The Moment is Now

I spend so much time thinking about what next that I often don't notice what I am doing at the moment. I am working on relaxing my mind so I can be open to the flow. Seems like when I am creating something the hours in my studio fly by.

My creative process, great learning resources, and ways to help the planet by repurposing are the theme of this blog. You are about to enter "the world according to Jan." Hope you find it a-musing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vintage Hats Debut at the Alpine Holiday Festival

The Alpine Holiday Festival happens each November in rural Benton County, Oregon.The festival is a fund raiser for the Alpine Community Center

This year, we added a vintage hat display to the event. Jeanne, one of the coordinators,  took a millinery class and her interest in hats lead to this display.  You can't believe the number of people who were fascinated by the hats.  Many of them commented that they had an old hat of their mom's or dad's hidden away.     Being a wirewrap artist, I love that each of them is handmade and none of them were exactly alike.  I remember my mom having a pink hat  made to match here dress for my sister's wedding back in the 60's.  She also had her shoes died pink.  Oh those were the days when people dressed in style.

About half the hats were from my collection. Looking inside them at the festival, I noticed each of them had a label with the name of the designer.   Most of them were made in Portland, OR which makes sense since that was my home town.  My favorite is the maroonish one on the bottom shelf which was made in Portland by Myrtle.   There are ribbons that go around your ears and underneath your hair in the back.  I think this Fascinator could totally be worn by one of the witches in Harry Potter. You are lucky I cropped the closeup or you might have thought I had flown in from Hogwarts. 

The hat below was made by Jeanne in her millinery class.  It is completely hand stitched and the feathers are applied without any glue.  There is a real art to making hats and it isn't something that everyone can do.  I can't wait until she starts making them and we can sell them in our booth.

Looks like next year we will have even more vintage hats on display.  So if you are in the Willamette Valley and want to get a jump on the holidays take a trek to rural America.  You'll find great homemade food, quality arts and crafts, good music, a funky fashion show, and a great community of just plain folks.

Photography courtesy of Watchthebirdie

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Celebrating the Harvest - Celtic Winter

Here in Oregon the seasons are very similar to those of the Celtic year.  We had our first frost last week and it was very cold last night.   The days are considerably shorter and the chickens have slowed down in egg production.  Parts of the country have had there first snow storm.  Despite what the Gregorian calendar tells us it feels like winter is upon us.  In fact, November 1 is the first day of Celtic winter.

I like to mark the changing of the seasons with little rituals.  For instance, I remove the screen door on Samhain and replace it on Beltane. Flannel sheets are put on the bed Winter Solstice and come off Spring Equinox.  Today, I will put the barbecue under shelter for the winter months and fill the porch with firewood.

Samhain is about celebrating the last of the harvest and we will spend the next few days here at  Borgo Pass picking the cabernet wine grapes.  The winter squash has been put into cold storage and the apples are soon  to be picked.  According to the weather forecast, we have two nice days before the rains set in.

The daylight will continue to shorten until the solstice when we gather to celebrate the rebirth of the sun.  In this time of darkness we are invited to explore the depths of the inner self.   I look forward to slowing down the pace, clearing away the cobwebs, and searching my soul.

I would love to hear how you mark the turning of the year.