Hasn’t it just been the most magnificent Fall? We’re just putting away the sheets that protected the cilantro and beets in the garden because we’ve harvested all but the last straggles. Steve’s found that by planting winter rye on top and around the chard we can protect it from mild frosts and we’ve identified the warmest spots in the garden and planted the kale there this year…hint, look for where the cat o nine tails thrive, this is a warm spot.
Since my last post, we took that trip to Madawaska and the Saint John’s Valley for the first snowflakes of the season. At the risk of not having you visit our corner of the world, you should find a way to drive to the County…we saw it in the beginning of November when people said it was bleakest and still found it absolutely wonderful. We went to talk with artists about participating in Fiber College 2017. We met with quilters, weavers, historians and a snow show maker…and ate great food at every turn (The yellow ployes were my favorite). It’s a different world up there…you hear more French than English but it’s a colloquial French whose rhythm and lilt is enchanting. If you think life here is pastoral, up there it’s a different pace still where tractors create traffic jams and women speak poetically about the beauty of handwork and potato blossoms (described to me as sheets of delicately colored gauze in shades of pink, blue, yellow and purple laid out over lush green fields for as far as the eye can see).
We stayed in a log cabin beside a beautiful pond 5 minutes from downtown Madawaska. Debbie and Danny built the cabin from logs grown on their land and every inch of the cabin is furnished with their skillful woodworking and gleanings from all over the Valley. I never imagined how many things you could do with Moose Antlers 😉 You can check out their website here and tell them Astrig and Steve sent you.
As much as possible I’ve been weaving in the studio. Look at “Maggie’s Rug!” She’s a Navajo Churro sheep that Steven bottle fed since she was as small as a chihuahua (you can find videos on youtube of the time she “grew up” in our house). She was born almost black and has finally faded into a lovely cafe creme. We shear her twice a year and I’ve been spinning and saving her wool all this time so that I could make a rug that shows the color changes of each six month period of her life…and here it is…just off the loom last night. The rug’s going to warm the floor of our little getaway cabin, so this afternoon we all walked over to see how it looked…don’t you think the rug would make a good poncho?…and Steve looks a bit like a caballero 😉
Although I could easily get lost in my world of wool, when it rained yesterday, I finally sat down at the computer and design a new rack card for next year’s distribution. Twenty four years ago we did everything ourselves which meant typing up an information sheet and taking it to the copy shop and having it printed on colored paper…no pictures, nothing fancier than choosing between a tilde and asterisk for bullet points and deciding if it was worth the 3 cents/page to have it folded for an envelope mailing. We dreamed about the day we’d pay someone to make a “real brochure.”
In a blink, computers got more powerful and suddenly we were supposed to be desktop publishers…then we dreamt about when we’d be big enough to pay someone to design our brochures “like the big guys.” A couple of years ago, we got there and found out it’s not that easy because we didn’t have the words to accurately project our vision…and revisions are very expensive and we weren’t all that satisfied. Today with cloud software and a dreamy mac, we really can do it ourselves but imagine Steve and me sitting in our PJ’s, coffee in hand, trying to decide if we’ve “told our story” in the elusive 8 seconds you have to grab the attention of those standing in front of a brochure rack. There’s the technical challenge of having images that work for print media (high resolution, uncluttered, truly representative) and the more complex challenge of refining our message into the words that will resonate with “our people” using as few words as possible. Honestly, I wish those teens from Macedonia lived next door! At any rate…we sent this off and ordered 5000 copies…with our fingers crossed.
It’s fun to close on a really high note, last week Steven and I accepted the Heritage Award from the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Treat family who came before us, our own family and the friends who help us ever day. We were celebrated for the 50 years Searsport Shores has contributed to the prosperity and individuality of the region. It was a surprise and an honor to be selected. When I was young the concept of roots and legacy meant little to me but as the grey hairs have started to highlight my pony tail, I’m gaining a new appreciation for what it means to be part of something bigger and look forward to when our nephews may be interested enough to join our world.