy menu at the Kosmo Lunch Counter and the B-Bim-Bop was divine.

Good food, great handmade crafts.  It was a terrific morning.

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of Agatha Christie.  It seems like as fitting time to admit that one of my guilty pleasures is collecting mysteries.  Over the years I’ve amassed a respectable collection of British tomes including books by my favorite, Dorothy Sayers, whose main character Lord Peter Wimsey is an icon of the golden age of mysteries.  Those Brits sure know how to write. Along the way I’ve discovered Josephine Tey (Inspector Grant), Gladys Mitchell (Dame Beatrice Lastrange Bradley), Patricia Wentworth (Maud Silver), and so many more.

Imagine my delight during my trip to Ann Arbor a few weeks ago, when I discovered the book shop Aunt Agatha’s, a mecca for the mystery lover.

Let me take you inside to see the treasure trove of mysteries this shop offers.

Let’s just say it took me a while to get through the place. Every nook and cranny had something interesting which I adore in a good independent bookstore. And while there were plentyof new titles offered, Aunt Agatha’s had a nice collection of used books.

I wrote earlier that I adore the old British mysteries and while I bought one of those, I actually ended up purchasing two old Annette Funicello mysteries.  Of course they are cheesy!  They were put out by Disney when she was one of the Mouseketeers, but I got one when I was a girl and they were irresistible!

Nancy Drew will never be topped, but Annette is still an icon of American culture and I will look forward to seeing her solve a mystery in her wholesome way.

My husband and I took a trip to the city of Ann Arbor a few weeks ago for our anniversary. In addition to taking a tasting tour of some great restaurants, we enjoyed walking the streets to get a feel for the local culture.  When we came upon a small city park, I was surprised to find trees decorated with knitted items.

Then it hit me that I had heard about this kind of display before in other cities, but just hadn’t seen it up close.  According to the tags on the scarves, it was the work of the “yarnabomber.”

I think this group exists to decorate public spaces but I couldn’t find much about it on the internet.  Their work sure beats graffiti!

Every tree in the park had some type of lovely knitted creation wrapped around it.  Cheers to the yarnabomber; may they decorate many more cities with beautiful fiber.

As summer comes to an end, I find that I am often pulled away from my spinning and weaving to tend to the ebb and flow of the garden.  After all, this is what we’ve been waiting for; the harvest after all this work is upon us. Tomatoes must get picked, eggplant cut from the vine. 

It’s been a very productive year for my tomatoes, eggplant and beans. 

When the harvest comes into full swing from the middle of August until halfway through September, I spend more time with my cookbooks to see all the ways I can use this wonderful bounty.

But all is not lost on the fiber front.  Many of these wonderful vegetables deserve a slow cook.  Once they are in the pot simmering away, I can usually grab a few minutes at the spinning wheel trying to make some headway on a pile of roving.

Life requires balance.  We need time for our food, rest and fiber…oh and work too:)

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am fascinated by sacred geometry in nature.  In general, it is the thought that God designed nature in such a way that it follows geometric/mathematical principles.  My garden is a great source of inspiration on this level.  And there is no better example than the incredible sunflowers in bloom.

Can you see the amazing spirals in the middle of the flowers?  They are perfectly formed!  And the center blooms from outside to inside the circle as the bees plant themselves for a drunken feast.

As a weaver, I know many principles of sacred geometry and the fibonacci series are used in designing textiles and wall pieces.  Jennifer Moore is a good example of someone interested in the color, texture and form of nature. 

I just know that I’ve been much more observant of nature’s design since I’ve started weaving and my garden provides much inspiration.