Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Goodies

My sister Barb has a few of her 2013 Christmas creations left for sale.  They are particularly cute this year -- look at the roly-poly Santa and snow girl! You can contact her at thimblefolk@comcast.net for her 2013 Christmas items, or visit her etsy shop: thimblefolk for other stuff.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finally Feeling Festive

It snowed all day Saturday.  I baked Christmas cookies to send to family and did a little decorating.  We invited friends for dinner, so Pete smoked a pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches.  He was in and out of the house the whole day, tending his fire and adding cherry wood to the smoker.  He loved it. And it was really delicious.  I made a simple cole slaw with vinaigrette and homemade applesauce to go with it.  We all ate too much.  Our friends brought a big poinsettia, which has added much needed color to the kitchen on these drab days.  They also brought along their 11 week old French bulldog who is beyond adorable.  Cairo was beside himself, and was totally exhausted by little Teddy. 

It's snowing again today.  I am wrapping up packages and packing boxes to go to the Post Office.  I know its late, but I will never be the kind of person who has all the presents bought and wrapped before Halloween.   I ordered something just this morning -- I am a big online shopper.  I don't do the crowds in the big box stores.  I'm knitting a pair of socks for my daughter, with yarn I bought on our trip to Rome a couple of years ago. I'm hoping I can finish them faster than the first pair I knit, which took me about 6 months!
We've had a couple of invitations for New Year's, but we think we will stay put.  It's nice to be at home with the Christmas lights sparkling, a good book, warm throw, and no demands from anyone.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Sunset on the Hudson
This is the hardest part of the year for me. The days are so short and the sun is rarely seen.  While everyone else waits for December 25, I wait for the 21st -- the darkest day of the year.  I know that on the 22nd, the sun will stay out a little longer, if only for a fraction of a second, and that makes me happy.

I have no Christmas spirit this year.  Our daughter is as far away as she can be and still be in the contiguous United States, Pete's very elderly parents (97 and almost 1,000 miles away from us) need help closing up the family home to move to assisted living, Barb and I had a grueling season of shows and I can't seem to get out from under the mess in my workspace.  I've had days of phone calls to return and appointments to go to -- vet, hair, dentist -- the yard still isn't cleaned up, and the pantry is bare.  I just can't see my way to dragging out Christmas decorations to put them up for a week or two and then take them down again.  I need an elf, or a vacation in the sun.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Day Two of the Holiday Bazaar.  We're beat, eating Chinese take out while watching Pitbulls and Parolees in our hotel room until it's time to sleep. I'm looking forward to life returning to normal on Monday.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

We Did It!

We braved the morning fog and the anxiety that comes with a brand new show and got all set up by 3 o'clock!  This is our tiniest booth ever -- 5 feet by 10 feet -- with no wifi and no electricity.  Pete helped us build an arch across the from with PVC tubing.  We wrapped it in garland and battery operated Christmas lights, which were not turned on in this photo.  I'll try to get better photo with a real camera tomorrow.
We took a quick walk through our tent before heading home.  There's lots of white and glitter around this year.  There are two more tents that I hope to get a look in tomorrow.  I'll let you know if I find anything special.  Wish us luck!

And please send positive thoughts out to our friend Barbara who is dealing with some health issues.  We're thinking of you, kiddo.  Hope all went well today.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Only 24 More Days Until Christmas!

But who's counting?

Barb and I are madly working away in preparation for the Country Living Magazine Holiday Bazaar at the Lyndhurst Mansion next weekend.  It is the first time it is being held, so we just don;t know what to expect.  It's a little daunting, to see the least, but it is our lsat show of the year and it will be nice to and down after such a busy fall.  Please come to see us if you are in the Metropolitan New York area.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving One and All!

We are spending Thanksgiving Day with Pete's cousin's -- all vegetarians -- so we had our turkey dinner tonight.  It's a good thing we only do this kind of meal once a year.  I am stuffed and sleepy!

Have a good day.  Don't eat too much --save room for pie.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

High Winds & High Seas

A northwest wind has been blowing for almost 24 hours.  Cairo and I headed for the beach this morning, but  the wind blew us away.  I took my gloves off to take a photograph and one of my gloves went flying.  I caught up to it just before it hit the water, but I never got around to taking the picture.  Cairo and I hightailed it home and I made myself a niece hot latte.

I delivered the grid walls I use at my shows to my friend Barbara, who hosts a large hand craft show in the Naugles Barn at Hallockville every year.  The wind was even fiercer coming across the farm fields. my fingers were numb by the time I got everything into the barn.  Luckily, the weatherman is predicting warmer weather for the end of the week, and the barn will be heated.

If you want to avoid the big box stores on Black Friday, head up to Hallockville for the Country Parlor Holiday Home Sale: 

Country Parlor Holiday Home Sale
Hallockville Museum Farm
6038 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901
November 29 & 30, December 1, 2013
Friday & Saturday 9am-3pm; Sunday 10m-3pm. 
The East End's most unique holiday show of fine folk artists and craftspeople in the historic Naugles Barn at Hallockville! Shop for the finest in folk art, crafts and gifts including baskets, tree trimmings and holiday decor, wreaths, rugs, woodcarvings and decoys, gift baskets, ornaments and so much more-something for everyone on your list! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas TIme is Marching In . . .

I have two shows left this year, and I am burning the midnight oil to get stuff finished for them.  My studio is a vile mess and is starting to make my nerves jangle, so I think tomorrow morning I will spend an hour or so cleaning -- so I can mess it up again!
I am fueling myself with cups of coffee and lots of Christmas carols.  I've been daydreaming about having a scone with my morning coffee, but I am not going there.  With impending pumpkin pie, I am curtailing my sweet tooth.
I have had fun the last day or so making little needle punched figures and mounting them on vintage Christmas tree bobbins.  They make me smile.  I think they look like a little army of Christmas critters.  (I just taught myself how to watermark photographs, since so many get pinned on Pinterest.  Not that anyone would want these awful phone photos, but its a good skill to know.)

I've got to get back to work!  Time to turn on Holiday Sing Along with Mitch Miller.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quick Change Artist

That's what Mother Nature is: a quick change artist.

Yesterday I picked a beautiful bouquet of nasturtiums -- in the middle of November!  Fresh flowers in my kitchen make me smile.

I turned off the heat before going to bed last night -- the temperature outside hovered around 52 -- and the house was still pretty warm when I got up this morning.  I made a big mug of coffee and settled in to read some blogs.  I looked up a few minutes later and it was snowing!  Now the nasturtium bed looks like this:

I thought I would be upset, but I was thrilled to take Cairo out for a walk this morning (after I dug out a scarf and gloves and my winter jacket).  Cairo was not thrilled, so we didn't go far, but I came home and put Christmas music on and I have all sorts of new patterns rolling around in my brain.  So I'm going to get to work!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fun at the Farmhouse Quilt Company

A big, beautiful sage green farmhouse sits on the south side of the Main Road in Southold with lots of land stretching back beyond it.  Head down the eastern most driveway and you will happen upon another large building. This is the Farmhouse Quilt Company.  There's a chicken coop to your left, and two rabbit hutches on the west side of the building.  Stroll up the brick pathway past the white picket fence.  On the porch, rocking chairs are waiting for you to sit a while and admire the quilt that's hanging there and the mums that decorate the doorway.  Did you die and go to heaven?  

This is all the creation of Janet Heins, who owns the farmhouse with her husband Eric, and has a thriving long-arm quilting business as well as the Farmhouse Quilt Company.  Beautiful fabrics are everywhere and Janet's quilts hang on the walls.  It has lots of windows and the late autumn sun streams in onto the big worktable,  just perfect for classes.  There's coffee, tea and apple cider and a homemade pumpkin cake -- made by Janet's husband!  Can it get any better?  Yep.

Janet's prize winning quilt 
Happy hookers
Candy for quilters
Hard at work
Janet's daughter Lindsay, who is her mom's right hand woman, lives upstairs with her charming family and their puppies -- yes -- two puppies!  A 5 month old yellow lab named Chase and a brand new black lab whose name I can't remember.  And I can't forget Gregory, the gray cat with gorgeous green eyes.  (The chickens and rabbits are Lindsay's, too).  I am in heaven.  But it doesn't stop there!  Later in the day Janet's youngest daughter arrives with a toddler and a brand new baby boy named Mason. And I got to hold and feed him!
More eye candy

Such serious students . . . 
Lindsay and Janet hard at work
In between all this fun stuff, I taught a rug hooking class.  It's such a pleasure to share my love of rug hooking with people who want to make rugs too, and the students yesterday were all quick learners.  Lindsay hooked the most perfect letters I have ever seen.  She's a natural, as is her mom.  We're already planning another hooking class, and a needle punch class, too.  Can you tell I was thrilled with the day?   I am hoping to teach many classes at Janet's shop.  I felt so welcome there.  I felt at home.  Thank you, Janet!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Winter. Humph.

We made a good showing at the Fiber Festival of New England this past weekend, especially considering it is a relatively new show (4 years old) and relatively small.  I think it will grow and expand and it is good to be a part of that.  Here are some bad pics of set up.

When we set up on Friday it was about 70 degrees and humid in Springfield.  When I woke up at home yesterday it was 30 degrees.  It's also Daylight Savings time, the stupidest idea ever.  I'm not happy.  I can't stay awake at night, I'm up before 5, and I don't know what the heck to wear.

My next adventure is this weekend.  I am teaching a rug hooking class at Farmhouse Quilt Company in Southold, New York on Saturday.  This is run by Janet Heins and her daughter Lindsay.  We met years ago at a craft sale at her son's grade school and became reacquainted at the Eastern Long Island Quilt Show this past June.  Janet is in much demand as a long arm quilter.  I hear her shop makes grown women drool, so I am looking forward to our day together.  I've made up a few extra kits, so if you want to join us, give Janet a call at 631-236-6030.  You have a choice of two kits -- Eggs and Farmhouse Star, which I designed just for this class.  I think we'll have a lot of fun.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Barb and I will be at the Fiber Festival of New England (Booth 457 East) this weekend, located at the eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Come visit if you are nearby.