The Family Creative

Full moon in Taurus. The goodness of earthly life.

Saturday found me with a full blown cold and a day with the whole family stretching before us. We had kicked around the option of going to a craft fair down at Fort Mason, but then I looked at the vendor list. Beautiful, trendy and high-end = affordable only to the Silicon crew. On a good day, I could attend such a thing without money and leave inspired, but the weight of my sinuses was clearly telling me that weaving my way through pretension was going to leave me resentful and grumpy.

So I grabbed a stack of books off the sewing table, plopped them on the floor of the sunroom and announced Instead of going to a craft fair, we’re going to have a craft day.



We found this 1970s encyclopedia of crafts, The Family Creative Workshop, at a yard sale in Shasta when Fern was a baby. The projects are the real deal, and can be fairly advanced. Repurposing old fur coats, tooling leather, glass blowing. Building a greenhouse, mask making, parades.




Jeff and the kids spent the morning sifting through the ideas. Leo and Fern decided they wanted to make Ojos de Dios (God’s eyes). Jeff decided he wanted to make a marimba. I decided to be sick. And to work on an embroidery project, that may or may not be part of a very belated Bioregional Swap. (By the way folks, I haven’t gotten any reports back about the swap. How’s it going?

After a trip to SCRAP for materials, we got busy. (SCRAP is a giant warehouse full of donated materials that you can repurpose for art. We loaded up a basket full of stuff, plus some lumber, and it only put us out $15 bucks.)




The finished “eyes”. The book has some more complicated patterns I can’t wait to try, but also, check out these!

The first (and, I’m determined, the only) cold of the season also coincided with the end of my fire cider from last year, so I whipped up a new batch.

I made a variation of this recipe. I left out the rosemary and added 1/2 cup shredded burdock root. I also will not be adding honey, since I like my cider to blow off my head with a tang.

A full moon in Taurus is my favorite time to let my special stones out to play. They’ve been charging up since Saturday, and I think they look quite revitalized. (I may be just a wee bit more hippy dippy than I let on.)


Sunday I returned home from my women’s group to an empty house, the kids still on an adventure with Daddy and Uncle Paul. I wanted to use the rare free time to get ahead on some email, but an odd sound from outside kept snagging my attention. At first barely audible, I finally was able to tune in to what sounded like a jungle animal…

Kuk. Kuk. Kuk. Kukukukukukukukuk.

I looked out the window and saw my Coopers Hawk friend, who is back for the winter. He’s been on his favorite perch quite frequently. I knew it wasn’t him making the noise, so I looked around for another bird, perhaps a migrator who was sounding an alarm. But there were no other birds to be seen.


I walked outside to the back steps. No one was divebombing the hawk. The sky was empty. I heard the call again. Kukkukkukkukkuk. Was it one of those laughing gulls? Kukukukukukuk. Oh. My. God. No. Freaking. Way. I held my breath, then dashed into the house for the camera.

Coopers Hawks are silent birds, and usually only vocalize during breeding season. Which is in the spring. Towards the end of the vid, you’ll hear the kids as they get home. Figuring I had caught the best bit, I turned off the camera. The Coopers Hawk crouched down to fly off, and I expected him to soar out over the city, as he had done so often before.

But instead, he flew straight towards me, swerving up over my head at the last minute, disappearing onto the roof of the school next door.

My friend Shane thinks that if you put GPS on all the hawks in the city, we would discover that I see them so frequently, not because SF has a large number of raptors, but because they’re actually following me. It’s an idea that makes me laugh, like that character in a Douglas Adam’s book who hated stormy weather and didn’t realize that the clouds followed him around because they loved him. Whatever the reason (He’s my spirit animal!), I was overcome with awe and joy. Yesterday’s event will go down in my top ten.

Also, this happened.


How was your weekend?


9 thoughts on “The Family Creative

  1. Hello Dear!
    So interesting! It looks terrific, that Scrap warehouse, nothing of that Kind in France, lucky you! Hope you feel better by now.
    Keep faith.

  2. That last picture has me laughing out loud (something of a switch in traditional gender roles I would say). And the crafts encyclopedia is incredible, my family would LOVE to get their hands on something like that!

    Your experience with the hawk resonated a lot with me. As far as following you around the city, the same thing seems to happen with me and crows. For a moment I think I’m crazy, and then I just feel this incredible sense of interconnectedness. And consider trying to talk to them. πŸ™‚

  3. Beautiful! He was saying hello! Yes to crafting! A blog post is calling my name about crafting to save money….birthdays on budgets or something. I have no idea where I saw the advertisement for the Craft fair in SF that you talk about here, must’ve been on some maker-type-blog I read; but I did think of you and wondered if you were going. much love and missings! xo

  4. i have that same set! darin and i have pondered the contents but no actual making yet, the projects do look kind of hard but i think a rainy day would be a good time to dive in (please lord let this rain really come tonight!) anyway your video blew me away. i can’t wait to show my sister, the true birder in this family. what a friend you’ve got in the city πŸ™‚

  5. those books are great! i’m not sure if i actually own any but have seen them while i’ve been out thrifting. i love your whole day, it sounds really fun (minus the cold).
    so exciting about the cooper hawk! i would have loved to see it swoop over your head but the experience was meant for you alone i suppose πŸ™‚ i also am SO going to make fire cider! i’ve had a sinus infection for over a month and i’m getting desperate at this point. what did you say you used on fb? horseradish?

  6. Okay, I love everything about this post. EVERY THING. I keep coming back just to bask in how much I. FUCKING. LOVE. EVERY. THING. ABOUT. THIS. POST.

    The last pic alone is worthy of so much love, I mean Fern’s “Bitch, please…”-face is priceless. The first picture with the moon makes me yearn for the city something fierce. Someday, when I have some spare money (hahaha) I want to just come for a few days and experience your world with you, m’dear.

    Jeff making a marimba!!! Mali’s dad makes these huge one’s that are all laid out on the shop/bandroom floor at their house.

    I just have such love for your whole family crafting together. Also, I’m sorry that you’re sick, but damn that fire cider sounds yum.

    I took your advice and “charged” my two clumps of amethyst. One came from my grandma when I was thirteen. That rock’s been around some heavy shit in it’s time πŸ˜‰

    As for the Hawk encounter, I’m inclined to agree with your friend. And I have a Hawk story to share with you.

    LOVE YOU. Hope you feel better already.

  7. mm mmmm i watched that hefty moon rise with you.
    sorry i was so callous towards your cold—
    your craft day looks totally cozy, wish i couldv’e crashed it.
    let’s just do another soon?

    and to hear your friend’s voice!

    the creation myth of mary and the hawks!

    (your next tattoo.)
    making fire cider, inspired by this post!

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