Category Archives: holiday


It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without some outdoor time, walking in the woods, putting the garden to bed, and (hopefully) having bulbs already planted. This is not the first time I’ve posted photos of these two lovely structures.  There is moss growing on the cedar shakes of this pretty barn.  I did not catch the light properly because (in real life) the moss was glowing vivid green in the soft light.

I can’t seem to walk by this house without taking yet another photo of it. It was a mostly grey holiday weekend, rainy and raw, but I seem to love the scenery along this walk in almost any weather.

The highlight of our walk yesterday was seeing the beaver that has caused so much destruction along the banks of this stream!  He has not left a single tree untouched….busy guy!  I was thrilled to see him, although I know you probably won’t!  He reall is there, right in the center of the photo, just under the branches with the green leaves! Trust me!

Moss and lichen on rocks.  Someday I’ll get just the right photo to begin a tapestry cartoon.  This is intriguing, but the light is not quite what I saw yesterday.

At home I am re-mounting my Flax Spinner and getting a new silk warp ready for painting.


The best made plans….  I’ve looked forward to being home so much for so long, yet I’ve spent almost the entire month at home sick!  And I’ve had one rather big disappointment in a tapestry project…..

….but the upside is that in spite of being sick, my kids spent most of the month with us.  It was beyond wonderful to have time with them!  And I’ve gotten some weaving and some knitting done.  We’ve had some awesome meals, and I guess I will credit being sick with what has kept me from gaining weight (always the silver lining, right?)….

So, with not much to show for myself, I’ll share a couple of good cartoons I stumbled on recently….

From the New Yorker

 and from ecards:

I did my bit on fiber purchases.  I have a wonderful LYS called Yarns Down Under, in Deep River.  During my visit I learned that Filature di Crosa’s “127 Print” is being discontinued (sigh) so I bought two colors to make a cardigan.  I bought the black and the periwinkle blue, and I plan to use them in a vertically striped cardigan based on “Designs by Judith” pattern called “Buenos Aires” that called for Manos del Uraguay.

So this takes a bit of imagination…. I am knitting not quite random vertical stripes in my two colorways instead of the two-color stitch pattern used in Judith’s design.  I just love the shaping of this sweater and hope it will turn out well in a striped stockinette stitch.  Although the gauge is the same, my fabric will be considerably softer since it is not a texture stitch.  Wish me luck!

And while licking my wounds about my weaving disappointments, I found this in my inbox today:

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” –Dalai Lama

Sunny St. Augustine

We spent a lovely day ashore in St. Augustine yesterday.  It was sunny, there were blue skies, and the temperature was in the 70s!  Finally!  This is why we headed south!

The Main Square on King St.

The oldest church in St. Augustine.

Flagler College

It was warm enough for an al fresco lunch at a Cuban restaurant!

Christmas in the main square.  Yes, those are poinsettias planted outside!

…and the highlight for me was getting this shot from the fort of Castillo de San Marcos which I think might make a lovely companion tapestry to my “Terrace View from Skouros.”

We ended the day with dinner at Bistro de Leon as planned.  Chef Jean Stephane Poinard’s menu was as delicious as we expected, and this years’ Beajolais Nouveau is quite good!

Day 78, November 27: St. Augustine, Florida

Holiday Lights

We are in St. Augustine, Florida now, right as the holiday lights have been turned on throughout the city.  Now I have to admit it’s beginning to feel a lot like…

It turns out that National Geographic made a list of the 10 best places in the world to see holiday lights, and St. Augustine is on the list.  It’s in great company with beautiful places like Vienna, Brussels, Madrid, Kobe, Gothenburg (Sweden).  In fact there are only two locations in the US on the list, and the other is not New York!

So, I feel lucky to be here.  We walked the beautiful streets for a while last night and are looking forward to some great sight seeing today.  The Flagler Museum supposedly has more Tiffany glass than any other building in the US.  I’m looking forward to seeing that!

Tonight we plan to have dinner at a little French restaurant called Bistro de Leon.

What a difference a little sunshine can make.  I’m looking forward to exploring this beautiful city, the oldest settled city in the US (founded in 1565, in fact).  Generations of city planners have worked hard to keep the charm of the original Spanish settlement, and it’s lovely!


Beach Combing on Black Friday

I couldn’t help thinking about all the folks who got up in the predawn today to hit the malls and start their Christmas shopping.  Black Friday has become quite the American tradition to kick off the holiday season….and not a good one.

It doesn’t seem like it’s time to hang the wreath and put candles in the window down here.  We left St. Marys for a short motor over to Cumberland Island which has the National Seashore.  To get to the ocean-side beach we walked through a forest of live oak, Spanish moss, and palmetto that could have been Middle Earth.

After getting out of the forest you walk a bit further on a boardwalk above the dunes to get to the ocean.

The forest transitions into beach along the way…

And then there are miles of silky pearl colored sand to walk along, and millions of shells rolling to and fro in the surf.  I picked up a lot of shells.  The whelks and clams are so different from what I see in New England!  I even found a lovely angel wing….although only one. I’m imagining a Christmas wreath made from these shells, a wreath covered in Spanish moss and shells.

We had heard that Cumberland Island is known for fossilized shark teeth.  They come out of the river when the channel for the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) is dredged.  The dredged debris is dumped in large quantities in a certain area on the island.  Bob was on a mission for a shark tooth! He even found a sieve to help him in his search.

He was hoping to find one a little bigger these!…although he could wear these as earrings.  I keep wondering if he’ll pierce his ear/s now that he’s a full time sailor.

Another exciting sight on Cumberland Island are wild horses.  We saw a mare and two foals along our walk.  They are pretty used to people so they are easy to photograph.  They don’t let you get close enough to touch though!

And as if a fantasy forest of live oak and palmettos, inhabited by wild horses, and a
17-mile long beach isn’t enough, the final highlight of Cumberland Island is the ruins of a Gilded Age house that was the winter retreat of the Carnegie family.

This was the first day in about a month that we enjoyed clear skies and warm sun, so we stayed ashore almost all day to soak up as much as we could!

We were back on board in time for sunset and a lovely dinner with new friends who spent the day with us at the seashore.

 It hardly felt like opening day of the Christmas shopping season…


A Sailor’s Thanksgiving

Like American ex-pats the world over, sailors also get together to celebrate our Thanksgiving tradition.

St. Marys, Georgia, is well known for bringing sailors together for a Thanksgiving festival.  The local Riverview Hotel opens its dining room to hundreds of cruisers, and locals volunteer to roast enough turkeys and hams to feed this army of transients.

Hotel owners Jerry and Gayla Brandon started our morning off with a bang by mixing up a large cooler of Bloody Marys while Charlie Jacobs delivered them by dinghy to every boat in the harbor!  I’ve never had a drink at 8.30 am, but I do highly recommend it!

The sailors arrive at the hotel from late morning through noon bearing all the side dishes and desserts.  Three long tables are set up in the hotel lobby to hold all the platters of food.

It almost felt like family, and it was a wonderful gathering.  Everyone was a bit homesick for loved ones, but we were a rag tag family to each other… and that was okay!

Missing my family and friends quite a bit this weekend….but I’m also  thankful for the generosity of St. Marys’ community and the newly made connections to very friendly cruisers.

I did wear my sleeve-less “Ann Jacket.”   And at the end of the day I picked up stitches and started the first sleeve.


We are just hanging out in Annapolis, waiting….and waiting….

…waiting for the boat show to begin.  Bob is always excited to visit the boats on display and to find out what new and improved equipment and technology has entered the sailing universe.  He has a shopping list of things we need before going further south.  We are working in the booth of the SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) on Monday afternoon so we cannot just pull up anchor and leave….we have obligations…

….also waiting for our two sons and one girlfriend to visit on Saturday and Sunday.  This is such a high point for me that I’m practically holding my breath until they arrive.  I’m worried about all the little details that might get in the way of enjoying their visit. At the moment the dingy dock situation is so awful only a handful of dinghies can actually make landfall.  This does not particularly bother Bob since he will scramble up any number of hurdles or obstacles to get ashore, but I really must insist on a more civilized disembarkment.  There is a water taxi, but the wait times can be long and the cost for one round trip is $20.  That will add up quickly….

Also, it’s been so humid, with rain all day on Tuesday and about 100% humidity on the days since then, with temps in the 80s.  It feels a bit too much like July, and that kind of weather does not promote my happiness or energy level for sight seeing.  Sigh… into each life some rain must fall…

Meanwhile, there is no denying that Annapolis is a beautiful city, easily walkable, with so much to see and do. Annapolis is the capitol of Maryland, and at the top of the main shopping district that rises from the edge of the harbor is the heart of the government sitting on a beautiful circle with surrounding government offices that look more colonial than either Philadelphia or Williamsburg.

Later today we plan to walk through the Naval Academy, which is also quite an architectural gem.

Days 22- 24, Oct 2 – 4: Still in Annapolis (yes, that is editorializing)


Life has been pretty stressful for the past 8 months.  My blog is a place where I try to put my daily, non-fiber obligations behind me, but all those obligations have basically taken over my life these past few months so it’s been hard to feel connected here, especially when I’m avoiding talking about these obligations!

Thankfully, this is a time a year when I recharge my enthusiasm, my commitment, my passion for weaving, knitting, spinning, dyeing.  My wonderful family and friends have encouraged a rekindling of fiber energy by giving me some empowering gifts!

‘Warped 2 Weave’…..exactly the message I need to get me back on track!  My son ‘painted’ these sneakers for me with colored pens.  He says if I keep him supplied with shoes he’ll keep making them!

Finally!  A way to organize my circular needles!  Some Tofootsie sock yarn to knit while drinking my favorite morning beverage in this adorable sheep mug.

This sheep mug is from Herdy.  I’m in love…..
Their website has a creative video of escaping sheep that showcases their products.

Time to get busy!



Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick in the garden

It’s the week after Thanksgiving.  The weather is ridiculously mild.  We’ve had a holiday weekend of sun and warmth that felt like September, but today there is change in the air.  I was just outside taking some garden photographs, and moments afterward the wind kicked up and suddenly there is a little squall passing through.


Callicarpa "Beauty Berry"

I am starting the holiday gift making with a small Nantucket basket.


7" Nantucket basket design by Marlys Sowers

The base and rim were made by Jeff Sowers out in Iowa, and the basket design is by his wife Marlys.  His turned rim is stunning, so I can’t wait to get to that point!  This is a lovely basket, and I hope to make several!

Reconnecting….weaving memories

This was a week when my dance card was over full, but how could I say no to so many wonderful opportunities?

My adult ed bobbin lace class has started again!  I am on the last third of the edging for some hand towels, so I guess I’d better get busy weaving the towels!  It’s wonderful to be back with these women again, who are very nurturing to me as a slow-learning beginner!

On Wednesday I rode with a friend up the Hudson River to Ghent, where she had arranged for us to have a one night farm stay at Kinderhook Farm, which is owned by old family friends and managed by two other friends.  I had no idea what a treat we were in for.  There are chickens with a delightful roosting house.  (I did not know chickens roosted up in rafters and on high perches).  There were lots of cows….I forgot to ask how many.  And there were over 200 sheep!

This is the renovated barn you stay in for the ‘farm stay.’  It has two generous bedrooms with sitting areas that look out the large barn doors at the fields of cows and sheep, and a large kitchen in the center that separates the two bedroom/sitting rooms.

When we arrived the wind was howling and we had to close the large folding barn doors and insert beams to hold them closed!



View from the farm stay barn

This is the view of the sheep grazing from the the barn where we planned to stay!







Shortly afterward Lee came to suggest that we stay in the guest room of the main house since the night temperature was expected to be in the low 30s.  We were disappointed to miss staying in this bucolic spot with its view of all the sheep grazing in the nearby fields….but in the middle of the night we were both very happy to be warm in the heated guest room!






Before going out to dinner we watched the managers and two helpers bring the sheep into the barn.  In fact, we helped herd the sheep toward the barn.  They have two guard dogs and a donkey, but no herding dogs.


Lee caught the two new babies for us to hold.  He wants them to get used to being handled, but they were definitely not used to it yet!  And the mother of the lamb I’m holding was not happy about it either!




The next day was my first Wednesday Group class in the new location right on the river in New Baltimore!  Archie and Susan have a beautiful, renovated historic house overlooking the river.  The enclosed porch which is now their studio is 40 feet long and has spectacular river views!  The Clearwater motored down river, right in front of us, in the afternoon! Susan has filled their new house with many of her antiques, there is a 2nd floor wrap around porch for sitting outside, and the grounds go right down to the river.  She will have a garden next year!

We drove home after my class on Thursday evening, and early Friday morning I headed out to Mendham for my 2-day workshop with Daryl Lancaster called “Weaving a Memory.”  It’s been a fun two days, using the Theo Moorman technique to inlay silk habotai strips that were first ink jet printed with our personal photos.  Daryl covered the Theo Moorman technique as well as photoshop manipulation of our images.  You always get more than you can conceive of in a workshop with Daryl!  I will write more on that next time!  Meanwhile, check out what she has to say