It's November already. And fall is here in all its glory. Growing up in southern California, with it's mild round the year summer weather, I always had a longing to experience the seasonal changes, especially autumn. I'd actually daydream about it. Now, living here in the northwest, I've found my dream come true as autumn colors punctuate the landscape. It is wonderful to see the trees we've put in adding new swaths of color too. This red bud, called 'Forest Pansy', is normally a dark plum color, but look at the transformation it goes through in the fall. I had no idea when we planted it just how gorgeous it would be. It's a marvel to me, having survived being nearly torn in half by the wind shortly after it was planted. It was so badly damaged that we came close to taking it out at the time. Fortunately, we didn't, but gave it another chance; bandaged it up, threw in a pep talk, and now it is surely a sight to behold.
I LOVE the little red maple. It's called 'October Fire' and it's about 6 years old, very slow growing--but it's getting there. The 'paper white birch' trees (on the left) are beautiful right now, but sadly they have been compromised by the copper birch beetle that has infested the valley here and beyond. We've been watching them succumb for years now, a slow process with the upper most branches breaking off until eventually there's nothing left of the canopy. This having to do with the tree's food supply getting cut off by beetle larvae--which we never have seen, only tiny holes where they go in and come out. This heartbreaking news came from a number of proffesionals that came out to look at them. Most birch trees have a relatively short life-span (about 20 years) before they start having issues. Our trees are about 20+ years, so aggressive action is not an option. Apparently, there's very little that can be done to save birch trees in this condition. I'm afraid, the trees are living on borrowed time.
I am fully enjoying the color show, inside from the windows and outside in the rain for as long as it lasts. Because in another week or so, this technicolor scenery will all be but a memory. So... not wanting to let it all slip away entirely, better bring some of it inside, I say.
Here in the far corner of my kitchen, a fresh display of seasonal color; a big turkey platter at the center of it all setting the tone. This old buffet and hutch has been with me for many many years now, having traveled all the way from England, I'm told. It still has the original lighting with ancient wiring that is not compatible with what we have here in the U.S. Don't know why we never replaced it. Just one of those minor details that gets overlooked and eventually forgotten when life gets busy I guess. I'm using a short string of twinkle lights as a backdrop of "sunshine"; a counterpoint to these dark stormy northwestern days of November. The cupboard was originally stained a dark walnut with hammered wrought-iron pulls and handles. It looked positively medieval like it had been pulled out of a stone pub. But it was in perfect condition being hand-crafted from solid pine and I could see the potential for cuteness with just a few minor changes. The buffet (below) has four more drawers across the top with four cabinet doors below, where I keep linens, china, teapots, candles and a bunch of old flower vases. It's very handy for things like that, and after all these years, I still love it.
Vintage Embroidery Shop News:: The PatternBee website got a make-over. It's bigger and brighter with better functionality. For one thing, the 'view cart' button is back. Yes, I know, it's sort of convenient to have that, but at the cost of aesthetics I'm afraid. Paypal if you can hear me, please make some CUTE buttons--this horrid creature has to go! (A dainty one would be SO purr-fect.) At this point, my eyeballs feel like they will be crossed forever! It's always a tremendous task updating this site. Weeks and weeks of clicking though literally hundreds of pages. (That's where I've been and what I have been up to during the quiet times away from my blog lately in case anybody was wondering). Please drop in and let me know if you find anything that's wonky or doesn't link where it should. I'm still finding a few issues here and there and fixing as I go. Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. Gosh, my time is up...time to get going. There is always much to do around here!