We have a lot to catch up on. We haven’t been posting on here for a few months since we were busy welcoming our new baby daughter Margot into our lives. What an amazing change. Yes, we are tired, and yes this is the hardest thing we have ever done, but its also the best thing we have ever done. Labor was amazing. Jeremy was right there the whole time supporting me and making me feel safe and loved. We also had a totally rad midwife who supported both of us, and a doula/friend/neighbor who helped us at home (thanks JEN!) It was a long labor with a lot of challenges, 38 hours total with 6 hours of pushing. I used no pain medication and was able to have a completely natural childbirth. After that experience I am convinced that I can do anything… that women can do anything… and I have a new level of respect for all mamas. (and their partners) Completely life changing. I never knew I had it in me. I am so thankful to my daughter for showing me what we can do. J
I remember in graduate school, my teacher Carol Mavor talked to us about studying boredom… now I feel like it must have been particularly interesting to her because, as a mother, she rarely experienced it. I have not been bored once since this little girl has come into our lives… the littlest things seem so wonderous – huge gifts from the universe like our daughter’s smile (and now laugh), and her totally tripping out watching Jeremy play the guitar, and her ever increasing repertoire of coos and squeaks. Its so fun to imagine what it must be like for her to see/hear/smell/feel all of these things for the first time. Our house may be a little bit of a mess right now but we are all so in love and its wonderful.
Its definitely an adjustment caring for a small person 24/7. We are learning how to kind of keep our house in order and get back to creative pursuits. Jeremy gets mad love for completely doing the garden on his own this year. I think its one of our best and it is all him. We have had so much food come out of it already that we are freezing stuff and sharing with friends & neighbors. J did backbreaking work to make the veg/pigment garden nice AND he planted tons of flowers in the front of the house right before Margot came home to welcome her. Our roses out front (that he pruned) came out huge this year… so much beautiful green energy coming out of that man! Also, I am posting a picture of Jeremy’s owl decoy again, installed in the garden. He put it in our strawberry patch and it works! We actually have huge amounts of unharmed strawberries this year. We have been freezing them and making smoothies. This is also the first year that our beets have worked so we have been eating them cooked, pickled, and as greens. Our carrots have also done well. All in all it feels like a very productive fertile year in our garden, Jeremy has been kicking some serious ass – all while very tired, we do have an infant after all! Now that I am healed from labor I am so thrilled to be back out there helping him and getting my hands in the dirt. Right now Margot is only 2 months old, so I still spend a lot of time feeding her… but I can do little 20-45 minute stretches of gardening while Jeremy hangs out with her if its too hot for her to be outside with us.
So what are our plans for the summer? Well in very exciting news, Jeremy got his chambered paulownia board split back apart and now he just has to drill out the chambers, glue it back together, and finish shaping/sealing it. (that sounds really simple as I type it, because he has gotten past some of the hardest parts of this process) The board is beautiful and I cannot wait to see it all done. He has worked so hard on it and its amazing especially since he is teaching himself. I am really proud of him for doing this. The idea is that this board will be a family heirloom for Margot to ride when she is a bit bigger. Pretty cool. Jer is also teaching silkscreen once a week with our friend Fennella. We are also growing pigments and working on our quilts. Trying to really finish our book too. I am going to post pics of Margot’s quilt that we made together. We used some of our indigo dyed cotton to embroider it. We are going to make new drawing quilts for a show next year with our dying projects from this summer’s garden and the stuff we dyed last year too. I have a solo show at Galerie LJ in the fall. I am making drawings/paintings and some new wooden sculptures with gofun on them. Super stoked about that. Jeremy and I are also talking about a collaborative animation for that show and maybe some collaborative drawings too. I always like our collabs the best. Glad I have summer off to do this and take care of my baby girl, lots of drawing while nursing going on! We are also excited to go to the beach and see Bubbie and introduce Margot to our dear old friend the ocean.
That’s the update for now. I hope you are all well and that your gardens are booming & blooming and your studios are full of good energy. We will try to be better on the blog update front! I have to get J to post surfboard pictures soon!
Much love from Virginia,
Allyson, Jeremy, & Margot
p.s. OH & if you got us a gift for our little sweetie, thank you’s are coming. We decided to silkscreen them ourselves (sleep deprivation insanity, anyone?) so it took a while to get that together. But they are done, and they are rad so look out in your mailboxes for some love soon.
Gathering energy at Brian & Jennie's a few days before Margot's birth
Jeremy hard at work a few days before Margot's birth.
Our collaborative quilt for Margot.
Our collaborative mobile for Margot.
J's amazing rocking horse toy for Margot... built with hand tools in our garage.
First strawberry harvest.
Margot at 6 weeks!
She's already a ham.
Capitalizing on our sleep deprivation.
Our garden, thanks to Jeremy!
Flax already in bloom.
The first toy we bought for Margot, by Yoshitomo Nara.
My sweet Mother's Day present from J, beautiful new shoes!
We have strawberries thanks to this guy... Jeremy's owl decoy in action.