Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well, here it is! The big day is upon us! Kathleen is very excited. I finished her dress on Monday afternoon, and today I have to pick up some pink tights for her. Jennifer will be coming to dinner with her son Will, just as they do every year, and then we'll head out to do some trick-or-treating here in town, then down to New Baltimore to Kelly's house for her bonfire. Fun!

My dinner over at Pat's the other night was lovely. We had tomato pie, bruschetta, beef brisket, sauteeed kale with bacon, wasabi mashed potatoes, and little pumpkin bundt cakes for dessert. Yummy! I should have gotten some pictures of the food...I guess I forgot! We were supposed to do some felting, but after dinner, we just sat around the fire and chatted for a couple of hours. It was lovely. That Halloween tree above is in Pat's foyer. That tree will stay there through Chrismas, when she will deck it out wtih sparkly Christmas ornaments. I always look forward to her holiday decorations....she's really into it.

I got some great pictures of Kathleen that night, too. The sun was setting, and we were outside at Pat's, looking at the new pond that Cap (her husband) built. It had just rained, so the water was really rushing over the waterfall edge of the pond. It was pretty cool.

And this last one of Gus is for Annie, Amber. :) He's Cap's roping horse. Apparently they are going to get two burrows (donkeys) to keep him company this winter. Weird, man. Who wants donkeys? Eh...whatev. Hi Annie!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rainbow Jade

Remember that bead show I went to a couple of weeks ago? Well, I just listed another one of the great necklaces I made with the beads I found at that show. This one is rainbow jade petals, paired with lime jade rounds and freshwater pearls. Something about this color combination just makes me happy. It's warm, and pretty, and just BEGS for attention. Be sure to check out some of the others I've posted recently as well. I have another 6 or 7 necklaces to list before the holiday trunk show I'm having at a friend's house on Dec. 2, where hopefully I'll be selling some of these gorgeous pieces for people doing their holiday shopping!
Stay tuned for some Halloween decor pics from the dinner party last night. Pat actually went understated this year! I was shocked! :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Bits

I was over at my friend Jennifer's house the other day, and she had some cute stuff out for Halloween, so of course I snapped a few pics. She lives in an old stone house built in the 1800's, and her decorating style has always been somewhat minimalist, but not modern--always a sense of history in everything she does. I love this trough with pinecones in it. That wall used to be the back outer wall of the house, until they put this family room addition on. Those stairs lead down to the kid's game room.

Her mother's birthday falls on Halloween (she's Pat from Decadent Fibers...see link on left), and I think the overflow of decor gets gifted to Jennifer every We're headed to Pat's tonight for some needle felting, cosmos, dinner, and girl talk. I'm sure it will be fun, and I'll have pics from her house, where there is always something new and interesting to see. She does Halloween and Christmas decor like nobody's business. I'll be sure to post the best of them in the next couple of days.

I just loved that little witch...isn't she cute next to the lovely painted wood compote filled with felted pumpkins?
Today is "make Kathleen's costume" day. She wants to be a "dolly" for Halloween this year. I tried to convince her to be Avril Lavigne, because she actually LOOKS a little like Avril, and with a little black eyeliner and some funky clothes and bracelets, we'd have it all wrapped up. But she was having none of that.
She saw an episode of America's Next Top Model where they dressed the models up like dolls and had them pose limply on oversized chairs and in oversized Barbie boxes for their photo shoots. It was actually pretty cool. So....we've got white eyelet fabric for the dress, and three different colors of tulle for the under-skirting, so it puffs out, and then she has a whole plan for curling her hair, using eyeliner for fake eyelashes on her cheeks (you have to see it), carrying a teddy-bear around with her, and looking d0ll-like. We'll see how it goes over. The kid has more imagination than me, I swear. When she did her eyeliner eyelashes for me, I was finally convinced. I'll be sure to post pictures when we're all done with that, too--we'll see if she can rival those silly models. :) Anybody else out there sewing costumes this weekend?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kitty Mixed Media

I did these little mixed media pieces a while back, and thought I'd list them on Etsy. ( ) I just love how the kitty came out, and I don't know what came over one he's flying a butterfly like a kite while he holds down a fish with the other paw. In the other he's watching butterflies alight on a trellis of morning glories. I was in a silly mood that day I guess! I think they are adorable, and of course Kathleen thinks I should give them to her, but that kid has more STUFF in her room that she knows what to do with. I don't want to be responsible for adding any more to that collection.

Here's another autumn shot or two, just to cheer me up, since it's rainy and gray here today.

Get a load of that hedge, will ya'? It was huge, stretching in both directions. I would have loved to have seen the house it was hiding!

This was a beautiful shrub in the woods on the trail we found. There were a bunch of them. The colors were gorgeous....almost inspires me to paint them!

Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Gorgeous Weekend

I feel like such a posts since Thursday! I had a very nice weekend, and it seemed to seep over into today--hence my delay in posting something new and interesting. Saturday morning was an early one for me...had to bring BF to the airport at 4am to catch a plane to TX, where he'll be for the week. So I came home and went back to bed and slept too late on Saturday morning. Kathleen and I had a lazy morning--me making sweet potato puff for my friend Kelly's dinner party, her playing with her new Webkins stuff online. Then she was off to Madeline's house to play, I delivered some window treatments, and then off I went to Kelly's party. It was a fun time...old friends, good food, reminiscences....I'm glad I went. Whenever I get together with these friends, it reminds me how great they are. I'm glad we still hang out after all of these years (it's been 23 since we graduated!) That table arrangement up top was on the buffet table. Simple, and pretty. Here are her front doors:
I just love those witchy boots!

Sunday was spent lounging around in the morning with Kathleen, until we decided it was too gorgeous a day to just lay about, so we took a drive to Massachusettes. We drove out to Pittsfield, then down to Lenox, and Lee. We discovered the CUTEST little shop, whose name completely escapes me right now, but I can remember her Etsy site! It's . That site is nothing compared to her store, though. Kathleen and I walked in and were both like "WOW, if we opened up a store, THIS is what it would look like!" It was fun, clever, whimsical, colorful, and crazy. We loved it. I bought a few little gifts, Kathleen got some great ideas for her bedroom decor, and I'm thinking we'll have to go back. We also found a great shop full of vintage metal signs, and another dusty little antique place with a wacky guy sitting outsidetaking in the sun, manning the shop.

The only thing more beautiful than the leaves yesterday, was my gorgeous Kathleen. She's growing into a lovely young lady, and I really enjoy spending time with her. Our car time is the best, because we talk about everything under the sun. She's a great kid. I don't know what I did to deserve her! We found a beautiful trail on our way home, and the sun was setting, so I got some great pictures of her. The leaves were beautiful...the whole day was a gift, really.

Isn't she cute?! :)

She's standing next to the lake that we saw from above, as shown in the pic on the right. It was breathtaking. There are more leaf pics, but I guess I'll wait til tomorrow to post them. I'm tired!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big Blue Marble

Since I don't have time to do a big post this morning, I'm going to just put up a pic of the necklace I listed today on Etsy. I may list some paintings tomorrow. I did some small ones on wood. Hey, I'll post a sneak peek of them right here!

That's it for now. More later on how I read John Steinbeck's "The Pearl" the other night, and thoroughly enjoyed it this second time through, 28 yrs later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Decadent Fibers

My friend Pat sells wool. She sells some of the most gorgeous wool I have seen. She and her friend Chris started their business a number of years ago, and they attend all of the big craft and wool festivals and fairs around the Northeast to sell their wares. They also have a lovely website (I say that because I designed it for them...heh), where they sell yarn, knitting kits, needle felting kits, and wool roving for felting.

They custom hand dye all of their yarns, and have exclusive yarns and knitting patterns, that rival the best out there. They've been featured in many knitting magazines, and even Country Living magazine, for their felted pumpkins.
Pat's daughter is my very good friend Jennifer. Jennifer and her sister used to raise prize-winning sheep when we were kids. I remember going over to their house with the crisp of winter in the air, and the new lambs would be huddled in the barn with their mothers. I even watched one being born once, which was an incredible experience. I tell you this, because they used to sell the prize-winning fleece for others to use. This eventually morphed into Pat not raising the sheep any more (after her daughters were out of the house), but buying the fleece from other prize-winners, and creating her roving and yarns from that. Her eye for color combinations is incredible. Her yarns look good enough to eat, and feel divine in your hands.
Ok, enough gushing. Check out her website at . If you're a knitter, I don't think you'll be able to help yourself. If you've ever thought about starting a new craft, needle felting might be for you! If you look back at my first post (from March, I think?), you'll see a couple of things I felted. It's fun!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Autumn Joy

I took a drive lost for about two hours. I had no idea where I was. Thank goodness I can navigate my way home with the help of the sun. It was gorgeous here...a bit windy and nippy, but the sun was shining, and I couldn't believe some of the breathtaking views I found on the back roads of Albany County! Look at those horses! They just stood there perfectly still, and stared at me while I snapped their picture. That necklace there is my latest to be posted on Etsy. Check it out at
Christmas is coming! I'm sure you have gifts to buy for your mother, best friend, sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, not-so-best-friend, lol, etc. This one was particularly fall-like, so I had to post it this morning, to go with my fall mood!

Yesterday I had the living room window open for a while in the afternoon. My phlox are right outside that window. Well..I was just sitting there, looking out the window, breathing in the fresh air, and I kept hearing these little snapping noises...about every 8 seconds or so. It was my phlox, which have gone to seed...the seed pods were snapping open, and shooting their seeds into my garden. It was fascinating. I love to watch and hear nature at work. The other sound of autumn which keeps catching my by sweet surprise every day, is the sound of the Canadian geese flying overhead in large flocks. Their calls are very distinctive, and herald the coming of winter. I can't believe it's almost upon us. I heard about the snowstorm in Colorado yesterday! Yikes! I don't even want to THINK about snow yet. Fall is my favorite. But as Robert Frost said, "nothing gold can stay." *sigh*

Happy Monday to all!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

SALE time at Etsy!

Yep...I've decided to put anything that was listed in July and August on sale. I've taken 15% off all of the listing prices. I'd love to move some of the inventory, to make room for the newer pieces I've made. I've got eight new necklaces made and ready to list, and more on the way. The bead show was incredible yesterday, and I broke the bank and bought some really great stuff.

I've listed this green kyanite piece today. It's Kathleen's favorite, as well as the BF's, so I decided to list it first. I've got some gorgeous red tiger eye with handmade blue/brown polymer beads to list, and some gorgeous ocean jasper, russian serpentine, and desert jasper, wedding pearls, and the piece de resistance is going to be my rainbow new jade'll just have to be patient!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Tote Bag

I have returned from the bead show, and OH what fun that was! I've got some great new beads, and I'll be working on fab new necklaces over the next week or so. But for today, I'm going to post a great lime and chocolate cotton damask tote bag that I made the other day. Actually, I've made two, because I loved the fabric so much, and because I had just enough in my stash to make two! I've lined them in a lighter lime green silk, and they're awesome. As soon as I'm done posting here, I'm going to go list at least one on Etsy. I also have another great brown and cream damask fabric that is just begging to be made into a bag. Maybe next week....after I get some new necklaces made. Mmmmm...the beads are laying here next to me...calling my name...
You want to buy this tote, you say? Well head on over to Fiddleheadstudios lickety-split!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray

As fall creeps in this moonless night
Bright colors dim to shades of gray
My thoughts are thin
My heart can't stay
Within the confines of this day.

Reflection peeks upon my soul
Of days long gone, and
Souls once known.
I seek to find the one whose touch
Made parts of me as hard as stone,
And others soft as brittle bone.

I hide sometimes, behind this smile
Seeking knowledge--thoughts a pile
Rich emotion in your gaze, your words, your thoughts, your style.
Sit with me, we'll talk a while,
And ponder shades of gray.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Morning Glory Bumble Bee

Look at him! I got him in mid-flight. If you look closely, you can see the shadow of his wings. I think these bumble bees live nearby. There are always two or three flying around in my garden, buzzing by me as I lounge in my hammock.

It's chilly here today. We've had some really weird warm days, punctuated by days like this where you need a sweater, and you're tempted to actually wear some socks. I'm having a difficult time giving up my leather flip flops this year. I guess it's time to break out some actual shoes. I make Kathleen wear them. Heh. I've always told her: "Do as I say, not as I do." I wonder how long that will hold up? Perhaps she's caught on to my smirking every time I say it? She's too smart for me, that kid. Today she's at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George for Frightfest with some of her friends. My friend Kelly took them up. I bet they're having a blast. I hope she's not too exhausted. She was at a sleepover party last night. She'll be feeling it tomorrow. I guarantee she tells me she doesn't feel well tomorrow. Too bad, so sad! Off to school with you! I'm such a mean mommy.

Dill Collage

How cool is this? I took a picture of my dill today, which has gone to seed, and then I played around with it in Picasa. Have I mentioned how cool Picasa is? I thought so! I did this with a couple of color combos, but I like this one the best. I also got a shot of a bumble bee in one of my morning glories. I'll post that next.
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Bolt Halloween

I took some pictures over at BOLT today. I really need to do something about their website. It's hurtin'. But instead of taking good store pics, I got carried away taking pictures of all the cool Halloween stuff we have for sale, and thought it would be fun to share. Both of the owners (sisters-in-law) are insane Halloween nuts, apparently. Halloween has never really been my kind of holiday, but after looking at all this cool stuff, I may be a convert. I am in LOVE with that pumpkin head dude holding his own top down there on the bottom left. Isn't he awesome? I bought one of the little fangy monster pins that I'm holding in the bottom middle for Kathleen. I also bought a little sparkly pumpkin tiara, which I'll have to put on an actual pumpkin so you can see it. I wasn't home when Kathleen opened it, so she calls me and says "Mommy, how am I supposed to wear the tiara? It's got pokey things in the bottom." The kid slays me. I say "It's a PUMPKIN tiara, silly!" and the poor kid says "OOOOooooohhhh!" Heh. I love messing with her. Maybe we'll buy a pumpkin tomorrow. It's getting to be that time, isn't it? Some people ( I won't mention any have had their decor going for weeks now. What can I say? Once a late bloomer, always a late bloomer?

We had a busy day today at the store as well, which is great. Things are steadily getting busier, which is very encouraging. Word is really traveling fast. We haven't spent much money on advertising at all. I try to ask everyone how they heard about us, and it's inevitably "my sister, my friend, my mother-in-law"...that kind of thing. I'm still only working two days a week, but I can see that's going to have to change at some point. They won't be able to sustain the skeleton crew mentality much longer. It's getting too busy, and the two of them are working every day. I really don't want to work full time, but I might consider three days. We'll see. (I've still got my own business going.) We have three other part-time employees who are working out well. One of them is a good friend of mine who used to work at JoAnn Fabrics (she also does slipcovers!), the second is a fellow employee from Calico Corners years ago (pretty much the only one I would even consider hiring--sad, but true), and the third is a woman who teaches continuing ed type sewing classes at night who came in months ago and I said "Hey, want a job?" lol. She came two months later--just looking to get out of the house a couple of days a week, and she can work until 6, so she's in! :) She just started last week.

Well, I feel like my weekend starts tomorrow, since I worked today, so happy Columbus Day weekend, y'all. Do something fun, fullfilling, and autumnal!
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Friday, October 05, 2007

My Autumn Garden

Hey, I'll tell you what...this Picasa is AWESOME. If you haven't downloaded it yet, you don't know what you're missing. It's free, it's easy, and it's practically idiot proof, which is a good thing, in my case. ;) Plus, you can make your own lame garden look really spectacular when you collage all the good stuff together like the picture above! If you click on it, it'll enlarge, too.

My garden has been completely neglected this year. I think I weeded twice back in June. Since then--nada. I either haven't had the time, or if I've had the time, I haven't had the inclination. The flowers please me, but the weeds make me nuts. Plus, beading is much more rewarding for me--I think it's an instant gratification thing.

This morning, however, I thought I'd venture out there and see what was peeking out between the dandelion greens and clover. I found some beautiful morning glories growing up the "fence" I made this spring out of matchstick blinds and plant stakes. I found my potted sweet potato vine and coleus sitting on the bench my friend Kelly made, and even without one speck of water from me, they are thriving. I found lots of nasturtiums, which have to be my favorite annual. Their leaves look like lily-pads, and the dew on them this morning almost made me cry. My garlic chives have gone to seed, and their heads are spectacular. My snapdragons, although top-heavy and weird, are still blooming and glowing. I have a Russian sage that my father bought me two years ago in Cape Cod that I almost killed, which seems to be fighting valiantly for its life, to my great joy. I'll have to move it somewhere where it can really take off next year. Maybe I'll even water it. Hmmm. And finally, the cleome, which is attracting bees and believe it or not, hummingbirds! I couldn't believe it when I saw one on them the other day! Every time I see a hummingbird, I'm enchanted. I also have hummingbird moths that love my phlox. The first time I saw one of those, I thought it was a hummingbird, but it was brown, so I consulted some gardening friends, looked it up on the internet, and, well, there you have it.

So get out in your garden, whether you've weeded it or watered it, or not--take some really close-up pics (so as to avoid evidence of said weeds), and then make yourself a nice collage with Picasa. It's sure to impress your friends (as well as those other random strangers who may happen upon your blog.)
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Peaches and Cream

I'm off to list this yummy coin pearl necklace over in my Etsy shop. Isn't it PURty? :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bronck House Museum Harvest Festival

I spent Sunday with my best friends at a harvest festival in Coxsackie, NY, at the Bronck House Museum grounds. It was a gorgeous day, and the buildings on the property were beautiful. I can't believe I've lived so close to this place for so many years and I had never stopped to see the museum. The thirteen sided barn was very cool, as were the stone houses, the barns, and the other outbuildings. There were crafters there, and another friend of mine had a booth. It's the one in most of the pics....she had some beautiful things...felted pumpkins, indian corn, and assorted colonial reproduction accessories. Her vignettes were great....she used old doors as backdrops and screens...very cool. She keeps saying she's going to open a shop someday. I wish she'd do it already! The name of her business is Tin Angel. I bought a deliciously clove-scented kitchen sachet in her booth that is making my downstairs smell refreshingly autumnal!

We finished the day with a trip to the movies. We saw "Eastern Promises" with Viggo Mortenson. I can't say I'd recommend it. I guess I was expecting it to be better...or for Viggo to be sexier or something. Instead, he was just kind of creepy. If you DO go to see it, don't say I didn't warn you. The violence is quite graphic.
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