30 September 2010

going to the farm ... soon

ahhh, the cool refreshing days of fall... 
There's a soft breeze blowing this morning and the air is laden with the freshness of fall.  It's as if the bluegrass of Kentucky is calling on the breeze for me to please hurry up and come home soon. 

The farmer across the street from our house is harvesting his corn today.  The sun is shining brilliantly, making the mums and freshly mowed lawns look even more inviting.  What a lovely walk Migo and I had through the neighborhood this morning.  All the sights and sounds of the morning are reminding me of what a glorious time of year it is to visit the farm. 

We are planning a visit soon and I can't wait, wait, wait!

In the summer it's the cicadas and kill-deer calling to each other in the open fields, the intoxicating fragrance of wild honeysuckle, the sweet musk of hay and old barn wood, the distant sounds of horses at pasture, and lilting butterflies virtually unaware of the oppressive heat as they frolic among the Queeen Anne's Lace and Chicorey...

But in the fall, there's a different feeling.  Trees rustle and wave their branches to each other, while their leaves laugh and sing as they float happily down.  The sun sparkles and dances on the pond, as visiting geese feed and rest on their way to milder climes, and the coolness of the air beckons us to leave the protection of the porch and come take a stroll and enjoy the newness of the season. 

Some things are the same.  Like Mom's coffee cake, the children going for adventures in the woods, strolls down the gravel driveway, and time spent at a slower pace just cherishing each precious moment of peace. 

This is what I treasure and what I look forward to when I go home.  There's no other place like on it earth.  Today I wish you peace and the time to cherish a piece of your world today.

blessings and happiness,

28 September 2010

trinkets and treasures

Well, I have good news and bad news.  The good news is Saturday morning, the girls and I went to Strangefolk and it was awesome!  The bad news is I forgot my camera at home!  Ughh!  So, all I can show you is pictures of our trinkets and treasures.  Brenna picked out a peace necklace (her favorite color is turpuise) and a bottlecap magnet pendant (...and she loves horses).  Brooke picked out the little ceramic bird and flower hair pin, which are so her.

We had a great morning purusing the many artfully decorated vendor booths.  The weather was glorious.  We spent our money wisely.  We casually strolled and enjoyed looking at every booth.  We made sure to stop and see the llamas.  And we even got done early to make it to Sean's party in plenty of time.  
It was just a fabulous day. 

And what can make going to an art festival even more fabulous?  Stumbling upon this: 

That's right, gorgeous, lovely, vibrant, needing a new home, hand-dyed yarn.   =)

These fabulous creations are the work of talented local artist, Rachel Kluesner, of dyeabolical yarns.  I wish, wish, wish I had had my camera so I could show you her beautiful, bountiful booth.  As soon as we came upon it, the girls knew I'd be buying something.  They are sooo awesome.  They helped me choose colors  -- which believe me was not easy.  They are such great shopping companions!

I'm hoping this silver/grey yarn will eventually become this...

I also found some colorful hand-dyed batiks and got myself a fun bias cut skirt, worn here by the lovely Ethyl.  (Did I ever tell you I named her Ethyl for Lucy and Ethyl?  I need to get some of those old shows.  Those two crazies were always getting into some sort of trouble...)

I just really loved this bird.  To me, it just seems to be so free and full of joy -- just what I want to be. 

The girls were so patient while I debated between this one and two other skirts.  But I kept coming back to this happy bird. I told you they were great shopping companions, right?  These batiks are made by super nice and talented, Kristen Fox, of stellar batik

Some day (maybe next year?)  I'd like to be one of the vendors at Strangefolk.  I know it will be a great deal of work, but I imagine it must be great fun, too.  And while I'm thinking of dreams and wishes and hopes for the future, I'll leave you with this happy thought...

blessings and happiness,

24 September 2010

looking forward to strange things....

I am happily looking forward to strange things this weekend.  After a crazy busy week, and unfortunately an equally crazy busy weekend (Sean's birthday party, soccer games, sleepovers, a ladies bunco party, church, more soccer...) I'm really excited to squeeze in a trip to the Strangefolk Art Festival tomorrow morning.  And I do mean squeeze in.  I am planning on getting there as soon as it opens and stay until the last possible moment before Sean's party. 

Strangefolk is an amazing little art festival of indie artists and crafts people.  Fine arts show it is not.  More of a cool Portland Saturday Morning Market kind of vibe.  Upcycled, recycled, handmade, vintage, retro, eco-friendly ... Strangefolk has it all.  Including indie music acts, art activities for the kiddos, food vendors, a "writer's block" corner for indie authors, even an upcycle exchange where you can donate used/leftover art supplies to the vendors. 

It is held in a beautiful shaded park near where I live and this will be the third year I have gone.  The only bad thing is, this is the first year I won't have the whole day to just take my time and meander with no particular place to go and no hurry to get there.  In any event,  I'll have camera and cash in hand.  I'm confident I'll have all sorts of treasures and trinkets to share with you next time.  If you're in the area, check out their website and come by. 
Hoping you enjoy a happy (not hectic) weekend...

blessings and happiness,

22 September 2010

making progress

Well, I'm making enough progress that I needed to wind a new ball of yarn yesterday to continue the sock yarn shawl.  I'm working with 3 yarns now (one of the original 2, plus 2 new ones).  I don't have enough of it with the new yarns knitted up yet for a good picture, but I'll keep you posted on how it looks.

On another note, today Seany is turning 6.  It is a big day for him.  He has been counting down the days.  Yesterday we took him out to dinner including ice cream for dessert.  Today I took cookies and juice boxes in to his class for afternoon snack.  This evening at home he'll be opening family presents and then the actual party with all his friends will be Saturday.  He's been anxiously awaiting his special day and was all smiles going to school this morning.  In the car he was chanting, "I'm the birthday boy, I'm the birthday boy!" 

How precious.  I wish I still had the innnocence to actually look forward to and enjoy my birthday, as much as a child does.  Why do I look at it with dread, instead of the joy of another year of life? 
When I grow up, I want to be more like a little kid...

blessings and happiness,

20 September 2010

weekend knitting

I finished my legwarmers last week and after some debate about what to pick up next, I decided to make a sock yarn shawl.  I am using leftover bits of sock yarn from previous projects and a pattern I have used before.  A friend of mine wrote the pattern.  It's a very easy knit and I'll be happy to share the pattern if anyone's interested.

The shawl is knit from the top down with 2 yarn overs at the center and one on each side so the rows get progressively longer.  I think I got a lot accomplished in just one weekend, but as the rows get longer, the progress will be more slow going.

I'm switching yarn every 2 rows so it will come out looking variegated rather than stripey.  I expect these two balls to maybe only get me 1/3 to 1/2 way, then I'll pick up 2 more leftover yarns and just keep knitting until it's the size I want it to be.  It gets finished off with a ruffle border and bound off in a contrasting yarn.  Here's the one I made originally:

I get many compliments on this shawl and have even had people offer to buy it right off me.  I think that's just a testiment to the beauty of the yarn and how nicely it drapes, and to the simplicity of the pattern.

By the way, I named my dressform Ethyl.  I found her at a flea market in my hometown in Kentucky for $45!  Isn't it awesome when you find something you've really been searching for and when you finally find it, you just get totally blessed by what a bargain it is?  Love those kind of days!

blessings and happiness,

16 September 2010

field trip

So yesterday I spent the morning volunteering in the school library, which is so fun.  I help with checking books in and out, reshelving books and I even get to read to one of the classes that comes in.  I've always loved books, so helping in the library is a treat for me. 

Then I spent the second half of the day with Sean's kindergarten class on their first field trip:  apple picking.  They went to a small, local, family owned orchard and farm.  The children got to visit some of the farm animals, go on a wagon ride, pick apples, sample apple cider and play in an outdoor play area.  You can imagine how much fun they had.  However, by the end of the afternoon, we grownups were more worn out than the children!

waiting for the cows to come home...

Now, I should be able to proudly tell you the wafting aroma of fresh baked apples and cinnamon is filling the house this morning, but alas, I am not known for my cooking or baking skills.  However, I can say there were fresh picked apples in the children's lunches this morning.  :) 

An empty pantry is reminding me, man can not live on apples alone, so I am off to the commissary in the hopes that some other form of culinary delight will be upon the table later today.  As always, I wish you...

blessings and happiness,

14 September 2010

the journey continues

The artful journey continues...

as always I wish you,
blessings and happiness,

13 September 2010


Isn't she cute? 
I just love her wry little smile and her crazy ribbon hair.

Well, for anyone who checked out my "her creations" tab, you probably noticed I mentioned making primitive dolls.  And you were probably like, "dolls?  what dolls?".  Well,  today I thought I'd introduce some of them to you. 

These simple little stuffed dolls started out as gifts for my children.  A year or two ago I knitted a stuffed dog for Brooke.  It turned out super cute and her brother and sister decided to "place orders" for their own hand-knitted stuffed animals. 

Well, I initially had every intention of doing that, until I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to have time to knit 2 more animals, and still have time to create things, which I was selling in a local shop at the time.  So, I decided sewing little animals would be much faster than knitting.  (Mostly because I am not the world's fastest knitter.)  I created an owl for Brenna, which she loved.  But when it came time to do one for Sean, I decided to do some sort of little alien or monster, because he's really into space, planets, Buzz Lightyear, etc.  So this is what I came up with for Sean:

The fronts are kind of my rustic take on quilting and the backs have a coordinating fabric.

They all have vintage buttons for eyes.  The hair and antennas are ric-rac, ribbons and yarn.  The aprons on the girl dolls are made from vintage doilies cut in half.  Although they're simple, they really are pretty cute I think.  I'm hoping if I ever get to do an art fair, I'd like to sell these in additions to my paintings.  I guess you'll have to tell me what you think, but I notice that booths that have something that appeals to children seem to attract  more people (kids, moms, gramas...). 

By the way, I'm really excited because I've got a few more gypsy-girl mixed media paintings in the works and will share those with you soon.  I've gotten two good suggestions on what to do for a name for her.  One was to call her Liberte in honor of her carefree spirit and sense of freedom.  The other was to leave her nameless and just call her gypsy-girl, which also has merit, because she is faceless and, in a way, she can represent the gypsy spirit in all of us.  So for now, I'll continue pondering that and in the mean time feel free to pass on any other suggestions.  (... why do we say, "mean time"?  shouldn't it be, "in the nice time" or "in the waiting time" or something like that?  just wondering...)

I really like the direction these gypsy-girl works are going in and I hope you will, too.  I also think her friends, the lamb and the horse, will be making their acquaintance with you soon.  Until then, I wish you

blessings and happiness,