Weaving Through Lent

For several weeks now I’ve been working diligently toward a rather extensive project. I got the idea to create tapestry weavings through the season of Lent culminating on Easter Sunday. As I voiced the idea to my husband, we came up with a way to work together with another artist in our church to bring this installation of woodburnings, poetry and weavings to life.

On Instagram I’ve been posting snippets and sneak peaks of this “secret project” for many weeks. It has not been so secret to our church family as they have enjoyed seeing a new tapestry, poem and woodburning each week through Lent. This week there have been three, making 9 weavings altogether.  All is revealed in this episode of my Knitterly Arts Podcast. We created artworks based on themes taken from Lent and Passion Week, culminating in 9 woodcarvings, 9 weavings, and 12 sonnets and villanelles.

You are able to view this installation by employing the pause button to read the sonnets, view details in the woodburnings and weavings, as well as read my explanations of where I found inspiration for each tapestry.

It is my sincere hope that this artistic offering will encourage and bring joy this Eastertide, despite my amateur my filming skills. :/

***

*Woodburnings created by Asher McClain.

*Poetry written by Randy Edwards. To read more of his poetry (and hear him read it as well!) visit backward mutters.com.

*Tapestry Weavings by Jennifer Edwards (yours truly:).

And the music you will hear in the video is composed and played by our son William Edwards. You can find more of his music on Soundcloud.

***

May you have a beautiful and joy-filled Easter!

Wind Walking

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my poetry. Oh I do have these little rhyming ditties trot through my head now and again. Most of the time I just roll my eyes and go on about my day. But this one “blew through” my head as I woke this morning complete with an illustration. 🙂

I woke to the wind howling in the trees.

“Come walk with me! Won’t you, pretty please?”

I answered the wind by stepping out the door.

Now my hat and scarf…they are no more.

-jpe 2.9.2017

I love wind. Do you? I always have. It seems to call to me, beckon me outdoors, even if just for a bit. Today I shall walk in it. It’s supposed to stick around for the entire day…fun! I s’pose I wouldn’t like wind so much if I lived where the Mistral blows for days and days on end. Although, if I were in Provence, I know I wouldn’t mind it AT ALL!! 🙂

Anyway, I’m headed out the door. I think I’ll leave my hat and scarf inside. 🙂

Who cares about the hair, right? 🙂

(Let’s see just how many smiley faces I can include in one post!)

Did you know that I have a book of my little rhyming poems?

It’s titled Words On A Line. 🙂

Have an Artful Day!!

What I Really Want for Christmas

eyestosee

The month of December is filled with distractions.  I’m moving from here to there to yonder with increased speed. Lights and tinsel pulling my eyes from where my feet are planted. To-do lists lengthening with each passing day. Longings abound for more provision, more peace, and an ability to make just the right holiday celebration for my family. On top of all of that, my own desires and wishes for things I don’t allow myself to purchase throughout the year seem to bob to the surface waving gleefully at me.

I recently wrote a letter to Santa and posted it on Instagram. It’s a tongue-in-cheek-though-based-on-truth letter from my inner artist child to whomever might read about the visions of sparkly, colorful batts of wool and glittery drop spindles that dance in my head. It’s true. Having recently dipped my big toe into spinning and weaving, I am now being pulled into a colorful, sparkly world (much like the glitz and glow of Christmas itself!) dreaming of all the supplies for this new-to-me craft. In between all the shopping and wrapping, visions of wool and spindles and looms are prancing in my wee head.

It all gets me to thinking though. What is it I really want for Christmas? A stocking full of bright-colored wool and spindles will likely not bring the provision and peace I long for daily. When I stop and breathe and drop into a space of present-ness, I can experience the ache for those good things which cannot fit into a stocking. Healing, wholeness, rest, and provision…in essence Peace on earth and Goodwill toward men. Yes, this is what I want.

And when I sit in this place long enough, I begin to realize that I actually do have all of these things, in some measure (not in their fullness), right now, right here where I am in life. In the midst of all that is going on in my family, in the lives of loved ones and friends, I can see bits of this healing and provision, some small, some big. The deep things I long for are actually afoot as Christ comes to us daily, Emmanuel with us. I just need eyes to see it.

whatiwantforxmas

This week, as these visions of wool and spindles dance in my head, I’m taking an extra moment to breathe and pull back the distracting curtain of holiday hoopla to really look for the presents that are in many ways already mine in Christ. They are yours too! The thing is…even though woolly batts and spindles are not THE thing, somehow Christ comes to us in and through them, as we make things with our hands. This is not meant as a justification for buying stuff. It is merely a recognition that even in the good things that we want in our stockings, glittery and sparkly though they be,  He comes to us and offers something far more beautiful and amazing – His own self, the Christ child, the babe in the manger.

I want eyes to see. Yes, that would be a lovely gift in my stocking this year and every year. A deepening ability to see Him, in and through and beyond all the goodness in my life, as well as in all the pain and hardship too.

A Very Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!!

Artfully yours,

Jennifer

***

“Lord, purge our eyes to see
Within the seed a tree
Within the glowing egg a bird
Within the shroud a butterfly.
Till, taught by such we see
Beyond all creatures, Thee…”

Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894
English poet

In the Presence of a Tree

frontyardplum

I sat in the presence of a tree today
to lean in, to listen to
what it has to say.

To draw from its lines a story of the tree
with pen and brush in hand,
my sketchbook on my knee.

It offered me a leaf, with limb bent low,
and dindled and quivered
glad for me to know.

It drew itself up tall, proud against the sky.
Then settled for the portrait
breathing out a sigh.

My lines caress its roots, mark each scar around the trunk.
Then out on limby ledges,
each a mystery to debunk.

I hear the breeze of ages past, dance from leaf to leaf.
My pen records the music
on a bark-made sheaf.

-jpe

*****

I hope you get to sit in the presence of a tree today!

(The above is today’s drawing for #inktober!)

Happy Easter!

EasterTulipsPaint1

Happy Easter to all!

There’s a little Easter poem and drawing over on APilgrimsDraw today.

May you and yours enjoy celebrating the Risen Savior!

-Jennifer

Falling

LeavesFalling

I heard a poem being read on NPR the other day. I thought it was so lovely and wanted to share it with you.

Autumn

The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”

And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.

We’re all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It’s in them all.

And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, holding up all this falling.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

I find it fascinating how we each see things differently. Where one might see leaves falling and think the leaves are saying “NO” as they fall, another might think the leaves are dancing.

What do you think of when you see the leaves falling?

Mondays

BackyardReds Cropped

Mondays come around with shocking regularity.

Don’t you think so too?

For some, the weekend is a time to slow down, to rest a bit from the work-week, to have a bit of fun. For me, weekends are hard, harried living. Oh sure, it’s all good stuff. But come Monday morning I feel I  need a weekend to rest up from my weekend. It has felt like this for quite a few years now. I look forward to Mondays so that I can return somewhat to a more purposeful rhythm of art and life. Weekends often feel like driving a stick shift in the highest gear possible and your car is still screaming.

Monday always breaks into my thoughts with a regular theme. I recognize and notice this as a lifelong theme–one of feeling bound, constrained, restrained, hemmed in, held captive in such a way that I long to break out, bust loose, run away if only for a few hours, or possibly several days.

If you flipped through my sketchbooks you would see page after page of drawing all the way to every edge of the paper, as if my pen longs for there to be more paper on which to dance. There are also pages where I’ve drawn myself a box in which to contain my lines. Rare, however, are the drawings in which I’ve stayed within the lines. My pen longs to bust out, go through those self-imposed boundaries and frolic free. These are some of my favorite drawings.

BackyardReds

Is this merely a drawing device I like to employ? I think its something more–a visual representation of what I long for in my life. I wrote the following poem several years ago. It was one of the first written about my favorite Field and Lane up at the top of my neighborhood where Mr. Whicker’s home and farm resides. Walking here often gives me a taste of that freedom I long for…to know no bounds…to run and play and frolic free.

It’s amazing how drawing can both reveal these things AND offer an answer. Drawing your life in a sketchbook truly is boundless…just turn the page when your paper runs out. There are NO rules one has to abide by in making marks…anything goes!

The only problem is trying to catch it all, to drawcument ALL of it: cousin sleepover with youngest, JDRF Walk with youngest and several of her friends, oldest daughter in for the weekend with two other friends from college, worship, lunch out with a friend, etc.

That’s what Mondays are for…to slow down a bit and draw my life, or at least parts of the harried weekend so I can remember it and see how lovely it is and in doing so…to live…boundlessly!

 

BackyardRedBuds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whose fields these are…

 

Whose fields these are I think I know…
His house presides o’er fence below.

 

His cattle say their grace each day
Content to watch and eat and stay.

 

The fields, they hum a beckoning tune-
To roam, to fly, to surf their dune,

 

To live with graceful, swaying ease,
To know no bounds, nor responsibilities.

 

To run and play and frolic free,
To chase the butterfly…or not…as you please.

 

Walking away, their song remains,
Though I am bound for my life’s restrain.

 

And as I enter my home’s gate,
I bow my head to plead for grace…

 

To watch and eat and yes, to stay;
To boundlessly live within the fray.

 

-jpe

I Will Create!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is an oldy I wrote years ago, but I’ve been running the words in my head of late. We can so easily be consumed by the sadness in this world: mass killings of humanity, hunger abroad and in our own towns, financial woe, health issues, family matters, work difficulties, etc.

I choose to stand against the looming oppression of these things by making something beautiful. Though it is a small gesture, when we all create something lovely, whether it be in yarn or paint, clay or paper, on a stage or in your backyard, we are fighting the ugliness that rears its head in our world.

Let us stand together today against all that threatens to undo us, and make something beautiful and share it with the world.

P.S. Did you know I like to write poetry? I have a self-published collection of my poetry available on Amazon or a signed copy in my Etsy Shop. It’s sure to bring a smile to your face on a dreary day. 🙂

I’m Off…

ReynoldaGnarlyTrees

I’m off to draw and knit at will

Where life will lead, my days to fill.

A week, a month, I cannot say

I’m going into the field to play.

StressRelief

There are yarns to knit and lines to draw…

…weaving them in a bouquet to enthrall

as I scurry about the rough hewn path;

amid the wild flowers I’ll run and laugh.

Tea&Muffin

For too much “must-do” is simply too much.

So I’m off of Facebook, this blog and such.

But if you’d like to see where I am,

You can follow me over on Instagram.

ColorLoveYarn

Life is full! We live it just once.

Take a break, pare down, find the essence.

Off the grid and out in the field

See your life beautiful, a bounty to yield.

-jpe

April 21, 2014

Thoughts on this Gray Dreary Day

LightonaHill

Sun of Yore

 

I woke and sunshine filled the room
Though dark, memories of sun pervaded the gloom
For yesterday, the world was bright
Warm rays danced on all in sight.

 

Yet as I stepped outside my door
A tinkling sound heard too often before
Ushered in the gray of winter days
Snuffing nearly all my inner rays.

 

Would that I could keep the sun of yore
No matter what greets me outside the door.
I’ll set what spark I have upon the hill
And gaze intently with all my will.

 

-jpe
1/14/2014