Sunday, November 29, 2009

Counting Blessings #5

holy experience

21 - the hospitality of dear friends

22 - celebrating 51 years of life

23 - an unexpected birthday gift from a faraway friend

24 - these two gorgeous girls

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone

We thank thee then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
For all thy love imparts,
And what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.

from We Plough The Fields And Scatter

painting by Doris Lee

Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm having great fun hosting a knitting group in my home. The teacher/artist is my daughter-in-law, Michelle. She and our mutual friend, Kim, came up with the idea to start a knitting circle. Besides enjoying each other's company, the goal is to donate knitted items to worthy causes.

Michelle is a very talented and patient teacher. Some of the women who came had never picked up a pair of needles before. Everyone left on the first day knowing how to knit.

Love the colors, faces full of concentration, and glowing hands

Catching on quick!

Of course, not all of us were actually interested in knitting, but didn't want to feel left out...hooligan

"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands" (Prv 31:13)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Counting Blessings #4

holy experience

17 - Sharing secrets

18 - Warm hearths

19 - Quiet times

20 - Candlelight

Friday, November 20, 2009

Curious Cakelets

Knowing my appreciation for acorns, my son Alex gave me this perfect cake pan for my birthday last year. Lots of fun for some fall baking. These are little spice cakes that are yet to be glazed and sugared. The pan is also great for making madeleines!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Paperwhites and Pine Cone clusters

To me, there is nothing more intoxicating than the heady fragrance of paperwhite blossoms filling a cold room in wintertime. While visiting Terrain at Styers, a local nursery, I saw these bulbs displayed in antique desert cups. What a great idea! And since I already had cups like them at home (even better), all I needed to purchase were two bulbs. Loveliness for three dollars. Not bad.

Here's the ingredients: cups, pebbles, bulbs, water. Simple.

A woman at the shop was kind enough to give me this tip. Once roots emerge from the bottom of the bulb, switch up the water for a mixture of 7 parts water to 1 part vodka. The alcohol stunts the growth of the stems, so as to prevent the plant from becoming too leggy and flopping over. Instead, you'll have straight stocky stems with beautiful, fragrant blooms. I hope it works.

Here's something fun and easy--pine cone clusters. You'll need 7 or 8 cones - the long pointed variety - and some flexible wire (I used 28-gauge).

Cut about 24 inches of wire from the spool. Wrap the wire around the stem end of each cone.

You want to string the cones together side by side.

Join them together to form a hoop, with at least 6 inches of wire remaining on the end.

Now take your pine cone hoop and twist it into a cluster by folding the cones over each other until you get a shape that you like.

At this point you can embellish them any way you like. I chose the ribbon and rose hips for an autumnal look. But you can use glitter and what-not for Christmas.

Here's a large version waiting to be gussied up.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Counting Blessings #3

holy experience

10 - Having my girl home...guess what we're planning?

11 - The beauty of wood

12 - Tools

13 - Clean clothes

14 - Windowsills (one of my favorite words - I don't know why)

15 - Shadows

16 - Gravad lax (no, I'm not kidding)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Homeschool Art Adventure

What happens when you combine eleven homeschoolers, four moms, two hot plates, and a ton of oil pastels? A colorful explosion of amazing creativity. The other day I had the privilege of hosting a group of the nicest people in my home studio to enjoy a morning of experimenting with oil pastels and other media. We ended the day with a shared lunch, sweet treats, and pleasant conversation over cups of tea. Thanks, moms, your kids were great. I had a wonderful time.

It was a tight squeeze, but nobody complained.

A variety of expression...


Melting pastels on the hot plate was very popular. I love sharing this technique.

Adorable - "Can you find the gnomes?"

Gorgeous sage and apple cake made by Miss Fiona (a.k.a. Phyllis ; a.k.a. Lyceria). And let's not forget the delicious chocolate chip scones, peanut butter chocolate thingys, and homemade applesauce. You guys spoiled me. Thanks so much.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More than Ourselves

"They are more than themselves and when the wonder grows in me I am more than myself. Whenever I am conscious of this more than ourselves I remember the old man in the garden at home, looking at the butterflies in the buddleia tree, and how the butterflies seem to shine on his face, or something in him shone on the butterflies, I didn't know which. I may have imagined the light but I didn't imagine the more than ourselves. That's real enough, and when I am conscious of it my wonder and gratitude clap hands together and what is caught up from me is more then either. If any words come to me then they are those of the old man's second prayer, 'Thee I adore.' "

Elizabeth Goudge, The Scent of Water

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Counting Blessings #2

holy experience

6 - the return of the lost kitty.

7 - Autumn colors

8 - back roads

9 - engagement of our eldest daughter on Friday to the best guy ever...priceless


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