Winter Wonderland!

I've decided it would be a good day to curl up in a warm cozy chair next to my big window and work on my new spring pattern designs. It may be cold and snowy outside but my thoughts are of spring time flowers, bunnies & gardening.....

Ah yes, winter has arrived! Makes me want to put Christmas music on and start decorating the house. Decorating at the Gervais house will begin this weekend. The tree will come in on Sunday night and lights & decorations will go on on Monday evening. I will spend the rest of the week decorating the rest of the house.

How does a kitty spend a snowy afternoon?? Agassi is enjoying this snowy afternoon curled up on my wool rug that sits on my old bench next to the big window in our living room. He is being entertained by the squirrels (who are up to their chins in snow) scury around looking for peanuts.

Decorating with Spruce Tips

Filling my flower pots with spruce tips is a holiday tradition. Two pots are filled and ready to be placed on either side of our front door. What are Spruce Tips you ask? We Minnesotan's (even though I now reside in Iowa, I still consider myself a Minnesotan) have the pleasure of using these for our holiday decorating. Spruce tips are white or black spruce that are harvested in the bogs of the Northwoods of Minnesota by the DNR (Dept. of Natural Resources) and then auctioned off to local green houses. They are actually a regenerative crop that can be harvested again and again. The tree tips, though quite small, have the form and foliage of the more mature trees, often bearing tiny cones.

I use the same pots that my summer geraniums were in, leaving the dirt. I simply poke the tree tips into the dirt. Each pot contains one larger tip at the center with 3 or 5 smaller tips filled in around the larger one. This year I chose to add stems of fresh winterberries to my pots for a bit more color. A red ribbon bow will be tied around each pot, before placing them at my front door. The Spruce Tip pots make a great winter yard decoration. After the holidays I simply remove the red bows and leave them out all winter.

As the winter comes to an end the Spruce Tips start to dry out and drop their needles, making for a wonderful brown sticky looking tree with small cones still hanging from its branches.


Avon Lady is calling....

As a child I spent many hours on these front steps, pretending I was the Avon lady of all things! This is the house that I grew up until the age of 7. My childhood home is a sad sight to see today. I know the day will come when we drive down the blacktop and the house will be GONE and the farmer will be farming the land that I knew as home. The barn where Mama kitty always had her babies in is gone, the feed mill where we looked for baby mice is gone, the corn cribs that we made mud pies behind is gone...but the house still stands. Perhaps the owner doesn't have the heart to tear down the house, just wish he would paint it a bright white with green trim as I remember it to always be.

A fun little snowman...

Our shipment of the NEW February 08 issue of Create & Decorate arrived yesterday. Pictured on the cover of the magazine is a great snowman rug designed by Tina Payton. I just new I HAD to punch this little guy up. I came home last night and dug in and had the rug (pictured above) done in approximately 5 hours. I drew the design onto monk's cloth and with the Oxford size 10 punch needle and our hand dyed wool yarns I went to work. Today I packaged the rug up and sent it off to our daughter as a little Christmas surprise. Really I made it for her kitty to curl up on...my kitty LOVES curling up on the little wool rugs that I have throughout our house. I hope Erin & Bella (her Birman cat) enjoy the rug.