Full Moon Musings September 2020: Harvest Moon

And so another full moon rolls around again! Committing to writing these emails on each full moon has certainly shown me how time just keeps on moving along and that nature is so dependable. If I wrote these notes at what I consider a regular interval, they would not be as frequent as this! So I am extremely grateful to our amazing moon for keeping me on track.

I cannot believe it is September but the signs are certainly there: A new freshness in the air, cobwebs on the ground in the morning. All signs that Autumn is on its way. It feels like this has been a long summer, effectively starting in March when the children stopped school! And so, six months later, we are planning a return to school and a tentative feeling of new “normality”.

Did any of you watch Grayson Perry’s Art Club? Wasn’t it fab? I just loved it, his overwhelming creativity and the way that he and his wife pottered around the studio together. I wish they had a regular long term TV show. I saw a quote from him the other day which really resonated:

“As we come blinking out of the light, now is the time to leave a space in our lives to make art, whether we join a choir, a writing group, a quilting bee…..Make a little nest for your feelings about being alive, nurture them that they may fledge and fly.”
Grayson Perry

And so I guess this is a good time for me to ask you how you are going to leave a little space to make art? I have to say that I struggle to do anything in a club, much as I would like to, as it is tricky for me to commit to a regular time outside the house. I also acknowledge that the demands of everyday life make it hard to put time aside to be creative. All the advice and evidence seems to be to try and make anything you wish to do regularly into a habit so that it just becomes part of your day. Along those lines, I was thinking that I never have difficulty finding photos to put into this newsletter, because I habitually take photos. I resist getting too hung up on the technical aspects of photography and buying fancy kit because actually what is important to me is catching the moment.

It is also quite hard to fit all the creativity that I would like to into my day. Demands of family, life, house and work mean that making seems to fall to the bottom of the list of priorities. I am sure I am not alone. I have been trying to get up very early so that I have a couple of hours making before the family rise and this has worked really well. I find that on the days I manage to do this, I feel much calmer and relaxed about all the other things I have to do that day. It is hard to prioritise getting to bed early, especially with teenagers bumping around the house, but I am going to try and persist with it…..watch this space!

I was delighted to receive my copy of ‘Open’ The Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide No.15.

Modern Daily Knitting is an online knitting community and the field guides are ‘little books that explore the big world of knitting, with patterns and stories to inspire the curious knitter.’

The editors are Melanie Falick, Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne and the guest designer for this guide was the talented British knitwear designer Jeanette Sloan.

The book contains five gorgeous designs using lacework with a distinctly modern take. Jeanette takes conventional garment shapes and modifies them, such as this blunt end to the classic triangular shawl in the Clerestory Shawl, or the Mood Cardigan which can be worn anyway up.

Once these interesting shapes are decided upon, Jeanette makes them even more interesting with geometric lace work and bright colours.

I love watching Jeanette’s career go from strength to strength and am delighted that we will have some exciting news about Jeanette to share with you all in future newsletters.

If you would like to buy a copy of the Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide No. 15, they can be bought direct from Jeanette at her website https://www.jeanettesloandesign.com

A friend directed me to a really interesting radio documentary recently, and I would really recommend you have a listen too. It is on the BBC world service and can be found via the BBC website. The radio programme is called ‘The Documentary’ and the episode is ‘Stitching Souls’.

Photo Credit: Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Gees Bend is a small remote black community in Alabama, USA and most of the inhabitants of the community are descendents of slaves. For generations they worked the land of the Pettway Plantation. Since the 1920s, members of this community have been making wonderful patchwork quilts and they are seen to represent a crucial chapter in the history of American art.

The quilts are bold, improvisational and full of flair, often using recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks and remnants. Since 2015 they have been running quilting retreats (I would LOVE to attend one!) and the radio programme describes the experience of two British journalists who attended a retreat. The Gee’s Bend quilters were so warm and welcoming and the sounds of the singing of spiritual songs whilst quilting is very moving. Highly recommended listening.

As a slight change to our normal format, I thought I would give our resident yogi a slightly different invitation this month. Some of you may know that last week it was ‘International Day of the Dog’ (yes, such a day does exist!) I have bored you with pictures of our dear dog Pippa but as Kate has also just had a new canine addition to the family, I thought it would be good to reflect on what our dogs mean to us.

Dogs are not for everyone, and indeed, I spent much of my life being scared of them. Some consider them to be a huge commitment and a waste of money. That may be so, and Pippa is a very highly strung dog who needs quite a bit of care and attention, but I am so grateful to her for bringing so much love and joy into our lives. She reminds me daily that no one is perfect and that actually our imperfections are what make each of us special. Thanks Pippa xxx

Kate on Obi:

I hope this September edition of Full Moon Musings finds everyone well (if not so much, then ping me back and lets get you booked into a yoga class pronto – I have a brand new beginners course starting on line next week!).

I’m just back from a staycation encompassing the west coast of Wales (The Mumbles), and Cornwall – a beautiful reminder of how gorgeous our own country is – albeit somewhat inclement!!! and how blissful the simple pleasures in life are – a blustery walk around a headland, followed by a coffee and a pastry. And owning a dog!

Yes, it’s a cliché I know, but we are one of those families who succumbed to puppy pressure during lock down, although in my defence, it has been a point of much discussion for years. “Are you mad’ said one of my friends who, like me, has just come through the busiest years of raising a family and is relishing getting her life back. “Welcome to a life of unconditional love and picking up poo!”, said my brother in law who has owned dogs for years, and couldn’t envisage a life or home without one, and now I understand why.

My house is permanently covered in paw prints, my slippers and flip flops have been chewed, t-towels are buried in the garden, my kitchen now houses a dog bed and a crate, my disposable income now needs to stretch to dog food, pet insurance and a vaccination plan, going on a long journeys is a nightmare due to a car sick puppy, not to mention a very full back seat! I can no longer leave the house for hours on end without a plan in place, and there is a large hole in the carpet under the coffee table in the lounge.

BUT, I don’t mind because the up side is huge; there are less arguments in the house and the love factor seems to have gone through the roof. When anyone feels down in the dumps, it’s not for long because he’s always there with as much unconditional love as you need. My husband and I go on more walks together than we have in years, which in itself is bonding and therapeutic. The innate human need we all seem to have (even my 14 year old), to ’take care of’ seems to have brought out a soft side to all of us, which everyone in the family benefits from.

Obi is a beautiful, loving, authentic soul and he seems to make all of us want to better human beings

If the ultimate goal of yoga is to cease the fluctuations of the mind and to exist in the moment, dogs are some of the best teachers there can be

Photo Credit: Kate Woodward

And so finally, just a reminder that the next ANOGM retreat will be Friday 25th-Sunday 27th June 2021!!!! (Keeping everything crossed, of course.)

Most people who were signed up to October 2020 have replied to my email about refunds, but if you haven’t then please do contact me on the email below.

Hazel Hill Wood Summer 2020

And so finally, just a reminder that the next ANOGM retreat will be Friday 25th-Sunday 27th June 2021!!!! (Keeping everything crossed, of course.)

Most people who were signed up to October 2020 have replied to my email about refunds, but if you haven’t then please do contact me on anestofgentlemakers@btinternet.com.

With love

Charlotte xxx

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