Decorating is not just for Christmas


I walked into Harris Teeter on Halloween Eve.  I panicked .  I didn’t think I bought enough candy. I figured I would run in and pick up a few bags and be home in time for trick or treat.  Shockingly all the Halloween candy was gone and in its place Christmas stuff.  Don’t get me wrong I love the holiday season.  I love singing Christmas Carols in my car where no one can hear me.  But October 31?  Couldn’t they wait until at least November 1st?

Anyway I asked my wine women about decorating for seasons other than Christmas and Pam came up with some great thoughts on how to transition from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Here is her take:

“My particular slant for fall decor would have to be called versatility.  I’m probably not alone in having a hard time keeping up with the changing seasons this time of year since it comes rapid fire – September (which I consider as the fall kickoff), October/Halloween, and November/Thanksgiving.  It seems that you just get your September decorations up when – hello! – Halloween is here.  That’s why I have embraced pumpkins.  We all have those spots that are our ‘changing stations’.  You know, the place where you put the seasonal switch-a-roo most often.
In addition to pumpkins which can span all 3 months, I have some versatile decorations that perform double or even triple duty.  Here’s a simple example.  I made these simple pumpkins out of 1” pine scraps.  On 1 side, they are just pumpkins.  On the other side, they are jack-o-lanterns.  The consistent item is the candles.
jack-o-lanterns    pumpkins
I also recommend including background changes.  Here’s another ‘changing station’ with the pumpkins being the consistent item and some interchangeable accessories and alternating wall hanging of the month starting with September and moving into November:”
sept  oct    nov

So that is how Pam decorates for the Fall season.

Did I mention that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.  The weather is still great.  It involves no requirement to buy gifts.  A meal with my family is always involved. This year will be a little different.  My Mom will not be with us.  Well I should clarify that she won’t physically be with us but she will be there in spirit.  She has passed the torch to me to keep the traditions going.  A very large task and and very big shoes to fill.  I will do my best.

I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving, spending time with friends or family or both.



The Quilter

hungry-catepillar Quilting has been around for a long time.  When the English and the Dutch came to America, quilting flourished. Originally it was strictly for keeping warm but over time the patterns became more elaborate.  Women would gather together as a social event making quilts.

In case you are interested in the origin of the word it is derived from the Latin word culcita meaning sack.  If I was talking to the Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding he would probably be able to tell me the Greek origin of the word.  I could probably google it but it wouldn’t be as much fun. I loved when he would talk about words in the movie. Unlike Tula I found his dialog fascinating.

Pat is our quilter.  It would be nice to have a quilting circle but unfortunately we are all to busy and barely have enough time to do the important stuff like have our wine meetings and drink.  There are always priorities in life.

She has made some really beautiful quilts including one with tee shirts.  I have seen several of those around and love them.  They are especially nice if the tee shirts tell a story. One of my colleagues and her husband attend this festival every year.  They have been going to the Festival  for years.  Every year they buy a new tee shirt.  Many of her husbands tee shirts were a “little” worn and getting a little ratty looking. So she trimmed them and made them into a quilt.  It looked great.

The quilt on the top is the one Pat is working on as a gift for her grand niece. She made the one below for her Mom.   I think she does a great job of picking subject matter and then surrounding it with the perfect fabric.


Fall is the Time for Festivals

I was driving to work when I heard a brief mention of a festival  in West Virginia.  Since our wine club has its girls weekend there I have a special love for the state. It has been a long time since I have been to a Festival of any kind.  When I mentioned it to my husband he was all in. So off to Shepherdstown, W Va we went for the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival.

The day turned out to be perfect.  The temperature was in the 70’s with a breeze.  The sun would come out every once and awhile just enough to warm things up.  Posted on the gate where people paid to get in there was a sign that said:

No Pets allowed, No alcohol permitted, No firearms or weapons.

Sad that this has to be stated but consider the times.  Or maybe this has been the rules at West Virginia Festivals forever and a day. I will have to check with West Virginia Mountain Mama.

Anyway we paid our admission and went in.  As we entered there was a band playing called Patent Pending.  They were good, doing a blend of country and bluegrass.  While I am not a big country listener I really enjoyed their music. Up the hill were all the crafters and it was hard to resist their wares.  In fact, we picked up a number of things.

There were also several wineries handing out samples of there wine.  I found a blended red that was very good called stoplight.stoplight

The wine is full bodied, dry with a definite spiciness about it.

Near the artisans we saw this long line and went to check it out.  It was the BBQ food truck and talking to people waiting on line the food was suppose to be great.  My husband stood on line for an hour to get a pulled pork sandwich.  Let me just say this, there is no denying that the pulled pork sandwich was delicious.  But I personally do not think it was worth an hour wait.  I guess I am not a big enough fan of BBQ.



Overall we had a great time and look forward to attending next year.

Shop Babe

woman with hammer

I promised I would explain the nicknames and I have decided to start with Pam otherwise known as Shop Babe. All the ladies in the group are creative one way or another.  But Pam probably would have gotten an A++ in High School if she had taken shop class.  What am I saying?  She probably did take shop class.  I’ll get back to you on that.

Not sure if any of you are familiar with Flea Market Flip on HGTV.  It has now become one of my favorite shows. For those of you who have never heard or watched the show, two teams spend an hour at a flea market. In addition to the time limit, they are given $500 to find three items that they must re-purpose based on the assigned projects. Whichever team makes the most money on their newly designed pieces wins money. So you have to be a good negotiator and you must have a creative vision.  Some of the designs created are amazing.

Pam and her husband Tom would win the flip challenge hands down.  One of Pam’s sayings is,  ‘I can do something with that” and she really can. I have seen some of her projects and I have two favorites. One is the center island she and Tom made from an old door they found that can now be found in their newly remodeled kitchen Oh yes they remodeled the whole kitchen themselves. The other is an old chicken crate that she used to make a storage bin for her wine glasses.

We just recently had a craft session and she designed these earrings we all made.  The main element, a penny. Brilliant!  See the picture below.

And just for the record when you saw the nickname Shop Babe who thought that meant Pam loves to shop?  Go on raise your hands. Well it’s fun to shop with her too.  Especially when she finds a treasure that you scratch your head and say what were you thinking and she says ” I can do something with this”.