A usual February in upstate New York is gray and bone-cold; by contrast, this month has been filled with light. You can get a feel for its diffuse, encompassing quality from this post and this at Quince and Quire, whose author is a poet, calligrapher, maker of books and other finely crafted objects, and an actual real world neighbor of mine. She is someone I feel privileged to call friend.
The persistence of light has made this winter pretty manageable so far. It's warmed even the coldest days and made it easier to face going outside. And on the days when we've stayed inside because of illness, it has penetrated even the darkest corners.
It's so inspiring to stitch with the sunlight all around me. My crewel yarn has multiplied lately, as well as my embroidery inspiration books and my own sketch books, and the whole mess now fills up my dining room table. In the sunny dining room I have been stitching slowly but consistently on two Crewel Stones, and the sunlight has given me a little taste of the coming spring. It has inspired me to go with bold, bright colors for the Garden Matryoshka Stone. A sunburst flower glows from the center of this garden mama, generating curving vines and little clusters of sunny flowers. Holding her in my palm, I feel a combination of centeredness from her stone core and a rush of creative energy from the vibrant growth.
The Garden Matryoshka Stone is now listed for sale in the Haiti By Hand Etsy shop, and all proceeds from her sale benefit the Haiti By Hand women's artisan group in Despinos, Haiti. Textile artist Rebecca Sower is doing some truly amazing things to help get this new business off the ground, and you can read about all the latest developments at Haiti By Hand.