Monday, May 21, 2012

driving miss brenda

If you're reading this then you probably don't think it's entirely wacky to fetch a woman I’ve never met, visiting from Wales, and drive her 2 hours north to a farm in the rural Berkshires of Massachusetts. Just so I could, you know, hang out with the sheep peeps for tea.
250_0512GaleZuckerKrisitinNichBut if I told you the sheep farm is Kristin Nicholas' home and studio, and the passenger was Brenda Dayne of the podcast Cast On , it’d seal the deal, right?
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I've become friends with Kristin, loved her work forever, but  this was my first visit to their farm. We'd joked about people wanting to live her life and thinking her house was just perfect and the sheep were all fluffy and cute, and she plays with yarn all day but in reality.....
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well....OMG... it is true.  No! just kidding! She and her husband The Farmer work hard, and farm life (as well as working for yourself) is at times difficult, gritty, messy and frustrating.  But, on a spectacular spring day, it looks idyllic. You should sign up for Kristin's  classes at the farm and see what I mean.
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 Anyway back to Brenda. Our original plan: I was going to coach her on photography and she was going to interview me about shooting knitting and handcraft books.
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 But we had way too much fun blabbing, just blabbing, on the way up. And then relaxing with a pot of proper UK tea and then walking the fields with the sheep while she recorded ambient sounds and interviewed The Farmer. We decided we just have to hang out again sometime.  (fyi, she sounds just the same, in person, as on her podcast. Mind blowing, it is).
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It was a wonderful day. You really really need to try to see Brenda when she passes through your area on her US tour this month. Her classes are sure to be wonderful,  but definitely attend her performance piece,  A Memorable Yarn. (read about it on Kristin's blog, here ).
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True confession: I got that line from Sweet Baby James*  , " the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on accounta' that frosting...."  as an earworm on the way home. And then  discovered,  I can remember all the words. No wonder there's no room for important facts in my brain.
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Had to end with the kitten. 
* go listen & look at that video from 1970 . So long ago!

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Monday, May 07, 2012

the week ahead

I'm usually a live-in-the-moment type, but not this week. I'm looking ahead, and can you blame me?
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Next weekend,  Shepherds Harvest in Lake Elmo MN ! I love me a sheep & wool fest, and I've been hearing about this one for ages. This is like a 3fer look forward. One I am honored to be the judge of the photo contest for this 15th year of the festival.   And Two I'll be teaching a Photo Safari class on Saturday  (still 3 or 4  seats left but you need to email the festival or try your luck at walk-in registration). We will be up to our eyeballs in good subjects. (They don't call me She Shoots Sheep Shots for nothin').  Also Three  I'm  book signing at 11 am on Saturday and at noon on Sunday. On each day I'll also go bother my Wear With All friends, who'll be selling and signing just after me on Saturday and just before on Sunday. Come by and say hi.
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But that's the end of the week. Right now I'm  picking up Brenda Dayne, of Cast On, and driving her to Kristin Nicholas'  farm in Western Massachusetts. Check out her fab North American tour, she might  near you soon-she is at Webs all this week and The Yarnery later this month.. Lucky!   Any Monday that includes talented knitter/designer/authors, yarn, a road trip and a SHEEP FARM stands to have a lot of promise. (Also Kristin lives near the best ice cream stand I've visited in ages, and that is no small thing.)
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