Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A TASTE OF AUTUMN...

Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined
And spreads a common feast for all that live.

-James Thompson-
I have been suffering with a little autumnal envy. All around blogdom pumpkins are popping up in posts. Colorful leaves are being scattered across lawns. Whispers of cool breezes are being bandied about. Autumn decor is making its debut. And here I sit in the sunny sweltering south with temperatures hovering in the 90's and not a hairs breath of a breeze.

Can you imagine my utter delight when I stepped outside to give Miss Kitty and the ever present Lorenzo their morning fare and was met with sparkling sunshine against a sky so blue that it can only be an autumnal one? I gasp in sheer astonishment to feel an actual nip in the morning air. It was breathable not stifling with humidity. Dangling over the deck was a speck of authentic autumn color standing out sharply against a sea of green.Barely able to contain myself I ventured out into the morningtide. I was awestruck by the tickle chill of the north wind and the warring of the warming sunlight sending shivers over my skin. The taste of autumn was in the air, tangy and tangible. Relishing the cool zest I slowly strolled toward the wooded path looking for more ingredients of autumn. It was with glee that I found small samplings of what I was looking for...sage, saffron, curry, and cocoa, spicy warm rich colors.I placed them on a platter like the choicest of delectable delights, my only means of autumnal decor. Its too early yet for there to be much bounty, in all honesty these are more than likely a result of heat rather than seasonal change. Still, they were such a feast for the eyes. I garnished them with moss, illumining them with twinkling candle light, honoring and elevating their welcome presence...
I served them up in a morning tea time setting among a mixture of natural elements... Books as blue as the autumnal sky and silk cording as warm as the golden sun... Prickly pine cones, pretty pebbles, weathered wood... And coppery highlights... The centerpiece being a tray of treats, delectable delights, whetting the palate for the full and flavorful season to come... Now that I have had a petite sampling of azure, molten gold, crimson, amber, moss, and mahogany sweetly glazed with a dancing breeze and made savory by the seasoning of the sun, a tangible taste that I have held in my hand... I am content to wait for its arrival, putting away autumnal envy, enjoying its sweet stirrings and small fragrant sips. A perfect morning tea. A taste of autumn.

Are you seeing signs of seasons change?

Wishing you all autumnal bounty with blessings unconfined. Enjoy an uncommon day!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Monday, September 27, 2010

A SIMPLE SILLY DAY AT THE FARM...

The best things in life are silly.

-Scott Adams-
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We had a busy one that's for sure. You might remember from a recent post how Handy Hubby and I had a hard time relaxing at the farm. That wasn't quite the case on a recent trip up. We spent some time outside mostly just hanging around...Thought about pullin' some weeds...But it was too hot! So we took a que from the cows...And headed off to the old swimmin' hole! On the way over we passed the old West place and I had to do a double take...They had sold it to a mule!Like most country folks long about this time of day he was enjoyin' restin' in the shade of the porch. He was a friendly sort of fellow and came out to greet us...You don't get much traffic on this back road, so, if someone is neighborly enough to stop, you brave the heat as you and your buddy mosey up to the fence to shoot the breeze...His friend was a chatty sort, nickering and neighing his thanks for the sugar lumps I shared with him...We'd been sittin' in the sun for a bit and the call of the cool creek was starting to sound mighty good...Hot and parched we waded right into the icy spring fed water where little slivers of silver minnows tickled our toes...And crawdads hid in the creek bed stones...The lure of the deeper shaded pool where the leaf boats floated called for us to slide under its cool surface...Sitting up to our necks on the rock ledge, we watched an amazing amount of butterflies dance across the surface...We sunned ourselves dry on the warm stony banks then decided to head back as the shadows grew long and the cows began to return home to feed...After supper we sat on the porch and watched the Four O'clocks unfold while the Hummingbird Moths sipped their nectar...We watched in silence as the faint outline of the moon appeared and began to pull itself up from behind the mountain...Disentangling itself from the tree line in a matter of seconds...Floating freely... Where it hung itself high in the dusky evening sky...It hovered in the distance over the back pasture dotted with grazing cattle... As a nursery rhyme ran through my mind, " Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon, the little dog laughed to see such a sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon." A simple silly rhyme, fitting for a simple silly day spent in simple silly ways. We continued to sit in one anothers quite company as the sun set before us and the moon rose behind us...Until the evening mountain air chilled us and the dark of the night blanketed us, waiting for the sound that signaled the end of the day. Not the Nightingale or the Red Winged Blackbird and their melodious trills at eventide but the hair raising howling that sends shivers up your spine and prickles across your skin, the call of the Coyotes bouncing off the mountains, echoing up through the hollows, being carried on the evening breeze. It begins with a yip that slowly builds into a howling yowl in the far distance. Then the call is answered to your right and your left until you are encircled in it sound not discerning if these creatures of the night are near or far.

Almost as suddenly as it starts it abruptly ends with a stony silence that is gradually being filled up with twinkling stars, bull frogs croaking on the pond banks out back, the cicadas begin to sing as the crickets and grasshoppers softly saw away at their twilight song. Sounds of comfort accompanied by the whispering leaves of the silver leaved maples and the swishing rustle of the pine boughs overhead. Mosquito's begin to nip and it is time to turn the page of the ending day and close the cover on a simple silly day spent at play at the farm.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

GRAB BAG...

When I was an elementary student, every fall, our school would host a carnival to raise money for school needs. One of my favorite things was a big galvanized trough full of grab bags. The grab bags were sold for $1.00 each. Each inconspicuous brown paper lunch sack stapled shut held endless possibilities as to the prizes inside. I can remember standing there agonizing over which one to choose, hoping to get one of the ones with a cash prize inside along with the trinkets and candy. The draw wasn't so much the candy, prizes, or even the possibility of owning my very own five dollar bill but the mystery and anticipation of what I would find once I opened the bag. It was all about the surprise.

I revisited this anticipatory feeling recently while flea marketing with my friend, Pam. We were looking at some rolls of fabric in a booth when I spied a plastic bag stuffed positively full of fabric scraps. It was a grab bag for $1.00. I dragged it out and started to flip the bag this way and that getting little peeks of what surely were to be prizes. We both looked the bag over really good and she said it was probably not worth it, that the scraps were more than likely small. I did not agonize over the decision for long, after all it was only a dollar, not a million, and I was feeling lucky.

As soon as we got back to my house we went straight to the studio and opened the bag, spilling its contents onto the eleven foot work surface. At each unfolding and disentangling I grew more giddy. These were not small scraps left over from a seamstress project but for the most part larger usable scraps that could be dyed and used in art projects. (Sorry about the dim lighting of the photos, these were taken before I got the new lighting put in.)

The bag contained a bit of country kitch, not exactly what I was hoping for...There were some pink pastel clown stripes, not exactly my type...I think a candy stripe volunteer lost her uniform, better keep grabbing...How about some groovy gathered green velvet?Or some polished cotton floral prints perhaps?Maybe I might prefer something pretty in pink? Yes, those were baby clothes stuffed in amongst all the fabric scraps, weird. You never know what you are going to get in a grab bag, like a bit of cheerleader uniform or prom dress satin... Or drapery and upholstery samples...Even a few stray ribbons...Enough of this nonsense, lets get to the good stuff! A big pile of creamy dreamy fabrics in all kinds of textures and hues...Luscious laces...Cotton lace edged doilies and the teeniest tiniest apron...And the thing that caught my eye and made me want to take a chance in the first place, silk brocade, two generous pieces!OK, so only the latter half was worth grabbing. I totally admit being caught up in the element of surprise and the thrill of discovery. Earlier in the week I also found some pretty rolls of fabric at the same booth with some generous yardages for a 25, 50, and 75 cents price range...I think I might have a six dollar investment in it all and I don't think I will need any fabric for quite some time to come. After it was all sorted I disposed of some of it, washed up what remained and divided it all in half. Half of it I coffee dyed and the other half I left in its original color story. It is all neatly folded and resting on a closet shelf awaiting its turn to be put to use in an art piece.

This was almost as fun as standing in front of a tub of brown paper bags and wondering what I was going to get. One year I did get the bag with the five dollar cash prize inside and a girl named Oletia, merciful heavens some southern names are strange and so was she, tried to say I stole the bag from her. Thankfully stern old no nonsense Mrs. Vines, the librarian, was keeping careful watch over who was grabbing what and I was vindicated. Here is the funny twist to the story, that year I was in the sixth grade and had just learned to sew. Guess what I spent the five dollars on? Fabric!

Have you grabbed a bag of bargains lately, if so, I'd love to hear about your latest score!

Hoping you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy
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