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WoolCake: Live Videos and Notes From Deanne

Sunday Letter, Dec.20th: A Christmas Letter

Sunday Letter, Dec.20th: A Christmas Letter

Good Morning,
I am often tempted to skip ahead. Like this morning, it is tempting to write to you about the year in review. To tell you my hopes for 2021. I always loved those news stories between Christmas and New Years where they tell you all that happened. As a child, when a year seemed so long, I would watch them on our black and white tv and marvel at what I had forgotten.
But to talk to you about that this week would be like skipping Christmas. I do not want to jump ahead to the idea of a New Year, and miss savouring this season before us now.
Even though I have spent years working on savouring, and taking things a step at a time I still have a tendency to neglect the present. To love what is. To be there for myself and recognize the good, the beauty, the joy of the moments. I so often want to skip to the next step, the next thing that is about the happen. I never take enough time to celebrate one thing before another fills the space in my head and my heart.
So often I forget to savour. But really is there any point in being ready for the magi before the baby is born? I need to take the time to love what is because there shall also be time to love what comes, when it comes.
It is not about mindfulness or being in the moment. The world talks about that a lot. For me it is about being in the seasons of time, those hours and days that surround the moments. A season of time is a special thing. It is a time when the berry is ripe, or the birds are flocking, or the lights are sparkling. Each year is full of them.
This morning is a time to be here in this season.
There is the beauty of my simple Christmas tree strung only with a few white lights. It tells me that this is the time. It tells me to turn on the lights and feel the glow.
I love the feeling of this season. It comes with promise and hope. It reminds me of the importance of kindness in our lives. I too feel overwhelmed at times but I see those lights on that tree, that grew on the side of the road, and it is a tender reminder of the importance of simplicity.
When I was younger I had ideas about how the holidays should be. Now I just let them be.
This year, in particular, it is vital to love what is as we gather in our very small circles, and visit others virtually.
Visiting virtually has become a routine in our house. My husbands' cousin from Lansing, Michigan is a regular visitor in our house. I hear his voice in the living room sometimes a couple of times a week. I love the way he say's "Hey Deanne" when I walk in the room. I love the way he reminds me of my father in law. I love that we get to see him and get to know him though he lives far away.
Every Sunday my six sisters visit via zoom. It feels as if the seven of us are in Mom's kitchen. It is hard to get the chance to talk even though we talk about not much. We talk in a way that we never have before with all of us together. We know more about each others' children and daily lives than we have for years. It's precious. It might be virtual to someone else but it is very real to me. I like being with them. I like knowing what they are reading and what they are having for supper.
Just last January one of my goals for the year was to learn how to use zoom so I could interview people for the Harbour Masterclass. Now it feels so familiar. When we set out with intention, sometimes we have no idea where that intention will take us or how it might be needed. In the last year I have met and talked with so many wonderful people virtually and I am grateful for it.
Enjoy this season, and know that I am enjoying it too.
May your week have comfort and joy, may it be merry and bright, and may you have a little tree that lights your way.
Thank you for being there, for being one of the lights on my tree,
Deanne
  • Angela Davis
Sunday Letter, Dec.13: The art of life is a lot like making a rug.

Sunday Letter, Dec.13: The art of life is a lot like making a rug.

Good morning,
For years when my children were at home I took the month of December off. Some years I did not even put a rug on the frame during December. I just wanted to be present, to make gingerbread, to help them make gifts, to have fun, to enjoy the preparation. I loved those years.
I love the getting ready. I savour the time before something beautiful is about to happen. I cherish the expectancy. I have since I was a small child. The quiet before the happening when the house is clean, things are prepared and laid out for loved ones is a special kind of quiet. A silence waiting to be broken.
This year I will be taking more comfort in them than usual as it is unliking we will be able to gather. Yet I know that the ones I love are safe in their homes, with food on the table, candles lit and fires in their hearth. I know they are ok, and that will make me ok. This year is different. So different.
Yet, I don't resent it because it too is made up of days to fill. I find a day to be such a sacred thing. A beautiful thing. When I wake in the morning in the dark, often too early to get out of bed I lay there and think of how I might fill it. I think of how I will feel when the light begins to wash the day with its' brilliance.
I am grateful for it. There is so much good to do.
A day is a day and it is yours to love.
In the dark this morning I thought of sitting here with my coffee and writing to you. I thought about the empty Cheticamp frame that needs a rug drawn upon it. And I thought about you out there making things, putting your hands to work to enrich your lives. Then I read and fell back to sleep for that early morning slumber filled with rich confusing dreams, and woke again ready to embrace what is.
So many of you I have met at a workshop or in the studio, and I know you know the value of a day, even one in a difficult year. I know you know because you too are a maker, a creative, we share this knowledge, this understanding of the beauty of time.
When you wake up and you feel healthy, and your loved ones are good, you have everything you need to create the day.
Because there is an art to life.
I take it on like I'd take on any creative project. I try to fill it with the good, because our good is good enough. The best of us is mixed in with it. I try to curate my days. Most of them are filled with love and forgiveness, for others and for myself, cause I need it too.
Some days things happen that are out of my control. I have learned that when I am able surrender to these things I am better for it. Clearly, sometimes I have to drag myself to that place. One night in particular this week I could feel myself on edge. I could see that I was not being patient or kind, or any of the the things that love is made of.
I slowly talked myself back. It wasn't easy and I know I couldn't have talked my younger self back. But I managed and that makes me grateful for growing older. I just don't want to waste an evening being miserable. The cure for me is easy. I just go to the little studio by myself and make or read or just be. When you know the cure you'd be foolish not to take it. Creativity is only a cure if you express it. It works when you work it.
I am so thankful that I had my creativity to turn to this year. It gave me a place to go. I hope that you too found a deeper love for your hands and your own creative spirit, and that it offered you what you needed. I know that this new deeper relationship I have with my creativity will be staying with me as I move into whatever next year brings.
Thank you for reading, for letting me write to you each week. Writing to you is a blessing in my life,
Deanne
  • Angela Davis
Sunday Letter, Dec.6th: Want me to tell you what I am scared of? Are you scared of small things too?

Sunday Letter, Dec.6th: Want me to tell you what I am scared of? Are you scared of small things too?

Good Morning,
Sometimes I am scared to do things. I know that some of you are too. When my children were young I rarely travelled without them because I was a bit scared to leave them. I used to get a little scared on the rare nights when I was alone overnight in my house. I am still a bit scared of being in a big international airport by myself. In fact I have never done it.
Scared is such a big word isn't it. I almost hate to tell you that I feel it sometimes because the word has a lot of power. But the thing is (as there is always a thing in these newsletters) that when I tell you I am or have been scared, somehow the feeling diminishes. It makes me less scared just to tell you that sometimes I am.
When I think of being alone in a big airport and feel scared I remind myself, that in that airport I will still be me, and there will always be good people, and that I would be fine. I remind myself that people do it everyday and find it easy.
I probably wouldn't even be telling you this if I had not overcome some of the the things I was scared of. When I think about it, as I grew my art and my business I was scared almost every time I made a move towards something new.
Like when I started hooking rugs of people without faces. Like when I made my first blog post and posted my thoughts for everyone out there to read. Like when I moved my business downtown and put a sign with my name on it on the building. That was a big one. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought, "Who do you think you are?" and then another worry came up "Will others think that I think I'm big."
In Newfoundland that was an expression I grew up with. Kids would say about others kids, "She thinks she's big." Sometimes they would say it right to you, "Ya thinks yer big don't cha?" It meant that you were playing outside the rules they had defined for you. It was a put down meant to keep you in your place. They were telling you to stop that thing you were doing, that reaching, that pushing, and just settle for what they thought was best.
As a person though I have to push towards what I think is best. When those scary thoughts emerge, those thoughts of what others might think, those feelings of uncertainty, it is my responsibility to nurture that growing soul inside me, to move towards the light and let myself bloom.
I don't find it easy. I worry just like every other soul out there. And I make mistakes and sometimes push myself in directions just to discover that they are not for me. I have learned that knowing that something is not for me is as valuable as knowing what is for me. I push on because I think of the things that I used to be scared of that don't bother me anymore. Really some of them are so silly and small.
Technology was a big one for me. I used to be scared to move my laptop in case I would mess it up. Yes that was a long time ago but still I felt it, foolish as it was. Before this year I was uncertain and scared to use Zoom to interview others but I had to learn in order to create The Harbour Masterclass so I did. Now it seems so silly.
Before yesterday I was scared of having a live class.Yesterday for the first time ever we had a live webinar. Rug hookers from across North America gathered and we hooked a little house on a snowy hill together. It was our first time, and though we had practiced there were plenty of technical difficulties. We made mistakes, but people were forgiving, and they even helped us along. Through it all, it was a great class, and having done it made me understand that we could do it.
Gosh I learned so much just from doing that webinar. I learned that if I was an international airport by myself I'd be fine. I learned that once you do something, it takes the scary out of it. It is in the doing that we learn not to be scared.
Maybe it was just my experience but something tells me you understand. It can be scary to become yourself. To bloom. As beautiful as it is, growing into ourselves is sometimes challenging for us, and it can be that for others around us.
But grow we must. Inside of me and you, there are all these seeds waiting to bloom. I want to give them the chance to come to life so I can see what they look like. I don't think I am big at all. In fact I think I am a small part of something so big and so beautiful and so immense, that the possibilities for all of us are more than we can ask or imagine.
Thanks for listening.
Writing you is good for me. It always gets me thinking.
  • Angela Davis
Hooking with Variegated Yarn, the AGNS and Caribou

Hooking with Variegated Yarn, the AGNS and Caribou

Hooking the Hills and Words for the New Year

Hooking the Hills and Words for the New Year

Hooking Slow and the mystery cake

Hooking Slow and the mystery cake