Friday, October 30, 2015

Neighborhood Walk - 10/30/2015

Walking, the Halloween version.  Shops on 4th St. are getting ready for a party tomorrow.

We used to attend when the granddaughter was small.  It was fun but I doubt we will go this year.  I do a pretty good job of scary hair styling myself.

One of the stationery stores has a nice display.  Sugar skulls, paper or otherwise, show up frequently in our area.

Crate and Barrel has everything you need for a Halloween dinner party.

While I guess this fits the theme, I found it a little odd.  Window display in a high end mattress store.  Not sure it would make me want to buy my mattress there.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween if you are celebrating the holiday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

See Also Murder - ( book)

Set in 1964, See Also Murder introduces Marjorie Trumaine, a farm wife and book indexer in Dickinson, N.Dak. Indexing keeps Marjorie’s life afloat and pays the bills. A voracious reader and list maker, she also provides care for her beloved husband, Hank, after a hunting accident left him blind and paralyzed

*See Also Murder*
Larry D. Sweazy

The story takes place in an isolated rural setting.  Before the time of computers and word processors, people like Marjorie were needed to index books manually.  They methodically put information into order, cross-referencing terms and finding relationships.  I never knew how that was done.

Her neighbors are the first of several people murdered and because an unusual amulet is found, Marjorie is asked to assist with some research as her work as an indexer makes her good at that.

I enjoyed the mystery but was really captured by Marjorie's character and the description of the small town on the plains.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 10/27/15

Tuesday and once more time to join Elizabeth and the
gang for our weekly get together.  This morning I'm drinking water and looking back through some old posts for Halloween ideas.

My creative spirit has been hiding these last weeks so I thought I'd show you something I made quite some time ago.  A decorated candy tin that holds a pair of earrings.

"Dance by the light of the moon"

I made the skull from paper clay using a mold that I've had for ages.  I painted the tin top and added a couple layers of paper.  

I lined the tin container with black velvet and added a pair of earrings that should dance with every step.

I hope you having a great Tuesday - maybe even dancing.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

*In Falling Snow* - (book)

Someone recommended this book, I can't recall who.  Was it you?  Whoever it was, thank you.  It was a great book with lots of well researched history.

*In Falling Snow*  Mary-Rose MacColl

Australian author MacColl by chance discovered information about a hospital established by women during World War 1.  This is her U.S. debut.

Iris Crain, an elderly Australian woman receives an invitation that takes her back in memory to the days she worked in a field hospital in France.  She remembers the first time in her life she had ever snowfall.  It also brings back memories of France at war and the young men dying while strong women try to save them.

The book weaves back and forth from the war years to today and between Australia and France.  The characters are vividly brought to life.

One fairly minor but continuing plot line is about an animal called a sugar glider.  It is a small, omnivorous, arboreal and nocturnal gliding possum. Something like a flying squirrel, I had to look that up although I imagine my Australian blogger friend Patricia would know what it was.

This book reminded me of the PBS series The ANZAC Girls.  I did enjoy the series.  If you saw it and liked it then I'm sure you would like this book

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October Beanie

I am way behind in knitting the items I had on my list for holiday gifts.  I simply lost the focus to knit after events in September.  

I decided I could knit a simple beanie.  A pattern I had used before.  Some of you might remember one in a pretty teal blue.  So here is the October beanie.

Did I say simple?  Yes, knit 2, purl 2 all the way until you need to shape the crown.  Even with simple I would be knitting along and find I had made a mistake in the previous row.  Not once - several times.  Apparently I can't count to two.  I did finally finish it though, that's what counts.

I showed my daughter a picture and said it was a charcoal beanie, obviously the color.  She replied "charcoaled?" - and said that must have been a Freudian slip, LOL.  Yes, some of us have a dark side to our sense of humor.

Now I'm ready to cast on for another project.  I'm pretty confident I can count to two these days.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 10/20/15

In my case coffee is what is in my cup this morning.  

Free image found here

I was searching for something else and came across the above.  There a couple more free coffee related graphics if you are interested.

I think she looks a little bit perky for so early in the morning.  Maybe it isn't her first cup (grin).

Moving on with the coffee theme I thought I'd show you my vintage coffee grinder.

It still works for grinding coffee beans.  I admit I usually use an electric grinder these days.  This has come in handy on the occasion the electricity is off though.  We have a gas stove so electricity or not we can make coffee.

I know there are lots of tea drinkers out there too posting on Elizabeth's blog today so check them out.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Neighborhood walk - 10/19/15

When I go walking I always take my phone and look for things to take photos of along the way.  It makes the walk more interesting.  This time I was looking for plant life.

Imagine my surprise when I came across this fig tree with lots of figs just about ready to eat.  Can you spot the small one here?

There was a larger one further down on the tree.  These are the type of fig that are still green in color when they are ripe.  I think this one was about ready.  I resisted temptation.

Many shops use landscaping that requires little water.  You can barely make it out but there is a nice rusty looking piece that makes up the railing next to the stairs.  Blends with the plants nicely.

Do you like figs?  I do.  I know lots of people cook with them, I usually just eat them as is. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thoughts on Friday - 10/16/15

The circus hasn't folded its tent yet.  Progress is being made though.  

I'm looking forward to the weekend when business basically can't be done.  No phone calls, etc.  I have a brand new book to read.  A surprise gift from by online friend Laurie.  

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Neighborhood walk - 10/15/15

Out for another walk on my 4th St. shopping route.  Window shopping for me because I go walking early.  The time of day makes it difficult to photograph windows though due to reflections.  I think you will get the idea though.

Fall colors are everywhere, the cross body bag still rules.

Boots in abundance.  Boots as a fashion statement I think because we rarely have weather that requires boots.

I found these pretty hilarious.  Not sure you can make them out, I was confused at first.  They are "fur" suitcases I guess.  Much too large for a purse.  That's a shaggy one on the upper left and a black one you can barely see on the upper right.  I tried to find a label that showed a price but they were all turned so you couldn't see.  These are in a very pricey store tho.

So what are you buying for fall?  Surely you need a furry suitcase to put it in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Craft fair season is just around the corner here.  There really aren't that many close by.  There is one really big one in November though.  Do you go to craft fairs in your area?

can't remember where I found this

I don't sell my work, for one thing I'm just not productive enough.  I admire those who do sell though.  I know some who stop by my blog do.  Who is signed up to participate in a craft fair this year?

Speaking of that, am I the last one to hear about Amazon Handmade?  What do you think of it?  Competition for Etsy but perhaps a broader base of customers.  Of course there is the whole feeling of "big business" taking over. Still, if you make items to sell you want to get them to market someplace or another.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 10/13/15

I've been spending time lately curled up on the couch, a book in hand and my trusty thermal mug beside me.   I thought some of you that visit The Altered Book Lover on Tuesdays might enjoy hearing about this book

The Zen of Seeing
Frederick Franck

Frederick Sigfred Franck (April 12, 1909 in Maastricht, The Netherlands – June 5, 2006 in Warwick, New YorkU.S.) was a painter, sculptor, and author 

Frederick Franck drawing

"You are not copying nature, but responding to nature in full awareness, to the way nature expresses itself in that object." (Frederick Franck)

The book is handwritten in way that reminds me of books from the 70'S and contains lots of illustrations. I found it inspiring. Frank says we don't really take the time to "see" in everyday life.  By drawing things, we develop the gift of sight.

The book made me want to take a sketchbook outside and begin.

Monday, October 12, 2015

October sky

Do you notice how the light changes in October?  At some times of the day it seems to tint everything with a golden glow.  We get some pretty sunsets.

Here is one taken from our sunroom last night.  Never mind the screen.  I don't know why I didn't walk outside to take the photo.

The garden is looking pretty straggly.  DH is slowly cleaning it out, piling the left overs in the compost pile.  CA still has no rain but I know other parts of the country are flooding.

What is going on in your world this mid-October?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thoughts on Friday

You Are Tired

e.e. cummings

You are tired 
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me then 
And we'll leave it far and far away-
(Only you and I understand!)

You have played 
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of 
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break and-
Just tired.

So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight 
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart-
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows 
And if you like 
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble the moon 
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream 
Until I find the Only Flower 
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Knitting Yarns - Writers on Knitting - (book)

Knitting Yarns is an anthology of knitting essays by 27 writers.  Among them is Sue Grafton, Barbara Kingsolver, Elizabeth Berg and many more.

*Knitting Yarns*
Ann Hood

“The impressive collection of writers here have contributed essays that celebrate knitting and knitters. They share their knitting triumphs and disasters as well as their life triumphs and disasters. . . . These essays will break your heart. They will have you laughing out loud.”—Ann Hood, from the introduction.

Each essay tells of the writers experience with knitting, some were frustrated, some challenged and some like Sue Grafton wrote of their passion for knitting. Barbara Kinsolver even writes about sheering sheep for yarn.

Reading essays instead of embarking on a long novel suited me at the moment.  Each essay is short enough to be completed easily.  Of course I have an interest in knitting but I have also read something by most of the authors so that made it a double treat.

For knitters, the book includes five original knitting patterns created by Helen Bingham.  

I think these stories would appeal to many, knitters or not.  As an early holiday suggestion,  if you happen to need a gift for a knitter this would be a hit I'm pretty sure.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Another Owl

Speaking of owls, as I was a couple of days ago, here is a card I made some time ago.

I was going through some of my older art pieces.  Trying to get some inspiration.  The owl is a hand carved rubber stamp I created during a brief period of stamp carving I went through.  

I seem to like to try different things, like stamp carving, and then move on to something else.  Maybe it is curiosity or maybe I have a short attention span.

I think I will get those old stamps out. This is the perfect time of year to use the owl stamp.

Anyone carve their own stamps?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 10/06/15

Good morning to my Tuesday Tea friends at The Altered Book Lover's blog. I've missed a few weeks and want to check in with everyone. 

You will find me here every day.  Dealing with masses of paperwork and numerous phone calls.  Drinking water although I might prefer something stronger.

I've started a new blog (this one here) and will get back into the swing of things soon.  Lets consider this post a "place marker".  

Off to be inspired by your posts as always.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Neighborhood walk - October 5, 2015

As I was walking I came across this colorful Owl in a shop window.  October and Owls.  They kind of go together don't they?  We often see owls used in Halloween decorations.

I was wondering about that Owl and Halloween connection as I continued walking along.  Of course owls are mostly creatures of the night and then there is that little spooky Whooo they call in the dark.

When I arrived home I decided to look the connection up.  I didn't find anything specific to the holiday but I did find this which I thought interesting

Quote from Live Science

No one is neutral about owls.
Historically, some cultures have vilified these feathered predators, and some have revered them, making these birds a physical manifestation of what people fear or admire. Silent and hidden by shadow, owls are seen as bad omens or harbingers of death across parts of Africa, the Middle East and among some Native American tribes. But they are also figures of wisdom among most European cultures. The birds are a holy symbol for Hindus, gods for the Ainu peoples of Japan and sacred creatures for the Hopi tribe of the American Southwest.  

What do you think?  Spooky?  Just another interesting bird?  Have you seen them in person?