reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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the 21st century. [two artists tuesday]

WelcomeTo21stCentury copy

side B of the canvas

along with the portable record player we take out on the deck, we have the you-remember-the-case-with-the-handle box of 45’s.  with titles like sugar sugar and IOU and julie do you love me and….the side A of these records are the likely hits.  but if you turn it over and play side B you can often be surprised by a song you like even more than the touted “side A” song.

when david brought up this canvas to photograph the painting on the front side, i was reminded of what we had seen when 20 so generously gave d a slew of his dad’s canvases.  on the side B, his artist dad (richard “duke” kruse) had written, “welcome to the 21st century” on the back of the canvas he had so meticulously stretched.  we laughed when we first saw it, but it remains a mystery as to why he wrote it; we can only guess…maybe he was bemoaning the loss of something of the 20th century; maybe he was truly welcoming the next.  either way, we get it.  we are both 20th century artists.

as a painter, david uses actual brushes to apply actual paint to actual canvas, a process that doesn’t necessarily need explanation, but, in the 21st century art world, isn’t necessarily always the trend.  with computer design and sketchpads -aka graphics tablets- the feel of bristles can become foreign to a contemporary artist.  what about the smell of the paint?  the light from the window on the canvas?  the spatter of acrylic matte medium on your clothes? the wooden brush handle in your hand?

as a composer, i use paper and pencils and erasers and a piano.  i have a couple of keyboards that have traveled all over with me, but the piano that takes up an entire room in our house is my tool of choice.  it is stunning how much time it took me to write a full score way back in college compared to the ease of scoring on the computer.  if i made a mistake on the score, i had to -with my pencil and then calligraphy pen- redo the whole page.  then i had to write out all the parts individually.  the 21st century has advanced the ability to have a computer generate all the individual parts off one score that is online.  pretty amazing and time-saving stuff.  not to mention the “playing” factor.  the computer program will “play” the part you write; you don’t have to.  but what about all the pencil eraser dust that falls on the keys of the piano?  what about the scraps of paper spread out all over the top?  what about the feel of the action below your hands, the response, the whooshing sound of the pedal?

acoustic vs plugged-in, analog vs digital.  kind of old-fashioned.  that’s probably why i like to sit in one of the rocking chairs in david’s studio and just watch.  and why he will come into my studio and just listen.  we don’t need a lot of fancy stuff.  he just wants to hang his paintings and i just want to sit at a piano on a stage with a single mic.  pretty 20th century.

read DAVID’S thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

EarthINteruppted7 copy

the new side A:  earth interrupted VII (36″x48″)

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

welcome to the 21st century/earth interrupted vii ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

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good moments. [k.s. friday]

goodmoments song box copy

i keep a calendar.  my sweet momma kept a calendar.  the written kind.  she had the old-school kind that you buy the yearly refills for, with two holes in them to line up with the two curved rings of metal on the holder.  she wrote on it every day:  appointments, important things, birthdays and anniversaries, dates of import, big events, the smallest fragment of time memory she wanted to keep.  i guess that’s where i get it from.  i love my old-fashioned calendar.  i look forward to getting it at the dollar store every year and i keep a mechanical pencil with a good eraser in it.  i write in it every day.  and at the end of the year, i have always sat down and read through the year, re-living each day, sometimes a good thing, sometimes hard.

if i went through my calendar, even for this year so far, i would find moments i didn’t want to forget.  days that were tough, days that were pretty amazing.  i would read about My Girl calling out “mom!” and running over as i walked into where she was working and i could recall -way deep in my heart- exactly what it felt like when she introduced me to a friend and said, “this is my mom!”  i would read about the manifest destiny of cucumbers and pickles, a funny-made-me-laugh-aloud debate over wine with My Boy.  i would read about the gluten-free-dairy-free-egg-free chocolate cake my husband made me and the day we stayed in bed to read a book all day.  i would read about lots and lots and lots of walking, hikes near and far.  i would read about potlucks with our dear friends and laughter and wine and conversation lasting well into the wee hours of the evening.   i would read about late late nights with each of my nieces and laughing till we were snorting.  i would read about spending sweet time with my sister and ashes floating on the breeze over the lake.  i would read about the quiet peace of the canoe and the sunshine and endless conversation on the pontoon boat.  i would read about antiquing and the vintage typewriter i had fallen for that 20 sought out for my birthday.  i would read about gatherings in our home and at friends’ houses, sharing time with our community of people.  i would read about difficult days of worry or times of sadness.  i would read about the hours of working together with d:  writing all these posts for our MELANGE and designing all the products.  i would see that it’s been much much more than 208 days in a year.  it’s been 208 days in my life and every moment has counted. whether or not they are all joyous, all successful, all funny, all productive, they are all good.

download GOOD MOMENTS track 2 on THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY on iTUNES or download it on CDBaby or purchase the physical CD

read DAVID’S thoughts on this K.S. FRIDAY

K.S. FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

if you'd like to see kerri sherwood.. copy

GOOD MOMENTS from THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY ©️ 1998 & 2000 kerri sherwood


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two artists tuesday

typewriter copy 2anyone walking in our home knows this is true:  i’m a vintage type.  our home is not populated with new things fresh from the pottery barn catalog.  instead, it is filled with things that are re-purposed, things that are old, things that have some history, things we haven’t replaced with new things.  even our manner of work is kinda vintage, although this blog and our online product lines aren’t evidence of that.  but as an acoustic-analog-type musician and a brush-to-the-canvas painter, we pretty much scream
“vintage”.

one of my most treasured physical memories of my poppo are a few old small wooden boxes we found next to his workbench.   they would likely have been thrown away, but i knew he had “saved them” for some future purpose – perhaps holding random fasteners or nuts and bolts.  we carefully wrapped them and brought them home and they now sit in our sunroom (next to our not-so-vintage-and-really-awesome nespresso machine) and they hold nespresso capsules (which are recycled) and a collection of old clothespins my sweet momma used to use on the old clothesline in our backyard growing up.  it’s not the fancy stuff.  it’s the vintage stuff.

i lusted over this typewriter in the antique store.  i’m still thinking about it.  if it’s still there one day when we are visiting that shop and i have a little bit of extra spending money, i will buy it.  i’m not sure what i will do with it, but it speeeeeaks to me.  my sweet momma loved typewriters too.  what is it about those??  i think correctotype and purple carbon paper, the workout your fingers got, how it feels when you take the return handle to move to the next line down of type, and that really great sound -think of it…hear it- when you pull the paper out of the roll.  it’s visceral.

the stove/oven in our kitchen is, ummm, old, and, although i prefer to think of it as ‘vintage’, it doesn’t necessarily count as  romantic ‘vintage’.  it was here when we bought the house in 1989 and had likely been here at least ten years at that point; the people who owned the house before us were not the buy-new or even fix-it-up type.  matter of fact, they took it to a new level, putting contact paper on the countertops and backsplash and offering to teach us how to replace it.  (eww.  the sheer bacteria-breeding-ground-ness of that makes me shiver.  one of the first things i did was remove that stuff.)  but, back to the stove/oven.  it continues to work and i can’t tell you how many meals i have cooked on it and how many people have eaten those meals.  (if you merely consider almost 29 years and maybe just one meal a day, that is 10,585 times that this appliance has served me and my family and it is likely about 40 years old.)  my sister has had multiple stoves/ovens in the time i have had this one.  granted, she has enjoyed lots of updated features i haven’t had, but i haven’t (knock wood) spent anything to date on a stove/oven since 1989.  amazing.  it’s a testament to kenmore’s older appliances.  someday i know we will have a new one, but in the meanwhile this workhorse is not taking up room in a dump somewhere, with a half-life of a billion years (ok, slight exaggeration) and i feel good about that.  it’s not pretty, it’s not high-tech; i feel it has earned the label ‘vintage’ and no one seems to run – aghast- out of our kitchen because it graces the spot for ‘stove/oven’.  there is something to be said for that.

we just had breakfast; d made it as he does each morning these days.  he cooked it on that stove and it was deeeeelicous.  and me?  i’m going to get out our coin jar and count what’s in there.  maybe there will be enough to go back to that antique shop so i can bring home this typewriter.

I’M A VINTAGE TYPE – this link will take you to wall art, cards, leggings, throw pillows, bags, fun stuff

 

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vintage type FRAMED ART PRINT copy

framed art prints, metal wall art, cards

 

vintage type SQUARE PILLOW copy

throw pillows all shapes & sizes, floor pillows, clocks, rugs

 

Vintage tyoe LEGGINGS copy

leggings/yoga pants

 

vintage type COFFEE MUG copy          Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 10.49.14 AM

 

vintage type TOTE BAG copy

tote bags, phone cases, laptop sleeves

 

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

 

 

read DAVID’S thoughts on A VINTAGE TYPE

i’m a vintage type ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

 

 

 


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“hygge”

img_0576in today’s paper there was a brief article about “hygge” (pronounced “hoo-ga”) a danish word that means “the concept of coziness, the absence of worry.” it referred to sitting under blankets, gazing at a fire, watching the snow fall outside, lighting a candle, reading a book…all seem to embrace the moment, not obsessing or feeling guilty about the options we didn’t choose for those moments, but making a deliberate effort to self-care.

we are reading a book together. it is about the quaker way of life. we are only a few chapters in and i am stunned at how it resonates with me…living in the tenets of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality…quite frankly, the bottom line of the very takeaways i feel in any religious organization with which i have participated. i’ve been a minister of music for churches for about 27 years now, on and off through the years.   and the bottom line for me in each of those places, the faith in my heart, is summed up best by the words i just listed. the love of each other in a community joined together by joy and common basic tenets for living.

coziness in the way it was described in the newspaper article speaks to that simplicity. coziness doesn’t come from too much stuff gathered around us…that would seem to beget confusion…instead the quilt, the fire, a simple candle, mother nature…the things that are right there waiting for us…are the things that bring me the most joy.

there is a quilt that came out of my hope chest (how’s that for an old-fashioned term?) that is now gracing our bedcovers. there is something magical about this quilt. we have other quilts as well and have used them, but for some reason, this quilt has brought us sound sleep, deep rest, a warmth that is unparalleled. i believe it came from my sweet momma’s mom – my mama dear, as we used to call her – and it is a combination of

handsewn work and machine seaming. it was created in a simpler time and maybe it’s that history that makes it magical. it is like sleeping at linda and bill’s house…in a quiet room, in an antique bed, under gorgeous old quilts…true indulgence. this old quilt on our bed is one of the joys in my life.  simple stuff.

now, don’t get me wrong. i am one to definitely appreciate the things that this modern world offers us. the posting of this post is evidence of that. last night i was totally reliant on my cellphone as the girl traveled many hours through mountain roads in the cold night. when your (stubborn and fiercely independent) daughter is driving over mountain passes and there is snow and ice, the ability to have her check in with you is priceless – sending a text from points along the way, reassuring me that all was going well. and, like any mom, i would have fought to the carpet had someone taken away my cellphone during that. the moments that i can facetime with the boy or the girl are gifts beyond needing explanation. modern is good.

but i appreciate the balance and i feel, as i am getting older, more a desire for time spent in the simplicities.

i am finnish and norwegian (as well as irish and a little tiny bit of english) in ancestral background. as much as scandinavians sometimes draw lines of distinction, i am wondering if somewhere in there…is some danish….because i have to tell you, HYGGE really makes sense to me.

kerrisherwood.com

GOOD MOMENTS on itunes: kerri sherwood – track 2 on THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY

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old-fashioned goodness.

back road cropped copy

as much as possible. then and now.

we took the back roads home from indiana. we are #backroadpeople as many chances as we can get. with a slice of miles of highway on each end, we bookended farm fields and small towns, tall brown corn stalks, tractors, farmhouses and barns that looked like old schoolhouses. we were in our glory and happy to avoid the plethora of orange barrels and one-lane distractions on the interstate.

we stopped at a bp station in watseka, illinois to get gas. i pulled up and was surprised by the young man (uh-oh, i am definitely getting older) who came to the window to ask if he might help us. now if i were in new jersey, i wouldn’t have been surprised…they pump the gas for you there – it’s a law. but wisconsin and illinois and indiana? no such law. we asked to “fill it up, regular” – words i hadn’t uttered in decades and he politely took our credit card and started to pump the gas. moments later, we were further stunned when he came around the front of the car to clean the windshield. yes! clean the windshield. what??

when he was done, i told this really polite young man that it had been decades – literally decades – since someone had cleaned the windshield while my gas was pumping. i asked if all the stations in town did that. he replied that it was just this one. his boss had owned the station for years and years and that was how he did it “in the old days” so he “wanted it to stay that way.” amazing! the gas was no more expensive than any other station in that little town, so he was absorbing the extra cost. it made all the difference to us. a little old-fashioned goodness. perfect.

kwithpumpkin

then.

a couple of days ago the girl texted that she had carved pumpkins.  the time spent on designing and carving out a face on a jolly orange pumpkin is pure joy…not to mention the pumpkin seeds, if you bake them. a little old-fashioned goodness.

craigers-apple-pie

now.

two days ago the boy sent me a text that said, “making apple pie.”  i was amazed! he later sent a picture to prove it. it was scrumptious looking. a little old-fashioned goodness.

the boy and the girl brought me to an enormous bank of memories i got lost in…all the fall things…apple-picking, pumpkin farms, hayrides, bonfires, marshmallows, crunching leaves under your feet, walking in the woods, pie-making, big sweaters and boots, the return of slipper-nights, the smell of burning leaves, hot cocoa…

there’s this fall thing i experience every year…a melancholy…

kerri-applepie1977

then.

…i find myself spending time recalling long island falls: time in the car driving upstate to apple farms with my mom and dad, time picnicking in a park out east surrounded by the colored leaves my mom adored, time after school on the couch drinking tea and eating chips ahoy cookies after school with my sweet momma, apple-pie-making and cookie-making with friends, pumpkin-carving, leaf-raking, costume-rummaging, candy-gorging, by-the-fire-sitting, the waning sun, the days the sky and the sound were the same color…

kcin-leaves

then.

and time when the boy and the girl were little: the trips to jerry smith’s pumpkin farm, apple pies, baseball and soccer games under blankets, sewing to the last second to get costumes done and later, scrounging to the last second to get costumes put together), the squishing of feet into old boots, the new snowsuit jacket quests, the hunts for matching mittens and gloves in all the places they may have gone…it’s all the old-fashioned goodness stuff….

the old-fashioned goodness stuff….not the stuff of the past, but i think the stuff that the past has taught us…the stuff that warms us, comforts us, renews us, makes us whole…

kirstenwalkinginleaves

then.

i’d write more, but i’m feeling the need to go make an apple pie, carve a pumpkin and light the fire. a little old-fashioned goodness. perfect. gotta go.

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now.