What a wonderful time of the year. Christmas time for me is always a little melancholy. I hate to see the autumn go, and I worry about too much snow, power loss, the holidays, gaining another 10 lbs, and of course, Christmas presents. I wonder if I will have enough money to provide presents for our families. I wonder if the kids will be disappointed if there is less instead of more in a world where more is always better. I soon change my tune after watching any of the wonderful versions of "A Christmas Carol" and having a good cry. I realize that I am rich beyond compare and Love is priceless. The kids always like their presents and there is more hugging and celebrating during that week than in all the rest of the year. This year I have a new niece. She is my sister-in-laws daughter, Her name is WanWisa and she is 14 and from Thailand. I met her tonight for the first time. She is a love, very shy but that is to be expected. I can't wait to go and buy her some much needed presents. She left all but a few items in Thailand and Aunt Rhet is going to have some fun!!!! After all More is better :)
Each Year since Caiti was old enough to know her colors we would decorate our tree in a color way. We would all write two or three colors onto small pieces of paper and toss them into a bowl and pick three. The colors that were picked would be the color ornaments we would hang. Our tree never looks the same and always looks beautiful. I have been collecting and making ornaments since I was a child and I love them. This years tree is the tree we call "Ice" Tree, because we used silver, white, lite blue, and crystal or iridescent ornaments only. I've had to add a few ornaments this year to get it to look as full as it is but a really neat trick I discovered last year is to go to the craft store and buy holiday picks. They are little floral picks used in making centerpieces. These beauties are inexpensive and lay beautifully on your branches to fill in holes or indentations in your tree. I do love my Christmas tree. Below is a photo of my handmade stockings. I hang them in my dining room and living room windows. These are for sale in the Bauble Boutique. The Holidays come but once a year. It is a time when you can decorate as much or as little as you like, multi color, or planned. Santa or Menorah, or both. I have a pretty blue Dreidel that gets hung when the color blue gets pulled. Last year there was a pickle hanging on the tree and the kids played find the pickle for a prize, adapted from a german tradition. Have fun with your Christmas tree. Hang things that are not your normal ornaments but match your colors. See how delightfully surprised you will be. More important than anything have fun. xoxo
I love the colors of Thanksgiving. The beautiful gold of the pumpkins, the ruby red of the cranberries, and the pink and pale green grapes. I love this time of year because it is the beginning of a time of family, home, and joy.Look at the fabulous colors of this print. It would make a beautiful rug with all of its autumn abundance and glowing produce. May you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for, even though we sometimes don't realize it.
We were lucky. Throughout this terrible storm we had our power and only lost a piece of trim on the edge of our roof. So many, even as I am writing this are still without power or worse without a home. The picture of the blessed mother standing among the rubble was take in Breezy Point Queens. It is an area devastated by a fire that broke out during the storm. The fire took 111 homes. This storm scared me. I can't believe the damage to both the north and south shores of Long Island. I hope that this was the "Big Hurricane" that supposedly we were "due for" every 75 years or so. So many big and beautiful trees are gone, the beaches are forever changed and people have to start over from scratch again. It is very sad. It is very grey and colorless on Long Island right now, despite the sunny weather weare having today.
This girl is big!!! Really Big!! I have both a fear and an exhilaration at the power of mother nature. We are all powerless,( and probably without power in the next few days) when it comes to nature. Our earth is alive and we have the privilege of using her to live on.
Enough of my Bladdy Blah, Blah. I am as ready as I can be. I am happy that it is not the dead of winter. We can make due without heat for a few days if we need to at this time of year. I hope everyone on the East Coast is safe and finds lots to do (by candlelight if necessary) during this storm. In case anyone is actually reading this, I am excited because I made my first sale today online. I am so honored that someone finds my "stuff" worthy of purchase. Here is a photo of one of my stockings. Love this one.They look so pretty hanging on a tree or banister or anywhere you would like a little color. I love making these stockings.
This is my attempt at the only type of quilting I will ever do. I love quilts. I love their color, texture, and pattern. Although I love a challenge especially when it comes to creating something with my hands, the art of quilting with its precise cutting, folding, measuring and piecing, is not for me. I would however like to do the hand top stitching on a piece. I love to watch someone quilt for like every other art form there are things we learn as we create like the rocking or loading of the needle with stitches. This fascinates me, and I have tried but never kept at it long enough to allow myself to thoroughly learn. Give me a box of scraps and a few ribbons and beads and I am in my "Happy Place". I made this block about 10 years ago right before I started hooking and I still love to stitch and embellish when I can. I may turn it into a pillow or frame it and put it up on a wall in my studio. I love to look at it and just today I noticed an area down at the bottom left with two raw seams that need decoration. If you are ever interested in doing something like this, there are wonderful books by Judith Baker Montano. Check them out.
Here is the progress on my Avatar. Her headband is appliqued from an old piece of Paisley. Her nose is
sculpted, and she has felted acorns and leaves. She has a kind and peaceful look about her. Though I may make a small change or two in her eyes, all in all she is pretty cool.
Have you ever seen such color??? So many shades of pink and violet growing on the same magnificent bush. This is the Hydrangea that was on the property of a house we used to spend a week at during the summer. Today it is raining, and as in this photo, the colors of nature are intensified when they are wet. Trees glow and so do the fall pumpkins and the last roses. I love to take photos when it rains. Even though the collection is growing, I save them to use in my hooking. Leaves, flowers, bark, rocks, all look bright and clear in a rainy day photo and that would be the one I would use as a reference when I want to aachieve beautiful bright colors in my hooking. I think we are just about peak here on Long Island for leaves, so hopefully before next weekend and on a Rainy Day, I will take a drive upstate, or out east to see our beautiful world painting her vividly colorful landscapes, as she gets ready to settle in for her winter nap.
Over the summer Michele Micarelli invited me to do a workshop at her home in New Haven, CT. What started out as a Mask Workshop quickly evolved into an Avatar workshop and the results were fabulous. Students asked me to create patterns with such things as hummingbirds, and underwater creatures, a green lady, and Baccus the God of the vine. I felt that as masks they had no personalities but as faces, or beings, they had such character. Here is a photo of my Avatar which by the way is more complete by now and has had several cornea transplants. I am still not satisfied with her eyes and will continue to tweak them or change them until they seem "Just Right" for her. This was a fun workshop because there were several different hooking techniques used in creating this "chica of the woods". Her headband is appliqued antique paisley, I sculpted her nose, felted her acorns, and a leaf which I then stitched on and she has proddy flowers on branches which are coming out of her head. I'll be sure to post the finished piece very soon. I am teaching this workshop at Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Saturday October 27th from 10am-3pm.Contact me if you would like to hook one of these funky doodle patterns with us.
Although this photo does not do it justice, this beautiful rug hooked by Naomi Anselm a member of LIGRA hung proudly at our Rug Show in May. I stare at its elegant details and long for the time when I will begin mine. I bought this pattern in 2005 on Linen and it sits in my cedar closet in a box along with 30+ patterns longing to be hooked. Before I had my home, I couldn't decide which color plan to hook. Now that I have colors in my home which I love, I think about making the commitment and beginning this rug. Slowly and surely things are happening the way I planned but is taking so much more time than I ever thought possible. Not that I am complaining, for I truly am not and I appreciate all that I have, and have accomplished these past 7 years, I just wonder weather I should wait till I finish some of my patterns which are in progress or dive into this big and beautiful rug. I am hoping to finish at least one more of my patterns in progress this year, and maybe in January, I'll be blogging about my "Commitment". Meanwhile, I'll have to just ignore the whimpering linen in the cedar closet each time I wash or dry a load of clothes, or a batch of wool.