Ripples of peace

I have been inspired over and over again by the peace-spreading artistry of Fiona Dempster
and Barry Smith

of Maleny, in Queensland Australia.

The Peace Pin Project was begun as a result of their example, as detailed here:

And now I am privileged to be a part of their latest efforts in observance of The International Day of Peace this September 21st.

Last month Barry sent me ten peace leaves, here arrayed on some hand-dyed silks from a workshop I attended in 2015 …

the making of which he wrote about in this post: 
And Fiona sent a trove in June …

including ten letterpress pieces …

which I am now sending out to the stitchers who answered Dee Mallon’s call two years ago to create the Hearts for Charleston quilt

The Hearts for Charleston stitchers are/were:

And if all this sounds a bit complicated, so be it. This paraphrase of Robert Frost’s poem The Silken Tent says it best for me:

… [Peace] strictly held by none is loosely bound

by countless silken ties of love and thought

to everything on earth the compass round … 

Wentzville 2017 – Eclipse

We head outside 

called by the changing light 
to seek a gauzy crescent funneling 
through a pin-pierced hole 

This is not the golden glow of dawn 
nor the rosy tinge of sunset 
not even the green fug betiding storm 

Rather it is a silvery light 
that throws grudging shadows 
but gives no warmth 

The silence is total 
street lights flickering to life 

A lone birdcall cuts through 
swallows darting in a twilit sky 

Quickening darkness 
overtakes long minutes of wondering 

Shadows finger out of western clouds 
as eastern cumuli glow a defiant white 

Cricketsong rises up 
to greet a single star shining in the gloam 

Something beyond twilight falls 
stirring deep-plumbed tears 

Until seconds become fleet 
and breath releases in a sigh 
with the return of the light 

as if ’twere a dream

Photo credit: Melissa Walker

– The symmetry of solstice

Patch #356 Increase


I struggled with this post at first, which seems funny now because it all became so clear in the end.
I knew I wanted to include this verse from The Writer’s Almanac (recently added to the Kindred Spirits) …


And I knew I wanted to do something that represented solstice.
Oddly enough, it took me a while to think of looking back at my summer solstice patch, with the Strawberry Moon rising into a darkening sky …


So of course it turned out that the solstice patches would align …


and it was a short mental leap to seeing my way clear to a similar patch …


Meanwhile, Don was busy hanging pictures of our grandkids, taken (you guessed it) on the eve of the summer solstice and finally printed this week. From oldest to youngest, Logan and Jackson …
Griffin and Jace …

with just enough room at the end of the wall to fit in one more, someday soon.

They are the light of our lives …


and as I took a picture of the (almost) complete picture wall …


I saw my grandmother’s desk in the background, Don’s grandfather’s desk in the foreground, and our very first couch (remember crate furniture?) in between.
That’s when my doubts about next year’s cloth resolved. I do want to continue  patchplay and storytelling, although perhaps not every single day. And I want to keep trying new things, to continue playing with new ideas, even while honoring the old things that live with us in our home.
I know I’m being vague … the ideas are still coalescing. But I do know for sure that next year’s cloth will be about love and learning and light …


and how their increase will surely bring us joy.