Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Words and Wool

Plenty of knitting going on around here but this is the one thing I actually finished this week: a toad for James' birthday. Andrew got a frog a few years ago but James requested a toad and I had this perfect yarn to work with. The pattern can be found here.

I also made James this pillow using an owl I found at Goodwill Pay by the Pound. I love owls and this made me think of James. I'm making him owl cupcakes too! Can't wait!

It's our family vacation right now and we have made it through the marathon watching of the Lord of the Rings trilogy! I think that equates to nearly 12 hours of video! Wow! The good thing is, I got an enormous amount of sewing, crocheting, embroidery, and knitting done while watching! Including 5 1/2 dozen wool flowers which are now up at the Village Yarn Shop.

With all the tv watching there hasn't been as much reading. However, here are some things I currently have my nose in:

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. I can't wait to watch "Call the Midwife" -- a new BBC series that is out. This author's work is what the series is based on. Worth was a midwife in London's East End following WWII. I'm already hooked after reading just the first part of chapter 1. If you are into all the details, and what life was like back then, this is the book for you!

The Real Life Downton Abbey: How Life Was Really Lived in Stately Homes a Century Ago by Jacky Hyams just arrived on my hold shelf today! It looks great and I better dive in and finish it fast because I know it probably has a lengthy hold list on it.

Royal Teas with Grace and Style by Eileen Shafer is a new tea book I've come across. Lots of great information and helpful tips on hosting teas. I could wish the photos and styling of the book had been more professional......

And now I better get back to real life.......

For more knitting and reading ideas, hop over to Ginny's Yarn Along.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Feast of the Hunter's Moon

Our weekend plans changed and circumstances aligned so that we were able to go to the Feast of the Hunter's Moon this past Saturday! 

My friend Brenda blogs every year about the Feast of the Hunter's Moon and so I've been wanting to go for some time.

The Feast is a large gathering of re-enactors and vendors, focusing on the period of history when the French and British were here in the Midwest trading and trapping.

Our favorite part was the Landing of the Voyageurs and the history that was told as this was happening.

It certainly helped to bring history alive watching the re-enactors in boats like this!

Then we walked around all the vendors and "shops" and displays.

I liked this little coffee display....

And the kids loved all the coonskin caps, toy guns and bows and arrows.

We watched a side show where the man ate fire and stuck 25 broomsticks into a box with a lady inside.

It is always fascinating to watch people doing traditional crafts such as broommaking.

There was a booth for apple head dolls!

And the Lafayette Lacers were demonstrating. I'm always pleased to see this dying art being practiced!

And the spinners:

There was also a beehive oven for authentic baking!

This lady was frying bacon and onions for an egg dish she was making. Many of the participants just come to camp out and visit with like-minded friends.

This was my favorite scene. This couple had been camping out in this tent for 3 days! They had come down from Canada and have been doing this kind of thing for years and years. It is their hobby! I loved the kettle on the fire and the lady drinking tea.

The highlight of the Feast for me was finally meeting my blog mom and mentor, Brenda!!!! Yay!!!! We have known each other for five years, but only via blogs and email. It was so nice to meet in person and funny how it seemed as if we had always known each other.

Actually, I got to meet the rest of Brenda's family as well since her husband was with her and Christopher and his wife kindly materialized at just the right moment!!! Brenda's blog was one of the first I found when I started blogging. Her writings always bless and encourage me and we share many of the same interests and tastes.

We got home from the Feast early enough to rest a bit and tackle a large pile of ironing. And then I couldn't help but make some apple dumplings since we saw them at the Feast but didn't buy any of our own. Yum!!!

And now fall has really begun!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mondays are for Grace

"It's okay to have a busy life,
It's crazy to have a busy soul."

-- Paul Miller, A Praying Life

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Words and Wool

My two knitting clubs started up last Thursday. I was so happy to see the girls again and hear about what they had made over the summer. And then there were a whole group of new girls and boys to start as well.

Check out all the knitted items from the summer! One girl had a long road trip and kept herself busy knitting. Another made up her own patterns for food and entered two 4-H projects -- one was a child-development toy and the other the ingredients for a nutritious breakfast. I also loved the knitted skirt (original pattern!).

One of our members (who wished to go unnamed) is trying on all the various bits of knitting!

Another member had created this lovely skirt and headband outfit all on her own! Very lovely!

Lots of knitting of my own, but not much to show yet. I've knitted 3 swatches and hope to get started on several projects. My "favorites" on Ravelry is growing by leaps and bounds. I also bought wool to finish my crocheted afghan. I have 113 crocheted flowers to turn into granny squares and sew together.

I don't think I ever posted a photo of Rachel's Lord of the Rings quilt she embroidered, sewed, and quilted for 4-H. It was a mammoth project but she persevered to the end! We finally got it hung in her room this week. Appropriate, since we are spending part of our vacation watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

All the movie time is giving me plenty of hours for stitching on the fall felted flowers. Making progress!

And, not to leave the reading behind.......

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary's Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore's Christmas Pudding - More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs has just been placed on order at our local library! I can't wait to have a look! I hope it will be a fun cookbook! Someone needed to write a Downton Abbey cookbook!

Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater was just retrieved from my library today. Now I really feel like I am on vacation with such a delicious book to read. Nigel is my favorite food writer. His stuff is simple and amazing. I think I should start collecting his books for my own. (I try to keep actual cookbooks to a minimum in my house as I could go overboard in this area.

Diary Of A Provincial Lady (Provincial Lady Series) by E M Delafield was finally finished this week. It was a light read, following a year in the life of a middle class lady in the 1930's or so in Britain. Funny and amusing.

And now I must run off and get things ready for Knit Clubs tomorrow and see if I can get a few of those swatches turned into actual Works In Progress!!!

For more knitting and reading fun, pop over to Ginny's Yarn Along.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Mondays are for Grace

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life."

--Bilbo Baggins
Lord of the Rings

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pottering About

Whenever I read that someone is "pottering about" I am always a bit envious. I never seem to get time to do that. And then, today fell in my lap when I most needed it! Michael's work was under control and he was able to take the children to their activities today, leaving only Laura and I at home!

"Pottering about" is the art of "moving about without hurrying and in a relaxed and pleasant way." Oh yes! This is how I am accomplishing the housework today! I didn't even make a list of what to get done, I'm just tackling things as I come across them.

I picked a bloom from my Queen Elizabeth rose bush!

I changed over the bed for something more fall-like, reaching into the depths of my creativity to find something in the cupboard that might make me "feel" like I had new bed coverings. I tidied up our room and will vacuum when Laura is awake. There are accents of orange and yellow now splashed about and marigolds (which I love!) by my bed (along with the untidied pile of books).

A new pile of flowers are awaiting their leaves and perhaps I can get to them in the next week.

There was even a chance to sit down with tea (Constant Comment Decaf) and chocolate, sugared nuts and fresh figs, to write a REAL letter! AAAAHHHH!

We are on vacation for the next two weeks so I am extra grateful for this chance to relax and get the house in a better state so that I am better able to help my family find refreshment in the next few weeks. Michael will be working on a writing project while we do some school (the fun bits!!!) and we've promised the children they can watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. 

And now I am off to keep pottering around.......