r e d

I've been enamored by the colors in our backyard. Our biggest maple tree was rusty red on Thursday, and by Saturday it turned fiery red, and by Sunday, when the wind and rain had cleared, almost all of the leaves had fallen off of the tree. Towards the end of Sunday afternoon the light was shining through the trees in that breathtaking way that makes you forgive the sky for yesterday's torrents of rain. It was as if the angular beams of light were proudly pointing at each branch and at each deeply colored leaf asking me to notice.

I read a poem with Chick this evening. It was all about sandboxes that won't be used again until the spring, dried seed pods who were turning their heads toward the ground, window screens stored in the attic, people putting their garden to sleep, and the pause before the earth is covered in snow. It all felt a little dramatic when they locked the garden gate for the winter, but still, it echoed exactly how I was feeling today. There was a damp cold feeling in the air that reminded me that the seemingly perpetual 65 degree afternoons won't be around much longer.

I am pausing.

And, I am inspired by the deep, bold colors of fall. It has been informing my crafting and artwork in a big way these days as I am working on collage and sewing. I've been spending much of my time creating a new series of art blocks, which are mixed media pieces made on old boards with picture hangers on the back for easy hanging. I am using natural pine scraps from our local lumber yard and a non-toxic satin sealant for protection. I'm thinking of putting a few in my shop in the coming weeks. We'll see.

This one is titled Bird at Home and it features two of my hand carved stamps.


I now have to scurry off to my studio to finish working on the girls' Halloween costumes. Chick will be the tooth fairy and Miss Mouse will be a chocolate chip cookie. Chick wants to hand out some white felt teeth, so I have some cutting to do.

xo e

m i x e d


Here are some pictures of the collage ornament project, which I promised in my last post. Chick and I worked on these at home since we have a few birthdays to account for and a Halloween treat to send to her little cousin in California. It was the kind of activity that became sort of meditative, and ended up leading to some singing, story swapping, and the buzz of chatter and quiet thought.


Materials:
re-purposed cereal box panels
little pieces of torn up magazine
glue stick
scissors
hole punch
yarn
Mod Podge (optional)

How to make it:

Cut the re-purposed cereal box panels to any shape you wish. I used rectangles for this project since I knew I'd be working with little hands. I did make a some collage birds and suns for my own work, which ended up looking kind of nifty. Go crazy with the glue stick on the cereal box shape, and then glue the pieces of paper onto the shape whichever way feels just right.


Use scissors to trim the pieces of paper to size if you wish, and don't be afraid to go off the edges since, at the end, you will trim all of the excess paper off in order to preserve the original shape. Chick decided to trim part of the shape as well, which ended up making it even more fun for her. Punch a hole. Tie on some yarn, and hang somewhere fun like on the rear view mirror in the car or on a little hook.

Or, on a doorknob.

Inexpensive, simple, and re-purposed.

xo e

t o g e t h e r


Here are some Story Stones from the Play series that I spent much of July and August working on. There are many more little children and play things in the series, and I plan to slowly share them on the blog in the coming months. Recently, I was honored to be asked to sell my wares at The Hartsbrook School's Winter Festival in late November, so I think I'll bring some of these along.


This past weekend, while the little ones soaked in the grandparent love, Tom and his father installed a beautiful white pine floor in our upstairs bathroom and I led a craft project at Cradle's open house. At the end of the day on Saturday, we sat down to a big autumn feast with sweetly roasted vegetables and apple crisp for dessert.

The open house was bright and cheery. It was one of those events where kindness blanketed the room, and everyone there was just happy to share in friendly vibe.



The craft was a simple repurposed cardboard square collage with some cotton yarn tied through a hole for easy hanging. I'll post pictures of the finished craft in the next few days.

There were busy little (and big!) hands working all morning.


I'm off to do some work and then to read to sweet Chick who has a bit of a cough.

xo e

lucky me


Look what I found at the thrift store a few weeks ago! I know, I scored big, right? It is a soft little lap quilt made with vintage fabrics, and it happens to be in beautiful condition without any holes or tears anywhere. At first, I didn't see it hanging between two worn out plaid blankets, but as I carefully pondered each blanket, I noticed a bright line of color pressed against the wall. And, when I saw it, I immediately looked around wondering how I ended up being so lucky.

Each time I place it on my lap or watch my children play with it, I try to figure out why it was unwanted and sold for $2.50.

Odds & Ends:

I'm busy preparing for a little craft project demonstration, which I am leading on Saturday at the grand opening celebration of Cradle in Northampton. I'll post some pictures of the event. It is bound to be warm and lovely since it is being organized by the wonderful Katie Rubinstein!

I'm off to bake for curriculum night at Chick's school tonight, which I'm so excited to attend. I love hearing all about what she is studying and exploring.

xo e

tiny pine cone garland

Remember, two weeks ago, when we went searching high and low for fall with our finding fall box? We are searching no longer. There is now blustery wind and orange leaves blowing through our yard. The nights are cold and we have been finding ourselves wrapped in blankets while sitting in the house. Pots of soup have been made and the butternut squash is rolling in. All of this fall business inspired me to use some of our findings from the other week to make a garland for our living room doorway.


Chick happily went to our little pine forest on the side of the house to gather more tiny pine cones. I promise we aren't always happily skipping through fields around here. We have tears and dull days, but today she really was especially happy to run outside. Perhaps it was because it was really dark and rainy this morning, so the bright sun felt like a little surprise gift.

After gathering cones, I cut flowers (or suns if you ask Chick) out of some of my favorite wool felt. I did some free style sewing on the felt flowers. Here is a closeup of one of the flowers:


Then, using an embroidery needle, I threaded the pine cones and the felt flowers onto sturdy thread making sure to put the thread towards the top of the flowers to ensure that they don't flip around. The cones were pretty easy to thread, although I probably should have worn a thimble since I ended up poking myself a few times. Here is the garland hanging across our living room doorway.


I'm off to work now for a bit, so I need to kiss the girls and Tom goodnight.

xo e