nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘strategies for winter’ Category

creating my niche

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create: 1: to bring into existence;

2a: to invest with a new form, office or rank;

2b: to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior;

3: cause or occasion;

4a: to produce through imaginative skill;

4b: design. 

– Webster’s Dictionary

I am very interested in creative endeavors and I like being creative.  I am happiest when I am writing, painting, drawing, sewing, weaving, knitting, and so on.

Although I best like to write, I find creative activities substitute for one another. For example, when I am not writing for an extended period of time, I am often embedded in some other activity, such as painting.

Weaving exemplifies the lure of my various creative undertakings.  The producing requires knowledge and skill, and builds confidence.  The process is enjoyable and time is made available for thought and concentration.  The threads and fabrics are luxurious to the touch and the colors are bright and joyful. When I am finished a project, I am so proud of the resulting textile, I want to show the world.

My loom is a simple floor loom, 24 inch wide.  I bought it at a country auction, about 20 years ago.  My sister and I were among the stragglers at the auction, trying to outlast a heavy rain.  In the corner we saw a bundle of varnished wood and some metal parts.  “I think that’s a loom”, whispered my savvy sister.  When the item came up for auction, there were few bidders remaining, and no one know just what ‘it’ was.  At $25, it was a huge bargain.

My loom and I have not been steady company.  It takes forever to install the warp threads, and sometimes weaving is hard on my back.  But the fabrics we make together, my loom and I, are beautiful and comfortable and good for the soul.

What creative endeavors shape your niche space?  What materials do you use and what do you love about them?

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yellow line

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the road is fabric

weave of asphalt

ditch and yellow line

warp of guard rail

fence and heddle

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trees in plantations

lines on the hayfield

shadows on road

hip and curve of the earth

weft as she turns in her sleep

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shuttle piloted

through landscape

and watershed

textile in folds

texture the yearn of the loom

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faults in the granite

potholes in pavement

rifts in the fabric

where weavers might falter

revisit work of earlier times

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learning the lesson

taught by the loom

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choose your weft wisely

balance color and texture

maintain your tension

fix mistakes as you go

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rest when your back hurts

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listen

to the whisper

of weave

of yellow line

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All my best,

staying at home, staying safe,

Jane Tims

 

the yellow line

Written by jane tims

June 29, 2020 at 7:00 am

a quilting story: lemons and lemonade

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I am going to share the long, twisty story of my poppy quilt.

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First, I am not a great quilter, but I have made many quilts. To illustrate, a friend once asked if I was ‘basting’ the quilt together first. I was not; I just quilt with long, uneven stitches.

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The story begins last Christmas when I ordered, on-line, a draft-stopper made from a row of stuffed sheep. It was adorable, well-constructed and perfect.

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So this Christmas I decided a cute lap-quilt with a sheep motif would be nice for the easy chair near the draft-stopper. So I looked on-line and ordered this cute little quilt.

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Something went wrong with the order (I think I ordered from a knock-off site) and when the quilt arrived I was beyond disappointed. Someone had taken a photo of the above quilt or one like it, had it printed on rayon fabric and sewed the ‘quilt’ together with a machine stitch.

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Meanwhile, I was planning to make a small quilt for our bedroom which is decorated with a poppy motif. I had some of the fabric, left over from other projects. I looked on- line and found the perfect fabric, in ready-to-quilt 5″ by 5″ squares. 42 squares, just enough for my quilt. Disappointment number 2. The fabric, when it arrived was beautiful. But, only 8 of the 42 squares were in the poppy motif! Grrrrr.

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So I said, dang the price and sent for another 42 (that is 8) squares. Now I still had to purchase a padding for the quilt. Hmmm. I have that ugly sheep quilt.

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So I used the sheep quilt for the backing, sewing individual poppy squares over the sheep in rows. Very pretty although the colours are probably the result of my flower-child years.

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Once I had the top completed, I sent for some fabric to do the underside. The first order was cancelled because the fabric did not print correctly, but, frustration aside, the final fabric is soft and beautiful. You can see my ‘basting’ stitches if you look closely!

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Now I will do a wide band for the edges, this time in a bright California poppy fabric. My quilt will be colourful and warm, and, somewhere within the layers of fabric, sleep 25 ugly sheep!

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All my best and may your quilting projects be without frustration!

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

root cellar

with 5 comments

 

Q. 'root cellar' Jane Tims

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root cellar

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over the hill

cold earth sequesters

seeps of water

and lichened stone

roots in dry sand

preserves on shelves

of rough-hewn boards

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mice gnaw on the seam

of a gunny sack of corn

blue mold on the surface

of a jar of apple jelly

Mama just scoops it away

pumpkins never keep

past December

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Copyright Jane Tims 2019

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 19, 2019 at 7:00 am

hauling wood

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D. 'hauling wood' Oct 25, 2018 Jane Tims

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hauling wood

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The draft horse answers

to a click, a shake

of the reins, the squawk

of a blue jay, flushed

from the thicket. Long

tail hairs scatter flies.

Chain rings, loops around

the log, its cut end

a brake, ploughs up duff.

Nostrils flare and hooves

find gain in gather

of leaves, paw for ground.

Lather under tack,

he lowers his head.

Takes the woodlot incline

as though he’s navigated

these hardwoods

all of his life.

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Copyright   2019   Jane Tims

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 7, 2019 at 7:00 am

making snowmen

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In winter, the snowy roadside slopes keep a record of events. Animal tracks, snowmobile trails and sledding runs each tell a story of adventures in the snow.

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On a drive to Mactaquac, we saw yet another story being told. Narrow tracks, each with a small snowball at the base, document the activities of gravity and wind. I think they are taking the first steps toward making snowmen along the roadside.

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snow balls.jpg

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snowballs in dirtch

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snow games

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at first

wind and gravity

collaborate, roll

the heads of snowmen

down the grade

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wind nudges

the tracks, plays games

of parallels

and criss-crosses

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gravity tires

of rivalry, abandons

bodiless heads

in the snowy ditch

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May you encounter interesting stories on your winter travels!

All my best!

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

February 13, 2019 at 8:19 pm

ice falls

with 2 comments

Last weekend we took a drive along Highway 8 from Fredericton to Boisetown, a relatively new road to bypass Marysville and the older winding road along the Nashwaak River. For some of its length, the highway has been carved through bedrock and includes several impressive road cuts. I find these interesting because they show the geological formations in the bedrock. In winter, they are beautiful, a result of the frozen curtains of runoff and overland flow.

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Some of these cuts show thick ice flows, frozen waterfalls and dripping icicles.

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Most are browning in colour, probably from inclusion of sediments, but some are clear and blue.

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In a few places, it’s possible to look through gaps in the flow, and get a glimpse of the still, cold spaces lurking just out of sight.

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curtain of ice

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frozen land drools, and water

follows contours of rock

encounters cold, sculpts

cataracts and waterfalls, builds

frozen walls, solidifies

panes of glass, stitches

curtains of frost and filigree

icicle knives

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behind the curtain are caves

spaces where light glimmers,

diffuse where whispers shiver,

muted, protected from wind

glimpse inward layers

through flaws in rigid curtains

frosted shards of rock

icicle knives

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For more on ice falls, including another poem, see

https://janetims.com/2012/03/10/snippets-of-landscape-ice-falls-on-rock-walls-2/

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My best always,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 8, 2019 at 2:30 pm

black ice

with 2 comments

DSCF4028 (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC).JPG

black ice – a transparent coating of ice on a road, usually asphalt

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Winter comes with its driving challenges. Heavy snow, slippery roads, poor visibility … a good driver is aware of them all. Black ice is particularly challenging … it’s hard to see, often unnoticeable until you are trying to navigate across it. It may look like bare pavement, smooth sailing all the way! Black ice can be a metaphor for any dangerous encounter in our lives.

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DSCF8294 (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC)

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charisma

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your eyes glitter

crystals of salt

I think you are

untrustworthy

your charm a veneer

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black ice only shows

in a stray beam

of moonlight

or when headlights are switched

to high

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DSCF4027_crop (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC).jpg

Drive with care in every incident of life!!!

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

November 21, 2018 at 7:00 am

first ephemeral snow

with 2 comments

DSCF5206

snowflakes

absorbed by wet pavement

as though

they never existed at all

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all my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 30, 2018 at 2:39 pm

herb growing in winter #3

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My AeroGarden guide says “don’t be afraid to prune.”  Me, I love to prune. I must be doing it correctly since I am getting a small harvest every day or two!

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My plants are Basil, Tai Basil, Genovese Basil, unknown (labelled ‘Curly Parsley’ but definitely not), Thyme (hardly growing but trying) and Romaine Lettuce (planted last week).

I chop the leaves as I prune them and they are crisp enough to crumble in a couple of days.

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Photos of my ‘harvest’ …

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my garden after today’s pruning … gro-light makes a good photo difficult

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my ‘harvest … lots of leaves make a small amount of dried herb …

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 21, 2018 at 7:02 am

a new birdfeeder

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My coke bottle bird feeder finally succumbed to the weight of our colossal grey squirrel.

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My next attempt at a home-made bird feeder – a feeder made from a string of coconut shells. I cut the shells in half and removed the coconut many years ago, in an attempt to make a wind chime. They have been hiding in a bag in the closet and are part of my latest de-cluttering effort. I drilled a hole in the bottom of each half and strung them on a nylon chord. Let’s see what the birds think of them.

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Back to my writing. Enjoy your sunflower seeds, birds (and squirrels).

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018  

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

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