Minimalist.

Minimalist = a person who advocates or practices minimalism in art or music.

After a week full of family and Thanksgiving activities, I have finally put all the special dishes away, done many loads of laundry, remade beds, found a few forgotten items that will be mailed to Oregon, and generally put the house back in order.  While doing all of this, I decided to put out a few Yuletide holiday decorations. And I do mean a “few”.

I have definitely embraced the minimalist lifestyle in my holiday decorating. “Less is more” has been my mantra for many years. Two of my favorite winter items are old sleds.  One belonged to our older neighbor, Robert, next to whom we lived in New Jersey when our kids were growing up.  This little sled has to be at least a hundred years old.  The longer one on our farm table is a Flexible Flyer that belonged to a friend of our son. I’m not sure how we ended up with it, but I’m sure it was all above-board!

I’ll add some fresh greens as we get into December and possibly one or two of the little wintery fairy houses I have made over the years. It’s still a bit early for me to fully feel the holiday vibes.

Getting back to the hooking frame is on the agenda for this week. I’m anxious to get hooking on my Waxing Crescent pattern for a friend.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the simple things in life.

The Flexible Flyer sled sits on a runner by Family Heirloom Weavers of Red Lion, PA.

The Flexible Flyer sled sits on a runner by Family Heirloom Weavers of Red Lion, PA.

Robert’s little sled on the back porch.

Robert’s little sled on the back porch.

We had freezing rain on Saturday and the tree branches are coated with ice.

We had freezing rain on Saturday and the tree branches are coated with ice.

Early morning ice and mist.

Early morning ice and mist.

Summer is fading.

I know I’m wishing my life away, but I cannot wait until fall arrives.  There are signs that summer is beginning- just beginning- to fade a bit.  It has been hot and dry recently, which has made those signs more noticeable. 

I took a tour around the house and noticed a few changes.  The mulberries are all gone from the mulberry tree.  They were a big hit with deer, birds and some nocturnal animals, too.  Many of the perennials are looking a bit frazzled, but the bees are still working them.  Our vegetable garden has been a bust this year, but there is a good farmers market nearby.  We make do.  Our neighbors’ field was mowed and baled, which is a fun process to watch.  As always, vultures soared over the field looking for any small animals that were unable to outrun the mower.

Sewing has been on my agenda this past week.  I was going along really well with the curtains until my steam iron decided to start leaking and spitting rusty water on the white fabric.  I take care of my iron and never leave water sitting in it and I did clean it out before starting this project.  I guess I’ll have to invest in a new one.

My next Mother Earth Speaks project should be ready to go on the hooking frame by next week.  I have to rummage through my wool stash for colors.  This will be fairly colorful and might need a bit of shine with the use of sari silk. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the small signs of change all around us.

Baling begins.  The color of the sky is amazing!

Baling begins.  The color of the sky is amazing!

These are the BIG bales, which will be gathered up and taken away.

These are the BIG bales, which will be gathered up and taken away.

I love Russian Sage and so do these big bees!

I love Russian Sage and so do these big bees!

We always welcome our neighbors' guinea fowl, who eat ticks and other insects.  

We always welcome our neighbors' guinea fowl, who eat ticks and other insects.  

Lucinda tried a selfie, but it's a bit out of focus.

Lucinda tried a selfie, but it's a bit out of focus.

Topsy-turvy.

Winter arrived on the first day of spring.  The clocks sprang forward and I don’t know what time it is.  I get up at 4:30 a.m., which is really 3:30. “They” can’t fool me! Things are feeling topsy-turvy right now.

So, as long as that’s how it’s going to be until Standard Time returns, I decided to start my Tombstone Angel rug by hooking the background.  I’m using the over-dyed grey wools that I bought from Jan Cole, The Wool ‘n’ Gardener, for the background instead of the tan over-dyes that I planned on using there.  Switcheroo.  The tans I’ll use for the feather outlines.  I have some yummy lavender, moss green, and spotty cream wool for the feathers.  I wonder how that will turn out?  It will be a surprise as I hook along.

I’m also designing another rug that I will show as I hook it, although it’s a gift for someone.  That one will be filled with lots of color.  I think.  But like all of my rugs, they color plan themselves. 

Who knows what will happen in my topsy-turvy world?

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the surprises that occur every day in my rug hooking studio.

The background is hooked with #8.5 wool cloth strips.  The rest will be in an 8 cut.

The background is hooked with #8.5 wool cloth strips.  The rest will be in an 8 cut.

A room full of rug hookers.

Q:  What do you get when you combine a gaggle of rug hookers, excellent vendors, and door prizes?

A:  The annual Brandywine Hook-In.

Many thanks to the hard working members of the Brandywine guild for hosting another fun day of rug hooking and camaraderie on a beautiful October day.  It takes a lot of planning and advance preparation to successfully host such an event.

I brought along my Down to Earth meditation mat to bind.  I got a bit done, but there were too many pleasant distractions.  I will finish the whipping with yarn this coming week. This fun day was topped off with my winning of a great door prize!

Tomorrow is Halloween, one of my favorite days of the year. Since moving here to PA, I have attended an annual spooky dinner at the Olde Log Cabin Homestead in Elizabethtown, PA.  It’s a night filled with stories, traditions, and a solemn ceremony to remember our departed loved ones.  I hope tomorrow will be a special day for you, too.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the honoring of our dearly departed.

P.S.  Tune in next week when I will be doing another BOOK GIVEAWAY.

This is a room filled with people focused on rug hooking and having fun.

This is a room filled with people focused on rug hooking and having fun.

LC WoolnSilk's display of eye catching colors and texures.

LC WoolnSilk's display of eye catching colors and texures.

Jan Cole, the Wool 'n Gardener, had a garden of proddy wool flowers on bed springs.

Jan Cole, the Wool 'n Gardener, had a garden of proddy wool flowers on bed springs.

The Wool 'n Gardener's yummy bundles of wool.

The Wool 'n Gardener's yummy bundles of wool.

The Old Tattered Flag was there with all sorts of supplies for wool lovers.

The Old Tattered Flag was there with all sorts of supplies for wool lovers.

Creative focus.

This past Friday I hosted my annual Halloween breakfast for my fellow Breakfast Club ladies.  I love doing this and look forward to it all year.  My creative focus was on this during the past week, except for making a Down to Earth rug pattern for a customer.

I chose my breakfast menu carefully, weaving together dietary restrictions, the ability to prepare most dishes the day before, and adhering to the holiday theme.  Making an interesting table is also of upmost importance.  I would love to have a job making party favors, because I love details!  I’ve shared photos below.

After we finished breakfast and drank up our Bloody Elviras [mine was a virgin Elvira, because I was the designated driver], we all headed out to Campbell’s Broom Shoppe in Loysville, PA.  Well, it’s not exactly in Loysville, but that’s what their address says.  One can never have enough brooms, so I did come home with a few. 

What is next?  I’m not sure, but I do have several things that need to be started.  Time will tell.

Today I am a year older.  I am always amazed that I got to be this old so quickly.  Several years ago, I decided to spend my birthdays honoring those whom I used to know, who didn’t live to be this old.  I am feeling grateful and humbled.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in remembering those who now walk among the stars.

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A few of the creative hand-made brooms at Campbell's Broom Shoppe.

A few of the creative hand-made brooms at Campbell's Broom Shoppe.

Hazy, lazy, hot and humid.

Ah, summertime when the living is easy.  I didn’t do much hooking this past week, because I had my friend Pat here for several days.  Since she moved away and we don’t get to spend as much time together, when we do get together we are on the move!

One of our usual haunts, Family Heirloom Weavers in Red Lion, PA, is no longer in business.  They made such beautiful woven blankets, coverlets, etc., but the cheap foreign knock-offs put them out of business.  So sad.  I understand the lure of cheaper prices, but the trade-off is loss of a local business that made quality items.

We did manage a trip to Miss Morgan’s Milkweed Antiques in Bethel, PA.  We love that place!  Not only do they have the prim antiques that we crave, they also have funky clothes and accessories.  It is such a fun place to shop.  Check them out on Facebook, where they post photos of their treasures.  I saw a photo of a pie safe that I knew I had to have, so we got there on Thursday when the shop opened and bought it.  I love it as an addition to our prim look.  It holds my Johnson Bros. brown transferware dishes.

I’ve been working on the afghan for the guest room, which I can easily pick up and crochet as I watch the news.  The next three weeks are going to be very busy with hosting my breakfast club, having my son and his family visiting [can’t wait!], and then off to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in Ohio.  Phew!  I don’t think I’ll get lots of time to hook, but we shall see.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the accelerated fun of summertime.

My afghan in progress on the left and a pillow from Family Heirloom Weavers on the right.  They had added a more contemporary line of designs and I couldn't resist this pillow in orange.  I'm sorry they are no longer in business.

My afghan in progress on the left and a pillow from Family Heirloom Weavers on the right.  They had added a more contemporary line of designs and I couldn't resist this pillow in orange.  I'm sorry they are no longer in business.

I just love this prim pie safe in original green finish.  It has the screening on all four sides.  My dishes have never been so happy!

I just love this prim pie safe in original green finish.  It has the screening on all four sides.  My dishes have never been so happy!