Welcome August | 8.7.23

Welcome August | 8.7.23

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.
Sylvia Plath

I am hopeful for some August rain…we need it in Western PA. August… my least favorite month of the summer. My garden is… less than lovely at this point. It is a sad and forlorn place however, my butterfly bush has just begun to put on a show and I am grateful for the blooms!

But still… August means the end of so many things. The daylight is receding, the garden gets worse not better, and cooler nights begin to creep in.

So how to I set myself on the path to enjoying August? That is my challenge for this month and I have a plan that I think will help me!

  • Morning coffee and meditation on the porch will continue throughout the month. I love starting my day this way and I need to soak up as much of the outside that I can!
  • I am going to add in an afternoon porch time with some hand stitching – either appliqué squares or temperature circles… it will be a nice break from my usual routine.
  • I am going to get some spring bulbs ordered so I can plant them later this year. I am excited about this but don’t really have any idea where to look (online) so if you all have suggestions… I’d love it!  Leave your suggestions in the comments (and thank you!)
  • And finally… one generally sucky project, but one that is in dire need of completion. I am going to sort though the plastic “leftover” containers that have overtaken an entire cupboard. Out go the things that don’t have lids and lids that don’t have bottoms! And perhaps a bit of reordering will move them back to their corner of a drawer so I can get a cupboard back!

So welcome August, let’s do this!



Unraveled Wednesday | 8.2.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.2.23

Greetings Unravelers! It has been a week of new starts here… yes, I have a raging case of Cast-on-itis.

So I have given in and cast on…. I started a new pair of socks, yes those socks! This is a knit is not conducive to mindless knitting… so I have not gotten far but I have moved to the “second chart” (don’t ask… but I’d have done the charting differently.) These socks are something that needs some focused attention, but that attention is not doing anything to detract from how much I like them!

My other start (that does settle in neatly into the mindless knit category) is a scrappy (and currently very portable) mitered-squares blanket. I don’t have any idea of this being done any time soon, but rather I just wanted something portable that would use up some of the scraps of yarn I have accumulated. All those that are close in gauge (so fingering/sport) will make their way into the fabric. I am loving it… really so very much.

I continue to make progress on my Hitch on the Move… but no pictures this week. I am hopeful  it will be finished next week!

I do have a new introduction to make to you all… Meet Gnrico Caruso, the great great gnome-son of that famous tenor. Gnrico inherited those musical skills and you can find him serenading the other gnomes with his beautiful tenor tones! O Solo Mio is his favorite and he sings in regularly. My inspiration for Gnrico came from this pattern from the most incredible Gnome Creator and a button I got at the very first Michigan Fiber Festival I ever went to (from the Briar Rose Fibers Booth.) Lovely button but not really great on any garment… they are much too heavy but it was the perfect button for a gnome hat!

I think there needs to be a Gnome Choir, so stay tuned for more musically inspired Gnomes as the year progresses!

Stunning to think, but I have not one single book finished since last week! I know!! First, I bailed on Demon Copperhead… it was not the book for me in this space in time. Instead, I have been listening to The Postcard by Anne Berest… I will likely finish it today and it will be a book that stays with me. It is a beautifully moving story. I highly recommend. My at night book is equally good but in a very different way. I love how Christoffer Carlsson works into a mystery. His characters are so amazing… I am so loving this second book. (It will be published this fall!)

In an email I got from my local PBS station, I noted a new program is in production. It is another book based series so I have Robert Thorogood’s The Marlow Murder Club waiting in the wings! A new-to-me cozy mystery series sounds delightful!

What about you? Are you casting on anything new? Reading something amazing? Please share!

As always, if you wrote a post leave your link below and thank you!

(E)merging Authenticity | 7.31.23

(E)merging Authenticity | 7.31.23

Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. 
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Last month I coasted with my word, this month a merger happened. The merger of the previous collection of my words into authenticity.

Or… that moment when the lightbulb finally switched ON!

That’s right authenticity burned brightly this month when I really focused, releasing the baggage I don’t need to carry any longer, anl to live my days intentionally full and authentic. Not being defined by my past, my (often poor) choices, my at times endless what if’s.. but rather to take the sum of all of that and allow myself to enjoy the me of all of those things!

Ali Edwards gave us the suggestion of writing a post card to ourself (from or word) or writing a card to our word (from ourselves)… that suggestion was the starting point for the month long conversation I have been having with myself about being more accepting of myself… and yes, more work on loving myself for who I am.

As always, poetry played a part in this…early in the month I stumbled across a poem by the brilliant David Whyte, which has been part of my morning meditation time every day since then… especially these lines: “the visible and the invisible working together in common cause, to produce the miraculous.” Yes, yes, yes!

Is there more work to do? Of course there is, but I very much feel like I moved beyond so much this month… and that, my friends, is a very good thing!

A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing us the space to share our progress.

See you all back here on Wednesday with some NEW projects!


In My Backyard | 7.28.23

In My Backyard | 7.28.23

I have very much been enjoying my blog break… perhaps a bit too much. I have done some serious contemplating on my continued blogging. Most of it has revolved around the “creativity” issue…

i.e. Do I have any fresh ideas, thoughts, or anything of value to release into the void…

My answer to myself was… maybe a thing or two… maybe. Jane, who is much wiser than I am, once shared this wisdom in a comment here “Blogging once a week has advantages.” 

It certainly does… and so these thoughts continue to rumble around my brain. I am not ready to give up blogging completely, but I need a shake up a bit in an effort to find a new creativity well to drink from!

So as a more quiet July draws to a close… a quiet that may extend into August as well.

So why am I here today? Well… some months ago I read a book and that book has stayed with me in a most profound way. I have not stopped thinking about it… but better, I have been applying it to my life… that is, I have been paying much more attention to the world around me with some delightful effects!

(and if you are not currently following Margaret on Instagram… you should be!)

I thought that a nice way to close out each month would be to share things I have noticed from the month… things outside and inside…

This week I have been closely watching my tomatoes begin their journey from green to yellow to orange to red. For a tomato lover this is absolutely the best thing of gardening… harvesting the fruits of my labor. A couple of FB friends have prolific gardens… and they both shared some advice recently that I am taking action on. It is all about when to pick those tomatoes… and both of these ladies pick their tomatoes when they begin to break color from green to yellow. (Judy Wright shared this article that explains it clearly.) I have a baker’s dozen tomatoes all at various stages of ripening on my kitchen sill and I am prepping my living room sill today as well!

Last Saturday, I watched in awe as our resident rabbit, a proud and watchful poppa, carefully dig a new nest for his mate. This will be the 4th nest I have noticed this year. However, this is the first one that I caught in the construction process. I have only seen the mother near the nest a couple of times this week, but he watches it all day. These rabbits have brought such joy to my days… I feel honored that they trust us to raise their young in my yard.

In July I began putting a few shelled peanuts (unsalted, of course!) out for our resident squirrel and imagine my delight when I discovered that putting peanuts out meant I would see more Blue Jays! Now, the Blue Jays greet me every morning with the hope of me putting out a peanut or two. Their antics are quite hilarious and I am enjoying them so very much!

The hot weather means that I have been putting out more water for the wildlife. I have also been making sure the gravel dish has water for the insects as well. That same heat and humidity has kept me indoors most mornings this week… quick trips out with Sherman that finds us both wilting a bit as we head back indoors. There is no joy at all for me in this heat and it must be even less joyful for the animals, birds, and insects that can’t escape to a cooler place.

Since solstice, we (Pittsburgh, that is) have lost 39 minutes of daylight… I did not notice less light so much as the month began, but I absolutely am noting it as the month ends. I am missing those minutes of daylight very much… and I am wondering if winter would be more delightful if it was brighter!

In the quieting of the days… I have much been thinking about my making. I am wavering a bit on finishing projects… my desire is to have small portable things… easy to pick up and put down. I don’t want to be “chained” to a room to craft so I did not sign up for a painting class this month. And despite all that I found myself craving artistic inspiration so I really am shaking things up!! I have signed up for a hand appliqué class that begins in August. I know nothing about appliqué and I am looking forward to learning more about the process. I have this lovely idea in my mind’s eye of me sitting in the cooler morning air as I get comfortable with needle turn appliqué. This idea fills me with joy and I think that it will give me something to challenge me… something to inspire me… and something to help me extend summer beyond August and into September sitting on my porch stitching something.

Last but not least… did you see these!? I have plans to begin them this weekend!

What about you? I would love to know how your are quieting your days or what you noted in July!

See you all back here on Monday with my word update!



Unraveled Wednesday | 7.26.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.26.23

Greetings and Happy Wednesday, dear Unraveler’s!

The heat is absolutely on in my neighborhood… Sherman’s afternoon outings are not something he or I enjoy… they are short and quick so we can return to the comfort of the AC.

I confess I have some unraveling this week… as in that skirt start. Sigh. The yarn arrived but not even creative blending could make the two different dye lots work together in one garment. So, dammit, I need to begin again. I have yet to cast on the skirt from the new Tides… and I think that idea is circling the drain for completion this year.

However, I have made the most excellent progress on my Hitch on the Move though… my handspun rows are getting much longer as my solid rows grow shorter and my delight remains high! It is very good consolation prize knitting from my failed skirt attempt.

And I have eased myself back into Gnome-land… The cosmetic knitting has been completed! Gnifty is quite adorable with his new nose. He is happiest out in nature and is quite the ornithologist! Knitting the birds was so much fun! There is a wee bluebird, a greybird, and a crow, of course! As you can see they have all settled in well in Gnome-land!

I have plans to start another gnome… I have picked out the yarns and will begin knitting later today. I will be using this pattern and will be listening for inspiration and direction as I knit!

I have also pulled out my “next spin”… something I got a couple of years ago from Fibernymph Dye Works. I have divided the fiber into three equal-ish sections and I will be spinning for socks.

And while my knitting may have had a less than stellar week… my reading has absolutely not! I continue on my Reading High with 4 finishes and I have begun listening to Demon Copperhead and at night I am reading another Netgalley book, Christoffer Carlsson’s Under the Storm. I am uncertain about Demon Copperhead… but the Carlsson book pulled me instantly in.

But what about you? How’s your reading and making this week?

As always, if you have a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

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