Yeah. This would be the pumpkin to have. From a Coated post in 2008.

I need this wreath.

Here, amuse yourself with these ideas for candy trading. Just press the "play" button in the center of the screen below. Make sure your volume is up high enough.


I should have knit one of these by now. If you want one, already knit, you can buy one from Lil Brit Knits on Etsy. Now, where did I put that orange yarn...


Life pretty much HAS been wienderful, aside from insomnia.

I believe I have age-onset insomnia, which I have had for about ten years now. I have no trouble falling asleep--until lately. In the past four or five years (off and on), I used an over the counter diphen hydramine product and that began to fail. One night I took three, not two, tablets and slept well but decided if I was ramping up the dose, it could not be good for me. I have not used any in a several days and I am not sleeping less than I had in the previous weeks. Maybe 4-6 hours in 24 is normal, but I do not feel clear-headed. I do all the right things:

last meal or snack four hours or more before lying down
no alcohol
no caffeine after 12:00 noon
chamomile tea late in the evening
moved estrogen to morning dosing

I find I am going to bed LATER (2 a.m.) and waking even EARLIER (4-6 a.m.) than before. If I could have just enough "knock-out drops" once a week, and sleep 12-14 hours. . . Is this how drug addiction starts? People, desperate to medicate themselves because medical professionals do not have answers?

Enough of that. Perhaps I just need a new MONDAY MANTRA. Instead of I CHOOSE HEALTH from a website with healing mantras, I will customize it to my use.




Do you ever remember seeing these? Decorative glass shoes. I think Fenton Glass made millions of the things. I remember seeing them in every home when I was growing up, along with these marvelous grapes. I could not understand why my mother did not have the grapes. 
 I understood about the shoe; some things are so ugly their existence defies logic. I hope I have not insulted your aesthetic. If I have you nostalgic about your grandmother, you can get the green boot  HERE and the cobalt blue one HERE. Now the grapes? Lovely to behold
At age 8, I knew I would grow up to be a housewife and I would have a bowl of glass grapes on my table and maybe even decorate with a faux Spanish/Mediterranean theme, like the lady next door. Her husband drove a truck for Tom's Snacks. I think he went around and filled vending machines. They were newlyweds, in a brand new house and she had a big "canvas" of herself in her wedding dress on a wall in her living room.

She looked like a model to me and spent most of the day tanning herself on a chaise longue outside between our two houses. I simply cannot imagine what that life would have been like but I was sure THAT was where I was headed. I would have glass doo-dads on little shelves. Even if I thought the form was ugly, there was beauty in the color and the way light loved the glass.

Mom called them dust catchers. Now I know why.

FMQC October

I truly enjoyed practicing this month. I liked the backs as well as the fronts of my samples.

The guest instructor is Teri Lucas. She has been published everywhere and does some really mesmerizing whole cloth work.

She suggested some drawing practice with color pencils. For the quilting, she would have liked for us to use different kinds of threads, battings, and top fabrics but those of us who were unable to do so still had fun with different color threads.
 I did, anyway. We started by writing our names and sort of doodling around. I tried some shells and a seahorse and bubbles, of course.
Then I tried stones (yeah, look just like bubbles, I know) and oak and acorns. I think I will have better luck if I find a stencil or make my own to get the oak leaves and acorns just the way I like them.

Here is where you should click to see what I found most inspiring.  Be sure to scroll down to the picture just below the one where she is showing needling a grid with her open-toe foot. It is the nautilus. If I had permission, I would dump that little picture right here on my blog. Isn't it lovely? There is something about the lighting and the sparkle of the threads, the shimmer of the silk. You know me, I am NOT a sparkle kind of person but this is my favorite Teri Lucas sample.


Did you try any of yesterday's ideas? I hope by the time you are reading this I have found one I really like. I will probably try the CHRISTMAS COOKIE from the day before. Instead of a cinnamon stick, I will use powdered cinnamon.
Poplar tree in our neighborhood
Do you use Febreeze? We do. Sometimes we use A LOT. As far as room fresheners go, it is the only spritz one I buy. Did you know you can make your own? Clean out a pump spray bottle--perhaps an empty Febreeze?

Reader's Digest suggests this combination:
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups (500ml) water
Combine it in a bowl and when the fizzing stops, pour it into a fine mist bottle. I am tempted to try Key Lime.
Probably hickory, by our mailbox

Some people use a liquid fabric softener in their laundry. If you do, you can make a matching spritz by putting 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp.) of fabric softener (choose your favorite scent), 2 Tbsp. baking soda in a 32 oz. spray bottle, fill it the rest of the way with hot water and shake it up. I got that recipe from BakersfieldMom who has a Thrifty Thursday segment. You might want to go there and see what else she cooks up. The people at Ingles will be watching me test-sniff fabric softeners this week. I have never used a liquid softener. I grew up with Cling-Free dryer sheets and never learned the other way to soften clothes.

SheKnows.com advocates: Pour one cup of water into a clean, reusable spray bottle, add in two tablespoons of vodka and about 20 drops of essential oils (keep in mind that some essential oils are stronger than others, so start off conservatively when adding the oil), screw on the top and shake well to combine the mixture. 

If you don't have extra vodka at your house, a scientist I know suggested ethanol. I asked for another choice and I was told, "White Lightning." I asked about isopropyl alcohol but the thought against that is it would make the house smell like a hospital.

The red leaves are sourwood, the kind of honey we have a lot of around here.


Ready for a room temperature room freshener? I got this from LIFE HACKER. Now, I can't quite figure out the LIFE HACKER site. I tried to do a little exploring and all I got was confused. But Google did show me this.

"If you have essential oils and bicarb soda on hand, you can save a bundle on room fresheners by mixing the two ingredients in a small container. The bicarb absorbs unwanted odours while the essential oils fill the air with desirable scents."

Life Hacker goes on to say another website, The Burlap Bag, gives further info:  select a container and  fill it one/fourth full with baking soda and add eight or so drops of essential oil. It is supposed to last a couple of weeks but many of the commenters said it only lasted a few days. Others said they just shook it up. Apparently the shaker-uppers were among those who fashioned some sort of top for their jars.
Color your own with Vitreous glass paint, then bake color on in your oven
For a mason jar style container:
a round piece of lace, a little larger than the lid and use it in place of the metal insert. In other words, just screw the ring top over the lace.
Same as above but use tulle
Or burlap
Or pierced paper cupcake liner
Or pierced decorative papers--EVerybody knows a scrapbooker, right? Don't call ME, I am NOT one.

Buy these cute pierced sippers for $48 a dozen (with 12 paper straws!)--WAIT!!! You are reading through these ideas because you want to SAVE money. Okay, here are just the lids at about $.70 each including shipping.
 Use tins such as old breath mint tins and pierce holes in the tops.
Use decorative glassware such as old sherbet goblets, old salt shakers, spice shakers from the Dollar store.

Some commenters suggested places to buy essential oils. I think probably a good quality fragrance oil would last longer than some of the suggested ones (Walmart? Who knew?). Some suggested using excess fragrance oil from Bath and Body Works but I do not have any of that. I will be looking into getting some fragrance oils. Tomorrow: Room freshening spritzes.


My fav this fall

Do you love scented candles? I sure do. It is not always a good idea to have one burning in a wooden house, though. 

If I am going to be going from one room to another or possibly leaving for a few hours, I do not always want to leave an open flame unattended. 

This is Elvis, who does not look as if he could jump up for his dinner bowl but I assure you this is not the case. He is a cat I visit sometimes. I do have an advantage over cat owners since my animal could not leap up to a candle topped surface. 

As good as the above but not kitcheny

Still, I would like to alternate my EXPENSIVE Yankee Candles with some carefully selected DIY room freshener ideas. I found some very easy ones on TIPNUT.

There are a lot of different methods of getting the scent into the air. Some use the stove for hours at a time--a little expensive. I think the same recipes could be used in a crock pot, on an electric tart warmer, or one of those cute little $5 electric candle warmers that used to be marketed as cup warmers. 
Oy. I bought MINE for $5. I see you can now get one for $10 to $40. Still, you might LIKE to have one you could plug into your computer, a style you can get these days.

So to get a simmering potion, I might try some of these combinations in water.
Vanilla and orange peel--might smell like a creamsicle!

1/8 cup cloves, 1/8 cup allspice, 2 cinnamon sticks--could be Christmas-y

6 whole cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp vanilla--Christmas Cookie?

2 cups dried rosemary, 2 cups dried lavender, 1 cup dried eucalyptus leaves, 1/2 cup dried peppermint or spearmint, 1/2 cup dried bay leaves--TIPNUT says this is a winter freshener. 

These are just a few of my favorite simmering potions to try. TIPNUT has 15 simmering recipes and some ideas for using your slow cooker and your oven

I will look at some more ideas this week. I am considering the purchase of some essential oils. Check tomorrow for a room freshener that uses no heating source.



If  you were coming for tea today, I would like to serve this to you.  It is from Simply Sweet Creations. We would enjoy some cake and maybe some of this tea.

I have not yet tried Zhena's gypsy teas. I think the loose tea would be great for tea leaf reading. I do not know how to do that but I am sure I could figure it out if I spent enough time on the computer.


MONDAY MANTRA     Isn't it the truth? Cafe Press sometimes has something worthwhile. If you click the link, you can see a lot of wienderful things. Yes, life really is wonderful and extra special if you share it with a dachshund.

No more tool blaming (see last week). I have set a date to get my machine into the shop. No more procrastinating.


Although many of the flowering plants are past their flowering time, 
I do have a backlog of photos from the neighborhood. 
These I took at our nearest neighbor's front step just a few weeks ago.


I am told that this lovely lady is a hickory tree. I had the photo setting for this post too large. I think if you click it, it will open in another window and you can see how pretty it really is.

Anyway, back to the hunt for the perfect winter bathrobe. 
Remember? No wrap-tie fronts, wrists covered, ankles at least approached.

The next day after exhausting everything on this planet that would ship to my address, I decided to find a pattern and make my own. Sleeves that are too short can be changed by cutting them longer before the cuff. Length that is too short in a pattern almost never happens but if it does, that, too can also be fixed. The search should not have taken very long except I FIRST LOOKED AT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE PATTERNS. Waste. Of. Time. 

Finally I wised up and checked etsy.com and found a lot of out-of-print patterns that suited me just fine. Here is the one I decided on. Kwik Sew 2726. Then to choose fabric. I want fleece. A non-pill fleece would be just the thing. Maybe at a sale price. 

Fabric.com had a lot of fleece on sale. I picked one I liked, found a website that would show me the back of the pattern, figured out how much to buy and ordered. What do you think?

Sweet, isn't it? I just now noticed the ruler at the bottom of the picture. I thought the cute little double cherries pictures would be about the size of a quarter. Well I was wrong.   
Can you see my photo of the fabric that came Tuesday? Yes, that is my quarter. 
These are going to be some HUGE cherries...


The weather is getting chillier and it is apparent that I need to make some new winter nightgowns. I have been wearing a summer gown under a winter gown because they have worn so thin. I never thought about it before but in Florida, I probably only wore winter gowns a few weeks out of the year. Here, I wear them a minimum of six months. No wonder they are wearing out. 
Not only that, my favorite chenille winter robe has shed so much of its fluff over the past few winters, it is almost as thin as my summer robe.
I searched for a robe via the internet for two days. I had a couple of specific criteria: zip or button, not tie; long sleeves not three/quarter; goes all the way to the ground less about 3 inches.
Great sleeves, snap up front, but WAIT. Chilly calves and feet!
The last two specifics--long enough sleeves and long enough overall meant that I would be looking for size TALL.
I am not a tall person. In fact, according to my height, I qualify for petite on some size charts.
I DO have to buy size TALL long sleeve shirts (ARE YOU LISTENING LLBEAN AND LANDSEND?????) if I want them to come to my wrists. And it is rare that I find any sleepwear that I consider floor length. 

What is it with "WALTZ LENGTH"? I am not planning to participate in Ballroom Dancing. What I AM planning to do is cuddle up on the couch WITH MY ANKLES COVERED.  Poor TALL gals. There is very little available to you for warm sleepwear. 
Check back tomorrow and see my attempt at a solution.

That is better but 
my legs are still cold. 


If you think I am a paragon of virtue and only laugh at the most sophisticated of humorous anecdotes, to preserve this illusion, you should stop reading today's post right now and seek an earlier posting such as this one, or maybe this one. I simply could not bear to shatter your fragile view of the world and the marvelous creatures on it.

Laughing Out Loud
You may have typed it a billion times but have you ever actually done it? While using the computer?
I just did.

I laughed out loud all through reading the short piece (linked at the bottom of the page )by Colin Nissan. I will not reprint it here, but you can click link the title to where it was published October 20, 2009, just scroll down when you get to the page.  

If that sort of language had been acceptable in a classroom setting, I probably would have read it to my students. They would have "gotten it". Hey, many would have LOVED it! We would all have laughed. Without further ado, I link to you


Mrs. Bluebird of Happiness. There she is, perched on the gutter edge of the first floor roof, just below my studio window. She had a grand time looking for seeds and such. One week ago, all on one day, the hummingbirds disappeared, the squirrels went CRAZY and I saw all varieties of birds. Something told them THIS IS IT. WINTER IS ON THE WAY
People local to the area say this is going to be one especially cold winter. We have a lot of farmers in the area and whatever it is that tells the animals, the farmers can surely read the same signs, and I believe them.



I love pumpkins. 
You are not surprised. 

This is the season of pumpkins and the beginning of the season of tea. While I was looking for lovely images to add to my virtual collection, I found this one. I REALLY like this cup and saucer set. For the first time I was tempted to go from a virtual collection to a real collection. It looks like it might be from the early part of the 20th century. It has an Art Nouveau style to it and reminds me of some of the demitasse cups I have that were my mother's.

After the initial excitement wore off, I found I am glad to keep this tea cup as just a virtual part of the collection. It is not at all an antique. 
It does have a tea pot as well as a creamer and sugar set that goes with it. They are certainly not as charming but priced as though they ought to be. 

The top picture, the tea cup took me to happynutritionist on Squidoo. She gave a list of suggested ingredients for making your own pumpkin spice tea.  She mentioned cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, orange zest, and allspice.

Included on the sidebar was a link for these in case you do not want to make your own tea but you do have time to heat some water. I love Bigelow, don't you? Maybe my local grocer has these.


Last week--"When sleeping women wake, mountains move." It sure does give pause, doesn't it? Didn't you just run through all the women you know and all the  social change, all the awareness issues, all the causes that needed champions? All the work that needed to be done and all the work that has been done.

This week: "A poor workman always blames his tools." My best sewing machine is not working. It needs to go into the shop. It is easy to say that is why I have not worked on my machine quilting but the truth is, my Bernina 1630 does make machine quilting easier but it could use an extended bed, an actual free-motion quilting foot, and I should probably use the knee lift. I have a perfectly useful Bernina 915, in fact, I call it my workhorse because it does not shy away from sewing through elastic or heavier fabrics. But it does not have an automatic needle down setting and I have grown dependent on that. The stitch length is a little imprecise though I can live with it. If I am to be honest with myself, I have to agree that A poor workman does blame his tools.


Lately I find myself intrigued by Swedish and Norwegian style folk-art painting, like these.
Do you think it is the fact that many of these have roosters on them? Along with chickens, I really to like a rooster motif.
Or the functional object turned into a "canvas", if you will.
Maybe it is because so many of them are pitchers or pots with spouts.
I can't begin to tell you how many lonely pitchers I have been tempted to handle because of the shape of the vessels themselves, the color, or just because I found them charming.
Maybe it is the bright primary palette on white.
If you asked my (original) Quilty Friend, she would say it is because I am really enjoying my applique classes and these designs would be great interpreted with fabric.

Just when I thought I had it figured out, I see this little friend. If I ever see one in a shop, he will have to come home with me.