Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Savoring Fall While It's Here

I was born in the right state - Michigan, "The Winter Wonderland." Ok, on the license plates it says "Water Winter Wonderland," but still, in the winter, it's a wonderland. (The water part is for the Great Lakes.)

To say that I am celebrating the end of hot summer days and looking forward to hibernating at home during fall and winter is an understatement. It is also, probably not the most popular opinion. I've done a little personal "market research" at cash registers lately, in line at the market, chatting with the women at the circulation desk in the library, and while passing neighbors on the street. Most of the people I have spoken to, the majority, do NOT want the long, sunny days to end. They are not as enthusiastic as I am about cooler temperatures, dark skies by 5:00pm, and snowstorms that shut us in. I get it. I understand where they're coming from, but I just can't help my teetering on recluse tendencies and a love for yarn, hot chocolate and slow days spent in front of the fire.

This is why I have been bonkers (in an angry way), about the "lingering post-El Nino heat!" What is this!!?!? WHAT is this!!!? Today the high was forecasted to be 79 degrees. It's October 17th in Michigan! What is this? Last Halloween, and the Halloween before that, I remember it raining and snowing and sleeting. Eighty degrees is not October in Michigan.

I promise to stop in two second, but the reason why I'm complaining, in addition to being worried about global warming, is the fact that I just can't take the heat anymore. It's been what? Nearly six months of 80's and humidity? I know that Floridians get that year-round, but me and my hair, we're not equipped for the humidity. Besides, all of my cute sweaters and boots have been going to waste!

In all seriousness though, I've been doing my best to pretend that it is a proper fall, and I know that cooler weather will be here soon enough. In fact, we're predicted to have (fingers crossed) a cold and snowy winter!

Here is what I've been doing to celebrate the most awesomeness season on earth................

Autumn themed jewelry! Before you poo-poo this idea as silly, BELIEVE me, autumn themed jewelry is not the new Christmas sweater.  It's totally acceptable.

Case-in-point, DearestMine's Autumn's Alchemy Photo Locket.  Lori from the Etsy shop DearestMine creates the most beautiful, enchanting, whimsical, lovely pieces of jewelry. Most are photo lockets, which I have absolutely fallen in love with. I shared my new "New York Lights" locket with you two years ago on the blog, and still today, it is one of my favorite necklaces.

Autumn's Alchemy caught my eye several years ago, and I'm so glad I finally went for it. Lori is a pleasure to work with. I made a custom request to have the Autumn's Alchemy photo put into a petite size locket and she promptly wrote back that it was no problem! My necklace arrived shortly, in a wonderful package and on just the right, long 28" chain. My pictures don't do Lori's work service, so please visit her Etsy store for a much better look and to browse all of the gorgeous photo lockets and more that she has to offer!

Product photography is not my foray. Here's a better one from DearestMine. 

Today's theme will be: WHAT AUTUMN JEWELRY CAN YOU BUY ON ETSY!  Really, in case you don't know, but you probably do, Etsy is great. I'm not a big Etsy shopper only because I tend to focus on the family necessities - clothing, shoes, coats, hats. When I was given an Easy giftcard for my birthday though, a whole world opened up! My Mother and Father-in-law were so thoughtful in giving me the giftcard. I had the best time choosing the following two necklaces with it. I adore them and want to share.

The first was this Mini Topaz Glass Acorn with a teeny, tiny copper leaf inside by Bullseyebeads. Beth, the artist, creates gorgeous and unique glass acorn necklaces along with glass cherries and other treasure. You are able to choose the color of the body of your acorn and the size. You can also customize it with a copper Oak leaf inside and/or a metal leaf on the cap. The coolest part, these hand-crafted little works of art feature a REAL acorn cap that Beth sealed with  museum quality wax. It's so cool!!!

Rest assured, acorn necklaces are not only for fall. Certainly there is room for them in winter, spring and summer too. <3 p="">

The second necklace that I bought with my Etsy giftcard was this jolly, little pumpkin from a shop called Ingrid's Creations! Isn't it the sweetest? I especially enjoy this necklace because I don't have a lot of bright and cheerful jewelry at the moment. 

Like the others, Ingrid's pieces are customizable. This necklace came with the choice of the glass leaf hanging off the pumpkin's stem or farther up the chain. I wear it all the time. All these of these fun finds are in a constant fall rotation around my neck. It's love.

Next in on my "get excited for fall" list - October window decorations! Last month I showed you my apple pie themed window decorations. This month I went for a classic, slightly vintage theme: Jack-0-Lanters. There is so much fantastic Halloween clipart to look at from the 20's, 30's and 40's. I had the best time trying to figure out this month's windows.

Oh, and you know what else was colorful this month??? We had our house painted! Jon and I were shocked at how quickly our exterior paint faded over the past five years. I suppose it's par for the course as we face south and get all day sunlight on the front of the house. We had everything painted the same colors as before except for a new, blue front door! I know this color might not see historic to some, but I did a bunch of research and indeed, during the 1800's many country homes had  doors of this color. I think it makes the little apple wreath that I made pop!

In my version of a rain dance, but for cold temperatures, I finally returned to crochet. It's been such a long time. I decided to start out with something easy, potential useful and cozy. The free pattern for the Serene Comfort Shawl by Lion Brand Yarn ticked all of the boxes.

It was easily whipped up in a few crocheting sessions, and the pattern was simple enough to work on while I mindlessly watch British mysteries on Netflix. Ahhhhh.....perfect.

As always, my photos don't represent how pretty this is in real life. You can see a much better picture from the  Lion Brand site in the top photo. They must have continued beyond the three balls of yarn, which you can do, as their example looks quite long. I love it! I think I might keep going and make mine longer.

My shawl was made with the three balls of yarn recommended by the pattern.  I'm pretty short in the torso and only 5' tall, so on me, this hangs down quite low but now that I look at the photo above, I want it long.

I sewed on these two little buttons that I had in my button stash for when I want my shawl to stay closed.

I even found the Lion Brand Homespun yarn (3 balls) on sale! I also had a 40% coupon for a regularly priced item and so I purchased my first crochet hook with a rubber grip. It made such a difference. I am going to slowly collect them.

And that's the scoop! Today I pealed twelve hard boiled eggs and made a new egg salad recipe from the Gracious Wife blog. It was really good, even without the relish. (I discover that our dill relish expired last year. Jon said he's eaten it at least three times this month already. Oy!) At any rate, the egg salad was yum.

Until next time, enjoy the fall!
Lauren :)

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