October 31, 2013

Decisions, Decisions...

 Torn between two choices...
 Whether 'tis nobler to while away the hours in the gentle art of needlework...
 or dive headlong into the last book in a series that I have been reading
over the course of the past twenty years. I'm drawn to both of them. I 
enjoy both pursuits in equal measure. I think I shall stitch today -
and save the book for this weekend. I'll drink English tea and read.

It's November 1st. Monday will commence the Christmas Countdown
for me. I'll make my list and then begin creating gifts so that I'm finished
by the end of this month. No more waiting until the last minute. I promise to 
share what I can, but until Monday, I'll be busy with this book and project.

There! That was easier than I thought it would be!
How are you spending this weekend?

October 30, 2013

Say Hi To Jack...

 Completed in time for Halloween, I'd like you to meet "Jack".
He's the October "Sweet Stitches" kit from Kathy Schmitz.
 I finished him yesterday and will hang him with the other completed
panels for now. When they're all stitched up, I'll pull out the fabrics
for each kit, make the fronts and then join all of them into one big quilt.
 I love all the little details in each panel, but guess what caught my eye
in this one? Jack's button is an acorn! No wonder he's smiling.

Happy Halloween, everybody!
Have fun dressing up, and be safe.

October 29, 2013

Barker's Flower Fairies...

 British-born Cicely Mary Barker began creating her delightful fairy
images in the first half of the twentieth century. She was born in 1895 
and became a published artist in her sixteenth year. She went on to 
publish seven books featuring her fairy images prior to her death. 

I recently purchased a pristine copy of "The Complete Book of the 
Flower Fairies". It is a compilation of all of those seven books, 
and I couldn't be more tickled to add it to my library. It's so lovely.
 Her plant and flower images are botanically accurate, and those little
fairies are so captivating. I could look at them for hours upon hours.
 The seven original Barker books become individual chapters in this one.
There are myriad endearing fairies for every season, fairies of the garden,
fairies of the trees, fairies of the wayside...and
 Fairies from "A"...
 to "Z".

In addition to all these splendid images, there are accompanying poems
written by the author. Her graceful children's images, combined with her
words in poetry, make for a sweet glimpse into a more innocent time.

As I take in 189 pages of her words and images, it's easy to believe that
these charming, little fairy children actually live among us. One can hope.

October 28, 2013

Tuesdays With Tag - Spooktacular Halloween...

Hi, Everybody!
Halloween is just around the corner, and I couldn't wait to show you my costume!
I'm goin' as an All-American BIKER!! I even have my very own "hog"!

Mom promised that when we go out trick or treatin', she's gonna be my biker chick.
She'll wear her leathers and those fancy boots. We'll be the talk around town for sure!

We decided this should be my theme song...
(Direct link to Dion and the Belmonts singin' "The Wanderer": http://youtu.be/AzdigxCIuOE)

 I don't know about you guys, but this song makes Mom and me wanna dance!
 Go ahead. Turn up your speakers. I can wait...

I know you're not laughin' at me, now.

I mean, I'm thinkin' I look pretty ruff and tuff. Don't worry. I'm not gonna
get a tatoo or anythin', 'cuz I think I look like one of the gang without one.

So, we'll be ridin' out on my hog this year and I'm hopin' to get
lots of toys and Milk Bones™ and bacon. The little kids will love me!

I've even been practicin' for when we ring the doorbells, too. Listen!
Whatya think? I'm gonna really make a haul, right?

I've gotta go and practice. It's gonna be a spooktacular night.
Happy Halloween!!
See you next week. 'til then...
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"

October 27, 2013

A Very Good Weekend...

Jessie Wilcox Smith image
A very good weekend, indeed!
I finished writing and proofing my pattern for the Shabby Tote.
I'll be uploading it to Craftsy today.
Jessie Wilcox Smith image
The weather was perfect. Low 80s, breezy with no humidity, so I 
worked in the yard for a while after riding four miles on my bicycle.
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I spent two hours on the telephone talking to a loved one who I've
been missing. I think we caught up on years of events, and I'm sure
we even solved a few of the world's great dilemmas. It was so nice 
to share those few short hours and I hope to do it again very, very 
soon! I think we'll need to make a regular occasion of it.
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After dinner with Handsome (and Tag), I even managed to spend a few
 hours stitching while we watched the Green Bay Packers whomp on 
the Minnesota Vikings. What a fun game! Woot Woot Of course, 
we're Packers fans. Once a Packers fan...always a Packers fan.

Did you have a very good weekend, too?

Tag is very excited to visit with you tomorrow. You're gonna love
what he has planned. I'll finish my stitchery and then start on some
 of my Christmas gifts. I have a fun project list planned this year.

I hope you have a great week. I'll be back on Wednesday! 

October 26, 2013

Sunday Scripture...

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Psalms 118:24

October 25, 2013

It's Autumn In My Mind...

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 Living in south Florida, we don't get to see the riot of color that paints
the landscape in more northern climes. We seldom feel the crunch of
dried leaves beneath our feet, and frost on our grass is a rare anomaly.
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 So, short of taking a road trip to Wisconsin for apple picking, 
pumpkin carving and leaf raking, I have to get creative to see the
visual images my mind easily recreates in these wistful moments.
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You see, Autumn is my favorite time of year. Period.
Image by D.Liljegren
Walking in the field with my retrievers, feeling the rustle of leaves beneath
 my feet, and smelling the fragrance of spice in the tall, marsh grasses are
 just a few of the myriad sensory memories that nearly overwhelm me.
Image by fauxfarmgirl.com
One of my favorite things this time of year was to see the tractors in the
fields, pulling balers that would bind up hay on one day, followed by 
another apparatus that would catapult them up onto a trailer the next.
Young men, mentored by more experienced farmers, stacking the bales as 
they land. One can imagine the bone-tiredness at the end of a long day.
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Beautiful, warm, sunny days yield to cooler weather. Leaves litter
the surface of the ponds and lakes that will soon be covered with 
a coat of ice and snow. There are still a few days to sit outside in a
favorite chair, read a good book and bask in the sun with a blanket
on your lap. Evening landscapes are peppered with fires, and a few
last s'mores to be made and consumed before it's time to move life
indoors away from winter's bite. For now, we won't think of that.
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 We'll think of all the animals collecting Mother Nature's bounty
 to carry them through the season of earth's rest...sometimes in
 the most unexpected places - and in the most amusing ways. 

Until I'm again walking through those golden fields on a crisp
Autumn day, I'll stroll through my memories with deep gratitude.
Autumn lives inside me, no matter where I am.

Happy Fall, y'all. Enjoy your weekend.

October 24, 2013

 I managed to get quite a bit accomplished yesterday. I said I had "chores"
and I wasn't kidding. After dusting and running the vacuum cleaner, I
decided to do a little tidying up in the kitchen for good measure.

A few days ago, I needed my pie dish to try a new recipe. I remembered
that I have this wonderful dish with - of course! - acorns adorning it.
 It's been sitting on the counter since after dinner cleanup that night. I just
hated the thought of putting it back in the cupboard where it wouldn't
 be seen. I thought about it for a while and came up with a perfect solution.
 I decided to pretty up the space above our range. Nothing fancy.
Just a nice warm touch of wood in place of a bare, white wall.
 Now, I'll be able to look at my acorn pie plate every time I prepare
something tasty for our family. The added bonus is a little touch of autumn 
decor as we move into our own version of cool weather here in south
Florida. It might get all the way down to 60ยบ overnight. I'm a happy girl.

What do you do to celebrate the seasons? I'd love to know.

Quick Studies...

 I managed to get photos of three of the totes that were created by my
students yesterday. They really caught on fast and made beautiful bags!
 In fact, they said they couldn't wait to go home and make more.
I think I see Christmas gifts in the works!

I'm just finishing writing the pattern for Craftsy and will add it to my online 
shop tomorrow. Kits will be available to purchase by the end of the week. 

Today will be my "catchup" day. Chores are calling my name. (oh, joy!)

October 22, 2013

Wee Folk...

 Just what a girl needs. Some serious inspiration of the "doll" kind.
Case in point...my latest book acquisition from the creative mind
of Salley Mavor, artist of all things enchanting. I'm smitten.

This book contains eighty pages of techniques, projects and ideas.
There are harvest folk, a driftwood clan, faeries and even a royal family!
 Sally graciously autographed my copy and included a few lovely extras.
I know I'll be using this bookmark when I crack open my next read!
 I also love this over-sized postcard...suitable for framing. I think I will.
Frame it, I mean. If you're interesting in a copy of this book for yourself, 
you can go to Salley's website. It's a most wonderful place to explore!

As I said, I'm inspired. Who knows? 
There may actually be a real "doll" project in my future!

October 21, 2013

Tuesdays With Tag - Pullin' For Ceri...

 Hi, Everybody!
It's that time again...the most important day each week. My day to post!

I realized that it's been a while since I gave you an update about
Ceri, or as I like to call her "Our Little Foreign Exchange Student".
"Well, whatcha waitin' for?"
 Well, in typical Corgi fashion, Ceri is teachin' her mom, Di about how 
stinkin' cute and smart we are. She's been quick to learn her lessons,
and she's got her mom and dad both wrapped around her tiny, hind paw.
Atta girl, kiddo!
The other reason I wanted to write about Ceri is 'cuz she's havin' surgery 
today. Mom told me that Ceri's been makin' her furry roommate, Ace a 
little crazy lately. She surprised her mom with somethin' called a "heat". 

When Mom was talkin' to Aunt Di a while ago, I could hear Ace howlin'
in the background. Mom and Di were laughin', but I was feelin' sorry for
him. He sounded like he was in real pain! I sure hope he's ok.
Ceri loves her Mom.
 We were told that Ceri had to sleep in the guest room with some
special perfume sprayed in front of the door just so Ace could get
a little shut-eye at night. Poor devil. I bet he's glad that's all over!

Mom said that Ceri's mom and dad thought they were gonna lose
their minds over all the howlin' and carryin' on. They made an 
appointment for Ceri for as soon as possible after she got back to
"normal", so they all wouldn't have to go through that experience 
ever again. Today is the day for her to see the vet. I bet her techs
aren't nearly as lovable and friendly (and cute) as mine. No way!
Ceri with one of her "gutted" toys. woo hoo!
 I know Aunt Di is gonna stay right at the vet's office while Ceri is in surgery - 
just like Mom did for me. Ceri will be glad to go home with her after she
wakes up. I sure was when I got nootered. All I wanted was TLC from Mom.
 Whoa! I cringe every time I think about it!

If you have a sec to say a little, healin' prayer for Ceri, 
I know she'd really appreciate it. 

We'll be gettin' a call as soon as they're headed home. I'm gonna try to 
answer the phone before Mom can! I'll come back later to update this post 
so you know she's ok. I'm sure you don't wanna have to wait for that info
 'til next week, right? I sure wouldn't if I were you. I don't like waitin' at all.

UPDATE: Ceri came through surgery with flyin' colors. She's sore and will
be all drugged up for a few days, but she's gonna make it. She's eatin' and
poopin', so she's already gettin' better. She'll be harassing Ace  before he 
knows what hit him. I'm pretty sure she's gonna milk this for all she's worth.
It's the Corgi way. 
(Glad you're ok, Ceri!)

Gotta run for now. 'til next time...
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"