(glimpses) – quiet hours

we have felt a bit the like bears during these past short days of frigid hibernation, except for the addition of …

evergreen boughs that welcome us at our door ….

and toasty fires we sit nearby to talk and play games … resting and catching up with too many days of lost sleep…

settling in with unpacked fancy china found unwanted several summer ago…while tasting well-spiced cookies that only seem to exist for this short time…

and all the pretty little lights that have been brightening the long dark nights …

and slowly again back into a very cold but sunlit world of routines, work projects and school work….all the best wishes to you for the new year!!

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(around the table) – randomly christmas

as she sat … taking up knitting needles that had been set aside …

a passion took hold … her knitting quickly growing and flowing over her in the cozy corner she has made for herself

so determined to finish … it is not certain that she saw the magic taking hold…  as her knitting came to mimic the very same corner of our home she had made for herself …

those self-made wooden knitting needles had been set to work in the same way  … tirelessly … two year’s past as the great storm passed our way

… while in the quiet night came pouring down a torrent of liquid ice that froze all of our world crystalline all through.

 

a new knitter then …  she had taken up the making of brightly colored red and yellow scarf  for me…. when all else had stopped … the clocks, the lights, the furnace, the stove,  the water,  the roads, the shops, the pumps, our town and the towns beyond us too… all frozen as if in the Snow Queen’s realm … she went on …

keeping ourselves warm as best we could for nearly two weeks as Christmas approached…. by a little wood stove that we left only to sleep in a bed mounded with all our quilts and blankets …

cooking pioneer meals we have come to miss… while the lilac trail hedge bent in compliance to the storm and Christmas lights were silenced in the same deep darkness that had come with the powerful storm ….

 

and she sat in the big green chair knitting … even as the daylight faded quickly into the darkest night … and the candle’s light saw little in the deepening approach of  winter.

there is much gratitude even in drastic times … to come to know Night so intimately …. in a way that can only really be learned in the absence of light  … when no switch can turn night to day …

this was how we had met the darkest days of the year then…

today though …have I mentioned the cookies…
yes, they have finally been made… and there still may be time for a few more….

the house smells good with baking and beeswax and a pretty balsam pine that is our honored guest….

Wishing that you are warm and cozy and that your Christmas is wonderful! … Happy Holidays!!

(at the workbench) – christmas eve pajamas

A snowy day and finally some quiet time to spend just with my girl and Christmas preparation. There is just time enough to start a new project.that has been dancing around me. Oh, I so love new projects! ….I have said it before, “I am not a sewer”.  But one day, I will not be able to make that claim anymore.  In the last couple of years,  I have been teaching myself to sew – mostly by need and by trial and error. Like many things, having an idea and desire are enough to make a leap into the unknown. Intuition has to stay near by to help me out most of the time.
So first came some curtains for dividers, small Waldorf-style dolls and felt animals, then gift bags for Prettydreamer , folk flowered pinwheels, crayon pouches for the third graders and now here I am now ready to make Christmas Eve pajamas!
* (by the way, the clamp in the picture was not used in this project)
I made up a pattern by tracing some pants that were on hand … guessing how much extra might be needed for the seams. After managing to sew one pant leg completely together, I decided that there was no reasonable way for  the pajamas to be put on that way and undid my work.  I then pinned and sewed back and front parts the way pants are supposed to be sewn together. I can not say how exciting it was that the pajamas worked! My girl (and one of her dolls) was able to actually put them on. She is so happy to wear them around – how wonderful! And just in the nick of time for Christmas eve.
The day after Christmas, I began the kimono tops  … I would have never have imagined how those pieces of fabric might need to be laid out  and sewn to actually make a top.  It has been a treat learning something new and making something useful for my daughter that she loves! Merry Christmas!!

(around the table) – marzipan pigs

I  know there must be a pretty long list of absolute likes and dislikes when it comes to food… the list might include mushrooms, olives, even cilantro, brussel sprouts and marzipan… (I happen to like all the above.)

Now when I think of marzipan, I am not thinking about those overly, sugary-sweet marzipan candies.. but lovely edibles handcrafted by Italian and German bakeries and confectioners made from a blend of ground almonds (and sugar!)

Marzipan is a tasty and wonderful modeling paste
used traditionally for special holiday treats at Christmas and Easter worldwide.
In the light of a happy tree with our little mascot looking on … we are at play and serious all at once. …Well not all pigs are like all other pigs .. but they are all fun and a yummy.