Sunday, October 21, 2018

An Abundance of Leaves

We are thickly layered, page lying upon page, behind simple covers. And love - it is not the book itself, but the binding. --Deb Caletti
My commute to and from work has changed since we moved. I've been walking on fine days, and while it is a longer route, the view on the way home is so beautiful that I can't help to stop and admire it... and also to catch my breath because there are a heckuva lotta hills around here. And since it's autumn, my most favourite season of all, I'm loving the colours of all the leaves all around me:

I also feel so grateful because our house is surrounded by trees, and this is the first time I've ever been lucky enough to have Japanese maple trees in our yard. There's nothing like maple leaves to really show off the colours of autumn:

And I'm lucky enough to have not just one maple, but three:

And, by golly, I also have holly. Its leaves are pretty and prickly, and I'm wondering if I'll be brave enough to make a wreath of it this year. It may end up having the added colour of my blood after I prick my fingers multiple times:

And on the stairs, I have my rescued primula, which is growing huge, luscious leaves, and blooming big, beautiful blossoms. It's a very happy plant these days:

It's been a while since I've gotten out to take part in any classes or workshops, and this weekend I jumped up and took two. On Friday night, I made the last-minute decision to attend a bracelet-making class at a local cafe. It was really fun and brought me back to my jewelry-making days. I loved playing with the colours and mixing and matching the beads, so much so that I totally ignored the sales pitch for the essential oils they were selling at the same time. I did take a few drops to put on the black and grey lava beads to enjoy later, though:

And speaking of leaves, I went to a bookbinding workshop where we played around with glue and paper string and awls to make a sketchbook of our own. I always find it so interesting being around artists who work with paper. They say things like, "Oh, that's a lovely edge!" "This is the best ruler I've ever had," and "This paper has more give than that paper." I sat quietly and listened to people chat as I folded and cut and stuck my fingers together:

But it was when I had my needle in hand and settled into stitching that I really fell into a zone. Threads and needles are my thang, and I managed to catch on fairly quickly:

And voila: I made a book:

No, I don't know what I'll do with it yet, but I intend to enjoy its beauty for a while:

I especially love the flyleaf, which I deliberately chose to be dark and contrasting to the rest of the pages:

Oh yeah, and I knit stuff sometimes. I finished this hat yesterday, and quite frankly, I'm amazed it worked out. It is the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits, designed to use a fingering weight yarn, which is what I used. What I did NOT do was dig out size 2 and size 4 needles, because 1) I don't have any size 2 needles and 2) I had absolutely no desire to knit anything on such small needles. I blindly chose a size, cast on with size 6 needles and hoped for the best. And well, in the end, I got a hat:

I love the shimmer of this yarn, and at the risk of stretching my leaf theme too far, the bumpy gold reminds me of gold leaf used for gilding. The hat is very light, mostly because of the large needles and fine yarn, but I don't think it's too holey. Besides that, I think it will keep my head quite warm because of the silk content in the yarn (50/50 wool silk, in this case);

I am quite struck by my freckles in this photo. I never pay my freckles much notice, but I had a coworker once that just could not stop talking about them. Meh. My face, my business, my head gilded in gold leaf:

And Seymour... well, he's not that impressed. He's a bit tuckered out from frolicking in all the leaves outside. Maybe he'll appreciate it more when he wakes up:

So yes, I'm in a leaf-covered world these days... but the downside to that is we have a ton of leaves to clean up outside. I think I better go have a look at the pile right now and see if there's any more I have to shift.

Happy Sunday!

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