Amy Artisan

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Month: January 2012


This is my third winter in northern Wisconsin while on this project. In that time, I have seen all sorts of winter weather: some precarious drives north on snow covered highways; some near blizzard snowfalls; some slushy snow days; some icy days; some no snow days and everything in between. On Saturday morning, I awoke to the best type of snow: picturesque, weekend snow. Overnight, a few inches fell – just enough to frost everything in a white that seemed to glisten in the morning sun. First thing Saturday, I had a “quick” errand to go to a favorite pottery studio about 45 miles north of here – along the shore in the UP. After clearing the snow off the rental, I was ready to go with coffee in my travel mug & sunglasses on to minimize the sun glare.

The drive north was lovely – M-35 was dry and there wasn’t much traffic on the road. The sky was a brilliant blue, the sun was shining brightly & the snow was still white. The trees along the route were frosted and tipped in a pure white – every so often, a breeze would shake some snow from the branches. After a busy week in the office, it was nice to step away from the hustle & bustle and just take in the beauty of a winter morning. With the start of a new year, it is natural to resolve to do things differently – this drive was a great opportunity to look back on the month and take stock of how I’ve been doing with the changes I’ve been wanting to make in the new year.  A good friend has property along the route of this drive. At some point on my drive, I thought “camera and snowshoes” – this snowy morning seemed like it would be perfect for exploring the property with camera in hand – zooming in on snowflakes with a macro setting, zooming out to a bank of trees or swath of grasses frosted in the light snow. Alas, no camera or snowshoes on the agenda for the day. (And never mind that I’ve never been snowshoeing – it just seemed like the thing to do.)

After an hour in the car, I came to the sign for “Rocky Shores Pottery” and turned from the dry road onto the snow covered driveway – my tires breaking through the white canvas. Shirley, the potter, was in her studio and we chatted as I picked out a few pieces of pottery for friends. After just a few minutes, I was back in the car & retracing my tire tracks on the snow covered driveway to get back to the road. I waited for some southbound trucks to zoom by and then pulled out onto the road back.

Along the way home, I pulled into a park along the shore. Again, my tire tracks broke the snow. A swing set was snow covered – a reminder of warmer days past and warmer days to come. While I didn’t have my camera with me, I did have the camera on my phone – so I stepped out of the car and each step of my boots crunched through the snow as I stopped to take a few pictures. The water along the shoreline has frozen over but in the distance you could see the sun dancing on open water.

By the time I got back to the hotel, much of the snow had disappeared. Before long, I was back in the car with a friend to spend the day shopping. But for those few hours on a Saturday morning, the stillness of a snowy route provided a tranquil respite from the busyness of the everyday.

Northern Stitches…

When I first started blogging, knitting was a ‘hot topic’ that occupied many of my posts. In recent years, while my knitting skills (& stash) have greatly increased I don’t think I have been knitting quite as much. In 2011, I knit a few things – although most of them have yet to be documented. In the absence of digging into those projects right now, here are a few recent stitches from up north.

For Christmas 2011, I only had one gift knit – an afghan. This was made for dear friends up north that truly are like family. Many a fun hour has been spent with this family – lot of time just hanging out. So, a cozy afghan for the living room. (project details here)


(this quick pic was taken in my hotel suite – hence the clashing with the chair)

I’m ready to start some new knit projects; however, in the interim I have been cranking out my ‘old standby’ dishcloths. A tableau from last Sunday…working on a dishcloth while teaching a young friend to knit (a hot pink scarf)…as we caught up on life & enjoyed frosted mint mochas at a local cafe…a perfect way to spend a winter afternoon…


A new…

Wasn’t it just last week that we were opening up the 2011 calendars for a new year? And now, a new year is upon us once again. There is something refreshing about opening a new calendar. Even in this age of e-everything, I look forward to the traditional calendars…on my fridge, a large month-by-month from Dad (this year…Reading Woman); at my desk the Dilbert page-a-day that provides a bit of daily laughter – some days are so spot on; also at work is a small monthly calendar on the wall – last year it served as a countdown to my summer vacation with my sister in Italy; and a weekly planner to track all the little & big things that converge from all corners of life.


As I look at my new weekly planner, I wonder what new adventures will fill the pages in this new year.

Looking back on 2011, while the blogging here at AmyArtisan was minimal the entries in the weekly planner were full & included many things that I couldn’t imagine as I started using my 2011 calendars.


Many of these deserve a post of their own but for now, the highlights…a fantastic Italian adventure with my sister…after 15 years in consulting, a career/job change…sweet times with my girls in Texas…a bit of gardening & canning in the midst of it all…and many lovely moments with family & friends…

In this new year, I think that “a new” will be a common phrase around here…a new job means a new home in the coming months…a new home will mean a new routine (friends, church, etc.)…a new focus on the artisan side of life & a return to blogging.

It has been 6 years since I first hung out the shingle at AmyArtisan…and while there are so many more e-places to compete for time, in the last year I have really missed writing out here. So, as I get started with my new year I look forward to filling the e-pages out here with snippets of the adventure called life in 2012!!

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