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Entries in sarah hodsdon (48)


Being Tall

My artistic process requires music. I've been told by certain family members and friends that they know when to walk in the studio and when to just walk on by according to the music that pours out from behind closed doors. I suppose I cannot imagine the act of creating without a soundtrack of somesort. Every project I embark on, every book, canvas, invention or collection, has a selection of music that goes with it which can be played in the background for another layer of meaning. The art of composing, creating, building, it all requires layer upon layer, making something, an idea, that starts out flat become multi-dimensional and able to stand tall on it's own merit.

Enjoy one of my favorite artists and a mainstay in my studio... The Tallest Man on Earth



As November closes, so does the last chapter on the 55K+ words I wrote during this year's NaNoWriMo undertaking. This is the fourth novel I've finished during National Novel Writing Month. For me personally, there is no greater joy than to see the kids I mentor follow through and craft some spectacular stories. My 11 year old son participated again this year typing along side highschoolers night after night and I could not be more proud of his accomplishment. The passion for writing is more than telling a good story, it is setting to ink that which makes humanity insanely unique and special. I can think of no better way to spend a month than in the company of such fantastic characters. Much love to all those who inspire me daily and spur me on to be the better I never thought I could be by being the amazing that they are.


Handmade Wishes

And today, after all the giving thanks has been distributed into the take home containers and refrigerated properly, black friday deals usher in the holiday bruises and tales of must have listed wishes procurred at great lengths...

My wish is for something handmade. I normally do not go on at length about supporting the arts, the crafters who craft or the makers who make but, this year is different. The times are different, the economy is different, our values are different, our tastes are different. 

Once upon a time kids were fed scratch cooking all the time, "food" didn't come from a box, salad did not come from a bag, toys were made so one's grandchildren could enjoy them in the future. There was a taste for quality, something that would last rather than be replaced. Somewhere boxed mac and cheese started tasting better than the kind that took a whole afternoon to prepare and when fed the "real" stuff, kids turned up their noses and asked for the processed versions instead. 

Watching the spectacle of people in line for more hours that the items they wanted so desperately would entertain, I started thinking about the quilt on my bed... how many hours were sewn up in those stitches, how good the the feel of handmade felt to wrap up in. When I was young, handmade Christmases were a necessity. I never dreamed that they'd ever be considered a luxury yet, here we are today. It is cheaper to buy a disposable plastic toy than a finely crafted set of wooden blocks and, because our society had been fed a steady diet of boxed, manufactured, processed, and kitted, they've not only lost the taste for handmade, they've also been trained to see price rather than the cost of a person's time spent on hand crafting.

My wish, the one I'll hang on the tree and impress on those I love, do not buy a gift for the sake of tying a ribbon upon it and having it to open Christmas morning. Invest your holiday dollars in those who make things from scratch. Give the gift of education by teaching those around you to remember the taste of quality, to see the value in something that takes time to create, and to not discount the talents of those who have chosen invest their lives, their sweat, blood and tears into mastering a passion. We collectively, as a culture, need to reclaim the art of being human from a disposable mindset by investing in generational gifts, the handmade stuff built with the intent of lasting longer than we can.

This is my wish I hope you will share. 


Give Thanks

Perhaps Nature lavishes us with colorful squash each Autumn just so that we may see in the many seeds within the varied shapes and sizes the hundreds of thanks-filled givings they can produce when given a place to grow.

Happy Thanks-Giving.

You may find the directions to the project and many others here.


Splash of Red



Granny Squares

The rhythmic beauty in a hook that knows it's own way around the yarns told from youth, the fabric of our lives, a series of stitches fashioned by heart row by row, generation to generation, we are bound and swaddled in the blanket of humanity



What if there were no planners designating where a bench needed to be placed in a cityscape, what if you were the 'bench placer' in charge of creating a vantage point for strangers... where would plant these islands of rest for weary travelers? Would you plant a few in your life as well, places where people can sit and get to know you a bit better by being privy to the landscapes in your mind's eye?  


Lasting Marks

I made this card as way to illustrate how people, through a deliberate act of kindness, can leave a lasting and permanent mark in the mind's of others. In life, we seldom get to choose the "people" surfaces we get to work with, our life experiences make us unique and the canvases we wear are not all the same. To be lasting, we need to be willing to be permanant on all surfaces.

This card used paper from the scrap bin, discarded cork board from some dorm room decor, a rubber stamp, Tsukineko ink, and Bic mark-it Markers

You can read the blog post that corresponds to this card here





I love looking at bits and pieces of Detroit history. While visiting the Made in Detroit store at the Somerset Collection, there propped up against a wall was the scoreboard from the old Tiger's Stadium. There is something inherently cool about looking upon the lights that shined down on so much of history, the crowds, the players, the moments that were trapped in a fly ball wanting to escape a mitt and be remembered by fans. The score flashed more than a number, it illuminated the hopes of a player to bounce past obscurity and the dreams of a young kid in the benches still wearing his little league jersey.

So much of what we do and who we are is designated by a score of somekind; a credit score, a klout score, a test score, and even scores to settle yet, none of them tell the whole story, reveal the game of life that was played, it's players, and the happenings on the field. We see a number flashing and make an assumption by proxy forgetting the fact that some of the most incredible events in history had a loss as the catalyst that instigated an undeniable victory. When we create history, the score doesn't matter, the lights that shine in that moment do.


Glass Worlds

My grandmother had a way of leaving fantastic worlds encased in random glass containers here and there for strangers to discover when they came to visit. I loved getting lost in the sands and glittered snow landscapes of her imagination. Wandering through town, I happened upon a winter display and could not help but smile. With the holidays, wrapped in the hustle and bustle of busy lights and ribbons of traffic, one can still find a peaceful sanctuary encased canning jars and salt shakers


Temperature Changes

November rolls in, bringing with it the palatable temperature change that condenses warm thoughts into a mist that sits heavy on the landscape outside my studio window.


Guarded thoughts

In a world of easily accessible oversharing, an unguarded thought is almost a gimme, a certainty, an unavoidable consequence of the instantaneous I suppose. We tend to be unfiltered and uncensored to the point where we automatically give quarter to a misspoken word by excusing the blunt affrontation to our sensibilities by simply chalking it up to a careless slip and moving on to the next soundbite. The constant stream flushes away unintended words and thoughts, solidifying the fact that they are all temporary... the internet may remember everything but, people don't. I started thinking about the accountability of a journal. Words and thoughts set to ink are deliberate, intentional... they are not spell checked, autocorrected by technology, not double spaced or even in some cases legible. The words trapped between the covers of a private journal are as sacred as an arching spine wanting to receive the attention of a pen nib. We tend to guard our thoughts more when they are affixed with a signature of sorts, a handwritting that bares witness and exposes truths a typed page conceals. 


Blank White Page

In honor of NaNoWriMo ... a blank white page ready to be inspire-filled and crazy amazing


Enemy Us

While watching my sons make their Halloween costumes this year, the eldest kidlet said, "It's always hardest battling yourself 'cuz you already know the weak points to exploit and if you win, you actually lose." "What if we are all Spy vs. Spy, you know, versions of ourselves hiding behind diguises trying to blow ourselves up in new and scary ways?"

Sometimes I think my kids are far older that 9 and 11, their conversations are oftentimes so profound that all I can do is take dictation and pray that someday I too will learn this wisdom. They did get me thinking about self-destructive behaviors, about how as a creative, I talk myself out of creating things, self edit, and otherwise decide that safe is easier. 

Creating anything requires a certain degree of bravery. To make a mark is a deliberate act of courage that harnesses the honest resolve necessary to light the fuse and expose ourself to the enemy, knowing full well that it'll leave us in a vulnerable position. Battles aren't won by timidity, they are won by bold action and taking risks. When the enemy is us... the peanut gallery of naysaying voices in our heads, perhaps the bravest thing one can do is stare at the blank canvas or page and break the surface tension by employing an uncharacteristic broad stroke of determination.