Friday, October 16, 2015

The Magic of Ordinary Days

There is certainly nothing ordinary about being at home every day, enjoying the sunshine and stitching and the company of my kitties. The evenings at home are especially nice, since almost all of mine are spent at gymnastics training.
There is no gymnastics practice this week.  The gym space is being relocated to a huge, revamped downstairs area (formerly indoor soccer arena).  All the equipment, mats, etc., were uprooted, cleaned and replaced in the new area.  To say it was a bit crazy is to put it mildly.  To say  that my boss can make a gigantic  "cluster f*ck" out of nearly any project she takes on is purely a statement of fact.  Yes, this could have gone way more smoothly then it has so far.  It also could have gone on without  unemploying six coaches for an entire week!
But what has become a financial hardship has been an emotional blessing.  If only I could sustain a living from this land, house and sewing machine.  As much as I love coaching gymnastics, I do so thoroughly enjoy being at home.
I've found a walnut tree (along with our numerous hickory trees) and dyed some fabric.
On another walk in our over-grown field I found what I think is Hops!  yes, it was green like the Internet photo(top) and is now the dried up version in the bottom photo.

There are also some grapes.  I have used the grape vines to make wreaths and frames, but this year we actually have some tiny fruits on the vines.  I have not taken the leap and tasted any yet.  They matured to a dark purple, but are only the size of peas.

Along with numerous indoor cleaning projects, I have been done some tidying of the barn and shed and some overall "winterizing"  The first frost is predicted for tonight and all the succulent and tropical plants are safely indoors.  Kitty Coal enjoys the cement casting form that Joe tossed out behind the shed.  Ok, Joe's idea of "cleaning" is a little different from mine....usually involving a large bonfire!

And finally, as a 51 year-old woman I flopped down in the golden grass and watched the clouds float buy.  I am sure this sense of peacefulness will vanish on Monday when things go back to the old ordinary.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Autumn Collection

Trying to spend a little less time on the computer and/phone, wandering around the Internet.  Although there are so many beautiful photos/ideas/patterns/recipes out there, I've found Facebook to be kind of depressing and even Pinterest is a bit mean-spirited lately.  It's far nicer to lurk around my favorite blogs and leave some nice comments.  It also makes me a bit jealous to see such nicely arranged and written blogs.  The photos and layouts are so enjoyable and professionally done.
I have managed to figure out how to change fonts and colors, but my photo arrangements are so dull.
To break the monotony in my stitching live I have signed on to another Stitch-a Long (SAL).  Yes, it does originate on Facebook of all places,  but it is a very nice stitchers group page.  No stalkers, gossips or haters.  The design is Kathy Barrick's "And Heaven and Nature Sing".  The kindness and generosity I have found there is amazing.  I signed up for the SAL only to discover that finances would not allow me to buy the chart or fabric to start the project and contribute to the group.  Then two lovely stitchers stepped up and gifted me the chart and fabric!!  Well, there goes my Evil Facebook theory.  Yes, there are some wonderful people out there.  My husband says it's good Karma returning to me.
About two months ago I received a rather strange letter.  I don't get much hand-written "snail mail" these days so the sight of the envelope intrigued me.  So did the return address.  This was not someone I knew and below the name was a long series of numbers  My husband said that the letter was from a prisoner.  This lady ( who I shall not name to protect her privacy) was requesting some cross-stitch patterns of certain themes...Autumn/Thanksgiving and Saint Olga of Kiev, She had enclosed $5 in cash. I let the letter sit for a few days, wondering who this person was and how she got my address. I must admit I was a bit suspicious and yes, judgmental of this mystery writer.
After a week or so of thinking and rethinking this issue, I went to Pinterest and some other websites, searched through my stash of charts and magazines and collected about 20 charts/designs.  I packed them up and mailed them to this person.
Since then I have received three more letters, each with a request for cross-stitch charts of various themes and odd amounts of cash (some of it from foreign countries!) to cover the cost of postage.  Each time I've done my searching and mailing, knowing someone on the other end was enjoying what I sent. So if this is some sort of "Good Karma" thing, then so be it.

The lovely Mel is enjoying the Good Karma of my lap on a cool Autumn day.  She pretty much ignores me all Summer long and then seeks me out as the weather changes.

The year-round Owl Tree was spruced up with a few new finds at Hobby Lobby.  I guess the whole owl thing has gone "viral" (oh yuck, hate that word) because there are quite a few new ornaments out this year.

Now I need to think about the outdoor décor.  It's about time to get some pumpkins and corn stalks to put around the vintage farm machine in our yard.  The weather is spectacular, even if my hands are a bit cold.  Enjoy whatever you have planned for the weekend and here's wishing you some Good Karma!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oh My, That Dress!!

I love fashion!  This, my friends, should never be misinterpreted to mean that  I am at all fashionable.  My personal style could best be described as "Has-Been Over Weight Sporty Spice".  Interspersed with various attempts, on more formal occasions, to recreate Princess Diana's wardrobe from the early 80s
 I do have a great eye for fashion.  I can create outfits and pick out marvelous stuff for myself, only marred by the fact that I can neither afford nor fit into anything that slightly resembles modern day chic,
So I look to the past and to those with the "ideal figure", my fashion dolls.  Here is a selection of ideas/inspirations from various time periods.  My range of favorites begins around 1845 and goes until about 1925.  For some reason fashions before or after those dates has little appeal to me, the exception being the early 1810s and 1940s.






I submit for your review my list of


1.  Downton Abbey
2.  The Foresyte Saga
3. Lark Rise to Candleford
4.  Upstairs//Downstairs
5.  Howard's End
6.  Duchess of Duke Street
7.  Mr. Selfridge
8.  The Paradise
9.  House of Elliot
10.  An Ideal Husband
11.  Age of Innocence
12.  Enchanted April
13.  Out of Africa
14.  Sommersby
15.  Gone With The Wind
16.  Anna Karenina
17.  Anne of Green Gables
18.  The Piano
19.  Dr. Zhivago
20.  Little Women

I have only listed those that I have actually watched from beginning to end.  They are roughly in order of most favorite,/most detailed and accurate costumes.  This is all my personal opinion of course, and I would love to hear comments and suggestions from readers.