Monday, December 28, 2015

pompom therapy

Yesterday I made a pillow for the front porch bench as part of my recovery from the first round of celebrating. I can't think of anything more cheerful than white pompom trim on red gingham. Unless it's light blue gingham. Or green. Actually, I can't think of a gingham color I don't like. I just wish it was 100% cotton instead of a cotton/polyester blend. But it's still good.

Rewind a week or so here...I was hanging strands of faux sugared berries, tinsel and pompoms to build up the SHINE banner but the white pompom garland just wasn't right. No bueno.

Tea-dyed pompoms. Bueno.

I like the scrunchy vintage look.

It's going to hang up there for a while, maybe until Spring Equinox. I need to be reminded to shine instead of -- well, not shining.

The cushions on the bench are covered with a furry throw, a cozy place to sit in the morning sun to watch the birds visit the feeders. And to just "be" outside which is one of my hopes for the new year -- to spend more time outdoors regardless of weather -- hell hot, wicked cold or in between.

Peanuts, bread, and seeds under the suet feeder -- the birds need energy to get through this cold snap we're having.

The back opening of the pillow with the selvage left as is because of that cool fraying.

Thank you for visiting me here. May the New Year be one of transformation with more love and peace on Planet Earth.

And now we welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been. --Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

delicata squash

There's nine inches of snow on Buddha there and more to come. I measured. For some reason I've recently formed a weather habit -- I check the forecast several times a day and the temperature much more often than that. I've decided to break this pattern. It's going to be a New Year's intention for me to not check the weather or the temperature unless circumstances require doing so. I want to look out the window and see if the chickadees are plumped up, then I'll know it's cold out and I need to wear a heavier jacket to walk the dogs. Or if there's more activity than usual at the feeders, then I'll know snow is likely on the way. Like that. It'll be more of a challenge in the spring, of course -- a new plan may be needed at that time.

For my moonthly stitch ritual, Pathways, I chose a white sashiko stitch. The idea of the sashiko stitch is to make the thread on the top of the cloth larger than the thread that passes underneath -- the underneath thread is about one-third the length of the top stitch. This is moon #12 on a natural linen runner. Next month all 13 moons will have been represented, each a different color and variation of stitch. The project has been an easy way for me to ritualize the passage of time over this past year. At each new moon I choose the thread color, number of strands, and stitch; by the full moon I am usually in the middle; and by or during the dark moon, that pathway is finished.

Carmelized delicata squash doesn't need peeling -- that's the main reason I tried out this recipe, I avoid peeling squash whenever however I can. Definitely a thumbs up, delicata squash will be included on my 2016 garden planting list. The recipe is here -- basically it's baking it whole beforehand, cutting into slices and tossing them with avocado oil, then roasting on a sheet pan until carmelized. The delicious sweetness might actually tamper the desire for sweets in case you have a craving. And these convenient-sized slices can be eaten as a snack, added to salad, or warm as a side dish.

A new use for all the leftover leaves we used for autumn decorating -- leaf mulch in the houseplant pots! Binoculars are always at the ready lately as more birds come to the feeders with snowy weather. A suet feeder is especially popular with northern flickers, downy woodpeckers, and small birds that have not been identified yet. Thus the binoculars. Yesterday there was a hawk sitting on the back fence looking for her lunch, I hope it was a mouse and not a bird she wanted.

Bee is her name. She had been used quite forcefully in her previous life (before I found her), you can tell by all the pin marks. I'm thinking her next wig should be of flowers and bees.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

a knitted pear

It was unexpected, this little bit of knitting. Right in the middle of oh so many projects, a simple green pear in an ad excited and compelled me to knit up its likeness....immediately. The pear pattern by Linda Dawkins is free on Ravelry here, I used bits of leftover green and brown wool stuffed with more wool. There's just something about a pear.

Thanks to Homespun magazine for including my boro patched blue jeans in their modern mending feature. I'm Patch Project #10 up there. Homespun is a lovely Australian craft magazine full of unique projects, the paper is heavy enough that just paging through feels nice, like you've really got your hands on something. I found several things to put on my to-make list -- first up will be those woven patches under Patch Project #14.

I've been thinking about this season of Yule that both energizes and depletes me. Reflecting on gift-giving and gift-receiving. Asking myself if I continue to do the real work of so many family traditions out of love -- or for love. That is a question that can be put to good use any time in any situation, I think.

There will soon be a new moon full of possibilities (on Friday)....but join me now in the quiet darkness and let us take time to rest and restore ourselves.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

december 1


Quite a lot has happened. Our Thanksgiving crafting could be, depending on who you talk to, a more beloved tradition than the celebratory dinner. This year it was wintry dioramas in tiny tin boxes. Some left the lids on the boxes, others used the boxes alone. So much fun. 

Just saw the pin/magnet idea over on the Colette blog -- perfect for the little hand-painted plate and I'm always needing a place to park pins and needles. Pinned up on the board is some of the herbal cloth Kathy, the Woodland Quilter, (thank you, thank you) so generously sent -- I am crazy over the colors. 

I am on an avocado-on-sourdough-toast kick. It was still dark this morning so I fired up the angel chimes. Ting, ting, ting. I love me a candlelit breakfast. 

I plan to post one photo each day this month on Instagram. You can click here or on the sidebar. If you're already on Instagram, come visit me and I'll be able to visit you back. You don't need the phone app to view Instagram photos, it can be accessed with any internet-connected computer or other device.

The 4 Sprites!

Have a wonderful week. xo

P.S. The leaves up there are pressed/dried, then decorated with a white paint pen.