Friday, January 8, 2016

Reading Claudia Tate's interviews. Maya Angelou

" Life is a gift, and I try to respond with grace and courtesy" Maya Angelou

Whigs & tories, christmas clothes, christmas tree shirt, pink, red, green, ricrac, ric-rac
photo from a few days before Christmas

I am reading a collection of interviews by Claudia Tate entitled "Black Women Writers at Work." I've only just started and it is pushing me already. Thoughts on feminism, being black vs being white, being a black women vs being a white woman, and time to write (or in my case lets just say 'create' ). Things like this always make me a bit peevish. And I have to remind myself that I chose this life. I can choose to change parts of it. But other parts I am committed to see through. Child rearing for instance - I have one who will soon be graduating from High School and I have one in kindergarten...

Maya Angelou said something that I've never heard before and it really struck me. 
Claudia Tate asked: What has been the effect of the women's movement on black women?
Angelou: Black women and white women are in strange positions in our separate communities. In the social gatherings of black people, black women have always been predominant. That is to say, in the church it's always Sister Hudson, Sister Thomas and Sister Witheringay who keep the church alive. In lay gatherings it's always Lottie who cooks, and Mary who's going over to Bonita's where there is a good party going on. Also, black women are the nurturers of children in our community. White women are in a different position in their social institutions. White men, who are in effect their fathers, husbands, brothers, their sons, nephews and uncles, say to white women, or imply in any case: "I don't really need you to run my institutions. I need you in certain places and in those places you must be kept - in the bedroom, in the kitchen, in the nursery, and on the pedestal." Black women have never been told this. Black women have not historically stood in the pulpit, but that doesn't undermine the fact that they built the churches and maintain the pulpits. The people who have historically been heads of institutions in black communities have never said to black women - and they, too, are their fathers, husbands, brothers, their sons, nephews and uncles - "We don't need you in our institutions." So there is a fundamental difference.

This has been knocking about in my head for two days. I'm kind of chewing on it I guess.

Wondering if people agree or disagree?

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Shout Out to Rad N Bad Collars

Thalia earned her IPO 1 in December and I wanted to mark the occasion. I decided it was time to get her a proper collar. I have bought collars in the past with the dog's name and my phone number woven into the collar but I wanted a little bling. So I went looking. I looked at lots of fun collars and finally I came across Rad N Bad on Etsy.

check them out: Rad N Bad or on Facebook: Rad N Bad Facebook page

I had a budget in mind and after looking at the collars in the Etsy shop I had an idea of what I wanted. So I sent a message, including my budget, and the shop owner replied and let me know what he could do with that dollar amount. I was thrilled. So I ordered a black 1 1/2 inch leather collar with two celtic hearts, a name plate with my phone number, and pink bling.

dog collar, black leather, celtic hearts, name plate, pink bling, rhinestones
custom dog collar by Rad N Bad Collars


I'm so pleased! it fits her nicely and is well made and sturdy. I usually walk her on a prong - hey, high prey drive - but I've been walking her on just this collar and it is working well. Really, I recommend this shop.


you can also find them on instagram:




Sunday, January 3, 2016

Out Shopping in Nelson County - moose head hooks

There are three shops owned by the same people in Nelson County area. Tuckahoe Antiques on Rt 151, the Rockfish Gap Country Store at the intersection of Rt 250 and Rt 15, and the Greenwood Country Store which I'm not real sure how to find exactly, you just follow a sign off Rt 250 which takes you back and around the most amazing farm/estate and to the post office... and you just kinda find it.

Anyhow, Mom and I went out scouting around last year and I had taken her to these three shops and this year she said she wanted to go find some things because she wanted to copy something she'd seen in one of her design magazines. (more on my mother and design here )

There is a new vendor at the Tuckahoe Antiques store since I was last there. An art collector/dealer. The collection is fascinating. Ecletic. So many different styles... etchings, paintings, drawings, contemporary, some current living artists... and so many of the pieces had a description with them. I'd like to know who the dealer is. I'd love to hear their stories behind finding some of the pieces.

Mom didn't find what she was looking for so we moved onto the Rockfish Gap Country Store. There is a vendor there that I really enjoy... a lot of Bavarian things and a wonderful vase I've had my eye on for some time. Last year I bought a door stopper from them in the shape of German Shepherd Dog. It sits on the book shelf. I adore it.

I'm a little low on cash this year so I was out to window shop but then I saw these hooks.

moose head, decorative hook, mountain house, hunter


I'd seen something similar online, even pinterested them to my ski house page the "Stag Coat Hook" from Orvis. check it out: here
 Stag Coat Hook by Orvis

it is even on sale from $59.00 to $29.00. No kidding. But I can't spend $30 +shipping on a coat hook right now. Which stinks. I'd love to support Orvis. I think they are a cool company.

But... these hooks. These were selling for $8.00 a piece. Yup. Right here in my hot little hands. So I had some cash from Grandma French and I bought them. They had four. I bought four. So stinking pleased with myself it is ridiculous! Seriously. Made my day.



So I think two are going into my bathroom. His and Her bathrobe hooks. And the other two I'm not sure yet - Tim says we should put one by the door to hold dog leashes... at the end of the day it doesn't really matter what they hold. I'm thrilled with them.

Mom didn't find what she set out to, but she bought a lovely trivet from the Master Craftermen days of Colonial Williamsburg.

*added Tuesday January 12



Tim put them up for me, one behind the door to the master bedroom to hang his coach's pants, one behind the door to the bathroom, and two by the side door near the kitchen.

Perfect little detail for a ski house!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Birthday - Ice Skating & Spice Box Yarn Animals & Dirt Cake

My Birthday was quiet this year, quiet but cozy and sweet and lovely.

Little M - who isn't so little - made me a wonderful present.
Wonderful for many reasons. She'd received a little kit for Christmas to make pompom "friends" and while I am not big into the whole "make silly things" thing - when making silly things allows one to learn skills that are quickly being forgotten then I'm into it. Sure - its a pompom. But perhaps pompoms will lead to love of yarn and that might lead to knitting or crochet... I can hope.
She tried her hand and was frustrated that her first attempt didn't live up to her expectations. Tears. And wanting to put it all away and forget about it. So that she took it out, tried again, and made something she was proud to give to me - that was big. And I'm delighted. Because artists must fail - it is part of the journey.

She told me to name it want I wanted. And so I named it "Moo-Hoo" which is both in reference to M's name. And reference to my alma mater's current trendy nickname.

pompom owl, make pompoms, kit, yarn craft
my little "Moo Hoo"
And K made me a dirt cake from the Minimalist Baker.
I took a picture on Tim's phone so I'll add it later.
It was Tim friendly (vegan) and made with Oreos and probably coconut cream and was mmm good!
If you need a vegan desert check it out: Vegan Dirt Cake Minimalist Baker

We went ice skating in Charlottesville  with Wintergreen's snow sports teams - that was fun! None of the kids have skated before except M - she went for a friend's birthday once. Everyone was good sports though and gave it a good try. Afterwards we literally invaded Christian's pizza. I have to say, they (pizza place) handled the rush of over 50 people at once - really really well. 

(Main Street Arena in Charlottesville: http://www.mainstarena.com/)
(Christian's Pizza: http://www.christianspizza.com/ their vegan pizza was awesome!)

learning to skate at Main Street Arena


the kit I purchased was by "Spice Box" called "Yarn Animals." I can't find it on Amazon - not this kit specifically and I'm not actually sure where I picked it up. Michaels maybe? Joann's? Costco? Shoot, I hate when I can't remember where I bought something!
The kit had a combination of Spool Knit tools: http://www.spiceboxbooks.com/spool-knit-animal-make-play/
and pom-pom tools: http://www.spiceboxbooks.com/pom-pom-animals/
My M is nearly 11 years old and artsy and she needed a few tries to make it. The box says for kids 8 and up, definitely wouldn't go any younger.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Purple Sage

Tomorrow we, Tim and I with our older sons, (Kat is already there) will drive to Leesburg to say goodbye to our friend Richard. Tim knew him better than I did. He and Tim skied together and enjoyed ski team adventures together. I knew him only a little. A man who I remember as always smiling, always outside, never saying anything ugly or unnecessary, he loved his family, he enjoyed skiing, he loved to fish, he mixed a great margarita. He spent hours helping my son with his fishing and was always patient and encouraging.

his obituary is here: Richard Wyly

He took thousands of pictures. During ski season he took thousands of pictures of SARA ski racers. It didn't matter which team a person skied for, if Richard was at the race he took photos. He shared them via Smug Mug under the name Purple Sage 
Many of the pictures of skiing on this blog come from his Smug Mug collection.
I have some I bought from Smug Mug. I have one of the lights at night over Wintergreen that I bought with the intent to frame and hang up in our house. I meant to ask him to sign it. I never did. I regret missing that opportunity.

The team will not be the same without him. Tim misses him, and I miss him. Our children miss him. Our thoughts are with his family.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Virginia Regional Ballet Nutcracker, Mice & Clara





That Nightgown I was sewing... Clara's grandmother added a few finishing touches & voila!

She is a lovely dancer.

Oh - and "Mouse number 8" is mine.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Wreaths in Colonial Williamsburg

Christmas in Williamsburg is one of my favorite things. I haven't been able to walk through Colonial Williamsburg as often this year, lots going on! But I did get out once or twice and managed to take some quick snapshots with the iphone. Not high quality photography, but hopefully you will all enjoy the wreaths anyway.

colonial Williamsburg, colonial christmas, wreath, fruit, natural decorations, virginia

toy maker, wreath, colonial williamsburg, colonial christmas, dried flowers

dried flowers, dried cinnamon, natural decorations, colonial decorations, colonial christmas, Colonial Williamsburg

sunflowers, pinecones, shoe, Colonial Williamsburg, Colonial Virginia, Christmas



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