Posts Tagged 'autumn'

Painting seasonal emotions

Several people I know, who live in the far north, talk about darkness, and how gloomy things are. I’m currently enjoying early evenings, taking time to play with paint.


Much of the time, that’s with electronic help (photos I took while on a walk, earlier in the day), because a location is either too crowded with people or the weather is uncooperative [rainy, or very cold] for perching on a park bench and sketching. I’m exploring new media (water-soluble wax crayons), and not worrying too much about how loose the images are. I’m going for the mood.

Washington, DC can be beautiful, with blue skies that make up for the crowds. I was in a shopping street filled with Louis Vuitton and other products I can’t afford, gawping at the windows displays….  watching college students pose in front of a backdrop of whimsical umbrellas. How tempting to snap a photo, then play with my tools.

So, how do you save yourself from the bad mood monsters? Is it art, or crafts? Making music, or going to a concert? Coding a new website or reading a great, cozy book? If you’re in Australia or somewhere in a heat wave, do you find yourself struggling with seasonal moods? For me, right now, I’m letting watercolors break up the gloom, playing with shadows, collecting leaves for practice painting, and trying not to dip my brush in the mint tea.


Autumn ebbs

pumpkinAutumn arrives with October, rising then ebbing

Like a tidal river;

We watch the skies for rain, scan trees for turning leaves…

Worry about winter.

When, really… autumn continues to dance with summer,

Impishly backtracking

Until summer boils our brains, and autumn chills our bones.



15 row countdown to next pattern shift – concerns about yarn

I’m still knitting on the Oslo shawl, doggedly trying to get to the next pattern shift (graph 2), and wondering if there will be enough blue and white for graph 3. If you click on the link, you should be able to get to the details page. As each row get longer, i get a little more concerned that I’ll run out of blue or white. Kind of wish that the store had more of the yarn (seabago) in the same lot so I could add a few more rows and maybe make mittens. If it washes, and keeps its color, I will be on the lookout for more of this, because knitting it is lovely.

Unfortunately very few good photos of the shawl in progress, because I’ve been stuck inside with a head cold on the one  sunny day when I could have gone out to take photos on my lunch break. The world turning dark while I’m driving home in the evenings is the trade off for the beautiful riot of autumn color on the trees at sunrise. We’ve had some sugar maples turn, and the streets up the block are red and yellow with fallen leaves…looking a bit like they’re paved in gold.

Woman vs. squash

1. The squash — a blue-skinned pumpkin

bluesquash2. Halves

squashhalves3.  A pie, after steaming and pulverizing the pumpkin, then making the filling. Pie crust my normal butter crust. We ended up getting a pie and a deep-dish tiny pie.

bluepumpkinpieIt’s 1 AM. I have a freezer with enough steamed pumpkin for 2 more pies. My kitchen is a mess, but I’m going to sleep happy. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. And to those outside the USA, the best of days with lots of gratitude.

Raking leaves after 9 PM

It is November, and our street gutters are filled with leaves. It is November, and my work schedule has gone amok with projects due by Thanksgiving. And so, leaf raking needs to be done on the one day when it won’t be cold, it isn’t raining, and before it snows (possibly) on the weekend. In this case, the “day” only had time for me to help the Gardener at 9 PM. Luckily our street lamps are quite bright. No miner’s helmet with lamp required. We probably looked idiotic enough as it was, but at least no one called the cops to say we were stealing leaves. 🙂

It is November. The neighbors know what raking sounds like.

After a storm — beautiful weather

There’s something about an autumn night, after the rains have passed, that is delightful.

The wind swirls, fallen leaves scud across the sky, and I can feel my hair rise as the air pressure shifts. Autumn is definitely here, and we hope for brave fairies, ghosts, and possibly ninja turtles this year on Halloween. But the storm that passed –> good riddance. We had chorus practice in the dark due to rolling power failures, amazing lightning, power is still out in part of the house, and we had to calm a frazzled himmie. Yes. Her. Totally frantic.

The Eyes of Reproach

The Eyes of Reproach

Book Festivals

After finding out I missed the Brooklyn, NY Book Festival last weekend, I’ve been looking at others around the USA.

I missed the Library of Congress Book Festival earlier in the year, but they post videos from it are here. They also have downloadable former book festival posters, (my favorite book poster from it here). You might like the one with dragons better.

Here are some other upcoming book festivals:

Funding cuts have sadly affected some book festivals. Others just seem to be poorly advertised. A lot of the ones I wished to go to were so early in the year that I’m still reading my Christmas gifts, or they’re places too far away like Miami, Chicago, California, or London, UK and Edinburgh in Scotland. A book festival, no matter how small and quirky (see April Fool’s Day International Edible Books Festival), is still a lovely place to meet authors, to find out about new books, and to find others who speak your language (or are up for a long, pleasant debate).

Praying mantis, September

Praying mantis, September by rjknits
Praying mantis, September, a photo by rjknits on Flickr.

The bees are such a delight this time of year, and the praying mantis loves to lie in wait for them among the flowers.

Daydreaming and autumn

ohhaiMe and the cats are looking forward to Autumn — opening the doors of imagination as the seasons change.

Things I’m thinking about:

  • Soho Smocked Dress by Kristina McGowan. It’s a top down knit (can it be made into a pullover vest or tunic?)
  • Woodblock printmaking or pottery classes (dither, dither)?
  • Will a new color make me love the kitchen again? We’re thinking leaf green with dark green trim.
  • Should I take a class in tile laying, instead of printmaking and pottery?

Autumn is my favorite time of the year, when I’m most inspired by new ideas. It’s probably a result of the first day of school, year after year, sitting at a clean desk with new 2B pencils and a manila pad of paper, waiting with hope that this was the year math would make sense. There’s a crisp in the air, leaves gently start to turn, and I start thinking that this (school)year will be different.

Or, at least, it’s time to look for the last peaches or the first pears and apples for cobbler. The cats are hoping for leaves to chase and days by the fire.

Autumn trees on an average North American street

Autumn trees on an average American street

We’re hearing the news about a big storm. But for now, we’ve prepped all we can. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of now (and stay snug and dry if the massive storm does hit).