Artful

jenjoycedesign© new artful spaces

There is a whole different gait about me in this holding place.

jenjoycedesign© finished

Seeking out new photogenic sweet spots …

I look and look in this new place, and think there is nowhere artful …

jenjoycedesign© Autumn sweaters finished

 Then the sun only needs to fall a little and the angles of glowing light reveal it to me …

There are the same warm light and shadow like old friends …

Coming to visit for the afternoon.

jenjoycedesign© new things 1

Come friends, and sit at the table, and I will make tea in my new teapot. I am so glad you are not lost, but found again and again …

and every day.

♣    ♣     ♣

Oh, and the Autumn sweaters are finally finished. The sweaters were one of the few things I took with me when the fire came.  (( Thank you so very much Wendy for the buttons! ))  I hope to get them to my nieces soon, and experience their beautiful form & faces, and  those familiar places of Calistoga  … soon.

A temporary place.

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We have found a place to rent and moved in our few things we took with us.  Life has a new routine now in a place that is merely transitory.  This is something I have to find the courage to live inside of ~~ a temporary place.

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Rafter beam with nails Jeff and I hammered in 2001

I long to be in our house. I break down frequently, and become hopelessly frustrated in doing the basic things, feeling like I am groping in the dark to find my way around, having to relearn every small movement through the disorder and difference.  But each day I am becoming a little more resigned to it.

007 jenjoycedesign© eerie fir needle snow

Dying fir needles from the unburned tree crowns fall like snow everywhere, an eerie beautiful gold in the woods

There are brief moments when I feel that metaphorical sun streaming through a window of my creativity, and I contemplate how I might continue to be artful in this transition. That itself is the key ~~ being creative without roots in a place.

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trail working tool remains

My trail-walking, even knitting, has been put away for a time. One of the things I took in my escape, was a tote full of yarn & mostly all my needles, knowing I might be displaced for a few weeks, and I could cheerfully keep on designing.

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trail work as last left on my Knitting  Trail, and Autumn leaves keep falling over the blackened earth

But the heaviness took hold and the cheerfulness did not last.  It was perhaps still numbness that day I cast on for something that is forthcoming, but only about half the stitches before putting it down, and soon after I learned our house burned to ashes.

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what is left of a carbon fiber and aluminum mountain bike

So I will not knit for a while. But I crave to blend fibers and spin, and there are a couple of very generous women locally who are setting me up with both a wheel and fiber ~~ bless them ~~ I should be spinning by this weekend.

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wiped away charcoal sill plate where doorway was, to see Jeff’s & my initials written in the concrete, from when we finished foundation in the year 2000.

And thank you so very much dear friends on my knitting forum who have offered their time and welcoming warmth helping knitters with their questions.

015 jenjoycedesign© where a bench was

burned outline of a bench on my knitting trail.

Deep gratitude to All of You who have bought my patterns, it was quite an overwhelming response to my previous post , and I can not thank you enough.  The selling of my patterns to knitters of the world is enabling me make a priority to swiftly ‘set up shop’ , and in gratitude I am doing so, longing to refine & post in Tweed Chronicles again, as well as All Things Forthcoming with designing.

001 jenjoycedesign© trail

I will be back soon, hopefully with something creative and artful of my temporary place, and find resilience through the kindness of my lovely friends local & global, and of beautiful generous strangers.  Thank you again & again,  xxJen

Recovering

Facing the long process of recovering a life even remotely  similar to what was ‘before the fire’  could easily drive one to depression in merely a thought, a blink of an eye. I have discovered that I am very much a person influenced by Things.  Sentimental things are good, craved, needed, and unsentimental things (as furnished rentals) could very much send me over the edge.  Jeff and I are apparently for various reasons not able to just go up and live on our fire-ravaged land in a trailer any time soon,  as was the thought I held on to through the first week of being displaced.  We will have no choice but to weather over this storm, a storm of drastic life-upheaval, in a rented place, and I am going to focus a few months to recover only the very basics of what I had and used every day.

I really very much appreciate the resonating requests from all of you, in the comments over the last two posts  Yesterday, today, and tomorrow,   and  Ten acres and a trailer, that you might send things to help me recover my things.   I have thought and thought about how to go about asking for it, but the truth is, I can’t bring myself to ask for other people’s things to send, etc,  so I have a favor to ask of anybody who would like to help me recover the basics for my knitting, spinning, sewing studio which I took so much pleasure in posting about on Yarnings over the years.   Something like this is easy, digital, no postage necessary, because right now I don’t have an address– and I would get your support.

If you would like to help, please buy a pattern, or two, or more, from my pattern page on Ravelry.

Be sure to scroll down and see them all, they range from $3.40 – $6, and I am sure you could find something that you would enjoy knitting, even to learn on, or to have a knitter make for you, for many of my patterns are beginner friendly, or if you have no desire for having it knitted, just enjoy having the patterns as a token of your support.  The money from this burst of sales could allow me to get specifically what I need , and can form personal sentimental attachment to, which is ever so important.  And soon I will get my most recent pattern up and running, and soon I will be in a temporary space, but with my own tools of the trade, and while we rebuild the hermitage on the mountain, at least I could keep working.

I never would ordinarily ask for this pattern-selling promotion, but it is the best way I think, a way that is mutually benefiting.  So please buy my patterns, I’d be so grateful, and please spread the word to every knitter you know. I will be coming up with the latest one probably some time mid or late Autumn.

Thank you everybody, for being such an important pillar for me during this time, xxJen

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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My heart goes out with loving empathy to my neighbors & friends who lost their homes, and others who like me, have had to endure these tortuously bleak and dark smoke-filled days, and still displaced from the wildfire evacuation.    I just found out that our house has burned down. There is nothing left. The landscape took a lashing, as did my sanity and sense of confidence in the world.

Thank you again all of you who had left a note on the Ten Acres & A Trailer,  for those notes were a reminder that life was still happening during the numbest time of my whole life.  In closing, I never really talked much here about the house, but it is so very special because Jeff and I built it ourselves, and it took us nearly six years to do it, working every weekend, every holiday & summer vacation.

Jen nailing down T & G walls--Sept 2001

2001: Thirty-five feet in the air.

But I am healthy, and so am facing forward with gratitude the size of Mt Veeder itself that I still have the ones I love near me, friends who have not lost their home, and a future, even if unknown.

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ps. I will look forward to answering all of your comments soon, thank you so much for them, they are giving me a lot of strength ~~ xx Jen

Ten acres and a trailer.

I am soon to land feet down in ash and soot, after floating and free-falling for what seems a lost number of days. Not much needs to be said as the media has been pelting the airspace relentlessly since it all begun, and my perspective on the wildfire situation here in the blazing counties is only another shadowy narration of it.  It is immense and I am going to ignore it for now, and try my hardest to not look backwards.

Jeff, Emma and I are in a calm and safe place, and unharmed.  The future is all I can bear to ponder right now, perhaps a new routine living in a trailer  as we clean up the black coat which will be sticky and heart-wrenching, or simply sweeping up ashes… I do not yet know.   I dream now of freshness, of sun streaming in through windows on the mountain’s rugged landscape, and I am willing to accept whatever it looks like, as a loved one who has been injured, I will care for it tenderly, when the time comes soon that we will be allowed to revisit our property and see the aftermath.  I crave to thrive, and create, to tap into that effervescent well spring within myself. I want to be there now, I am ready, but I am having to be patient for the scale of the situation involves many thousands of folk just as I am, reluctantly separated and in limbo hoping for anything better than the worst.

For me that would be living in a trailer if I must, and once again walking in the wild places, along those trails that I share with the wildlife, and to scribble the day’s chores on my chalkboard and pace myself through them, never again begrudgingly!  ((Oh, and a belated happy birthday Michele, sending you a card was the one important thing I had written on my chalkboard as I left the house, and never got to it!))

Edit in: Friends , I am posting progress of the situation in comments below, where you can be informed of my personal fire news, until I post again. xxJen