A view of our home this morning with the "Ozark Polar Bear" crossing the front yard. Deep snow and temps to reach -5 tonight. This has resulted in leaving the garage door cracked open for our "not really ours" cat Firefly.
I worried all last night about him, but tonight will be much colder. Firefly is feral and won't come to us, but he likes our presence and stays close to the house.... of course this is where he gets fed. I'll sleep better tonight knowing he has a warm place to go if he chooses. I think he's been staying under our deck during all this weather. I'll put a special treat in the bowl and push it under the garage door. I'll make up a nice little bed for him too......
I had such a nice and relaxing Thanksgiving...and hoping the same for you. When I saw the hordes of shoppers lining up yesterday on the news trying to get deals .... well, I just felt kind of sad. Rushing out on Black Friday has never had any appeal for me, but Thanksgiving?! Good Grief! I'm thankful for many things, but definitely for the opportunity to be home having a crafting Christmas. No Black Friday here.... NO SIREE!
At my house you'll find me happily buzzing away on the following gifties for family and friends....
Bright and cheery wristies with another pair on my needles. Using gorgeous Noro yarn leftovers from my shawl weaving.
Speaking of shawls! This one is currently drying.
And this one is obviously still in progress. Love working with this soft mohair/silk blend.
My favorite Christmas project is a hooked rug. I can show you only a wee bit because it's a special surprise, and I can't take the chance of it being spotted by the wrong person.... I just love it so far, and excited to show you the completed piece as soon as it's reached it's new home.
And, of course, bags and bags!
These two sweeties just need their straps attached. I'd be fibbing if I told you both are gifts.... I think I'll keep one for me because I'm a bit tired of making these, and I do love them.
I have a couple more gift ideas up my sleeve, and trying to be timely and not get all in a rush at the last minute. My hands can't take it!
Oh I KNOW it's getting a bit tiring of seeing nothing but bags and shawls, bags and shawls!! But, one last time I'm showing you a picture of this sweet pair because I ADORE the creamy colors!
These were commissioned by my lovely new friend Janet.... colors are perfect for her! Now they are gone and so glad I photographed them before they went to their new home. I can hook, weave, or knit anything when I'm excited about color choices.... Still making more for the shops I'm in, and Christmas presents. Then done with this for awhile. I'm dreaming of painting and hooked rugs!
I've been busy busy lately with hooking and weaving. My two favorite activities at the moment. New bags and shawls are now in The Vintage Suitcase, a wonderful little shop which can only be described as..... a bit vintage, a bit French, a bit antique, and a bit shabby wonderful! Here's a shot of a couple of bags and shawls I've currently added to the shop. I love hooking my little scrappy rose design in different color combos!
I'm sort of swamped with bag orders at the moment, which is great as long as I'm feeling creative and having fun. Of course my busy mind has a hard time staying "in the moment", so while I'm hooking or weaving I'm thinking of making a new rug and painting! Geez!!
I did add a couple of new little paintings to my vintage gardening encyclopedia.
The first is from a photo of our front door. You may recognize it as my current blog banner, and directly above is a white iris shown in the evening with the pond water in the background. I'm sticking with my theme of paintings subject matter around my own home and gardens.
Of course LOVING fall right now. The colors here are so spectacular it's hard to take it all in. I was out to dinner with friends last night and the first words of greeting are "Can you believe the color?!". And that's pretty much what everyone is talking about right now, Such a lovely season this year.................... hope yours is the same.
What a GORGEOUS fall we are having in the Ozarks! Well, we always have a fabulous fall here, but this year has been wet (last fall was on the tail end of a HORRIBLE drought, so a bit dry and faded) and all that grows seems super enhanced with rich and lush color. And it's only just begun! The timing was perfect for me to attend a fall artist retreat put on by the very lovely and talented Audrey Bottrell at Indian Point. Audrey has been my art teacher, and also a very good friend. Before I left, I got a couple of goodies to take with me..........
One day while lunching with my friend Sally, we were doing a bit of perusing through the sweet shop attached to the cafe and just yakking up a storm, I spotted this yummy pumpkin colored ledger.
I said, "Wouldn't that be fun to paint in?" and before I could get another word in edgewise, Ms. Sally had whisked it away to the counter and bought it for me! That silly! Well, I have a plan for her.... Yes I do! Look at these fun lined pages. I see paintings of pears and flowers, cats and apples.... oh can't wait to get started! That darling little cafe, shop, and garden room is just the best. My friend Katie, her hubby Mark, and my hubby all ate at The Vintage Veranda, a couple of weeks ago armed with wine and empty stomachs. We were the last to leave!
While recently flea marketing with my same sweet sweet friend, Katie, I found this darling old wooden box. I thought how perfect it would be to carry my paints to the retreat in.
I had to have it when I saw how it opened out to other compartments. I think someone had built it, and the wood might be cherry. It IS a cherry!
During the retreat..... which was spent painting, morning and evening Tai Chi, hiking, eating, talking, meeting lovely new friends... I painted a bit in my old gardening book and did the same painting as a pastel. This is a scene from our garden when the day lilies were in full bloom.
I guess the point of this post is the importance to me of time spent with friends. I always feel so happy and full after an afternoon out with my pals. I came back from Indian Point energized with ideas for art and life (oh.... I do have ideas!). I was surrounded by very accomplished painters that were so humble, not the least bit pretentious.... I felt comfortable, and there to learn. The first thing I learned was "I NEED NEW PAINT BRUSHES"! You would not believe what I've been using..... oh dear.....
We're so lucky to have a lovely little neighborhood farm within walking distance of home. It's looking particularly gorgeous this fall, so hubby popped up there the other day and grabbed a few shots of color.
Oh..... such a nice rainy cool fall day! Perfect day to do a little painting. I have an upcoming art retreat centered on balance and motion. I've been trying to decide what to take to work on for 3 whole days..... My first thought is to do a pastel of a lovely horse that resides at the stable where I ride. But, to be quite honest, I'm a bit tired of working in pastels (although I will most likely have time to do this piece, and probably will at least get it started). But in the meantime....... I looked around, and my eyes landed on this sweet little old gardening encyclopedia that my friend, Jessy, gave me.
Do you remember these? I think they were sold as individual editions at the grocery store back in the 60's. I thought, "wouldn't it be fun to paint on some of the inside pages". Sort of an art journal, but without all the wording (there's plenty already on the pages, and I'm not one for adding inspirational phrases). I decided I would paint scenes from our gardens and yard.
The above is a painting of little Firefly. He's a stray that loves to sit in the grass at night and be with us while we enjoy our "deck time". I feed him, but he's pretty wild and won't let anyone come within petting range. I think firefly is ours now even though he doesn't know it.
We were so lucky to have lots of red breasted grosbeaks visiting our feeders last spring. This one was more orange than red, and I loved the days that he hung around in the trees.
So..... I think I'm going to work mostly in my garden book at the retreat. I've got lots of ideas for paintings, and I love getting something done quickly... and instead of loose paper, they're nice and neat in their sweet old gardening book!
I've also started a "doodle book" where I do pencil drawings and color with pencils, pastels, and oil pastels. The type of art that's portable and doesn't require trips to the sink.
It's warm, quiet, and turning fallish at the doorstep. I've been tweaking my garden a bit to give it some color.... yet I love the way flowers are turning, drying a bit, shades of golds, dirty greens, and browns are starting to appear. I've looked so forward to fall lately, and decided to make a little pastel painting using some of my favorite colors.
Pink is my new fall color! I just can't come up with a color that doesn't go well with pink. I love the oranges, golds, greens and purples next to the scrumptious hot pink pastels.
I've been hooking away on a new bag to take to my art retreat in October. Once again, completely inspired by these luscious colors!
And..... a lovely new shawl is now blocking made for a friend. Exciting color here as well!
Waiting for the cool crisp temps to go with the gorgeous fall palette!
It's in the mid 90's today.... ugh ...... but I'm still all happy and feeling a bit of fall settling in. I took a few shawls and bags to the library gift shop, Between Friends, and Shelly set up a lovely display of autumn color.
I think she did a great job! Shelly is the gift shop manager and keeps our little store stocked with the most wonderful merchandise.
I was out getting my flea market fix the other day, and was looking for something to hang my herbs and flowers on for drying. I found a nice vintage dish drainer and an old rusty metal basket. I hung these in our mud room. I think they're pretty cute all gussied up with greenery!
I've been playing with a little "just for fun" fall hooked mat. Love working with these gorgeous colors!
And...... I've enrolled in an artist retreat that comes in October. I'm very excited..... so today I dug out my cob webby dusty pastels and did a little fall painting.
It was fun rubbing and blending these pretty oranges, browns, and creams. I'm going to try and get a couple of practice pieces (or more) done each week before the retreat.
Wishes to you for a lovely and creative weekend!
It seems I'm feeling a bit pink lately! I spent an afternoon with one of my favorite besties, Tammy. We had fun going through all her accumulated stash of wool, and I stocked up on colors that made me happy and excited. I took my pile home with the intention of sorting them into their proper color piles and shelving them in my wool cabinet, but got off track with the joy from seeing them all jumbled up together. So.... I decided to hook a new piece using just my new wool and nothing else. This mat is 30" long and about 12" wide. A nice summer challenge!
I call this rug my Midnight Poppy. I loved working with these brights! I particularly liked the wool (actually, not sure what it is) that makes the vase. It's very textured with lots of sparkly gold.
Can you see the pretty gold thread running through? This piece won't stay with me, but will be a silent auction donation.
I've been knitting away on a cardigan, that I became a bit bored with and put away. I will finish it and post later. But.... I must have a little hand project going at all time. So, I dug out some lovely sock yarn in shades of pink with a bits of other colors tucked in. It's a nice cashmere blend that I've had stuck away. So soft!
I got a new order of gorgeous Noro yarns from Webs, and couldn't resist taking this shot of Willow tucked in among the jumbled skeins in the spare bedroom. She thinks it's her room since she stayed in there a bit after I first found her. But she does let me share her space from time to time.
These yarns are for weaving shawls. I've so enjoyed working on my triloom, and will soon have a display of shawls at a little shop with some of my small hooked bags. I'll post a shot when we have the display set up.
Oh, and one more thing. I have a very exciting new life experience. I'm learning to horseback ride! The instruction is English, and it takes every muscle (and then some) I've got when I'm up there on Harry. Harry is a doll, and the perfect guy for me! More on this later, if I don't break major bones first.....
Is it too early to think about fall? Probably.... but I couldn't resist making a shawl out of this gorgeous foxy red Noro yarn.
And..... a pretty little hit n' miss bag to go with it!
Speaking of foxy red, we spent some time up in Michigan and Canada this summer. On the way home, we spent a night in Saugatuck, Michigan. We found the most wonderful junker's paradise and couldn't resist this little concrete guy that really needed a home. The problem was finding room for him in the car. Hubby did some juggling with bags, totes, cooler, etc. and found room for this sweetie.
He's originally from an old lodge in Traverse City. Beautifully painted concrete, and such detail in his pretty green eyes.
He now resides out back among the day lilies. I love our new Mr. Fox!