Friday, November 29, 2013

Gardening in November

For those who think Next Year (the garden) has been abandoned and forgotten, she has not.  Next Year is very patient and forgiving and knows in spite of my neglectful gardening practices, I will return.  This is a wonderful time of the gardening year for making plans and evaluating.

Am still playing catch up on the leaf raking.  With the holidays, rug hooking retreat, rainy weekends and below freezing temperatures, I am behind schedule.  With an abundance of rain this growing season came an abundance of leaves.  One of the great benefits in raking leaves is an opportunity to burn off some Thanksgiving calories.  The neighborhood children who play in front of Thistle Manor love to play in the leaves.  They are eager to help rake and pile leaves and are rewarded with copious amounts of home made hot cocoa.  Yum Yum

The neighborhood children enjoy the curb garden and often stop to see which flower is blooming.  To help them feel ownership in the curb garden, we planted daffodil bulbs.  Seeing their faces in the spring when the daffodils bloom will be a welcome sight.

November is a wonderful time of the year to hit the gardening centers--great sales!  Adding a gardening bench is high on my gardening list and while Next Year is enjoying a winter nap, I will be deciding placement.  

The sound of neighborhood children raking leaves, hot cocoa, great sales, refilled bird feeders, the hope of spring blooms, gardening in November is a good thing!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013


My Friend Cindy and I recently had a lengthy conversation about time.
When I was a child, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed an eternity.  

Now the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas feels like I am riding on a bullet train.

December 1 will mark the two year anniversary of Samplings from Spring Creek.

To celebrate the anniversary, it is time to share some of the things I love with you:  Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts, Pheasant Hill Charm Pack by Kansas Trouble Quilters, Wool from my stash, Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly and spring bulbs.

Leave me a comment and AppleJack and Callie Mae will be drawing next Sunday, December 1--the anniversary date.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday "To Do" List

Retreats are wonderful!  They are too short and it's back to reality, I have been playing catch-up all week.  My Saturday "to-do" keeps growing.

  • Carry the La D Da Adam and Eve sampler to the framer
  • Pick up Blackbird Designs Give Thanks chart at LNS
  • Carry bow tie quilt to long arm quilter
  • Make chex mix for co workers
  • Carry Mehitable Wright to the finisher
  • Shop for Secret Santa gifts
  • Pick up Primitive Quilts, Early Homes and Yankee magazines from bookstore
  • Laundry (Yuck, my least favorite job)
  • Rake leaves
  • Plant bulbs
  • Grocery shop or eat wish sandwiches next week
  • Untangle Christmas lights
  • Birthday card for Cindy
  • Finish reading book and prepare for book club discussion
  • Vacuum Asian Lady Bugs from window sills (another yuck job)
  • Wash Autumn Leaf dishes for Thanksgiving
  • Locate items for blog anniversary give away
There are probably more items, I think this will keep me occupied for the day.  Am hoping I will have enough time and energy for so stitching.  What's on your weekend agenda?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The conclusion of Three Bags Full

Yesterday was the conclusion of the Three Bags Full rug hooking retreat.  It was wonderful!  Isn't this Santa beautiful?

Here is Lisanne teaching/demonstrating "how to hook an eye."  Did you know eyes are oval not round and eyes have glint?

The colors! The whimsy! The fun!

Corn for fall 2014

Tone on tone 


You never know who is going to drop in at a retreat.

And then there was this guy!  Be Bob, the Bobcat, isn't he beautiful?

Remember the retreat was held at Montgomery Bell State Park.  One of the many things the Wildlife Agency does is teach.  

Be Bob is a rescue Bobcat and a member of the Tennessee Wildlife Agency, he is  part of the teaching team.

Be Bob is still a kitten, he weighs about 25 lbs and will be about 50 lbs when fully grown.

His coat and bobbed tail and playful, youthful personality made him an instant hit with the hookers.

Three bags full was everything and more I hoped it would be!  Learning, sharing, laughter, inspiration, new friends and parting words of "see you at the next event."  Today it's back to reality--raking leaves. Mother Nature and the local weatherman have forecast storms.  Maybe Mother Nature will blow the leaves into the neighbors yard and I will be forced to stay inside and hook.  (he he)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Three Bags Full Day One

Three bags full is all about choosing color.  Aren't these colors yummy?

Being surrounded by beautiful colors with values, tones and textures the creative juices begin to flow.

Design selected, colors selected let the hooking begin!

The introductions have been made, the room is filled with sounds of laughter and talk about the latest project completed, the project in the works and projects to come.

Completed projects to share.

This rug hooker knows her colors!

Rugs full of color and whimsey.

Rugs emerging.

More fun and hooking and laughter in store for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Three Bags Full

I'm so excited!  This weekend my partner in crime aka Carmen and are are going to our first rug hooking retreat!  The name of the retreat is three bags full.  Lisanne Miller is teaching the class, we will be learning to use textures and shades with just three colors.  Each student will bring three bags, each bag will be filled with a different color of wool (all different shades of that particular color of wool).  Our rug will be hooked using just three colors.

I started this project by looking in books and magazines.  Oh Pinterest, I love you, so many lovelies to see.  The choices are endless and overwhelming.  I finally settled on a Edyth O'Neill rug called the New Bedford Hearth rug--it's a whale.  I choose this rug because Edyth's rug is hooked with three colors--three beautiful shades of colors.  

 I think a whale rug will be a nice addition to these pieces of needlework in Grandmother Bessie's room, don't you?

The retreat is at Montgomery Bell State Park, one of Tennessee's beautiful parks.  If the wind doesn't blow all the leaves off the trees there should be some lovely fall colors.  The temps dropped last night to the 20's--perfect hooking weather!  A weekend filled with fiber, fun and food!  I can already feel the creativity.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bessie's Room

Grandmother Bessie was very influential in my life.  My Mother often says, the older I grow, the more I become like Grandmother. For me, this is a wonderful compliment!  One of the rooms at Thistle Manor is Grandmother Bessie's room.  A coverlet at the foot of the bed to knock the chill off the cool fall nights.  Pillow shams made from ticking was something I always remember in Grandmother's home.  The nautical themed needlework hanging above the bed reminds me of the adventurous Grandfather who sailed on the sea from Germany to Pennsylvania.

Since it is taking me forever to get my Adam and Eve wall started, I decided to start a Grandmother Bessie wall.  The blank space above the Scarlet Letter memorial sampler has been reserved for the Margaret sampler.  Designer Lori Markovic (La D Da) has a mystery sampler called Margaret Cottam.  There were many Margaret's in Grandmother Bessie's life.  There was Margaret Ferguson, her maternal Grandmother, Margaret "Maggie" Shults, Grandmother's sister and Margaret "Margo" one of Grandmother's granddaughters.  So. . . Margaret Cottam will become the Margaret "Maggie" sampler.

These are some oldies but goodies I found while cleaning out closets.  In her lifetime, I'm sure Grandmother made many quilts for her family, neighbors and young brides.

Grandmother was an early riser and was always up with the chickens.  She kept her purse handy.

I believe a home should be many things and comfort is one of those things high on my list of home priorities.  Grandmother Bessie's room is comfortable and filled with wonderful memories of her life.  Wonder what Grandmother Bessie would have to say about this room.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

After a very windy, rainy, stormy Halloween, Mother Nature is showing us her best side- a most glorious fall!

 With a beautiful fall day, we put on our walking shoes and headed to one of our favorite places.

Radnor Lake.  Clear blue skies, the sunshine to warm our faces and a cool breeze.

The sound of the wind blowing through the trees.

Crunchy leaves under our feet.

Berries to feed the birds.

Beautiful colors

Walking. . .good for the body, good for the soul.

The most challenging decision of the day. . .choosing which trail to walk.

Peace. Sunshine. Fresh Air. Mother Nature at her best.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

(Almost) Adam and Eve

Remember her?  She's one of my PhD's (projects half done).   

The last time I shared this project, it looked something like this.

It's not quiet a finish (but getting there).  There is the outline border, the words and the personalization.  Am I the only stitcher who adds the border last?  

AppleJack commented that Adam had strategically chosen and is  wisely wearing his leaf.

One of my favorite parts about this sampler:  the way Adam and Eve are holding the apple.  Each taking ownership of his/her decision to taste the fruit.  Oh, my other favorite parts:  it's Adam and Eve and it's almost finished!