Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crafting Craziness!

I did some shopping yesterday, but other than going to Jo-Ann's Fabrics, my shopping was done at a few small, local businesses, just as I had hoped. I'd love to share my finds, but since most of the giftees read my blog (sometimes), I'll have to keep silent about them.

The Jo-Ann's Fabrics visit was to stockpile some fleece for more blankets, again, for gifting, so I can't say much about that either. I did buy a glue gun at 50% off, as I'm planning on making a rosemary wreath for the kitchen. I have a glue gun somewhere, but it has gone missing so I bought another one. As soon as I make the wreath, I'll photograph and post it. I thought I'd start it right away, but even the non-mall shopping made me so tired I had to come home and take a two hour nap. What's up with that? I don't know if it's the stress of spending money or the overstimulation.

While I was out, I took a break at a bookstore and fell in love with the Interweave Knits Weekend Hats book. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy it (read, whoops, I already ordered it); after all, it'll help me with my Christmas gifting, right?

I've actually started wrapping presents, which is unusual for me. But since I decided that I'm not buying wrapping paper, I wanted to make sure I had time to accumulate some paper bags and other assorted recycled paper options, like old maps and newspaper comics. I'm afraid I'll forget what I've gotten once I've wrapped it, so I may make a Christmas journal, although I doubt it'll be as fancy as Earthchick's. I'm thinking a bit more basic.I found this twig arch at the thrift store for $1; I took the silk flowers off it and jammed in rosemary sprigs from our yard. I thought I'd have to hot glue them, but it actually worked better just shoving them in the twigs. Our kitchen has a nice smell to it now.I took a few pictures to give you an idea of the crafting ADD going on around here. This is the Thermis cowl I finished; in the process of getting the buttons sewn on. (by the way, I love this pattern!) It's a Christmas gift for someone.This bowl of cranberries was used to make a few more strings for the bird tree outside. The red fabric is a piece cut from one of the fleece blankets (another gift), and the knit project is the beginning of a Jane Richmond's Mustard Scarf (which looks more like a cowl to me, but tomato, tomahto, as they say). I'm using my special skein of Jared Flood's Tweed yarn. So yummy, this yarn. Bonus points since it's from the stash!
I bought this magazine from Jo-Ann's; it's a UK issue that's filled with quick and fun ideas. It even came with an envelope containing three buttons, fabric squares, and embroidery floss!Finally, here are the two potholders I knit for Larissa's potholder KAL. Mine aren't as intricate as some folks' were, but as one of the KAL-ers pointed out to me, it isn't a competition. They go in the mail to her tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, it's back to work for me, which is probably a good thing, since it encouraged me to clean up all this crafting stuff! Now I'm going to sit on the couch, watch a movie, and knit! Hope you have a happy week!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday

I think you could combine these, don't you think?

photo by Connie Hanna

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I don't understand the decision retailers made to open up on Thanksgiving. Of course, I don't understand the Black Friday concept much either. As a matter of fact, about twenty years ago I gave it a whirl; after all, so many people told me how much fun they had doing it, so I thought maybe I was missing out on an adventure. Nope. Once was enough for me. I ended up stressed, tired, and headachy, not necessarily in that order.

So how am I using my Black Friday time? I put on some Christmas music and cleaned the floors in the kitchen, sunroom, both bathrooms, and the living room. I dusted the cobwebs off of the ceilings, washed some clothes, and now I'm going to sit down and knit awhile.

What are you doing today?

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!

My wish is that we are all thankful more often.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Food for the Birds

I'm in the enviable position of being at loose ends. My gifted class finished this past Saturday, so I don't have anything hanging over me, and since the first term just ended at school, I'm caught up on everything there too. Plus it's a short week, thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday! I have absolutely no plans to shop over the weekend and we're not traveling anywhere; as a matter of fact, both Stephanie and Melissa are going to visit Meredith for Thanksgiving, so we won't even have anyone staying with us. Therefore, I'm planning on doing a lot of knitting, reading, and napping.

Melissa and I spent a little time on the deck yesterday stringing cranberries for the tree in our side yard; what I call the bird feeder tree. I love doing these types of things, as it reminds me of the days when the girls were little and we put out "food for the birds", as Meredith called it.

We used to smear bagels with peanut butter and bird seed, and cut oranges in half, hole punch the skins, and use yarn to hang them up. So much fun, such nice memories. I'm going to miss them on Thanksgiving day. But at least they'll be here for Christmas. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the family that will be with me.

Hope your loved ones are with you on Thanksgiving.

A Beachy Christmas Tree

I know it's early, but my mom gave me this beautiful Christmas tree yesterday! I may have to keep it up all year, much to the chagrin of my husband!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Leaves & News!

Still loving the color of fall around here. This picture was taken on Sunday; Steve and I took a walk through East Beach, an upscale neighborhood two miles down the road from us.

I photographed this gorgeous ginko tree on Tuesday. The burst of color caught my eye as I was driving past it and I made a u-turn so I could stop and take a picture.

The tree is in a cemetary not too far from our house; the color was simply amazing.

Exciting! I was featured on this blog today!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Autumn Color

The leaves in my neighborhood were so pretty this morning when I was on my way to class, that I had to pull over a couple of times just to take some photographs.

The early morning light was so beautiful, but pictures never show it, do they?

This one was the closest to accurate.

Oh, and this was an idea I saw in the newest book I bought, Eco-Craft. It's an LED light underneath some seaglass. Every idea in that book is a winner; take a look at it if you can.

Hope you're enjoying your autumn weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2011

KAL & Craft Activism

We had a teacher workday yesterday and it was one of the most relaxed ones we've had for a long time. I can only assume our new principal deserves the credit for it, as he didn't hold a single meeting, which meant we actually got to work in our rooms!

I'm home today, thanks to the Veteran's Day holiday. It is a beautiful day and I'm grateful for it. The temperatures are in the upper forties, there's a light Bay breeze, and the sun is shining. My goals are simple: refill the bird feeder, take a walk, and work on my gifted class project.Luckily, my car is in the shop getting a warranty repair, which prevents me from going anywhere. That alone increases my chances of actually working, although blogging isn't exactly on the official list.

I made a baby hat this week for a coworker; I used about 2/3 of a ball of Knitcol Trends that I bought at a gorgeous shop, Frivolous Fibers, in St. Michaels, Maryland, a couple of weekends ago. It's so nice, that I wish I had bought a baby sweater's worth, but a hat will have to do.

Continuing with the knitting content, Larissa is doing another KAL and I'm participating. As I was replying to her post, I came up with an idea for my next craft meeting, blending her idea and the idea behind Gale's book, Craft Activism. Last month, my group, Craft OV, met for the first time and made fleece tied blankets/throws. Everyone made them for themselves or as gift items, but this time, I want us to make them as donations. We haven't decided what charity we're donating to yet, but I'm thinking about either our local children's hospital or the NEST program at church. Heaven knows there are a wealth of places who can use them. Just another reason I love the blog-o-sphere; the sharing of good ideas like Larissa's and Gale's.

And under the heading of TMI, this is a shot showing you my work at home uniform:

Pink crocs, Noro socks, and pajamas. Not shown is my comfortable grey cardigan, white tee, and mussed hair. You can thank me later for not sharing.

And to make me feel really virtuous, I soaked a pot of beans last night and will have that bubbling on the stove for most of the day.

Hope you enjoy your day, whatever you're doing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

TGIF & Still Loving the USPS

What a great Friday! I went to bed at 7:30 p.m. last night and didn't get up until 6:30 a.m. Granted, I did take a muscle relaxer, but wow, I am definitely rested now. I had a good day at work, teaching the periodic table of elements using beads, and then I came home to find a lovely surprise package in the mailbox. Look at these goodies from Madison, Wisconsin!! A cow pie, stitch markers, postcard, and kniting earrings! I know you want a close up of Deborah's handmade earrings! Aren't they gorgeous!! I couldn't get them in fast enough and I am planning on wearing them until further notice!!

What a delightful surprise!! Thank you, Deborah!!!

Earlier in the week I had another wonderful surprise. Awhile back I had won a blog drawing from Lene, and it arrived on Monday. It's a gorgeous black and white photo that she took. Isn't it beautiful?

The weather is pretty similar here near the Bay today, although we still have most of our leaves still on the trees. Check out the windblown chairs.

I have to do some homework for my class tomorrow, so I'm going to hit the books now. Wearing my new earrings, of course! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Romantic Getaway

I have quite a racket going on at my house. Steve and I got married privately on November 7, 2006, and then we had a wedding on December 16, 2006, with our family and friends present. Because of the two dates, we usually end up celebrating both dates. Pretty sweet, huh? My rationale is that we're making up for lost time. So this past weekend, Steve and I drove up the Eastern Shore to Easton, MD, to celebrate our 5th anniversary. It was the only weekend our schedules would allow, and we had a lovely, lovely time. We ran into a little sleet on Saturday, but Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, allowing us to walk around Easton and St. Michaels, two beautiful seaside towns.

I have to say, this is my favorite B&B so far. Such a serene and welcoming place.A breakfast nook.The other side of the dining room.The upstairs porch; I love the fabric on these cushions!A ceramic pear; they had a few of these in the garden. The inn uses local artists, which is a really great concept.Steve and I took a walk after a delectable breakfast; I thought this house was beautiful.This is on the water in Oxford.I'm patiently waiting for my beer and oysters. My happy husband:We didn't have time to take a photo until after we'd finished. Nothing beats local oysters with beer on a gorgeous day.More sights, walking after lunch.An amusing leftover.

And just for fun:

Now we're back to work and reality. I wish I had taken more pictures, but trust me, we had a wonderful time, spending most of Sunday outside in the gorgeous weather.

I have class the next three weekends, so knitting and blogging time will be at a premium. I'll probably keep knitting the log cabin squares and dreaming of starting a sweater, as soon as I can decide on a pattern. Enjoy the rest of your week!