Friday, October 29, 2010


I love leaves! I love them in the spring when they're new and green. I love them all summer when they offer shade on a hot day. I especially love them in the fall when they turn yellow, orange, red, and brown. I love when they go dancing down the street in swirls, and make a satisfying crunch underfoot.

I love to rake leaves, too. We compost them behind our garage. A massive pile in the fall gets rained on and snowed on, and by spring, is just a little mound waiting to become useful garden soil.

When I was a child we had a big stone wall along the hill in the side yard, which extended into the neighbors yard as well. The wall was part of FDR's work program during the Depression, and we kids had more fun than you can imagine. It was built into a hill, and was wide, 12-15 inches across and ranging from about 5 feet high at the lowest point to maybe 10 feet high at the highest point. It had steps 6-8 feet apart, making it interesting for games of all sorts. In the summer we sat on it, dangling our legs over the side, and sometimes daringly jumping off. We walked along the edge, pretending we were circus performers on the tightrope.

The best fun of all was leaf raking season. We gathered all the leaves from the yard and made a big pile at the bottom of the wall. We leaped off - swoop - into the pile, then climbed back up and did it all over again. An afternoon of five or six kids doing that left the leaves in crumbs, and kids covered in leaves from head to toe. Great memories!

Sometimes we drive by that house and yard with so many of my childhood memories. The wall is still there, and we even got to go inside the house a few years ago. I hadn't been inside since our family moved in 1975. The community was having a garage sale, and the family who lived there participated. We went, and mentioned that I had grown up in that house. Well! The people who live there now could not have been nicer. They invited us inside and gave us a tour. They showed us the pantry door where my mom had recorded our heights as we grew up. They had refinished the door, but preserved those markings. Such kindness brought tears to my eyes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Do you interrupt someone who is diligently practicing Irish songs in preparation for a gig next month, so he can try on his new socks for a blogger photo shoot?
Or do you just try them on yourself? These socks were great therapy - they got me through Larry's emergency room and short hospital stay, a bad day my mom was having, and a really bad weekend at work. I wish I had renewed my interest in knitting years ago! It's VERY therapeutic.
Now I'm back to knitting snowmen, which is where I started in January. These size six needles seem huge after using size 2 on the four socks it took me 4 and a half months to knit. It's amazing how much faster the project goes with heavier yarn and larger needles. We have some friends who are retiring and moving to sunny Florida. When trying to think of a suitable gift, snowmen came to mind. Choosing hats and scarves for them is going to be fun!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What color is it?

I started organizing my fabric by color. It seemed like a good idea, except sometimes it's hard to figure out what color something is. Is it blue? Or green?Is it brown?
I finally decided to have a separate container for the fabrics that have a theme, like dogs, frogs, ducks, horses, chickens, etc.
I can't wait to use this stone fabric - I have a plan!
I like these clear boxes so I can see what colors are in them. I have all shades of red and pink in one box.
Brown, yellow, orange, and cream are in another box.

I have a box for blues and one for greens, and one for black, white, and gray, and even a small box for purple and lavender. It was fun to handle all my fabric. The only problem now is finding a place for all those boxes. :0) A very nice problem to have!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We felt like idiots!

Larry and I visited lovely Brandywine Falls last weekend. Although it is just seven miles from our home, we only get there once or twice a year. There are some lovely hiking trails which we enjoy. People from all over the world come here, as there is a youth hostel within the park. We saw cars with license plates from Maryland, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
The trails can be a bit confusing, so at one point when we weren't quite sure of our bearings, we asked two young men if they knew which direction we should take.
With very heavy accents they told us if we followed this path we wouldn't get lost. They were probably visiting from Austria or Poland or somewhere, and here we ignorant locals were asking them for directions. "If anyone asks," Larry said, "we're from Wisconsin." LOL!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Paper Piecing

Someday I'd like to make this cornucopia a bit larger. It contains 36 pieces (or maybe 37) and is 9 by 12 centimeters (3 1/2 by 4 3/4 inches). The apple leaf is about 1/4". I must say I was pleased to have some grape fabric on hand!
Mr. Turkey still needs someone to sew on his beady little eye.
I probably should have chosen a pattern with larger pieces for my first paper piecing project. The turkey alone has 37 pieces, and it only measures 2 3/4" by 5 3/4" .
I rarely use patterns, and when I do, I don't usually follow the color guides. But this wall hanging came out looking much like the pattern!
This is the back. Removing the tissue paper after it had been stitched down in so many places was a royal pain. (so I left some of it - my bad.)
This gives you an idea of the process. I had to use fabric pieces much larger than the finished piece, such as the apple stem, and it seemed like an awful waste of fabric. It is not a method I'm likely to try again anytime soon, but it was kind of fun. Sort of like doing a jigsaw puzzle.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The glory of October

October has plenty of charm, even if the colors aren't as vibrant as they are in July. The hydrangea has a rosy color that is lovely.Homemade applesauce is tasty, and the apples have been excellent this year.
I wish you could see how beautiful these orange berries are - the color didn't come out nearly as bright as they actually are. Unfortunately they aren't edible, and I don't think the birds eat them either, or there wouldn't be this many!
The leaves are turning yellow, orange, red, and brown, and we try hard to enjoy the delights of October without lamenting that winter is coming.
Life has been too busy to get much crafting done, but it is great to have time to play outside. Larry and I walked down to the field at the end of the street and played trac-ball a week or so ago. It was such fun, and made me feel about 7 years old.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Did you ever have the kind of day where so many things went wrong that you stopped counting? But the people who helped you deal with it all were so helpful and funny that it didn't seem so bad after all? And then you got to come home early and sit in the sun and knit? That's the kind of day I had.

Saturday, October 2, 2010