Fencelines. Opening Night.

On until May 14th at the Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Excerpt from your exhibition catalogue:

Fences parcel and weave together rural lives and landscapes. They keep livestock and crops apart and safe, and neighbours neighbourly. Expressing ownership and control, they partition inside from outside, yours from mine, permissible from forbidden. Gates are a necessary feature of fence lines, maintaining borders, yet tempting transgression. Given the current global climate of fear and separation, this fence and gate with imagery reflecting on rural outmigration and the collapse of small farms, is an elegy and challenge to re-imagine rural life in Nova Scotia. Fencelines also invites the audience to cross the threshold of ones own intimate boundaries.

Ruben Irons, Fenn Martin & Raina McDonald

 

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn
Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott Munn

Image made By Scott MunnPhotos by Scott Munn.

 

From conception to birth, we present: the Lunar Bowl.

These small bowls evolved in design over years until we found a form that we loved just so.  I was holding one a few weeks ago, feeling its weight and shape and presence cradled in my hands.  I became aware of the ebb and flow inside of me in my day-to-day experience, from moments of great struggle to expansive, clarity and inspiration.  I smiled to myself.  And then I walked across the driveway to Ruben’s shop.  “Can you make chisels in the shape of moon phases?”, I asked.

In honour of the cycle that moves oceans.  In honour of the waxing and waning of self and collective evolution.  In honour of all sacred objects made by hand with heart.

fullsizerender-15

dsc_0231

dsc_0247

dsc_0253

dsc_0278

dsc_0139

dsc_0144
candle holder / crucible for intention / catch-all / collector of smudge ashes / you choose

A small stack of these beauties are heading with me to Vancouver Island for a sacred gathering of women under the New Moon at Roundhouse Farm on October 30th, 2016 (still a few spaces remaining!).  The lunar bowl is also now available at our R+R Handmade shop on Etsy.  Made by hand and finished with raw beeswax, each bowl is one-of-a-kind. Oh, and we embrace wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic celebrating imperfection:).

Thanks for taking a peak at our process!

Raina

 

New Moon. Roundhouse.

 

Well, I suppose it’s been in the works for a little while.  Or maybe it’s really been brewing for 28 years, from the leap-year moment my sister was born into my world. We’ve played, we’ve fought, we’ve competed,  we’ve comforted each other, we’ve explored together, we have put each other down, we’ve lived in vastly different worlds.  And in the last few years, as we’ve both invited growth img_6684and realness, our worlds have expanded to include each other as rockin’ inspiration and deeply meaningful company.  Despite the country between us (most of the time), we’ve birthed a sisterhood beyond blood.

 

Now, we’re excited to explore what’s possible when we collaborate!  On October 30th, Cait and I will be welcoming other women into their own growth and realness as we dive into more for ourselves.  

 

Check out Cait’s post, New Moon Rising, and her recently launched Balsam Creative

 
balsamcreative_logo-1

interior-wide

fall-yoga-drawing-150x150

Moments of Summer

Bees.  Honey Bees.  Pollinating like crazy.  Thank you, bees.
Bees. Honey Bees. Pollinating like crazy. Thank you, bees.
Poppies.  A whole whack of poppies in our compost pile.  Volunteering wildly.  I don't mind.
Poppies.  A whole whack of poppies in our compost pile.  Volunteering wildly.  I don’t mind.
Drawing.  A daily Draw, Swap, Colour between Yula and I for the month of August.
Drawing. A daily Draw, Swap, Colour between Yula and I for the month of August.  More sharing to come of this awesome collaboration.
Scapes.  Unfurled and standing tall.  Letting us know that it's time to harvest the garlic.
Scapes. Unfurled and standing tall. Letting us know that it’s time to harvest the garlic.
Breakfast.  Shared meal with visiting friends in The Little Bungalow That Could. Renovations began as we ate and it's been a messy, morphing home-front scene ever since.
Breakfast.  Shared meal with visiting friends in The Little Bungalow That Could. Renovations began as we ate and it’s been a messy, morphing home-front scene ever since.
Our village for a weekend. Friends sold their farm in New Hampshire, custom built their wicked home on wheels (aka "Molly") and hit the travellin' road. We loved being one of their first stops on their epic adventure! Molly left with hand forged custom window hardware!  Follow their travels: Free to Roam.
Our village for a weekend. Friends sold their farm in New Hampshire, custom built their wicked home on wheels (aka “Molly”) and hit the travellin’ road. We loved being one of their first stops on their epic adventure! Molly left with hand forged custom window hardware!  Follow their travels: Free to Roam.
Powerful free-ranging garden pixie picking herself some peas.  Green Arrow Shelling Peas to be precise.  She hasn't slept through the night once in the 17 months since she arrived.  Not even close.  She's amazing...and so am I.  I must remember to pat myself on the back more often.
Powerful free-ranging garden pixie picking herself some peas. Green Arrow Shelling Peas to be precise. What this photo doesn’t necessarily reveal is that she hasn’t slept through the night once in the 17 months since she arrived. Not even close. She’s amazing…and so am I. I must remember to pat myself on the back more often.
Testing the scaffolding as her more cautious big sis stands by.
Testing the scaffolding as her more cautious big sis stands by.
Liv's feet.  Saw horse.
Liv’s feet. Saw horse.  Getting a feel for the addition.  
Chickens. We said goodbye to our beloved, eclectic flock of laying hens and our Rooster named Pasta.  Here they go, en route to their new home with our dear friends at Hilltop Homestead.
Chickens. We said goodbye to our beloved, eclectic flock of laying hens and our Rooster named Pasta. Here they go, en route to their new home with our dear friends at Hilltop Homestead.  Thank you, chickens, for your lively company, all the eggs you laid and all the discovery opportunities along the way.
Cousins.  Here they go running through the field, leading us into a magical afternoon of children-led performances in Grandma's enchanted forest.
Cousins. Here they go running through the field, leading us into a magical afternoon of children-led performances in Grandma’s enchanted forest.


Hands and Berries

dsc_0149

Wild strawberries along the trail in June.
Wild strawberries along the trail in June.
First low-bush blueberries off our field at the beginning of August.
First low-bush blueberries off our field at the beginning of August.

dsc_0223

Feeding the sandy handed little birds berries on the beach while setting up camp.
Feeding the sandy-handed little birds berries on the beach while setting up camp.
10/16: I read something recently about if you think you need to speed up then slow down.  Good freakin' idea.  I watched with wonder as she picked and ate her blackberry breakfast from the lowest branches, and I sipped my morning tea.  Then my tea was gone and I followed her lead.  Turns out this mug (made by our delightful friend Suzanne Babineau), piled high, holds two cups of blackberries.  These two cups that didn't fit in our satisfied bellies will find their way into some baking on a blustery winter's day.
Sept 16.  I read something recently about if you think you need to speed up then slow down. Good freakin’ idea. I watched with wonder as she picked and ate her blackberry breakfast from the lowest branches, and I sipped my morning tea. Then my tea was gone and I followed her lead. Turns out this mug (made by our delightful friend Suzanne Babineau), piled high, holds two cups of blackberries. These two cups that didn’t fit in our satisfied bellies will find their way into some baking on a blustery winter’s day.

 

 

Draw, Swap, Colour

DSC_0177

DSC_0179

DSC_0180 - Version 2

DSC_0182

DSC_0185

Last week when Yula and I were colouring together we birthed an idea, a collaborative one that grew and morphed and had us giggling and excited. The next day we set our idea in motion (see above). The idea is evolving and growing in meaning.  For now, we are each creating a daily ink drawing and then swapping to bring colour to each other’s images.  Draw, swap, colour.

Raina

Unfurling

From Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer:

“But some invented a different story, a social construct in which everything is a commodity to be bought and sold.  The market economy story has spread like wildfire, with uneven results for human well-being and devastation for the natural world.  But it is just a story we have told ourselves and we are free to tell another, to reclaim the old one.

One of these stories sustains the living systems on which we depend.  One of these stories opens the way to living in gratitude and amazement at the richness and generosity of the world.  One of these stories asks us to bestow our own gifts in kind, to celebrate our kinship with the world.  We can choose.  If all the world is a commodity, how poor we grow. When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become.”

This morning I chose to experience and be a part of the gifts in motion in my backyard.  I surrendered, with eyes wide-open, to the great unfurling that is taking place on the forest floor and in the trees and inside of me.  So many ways to emerge, open and become.  Along the way, I foraged fiddleheads for supper for the first time.  I then slid into the cabin by the brook and lay in the bed, drifting in and out of sleep.

F5lE2

PuOqD“We say that people have the least experience with how to live and thus the most to learn – we must look to our teachers among the other species for guidance.  Their wisdom is apparent in the way that they live.  They teach us by example.  They’ve been on this earth far longer than we have been, and have had time to figure things out.  They live both above and below ground, joining Skyworld with the earth.  Plants know how to make food and medicine from light and water, and then they give it away.”  Braiding Sweetgrass

GKwQ8Ancient, the wildly diverse fern family is.

snwCL

hQyyP

OXTCF

DSC_0206

8tMXf

muDssOverwintered fertile frond.  Ta-da!  This is one of my clues that I have found the Ostrich Fern with its edible, tightly furled fronds aka fiddleheads.

VBAfWWild edible greens for supper.  Thank you Mother Earth.

DSC_0236Made up for a little lost sleep in there after a few rather sleepless nights with a teething babe.

Sacred Life. Winter Greens.

This morning I drove to Wallace to visit my new friend at La Finquita (the little farm).  When I met Silvana a year ago, I could feel a pull from some far out/deep inner place to further connect.  Trusting in the weaving of life and experience, today was the day.  Gaia gifted me with a snow-melting 10 degrees C after a weekend of -32 windchill.  Silvana generously welcomed me into her world. We meandered through her biodynamic collaboration with the land. Orchards. Energy wheels. Gardens. A passive solar greenhouse. A library of seeds.  An in-depth knowledge of wild edibles.

To say I was and am inspired is a colossal understatement.  Our conversation flowed from the nitty gritty teachable, touchable bits of shared info that only hands-on experience can offer (like tricks for separating various seeds from their chaff), to sharing our unique embodied intentions when interacting with the land and animals, seeds and vegetables.  I could feel passionate, abundant life moving through me and all around me.  And to be able to connect with another from this open, enlivened place is perhaps the most meaningful part of it all.  This is what sacred is to me.

Leaving, this is what caught me attention on the 1 mile drive from Silvana’s driveway to the Wallace Bridge:

My bag of Arugula, Mache, Peppergrass, Garden Sorrel and garlic chives from La Finquita’s magical greenhouse on my dashboard. Deer and fog.  Exposed ground after lots of snow.  Lobster shells as fertilizer covering farm fields.  Myself in the rearview mirror, lit up beyond belief in my open, creative process.  Fencelines.  My way home.

DSC_0099

DSC_0113

DSC_0129

DSC_0134

DSC_0149

DSC_0157

DSC_0162

 

The piece of humanity that I am is opening to new ways of expressing and interconnecting, with vast space for elements of the ancient to move forward into the now.  Some other things that are currently and profoundly stoking my fire:

The Rural Consciousness Project presents Renaissance Women.  My gentle, fierce tribe of powerhouse women and I are holding space for an otherworldly 5-day collaborative experience in Hawaii Apr 18-23.  Amidst all that is not working in the world today, “life itself wants to go on.  Once you get on that sort of wavelength then you, too,  participate in this tidal change of creativity” (Joanna Macy).  There are two spaces remaining.  Come be part of this life-awakening tsunami.

Unplug.  My courageous, visionary friend just released her first book and I highly recommend it.  Here is a moving, unedited clip of Deb Ozarko opening a copy of her own book.  Our world needs more of this!

A Short film interviewing Joanna Macy who stares into our times with a clarity and awareness that resonates inside of me.  “It’s that knife edge of uncertainty where we come alive to our truest power.”

Katie Belcher. Our first artist in residence!  Check out my friend’s exquisite work.  I’m excited to have her diving into her next series of drawings in my studio while keeping our chickens company for the month of April.   This handmade family is heading on a Walkabout, an epic adventure of gathering inspiration while connecting with Ohana in Nayarit, Mexico and Oahu, Hawaii.  Pinch me!

The other ‘R’ in this ongoing, wild collaboration of life, parenting, art and business that we call R+R Handmade.  Ruben is featured in Eastern Alternative and I’m moved by his real, honest reveal of his process and thoughts.  Who knows, maybe you’ll hear from him next. We plan to pass this blog back and forth, here and there.  Hope you’ll come back for more!

Raina