Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My family is fine, but other families in my life are not right now, so my Thanksgiving post must wait, and my Christmas decorating must wait, while we mourn for a life that was much, much too short, and do what we can to help support the grieving parents and siblings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some stitching!

A while ago I promised I'd be focusing on cross stitch only on the crafting front, and that is indeed what I have done these past few months. It feels good to get some of these back-logged projects finished! I am gearing up to start another holiday piece, but I do admit, I am suddenly feeling an urge to knit. Knitting is not the most zen thing for me to do, though, so I'm surprised I am thinking about it. I'll keep you posted if knit happens!

First up, from Bent Creek's photobooth series, Northpole Party Pics:
I just loved these three characters when I saw them. Pointy-hatted elves get me every time, and I adore the expressions on the faces of Santa and the reindeer in the third "photo."

The linen is a little bit warped, but if I take it in for framing, they can straighten it out for me.

I shared this next piece on Flickr a while ago, but here it is now, officially blogged:
Schoolgirl Lessons, by Little House Needleworks.
Who doesn't love reading, writing, and stitching?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Before and After

I always like getting sneak peeks into people's homes, so I thought I'd do a little tour of my living room.

We've lived in this house for 17 years. It's our first house. A lot of people don't stay in the first home they buy, but this home has worked for us and we've been happy here. It's not perfect, and it's not fancy, but it really suits our personalities.

I took these photos in September, the day that I was waiting for an interior designer to come do a consultation. For years I wanted to have an interior designer come help me arrange my furniture. I'm very confident in choosing colors and furniture by myself, but when it comes to arrangement, I tend to plunk things down and never ever move them because I don't have a clue where things should go.

Here it is before the designer saw it.

Bookcase in the middle of the big wall. Piano next to it. Tree by dining room arch:
Couch under window, chair at a right angle to it. Table "belongs" to couch:

It's nice enough. It's fairly spacious. I didn't want to fill the room up with furniture, but I wanted to add a bit more seating if possible.

Now here is what it looks like after the interior designer moved some things and made some suggestions. (I did end up doing a little shopping and bought two new pieces.)
Ta da!

The couch is now centered under the window. The bookcase is next to the couch (I never would have thought of that!!!). The chair is turned at an angle, and the table now "belongs" to the chair. The tree moved from the dining room arch to the corner behind the couch.

The decorator suggested a coffee table, but I really didn't want a coffee table in the middle of the room, so I decided to get an ottoman instead. The ottoman can be used as a coffee table, but it can also serve as extra seating, and it is easily pushed out of the way if we need the floor space. Plus, if we had a coffee table, the kids would just put their feet on it, so why not get something that is actually designed to have feet on it?

The decorator also suggested moving the piano to be centered on the big wall, but that didn't float my boat. If the piano were centered, that would leave awkward empty space on either side of it--too big to look good, but not big enough to do anything with it--so I opted to leave the piano as-is and get an accent chair:
I need to fix the art work on that wall. It was hung around that bookcase being there, but now without the bookcase, it looks awkward. I am going to keep the photo over the piano, but my plan for over the chair is to hang four separately framed blackwork pieces. I'll get to that after the holidays.

So that's my "new" living room! I liked it before, but I think it looks more pulled together now. My only fear is, where are we going to put the Christmas tree? I think we'll have to remove a chair for the holidays!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oct. 1 Yard and Nov. 1 Yard--a few surprises

I took photos of the yard on Oct. 1 and Nov. 1 to continue my 2011 project of first-of-the-month-photos-of-the-yard series. I just didn't get around to posting them until now. The yard is a little messy, and it's kind of embarrassing. Oh, well, it is what it is, and I am determined to finish my photo catalog this year.

Here is Oct. 1:
Russian Sage and cosmos still blooming away:
ornamental grass looking more autumnal:
mums on the porch:
surprise asters blooming along the fence:
deck garden completely done for the year:
back fence looking neglected:
fairy door!
And Nov. 1:
Russian Sage finishing up. It gets trimmed back in the spring:
Fothergilla turning red, cosmos still blooming:
Ornamental grass a nice golden color:

Leftover jack-o-lanterns from the night before (the top one a victim of a squirrel):

Oh, look! I did clean up the deck garden! All the dead coneflowers have been cleared out:
Surprise rose:
And the weigela put out a few surprise blooms, too:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Caught in the Act

I was taking photos off my camera today and found this cute series. My daughter took these when she was home sick last week (with pneumonia. She's better now.) The squirrels just love this time of year, with food aplenty on every front porch in town.