Friday, November 19, 2010

Spark of inspiration!

Can anyone guess what this is a photo of??? Yes... it has to do with a sewing project. No... it's not something Darla fought with.

Yesterday I decided that Lauren and I needed new Christmas Stockings this year. New house equals new traditions... right??? So... I threw all sensibility to the wind and made up my mind that I wanted a PINK Christmas Stocking. I dug through a bag of thrift store purchases and came up with a size 4 petite 100% wool blazer... the exact shade of pink I was envisioning. Out came the seam ripper and scissors... and an hour later this is all that is left of that blazer. Felting wool is all the rage right now... so hot water, soap, and a clothes dryer are next on the list for this precious pink wool. I should have enough felted wool for the base of the stocking by tonight... using the original jacket lining for the stocking lining.

I kept the jacket's welt pockets just in case I decide to use them in the design some how. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Santa tucked a few hundred dollar bills in the pockets???  There's nothing more exciting than sticking your hand in a jacket pocket and pulling out cash!!!

I'll post a photo on Monday with my progress.

I wonder what kind of stocking Lauren will want??? Tinkerbell? Hmmmm....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm just a country girl!

Blue Skies

My yard is paved in gold... and brown... and red... and orange... and green. Is it just me... or are the fall leaves unusually colorful this year? I don't know if it is because of the hot and dry weather we had this summer... or maybe it's the first year I have been able to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and actually enjoy nature's technicolor display. Maybe it's just the new neighborhood that is filled with wise old trees. Whatever the reason, I am stunned by the beauty. One would think this was the first time I have ever seen fall leaves.

Miss Darla
My daily dog walk with Darla takes forever as I stop to inspect all the colorful leaves littering the street. I can't stop myself from picking up each jewel to press in the phone book (who uses phone books for their intended purpose any more?). As our family silently acknowledges what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving these pressed beauties will be scattered on the table to remind us of what is right in front of our faces every day... and to not forget the 'little things' in life.

Abandoned rake
Raking the leaves takes twice as long as it should. I find myself dropping the rake to run in to the house to grab my camera in hopes of 'capturing the moment' as a brilliant red leaf falls on a pile of translucent yellow ones... such a jolt to my senses!  This is the first time I have ever had to rake leaves. The old house had such a massive yard that the wind blew them right across the lawn and in to the back woods. I never knew the joy I was missing.

Chop! Chop!

Between raking and gathering wood I feel like a 'country girl'. I remembered to put out the recycling this morning... and broke down all the moving boxes to put at the curb. Finally... they are out of my driveway! Now I have to concentrate on learning how to chop wood. I'm really good at breaking off the small branches of debris and storing for kindling... and OK at stepping on the medium size limbs to snap in smaller sections to fit the fireplace... but the larger branches have me stumped (pun intended).  A friend and neighbor said he has a 'chopper' that I can borrow... Oh goody, I can't wait.

Yummy Pot Pies

I'll leave (get it? leave? leaves? I crack myself up sometimes) you all drooling with a picture of the most delicious homemade Chicken Pot Pies ever assembled on this planet. I made them yesterday from an Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) recipe I found on the web. I changed a few things... of course... and they took all morning to make... but they are sooooooo worth the effort. Makes the store bought ones taste 'blah'. Oh... and the house smelled like Thanksgiving!! Mother Nature's Potpourri.

Take time out to sniff the crisp fall air... 
Enjoy the moment!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hands across the water... helping hands... lend me a hand...soft pretty hands... rough working hands... old hands... young hands... talk to the hand... talk using your hands. I have always said that if I were in an accident and the choice was to save my hands or my legs... I couldn't have both... I would choose to save my hands every time.

I didn't realize why hands were so important to me until the other day. Listening to Neil Diamond sing 'Papa's Embrace' reminded a friend of mine about how his dad's whiskers warmed his face when he was a young boy... just as it mentions in the song. A slow, sweet smile drew across his face as his thoughts drifted off to another time and place. He asked if I had the same feeling.

A sudden heart attack took my father from our family when I was only 6 years old. I don't remember his whiskers... at all. I remember his ears because he used to make them wiggle at the dinner table and make me giggle... especially on special occasions like Thanksgiving... when we were to be on our most best and proper behavior. I also clearly remember his temper which could flare up in an instant... but I don't remember it ever being directed at me. Most of all... I remember his hands. Large, strong, working hands. Hands that worked on sailboats, designed tools, finished building the house. Hands that tenderly stroked my cheek, my hair. Hands that became all thumbs when trying to corral my wisps of hair in to pig tails... the end result looking so out of whack that I had to hide it under a hat the rest of the day.

My father's hand was my security. He always held my tiny hand in his when we crossed a street, or walked in a crowd. One day, while shopping he let go for just a second. I reached up and grabbed the corner of his red plaid wool jacket so I wouldn't get lost. When I turned my little face upward to ask him something I realized the jacket I was clinging on to wasn't my dad... it was some other strange man. I dropped it instantly and SCREAMED! My dad was only a step behind and immediately scooped me up with his big strong hands in to his arms. Snug and safe again.

My own children have very distinctive hands. During a High School production of 'Pippin' my girls were in a large group standing behind a black curtain with only their hands showing on stage making motions to an opening number. I could pick them out of the crowd. Those were my daughter's hands after all... I gave birth to them, held them, kissed each little rosebud finger. Over the many years I have pulled them away from light sockets, washed off dirt, jelly, marshmallows, mud and sand. I watched as they mastered holding a crayon, fork and spoon. I too held their hands as we crossed a street or walked in a crowd. Eventually I gave one daughter's hand away in marriage... thankfully I adore her husband, or I wouldn't have given it away so freely.

Some people think walking arm in arm is special. Others think a hug is the most endearing public display of affection. I think holding hands is the sexiest thing in the world!!! It's an outward sign that you care way deep down inside for the person you are with. You don't want anything bad to happen to them, that you are connected to them, that you want to hold them close... and you don't care if anybody notices! Hugs and Kisses are brief encounters... quickly executed and then you pull away. Hand holding can last as long as you want... and no one would say a word.

Have you ever seen an elderly couple walking hand in hand?? To me that is the sweetest thing in the world.

Now... after all this blubbering about how wonderful hands are I must confess that I hate my hands. They give my true age away. They are old and wrinkly with dry cuticles and the veins are starting to pop up, not to mention the brown age spots. The fingers are fat and stubby so rings never look good, which is why I prefer necklaces and bracelets. My hands have done so many wonderful things over the course of my life... so I really can't complain. They might not be pretty, but they are strong... and able to hold on to any one that needs a helping hand.