Scintillating Sparkles

For the past few weeks
all my spare time has been spent
doing the crafts I love.

My occupations have been full of tiny details
and precision which I really enjoy

but suddenly
I needed a fresh way of seeing -  and the candlelight
and electric light plunged me into a world of sparkles and abstracts!

So I got out my macro lens and had enormous fun playing
with my focus to capture the abstract quality of well-known objects.
These sparkling threads, used for adding a festive touch
to crocheted creations, brought me into a world of scintillating wonder!
This has to be my favourite capture because we just recognize
 what we are seeing
 yet the abstract quality is there too.

And on these mostly grey November days
my world became alive again!

Gold and silver, red and blue

My basket of happiness!

I feel depth and vibrancy and swirling movements.
Don't they make you want to dance?

As November Moves Forward

As the days get shorter
we feel the change all around us
Yesterday, I prepared my window-boxes for winter
and picked the last geraniums.

There are plenty of exciting new projects to prepare
and the colour red comes to mind
with a hint of green and lots of white.

A warm drink with garden herbs
and warm colours that delight the senses.
Table decorations to prepare
gifts for others, festive hangings...
and with these long, long evenings,

an orange candle at the end of the day!

It may rain outside under skies of grey, but a snug atmosphere inside
candlelight and music
a good book
or some yarn and hook for nimble fingers
it all feels just perfect!

What do you like doing in November?

Focussing on the Essential

Doing my marketing last November 1st,
I saw people selling these bags
called "Survival Kits".

Each bag contained a minimum number of simple ingredients
to make a soup: potatoes, carrots, one leek and an onion
with a vegetable broth cube.

I replaced the onion with a few sticks of celery that I had in my fridge.
The soup was simple and economical and tasty.

The next day, I added 3 tablespoons of red lentils and it became even more nourishing.

Each Survival Kit bag cost 5.- Swiss francs
and the money goes to an association which is very active
in feeding hot meals to those who are homeless
or in serious financial difficulties.

This made we think about what was really essential in life.
For me, it would be having enough food to satisfy my hunger
and having a roof over my head.
It is good to remember this when we think we want or need
certain things which are not essential to our well-being or our happiness.
On the contrary, many of these things encumber our minds and our homes.

In the same line of thinking,
I would like to show you a book I bought a while ago:
It's a reprint which was composed by Marguerite Patten
for helping women to prepare nourishing and healthy meals
for their families during times of food scarcity during the war.
The recipes are inventive and original and I really enjoy trying them out.

I am wearing a crocheted poppy today in remembrance of
Armistice Day on November 11th.
Remembering these events
brings us back to the essential.

The Rusty Fence

If I could put just one word on each of my photos
it would describe how I feel when I first look at the image.
Kim talks about doing this in her latest blog posting

Flamboyant evokes movement and flames and red and orange and yellow.
For me, it's the essence of autumn's colours and moods
and makes me think of log fires burning in the hearth!

The crossroads of the seasons
as beautiful autumn goes out on a flurry of colourful leaves
and allows winter to settle in.

We are often confronted with crossroads in our lives
where decisions are necessary and choices made
changing our direction on this unknown journey of life.

The rusty fence is in my neighbourhood and I find it the perfect base
for autumn shots when the wind blows the leaves against the wire meshing
and creates rusty fence art which often changes every day!

Being entangled in a situation can  be a reality in life.

But when we surrender and let go
life can flow again

Accepting what is before us
and not making it our enemy allows us to move on

and we feel oneness with our surroundings once again
all feelings of separation disappear.

Isn't serenity a wonderful feeling?
This oak leaf seems so serene as it sits within the rusty fence
as if it wants to be in no other place at all.
It's just content to be where it is.

Looking up and beyond the fence,
I'm enthralled by the sunlight filtering through the branches of this tree.
The word which comes to mind is 'enchanting'
as I enjoyed the movements of the leaves and saw their ever-changing patterns.

Looking down
I can see how the sunlight is creating a feeling of aliveness
in the fallen leaves.
I can feel the joy in these happy, vibrant colours
Can you?