Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Camp

Day 3 of my 16 days in the metals studio at the Penland School of Craft. The days are long in the studio, and I've been getting up for 7am yoga (I know! Hardcore, people. Hardcore.) The school is nestled into the side of a steep hill in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The fog burns off quickly and the cicadas drone early.

The focus of the class is rings. I've been experimenting with texture and width so far and am really looking forward to expanding my stonesetting knowledge. One of these three rings will be going to my mom. I want her to guess which one. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


On a gorgeous summer day last week, I made a visit to the only preserved Shaker village in the world: Hancock Shaker Village.

When people think Shaker they think clean lines, simplicity, and austerity. It's so hard to try to reconcile that with the religious fervor that lead to such an extreme lifestyle. Dancing worship, strange rituals on mountaintops. And then you look at their workshops and the things they produced: orderly, utilitarian. 

Inside the iconic round barn? PIGLETS. Not even 24 hours old!

The village was established in 1791. This was their Utopia. At its height, there were about 200 residents, all celibate—not the best longevity plan. In the end, during the early Twentieth Century, there was only one man left. One man to farm and maintain and do all the things the Shakers believed were "Man Things."

And when he finally kicked the bucket, that last man - Brother Ricardo - came here.  A neatly trimmed square fenced in wrought iron with a single obelisk marker in the center honoring the lives of all Shakers. Easily the most beautiful spot in the village.

(all photos were taken on my phone. I know, right?!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feather Edition

Things I've Found in the Woods: Feather Edition.

One Hawk, two Grouse (I think?)

I found that middle one, above, on the road and I tucked it into Tucker's collar so he could carry it home for me. He looked so proud and regal wearing my feather find. I think he knew he looked extra handsome.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Peanut recycling

YOU GUYS! I found a use for that giant stash of used packing peanuts I've been collecting in the basement. I know, I know. Super exciting.

Behold: packing peanut planters! These sweet galvanized steel planters from CB2 are really good-looking, but they have a ton of dead space and no drainage holes. Fill them halfway with old packing peanuts, though, and taaada! Recycled planting mojo, complete with built-in drainage for the soil and plants above (or something like that.)

Plant deets: Victoria blue Salvia (I'm totally ready for a visit from Lindsay Lohan!) and savannah grass. (The blue salvia is only hardy to, like, zone 8 or something crazy like that so I just treat it like an annual.)