I find that I'm inspired by all the color out in the woods right now. The fall mushrooms are stunning in shades of orange, red, white and purple. The leaves are just starting to change color and I'm a sucker for the mix of greens, reds, golds and browns. I can't stop picking up pine cones, acorns and birch bark. So, it's no surprise that I'm sitting here at the kitchen table surrounded by all things fall that I put together this morning at my new work table! There are several cornucopias stuffed with preserved oak leaves, grasses, grains and more lined up next to a couple of autumn inspired bouquets in shades of gold, blue and burgundy. There is also a cool little wheat wreath sitting here with a couple of matching hydrangea wreaths. My favorite is the square one below replete with pheasant feathers, a set of antlers, preserved ferns, leaves, hydrangeas, yarrow and some wispy grass. It's all heading over to my new location at The Red Dresser, a truly eclectic marketplace where I have my own wall and plenty of light.
I love pop up markets. You bring your treasures, set them up and voila, you've got yourself a short-term sales space. I'll be popping by the front porch of The Happy Woman Store in Suttons Bay, Michigan to not only sell my preserved arrangements and wreaths (with a focus on garden-themed pieces, think wheelbarrows and watering cans) but it also gives me a chance to do what I really love – play in the soil. I'll be bringing herbs and succulents planted in all kinds of cool containers - wire, wood and clay. You will also be able to buy plants for your own containers too. Please come say hello and while you are at it, you must visit the Happy Woman. Linda has created a wonderful space that just makes you smile when you walk in the door. You will find the most fabulous clothes for all ages as well as hip and happy gifts.
I've been doing a lot of procrastinating this week, which is typically not the way I like to work. In addition to crafting, I've been a freelance writer and have lived by the deadline for years and years. I've never missed a deadline and in fact usually have a story done early. So, I'm not sure why I can't seem to motivate myself down to my work table when I have a show a ws when I took the dog out this morning! What it means is that next week I will be overdosing on double espressos and will be spending hours with my trusty glue gun.
In the meantime, a dead birch came down right across the trail in the back 20 and the bark is pristine. I've started making pockets and I really will get them filled in time for the show and plan to offer some on the website as well.
It looked like spring was right around the corner. The crocuses were up an inch or so and the robins have been showing up. Then, just like that, it looked like January. I decided to ignore the snow that has been steadily piling up outside the window and hit my work table instead. I pulled out all things spring -- the greens, pale pinks and sky blues, the birdhouses and wheelbarrows.
After a few hours it was finally time to face reality and take the dogs for a walk. I had to pull out the Sorel’s, which was a real bummer – not only because I had to slog through five inches of snow, but wearing these boots is like walking with 20 pound ankle weights. The only ones having fun today were the dogs. I did manage to find some really lovely silvery poplar bark on a downed tree and saw some animal tracks that I think were either fox or coyote, which would explain the fresh rabbit leg Maizy happily found the other day.
I've added two of my latest birch bark pieces in the shop.
Here in northern Michigan we are more than ready for spring by the middle of March (I'm talking temperatures in the 40s, we're not greedy), but rarely does it happen. Instead, we see temps in the 50s for a week, the snow melts and we happily pull out the rakes and blow the dust off the lawn furniture. All the while we're looking over our shoulders knowing that a cold front, even a little snow is inevitably on its way. It's been lovely here lately and the snow is almost gone but today winter is back. It's cold, gray and rainy and the only one having fun outside is my Bernese Mountain dog who played in the icy swamp water and chased blowing leaves. I'm going to fire up the woodstove and pull out the seed catalogs and narrow down my list. If we had more sunlight I would grow more flowers to dry and use in my arrangements and wreaths. It's so satisfying to see bunches of flowers hanging off the drying racks late summer. I do grow lavender, yarrow, lambs ears and other perennial herbs and if I move the lettuce I'll have room for just a few more kinds of everlasting annuals - what will it be this year?