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This creative time of year

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willowmorningWe had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. We went from a hard and heavy frost Wednesday morning to Indian summer weekend days. Saturday was so warm and pretty it led to yard work by my husband and a vigorous porch sweeping by me. We have a good sized, partially enclosed porch and it was nice to clear the leaves off that had been gathering over the fall months. My husband mowed the lawn and mulched the many leaves from the lawn.  In the photo of the willow here, the lawn looks pale green.  I shot that photo on Wednesday when frost was still on the ground.  Today, however, our lawn is a deep, dark green because of all the rain we have had. Lovely and strange for late November. Saturday, late in the afternoon, we went for a drive looking for photo ops. The trees, even in the apple orchards, are pretty much completely bare. Now you can see the tangle of the tree trunks and limbs in the wooded areas and more streams and rivers are visible all along the road. So swiftly the glow of golden willows has faded to a quiet yellow gray. Just last Wednesday our willow stood out brilliantly against a bright blue sky but now it too has assumed a more sublte appearance. Each day the visual array out of doors changes dramatically, revealing a new style and new voice of beauty. My husband has warned me that, come real winter, there will be a period of no change. I suppose I will burn more candles then, to warm my heart and soul. We'll see. We spent time this weekend "candling up" as my husband put it. I loved that expression. He was referring to his tradition of placing candles in each of the windows of our home (we have more than forty windows). My tradition in California was always to put Christmas lights on the outside of the house, his has always been the candles in the windows. I wasn't sure what that would look like, and felt I wanted more of a festive look to the house. We resolved our differences peacefully with this compromise: his candles in the windows, my Christmas lights outlining the prettyfront porch. He wanted to put a lit Christmas tree in my art studio, because it is on the front of the house and is enclosed by windows on all sides. He thought it would be a pretty showcase. He also had an idea of placing a string of "rope" lights around the front door, on the inside between the regular door and the storm door, to create a light box effect. All in all, the effect of the entire package is very pretty. We both like it because it is simple, quietly festive and not over-done. I enjoyed the experience of working out our apparent differences by discovering what we agreed on and moving into a co-create together. We make a good team that way; I think the world could use more of this approach to life. luckyglovesThis weekend I finished a pair of fingerless gloves for my ex-mother-in-law, who I am still very close with. In fact, over the years she and I have become good friends and truly love one another. This pair of gloves is my own design and pattern; the yarn is so soft it feels like mink: I just want to keep stroking them because the feel is so soothing. They feature vintage buttons at the wrists, to indicate "left" and "right". I will share the yarn info and pattern later this week. I also finished a set of Critter Carolers to place on the stone window sill by our fireplace. I found some beautiful bark from an old elm tree in our yard, and had the idea of making a set of carolers to stand on the bark. Notice the tiny little handknit scarves I made them ... one is made from a leftover scrap of the ultra alpaca I knit my Lavender Scarf and Hat from. crittercarolers3I made the first of some grapevine wreaths for our home last night; wild grapevines grow everywhere in this area. My husband had to trim some of the vines off of our barn recently, and he set them aside for my wreaths. Saturday we went through the pieces and selected those I would use. These vines have plenty of little squiggly feelers or whatever you call them sticking out everywhere. They make beautiful wreaths. After giving them a good soaking in the tub, last night I wove three wreaths and am very happy with the results. I'll share photos Wednesday. I love this highly creative time of year. We are busy preparing for my parents and my son who will be here at Christmas for a visit. My daughter is already here, so we will all have a wonderful time of it. This is quite a change for my husband, to go from being alone in this farm house last Christmas to having in-laws and two step children ... as well as a loving wife ... this year. Such changes, so quickly, so big. By the way, the server my photos are usually hosted on is having some issues and many of my photos from previous posts are not showing up today. We are working on getting it resolved, so please be patient. I apologize for any inconvenience. Have a beautiful day! ~firefly

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