September & October–A Fall Couplet

Looking back on the last month is always fun, so looking back on two months should be double the fun, double the pleasure. If only…

  • If only I had all my stuff together
  • If only all my projects were finished
  • If only there was unmitigated progress in all directions.

Someday all will be perfect, for now you just have to settle for me.

So let’s see what happened in September. Baby Girl was home for a minute before heading back to school. (OK, maybe it was eight days, but it only felt like a minute, because I’m her mother, and I miss her.) And then me and the MR took Papa Willy to Australia for a couple weeks of adventures.

Meanwhile back on the blog, which sometimes feels like a parallel universe, we talked about decks (1), and pillows (2a, 2b), and stormy skies (3). We bought flowers from our local farmer (4), changed plans to fit the yarn (5), bought more pillows (6), bought bulbs for more flowers (7) and baskets for organization (8). Then we wrapped it all up with a little charity knitting (9).

Now in updates, the texture is on the box, but the deck still has some issues. I like the pillows I made, but those pillows I promised Sweet Miss in the comments are still on hold. Our smoky skies have cleared, but storms and fires are constantly in the news.

The daffodil bulbs are still in the garage, I did get a lot of use out of my new brightly colored scarf while on vacation, but the sewing room is still needs a lot of organization even with pretty baskets. I finished a bunch of hats and two sleeping mats in my charity knitting. As for my fall tree pillow. I love it, but with silly Cocoa shedding constantly, I’m not going to buy anymore white pillows.

Now for October. We arrived home safe and sound and exhausted. And you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting quite on schedule. But I’ve hosted brunches, went away for the weekend with family, lunched with friends, and visited my sweet girls.

Sometimes you all just have to settle for second place. So this month around here, we’ve talked tennies (1),  cowehide coasters and Mayan stones (2), plus I shared with you an unmade bed (3), and yes it’s still unmade.

Things that Make You Smile was one my most popular posts ever, and my painting from our aboriginal art lesson (4) makes me smile. I remember our trip, and the lesson, and the kind people we traveled with, and me and the MR’s story. When fall rolls around (5), I bring out the wool blanket the MR brought me back from Iceland, and I unpack the ghost candleholder I won at bunko night ages ago. It’s memories, and good times, and love.

I was happy to help my girls start on their own collection of memories with some Halloween decorations. Sweet Miss wanted some for her classroom and I thought both of them needed Sugar Skull Garlands (a free pattern from Red Heart Sugar Skull Garland).

To be fair, Sweet Miss was ready for picture day with her class at work, and Baby Girl had just rolled out of bed. I think they’re both beautiful inside and out.

Hope fall is treating you well. 

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Those Fall Touches

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to add a little of that fall flavor to our decor. Back in the day, Halloween pictures plastered the fridge, school art decorated the cabinets, and a few pumpkins would have been mouldering on the front porch.

We’re off the beaten path and the girls are on their own, so we don’t have that big push to decorate the house any more, but a little somethin’-somethin’ here and there makes me smile.

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Sweet Miss texted the other night, so I’ve packed up a few things for her, so she can decorate her classroom. I’m not ready to give up the little squishy ghost one of the girls made once upon a time. Those crafts always looked so cute in the magazines–before the age of Pinterest.

In other decorating news, I’ve been busy picking herbs and gathering sticks to make wreaths for the front doors. There’s no way on earth we can use all the sage we grow, so I thought it would make a great decoration. I thought about wires and bundles, but that would look so ugly from the backside. Remember we’re hanging them on windows.

Out in the yard with my scissors and basket, I picked lots of lavendar twigs and flowersto go with the other herbs. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick enough for two, and then it started raining, and then the foliage dried leaving some gaps. So I needed even more.

It’s all a learning process. Note to self: next time you want to hang wreaths pick double what you think you’ll need and make sure you have the 3M hooks before you get started. Nothing like getting part way through a project and having to put it on hold.

Looks like Cocoa gives it her stamp of approval.

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The goofy dog doesn’t trust me out in the front on my own. She is good company.

How’s your fall decorating?

Our Own Dot-Dot Story

Me and the MR were watching an Australian TV show the other night, and we both noticed with excitement that they had dot-dot paintings on the wall.

Dot-dot? I hear you asking yourself. Yes, dot-dot. Aboriginal art, don’t you know? On our trip to Australia, my dad said we had to go see Uluru (aka Ayres Rock) if we were going that far. Neither of us were too sure exactly what that was, but we’re game so of course we went.

Our first stop in the middle of the country was at Alice Springs where we picked up some water bottles and wandered through gift shops. That was our first introduction to interesting graphic textiles and paintings made by aboriginal artists.

That night we dined on barbecue under the Southern Cross at a sustainable, family farm.

The next day, it was a long drive through the desert, with stops at an art studio for lunch, and camel rides. Then it was on to the massive monolith in the middle of nowhere.

We did wine and nibbles at sunset, and then sunrise and our trek around Uluru. (You can check it out at A Little Off My Game.) The next day before we left, we had class with an aboriginal artist and her interpreter. The taught us about the meanings behind the symbols, and then gave us an opportunity to share our stories.

Papa ran off to the drugstore, and the MR decided to observe, but most of the group participated. And then later they shared stories of loss, and of childhood, and of good times and bad. There were tears and everything.

Dot Dot Paintings

Mine was a rather simple tale. In the bottom right corner, the red circles represent a fire or home. You can see me with my stick for digging up grubs kneeling by the fire, and look there’s the MR with his spear and clubs and other manly stuff kneeling with me. Look at all the squiggly blue lines; they signify heavy rains. The circles and lines represent travel, and the other blue lines are for water.

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Basically, me and the MR live in a rainy place, so we travel across the water to other lands. Not that deep, but accurate.

And now when I see my little painting hanging on the wall, I smile and think of our adventures. For a little more authentic fun, I also bought a pillow cover by artist Any Tjilari through Better World Arts. I’m not sure what story he is telling, but it does add some nice color to the great room.

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Where have your adventures taken you to?

#AATKings, #AllAboutTony #Australia.

Big Plans

You know how you order something online, and you’re so excited, and then you get this email that it will arrive in November, and it’s only August? Well, that’s what happens at my house.

I bought a bed for the sewing room. Remember when we got new carpet in the bedrooms last winter? And in my sewing room, too? I had big plans on how cool, and chic, and classy my creative space was going to be. And then I put all my stuff back in, and it was chaos, and I lost my mojo.

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And then I saw this bed, and it would totally step up the game in the sewing room. I mean after all, my grandma’s quilt is bright and cheery and reminds me of family, but it doesn’t really qualify as polished.

So I ordered the daybed from Joss & Main, and decided I could wait if that’s what I had to do. Then Me and Baby Girl came home to find giant boxes on the doorstep. Apparently, someone didn’t get the memo and my bed arrived in weeks rather than months.

I put it together with a little help from the MR, and boy howdy is it polished.

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I mean just check out that nailhead trim–tres chic.

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And then I put the quilt back on and the pale pink jersey sheets Sweet Miss had picked out once upon a time. And stepped back and said “Ugh”. Sophisticated just doesn’t work with my grandma’s quilts.

I went to four different stores without a bit of luck. All I wanted was a plain, gray bedspread that wasn’t overstuffed. When buying local failed, I went back to the internet, and for under $100, Joss & Main came through once more with a new bedspread and more sedate sheets.

Now you’re just going to have to be patient for the big reveal. I have paintings to hang, shelves to set up, pillows to fluff, clutter to corral–you know the drill.

Do you have a favorite local or online store? 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving In To Quirky

I’ve always liked the unusual. You might say I march to the beat of a different drum. I simply try not to take things too seriously. This has carried over into my decorating style.

It’s fun to have things that are a little different or unexpected. My brother and his family were over for dinner this summer when my neice picked up something off the table saying she was intrigued and asking what it was.

Why they’re cow hide coasters—doesn’t everyone have a set? We’d put them out on the table and hadn’t given them a second thought. They were a gift from the MR’s folks when they were visiting. MeeMee has worked for a friend at Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas off and on and came across these in another booth.

With the holiday craft and bazaar season upon us, I want to encourage you to check out your local ones. You never know what you’ll find. People are amazingly creative, and it’s fun to support them.

At a little bazaar on the way to Chichen Itza, we picked up this black stone that shines like gold in the sunlight. I like decorative items that remind me of our travels.

Quirkiness helps keep our home from being too stuffy or predictable.

What inspires your decorating?

A Little Off My Game

You know how you have plans? You go on vacation, and you’ll come back and hit the ground running? No one will ever know you’ve been gone.

And then you do come home, and you’re exhausted, and you have laundry, and all the household catch up stuff, and tons of photos, and you don’t even know where to begin.

Do I want to do the monthly recap? Well, there aren’t any updates because I’ve been traveling the world. Should I talk about our trip? I haven’t even talked about our trip to Europe this summer. Maybe I should just go grocery shopping and put the blog on hold for another day or two.

And then tragedies strike, and I wonder what kind of world we live in. And I hunker down in my home and nest. That’s kind of where I’ve been for the last week or so.

If you haven’t guessed, me and the MR played hookey with my dad for the last half of September. Papa Willy has always wanted to go to Australia, and we were able to go with him for a two-week tour of the highlights. It was amazing: museums, opera house, jail, penguins, hiking, gardens, snorkeling, did I say penguins? We had a good time.

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I will try to gather my thoughts, and pictures, and guidebook info and pass a little of it on to you.

For now, we’re going to focus on more mundane things like our neglected garden and dirty shoes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a few things to harvest when we returned. Apparently, things keep growing even when you’re not looking.

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Only two apples remained on the tree rather than the dozen I was expecting. At least the critters didn’t eat our few clusters of grapes this year. In the past, the fruit have seemed really sour, but a little neglect and a little more time on the vine resulted in much sweeter grapes. We’ve continued to pick tomatoes for the last week, they’re not pretty but still quite tasty.

And now for dirty shoes. One of our stops in Australia was at Uluru (also known as Ayres Rock). We enjoyed sunset and nibbles the first night. Then the following day it was sunrise and a leisurely 7 mile hike around this giant monolith.

Were we hot? Yes. What’s that on your head? That would be a fly net; I just got too tired of swatting them away.

Anyways, you may be asking yourself what all this has to do with dirty shoes. I’m getting there; I’m getting there. Look at all that red rock. It doesn’t just stay on the ground. After that long trek, me and the MR brought plenty of it home with us. Papa Willy missed the bus (maybe it was the 5:30 start time) and opted out of the hike.

I really like my cute, little adidas. So what to do with stained suede tennies? I’ve had a couple clerks looking for an add-on sales who helped me out. When I bought my tennies, I bought some Instant Cleaner by SOFSOLE to keep those soles white. Earlier I’d puchased suede booties and the ABEO Cleaning Kit, which is simply something like a giant eraser and a stiff brush. Both came through with flying colors.

Are they perfect? No. Are they much better than where I started? They sure are. I’m not walking around with bright orange feet, so I’m fairly pleased.

I’m also quite happy to be back with you guys.

Wishing you a peaceful fall in the midst of fires and storms and troubled souls.

Cocoa was super happy to see us home and couldn’t figure out what was so interesting with the harvest basket.

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