Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A gift shared with a friend

I can now share this gift I made for a friend. She emailed me that the package arrived. Joanne is my autumn sister on one of my Yahoo groups and we have enjoyed this glorious season together writing each other. She has two loves that I share with her ~ the autumn and all its beauty and Christmas.

I had been going through a basket of WIPs looking for one I wanted to work on when I found a couple of holiday projects that were stitched and not finished. I decided that this pillow cover would make the perfect gift for her. The moment I unfolded it, it reminded me of her list of favorite Christmas music on her holiday blog!

Autumn has been more fun sharing it with you Joanne!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A patchwork tree skirt

In these busy days, it is harder to put much on my blogs but I do try to keep up. I wanted to share a patchwork tree skirt I made two Christmasses ago. We had just bought our tiny cottage and I was creating a tree for there. I had a pencil pine tree and needed a tree skirt that was in proportion to that skinny tree. I sewed a single quilt block and cut into the center where I carefully cut out a circle to fit the tree. I cut the block into a hexagon shape. I was very pleased with how it turned out.

I have just about completed the hand quilting on my log cabin swap quilt. I will be preparing the bias binding tonight. I will share photos of it in the next few days.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Needlework quote for Monday

Painting by Daniel Ridgway Knight called 'The Village Seamstress'

"To return to the children: I have just had another proof of Goldilocks' good influence," said Mrs. Jo, drawing her chair nearer the sofa, where the Professor lay resting after a long day's work in his various gardens. "Nan hates sewing, but for love of Bess has been toiling half the afternoon over a remarkable bag in which to present a dozen of our love-apples to her idol when she goes. I praised her for it, and she said, in her quick way, 'I like to sew for other people; it is stupid sewing for myself.' I took the hint, and shall give her some little shirts and aprons for Mrs. Carney's children. She is so generous, she will sew her fingers sore for them, and I shall not have to make a task of it."

"But needlework is not a fashionable accomplishment, my dear."

"Sorry for it. My girls shall learn all I can teach them about it, even if they give up the Latin, Algebra, and half-a-dozen ologies it is considered necessary for girls to muddle their poor brains over now-a-days. Amy means to make Bess an accomplished woman, but the dear's mite of a forefinger has little pricks on it already, and her mother has several specimens of needlework which she values more than the clay bird without a bill, that filled Laurie with such pride when Bess made it."

From "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
~~ W T Purkiser

For all who celebrate this day and even those who do not, may today be one in which you reflect on what this past year has blessed you with and may you find true happiness in those blessings.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A special place in my living room

On one of my lists recently, we talked about an area of our home we were very proud of. This is a corner in my living room that makes me smile. I had been inspired a number of years ago by an article I read in Victoria magazine. It was a December issue and had photos of an author's home. This was the results of that inspiration. I created a special space using my antique side table. It contains many things I love ~ some of my antique books, an antique tea caddy, a few pieces of my homemade lace, antique eye glasses and opera glasses, reproduction Victorian cards, my hunt prints and miniatures. My lamps are on dimmers so I can create a low lighting in the evenings.

If you click on the photos, you will be able to see the items in more detail.

The lacemaker's prayer

"Lord, let me grow old like beautiful lace, cherished and treasured and care for with grace."

This is a Slovanian type of lace called 'Idrija'. It is a kind of tape lace that is made using only about six pairs of bobbins. I really enjoy making this kind of lace. The pattern meanders back and forth until you come back to where you start and bind off.

You can enlarge to photo to see the lace closer up.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Pinkeep finish

Just wanted to share a finish with you again. I was able to make this pinkeep today. I stitched the design 'Dress Warm' by Heart in Hand (Mother's Wisdom) over the weekend. It is a fun winter pinkeep.

Monday's fall quote

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain'd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

"The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.

"The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.
"Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

~~ William Blake ~~

This photo is taken by our front door. Autumn's bounty is beautiful. Soon I will be starting on my holiday decorations but now we are having our peak in autumn colors here in Holland. The season is very late this year due to the warm weather we have been experiencing. Many of the trees still even have green leaves.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Celebrate the seasons with me on my new blog

Even though I will continue to add poetry and sayings to this blog, I felt I wanted to create a blog dedicated to my reflections of the passing times. This idea came to me when a friend Hazel commented that she enjoyed autumn much more this year as a result of my thoughts and sharing my decorating. I was so touched that it had an effect on her to stop and savour the moments. I sincerely hope that you will also celebrate the seasons with me as time passes.....Stop by and leave your own comments on my new blog.

A secret finish

Last night, I finished making my Christmas ornaments for an exchange on one of my lists. I will be mailing them today thankfully. They were hard work but I hope they will bring enjoyment to all the others participating. I cannot share a photo yet as they are to be a surprise for everyone receiving them. I will borrow a cute idea from Tracy whom is also participating by simply showing you a beautiful Christmas picture with the promise of photos of the ornaments once the exchange is complete.

Tammy, the ornaments will be on their way to you now today. Thanks so much for organizing this for us!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Autumn poetry in picture and words

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosiac days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.

A few incisive mornings,
A few ascetic eves,
Gone Mr. Bryant's golden rod,
And Mr. Thomson's sheaves.

Still is the bustle in the brook,
Sealed are the spicy valves;
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The eyes of many elves.

Perhaps a squirrel may remain,
My sentiments to share.
Grant me, O Lord, a sunny mind,
Thy windy will to bear!

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

Photo of our red maple just before the leaves started to fall this past weekend.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Busy days

There have been no posts this week since I am really busy with a SAL again and getting Christmas presents wrapped and sent through the mail. I have started a new blog for the SALs. I will catch up with things here though soon.

For now, I thought I would share with you something that really made me laugh this past weekend. We buy all our eggs fresh from a place in a tiny village near out cottage up north. You never know how the eggs will look each Saturday. I like to have very large eggs since we love to eat eggs in an egg cup each weekend. This past Saturday I found a monster egg. Sorry the first photo is blurred but I just had to show you. My DH had that egg and it had a double yolk in it. It was very tasty but I would hate to have been the chicken that laid it! LOL!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Day of preparation

Today I am working on the instructions document for my online stitching list. We are having a pinkeep SAL next week. I am so excited to see all their results! This is a group of very talented ladies and I know there are going to be some beautiful pinkeeps to admire. I thought I would share the first photo in the instructions series with you. This show the items needed to make a pinkeep. I am making this pinkeep with a fabric rather than stitched back.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Progress of my Autumn Leaves medallion quilt

I have finally had some time to spend on my Autumn Leaves medallion quilt again. Since I last showed you this, I have added a one inch border around the Chinese Coins followed by little two inch four-patch blocks. I now have to decide on the next border.

My three options are:
a. I stop here and quilt it then add a bias binding of the black fabric.
b. I add another one inch black border and then a border of the pumpkin orange (probably about 1 1/2 inches wide) and after quilting add an orange bias binding.
c. I add a border of black fabric and then quilt it and sew on a black bias binding.

I think I know which one I prefer but am going to think about it first today. Which one do you like best?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An Autumn garden

The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July.

~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~

Even in the autumn our gardens can be bright and beautiful. We went to the garden center and purchased some mums and winter violets in a warm rust color. Placed with some garden items and gourds and pumpkins, it really cheers a corner where plants have been going into their winter sleep already.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thank you Sonja!

My very dear friend Sonja made me these candles. I save my old candle stumps for her and she melts them down and makes new and beautiful candles from them. One is even a scented candle which she made from a large candle in a jar which I had. It smells so wonderful! She gave me these as a gift last night. Bedankt Sonja!!!

The photo was taken in my kitchen. The quilt you see is a small one block quilt I made some years ago. I have it over my toaster since it matches my kitchen perfectly.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday's fall quote

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

~~ Clyde Watson ~~

Photo of our cottage's garden gate. We are busy each weekend working on preparing the garden for the winter.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Quick stitch for the weekend!

I stitched this adorable little freebie this weekend. I am preparing the instructions including photos of each step for a pinkeep SAL on one of my lists. There are alot of people signed up for it and it is going to be great fun. This is what I will use for the sample pinkeep which will give me a fun pinkeep for the holidays.

This freebie is from Tanya Anderson "The Sampler Girl" and is available on her website.

Another "guest" Autumn Leaves banner shared

Once again there has been a finish posted on our Autumn Leaves SAL. This time Peg from the UK has shared the photo of her beautiful banner. Great job Peg! I will look forward to seeing more banners from you in the future.

Don't hesitate to leave her a comment here on my blog.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mother Nature's bounty

This weekend as we drove home from our cottage, we stopped to photograph some more toadstools along the roadside near us. We have had wet weather again lately and it has resulted in many toadstools coming up once again.

The 'fly agaric' or 'vliegenzwam' in Dutch is one of the best loved toadstools. I think it is because we are all children believing in gnomes for just one moment when we discover one. They seem to be coming up all over Holland this week.

November block for calendar

Here is the block for November for the quilt calendar. It now has to be sandwiched and quilted. I was so relieved to have it done last night and can never wait till just before the quit group's evening to work on it again. That was calling it close. I now have to add this photo to the newsletter and once it is printed I will be ready for this evening.

It unfortunately does not show the colors or the details of the stitching well on this photo. I hope to get a better one once it is hanging on the calendar. There is only one month to go and it is complete. This year has gone by so quickly for me as far as designing this goes. I hope the ladies in my quilt group will enjoy using theirs in the years to come.