guest post by e/lady oracle

The thread

She couldn’t remember when she had first spotted the thread or how it got there. It was red and very thin. Wound tightly around the stone she still wore on her finger. It hadn’t been there early in the morning. She had taken off her ring so she could wash him. Even though everyone had advised against it, she had insisted on doing it herself. Somehow, her hands had managed to soap themselves and carefully she had let them glide over his body. It had been cold and still and strangely dense. When she reached his face she had heard a sound escape her throat. Strangled. Muffled, as if belonging to someone else, far away. His hands had been the most difficult. They had reminded her of the moments he had placed them on the small of her back, making her feel like a three-year-old and a desirable woman at the same time. And then, the undertakers had come to take him away. All that was left was the kitchen table and the chair on which she sat. The light on the kitchen table had shifted, inch by inch. A fruit fly hovered over the apricot in the blue bowl. Slowly, she started unwinding the thread from her ring. With it, something inside her loosened. She tried to push against it. Put it back in its trembling, fleshy cover and stitch it shut. She got up from her chair and walked towards her sewing kit.

E. A.

image by Belgian artist Ronal Ceuppens
found via

a conversation and give away with brittan/little owl arts

I love getting to know the persons behind the blogs i am reading a little bit better.To know what inspires them, what a typical day in their life looks like and so on...Some weeks ago i had a conversation with Niina/Souvenirs and this time it is with Brittan/Little owl arts. At the end of this post you can also read about how you can enter the give away where you can be the owner of one of Brittans beautiful creations.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Sure! Well, my name is Brittan, I am an artists/crafter living in New England in the seaside town of Gloucester, Ma. (which is part of Cape Ann, a peninsula on the coast north of Boston.) I live in a granite cottage in the woods with my beloved dog, Veda, and bird, Posey. I love the sea as well as the mountains, so where my house is feels like the best of both worlds being in the woods up the street from the ocean.
I love beautiful things.
One of my mentors once told me that she likes to live "the beauty way". This means she would surround herself with what she thought was beautiful, whether it was conventional or not, or to take extra steps to bring beauty into her life, like always having fresh flowers around her house and workspace. I really identify with this, a large part of my life and work incorporates what I feel is beautiful, or beauty that inspires me. I love nature, it is one of the things that most inspires me, one of my favorite things is listening to the trees rustle in the wind or hearing birdsong outside my door.

How does a typical day in Brittan's life look like? I like to wake up fairly early, I have never really been able to sleep in. I like to wake up slowly, snuggle with my dog and bird, make some tea and start organizing my mind and making a list of what needs to get done or what I would like to get done. I am a HUGE fan of list making! Next I usually feed the animals, feed myself and then take miss Veda-lou out for a good walk. I like to be outside, I am always looking for treasures... A special leaf or stone, feathers, bones- the other day I found a shed snake skin out by the wood pile! When I get back, I start working on my list. I usually have a few different things I am working on at all times, this helps keep my creative cycle from getting in a rut (because I have come to realize there is a cycle to the creative process!). So depending on what I need or want to work on, I sometimes can multi-task, like getting some silk dyed while I am working on felting, crocheting or painting. I work all throughout the day, stopping for meals or other chores, but usually until I am ready for bed I am working on things here and there. Sometimes it is hard to take time off, but it's ok because I really love what I do! Sometimes I wonder where the time goes, it seems to fly by so quickly, one of these days I am going to figure out the secret to slowing down time!

I have been following your blog for a long while and i must say that i especially love the posts of your walks in nature Brittan. what does nature mean to you? Nature is extremely important to me, it is pretty much my main source of inspiration. I have a deep connection with nature and the earth. I can remember always playing outside in the bushes making forts or climbing trees and picking wildflowers when I was younger. I went to school to study herbalism, using plants as medicine and it is more of a way of life for me than just a practice. I worked for years at a store as one of their herbalists and have spent many years as a gardener both in my own garden and working for other people. I love the organic textures and shapes that you find in nature, texture is something that I have always been fascinated with.

You are a self taught artist that enjoys working with different mediums. can you tell us a little bit of the mediums you are working the most with and why you have choosen those? Growing up I was always drawing and painting. I liked to work in acrylic and lately have moving into watercolor. For a long time I made sterling silver wire wrapped jewelry using both precious and semi-precious stones. I still do from time to time if I am inspired to create something, but in the last few years have expanded and shifted my focus into fiber art. I make crocheted necklaces and pendants using smooth beach stones and glass that I find both locally and in my adventures, I even use crystals that I get from a friend up the street who mines them locally! I also work with silk and wool, creating nuno felted scarves and things. I also like to spin yarn and needle felt... I like to incorporate nature into my work as much as possible, or use natural materials. I also like to do things myself as much as possible. I make some felted mermaids and owls where I get the wool locally, mostly from some rescued sheep in the next town over, I do all the processing which means I pick it clean, wash it, card it and then dye it before I felting into shape! It is a lot of work, but I like to have at least a few things that are 100% local and 100% handmade!

What inspires you/where do you find your inspiration? I am strongly inspired by my environment, both externally and internally. I am inspired by nature and the environment that surrounds me, but also by my home and architecture. Lately I have been really inspired by scandinavian art, architecture, the landscape and the tradition. I also love japanese art and architecture.
I love looking at textures, shapes, colors and forms out in nature and all around me. I am also inspired by people, lifestyles, animals, flowers, trees, stones, the beach and ocean, lanscapes, weather, and moments where the heart connects. I guess by life in general, especially more rustic lifestyles. However, I am also inspired by mysterious, magical things. I like fairy tales and creatures and beings of spirit, folklore or mythology.

Besides creating, what other things/activities do you enjoy? I love to swim and take walks out in beautiful places in nature, like the beach or woods, as well as car rides to see beautiful places. I love the snow, so I like to walk, snowshoe and snowboard (when I have the $ to!) in it. I love to garden, bake bread and a good cup of tea, it is like prayer, many of my teas are herbs and flowers from my garden. I also love to hoola hoop (with adult sized hoops, not those tiny ones that are kids toys), if you haven't tried it it is so much fun and a great workout!

Do you have any favourite artists yourself? There are so many artists that I love. Growing up I always loved and was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe and Claude Monet. I was also really inspired by Salvador Dali when I was in high school. I am finding some wonderful artists lately who's work and being I am moved by, such as sheila hicks, Jill Bliss, Abigail Brown, Margaret Oomen, Cathy McMurray, Jillian Lukiwski (to name a few).

Brittan is giving away one of her lovely necklaces where you get to choose the color on the crocheting work that sourrounds the stone. The only thing you have to do is to write a comment under this post telling us what inspires you (and of course it would be nice if you stopped by Brittans blog and said hello). The give away is open until the end of this sunday and the lucky winner will be announced here on monday.

Happy weekend,

the give away is now closed!

a lovely conversation with niina from finland

I am so excited by sharing this post with you!

A conversation with Niina behind the blog Souvenirs.
A blog that i find incredibly beautiful and inspiring, a blog that i have been reading for a long long time. Her writings are soothing for the soul
and her photos are truly like sweet eye-candy.

Niina: To me, pictures are like souvenirs of life. They are memories of all the things I've done and all the places I've been. Memories of the past years and reached dreams. They are also memories of just ordinary life and everyday things. A smile of a child, evening sun, bunch of flowers on a night table, a good book,afternoon tea. Memories of all those big and small moments.
As I said - they are memories of life.

Can you tell us a little bit about what it was that made you start your own blog?

Niina: After reading some really beautiful and inspiring blogs for a while I started to wonder about what it would be like to have my own blog. And finally in January 2009 i started my first blog Muruinen. It took me a while to figure out what kind of blog i wanted to have but slowly it started to look more and more like me. Muruinen was a really nice place but after 1,5 years of blogging i needed a change (like bigger pictures:)) soo therefore on July 2010 i started Souvenirs.

Niina: I don't have time to write a real diary (I would love to, it actually was my New Year's Resolution to start writing on one but I don't know where all my time goes). So therefore Souvenirs is bit like a diary to me. I love sharing my photos and i also like to sit down and write a little but I try to keep a line between my personal life and my blog.
I've started to see things differently and more closely after having my own blog and also after taking more pictures. I'm always "on", looking and seeking for beautiful things, moments and images. There's a lot of beauty out there and I feel so lucky to notice it.

What inspires you?

Niina: I know it sounds like a cliché but I get my inspiration from everywhere. It's hard to specify it because anything can be beautiful or interesting.

PS: Niina also has her own blogshop

Wishing you all a wonderful autumn weekend,
it seems like it is going to be a cold one here : )

scandinavian poetry, part two

Romanesque Arches
by Tomas Tranströmer

Inside the huge romanesque church the tourists jostled in the half darkness.
Vault gaped behind vault, no complete view.
A few candle-flames flickered.
An angel with no face embraced me
and whispered through my whole body:
'Don't be ashamed of being human, be proud!
Inside you vault opens behind vault endlessly.
You will never be complete, that's how it's meant to be.'
Blind with tears.
I was pushed out on the sun-seething piazza
together with Mr and Mrs Jones, Mr Tanaka and Signora Sabatini
and inside them all vault opened behind vault endlessly.


scandinavian poetry, part one

When They Sleep
by Rolf Jacobsen
(1907 - 1994)
Original language Norwegian
English version Robert Hedin

All people are children when they sleep.
there's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
-- God, teach us the language of sleep.



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