Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Green Christmas

Christmas in Arizona doesn't naturally feel like Christmas to a New England native like me. The nights are chillier than you might think (down into the 30s) but the days are brilliantly sunny and warm. So I decorated the house in cool, crisp, whites and evergreens to evoke a more wintry land. I started with a handknit and felted white wool dove, nesting in the front door wreath ....

(It's my own design, which I made up after I was displeased with the other dove patterns on Ravelry. I meant to write it up and release it as a pre-Christmas pattern but ran out of time. Ay!)

When you walk inside the house, you enter into the living room. The right wall of windows look out onto a banana grove; admittedly, that's not very wintry. But we put up a Christmas tree, fragrant and piney. I decorated it in glass icicles, bells, and crocheted white wool stars.

Hung over the fireplace were the green felted stockings I made last year and white wool fabric stockings that I sewed for everyone in the family, decorated with green leather nametags and evergreen sprigs.

(Ay, again. I meant to share the pattern with you. I took photos and was going to put up a post with a pre-Christmas tutorial for the stockings, but I never found the time. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow just the same!).

On the tables were all kinds of woodland curiosities. Deer antlers. Fresh mistletoe, gathered from the mountains. And green Korknissser. A comical story: at some point during the holiday, someone in the family who was the last to bed found a half-finished bottle of wine that needed to be corked up, and they sneakily grabbed one of these for the purpose!

At the back of the room, perfuming the house were magnificent white stargazer lilies in a silver metal birch bark vase.

And towering over it all was the feathery owl tree topper that I made a few years back. It turned out to be just by the heat vent, and whenever the heat came on, the owl quivered in the airstream and looked liked it was flying. What a vision!

I hope that you all had a very merry winter holiday season! I feel like I have so many crafts and stories to share, but this has just been a terribly busy time for me. So, just a few snapshots for now and happy tidings.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Crunch time. At my desk, there's been a crunch of stress.

In the backyard, a crunch of leaves.

Up in the mountains, a crunch of snow.

There's much going on in this season to keep my hands busy with writing, raking, climbing, and crafting. Will write more one of these days when the crunch clears!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Ay, I'm falling behind! Late autumn is such a busy time for academics. Just catching up now on our Thanksgiving in Durham, NC. Though the highlight was undoubtedly the new kitten in the family, the rest of the visit was splendidly season.

Homemade Pie

Campus Foliage

Bare Branches

Postprandial Strolls

Recognize those shawls, by the way? They're the Lotus Shawls (lavender silk and white cormo) that I knit this past summer. We took the pattern photos in Duke Gardens ... one step closer to having the pattern on its way ...