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October 2010

Farewell Fall ... I'll miss ya!

With temps in the 30s looming on the horizon, I needed one look back on what has probably been the best looking Autumn in years! And it seemed to stretch out forever ... starting with JunkBonanza and my visit to the Bachman's house in early September ... right through to the last week of October. It has been glorious! Breathtaking! Beautiful!





Since the beginning of September, I've managed to take over eight hundred photos! TG for camera cards. It's a hard job picking my favorites to represent the season because I love them all.





I still have the smell of Fall in my head ... but the ladies coming in the store today were bringing with them the smell of Winter.





A bumper crop of behemoth pumpkins landed one from New Richmond WI in the Guiness Book of Records ... and was last seen in the back of a pickup making its way to the TV studios in Manhattan.



So long Fall. With Halloween around the corner ... and rain and snow mix in the very near future ... I'm waving good-bye to you with hands I refuse to put in gloves until I'm absolutely forced to! Thanks for the memories!!


Dressing up the town!

To celebrate our October Girl's Nite Out in White Bear Lake, the merchants decided to dress up a bit! It's our first annual Harvest Moon Scarecrow Contest and I have to say, it's a pretty competitive event!

I swear ... dressing a scarecrow is a lot like putting clothes on a three year old boy! And I have a lot of experience in that!!

But somehow all the clothes get on and the scarecrow gets stuffed and begins to take on some personality.

Chris has a lot more experience making up faces than I do ... she used to own a salon which was great training for this job! I think our little crow friend is hoping for a make-over, too.


A few final details and we were good to go.

I thought our scarecrow looked great ... but then I took a walk around town. Those girls next door at Mixx are hard to beat!



Talk about attention to detail. The others are just as great, though. I love how everyone has gotten in to it! Keep watching the official town scarecrow page as more pix get added. And don't forget to stop in the stores and vote on your favorite. One of us will win a rosette!! Voting goes through Thursday's Girls Nite Out. (Did you see we're having henna tattoos at the Cottage that night? Sooo excited!!) Come to town and see who's the best dressed! And of course, vote for mine.



... a treasure box ...

Last week, I came across this darling vintage sale when I was running into town. The first thing I saw was this cute jewelry box in a beautiful teal blue ... and because the price was right, I snatched it up.

It had four generous compartments and a mirror ... and a tiny key tied on to a pink satin ribbon. It was begging to be filled and I was in the mood to just putz around so I began looking for things.

I found a bag with vintage paper roses.

Then glass tubes of beads that belonged to my mom. They have tiny, cork stoppers. And then I began to remember.

I had a box in my closet that held a lot of things that belonged to my Mom. And yesterday was the anniversary of her death ... it felt right to fill my treasure box up with those small things that belonged to her.

The box  held items that were pretty much a history of her life ... a photo from when she was first married as well as her ID card ... her thimble in it's velvet box ... things from 4-H ... agates ... religious pins and crosses ... bits of lace and sewing supplies.

The more little trinkets I found, the more I had to rearrange the box. A pin from AQS ... and a Sunbonet Sue pin ... another from International Quilt Festival from 1989.  Her membership cards for Minnesota Quilters all the way from the 1980s through 1992, when they stopped.

There were some things that were too big to fit in the box.

But others that were just the right size!


I had to stop and catch my breath when I came across my sister's birth certificate ... tucked in side the program from her funeral.

But I finally had to stop completely for the day when I found a bag of postcards from my Mom's last trip ... and slipped inside was the diagnosis for pancreatic cancer.

So I tucked in a photo of Grandma and Grandpa Waldoch and another of my four sisters on Pat's First Communion Day. I'll add more to my treasured box as I find things. It so great having my Mom memories all in one place.

Love ya Mom!  Miss ya ... Helen Dorothy Waldoch Meehan ... July 25, 1912 ... October 11, 1992.



Things I've seen!

My camera just seems to turn it's lens at some of the most unusal things! So in addition to looking at all the quilts at the fair grounds on Sunday, I also managed to find some more cool things. And for the record ... I usually ask permission to take pix unless its an overall shot. My camera fits in my pocket and is really small but sure does take some great fotos! It's a Pentax for those of you who have asked me.

What is it about those trees?

I loved how this booth had everything set up by color and type of tool. The owner told me he's a bit compulsive. Hmmm. You be the judge!



Wow ... talk about some wide-eyed looks!

I love all the glittery Christmas stuff. I'm thinking of building myself a group of Putz houses this year ... been wanting to do that for a long time!

But maybe I'll just glitter some pinecones instead.

More quilts cuz we love them soooo much! But need to get back to the current season!

I've read through all of your comments from our Fall-O-Ween blog hop. You guys are great!! It is so intense while it's happening ... remembering to post on time ... keeping the daily themes straight. I've been carrying a checklist around on a clip board and it seems pretty weird not to have to do that anymore. I'm sort of at a loss on what to write about next! I was hoping I wouldn't bore anyone with all the Fall pix but man ... it's been such a colorful Fall this year that it's really hard not to show it off. And I know a lot of you were charmed by White Bear Lake ... trust me ... what I put up is just a tiny snapshot of the whole place. Great community ... lots to do ... tons of memories for me raising our family here. If you're in the Minneapolis St Paul area, you need to put it on your list! So now it's going to be weird to go back to normal blogging ... but I promise to do my best to keep on the hunt for interesting things to see through my camera's eye! Come back soon ...


Noooo ... Fall-O-Ween is almost done!!

I can't believe it. After today the blog hop is over ... well ... except for pulling names of the prize winner! And here's how that's gonna happen. You have until Friday to make a comment on the project day of each of the designers ... so that's ten comments. Then Gudrun will pick names ... we'll all go through our comments on our project day and verify that the names she chose commented. And then we'll announce the winners so you have to come back!

But first there's one more designer and that's Pat Sloan! Did you know that Pat has her very own online radio show ... and that I get to go on it and talk from time to time? Yup ... and if you listen in on October 18th, you'll be able to hear my voice! Fun times, huh?

Believe it or not, we're still sleeping with our windows open but mostly that's because we have plenty of quilts to keep us warm! There's nothing better than to wake up early to the sounds of owls, or geese, or turkeys on mornings like this. And it's even better when the quilts we're snuggling under are made in Autumn colors. I bet you have a panel in your stash that you could whip up with this free pattern on All People Quilt! (You can find many of my designs on their website as free downloads.)

Some of the best antique shows are in the Fall around here. Bob and I headed out to the one at the state fair grounds Sunday and there were more quilts than usual there. I'm a total sucker for Log Cabin Quilts. My very very favorite block.

And Nine-patch blocks. Who doesn't love them???


And I love Flying Geese and use them often for fillers or symbolism in my quilts.

Cheddar and red ... does it get any better? Think of that for your next quilt!

I don't use all of our quilts on the beds ... sometime they're on tables or hanging off of shelves ... or peeking out of an open drawer ... or maybe stuffed in crocks or stoneware bowls.


Wool quilts are fabulous as we head into Winter.  Did you know it's really not that hard to machine sew wool into traditional quilt blocks? I have one I've been working on for a bit and love how wool changes the look ... much more texture. It's interesting to work with ... give it a try sometime!


I love that the lighter quilts in our pile seem to automatically go to the bottom and those with Fall or darker colors rise to the top.

Every day I have a new favorite quilt ... but for right now the one I love most is this little darling that I picked up at the antique show. Sweet, huh? Make or buy a new quilt this Fall!


You say 'witch' like its a bad thing!


Well ... there's nothing witchy about today's designer. I'm sure Linda's going to cast a spell over you with her project! I know she had her nose to the grindstone finishing it up on Sunday.

I got the witch face at Junk Bonanza and I just had to work it into Fall-O-Ween somehow! So it seemed appropriate today, when we're talking about some of the haunts we like to visit. What I like about these great stores is that they're all right around the corner from me. I see the shop owners almost everyday and these girls are like my downtown White Bear Lake family. Nothing better than women in business!

Christina Lynn Interiors is right across the courtyard  from me by the workshop on Banning, and each day, when I park my car, I get to peek inside the windows and see what Christina has in her store. She has new stuff coming in ... and then going right back out in someone's bag! If you love Fall, you really need to hustle in and get something fun for your house.


And this is just a little taste ... she's jam packed with cool Fall-O-Ween stuff and I know she's swinging into Christmas. (I'm trying to convince her she needs to decorate my windows at the store for the holidays ... you've seen the competition from Mixx Salon next door!)


Right around the corner is Jenny's Avon where I kNoW you'll be able to find some of the best skin care products in the world - maybe a lot of wrinkle fixing things for our gal on a stick? You'll love Jenny's upbeat attitude!

One of the things I love about Jenny's place is that as the seasons change you have different make up and skin needs and she always keeps pace with that. Oh ... and she has great stuff at Christmas time that you can put on your wish list. Who doesn't love looking their best?


Then right next door to Jenny is Chris at Fashion Eyes. Chris has some fabulous frames ... unusual ones that you won't find just anywhere. She seems to have her fingers on what's right in style.

Like these frames ... they have French pheasant feathers imbedded into the sides. They are so cool ... you have to see them in person!

Chris, Jenny and I are in a building called the Shoppes at 3rd and Banning. My workshop (which is not the store) is right behind Chris's place. Our landlord has installed a Bose system on the roof ... you never know what selection he'll have wafting through the air. At Christmas its great to have those holiday tunes to get us in the mood!


And if you've ever wondered who gets my hair to look just right, you only need to cross the street and see Kim Hanson at Sunbear Salon. In addition to being a terrific stylist, what I love most about Kim is that she teaches me how to do my hair so I can look as good the next day as I do the day I have my cut.  She likes to keep up on things and recently brought in an organic dye that's a lot easier on hair but still with the same great results. I love to see customers right after they've visited Kim ... they seem so happy ... and every hair is in place!

Lillians sneak peek
I couldn't track down Tracy at Lillians ... I think she caught the news about the witch face ... but she's just a few blocks over and has the best 'stuff' ... you know ... things we need to make us feel great ... like a new bag! Tracy is a huge help to our downtown association and has taken charge of a lot of the work that makes Girls Nite Out run so smoothly. Couldn't do it without her. BTW ... henna tattoos at the Cottage October 21 for Girls Nite!!

Rosebuds window

So ya ... here's my infomercial about some of my favorite haunts in White Bear Lake. Is it any wonder that I moved my store back here a year ago? That and the fact that the Cottage has the BEST view in town ... looking right down Washington Square where the leaves crunch under your feet when you are walking on the cobblestone sidewalks. I think Autumn is my favorite time in WBL ... that is until Winter, when the buildings are outlined with twinkling lights, of course!


Fall traditions around White Bear Lake!

2010 homecoming

One of the traditions we have here on Fall-O-Ween is to announce the designer of the day ... someone who doesn't get to see the seasonal changes like I do ... and who has the largest white shirt collection of anyone! Go check out Carrie's blog!

We are so lucky in WBL that our school colors are the same as Halloween! Shop owners can get some extra mileage from their decorations. The date of the annual homecoming parade moves around each year and attracts lots of families and teenagers having a great time! I know it's not as big as the ones  you'd see in Texas, for instance, but its fun and everyone looks forward to it. Great place to catch up on the latest town gossip,too.

There's always lots to do to get things buttoned down for Winter. This is the best time of year to plant new trees ... grew up in a landscaping business so I know these things ... and to plant bulbs ... Mom was a massive gardener so I know to do this as well. Moving around perennials ... cutting back dead foliage so it doesn't mold ... and then the massive and continous leaf removal. Unfortunately I'm gone during the daylight hours and can't participate in that tradition!


And then there's the tradition of raising the largest pumpkin and taking it to be weighed at Stillwater's pumkin weigh-off. This one was huge ... had to have taken a truck to get it there ... and strong armed men!

Maybe take in some leaf peeping in a different way.

The Parade of Homes is something lots of people in the area do each Fall. Everyone is looking for ideas they can use to make their homes a haven as Winter comes rolling in. #28 is right near downtown ... you could still smell the paint in the air as it's that brand new. Everyone is sprucing up ... I noticed lots of painting and remodeling trucks around as I walked the neighborhood. I'm having a window washer come this week to do the outsides ... first time ever. New furnace being installed on Wednesday. (And for those of you who have been tormenting me for years ... Bob's having them put in AC when they do the replacement!! I'm swooning.)

Lawn signs are popping up all over the place ... I can handle them a little bit better than the ads on tv. Good choice on colors there, Carol!!

The Art Center always gears up for Fall and our favorite thing is when they do an iron pour on one of the cool nights ... nothing more fun than watching molten metal cool! Really. It's pretty fun!

The Friday morning farmers market gets more action as everyone knows it's not going to last ... end of October and colder days will shut it down. Best selection for end of the season produce and pumpkins and bittersweet. And pretty flowers, too!


Over at the Cottage we're laying in big supplies of wools and patterns ... clearing out the last of the Fall and Halloween fabric as we get ready for the next 'season' of goods ... getting ready for the retreat ... all part of our store tradition.

So what are your traditions in your town? How do you Celebrate the Harvest?