I lost my words
You still have time to make this gift. And it is (mostly) free.

Catching up


Scout has claimed the tree as her own. I find her under it most days. And if she is not under it, she's close by, in the chair or on the couch, watching it as if the ornaments might come to life. I should take note and claim the other chair. It's cozy by the tree.

We are mostly decorated now. The painters have been here for the last week and a half, working on our front hall. Ceilings, walls, trim, banister - the works. I admit not entirely thinking about the fact that they would be here while I wanted everything to be decorated for the holidays. Am I crazy or what? Still, it's beautiful now and I couldn't be happier.

We've had two snow days in the last three days of school. I've embraced it. The girls have loved it. I am so looking forward to Christmas break, during which we can stay in our pj's until noon and not do much of anything if we don't want to. It's been a busy fall and I can see the constant activity slowing down after the school play this week. Also, Jane takes her high school placement test on Saturday. When I started this blog, she was starting first grade. Where does the time go?

There has been some sewing happening, but it's of the top secret variety so no details or photos yet. I am not making many gifts this year - just a few smaller ones. I find that although I love the making, it does add to the stress of the season. I do have a backlog of projects to photograph and share - mostly clothes, really. I've had some good success in the garment sewing department, but I have a hard time getting photos of myself. I should probably enlist some help, but with the short days, it's rare that anyone else is home during daylight hours. Maybe this weekend. (Marcia, if you are reading, I'm looking at you.)

I finished reading The Book Thief last week in anticipation of seeing the movie with the girls. It is such a lovely, sad and happy story. I highly recommend it. Before that, I spent many hours reading the latest Elizabeth George novel, Just One Evil Act. I loved it. I remember the first time that I read one of her books. We were in Kenya with my parents, one year after we had been married. My mom introduced me to the Inspector Lynley series and I quickly devoured each one I could get my hands on. Now, when a new one is released, I am quick to jump in, but slow enough to savor every word. I'm without a book right now, but I think that reading would help ease the busy-ness of the moment. Time to find something new.

I'm still painting most Fridays. I started in January and it's been a good year of growth for me. I like looking back and seeing what I've done. I actually took 5 paintings in to be framed yesterday. This is huge. They have all been sitting in my living room, waiting for homes. Right now I am working on these peonies based on this photo I took way back in 2007. This one is stretching me in good ways.

If you've stuck with me this far, thank you. I know this is a little rambling and full of a lot of random information, but I was recently told (Hi Rob!) that I had stopped putting bits of life on the blog. When the words went, so did the everyday moments. Finding the right balance between the craft and the living is tricky, but I'm working towards finding it again.

My mantra for the season this year is the same as last: All is calm, all is bright.

So far, so good.

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Mama Urchin

Hey there! We had two snow days this week already and a delay this morning. I always look forward to Christmas break for the easing of the schedule too.

My sorority sister was the editor of the book thief so I heard about it from her and loved it. We've had a difficult time explaining the circumstances in Germany during WWII to the urchins. They see everything as black and white. I really feel like that book could help them understand when they're old enough. Enjoy the movie, it looks like it will be good.


i can feel the calm in your words.



I've missed your blogging, but thought that you probably had a lot
going on in your life. You inspire me, and I can hardly believe
how quickly you make your lovely quilts. And now you are painting
too....love the peonies painting....you are so talented. Thanks
for sharing your life stories and photos.

Mary Ann

Oh I love Elizabeth George's books too! If you are looking for another author with amazing writing, strong plots and interesting characters try Louise Penny. You will love Inspector Armand Gamache. And there are painters and poets and writers...
No tree here yet but I am singing All is calm too.


Too funny! I just finished Elizabeth George's latest also. And I've read her series from the beginning too--once I discovered her. It's almost sad though, when you really like an author and then you zoom through her/his books--always waiting for more! And I just (as referenced by Mary Ann above) found Louise Penny too.

Do you wish for more hours in the day because of all the things you like doing? Reading, sewing and quilting are but a few on the list!


I'm always on the lookout for a new series - and a good mystery seems just the ticket for snowy evenings. Thank you for the recommendation! That cat seems to know exactly what she's doing - first to open gifts on Christmas morning, she thinks?


the peonies are lovely.....
the random bits too. i put your quilt book on my wish list for solstice :)
*fingers crossed*


I love the peonies Erin! Were you nervous to start painting again? I want to take a class but I am such a beginner I feel awkward.


It sounds like you are enjoying this beautiful season
I've done a bit here and there and yesterday I realized, "hey! I'm all decorated and things are 'done'. "

Enjoying my tea this morning and a bit of knitting that's just for me.


Indiana Lori

Also painting up here in Indy (the walls, not canvas!). Also have cats whom have taken residence under the tree. Also sewing bits for Xmas, large and small. Agreed, it adds to the stress, but is so much the tradition.

Good to hear from you. Your pictures are always so sunny and centering and peaceful. Good luck to Jane. I started blogging when Sara was 17 months, and now she is 8. Our life in words is a gift I give to them.

Looking forward to the New Year!!


Love the picture, aren't animals the best for taking pictures especially at Xmas

Happy Holidays and the Best for 2014

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