Maker Mind

Harvest Chicken SOup

Harvest Chicken Soup

Gathering the Harvest in the Autumn is a ritual joy, a riot of color with red apples, deep orange pumpkins, yellow gourds and green cold weather vegetables. They also are most commonly local, fresh picked and very tasty. Take advantage of that anyway you can.

There’s a contentment that comes with being in tune with the cycle of the seasons. At the harvest we can focus on collecting the abundance to enjoy while the gardens and farms recover their energies for the next round.

harvest assortment

Late Harvest Assortment

Collecting our thoughts and reflections on the season of action just passed is another aspect of this process. For me initial reflections have led to drawing upon my root values and passions. In my outreach work I strive to provide a viewpoint and some action steps for those who are seeking them. I’ve come to see it’s a starting point for change. Community is not one voice but many voices and there has to be variety to hear what’s true for you.



Creative thinking is one aspect of the need for connection, one that opens up conversation. Another is moving the body. Movement for physical health and when done ina group as an act of social harmony is essential. In addition, I believe making work by hand is an important means for the mind and body to work together on a manageable scale. Cooking is the most elemental of the maker activities I thrive on. During the harvest there’s a lot of that. What I miss I’m discovering is my art studio. It’s been left fallow for some time now and rather than disband it, I feel the need to take it up again in new ways.

Beeand flower

Bee and Flower

I see how collaboration is bound up in all my work. For example, I enjoy writing for The Parsley Way, but miss the collaborative aspects of it, the give and take, the inspiration of conversation and good company. I’d love to find some writers to share the positive message of the Parsley Way –  and encourage you to write something that reflects the spirit of this work. I’d love to share Your Voice with any readers here.

Earthy Beets

Earthly Beets

The studio is another important place of collaboration. I’m revisiting a lot of past work and exploring new paths because this too is integral to my practice. I may be posting less often as I get deeper into some new directions. If you want to get more in touch with your creative handwork I welcome you to contact me for guidance and shared encouragement.

With our natural segue from the growing season we can plant some bulbs as a down payment on the distant spring. Right now it’s time to gather in the abundance of the garden and store it away to drawn upon over the winter.

Many hands make light work.

Ms Lizzie Cat

know what to do with your time

“Know what to do with your time”  



Never Coming Back by Alison McGhee for a searing look into the mother-daughter relationship. See my review on Goodreads for more.

Happy October to All!


All photos Claire Mauro

N.B. Use the comment section to let me know your interest and ideas; list your contact info- I will keep it private.





Spring Fling

Footwear transitions

Feeling a bit rushed off your feet? The blanket’s been ripped away, the hot chocolate sediment has settled at the bottom of the unfinished mug and the book has been abandoned by the easy chair. Up is down and it’s not just the chaos of the political races contributing to that unsettled feeling. Wait, wait, I haven’t finished knitting that scarf, didn’t make borscht, never needed the comfort of bread pudding. But it’s time. Continue reading

Make Something!

Grandma Moses said, “Anyone can paint”. I think of her whenever I get the urge to be creative. I’ve had a few watercolor and acrylic classes, but mostly through trial and error I’ve managed to get a lot pleasure out of playing with paint.florida beach paintingI thought this painting was rather dull in my bathroom so out came the white paint and with a little work I added some waves. Now I love it! And if you really think you have absolutely no talent, I know a woman who does paint by number. Just like the new coloring trend, this can be very soothing. I don’t consider myself an artist, but there is nothing more rewarding than making something… anything! When I was young my mother taught me how to sew. I still remember the excitement over going to the fabric store, choosing a pattern and then finding just the right material to work with. This is the time of year to get busy with your hands. How do you tap into your creative energy? Continue reading

Thrills and Chills of Winter: Polar Vortex Edition

Frosty Window
Wake Up to Winter! Yes the Polar Vortex has returned to us with just a bit more bite to it than what we usually get in southeast New England. Back when we first moved here I don’t think I felt my toes until April. Although I’ve acclimated over time, the vortex phenomenon has me getting out the extra down comforter and generally adopting the layered look. Continue reading

Here’s An Idea

Hats for HomelessHas Claire inspired you to get out your needles or crochet hook but you already have way too many hats and scarves? Try making warm cozy woolens for the homeless! Go to

Last Winter my mother and I donated our crotchet items to a local food pantry. I held a holiday Yoga class and asked for donations of children’s hats, mittens and gloves. It was a realred and black crochet hats success. The food pantry left the items in a box at the door where they were quickly picked up by families in need. A friend started a group called Chix with Stix, everything they made went to a Women’s Shelter. So get inspired and have fun, knowing someone will be warm and cozy this Winter!

Get Cozy with Color and Texture

Morning Rainbow, Saugerties, Ulster County, NY
Morning Rainbow, Saugerties, Ulster County, NY
The russet leaves on my backyard maple are turning to fire, nights are more often cold and the pot on the stove holds heartier fare. It’s time for different tactile sensations and infusions of color along with the associated scents and flavors contributing to our life’s rhythm. Continue reading