Unique Hand-Crafted Gifts
Learning to finger knit was my entre` into the realm of using yarn to create . Knitting along with a variety of other creative pursuits was part of the cultural landscape I was born into … hands were always busy making interesting and beautiful things. With that level of industry and interest modeled before me, it was most natural I, too, would learn to thread the needle.
I well remember the project in which I was allowed to use knitting needles for the first time; it was a yellow pot holder with a little loop knitted in one corner used for hanging. From there I moved onto to slipper making; they had pompom embellished toes… in the same yellow yarn. To this day, I could make those slippers in my sleep; I was so proud slip-sliding around the house in them. I eventually moved on to knitting hats and mittens and sweaters, but that was long ago. My knitting work was eventually was set aside to make way for my primary focus on sewing and tailoring.
It was during this past Christmas season that I had a challenging gift selection to make for someone special. I gave it good thought, but nothing seemed particularly fitting. It was only after considering making a gift that I was knew I was on track as it is in the making of something that the true gift resides, the gift of time and thought and effort. And so it was that I reached into my bag of tricks, dusted off my number 9’s and knitted a beautiful, one of a kind, Christmas scarf.
Considering her smile, I think she likes.
I’m knitting again. Since making this scarf I knitted two more and have yarn for number three and four. I’ll keep you posted.
!!The Festive Table!!
Having turned the corner on Thanksgiving, my thoughts move toward preparing the house for the Advent of Christmas. There is nothing more charming to help set the stage for Christmas Day’s arrival than a welcoming wintery table replete with stars, snowmen, and candy cane stripes. As we await the arrival of the holy day, set a festive table, light the candles and watch the glow in your children’s eyes as golden memories are in the making. December is a season of joy, wonder, hope, love and remembrance… take the time to savor each and all the gifts of the this special time of year.
A Delightful Pair
I found an ensemble of six porcelain figures resting on the shelf at Goodwill amongst the clutter. These elegant figures looked so completely out of place in amongst the tat that only the coldest of hearts would not be moved by their reduced circumstances, for surely they had been members of a beloved collection of some dear lady who had crossed over to the great beyond. Once laying eyes upon them I knew it was my duty to perform a rescue and so it was that after meticulous inspection I chose two of the six to bring home. It was indeed a hard decision, but I think these two make a particularly delightful pair. I especially like the little bird on the lady’s dress and the gentleman kicking up his heel. So lovely!
I have started a new section of my blog that is for sharing my penchant for things blue and white. I hope you will enjoy the treasures I find as I comb various thrift stores looking for interesting and unique items to add to my growing collection.
Calla Lilies in Blue and White Vase
An Urban Jewel
I recently returned from a visit to San Francisco where I was treated to a wonderful walking tour provided by two of my sons who live and work in the city. In advance of my visit, I requested that we walk as much as possible so as to see the city at street level and also to get exercise which would allow me to sample the many fine culinary offerings of the city without regret.
Never have I climbed so many stairs and navigated such steep inclines for hours at a time, but it was worth every step. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and I able to the traverse 25 to 30 miles through many vibrant and varied neighborhoods that make up this urban jewel known as the City by the Bay.
The brief video below is of the killer-view my kids wake up to everyday… taken from the Bernal Heights neighborhood overlooking the Noe Valley with Sutro Tower on the horizon.
In a city where space is in scarce supply, front porches and entryways become gardens with a plethora of beautiful displays of cultivation of every kind, too numerous to count or photograph, each as lovely as the next, giving added dimension to the meaning of San Francisco Pride and a personal understanding to the sweet sentiments of the City’s signature song, I left My Heart in San Francisco.
Thanks guys for being so patient with all the stops for photos and for sharing your beautiful city with me!
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.”
I grew up on the Pacific shore bathed in a swirling mélange of earthy aromas, briny sea mist, beach kelp, weathered driftwood, live crab boiling in pots on creosote soaked docks, and the smell of prolonged dampness that permeated every living thing. Brightly colored nasturtiums, seemingly the only flower that survived in the sandy soil, sprung up ubiquitously in yards and planters. An ambitious gardener might have daffodils and calla lilies struggling in a border strip around a scrubby patch of grass, but that was the extent of coastal cultivation in a landscape where skunk cabbage, Scotch broom, salal and moss held sway over the land.
Our regular excursions to “the Valley” to visit relatives were like incredible journeys, visitations to an enchanting world replete with verdant fields and flowering trees and plants and flowers of every sort and variety that filled the air with a soul caressing redolence which gently lingered in the stillness of the valley air. The tidy patchwork of farm fields, symmetry of tree lined streets and ordered planning of nature expressed in the multitude of fastidiously tended gardens resonated deep within me giving way to a life-long appreciation of the capacity of nature, to influence and enhance human experience.
Suite in F – Allegro
Georg Friedrich Handel
Suite in F – Allegro
I read a line not long ago that said, ‘the best things to know are the hardest to learn.’ I think that idea applies to this piece. It has been a challenge to learn, but well worth the effort as it is soooo much fun to play. I hope you will be able to hear some of that delight as you listen.
As I selected images for this video, I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful historic costumes. These images are a testament to the fact that contrary to popular thinking, formality and frippery are compatible with frivolity and fun. So sit back and listen, or perhaps join in and kick up your heels. 🙂
A Celebration of Hearth and Home
I love the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. There is nothing quite so satisfying as a house filled with the aroma of roasting turkey, the lively banter of family and friends and the carrying on of traditions.
My menu is strictly traditional with roasted turkey, dressing made with toasted pecans and pork sausage, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry chutney, fresh green peas and roasted beans. When it comes to desserts, we are a bit less traditional opting for a creme brûlée with fresh raspberries.
Please, you’re welcome to come along and join the party!
Bach’s Invention No. 13
Images by Carl Larsson
In September I committed to practicing 15 minutes day with the goal of mastering Bach’s Invention No. 13. It was hard work and there were times when I thought I might never reach my goal, but after weeks of staying with it, I think I’ve done it. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoy playing it for you.
Thank you, Cassandra, for being a source of inspiration for this achievement.
Autumn’s Great Procession
This photo was taken near the Buena Vista Ferry that crosses over the Willamette River. I saw the stunning colors in a grove of deciduous trees along the road we were traveling; it was in coming to a full stop to take a photograph that I noticed the long rows of plantings that seemed to stretch forever; the Cathedral-like feeling was striking… the long red carpet extending down the aisle to a gothic arch framed in green garland prepared for Autumn’s Great Procession. It was breathtakingly beautiful in the afternoon light and I hope I’ve captured a bit of that presence in this photograph.
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