Wednesday, October 29, 2014

North Country Folkware

After a lot of late nights, some less than present parenting, and more caffeine than I think is reasonably safe, I'm happy, no ecstatic, to report that my shop, North Country Folkware, is open. Whew! As of yesterday, my 29th birthday (!), I am a shop lady of knitted things. Boot warmers, kid hats, toys, garlands, and handmade deer antler of right now. I'm hopeful that in the coming weeks I'll be able to add some adult hats and cowls to the mix. By the holidays perhaps some handmade stockings, ornaments, or special toys?

This has been such a labor of love project and I'm so glad to have pushed through. I definitely had moments where I questioned this venture but today I have no regrets. As I begin my 30th trip around the sun I feel really alive and empowered. I'm more at ease within myself now than ever before and all things feel possible. I've been waiting for this moment, this feeling, for years.

This afternoon the father of a child at Gus's school is coming by to check the electric in our cellar, which on its own doesn't sound too very interesting, does it? But oh it is! In time Craig will be adding his pottery to the North Country Folkware shop, and the first step in that journey is preparing our old house to support a kiln. Little by little, piece by piece, we're coming together beautifully.

I am really absorbing lately that much like Rome, homesteads aren't built in a day. We don't come to the land fully aware of how we'll support ourselves and many things we have imagined must be laid to rest. It takes failures and fuck ups and slow going successes to really sync yourself to a new life rhythm. It takes open minds and hearts, and forgiveness, of ourselves and each other. It takes an overwhelming believing that life will be good, that a different way is possible.

And I believe, in all of it.


Thursday, October 16, 2014


As the days, weeks, months tick by, we get closer and closer to having lived here longer than anywhere else. It's still surprising to me that in a near 8 year history together it takes just under two years to win the title. And I know home isn't necessarily defined by how long but in some ways I think for us, with all the shuffling that we did, it does matter where we were the longest and how long we've been here. I hold dearly onto the almost two years we spent living above a bakery in Boston's North End at the beginning of our relationship. It's where we screamed at each other for the first times, where we brought home our first Christmas tree, our first two dogs. It's where I learned to cook and finally finished my degree. It's where we first cried together over how difficult having children would be. And as much as I've hated living 5 months here, 9 months there, 7 months here, and having countless farms and houses fall through, I'm grateful that when it comes down to home and where we've really planted ourselves, it will always only be that 5th floor walk up in Little Italy and this tiny farmhouse on the coast of Maine.

Pictures from my new and daily evolving studio! I didn't realize how badly I needed a designated space until I made one for myself. The new physical space I've given myself has been the gateway to much needed headspace- thoughts on my writing, my business, family and social life- things are flowing. And with that being said, I shall slink off the internet, except for maybe a word here or there, until I open my shop on October 28th! xx

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Very Dull Mind

I've been trying to get back into the habit of writing. Over the summer I stopped- for busyness, for a sticky trackpad on the laptop anytime the temperature was above 75 degrees, for a broken camera. I had the thought about a week ago that perhaps the break was in my lens, not my camera (and it was), and I also thought hey, it just might be cool enough in this house that I could start using that computer again! (and it was). So I changed my camera lens and started taking pictures. I opened the computer and stared. It felt like trying to bring down a brick wall with my fists. In all that space I left between writing regularly then and wanting to write regularly now, I lost my rhythm, my words.

In the past month or so, in addition to all the normal things required of me, I've been knitting like a fiend. Hours daily spent with the needles clicking between my fingers in hopes of opening an online shop. I've given myself a loose deadline of in the next week or so. I would like to think it's for that reason- the singular focus- that I am unable to think. Then sometimes I worry that I've got Lyme disease because my mind can feel so slow and thick some days that I start to believe there has to be some greater culprit than lack of varied stimulation. But then I remember the sleep regression we're going through with Gus and I consider that maybe it's just a perfect storm right now for A Very Dull Mind. But one can never be too sure about anything with A Very Dull Mind, so who knows.

Maybe these are just the sticky wheels of the mind transitioning to the time of year when we turn inward. Time to pause, time to think? Not in months. And so maybe the brain sludge is not so much to be blamed one any one thing. Perhaps it is just the time to pick up old habits that feed the inside rather than the out. I've ordered some books, made the effort to look up from my working hands every now and again, and had more cups of tea that promise to support my mind than I can count. Sleep- I'm trying to get more of it. And writing- I'm doing it until the wall comes down.

Cheers to you and yours as we travel toward darker days and carry our lights within.