Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Feet

We are so fortunate to live in a area with open spaces around us. Growing up in Chicago, you learn to appreciate green space. Most of the green space I saw growing up was the lawns and trees in the parkway. Living in the suburbs, is a different world. Our yard is huge compared to a city lot. We have Forest Preserves, a golf course and a large reservoir with acres of land a short walk from our home. We walk the reservoir, really a path that was worn by vehicles that maintain the land there. It's a beautiful place to walk. Always breezy, since it is the high spot in the neighborhood, but hard on the body with all the ruts and grooves to navigate. We recently saw some equipment up on the path and lines painted on the turf. With the cool weather, we've happily walked the neighborhood and haven't been up to the reservoir for a couple of weeks. Well, something I never though would happen did. They paved the walking path! I was giddy when we walked up to the entrance, and realized that we had a path. We laughed and I whooped and my hubby and I high fived! Our tax dollars at work, and me with happy feet!

Our town is a soccer mecca, with huge tournaments that cover the whole town. I'm sure that's why we got the track. So that safety vehicles could get to all parts of the fields. Though, I like to think they did it for us, for my honey and me. We are up there in the heat and the freezing cold to walk, and at night to see the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station fly by. So many times we've had the place to ourselves, and now we will have to share it. Still, I couldn't be happier about it. I hope that where ever you live, you have a special place to walk and feel the wind and enjoy nature.

While you are upon earth, enjoy the good things that are here.

John Selden

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall is Magic!

We took a trip to our local nursery, housed in an old family barn with our great niece, seeing all the fall splendor through her beautiful eyes. So much to see, with beautiful displays. She made a bee line to the pumpkins, and choose two. The tiniest one she could find and one the size of a clincher,(Chicago style 12 inch softball) heavy, but not so heavy that she couldn't carry it herself. Clever girl that little bird of of ours.

This is my kind of tool box, filled with ornamental kale, pansies, creeping charlie, or is that jenny?

A large display of heirloom varieties. My favorites are the Lumina white pumpkins, and the Cinderella, that look just like her coach...

and speaking of Cinderella's coach... Here it is! Hope you can visit a local farm or nursery and discover some Fall magic for yourself.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Season Suite; Fall

Reflections on the water
like shadows in my mind
Speak to me of passing days and nights
and passing time...
The falling leaves are whispering
Winter's on it way
I close my eyes remembering
the warmth of yesterday
Seems a shame to see September
swallowed by the wind
and more than that
it's oh so sad
to see the summer end
And though the changing colors
are a lovely thing to see
If it were mine to make the change
I think I'd let it be
But I don't remember hearing
anybody asking me.

Lyrics by John Denver
Photo from Dawn at The Feathered Nest

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Window Shopping

A Sunday walk through our local mall, (we call it the "Fancy Pants" mall because of all the high end retailers, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel...) is a great way to get inspired. The beautiful displays of expensive accessories and out of this world priced furniture leave me wondering, who can afford this stuff? Still I love to look, think about what I have at home to duplicate the fabulous displays, and I do come away inspired. I'm not totally immune from buying. I saw this lovely hand lotion and hand wash at Williams-Sonoma, it smelled so good, just like autumn, spicy. They wanted $29 for the set of two. In the same mall was Pier One. (I've loved Pier One since our very first apartment 34 years ago. We had a rattan headboard and chair in our bedroom, and many cool accessories from Pier One.) They had autumn candles with matching hand soap and lotion and room spray. The scent is called spice cake and is delicious, cloves and cinnamon with a hint of burning leaves. On sale at 25 percent off, I got all three for 1/2 the price of the other store. My guest bath will smell great, and I won't feel bad to use it everyday. Every retailer seemed to have the same ideas, following the trend of using natural materials in decorating. A old friend years ago used mixed nuts in the shell to surround candles, I thought that was beautiful and use that idea every year. This year I have a bag of acorns to use in my glass hurricanes, another idea I saw used in a few stores. One store had stacks of books covered in brown wrapping paper, so simple to recreate, and beautiful in it's simplicity.
I don't think that creativity is something you naturally have, I think it is a learned skill. If you are curious, and willing to experiment, you can take the things you see and make them your own. Window shopping becomes a exercise in creativity for me, and feeds my need to create, decorate and feather our nest. What inspires you?

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Keepin' Busy

My Husband was traveling last week and as anyone who knows me knows, I am miserable when he's gone. I try to put my loneliness to work for me by keeping busy. I made pillowcases for my great niece and a grown up nephew. The small hearts are for a a display of my Guild's Service Projects. I tried the twisted roses that are everywhere lately. Mine look too flat. I'll try with different fabric next time.

This is a closeup of one of the cute characters from the fabric. I am not a Halloween fan, I don't like scary, but this fabric was so darn cute.

This is some of what I accomplished, 12 pillowcases made, nothing compared to my amazing Guild. We participated in a challenge to make a mile of pillowcases. We made 112 pillowcases to donate to ConKerr Cancer! Has anyone heard about the HOTDOG method of making a pillowcase? You can find it here. It's like a magic trick and makes sewing the cases so much fun. I'm going into my hubby's office to hug him, it's so good to have him home. It's back to work finishing some projects and starting some new ones for a Auction we sponsor in November. Enjoy this beautiful day.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autumn Happiness

Hope your weekend is filled with Autumn Happiness.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Touch of Autumn

I've been adding little touches of Autumn to our home this week. Slowly but surely the seasons change inside as well as outside. Some pillows on the sofa in the living room. My copper coffee table has some leaves, and my dearest Aunt Sabina's painting is on the wall. Some of my many suitcases are in the corner.

In the family room is a mirror I painted years ago. The leaves were stamped with metallic paints. The long wooden bowl is filled with pine cones. I need to find a 12 step program for my pine cone addiction. I have a bushel full, but cannot pass a good one on our walks with out picking it up.

My youngest brother has been trying to find a home for this coffee table for ages. It's huge and not practical for our home. From now until the new year our house is filled with family and friends for all the holidays, so... it's in my family room! He caught me in a moment of weakness. It does look pretty, and it's light enough to roll into the garage when we need the space.. What would you have done? ;-)

This is our front door, with a warm welcome to all our family and friends.

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest...
To stay at home is best.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Autumn to winter, winter to spring,
Spring into summer, summer into fall-
So rolls the changing year, and so we change;
Motion so swift, we know not that we move.

--Dinah Mulock Craik

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Finding Treasure

I always look for old books at a rummage sale or flea market. I purchased these four because the paper was aged to perfection. Perfect for collage. What do you think of the flowers around the books? I made a bunch for small gifts to welcome autumn. I took apart silk flowers, layered burlap, vintage sheet music and netting I cut in my die cutter. I stapled them together onto manila paper and glued a button in the center. I made a bunch, sometimes I don't know when to stop. Some will be magnets and others will decorate some journals.
This pretty tin called my name, prettier in person than photographed.
I had milk bottles but gave them to my daughter, and have looked for reasonably priced ones ever since. The milk bottles were $1 each , but they wanted $8 to $10 dollars for a blue ball jar, go figure, it's usually the opposite.
Then there's my dear hubby's find. We watch Pawn Stars and American Pickers on the History Channel every Monday night. Last Monday, on Pawn Stars, (a pawn shop in Las Vegas that gets many unusual items and customers) they featured one of these bottles. I had never seen or heard of one before. At a little flea market with ten tables, my husband spotted this one. It's a four chambered whiskey bottle, made in France. He was so excited, and asked the vendor, how much? She said, one dollar! My husband started telling the vendor about the TV show and a little crowd formed. One lady said, I would have bought it myself if I had seen it first, I love that show. Seems like everyone there had seen the same show. A nice conversation followed and everyone had a good laugh at the coincidence of finding this bottle after just seeing it on TV. It was so much fun to see my husband enjoy the hunt as much as I did, and now he has a good story to tell our sons who also watch the show. Now, what to do with a whiskey bottle when you don't drink...
Flowers you say, great idea! Enjoy this beautiful day.
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Country Roads

Blessed with beautiful weather and a husband who loves to drive me around, we hit the road. (Thanks Honey, you're the best!) A advertised sale turns out to be just ten tables, but with the nicest friendliest people. We found a few treasures. That's right, WE! My husband found a treasure too.
A small flea market at Wilmont, a small ski destination in winter, has a weekly market in summer. One dollar admission gets you a hundred or so vendors. I found some old fashioned wooden berry baskets and a couple of books of vintage music.
It was so tempting to purchase a pumpkin, still a little early for the big ones. When I purchase them later, I can have pumpkins until Thanksgiving. I stick with the small gourds, until October.
We passed this old barn, and discovered that the farm has been occupied by the same family for over 100 years. The barn is used as the offices of a local municipality. You can even take yoga classes in the barn. It's great to discover cool things so close to home. Tomorrow, I'll share a few of my rummage and flea market treasures, and a funny story about my dear husband's unusual find. Enjoy this beautiful day.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gifts from the Garden

My dear Elizabeth's garden has had a bountiful harvest.

The cutest Jack Be Little pumpkins!

She generously shares the gifts from her garden.

"Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared,

and your life will have meaning

and your heart will have peace."

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