Friday, October 29, 2010

heigh-ho, heigh-ho

Fall's here. I found proof today in these big golden and orange leaves against a bright blue sky. And I was even a bit chilly as I took this picture, so I know it's true.

I feel as though I have announced the arrival of fall at least four times over the past two months, but it is being quite tricky to figure out this year. Just when I am prepared to pull out the down comforter, fall sneaks away again and I am left sweaty and wondering why I packed all my shorts under the bed.

Also making it feel like fall in our house: first day of a new job. Not at all unlike the first day of school- I fixed a big breakfast so he wouldn't get too hungry before lunch, he spent some time picking just the right clothes to wear, and the ever-trusty green lunchbox stayed at home. I totally remember not wanting to carry anything extra on the first day- probably just in case I had to make a run for it, or needed my hands for some previously unknown-to-me task.

So I am left in a first day of school role that is unfamiliar to me- I wait at home and wonder what he's doing each hour and hope that he is finding a friend or two. I hope that he doesn't get lost, that he likes what they're serving for lunch, that he fits in in just the right way.

Thankfully, there is much to distract me here. I dodged the sprinklers this morning to get some more flower pictures. I just can't get enough. The surprise bloom of the week is this toad lily that we dug out of Steve's mom's yard last spring (with her blessing, of course) and planted in ours. We don't have a lot of spotted flowers around here, so it is pretty exciting.

If you have noticed that there are no new items being posted in the shop, it is because they are all in our guest room. An appropriate place, since I am hoping that they are really just "guests" here and will soon be living with someone else. I am almost out of time to sew for the craft fair next week, but I feel like I've gotten a lot done. Tuesday was especially satisfying- it started with these piles of fabric squares

and ended with piles of blocks.

Not all of the projects are quite that quick and I spent the better part of a week working on some bags. They are all fully reversible, which is the only way a bag should be, in my opinion.

Once the craft fair is over, anything that did not sell will end up in the shop. And, coming very soon, Christmas goods. Stockings, decorations, gifts, and more! November looks like it is going to be totally busy and I am totally excited.

Monday, October 25, 2010

another beautiful weekend

And I am still bowled over by the amount of things blooming in the yard. You would think I'd never lived here in October before.

We spent a lot of time outside this weekend. Steve, doing purposeful things like aerating the lawn, spreading seed, setting up sprinklers. Me, mainly taking pictures and looking around and cheering Steve on.

We took a bike ride around the neighborhood on Sunday and stopped at three houses and left our bikes laying in the driveway while we went to the door. It felt very much like we were twelve.

Last night we went on a date that involved walking up the street to Mac's and sitting outside on picnic tables eating amazing barbeque, beans, hush puppies, and mac and cheese. There is something magical and exciting about walking to your destination and as we walked home, we talked about places we've lived previously that were good for walking. It's a real toss-up for us between wanting to be able to walk everywhere and living on a remote farm. I guess you can't really have both.

Today is gray and looks like rain and I am looking forward to getting back to sewing. I'm finishing two large purses today. This is my last week to sew for the craft fair, so I'm sure it will be a whirlwind of activity.

Before I get too immersed in the projects of the day though, I need to stop by the post office. If only I could walk there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the pumpkins, as promised

There is a little shed that appears every October in a grassy spot near our old apartment. They string lights from the trees and have pumpkins and mums first and then switch over to Christmas trees in November. It's a fairly festive spot and we had gotten pumpkins there a few years ago, so that's where we headed on Saturday when the fall festival turned out to be a lot more "festival" than "fall".

My only real complaint is that most of the pumpkins there were so regular. You know- medium orange, perfectly round, standard pumpkins. And I am not a standard pumpkin girl.

So we really had to put forth some effort, but we finally found a tan pumpkin shaped more like a squash and some nice white pumpkins. We threw in a standard for the color factor.

I came away partially satisfied. I had a nice grouping of small-ish pumpkins that would fit on the table next to the front door. I felt confident in their abilities to create the type of still life that I envisioned for that table. But I hadn't found what I really went looking for. I had something very specific in mind.

Back at the homestead, the three pumpkins fit perfectly on their assigned table. They even seemed happy there. But the look, as I knew it would be, was not quite right. Yet.

Until today. I was leaving Bi-Lo with a cart full of groceries. There was a bin of pumpkins outside by the door and I happened to glance in and I saw her. The One. The queen pumpkin.

She was exactly what I'd been looking for. Bright, almost red, orange. Squat. Decent stem. Not perfectly smooth (some call them warts, I like to think of them as beauty marks).

I must admit, I felt a little sheepish buying a pumpkin from Bi-Lo. And she seemed a bit embarrassed to be there, to tell the truth. Immodestly wedged sideways in a wooden bin, right next to a Red Box- this is not the stuff of pumpkin dreams. I quickly rescued her from the situation and we set off for home together, both probably imagining that, if anyone asked, I would say that I found her in pumpkin patch so remote you have to ride a tractor to get there. And she would, of course, agree.

The front porch is now complete. And what makes it even MORE glorious is that everything around the front porch is blooming like it's March. The white daisy mums are about to pop and I am super excited about that event. The lantana is blooming, yet again, because I suppose it didn't get the memo about it being almost November.

Who could leave the house with all this beauty right at your door? Certainly not me. One trip out today was enough and now I am parked here for the afternoon. Because cleaning bathrooms, making dinner, and sewing purses all have a rosy glow about them when you've just found the pumpkin of your dreams.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

where did I go and when am I coming back

Well how nice of you to ask.

Last week I must have been feeling like I had too much fabric and time on my hands, so I decided to do something to get rid of both. I signed up to participate in a craft fair on November 2nd and 3rd. Then I realized that I had to make enough things to fill a ten foot table, plus extras in case people actually buy stuff and I need to replenish the supply. Then I started sewing frantically and I haven't stopped.

That's not entirely true. While I did use the weekend to finish the hand sewing on six stuffed balls, it was so beautiful outside that I had to get out a little bit. So out we went, in search of a fall festival and some pumpkins.

We found a festival, although it wasn't quite as much fun as it looks. But it was nice to walk around and feel the crisp air and smell funnel cake cooking. There were no pumpkins though, which in my opinion makes it a pretty poor excuse for a fall festival. I mean, come on- no pumpkins? Who planned this thing and how long have they lived in America?

So we left the alleged "fall festival" and went to a pumpkin stand (not as good as a patch, but a step up from Lowe's) and got three pumpkins. Tomorrow I will post some pumpkin pictures. Be forewarned- there are lots of them. Pumpkins are a great picture subject. And they sit very still.

We wrapped up the weekend with a true celebration of fall- homemade pumpkin ice cream and snickerdoodles. The pictures don't do it justice.

And now I'm off to- you guessed it- start sewing some more. Today I am attempting to make two purses. Ambitious, but not impossible. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the view from here

I have been trying to spend as much time as possible outside this week. Although it's still a bit hot for my liking, the skies are so blue and the breeze is so pleasant that I barely mind. Monday found me on our patio, staring at the patterns that the trees make on the sky. Lovely.

My vegetable garden is now a series of random pots and plants that needed to get in the ground before a frost. The lavender likes to hang out there in the winter.

These yellow mums are in their third year. They just keep getting bigger and are practically a bush now. I'm so glad I planted them right by the front door because they make the house look so cheerful when you drive up.

Yesterday I both started and gave up on a new project for the shop, so now it's back to square one. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have something new to share in that area.

*A big thanks to Steve for showing me several neat Photoshop tricks last night and making it possible for me to post pictures again. He sure is a handy one.*

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

nothing to see here

I have somehow lost the ability to post pictures on my blog. This is the second day that I have tried, to no avail. And, as I find blogs without pictures extremely boring, I plan to save all my stories until they can be told with the proper illustrations.

But I wanted you to know that I haven't disappeared.

Here's hoping you'll be seeing me tomorrow.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

starting out

Today I am packaging up some gifts for people who are just starting out. I think that every new beginning is a gift-worthy celebration and am so thankful to actually have the time to make these gifts.

This little embroidered zipper pouch is for a sweet friend who is just starting out in college. What an exciting/scary time that is and I have been thinking about my early days in college this week as I think of her. I am hoping that this pouch will be a little reminder of home and a reminder that someone back here is rooting for her.

This ball is a gift for some family members who are just starting out as parents. There is nobody who deserves presents quite like a new baby, even though they can't appreciate them. But what a gift, when you get older, to be told by your parents, "All these people sent gifts when you were born because you were that special."

I also think there is a friendship just starting out for me. While I was on a walk today, I met the two little girls that live behind us. I knew something was up when they came running to meet me as I approached their house (we have never spoken before). Our conversation was brief, but hilarious. It went something like this:

girls: Hi! What's your name?

me: My name is Lauren.

girls: Lauren with an L?

me: Yes. Are you enjoying the sunshine today?

girls: Yes it's hot outside. Do you go to school?

me: No

girls: Oh! We're homeschooled too!

me: (silently wondering why I am so easily mistaken for an 8 year old)

girls: Where do you live?

me: Back behind those trees. (I point to our house.)

girls: How did you get all the way over here?!?

me: I walked. I'm taking a walk.

girls: We're going to go inside and get something to drink now. You'll probably need a drink too when you get home.

me: Probably so. It was nice to meet you both.

girls: (one of them is holding hands with me at this point) We like you. You're very very pretty.

me: Well, thank you. You are both very pretty too. I'll see you later.

girls: Bye! Bye Lauren! Lauren with an L!

I am sort of waiting for them to show up at the back door and ask Steve if I can come out and play. I hope he says yes.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

warning: this is mostly about footwear

It's official. Today was the first day that I had to wear real socks. It's been a good five months or so since my feet have seen real socks. I'm not talking white, athletic, I'm wearing tennis shoes and taking a walk socks. Real socks. With colors and patterns.

And what else to wear with real socks than my trusty old shoes? Today I pulled the winter shoe box out from under the guest bed and there they were, waiting for me. Steve and I attempted to calculate when I purchased these fine clogs. Our best guess is somewhere in the late 90s. I know, right? Those are some old shoes. And still perfectly good, although I have sewn them back together three different times. And yes, they do say Faded Glory, and no, I'm not ashamed. Because when you are willing to wear a pair of $8 Walmart clogs for twelve years, you obviously have other priorities.

Other priorities = slippers. I am very passionate about slippers. This is a picture of Steve and I last Christmas. Some people photograph their tree. Not us.

These slippers are the real deal. Three Christmases ago, we had a fantastic idea. We picked out a pair of Land's End slippers for each of our immediate family members (which may not sound like a lot of slippers, but we have between us ten parents and siblings). We also each picked out a pair for ourselves. When the twelve pairs of slippers arrived in December, we wrapped them all up and put them under the tree. Even ours. We saved them until Christmas Eve, when we could no longer wait to try them on. They are amazing. I have been excited every year since then to get them out from under the bed and start the fall season with these red wonders. They are like a hug for my feet.

Last year I decided that the worst thing about going to work in the winter was that I didn't get to wear my slippers while I was there. So I picked out a pair of work slippers. (What? Nobody at your office wears work slippers? Weird...) They are black and very demure and I was CERTAIN that nobody ever even noticed that every day I would slip off my work shoes and leave them under my desk and put on my slippers for the day. I mean, I was wearing black pants- they should have been camouflaged, right? But one day I overheard someone make a comment about "Lauren's slippers" and I knew my secret was not so secret. And I kept right on wearing them. When I finally packed up my office to leave that job, the box I took home on the very last day contained a plant, one picture, chapstick, and my slippers.

I'm not exactly sure how the two pairs are going to coexist at home this winter, but I sure am glad to have options.

Monday, October 04, 2010

at home with lauren

Today you are all invited to my house. I have been wanting to show off my fall decorations and today there was finally enough sunlight to get some pictures.

I love pulling out the same decorations, year after year, but arranging them in new ways. The mantle is always my favorite spot to decorate because it is such a focal point for our family room and kitchen.

I also make a point to decorate the kitchen windowsill. I find myself at the kitchen sink a lot during the fall/winter months and it actually helps inspire me to keep working on the dishes when I have a little display to admire.

The dining room table isn't getting a lot of dining use lately. I had it set up as a project center for a couple weeks and we play cards there. We did use it to eat while Mom was here this weekend though. I think it looks so festive that we will start eating in here more just to admire the view.

And now, I think I hear the mail truck. You know how I love Mailbox Mondays.

Friday, October 01, 2010


There was something very satisfying about finishing these little blocks. Their chunky square-ness reminds me somehow of a three year old boy with stocky legs. Sturdy but cute. Apparently someone else felt the same way, because they sold within an hour of posting them in the shop. So now I get to make another set.

Also satisfying? Soup and homemade bread for dinner. This is my favorite soup and I could probably eat it for two weeks straight without minding a bit. In fact, every time I'm done with a bowl of it, I feel a little sad (much like the CAC hot dog incident, if anyone remembers that). I found the recipe here and now I don't really remember what I did before I had it.

Although I don't always have the time, I love to make things that take a long time to prepare. I think I feel like the food actually tastes better or is better for us if I've spent hours on it. (And just in case you were starting to think I am a total weirdo, let me mention that I would only spend hours preparing a meal that would provide at least three more meals of leftovers. I'm not crazy.)

This loaf of french bread also turned out rather nicely. For the first time, I used my Kitchen Aid mixer for the kneading and although it took a little fine tuning, I think that it was a success. We've been eating it with the soup all week, but I think it would make great sandwiches as well.

I am very satisfied with all that today holds- a trip to the grocery store, cooking at home, coffee with a friend, and then my mom arrives! What a terrific start to the weekend! I hope that yours is equally satisfying.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover