Monday, March 28, 2011

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

~William Butler Yeats

I became acquainted with the poetry of William Butler Yeats in a college course on Irish literature a few years ago, and I particularly enjoyed this poem for the images of solitude and simple living close to the land. I also liked it because it very much reminded me of Henry David Thoreau's "Walden." As it turns out, Yeats was a fan of Thoreau as well, and "Walden" was an inspiration for this poem. Great minds do think alike.

I needlefelted this wool wall hanging of what I imagine such a place would look like. I like to think of the occupant of this cabin hoeing bean rows and tending the hive of bees, enjoying a very simple life.


Sunday, March 27, 2011


As a handcrafter, I always strive to make eco-friendly art. I work with wool and natural fibers. I scour thrift stores for old sweaters and silk flowers which I recycle and re-purpose. I remove invasive plant species like dried teasel flower heads for making magic wands, and European beach grass roots for birds' nests. I make needlefelted wall hangings that celebrate the beauty of outdoor places, and hope that my work will help remind folks of their connections with nature.  My hope is that the things I make will contribute positively to the world, while having minimal impact upon it.

On an outing with my children to the woods this week, I brought along the Lady of the Forest I had just finished needlefelting so I could photograph her amongst the trees for listing on my Etsy shop. As we drove along the BLM road to get to the woods, we passed through this clearcut. I was suddenly struck by the idea of photographing the Lady of the Forest on a stump in the middle of the clearcut. It felt as though this little woolen lady had something to say. The idea and the image said a lot to me,  and I wondered what it would say to other folks out there. I think that art says a lot all on it's own, but when we set it against the back-drop of real life, it can say a lot more.  I'm sure we've all seen a clearcut, and I'm sure we all have our own feelings about them, but perhaps through art, we may see things in a new light, or at least give them more thought.

And here, the Lady of the Forest stands in her home of moss, ferns, salal and trees...
saying something entirely different.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady Spring

"My Lady Spring is dressed in green,
She wears a primrose crown,
And little baby buds and twigs
Are clinging to her gown;
The sun shines if she laughs at all,
But if she weeps the raindrops fall."

~Traditional Children's Rhyme

I just finished needlefelting these Spring maidens from soft wool roving. Each holds a pussy willow staff and a basket of Springtime treasures to watch over as the earth wakes up from Winter slumber.

Lady Spring has returned to the land.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~William Wordsworth

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Root Children

Mother earth opened the underground door and the procession of root children holding flowers made their way up into the warm Spring day.

When Spring starts to come back to the land, and little seeds are beginning to grow up into tender green shoots, I love reading The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Offers with my children. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is one of renewal in the cycle of Nature. I was inspired to create this needlefelted wool wall hanging of the little root children emerging from underground to help prepare the earth for Spring.

You can see more pictures of it here on my Etsy shop at:

Let Spring Begin!