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September 2010

tex-ture (teks-cher) - the visual and tactile quality of a surface

Wow ... you guys have been giving the internet a work out and I know you'll be flocking to Kari's blog today for her project. Take a look at the name of her blog ... it makes me smile. And so does Kari ... she's such a and happy and funny person to be around! So glad you guys are enjoying the hop and thanks for all of your wonderful comments and emails! Love it!! You know the best part? As I'm reading the comments I'm clicking on your blogs and now have a whole slew of new ones to read and follow!

One of the most visible qualities about Fall in Minnesota is how rustic it is! The chunkiness of Indian corn and drying cornstalks in the field ... the bumpiness of the ground when you walk through the pumpkin fields ... the flowers and weeds that are beginning to dry ... they have a three-dimensional roughness to them that I love! I know that's why I included the sticks on my project yesterday ... to convey that feeling.

I love to do blogs with a theme. That's why this one on textures was exciting ... I got to go on a camera scavenger hunt! This isn't the first time I've done blogs like this ... I did a textures blog earlier in the Summer ... and my favorite was probably the one I did on the color orange a few years ago. If I have a theme, it's easy to just open my eyes, point and shoot! But even though I knew I had some photos I was going to use for this today, I knew I would need more so I twisted Bob's arm and we headed off to Aamodts Apple Farm in Stillwater. Research is soooo hard!!

Is there anything more rustic and harvesty feeling than a winery in September? Those grapes hanging in clusters ... the wood of the vine ... the texture of the leaves and tendrils. And I believe the vinter at the wine tasting mentioned texture in the wine, too! But I could be wrong. ;-)



I've got this thing about corn ... I have a LOT of pix with corn in them. More than I can possibly show you! And lots of wood. I love old wood!




I'm a sucker for any kind of produce in a wood crate. Or other wood containers. I've been that way since I was a little kid. It's probably because of Grandpa Waldoch and his roadside vegetable stand ... lots of things in wood crates and boxes and they always make me think of him.




There just aren't words to describe the textures in these photos. It's hard to choose but be grateful I'm not showing all 200!




Leaves are so great for texture photos, too. I met this little girl who was rubbing them together in her hands ... she altered their texture and it was cool!



So here's a challenge for you during this Autumn season ... pull out your camera and see how many textures you can find. Go on a camera scavenger hunt!




Fall-O-Ween Treat Jar

Fun Autumn snacks deserve a fun place to reside ... until they're snatched up and devoured! Our family loves candy corn and peanuts mixed together ... and for those who don't know, the 3:1 ratio is perfect. Three peanuts to one candy corn ... tastes just like a Salted Nut Roll. I used scraps of hand dyed wool from my basket to make my leaves and acorn ... took a little walk in the woods and pulled down some grapevines ... found an empty jar on the shelf and got to work.

You'll find the directions here ... just download and print.  Download Fall-O-Ween treat jar pdf

And here are the templates for the leaves and acorn. Download Fall-O-Ween jar template 0928

A limited amount of kits are available by calling the store ... 651.426.1885. The kits include hand dyed wool, jute webbing, and a tag, for $13.25. Tax and shipping is extra.

If you haven't worked with wool before, I thought it might be helpful if I gave you a few tips and some quick instructions on how to make the project. Pix are worth a thousand words you know!

Oh ... and THIS is the post where you need to comment to be in the pot for prizes! It's my turn to be the designer of the day.

If you haven't worked with freezer paper templates before, this is how you do it. Lay your freezer paper over the shape design and trace it... paper side is up. Cut around it roughly ... no need to cut on the line yet. Press the waxy side to your wool and then cut out on the line. Pull the template up and do it again ... you need two of everything for the project. I find I can get about four repeats off of a template like this.

Here are some of my favorite tools for when I make my wool projects. I rarely do anything without a tube of Roxanne's Glue Baste. #9 embroidery needles are my choice almost every time ... they'll take up to four strands of floss ... they're nice and sharp but are thin enough to slide through the wool. Clover fork pins and applique pins are perfect for wool. The fork pins are long and great for anchoring larger pieces ... the applique pins are small and sink right into the wool ... I like that my floss doesn't catch on either of these pins as I'm stitching.Tonic 5" scissors are great for cutting out the wool shapes. They're sharp right to the point and their padded handles make cutting comfortable. Plenty of these products in stock ... call the Cottage and we can ship them right out! 651.426.1885.

In the project directions when I tell you to overcast the twigs for the veins, this is what they'll look like when you're done. Make your stitches kind of uneaven and slanted in different directions. It'll give it a more rustic look.

Here's what all the pieces look like when you're done assembling them. When you get ready to put all the parts together, long stitches are just fine. You mostly only want to anchor the pieces so they won't move around on the jar.

Same on the back ... anchoring stitches but make sure you don't go through the front.

I pinned the jute webbing on to my jar and then auditioned the placement of the leaves and acorns. When I was happy with them, I used flower head pins to hold them in place. I flipped the whole thing over and used some large stitches to hold it all in place.

Some other hints ... if you can't find black safety pins, use black spray paint on regular ones. My lid on my jar was shiny so I sprayed it black. Also ... if you don't have black chipboard for your tag just use some black card stock. Use a manila tag as a pattern or cut one out on a die cut machine ... like the Big Shot ... one of my favorites!

If you don't want to fill your jar with candy corn, think about using it to store pretty things you find on a Fall hike in the woods. Or maybe some snips of pretty wool ... or fabric strips. I'm sure you'll find some fun stuff to fill it up with!

Happy Fall-O-Ween!!


Oh my ... apple pie!

My biggest disappointment in life is that I'm a failure at rolling out pie crust! Year's of 4-H and trying to master the technique for the silent demonstrations each year usually left me in tears. I might have gotten purple ribbons for my muffins and cookies but pie? So embarrassing ... I got a white ribbon one time. Most of the time the judges felt sorry for me and gave me a red ribbon ... but never a blue. So because of this handicap, my family has to suffer through commercially made pies.

I grew up on 80 acres in Lake Elmo and we had an orchard ... a very very large orchard! There were at least a half a dozen variety of apples so when Fall came around, we were making a lot of jelly and applesauce. Until the year my Mom found out she could freeze unbaked pies!

Mom went to the restaurant supply store and bought foil pans ... lots and lots of foil pans! As luck had it, there was an abundant harvest that year ... and we had two big deep freezers.

We'd drive the pickup out through the fields and it was filled with empty baskets. The ones on the ground were put into baskets for applesauce and the ones still in the trees were picked and put into baskets for pies. It seems there were a lot more in the trees than on the ground that year!

I knew no good could come from the giant bags of flour my Mom was buying. And I knew those brothers would somehow find a way to escape. That left my Mom, Sue, Kathi ... and me ... and Sue and Kathi had jobs ... I was doomed. Out came the trusted 4-H pie recipe. Download Apple pie recipe.

It didn't take long to get the bakery in full swing. Each pie was wrapped in foil as it was completed and then taken to the freezer in groups. Of course, we couldn't bake any of them because Mom was keeping a tally! In spite of the opportunity to learn the fine points of crust rolling, I was hopeless. Eventually Mom threw her hands up in the air and relegated me to skully maid. I washed dishes, cleaned tables and counters, ran pies to the basement, and peeled and sliced. Oh ... and I had to run the peelings out to the compost pit, too. And go to the orchard for more apples.

I know we made well over 200 pies that Fall. Anytime company came over we baked a pie. Family gathering? Apple pie. Funeral lunch church bake sale potluck? Pie. They took an hour to bake. They were delicious. We still had them in June.

My only regret at being so lame about rolling out pie crust is that I can't make apple pie cuts. So tasty but not for me any longer ... unless my sister Sue takes pity on me every now and then. She makes great pie cuts! Download Apple pie cuts. So when it comes to homemade pie now days ... it's just me and my boyfriend ... the Pillsbury Dough Boy!!


Mmmm ... it smells like Fall outside!

Fall-O-Ween is rolling along and today it's Sandy's turn to wear the witch's hat!  Leave a comment on her blog, don't forget! When I think of Fall, I always think of the wonderful fabric Sandy designs for Moda ... especially the fabric for this season. I love seeing what she comes up with year after year. Don't quit, Sandy!

The sense of smell is a funny thing ... with just one whiff it can transport your mind back through time through long distances in your memory. For some people, Fall smells like bonfires or wet leaves or apples. For me, the smell of mums sends me back in time.

My Mom was an enterprising woman ... she was always coming up with ways to make money and for many years, she planted acres of mums to be sold in the Fall. Much like a pick-your-own-pumpkin farm, when September rolled around, customers would pull into the yard and search for the perfect Chrysanthemum. We always had shovels handy and pots and would dig on demand.

My Mom took pride in having unusual varieties of mums ... things that you couldn't buy in just your average garden center. They had wonderful names and were beautiful colors. But they didn't grow themselves. It was months of planting and pinching and cultivating to get them to look just right. They couldn't place blooms too early because then they'd be bloomed out before the season. July and early August had us all out in the fields snipping and trimming so the plants had a beautiful shape. To this day ... when I get a flower arrangement containing mums and go to strip off those bottom leaves, I'm back to being a teenager on a hot Summer day. And in spite of that,  I still love how they look ... and smell!


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Fall - color so brilliant it hurts the eyes!


It's the first day of Fall-O-Ween and I'm so glad you're joining me and my friends for this crazy tribute to one of my favorite seasons! The good witch Gudrun leads off the project parade ... I can't wait to see what she's done. Make a comment on her blog to get your name thrown into the cauldron for prizes ... don't forget you have to comment on each of our blogs when we're the witch of the day. And just so you know ... you don't have to get in the car to do this hop ... the most you'll probably be rolling is your mouse as you hop from blog to blog ... or your computer chair as you roll between your screen and your sewing machine while you whip up the next project!

I have a hard time deciding what is my favorite Fall color ... orange jumps to mind immediately ... but gold and red and purple are running right behind. There's something about them that makes green and black and brown so much more rich. I love the golds of Autumn so much that I painted my living room that color!

We started our Sweet Pickins' Club a few weeks ago and one of the features each month are a clue to a mystery quilt. We won't finish until next August so I thought I'd make mine in Fall colors. I'll have a new quilt to snuggle with when Fall 2011 rolls around. It's nice and scrappy so I'll be able to mix in all of my favorites. And you Pickins' gals ... ha ... this isn't the layout for those first four blocks. Fooled ya!

You can imagine how delighted I was when Scrapbooks Etc called last year and asked if I'd design a Fall party theme for their new RSVP column. It's in the October issue on the newstands right now and is filled with fun ideas you can use for your own get-together. I received my samples back a few weeks ago and am having a great time looking at them and arranging them around the workshop.

I'm jealous of those in our Wool Crazy group who have managed to get pumpkins on their pieces. Maybe I should do that ... live in the moment so to speak!

I'm hoping Fall gets to stretch out a bit this year. The leaves around my house are just beginning to turn and it's fun to notice how some trees are always the first year after year. Show offs! I think one of the best things about living in Minnesota is that we get to experience such an intense, colorful season!


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Are you ready for Fall-O-Ween?

    FallOween logo large

Does it get any better than this? Two of my favorite times of the year ... Fall and Halloween ... rolled into one! Ten designers posting for ten days about all the things they enjoy about Autumn ... and each of them will have a project for you to make, too! I know you won't be able to resist doing at least one ... but I bet you'll be tempted by all ten!

The blog hop starts bright and early on Monday, September 27 and continues through October 6th. Read along as you're able to sneak in the time ... but to be eligible for some grand prizes, post a comment on each of the designer of the day's blog ... at the end of the hop we'll pull winners from those who commented ... ten days ten designers ten chances to win!

If you're new to blog hops ... check out the Cross Country Christmas blog hop we did last November. We had a blast!

Here are the players for Fall-O-Ween and when they appear ... Gudrun of GE Designs (where you'll be able to see all of us in our Halloween attire!) ... Sandy from Pieces from my Heart ... then me ... next will be Kari from New Leaf Stitches ... and then Terry from Atkinson Design and Heather of Anka's Treasures follows her ... and hot on their heels will be Terri from Whimsicals ... Carrie (who is NOT Miss Rosie) from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co ... and then on the complete other side of the USA will be Linda Lum de Bono and her design company of the same name ... and the cabooze will be Pat Sloan! I think you should check each link before the hop begins, don't you? Get to know the girls.

So here we go! Hang on to your hats ... or your brooms if you're so inclined ... join us for Fall-O-Ween!

Roseann Fall-O-Ween 

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Putting my best foot forward!


I'm at the happiest point in my life right now. I haven't felt this way for a long time. Today I reached a goal that I've been trying to achieve for almost two years. I went for a walk!


Ya ya you're thinking ... whoopie ... you went for a walk ... big deal. Well it is a big thing for me because I haven't been able to since the morning, almost two years ago, when I looked in my rear view mirror and realized a car was running a red light and was going to hit the truck behind me. And we were at a dead stop. With no where to go. And I knew it was going to hurt a lot because the same thing happened two years before and I was finally feeling recovered.

One of the reasons I took the workshop space on Banning is because it was only a block away from White Bear Lake. I had visions of taking my walk along the shore each morning. Walking for me is a lot like creating ... I hAvE to do it ... it frees my mind and keeps me clicking on many different levels. We had just finished the buildout of the workshop and I had my shoes in the car because I was going for my walk by the lake that morning. Never stepped a foot on the trail.

My doctors feel that I braced with my left leg ... I only remember trying to push the small of my back into the seat as far as I could because I didn't want to have anything happen to my spine again. The accident caused damage on both sides of my spine ... my hip ... my left ankle.

I couldn't have made it to today without Amy from OSI in White Bear Lake hanging in there with me. She talked me through the initial anger and pain ... pulling and tugging on my leg to get the hip back to functioning again ... installing a regimen of exercises to strengthen my spine ... teaching me how to make myself feel better on those days where I never thought I'd feel good again.

Through it all my ankle hurt every minute of every single day. The worse of it was last Summer when I had to push through it for the shop hop and the fair. A year ago yesterday I went back to my doctor and told him how I couldn't deal with the pain any longer ... even though we were concentrating on my back I felt like my ankle was broken or something. A second MRI showed that the damage was much more extensive than they thought ... a herniated disk was pressing on the nerves that controlled my foot. My surgeon was set to do surgery but because we had just moved the store, we opted for a series of steroid injections to help calm things down. I began to feel a little better but still couldn't walk well ... the muscles and tendons had been damaged in my leg and ankle.

Intense physical therapy ... thousands of $$$ trying to find the right shoes ... an orthopedic surgeon ... that worried look on my doctor's face when I couldn't balance or stand on my toes. I didn't think I'd ever put on walking shoes again. The worse part was when we went to Itasca Park in July and I couldn't walk on the trails because it was too painful. And then I turned a corner. To get me through some of the deep tissue massage that Amy would do, she and I would talk about 'pretty' things like glitter and rainbows and unicorns ... and knitting and kids and politics (kind of painful on that last one!). She was so concerned about me being at the fair ... she gave me some new exercises that she felt would help me through. And through all of this I kept reminding her about my goal ... to go for a walk.

And I did! Today!! And what a terrific day it's been. By going for a walk I was able to see this little piece of tree art.

There were so many details in my charming, little town that I missed by being driven by in a car. Like that some residents along the lake are naming their homes.



Or how the owners of this bungalow have turned their front porch into a sweet, outdoor living room.

Or the details of this house that I had watched being renovated over the last two years.

I'm not out of the woods yet. Pain is still a big part of every day. I can't do any of the heavy lifting like I used to. But I CaN do a lot more than I CaN't do! I can walk on my toes and I can do the high heel exercise that I couldn't do a year ago. And I can stand on one foot without holding on to something. And I can walk without limping as much ... mostly when I've overdone it.

And another thing I cAn do is be creative again. The pain sapped every ounce of free thought that was in my brain. I could barely blog. Horrors! But the one thing it couldn't do is take away my persistence to get better. To reach my goal.

I went for a walk today. All the way down to the darling gazebo in Matoska Park where those beautiful brides and excited seniors have their photos taken.  And it makes me want to cry because its just such a happy day!




You're gonna be filled with GLEE after this!

I almost would like to turn back time and put together a boy's room again ... just like this! This room at the Bachman's Idea House was filled with fun things to delight a boy ... and mom who likes a totally different room! The head board was a car hood and all the other elements in the room played to that 'wheels on the go' theme.





There were so many little details ... like the shelf that was hidden behind the car hood and was accessible from both sides. Or the license plate valances over the windows. I want a do over! Or ... I want the room next door!!

I love it when designers tap into pop culture. This room had the perfect elements for someone in the marching band!

The disco ball ... the director's chair ... the music stands as photo holders. Kill me. Stinkin' cool!

Everytime you turned around there was something new to be wowed over. Who would think to use an old movie screen as a bulletin board?



I'll tell ya ... by the time I got to this last room I was so over stimulated by everything that I felt all goose-bumpy! There was just one good idea after another and another. And I haven't even taken you outside yet! That's next week ... when our Fall-O-Ween blog hop begins ... I've saved you some great Autumn pix just for that ... but here's a sneak peek. Come back soon!